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veldrijder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not quite the same as our 2008 (racing) season in review thread back in the fall, I figure I'd crosspost a year end summary of my own experiences that I posted on my blog. Feel free to post your own, as short or long as you like!
This post was inspired by this one on Jeff Kerkove's blog.

Best bike used in '08: the True North Cycles 29er, of course. I loved my cross bike too, but the True North was most excellent, living up to everything I wanted it to.

Best new bike component: this is a tough one since I used so much new stuff this season, but I think it has to go to my Chris King/Stans Arch 29er wheelset. This is kind of cheating since the rims and hubs were both special in their own way (and I have another set of the Stan's rims on other wheels) but in combination they're a fantastic set of wheels. The King hubs are not the lightest, but they are solid performers, easy to service and look great. The Arch 29er rims are sufficiently light, and provide a solid platform to mount a tubeless setup on. I may even cheat a bit further and plug the Schwalbe Racing Ralphs in this one, as this wheel/tire combination was about as perfect as I can imagine with light weight, low rolling resistance and good grip.

Best new cycling apparel: another tough call, but it goes to the Sidi Dominator 5 shoes. I won't go into whether or not Sidi shoes are as good as they're made out to be, or whether they're worth the price tag - for me the point is that I have a wide foot, and the Sidi Megas are one of the few shoes that fit them properly. They're very comfortable, stiff enough, and the fit alone is worth the price to me. It doesn't hurt that they're among the most stylish cycling footwear available. I only wish they'd make the Mega width in white...

Best online retailer: though my order was barely inside '08 just a week ago, I'll give this one to Total Cycling in the UK for their combination of good prices, reasonable postage and fast delivery. I had to make a change in my order after it was placed, and with a quick phone call it was done and without any problems. A mentionable 2nd place goes to Universal Cycles in Portland, OR for consistently good service on many orders, and a great web interface. Their prices are average, but with coupon codes which are readily available, they offer competitive pricing while having the best web store for letting you know what is in stock, when it will ship and how much postage will be.

Best race attended: I think this has to go to the Life$tyle$ of the Rich and Famou$ 24h race. Though it's a little more money than the big events, it's hard to argue with a 24h race that provides warm accommodations and meals. The small number of participants keeps things casual, and this race is about as fun as they get while remaining competitive.

Best race performance: both in placing and in the way I felt, definitely the Subway 'Cross event that ended the (official) season for 'cross in Southern Ontario. I had a good race and after a good start with the lead group, dropped back into 3rd wheel and held it to the end. Runner up would be Paul's Dirty Enduro (3okm version). I went into this with no expectations (I was actually just going to hang out until a decision 30 minutes before the start) and ended up 5th in my age group. I'll definitely consider going back for the 60k next year.

Best race watched on TV/internet: 2008 CX worlds, I guess. There were a lot of good races, but this one was very exciting with Boom's dominant performance, and it was one that helped build my interest in 'cross when I was just getting into the idea of trying it.

Best "I don't think I'm going to make it" moment: probably on the Hamilton Endurance Ride (Round 2) undertaken by some MTBR Eastern Ontario forum people, led by our good friend Jeff. It was one of the toughest rides I've done with all the climbing (1250m), and just the sheer distance covered offroad (~95km). It was pretty warm that day too, and I was having trouble keeping enough food down to fuel myself. A near bonk experience bailed out by a bottle of Coke topped off the day. I don't think I would have finished a ride like that without the good company of the folks I was with.

Best all around ride: this one, based on the fact that it was blogworthy on its own, and all the reasons I gave in that post.

That's all I've got for now. I think it sums up the year pretty well; hopefully 2009 will bring more good experiences.
Hopefully you all had a good year as well :)
 

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Nice blog - a world away from my '08 cycling experience.

2008 was actually my first year of mountain biking - I bought a rigid GT Talera in '98 and like most teenagers just used it to get around and the odd ride down the paved trails. After getting back in touch with an old friend, I joined him on a ride at the Don and it completely blew my mind. It was the whole "I can't believe I've been missing out on this" feeling. In the days that followed I sold my beater motorcycle and bought a mid-level hardtail. I did whatever I could to get out to the trailhead (usually the King City loop or Don) at least twice a week and quickly became addicted to the rush that trail riding brings.

I still can't believe that I only discovered trail riding this past year...SO many years wasted :p

In 2009 I hope to discover some more trails in Ontario, maybe make a couple of weekend trips to Vermont and hopefully meet some new riding buddies to share the good times with.

Cheers!
 

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Best component: Rotor ring(s). Just like Noggy told me at the spring show, they are (like?) cheating, especially SS. Yes, they are stupid expensive, but I cleaned hills SS that I never dreamed of before.

Best bike: Fisher Superfly. Not just because it is the lightest 29er out there, stiff, and a rocketship. But because it was my incentive to quit smoking (which I am 9 months into).

Best race performance: Tie: Icebreaker/CX provincials.
Icebreaker: Rode it fixed, remained competitive in the SS short course Cat. Really wanted to win, but came in a distant 2nd behind a guy that is way faster than me. But hey,
a) I was riding fixed
b) I was riding on toe clips and straps (WAY bigger handicap than riding fixed)
c) I had 3 clip on fenders on my bike

CX champs: Tried to hang with the big boys on my SS and failed. My only goal was not to get lapped, and I did. But after a lot of reflection, I realized that
a) It was my 4th CX race ever.
b) There were a couple bobbles that cost me the 30secs by which I got lapped (see video at www.veloomedia.com for example)
c) I was on a SS dammit!

Don't know if I'll make it: Winter WOW. If you were there, you know why. I thought 2 bottles were enough!

Online retailer: www.cycle-solutions.com who are also a great LBS. (and my employer...)

Apparel: Photoshopped Vans checkered slip ons. Still have a link handy for that pic, Peter?
 

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veldrijder
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
veteran_youth said:
Best component: Rotor ring(s). Just like Noggy told me at the spring show, they are (like?) cheating, especially SS. Yes, they are stupid expensive, but I cleaned hills SS that I never dreamed of before.
That good, eh? I've been back and forth on trying them, but I know if I like them on one bike I'll want them for all of them... and with a couple geared bikes that gets expensive.

CX champs: Tried to hang with the big boys on my SS and failed. My only goal was not to get lapped, and I did. But after a lot of reflection, I realized that
a) It was my 4th CX race ever.
b) There were a couple bobbles that cost me the 30secs by which I got lapped (see video at www.veloomedia.com for example)
c) I was on a SS dammit!
I'd say it was a pretty respectable finish for sure. You were solid on the cross bike this year despite being a newcomer - I certainly never saw you after the first half lap or so anytime we raced together.
 

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Singlespeed Mysty
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veteran_youth said:
Best component: Rotor ring(s). Just like Noggy told me at the spring show, they are (like?) cheating, especially SS. Yes, they are stupid expensive, but I cleaned hills SS that I never dreamed of before.
hmm... Rotor ring(s)?... what is this that you speak of? I am still trying to figure out bike lingo boyz...

veteran_youth said:
Apparel: Photoshopped Vans checkered slip ons. Still have a link handy for that pic, Peter?
ahhh ... I remember this pic fondly :D ... wasn't there something else freakly in that pic?
 

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rad to the power of sick
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jmoote said:
Not quite the same as our 2008 (racing) season in review thread back in the fall, I figure I'd crosspost a year end summary of my own experiences that I posted on my blog. Feel free to post your own, as short or long as you like!

Hopefully you all had a good year as well :)
Best Bike Used in 08': New Trek Madone' 5.2.

Best New Component: The shimano SLX group. Best bang for the buck on the planet.

Best Race Perfomance: Albion Ocup 9th place. Poor start, poor warm up, and managed to dig deep and work my way through the field.

Best Cycling Accomplishment Coaching and leading my University MTB race team to a first place overall finish for the first time in University Cup history.
 

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Lots of pretty cool accomplishments above, here are mine:

- Rode as much as I could with a new baby in the family last winter
- Learned just how versatile my '01 RFX really is
- Discovered the rest of the East Don and have loved local riding ever since, we are extremely lucky here in TO for this
- Made it out to my first IMBA trail day WITH my son!
- Made it out to my first 'Bring a Kid MTB'ing IMBA' event and saw a smile on my son's face that I will never forget
- Discovered that Durham CAN be ridden right after a rain storm!
- Rode in a total downpour at Best Fest and absolutely loved it

A few downers for '08 were:

- Didn't make it out DH'ing once
- Didn't get to travel for biking at all, not even to Ottawa which is usually a no brainer

All in all, I had a great time and am looking to improve my fitness & skills for '09, with a bit of travel somewhere in there I hope, out West maybe :D :cool:
 

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snowbound
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Best new bike component - Rennen Rollenlager - turned the old Schwinn homegrown into the most fun bike I own.

Best race attended - the Paris to Ancaster - wow - a really fun race that includes asphalt, dirt roads, singletrack, farm lanes, rail trails, mud and a killer climb
 

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humber river advocate
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Highlights

-built tons of trails all over
-bought a chainsaw and got my felling/bucking cert. for ontario
-introduced the gf to downhilling (she loves it!)
-went on several riding trips to northern ontario and quebec
-blue mountain is still fun
-bike parks sprouting up all over the place

lowlights

-damn eltism (it's ok to be a cupcake!)
-no trail plan for albion hills
-29'ers are still overhyped hybrids, just get a cyclecross... (it had to be said)
-bike snobs vs dirtbaggers
-bmx riders still getting the shaft in toronto
 

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Misfit Psycles
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veteran_youth said:
Best component: Rotor ring(s).
...
Apparel: Photoshopped Vans checkered slip ons. Still have a link handy for that pic, Peter?
2008 was a great year for cycling.

Been Highs:
Another vote for rotor, the cranks stank but the ring was sweet.
1st 24hr solo...solstice's torrential sugar shack shuffle...
Crank the Shield far exceeded expectations...
Regular road epics. Really, and for 2009, Montreal and back.

Developing Lows and Upcoming Trends:
Every single post *****fests.

 

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bi-winning
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Best bike used in '08: Um, my Giant NRS was good to me for yet another year.



Best new bike component:
Hutchinson Pythons. Fastest treaded tire I've used. Great for Albion and similar.


Best new cycling apparel: Balaclava (Kneck/face warmer). Warm comfortable fleece kneck, with thin "hood" sewn onto it, to fit nicely under my helmet, and keep my head warm, but not hot.



Best online retailer:
This year i placed orders from both Jenson and Chain Reaction. Jenson. I was satisfied with both orders. Jenson was faster. I got some killer deals from CR though.



Best race attended:
I had so much fun at so many.... I love the 24h camp/race experience at Albion, and I was stoked to race Buckwallow for the first time this year.




Best race performance: Best finish was 4th at Buckwallow O-Cup. I was thrilled with that day/race/performance. But, I think I am most proud about finishing my first 9h solo, at Moutainview, where I finished 4th as well (out of a small field of 9 i think).





Best race watched on TV/internet
:I love seeing mountain biking on TV. I enjoyed the women's Olympic xc race.




Best "I don't think I'm going to make it" moment:
I did not know if I was going to make it through the Summer Solstice. We had a big team, but I crashed hard. I thought my day might have been over on my first lap, but the body prevailed, and norm helped me get my bike running again.



Best all around ride: Buckwallow. I rode for about 5 hours. It was a new experience for me. I tried some trails that super fun, and some that were beyond my ability level. The lack of climbs allowed me to just keep going. I also got to meet up with BlackCanoeDog, and did some riding in the rain as well. Good times.



That's all I've got for now. I think it sums up the year pretty well; hopefully 2009 will bring more good experiences.
 

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veldrijder
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
rkj__ said:
Best race watched on TV/internet:I love seeing mountain biking on TV. I enjoyed the women's Olympic xc race.
This was my unmentioned runner up for this category. That was a great race, and as you implied there isn't exactly a lot of mtb coverage to watch.
rkj__ said:
Best "I don't think I'm going to make it" moment: I did not know if I was going to make it through the Summer Solstice. We had a big team, but I crashed hard. I thought my day might have been over on my first lap, but the body prevailed, and norm helped me get my bike running again.
We were all glad you did "make it" I think. By the look of that wheel I can imagine how it might have felt, so that you continued at all (nevermind still pulling respectable lap times) is excellent.
 

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bi-winning
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jmoote said:
We were all glad you did "make it" I think. By the look of that wheel I can imagine how it might have felt, so that you continued at all (nevermind still pulling respectable lap times) is excellent.
I'm glad you made it through your moment as well. :thumbsup:
 

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NormalNorm
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I had my worst year for riding time in 2008. I think I road only 1800kms(mostly road riding).

Found I was pressed for time this past year. I coach my daughters in both hockey/baseball, and it's very time consuming(alot of fun though). It also didnt help that I put on 20lbs. Off the bike it was a great year for life. Look out '09. Here's my thoughts of '09.


Best bike used in '08:
My new Jamis XCR. I wish I had bought it earlier, to replace my old Stumpy.

Best new bike component:
Easton XC One wheelset.

Best new cycling apparel:
Lake Winter shoes....in one word "toasty".


Best online retailer:
Jenson

Best race attended:
The Chico events are always great.

Best race performance:
1st Place in the Clydesdale catergory at the Harrisburg to Ancaster-35kms race. I thought I going to struggle just to complete it. Totally caught off guard, never expected doing well. Sore for almost a week though...

Best race moment:
Passing two guys drinking and getting high on the trail, in the Lake to Lake. When I passed them, they held their beers up and said "alright we got a SS". Got a "high" five from the 2 of them. Still dont know how they knew I was SS'ing.(from where they were standing). Made me laugh.

Worst race moment:
Racing the Thursday night race series at Mountainview. My buddy convinces me to ride the A class. I told him.... Im hungover, on holidays, and outta shape. I do it anyway. Do one lap and die. I took a personal note....listen to your instinct.

Best "I don't think I'm going to make it" moment:
Going for a 2nd Lap at the Mountainview race.

Best all around ride:
Went for a ride in Wasaga Beach. It started to rain, but was the highlight ride of my year.

All in all, I cant complain about '08. It was still a good year. Meeting new/old friends, riding and enjoying life. Hope everyones '09 is a good one.
 

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bi-winning
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off topic

norm said:
I coach my daughters in both hockey/baseball, and it's very time consuming(alot of fun though).
You got your girl(s?) into hockey? That's awesome. :thumbsup:

I'll always be thankful that my father gave me the opportunity to participate in minor hockey. He also helped to coach my teams for several years. It was a great way for me and my dad to spend time together. He helped me through the rough times, and we celebrated the good times together. So many memories, like driving to Brampton in a blizzard, only to get raped, or, playing my first regular season Jr. C game (I was called up for one game).
 

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NormalNorm
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rkj__ said:
You got your girl(s?) into hockey? That's awesome. :thumbsup: QUOTE]

They are having alot of fun.

I have some of the same memories as you have....great coachs, early morning practices, long drives, tournaments, hot chocolate after the game, etc.

Good times.:thumbsup:
 

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dirt roadie
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My turn. :p
See my blog for pics and stuff, I'm too lazy to redo all the links.

Best bike used in '08: I know you're thinking that the obvious answer would be my shiny new Louis Garneau Sonix 6.4. You'd be thinking incorrectly. I haven't used that bike to it's potential yet. My Kona Hei Hei? It is a kick ass bike for sure, and I love it. But the bike I've chosen is not the biggest bike, it's not the fastest, it's not the best looking, but it just keeps going...it's like a little Welsh pony; the Norco CCX1. It does anything I need it to do. Yeah, the brakes suck and it rides like a brick, but I can ride it on any MTB trail, and then with just a change of wheelset, do 100km on the road. I can commute with it. Throw it through snowbanks. And later this year, cyclocross madness.

Best new bike component: Fulcrum Racing 3 wheelset. These wheels just don't want to stop rolling.

Best new cycling apparel: Descente Classic windbreaker in hyper bright green. It's the centre of discussion at group rides. Motorists can see me coming from a mile away at night and during the day. It breaks wind (that is NOT a fart joke). Definitely the best apparel I bought last year.

Best online retailer: MEC.

Best race attended: Definitely the Liberty Bicycles Off-Road Squeezer. Nothing beats nearly 1000 cyclists tearing up the best singletrack in the Niagara Peninsula. And watching the elite group...awesome. Good times all around.

Best race performance: Again, the Squeezer. I came in 112th overall, and was the 58th rider tocross the finish line. Slip-sliding through the mud was a blast, and it was just an all-around great performance. Top 100 next year.

Best "I don't think I'm going to make it" moment: Riding with the SCCC for a century (100 miles/160km) on the Pedal 100. I got dropped 50km into it, and was in a whole lot of pain over 90km of the ride. The route passed right by my house and I could have got a bail-out ride back to Port Dalhousie. Perhaps it was because I was tripping on energy gels and caffeine balls, and even though I took a shortcut, I just kept going right to the finish.

Best all around ride: The Greater Niagara Circle Route ride with a few people from the SCCC. Just an excellent ride in every way.

Best races that I didn't race: All the cyclocross races, 24-hour races, and Ontario Cup MTB races that I should have done. 2009 is going to be busy! :thumbsup:
 

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Highlights

Favourite bike used: Misfit DiSSent, loved riding/racing it all season. Super comfortable.

Favourite component: Stans ZTR 355's. Not one flat/problem all season running tubeless on these rims and they stayed true .

An amazing 8 days riding in Fruita/Moab.

Podium finish at Albion Tuesday Night Series after a plethora of "back of the pack" finishes in 2007.

Added 3 bikes to the stable and completely rebuilt another for the cross season.

Started road riding and did many epic rides with nogears that pushed me to my limits.

Completed a double metric century ride to Northern Ontario in cold snowy November.

Did all 8 hour races solo and my first 24 hr solo.

Best online retailer: Universal Cycles solely based on selection. They always seemed to have nearly everything I was looking for. Jenson is amazing but their selection needs a lot of improvement.

Memorable race moment 1: Nogears creeping up on me in the final meters of a Tuesday night race and sprinting by for 1st when I thought I had put distance on him. I should have done the "look back". This will be my signature move for 2009. Great race regardless.

Memorable race moment 2: 4th place at Kelso OCUP in the SS category.​

Resolutions

Schedule more consistent training during the weekdays.

Eat healthier, pass on the fries from time to time.

Increase consumption of Doritos to account for decrease in french fry intake.

Begin regular training/riding at Velodrome.​

Fingers crosssed for...
Dryer weather for Summer 2009.

Another season of mechanical free races.

Trail politics and dogmatic comments not being bought into every thread.​
 

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Best of 08:
  • #1 of course was getting married to the love of my life and my riding partner and our week long honeymoon of mountain biking in Kingdom Trails Vermont
  • Riding with my team and bike club members
  • Watching my wife and her team win the Fly Gurlz 8-Hour relay
  • Racing my 30Lb 6" travel "Couch bike" at the Buckwallow O-Cup and almost making the top 10 in sport class
  • Being part of the Lapdog's rigid single speed 8 hour race team and placing 4th in both the Spring and Fall Duke's Epic 8 races when racing against teams with gears and suspension
Most Used Bike: Tie
  • 1997 Kona Kilauea converted to a 19lb rigid single speed
  • 2007 Specialized Stumpy FSR
Least Used Bike:
  • My road bike
Low Points of 08:
  • Taking all the skin off my ass on the first lap of the Fall 8 hour when attempting to pass the Misfit crew (Did I mention they were riding solo?)
  • Constant bearing maintenance due to all the water this year
  • Cracking my city bike's frame climbing Pottery Road
  • Blowing up my full suspension bike one day into my honeymoon and having to use a heavy ass POS rental bike that "nutted" me on a constant basis for the rest of the week
  • Not enough time to do any of the O-Cup circuit races except for Buckwallow, and no time for day long road rides either
Resolutions:
  • Get some real training done before the race season starts
  • Race the whole O-Cup series and get some decent results
  • Maybe do a solo 8 Hour
  • Find some way to afford and build a Misfit
  • Put in a lot more road miles than 08
  • Have a lot of fun
 
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