Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tree vs. Rock Skis

It's been super windy in the Bow Valley lately. Sooooo, trees are blowing down all over the Canmore Nordic Center. I came across one during a ski over Christmas, and made a little video of how I dealt with it. Be sure to watch it in 1080p glory. Wait, what glory? Ha.

Maybe I should start Vlogging???



Friday, December 30, 2011

Summer Racing Sneak Peek

I have other goals and aspirations outside of Biathlon. One of them is to be a wildly successful professional motorcycle racer. The "professional" part may be a stretch, but wildly successful is within reach.

Since my winter season has been uneventful, I've been working lots and spending little. This has given me the opportunity to pull the trigger and really commit to a motorcycle race season. And with that, I bring you my new race bike.

The New Hotness

2005 GSXR600. 
Fully race prepped and ready to pwn n00bs. I sincerely can't wait for this summer to begin.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Season Thus Far

So far the season has been a bust. Constant hinting by the national organization at a European Tour, only to be let down. Typical. Next big goal, IBU Cup 6&7 here in Canmore.

In the mean, I busted out some good races this side of the pond. Placed 3rd overall in the first North American Cup of the year. Acceptable shooting and skiing all around.

I'm stuck at the back of this mayhem.
Then I went on a trip out west to compete in some cross-country races in Rossland, BC. Nice change of scenery, and decent results. Qualified for my first sprint heats ever, in the Senior Men's category. Got slayed in the heats, but I'm happy with my performance. The next day was a 15km Mass Start skate where I also performed well. My final placing was a little weak, as I had to start at the back of the pack. When you have 70+ people ahead of you on Rossland's tight trails, it's basically impossible to pass in the first lap. Starting at the back feels pretty good, though. You spend the entire race weaving through people. Good race strategy is fairly important - finding holes, and seizing the moment.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Alpina delivers

Alpina loves me.
I can only wear one pair at a time.

Meanwhile, dirtbag Fischer is being difficult. Typical.

Sell boots to buy skis, amirite?

Monday, September 26, 2011

CMRA - Race day 1

Does anybody like waking up early? I sure don't.

Yea, it's mine.
I was up at 5am.

Since I don't own a truck or trailer, I had to ride my motorcycle to the racetrack, in street legal form. This meant I had to do final race prep at the track, on the morning of.

So I was up at 5am, packing bags, and making sure I had all the necessary tools and supplies to perform required modifications at the track. I arrived around 7:30am. I found a really comfy spot next to the Redline boys. I was outside of their tent, but my bike isn't made of sugar, so it doesn't matter if it gets wet.

The pits at Race City are gravel, so every lays down a sheet of plywood to park their bikes on. I had nothing of the sort, but thankfully, there was a beat up oily chunk no one was using. Perfect!

Sat down to do the dirty work;
- Taped up the tail light (Huge thanks to PSAV for supplying the Gaff)
- Removed the headlight and replaced it with my OMGCUSTOM fibreglass number plate.
- Removed mirrors and signal lights.

Since you can't technically race with a kickstand, I removed that too, sorta. I don't have a race stand, so I kinda needed it. So I loosened it to the last few threads and left it on until it was time to go.

Everything was ready, and so was I. Got all suited up in my protective gear, and then waited until the first practice session of the day.

9am rolled around and the horn sounded for the first practice session. I jumped on my bike to ride up to pre-grid, shifted into first, and the bike died! Oh dangit. The kickstand safety switch! When I unplugged it, the dash light didn't light up, so I assumed everything was cool. Honda apparently thought this one out. So I quickly removed my seat, jammed a short length of safety wire into the connector, and tried again. Aww yea!
Quickly bolted the seat back on, and ripped out for the first practice session. It was mostly uneventful, other than totally blowing through the "bus stop" by accidentally downshifting too far while trying to execute a sketchy pass. Nobody died. No harm done.

Second session was equally uneventful. Then it was back to the pits to wait for my race to start...

At around 11am, the horn sounded for my class - Open Novice. Jump on the bike, and rip on out to pregrid. The warm-up lap was pretty slow. Since I'm poor and ghetto, I don't own tire warmers like the cool kids, so my cold tires were nice and slippery. One lap, and then it's lining up into the starting grid.

I guess things were confusing to some people. I knew my spot in the grid, and I knew there were four people in my row. There was one other guy. Again, my first rodeo, so this made me a little nervous. After what seemed like a decade of the other riders futzing around behind me trying to figure out their grid positions, the starter dropped the flag and the race started.

I had a brutal start. Let the clutch out too fast, so I wheelied, when made me chop the throttle, so the clutch grabbed and bogged, so I pulled in the clutch, got the RPMs up, wheelied again, whatever, I was off. First lap was a little sketchy with the just barely warm tires, but after that, all was good.

Then, crossing the start line for my last lap, my engine tone changes suddenly, and I feel a good sharp WHACK in the back of my right leg. MY STUPID MUFFLER CAME LOOSE. It fell off the header, and was still attached at the rear, so it got run over by my rear wheel and spun around the peg me a good one. Corner workers at corner 3 looked adamant that I pull off, so I did. I tucked the muffler away and rode my sorry self back to the pits. First race in the CMRA was a DNF (Did Not Finish).

This was a fix that would not be easy. The pipe got seriously messed up when the rear tire ran over it. After a quick chat with the Redline boys, I learned that there are no noise regulations. Guess I'll just run without a muffler? Okay, deal.


So Race #2. I started the warm-up lap with cold tires again, because, like I said, no warmers. I could definitely feel them sliding a bit, even at the easy warm-up pace, so I was doing unnecessary accelerations and braking to flex the tires more and build up some heat. Well, just as the lap was almost done, I was about to give one last good hard brake. I was also thinking about how loud my exhaust was, and how poorly my carburated bike was running without a muffler. I guess I was distracted. So I braked a little too hard, locked up the front, and I was down in an heartbeat. Yep, I crashed in the warm-up lap.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CMRA - Preparation

CMRA was hosting the last motorcycle race ever to be held at the Race City Motorsport Park.

I went for it.

I dropped my CBR900RR off at my parent's house in Calgary on Monday, and spent the week back in Canmore training. I got back to Calgary late afternoon on Thursday, with a list of modifications I needed to do in order to ensure my bike would be race ready.

Spent a good chunk of the evening drilling bolts and securing them with safety wire. It's a positive way to prevent bolts and fasteners from working loose. I also got started on my super gangsta number plate.

The next day I changed my glycol coolant out for plain tap water, silicone'd important fasteners (Silicone stuff you can wire), put socks over my brake fluid reservoirs, and added a catch can for various vent hoses.

I still needed a bar end, and I also wanted to ensure I would pass tech inspection, so I zipped down to Redline Motorsports. They gave my bike a quick look to make sure nothing was out of line, and my BrotherFromAnotherMother gave me a spare bar end he had kicking around.

While at Redline, I learned some interesting bits about race registration. Being my first rodeo with these folk, I had no idea WTF was going on. After discovering some issues with my registration, I left Redline and zipped over to Race City to speak with the race organizers. Got everything worked out, as well as got my race number. Pretty last minute, 5pm the night before the races. No big.

Rode home, spray painted my number plate and passenger seat white*, made a number stencil and spray painted my red numbers onto the white background. Wired up my radiator cap and I was ready for race day...


*As a side note, I found "CONTRACTORS GRADE" white spray paint. I assumed this meant it was good stuff, right? Contractor grade. Sounds legit. Turns out, contractors go for the cheapest possible solution while still getting the job done, thus improving their profit margin. This paint went on like milk it was so watery. I guess at $2 a can, I got what I paid for.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Time to start up the old blog machine again.



My last post was about motorcycles, and ya, so is my latest. I had the opportunity to get out to a track event hosted by Hardnox. In spite of Race City's obscenely poor pavement, I had a good time shredding the gnar.








On the subject of Race City; this is it's last year. That fact sucks. I'll have to take it to Deerfoot then, amirite? Where do people get those "Deerfoot 500 Champion" bumper stickers anyway?

Monday, April 25, 2011

2011 AMRA Race

Remember the Endurance race I talked about in this post? It was this past weekend and holy crap it was a hoot and a half.

Same photographer
Same nasty watermark
This year I was able to race on the unbelievably capable Kawasaki. Sporting front disc brakes and deliciously stiff chassis, I felt like a machine on this machine. Last year's Honda XR was a blast, but on this thing I felt like I could actually win something!

Here's some sick footage of me carving it up!



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buttoned up

So I got everything put back together, ready to go for a test ride.

Put my gear on, start it up, let it warm up while I check everywhere for leaks, everything's good, jump on, click into first, and pull away. I'm thinking "Awwwwwww yea! Nailed it!"

But then I give it a bit more throttle and the whole thing bogs out and dies. I'm scared now. What'd I break, or what did I forget to put back?

Broke nothing, but I did forget to turn the fuel valve on. :D Bike runs like a dream!

Now might be a good time for a wash.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Everything's apart

Work continues on the CBR900RR transmission.

I got everything apart yesterday and had a chance to examine and compare the wear between old and new parts. It became very clear why the transmission popped out of second all the time. I guess this is all common for CBR900RR's of this era, and I believe you can buy "race" transmissions with custom shift drums and undercut gears. I don't have that much steeze, so I'll be replacing all of these with used parts.




Damage to the shift drum. When your foot moves the shift lever, this drum rotates and the shift forks follow in those grooves. The little peak there has some damage - likely caused by the shift fork slamming into it after 2nd gear popped out.









 Here's a picture of the dogs on second gear. Sorry the picture is so awful. I was taking it apart to do a side-by side, and I ran into about a dozen circlips and decided it wasn't worth my effort.

Either way, there's a raised portion in the middle of the photo. It should be perfectly square, but it's rounded off. That's why it would pop out of second.






And here's the shift fork. This damage probably happened first. It's about 3mm too thin, when means it would push the second gear cogs about 3mm short of full engagement. A few poor shifts and the dogs get a tiny bit rounded and it's all downhill from there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My 1992 Honda CBR900RR

Last winter I purchased a 1992 Honda CBR900RR for close to nothing. It was purchased to be a beater bike that I could thrash and not feel too badly about. Turns out I still feel bad. Probably comes from being a child in a poor family - waste is for losers.

Anyways, since the day I bought it the transmission has been a little notchy. Second gear would very occasionally pop back into neutral, which is a pain in the butt as second is probably the most versatile gear on the bike. So last fall I picked up a complete used transmission for around the cost of the 2nd gear cog itself. After a long winter of waiting, I'm finally getting the chance to install it.

My super delicious workspace. Gotta move garbage and recycling bins out of the way everytime I need to work on something. That bike looks wrong without the engine.
Lifting this 150lb sonofbitch onto the workbench was one hell of a feat.

Can you believe that little guy there is responsible for 120horsepower?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My travelling companion

Since I was going to be solo on my 11hr drive home from Squamish, I took the ski box off the roof of the car and put it inside. Reduced drag, better fuel economy! I think it looked funny from the outside, too.

My and the Ski box had some good times on this drive!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Which way to the beach?


So me and my bros skied up to Callaghan Lake (OMG GOOGLE MAPS LINK CHECK OUT THIS SICK SATTELITE IMAGE LOL)

We're like, chillin' out and stuff, when some babes come up and ask "Which way to the beach?"

Being the outstanding gentlemen that we are, we pointed them in the correct direction. Aaron also mentioned a beach ball they could use.

Me - Aaron - Matt

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Done school?

I sometimes question what the hell I'm doing with my life, and whether or not I will "make it".

Recent article by a friend has definitely eased my concerns. Check it out;

http://www.calgaryunderground.com/index.php/2011/04/done-school-what-now-2/

"The world seems to tell you that a higher education produces a level of security that protects you from certain situations more than someone with less education. I’m not disagreeing with that, but I do believe the entire concept needs to be reeled in a little bit and thought of rationally."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Free running

My new obsession! Watch this slick video, and wish that you were Jackie Chan!

And is it just me, or does their training facility look like a CounterStrike gungame map?



Sunday, April 3, 2011

NEW POST OMG LOL

It's been a long time since I've posted because I've been busy travelling like MAD.

Cross-country National Championships in Canmore
Squamish is beautiful, but I hate rain soooo much
Biathlon National Championships in Charlo, New Brunswick
and just finished;
Biathlon North American Continental Championships in Whistler, British Columbia.

Now I'm chillin' in Squamish, British Columbia. Intensely vivid place. Everything is green and lush. But it likes to rain cats and dogs every single damn day, so there's no way I'd want to live here full time. I love my sunshine.

Anyways, some peeps were done with their race season weeks ago with National Championships, but I can't stop there. Next up is a 30km loppet, and a mountain bike race. Call the "Pole 'n' Pedal", it's a combo event. Can't wait. Insanely stoked. It will be my first mountain bike race, my first mountain bike ride of the year, and my first time riding someone else's bike. Gnarles Charles.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Japan's Nuclear Crisis

Japan is the hot topic right now; they have just experienced the most destructive natural disaster in their recorded history.

You've probably heard that the earthquake and resulting tsunami damaged emergency power systems used to cool nuclear reactors. The overheating made is necessary to vent a small amount of radioactive steam that decayed to nothing in a few seconds.

In reality, a fairly harmless situation. But of course, there are a few super stupid people who haven't got any clue, purchasing products they don't know how to use, for unnecessary purposes, to treat/diagnose a non-existent problem.

So to all of you, my dear readers. Please educate yourself on the Banana equivalent dose.
Yea, that's right, Banana's are one of the most naturally radioactive foods.

Understand Banana Equivalent Dose, and you'll be more able to accurately comprehend just how much radiation people are being exposed to in this situation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

100 Followers!

Holy crap! 100 followers! I don't even know how it happened.

Thank you guys so much for your support. It really means a lot, and is a huge boost to my training.

For all of your generosity, I give you a rare gem. This is a video of My poor damn cat.

His name is Sam. He will be 18 years old this year! Can you believe that! He sheds like crazy, so to help control his hairballs, we comb him regularly and most days remove enough dead hair to make another cat! So here he is, wearing his own fur on his head.

Thanks again, and enjoy!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

I got a sunburn today

So fixated on spring right now. Who else wants to get out on the bike, or laze by the side of a lake and bake in the sun?

I'm watching motorcycle videos and fantasizing. This video is a couple guys foolin' on small bikes.



Thursday, March 10, 2011

AMRA Spring Thaw Endurance Race

Awwwwwwww yea. Spring/Summer is so close I can taste it.

Stupid watermarks, always ruining super cool pictures.
Picture not courtesy of seven62.com
(I totally stole it)
I've got a team together for this year's Spring Thaw Endurance race, hosted by the Alberta Mini-Roadracing Association. This an endurance motorcycle race held every year. The team to complete the most laps in a 3 hour period is the winner.

I've always been a fan of motorcycle racing, but racing on the "big" track is extremely costly. Thankfully, Miniature road racing (Motorcycles up to 50cc) is just a fraction of the cost, and basically the same experience.

I compete in the Thunderbike Spec. class. (I'm #97 in the picture) They are dirtbikes with street tires on them. It's ridiculous. The super cushy suspension is not designed for a road course, which makes being good easy, but being great is a real challenge.

I'm really looking forward to kicking ass and taking names.

Well that was a cold winter

My dad said something that changed my mood completely.

The temperature outside was forecasted to be above freezing. I was exclaiming how totally stoked I was to be able to go outside without my skin hurting. My dad absentmindedly says, "I don't think you'll be seeing anymore -20 days..." and that's when it hit...

IT'S ALMOST SPRING!

This has been a bitter cold winter, I'm am really glad to see it's coming to an end. I am really looking forward to a long hot summer to make up for this long cold winter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Forget what you heard!

I got the wrong deal.

Cut through the wind cause I'm aero-dy-nam-ic!
Good day on the range for me. 9/10. The one standing miss was ridiculous and shouldn't have happened. Ah well, I'll work on it.


Alberta Biathlon Championships - March 6th, 2011
10km Sprint
PL Bib Name Club SkiTime P S T Time Diff
1 73 Beau Thompson Canmore Nordic 0:34:31.6 0 1 1 0:34:31.6
2 75 Johnny Forward Canmore Nordic 0:37:38.1 1 1 2 0:37:38.1 +3:06.5
3 74 Elijah MacCulloch Independent 0:44:31.4 0 1 1 0:44:31.4 +9:59.8

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Day Another Dollar

Hard to make it in this buck a day world.

I thought you knew.

Race was mercifully shortened from 20km to 17.5km, due to cold and painfully slow snow.



Alberta Biathlon Championships - March 5th, 2011
17.5km Individual

PL Bib Name Club SkiTime P S P S T Time Diff
1 74 Beau Thompson Canmore Nordic 1:01:40.6 1 1 0 4 6 1:07:40.6
2 72 Johnny Forward Canmore Nordic 1:08:43.1 1 2 2 0 5 1:13:43.1 +6:02.5
3 73 Elijah MacCulloch Independent 1:15:41.6 0 2 1 3 6 1:21:41.6 +14:01.0

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oh wow

Dang. Sincerest apologies for not posting. To be honest, it has been pretty difficult to have any positivity towards racing and training at the moment. Primary reason is lack of competition. Anyone who is really competitive with me is away racing in Europe, and I'm stuck at home.

Exhibit A - Results from this past weekend.

Calforex Cup #5, a "local" race held in Camrose, Alberta. It was Western Canadian Championships, but the Senior Men's field was slim. It was pretty hard to motivate myself for these races. I didn't slack, but I didn't really race. There is an extra 5-10% that you can physically give in a race that moves you from "a comfortable pace" to feeling some hurt. I shied away from the extra hurt. Just didn't seem worth it. Clearly wasn't necessary. I'm Western Canadian Champ now, BTW. Woot.

This weekend is a race in Hinton, Alberta. Provincial Championships. Same level of competition, but I am going to race myself. I need to push it into the hurt zone. It's more mental than anything, and I need the practice.










Saturday Individual

PL Bib Name Club SkiTime P S P S T Time Diff
1 3 Beau Thompson Canmore Nordic 1:07:54.8 3 4 1 2 10 1:17:54.8
2 5 Kai Skinstad Camrose Ski Club/Augustana 1:11:58.0 5 3 2 3 13 1:24:58.0 +7:03.2
3 4 Jon Skinstad Camrose Ski Club/Augustana 1:09:58.8 2 5 3 5 15 1:24:58.8 +7:04.0
4 1 Johnny Forward Canmore Nordic 1:17:39.4 3 4 3 2 12 1:29:39.4 +11:44.6
5 2 Elijah MacCulloch Foothills Nordic 1:29:37.6 2 2 2 4 10 1:39:37.6 +21:42.8

Sunday Sprint

PL Bib Name Club P S T Time Diff
1 110 Beau Thompson Canmore Nordic 3 2 5 0:39:39.0
2 111 Johnny Forward Canmore Nordic 2 3 5 0:44:11.2 +4:32.2
DNS 112 Jon Skinstad CSC/Augustana 0 0 *** ***
DNS 113 Kai Skinstad CSC/Augustana 0 0 *** ***
DNS 114 Elijah MacCulloch Foothills Nordic 0 0 *** ***

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Euro Results and Bam

Checking in on the athletes racing in Europe and I'm seeing some damn decent results. Tyson Smith, glorious member of The WGB, placed 19th. Top 20 for a Canadian is superb.


Also, went to see Bam Margera at the Aurora Nightclub. He's a super greasy guy. I didn't drink there, but it was cool to hang out with friends.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Well, I've been a useless slop for the past couple of days.

Time to get back at it. Get serious. COME ON.

In the meantime, check this out; http://ulikethis.ca I was planning on going to bed, but that's more entertaining for sure.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bow Corridor Regional Race

Today was the third race in the BCRR series. It's a regional race series that is aimed primarily at grass-roots/club level athletes. So, it's a "just-for-fun" race.

I chose to wax my own skis instead of having the coaches wax. Mostly because I'm a rebel, but actually it entirely because I didn't want to show up 1.5hours before the start of my race. The wax I opted to use was completely appropriate for the conditions at the time, unfortunately, they changed dramatically over the course of the race.

First lap of three was fantastic; I was running a comfortable pace and keeping everyone in my sights. But right as was started it began snowing heavily, and unfortunately I had not prepared for this circumstance. As the fresh snow covered the previously icy tracks, it began to cling aggressively to my skis. The third lap was incredibly difficult.

But my fitness, I felt awesome. I could push so hard my lungs were burning and I got tunnel vision, but my muscles just took the punishment and asked for more. Too bad I didn't feel like that at trials!

Next race is looking to be a Provincial level race in Grande Prairie. The 9 hour drive is gonna be buck!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Alpina

This year I picked up a sponsorship from Alpina. There was some kind of mix up with their shipping, and even though the order was submitted in the summer, I still haven't seen the shipment.

Well, some quick correspondence with Alpina Sports here in Canada, and the issue has been so resolved it isn't funny.

The Canadian office no longer had stock of the bindings I needed. So what do they do? Contact an American Distributor and have him send me some! FedEx Priority! Simply outstanding, Alpina!

So if any of you guys are ever in the market for ski gear, please check them out. They really know how to look after people.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rifle Bedding

I went crazy and did a glue-in bedding job on my precious biathlon rifle. Here's what it entails;

The rifle "bed" is the part of the rifle stock that the action (I'll call it the barrel from now on) rests against. The barrel is held on by screws. Now, with just a wood bed (What I was shooting with before) you experience a small amount of give due to the softness. This can lead to small inconsistencies in your groups. The answer is making a rock-solid bed for the barrel to attach to. I did this using a free-flowing epoxy resin, with a filler additive to bring it to appropriate thickness for bedding duty.


I've removed the sights, clip loading guide and trigger mechanism. I then used green painter's tape and an exacto knife to ensure epoxy does not seep into these  openings. After that, I liberally applied release compound, which prevents the epoxy from bonding to the metal.
 My ghetto paint can "vice". Ha, ya right!
 Epoxy resin.
Adding the hardener. Have to work fast after this step, as the epoxy will begin to harden in under 10minutes. Almost immediately you can feel the heat released from the epoxy curing.
Highly scientific measuring with my Popsicle stick scoopula.
 Mix until peanut butter like consistency is achieved.
 Goop liberally all over the bedding area.
 Around this time you start sweating and it feels like the room is 30 degrees warmer. If you didn't tape something off, or appropriately apply release compound, you could permanently glue your $2,500 barrel to your stock. Only a hammer and chisel would separate the two in that case. Clean up excess with a paper towel, and hope like heck you didn't mess anything up.
 Excess. Waste makes me sad.

D-:
My furnace room workshop.

I will leave it here to cure, undisturbed, until morning.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Semi-productive day

Training in the morning, and with nothing specific to be done in the afternoon I set to complete a project I had been considering for almost 2 years. I built a chinup bar!

I was pretty apathetic about it, but now that it's done, and considering how easy it was, I wish I had done it ages ago.

It's just two ~12inch lengths of dimensional lumbar and a broomstick!

Friday, February 4, 2011

GREAT SUCCESS

Holy crap! 50 followers!

When I first started blogging early December, 50 followers seemed like an impossible amount. Well, it has happened!

Huge thanks to everyone. You guys are the best. As a sign of gratitude, I give you a video of my cat. Yes, that's me talking like an idiot.




World Cup Men's 10km Sprint in Presque Isle

Check out my biathlon bros racing in Presque Isle!

Live results - http://services.biathlonresults.com/DataCenter_IBU.aspx?RaceId=BT1011SWRLCP07SMSP

Watch it live! - http://eurovision2.feedroom.com

Scott Parras,. Nathan Smith, Brendan Green, and JP LeGuellec are racing in this one. Soo sick.


Injury

So I've been out of training for a couple days. I slipped on some ice and landed on my cell phone in my pocket. Most pathetic looking bruise ever, but hurts so bad I could barely get out of bed in the morning.

This happened Sunday night, and I'm just now able to ski on Friday. Probably the worst contusion I've ever had.

I'm looking at the time off positively, though. I'll be getting back to it with some new vigor and mental freshness.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lake Placid Results

Saturday Sprint
Sunday Pursuit

I'm home now from two weeks of training and racing in the northeastern USA. Ultimately a disappointing set of races. It's always difficult to predict what your performance will be like. I guess that uncertainty is what makes sports exciting, right? If you know what the outcome will be, nobody would care.

I had held an acceptable 80% shooting average over three races, which you really can't complain about. However, in the Pursuit, my skill faltered and I missed 9/20 shots. I'm extremely disappointed in myself for that. It's time to step away for a bit and rethink my approach to training. What I'm doing now sure hasn't worked for me yet this year.

I'm depressed for now, but you don't need to worry about me. I've got plans.

Next important races will be Canadian National Biathlon Championships in Charlo, New Brunswick. I raced there 4 years ago at my first ever National Championships, will be interesting to go back. I love the Maritime provinces as well. And, even better, it's almost 2 months away. I've got tons of time to get my head straight!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Picz0rs

Internet is still brutally slow. Really bad in the evenings, when traffic is high. Still managed to pull my patience together for some pictures from Jericho.

Today was a chill out and check out the town day. Grabbed a cappuccino and browsed the shops of downtown Lake Placid. Tomorrow I'm back training and preparing for the trials races on the weekend.






Wax huts at the race site


Phil Violett, Joel Pacas and Myself

Picture whoring

Receiving my medal, far right.

On the ferry from Vermont to New York State.


Just passed by Peru, haha.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SUMMARY

Holy moly it's hard to cope without internet. I'm back online now, so here's a summary of my races the past couple days.

Thursday night was a club level race. Being a club level race, there was nothing on the line, and it was completely just for fun. It was a 6km Sprint race. Not much to say, pretty uneventful race. Finished 1st, had 1 miss prone and 2 miss standing. Not very impressive shooting, and skiing was definitely relaxed. Competition was slim, but fun nonetheless.

Saturday was the first race of this weekend. Same story, 10km sprint. I started right behind my teammate, Joel Pacas. My skiing fitness has definitely been lacking in the New Year, and Joel quickly put a gap between us. The only possibility was shooting better than him. Good for him, but unfortunately for me, I had 2 misses and he had just 1. With his shooting in top form and skiing better than me, I didn't stand to gain over his speed. I finished a reasonable 4th place.

Sunday was the Pursuit. Starting right behind my teammate again, I knew my only chance was to shoot well over this format's 4 shootings. Coming in for the first shooting, Joel had already finished his first prone with 3 misses, I knew I had an extremely good chance. I shot clean in this first shooting bout and passed him while has was in the penalty loop. With 4 misses total, I maintained my position for a 3rd place finish. On the podium feels good, even if it isn't gold.

Afterwards, we packed up and drove 2 hours from Jericho, VT, to Lake Placid, NY. So now I'm sitting in my room at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center. Wicked place. 24/7 food, cheap rooms, and best of all, free WIFI! Although, it isn't very fast...

Pictures to come as soon as they upload.

Friday, January 21, 2011

No love

You never realize how nice you have it until it's gone.

It's so frustrating to have such inconsistent Internet access. I feel almost anxious when I'm sitting around watching TV and wondering what I'm missing.

And my thumbs are super sore from typing this from an iPod Touch.


Anyways... today was official training, and I'm very pleased with my performance so far. Last night I did a "Just For Fun" race, and winning that has rewarded me with some much needed confidence. Tomorrow is that first race of my eastern tour, the 10km Sprint. Wish me
luck, hopefully I'm gonna pwn some n00bs.

Sunday I am travelling from here, Jericho, VT, to Lake Placid, NY, where there is allegedly wireless Internet everywhere. I can't wait!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Travel and Ice Cream

Quick day of travel to Montreal with a stop in Winnipeg. Winnipeg airport is a dead place, as you can see;


Hanging out in Jericho is pretty boring - no WIFI access! Who would've thought that in this day, you could go ANYWHERE without wireless internet being available.

Ah well, we passed the time with a visit to the Ben & Jerry's Factory. Ice cream samples galore!




More updates to follow when more reliable internet access is found.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Impressively productive day

Just kidding. I spent the entire afternoon playing with my cat.




Up early tomorrow for my flight out east. Travelling alone. This is gonna be a fun one! :D

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wicked snow, and coming soon.

Like I said a couple hours ago, it's super warm out. And after a couple months of training (read "suffering") in -20 weather, this is so welcome. I am so happy.

It's just unfortunate that I am leaving on Tuesday for a couple of races on the eastern side of the continent. I will be competing at North American Cups in Jericho, Vermont and Lake Placid, New York. The latter race, in Lake Placid, will also be qualification trials for teams to represent Canada at this season's second group of European races. It's sad to leave such glorious skiing conditions locally, but it will be fun to travel and see new places.

Local Climate

The local climate is insane. The Canadian Rocky Mountains create for some often extreme weather patterns. Check this out; http://wxug.us/6ohl (Only a relevant link for today, really)

The town of Canmore, where I am, is sitting at 0°C. Meanwhile, the City of Calgary, only 80km away, is hanging out at a chilly -15°C.

I'm definitely not a "worldly" person by any means, so I'm wondering; do you know of any other area's that have this much of a climate contrast in such a short (or shorter) distance?


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nevermind

I thought I had loads of cool stuff I could share about my job. Turns out, I don't really. Tech Week was pretty lame.

On another note, I am the current North American Cup points leader. Hopefully I can get a few pictures of me racing while wearing the leader's bib.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

TECH WEEK 4

To take a break from the lighting tech, I will share with you a ridiculously cool piece of audio equipment.

Yamaha LS9-32
Value: Approx. $11,000
The LS9 is a digital mixing board made by Yamaha - ya, the same people who make ballin' motorcycles.

Using a digital console like this allows me to do without several other pieces of audio equipment. It is able to do compression, gating, equalization and delay. It also has a whole suite of effects such as reverb, which I use extensively to make the mediocre live guitarist sound respectable. If you want to know what any of those are, or how I use them in a show, ask in the comments.

Me sitting at my LS9, waiting for the show to start.
SUPER BORED.

And the coolest thing of all? Motorized sliders! Press one button and all the volume control sliders will move to preset levels all on their own! I use this to make a smiley with the sliders - quick touch of a button and it's a frowny LS9.
There was an error in this gadget