Sunday, November 29, 2009

2008 Orbea Ora For Sale!

Red/White 57cm.
Perfect working order. Ultegra grouppo. Dura Ace bar end shifters. Profile T2 aero base bar. S bend aero bars. Bike has approx. 2000km on it. FSA Sl carbon cranks. Will through in extra set of rings ($80)
Has a few cosmetic chips in the paint from travel to Ironman on the right rear seat stay. Also one chip on top tube. Cosmetc from rubbing quick release. Repaired, but not colour matched well.
Best handling frame out there. Those spanish know how to build a comfortable bike. Same geometry as Crowie's Ordu (world champ!)

Bought for $2600 plus tax last year. Upgrades include:
New beginning of summer columbus aero fork (more aero and lighter $200)
Specialized Tri tip saddle (white). $150
Hydrotail: $50
Sram TT levers: Red. New beginning of summer $80
So over $3000 invested.

with Ksyrium Sl's for $1700.00
e-mail for info or more pics.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clearwater 70.3 World Champs video

More Pics from Clearwater

Ryan's Race Report from Clearwater

IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 70.3 ------- 2ND PLACE FINISH!This past Saturday (Nov.14/2009), myself and my guide and friend Syd Trefiak, ventured down to the sunny south! Clearwater Florida! Our mission? To take on our third and biggest event of the year, the Foster Grant Ironman World Championships 70.3 .Syd and I met up earlier this year when i began my Paratriathlon career. He stepped up to the challenge and decided to help out a perfect stranger continue his athletic career. Going to a World Championship was a reward or good karma for somebody who does something that Syd did, being selfless. We raced a half Ironman earlier in the year, and the Paratriathlon USA championships in July; both great successes and learning curves. We hoped to have our act smoothed out for Florida, and i believe we did-turning in a performance that surpassed my goals.Trying to keep it fairly short, please enjoy the race report. From the eyes of a blind will be interesting to get Syd's perspective on the day.Thursday--- We arrived early, after an early wake up call, to a chilly and WINDY Clearwater... It wasn't much different then the weather at home--expect more palm trees. The order of the day was to meet up with Matt Miller (C Different founder) and Aaron Scheideis the CDF this kid has it all---speed, looks, talent, etc. He is one fun guy. We were also off to make sure that "flaming big al" made it safe and sound. This is my tandem, not a long lost uncle!! Big Al made it safe and sound and so we rode it back to the hotel and unpacked. That evening was cruising the expo and then off to the pre-race banquet. The dinner was on the beach, a beautiful setting normally, but this day was freezing and windy; not the most enjoyable of evenings. Off to bed to catch some much needed sleep.Friday(NBC day!)-- This was a LONG day! Syd and i got up fairly early, took Big Al out for a cruise to make sure he was race ready, and he was. Since i was battling the beginnings of a head cold, Syd went off for a short run by himself. My main mission was to not get so sick that i would be unable to race, but man i was worried, as i was feeling cruddy for sure. Once Syd was back from his little warmup, we hopped on Big Al and rode down to the expo to visit with Erik at K Swiss. Erik is one super cool and super nice guy...I chatted with him a bit bout myself and career, and my connection with C Different, and i proceeded to purchase some Canada flag K-0na shoes...these are super sweet lighweight trainers by KSwiss, and let's just say Erik gave me a deal i couldn't refuse. After this we headed into the Hilton as i had an NBC interview scheduled for 11:30am---a quick stop to say hi to Kevin Mackinnon and Greg McFadden, two friends of mine--then it was time for the interview. After about a 30 min chat with the NBC camera crew, Syd and i had some still pics taken, were given the GPS i was to wear on race day, then we were off to the Pro panel press conference. Sitting at a long table with Aaron and about 8 other pro's, was pretty cool, but obviously i was the SLOW guy of the bunch. A quick lunch in the VIP booth and then we were off to the Pro Pre-race meeting. One hour later, that meeting was over and we were free to "enjoy" the rest of the day. This amounted to dropping off our gear bags just as it got dark, heading to the hotel for a 1 hour rest, then dinner, then back for an early bed time. Holy moly, we were all just wiped out...and ready to that'd be the easy part! I am not complaining though, as the C Different, Ryan and Aaron, ALS, and "yes you can" stories all got told and covered very well. Nighty night!Saturday(Race day!)--- Woke up at 4:30am and downed a couple Peanut butter sandwishes, as i forgot my normal BOOST drinks for pre-race... Syd convinced me the PB sandwish was the way to go. I agree it didn't upset the gut, but didn't quite have the oomph i needed. We (Syd, Aaron, Matt and I) drove off to transition and as we entered...immediately 2 cameras swarmed on Syd and I... I guess they saw when we checked in, and now were getting their pre-race coverage. The idea was to "look cool" and not appear nervous:) I really wasn't that nervous to be honest, i was pretty tired and a bit worried that my non-existant headache would come back with a vengance later in the day (thankfully it didn't). Had a bit of a pre-race interiew in the transition area, then we were off to hit the Porta John, then the swim start. The swim was originally supposed to be in the Gulf of Mexico, but due to rough surf and rip current, they switched it into a nearby protected harbour---fine by me, as i wasn't feeling my swim was up to snuff. After standing around for a little bit, it was time to put the wetsuit on, and head to the dock, smile/look focused for a few more cameras, then hop in the water. We got to start at 6:45am in the pro wave (pro women, as the men started a few minutes after us). The sun was just coming up and was promising to be a gorgeious day. BOOM! went the cannon and we were off. My goal was to hang at the back of the pro women pack as long as i could, then just get the swim done. We were doing ok, and somehow i felt myself being pulled backwards. Hmmmm, odd! I guess while looking into the sun, Syd mistook a small bouy for a swim cap and swam to the wrong side, stringing up our tether----oh well, i wouldn't have seen it either!! I actually thought he sangged a person, as the bouy looked like a head!! Syd calmly took his tether off, unwrapped it, put it back on and we were off. We had lost the pack and now were basically alone the rest of the way. We managed to get a bit over half way before them pro men flew by us. I felt cruddy, and very unpowerful, but somehow managed a sub 34 minutes swim, which was actually my goal. Got the wetsuit stripped off, tethered stuck on my feet--slight delay--then we made the run into T1, grabbed gear bags, into tent, threw on shoes and helmet and were off! Onto the 90km bike (after the 1.9km swim), we took it out steady and decided to not kill ourselves and leave a bit for the run. We found ourselves totally alone---pro's in front, age groupers behind, it was very very strange. We saw 5 people the whole race (passed them handily) and never got caught by a single rider. Syd and i both were riding strong, and felt good, despite very very very very sore posteriors and backs.... More kinks definatley need to be worked out in this regard. My goal was to average around 37km/h and we managed to average 40.22km/hr for a 2:16 bike ride...I was pumped for sure! OOOOH DOLPHINS!! was the highlight of the ride (for Syd anyways)..and the NBC cameras coming up to film us was quite awesome too...."look intense syd, look intense!" Into T2, shoes on, and we were off on the 21.1km run!My goal was to run a sub 1:40 half marathon, but considering the way i was feeling the preceeding days, i was just happy to run the whole thing. Syd is good at keeping me steady and avoiding the quick start. We held a strong pace the whole run, only fading a tiny bit about 3/4 of the way through...his knee was hurting, my stomach was hurting, but we managed to keep it quite strong and average a 7.55 min/mile pace (I was aiming for a 7:45/mile pace), so not too bad. Seeing Aaron and Matt 4 times was fun, and we realized we were neither gaining, nor losing time to them. We knew we'd not catch them, so we decided to not blow on the day and kept it steady. Seeing my buddy Debbie Regals out there (fellow Blazeman Warrior) was awesome too. The crowd and athlete support for Syd and I was unreal, i've never had so many people say so many encouraging things, they truly understood our mission. As we appraoched 2 miles to go, i realized we were pretty much on track for a 4:45-4:47 overall finish, which was right on my goal of a 4:45 finish. It was going to be tight, and Syd decided to step it up the last hurt, but we sucked it up and managed to both ROLL across the finish line in 4:43!! A new personal best for me by 25 minutes and we ended up 25 minutes behind Aaron. Great race for me, but would've loved to get closer to Aaron. One day for sure...i just need to work on my swim and a few other things...and perhaps get more agressive on the bike. All and all we had a ton of fun, and Syd and I were VERY pleased with our day. Very satisfying.Final thoughts?-- Coming in with the goals of sub 34 swim (swam 33:xx), a sub 2:20 bike (rode 2:16), a sub 1:40 run (ran 1;43) my sub 4:45 finish...i was pleased for sure. I ended up 4 of 7 Paratriathletes overall, and got a 2nd place finish in the Visually Impaired group (yes there were only two of us, but i truly believe my time would have been good enough for 2nd against all the other VI athletes i know, alhough it would've been close). AND i've not taken on Canada's other fast Blind guy, Brian Cowie...We got our story out, we gained people's attention, and respect, we gained potential sponsors and product support and we finsihed 2nd in a World Championship!! You can't end 2009 any better, as when the year began i didn't kow if i'd even get to do one race, let alone 4 (2 big prestigious events). Thanks to Syd, C Different, Aaron, and my wife for all the help and support. This year makes me very eager to plan for the future and the potential to inspire others that they can do anything....just adapt to your situation, and figure out a way to get it done. Oh ya, and thanks to Big Al , my comfy Running Free shorts, CDF shirt, Rudy Project sunglasses and helmet, and New Balance shoes...they got me to the line safe and sound...and i can't WAIT to get out in my new K Swiss shoes, hoping for some new PB's outta those puppies!!!

Some pics from Clearwater

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Clearwater 70.3 World Champs Race Report.

After Muskoka my season was done.  I thought.  Then I got an e-mail from Ryan saying that he had been offered a spot in Clearwater.  Do I want to go?  Why the hell not!  

I can honestly say that I did not train a ton between Muskoka and Clearwater.  The reputation of the 70.3 world champs being a fast/flat course allowed me to take it a little easier.  A few long rides, a few long runs.  Basically no quality swimming.  Still felt OK heading down.

Drove down to Chatham on Wednesday night.  Got there hung out with Mindy and Ryan for a bit and hit the sack as we had a real early (2:45) wake up call to head to Detroit airport for our 6:00am flight.  Made it.  

We landed in Clearwater and caught our shuttle to the Chart House Suites (very geneoursely donated by Matt Miller and the Cdifferent foundation.  Huge windows looking out on the harbour, and the record breaking cold weather!  Florida is supposed to be warm.  Not 59 degrees.  We had news that it would warm up for the weekend so we shrugged it off.

Meeting up with Matt and Aaron, we caught a ride down to the expo area.  We picked up Ryan's tandem (now named Big Flaming Al, long story. . . ) and registered.  This was the first hints of what was too come.  Everybody seemed real interested in the tandem, and what we were doing.  
Did a trip around the expo.  Stopped and talked to the Blais's (of whom Ryan does a lot of fundraising for) and a few other booths.  After this (and posing for a number of pics with interested people!) we rode the bike back to the hotel.  

That night was the banquet.  For the World Champs they situated the whole shindig on the beach.  Which normally would have been great, but it was fricking freezing.  We shivered through dinner (which IS better in the VIP section!) and listened to the presentation.   Of which, Ryan was talked about.  This was the first encounter of hanging out with many of the tri elite!  Lots of pros everywhere.  It was cool!

We then gladly headed home for some sleep. 

The next day we took out the bike for an easy spin to make sure all was well then got ready for the press junkit.  This was surreal.  First stop was the NBC interview where upon entering the hilton we met Kevin Mckinnon who was very nice, and hung out for a bit until we were hearded into the interview area.  Also Greg Welch stopped by and said hi too.

Ryan went through the interview like and old pro.  He is very well spoken, and I believe presented himself really well.  The interview took 15-20min.  We were then handed a transponder to mount on Ryan's belt so that they could find us during the race, and film us on the go.  It was then directly into the the photographer for some pics.  Some of just Ryan, and some of both of us and the bike.

Once that was out of the way we wandered back to the expo (had more picture's taken) and stopped at the K-swiss booth.  Ryan talked with the main dude, and might have hooked himself up with a bit of a sponsorship.

From here we rushed over to the pro press conference where Ryan was to be introduced to the press.  He sat on a panel with passed champions Terrenzo Bezzone and Joanna Zeiger among others.  That was kinda cool to see.  We were then sent into the VIP area at the finishing line to have lunch with these guys.  Nothing like sharing a sandwhich with giants like Terrenzo, and Matty Reid.  It was really kind of surreal to be hanging out with these people in this sort of relaxed setting.   They were all really nice, and great to meet.  

After that it was time to head home and try and process what happened that day and maybe get some dinner.  Matt took all of us to a hotel for dinner of pasta, and garlic (it seemed).  Then to bed to try and sleep before we had to wake up and race!

Race Morning.

We got up around 4am.  Ate some breakfast and got ready.  Caught a ride down to transition with Aaron's manager.  This is where it really got surreal.  Walking into transition we were greated and identified over the loudspeaker.  Immediately Ryan was interviewed by the MC and the camera's were on us.  They filmed us for a while when we were getting ready.  Things seemed good and we decided to head down to the swim start.  The swim had been moved off of the gulf to the inland bays due to the remnants of hurricane IDA.  The swell was high, and there was a bit of a rip.  

We were scheduled to start in the pro women's wave which went off first.  The men went 8min. later.  This was also interesting.  Hanging on the start line with these guys is interesting.  There was a definite buzz among the pro's and an intensity.  Terrenzo stopped beside us for a bit and joked around.  

The start.  

We headed off strong behind the women.  We wanted to make sure we stayed out of the way as much as possible.  Things were going well for the first 300m.  Then all of the sudden out of the pack in front of us came a buoy.  It was about the size of a head so i didn't see it coming through the other swimmers infront of us.  Before I could do anything Ryan had swam to the opposite side as me and the tether got caught on the buoy.  I took a few seconds to try and unhook us, but it was no use so I slipped the tether off and had Ryan pull it through.  Then I put the tether back on and we were off to the races.  Unfortunately we lost the group we were behind which meant no draft for us.  Having feet to follow really helps Ryan swim straighter.  

We managed to make it to the home stretch before the male pros came flying by us.  Most of them cleared us before we hit the swim exit.  We stayed to the right so as not to get in there way.  Out of the swim we headed to transition and the volunteers helped us remove our wetsuits.  Ryan got a little tangled in the tether so it took a little bit to get going, but not a big deal.  I believe our swim split was in the 33min. range.

Got changed, and picked up the bike.  Once again the camera's were on us.  We got on the bike and started out to the causeway.  We were rolling along nicely.  There was no one around us.  Either direction.  It stayed that way most of the bike.  The course was flat and fast.  Clipping along we passed Aaron and Matt on the out and back section.  They were hanging on behind the front pack.  It was impressive to see them there.  They are rockstars!

On our way back we started to see the AG guys coming.  Definetely saw the fabled drafting packs of clearwater.  But we won't get into that.  

Headed out over one of the causeways was pretty weird.  3 lanes and two wide shoulders all shut down for us.  There were no other cyclist's either so we were all alone on this massive highways.  It was odd.  Funnily I was looking around and on the bay I could see dolphins.  I said "hey dolphins!"  Ryan replied with "Keep your eyes on the road".  I came back with " there are 5 empty lanes here.  You could steer the bike and not hit a bloody thing, so relax!"   It was fun!

The 20km or so were tough because the bike is extremely tough on the posterior.  Not much give in the frame so it is a little harsh of a ride.  Feeling good though.  We held a real steady pace throughout and set ourselves up for a good run.  The bike was a blazing 2:16 split at 40.2 kph.

A relatively quick transition and we were on the run.  The crowds were fantastic.  Cheering us every step of the way.  We must've had our pictures taken a thousand times.  

The first loop of the run was uneventful.  We had a goal pace and tried to stick to it.  Ryan has a tendancy to head out fast, and I tried to hold him back a bit so that we could have a steady run.  At the end of the first loop the camera's caught us and followed in front of us for a while.  Try and look tough, try and look tough.  That was our mantra while on film!  Coming into the turn around the announcer was calling us on and the crowds once again went wild.  That was just a taste of what was too come.  

The course headed out over a causeway, and in through the residential neighbourhoods.  It was neat on the first lap when the pro men flew by us.  We could see that Raelert had a big lead and was looking strong.  It was really cool to watch Matt Reed fly by.  He is a beast! 

The second lap got tougher.  Much of the course was on concrete and that took it's toll on my knees and both of our bodies.  We held a steady pace but it was hurting.  Ryan had a goal of coming in under 4:45.  We weren't sure if we were going to get there or not.  We pushed hard at the end at it looked like we would succeed.  Coming into the finishing chute was awesome.  There were a ton of people there and they were going nuts.  It was a wall of sound.  They were cheering so loudly for us it gave me goosebumps.  Still do thinking about it.  What an experience.  

Got to the line, and we both did a blazeman role.  4:43.  Fast!  Ryan came in second which was fantastic.

Camera's were flashing.  Bob Blais was there to great us which was nice.  Made our way through the throngs and collapsed on the grass for a bit.

That night we went to the awards banquet.  This was again held on the beach.  Much warmer though.  Ryan (and I) were brought on stage for his award.  A great end to an awesome experience.

Thanks to Matt Miller and Cdifferent for helping us to get down to the event.  Thanks to the WTC for the invitation.  Thanks to Ryan for letting me tag along! :>>

I look forward to guiding Ryan again next year.  Placid here we come!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Article by Kevin Mckinnon about Ryan Van Praet


Ironmanlife: Ryan's Back

Kevin Mackinnon previews Ryan Van Praet's race at the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3

Published Friday, November 6, 2009

Ironmanlife: Ryan's BackIf you ever needed proof that there is no justice in the world, here's proof. Last year, for the first time in six Ironman races, Ryan Van Praet wasn't able to get to the finish line as he wore race number 179 in Kona. Because people like Ryan Van Praet don't let one day of physical problems get in the way of changing the world, though, the world is right again because Ryan Van Praet is now stronger, faster and even more determined after that experience. He continues to tirelessly raise money for ALS research in Canada, awareness for the Blazeman foundation everywhere and will pass you like you're parked if you slow down for a millisecond at next week's Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3.

Van Praet, like his hero, Jon “Blazeman” Blais, who wore race number 179 when he finished the Ford Ironman World Championship in 2005, is a walking inspiration story. Born with a disease called retinitis pigmentosa, he's going blind. Last year's Kona event was the last he was able to do without a guide. The 29-year-old from Chatham, Ontario has grown up with the knowledge that he would likely lose his sight by the time he reaches his 30s.

This is a guy who grew up exploring the world in a way that most of us never will. His parents, especially his father, Adelard, never hesitated to let him try anything and everything.

He treated me like any other boy, let me fall, and pick myself up, try things most thought he shouldn't let me try because I could hurt myself, or get embarrassed or embarrass him,” says Van Praet. “He didn't care, he knew that to succeed I needed to grow up to be more determined than any other person I was around ... and I have done that. I get all my strength from what taught me, from how he raised me. He gave me inclusion, he gave me courage, he gave me pride, now it's my turn to try and give back.”

Hold that “give back” thought for a second. Oh, and hold that “more determined than any other person I was around” thought, too.

Around the same time that Jon Blais was given the death-sentence that is an ALS diagnosis, Adelard Van Praet got the same news. That's why, watching the coverage of the Ford Ironman World Championship in 2005 was so poignant for Van Praet. Here was a guy finishing the Ironman with a disease that was going to kill him. If he could do that, then Ryan Van Praet could step up and give something back, too.

Since then he's lost his father to ALS, but he continues to raise thousands of dollars for the ALS research in Canada. He’s completed five Ironmans. He was named the Ford Everyday Hero at Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid in 2007. He organizes a huge spin-a-thon to raise money for the Blazeman Foundation every winter.

So what happens when someone like Ryan Van Praet can't get to the finish line of Kona? First he's humbled by his hero.

After my experience in Kona last year and how it blew me to smithereens in my sixth Ironman (when you think you'd have most things figured out), it gave me the utmost sense of awe at what Jon accomplished while dying in 2005,” Van Praet wrote to me earlier this year.

The humility lasted for, I'm guessing, about a day. Then someone like Ryan Van Praet gets his butt in gear and starts training. And racing. Earlier this year, with his guide Syd Trefiak, he screamed through a hilly 70.3 distance race in 5:11. Then he was the second visually impaired athlete at the prestigious NYC triathlon. He's determined to continue the trend that athletes like Aaron Schiedies and Charlie Plaskon have started: don't feel sorry for these guys when they're out on the course - you better try to stay ahead of them because they're racing you right to the line.

“I hope desperately to get back to Kona to tackle the only race that has beaten me thus far,” Van Praet wrote in an e-mail last month. “As you know, my personality is a bit stubborn and I need to prove to myself that Kona is doable.”

A bit stubborn? Sure, you can try that, Ryan. All I can say is that I'm thrilled to hear that I'll see you next week in Clearwater. I'm looking forward to watching you and Syd fly through that course. I'm also looking forward to seeing you back in Kona some day. I can't see any way that you'll let anything stop that from happening.