Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Congrats to Bart Jarmula who took his first overall win and of course, to Gary Robbins and Shane Ruljancich for taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. Seems like Gary had some tough times with the Nav but didn't give up and winded up pushing hard to the line to move up to 2nd. Team Helly Hansen/Vancouver Island must have been screeming out there to pull off 5th overall.
Looks like my pre-race picks were pretty close to the mark. :)
Kim and I just got back from a 350 km, four day bike trip around Fosen; an area on the north side of the Trondheim fjord. We had decent to great weather despite the weather news telling us otherwise. This was actually the longest bike trip I've done and I am definitely hooked. Can't wait for the next trip! We took a bunch of photos and they can all be found here. Here's a nice video I put together though which includes some photos and some videos that I took.
Even though Pompei was great, Kim and I were really glad that we first went there before we went to Roma. For those of you have never been there, visiting Roma was just something else. The grandeur of the ancient buildings completely topped anything from Pompei. The shrear scale of the buildings just made me wonder, the Romans were architectural genious. The best example of this was to see the Coloseum. This enormous arena held upwards of 70,000 people and, get this, took them only 10 years to construct it! How long did the Victoria arena take? Maybe not 10 years but in comparison, the Save on Centre is a piece of garbage compared to the engineering of the Coloseum.
Everything in Roma is so close that we were able to visit almost everything we wanted to on foot. All our photos can be seen here but the following is a sneek peak:
St. Peter's Square (we were very exited to be blessed!)
Some old white dude
Kim had a conference on the island so we went together and while there, I had some time by myself to explore the island. I just put this video together from my trekking trip around Ischia Island. It turned into a bit more of an explore trip as you'll see but it was so worth it. A little long but I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Now, we are off for a four day bike trip starting tomorrow. I just realized a coupld of days ago that the first MOMAR of the year is already here! I just had a quick glance over the registered racers and here's my take:
Best Team Name: Forever Chasing Gary and Todd
Love this one from Martin Middleton and Tom Roozendaal but you'll only be chasing Gary during this one!
Don't see Team HH/Vancouver Island signed up there. They would have been my pick for team of 4 coed. Maybe they are late comers?!
I assume 'Renegades of Gunk' was a last minute name? :)
Sarah Seeds will once again rock the female podium.
I think the overall win for this one will be fought by the solo males with favourites going to John Markez, Bart Jarmula, Shane Ruljanchich and superman Gary Robbins. Depending on the complexity of the navigation, and where it is placed throughout the race, the better navigators such as Markez and Jarmula might shine through. If I had to put my money on it though, I think I'd go for Robbins and he'll be fast on his feet and knows how to completely suffer to the line (since he hasn't been on the bike much). Just don't forget about the map!
Looking forward to seeing the results!
A while back, I did a 100km ride that consisted of pavement, dirt roads, trails, a bit of singletrack, and a 700 meter climb up Vassfjellet mountain. It was a great ride with over 2000m of elevation for the day.
Trondheim has been nothing short of amazing. The mountain biking here is simply world class. Needless to say, I have logged over 1000km on my RIP9 in the past while and am continually impressed with this bike. I thought that the RIP9 might be too much of a bike for the terrain here but once the snow melted and I really saw what the trails had in store, I am smiling from ear to ear. Yesterday, I went out for a 80km ride where I explored some new terrain. I got onto a particular trail that is part of a network called the 'Pilegrimsleden' or the old Pilgrim trails that would connect Oslo to Trondheim. The trail was barely rideable. Read this as roots like cumberland over a vast open marshy area with intermittent rock faces, mud pits, and wooden logs placed over mud pits. Basically, you had to get it your all just to not fall over sideways. I think I averaged less than 7km/hour. Slow and extremely difficult... my kind of trail.
Road Ride on the Mountain Bikes Around Bymarka
Of course, it hasn't all be biking. There was a national holiday here on May 1st that is the European version of the Canadian 'Labour Day' in September. This time of year is typically the first warm burst of spring and this year was no exception. With temps in the low 20s and a hot sun, it was hot enough of shorts only weather with some frisbee and some barbacue action at the 'beach'. This is actually what what Norwegian's do so our large group (consisting mainly of immigrants from Italy and France) were in midst of a sea of others enjoying their day off and having a cold brew in the sun. Yes, you can drink outside pretty much anywhere as long as you're not being a nuisance.
Barbacues, Rock and Ocean