For a last couple of years I was looking for a spectator sport for myself. I don’t “get” hockey and, while I enjoy skiing, watching it just makes me sad I am not out skiing myself. I tried getting into biathlon but I find the coverage to be disconnected as they are trying to cover too many people doing too many things at the same time. I love watching Winter Olympics but that is only every four years. Finally this summer I found it – dotwatching!
Dotwatching is following ultra distance self supported bike races through interactive maps and social media. The two races that I followed this summer were the Transcontinental Race (this year the control points were in Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Bosnia And Greece) and Silk Road Mountain Race through Kyrgyzstan. I kind of missed the boat on TransAm Race, but I will try and follow it next summer. These races are on the low budget side which means that there isn’t a lot of media coverage. All you get is a map with GPS signals from the riders and some pretty photographs. These races last for about two or three weeks non stop and much of the media content is generated by contestants themselves.
Apart from the athletic aspect, the racers need to figure out how to get places, where to eat and sleep and how to solve problems along the way. What I like most of all is that women compete in the same category as men. Sure, there is a prize for the first woman but the challenge is the same and everyone is competing for the same spots on the rating list. If you are interested, 2015 film, “Inspired to Ride” is a good introduction to the sport.
We managed to spend some time with rocks and trees and water! this summer.
You know what else I have been doing? Listening to music. I am really enjoying Arctic Monkeys’ latest album. I even found a photo from this summer that goes very well with one of the songs.
“Maybe I was a little too wild in the ’70s
Rocket-ship grease down the cracks of my knuckles
Karate bandana, warp speed chic
Hair down to there, impressive moustache”
Star Treatment by Arctic Monkeys
Trev is now old enough to babysit, so I can go to movies again!!! We actually went to see “Sorry to Bother You” a couple of months ago and I have been thinking about updating the blog since but could not think of profound thoughts or intriguing pictures to put up. You know what? This blog is not about that. I will go back to irreverent thoughts about life, sometimes without points or illustrations but always about something on my mind. For example, parenting!
My goal this summer was to spend quality time with the kids and to get them to start doing life chores (cooking, cleaning, getting places on time) without losing my mind. I think I did ok!
Just to prove it, here is a photo of the boys on one of our mandatory fun outings.
While I generally really enjoy movies and shows with strong fighting women, over time I have become weary. It is an overused trope and it is easy to do badly. In the case of Wonder Woman, where the main character and her powers are divine, the concept works well. Ditto for, say, Dark Angel where Max is genetically engineered super solder. The concept strikes me as disingenuous where mortal women fight soldiers and win by strength rather than skill or wit.
White Lake during the Chenaux 200 brevet
I bike a lot and try to do at least a few challenging rides over the season. Since I don’t like riding far on my own, a lot of the time I bike with men. This makes it difficult because there is no way to cover up for the difference in strength.
Quyon ferry ride back to Ontario on Cheanux 200
Riding with Randonneurs has worked so far since the speeds they keep to are manageable for me. When biking with friends, I keep the directions to myself so they have to wait for me at intersections.
I was complaining to my awesome trainer Laurie how I am all achy this year and that I am a little concerned that I will not be able to do all the rides I have planned. She asked me to compare my spring rides for last and this year… So here it is:
I ramped up slowly last year, but this year I started too fast and needed to take some time off to recover. Lower mileage in May and June also has to do with my family schedule, the weather which has been of particularly rainy disposition and my preference to ride with company and all the trappings that come with that. Randonneurs’ schedule starts the second week of March (the rides, though scheduled, are not done if there is ice on the road or the weather is bad enough that no-one feels like riding). Populaires (any ride below 200km) fill up March and the first brevet (200km) was in early April. Though I had no problems with the populaires, I found the first brevet quite challenging. In the future, I will make a point of putting in a few more kilometres before getting into brevets.
Britannia Beach this Sunday
I’ve had some trouble with my setup. I tried out a new saddle but it did not work out and I had to put the old one back on. Also, my handlebars keep drooping! Must get this fixed and get back into form!