Wednesday, 5 December 2012

CXLA and SSCXWC.....busy!!

Rain in LA!!  What the....  Left cold, wet Victoria least it was warm and wet.  Final race of the Cross After Dark series Saturday night, another UCI race Sunday morning and SSCXWC Sunday night lead to a jam packed weekend!  And as usual we did you quick in and out trip.  After flight delays, yippee San Fransisco fog/rain.

After a day of just a little rain, the course seemed to be drying up nicely.  Pre-ride on my dry tires was awesome and the flat CXLA course looked like it was going to be fast!  It started raining shortly into my warm up, but no panic, it's really sandy so conditions should stay half decent for a while.  Wow, couldn't have been more wrong with that one!!  I couldn't believe how fast the conditions of the course turned really really really slippery.  I was sorely missing my Kenda Kwickers on this one.  A good wipe out coming out the BMX course and I lost contact with the lead group.  After that I found myself tip toeing around all the corners, perfecting the fish tail!!  And in a great battle with a couple of girls for 8th to 10th.  I know I wasn't the only one having troubles with the mud, it was about an inch layer of grease sitting on top of the hard pack underneath.....just like riding on ice.  I made my one and only move on the last long straight away in the final lap and managed to put a small gap on those two to nab the 8th place spot.

Some yummy greasy Chinese food for supper (didn't sit so good the next morning), Regan did a great job of cleaning all the bikes and we were in bed by 2am.  Only to have to get back up at 7:30 to make our 12 noon start.  Talk about a quick turn around, I think everyone was hurting today!

I decided to run the Kwickers on Sunday, and after not even a half lap pre-ride (which was all I could get my bike through, sticky gluey peanut butter mud did not make my bike happy....and impossible to clean) we converted my pit bike to a single speed.  Had a great race on Sunday, blew up a little in the last 2 laps, but it was fun being able to ride up at the front for the first couple of laps.  Pepper roared by me in the final lap (and put some good time into me) and I finished 7th place.

Another quick turn around, change into dry clothes and easy spin on the trainer, and it was SSCXWC time!  I've wanted to do this for a couple of years now, but it just never worked out, so when I found out it was with the UCI races this year I was really stoked!  Few little mods to the course; whisky short cut through a minivan (I have perfected the barrel roll) and the sesspool of filth (ewwwww) and a lot of very rowdy fans.  There were some awesome costumes out there, I personally sported a Norwegian jumpsuit/pajama/I don't really know what it was....but it was comfortable!  Waldo aka Pepper was coming on strong, until she took one too many whisky short cuts.  The very itsy bitsy bikini with lace body suit made a late charge and ended up only 200m behind me at the finish.  I didn't catch anything in the sess pool (there was some money filled condoms and a bike frame), but I had an absolute blast.  Shortly following the mens single speed race I was kidnapped and taken straight to east Hollywood for the coveted SSCXWC tattoo!!  What a story :-)

Thank you Dorothy Wong for organizing CXLA and Murphy Mack for the SSCXWC.  Huge thank you to Matt and Joan Wehn for the yet again awesome home stay, and Regan for looking after all the bikes!!  It was great having almost the whole team there together again!!!  Looking forward to rocking the X-Fire disc again in the mud this weekend in Bend!!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Jersey Baby!!!

Wow....It looks like all I need is some really nasty cold rain and mud to have a great race.  I’ve been wishing for mud all week cause I was really excited to run my Kenda Kwickers in the mud, love these tires, and they helped me win my first ever Canadian National Championship title....YIPPEE!!!!!!  Though halfway through the race I was really wishing for some warm sun 

Caught the 5pm ferry over to Vancouver Friday night after work, made a quick stop at the pet store to buy another collar and leash (not used to packing for the puppy yet), then over to the venue for about 8pm.  I did a quick slippery walk around as much of the course as I could...should have brought a Regan set up the tents near the course. 

Photo by Steve Pukesh 
Saturday morning still hadn’t brought the forecasted rain and I was seriously starting to doubt my tire selection.  Come noon the skies opened up, and I mean it started DUMPING!!  Horrible start slipped my pedal once, twice...uggh...finally got in and had some work to do.  Thankfully the starting straight was really wide so I had no problems finding a path back up to the lead group.   Pretty quickly we had a break with Pepper Harlton, Wendy Simms and I off the front with a small gap to Catherine Pendrel and Emily Batty.  First time up the stairs I tripped, second time up the stairs I tripped hard landing on my knees in the rocky mud, third time up the stairs I tripped yet again!! GEEEEEZZZZZZ, first time with my new feet!  I think it was the 3rd step each time too 

Photo by Steve Pukesh
All 3 of us were trading blows trying to hammer each other and break away...also knowing there were some really fast women very close behind us.  Part way through the 3rd lap, Pepper started having some problems with the corners and hit the ground a couple of times.  This allowed Wendy and me to open up a gap on her.  We seemed to work together a little to put some distance between us and the chase.   Near the end of lap 3, through the slow slick off camber section, Wendy choose to run and I managed to clean it (just), looking back I had opened up a small gap so I kept the pressure on.  I ran a clean race for the final 2 laps, staying upright with Regan’s smooth is fast and fun mantra.  Not quite believing it I won my first ever National Champion title!!!  Happy Dance, Happy Dance, Happy Dance....though I was too cold do to my happy dance at the time.  Celebrated in style by ordering in pizza, grabbing a tub of Haagen Daas and popping the top to some San Pellegrino.  YUP, I’m wild in my victory....supper in bed!!

Photo by Jamie Cameron
Photo by Jamie Cameron
Day 2 had no more rain, leaving the mud a very sticky peanut buttery consistency, and a really flipping cold wind.  They changed the course a little, removing my dreaded stair (not sure my knees could have handled that one again) and all the straight aways were straight into the nasty head wind.  Had a great start but smartly decided not to stick myself out in the wind right off the bat.  Sunday’s race stayed a lot closer together due to the wind making it a very different dynamic of racing, really neat to have a race so close.  After the first lap I found myself in the group just slightly off the front with Catherine, Wendy and Pepper.  Lap 2 Catherine had some serious troubles with the blowing course tape and soon it was just the 3 of us again.

Photo by Steve Pukesh
Photo by Jamie Cameron

No one launched attacks (when we did it was useless) because as soon as you moved out of the draft you were really hammered by the wind.  My only strategy for this day was to hit the last section of muddy course in the lead.  I wanted to have a clean run at the course and if I made a mistake I didn’t want a gap to open up.  I had a clean run and the second last corner I heard Wendy who was sitting second wheel bobble and I opened up a gap.  There was a fast pavement downhill into a hairpin corner to the finishing straight from there.  I hadn’t realized how hard Pepper had hammered to catch back up to me, and while rounding that last hairpin I noticed her tire out of the corner of my eye.  Head down full on sprint (slowly) uphill into the head wind.  She played it smart, staying in my slipstream as long as she could, but made her move a little too late and I was able to just hold her off at the line, taking my second win of the weekend.

Photo by Jamie Cameron
Thanks ladies for the awesome weekend of racing.  Hard, muddy, cold and fun   And thanks Daryl Evans for hosting the nationals weekend.  This was my first really good disc brake cross bike experience and they were great.  Late breaking into hard rough muddy downhill’s, no problems!  My Ridley X-Fire performed flawlessly with my Stan’s Iron Cross Wheels and Kenda Kwicker tires at 25 psi...loving this low pressure thingy.  Very thankful for my Lazer Aeroshell, kept my noggin warm!!  Huge thank you to everyone for their congratulations and big hugs!!  Thank you to my great Stan’s No Tubes CX team and my awesome mechanic Regan who made everything run so smoothly!!

Giggle giggle giggle

USGP Loo-uh-ville

USGPcx weekend #3, World Championships course preview....AWESOME!!! Hard, hard, hard, hard, hard, both physically, technically and mentally. Over 50 starters in the women’s field makes this by far the largest cross race I’ve ever competed in. Have to say it wasn’t one of my better performances this weekend though. Not sure what it was, but things didn’t quite come together for the race the way that I planned. Felt great during the week, really strong and fresh, felt good for the pre-ride (tough a little sore from the 18 hour travel day....funny how you pay less to travel substantially farther then the expensive flights), and warm up was good. Not ideally placed for start either day, second row, far left behind Mo Bruno Roy, I ended up fairly far back in the mix going into the nasty first sand pit each day. Burnt a few matches but managed to get myself up into the chase group.
Saturday I lost contact with the chase group at about 20 mins, but I was able to keep the pressure on and not loose too much time...still finishing 11th place. Sunday I lost contact running up through the sand pit again at about 20 mins and had a lot more troubles mentally rallying myself to keep hammering. Everything felt like slow mo pain and I just held on for 14th place at the end of the race......and surprisingly not that much farther behind then Day 1.
I’ve noticed this year that I don’t seem to have the fitness that I did last year to be able to race to full capacity after killing myself in Day 1....going to insert an excuse here lol, thinking my after work night training may be starting to catch up with me a little......feel like just sleeping...A LOT! Let’s see if I can fudge my fitness for one more week into a very muddy Canadian Nationals this weekend in Vancouver. Going to be one of the most competitive Nationals CX race to date for the women and I’m excited for it to be nasty wet and muddy.
For Day 2 race I successfully ran 19 psi in the rear and 16 psi in the front with my Stan’s Iron Cross wheels with Kenda Kommandos and didn’t burp or roll my tires, on a course that had a high chance of doing so....these things are awesome, I say it again! However it definitely not the best choice of pressures (the old thumb test squeeze for pressure check has failed me), I did have a very cushy ride!

Friday, 26 October 2012


    Back to back double headers really are kicking my butt this year, not to mention the change in weather right now...I'm finally starting to come around almost 1 week later!

    Home monday from the USGP #2 in Fort Collins, work 3 days, then straight down to LA Friday night for SOCAL double header Spooky Cross and Krosstoberfest. Really fun event....some cool costumes (damn UCI rules or I would have had something fun on), a little sand pit action (with a surprising amount of new sand dumped for the first lap), some awesome BMX action (big air!) and great weather.

    Got in really late Friday night so it was really nice having an ├╝ber lazy Saturday morning leading into the night Spooky Cross. Though getting ready for a 7:30 pm race has it's own challenges. My first front row call up at a UCI race of the I finally got to test out my starts. Yup, still got my starts :-) Now if only I could hold that for 40 mins...I'd be like World Champ or something maybe! Head down and hammer, hammer, hammer for the first lap before I finally relinquish my lead....okay, I got overtaken. It was a great battle with us 4 leaders attacking each other the entire race. Elle Anderson, Teal Stetson Lee, Courtney McFadden and myself. Road tactics really played a large part in this race, with a lot of fast open straight sections you could really save a lot of energy by drafting. 3rd lap in Elle took a flyer and put a good couple corners into the rest of us. At this point I was really starting to feel my first lap effort of trying to ride everyone off my wheel....haha, yes, I know! It looked like Elle was going to have a clear shot at the win, when all of a sudden we come around the corner to find her picking herself up at the bottom of the stair run up. Even pros have dismounting and mountin issues sometimes! Teal attacked here and broke us up completely. I tailed along just out of reach and finished in 4th place, with my first podium of the year!

    Day 2, on the exact same course I decided to employ a slightly different tactic, not launching my start attack and try to sit in a little more off the start. Sunday's race ended up with the same 4 women off the front killing ourselves. Teal launched an early attack and she was slowly reeled in only to have Elle counter attack and have a smooth run in for 1st place. 3rd place sprint came down to myself and Courtney, I didn't play my cards right and I just didn't have the kick to get around her. Pair of 4's for the weekend!
Photo: Dorothy Wong

Photo: Phil Beckman

    As per usual, the Stan's No Tubes CX team works together flawlessly making for a great weekend, thanks team. Regan came with me as team mechanic, so of course my bikes worked flawlessly, thanks Regan!! Thank you to Matt Wehn (Kenny's dad) for the awesome home stay and thank you Dorothy Wong for hosting the weekend!!
Photo: Phil Beckman

    Stressful flight home with rain delays and lost luggage...doesn't make me a very happy traveller when all 3 of my bags don't show up, especially when you have to pay extra for the bikes! Not to mention the fact that when I called 2 days later, they didn't have any idea where my bags were!!! Bikes have since made it home safely.

    On completely different and other exciting news, Regan and I, after a lot of thought, have adopted the sweetest little girl ever. Big brown eyes, big sharp teeth....haha yes, 9 week old Laila is a Boxer puppy. So this past week has been a flurry of poop and pee and kisses and all sorts of new adventures. I'm a first time pet owner (besides the typical gold fish) and Regan has some limited experience growing up with a dog, so this is all new, exciting and scary! I really want to get her a little pumpkin costum for halloween!!! Yup, I'm going to be that kind of mom :-)

Monday, 15 October 2012

USGP Fort Collins Action

USGP weekend number 2 in the books. Not as successful here in Fort Collins as last year, but still an awesome weekend with some great people. Shannon has done an amazing job with the Stan's NoTubes CX team and I feel so lucky to be a part of the team and being able to ride such great gear.

Finally got to try out the Ridley X-Fire disc in a little mud this weekend....though definitely not as much as last year or as much as on the island (looks like it was a good weekend to get away!). Some nasty rain moved in Friday night and Saturday morning and it was looking like it would be a near carbon copy of last years mudfest, but as I was warming up the sun started peaking through and I really can't believe how fast things started drying up! Race conditions were perfect, corners tacky and a little bit of mud to make things exciting. I was hoping to have a better call up, but I keep forgetting its based on UCI points not series points, but manages to grab the last 2nd row position.

I had a great race but just didn't have the oomph to stick with the wheels I needed to. Thinking back I have some doubts as to if I could have squeaked a little more out of my legs and stuck with this wheel or that wheel it could have been a lot different. The next 5 spots in front of my hard fought 9th all seemed to slow the same as me....I just happened to do it a little sooner.

Photo credit © Dave McElwaine
With this in mind I headed into day 2 with the main goal of challenging myself to stay with that wheel. However my body seemed to have different ideas. Things were going great, found myself in a good spot, moving up through the field on Pepper's wheel (who had an amazing weekend of races), but when she made the move around Caroline Mani and I couldn't due to ....insert excuse of corner into the time I passed Caroline I had a lot of work to catch back up.

Photo credit © Dave McElwaine
Entering that red very red zone can happen only a couple of times in a race, but throw in some good altitude and you can enter that zone even less. I hit that zone and didn't manage to make contact finding myself panting painfully in no mans land for a little too long. A strong roadie wheel passed me (very fast course today...ave 21.7km/h) and I manages to keep myself in the mix for a little longer. The final lap 6 came and I was swarmed by 4 women in a heart beat. Just dangling off the back of this group for the last lap I couldn't muster the pop to catch anyone's wheel....but managed to hold off Amanda Carey who was just a head of me Saturday and hold on for 14th place.

Photo credit © Dave McElwaine
No worthy excuses...though I could come up with a lot :). But I'm hoping it turns into a good learning weekend for me. Teammate Kenny Wehn who had an awesome weekend in the Master 35+ gave me an awesome workout to I come Wednesday.

It was the first weekend to have the whole team together, it's pretty near being a part of a team that travels and works well together. Had a lot of fun this weekend...thank you Regan for the pre-trip complete overhaul, thank you Chris and Kenny for dialling my bike on for race day, and huge thank you to our host housing Randy!! As usual I loved the Stan's Iron Cross wheels, working flawlessly at my new 24/25 psi....yes, I'm coming to enjoy running lower pressure!!!

Photo credit © Dave McElwaine

Back home for 3 days work, then straight down to Spooky Cross in LA. Really excited about this race!!!!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Double header weekend, quick morning trip over to Vancouver, stuffing our faces on the 7 am ferry buffet, then straight to New Brighton Park for Vancouver Cyclocross Coalition race number 2.  Awesome course!!!!  Super fun and fast, and pretty good turn out with over 150 racers.

Testing the limits of the Kenda Kommando, and pleasantly surprised
Pic from Steve Pukesh

Pic by Amir Shahrestani

SANNNNNNNND, makes me look fast!
Pic from Doug Brons

Pic from Steve Pukesh
Somehow managed to catch the 3:15 ferry back to the island.  Quick stop at Bocco Coffee shop in Nanaimo (must check that one out...10 pound cookies!!...well, not quite), then hauled ass up to Courtney, for some fresh made Amanda Wakeling pizza and Eatmore Sprouts salad....yes, with the best sprouts ever!

Day 2 of the double header was the Dodgy Cross in Cumberland, with the infamous giant whirly-whirl (that did consistently make me dizzy while trying to change directions) and the BMX track (that claimed more then one victim).

Decided I needed the training, yup, second double header in a row (great idea) and raced with the men again.  Nothing but slow diesel in these legs at this point, but managed to hold it together somewhat for a 19th place (and didn't get lapped!)....but I did manage to miss time the barriers a little and did some fancy footwork inbetween the two planks.  Thanks guys for the beer feed.....though I'm not too sure it made my laps any faster (still could't catch Regan (who kept the rubber on the wheel today)...but managed to stay ahead of Russ Anderson (no one has to know he double flatted).....these two should be on the Stan's No Tubes!!!)

At least G-off Robson makes me look really fast!  Or maybe it's my Ridley X-Fire (Belgian bikes can do that)

Thanks Regan for the awesome action packed weekend, I'm still knackered!!!  Thanks Amanda and Glen for putting us up for the night and feeding us sprouts!  Huge thanks to the organizers of the New Brighton Superprestige and the Dodgy Cross....both fantastic races!!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

USGPcx home of ice cream and cheese!

Wow, back at work after a week of living the life!! Bikes, food and sleep...haha, ah yes, the life of a racer. After a crazy fast couple days in Vegas we hopped on a plane and headed over to the dairy capital of America for the first USGPcx races of 2012....and of course some ice cream.

After weeks of only sun, the sudden appearance of rain in the Madison forecast just before we got there had me frowning a little. I know cross is supposed to be all nasty weather and such, but I’m really enjoying not having to “clean” my bike after riding. Although we had some really crazy storms during the night, the course was so dry that you really couldn’t even tell during the day that there had been any rain at all! No repeat of the previous year’s mud bath at this more weekend of dust.

The course was fast and very rough, with lots of tight corners and some tough little all a very fun challenging course. Lucky number 13 both days (no, I’m really not superstitious) gave me a 2nd row call up. Both days played out pretty similar, and I ended up with a pair of 8’s on the weekend. Great start, finding myself in the lead pack for the first lap or 2, but slowly loosing contact as the pace stays high. Definitely feeling Vegas in my was most everyone else, not just the racing, but the staying up till 2 in the morning eating Chinese food.

Day 1, I had a good battle with Mo Bruno Roy, trying to shake her off my wheel for 2 and a half laps. I finally managed to put some space in between us and gassed it to the finish. Day 2, I found myself working with fellow Canadian Pepper Harlton trying to chase down the group in front of us, but she proved to be stronger on the day and I couldn’t hold her wheel. Sunday’s battle was with Nicole Duke, once I caught her, she seemed to find some more in the tank and we rallied against eachother. It was going to be a really tight race to the finish, but she made a mistake in a corner, sliding out in the grass and I was able to put a little time in between us.

So, 4 hard races in 8 days, and lots of flying......and I’m pooped. Having not raced or trained much during the summer, I’m finding I’m not entering the cross season as strong as I did last year, which I’m hoping is a good strategy World Championships in February is a lloooooooong ways off. Got some work to do over the next couple weeks, get myself ready for USGPcx #2 in Fort Collins.

I have to gush again about how much I’m loving my new bike, the Ridley X-Fire with the Stan’s Iron Cross wheels. Now that I’m playing around with pressure on the tubeless set up, I’m actually convinced it’s a much better option then tubulars! The disc brakes are still something I’m getting used to, learning how to feather the brakes more is going to take a little more time than the 4 rides I’ve had on the bike, haha, but I’m really excited to try them out when the weather starts going south! It’s pretty neat being on a product at the fore-front of a big change, I think this is the way things are going to go in the next couple of years.

Thank you again to the Stan’s NoTubes team for all of the support this past week, I have a great team and I’m really excited about this entire season! Okay, back to work 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Cross Vegas version 2012

Alright ..... Here we go again!!! Cross season is in full swing. And I'm starting it off in style again. This past weekend was the first Cross on the Rocks race right in Victoria.... Record number of starters too at 208!! Figuring I needed the extra workout I opted to race with the men. Little more elbow rubbing then usual and I nearly ended up on the ground on the start, but had a great time and finished 16th.

One day of work, then packed up and headed south to Las Vegas and to meet my new team, Stan's NoTubes Cyclocross Team. Great group of people involved with the team and supporting the team, I'm really excited about this year.

Cross Vegas kicks off the season as a very fast paced road style cross race, with awesome fan turn out and big names from all over the world. Coming off an Olympic year it was exceptionally fast this year, frothing at the mouth kind of fast. I managed to hang with the lead group for the first 3 laps, getting dropped a little on the straight aways (gotta learn how to take advantage of these big legs!) and making up time on the run ups/barriers and technical sections. Halfway through the 4th lap Georgia Gould attacked and that was it for me, just out of contact for a little, but slowly the gap grew. I battled hard for the next lap and a half, lost a few spots but managed to finish where I started, 15th.....same as last year.

Very first ride on my new Ridley X-Fire and WOW!!! I've been on Trek for so long I was kind of scared to try something different, but I was amazed and really happy with how stiff and responsive these bikes are. I'm ruined!!! Can't go back now. Also getting to try out the new Stan's Iron Cross tubeless wheels with the Kenda Komando was fantastic. After running tubulars last year I was sad to switch back to clinchers, but I have to say that these are pretty darn awesome!! Designed specifically to cross tires, with a slightly wider and shallower rim you can run lower pressure without having the tires roll on you. And you don't have to glue tubulars!!!!!!

Massive bonk last night packing up bikes and the van, didn't leave the venue till 12:30 in true morning. And being Vegas we were easily able to find some nasty Chinese food....really, this place is silly is a better word for it. Trying to recover now in the Denver airport as we head over to Wisconsin for the first USGP weekend. FULL ON NOW!!!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Camping and Crossing and Weddings Oh My

       A bit of an adventurous weekend!! First camping trip with the BOB trailer....and I’m really glad I wasn’t the one pulling the trailer. I’ve got all the camping gear, but some of it is older and some of it is really heavy, so we had that poor trailer loaded to the full the bag wouldn’t even close! And I had to carry a bag with a few extras too. What did we pack???? Tent, 2 sleeping pads, 2 sleeping bags (one really large heavy one), 2 small camp pillows, 2 small puffy jackets, a few snacks and just enough clothes for a nice Salt Spring wedding. It would have been interesting to know the weight of that thing.

     When we came up with the idea, I had every intention of pulling the trailer. Strength workout!! Or even splitting it up and sharing the load. But chivalry stepped in and Regan insisted he pull the damn thing....the whole way! Nice and flat out to the ferry, under 90 mins of cruising speed on the flattest route possible. 30 min ferry ride in the sun. Then 45 mins of hills!! Having been over to Salt Spring only twice before (Regan’s first time), I had a little amnesia on just how many hills there are. I had planned to take the back route, avoiding the main road, but on the first climb out of the ferry terminal we looked at the hill and decided against that route.

    If you’ve never had the chance to pull a BOB trailer before, it’s actually really hard work. Add a 70 pound fat suit and try to climb an already hard hill!! And because of how the BOB mounts to the bike, on the rear axle, you can’t actually stand to climb either...the weight of the trailer just pulls the bike over and makes it very wobbly. I don’t think I’ve seen Regan suffering this much before...thank you chivalry!

    Quick set up of the tent, shower and thankfully a pick up from Sylvia......the B&B was a lot farther away then it looks on the map. Congratulations to Chyrs and Scotty on the beautiful wedding! And I killed the game of bocci!! After the supper and reception Regan chanced a look outside to see a pretty wild wind storm had come up and we hadn’t pegged down the tent!! Yikes. Nothing had blown away, but we spent a little bit of a restless night listening to branches falling down all around us.

     On the way home, we had planned to hit some of the trails on the island, but after a slow morning we headed straight for the 1:30 ferry over to Crofton. Thank you Dave Phaf for taking our trailer home for us  3 ½ hours over the Malahat on the cross bikes and back into town....we were both so knackered that we were in bed and passed out before 9pm.

     With just enough time to recover, Monday night I held my first women’s learn to cross clinic and it turned out awesome! 20 women, some having never tried cyclocross before, showed up and I went over the basics to get them through the first Cross on the Rocks this weekend in Victoria. Thank you Eboost and Stan’s NoTubes for the samples!

    Getting ready for Cross Vegas as its coming up way too fast!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Langley Cross

I say it every year....and I'm saying it again, I Can't Believe It's Cross Season Already!!!!  With just over 2 weeks until Cross Vegas I figured it'd be a good idea to get a couple races under the belt before I head down.  I honestly wasn't sure how things would feel this season.  I've switched my focus more to cross for the season, but I'm also working a full time office job and coaching myself.  I've done this racing thing long enough that I should have some kind of idea on how to prepare myself, but it really is difficult telling yourself that you're doing the right thing.  The last couple weekends have been a little bit of a training write off with a 2 part stagette!!! But surfing is really hard work I've found out and probably really great cross training.

I had planned on the first Cross on the Rocks race being the kick off to the cross season, but when Regan found this Langley BC Cup race we jumped at the opportunity for some early season pain.  With Regan's Master's Men category starting 3 mins ahead of us women, I was bound and determined not to let the guys catch me.

Off the gun I pulled my favourite move...hammer!!!  Long straight away, first corner smooth, long straight away.....waaaay too much speed into the second corner and off into the pumpkin patch....literally!  Sideways skid in deep powdery took me half the length of the third straight away to get myself back on the track.

I'm getting pretty good at my dismounts/mounts...and somewhat good at my run ups (stair sprints may be a good thing), and I put a gap on the field going up the looooong run up.  Jean Ann who was right on my wheel tried to ride and dabbed dropping back to 4th.  Back on the bike, a little tight dusty single track and out on the double track.

After the first 2 laps I saw the 6 laps to go card and had second thoughts about how hard I'd gone out....good training!  I had Jean Ann breathing down my neck the whole race, just out of touch but close enough to make me keep the pressure on....though we both did take the time for the whiskey feed.  Highly NOT recommended!!!!  Most of it came back up, and I still had 2 more full laps to it good training when you're maxed out and your throat is burning, and not a good burn at all.

Photo by Doug Brons
Great start to the season and I'm really excited, though still a little nervous, for the season with my new team Stan's NoTubes.  Looks like my training partner is going to kick my butt repeatedly this season too as he finished 2nd place :-)

Photo by Steve Pukesh

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Monday, 13 August 2012

3 weeks later

Wow, okay I know. I totally missed the boat on this one, but finally here's a quick recap of my very busy last couple of weeks....haha, I know, excuses already!!

Yes I'm golfing....of sorts
Photo Regan Pringle 
Left off at Transrockies.....geez I'm slacking.  I have to say that this year the Transrockies really worked me over in Fernie, no crashes, but each day I was left so wrecked that all I could that all I could do was nap at the end of each stage....THANK YOU DAD for cleaning my bike.  Not sure if I'm out of shape from having to work full time....I know, oh poor me lol, or if it was my head cold that finally caught up to me (that's what I'm blaming) or something else.  It's taken me a while to recover from the 3 days.  I was really sad to go home after just the TR3 while all the TR7ers continued year I'm thinking 7 days again!

TR3 Final Podium
Photo John Gibson
 Day 2 and 3 were on the ski hill side of the Fernie valley, which is all steep, steep, steep climbing, my forte for sure!!  Going to make me strong.  I had a good race on my hands for these last two days, putting only a couple mins on 2nd place each day.  Day 3 we ended up at the beautiful Island Lake Lodge again, never really did find out if there is an island in that lake, but this year instead of just finishing after making the long climb up to the lodge, we continued higher and higher and higher.  Up past the lodge, around the back side of one of the surrounding mountains right through prime bear country and lots of fresh scat, to the very top ....... amazing views!!!!  Well worth the climb...which was good because I was just about ready to chuck my bike off the side of the cliff from all the climbing.  Then straight down a tightly switched back hiking trail to the lodge.  End early bird pricing on now for anyone wanting to do it next year :-)

Fast forward a week, which was last weekend, Regan and I are transformed into road riders for the long weekend.  Saturday we headed out for a mellow Goose cruise out to Sooke and up Otter Point in search of a beach (that was my big goal for this super sweltering day).  Our planned destination ended up being a private boy scouts beach....don't think skinny dipping in the middle of the day there would have gone over very well.  A quick look at the map and we picked out another lake, only to realize about 6 km in that the nasty gravel road climb up to Boneyard Lake wasn't going to get any better.  Turning around I actually think now the decent was harder then the climb, nothing like bombing down a low grade gravel road with large embedded rocks, eyes shaking in my head, can't feel my handlebars or feet.....not recommended on a road bike.  Quick well timed greasy pizza stop in Sooke, looking for a beach is hard work, and we finally stopped to soak our numb feet in a small slew in Langford on our way home.  5+ hours later, we were both pretty cooked!
Photo Regan Pringle

Aptly named road........I'm trying to work on my tan lines, I don't usually walk around like this...or do I
Photo Regan Pringle 
I'd never been to Port Renfrew before, so sunday needing a day off the saddle, we heading up the coast.  Leaving 30 degrees in Victoria, I was really excited about some hot beach time, but the cold fog in the Port made my bikini time very short lived :-(  Never did anything to help with my great tan lines.

Instead of joining the masses on Sunday for the closed to traffic Hurricane Ridge ride, we decided to go over holiday monday, which ended up being a great decision.  Also, instead of getting up really freaking early and catching the 6am ferry we slept in and grabbed the 10:30.  Again, leaving hot sunny Victoria, we hit Port Angeles and it was cold, windy and looked like it was going to be seriously nasty. Past a few riders shivering in the ferry terminal after the early morning ride.  It ended up being absolutely perfect.  The higher we climbing the warmer it got, the clouds burned off and by the time we summited the 18 mile climb it was hot and sunny.  Quick snack break and a giant brownie, then we were off passing each other and traffic all the way fun!!!  Perfectly timed, we pulled into the ferry terminal with 20 mins to space!  Awesome job Regan and Eiry, both self proclaimed "non-climbers" killing the Ridge!

What a couple dorks!
Photo Regan Pringle

Fast forward one more weekend, and I had a last minute trip to Whistler for Crankworx Fat Tire Crit and Canadian Open Enduro.  Both really neat events, and as per Crankworx style, lots of people out to watch.  The Fat Tire Crit is just that, a crit race on mountain bikes....15 mins plus 3 laps of pure pain.  I really haven't worked that hard in ...... I don't remember the last time I worked that teeth were sore from breathing so hard!!!  Felt great off the start and grabbed the first $100 prime, but my lack of intensity was soon very evident and I just couldn't hold the blistering, yes blistering pace of Kelli Emmet, Jean Ann Berkenpas, Sandra Walter and Rosaro Joseph.  But I managed to hang in no mans land for the last 5 laps and finish 5th place......great kick start to cross training :-)

Fat Tire Crit.......Prime #1
Photo Colin Meagher

This Open Enduro is something new to me, and I really have to admit that I was really nervous about this one.  I know I'm pretty competent with my technical abilities, and descending is definitely on of my strengths, but her I am entering a predominately downhill race, riding the runs blind, against some serious fast girls.  Stage 1 to 3 went off really good, actually ended up winning stage 2 ( which had more climbing then the other stages) and was 1 of only 2 girls to make my stage 2 time (some potentially fishy timing going on with this stage)....and I only got myself into good trouble once, having to perfect my steep downhill cyclocross dismount!  Proud to say I rocked the spandex and XC 29er the best I could!
Getting ready for Stage 1 - Crank it up!  Getting the GoPro set up
Photo Colin Meagher

Stage 4 had my knickers in a little bit of a bunch though.  From the very top of Whistler to the bottom......1500m of descending all at once....oh my poor XC bike!  Taking the Gondola up with Kiwi's Anja and Tristan from the Transrockies (funny where you run into people), I looked over to the right to see a chair life running up the rock face...."We're not going up there are we??"  with an audible quake in my voice..."YUP" lol.  Riding up that last chair to the Top of the World I noticed a lot of random ski poles and other debris that probably ended up there in a bad way.  Once I got moving on the run, it really wasn't' that bad.  Wish I had done a pre-run though because I know I lost a lot of time pussy footing up to a couple rock faces, unsure what the line was.  26 mins later I roll, yes roll, not drop, down the GLC into Whistler Village.  I could barely pry my fingers off the bars haha, but THAT WAS AWESOME!!!  Somehow managed to finish 6th overall and only 5 mins down from winner and professional dher Strand.
Stage 4 - It is called the Top of the World for a good reason
Photo Colin Meagher

WOW...this is a long post, so that's all I've got for now!!  Cross time!

Infamous Pringle/Dyck pizza off.....Regan's on the right won the taste test this's on!
Photo Regan Pringle

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Here we go again TR3

Day 1 of Transrockies #5 for me!! Wow, has it been that many?? Unfortunately I'm only doing the 3 day again this year....but that's probably a good thing as I seem to have caught a nasty little head cold. Feels like my eyes are going to bug out from the pressure. Riding is I should just keep riding. Pounding the vitamin loaded EBOOST to try to curb this thing fast.

Day 1 starts and finishes in Fernie as time trial style on some of the best trails in North my humble opinion. When asked when I'd like to start I slotted myself behind Wendy and Norm, my 1 minutes rabbits. Nothing like a little Hyperventilation action to start off the event. It's my 3rd time racing up that beast this year, I think I'm getting it dialled! Managed to keep the super strong Czech masters behind me on the climb and just caught my rabbit at the top of The climb.

Down the backside of this climb, Hyperextension and Roots, is a fast technical and long downhill...LOVE IT....which is much easier when dry unlike the Furious3.

I tagged along as third wheel with these 2 for the rest of the race. Enjoying my dually on the tight singletrack and pushing hard to stay with them on the steep climbs. Hitting a few of the nasty puddle reminants from previous very wet weekend, but the trails are in perfect and fast shape right now and my bike was running perfect!!

Broke out the new Flash Yellow Lazer helmet for this weekend so I'm easy to see :-). Looks good with the pink blue and black of my new Champ Systems kit. Thanks to all my other sponsors Binab Property Group, Eatmore Sprouts, Magpie Obsession, Broadmead Physio, MediaOne and Eboost for getting me out here. Thanks to Esi Grips, Lazer Helmets, Sidi Shoes, Maxxis Tires, Pro City, ProGold bike lube, Champion Systems and of course Transrockies sponsor Planet Foods for keeping me rolling!! Thanks to my dad for cleaning my bike for me...spoilt!!

Typos curtesy of stubby fingers with iPhone

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Furious3 Fernie

First stage race of the season, and first multiple days in a row or riding hard for the season!  Nothing like a little stage race to whip myself back into some kind of shape....Furious3 Fernie.  Fernie trails are bar non some of the best designed, fastest, flowiest (is that even a word), funnest and most technical trails that I've ever ridden......and I love these trails.

Being compared to the floods of '87, this was by far the wettest that I've ever seen Fernie trails, making an already very challenging race just that much more difficult.  Day 1 was the driest overall of the 3 days, starting with an 8km road section to drag us far out of town before starting the first climb.  Like I've said many times before mountain bikers on the road is a scary thing!  First climb was a measley 5 km of switchbacks..OUCH..that brought us to the newish really fun and very steep and technical "48 Hours".  Fantastic Trail!!  Definitely used up a lot of my descending karma here, I railed this descent, passing bodies shooting off the trail every which way.  Next on tap was the really steep and aptly names climb "Hyperventalation".  I've done this climb a couple of times before and each time its pretty daunting, but very rewarding.  If you survive the tight switchbacks, down the backside is another great technical descent.  Like I said, I used up most of my dh karma on the first downhill and was flopping all over the place on this one.  Trees, roots, water, everything was getting in my way and I fought with my bike the whole way down.  Still ENOURMOUSLY fun....yes I did say that too.

Then we were sent out to the more familiar lower Fernie trails just above the downtown.  Just when I thought we were finishing up, cruising back on the typical finishing trail to most days, we were sent up one more challenging climb for the day.  I finished first female on the day, and managed to put 4 minutes into Kate Aardal....knowing she'd just get fast the longer the race I set out to put as much time into her today as I could.

Day 2, after a night of constant rain, started up at the Fernie Ski hill and ended up back in town.  Any day that has more descending then climbing is a great day in my books.  Due to a very low snow line and the mass amounts of rain this spring, the course was altered to avoid a lot of the really high trails that would have been snow bound....but we still did a lot of climbing for the day, 1700m...and more mud then I though Fernie could have.  I was ready for the trails to be bad, but I wasn't expecting this, and I was soooo glad I had made a last minute decision to go shopping for a tire with more tread then I had....I'd still be out there flailing otherwise.

I had a strong start, as per usual, with some steep climbs up the ski hill and some of my old favorite Canada Cup course trails.  As we started moving away from the ski hill and into some of the tough singletrack climbing I noticed that Kate had moved in behind me.  We road together through the first feed station, stopping to wash an lube our drivetrains....not a happy bike today....sand, clay and lots of muddy water are never a good combination for a finely tuned machine!  I lost contact with Kate up the super steep and really long climb "Session 9".  I was really missing my Sidi toe spikes here as I had to do the duck walk just to make it up a couple of the really steep muddy sections.  Flashbacks to my very first mountain bike race...throwing my bike up and crawling up after it, then repeat.  This climb seemed to go on forever....I'm really not kidding, turn a corner and it's still going up!

Just as I said out loud, "I could really use some downhill now...PLEASE!!", I popped out on a powerline decsent..phew!  However, this was really short lived as I looked left and started to climb again up "Mushroom Head".  The downhill once I finally made it to the top was very rewarding, and fast, taking us all the way down back into Fernie.  Again, at this point I would have been very happy finishing the day, but we cruised through town and up the other side to tackle more of the lower Fernie trails.  I grabbed a wheel flying by me and managed to hang on for a couple of mins before being shot out the back to continue my lone slog.  All in all, I managed to keep Kate to in with 2 and a half mins on the day, and maintain my lead by only 90 seconds...and of course the sun came out and it stopped raining once we were finished.  Needed an ice cream reward after this day!!!

Final day, Day 3 started back in Fernie, and after the rain of the day before I happily decided to keep my mud tires on.  My initial plan was to sit on Kate's wheel and just try to match her pace, but when I pre-road the start of the stage and saw we hit singletrack after only 1.2 km, racer brain kicked in.  Hammering off the start with the guys I entered the bottlenecked singletrack in about 20th position.  Maybe pushing a little too hard off along the soul sucking "Coal Discovery Trail" that just seemed to drag on forever!! I was pretty cooked by the time we hit the gravel road and was told Kate was less then min behind me...YIKES.

Grabbing a wheel I held on as long as I could...thanks John!!!...but was quickly punched off the back as Mike Vine came steaming past me.  A little more singletrack and a lot more climbing later we entered "Hyperventaliation" again.  I've always done climb near the start of the stage, so hitting it near the end was a shock to the body...easiest gear spinning at about 50 rpm the whole way up.  At the top we traverse/climbed (a lot more climbing then I was expecting) along "Castle Rocks" to "Southern Comfort".  I cracked pretty good here and was sooooo thankful to finally see the end of the climb :-)

This is a really fast open and rocky descent, "Please don't flat, please don't flat".  After stopping quickly to see if I could with a mechanical, sorry dude, no extra chain or derallieur, I noticed that Kate was right with me again, and we proceeded to hammer each other all the way to the bottom.  Out on the last couple km....and what the..CHAIN SUCK!!  BAD!!  We were still far enough from the finish that if I ripped my derallieur off I wouldn't be able to run to the finish in time.  Quick fix, then I hammered to catch back up...nothing like a head to head sprint on Day 3 to finish off a great weekend of racing.

Kate took the day by about 3 seconds, but I managed to hold the lead by just over a measley minute.  Proud of my dad for coming out and conquering his first stage race ever....even after a nasty Day 2 crash..tough old guy :-)

Thank you Bruce Dickman for all the much needed ProGold bike support!!  The bike wash and new Extreme lube was a life saver and a drive train saver on a weekend like this.  Thank you Mark for the great, well organized's definitely on my to do list again.  Furious3 Moab anyone???

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tour de Victoria

Survived my first fondo!!!  Huge shout out to the organizers and all the wonderful and very plentiful volunteers of the Tour de Victoria!!  The 2nd annual Ryder Hesjedal event was a huge success with over 1700 participants!!  3 distances this year, 140, 100 and 50 km gave people of all abilities the chance to be a part of this event.  Too bad Ryder is off being such an amazing Canadian ambassador for cycling and Victoria, missing his event this year...I would have loved kicking his butt up Munns Road....HAHAHAHAHA!!!

I rode the 140 with the Pro City Racing road team, thanks guys for letting me tag along!!  Nothing like hammering with a dozen very fast men to make me hurt for 4 hours.  The entire field splintered fast as we started climbing, so we stopped at the top of Munns to regroup the team.  It was pretty cool seeing the faces of some of the riders coming up and over the summit of Munns Road, excited to have conquered a nemesis hill for a lot of people.  I popped a little on the punchy, rolly Ross Durance following....there’s a lot more climbing through there then you actually think...but regained my rhythm once I hit Willis Point and had to hammer to catch back up.
Quick stop for a mouthful of the new Chocolate Honey Stinger Waffles.....this was my first taste and BEST FLAVOUR YET!!!  Though I actually couldn’t taste them while riding because I was just stuffing my face as fast as I could, but a taste test at the finish confirmed my observation.
Making really quick work of the rest of the route...relatively flat compared to the first half.  Though there are a couple big surprise hills that you just seem to forget about when concentrating on Munns Road.  I was seeing stars on a couple of the hills just to stay in contact with the pack.  Don’t lose that wheel, don’t lose that wheel!!!
Starting at Munns Road with about 12 guys and me, we rounded those final couple corners with about 50 guys in tow.  With the Pro City Race team working smoothly at the front, we were picking up lone riders left right and center.  I managed to pull through a couple of times, but when we were hitting speeds of over 50 km/h it was all I could do to just hang on a couple of times.
I was really amazed at the finishing time of about 4:10...that’s including a couple of stops to regroup and eat.....140km in 4 hours!!!!  Blew my projected 5 and a half hours outta the universe...okay a little overkill.
Couldn’t have asked for a better day.  Sunny, not too hot and nooooo wind...first day in....I can’t remember the last time we had a day like that.  Big Salmon burger at the finish was the perfect cap to the great ride!
Yup, I love bikes!  Thanks Sara and Russ for hosting the Tour de Victoria clinic after party.  Burgers, wine/beer and cakes...multiple cakes!  And thank you Bill Fry for not crashing in front of me when you clipped your pedal!!!!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Test of Metal 2012

Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!!  That about sums that 67km of mountain bike riding!  I was hoping the forecast of rain and 13 degrees would be slightly wrong, but nope, I think they have the forecast pretty dialled in Squamish.  And I have 4th place pretty much dialled!!  Going to have to change that for the Furious3!

Nothing like warming up in full Goretex to set the tone for the day.  Opted out of glasses for the day, but was really missing them on the road start...well, missed them for the whole day but I know after the first 10 minutes I wouldn't have been able to see anything, so why bother.  Nasty road crash only 5 minutes into the race along the highway.  I didn't see what happened but the sound was gross; metal and carbon and other bits colliding in a cacophony of bad noises.

Typical Test start, mellow till we hit the climb, then it's a testosterone fuelled hammer fest, with a couple really fast chicks, all the way to the single track.  Last year I blew up more then a little on this climb, so I tried to scale it back a little, but with Brandi up ahead and Wendy right in front of me setting the pace, I worked hard to stay as close as I could.

I know a couple of these girls are stronger climbers then I am, so my strategy was to stay as close as possible during the climb and work my magic on the downhill.  Well, my lack of intensity training soon became evident as the climb seemed to go on forever....and once you hit the dirt it's not over...I think you continue climbing for an hour!!  OUCH.

I wasn't able to stay on Wendy's wheel...which would turn out to be the wheel I really needed to stick with...and had to scale it back a little and just settle into my own pace.  Cruising along I actually thought I was doing pretty good, hurting but felt solid.  Then all of a sudden Mel McQuaid flies by me leading a train of 5 guys like I'm standing still.  I will admit, I maybe wasn't feeling as solid as I thought and had a mini break down with the pace she had passed me at.  It took me a few moments to pull myself back together and settle back into my rhythm.  Popping out on a section of road, I grabbed the nearest wheel I could find and sucked road spray as long I could till I popped off the back...thanks for the pull.  Little more painful climbing, then some single track climbing and to my surprise Mel was right in front of me!!

Hit the top and down Rob's Corners...trouble with being a little slower climber, you get stuck behind some people when you really just want to rail the descents, but hey they earned that spot in front of me so I sat in a line of guys, just itching to go faster, all the way to the bottom of RollerCoaster.  I think this could have been a really fun trail if it was open in front of me....and I could actually see where I was going!!  Regan was watching here said all he could see were two white eyes in a face cake of treatment at 40 km/h!!

Back onto a small road section I buried myself to catch back up to Mel, and passed her just before turning and dropping down into more fast descending.  Out through the feed zone and up the infamous and much hated 9 mile climb.  I had somehow convinced myself from last year that this climb wasn't actually 9 miles but much shorter.....bad mistake to make.....while cracking half way up I was cursing my optimism at the bottom!!  Looking over my shoulder a couple times I didn't see anyone, giving myself a little breathe and settled into a good pace.

Just coming up the very last climb I was really surprised to realize the "dude" behind me was actually Kate Aardal sneak attacking up  behind me!!  Wow, I need on the Trans Portugal program!!!  Super super super ...I mean super fast descent, moving into the really tight and technical singletrack AKA "The Plunge".  I put a small gap on her, and with a bunch of the flailing men (sorry guys) I tried to put as many people in between us as possible.  Dropping out onto the gravel road to and up through the feed zone, climbing after descending for 30 mins my quads started cramping up bad!!!  Passing a girl being pushed by a guy I asked "Where's mine!!!??".  Kate managed to put herself right behind me and stay with me the entire last section of the race.  I think she felt my weakness...haha...and passed me with only a little trail left to go and hammered.  Small slip on the trail, jerking the bike back I was hit by  a great big hamstring cramp.....and managed a BIG yell.  This last section of trail was littered with bodies of guys in the bush yelling in pain trying to massage out leg cramps!!!

Out on the road, Kate was just ahead of me, perfectly placed at the tail end of a train of guys.....and I was just out of reach!!!  Bad place to be.  I pushed hard, but that was about all I had left in my body and could only watch them get farther away from me.  Head down I slogged through the last couple turns of the course and was soooooo happy to somewhat see the burry finish.....and my second 4th place finish at the Test of Metal!

Huge congrats to Wendy for her first Test of Metal, Kate Aardal for killing it in the last half of the course and actually managing to pick up 2nd and Brandi Heistermann for hanging in there till the bitter end...and picking up 9 primes!!!  Next year I really am going to have to move up on that ladder.

Want to send out a huge thank you to my mechanic Regan Pringle for having my bike dialed and working amazing, especially considering the conditions....I'm sorry about the shape it's in now.  A huge thank you to the guys at Champion Systems for my awesome new kit!!  I love it, and the chamois has stood up to the worse possible riding conditions and was actually still comfortable at the end!!!  And all of my other great sponsors this season!!

Tour de Victoria 140 this weekend, Furious3 next out Kate, I've got your number this time :-)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

20th Anniversary of the Bastion Crit

 Pro City Tent City 

45 laps with 4 left hand corners...yup 180 left hand corners.  I do wonder how my tires are looking after this one :-)  I did try to count the laps on my Garmin download....haha.  Want to send out a huge thank you for the awesome race to Jon Watkin and Tony Zarsadias of the Condo Group for putting on a such a great event....and only 5 min ride away from home.  I was actually able to watch the first couple races from my balcony as I was eating breakfast this morning.

Had a lot of fun, especially with Carnage Corner...being a mountain biker was an advantage here, though I am really glad it was dry today!  So as a self-professed unknowledgable road racer, with the mountain bikers impatience to just sit and let everything unfold, I managed to take 4 or the 6 primes I believe.  YES for gift cards :-)

But with the final prime being on the second last lap, which I actually thought it might be the final lap (sometimes they do forget to flip the lap cards), took just enough juice out of my legs leaving me sucking wind on the final sprint and finished 4th place.  Coulda shoulda woulda haha.  Awesome race, and my bike worked absolutely amazing!!  Thank you Regan.

And huge THANK YOU to everyone that came out to cheer and heckle!!!  That was fantastic :-)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Bastion Crit!!!  Here I come....ready to turn left 180 times real fast!  Yup, a little nervous but should be fun.  Thank you Regan so much for the new Dura-Ace (poached from your new road bike :-), for dialing it perfect and for gluing my first set of road tubulars on my Zed Wheels from cross season!  Feeling PRO!!

Thank you to all of my supporters for the season as well, my kit is on it's way, was really hoping it would be here for this weekend but I was just a little too slow on the draw.  Eboost Canada, Eatmore Sprouts, Magpie Obsessions, Binab Property Group, Media One, Broadmead Physio, Planet Foods with Honey Stinger, Ultima, GoMacro (Excellent) and Kicking Horse, Lazer Helmets, VellendTech/Sidi Shoes, ESI Grips, Champion Systems...of course Trek Pro City......and everyone else who is a part of my life.

CORNERS here I come!!!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Nimby 50

Okay, my weekend wasn't quite as spectacular as Ryder's (YAAAAAAA!!!!!!), but I still had an amazing weekend of riding/racing some amazing trails with some amazing people in some amazing was all around an amazing weekend!!  Pemberton, BC played host to the Nimby 50....which is actually is only 37km but is called 50 because it really does feel like 50....or even more!  Easily the hardest, most demanding mountain bike course that I think I've ridden in a long time....and I thought I was in shape :-)

Typical neutral start with 400 mountain bikers on the road is guaranteed to be sketchy.  Once the neutral car peeled out of the way, we hammered up a steep long gravel road...everyone trying to be first into the first section of singletrack.  That first section of singletrack ended up being a lot farther up that road then I was expecting and was really uncomfortable by the time we hit it.  Working on intensity is on my list of things to do (starting today with 9 nasty intervals...thanks Bill Fry...I really was serious about wanting you to push me all the way home).

Quick rough decent popped us out on a gravel road and our last little bit of repreive for almost the entire rest of the course....yes, already done all the easy parts.  Next up, 11 km and 101 switchbacks up Big Nimby.  Nothing super steep or technical, but just constant elevation gain getting slightly harder as you go up and as you get more tired and as you loose more and more oxygen due to altitude...Yes, I am so using that one!!!

Catherine Pendral was no where to be seen, but Brandi Heistermann was just one switchback up from me the whole way up Big Nimby.  I was really proud of myself for putting the pressure on a climber during a climb :-)  But I really started to feel the effort near the top and had to take a little moment to myself....and I lost contact with Brandi.  Out of the switchbacks we hit some really fresh fast loamy singletrack, then a little more climbing and into the Red Bull DownTime.  I was really excited about this section, a race within a race, your clock starts at the top of the trail and stops at the bottom.....awesome.  But riding this trial blind was extremely difficult and it really wasn't pretty.  Keeping it upright and my rear wheel behind me on some of the rock slabs was interesting....but somehow I managed to pull off a 3rd place time on the DownTime.

DownTime podium with local downhill superstar taking the win and World Champ on her 5 and 5 inch bike in second (I was really jealous of this on the downhill, but glad I wasn't the one hauling it up the climbs)

By the time I popped out of DownTime I was more then excited to start climbing again because I couldn't feel my arms or my eyeballs for that matter.  Through the feedzone and up into the steep technical climbing half of the course and I soon lost that enthusiasm for climbing...haha.  This short little loop near the end of the race was just about the end of me.  Catherine's husband Keith came up behind me just before the last singletrack..."Wendy is about 2 mins behind you!"....Me "10 mins???"....Keith "NO 2 mins!"....Me "S&$t!!!!".  Hit the gravel road at the bottom and quickly hit the pavement back to the finish.  3km of by myself on the road trying to get as small as I possibly could and hammer as hard as I could...OUCH!

Brandi was able to smell blood when Catherine flatted and pounced taking the win.  

Thanks ladies for the awesome race.  Thanks Pemberton and the Nimby 50 organizers for the awesome race and the 27 degrees.  Thank you Pony Espresso for the amazing post race burger!  Thank you Regan Pringle for teching out my rig and for the awesome weekend.  So proud of your finish!

Regan's post ride dust 

This weekend.....Bastion Crit :-0

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lots and lots and lots of fun goings ons....but this work thing is really getting in the way of my blog life!!  Well, in the way of life in general.  Tough trying to switch my brain to office work while the weather finally changes to HOT summer weather.

Last weekend Regan and I did the triple mountain ride of Duncan in I'm thinking near 30 degree heat, it was fantastic!!  5 and a half hours of mountain bike saddle time on some of the funnest trails around!  Good thing we finished with the familiar Tzou trails because we were really gooned coming down the last trails of the day!  Thanks Trevor for some locals knowledge to cap off the day :-)  Great TR and Furious3 training.

What am I getting myself into!!!??!!

This past weekend I did my first road race in I honestly can't remember how many years!!  And a Crit race to boot.  I just got a road cat added to my race license in time for this race, doing Bastion Crit in 2 weekends so I figured it would be a really good idea to get my Crit legs back under me.  5 women and 18 men??  and it was a fast race from the start....even the neutral lap was hard!  I sat behind the biggest guy I could find for the first 5 mins and really didn't think I was going to be able to maintain that effort for 50 more mins.  I don't think the pace ever really settled down very much, but I managed to hang on, only getting hit and really sideways in the air once (cleaning my chamois after that one), wheels sliding around the wet corners, and found myself in a really great position coming out of the final corner into the finish sprint.  I tell you, if I had a really really really good sprint I could have been a contender for a podium spot!  I was just squeaked out of the top 10 with a 12th position overall and first women!!  Yippee...I'm back :-)

All photos from reganpringleshoots

Thank you Regan and Trek Pro City for my awesome pink flamed Madone!  My new Sidi S-Pro road shoes are amazing, crazy how much of a difference carbon road shoes makes :-)

Getting ready for Nimby 50 this weekend .... Summer of Fun !!