Trevor doing the Tour Divide


My buddy Trevor Browne is racing the Tour Divide. What’s that you ask?

“Tour Divide is a solo, self-supported mountain bike race on all 2,745 miles (4,400 KM) of ACA’s epic Great Divide MTB Route. With an average time-to-completion of three weeks in the saddle, this grand tour is the longest, most challenging MTB race on the planet. It’s a contest for the ultra-fit but only if ultra-prepared for myriad contingencies of backcountry biking.”

That’s crazy.

4,400 KM in 3 weeks


He has provided instructions for how to REALLY follow along…
(they all carry real time GPS devices so you can see where they are)

“Everyone keeps asking how they can follow the race this year. Well its easy. By going to the following 2 sites you can literally follow my every move.

The sites are:

If you go to the website you can follow the race via the SPOT and google maps. Simply go to the menu on the right hand side of the page and click on the tab that says leaderboard. That will bring you to the SPOT leaderboard where all the racers will be seen as blue dots. Then just scroll over each dot to see who it is. You can also check out the blog portion of the site where you can read updates during the race.

The other way to follow the race is through the website where you can actually here my voice as I call in at certain checkpoints along the way. On the right hand of the site you will see the 2009 Tour Divide Racer Audio list. From there scroll down the racer list until you see my name (at the bottom). Click on my name and it will bring you directly to my audio posts.

See you on the map!”

It starts Friday the 12th of June. Trevor’s a great guy (he helped find my new bike this past winter!!) and an amazing athlete. Cheer him on and send him your best wishes.

Trevor’s biking blog |

Repairing your wetsuit


Noticed last week when getting out of the water that one of the sewn seams on my Xcel infiniti hooded fullsuit has the thread stripped off about 2 inches on the forearm. The tape underneath had held and I hadn’t felt REALLY cold water hit my arm. The neoprene had spread apart just slightly.

I know you can send back suits to Xcel (they supposedly have a great warranty program) — but figured by the time I got it back the early season would be done and I’d be missing out not having it (the water is still hovering between 38 and 40°F).

What to do? Repair it myself. Figured I’d share with everyone how to do it. The trick is to repair it so it remains flexible and strong — and make TRIPLY sure it’s still water tight.

(this covers one specific type of re-stitch)

What you need:

* A clean suit (don’t sewn in some seaweed and later wonder what stinks !!)
* Some 100% Nylon thread (black or clear/invisible) — thinner the better
* Small sharp needle, scissors, and thread puller

(I’m using nylon clear thread as it has lots of “stretch” to it and is available in clear — I’m sure you could use a very thin test fishing line if you’re in a pinch)

Start off by trying off the ends of the thread well on each end of the split — so they don’t continue to spread.

Next thread your needle doubling up the nylon thread so that you have about at least a forearms length of thread trailing/available to stitch through.

Begin sewing at one end of the spilt. Make a good start knot and then work your way slowly back up the seam. Try and follow the previous holes if possible (the fewer holes in thew suit the better) where the old thread had been. Keep the thread tight throughout with a clean stitch each time — don’t leave loops, knots, mistakes hanging as these will get caught on stuff and rip your work out quickly.

Make sure you don’t go through the seam welding TAPE underneath. Keep your stitching close to the original spacing and depth. Repeat — don’t allow your needle to go through the tape.

Once you reach the end go past the old thread slightly then start to work your way back — trying to get any gaps or openings you might have missed.

Tie your nylon thread off well and close cut with scissors. Test it out by stretching it slightly and make sure it holds.

All done! (Photos here)

(this doesn’t cover what to do if your inner seam tape has also ripped right through — in that case I would send it back to Excel as that is a key component between a fun session and hypothermia)

Other options include buying seam welding “goo” for wetsuits — these work well if the cut/spilt is not on a seam but in the middle of a piece of neoprene. In my experience this stuff works but looks ugly though — like you have boogers on your suit.

Lots more info on more serious repairs can be found here – You can also search for someone in your area that does this as a service — Google lists many.

Genius playlists


I think I might have found the real reason I want to update my ipod (to a touch or an iphone). Genius playlists. I’m sold — Apple has done a very good job with this and it’s once again re-introducing my music to me on a daily basis.

If you haven’t turned on this feature or clicked the button — try it now. You won’t regret it.

Once the new car smell has worn off of the feature and you want it to be even better — review this…

“The Genius bar uses collaborative filtering and popularity data from the iTunes store. The Genius Playlist button uses local meta information associated with the files, like genre, rating, play count and other data stored in the ID3 tags.

Here are some tips for getting better Genius recommendations…”

Opus Lift adds craft to your boring METRO card


Love this site of people adding designs and personalization to their OPUS RFID metro/bus cards. The design on them is ugly and this is such a great idea.

Welcome to

If, like me, you use the public transport network in Montreal, you probably already have the Opus card, the smart card that the STM (Société des transports de Montréal) unveiled this autumn.

Personally, I found it so ugly (forgive my honesty), so unrepresentative of Montreal and Montrealers that I decided to dressed up mine.”

One note: be very careful cutting holes in your card as shown above – this can easily cut the “wires” that run throughout the card, which are the antennae (the STM ones run in a crazy pattern throughout), and it will no longer work – read more here.

(Thanks NCBeets)