If you’re an MEC member, I highly recommend you go and vote for Steve Jones.
I worked with Steve for 7 years at Pulse Energy. He’s a super smart guy and would be a huge asset to the Mountain Equipment Co-op board. He’s also really passionate about the outdoors. He spends most of his weekends adventuring in the mountains (check out some of his photos here) and the rest of his free time advocating for better parks.
He’s also really passionate about co-ops and has been a huge advocate for more member involvement in MEC. He’s both a champion for MEC when they get things right and an honest critic when they goof up – he’s been very critical of the logo change and excessive compensation packages for board members and the CEO.
The existing MEC Board doesn’t want Steve to win. For years they wouldn’t let him run and found reasons to deny his candidacy. He might be openly critical at times, but Steve is one of the most passionate and hard working people I know, and MEC would be well served to have him on the Board.
Vote Steve Jones for MEC Board of Directors.
I’ve accomplished my last remaining running goal. I’ve finally run 10 km in under 40 minutes.
I’ve been trying to go under 40 minutes since high school and I’ve come close on a few occasions, but it has remained an ellusive target. After I ran the half marathon in May, I knew I was fast enough and fit enough to break that barrier, and that this opportunity might not come again. I quickly signed up for the next 10 km race in Vancouver – MEC Race FIVE , a 10 km loop around the Stanley Park seawall in July.
Two months passed and summer got in the way of training. I didn’t run nearly as much as I should have. Ultimate Frisbee once a week was my best workout, and quick sprints don’t prepare you for a 10 km race.
On race day I had serious doubts about going under 40 minutes. Two weeks before I tried running race pace and could barely maintain it for 5 km. I told myself and my friends that the 40 minute milestone would have to wait. I was going to run a comfortable pace and enjoy the beautifully sunny and super hot morning in Stanley Park.
When the gun sounded, the adrenaline spiked and I quickly found myself racing along just behind the leaders. I ran the first kilometre in 3:26, the second in 3:41. I knew I couldn’t maintain that pace. I was almost a full minute ahead of my goal. I quickly reset my frame of mind. The 40 minute 10 km was achievable. I just had to settle into a steady 4 minute pace and hope I could sustain it for long enough.
I ran the next two kilometres around 4:00/km, but then I started to tire. My pace dropped to 4:13 and the time I had banked in the first 2 kilometres slowly faded away. By the 8 km mark it was all gone and I couldn’t will myself to go any faster. I was kicking myself for not doing more tempo training. I almost gave up mentally, but I noticed that my GPS watch, which I was using to track my pace, was way behind the kilometre markers on the course, by almost 200 meters. Either the course was short or my watch wasn’t tracking properly. Either way, there was still a chance I could run the race under 40 minutes.
That was enough to will me on. I picked up my pace for the last kilometre and crossed the finish line with an official time of 39:48. 8th place overall.
Official race results
GPS watch timing on Strava
Now that winter is fully upon us, it was time to have my bike serviced. Riding in the rain requires good brakes, and it was getting to the point where I almost had to drag my feet to stop. My back brake had stopped working and my front one was really loose. I took my bike into MEC to get the cables tightened. At least I thought that was all that was wrong with my bike.
The mechanic looked at my bike, played with the brakes, and told me I probably had corrosion in the brake cable (uhhh… that doesn’t sound good). Then he noticed that the rear rack was installed incorrectly (my bad) and was interfering with the brake line. He checked out the rest of the bike and found the rear hub was loose and needed to be overhauled (sounds expensive), the chain was completely stretched (already?), the front headset was loose (I had noticed some wobbling), and the rear brake pads were worn out (I knew the brakes were shot).
I couldn’t believe it. My bike is only 2 years old. I gets almost daily use in all weather, but I try to keep it in good shape. I was wondering how much all of this was going to cost. Was this how car owners feel when they take their car in to get the fluid levels checked and the mechanic says they have to replace the whole engine?
Turns out owning a bike is nothing like owning a car. There is no expensive engine to replace. All of the work that my bike needed only cost $80. Since the chain wasn’t skipping it didn’t need to be replaced, at least not yet. The rest of the work was covered under the Advanced Tune-up for $65 plus parts, and the only part needed was a $15 set of brake pads. They re-installed my rack, overhauled the rear hub, fixed up my brakes, tightened my headset, and greased the chain for $80, and it was ready within 24 hours.
It was the first time I’ve taken my bike to MEC – normally I’m a huge fan of Reckless but MEC is close to home. I have to say, I was really impressed with the service and the price. The only downside is having to walk the gauntlet of amazing MEC gear and resisting the urge to buy something. I didn’t buy anything extra this time, but only because I just spent $400 last month during the VACC 10% off members night.