Saturday, 25 June 2011

Fast and Female

Fast and Female Mountain Bike Camp July 17 !!!!

Pro City Sistas Ride

Pro City Sistas out of the Trek Victoria Bike Store. Thanks for the great ride this morning. That coffee back at the shop at the end of the ride was ohhh so good and well deserved!

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Test

I wasn't feeling the blog this morning, but as I'm sitting here drinking my coffee and listening to Regan groan behind me (okay, it's not what is sounds like, he's lying on the couch with a broken collarbone and shoulder blade for those who missed that info)....I just downloaded my Garmin from the race and reflecting on the ride. This was my first year at the Test of Metal, and it was a pretty neat experience. I think the past 2 years of BCBR covered almost everything on the course except the 9 mile climb (which isn't quite 9 miles but feels like 47 miles!!), but I've never ridden it put together like this so it was a new and exciting experience.

Over a 1000 starters for this one day race, sells out in something like 10 mins, this is one of those events that every cyclist has to try at least once. In my infinite wisdom, haha you'd think I'd learn, but how I do like to suffer....I thought I'd try to ride with Catharine Pendrel for as long as I could. Sounds like a good idea, right, but the start was incredibly fast (faster then day 6 of the BCBR), and I seem to have racer's amnesia and forgot just how long the start climb is up through the residential neighborhood. Needless to say, I was able to hold pace for the majority of the climb, but definitely blew a little around the 10 min mark. At this point local Brandi Heistermann and Jean Ann Berkenpas passed me and I was pretty near in survival mode for the next 3 hours.

I started coming around a little through Robb's corners, I mean how could you not get a surge of energy bombing through, what, 30 bermed downhill corners!! Coming through the feed zone for the first time and starting up the dreaded 9 mile climb I saw Jean Ann only 100 feet in front of me. Not quite 9 miles of slo-mo chasing brought me to within a stealthy 15 feet of her, but I wasn't able to close the gap once we crested the final road stretch of this climb and I found myself all by myself as I watched the pack in front of me disappear up the road. By the time I reached the final climb, with an absolutely amazing view overlooking a remote valley, the group and Jean Ann were no where in sight in front of me.

Enter Ring Creek Rip (I think that's what it's called)....a super fast, super long, super loose and super rocky double track, that seems like a single track decent. With a little hooting and hollering (how can you not have fun ripping down almost 10 km of uber fast trail...especially after having climbed for a good solid 50 mins) I put it in my big ring and hit speeds of 50 km/h on this section...giggle, giggle. I don't think I can count on both hands the number of people I passed in the bush with flat tires...thank goodness to tubeless tires!!

After bombing through these trails, we were kicked into the plunge which was rougher then I remember (though this was the first time I've ridden this on a hardtail) and pretty greasy. The infamous plunge is a pretty steep tight section of singletrack with a lot of wet roots and rocks. Having done this in the dry and on a dually the past two years without batting an eye, I wasn't prepared for how hard this trail can be when wet. Haha, nope, I definitely didn't clean it this year, and after 2 hours of hard riding up to this point I was more then a little tired and bouncing all over the trail.

Popping out onto the gravel road climb back up to the feed zone for the second time, I finally had the chance to do some solid pedaling, and what to my surprise, a muscle starts to quad, I've never had that muscle cramp before. But after 45 mins of descending after almost an hour of climbing, yup, I guess that's to be expected. After hitting the feedzone for the second time, we move into Crumpet Woods for the last twisty flowy and fun singletrack of the race. At this point I think my lack of planning with regards to nutrition intake during the race really caught up to me, one more Gold - Honey Stinger Gel would have really helped. I struggled through this fun section and was pretty relieved once I popped out on the pavement for the final push home.

Crossing the final road and hitting the long gravel path back to the finish, old BCBR and TR partner Jeff Neilson caught me, and just like old times he pulled me into the finish line. Finishing at just under 3:07, I missed my goal of sub 3 hours, and finished 4th in the elite women's category (57th overall); but I did end up having a really fun ride and like always, it was a great day to be on the bike.

2 weeks until the next World Cup in Mont Ste Anne, 2 weeks to find my fast!!!!

Monday, 13 June 2011

The good and the bad

So much going on the weekend!

So tired and sore from the Thursday night hammer ride. For some of those guys it's just an easy ride, but I was pinned most of the night so I was definitely feeling the effects of the effort. Friday was my active recovery day, so why not go for a little run (haven't been running in a while so that's always a good idea), then a little TRX (haven't done that in a while, I'm falling behind), then I went and signed up for the final Friday night Hotel Grand Pacific Harbor Sprints (haha, never done that). Great combination for already sore legs....I couldn't walk properly the next day.

So the friday night sprints were really cool, and there was a huge turn out. Because these are set up by the huge fixie crowd of Victoria, and probably half of the racers are riding fixies, on of the few rules for us geared riders...NO shifting gears. I've learned that I really don't have a great start when i have to start from big and 3/4 of the way down the cog....freakin hard gear. First round I was faced up against a super fast kid who practically walked away from me..haha. But thankfully there was a repassage (okay I really don't know how to spell that, but it means a do-over for us losers), and I managed to take the win...yippee. In my third round I kinda stalled out powering off the start, and by the time I was up to speed I had a lot of ground to make up.

This is me on my only win!!

Saturday morning I was moving a little slowly, but was excited when Regan and I geared up and headed out for a great mountain bike ride. I was definitely really slow getting going, but after I did the intervals Dan had scheduled for me (yes, they really sucked) and we ended up in Partridge Hills on some really wicked and gnarly trails. After both of us were significantly gooned we hit the road (after a coffee and cookie break at the Red Barn Market) to ride home.

This is where it turns from the good to the bad. I know I'm sponsored by Lazer Helmets but I can't emphasis enough just how great these helmets are. Not only are they the most comfortable lids around, but I have first hand (well I guess it's still second hand) experience with how good of protection that they provide. While powering up and over a small rise along the road, easily moving 40 km/h, Regan's chain unexpectedly exploded and the next thing I know he's going down hard and fast. After an ambulance ride and a 6 hours in emergency I get to bring him home with some really good road rash, and a broken scapula and clavicle.

Regan was trying out one of my new helmets on our ride, and it's not till later that night that I actually get to have a good look at the Lazer Helium , but the whole back end of the helmet is blown out. And he doesn't even have a concussion, or head pain.

Thank you Lazer for making the best helmets that do exactly what they are supposed to do. I'm definitely a Lazer fan for life!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Regan Pringle Stunt Double

Tonight was my first Thursday Night Ride. Thursday Night Ride you say, yes, every thursday for the past 100 years (well not quite, but a long time) a large group of fast dudes get together, rain or shine all year, and the testosterone flies. I've been hearing stories about these rides for two years from Regan and I finally decided I need to try one of these infamous rides out. Unfortunately Regan was stuck at work, so I was his stunt double for the evening. My Mom would be very proud of me, riding with 20+ spandex clad men ;)

Ya, 20+, I'd say closer to 30 people, one of the largest group rides that I've ever been on. The typical start to this ride is up and over Cairn Park, a small park in the middle of Esquimalt, then we headed out of town. I won't even try to describe where we were, cause I was completely lost for more then half of the ride. It's a great way to find new trails around Victoria.

Somewhere in the back stretches of the trails, we managed to loose half the group and I found myself with a group of 12 of really, really fast guys climbing up the backside of Finnlyason arm. I was out of my comfort zone a couple of times on the road, definitely, but that's exactly what I needed to work on. Once we hit the trails around Thetis Lake on the way back into town, the pace really started jumping. A couple guys attacked off the front....all I could see was the backside of Johnny Fokema, Carter Hoovey and Tom Skinner. I managed to slip into a group with Troy Woodburn and a tall guy from Oak Bay (sorry guy).....And here is the training that I really needed!!! Pinning it for 20 mins on the Goose (haha, the awesome recreational trail through Victoria)....with jumping efforts to grab back onto the back of groups and pulling through when it was my turn...yup, road racing essentially. It seems that a lot of the racing that I've done this year has turned into more of a road style race, so this was perfect and painful.

Rolled home after almost 3 and a half hour evening ride, covering just under 60 km...ya! Yikes. And Regan had a wicked pasta super waiting for, I'm going to drool all night, so glad I have a recovery day tomorrow!!!

Thanks TNR guys for letting this girl ride with you!!!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Up and Over the Malahat...

Why not :)

Sun Finally!

Finally some nice, like really nice, weather in Victoria. I came home just in time!!! Had my first ride in Victoria for the 2011 year in short sleeves and no arm June. Yikes. You have to take advantage of the warmer weather whenever it comes. After recovering from the European jet lag that had me falling asleep at 8 and waking up at 3 every day for the past week, I got sick. Haha, yup, good old airplane germs and recycled air, gotta love it. But when it's 25 + out and sunny, a little head cold won't hold me back.

Did some really awesome mtb riding with Pro City Racing's Jamie Cameron and of course my very own training partner Regan over the weekend!!! Not a stitch of mud anywhere, I love it.

Last night was the first official "Pro City Sistas" group ride, and what a great turn out!! It's kind of a continuation of the Tour de Victoria clinic group, but geared just towards women. We headed out with a group of 12 ladies to the Prospect Lake loop (one of my favorites - feels like you're out in the middle of nowhere) and managed to pick up 2 more random women. It's amazing how many people look at the large group of women riding and ask "Is this a group ride? How do I get started?". Go talk to the guys at Trek Bikes Victoria to get all the info and sign up on the mailing list. And just wait till we get our jersey's!

Thanks for the riding everyone!!!