Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Update:

Christmas 2011:

first semester of my paramedic diploma finished and wrapped up.....made the Dean's list with a 89% average.

Particularly happy with my Patient Care Theory final exam grade of 95.3%..... Lets see what next semester brings in two short weeks time. Start my clinical placements Jan 9th in Newmarket...going to be awesome!

Finally wrapped up my 12 week advanced First aid course for the Canadian Ski patrol, and started patrolling on the slopes a couple of weeks back. Finished my on snow training last night so am now a fully qualified member of the CSPS... picking up some paid shifts over the holidays and generally trawling the slopes looking for business. Breaks, sprains, strains, major and minor concussions and blunt force traumas a speciality.

Been flying under a white cloud so far......lets see what the new year brings.

†hêrê årê ñð ßê嵆l §µr£å¢ê§ wï†hðµ† å †êrrïßlê Ðêþ†h

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Teddy Trauma 101: Spinal Immobilization

So my first semester of paramedicine draws to a close....I'm getting pretty much straight A's across the board.

but with the final week of exams coming up only time will tell if I can keep my average up.

However i got my one big hurdle out the way Friday when I nailed my scenarios helped in part by my friends at school and Jonathon at home: When times are rough you gotta do what you have to to get through.

next up: Medical legal..... then Anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.

heads down!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Post Mid-Term.

well its been a while since my last update.

I'm now over the mid way section of my first semester of a two year Paramedic diploma and I'm loving it.

Getting steady Mid 80's% in all my courses and 90's% in my Gen-Eds.

There's plenty of Inter cranial pressure but I wish I had done this years ago it seems I have found my vocation in life. I've even had the opportunity to put some of my learning into practice with the odd MVC (motor vehicle collision) I've happened across

Clinical placements start next term and then ride outs the following semester. Lets hope i can keep it all together.
On other notes I'm drawing to the end of my advanced first Aid course with the Canadian Ski Patrol and expect to be out picking and shipping the bodies within the next few weeks...as soon as the snow gets here.

I'll keep you posted, for now its back to study: [is] Spinal immobilization and penetrating trauma [the new black?]

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Update: Fall season...a major change in direction.

new team issue kit

There a major change in direction coming my way in about 48hrs as I start the first week of a 2yr Paramedic Diploma. So I guess my cycle training is going to take somewhat of a back seat as i throw my self head first into the world or Para-medicine.

I have to say I'm pretty excited about it, yet somewhat nervous at the same time.

I've moved North of the Metropolis Of Toronto Into the cottage country gateway that is Barrie, Ontario.

its got my name on it so its gotta be true right?

Funny enough though the riding round here is considerably better, with rolling open "Flanders" style agricultural land within easy spitting distance of my new condo Apartment and a decent sized park just a hop skip and a jump way where I can hit some technical single track and get more than enough CX training in so we'll see what happens when it comes to racing...thoughI know for sure that its going to be a lot less than last season.

Powder days !?!

Its also just short drive to Ontario's biggest ski resorts so I also went and volunteered for the Canadian Ski Patrol so if all goes to plan I'll be trawling the mountains and parks for broken and concussed shredders, so I can practice my new skills and pad out my Resume.

watch this space...it all starts Tuesday.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


4wks till school starts...

New apartment is found.

trying to find some time to get some rides in before things get serious....time to work the summer tash till I have to shave every day again....

Tomorrow will be 200+km ride to prove to myself i still have it in me (its been a strange year for training). As for tonight.....

sauna, hot tub, BBQ and a 3D movie to get me limbered up for the early start.

its a hard life

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Hay fever....

The ridiculous associated costs of a 30min race....

Peoples obsession with money above and beyond anything else....

3 things that are making me wilt at the moment..
My sisters upcoming visit...

My Girlfriends continued support...

The above image of a rather nicely framed vitesse saddle.....

3 things that make me feel a little better about it all.....

its all about maintaining the balance non?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

on a roll....

Took fifth place in the mid week worlds tonight.

Broke away from the pack with approx 15 laps to go, bridged to the break away of about 15 guys up the road then held in to take 5th in the sprint at the end.

week is shaping up quite nicely....

big thanks to Paul Green, team captain of my old team for getting the guys to block the pack as i rode off the front...couldn't of done it without you ;0)

Monday, June 6, 2011

New personal best on Hill Climb.

Set a new personal best on my regular hill climb (VO2 Max) work out.

3min 31secs, seven seconds faster and 4w more than last year.

And I still feel like I have a lot more room for improvement. Last year I broke my arm just as my form was starting to come on and I had quite the effect on my training.

Touch wood, this year I've been playing it a little safe and hope for some better things.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

State of the Union:

Been a while since I checked in....

The season is progressing along, and time is fast running out before I move ship out the city and off to start 2yrs of paramedic training.

In preparation I've been trawling the suburbs looking for somewhere new to live and checking out the nearby country-side for new route for the bike. Looking forward to living close to the country again but I'm going to miss having Little-India on my doorstep.

I passed my driving test as well to now have the luxury of sitting in traffic along with 50,000 others as I head off to enjoy the pleasures of rural riding in the summer that has finally decided to join us here in Ontario.

Training is coming along as well, fitness is slowly increasing. The last month had me racing nearly every weekend and with The National Championships just around the corner, I think this week should see me ramping up the training another notch.

watch this space for updates....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Je Suis Canadian.....And other things

Its been another busy week in my life....

I became a proud member of the (former) British colony of Canada Thursday! Taking the morning from work to go and swear allegiance to the Canadian Queen, who funnily enough happens to be the same Queen I swore allegiance to when I was in the Grenadier Guards all those years ago.

We have a close relationship; I've been to her house, eaten her cucumber sandwiches and even helped to water her extensive gardens during a summer garden party in the late 80's.

So its good of her to help me out with another Nationality...

I have to say though that my new Citizenship ID is a little tacky...a laminated card, which for security reasons (obviously) I can't confirm or deny (on-line) is fitted with a complimentary bottle opener in the shape of some Elk antlers.

all those years ago...

But they did also give me a flag so It's all good!

On other fronts I accepted an offer from Georgian Collage to begin my Paramedic Diploma this fall semester, so I'll be up'ing sticks and moving from the GTA to glorious Barrie, gateway to that place just the other-side of Barrie (allegedly).

And my rather unique and robust Father apparently doesn't have cancer (this week). Now its been cross-graded to T.B. Although he hasn't tested positive for it.....(personally I'll wait and see what they come up with next week; life really IS a Lamrim Meditation)

Anyhoo all in all things are going pretty well lately.

But what of my training you ask????? well its slowly coming together. I have my next race this Sunday coming.

90km of dirt, mud and asphalt
. I'll let you know how it goes.

My new team however had a stonking weekend of racing, getting some podiums and a whole bunch great results across the board in Ontario today!

Its great to be part of a committed, and focused gang of riders, both male and female. As well as enjoying the support from a shop and owner that's genuinely motivated to help and support his riders...The term chalk and cheese springs to mind.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A sunday in Heaven


Today was a great Sunday of cycling classics and season openers.

I started with being woken by a crash of thunder over heads and a down pour over the city. I can't say my motivation was at it's but getting ready somewhat hastily, I remembered it was the day of the cobbled classic "Paris-Roubaix" and laughed at myself grumbling about the thought of roughing it a bit in the rain and dirt trails of my first race of the year, the Tour of Bronte.

It was however sunny by the time I set off, for a short but sweet 88Km blitz around the provincial park tarmac and hard pack gravel.
details on garmin here

It was a mixed field with elite 1/2 mixed in with M1, but I managed to hang in the pack for a 27th place finish overall and 13th in my division.

And Darkhorse Flyers had a great day with a 5th and 6th place from the young riders of the Elite team.

5974959SMITH, IsaacDARKHORSE FLYERSRME.1 2h 17' 04"00' 00"
6774921BLACK, KevinDARKHORSE FLYERSRME.2 2h 17' 12"00' 08"

So finally I was pretty stoked to have made the effort...and to top it all off a relaxing evening catching up on the days events at Paris Roubaix with a nice cuppa tea and a ruby murry.

short clip from today

Roll on Hell of the North in two weeks time....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cycling with power

It's been 6mths but my plaque has finally arrived!

So the warmer weather is finally here and I've started adding some easy intervals into the training mix!

Nothing fancy a few hill reps and some sweetspot training. Signed up for my first race as well, Tour of Bronte. Lets hope the weather holds up.

Got my trusty Litespeed serviced and tweeked ready to roll and my Powertap is finally back from the shop, lets hope it holds up a little longer this time.... going to be great to finally get some structured intervals set up again.

And on the Home front I finally got my Date for my Citizenship Ceremony....by this time next week I'll be Canadian (eh!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Dark Horse...

Well I'm happy to announce I'll be riding for the DarkHorse Flyers this coming season......

Rolling out of Helo Vélo Cycle Boutique, located at 101 Carlaw Ave. Toronto, a great little Store with a tight nit, highly motivated team, that though still relatively new on the scene, are punching well above their weight, both within the industry and local riding community to help develop and support cycling in all its guises.

I'll be working within a new small, but determined M1 team, and when opportunity arises, in mixed field events, their strong Elite team.

Its a bonus that the new team gear will match my Gilmour frame perfectly. Can't wait!

I've got a couple of training races coming up in the next few weeks, I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring time!

Finally the seasonal tides are turning again. In the last week my training load has gone from near Zero to over 12hrs. I've finally managed to get out side to ride without the need for a winter jacket and Gloves on.

The snow has all but gone from the trails, and the joys of cycling round absent minded pedestrians has come back again.

And along with all the external worldly movements, there are many social ones as well...

My long standing love, hate relationship with my former team Management has ended (at last). Whilst new opportunities continue to unfold before me.

My chain blew up on my Litespeed, dragging the rear mech into the wheel and leaving me stranded and somewhat out of pocket where repairs are concerned, on the same day I got a part time Job at a local bike shop walking distance from my home.

Life, like the seasons, is in a constant ebb and flow. People come and go, things wear out and are replaced its the natural state of being.

get the bike out the basement its spring time again!

I've no idea where or what I'll be writing about in the next few months. My goals regards cycling have changed drastically from what they were 5mths ago. And thats fine.

To all my old team mates I wish you all the best with the coming season, to my new ones I wish an even better one. Be watching for some sneaky breaks...kids

lets see what the tides bring in!

boom shanka!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

rain....rain:snow-sleet /rain

its getting tiresome...this winter.

it comes to something when you're grateful for a 2.5hr ride in the rain. Motivation is at an all time low. Here the details

Friday, March 4, 2011

pre season update:

Well I'm feeling disjointed so here are a few things to mull over whilst I write this....some uptempo jazz.....nice.

An image from my recent snowboarding trip to British Columbia.

And some news that I got my first acceptance offer for college this week!!!

So I guess that changes things a little for the up coming season...which is only 8 weeks or so away.

Now being a glass is half full kind of guy, I guess its good I gained all the weight I had managed to keep of all winter during my 10 day trip to BC.

The future holds some steady state rides to shed this extra weight and lot more college prep.

Woo I'm going to have another uniform....word!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring is coming!!!

Its getting warmer outside....finally.

For the first time this winter, you could taste the change in the air.

Align Centerhappy valentines

Its been a manic few weeks, collage admittance test all over the place, 2 days renewing my CPR, first aid and A.E.D. certificates, driving courses and then in the middle of it less than 7days notice that I had finally got to go for my Citizenship acceptance exam. Its a little bit overwhelming.

Anyway I flew through the first aid, not surprising as I used to teach it for a living back in the day. The driving is all theory and despite being a little mind numbingly boring is just another thing to check off the list.

The entrance exams are a little more stressful but actually somewhat hard to prepare for, each collage has their own test they want you to do. So I spent the weeks buffing up on chemistry (my favourite..not), biology, and maths (meh), but when I got there this weekend it was actually pretty easy and nothing like the book I'd been advised to buy in preparation.

Is it summer yet???

Next up its time to learn the Canadian national anthem, buff up on politicians (more meh) and scrub up for the test this Thursday. Still if it goes well I could have dual nationality by the summer.

Then its off to British Columbia for 10days of holiday snowboarding, then back for more of the same, English exams, another H.O.A.E and what ever else they decide to throw at me....I'll be glad when I know where I stand with all this, for now everything, my cycling season included, is all up in the air.

Talking of which my training is not super great at the moment, motivation is low, especially with the shit weather although I've been out the last two days for some light rides. Nothing serious, but I have been trying a new ride out.

A fasted state ride, essentially an hour and a half pretty easy ride but without eating anything before going. You get up and go, no breakfast, no tea or coffee, you just head out and spin at a kind of level 2 power/HR, and hope you don't pass out along the way.

I have to say its not much fun when its sub-zero outside or like to day +4c but wet and filthy from all the melting snow and 4mths of shit thats finally getting released. If the sun Hadn't of popped it head out I would have quit about 1hr in today, but as it was I managed to tough it out for the duration.

Anyway for now my goals are collage and weight loss. We'll see how things are at the start of next month. Hopefully the weather will be better and I'll have some idea of where I stand with the paramedics course.

Ok heres todays stats:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

After the trainer the treat!!!

I love Winter.

I realised recently whilst in the midst of planning for a trip out west for a short snowboard trip, that given the chance, I'd rather be a ski bum up to my ass in powder, in the glades than riding a bike.

This winter in particular has been harder than the last two. Its now February and and there is little sight of the roads clearing up any-time soon. Which somewhat compounds my attempts at keeping the winter weight off and get my self ready to roll for the up coming season, now only a couple of months away.

Added to that I seem (perhaps unsurprisingly) to be having more an more exams and admittance tests as I attempt to pursue a career as a Paramedic. Which wouldn't be to bad if it weren't for the fact they seem to include totally random subject matter, on topics I love to hate.

Chemistry + Maths.

However ironically although I haven't studied it for over 20+yrs, my knowledge and understanding of contemporary physics far out strips my comprehension of the former subjects, in no small part due to the hours I've wasted watching Horizon Documentaries over the past few years.

Anyway the upshot of all this seems to be that I'll be spending the next few weeks studying for my HOAE's, whilst trying to shed those extra pounds. Luckily it seems that is more than acceptable with my revision texts that actively encourage me to exercise for at least 30mins a day...sweet!

combine that with having to renew my CPR, first aid and get my driving licence, I guess I really shouldn't be writing this feckin blog right now.

Anyhoo my workout/stress management today consisted of a short but sweet session of speed drills on my trainer.

10mins WU
12x30sec @ 120rpm and a high power and 1min rest intervals
10mins CD

All whilst my post ride recovery was baking in the oven.....

Roast apples sprinkled with a little brown sugar, raisins and rolled oats.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Only 26wks till my first peak!!!

Only 26wks till my first cat A race!!!! better rouse myself from my winter hibernation and get my skates on....[sarcastic smiley].

Well its been a manic week or two.

Two exams, a 24hr puking bug and filing my college applications. When you combine that with -20c temps and wind chills, cycling has taken somewhat of a back seat.

Not to be unperturbed I finally dragged my sorry ass onto my trainer for a sweat fest the last couple of days. I am not a huge fan of trainers, everything seems harder on there. What i can do without barely noticing on the road seems like torture indoors, but I've set myself up with a little space in which to train exposed to the elements (the windows open) and fulling rigged with the best surround sound dts 2.0 home theatre $30 and a lap-top can buy you.

Which is still an improvement on before, but even with all the windows open and a wall of exterior -17c temps less than 12" from my side, i still ended up with a puddle of sweat beneath my bike after a 50min workout.cause there is so much text today, I thought I better add a random image of a girl
with wheels worth more than her life is (governmentally speaking of course) , to break things up....

Anyway for me at least the answer to getting through those sessions is variety and purpose.

here's a breakdown of my session.

5mins easy spin @ 95 rpm
5mins easy spin @ 100 rpm
5mins easy spin @ 105 rpm
5mins easy spin @ whatever feels relaxed.

then a set of sweet spot (88%ftp-92%ftp) pyramid intervals @ :

1min on
1min off
1min30secs on
1min off
2min on
1min off
2min30secs on
1min off
3min on
1min off

then work your way back down again to 1min on.

5mins cool down.

all wrapped up in 50mins and an episode of Dexter.

here`s the file :

Basically I'm working my way very slowly toward my bread and butter intervals of 3x20@ftp so I can be in some kind of shape before the roads open up and I can get back to some proper training again.

Although i`d like to be in shape for the first couple of races in April, they`re not really important in the greater scheme of things so I'm taking things pretty slowly.

Ok whateva...I'm hoping to get away to BC for ski trip with a little Dakini soon. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Executive relief: lite beer + HID's

I should probably get my head round it given my geographical location. But I really struggle to sit on a trainer indoors when winter clamps down on the southern Ontario roads. However with my New CX bike come new opportunities for adventure.

Its been a stressful week, I got a notice that I had my final chemistry exam on Wednesday this week just 5 days ago. Apparently the letter sent in Dec. last year never arrived. What ever, so I've been knuckling down trying to cram it all in. But I'm not the greatest scholar in the world so I find it somewhat vexing sitting over my books all day.

So tonight after I finished the unit i had to get through I felt a little executive relief was in order, so a quick trip to the Beer store and a few Coors lite later I decided a late night CX ride down by the lake would be an awesome way to get some miles in and burn off that latent angst I've been feeling.

And I was So right!

All the compact snow on the board walk and foot trails made for a great, speedy ride... I guess the beer gave me a little Dutch courage to make the most of things and hairing through the night lit up with my HID light system was truly magical.

It didn't hurt that I burnt off those extra empty calories as well....

Beats freezing your ass off on the road or sweating yer nads off indoors....

Happy days!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Riding through a winter wonderland!

Well with 6" of light fluffy snow riding on the roads can be a little harrowing, luckily for me though a short trip across the road lets me play to my hearts a delight in local park.

Another reason to love my CX bike, although its admittedly in need of a little TLC after a hard seasons racing. But the chance to rip some line across the new powder was too great to resist.

Even if it was a little hairy at time on the descents having no brakes, a combination of ice and pads worn nearly to the metal shoes! Its a time like that you just have to let you and your bike go with the flow and hope you don't inadvertently run over a few small kids tobogganing down the banks at the same time.

Anyway a 40 minute ride burnt about 600cals and went a long way to working of the stress of the last few days revising.

I love snow and i love My CX bike! They both help me regress to a childlike state as I slip and slide over snow banks, round trees and the dog park. Much to the bemusment of the average folk looking on as you try to crawl up a hard pack slope...

Friday, January 7, 2011


Revising for my Chemistry exam and losing Christmas weight don't go well together. The Urge for comfort food and treats can get a bit much. But if I can get through this next (hardest) unit today I'm going to take my self off tonight to unwind....

On the positive there is a carpet of fresh snow outside and I finally cleared my desk so I can work.


In other news the new team Castelli skin suits are in and lighter and faster than ever, although the oestrogen build up from all that testosterone I've been taking is playing havoc with my bitch tits....

happy days!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stage one complete, stage two initiated

Well after almost a year of waiting and a phone call to the government, they have officially processed my application for Canadian Citizenship....now I just have to wait to get the call for my exam some time in the next few months...then wait a little longer and I'll be an official canuck!!!

On the training front my legs feel like crap still from Mondays run. I decided today I really don't like running I'm starting to get a little ancy about not riding enough.

Probably a good thing....next year is going to be a long one...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Its all relative [even that statement]

I went for a short run yesterday....I imagine old age to feel a lot like i do today....good to be getting some geriatric intervals in now whilst I'm still fit?

Been busy running round trying to get things together to apply for collage in the next few weeks, as well as doctors/dentists/driving licence and revise for my exam. So as part of this wondrous process a trip to the far side if Toronto was on order.

There was a dusting of snow this morning. nothing serious, but it would probably shut down the UK for a week or so.

I was a little concerned about the how the cycle path would be along lake shore and the Humber valley. On the whole it wasn't too bad, but the photo above shows that here in Canada when it gets icy it really gets icy.

I was bitching about the roads in the UK, this Christmas. this was a little more challenging to get across, but with light fading and blood sugar dropping I made it across a stretch of about 200m.

But dieting and riding seldom go hand in hand. With about 10km to go I started to get hungry, about 6km to go I felt my blood sugar starting to drop, by the time I got home I could barely walk up the stairs....I hate that feeling, happens all to often.

The cold sits deep in your bones and takes hours to go away, I laid in bed with a hot water bottle and a Dakini helping me warm up.

I definitely recommend having one of each on hand for such times if you can afford it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011: .....

A dark and pensive start to the year

A New year...again.

things i'm thinking about...

How come in the UK it snows 3" but the aftermath of ice and crap stays for nearly two weeks???
but in Canada it'll snow 6" and the roads will be clear within a couple of days???

Yesterday here in Toronto it was raining, every where was wet, the temp was 8c. I woke up this morning it was -3c but the roads were dry with barely a sign of ice anywhere!!! who the feck does it dry in conditions like that?


Anyway i was only wondering....

On other fronts Its time to work off that Xmas gluttony (though I didn't do too bad this year).

I gotta revise for my final chemistry exam and apply for collage.... I hate that kind of stuff.

Along with another whole list of random shizel thats filling my new cork board (gotta get organized right?) thats includes clearing out my facebook friends list.

if for by chance you one of those people that also reads my blog, don't take it personally i'm only making space for my aging desperation to spread out... its nothing personal.

I might even finally get round to trying out my new running shoes, as i get the year going with a structure of Side planks, sit ups and stretches...

Just don't get me going on the Buddhists.......I'm not angry I'm just disappointed [for what probably will not be the last time]

thats doesn't include you though Karen...i'm only disappointed i didn't get to see you when i was home.