What’s the connection between cycling and Parkinson’s

Ridge RoadI confess. The first time I signed up for Lap the Gats I knew nothing about the condition except that a dear friend of my cousin Sue suffered from it. Ride the A-Loop four times for Charity? You had me at ‘Ride the A-Loop’. But why Parkinson’s? There is, actually, a connection. Continue reading What’s the connection between cycling and Parkinson’s

Half way there – raising money for Parkinson’s research in Ottawa in memory of Sharon Pickle

Sharon Pickle climbing the Gatineau Parkway
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Sharon Pickle, early childhood educator, cook, cyclist

This is Sharon Pickle. She was a cook and an educator at Glebe Parent’s Daycare since forever. She fed my daughter for several of the first few years of her life. Sharon cooked many of our pickytarian’s healthiest meals.

Sharon at some point was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Last year she signed up for and rode Lap the Gats.

She died suddenly last July.

This year, Lap the Gats is dedicating the ride to her memory. And I’m just thrilled to be a part of it to make something good of it all. Continue reading Half way there – raising money for Parkinson’s research in Ottawa in memory of Sharon Pickle

Nyack donut pilgrimage

Climbing the Great Wall of China
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A 100km ride into the countryside west of Manhattan was the finale to a perfect week in New York City. And I couldn’t have done it without the Domestique.

My family and I had the perfect convergence – a work gig was bringing Irene to New York, Mallory was on spring break, and I’m newly self employed.

While Irene’s been working all her days, Mallory and I have been doing all the things you do when you visit New York. Judging from how tired Irene’s been at the end of her days, I’d say we got the better deal.

But today the work was all done so Mallory and Irene headed off to explore and adventurize.

I naturally wanted to ride a bike. It’s warm enough. And I had time. I’d looked at Strava’s guide to New York, and chosen one of their curated routes. I looked around for a bike rental place before I came and had lined up a plan to rent and ride.

Continue reading Nyack donut pilgrimage

My child has a race face

Mallory has a race face
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Thea’s Race. Nakkertok North. Mallory and Freddie placed first in the Atom division

My daughter has a race face. She and her BFF were in Thea’s Race today at Nakkertok. The two of them crushed their event, beating the boys and the girls.

Mallory led off the relay, positioned at the back. But once she was out of the start track she started moving up, challenging the front by the time she was at the top of the hill.

She disappeared into the woods, but by the time she came down the far side of the 600m loop she was in second, pacing the first place skier.

I was really excited. I thought “second is a great accomplishment.”

She tagged F who flew off up the hill keeping pace. At some point in the woods, F caught and made her move on the leader because by the time F came down the hill and down the last stretch of her first loop, she was in the lead, a couple of seconds ahead.

They tagged up and Mallory took off again, putting a couple more seconds between her team and her pursuers. F did the last lap and finished maybe ten seconds ahead of the second place team from host club Nakkertok.

I want to express my appreciation to the volunteers at Nakkertok for organizing the race. It is a great thing you do.

Eleven extra watts

Birthday trainer ride
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I began my 50th year today. I had no big plans. A nice dinner with my partner and our child. Some chores. A few ‘would be goods’ on the old house to-do list. And 20 minutes of terror on the bike trainer.

The FTP test. It’s a sort of stress test. You ride as hard as you can for 20 minutes while measuring your power output in watts. If you’ve been doing a lot of early morning sessions on the bike you want the number to go up. Otherwise it’s a bit of a downer.

But in the off-season it’s easy for your fitness to slip away. That and the queasy feeling you get in your stomach after hammering the pedals for 20 minutes had me more than a touch trepidatious.

But I got my kit on, set up the gadgets and rode. And, if I don’t say so myself, killed it. My coach hasn’t confirmed it but my FTP (stands for functional threshold power) is now 289 watts, up from 275 in August.

A new adventure – self employment

Fall sunrise in Gatineau Park
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In early March, I will begin a new chapter in my life. After nearly 25 years of working for trade unions, I’ll be heading out on my own,  to help people, organizations and businesses with their websites, online presence and probably do whatever other sort of communications work needs doing and has budget.

Continue reading A new adventure – self employment

What a great thing we have in Gatineau Park

I love cross country skiing. Gorgeous day for it today.

A photo posted by Chris Lawson (@cmkl) on