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.