Saturday, 28 August 2010

Rough day in the office

Okay, quick little recap, as my brain is a little too fried still from the race to put too many worlds together coherently. Felt half decent off the start, plate number 52 so I had a lot of battling to do to move up through the field. Suffered quite a bit as the pace was pretty fast, but I found myself in a good position and knew that if I could hold onto the downhill I'd be able to reset my body a little with the rest and giver again on the climb. Sitting just 2 positions behind Amanda Sin going through the second feed/tech pit at the top of the climb (not sure where we would have been overall - probably top 1/4 from the sounds of it)......and my chain started jumping around a little. Not too sure what was happening, looked like it was jumping in the front so I rotated the barrel adjuster for the front derallieur and shifted into my easiest gear to spin it out.....all of a sudden, not 50 feet past the tech zone SNAP!!!! Broken chain. I looked down, panicked and start running...I was at the top, so it should be all down hill...well that's kinda what I remember....but there was actually a lot more uphill then I remember. I ended up loosing probably about 20-25 spots while running/coasting/pumping my bike down the mountain..grrrrr.

I get to the very bottom and jump off to run as fast as I can up through the start/finish to the bottom tech pit yelling that I need a new chain. Huge props to Trek Canada mechanic Zach Tatem for the wicked fast chain install....just enough time for me to grab a gel, switch my bottles, catch my breath from sprinting for so long....then jump back on my bike and hammer. Out of the pit I hammered (maybe a little too hard) to make up lost spots and found myself sitting around 45th.

Through the 3rd and 4th lap I continued to pick off spots slowly, but the effort of running and the 2nd lap caught up to me hard and fast. I was actually kinda expecting to get pulled and not do the last lap, so I hammered hard to make up a few spots....and totally gassed myself out for the last lap.

Bottom of the 5th lap, 4 girls passed me pretty easily before I was able to recover enough to push my pace a little again. I ended up riding the entire last lap by myself in no mans land....I actually though that I was the last one out there until I saw Kelli Emmett behind me on one of the switch backs. Pushed it hard to the top and suffered on the downhill, a little oxygen deprived and had a little troubles keeping a hold on my bars...hehe. 5 mins from the finish, on a pretty open section I heard the familiar sound of air and Stans squirting out of my rear tire!!!!.....grrrrrr.

Managed to ride it slowly to the bottom and jump off and run as hard as I could (for the second time) to the finish....keeping Kelli off my wheel by a mere 9 seconds....and finishing 45th on the day.

A little upset with how things turned out, but I'm happy with how I road....definitely left nothing out on the course. Thanks to everyone out on course for the encouragement...especially Regan running around :) Thanks to Zach and Taylor and the Batty's for all the race support as well.

Huge thanks to Steve Blick for helping me out with some new lenses for my Oakley Jawbones.......they worked great. My heart goes out to his family and son!!!!

Just finished the best pizza I think that I've ever had..great choice Regan on the pepperoi, mozza, basil, black olive and garlic...yummmmmmm. Tomorrow up to Vermont for the night, then on to Mont Sainte Anne :)

Friday, 27 August 2010

10 hours of sleep

Wow...that day definitely kicked my butt...nothing like a solid 10 hours of sleep without even rolling over to make up for it..hehe. Just enjoying my first cup of joe for the day and trying to shake the cob webs....going a little slowly this morning.

Got to introduce Regan to his the typical budget racer experience of dealing with car rental companies.....he's in Quebec for 30 mins and ready to punch the first guy we meet...haha. I rented online a Matrix, nice and cheap, but more then likely big enough to fit two car board bike boxes and gear.....I should know better, but I really didn't think that a Toyota Yaris fit into the "or something similar" category. Some really creative tight packing, and the leaving behind of a bike box and disaster is averted.

Beautiful 5 hour drive south from Montreal into upstate New York through the Adiriondack Mountrains brings us to Windham Mountain, the home of World Cup Finals for 2010. Quick build of the bikes and quick grocery trip to the coolest little Italian grocery store not even 30 feet away from our awesome little cabin, followed by a quick spin up to the venue to blow out the legs...ouch!!! Big pasta dinner, 15 mins of good stretching to flush the jet lag out...........

and 10 hours of good sleep brings me to right now......and I just looked at the clock....sign in closes in a 90 mins, yikes, better get a move on. Pre-ride today and lots of lazy action around the cabin to prep the body and mind for the race tomorrow.

11:15 am start for us (9:15 Alberta time and 8:15 BC time), with live action on freecaster
and there is a rumor on the local radio station (Windham residence are so pumped to host this event) of coverage on CBC and a couple of other stations (though they will likely be a month after the fact).

Alright, stop procrastinating.....Ciao!!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

On the road again

All packed up and ready to roll.....cheapest flight out east.....depart Victoria 11:15 pm - arrive Montreal 10:10 am....yuck.....followed by a 5 hour drive south to day I'll be able to book a good flight ;)

Sat, August 28 - Windham, NY World Cup Finals

Getting nervous, getting excited.

Monday, 23 August 2010


Little hiccup in the week... something a lot more important then updating the rest of the week came up....:( So I'll recap the rest of the TR week quickly.

Day 3 - Elkford to Etherington Camp - Day of the BLUE jersey take over...hehe
Hot out of the gate, Jeff and I were able to jump onto the lead group and hang in with them for most of the first 40 km road section. The gravel road was in rough shape!!! lots of deep muddy ruts and puddles, Jeff and I made a decision early in the day to stay as close as possible to the front to avoid as much damage as possible from the mud. The farther back you are in the group, the less likely you are to see the hazards and the more likely you are to get sucked into a bad situation. After the first 40 km, there was a hard 10ish km ride/hike a bike followed by an uber gnarly downhill with unfortunate some running downhill with bike.

Day 4 - Etherington to Anchor D Ranch - Day of the Jeff and Mical hole shot!!!
Yup, you read that right....thanks poppa for doing a little recon work the night before.....the 2 km road run into the first single track was definitely less then 1 km. Barry Wicks laughed while saying "Haha, you guys are leading us out today".......I grinned over my shoulder "Hehe...yup!" This put us into a great position coming out onto the road 7 km later and we continued to push the pace up and over Grass Pass (absolutely beautiful). This day had some great riding/climbing and amazing views. Unfortunately the last 20 km ended up taking as long as the first 40 km due to the knee deep mud/cow poop we had to run through. YUCKK!!!!

Day 5 - Anchor A Ranch to Little Elbow Campground - Day of a little more cow poop
700ft of climbing right off the start....we were staring at the first climb of the day all night...nice little clayey climb that everyone can watch. Actually probably the best show of the week would have been watching all the motor homes and support vehicles trying to get out of the muddy mess of a campground..hehe.
Jeff and I had a great start once again (yes, my starts are something that I am very proud of :) and put ourselves in a really good position for the first 20 km of singletrack....with unfortunately some more cow poop running (Anchor D Ranch is a cattle ranch so it's kinda expected). After the road apple fun, the rest of the day was a lot of fun, with some typical Kananaskis fast downhills. We were very fortunate to finish early this day, as the hail and rain that came shortly after we finished was horrendous......... and it continued through the night for a cold 6th day.

Day 6 - Little Elbow to Rafter 6 Ranch - Ridiculous day of hypothermia
This was the day that I was by far the most excited for, some amazing riding in this area and these are some of the best trails!!!! Unfortunately when we left camp it was 7 degrees and raining.....which means it's guaranteed to be just above freezing on the the top of Jumpingpound and Cox.....and let me tell you, spandex definitely doesn't give you enough protection!!
Awesome start, haha....I found myself at the front of a group of about 7 men on the road...oh well, giver!!!!
This was a hard day physically and mentally. Once we started climbing Jumpingpound everything started freezing....hands, feet, nose.....stopped to put on more clothes and dry nice and warm...for about 5 mins before they were wet through and frozen again :( I will admit, I actually had a little bit of a break down pushing my bike up Cox Hill (I was really surprised that they actually were sending us up there in those conditions - but we later found out that they started sending groups on a short cut to avoid killing anyone). Wore through and completely lost use of my rear brake.....Cox hill decent is not fun with only a front brake and frozen rigid.
Wendy and Norm had a great day today and took the stage win and moving into 2nd place overall!!! And yes, I got mom'd going up Jumpingpound...Wendy continues to amaze me.

Day 7 - Rafter 6 to Canmore - Final day
Sun .... what is that???? Some super fun trails today that I've actually never ridden before. Oh ya....and a swim in the swamp for me...hehe.....those wooden bridges are a little slick......"Help me Jeff!!!!". It was a little bit of a rough day for me, day 6 really kicked my butt....and I didn't have a front brake (which unfortunately makes up over 75% of braking power) so I had a little troubles controlling myself on all singletrack.....and ended up crashing down the very last descent of the race, the Powerhouse Plunge....of course in front of a bunch of people. Oh well...hehe.

Finished the race with 4 stage wins, 5 baby blue leaders jerseys and defending our Open Mixed category.......race entry for 2011...hehe. Thanks Jeff for the great week of hard riding. Thanks mom and dad for all the support during the week....definitely couldn't have done it without you two crazy people...hehe.

The Top Fuel worked awesome all week, definitely a great choice for this kind of race. And my tire change to the Bontrager XR was a wise choice as well!!! Fast rolling, good cornering and half decent in mud (nothing is really good in knee deep cow poop!!!)

One week to NY World glad I get to share this experience with Regan....his first World Cup experience.


Wednesday, 18 August 2010

TR Day 2

One last night in a real bed, 9 am start....and no rain. Oh ya, here's the funny thing, Day 1 forecast at 8am....sunny and 12 degrees in Fernie....but it's pouring out!!!
Long gravel road climb for 27 km, progressively getting steeper and steeper, topped off with 3 km of singletrack climbing at the top. Jeff and I get an early gap on the other Open Mixed cats, being able to stick with the lead men group for a long time. With about 2 km to the first check stop, Gretchen Reeves and Cannon Stokes sneak up behind us, trails us for a little, then slowly creep by us. We are able to keep them in our sights for the majority of the rest of the climb, loosing them once we hit the singlertrack.
Top of the climb (finally!!!!).....enter the new Porky Blue.... loosing about 1100m of elevation in less then 5 km...yikes. Fast, steep, straight line descents with tight switchback corners built specifically to deter moterbikers from riding (and Norm did it all without a rear brake!).
We reach the bottom and it's prety near a gravel road hammer for another 35km to Sparwood. I'm feeling surprisingly strong along the road (especially once I get my front derallieur re-adjusted so I can actually get into my big ring).
Jeff and I finish the day only 1:38 behind the leaders, tough day....and all I want when I finish is salty fries...but I'll settle for some of Steve Walsh's onion rings...hehe.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

TR Day 1

Fernie to Fernie TT - some of the best trails around's amazing how much the trails can deteriorate in one night of rain....from a fast dust bowl to a slow mud slog....hehe.

Monday, 16 August 2010

I made the paper!!!!

Hehe, thanks Jeff Neilson for the hard fun week of riding. Thanks mom and dad for coming out and being the best support. Thanks Barry and the Trek Toronto Store for the awesome Trek Top Fuel for the race (yes I did change my tires to something a little more knobbier - Bontrager XR). And thanks Regan for supporting me being a bike bum and being the best training partner :)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Transrockies Day 5

Monday, 9 August 2010

Day 1 and 2

Quicky little update on some sketchy internet. Haha, yes, I've already failed with my daily and computers don't get along so well.

Day one - Fernie to Fernie TT
Woke to the sound of rain bouncing off the tin roof, I roll over and look out the window...yikes. Everything is soaked and the clouds are low.....yet the Fernie forecast still says it's 12 degrees and sunny out...hahaha...right. The powder dry trails from the night before and slick and muddy, and it's by far my muddiest ride of the year. Today is a team TT, with competitors Wendy and Norm starting 30 secs in front of us and former pro XC racer Gretchen Reeves and her partner Cannon starting 30 secs behind us....great motivation on both ends.

It's a pretty fun course despite the mass amounts of mud and rain. We catch Wendy and Norm about 10 mins in on a really steep slick climb, and Gretchen and Cannon catch us about 20 mins later on a steep slick single track climb. It's a good fight as we can keep Gretchen and Cannon within sights for most of the race and push to limit the time gap. We finish 2nd on the day, 1:43 behind first and about 4 mins ahead of Wendy and Norm.

Day 2 - Fernie to Sparwood
Wonderful sunny day, no rain, but lots of deep mud puddles to make things very interesting. It's unfortunately a very road dominated day...72 km day with only 10 km of not too technical singletrack...not one of my favorite days.....but any day on the bike is a good day. Jeff and I make the selection with the lead group and are able to hang in with some seriously fast men for the first 30 mins of the race....which definitely burnt a few matches....but took us pretty far down the course. Off the start we have a 30 km steady climb for what seems like 1500m (well actually feels like 1500000000m) hahaha.

We put on a solid pace all day and finished 2nd again, only 1:34ish behind Gretchen and Cannon.

Treated myself to a massage...yippeee..doesn't happen very often at all. And early to bed tonight...I'm gasses!

Friday, 6 August 2010

CCA World Championships press release.....yiipppeeee!!!!!

Top Fuel....

Is all rebuilt, packed and ready for another week long racing adventure.

One major change on my bike....I'm a die hard Bontrager Revolt Tire fan....but I'm getting wild a crazy...hehe. I've heard a lot of rave about the new Bontrager XR0 tire, I've been riding it around here for the last couple of rides and so far so good. Definitely hoping for little to no rain because I'm a little skeptical on how this tire would do in the mud :)Rumor has it that the TR organizers are supposed to have an internet hub set up at each location....and if it's true, then I'm making it my goal to post a little update each night. Yup...haha, I'm making that goal public knowledge so you can all hold me accountable if it doesn't happen :)

Off to finish my packing, and flying out to Calgary in 2 hours! I'm curious about Jeff Neilson's new "race haircut".....

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Transrockeis yet again

Sitting here, enjoying my second cup of coffee and admiring the new faucet that Regan battled with installing...... haha.... it's amazing how when things are all rusted and rotten they kinda just fall apart :) .... working up the energy to do my last longish ride before TR.

Yup, doing Transrockies again....fingers crossed every which way that it's better weather then last year. Forecast is looking promising so far, but it's the mountains, anything can happen.

Okay, 3rd cup of coffee now....hehe...gonna be wired.

Okay, I have a new recipe for you too, to go along with the Blackberry theme that I'm loving soooo much out here......and it turned out ohhhh so good.

Blackberry Mint Sorbet

1 Cup H20
1 Cup Sugar (all recipes say white sugar but I only have brown sugar, so that's what I used)
a bunch of mint leaves (fresh from the garden:)

Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly for about 5 mins. This makes the mint syrup. Strain out mint leaves and remove from heat.

4-5 cups of fresh blackberries (or frozen will speed up the process)

Blend blackberries in blender or food processor.
Mix blackberry puree and syrup in freezer proof container. Stainless steel works the best.

1/2 cup Port (the recipes all call for 1 Cup red/burgundy wine put all I had was port)

Mix Port into blackberry concoction, cover and put in freezer. This is where an ice cream maker would really come in handy, but it worked really good just in the freezer. Take out and stir every couple of hours until frozen. It actually took about 12 hours to freeze solid enough to be called a frozen treat.....but it tastes really good half thawed.....yummmmmmmm!!!!!