Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Back to Work

Brrr. Kamloops is cold. Keith and I headed out skiing the day after I got back from Cuba. The wind was soo cold it hurt my face., but skiing was good. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy the slight tan I got as the change from hot to cold made my face break out in a rash. Lovely. I thought that I’d be super motivated to train when I got back, but after the ocean the trainer or frigid temperature exercising weren’t super appealing. But as it’s already December it’s time to suck it up Princess and get to work. After a weekend with Keith skiing in SilverStar and Sovereign lake; skiing beautifully groomed trails around and over the mountain I’ve regained my love of winter. We got to check out some of the Nordic Olympic hopefuls in action Saturday and Sunday at Sovereign. We also rode the chairlift with our xc skis. I fell on my but getting off, but stayed upright for the sweet descent from 1900m to 1600m. Keith’s highlight of the weekend was me dragging him to see Twilight: New Mo

Snow to Sun

Image
I’ve been intending a blog update for ages, but with being home and actually able to keep in regular contact with friends and family I guess I just get a little lazy! November 14th marked the beginning of ski season here in Kamloops and Matt, Catherine and I took advantage of opening day at Sun Peaks to play in the snow and soak up some sunshine. Poor Keith stayed home with the flu. Catherine and I happy for some snow Just as I was getting my ski legs though I was off to Cuba for a trip with my parents. In 2001 I lived in Cuba, in a small town called Pina, or Ciro Redondo for 3.5 months. I lived with an amazing family and cuban counterpart, all of whom became good friends. So my trip to Cuba was both a chance to visit with them, visit my parents who live on the other side of the country and take a training get away. The cheapest, although definitely least authentic, way to visit cuba is with an all inclusive package (particularly in the low season). My parents and I arrived in Cayo C
Image
Kamloops from a hike up Mt. Paul horses wandering free on mt Paul And of course one of Kamloops' many mtn. sheep Matt and Catherine hoping and sliding down the face of the mountain. Those ski poles weren't for help on the way up! Keith and I in Whistler. Going there in the "off season" is the best. Lots of fun trails, hot tubbing, hiking and good eating. Catherine put some surprises into Matt's tires for our weekend in Revy. Got to slow him down some how.

The Off-Season

So what does this look like? Well after about 4 weekends at home between March and October I relish the opportunity to stay put at home. My nesting instincts kick in and I become a cooking machine pickling the cucumbers and beets from our garden, making pear/apple sauce from our fruit trees, and salsa from the abundant cherry tomatoes that seem to keep growing even though I deprive them of water much of the time. For me the off season is about living life like I hope to when I retire from racing professionally. This means keeping active and enjoying the great weather, but broadening my activities to hiking, running, swimming…frisbee, whatever. It means if it’s rainy and cold I can sit on the couch or bake muffins instead of riding. It’s also the time where I can do some learning, like take a french course, put in some volunteer hours with local community groups and catch up with friends and family. I don’t like to let my fitness drop too much however. Aside from the fact I woul

Epiphany

For those that haven’t heard of it. This is the day Clif and Luna folk get together to ride our bikes for 30-150miles to have fun and remind ourselves why it’s so important to have good quality tasty biking food! Terra, Katerina and I joined about 35 others at 6am to start the 150 mile ride (That’s 240km for us Northerners). It was dark and cold for the first 45 minutes with ¼ riders having lights, but the camaraderie and sense of adventure were great. The weather was warming with the sunrise as we finished up the first 55miles and joined up with the 100 mile brisk ride group. About 23 miles later I was done. We had just finished up a fast revolving paceline in a cross wind and were heading into what I had remembered as a “nice” climb when my quads completely gave out and I had no power. Luckily at the top of the hill there was a feed station where along with some delicious Clif goodies a coke also helped to rejuvenate me. I convinced the group to just drop me and settled into

3 Continents: 1 Week (The Schedule)

Image
In Cortina D'Ampezzo Italy we found an irresistable ride along an old railway track that took us through the mountains and tunnels Now there's something you don't see every day. If you're going to Super Size something it may as well be Nutella. Eat in moderation of course ;) Old rail tunnels through the Dolomite mtns. Yes Italy was a bit of a detour going from Switzerland to Austria, but worth it. Champery. Host of World cup #7 and the 2011 World Championships. Now to that continent jumping schedule 10:45 am Sunday September 6th left Worlds in Australia, flew 15.5 hrs to Vancouver. I got to fly first class with an upgrade certificate. Yes it is as good as it looks. 10:45 am Sunday September 6th Yes that’s right. Departed Vancouver for Kamloops (the time change worked in my favour). Enjoyed coffee and a hike with Keith Sunday to Thursday am enjoyed being home in Kamloops. Freak out when Keith drives wrong way down the road, only to be thankful I wasn’t dr
At the moment I’m just trying to keep my eyes open. I’m coming home from a good trip to Australia. I say good, as it was a good trip; I had fun with both my Canadian and Luna team, helped secure Canada a silver medal in the relay, went to Pancakes on the rocks at midnight, the zoo, learned all sorts of interesting facts about Australian animals, enjoyed amazing cappuccinos at Sfoglia almost daily, had my coach Dan and brother Geoff with me at the races, saw cherry and apple trees blossoming and experienced the brilliance of spring sunshine. And yes, yes the whole point of the trip, had a solid result at the World championships and finished 6th. For the 3rd year in a row. This is where the twinge of disappointment lies however. Placing 6th in 2007 blew my socks off, overtaking Gunn Rita for 6th last year proved that I wasn’t a flash in the pan, placing 6th this year is a little frustrating. I rode as best I could on the day and felt like I had the form to ride to the podium, but I didn

Canada Silver at World Championships

Image
L to R Evan Guthrie, Geoff Kabush, Raphael Gagne, Me Photos by Rob Jones. Check out Canadiancyclist.com for complete race coverage Another race down to the wire World Championship racing kicked off Tuesday, Sept 2nd in Canberra Australia with the Team Relay event. For the relay each country selects a Senior man, U23 man, Jr man and a female rider. The countries decide for themselves in what order to send out their racers and each rider does one lap at maximal tagging off to the successive rider. Canada chose to send our Under 23 rider Raphael Gagne first. Raph put in a strong start, but the riders were funnelled into a narrow tunnel less than 100m from the start and he got pushed out of the way entering in 12th position. On the technically challenging singletrack climb and descent passing is nearly impossible. Raph was able to hold onto 12th position and tagged off to our senior rider Geoff Kabush. Geoff put out the fastest lap of the day while coming though traffic and moved Ca

Home Sweet Home

Image
My greeting party Now that's a Garden! All I have wanted to do this past week is dive into home life. With new windows being installed, crazy cats demanding my attention, a garden bursting with veggies and Keith always ready to share a cup of coffee this wasn’t too hard. As great as it was to be home (and thanks to Tanya our house sitter who has been fantastic!) it was hot, really hot. My “recovery ride” on Thursday was done in 39 degrees. Keith and I cut it short questioning the ability to recover while riding in an oven. I like temperatures below my core temp thanks. So after some good play time with the cats we headed off to visit Keith’s parents in the mountains. I haven’t seen Keith’s parents in forever and haven’t been to Revelstoke to ride yet this year. Riding in Revelstoke always helps me feel good on my bike. After feeling completely off in Kamloops dry and loose trail conditions the loamy & rooty forest trails of Revelstoke were a welcome relief. Riding in Revel

It’s a wrap!

Domestic racing has drawn to a close with the US cup finals this weekend in Windham, NY. I have to admit I am more than a little excited to be getting home after being away since June 26th! Yes, I had Keith with me for most of the time, but there is nothing quite like being home. Chloe, Zeph and I passed a pretty quiet week in West Dover Vermont, getting together with the Fisher team a couple times to keep life interesting. The road riding in Vermont and upstate New York is beautiful and I fully enjoyed getting to do a few long rides. Bringing road bikes this trip was great. As much as I love Mtn. biking, it’s nice to get away from the mud and really feel like you’re covering some distance. Racing went fairly well. I felt pretty good on Saturday for the xc, Willow was just climbing really strongly and descending equally well. Georgia too was never more than a few seconds back and got ahead of me in the final 200 meters as we chicaned through a paved loop to the finish. The Wi

Mt Snow Vermont: Relaxing, Crashing, Cross Country & Short Track

Image
Photos courtesy of Dave Kraus dbkraus at earthlink.net Looks like Chloe and I could be doing a lot of this next week! The week leading into this race was mellow. We went to see Harry Potter at the small local theatre, hit up the local dinners and Keith and I got out for some superb road rides. Oh yeah and we went to Kingdom trails on our way down from Bromont. The trails were amazing and are the hub of the little town of East Burke. It’s been 3 years since I’ve been able to race in Mt. Snow. The last two years it has held US Nationals. It was here in 2005 that I kinda had my break through ride. I raced up to 2nd position behind Shinny Vanlandingham with about 20 minutes of racing to go when I blew spectacularly and finished 9th. This year went much better for me… well at least the xc. I decided to race my Orbea Oiz, our carbon full suspension bike, to give me a bit of a mental break from the intense racing I had done over the last month. It did the trick as I had a l

Bromont World cup: How Expectations Change

I’ve come off a couple of fantastic weekends of racing. Races where i just seem to be able to get to the front when I need to and stay there. Yesterday’s World cup in Bromont Canada was a little different. I got off to a good start and was at the front of the race by the top of the climb. I knew I wanted to be ahead of fullana into the woods but didn’t pull it off and was stuck behind her hearing all the girls we had just climbed away from riding back onto our wheels. The day started off dry, but the woods were still slick. It seemed that every time I earned myself a little advantage I would loose it by slipping off a slick root, rock or climb. It went like this for 2 laps and seemed to be a battle for the lead between Irina and myself until on the climb 3rd lap Lene Byberg of Norway bridged up and moved to the front. Having made my moves to gain the lead in the first 2 laps I was having trouble staying with the girls in the 3rd lap. I lost my head a bit and started riding i

Mont Sainte Anne World Cup

Image
Yeeeehaaaa! Sue, Rod and Luna (their dog) came up from Fredericton New Brunswick to watch the Luna team race Keith was there for the finish as well as my mom, Dad, Luna Team and some great people from NB. (Thanks for the nice picture Dave. Check out coverage on cyclingdirt.org) I’ve been racing in MSA, Quebec since I started racing elite nationally in 2004. It was always one of my favourite venues and a course I could do well on with its steep demanding climbs and fast rugged descents. Sunday topped all my other race days in Sainte Anne with my first World cup win of the Season and sharing the podium with teammate Katerina Nash. For those that like the nitty gritty race details here you go. This year the organizers made some substantial changes to the course lay out. The hallmark descent was removed and replaced with a rough rocky one, the course looped back on itself even more than usual and 2 short but challenging climbs were added. The women were scheduled for 4 laps and
Today is pretty overcast in Mont Sainte Anne and it has been raining on and off making the course its slickest yet. This morning in preride I felt I was all over the place, but it sounds like everyone was. The organizers have removed the main descent of old and have replaced it with a new scary rocky one. It rode really well earlier in the week, but today was pretty tricky. I had to remind myself that I felt horrible tecnically the day before I won the world cup in bromont last year so am still feeling really good for tomorrow rain or shine. The funny story of the week is from Keith taking Waldek to Tim Hortons the other day. Waldek is a huge coffee drinker, but only believes in quality coffee. When Keith order a double double Waldek thought he was going for a really strong espresso. Never being one to back down for a challenge he also order this "4 shot" coffee. After sipping his coffee though he had to go immediately to the sink to pour out the sugar & cream be
Image
mom and Dad, my super fans After Nationals Keith and I headed to New Brunswick to visit my parents and friends. I'm always blown away by how much forest there is in NB. Without the huge mountains the rolling forested hills seem to go on forever. There are also so many lakes and rivers that it's a great place to get away for some family fun. Dad and I got out for a Kayak on Harvey Lake and Keith and I did a couple rides along the Saint John River. Mom at her book launch for Don Messer: The Man Behind the Music Although she workd full time my mom also has a passion for writing and has just published her 4th book. We got to go to her first launch which was a huge success and a nice chance for me to see a lot of familiar faces from the past. Keith and I also enjoyed a visit to Jonnie's Java for freshly roasted americanos in Fredericton. I also learned from a friend that I too could roast my own coffee as they do! Green beans stay fresh for a long time and you can just roas

New Brunswick

Image
Judy's cottage. I loved going here as a kid. It was built in the 1930's by her dad and is on a tiny island. There are about 5 cottages on the island and a large rocks all around it. Great for jumping. I of course made Keith do a lap with me. Judy, mom and Dad on our way out to Judy's cottage. Keith at Magadavic lake Keith and I

Picture update

Image
So this one took me a while to Post. Kamloops crew at Test of Metal. Kim and Martin B had already snuck off to put Logan to bed. Nick, Ellen, Keith, Me, Mike W, Martin D and Pete. Pete I ran into an old buddy of yours at nationals. A gorgeours sunset in my backyard in Kamloops

Nationals Win!

Image
Keith and Waldek, my awesome support crew Champagne anyone? Well today went even better than I could have hoped. The clouds rolled in over night bringing temperatures down, yet the rain hadn’t yet begun to fall. Our nationals course was the same course used for the World Cup held in Saint Felicien, Quebec 2 years ago. It is a fun 6+km loop that takes you over a lot of rocky and rooty terrain. All the climbing is singletrack or switchbacks and there are tons of fast bermed corners. After a good start I was 2nd wheel to Marie Helene the defending national champion with Amanda Sin and Mical Dyck close behind. I took over the lead a few minutes in and tried to open a gap in the singletrack. Everytime I opened a little in one section Marie would claw it back quickly thereafter. I thought I was going to be in for a tight battle all day, but before we finished the first lap I had opened 10 seconds which quickly changed to 25. I raced hard to open the gap and was able to extend it

Surviving and thriving at the BCBR

Image
Tent city at our roving base camp. Awesome volunteers set them up and took them down each day. Georgia, Katerina and me in our leader's jerseys Sarah our Chef Extraordinaire, Katerina and me To sum up the week in a couple words would be tough, but after 7 days of hard riding I don’t have a lot of energy to do much more! MTB stage racing is pretty cool. Imagine the biggest group ride you have ever done and times it by 30 or 40. Added to that is that everyone is racing. You move in a fast train slinking through the woods, up and over rocks and roots and down twisty, gnarly descents and then into cringingly hard pacelines along fireroads. Each day offered the 400+ riders seemingly endless singletrack through coastal rainforest and mountain and ocean vistas. Each stage was about 50-70km and for us 2-4hrs. There were 2 aid stations at mid way points on each course with food and drink as even with our mandatory 3 bottles we couldn’t carry enough water for the stages. My favor