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 mind.....it 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 too...it totally makes the whole experience that much better.
Wednesday - Quebec