Dec 25, 2011

Merry Xmas From Lex

Merry Xmas!  I wish everyone health, love, oodles of epic rides, and...

Following a poll that was posted over a 5 day period on the Lex Albrecht Facebook page, the three most popular gifts on a cyclist's wishlist are:

1.  0.5 watts/kg
2.  A new bike
3.  Clean water bottles

If you want number 1: work hard and you'll get it.
If you want number 2: you'd better have been a very very wise little boy or girl, or be extremely good buddies with a very generous gift-giver
If you want number 3: you're pretty easy to satisfy, and you probably can appreciate the greatness of one of my favorite appliances: the dishwasher.

May your holiday wishes come true!

Dec 18, 2011

Have You Noticed?

Hey, check it out, there's a new section on this page!  In the left-hand column, you'll now find a list of the top 5 most popular posts that have been published on my site.  They're updated as the statistics change.  Check them out!

Dec 17, 2011

Quand je suis à bloc sur le trainer.

J'étais sur mon trainer ce soir en train de pédaler comme une débile.  J'avais encore mal aux jambes de mon entraînement de la veille.  En plus, je faisais une nouvelle séries d'intervals que je n'avais jamais tenté auparavant.  Je savais que ça n'allait pas être facile.

Je partage quelques-uns de mes trucs avec vous:

1. J'écris mes intervals sur une feuille de papier et je la colle en bas de ma TV.  Comme ça, si je suis tellement à bloc que je perds la carte et je ne sais plus ce que je dois faire, j'ai seulement à regarder en bas de l'écran (où il y a une course de bike de diffusée, bien sûr).  Je n'ai pas encore été assez à bloc pour oublier la présence de mon papier d'urgence collé sur la TV- une chance.

2. Juste en bas des intervals, souvent je m'écris un message de motivation.  Ca s'avère utile pour des situations d'urgence aussi, car parfois ma tête ne dit pas les bonnes affaire à mes jambes et quand ça arrive, ça ne marche plus mon affaire.

Ce soir, ma tête avait dit "CÂLINE, je pense que mes jambes sont en train de SAIGNER, tellement que ça fait mal!!!"  Heureusement, j'avais le message de motivation en bas de ma feuille.  Je l'ai lu.  Ensuite ma tête a dit aux jambes "Voyons, c'est pas vrai, ça ne fait pas si mal, vous êtes capables, allez!" Et voilà, ça a marché.  J'ai pu terminer l'entraînement.

C'est impressionant comment une pensé negative peut tout scrapper, et comment une pensé positive peut rendre une foule d'affaires possible.  La meilleure preuve, c'est ce que ça peut faire quand je suis à bloc sur le trainer.

Dec 15, 2011

Jump Out and Kiss Me

My mom used to tell me ''What, are you expecting it to jump out and kiss you?'' when she felt that I wasn't making enough of an effort to find something.  For weeks and weeks I searched for a new place to live, by the end, wishing that one would just jump out and kiss me.   It was a plan that had been in the works for quite some time, and the moment had come to make it happen.  I wasn't asking for soo, so much in a new home:

*A place with room for my beloved dishwasher, so I won't have to wash my water bottles (that I fill with eload on every ride, of course) by hand.
*A place with a living room spacious enough so I won't feel boxed in while I put the pistons through just a little bit more than what they think they can do, everyday on the trainer.
*A place where I can install a washer and dryer...because there is no way on the face of this earth that I'm going to cart my Hincapie kits to a laundromat everyday!
*A place surrounded by a plethora of gorgeous places to ride my bicycle.
*A place safe and comfortable for my bikes and me.

I think I found it, and now it's time to start packing boxes! The Home Base of "Team Lex" is officially changing.

Dec 11, 2011

Third Shift, Fourth Shift, and SUCCESS!

At 6 am, after a short snooze, I was back on the bike pedaling with passion like always.  Lyne brought us muffins to fuel our early morning two-hour shift.

I had a break, and finished the 24h Tremblant off with a final 2 hour stretch from 10am until noon.  (My total: three 2 hour shifts + one 4 hour shift = 10 hours.)  The energy of the crowd, (many who were pretty sleep deprived) was impressive.  We were right in the middle of it all and having an excellent time.

Équipe 24h de Vélo de Tremblant, led by Lyne Bessette raised money for many worthy children's charities: The Fondation Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau, the Sens Foundation, Fondation Martin-Matte and Fondation Tremblant

We had a lot of fun, rode hard, and most importantly, we thank EVERYONE who donated for their generous support. 

A special personal thank you to: Maria, Emils, Mike, Deb, Cindy, Karine, Barb & Manfred, Elke, Anne, Michaël and Christian for sponsoring me for this event.  Merci tout le monde!!!

Dec 10, 2011

Second Shift: 24h Tremblant

The second shift at the 24h Tremblant was a blast! 

I pedaled 4 hours alongside some of my 24h Tremblant teammates as the skiers and snowboarders ripped up and down the slopes.  There are shows going on on the stage in front of the tent we're pedaling under, and tons of people cheering us on.
The view from our spinning tent! Photo: Randy Ferguson

I wore wool socks inside of my S-Works shoes, and used my new hot-pads.  Lyne put a super heater in front of me during my shift, and my feet stayed relatively toasty. Most importantly, all of the toes are still there.

It's wicked to see so many enthusiastic people, having such a good time playing hard outside for a great cause: supporting sick children's charities!  We're almost at our collective team goal of $5000.  Please offer your support, and help us reach our goal!

First Shift at The 24h Tremblant

I arrived in Tremblant at 2am.  I slept on the kitchen table in the condo that I'm sharing with 3 of my 24h teammates.  I didn't want to wake anybody up...and the table was just the right size for a snooze!

At noon, I filled my bottles with eload, and hopped on the bike for my first shift of 2h.  What a blast!  We've got a perfect view of the village and the stage where the performances will be put on this evening.  I have a 4h block of riding coming up at 6pm. 

Thank you Karine, Anne, Emils, Manfred & Barb, Elke, Deb, Michael, Maria, and Cindy for your generous donations!  Please click here to support our team pedaling at the bottom of the mountain, while the skiers ski!

A great cause to support some very worthy children's charities!

Dec 9, 2011

24h Tremblant

When I was 10 I had a brother.  I had a sister too.  Then my parents told me I was getting another one.

My new sister wasn't quite as fortunate as the rest of us.  She was sick when she was born.  She never learned to talk, to walk...even to swallow.  My sister needed pumps and medications and doctors trips, and nurses came to our house every single night so my parents could sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Back then, my mom was a stay at home mother, which made taking care of my sister a heck of a lot easier than it could have been, had she been forced to work to support our family.  My dad had super health insurance coverage, which made my caring for my sister affordable.  There were a lot of challenges, but we could deal with them.

Not everybody has the same resources though, and I'm not sure how they manage to get through taking care of a very sick child.

This is part of the reason that I felt so adament about doing the 24h Tremblant.  Raising money for families in situations that I experienced first hand as a child is meaningful to me.  It makes a big difference when an organization is able to step in, and take pressure off of families dealing with sick children.

When I was 12, my sister passed away.  Sometimes when I ride my bike, I think about her, and how lucky I am that I'm healthy enough to mix my own eload, and spin on my Speedplay pedals.  She wasn't, and it is a good reminder of how fortunate I am.

Thanks for supporting me this weekend:

 As a part of a team of cyclists organized by Lyne Bessette, I will be pedaling 4 shifts of 2 hours each (for a total of 8 hours) at the bottom of Tremblant while the skiers ski this weekend!

Dec 6, 2011

Eload in the Mail

Not everything good grows on trees. California oranges and Honey Crisp apples do.  But french toast and eload do not.

My stash of eload was running dangerously low.  I had to take precautionary measures and order some.  Good thing I did, because I have about a scoop and half of eload left in my canister.  (How is your stash?

I got the message today.  My eload has arrived.  We're in the clear! 

I'll be training as per normal with eload in my bottles, and I'll have it with me to keep hydrated this weekend.  I think I'll choose lemon this time.  I will be pedaling with Lyne Bessette's group "Équipe 24h de Vélo de Tremblant" at the base of the mountain while the skiers ski at the 24h Tremblant this upcoming weekend.  The goal of the event is to raise money for sick children's charities.  I will keep the updates coming! 
Want to donate for a great cause?:

Dec 1, 2011

Things That I Have Grown Out Of.

It's funny to look back, on occasion, on old habits that we would probably never again revert to, but that we may have once sworn by.  Silly mistakes are cool to laugh at in retrospect as well.  I'll share some of mine.  Don't be too rough on me...

THEN: Going to the tanning salon with my bibshorts to get a head start on my tan lines.
NOW: I have bottles of 45 and 60 SPF sunscreen.

THEN: Carting around my Discman in my jersey pocket with my newest favorite CD.
NOW: Forget music, I like the smooth hum of a clean chain driving my Specialized Amira forward.

THEN: Never leaving to pedal without my CamelBak, even for my very first race
NOW: Never leaving to pedal without my water bottles with eload.

THEN: Underwear with the bibshorts. 
NOW: No underwear in my Hincapie shorts.  They're not made for that.  OK?

THEN: Taping the vents of my shoes shut for cold weather riding
NOW: I'm less cheap, and I use shoe covers.

THEN: Flying off of the rollers every once in a while because I rode them backwards, by mistake.
NOW: My downstairs neighbours despise the reverberations that my beloved rollers send through the floorboards, so the apparatus stays under my bed for now.  I know which way to ride them though.

THEN: Wearing my helmet for a few minutes inside of my apartment in the middle of winter, just to remind myself of the feeling of summer.
NOW:  Okay fine, I'll probably be sporting the Specialized Prevail on several, rare, but short and secret occasions this winter too.