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Showing posts from 2006

The Big Day

On December 16th Keith and I tied the knot. It was an awesome day in the Kamloops area. We were at a lodge on the little Shuswap lake. As BC’ers know the weather around Vancouver was pretty stormy at this time. The night before Stanley park lost many of its beautiful trees. But even with this weather and 3 of 4 highways from the coast being closed due to snow most of our guests made it out. I guess I should have used some of my prerace visualizing before I walked down the aisle because about 3 steps in I burst into tears and then giggles because I couldn’t stop crying. I eventually made it to Keith and we tied the knot. We went outside for pictures and got some great ones on the snowy beach. Then a bit of down time and the dinner and dance. It was a wicked day. Getting married made us really realize just how lucky we are to have the friends and family we do. The speeches were entertaining, one of my bridesmaid even wrote and sang me a song as she played guitar! So after some good food

Fall 2006

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With the hype of a last minute trip to Brazil the other stuff in my life got pushed to the back ground. But at the end of September after a couple weeks of that super fun past time – job hunting, I ended up getting the first job I sent a resume in for. So I now do water analysis 3 days/week. Chemistry was the class I rarely made it to. It was an 8 am’er first year and just too easy to miss. So I went through a crash refresher and after a couple weeks my legs also adjusted to the 8-10 hr shifts spent standing. Not perhaps the most ideal athlete second job, but interesting. September also meant a trip to NB to visit my folks and go shopping for a wedding dress. I took the red eye flight from Vancouver Thursday and arrived at 11ish Friday morning in NB. Mom and Dad were there to pick me up, take me out for some good breakfast at Cora’s in downtown Fredericton. By 1:00 mom and I had found my wedding dress and the rest of the weekend was free to relax and catch up with friends. Mid Septembe

The Pan Am championships…Proof that where there is a will there is a way to get to Brazil

After what was the most last minute travel and race prep I have done I ended up in Brazil October 10th as the sole female representative for Canada at the Pan am Championships. It all began on Monday, Oct 2nd. I got a call from the CCA asking what my form was like? Not great, but not horrible was my thoughts…and being a quick responder I was confident that a couple weeks of fine tuning would have me ready... a good thing too because 2 weeks was exactly what I had. Alison Sydor was scheduled to go, but could not get a Visa in time in France where she was preparing for Roc D’Azur – which she won. So that night I got a passport pic taken, got a Brazil visa form printed – great time to run out of ink! And put them with my passport to be Fed Exed to Ottawa the next day. My Visa was to be ready Friday and my tickets ready Wednesday. Okay so it looks like I’m good to go. Then the problems start; no Saturday shipping to Kamloops – so visa and passport will go to Max in Victoria and we’ll meet

The Perfect Long Weekend

On Friday Keith, myself and the cats piled in the car and headed over to visit his parents in Revelstoke. No longer in training mode for a bit we didn't try to squish a ride in that friday, just enjoyed some BBQ'd burgers and Mt. Begbie beer. Saturday we drove out to Keystone standard basin - about 50 km North of Revelstoke towards the Mica damn- and then another 16km up gravel roads. The drive up the gravel road was slow so we decided to bike halfway. Immediately we felt the thinner air attacking our lungs and legs. It took us about 45 minutes just to reach the trailhead, then it turned into a tricky single track climb for about 15minutes before we were unleashed into the alpine fields. You could easily think you were in the Alps "Sound of Music like". You're surrounded by lush fields with alpine wild flowers, mountain peaks and valleys below. The trail is fun too. There are a couple hike a bikes, but mostly rideable. After about 1hr15 we reached the ca

The Worlds Experience

The week was spent riding on the course (desc. below), checking out the national forest trails nearby, sharing cooking duties and resting up for the big day. The team relay was Tuesday and the course was very slick after a good rain deposit. Canada put out a strong race, but we were unable to hold off other countries for the podium. That night we went to the open air opening ceremonies. Dressed in many layers to keep warm we watched the Mauri people clad only in thongs – bare feet and all, perform a welcome challenge for us. Not holding true to our heritage of cold weather bearers we left after 45 mins to go get warmed up. U23 and Jr women raced Wednesday, Jr men Thursday (the course was wickedly fast this day…if only the rain would hold off), Friday and U23 men’s day and it poured all through the night and mud tires were a necessity. Max Plaxton of BC, Canada went on to run and ride his way to a bronze medal. Saturday was DH day and my teammate Fion Griffiths claimed 6th place

New Zealand

Flying to New Zealand was actually a pleasant trip. I got on plane at 7:30 in Vancouver, got to sleep a bit on the way to Honolulu and then spent some time in the open air airport there before getting on my next plane at 2:30 am ready to sleep. I didn’t even have to buy a blanket or food. There were about 6 of the team on the flight and more in Auckland when we arrived. Wendy and I caught I ride out to Rotorua with Rob Jones. It took about three hours of driving through lush green farmland to arrive at our destination. Rotorua is built on a thermal area and we were able to enjoy the benefits of that natural phenomenon when frequenting the hotel mineral pools and spa baths. Even the heating and warm water for the rooms was from the underground water supply. New Zealand was a bit chilly, it being their winter so it did get down to -4 over night at times and we awoke to frosted roof tops and icy puddles. I got onto the course Monday and was immediately relieved. Reading the co

Back to BC

Wow I am so ready to be out of a car!! We decided to drive back home through Montana to spice things up. The change is nice, but I’d rather be home already. It was a really good trip though. I finished up a very consistent string of races with a 9th in the xc and another 8th in the Short track at Norba Finals. The string of good racing at altitude has me pumped to race the World Championships at Sea level. I learned a lot about my racing these past weekends and am hoping to put it altogether in NZ. Snowmass was very similar in course layout to Brian Head. Huge climb off the start & big ring descents with lots of flatting opportunities, but this weekend they through in a long single track climb which led straight into the start climb as we did 1.5 laps. Perhaps Norbas aren’t the best prep for World Cups in terms of course design as climbing courses are selective and don’t emphasize the necessity of working through traffic, but the competition is great. The short track

Fruita, Colorado

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Have now done three fun mtb rides in Fruita in the Kokopelli and North Fruita Dessert trail areas. Today's ride was probably my favorite. Keith and I did a trail named Steve's Loop and then rode over to Troy built. We followed the canyon perimeter and even saw a few lizzards.

Off to Fruita

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Had a huge Burrito on the way. Yummy. Then got stuck in traffic. A big forest fire had crossed the interstate. Luckily there aren’t a whole lot of trees around here. Then we went through some of the most crazy scenery I’ve been through. Red rock spires, Canyons and they just stretched on forever, no services for 110 miles. After we took Ricky’s bag off the roof we could go a lot faster and strolled into Fruita at 11:00. We now have a spacious hotel room with fridge and microwave as well as bike storage. We have been experimenting with microwaveable meals. Yeah wraps! Ricky has gone off to the race track. They claim their Go Karts can hit 100 miles per hour! Yeeha!

Race Day: Norba Brian Head

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As we started the ascent to Brian Head you could feel a weight begin to press in on your chest. I don’t think I have ever felt that horrible in a warm up before. My legs felt like they were being pulled in all directions. People have been raving about the single loop course and from looking around we knew it would be good. The sun decided to shine on us today and the race got off to a good start. First we climbed up a long paved climb. My heart rates were really high in warm up and I knew other girls were much more used to altitude so I just sat in and let them work. Willow Lead most of the climb which eventually turned to dirt and continued up. She paid for her effort though and got popped before the crest. It was now just 6 of us: Heather, Dara, Shonny, Georgia, Jimena and myself. I was feeling the effort pretty good and not knowing how much climbing was left I had to ease up. I crested the next climb to see the girls funneling into a single track climb ahead of me. Damn, I was al

Vancouver:

Vancouver: After Mt Washington we headed back to Sandra Walter’s place for a couple nights. Her family was awesome and we got well rested and fed for the journey ahead of us. We even got to ride some of their backyard trails. Sandra Schooled us …or at least me on Triple Crown and showing us why those trails belonged in her backyard. Vancouver to Utah : Keith, matt and I left Sandra’s Tuesday morning and headed south. Popular Sandra had to stay behind for a couple weddings. After a stop for French toast in White rock with my coach Dan we crossed the border with our well loaded Subaru. After Several hours of driving through plains we spotted a tower on a distant hillside and decided to make it our ride destination. Horse Heaven Hills as we later learned provided us with a nice fire road climb before sending us down a steep hill face through tumble weed and sage. Not the most exciting ride…except for the worries we might start a fire we had to be on the disc brakes so much, but it was go

Whistler To Washington

Canada Cup Finals: Mt. Washington, BC Friday I took my first look at our race course. I think I have to credit Mt. Washington for putting together the best course on the circuit. It is also one of the most beautiful rides I’ve done lately. We skirted Alpine meadows with a small lake and when going easy could enjoy views of still snowy peaks in the distance. The race course contained 3 climbs broken up by rooty descents and rocky mounds. The climbs varied from rooty single track to open roads - some with substantial steep sections. I opted to use the dually this weekend and am glad I did. It’s important in the middle of a racing block to keep riding as fun as possible and ripping down the descents on the dually did this for me. Due to showers Friday night and the fact we are at the end of a tough racing block the chief commissaire opted for a shorter race assigning 4 laps to the women and 5 to the men. From the Gun Alison Sydor took off and Kiara led the chase. Wendy, Mical a

A Nationals Best

Saturday July 15th Keith, Matt H and I headed up the hill to Sun Peaks, site of this year’s cross country mountain Bike Nationals. The temperatures were pleasant, creeping into the low 20’s, but I was fighting off yawns after a less than restful sleep. The women’s race was scheduled to do five laps starting at 11:00, the men 6 at 2:00. Around ten I started my warm up. My legs were feeling good and easy handled my warm up intensity sessions. A good sign. After completing my warm up I headed down to the start finish area. The Junior races were still underway, taking longer than anticipated and it was decided that the women’s race would be shortened to 4 laps and the start would be pushed back to 11:30. Time to chill out for a bit. At 11:00 I hoped back on my bike to keep my legs warm. The waiting made them feel heavy. Being the fifth ranked Canadian in UCI points I was fifth called to the line. A nice front row starting position. The course saw some mid week changes to it –

Back in the Loops

Canada Day saw us up at Sun Peaks bright and early for a work out before Norco VPS Fest was set to begin. The Nationals course had yet to be marked but we hoped on a bit of the older course and surrounding fire roads. After the ride we hung out in the Norco tents meeting a lot of the staff, getting some photo shots and helping people get out on their Norco Demo bikes for a day of DHing. After a busy and successful day and tons of wicked draw prizes we retired to their Condo for a feast, refreshments and good times. Never ones to stick around for long though; Sunday Keith and I were off to Revelstoke to visit his family and my soon to be in-laws and of course to do some riding. The trails in Revelstoke are so fun that we decided to shift my rest day to Tuesday to get in some more trails. So Fun! After Monday night at home, enough time to give our cats a little TLC, we were back on the road Tuesday. This time to Penticton to visit the Bike Barn and catch up with that crew. After

World Cups, Engagements and Girls on Big Bikes

Almost three weeks have passed with scant thought put into this blog. It has actually been a pretty busy time however. Following the Norba at Mt. Snow. Matt and I headed back to Karen and Matt’s for a couple days before heading to the World Cup in Mont. St. Anne, Qu. The weather in New Hampshire definitely made a turn for the better and we enjoyed sunshine before driving the 5hr drive to Quebec almost directly north of us. The WC race was Sunday so we still had a lot of time to prepare and ride the slightly altered course. Containing most of the course’s trademark sections I was quickly feeling at home. After last weekend’s blow up, this weekend I was going to try to pace better. The race got off to a good start. I had a decent call up and remained in the top 40 through the start lap, loosing a couple spots before the climb, only to regain them when it steepened. The first lap went well, but I didn’t feel the fire I had the previous week. Lap two I had a crash and then lost
Short Track Mt Snow Having bonked hard the day before I wasn’t sure what my legs would have to offer today. We were off at 2:30 and again I was fighting my way through traffic. The field stayed together for a lap, but I was near the back when a split off the front occurred. Each lap I would move up a couple spots moving from one group to another until finally I hit the first chasers. The gap to the top 11 was big and I had no one left to help me move up. I maintained to the lead group for several laps then there were 3 laps to go and they started attacking and the gap grew. Knowing I was now racing the girls behind me and that I had been out front the last four laps I sat in on a wheel for a lap and then went hard again for the last two laps to come in 12th. I had to be pleased with this, capping off a weekend of solid results.

New Hampshire: Live free or die

I’m now back in Campton, NH after a great weekend of racing at Mt. Snow Vermont. I have now completed my first mechanical free Norba!! And it was tons of fun. In keeping with Norba style we did 3 laps of a longer loop. There was a lot of climbing snaking in and out of singletrack with a lengthy and challenging singletrack climb over slick rocks. We then descended the rock and root strewn trail back to the base. I haven’t been on a descent that rough in a while and first time through felt like I was bouncing all over the place. After letting some tire pressure out and setting my fork to 5 inches I was feeling much better. Saturday was warm. As we lined up to race at three the showers that had held off all day started to fall, but it was short lived and the course remained mostly dry. On the first lap I focused on fighting through traffic and made it up to the top ten. I knew there were still girls ahead of me that I couldn’t see so I kept trying to get as far up as I could.

Hiking Welsh Dickey

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Matt and I have now been in New Hampshire staying with Karen Dewolfe, her baby Eva and husband Matt for a couple days. Friday we all felt in need of a little break from riding so decided to hike Welsh Dickey. Living right in the White Mountains we are surrounded by amazing scenery and could walk 10 min from their home to the trail head. The hike took about 3hrs and we managed to miss the rain cloud coming over the hill in this pic. The granite rock covering the tops of the mountains allowed for some great views over the National forest.

Lots of driving ahead

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After two weeks of living and travelling together our 4 person maritme travelling crew has gone separate ways. On monday Jon and Ian started their trek back to the Maritimes as Matt and I headed on to new Hampshire. We'll be doing some riding in the White mountains for the next week and a half before heading to the norba at Mt. Snow.

Hardwood Hills: Canada Cup 3

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Another great weekend of racing. The normal group of Canada Cup girls got lucky this weekend, having the opportunity to race two of Canada’s best mountain bikers Kiara Bisaro and Marie-Helene Premont. Faster racers always bring another dynamic to the race and help the regulars reach for greater racing potential. This weekend I was hoping to go hard first lap and put some distance between me and my competitors as I did last week. But as I said faster riders change race dynamics. The start was hard and I found myself in a position I wasn’t happy with, trying to bridge a gap to catch the faster starters. I was able to do it before the single track and entered the woods with only Marie and Kiara in front of me (as memory serves;-). The course was a lot of fun. We twisted through pine forests and over undulating terrain. I went out hard and found myself riding with Kiara with Mical 10-15 seconds off of us; A little too close for comfort. I knew my strength was in the first half off the ra

Mont Tremblant, Canada Cup #2

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Matt Hadley and I left Bromont on Monday and headed to Tremblant for the second stop on the Canada Cup circuit. There, we were hooking up with a couple more maritime mountain bikers to spend the week in a Cabin on Lake Dufour. We spent our time getting to know the area better, giving our bikes some TLC after the Bromont mudfest, eating, movie watching… and for me, dialing in my descending speed so as not to be scooped for the win twice in a row. The weather improved continuously showering us with sunshine rather than raindrops. For once it looked like we would have a dry race at Tremblant! The course was in good shape, pretty much the same as last year with lots of single track but a more substantial climb than last weekend. Friday night saw some showers, but the morning brought the sun and temperatures in the low to mid 20’s. The women were slotted for 4 laps and I was ready to go. Off the start I fell back to 5th, but after about 500m the girls looked like they were settling into a

CANADA CUP #1 Bromont Qu

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Let the racing begin As per usual for May, cycling enthusiasts were met with lots of rain upon arrival in Quebec. I got in Thursday and was able to do a couple loops of the course. A short, but technical loop which had us traversing off camber hills, rocks and roots, not to mention streams. The well-known rock garden was no longer a feature on the Bromont course having been bulldozed this year. Rain continued to fall almost constantly so that by race day the course was more of a river and the stream crossing a bike and human engulfing pit. The women got off to a fast start to our 5 lap course. Starting on pavement we climbed a km or so up dirt and into the first of many single track sections. Mical Dyck took the lead from the start with two women separating us. By half way up the climb I had moved to the front and was climbing away from the pack. I had enough of a gap by the crest I felt confident in my ability to lead the entire race. Perhaps this overconfidence led to my eventual
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Getting our Just Desserts Since it’ll be our last weekend together before I head off for the Eastern Canada Cups and Norbas Keith and I figured we might as well do a 6hr team relay. Every year Salmon Arm hosts the Salty Dog and all sorts of cycling enthusiasts of various ages show up. After a couple bad race starts I decided my focus would be getting in a solid start. At 10:00 I parked myself on the front line between two pro men. We punched it up the first fire road, but my lack of warm up was quickly apparent. After climbing through a bunch of punchy single track I was able to turn my legs around and reel in most of the guys who had gotten ahead. I entered the woods and the super long single-track in 5th position. The trails were really fun and flowy and before long I was back at the start. Our plan was to start with 2 laps each and then go to single laps. I guess I was a bit zealous that first lap trying to keep up to the boys and my legs were feeling it 2nd lap but we maintained

Norba #1 - A Mixed Weekend

This weekend definitely had its ups and downs. The weather was balmy, the course was fast and fun and the event was huge with good racer numbers and a full tech zone. After being on site for about 2 minutes I already had Randy from Hayes offering to trim my brake cables and then hooking me up with some new pads for my El Caminos. Yeah sponsors Rock! The course was very undulating with mostly single track climbs and loose rutted descents. We were scheduled to do three laps of the 7 mile course making it a bit shorter than the usual Canada Cup. So you’re thinking, Okay that’s lots of ups, where are the downs? The next day we were lined up for our 12:15 start. I don’t think a single Canadian got a good call up position. I lined up mid pack. Countdown, then the whistle and we were off. Then just as quickly my bike was down with two girls landing on top of it, me still standing and unhurt. I anxiously bent down to grab my bike, eager to get back into the race only to realize that my handle

On the move again

Moving is beginning to seem a hobby for Keith and I. The last week of April; along with ending my job at the Chase Café, adopting another stray cat –who turned out to be pregnant and afraid of kitty litter - and doing a bike race I also began to pack up our belongings from our too small basement suite. After Sunday’s race there was already a good stack of boxes in the Kitchen and by Monday evening the place was completely cleaned, boxed up and we were ready for the Trek to Kamloops. By 8:00 I was trashed, but we were in our new home. A spacious 2 bedroom with a pool and a central trail location. As always seems to be the case I have not yet fully unpacked before I started packing for a race trip. A quick weekend trip to California for the Norba Series opener.

Merrit Cow Trail Classic

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BC Cup # 1 2006 Sunday April 30th marked the beginning of the BC cup circuit. Being one of few local interior events I really wanted to be there. Lucky for me and the other 160 competitors as it was an awesome course. At 10:30 we all lined up for 2 laps of the 90% sinlgetrack loop (pro men 2.5 loops). There was a prime for the fastest lap so all challengers were ready to pin it from the gun. The women’s fiels saw a resurgence in numbers from last year containing 13 women and a lot of newer faces. The men’s field contained about 20 guys with some good depth being presented by Ricky Federeau, Brendan Macintosh, Matt Martindale and Neal Kindree. I decided to race my Norco FS1.0 after 2 years on a hardtail. I was able to push hard on the single track climbs easily winding through the trees and it begged me to push it on the descents. Ricky and I were able to capture the fastest lap primes. While I was able to ride at the front all day, the men switched it up with Neal and Brendan duking

Race Report: Sea Otter Classic

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After 27 days of rain in Montetery california, the Sea Otter Classic was set to begin. Boasting one of the strongest fields in recent years the cross country pro fields lined up to race with 69 women and 104 men. The women’s field contained reigning World Champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa of Norway and three time former World Champion,Canadian Alison Sydor as well as numerous National champions. Gunn-Rita went on to win 3 of the 4 events with American National Champion Mary McConneloug winning the time trial. Day 1 was the Super cross country, an event unique to Sea Otter which involves racing for approximately 60 minutes on a course that is both off road and on. Unfortunately I was caught behind a crash in the first 5 meters losing contact with the main field and entering the single track in about 63 position. I was very pleased to be able to work my way up to 23rd by the end of the race. Day 2 saw us churning up the mud on a sub 5min off road time trial loop. In this event I was abl

Big week

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22hrs of riding +1 race + 1 new bike + 1 photo shoot + 1 factory tour +1 St Paddy’s Potluck = 1 kick ass week Last Sunday Keith and I left the house at 5:00 am and headed to Vancouver. After passing through a 25 degree temperature change (Coquihalla -19) we arrived in a Sunny Fort Langley in time to sign up for a spring series road race. I joined the B group and set off on the 11 lap, 80km race. The first couple accelerations out of the corners were tough, but eventually I got my race on and started situating myself better in the 60+ strong group. The climbs were fast & hard, but easier than the grunt I had expected. After the third or fourth lap I found myself in a very male group. The first couple laps saw attacks off the front, but unless the attack group was really committed and organized it wasn’t going to work. I chased down some breaks on the first laps, but quickly saw they weren’t going anywhere. On lap 4 a commuter refused to stop for the flaggers and as we came off t

Winter rides

There’s nothing like a sunny day to make you passionate about cycling. It is February, but it has been hovering between +3 to +8. The daylight hours are lengthening and we are receiving brilliant sunshine during the day. From our basement suite windows you can’t always tell what kind of day it will be. As gray light falls through the windows it would be easy to stick inside on the computer or reading a book. Thankfully cycling draws me outside into the weather eachday. Riding along the Shuswap lake, the sun emerges and sparkles off the water. The grass along the lake is greening while the hills surrounding us are powdered with fresh white snow. It is amazing and something best appreciated from the seat of a bike.

Lots of Loppet - Telemark

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Well I’ve now competed in my first ski race; both Classic and Skate and the first race of the 06 season. This weekend Telemark nordic centre just outside Kelowna BC hosted a pursuit style loppet. Keith and I left Chase just before 6:00 am in a blizzard and drove to Kelowna. After arrival we headed out for a scant warm up and wax check. Man were we in trouble. People we’re flying by us on the uphill as we struggled to find grip. (Did I mention I now have 7 classic skis under my belt). We rewaxed and headed to the start line. We lined up for the mass start. Racers ranged in age from 14-69. I gladly parked myself at the back of the pack and waited to see how the pandamonium would unfold. After the GO and a whooping cheer from the racers we were off. I quickly realized I wasn’t going to be last afterall and worked my way up through the crowd on the first climb. Those who had chosen the wrong wax were off to the side scrapping the snow from their skiis. I soon realized that grip wasn’t a
This year I'm psyched to be racing with the Norco Factory Team. I can't wait to hop on my new Mtn. bikes. You can check out their website at www.Norco.com I'll be racing the Canada Cup Circuit, a few Norbas and hopefully a couple other international races. At the moment I'm honing my skills at both classic and skate skiing. I'll be doing my first ski race ever this weekend. eek! I just hope the 70 year women don't get too much enjoyment from seeing me suffer.
Well, I'm finally making an attempt to become more technologically advanced.... (dun dun dunn) I'll be posting my race reports and other fun stuff here so you can follow along with my season as it speeds along:) Cheers, Kika