November 11, 2014

Tis the off-season

Tis the season. The off-season, that is. You can almost hear the collective "thunk" of cyclists putting their steeds back on the trainer for the winter. Runners light up grey November afternoons with their splashy shoes and "please don't hit me with your car" reflective toques. Road bikes have given way to cross bikes and finally to cross-country skis in bike shop windows. Last weekend, Scott Tinley threw a snowball at someone in the OTC coach's clinic. Is it that time of year already?

My off-season actually started some time ago. I haven't done much since my last race on the final weekend of August, as I've been saddled with some nagging foot pain. X-ray and ultrasound came back negative. Waiting on the results of a bone scan. Anyone want to take wagers? Stress fracture? Tendinitis, perhaps? Can I get "idiopathic metatarsal pain" for $400, Alex? If you guess right, I'll buy you a drink. And then give you an honorary medical degree.

That's not to say I've been bored. In the absence of pressure on myself to be race-ready, I've done all kinds of stuff just for the sheer enjoyment of it. Last month, I took a couple of friends out for a leisurely bike ride into the country. With a long break in the middle for lunch and a latte.

Right at home on the patio

Sunshine, food, and friends
At the risk of going all nerd-factor-9, I thought I'd share some fall things I enjoy that don't involve swimming, biking, or running.



Trick or treating
Riding -- not a bike
Hope you're finding something to keep you happy and warm as the days get short and cold.

November 08, 2014



That's typically an acronym I leave to the kids to throw around. However, this afternoon I had the opportunity to meet one of the legends of our sport. Multiple Ironman world champion, pioneer of triathlon, and as it turns out well-spoken presenter and all-around cool guy, Scott Tinley.

I'll say it again. OMG.

It was a packed house in our little corner of the Carleton Tavern. Having never been, I stumbled into a game of darts and then a staircase that presumably led to the dungeon before finding the right room. As the milling crowd of OTC folks grew, I caught a few glimpses of the guest of honour. I wandered up to the bar for a glass of wine, finding several familiar faces along the way and starting up conversations with "Hi, I'm Kirsten!" as I encountered OTCers I'd never met. All of a sudden I turn around, and there is Scott Tinley. He's looking at me. Say something!

"Hi, I'm Kirsten!"

Not terribly brilliant, but I suppose it'd have to do. "Hi, I'm Scott." -- delivered with a friendly handshake and smile. I wanted to ask, "So did those crazy drop handlebars really fall off your bike the day after you won Kona?" but only managed "Thank you so much for coming!"

We were treated to a terrific, warm chat between Geordie and Scott, who delivered an insightful glimpse into triathlon's early days as well as some personal stories and recollections. As the session wrapped up, Geordie invited those in attendance to come up, say hi, and get an autograph. Damn -- I forgot my OTC cap! What have I got with me? Nothing. Not even a bar coaster. Double damn. Respecting the dignity of my advancing age, I elected not to ask Scott to sign an inappropriate body part. Instead I asked if I could take a picture with him. And here it is.

Ordinarily I wouldn't snuggle up quite so close to a celebrity I'm not stalking, but my selfie arm is only so long