Tuesday, 29 July 2008

How Slow Can You Go???

That's the name of my game at the moment. I must first off apologize because I'm going to be a bit of a downer in this post. It's really quite weird, I mean, feel great, very motivated to ride and race, pre-rides and warm ups feel good....but come race day, I've only got one speed...not fast enough. As you've probably guessed by now, the World Cup in Mont St Anne was pretty much a disaster. I got pulled from my first World Cup in five years..yikes...since my very first one at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

After the first lap I was suffering so much but from so far back that I just couldn't figure it out. I pushed hard through the second lap, actually riding the technical sections better then usual, but still finding myself moving very quickly backwards through the field. The third lap I really struggled mentally, feeling really down about how things were turning out and the fact that no one would feed me a beer on course. My fourth lap actaully felt the best and I was able to move up four spots and snag 29th just before I was pulled.

There have definitley been a couple of tears and I've been pissed off since Sunday.....trying to stay positive is a really hard thing to do right now..I am totally ready to sit down with a carton of ice cream to help quench my woos. Trying a little bit of a different game plan for this next week, and I'll see how things go this weekend in Bromont.

Friday, 25 July 2008


It's been almost a week now since the dreaded nationals race last weekend in Mont St Anne. It's an absolutely amazing course with lots of technical sections, lots of climbing...in other words a "real mountain bike course"....I know, how cliche. I felt wonderful going into the race, very well rested and coming off a good racing weekend in New York. Even during the warm up I was feeling that it was going to be a great race....the end of my nationals curse.

Welllllll...I definitely didn't have the race I was hoping for, but my ride was great. I seemed to be loosing time everywhere. The steep climbs, the tough techy sections, the flat trasitions, the .....yeah, just about everywhere. It seemed the harder I tried, the farther I feel behind. Ended up finishing in 6th place, which really isn't bad, but it was over 11 mins down from the leaders and over 6 mins down from Wendy Simms and Amanda Sin in 3rd and 4th, where I realistically believe I should have been.

I've spent the past week replaying everything over in my head....I like the idea that you learn way more from the events you don't do well in then the ones you do do well in....and I'm ready to give it another shot again. This weekend on almost the same Mont St Anne course, with some cool mods, is the next World Cup race. I'm feeling good and I'm really excited to race again....

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

New York

Hellllooo....I've had really shotty to no cell and internet coverage, and I've felt so isolated....I know, it's pretty sad. I'm sitting in a small motel with Amanda Sin and her husband Kasey in Lyndon, Vermont and I've finally found some internet.

As a quick recap, the cross country on Sat was great. A really fun course with lots and lots and lots of climbing....which almost means lots of downhill :) Finished 6th there, had a solid race that I'm really happy with..but was definitely hoping for a podium.

Sunday was the short track and it went great. It was fast paced and a group of about 7 of use stayed together for almost the whole race..expect for the two luna girls, Katerina and Georgia, who broke off the from. In the last lap I felt great, so I attacked really hard to move up into third...and I closed the gap fast to the leaders and only finished 3 seconds back...yeah baby..hehe. 3 seconds..ugg..should have tossed my water bottle and saved the pound...hehe...but it was my best placing as of yet so..yippee..

Did a little teaser of a recovery ride today in East Burke on the Kingdom trails (damn racing and having to recover and get ready for nationals..and ..and)...definitely have to come back and check out more riding here sometime.

Right now, we're just packing up and gettting ready to finish our drive north up to Mont St Anne...ciao

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


I'd finally had enough and cut off all of my hair...yesssirree. My sole purpose for growing it out so long...about a foot and a half long...was to be able to donate my hair. The Fringe Hair Company in Calgary takes donations of at least 10 inches of unprocessed hair. And the crazy thing is that it takes about 12 donations and over $1000 just to make one wig..wow...I really hope someone gets to enjoy mine. For me, it feels great for the summer and I'm about 2 pounds lighter :)
Tomorrow I'm off to Windham, New York for NMBS #5...never been to NY

Monday, 7 July 2008

Canmore Canada Cup

I think this is my favorite course of any circuit that I've raced so far....long hard climbing rewarded with fast and technical decsents....real mountain biking. From the gun, X-terra racers Melanie McQuaid (BMC) and Danelle Kabush (Luna) shot out and took the lead and I grabbed their wheels and hung on. I felt comfortable climbing around the first switchback, so I accelerated and took the lead. I pressed the pace as hard as I could without blowing up to the top of "the oven"....the top of this climb is appropriately named because it gets really hot up that steep exposed climb. As I crested the climb after about 10 mins of hammering, I looked over my shoulder and saw that I had gapped Melanie, but not by much.
Dropping into the singletrack I felt really comfortable, these descents are my favorite style of riding. Today however, I couldn't seem to find my groove and I felt like I was fighting my bike over every root and drop. Melanie quickly closed the gap and I could hear her right behind me. The whole first lap seemed to run like this...I'd pull away on the flats and climbing, only to be reeled back in on the technical downhills...arrgggg..that's not like me.
From the bottom of the infamous Georgetown climb, I've heard that it's about 400m of climbing up through the start/finish, through the feed zone and all the way back to the top of the oven...yup, it's painful. Coming through for the second lap I had put just under 30 seconds into Melanie..I could still see her every time I ventured a peak over my shoulder. Jeanann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain) was stilling in 3rd about a minute back, I could see her coming through the start/finish as I was heading into the second switchback on the climb.
The second lap went a lot smoother, my groove, although not entirely groovy, was coming out slowly. As with the third and last lap. I was able to pull out a strong finish and win for the second year in a row on the Ziggy Gnarly Canada Cup course. Melanie finished second at 2 mins and Jeanann finished third at just under 3 mins.

Thanks to the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club for hosting the awesome race!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

High Altitude Short Track

After I realized I had just pulled a total rookie move by thinking my 1:15 race started at 2:00 (yeah, that was smart), I managed to actually get in a pretty good warm-up. A little easy spinning and lots of hard sprinting to get the juices flowing in my legs...thank goodness for the morning coffee ride, I was actually feeling not too bad.

This short track course was one of the most difficult that I've seen, with lots of climbing. I had a great start off the gun and pulled in close behind Georgia for the first lap. By the second lap she had started to gap me and that's were I made my next rookie move. I was feeling pretty good, and knowing I was just on the rivet I decided to try to stay with her. Katerina passed me and I pushed on to grab her wheel. Being that the course is at about 7200 ft, you sometimes forget that your limit comes a little faster then normal and once you've blown your rivet, it's tough to recover... I think I got carried away and blew past my limit faster and harder then when I eat mint chocolate chip ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone...mmmmm....yup, there was no coming back from that one.

For a couple of laps I kept trying to push through, but I couldn 't seem to get enough air down my throat...and believe me, it wasn't pretty. After being passed and dropped by so many girls I finally smartened up and backed off a little to let my lungs and legs recover. I spent another lap slowing my breathing back to normal, letting my lungs fill back up with an adequate amount of O2 and settling back into a maintainable rythm. For the last three laps I was able to pull my pace back up and pick off two girls to finish in 9th place. Definitely not the outcomes that I was planning this weekend, but a very good lesson was learnt the very hard way..I've still got a headache from breathing so hard.

Dallas raced his second ST race after the my race, and with a back row call up he had his work cut out for him...and man, it was definitely a good work out.

After cooling down, we performed the ole shower in the sink trick and hit the road north. After a couple hours of driving, we found a nice noisy campground in Idaho Falls...that had real showers. Getting up early in the morning, we drove into Helena and with "Montana Singletrack" map book in hand, found some really, really wicked singletrack along Helena Ridge. Definitely worth checking out...you'll probably even find some of the white paint from my Trek frame smeared across a rock (dammit)..nothing a couple bandaids won't fix :(

Huge thanks to Dusty, Zack, Laura and Shep from Trek for helping out with feeding and maintence this past weekend...