That’s Right, Baker!

That’s Right, Baker!

Remember last year when I climbed Mount Baker and even though I made it up to Artist Point, it was an epic failure of a ride because I bonked and had a gazillion negative thoughts going through my head?

Well, I just climbed that beast again last week and I beat my time last year by over an hour!

The climb felt SO much easier because I was not over-trained (only rode 169 easy kilometers that week with only one lifting session at the gym on Monday), had a new and light bike and most importantly, did not let negative thoughts affect me. What a difference having a positive mindset makes. No doubt, the climb was still hard but the suffer-fest compared to last year was like night and day.

I found that I did hold back a little and didn’t push as hard as I could have because I still remembered the feelings from last year but I have no regrets. I’m quite happy with my time also considering that there were only two of us so I pulled most of the way and did the entire climb myself. I’ve been really focusing on nutrition the last few weeks and I had it on point for the ride and it was also fun telling my legs to shut the fuck and push away any negative thoughts that slipped through.

That 16km flew by quickly and I had plenty of energy left as the switchbacks up to Artist Point loomed over me. It was blazing hot up at the top but the descent was a cold since it was so late in the season. For once, I was prepared and had leg and warm warmers, a windbreaker and my super warm gloves so I did not suffer— one of the reasons why we were going to cancel the ride the week prior! I’m so grateful the skies opened up for us that weekend because it rained the entire week before and it is forecasted to rain all of next week as well. Moments like those makes me feel so blessed to be alive!

Next year, my goal is to do a round-trip to Baker from my apartment in Coal Harbour. I know I have the endurance to do it right now because we went on a lot of long and epic rides this summer but due to many circumstances, we weren’t able to do it this year. Since today is the last day of summer already and the descents are getting too cold for my liking, at least I can add this to one of the many adventures I can look forward to for 2015!

See you again next year, Baker!

Mount Baker 2014

Before, during and after Baker: Smiling, happy and lots of POSITIVE energy throughout the entire ride!!

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    Ramblings From the Saddle

    Ramblings From the Saddle

    Okay, well not literally from the saddle but random things pop into my head during rides:

    Invest in what makes you happy.

    Buying my new bike was the best decision I’ve ever made. I already loved cycling and didn’t know I could fall in love with it even more so I have come to conclude: how to fall in love with cycling? Buy the lightest, fastest and most expensive bike you can afford. You will get so much satisfaction out of it. Holy shit, so money can buy happiness!!

    Is it bad that having fresh legs is such a new concept to me?

    Of course, it’s an amazing feeling but I’ve been really holding back on heavy leg days, HIIT circuit training at the gym and even stopped doing my weekly Grouse Grind so I can “save” my legs to cycle and my god, it makes such a huge difference (well no shit, Sherlock). I just stated the total obvious but it was very hard for me to sacrifice my gym workouts. I have no idea how I did it last summer and although I still had a great time, my legs were ALWAYS tired. I love fresh legs.

    Carbs do not make you fat as long as you are moving enough.

    When I was in Europe, I probably ate more carbs, breads, pastas, pastries and other sugary sweets (such as at least four crepes every day in Paris) than I do in 6 months at home and yet, I did not gain a pound (in fact, I lost weight). Yes, I did walk A LOT, trying to avoid public transportation whenever I could because it was the best way to explore a city and I only worked out 10 times but the saying is true: you need to eat in order to gain muscle.

    Article: Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things.

    I have to admit, it drives me crazy when I see cyclists run red lights… but I’ve done it before— at 4am when the streets are empty, or in isolated/rural roads where there is no one around to piss off and shine another bad light on cyclists. What about jay-walkers and cars coming to rolling stops at stop signs? It drives me crazy when drivers breaks laws… but I’ve rolled through stop signs before as well. It drives me crazy when people generalize cyclists. Wait… so what doesn’t drive me crazy? But seriously, cyclists are a minority compared to drivers and pedestrians, so it’s only normal that when we break the law, it drives everyone fucking crazy. If only more people would hop on their bikes and educate themselves on road rules and etiquette… then the world would be a much better place.

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      Cycling Ruins Lives

      Cycling Ruins Lives

      As much as I love cycling, I have to admit it has slightly ruined my life. Here are some signs that cycling ruins lives:

      • You’ve lost all appeal in everyone’s favorite summer activities of beach-bumming and boating. WHY would you do that when you can be moving, exploring and burning calories on a bicycle?! So silly.
      • It has ruined hiking for you because hiking is so slow and such a waste of time (when it could be spent riding). The only acceptable hike is the Grouse Grind because it’s quick and intense— and then you can spend the rest of the day on your bike…
      • You get depressed every time you need to drive to Whistler on the Sea to Sky and you pass all these cyclists having the time of their lives riding it.
      • You look like a bum every day at work with your hair tied up in a messy bun because you can’t be bothered to look polished when you have to commute home later in the day anyway.
      • Your entire summer passes by way too quickly because you are always looking forward to long weekend group rides.
      • You never get enough sleep because you’re constantly getting up at 5am to get in a long morning ride before work.
      • You can’t make plans during the day on weekends just in case an impromptu ride happens, if nothing was already planned. You never know when you may feel like going out for a ride… which is pretty much all the time. Especially if the sun is out. No weekend must be wasted.
      • You spend well over $100/month on coffee [breaks]since bikes and coffee goes hand-in-hand.
      • You spend all your free time browsing for new cycling gear and parts to buy.
      • Hungover bike rides. Not avoidable during the summer and you always feel like shit but you NEVER regret it.
      • Permanent sun glass tan.

      How has cycling ruined your life?

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