Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Yup, that's my spot!!!! My hamstrings were super duper stretched after that one :)
Huge thanks to the West Coast guys Tom Skinner, Craig Richey and Dan Sessford of Team Blue for being willing to squish me in and giving me a place to stay for the week. As well as Mrs Skinner and her mom for keeping me well fed all week.
It's been a fun, and uber relaxing week based predominately around easy rides and hanging out in the air conditioned basement. As soon as you walk outside the wall of humidity hits you hard and almost knocks the breathe outta me.
This weekend Hardwood Hills Canada Cup hosted by our very own Barry Near and Trek Bicycle Store of Toronto. Saturday Trek Canada team is hosting riding clinics on course...we did this last year and it was a lot of fun :)
And I'm super excited about monday...heading back to Victora....and get spend a month on the island!!!!! Next event...BC Bike Race at the end of June.
Okay, yes I'm a geek and yes that is a meat lasangne with a meat message...haha....too bad it all slid and wasn't legible once Regan cooked it up...haha
Saturday, May 22, 2010
First on called up..hehe, based on UCI points. Off the start I had my usual good kick and hammered, gapping the rest of the field by about 10 seconds before the first singletrack. Fudge (aka Mickaela Kofman) caught me near the top of the last steep climb, but I was first into the singletrack and was able to put some time into her on the fast, rough decent. I consider myself a pretty competitent tecnical rider and these sections are generally my strength (however when I ride with Regan I feel like a total gorby as he cooks me on his fully rigid steel bike...I love it!!!!).
Each lap I put a little more time into the rest of the field and was feeling pretty elated as I neared the top of the very last steep climb..knowing that if I was ahead at this point I was pretty sure that I'd be able to hold my lead to the finish. A quick glance over my shoulder as I near the crest of this hill, and I breathe a small sigh of relief...I don't see anyone. THEN...all of a sudden Catherine Vipond flys by in her new kit...OH MY!!!!! She's in disquise, I totally didn't see her. I quickly grab a couple of gears, stand and hammer. I put a gap on her into the singletrack and am able to put some good time back into my lead through the long decent.
Up ahead I can see the trail opening up to the paved bike path that we take back into the village. 10m from the paved path...pssssst...psssst.....psssst....psssst....with a little Stans blowing up into my face.....WHAT!!!!! I'm total shock that I just flatted with less then 5 mins left in the race. Running through my brain...should I grab a wheel from the pit just around the corner...or should I ride to the finish???? My wheel is completely flat, I don't know how much time I have on Catherine....so as I round the last corner to the pit......"Rick!!!! I need a front!!!!!" Waving my hand....then all of a sudden my front wheel washes out.....the tire stretches so far over the rim rubs along the pavement....and there is no way I can control the bike.....slammmmmmm!!!!
I find myself off in the ditch on the side of the path...15 sec inventory...nothings broken....I think I'm okay.....I stagger up....fall down...crawl around a little........look around for the arm of my glasses (don't ask me why I was so concerned about this at the time)..finally make it all the way up....the commisaire is telling me that I can't continue.....What!!!! I'm okay!!!!...stagger a little......look over see Rick changing my front wheel......Commisaire still telling me that i shouldn't go on......I see Catherine Vipond whip by...."Oh no!!!!"....Rick finishes up my wheel and I grab my bike and jump back on just as Aleksandra Mooradian from Poland passes me.....swerve a little then grab a couple of gears and hammer...
I quickly grab Aleksandra's wheel and sit up for a second in the draft just to regroup myself....then decide that I fell okay, I can see Catherine, I'm going to try to catch her. Just as we enter the village I pass Aleksandra and head down I push as hard as I can. Weaving through the village I manage a small gap on her, as we near the top Peter Glassford and Matt Hadley move inbetween us, which is good because it puts a little time between us, but I get squeezed out in the final switchback corner as they try to pass me. I'm leading through the final sweeping left hand corner...hugging the inside of the turn....then all of a sudden she decides she's going to attack me......on the left side....there's NOOOOOO room......
I see her handlebars squeezing up beside me on my left side, out of the corner of my eye I see her handlebar inbetween my knee and arm...and like it's slow motion I watch as she pushes forward she catches my arm and hauls me down...Ugggggh...as I watch my bike grinding along the pavement on the handlebar and rear skewer. I can't be mad, rubbin's racing...when you're pushing as hard as you can, expecially near the end of the race, you don't always make the best decisions, I know I'm made a couple pretty bonehead moves myself :) Big saving grace was that I landed on her and her bike....nothing hurt and I was up faster....hammering the last 25 m to finish 2nd.
Right now, I'm pretty sore....that first crash really hit me hard....I think tomorrow is going to be tough...sitting in a small car as we travel from Mount Tremblant to Barrie....for the next Canada Cup.
And the unveiling of the new team Trek Canada trailer....coool!!!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Just imagine this bike with full XTR!!!! Yup, it's a beautiful sight....and a beautiful ride.
Arrive in Mount Tremblant last night...it was a rather uneventful trip compared to what I've had to deal with this year so far. Flights were smooth and on time...had to hang out in the Montreal airport for a couple hours waiting for my shuttle (that was probably the only downer of the travel day)....but the shuttle driver was awesome and stopped by the grocery store!!! 9:30 pm arrive at our uber chic barn condo off of el Diabloe golf course (this area is totally punch drunk with golf courses) to meet up with the rest of the Trek Canada Team.
Had a few troubles falling asleep, you wouldn't think 3 hours time change would be that much of a big deal, but it definitely throughs you off a little. Woke up fairly early....though later then the rest of the house.....with happy thoughts of putting together my new bike.
The Top Fuel...like always....rides awesome. It took a little adjusting and tweaking to get things feeling normal, but it's a super fun bike that climbs well and decends amazing.
Pre-road a couple of unusually extremely dry laps of the course. It's the same course as the past couple of years, but they've done a lot of work on the first half of the cousre....it's soooooo buff....haha, however, the second half of the course is soooooo rough (way more so then I can ever remember)......my wrists are actually a little sore from just my pre-ride....yikes.
Now....relaxing, geeking out, trying to get myself pumped up for the race tomorrow!!!!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Wake up 5am, on the bike by 5:45am....hit the trails by 6:15am.....awesome ride.....little chilly, hence the retro thermal Trek Vest...hehe....2 hour mtb ride....ya!!!!!
Thanks Regan for the awesome ride.
Big thanks to Mitch from Pro City Cycle for editing this up for me......makes me wanna go ride :)
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
World Cup in Houffalize......one word...ouch. They changed the course from the past couple of years, cutting out a few fun sections and adding more climbing, steeeeeeep climbing. It ended up being a great spectator course because thhe course looped back on itself a couple times and your could stand in one spot and see a lot. The start.......30% grade road climb (part of the Liege-Bastonge - Liege road race) was still the same as previous years, and off the gun it's max power and hr for a km to the top. I was call up number 64, outta about 120 women...awesome turnout....so my main goal was to make up as many positions as possible before the bottle necked singletrack.
You expend so much energy fighting for each spot....squeeze through an opening on the right only to be pinched out and pushed back....squeeze through an opening on the left and then get pinched out...grrrrrr. I find near the top of the climb, the road kicks up even steeper and girls start blowing here and that's the best place to grab a couple gears and hammer out as much as possible. A little wobbly at the top as we turn into the singletrack, surrounded by lots of other wobbly riders still trying to go as fast as we can ...haha. Up and over a small rise and all I see is bodies going down left and right...haha...the course had been soooo incredibly and uncharacteristically for Belgium hot and dry all week, so no one was expecting how much the start loop would degrade from the rain. Taking it a little slower and picking my way through the bodies I think I make up 10 spots right there :)
Throughout the race I find myself slowly moving up, battling with the same 2 riders, trading back and forth up the climbs and through the technical sections. Everytime we lap through the cobbled finish line I find myself distracted by the smell of sausage and fries.....mmmmmm (though not mmmmmm while breathing so hard).
Going into the final lap I was told I was in 29th, only 30 seconds out of the top 25. The final lap I find myself fading......yikes....I am able to hold off the girls behind for the first half of the last lap, but as we start into the second last climb I get swarmed by 5 girls...grrrrr...I grab a gear and stand to try to grab a wheel......yup, nope, not going to happen :( nothing left in the tank....but a quick glance over my shoulder shows another group of 3 girls right behind me. Climbing up the last steep climb I feel every muscle in my legs twinging...the kind of feeling just before a good cramp......as I crest the top of the climb I breath a small sigh of relief, but grab a couple gears....no time to rest here. About a km out, there is a goofy left turn off of pavement, a drop off over a curb into the final decent......I think I get a little excited here and almost blow the corner......skidding sideways on the damp pavement, I actually think my rear wheel was leading.
Somehow I manage to keep the rubber side down and finish in 34th :) my best ride and placing at Houffalize....yippeee. Although I was really hoping for top 20 (that's my world cup goals for the year) I'm really happy with how I road and how the race went.....this course isn't suited to any of me strengths....I mean, long steep climbs aren't really the best aspect for the biggest rider in the race...hehe.
MMMMMMMMM, post race crepe with nutella........this is what I've been dreaming about all year......haha, it's really the only reason I go race in Houffalize.
Hahaha, it's funny how I always manage to incorporate food into my blog......mmmmmm, nothing like the cherry pastry of some sort (I really gotta learn more french) from the bakery down the street.
Oh ya, this is the best photo I could find to show just how crooked out house was....every wall and floor was slanted in a different direction.....but it was cheeeeeeap!!!!!.
Long trip home, missed my connector in Chicago........our plane was an hour late landing, we got stuck in the plane for an hour (the sky walk was jammed so something), and customs....wow, couple hours there...of course I'm going to miss my plane. And I do have to say, airport people in Chicago aren't very nice :( never flying through that airport again if I can avoid it!!!! One thing after another kept happening on the way home, grabbed the wrong bike box in Van (ya, that was smart) and missed the last flight from Van to Vic (5 mins..grrrrr...and way too late for the last ferry for the night). So needless to say, I spent the night on the Van airport floor, 7 hours of either kinda sleeping and wandering around pushing my bike box....ya, not super fun.
Made it home to Vic on the first flight tuesday morning!!!!!! After a wicked breaky with Regan, the first thing I did was grab my training bike and BOB trailer for a trip to the Red Barn market...I love that place. Haha, that was another adventure too....waited out the first hail storm at the market drinking a coffee (over an inch of hail covered my trailer), and the second hail storm on the side of the trail under a tree....haha...it's a character builder!!!!!
That's brings me just about up to date. I've been getting back into the swing of training, and Laura at Serious Coffee has been great and I've been working some shifts there (early morning training ride, stretch, eat, work till 9).......plus side, drink coffee and frufru drinks to my hearts content while at work :)