Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kettle Valley Railway - Myra Canyon

2nd trip on KVR, I took in a leisure ride on the Myra Canyon section with my friend Dorothy. Set her up with my Scott while I rode my Ridley X-Fire, and got opp to get photos which I missed on my 1st trip.

1st trip back July 15, was a distance mtnbike ride with 6 Kelowna riders, the day after I arrived. Even though it was excruciating to put my sore foot into a shoe let alone ride, I didn't know what was wrong with my toe yet... and this ride was worth it.

view of city of Kelowna in the distance by Lake Okanagan 
We mtnbiked up McCulloch (stopping to pick saskatoon berries) to the end and turned back on the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) which is the old railway bed (4-hr ish round trip). KVR is pretty much a slightly descending gravel road with minimal scenery as it tucks into the trees, not overly exciting.

2nd trip thru KVR end of August
When we rounded the corner many miles in, I was WOW-ed by the views. We just hit the Myra Canyon section with 18 train trestles. Definitely not scary like the trestles in Costa Rica though pretty cool. Most of them were rebuilt after the huge forest fire in 2003.

Dorothy in the distance on a trestle in Myra Canyon

The mtnbike ride finished down the wicked trail Angel Springs in Crawford. Yikes- technical!! At least I had that ride as a memory as I began on my toe healing journey.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Last Opportunity Spectating IMC

Last year of the Ironman Canada as the race is handed over to Challenge Penticton. All the same for me, the spectator.
Paddling out to see the IM swimmers
Greg looking for his wife Naomi amongst the pod of swimmers
Docked my surfski, jumped on my road bike. Rode to the end of Green Mountain Road where it intersects Hwy 3A, but not before taking a detour to ride up Apex Mountain road (13.5km, 3100', just under an hour). Improved to 58:00 and 55:45 on my next attempts.

Met up with Michelle, Tiffany & Aaron looking down towards Keremeos for Kyle.
Super hard to find a specific rider to cheer.
Would help to have binoculars to see their race number from afar.

Michelle running beside Kyle up the climb to Yellow Lake

My visit with Sandy and Gary at multiple IMCs!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bee Keeping in the Okanagan

The owners of Lamont Pure Honey live a few km from the place I stay in the Okanagan. I got to tag along with Claudette Lamont on her bee ventures! It all appeared a simple project until I spent time in the beekeeper suit all day checking up on the bees at over 30C temps.

Impressed with the strength and endurance needed to be a bee-keeper. Claudette is 65 years old and is super strong to lug the honey laden boxes around.

In the beekeeper suit... found the bees friendly and not attacking.

Lovely echinacea fields that the hives are near

Claudette, prepping the smoker

Forager bees bringing home the honey!
Claudette, checking on the work in progress in the awesome scenery

Happy to see the whole process

Blowing out the bees of a honey laden tray. Their job is complete and this keeps them  back with their hive.

HONEY! Check out the height of the honeycomb. Tray weighs over 40 lbs

Using traditional extraction techniques, Claudette removes the cover beeswax layer to expose the honey. Eain then puts the tray into the huge centrifuge machine. Meanwhile, the odd bee that snuck in with the tray is hovering in the Honey Hut. They are basically homeless as it is unlikely any other hive will accept them.

The truly RAW honey after the honey laden trays have been spun about

Borage flowers are planned for next years honey bees. Borage flowers bloom late into the season providing opportunity for the foraging bees. The honey produced from borage flowers is exquisite with a high viscosity like oil.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Barefoot Drama

Arrived to the Okanagan mid-July with a road bike, mtn bike and cross bike, ready to ride though a weird obscure pain beneath my big toe (sesamoid bones) dictated otherwise.

Saw local podiatrist Dr Greg Lindsey pretty quick, who treated the toe as worse case scenario (fractured). He suggested I wear an open toe rigid rocker shoe, with a dancer's pad stuck to my foot. The dancer's pad had a cut-out to take away the pressure off the ball of foot. The shoe stood higher than my normal shoes. With the hobbling and the uneven shoes, my foot, calves, probably hips... were sore in weird places with the compensation.

Not sure how the toe got inflamed. Everything I do is in barefeet (the naked foot!) and I was carrying heavy loads on rough rocky terrain. Ok, hard lesson learned - shoes have their place at times!

Pod doc advised full rest off the feet. Yikes, no biking or running. I did want to spend more time paddling so that vision came thru!

switched from the 19.5' Valhalla to the agile 17' Think EZE, super fun in waves
It was excruciating to weight-bear for the first few weeks. I managed to get the surfski to the water with minimal hobbling. The rocky shore was no help. Once in the boat, I was fine!

I went on short paddles focusing on technique, and avoiding the crazed people on motorboats and jet-skis. I paddled 1 to 1 1/2 hours daily still bummed about not riding though enjoying the awesome views from the Okanagan Lake.

Although the hobbling set me back abit, paddling kept me SANE. From the stories I read on the internet of healing from sesamoiditist, people seemed plagued with a chronic injury without putting rest time in. It helped ease my mind about healing time and no bike training once I wrote off cycle-cross season.

Mary Mike Marg - 3 M's
Weeks into healing, my old track running friend Mary was visiting from Switzerland. I thought what the heck, let's go on an easy trail run like we used to. Surprisingly, my foot handled it fine! My optimism to get back training grew. A chat with the podiatrist and he set me up with wicked orthotics to allow for less pressure to the sesamoid bones.

Mike, Dominic, Mary, Nigel, Marg - Mission Hill
First week back on the bike mid-August took more effort than I expected with sore muscles. After a week, it got better. It was great to be back ON the bike!

Pine needles started collecting on the surfski though still went out a few times a week.

UPDATE Jan 1, 2013
All good with the sesamoid bones until I went to a yoga class. I totally forgot about being on my toes in downward dog. That night, my foot was achy. I realize I need to watch out for any movements without full support of the foot.