Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Havin a little sulky night.....

just found out I've been passed up for the ever elusive Canadian athlete carding.......hmmpf :(

Friday, 20 November 2009


This past week Regan and I decided to do a somewhat intense 1 week intenstinal cleanse, for me, mainly to rekick start my nutrional regiment. The past couple of weeks I admit I've been enjoying a little too much sugar and coffee and spolumbos. The main premise behind the cleanse was to cut out processed sugars, caffeine and gluten...everything I love. Along with a couple of nasty shakes 2-3 times a day and some colon cleansing pills.

Well, super happy to say we're done and didn't cheat once. Besides the colon blow I actually felt pretty good through out the whole process (hit my partner in crime a little harder), but I'm happy that it's over. Enjoyed a nice cup of coffee this morning (I think I missed that the most)....and well, I've been bouncing off the walls ever since, some serious shakes happening, I totally know what a junkie feels like now..hehe.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Double Header

Nothing like a nice sunny dry 3 hr ride out on the island....only wish Regan coulda joined me. This weekend is the first weekend without a cross race, the end of September...what to do...what to do....what to do.

Last weekend was a double header in Vic, which I quess doesn't happen very often so it was awesome I was here for it. Saturdays course was a little north at the Sluggett Corn Farm. It was a really neat course, very flat, very wet and very very very ...did I say very muddy. It had rained all night leading into the race so things were quaranteed to be at least mucky, but when you're sent about a 100m straight through a corn field, things tend to get a little more interesting. Despite of the course being really flat, there was a lot of running...I'd actually venture a guess that each lap was about half running half riding (grinding slowly through soggy grass). Oh yeah, the corn field running was knee, I'm not kidding. There were only about 10 women, but Allison Sydor just happened to be one of them....Canadian National Champion...wait for the age of 43....she's so amazing. She took the lead off the start and I gave everything I could just to stay with her...but she quickly pulled away and mixed in with all the master men (they started with us). It was quite comic trying to run through the muck, more like stagger...even better when someone beside you trips up and lip skids into knee deep mud (...though I do have to wonder how much poop was mixed in as fertilzer...don't want to know). I ended up finishing 2nd, 2 and a half mins behind Allison.

Sundays race was held at the Juan de Fuca recreation area, and this course, although slightly less least before we started racing, had a lot more climbing. Again, off the start Allison took the lead and I managed to stick with her for the first half a lap. There was a slick mossy rock climb part way through the course, in which Allison was the only person I saw to climb (including the men)..she gapped me slightly here as I ran up behind her...but still managed to keep contact with her. However the downhill, switchbacking grass corners, which should be relatively comfortable for a mountain biker......I was totally useless at. After wiping out hard a couple times I ended up having to tip toe around each corner...I felt like a total beginner...oh well, it was really fun flailing in the mud :) Again I finished 2nd to Allison, this time a good 4 mins back.

Regan didn't have to work on I dragged him kicking and screaming out to race as well....okay, not much persuasion needed there. He had a really solid race, up against some stiff's amazing how large the scene out here is considering the limited population to draw from. Finishing with his best cross finish yet...12th...yippeee.. Awesome Job !!!

Big thanks to Wendy and Norm for hosting the weekend...great job.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


So here I sit, satuarday morning, enjoying a warm cup of coffee, listening to the rain sprinkle on the roof....and trying to work myself up to getting geared up for the double header "Cross on the Rock".

Monday Regan and I stuffed ourselves and more then half my life into my little Sunflower and drove west from Calgary to Victoria. My first couple days here called for rain, but I think I was getting a nice west coast greeting and had some super stellar weather.

Yesterday was my first real taste of coastal living weather though.....3 hours mtb ride in the rain (pretty good rain...but surprisingly warm), zapped my energy and I spent the rest of the day job hunting semi-comatose...hehe.

Today, Slugget Farm cross race...tomorrow, Juan de Fuca cross race. I'm not sure, but I think this might be my last weekend of racing for the's been a long season and I'm excited to start getting the longer miles in.....we'll see.

Saturday, 31 October 2009



Sunday, 25 October 2009

Training has commenced

For the 2010 season. With the first testing interval session last tuesday, I'm really excited to start training for next year. Yippee....though I was definitely grumbling at coach Steve while hammering up the Edworthy Hill..hehe.

Got some exciting news.....gonna take my training to Victoria this winter :)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Time flys....

when you're in limbo land...hehe. The past couple of weeks have flown by, spent mostly riding, relaxing, drinking coffee, watching "Pushing Dasiys" and hanging out with Regan.

Last weekend was Cross nationals and the Jim Horner UCI races in Edmonton Alberta. Juventus does a great job of hosting these events, and despite the frigid cold weather and blowing snow, it was a lot of fun. We had a pretty good sized field of women show up, including mtb legend Allison's always really cool getting to line up with her...even when at over 40 she can still kick my ass....seemingly easily. I ended up finishing 4th in both races, with a sizable gap up to 3rd, but a good battle with Sarah Stewart behind me. Day 2 I couldn't quite shake her as much as Day 1 (nats) and I definitely felt the pressure from her the whole's awesome. Really proud of fellow Albertan Pepper Harlton finishing 2nd and 3rd consecutively.

thanks to Regan for catching some super wicked shots of the weekend....pain and all

After a week of somewhat slovenly living (which I rather enjoyed because I had great company for most of it and for the making of popcorn balls...mmmmm), I decided last minute to race the Blow Street Cross today in Calgary. I do admit I love playing in the mud, which will be great as tomorrows race at COP is said to have about 2 inches of snow covering the entire course as of today...yipppeee....and thank goodness for mud tires.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Fall Season

It's one of my fav times of year, the changing of the leaves, the new smells of the season. I love being able to unpack my woolies (but really I don't think we actually packed them away this summer) and head out into the chilly weather for a run or ride...or soon a ski....and of course cross racing.

I'm sitting here wondering what to do with myself today, watching the snow fall outside, getting ready for the Dark Cross...Calgary's super cool night cross race. And it's supposed to be wet, snowy and cold..hehe.

Last week was my first cross weekend of the season, nice little double header that left me knackered all week...yikes, not used to that super high intensity right's awesome. Came second to Pepper Harlton both days, but I like to think that I didn't make it easy on her. It's awesome to see how fast she has gotten in the past couple years, it's a struggle to just keep her in sights's great.

Thanks to my parents for coming out and cheering..super fans!!!! and to Regan who shot some really great photos during the weekend....and I actually talked him into racing the sunday race.... 'whispered voice "I think he's hooked" '...hehe.

Oh yeah, got my new cross bike yesterday from Barry at the Trek Toronto Store, and I'm really excited to rock it's a really nice rig :)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Pee in a Cup

Oh yeah, I almost forgot...hehe....I got the CCES wake up call this morning. This is actually really exciting for me as it's the first time I've been drug tested!!!!

It's cross time baby!!

My apologies, kinda fell off the face of the earth after getting home from Australia.... and my autoblog didn't take over for me..grrrrr. Needed a little time to decompress from the travel and the crash...regroup a little. Good news, found out nothing is broken in my shoulder and wrist..yippeee. Just a whole lot of good deep bruising and spraining of various parts....just need time to heal...ugggh....

Right..hehe. There's no way I'm gonna miss the best riding time of the season!! I've been doing a fair bit of road riding, which feels great, and even a little light mtbing, which surprisingly feels not too bad. Spent a week up in Fort Mac visiting a good dear friend and checked out all the good oldies but muddies trails. The occasional seize up of every muscle in shoulder causing me to yell out profanities, but that's usually the result of hitting something.

Took Frank out, my newly fully rigid singlespeed, yesterday on some pretty fun singletrack around Fish Creek Park....a little stiff today but not bad enough to not push my luck trying out cyclocross at the Midweek Mayheim cross race tonight...yippee, a little stoked about that....


Saturday, 5 September 2009

Just a quick update

I'll give a better report once things slow down a little. Yesterday was the World Championships race in Canberra, Australia. I have to admit I was having a pretty good race, sitting in 17th position going into the last lap, feeling pretty good, definitley hurting but in a very good head space. Then things took a turn for bad, I failed my flying lessons and had to abandon the race unfortunately. Spent the afternoon in the hospital, good news, nothing is broken. Pretty sore and stiff, not sure whats up with my shoulder, landed pretty hard on it. Very happy with my helmet, totally did it's's being put to rest in the Australian dump this afternoon.... Thank you helmet :)

We are off to Sydney this morning to spend the day being tourists and Monday I fly home. Pretty excited to get home for a little....but I have to start looking for a job...if anyone has any ideas, pleaselet me know!!!!!!

Ciao for now

Thursday, 3 September 2009

T-25 hours and counting

One more pre-ride lap of the course, then clean bike and relax for the rest of the day....try not to get too nervous

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Another lazy day down unda

Action at the World Championships started with a bang on Tuesday with the Team relay. Team Canada put in a super strong team of Geoff Kabush, Catharine Pendreal, Raphe Gagne and Evan Gunthrie...and they didn't fail to put out. Starting the week off with a super solid 2nd place, only 6 seconds back of the the Italians and 2 seconds ahead of the French, it was a really exciting race down to the finish.

Who says XC racers are weenies??? It took me a couple of tries to dial this jump, nose wheeled the first couple of attempts but totally dialed it when I had a guy breathing down my neck in pre-ride....don't slow down, don't slow down, don't slow down...was all I could think of.

Yesterday was the Junior women's and U23 women's races. After a good couple laps of pre-ride I decided it was best to go back to the hotel to stretch and relax, so I unfortunately did get to watch these races (and freecaster isn't broadcasting online yet...what is up with that nonesense????).

Today, woke up to frost and rain...yet again.... big booooo on that one. Making an executive decision to just ride easy today. Gonna spin the hour to the cousre, clean my bike up and take it to the Shimano guys...batt my eyelashes at them and hopefully get a little work done on my bike .. hehe.

Two more days to race day, getting very excited but super nervous at the same time. It's a pretty small field of only 50 women and I have plate 39....can only go forward from there :)

G'day mate.

Monday, 31 August 2009


Nope we didn't eat these guys...but I did chase them around until the big guy stood up and I got scared and ran away.

Today was a rest day, so we went for a pretty good coffee...there are sooooo many coffee shops in Australia....where to start, where to start???

Amanada and I weren't sure what to do so we decided to stop in at a local bike shop. Mal from Maladjusted bike shop, who we met the previous day and showed us how to get to the course, said "Here, take these cruisers and head downtown. Just lock them up outside".....sweeeeet. We bought Scott Kelly (team Canada mechanic) an Apple Crisp Pie for his 25th bday and carted it home. Yup, that's it strapped down to the back of the Ute..super cool bike.

And then we thought that while we were at it, we should get some beer for Mal and the bike shop guys cause they were so cool for letting us use their bikes...and what better way to cart it over to the shop???? Though we were a little sketched out by this strap down job and at $17 for a 6 of Stella there definitely won't be much beer enjoying over here.

Love days off when you get to explore. Intervals tomorrow, and hopefully watch some of the team relay.

Sunday, 30 August 2009


Steak....not bad, a little gamey, a little tough, but super lean meat....and cooked on an Australian bbq to boot. Check another one off the list.

Saturday, 29 August 2009


Checked that one off the list today......ugggggghhhhh, had to try it, but wouldn't ever try it again. Sorry to all those who like it, but it tastes like it came off the bottom of my shoe.

Friday, 28 August 2009


I haven't totally fallen off the face of the earth, only partially.

After the TR I was really in need of some RnR and some really fun riding. Got home from Fernie on Sunday, spent the next couple of days relaxing, laundry, easy spinning (thanks for the fun ride Ryan) and trying to help my poor, poor bike. (Shaking my head.....I can't believe how hard this years TR was on the bike...and my rear). Friday evening I packed my bike up again and headed out to the island for some World Championships prep....nothing says prep like awesome mtb riding, great coffee and lots of relaxing.

I haven't had the chance to do a lot of mtb riding on island so I was super excited and I have to say, I definitely was not disappointed. Can't wait to go back and check out some more trails. Thank you to my wicked tour guide!!!!

Wednesday evening I packed up my bike and started the journey over seas. This was by far the longest flight I've ever been on. Nearly 28 hours after leaving Vic, I finally made it to Canberra, which is about a 3 hour drive south of Sydney. Being their spring right now the weather is actually kind of chilly, and today guess's raining..hehe, just can't seem to get enough of it.

Have a week to relax, get over jet lag and get ready for the race. All week there are races, the relay, the junior and espoir races, and we go Sat morning (which would be friday evening for all you North Americans). I'll try to keep you all posted and get some pic's.

Off to find the course. Ciao mate.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A few more pic's of the week

Finishing Day 2 into Nipika

Super Fan (mumma) on course Day 3 around Nipika

Yet again another muddy day

Dax hiding out in the drying room

Looks like a little bit of a rough morning??? Maybe

Late night wheel change

Day 6 - poor bike, and this is only at aid station 3, still 30 km ish left to go.

Very happy to say these blue and green boxes didn't hold the same importance to me as last year's Transrockies

Monday, 17 August 2009


Day 0 - Panorama

The most stressful thing of this day was carrying all our luggage to the hotel...and maybe the ridiculously expensive small supper (I had an apple in my salad that still had the tag on).

Day 1 - Panorama to K-2 Ranch

Day 1 was a brutal 2200 m climb up to the top of Panorama mountain ski hill, a little hike a bike at the top, and straight down the other side. Not being a very svelt little climber I definitely suffered on the climb, it took us about 90 mins to reach the summit, only the summit wasn't quite the summit, and you some tough singletrack grunts along the ridge before you entered the decent. I do have to say I was pretty disappointed with the km scree slope that they sent us running down...what a nasty way to loose all of the hard gained elevation. Not know who our competition was Jeff and I decided to treat this day as any other race day and hammered. Good thing too because two flats on the decent easily cost us about 10 minutes, but we managed to pull out our first ever stage win...yippeee!!!

Day 2 - K-2 Ranch to Nipika

After about 30 mins of road riding, which was a really nice warm up, we started up the Fairmont Hot Springs ski hill (luckily not all the way to the top today, which however was the biggest climbing day of the race. We pushed and found ourselves in good company up and over the first climb. The second major climb we were sent straight up an avalanche shoot (which was claimed to be only 100m with dancing bears at the turn - this was the location last year that half of the field got lost), and we pushed or carryed our bikes for a good 30 mins before turning off into the treeline and continued to slog our way up and across. When we finally reached the was totally worth it, absolutely amazing and extremely technical. Jeff rocked the dh and we manage to reel in about 5 (I have to add mens) teams, and we hit the bottom in 4th place overall in the teams. Dropping back to 5th when the super strong Czech Masters hammered by us like we were standing still on the road, we still held onto our first place in the open mixed and extended our lead to 50 mins.

Day 3 - Nipkia TT

This was a little bit of a mentally and physically challenging day, and the start of our really nasty weather for the rest of the week. This days format was a TT with 1 min intervals, and with our start time of 1:11, we were in the middle of some pretty cruddy weather. This is a really cool concept for a mountain bike stage race and the course was great...if it was dry it would have been truely amazing.

My saddle and shorts didn't get a long very well this day and I was doing a slow and dirty (very very muddy) strip show out on course. Though Ryan Correy's shorts were a lot more revealing then mine were.

Day 4 - Nipika to Whiteswan Lake

This was the longest day of the race at 107km, with some good singletrack off the start, one major climb and 50 km of fast road to the finish. Jeff and I had a great start and managed to hang onto the leading men's pack for quite a while and avoid the big group that went off course near the start. My partner Jeff "the Mule" rocked today and it was all I could do on the 50 km into Whiteswan to hold his wheel through the mud....especially once he eyed the 2nd place Open Men's team from Portugal struggling up the last climb near the finish. We ended up hammering the last 15 mins, just missing 3rd place overall...ouch (I should know better then to do that ...oh well..hehe)

This was laundry day too, huge thanks to my parents for doing 6 teams worth of scuzzy laundry.

Day 5 - Whiteswan to Elkford

This is a tough day, with some serious steeo climbing and hiking. After finding ourselves in a good spot on first very long by relatively gentle climb, I managed to snap my chain...yikes. Thanks to Jeff staying really calm, even with me yipping at him to "Hurry, just break it", we managed to quickly throw in a quick link and get rolling again. We had lost about 5 mins and our second place competition, a very strong Belgian team (the female being Mieke Wouter who wears the Belgian national marathon champion strips) past us. Once back in the game, we pushed to catch back up to them and recovered for a moment behind them. I didn't like the pace, so I threw Jeff the look and we attacked over the climb, and continued to push ...outta sight, outta mind. They managed to catch back up to us as we were leaving the last check stop, but the last major climb had a lot of serious hiking and some really fast and fun technical decending (including the infamous km long baby head rock garden), and by the end we managed to open up a 14 min gap over the last pass.

It was an extremely cold finish into Elkford, it seriously felt like there was ice growing off the end of my nose.

Day 6 - Elkford to Blairmore

Leaving Elkford was climb 5 km up the paved road towards the coal mine and turn off onto some of the nicest singletrack of the week. Tough, twisty and rooty, and some amazing views...and we actually had some sun here, making you think it was going to be a nice day. Once we hit the road down to the first checkpoint however, it was raining so hard, there was sheets of water coming down my glasses and I could barely make out Jeff's outline...if we had had to make a turn off of that road we serious would have missed it. These were active logging roads too, with a 2 inch layer of slick mud covering the majority of the road...ugggg. Adding insult to injury, after checkpoint 3, just when you think you can't handle anymore, we were sent up 3 consecutive super steep long climbs. I remember this from last year, but I totally don't remember it being that hard :) Due to all of the sandy mud running through the brakes I ended up loosing both front and back brakes (when I removed the pads that night I was wearing through the metal backing of the pads). This was managable as long as I kept full pressure on the brakes and didn't gain too much speed... in which case the only other option is a face plant at full speed into a greasy mud berm...I totally wish someone would have gotten that one on camera, may helmet was so packed with mud we had to stop to clean it out just to keep it from falling down over my eyes.

Rough day in the office..hehe.

Day 7 - Blairmore to Fernie

Fell asleep on this last night to the pounding of rain on the tent, it was pretty amazing how much and how hard the rain was coming down this night. The start of the day was so cold too, with a slight drizzle (and wet leg warmers didn't help the cause), that we opted to wear our body condoms to start. I was definitely in a world of hurt this day, and my amazing partner did more then his share of the work just to get us up the mountain. We had a great start, but I found I was having troubles putting power down (funny how riding hard for 6 days straight can do that to you), and we found ourselves getting past by teams we hadn't seen before). At one point the Belgians caught right up to us and I definitely had a moment panick, the adrenaline helped me find a gear and push a little harder. Thanks to our awesome Italian friends Sergio and Ettoli who put together a great paceline on a road section, which definitely helped us put some distance on the Belgians. It was super great to see and hear friends out on course once in Fernie, and really nice having Cory Wallace (who killed the TR3 but continued to ride the race as a media personel - check out accompany us up the last climb and through the wicked s*^& eating grin kinda singletrack down to the finish. Oh yeah, and we actually had a sunny warm finish in Fernie :)

Stage 8 - the banquet and party afterwards was definitely fun (maybe not the best for recovery though), it was great to spend some chill time with the people I've suffered with all week. Thanks Jeff for being such a great partner, thanks to my parents for being the bestest support crew ever, thanks to Keith for everything, thanks to the TR staff and volunteers for all the hardwork, and huge thanks to all the other racers out there making the event so fun.

Guess what now???? Off to Australia for a little .. hehe .


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Surviving Transrockies

Hehe, just a quick little post before I go completely comatose. Jeff Neilson (the bestest partner in the world) and I survived another stage race. It was a really challenging race not only due to the long tough days, we clocked 33 hours in 7 days...but it rained 6 out of the 7 days....5 of which were bone chilling (day 6 it rained so hard I couldn't see where I was going).

Nap time and banquet time, I'll try to put up a better post when I can see straight again.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Nut Bar

After two nice days of riding in Ellicottville, NY (there's some pretty great road and mountain biking there), I jetted it back to the Toronto airport to catch a plane back to Calgary. Due to my lack of planning I decided just to take a taxi home from the airport...bad was over $10 before I even left the airport grounds....and it cost my freakin $60.....crazy....and I even had to hold the door open to the trunk while the driver unloaded my bags because it was busted...baaaah.

So today I unpacked, did laundry, repacked....haha, I see I cycle forming here. Managed to squeeze in a dry ride in there and made a nut square for the TR...yumi

1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

blend in food processor

1 tsp cinnamon
2 cup oats
2 tsp flax seed

add to food processor and blend

1 cup dates
1 cup dried apricot
1/2 cup raisins

add and blend

1 apple

add and blend

1 cup of melted honey

...add while processing

flatten onto backing sheet and put in the freezer over night....soooo good.

Saturday we're leaving for Panorama and Sunday the Transrockies starts.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Bromont World Cup - tough day in the office

After a week of the forecasts guaranteeing a warm dry weekend, but each day being 'surprised' with rain, I finally break down on Sat during the pre-ride to change my rear tire from my favorite Bontrager Revolt to the more aggressive Bontrager Jones AX (not a full mud tire but a fast rolling aggressive tire that works good in the mud). Come sunday, I am really happy I made that decision.

The start of the race we are sent up a long steep climb that switchbacks up the ski hill, definitely not my forte, being by far the tallest/biggest rider out there...enough said..hehe. It's about a 8-10 min climb, not a steady pitch, but with a lot of loose punchy sections that really take a lot of effort to clean. I manage a really good start, a lot better then I was really expecting, and found myself in very good company for the first lap. I knew it was a pace slightly above where I should be, so I back it off part way up the first climb once the pack spreads out slightly, and settle into my pace. However, due to the pitch of the climb, even staying in my easiest gear I find I am burning a little more of my match book then I would ideally like to, but that's racing.

Once you hit the top of the climb, the course sends you down an old four cross course (which last year we actually climbed up) with some sketchy doubles and slick berms. Lap 3 I go barreling a little too fast into one of the top berms...I can see it coming a mile away, but for some reason don't seem to be able to react appropriately, and find myself splayed out on the course with my bike 10 feet away....and 3 girls pass me....ugggg. Nothing hurts too bad, not very much blood either, I was really expecting more from that one, but it takes me a second to pick myself back up.

There isn't a lot of decending in this course considering how much we climb, which is a little disheartening....after 8 mins of climbing I expect something spectacular. The 2nd half of the lap is tough technical singletrack that traverses the ski hill out and back, with some pretty gnarly rock faces, made even more sketchy with the slick layer of mud. This is generally where I find myself making up most of my time on the svelt little climbers....RRRAAAAAAAHHHH...that's me powering through these sections. Although super fun, this doesn't allow for a lot of rest or recovery from the long climb.... yeah, this is a really physically challenging course.

Sunday wasn't a great day for me really, don't really have a good excuse. I found it hard mentally when I needed to slow down and let the girls that I usually find myself racing with pull away from me, I seemed to have my head stuck up my general area a little (that's what my mom would say). Getting pulled on the last lap wasn't a super good feeling either, but I had pushed really hard in the fourth lap to make up some time and a 5th lap would have been extremely slow and painful...though I do sadistically welcome that kind of pain. I like very much to believe that you learn the most from these kinds of races that don't go as well as planned.

And I consider us women very, very lucky that our race ended when it did. Although we had some rain during our race, it was nothing compared to the crazy downpour the poor men had to warm-up and race in.....I didn't even want to ride back to the hotel in it...yuck.

Spending a couple of days in Ellicottville, New York now with Trek Toronto's Barry Near doing some riding and relaxing and team bonding. Home late Wednesday evening to unpack and repack...leave on Saturday for the Transrockies...yippeeeeee. Busy buy loving it.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Jour très triste!

I finally made it to the chocolate bowl place and was super ready for the ultimate hot chocolate experience....and it closed at 5:30 pm....what kind of cafe closes at 5:30??? geeezzzzz

Had a great ride today, was supposed to do just a road ride, but couldn't resist the call of the mud and snuck on the course a cruise through the technical second half of the course. I was actually really, really surprised with how well the course held up after last nights crazy storm. We must have gotten 10 cm of rain (I'm not joking) in less than an was absolutely ridiculous. But it was really good for the plants..hehe..and there's nothing like finishing a great ride with a wild raspberry feast...yummmmy.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Est-ce que c'est le soleil ?

Wow, what is this big burning ball of fire that produces heat and light???? The mythical sun...hehe...haven't seen the sun in a while but yesterday was awesome. Hot and sunny all day, oh yeah, don't forget very very humid. I went for an early morning spin at 10 and came back an hour later drenched. Today is supposed to be something similar, not as much sun, but about 40 with humidity....good day to go sit in an air conditioned coffee shop and drink the worlds best hot chocolate. That was my mission yesterday but I failed....second attempt today. You have to know, this isn't just any ordinary hot chocolate, it's amazing and will totally wreck hot chocolate for you forever....but you have to be in the mood for this extremely rich drink...if not, it'll totally put you over the top.

Happy Trails

Monday, 27 July 2009

Mud St Anne

Never fails to be a challenging muddy race. All week I was watching the forcast for Sainte Anne de Beaupre, the small town at the base of Mont St Anne, and all week the forecast called for rain everyday, with 30-40 mm on saturday and sunday..yikes. But everyday I checked, the rain was pushed back another day...but I kept the mud tires close on hand. Just light rain during the night, but the course was drying up great and come sunday morning everything looked in awesome shape and the Bontrager Revolts (great all around dry to tacky tire) stayed on. Just as we were called to the staging area and the skys opened up. Oh my goodness rain.

The start was the very typical World Cup start, 55 starters sprinting into the first corner. They got rid of the start loop this year and there was no big climb off the start to string us out, so by the time we hit the first singletrack we were all off the bike and climbing over eachother trying to gain a was pure World Cup madness..very euro style. As we all strained ourselves through the single lane the race quickly became very spread out.

The rain hadn't soaked into the ground yet, so most everything was rideable, but as the race wore on, the raining stopped and the mud started turning into chucky peanut butter...vera slickery. The sketchy rock garden descent stayed in surprisingly good shape through out the race, though there were some really good stories of really good crashes. After the race I found out there was a "chicken line" cut the night before around the rocks..oh well. I managed to clean the section everytime, but on lap three the berm at the bottom after the downhill claimed my front and rear tire at the same time and I slide through the berm (about 15 feet) on my rear. It actually was kinda fun..hehe.

I had a solid day all in all, faded a little at the end....oh yeah, but my highlight of the race was chasing the current World Champion jersey of Margarita Fulliana down to the finish line......hehe. I was definitely motivated to put that notch into my belt, but didn't catch her and finished 23rd on the day.

Today I got up early, ran into fellow team Canada rider Ryan grabbing hish bike from the mechanics and we road up the ski hill access road in the pouring rain for about an hour. Too bad the fog was so thick we couldn't see anything because it probably woulda been a great view. From there we started down the DH world cup course..hehe, that was a little short lived, and found a more xc friendly trail. It ended up being a wicked 30 min downhill through some pretty nasty mud...oh my poor clean bike... Thank for the wicked ride.

After a crazy long travel day (not sure how a 3 horu drive turns into 7 hours of travel.......) we made it to of the best hot chocolate....which I'm looking for tomorrow.

Super big thanks to the entire CCA staff that helped out at the guys rock.

Oh yeah, huge congrats to Kika for winning her second World Cup!!!!!!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Mont St Anne

Plan of action for today...relaxation.

I arrived in Mont St Anne on wednesday evening to stories of a crazy downpour all wednesday....and the course was a disaster, super duper muddy. Quebec never fails to be wet and muddy, I think in the maybe 20ish times I've raced in Quebec, it's been dry once or twice... in other words, always expect mud. The rain had stopped and wednesday evening was warm and all thursday was really nice, so by the time I got out on course things were starting to dry up nicely. Most of the course drains relatively well, but there are a couple singletrack sections (which seem to be all tricky technical sections) that just hold water..even when it's been nice for days, they are slick and mucky.

They have re-routed the course from previous years and I actually find it feels a lot harder then usual. They have used most of the same trails/sections as always, with the exception of the usual freightening sketchey which we are now sent down a steep mess of rocks that could be a mess if covered in mud. As well, all of the major climbing is at the end of the lap instead of the beginning....but then all the descending is at the end as well..yippee.

Today, my only mission for the day was to roll down to the cool little internet cafe at the bottom of the hill and drink Americanos, eat pastries and geek out for a little. It's really nice not having internet in the condo, I'm needing the detox...the couple of days I spent in Montreal by myself I found I spent a little too much time on the computer to pass the day.....and I don't even like computers..hehe.

Big mistake today tough - no chamois for my ride to the seat is a lot harder then I realized..gonna be standing most of the way home.


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Wine and cheese and coffee and pastries and crepes...oh my

After a couple of days of relaxing and riding in Montreal (or Point Claire to be more exact), I've made my way east again to Quebec City. Just hanging out in the airport for a couple of hours waiting for the rest of the national team to arrive before we make the trip to Mont St Anne. The rest of the this week will consist primarily of more rest, a couple laps of the course (keeping everything crossed that the rain isn't too bad this year), some coffee, tour watching (hopefully we have that channel), and some yummy, yummy pastries (when you're in Rome...hehe).

Hope all is well around the country and I'm really excited to head west again. The east is nice, but I really miss the west.

Oh yeah, Jeff Neilson (my awesome BC Bike Race partner) and I are doing the Transrockies Aug 9-16..yippeeeeee!!!!


Monday, 20 July 2009

PEI Pic's

Red Sands Beaches

What's this??? little jelly fishy thingy....they do sting

Jumping off the wharf at Basin Head beach

Little Harbour Beach - wedding photos day

Saturday, 18 July 2009


Yuppers, on the far east coast of Canada....get to put my feet in both oceans in less then 3 months. Spending the weekend here for a wedding, doing a little touring, a little fresh seafood eating...yummmmmmy....experienced the "COWS" ice cream experience (though I ended up wearing more of the mint chocolate chip then eating it..hehe)....even yummmmmmmier.... and a little biking. There's some pretty nice roads for riding around here, you can link up lots of quiet highways for a really nice ride. Did my first set of intervals today since the BC Bike Race (minus the race last weekend), and everything actually felt really good. I was very pleasantly surprised for a change. It's been a little tough mentally recovering, getting out on my bike everyday, feeling tired and just ending up spinning easily again...but alas, I smile today at how things feel, maybe it's the fresh salty air.

Just getting prepped to get dressed up...doesn't happen very often so I have to work myself up to it...hope no one minds all my scrapes and bruises...and my lack of make-up (never mastered that feminie skill).....and going to enjoy a good ole' east coast wedding. I hoping to slip out sometime and go flouncing in the ocean though :)

Monday I'm heading back to Montreal to spend a couple relaxing days waiting to meet up with the national team in Quebec City on Wednesday.


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Bath Time for the Rig

After a dirty weekend in the office I figured the 9 was in need of a little TLC...

Oooops, looks like I got some more scrubbin to do. Wonder if that's from the bike or me???



Check it out, local alberta photographer Patrick Graham interviewed me for his site!!

Thanks Patrick

Monday, 13 July 2009

Nothing like a little ride..... Followed by a little coffee....YUM

XC Nationals 2009

After listening to the sounds of rain on the roof most of the night I really wanted to just snuggle down deeper under the covers and sleep, but the damn ducks outside my window would have none of that…..hehe. The course however was in remarkably great shape considering the rain, there is so much sand that the water drains away fast.

I’ve taken this whole past week really easy to recover from the BC Bike Race, and I ended up doing a long warm-up before the race just to get my heart rate to react. Off the start I felt surprisingly great, I managed to stay relatively close to Catharine and Marie-Helene through the start loop without feeling like I was over extending myself.

Through the first singletrack I don’t know what happened but I found myself smacked off my bike and flat on my face so fast I couldn’t even say ‘OH NO!!!”. Amanda was really was really close behind in fourth and by the time I jumped back on my bike she was right there. I got things cruising again only to look up and find myself going off course on a sharp left corner….this time I had time for the “OH S*&^!!!!” right into the tape. Amanda slipped by me here and I hoped on her wheel as fast as I could.

Amanda and I road together for the first 2 laps, she’d pull away in a couple spots and I’d pull her back in through other sections. I still felt really strong, surprisingly strong. Half way through the 3rd lap my legs started feeling the tiredness I was expecting from the start and tthhiinnggss ssttaaarrrtttiiinnnggg slllllloooowwwwwiiiiinnnggg ddddooooooowwwwwnnnnnnn. I finished 4th place, best nationals finishing for me ever, and all things considered I’m really happy with how the day went. Huge congrats to Catharine Pendreal, Canada's newest national champion!!!!!

Check out for some cool video coverage and interviews.

Hanging out in Montreal for a couple of days, trying to dodge the crazy rain..yikes, thought I was going float away in todays storm. Wednesday I’m hoping another plane out east to PEI…really excited, never been east of Quebec. Out in PEI for the weekend, then back to Quebec for the next 2 World Cups…


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Slow Recovery

Bonjour ... yup, that's pretty close to the extent of my french. Even when I ask "parlez vous anglais" which I've been told means "do you speak english"...I get the blank stare.....

After a red eye Westjet flight out to Montreal, I had a little bit of an interesting time picking up my off airport rental car. I had booked it with points, but didn't have a number to call to get the shuttle and the name "EZRENT" wasn't in the phone book, and I couldn't seem to get my internet up and running to check the online reservations......lovely. After an early morning call back home...thanks dad :)....I finally managed to find my way to the hotel to pick up my car. Nice little Toyota Corolla, which definitely doesn't fit my bike box, oh well, that's what straps are for right...hehe. Loaded up and started the 5 and half hour drive east, then nooooorth. It's a really pretty drive, but feels like we go sooo faaaar noooorth. I had to stop a couple times, with not much sleep on the plane and a long drive, thought I was going to nod off, but a quick run around the car and some coffee kept me going.

I arrived in St Felicien around 3 in the afternoon, found the cool like B&B (minus the second B), that I'm staying at with Amanda Sin (who kicked butt in the Canada Cup last weekend in Bromont by what...10mins), her awesome hubby Casey and teammate Peter Glassford (who also kicked butt with a stellar finish of 4th place....right on team). Grabbed a few groceries, built my bike and went for my second spin of the week....huuuuge 2 hour week so far. In my excitment to go ride, I never noticed that our kitchen only had a microwave and fridge.....I bought ground beef and cooked it in the microwave...yummmmmmmmmy....yikes....great healthy meal if I ever cooked one. We later found a toaster oven so I'm expecting my salmon to turn out way better.

After nearly 12 hours of which I still had to fight to get myself out of bed, went for a quick..well slow lap of the course. From what I remember of the World Cup course a couple of years ago, they've changed a few things but it's still an awesome course. I'm riding my hardtail this weekend and after all of the rough single track of the BC Bike Race this techy stuff is pretty smooth :) Still feels like I've just ridden hard for a week though, hoping the next couple days of rest bode well for the rest of my recovery....Nationals on Saturday. to find more espresso.......


Think I'm excited to ride Whistler???

Awesomee week of riding, huge thanks to the organizers, volunteers, support crews and my awesome partner.
Thanks Regan for the photos :)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Eastward Bound

Just finishing up my last minute packing as I'm getting ready to take the red eye flight out east and on to the next adventure. Leaving Wednesday 1am Calgary, arriving 8am Montreal = 5 hour flight. Pick up rental car then drive 5 hours north to St Felicien. Canadian Nationals on Sat...yikes.

I went for a quick spin today around town to shake out the webs and see how things were feeling. Definitely not recovered yet, my legs still feel pretty heavy, but I think that's totally to be expected.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Made it to Whistler

Home, tired and clean, but for some reason still stinky...maybe it's my socks.

This past week was a lot of fun, lots of great riding and great people, I'm kind of sad it's over...on to the next adventure.

Day 6 - Squamish
I've always wanted to race the Test of Metal and Gearjammer, but I've never even had the opporunity to ride in Squamish before, so I was super pumped for this day. We spent the night in Squamish, which meant no early morning shuttle and was extremely nice. All the traveling around between stages really wears you down. The start through town is the usual fast pace, gaining a lot of elevation initially on the road. Half way up the road there was a really big scare as the pack rounds a sharp right corner and standing in the middle of the road holding a "Slow" sign and wearing a safety vest is a small boy, no bigger then 3 and a half feet, with a total look of dread on his face. There is a lot of yelling but everyone in the peleton manages to split and very surprisingly the poor kid doesn't bolt and no one gets hurt and the entire race passes by. Crazy start.

All of the climbing off the start is quickly rewarded with "Rob's Corners", a mellow grade decent with probably a 100 berms. It's a really neat trail, you almost don't have to pedal the whole way down, just pump the bike through the corners. You do have to remember to turn left then right then left then right...and so on....though I'm sure Erik was just picking blackberries :)

The was a lot of great singletrack on this day, some big climbing and some really steep decending. There was one particularly tough, open, hot climb on course that for some reason seems to stick in my might have something to do with the sound of the marshall seated under the rainbow umbrella on a steep open climb opening a beer........drooooool.

Jeff and I had an awesome ride today and finished a solid 3rd in the open mixed, still maintaining our 2nd overall by almost a half hour.

Day 7 - Whistler
I have had the pleasure of riding some pretty awesome xc trails in Whistler, so I was also really excited about this day. Unfortunately I do have to say I was a little disappointed with this course. We started off almost initally with a massive hike-a-bike, then continued to climb gravel roads for a half hour only to be send part way down the hill on a gravel road. Wow, all that work for a gravel road decent. Though the singletrack that they did send us through was pretty darn cool, lots of fast switchbacks and a little black diamond run.

Our goal for the first half of the ride was to stick with the Monavie-Cannondale team as much as possible. The gapped us a little on the climbs and we pulled them back in on the decents. We entered the feed zone together, and left almost right afterwards. On one of the steep gravel climbs Sue spun out and I heard the voices in my head.. "She's walking it, you can walk it too, we've got enough of a lead"....but I liked the voice that said "F&*% it, I'm riding this thing". Jeff was determined not to get "chicked" and as soon as we crested the hill we both grabbed a couple of gears and started givin er. The course ended up being about 5 km longer then the course profile suggested and we were both sucking wind at the top of the last climb, but we gave a couple yippeess and yahooos and took off down the last decent.

Finished the week off with a burger and fries and a couple of drinks at Dusty's. It was really neat and a lot of fun riding with Jeff through out the race. It was also super cool to have so many people I know racing (the Deadgoats, Dee and Nic) and supporter (Alana, Jay, Regan - crazy run in with fellow Fort McMurrayite I haven't seen in ages) this week totally makes the whole experience that much better.

Wednesday - Quebec

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Ultimate Singletrack Experience.

Almost a whole week without the computer...yikes...actually it's been nice; read a book in 2 days flat, get to bed early. So now I'll lump days 2,3,4 and 5 into a quick update before I fall asleep.

Day 2 - Naniamo to Parksville
Early morning ferry from Van to Naniamo, oh yeah, 15 min late ferry. Nothing like a run in bike shoes across the tarmac to grab our bikes, pee behind the car and run to the start line. You'd think with everyone in the race on the ferry, and the ferry ebing late that they'd postpone the start at least a couple mins...nope. It was a rolling neutral start through Naniamo for about 20 mins, but once the police cruiser cleared the path it was allllllll out. The day ended up being a long day pre-dominately new, rough, remote singletrack. I am totally ashamed to say that I was actually excited to hit the gravel road for a couple kms...I don't think my arms/fingers/shoulders/bum...everything could have handled much more. Jeff and I had a great day and finished 2nd.

Day 3 - Cumberland
After a crazy windy night on the Parksville beach (didn't know that a tent could bend that way), we took an early bus ride to Cumberland. Wow...awesome trails, sooooo fun, I would totally go back there to ride. I hit a wall half way through but the only thing that got me through (besides Jeff giving me the occasional push) was Jeff's insistance that "Space Nugget", the last trail out, was totally worth all the pain...and wow it totally was. Had to let out a couple of yippees and yeehaws through there, and finished 2nd on the day again.

Day 4 - Earls Cove to Sechelt
Really, the 4:30 am wake up call from the chicken is not the best way to wake up...I wanted to throttle that thing this morning. Day 4 started with a 30 min bus ride to the ferry, 90 min ferry ride to Powell River, 45 min bus ride to ????, 45 min ferry ride to Earls Cove..yikes. And the race started on the road right. This day I was in a world of hurt all day. The pace started pretty mellow as everyone needed to warm up just a little, but it didn't stay like that for long. There was a lot of climbing, a lot of powerline riding , a lot of hike a bike (felt a little like the Transrockies..which is totally cool when you're expecting the Transrockies), and 1 hour into the 4 1/2 hour ride I blew. Thanks to the best partner Jeff 'f" Nielson, who had to practically drag and pull me the entire race we finished 4th (after getting lost and loosing 3rd in the process). I totally owe Jeff a litre of DQ for that one :)

Day 5 - Sechelt to Langdale
Early morning (theme - early monrings). Best course so far. I totally can't do justice on this course trying to explain it, so I won't evem try, but if you get the chance to ride out it!!!! Jeff and I had a pretty good day, lots of fun, finished 3rd, battling it out with Pat Doyle and Geoff Clark at the finish...hehe.

Tomorrow - Squamish

Ciao for now

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Super crazy awesome trails on the north shore..hehe, Jeff and I had huge s*^! eating grins the whole day. Day 1 starts up MT Seymour, good little road climb through a residental neighborhood off the start. Holy Moly, I can't believe how hard and fast we started and for how long. I was pinned just trying to stay with Jeff...he was rocking it today :) We managed to stay with the lead group to the whole shot, just behind Georgia and Ryan (Lune and Kona)..right where we needed to be. From there we settled in and had a great ride.

The downhills were super gnarly..hehe, yup very gnarly. I've never had the pleasure of riding this kind of terrain, and it's not like anything I've ever riden before. The first downhill was something else, I thought I was going to kill myself, getting bucked around like crazy. After struggling and fighting the bike with all my strength, I was finally able to get into the groove and things started flowing much better.

Hammering the finish Jeff and I finished a solid 2nd place in just under 2 hours, behind Georgia and Ryan, and just ahead of Sandra Walter and her partner. The finish and tent city is set up in Lynn Valley. Tomorrow is an early morninng ferry ride to Naniamo and 70km up to Parksville. Jeff is riding amazing and it's really cool to be able to ride out here with him.

Can't wit for supper time ... hehe ... love it.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

2 days to go....

And leaving tomorrow morning for the BC Bike Race :)

cool pic from David Roberts (Hardcore) at Edmonton Canada Cup