Monday, 3 December 2007

-18 plus wind chill

With one week left in the semester (exams don't count), I can't begin to express how excited I am. I know I have no right to complain, but this semester has been really tough; some really big projects/papers and lots of lab work. In between all of the madness of school, I have managed time to do more training than I've ever done, and work more than I've ever worked..... at the cost of not really being a person lately, more of a coffee dependant zombie....but the end is very near. After 18 years of school (well 19 is you count kindergarden :), I can finally see the light.

So now comes the real challenge, taking racing to the next level. I've posted my new tentative 2008 race schedule.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

The Skiing Gods Are Back

That's right, it's ski season finally...but you have to go to Lake Louise to enjoy the white stuff right now. Dragged my butt back to the vehicle with a big smile on my face after 3 hours of skate skiing today. Maybe not the smartest idea for the first ski of the season, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Cyclocross tails

It's been a bit of an odd fall for me. A little bit of a rocky road to recovery, my last year of school (yippee) and many other trials and tribulations. Yesterday was the final race of the season for me, the last Alberta cyclocross race, and we finished up in style, the women's field anyways. My local Calgary based team, Terrascape Racing, hosted the event and strongly encouraged the wearing of a costume for the race. We had a tiger, Pamela Anderson, a couple of Juventis riders with orange hair, and I was a devil.

Considering that fact that Provincials and Nationals are over, we had really good turn out to our second annual race.

Coming back after taking two weeks of zero physical activity, it was very obvious that I had no high end left at all. On the positive side, I was very well rested. My first cross race was the Jim Horner UCI event up in Edmonton in which big hitters Wendy Simms and Kelly Jones showed up to, as well as the extremely fast local Pepper Harlton. Finished up in second place there, and refueled with a huge pasta dinner for the United Cycle race the next day. Was a little creaky getting going the next day, and very slow to start. Worked hard the entire race to reel in Pepper, but the powerhouse trackie/xc skier Tara Whiten was far from my grasps, and again I finished in second place.....but I won a pumpkin pie, so I was the real winner...hehe.

After a week of more riding (mainly too and from school) and lots of stretching, I came into Provincials the next weekend feeling pretty good. It was a really good course for me, rough and technical.....and with a lot less snow than last year, it was a really fun course. Battled with Pepper for the first couple of laps, and felt strong enough to put the gas on mid way through the race to take my first win of the season.

The following weekend, and last minute decision like last year, I made the trek out to Kamloops for Cyclocross Nationals. Waiting till after my school and Dallas's work were finished for the day, we left Calgary late and made it to Kamloops near mid-night. Spend the saturaday relaxing, doing homework, drinking coffee and doing a couple laps of the course. After a huge delicious Greek dinner, by 9pm, I could barely keep my eyes open, so I feel asleep and ended up having almost 12 hours of sleep....yeah, 12 hours....that was so nice.

I felt really strong at the start of the race, I could tell that my intensity was slowly coming back. Had a great start, but the first corner got the best of me and I went down hard. Quickly picking myself up, I was disappointed to have lost contact with the leaders, but fought hard to move up from around 15th to 4th place. Riding with Jeanann McKirdy and Kelly Jones for a couple laps, I found the energy and started pushing to see if I could catch the lead group who was pulling farther and farther away. I had put about 15 seconds into 5th and 6th, and found myself doing a 10 foot power slide on my butt around a greasy corner. Despite the fact that I gathered myself together quickly, I had lost any advantage I'd made. Riding with the Jeanann and Kelly for a lap, I pulled myself back together and forced the pace again. Wendy road an awesome race and took the title, Alison Sydor took second and Lynne Bessette finished third. I couldn't repeat my podium performance from last year, but I'm really happy with fourth place.

And now, this past weekend, raced the final race of the season. With Loni Kettle from Jasper breathing down my neck the entire race, I had to work very hard for the win. I'm always excited when she shows up to a race, because you know it's gonna hurt :)

Done now for the season, had a beautiful easy three hour road ride today, can't believe we're still having great weather and it's almost November...can't complain. But I am ready to start skiing. Oh yeah...and only six weeks left of this semester..yippee.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Back in the Saddle

After almost two weeks of a nearly sedintary lifestyle, in other words "forced rest", I was itching to do almost anything. Nearly two months following me little recovery ride crash, my small lower back injury decided enough was enough, and everthing stopped moving all together. Not a great feeling by any means, especially when you have to sit seven hours a day at school. But I'm happy to say, things are starting to feel much better......

Well, except for the fact that eveything else hurts now, (butt, legs, everything) after my first bike ride in how many days.....but hey, I'm definitely not going to complain about that :)

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Yes...I'm still alive

Ok, ok, I know, I've been really pathetic with my updates the last month. No good excuse, just lazy. I've done lots of cool stuff, like getting lost in the Moab desert, mapping rocks around Canmore, ridden Logan's pass two days in a row with Dallas....and now, not so cool, but kind cool...back in school baby. It's my last year finally in my geology degree. It's been a long road...six years, not straight, to be exact....but I'm ready to move on from the school life for now.
I've been taking it really easy the last couple of days, not much riding or running, or anything, because I can barely move. My little crashs two months ago is coming back to haunt me in full force and I'm honestly not a happy camper right now. Going for a much needed massage on Sat, so hopefully I can get everything sorted out and ready for cross season which is fast approaching.

Till then....ciao

Friday, 10 August 2007

Le Tour de Bowness

Never knew four minutes could hurt so darn much. Nothing like a 1.2km hill climb to blast out every last corner of your lungs and make your legs burn. Starting with three up, I was paired up with Synergy's powerhouse Steph Rhoorda and BiciSport's time trialist Julie Beveridge. We started off relatively slow, knowing that you had to pace yourself well for this climb. I pulled out into the lead and set what I though was a pretty good pace. Then in the second of seven corners, Julie flew by my and put a good ten meters on me. I could hear Steph breathing hard behind, so I pushed the pace a little harder to try to keep the gap to a minimum. Slowly I felt Steph fall off, but I wasn't making any time into Julie. Coming into the last corner, I finally felt that I was starting to make small gains, so I popped it down one more gear, stood up and hammered up the last incline. I managed to pass Julie in the last corner and put almost 9 seconds on her. I have to honestly say, it wasn't really that fun, my teeth even hurt from breathing so hard.....but it did feel good to blast out the system. My time of 4 minutes 7 seconds was so close to the mens winning time of 3 minutes out Zack Bell, you're all mine next year.....hehe, only have to increase my wattage by at least 300 watts.

The second day of the Tour de Bowness, holiday monday, was a road crit on the lovely roads of Bowness encircling Bow Cycle. Great spectator turn out, lots of great riders, good festivities and great weather. Unfortunately there was a relatively small womens field, maybe 12 racers in the A and B combined. Quickly the race split into the A and B cats, we had a small pack of five girls in the A. Through out the entire race we stayed together, with lots of little attacks and sprints for the preems. I had to work really hard a couple of times to catch back onto the group, I'm not used to the really short, explosive attacks, takes me a little while to get up to speed. With some really fast and some really rough corners, the women's race managed to stay accident free...not so with the all of the men's cats. In the final sprint, I needed about ten more meters to make my mark, but I ended up in fourth place in the crit, and second place in the omnimum for the weekend.

After a couple of easy recovery days, my parents and I started the long drive south to Snowmass, CO. After about 20 hours of driving, made it safely. Pre-road the course yesterday, super long and really fun, lots of climbing, but also lots of single track and really great downhilling. It's gonna hurt tomorrow...yippee.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Howdy Y'all

Where y’all from? (with a southern accent) was the most popular question of the weekend. Spent this past weekend at the beautiful Sugar Mountain of North Carolina for the NMBS #5 race. After a long day of flying we arrived in Charlotte, NC, met up with Catherine and Kona rider Kris Sneddon (who was left without a ride) and proceeded to stuff three people, three bike boxes and all of our luggage into a rather small Jeep Commander. Those things look enormous from the outside, but it’s all an illusion. There was definitely an art in that packing job, and when the rental agent came back outside he just looked into the truck in complete disbelief, ‘I can’t believe y’all got that in there’….hehe. Our directions to Sugar Mountain weren’t spectacular, and we ended up taking a dark, foggy tour up the really steep and windy Beech Mountain, I imagine in the day time it’d be an amazing view. We finally managed to track down the huge ‘Kona’ house around midnight, nothing like a 16 hour travel day. We ended trading Kris his ride for a nights accommodation at there place, where there just happened to be two spare queen sized bed, thanks to Wendy Simms for her flight being late.

The course left something to be desired and was definitely not suited to me. Each lap started off climbing straight up the ski run on wet muddy grass, then continued climbing on open gravel and pavement roads for about a half an hour. The whole climb, you only ran into two small single track sections, the rest was just an open grind. Once you crested the summit, which was actually the very top of the ski hill, you finally got to the good stuff. The decent was really technical with lots of greasy rocks and roots, which would definitely lay claim to a lot of skin in the race. During the pre-ride I definitely struggled and fought with my bike the whole way through these sections, and the mud was treacherous and I re-tried numerous sections. With about a km and a half of decent left, we popped out onto the ski run again, and finished up with a full speed, open downhill sprint. During my second pre-ride lap in the rain, I managed to survive the gross technical rocky section only to lay it down in front of a large crowd on the slick grass (wasn’t very good for my already sore back).

Race day, the weather held out, and the course was in excellent shape for our three laps. Off the start, Georgia Gould and Catherine attacked, and the entire pack was strung out up the entire climb. I settled in and found myself riding with Wendy in about 14th position. She had more gas near the top and dropped me on the last pavement climb. I road the downhill a little sketchy, had some good saves and had to run a couple of sections, same as everyone around me. Going into the second lap, I could still see Wendy within about 25 m from me, and again near the top she had more gas and increased the gap. Near the top, I was passed by a Kenda rider and I followed her for the climb in the third lap. Half way up the last lap, a Cannondale rider past me, but I was able to react and hold her wheel till the top of the climb. She beat me into the single track, but I nailed the last decent and past both her and the Kenda rider..yippee. Finished in 13th place, and really sore from all the climbing. Catherine finished in third, being nipped by Willow Koerber in the last lap, for her first NMBS podium.
Sunday morning, got up early and went for a coffee shop spin…mmmmmm, coffee. The short track race wasn’t until 3pm, so spent the day relaxing and stretching. With a pretty good climb in the course, this was one of the most difficult ST courses that I’ve ridden in a while. Started off great, passed a lot of girls right away, but the climb killed me and I started blowing up after about 18mins, and lost two spots. I could see the leaders putting a large gap on the field, and with 2 laps to go I got pulled in 15th place. Although I was really disappointed with not finishing, my body was pretty happy with shortened race. Note for next year…practice climbing

Monday, 23 July 2007

My Nationals Curse

Well……. I’m pretty sure that I’ve had my fair share of bike drama now to last me for the rest of my cycling career, or at least I hope so.

This past weekend I was out on Vancouver Island for Canadian Mountain bike nationals in Mt Washington, BC. This was my second time up to Mt Washington (third time on the island), with the first being last year for Canada Cup finals. It’s a really quaint little mountain village, not very developed and not commercialized at all, with a really tough cross country course. The steep climbs and rooty descents are tough enough when it’s dry, but after days of heavy rain, all I can say is “ouch”.

Okay, a little touch on my bike drama, for those of you who haven’t heard; but I won’t go into the long gory details. Due to circumstances beyond my control, my bike was in bits and pieces up until an hour and a half before the start of the race. So needless to say, I had a very stressful 48 hours leading up to the race, and a very sleepless night; definitely not an ideal pre-race routine and I hope it doesn’t become routine. Thanks to the frantic help from Dallas the night before and from Ben from Shimano the morning of, everything got put together and I had a great working rig for the race. Needless to say, buy this point I was very mentally drained, which is something I have to work on because lets face it, things don’t always go smoothly.

Race time…..more than a little chilly (I swear I saw snowflakes) and more than a little wet, but hey, playing in the mud is always fun. It was a small but stacked women’s field, with all the big Canadian hitters in attendance, except Allison Sydor who seems to be moving towards the enduro events. Off the gun, Kiara pulls into the lead, and I grab her wheel as fast as I can. The first climb is a long double track climb straight up a ski run, which kicks up really steeply near the top. Due to the peanut buttery mud, everyone is forced to get off and push. At the top of this climb is a short technical uphill section followed by a short really steep open section which is tough enough when dry, so we are forced to run. By the time I reached the summit, my legs and lungs are on fire, but I’m sitting in a pretty good spot. The first technical descent I crash gently a few times, slide out on roots, front wheel getting swallowed by mud, nothing major, but definitely I don’t feel at ease. I finish the first lap in eighth position, with the next six spots really close in front. I’m not feeling great about how I’m riding, but I’m really happy that I’m managing to stay in contention, everyone is struggling with the conditions. Slowly however, my body seems to just want to shut down. Usually I’m really good with adverse conditions and being able to just slog through it, but not today. Every movement, every climb, every root, every mud puddle just seems to through me off, and my back is starting to seize up (courtesy of my smart recovery ride crash the week before). By the last lap I’m struggling to just finish the race. Somehow I manage to hold on to eighth place, but I have lost a lot of time on the girls in front of me.

I’m definitely not happy with my performance and how the weekend went. It’s really tough when you put so much effort and focus into an event and nothing seems to go right (which is maybe just my pessimistic post bad race attitude shining through because I did have a lot of fun), but at the same time, it’s these tough races and times that do make you a stronger athlete and person… not all is lost. Maybe next year I can crack my ever present nationals curse (which is all in my head) and get my redemption.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Canmore Canada Cup

Photo by Patrick Graham

Photo by Henry Yau

A few cool shots from a few cool locals..thanks guys.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Ziggy Gnarly

So, who survives one of the most technical and tough courses on the North American circuit, only to crash in the parking lot..yup that’s me. And then crash hard again the following day on an easy recovery ride….yup again, that’s me. Now, I’m a little bruised, a little scraped up and very stiff….smart. But enough stories of my inability to keep the rubber side down, for now anyways.

I must apologize, it’s been a while, I’m definitely not in Mont St Anne anymore. The week following that World Cup I was in northern part of Quebec at St. Felicien, competing in the second Canadian World Cup. I must say, what a great course and a great event overall. Besides a little bit of a rough start, rubbing someone’s rear tire and going down (we weren’t moving very fast mind you), I had a great ride and lots of fun, working my way up to 26th position. Oh yeah, I must mention, I did have a pretty hectic and stressful week, and ended up riding on a borrowed frame, that’s a whole other story, but it all worked out in the end.

Then, back to Cowtown for a little stay..yeehaw. My dad, brother and a few friends raced in the 24 hours of Adrenaline this next weekend in Canmore. Dallas and I loaded up his car and decided we’d help out, cheer everyone on and try to sneak out on the Canada Cup course. Everyone road great, lots of teams and an amazing number of hard core soloers, great to see. Had a great relaxing weekend, except for the absurdly loud generator only ten feet from our tent coming on at 2 in the rude, no sleepL

Now, this past weekend, the much anticipated Canmore Canada Cup…Return of the Ziggy Gnarly. Canmore always does a great job of hosting events, and with all of the great mountain terrain, you can be guaranteed an outstanding course. With a good solid and continuous 15 minutes (at least) of hard climbing each lap, I was definitely looking forward to the very fast singletrack and downhill sections.

Off the start Sandra Walter took to the front and I grabbed her wheel and gave it everything to keep pace with her. Nearing the top of the climb, appropriately known as “the oven”, Amanda Sin came out of no where and smoked by both of us. The three of us rolled over the top and started to descend together. Sandra, just in front of me, dabbed slightly on a small techy climb and I managed to squeak past her. Following close behind Amanda I knew that my only chance to win this race would be to take advantage of my descending skills (because she’s definitely a better climber than me) and I took a chance and passed her through some rough singletrack. I managed to hold my lead for the entire race for my first Canada Cup win of the season, and second of my career. It was very cool passing some really fast men that were suffering on the course (I know, that sounds really cruel), but with above 35 degrees temp, everyone was in a world of hurt.

My brother, Casey, and I have an ongoing race between eachother, and him racing in Senior Expert, we always race the same number of laps. He had a solid race, but this weekend I edged him out ever so slightly; but I’m sure he’ll take out on me on the skies this winter. Dallas had great race too, finishing 18th in the elite men’s cat, awesome, especially considering he’s still nursing a bummed knee.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007


Nothing like a little late night swim to cool things off....little chilly though.

Mont St Anne World Cup

World Cup numero uno pour moi..for the year. Coming into this weekend I was more than a little nervous, it’s been over a year since I’ve done a WC and I haven’t been too sure of my legs the last couple of months, well since my field school. Not to mention my demons from last years race, with what, 20 good crashes through out the race…yikes. 75 starters for the womens field, pretty impressive for a Canadian World Cup. Based on UCI points, I was given plate 53, not great, but way less pressure being in the back. The course was almost identical to last years, tough steep climbs and awesome techy downhills. Fun and fast, but you definitely need to be on your toes the whole time. It was supposed to rain all day during the race, but only a cool overcast to keep everything perfect.

Off the start, not even 100m into the race, massive pile up. Rumors say that only the first 12 girls got away completely clean, and nearly half of the pack either went down or had to dismount to get around. Slamming on both brakes, with a full wheel lock up and being hit by more riders from behind, the only thing I could do was dismount and basically cyclocross through the mound of bikes and people. In the process the only person that I saw was Kiara Bisaro sitting in the middle of the cluster trying to protect herself from people and bikes. Later found out that she is completely covered in bruises, chainring and tire marks, and a concussion…that poor girl.

Once through the mayhem, I found myself in the mid twenties and breathing really, really hard. My first two laps, although clean, didn’t feel good at all. I struggled with some of the techy stiff and my climbing was sooooo sloooooow. By the end of the second lap I found myself in the mid thirties with a big treat to go backwards even more. Then, in the third lap, I don’t exactly what happened, but everything started slowly waking up. Teammate Susan Haywood and Wendy Simms passed me handedly, but I thought to myself “That’s enough damn it!!!!” and I grabbed Sue’s wheel. For the start of the third lap I followed her and a couple of European girls not feeling too bad at all. On a climb part way through I made my move and passed them both in an attempt to grab Wendy’s wheel. Then, following her for the remainder of the lap, passing a few more girls in the process, I punched it at the feed zone in the fourth lap to pass Wendy. I was definitely feeling a lot stronger here, not saying that the climbs didn’t hurt, but I was able to move a little faster up them. Midway through the fourth lap I also caught up to Canadian and travel partner Sandra Walter, and feeling really good I pushed slowly past her.

Entering the fifth and last lap I found myself in 25th position with two girls about a minute ten ahead. I could see them at the top of the first climb and I started pushing harder. In the end, I almost caught 24th position, missed by less than 2 seconds at the line, with 23rd within sight the whole time. Honestly, regardless of the fact that this wasn’t my best placing at a World Cup, I’m really happy because my splits from the leaders was I think the smallest ever for me. Racing an event like this definitely helps you learn how to push yourself a little more than you could before and the experience of actually racing next to someone the whole time is a whole new ball game.

Now, we’re spending a couple more days of relaxing in Mont St Anne, and then heading up north on Thursday for the next WC. Today matt Hadley, his brother Adam, Sandra, Jean Ann McKirdy and I went exploring some of the local trials and found miles of awesome singletrack. Definitely can’t complain about that J Now it’s time to feast again.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Oh the madness

Hardwood Hills always does an absolutely great job of hosting the Canada Cup race, and this year was no different. With the bulk of the course similar to last year, there were some small changes in the route to mix it up and keep us on our toes. Learning to ride the fast swooping corners is something different than I'm used to out in Alberta, but really fun none the less once you get the feel of it.

Waking up Sunday morning, honestly, I couldn't have felt better for a race. Staying an hour away in Brampton probably wasn't the best of all ideas, although my traveling buddies parents are amazing people to visit and stay with. With an 11:30 start time, the plan was to get there at the latest 10, and for me to start my warm up at 10:30. We left the house at 8:45, with just a quick Timmy Ho's stop to grab a coffee, leaving us with more than enought time to make the drive. Cruising along we all of a sudden come to complete stop, the 400 North to Barrie is shut down....WHAT!!!!! Three full lanes of traffic are slowly funneling onto the off ramp for a backroad detour. I could just feel my blood pressure start to rise. An hour later, a really full belly of coffee, and a dangerously high stress level, Jeff has the van just about floored coming into Hardwood Hills. With only 40mins to the start, we fly around and somehow I manage to pull off a 30min warm up, not great, but it will have to do.

At the start, I'm still shaking, more than a little jumpy and very jittery, but once the gun goes off, life is perfect again. Not the crazy start I was expecting from the Chinese National team leading out, but a good pace none the less. We soon move into a long train behind them. Before long, I can no longer see the red and yellow suits of the Chinese, but I see Kiara occasionally, and can feel Emily Batty breathing down my neck. Feeling great for the first three laps, I push the pace and try to make up the little time between myself and Kiara. But coming around to the fourth and last lap I can definitely feel that my legs and body aren't going to cooperate as they promised. At the start of the lap I check over my shoulder and see Emily coming at me fast and furiously, and I think to myself, "I'm gonna make her work for this one". I hold her off until the last km and a half, but by then I've got nothing left. Every little push up a hill and my legs are screaming at me, and soon enough that sound is starting to come out of my mouth. I'm almost in tears trying to hold her wheel, and I'm slowly slipping away. Then in one of the final corners, half gooned from exersion, I go down in a soft corner of sand. Sitting there I simply have to smile, I haven't pushed myself that hard for a long time. Finishing in 6th position, not the spot I was looking for, but a great race and effort all the same....and yes, even when it hurts that bad I can honestly say that I had fun riding my bike.

Jeff racing the Master Expert finished a really solid 5th place against some really fast locals (home court advantage definitely).

Now, after a couple lazy days up north, swimming in the lake and biking, we're heading east to Mont St Anne. Nothing like a little 10 hour drive to make the stiff legs feel great. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another dry Quebec stint...maybe pushing my luck.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Cottage Country.

This is just a quick update, I'm not in Pigeon Lake anymore..hehe, I know, it's been a while. Currently sitting in a little cabin on Dixie Lake in the cottage land of Ontario. Just got in from a nice swim in the water, great for sore legs. Today was the forth Canada Cup at Hardwood Hills, always a great event. Finished sixth, had a pretty good ride, I'm happy. I'll write more, but for now I'd better hit the sack and stop drooling all over my computer. Nite.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Pigeon Lake

For all of you who are extremely attracted to the typical cyclist tanlines, beware, mine are pretty darn sexy. Forgetting to put on sunscreen when it's thirty above out works wonders in this department, kind of a little painfull though...oh well, all in the name of sexy tanlines right.

This weekend, the classic Pigeon Lake Road Race. I had some demons to conquer here. Five years ago, in this very location, I road my very first road race on my dad's ancient pink Fiori with down tube shifters. Come to think of it, this was probably my very first road ride ever....scary. And the cherry on this rained and rained and rained and rained the whole race. For two and a half hours I struggled to stay with the pack, not too mention struggled with the concept of these tiny tires with no knobs. In the end, I managed to stick with the top pack until the last km of climb to the finish where I was completely blown off the back. I finished the race cross eyed and utterly nuked, but managed a top ten in my first road race..yippee.

This weekend, Dallas and I decided to head up the night before and camp at the Pigeon Lake provinical park. Spend a nice evening with the bird sized flies. All was well until about midnight, when the sky opened up and the angels started peeing on us. Thunder, lightning and lots of rain...great, just it's going to be just like five years ago. But come morning, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, just a really wet tent and and soggy bikes to show for the night.

After a tough week of training, and a really tough long saturday filled with MAP intervals, I had no expectations coming into my first road race of the season. With both the A and B cats combined, I think we had 30 women at most, not a big group. The pack stayed together pretty much for the entire race, a couple of attacks and counterattacks, but not much that held (it's a pretty flat course, with a head wind in every direction). Being of the full on mountain biker mentality to go faster, I tried subsequent attacks and covered every attack that I could from Natasha Kuzmak, to which my legs screamed in some crazy accent to me "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO US?!!!!!". In the end, the group finally started to splinter, it was a seven girl sprint to the finish, and I nudged out Natasha by a half wheel length for the win. Ha, take that Pigeon Lake demons.

Dallas with his bummed knee pulled off an amazing first cat 3 race and took the win as well. Great job babe. On the way home we hit up Mickey D's, I opted for the healthy salad while Dallas went for the full on Big Mac........yuck, hehe. Great to see everyone out there this weekend.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Bonjour...ohh la la

After a week of this I was more than relaxed and rested up...much overdue I think. The weather in Tremblant this year was amazing, I even sat out on the deck one day in my bikini - needless to say, besides my ever present biker tan, I think my body sadly is incapable of a colour other than white. We actaully managed to catch a very small part of dinner one night from the lake, using a Sherwood hockey stick as a fishing rod, now how Canadian is that?

The course was great, same as last year but dry for the first time ever I would imagine. Some good technical climbs and some really tough techy downhills. Had a decent start, but managed to slip up on the first rocky climb, fall off my bike and drop my chain...hmmm, sabatoge. Amanda Sin lead the race the remainder of the way, I managed to catch her once but every lap she put time on the climbs. Overall I'm happy with the race, especially my save on a near death crash. I don't remember exactly what happened, but ended up back on my bike so I definitely can't complain.

I've never really 'gone out' in Tremblant after the race, there's usually the Hardwood Hills Canada Cup the following weekend, but not this year, so why the heck not! After a really cold Scooter ride into the village, some ice cream with killer chocolate sauce, I spent the night of dancing with some good friends (to which I'm actually really stiff from).

Got up early the next morning, thanks to a glass of aqua 'accidentally' tipping over onto me...hehe, actually I believe it was an accident. Went for one last cruise around on my bike, found some really cool singletrack, then hiked the DH course. I must say that we XCers lucked out, Sunday was pretty chilly and wet outside.

Home now for a couple of weeks, Pigeon Lake Road Race this weekend, then heading back out east for a month stint. I think I'd better learn how to speak French, I'm spending most of my summer in Quebec this year.
Oh yeah, in foreign news, Catharine Pendrel kicked ass in the World Cup in Germany this weekend....29th!!!

Saturday, 19 May 2007

This course makes me smile

I stole this pic from Rob Jones at Canadian Cyclist, don't tell him. Cool shot though.
We awoke to killer weather for Bromont, sunshine and warmth, definitely welcome after yesterdays rainfall, but not enough to dry the course up in the slightest...oh well, I love playing in the mud.

I honestly wasn't expecting too much, being my first Canada Cup of the year, and after my last two weeks of field school...sitting on my ass for 14 hours a day in front of the computer....stellar. Not too worried about about call up, figured all positions would be called based on UCI points, I hung out near the back, I don't have many right now. Half way through call up though, they just said, 'and the rest of the elite womens field'..great, dead last..oh well. Had a great start, moved my way quickly up to the top five and the rest is history. Definitely feeling the last two weeks on the climbs, I continuously lost time to the other girls, but was able to make up some of it on the fast techy downhills.....the dh's in the xc course here are absolutely amazing. By the middle of the third lap I found myself in fourth place and that's where I stayed for the rest of the race.

After a long fiasco with results and being first posted as a DNF, I finally got my position sorted out....that's always a little stressful..damn it, I worked hard for the forth place.

Cleaned my bike up, it was pretty nuked from the peanut butter and soupy mud combo...great for the drivetrain. The Shimano guys were supper nice and set me up with a new set of rear brake pads because mine were completely GOOOONE. Thanks.

They've set up a little sprint course for tomorrow, might go give that a try if it's not raining too much.


It's warm and sunny in Bromont. Great change from the expected forecast of rain, rain, rain. Go figures, as soon I change my tires the weather gets good. Oh well, it's beautiful outside....I don't think that I've ever been here when it's been nice.

Off to the races.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

On the road again...just can't wait to get on the road again...

My apologies, the past two weeks have been incredibly hectic and I' ve had very little time for riding and even less time to post anything. Following the Norba race in Santa Barbara, I headed to Vancouver for a week of hydrogeology field school, makes me sounds smart doesn't it. Spent five days doing not much but sit out in the rain and watch the water levels in our test wells change due to the tidal and pumping tests. Not my idea of a great way to spend a week, espcially when you see a large group of cyclist ride by your site...:( Managed to go for two rides and one run, and managed to hurt my achilles tendon to the point where I was almost in tears just putting shoes on. It was probably a good thing that the the field school write up was also ridiculously long and hard and a lot of work, took a veryy easy week with very little riding, and my achilles is feeling almost perfect again, just a little crunchy sometimes. Back to field school, spending 14 hours a day, for seven straight days sitting in front of the computer looking at numbers isn't my idea of fun, kind of stressful actually. But handed my probably 100 page project in on Monday with a smile (not because I was confident that it was a good paper, but just that it's done).....and I'm free for the summer. Yippee.. So for now, I'm back to being a full on biker bum.

Raced in the second Alberta cup race this past weekend in Edmonton, great course, very technical and tough. Only three women showed up for the elite category which was really lame, but we started two minutes ahead of the expert men, so it was good motivation to stay ahead of them. Dallas had a nasty crash, not a good feeling when you come around a corner and see you boyfriend lying in the trees. I stopped to see if he was okay, but he just told me to go finish the race. Only to find out later that he thinks he busted a pucker string (aka ACL or MCL), not cool and it's still really swollen and sore. Going into see a Dr on friday, so hopefully we'll hear some news, preferably good.

Also raced the second Calgary Midweek Mayhem race, road crit, tuesday evening. Great turnout, probably about 40 men in the B cat (never road raced in a group that big), and finished in 6th place......need to learn how to sprint.

Today, just arrived in Bromont, Quebec for the second Canada Cup race. As per usual with Bromont, it's wet and cold, with forecast for possibly more rain......always expect to get wet here. We took the red eye flight, so I'm absolutely beat right now, fueled by the five cups of coffee I had with breakfast........I think I need a nap right now...the room is starting to spin....Ciao

Monday, 30 April 2007

Guys dig muddy, bloody chicks.... right?

With a fury of tires and dust the xc race is off, with 35 degree heat, lots of sun, lots of climbing and almost 50 pro women. I feel a nudge from the left side, so I nudge back a little, another little push from the left and still I hold my ground, I'm not letting this girl in. Then all of a sudden, out of no where there is a blue and orange streak that bolts in front of me from my right side and the rest is pure mayham. I feel my center of balance start to shift, and all of a sudden I'm flying through the air sideways for what seems like 10 minutes. Then down goes the Luna Chix Katerina beside me, and a VeloBella girl and I'm pretty sure there was at least one more bike in that mess. I still feel like I'm flying through the air, but actually I'm skidding along the ground on my left side, feeling the skin tear from my knee and hip. As the rest of the crowd weaves around the mess and the cloud begins to lift we scramble to collect ourselves and our bikes..we've still got a lap and a half left to go. When I finally get back on the bike I find myself in last place, definitely not the kind of redemption I was looking for after my bad start during the short track. Well, I guess that's part of racing isn't it? A couple of minutes later I see another CDN rider, Mary-Ellen Ash picking herself up out of a corner after a so called belly flop into the gravel..ouch. Lots of loose corners here too.

I settle in and decide the best option is to not panick and try to catch up with the main group, but to take it easy and just ride my own pace. Easily I pick off the bottom half of the pack, and by the end of the first lap I'm in the top fifteen with a few more riders within my sights. This course has long steep non technical climbs and long sweeping non technical descents with rough flat track mixing it up. The steep climbs are well suited to my spinning style, but while the non tech descents are fast, I find I have a better advantage at the fast techy downhills. Going into the half lap I down a Cheer Pack and my legs feel great. By the turn for the half lap I catch up to Catherine P from Norco and just as I do she picks up the pace, just to make it tough on me. I follow behind her, up the climbs trying to keep her pace and just about croak in the process; she's found some reserve gas. We crest the last climb and I find my reserve. Passing her on the downhill I pop it into big ring and get ready to hammer out the last couple km into the finish. Catherine hops on my wheel, up ahead I see the blue form of eigth position. Slowly I see Catherine's shadow getting ever so slightly behind, which is a huge confidence booster, and as we round the last corner to the finish I've got a huge first top ten in a Norba XC. Great race for both of us, finishing 9th and 10th..yippee.

Finished in ninth position, made a couple bucks and had a great weekend. Today, after the race we went for a nice easy ride, checking out some of the Tour de California route, there are some amazing backroads here. Then I hitched a ride with a couple of Canadians, the Rocky Mountain mechanic Mike, Max Plaxton, Trish Sinclair and Catherine P, into my deluxe king sized bed at the Motel 6 by the LA airport. It was a bit of an adventure, missing the turn, getting lost in a ghetto mexi neighbourhood and having white pride yelled at us, but we made it safe and sound. The rest of them are off to Redlands to wait out the week until the next race this weekend in Fontana, but for me, I'm off to play with rocks and water in Vancouver.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Dust Track

Just got back to the hotel, stripped off my white turned brown jersey and had a really cold shower. It's amazing that just four hours south of Monterey, where the Sea Otter was two weekends ago, is about four times as hot and dry. But it's awesome, I'm really enjoying the sun and the dry conditions. We had the short track today; about a 1 mile loop, nothing technical, once climb, some very loose tight corners and lots of dust. I had a really good call up, second row, based on the Phoenix results, which is really nice, ST is all about starting. But I faltered off the start slipping both feet out of my pedals and half of the field passed me in the blink of an eye. After I settled down and got into the groove, I quickly moved my way up to a good spot again. Off in the distance I could see a large gap between the four leaders, the three Luna Chix Shonny, Georgia and Katerina, and Subaru rider Willow hammering off the front. Behind the lead pack the chase groups splintered into a lot of groups and I found myself in the second chase. There was a lot of jockeying of groups, and slowly the chase pack was dwindled to about six riders. Back and forth we moved, Wendy Simms rubbed a girls wheel on the climb and went down hard....ouch. On the last lap, I found myself in a group of three, racing for fifth position against Trek/VW Jen Smith and Kenda/X-Fusion Zephanie Blasi, but Willow Koerber in fourth was quickly loosing time. Rounding the last loose corner, the two girls I was riding with put a small gap on me and the sprint was on. I finished happily in 7th position, not even a second out of fifth and podium position. Ended up being a really long race, almost a half hour, but I've really happy with how I felt and road.

Going to put my feet up for the rest of the night, use the stick on my legs, have a good supper, eat lots of salt, maybe a little food and hopefully feel good for the XC tomorrow. It's not supposed to be quiet as hot, but with no shade on the course, it's still going to be a scoarcher.

Brief results are posted on Pedal Mag.

Happy Trails

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Traveling Cyclist Beware

Getting off the airplane in the small sunny airport of Santa Barbara I have a huge smile. Race weekend again, down in California playing..I'm definitely happy. It's a really small, somewhat outside airport, with the baggage claim outside and most of the seats are outside as well. I'm off to grab my bag and bike, and find a nice tree to sit under while I wait for my ride to arrive.
Yikes!!!! What the heck happened? It seems that United Airlines has a bag monster that has a very healthy appetite for bike bags, well at least mine. The bottom of the bag is nearly completely shredded, through three layer thick nylon and in some places right through the hard plastic casing....completely unbelievable. And at the moment, there's nothing that they will (I won't say can't, but will) do. I story I get is that they have to take the bag and send it down to LA to get fixed. And how they plan to do that I really don't know, not much left to work with. But I have to keep the bag for another week because, well I need to use it to get home........

Dallas bought this poor bag less than two months ago, this is it's fourth trip and this isn't even the first major damage that it's seen, last trip one of the wheels and it's whole compartment were ripped off. Now this is easily a $300 bike bag, and with each trip on United you pay $85USD just to get your freakin bag on the plane...sorry, I'm pretty upset right now. I strategically packed the bag so it weights in well below the weight limit, and size wise, it's only slightly larger than the size limit, but that's rarely good enough for most people. Occascionally you'll get someone in a good mood or that feels the injustice in the 'bike box' fee and will slip your bag by with out the fee, but those kind people are few and far between.

If anyone has any good ideas for cheaply traveling with you bike, as well as for getting some sort of reimbersement for a ruined new bag, please, I'm all ears. As for now, cyclists beware..I don't recommend United Airlines!!!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Coulee Cruiser

Today, Sunday, was the first Alberta sanctioned event for the season, a mountain bike race Alberta's deep south, Lethbridge. Pretty good turn out, especially considering the amount of moisture we've been hit with this past week, and the sub zero foggy warm-up conditions. Super tough course, with three really steep climbs that I have no problems admiting that I ran up, well, kind of wobbled up, and lots of off camber skinny single track and the odd cactus thrown in for good measure. Despite the really tough course, everyone seemed to have a great day, lots of smiles all around. I guess riding your bike for a day can do that to a person.

My favorite boyfriend, Dallas, in his new and very snazzy looking H & R team kit picked up a second place in a really tough Elite field, way to go babe. Not a bad turn out from the Terrascape racers, enough to supply me with a co-ordinated team wave as I rolled through the feed zone. My dad even raced again, representing the only team Schmoe member and finished second in his cat. Lots of Deadgoats showed up, everywhere you looked, there was a red goat looking at you. Speaking of goats, check out the new Bike magazine, you'll find Cindy Koo in there, really neat shot. And not to mention Tori and her first mountain bike race ever, awesome job, you could have picked an easier one though.

It was really good to see everyone again, kind of like a big family reunion, the first race of the season. Thanks to my grandparents for the muffins and my mom for feeding, but I think I'm going to take that damn bell away from her...hehe

Lame Attempt at Pic's

Finally finished all exams for the semester, feel really, really good. So I've got a week to relax before my field school...does it ever end?
I found a few pic's, not many, from my trip down south.

My dad and I getting ready for our first ride on the course. Long day of traveling, but build the bikes and go ride is first on the list.

Kind of scary, not sure what to make of this one.....nice hotel I found.

And a nice shot stolen from Canadian Cyclist. Rob's a great photographer.

Thursday, 19 April 2007


Hey, check out my interview on Pedal Mag.. makes me feel important :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Day four - XC

After a big pasta dinner, lots of stretching, not too mention a complete overhaul by the romantic dim hotel light (my new cranks did draw some blood with it too), it was XC time. Same course as last year, and after the previous days rain, conditions couldn't have been better. Well, maybe a little less wind would have been nice, but hey, I'm still smiling. Very fast paced, right from the get go, one lap of the Laguna Seca race track, then down a supper fast double track stretch to about 3km of twisty and fast singletrack. Like usual, I went out a little bit too hard, and my body would have definitely been happy with just one lap, lap two was strickly survival mode, but after last years forced DNF (mangled chain) I just couldn't drop out. Alison Sydor stopped early in the first lap to fix her bike, so I was ahead of her yet again for almost a full lap, until she blew by me up the long final climb back to the race track. 40 miles and just over 3 hours later, I dragged my sorry butt over the finish line in 14th position, managing to snag two spots back in the last couple km.

After stuffing myself with a great Sushi dinner, we made a bee-line to nearest Baskin Robbins and had a double scoop of mint chocolate chip and strawberry on a chocolate dipped waffle cone with chocolate sprinkles.......hey, my watch said I burnt enough calories for that.

Again, I'm extremely glad to have made the trip south for the Sea Otter Classic, always a great way for me to start off the summer, and work on my tan (oh yeah, and miss the last couple days of classes). Back at home now, I'm getting ready for finals, moving, working a little and still trying to train my full schedule, so I'm going to be anti social for a week, but I'm really going to need a beer come friday night.

Sorry, no photos yet, troubles with the camera. But there's some good photos from the week on Canadian Cyclist.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Mud Track

Just arrived home after the trip home from Cali, had a big supper and I'm gonna go do some more I'm stiff, sore and tired today. I know, I whine a lot.

Saturday was the short track, if you've never had the please to witness an off road crit, I highly recommend it, great spectator event. Waking up that morning, the ground was wet but the sun was shiny, my thoughts, it's going to be a great day to ride. Have rice cooker made porridge for breakfast and head up to Laguna Seca. By the time I get my bike sorted out and make it down to the Trek tent, the rain has started. Soon, it's buckets and buckets and buckets of rain coming down hard. Everyone is dashing off in different directions looking for cover, almost like a long lasting flash flood. Surely we can't race in this, early morning road racers start filtering through the crowd looking absolutely frozen, but sure enough, here we go. It's a really strong field of women this year, and cyclocross phenom Katie Compton comes along and just blows the group completely apart. I make it about 24 minutes, with three laps to go, before I'm pulled and finish in 14th spot. When all is said and done, only about 10 women are left on the course, with Katie almost a half lap ahead of second place...ouch. Kiara Bisaro is the top Canadian finisher in I believe third. Not as muddy as last year, kind of peanut buttery mud this year, just as fun to play in though.

Tomorrow I'll update with the XC race.


Friday, 13 April 2007

Day 1 and 2

Yesterday was the Super D, that's a pretty interesting event, but really fun. Any time you're told to go all out as fast as you can down hill is always fun. We started out with about a 100m run with our bikes till we hit a red line drawn in the sand. I had a great start, and being about a foot taller than the average girl there, I had a good advantage running. With a cyclocross mount we were all on our bikes and hammering up the 200m climb. Once you hit the top, your lungs and legs are just screaming and you're starting to go a little cross eyed, but you have to flip it into big ring and stay on the gas on the descent. The downhill was mainly a fire road with little water bars for catching air and deep ruts for makin things interesting. I had the lead over the top, but Kelli Emmett, Marla Streb and Mary-Ellen Ash (fellow Canadian) quickly caught me and we jockeyed back and forth the whole way down. The lead position provided a really nice draft so I just hopped in behind Marla and tried to follow her wheel (very difficult cause she's a really fast descender. At the bottom of the hill there was about a 2km false flat section to the finish, and with all three of us still fighting for a spot we were giving it everything. Around the last couple corners Kelli took the lead and I squeezed into second place just ahead of Mary-Ellen. Definitely have to try more of those.

Today was the TT, really short course, pretty much the same as last year with a couple sharp corners thrown in and really rough from last years mudfest. I figured I could get on the course this morning, but just missed the open course time, so I had to do a ride around the course to get an idea of what to expect. Probably not the best idea, but it would have to do. After a really long warm up (tired from yesterday), we took off in aphebetical order with a 30 sec gap. In front of me was fellow Trekie Lea Davison and behind me was Giant rider Kelli Emmett. I had a great start, great climb up the back side and really smooth run almost all the way through the course, not too bad for no pre-ride. Finished in 7th position and I'm really happy with the day.

Finally made it back to the hotel to try to do some homework, but opted for a nap instead. Yugg, school :)

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Farmer Tan?

I've got that really nice tan line, you know the one that happens when you don't put the sun screen all the way up to your shorts for some reason or another. It was smoking nice yesterday here at Laguna Seca, really bright sun with a nice cool breeze off of the ocean to keep the heat in check, so I never did see the tan coming. I guess I'm better off than my dad though, who doesn't like the feel of the sunblocking lotion and is so red and dark that it definitley doesn't look like his first ride of the year. Silly man. We rode a lap of the course easily in about 2 hours, plus about a half hour for a little detour that was extremely fun. Everything is really dry here, definitely not the rain that they had last year, but the course is in rough shape in a couple places due to the mass of riders last year riding through the swampy conditions. Same sweeping course to last year with a little bit of eveything thrown at's gonna hurt :)

But it's raining now....just going to head out to have some breaky and go do some more riding. The rain should actually make the course faster, keep a lot of the sand down. As long as it stops at a little rain.

Hehehe...I'm in Californian not in school right now...:)

Sunday, 8 April 2007

2 days to go

Finally, after a week of riding inside on the trainer because of snow, freezing rain and well below sub zero windy conditions, we have some sunshine in Calgary...yipppee. Just about to head outside for my last ride before I fly down to California for my third trip to the infamous Sea Otter Classic. Hopefully I'll be better then last weekend at keeping my posts updated, pictures and all.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Fouuntain Hills, AZ

Just trying to catch some shade before the race.

First racing of the season for me was this past weekend down in Phoenix, AZ, or more specific, Fountain Hills AZ. An absolute killer, but lots and lots of fun, really glad I made the trip. Competed in the time trial event on Friday, which was 6 miles of rolling fast terrain. Only 28 girls showed up for this event, lots of the larger names decided to opt out and save their legs for the later days. I figured that I flew all that way that I’d better get my moneys worth and do as much racing as possible. This was my first intensity of the season, and left my lung on the course, but ended up in eighth place. Saturday evening was the short track, and if you’ve been to AZ you know it starts getting dark really early and it happens really, really fast. Racing a high speed dirt race at night (with the aid of spot lights) is a pretty cool but somewhat sketchy experience. We had almost a full field with over 50 girls, still a few opting out and there were some pretty good crashes, lots of elbows flying, and a few no so nice curses. If you’ve never had the chance to watch a short track race, I’d recommend it, definitely a great spectator event.

Sunday, the hottest day of all, 31 degrees, ouch, was the XC. After sleeping in a little, hanging out in an air conditioned coffee shop and packing up our room, we headed to the course early to get ready. I warmed up with a couple bags of ice strategically placed in my bra and shorts, anything to keep cool. I was definitely tired from the last two days of killing myself and couldn’t get my heart rate up, but my legs felt good. Maybe the no dairy diet works for lactic acid. With a bad call up, 5th row, and only about 100m before the single (of which the whole course was singletrack), even though I had a good start, I still found myself very far back in the pack. Gradually picking off many riders, I found myself in the top twenty coming through the first lap. Passing on this course is an art in itself, lots of sharp loose rocks and unfriendly cacti (I have the marks to show just how unfriendly). By the time I passed through the to go on my final lap, I was in 13th place, still feeling on top of the world and gaining fast on the Luna Chix in front of me. Then the wall of pain came so fast I didn’t even see it coming and before I knew it my legs were starting to seize up and everything I’d eaten that day was coming up and out. Never a great feeling, that burning sensation in the back of your throat and then realizing that you’re completely out of water. With less than a half lap to go, I lost about 6 spots, two of which I gained back near the end thanks to mechanical…..hey, I’ll take whatever I can when I’m feeling like that, and finished up in 16th position.
Overall, I’m happy with the way things went this weekend, learnt a lot, know what I have to work on, and I’m super motivated to get outside and hit the training hard. Now if only it would ever stop snowing in Calgary.

Thanks to Zack and all the guys and gals at the Trek trailer for helping me out.

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Time Trial

My apologies for the late update, there's limited internet experience at our ghetto hotel, so we hunted down a Starbucks this morning. Let me give you a little mental image of our hotel set, is actually pretty cozy and we're making good use of our space. Motel 6, four stinky cyclists, two beds maybe twin in size, edge of beds pushed right up against each wall and about two feet in between the two. We've got bikes in the shower, bix boxes hanging from the ceiling, maximizing space. But hey, for under $55 bucks a night, spilt four ways, can't complain.

So, the TT course, soo fun. Lots of rolling hills, bermed corner after bermed corner, one nasty climb in which you choke up you lungs, but so fun. Ended up in 8th place and had smokers cough for the rest of the evening, but it was totally work it. Great way to start off the intensity for the year. There is a great write up and some great pic's from Rob Jones on Canadian Cyclist website, check it out.

Just going to relax for the morning, our ST race isn't till 7:30 this evening in downtown Fountain Hills. Should be fun, there's a huge entrance list....wish me luck.


Thursday, 29 March 2007

Ready to go

Bags are packed, bike boxed up, and I'm ready to go. Just waiting for my chariot to arrive, and I'm heading to the airport. Tomorrow is the time trial, 6 miles on the xc course, Sat evening is the dirt crit in down town Fountain Hills (just outside of Phoenix) and Sunday afternoon is the xc. I'll keep you all posted, hopefully with some good photos. And I'll eat some good burritos for everyone.


Sunday, 25 March 2007

Frozen Nose

Amy Woodward and I had big plans to go out today for a long easy ride, about 4 to 4 and a half hours was the goal. In need of riding some different roads than I have for the past three years I agreed to head down to the far south to check out a new loop, guaranteed to have lots of hills. Start at the corner of 37th and 22X and head out to Millarville, then maybe to Bragg Creek or to Black Diamond. Neither of us in a huge hurry (especially since I just quit my second job which was going to have me work both days this weekend..yuck), so timing would depend on how fast we decided to ride.

I woke up early this morning, super excited to get out for the ride. Dallas made a huge pot of oatmeal and I ate lots, to safeguard against the bonk pain I experienced last weekend, topped with berries and yogurt. As I looked outside to see the wet pavement, but relatively sunny ski, Amy called with news that snow was falling down South. Hmmmmm, should we try?? Of course, so I head home, grab some winterish riding gear, but pass on the lobster claws, it can't be that bad, mistake. I was running a little late so I gave Amy a shout and sounded like the weather was clearing a bit. Half hour later, we meet up and head out. Skies are overcast, roads are damp, the occassional snowflake falling, but it's actually pretty nice out.

As we turn and head towards Millarville, we're talking away, so I never really notice when the small snowflakes start turning into looney sized flakes, so we keep going. The roads are starting to form puddles, and soon the snow is starting to stick to the road. About 4 km out of Millarville, we pull over and discuss our options. But because as Amy says, "We left our purses at home" and neither of us really want to wimp out, we decide to push on to Millarville and see from there. Not even two km down the road, the snow is coming down so thick and hard, "I wonder how safe this is?" we both ask, but keep on riding. It's not until a minivan passes us and slams us with, I swear, a 5 foot wave of slushy snow and we can't see the read the sign only 30m ahead of us, that we decide it's probably be a good idea to turn around now.

Taking a back road back to my car, we end up riding in 3 inches of snow at time, my poor road bike and powertap (I don't think you're supposed to get those things wet, let alone caked in dirty slush), and we're both frozen. Amy's toes, sans botties have lost all feeling, I can't shift or break cause I can't feel my fingers (they still hurt typing now), helmet vents clogged with snow, and everytime I turn my head to talk to Amy I see large slabs of snow breaking off various body and bike parts. Definitely should have had my camera, I think this qualifies as epic. Then, off in the distance, are three lonely black dots moving towards us. As they near, it's Per Strom, Chirs McNeal and another blurry rider, my Rudy Projects didn't come with built in wipers, heading into the storm we were just leaving........good luck guys.

So our 4 hour ride turned quickly to a 2 hour suffer fest, and 2 hours of bike cleaning, builds character right. Seems like it would have been a really good loop and I'm definitely willing to go that route again, but there has to be a guarantee for nooooo snow. That's definitely going to get me ready for the heat of Arizona.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Ice Cream

15 degrees in Calgary today, very, very nice, but nothing compared to the 36 degrees in Pheonix. Ouch. Went out for a ride today and wore as many clothes as I could tolerate, trying to get ready for the dry heat of Arizona. Only four days till I leave......yippeeeeeeee..

Tried Quinoa for supper, really good and nice for something different. I've recently had my diet examined by a Naturopathic Nutrionist, some of his recommendations include, more fruit and veggies, no wheat (gluten), no refined sugar and no dairy. The no ice cream might be a deal breaker though, that one is gonna be a tough one. I'm still trying to decide if giving up ice cream is worth being faster...........maybe......let me get back to you on that one.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Valuable Advice

After a much needed sleep in and a huge breakfast of french toast, I headed out to meet up with a large group for an easy ride. Figuring that the highways would be in rough shape from our latest foot of snowfall last week, I grabbed my cross bike but quickly realized I was the only one with knobby tires. Scheduled on my training program for today was only a three hour ride with some higher intensity efforts, not bad. With my slow, fat tires I was able to run though these intervals and never get more than a couple hundred meters a head of the pack, which is kind of depressing when you figure I was almost maxed out at times and the pack with just "taking it easy", or so I was told. With the treat of more snow looming in the forcast for tomorrow (Sunday), I opted midway through the ride for an extended ride so I could spend as little time on the trainer as possible the next day if bad weather did hit. Well, five hours later, after a desperate but successful search for water at the Madden curling rink, completely out of food, completely out of water, again, and a seeming head wind the whole way, we dragged out asses, mine very wobbly, back into the Walmart parking lot.

Lessons learnt:
-when asked after five pieces of french toast with syrup and berries if you are full, say no, eat more
-always take your road bike
-bring larger water bottles
-always be nice to the curling rink guy
-stuff your jersey pockets with as much food as you can fit
-in March money won't help you in Madden
-Walmart parking lots can be a beautiful place

Sunday, 11 March 2007

A weekend of bikes, chili, coffee and some pain.

Saturday morning I awoke with a grin….dry enough to take the Fuel outside. The first 30 minutes of my ride were very annoying, stopping to adjust and readjust stuff, like seat height, cable stretch……oh the joys of a new bike. Sorry, I really shouldn’t complain. Had an awesome Calgary tour, trying to avoid as much salty water as possible I ended up sticking mainly to the streets, nothing like a little urban assault. I know, it really doesn’t do that poor thing justice, but I just didn’t have the heart to take it out and get it completely nuked on its first ride. It felt really good to be out on the knobby tires, and not just cross tires. Even a run in with an angry agro driver couldn’t ruin this day, speeding, talking on the cell phone and yelling out the window at me, now that’s talent. I only wish I could be quick witted enough to come up with a better reply to “I’d watch it if I were you”, then just an “Well, I’d watch it if I were you!” I bet that really scared him, hehe.

After I cleaned myself and my bike off, I headed down to the Terrascape third annual fundraiser event. Everything went off really well, lots of really cool prizes for the silent auction, lots of great chili, lots of people, and of course the infamous 7 watts per kg challenge. To go from sitting on your rear to maximal effort in less, and trying to hold for as long as you can, is really not a good idea. Kind of felt like a drunk smoker for the rest of the night.
After a really late night of cleaning up the hall, and loosing an hour in the process, I awoke this morning with another big grin, big group ride planned. Meeting down at Angel’s café we started the easy ride with almost 15 people, great turn out. With a few having different agendas, we ended up with 9 of us (picking up one along the way) at Bragg Creek café on our way home for a refueling with coffee….umm, and finally dragged ourselves home after a solid four hours of riding. I think I need a nap now.
It really was nice outside, even though everyone looks bundled up for ten below.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Summertime Sunshine...Almost

I hope you all made it outside today to enjoy the amazing weather. First ride of the year where I actually took my arm warmers off for a while and bared my stark white skin to the sun, absolutely awesome. Roads are pretty much dry enough and clean enough to break out the road bike, and give my new (new to me) powertap hub a go on the road. Makes being unable to travel somewhere "warmer" for some early season riding a lot more barable.

With less than a month to go till the first NORBA race, or I guess NMBS race now, down south in Phoenix, I'm going to have to start getting some quality time on the mtb. With temperatures hovering just below 30 down in Arizona this week, I can already feel the heat stroke coming on. I'm meeting up with fellow Canadians Catherine Pendrel and Matt Hadley on the Thursday evening before hand. Friday afternoon is the TT (6 miles), the ST on Saturday and the XC on Sunday. The XC is a 10 mile course loop and the elite women are doing 3 laps, men are doing 4. Next week Jack has some wicked cruel and painful intervals planned to help get me ready, first of the year....ouch.

Just booked my hotel for Sea Otter Classic. For anyone planning to head that way, look on under Salinas, CA (only about 20 mins tops from Monterey) and the Good Nite Inn is only $60 CDN a night. Only hope it's as nice as the pictures seem to be. No kitchenette though, so if anyone has any good all around and creative meal ideas that you can make with a rice cooker, I'd love to hear from ya.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Make Room in the Bed Baby..............

I must get better acquainted with this one before I take him out and get him dirty…hehe. This picture definitely doesn’t do him any justice, I must apologize. This gorgeous steed weights in at a measly 23 lbs, and his red hot carbon fiber frame just makes his ’07 XTR drivetrain look absolutely stunning. Soon, we’ll be spending long sunny summer days cruising along on never ending singletrack with the sounds of birds chirping, the wind blowing through my helmet ….you get the point. Summer is just around the corner, but first I must defeat the dreaded multivariable calculus demon…uggg.

Thanks Calgary Cycle!!!

Monday, 19 February 2007

Here we go.....

Well this is a little scary, anything computer related kind of freaks me out. Somehow I always manage to wreck my comupter when I do something new with it.......going to need Dallas to show me how to download pic's. I've been inspired by a few friends and want to share my journey through the season with everyone. There will be lots of pic's, lots of mud, hopefully not too much blood, but lots of fun.