Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Provincials and the season is all over

With the Island Cup finals race canceled due to snow the previous weekend, my motivation for a final race was a little low to say the least. I shamefully admit that if Regan hadn't promised me an Ikea date I probably would have opted to sleep in all weekend and enjoy some relaxing mtb miles. But I can't pass up Ikea!!! Haha.

After a quick couple laps of the course on Mahon Park in North Van, we quickly shower up and head out to Ikea!!!! Yippee...hehe. In our excitement to go shopping, yes Regan was actually excited to go shopping, we didn't really plan our food very well. About an hour into our roaming the huge store we were so famished that Ikea meatballs were about I could think about.....but they definitely weren't as good as I remember them being. Yes this was part of my pre-race meal...haha, but we did go out for some real food after we finished with Ikea.

Race day....chilly 5 degrees, but no rain :) Not sure what to wear, definitely jealous of the thermal skinsuit. Unfortunately big guns Wendy Simms and Catharine Pendrel were no shows, but the field was still filled with other fast mountain biker chicks. Off the gun I found my pedal quickly and powered out of the gate....I know I have a good start so I try to take advantage of it as often as possible. Through the first corner, a quick glance over my shoulder shows Jean Ann Berkenpas (formally McKirdy) right on my wheel. She's breathing down my neck, tight on my wheel for the first lap and I urge my legs to keep the pressure on.

Through the tight grassy corners I find sweet spot and flow the corner surprisingly nicely, making putting a little time between us. Through the nasty soupy mud blog and up the back side of the course which is all slightly up hill and momentum sucking, I keep the pace up, well as much as possible through here, standing out of corners and pushing myself on the uphills. Slowly I find myself opening up a gap between myself and Jean Ann, but I also find myself getting a little fatigued and the start/finish corner almost tosses me twice in a row..haha, that woulda been good to see :) I won my first BC Provincial Champion Jersey.

Regan's race was an awesome battle for 3rd place, with 3 guys, Regan, fellow Islander Jamie Cameron and another Steed Cycles racer were back and forth continuously for the entire race. In the end Regan finish 5th in his first ever Provincial Championships race, then was so stoked when we got home that he had the energy to do a great write up for Pedal Mag.

For my sad bitter news, I just received word that I'm being passed up yet again for carding :'(

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Island Cup Finals.......

is cancelled :( due to snow!!! It's a cross race....geeeez. Haha, yup, we got snow on the island and it's staying for a couple days. So what better to do then head out for a mtb ride in the snow. Haven't done this in a while, but it's soooo fun. Regan and I spent most of the ride ducking under trees, endoing into snow drifts (oh wait, that was just me:) and skidding around corners unclipped......so much fun.

picture from Jamie Cameron from the Lumber Cross (Port Alberni)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Lumber Cross

What else to do on a day off of work.....cross race on a thursday, why not. Oh ya baby, the lumber cross was held in the island logging town of Port Alberni.....where else would it be held but the historical MaClean Mill !! The course wound around old buildings and machinary in one of the most enjoyable cross courses (none UCI legal makes for a much more exciting course).....and one of the muddiest courses as well. We've really lucked out this year with dry races so I definitely can't complain about one really really really muddy race, it actually made it really really fun.

Due to near freezing hard downpour I spent most of my warm up in the bathroom huddled by the heater drying to dry my gloves and shoes....haha, 20 min spin with some sprints and as good to go as I'm going to get for the day. I was really surprised with how I felt off the start, and once we got moving I warmed up quickly (well, except for toes and fingers). Dawn was breathing down my neck for the first lap and a half, bit I was on a mission, needing to hammer out my frustration from nationals and I pushed myself hard to put in a small gap, and slowly with each lap I extended the gap to take my second Island Cup win :)

Regan found a pre-ride derallieur hating twig and almost didn't get a chance to race, but Norm swept in at the last minute and offered up his spare mini bike (56 cm is mini for someone who usually rides a 60-62 cm). He had a great race, winning his 3rd of the season and we ended up taking home another two 6 packs of beer, delicious fudge and some Port Alberni canned Salmon (I'm really excited about this).

5 hours of driving for under an hour of racing, yes, cross racers/fans are nuts, but it was well worth the day. One day of work and today is friday!!!!! Here we come weekend !!!!!!!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Cyclocross Nationals

Every year, about this time of year, I'm powering down, coming to end of my racing season...I get excited about probably my last big race of the year....Cyclocross Nationals. I've had great prep coming into the race, and I was really looking forward to it.......though not really looking forward to spending the weekend in Toronto. Within 12 hours I already had a parking ticket, almost got smoked by a car running a red light, got so turned around (yes even with a GPS) on the one way streets, and I'm wearing my 700 fill down coat....big city life is not for me.

Warm up was great and the start of my race felt great. I found myself in with the lead group, behind Wendy, Katy Cutris, Pepper and Natasha. I managed to squeeze around Natasha and grabbed Peppers wheel......at which point I found myself being repeatedly t-boned in corners, rubbed into the tape and yelled at by Natasha...hmmmm. Mistake number one by me during the race...at this point I should have just attacked and moved away from her, but I was so shocked all I could say was "I'm sorry"......FOR WHAT, I didn't do anything!! She managed to push around me on a long steep climb and I held onto the back of the lead pack, just out of reach for the first lap. I'd bridge up on tight corners and loose ground on the steep climbs.

By lap 3 I felt a little bit of a bonk coming on......Already...yikes. Catharine Pendral had come from far behind on the first couple laps to overtake me going through the start finish. I tried to jump and stay with her, but by this point I was definitely in trouble. From there on I road completely by myself and I watched as my hr dropped lower and lower with each lap.... definitely a sign of a good bonk.

Can you really bonk in a 40 min race....I just proved to myself that I can. I managed to hang on to a disappointing 6th place.....not so disappointed by the 6th place as the field was really strong, but definitely disappointed by the 2 and a half mins back from Wendy who battled Katy to the line for her 4th Canadian National Champion jersey!

Looking back at the race and my prep going into the race I can easily see a large number of things that I did wrong, even though I know better. These definitely aren't excuses, but errors that I made in my race prep, which for some reason I neglected to take into consideration. Lessons learned the very hard way.

Today, Sunday, is Nationals Revenge, and it's exactly what I need. I'm well rested and well fed today, so I'm already off to a better start :) Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

No rest for the wicked

Yup, fat and sassy season has so far been busy, busy, busy .... but really I'm not complaining, it's keeping me outta trouble. Two Victoria cross races, big halloween bash at the bike shop, parents in town (first time coming to visit!), feeling really tuckered still.

Raced the Expert Men's race on Sat and didn't get lapped!!! Haha, yes, that's my goal for those races. Felt great for the first 30 mins, going hard and battling hard, and cracked pretty hard on the second half of the race.......but with the women's race's being only 45 mins I'm hoping this extra 15 mins are going to do me good. Regan won his second Intermediate cross race...one more of those and he'll have to race me ;)


Saturday night was the big Pro City Cycle halloween bash.....wow, they sure know how to through a party. Here are some interesting and maybe incriminating photos...hehe.

Sunday my poppa raced the beginners race, first race in 2 years??? and finished 2nd place!!!!
I decided to race with the women today and Dawn Anderson put the boots to me. Off the start I took the lead and put the hammer down trying to put some time between us, but I couldn't shake her. As we crested the only hill on course in the 3rd lap I was really starting to hurt...Dawn, sensing my change in pace attacked and I couldn't stick grab her wheel. For the remainder of the race she slowly moved farther and farther away from me. Thanks for the awesome race! Note: Ferry wings are not recommended for tight corners....I thought I was going to get ripped off my bike a couple of times!!

This week recovering for the uber busy weekend and getting ready for another whirl wind trip...this time out to Toronto for cyclocross nationals. Definitely not going to be an ideal time line, getting off work at noon on friday, arriving around 10:30 pm in Toronto on friday night, Cross nationals on Sat......at least I get to sleep in a little.....go, go, go, go, go