Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Changing Seasons

November was an interesting month. It began with above normal temperatures and sunshine, making cross nationals much more enjoyable racing than expected, upon arriving home though it was quickly double, double season.  No not a Tim Horton's coffee with 2 cream, 2 sugar, I'll stick to my double Americano thanks, but rather double sock, double bootie and hot shots to keep the toes warm in sub zero temperatures.  Luckily, this did not last long and the following week, snow arrived and I was getting in lots of ski miles. Oddly enough after a super consistent season, one where people asked if it was my best yet I felt dissatisfied with it.  I didn't feel like I was as good an athlete last year as I had been in the past.  I felt like I put out some great races, benefitted from experience and years of hard work, but that I was capable of more. So as I train for next year I feel focused and committed in that way that feels so good, that strengthens you because you know you'

A weekend of Cross in the centre of the Universe

Image
This year after a two year hiatus from cyclocross (my previous experience being 4 races), Keith and I decided that I should organize a cyclocross series in the interior of BC so we could do some cross racing, but not have to do a ton of travelling every weekend. The series was a huge success introducing lots of people to this new discipline and giving Keith and I the cross bug.  Then air Canada emails me info on a seat sale to Toronto.  Cyclocross nationals are there, I've got lots of family there, I have been racing cross and I figure a trip to the Big city could be fun. Hosting my race the weekend before I was pretty busy and stressed out and looked forward to a trip to TO for a fun race with Keith.  Racing cross is a nice mental change for me, I don't have to put the same mental and emotional energy into it.  Race morning I started getting super grumpy about things that weren't a big deal though.  Ahhhh, so I guess I do care about my result.  The fact that I wa

Wow do I ever suck at doing blog updates in the "off Season".

So what's been happening?  Lots as always. Currently I am in Toronto for cross nationals and some family visiting.  We shall soon see how I am as a cross racer when I go head to head with Wendy, Mical and Natasha and I'm sure lots of other gals with superior cross skills.  It should be a lot of fun though and I'm looking forward to watching Keith race. Toronto has already proven eventful.  Within 2 minutes of pulling out with my rental car (the acquisition of which was lengthy) I get pulled over by the Police.  When I ask if I have done something wrong the officer informs me I have Quebec plates (is this a crime in Ontario?)  He checks my license and as a good BC gal I am let go. We get to my cousin's apartment and as he shows us the view from his 23rd storey apartment, Keith notices a house is on fire.  We promptly call 911 and run over to see anyone is inside as all the lights are off, but luckily the fire truck beats us there.  17 fire trucks later the fl

Cross

Image
Ron Ellis, Evan Guthrie and Dan Macdonald at Kamloops cross This year I organized a cyclocross series in the interior with the support of Clifbar, Cycles Lambert and Oakley as well as many other fantastic local sponsors. Penticton and Kelowna had fantastic organizers and I had little to do, but Kamloops was my baby. I figured this meant I should really do some cyclocross racing! So between making a cedar shed, starting an Anatomy and physiology course and organizing my Kamloops race Keith and I were booting it down to the coast for some cross racing. We hit up two BC cups, one being the infamous pumpkin cross where we got to get costumed up and jump over horse jumps. Sandra's kickass carving Whistler I got an email from Fox asking me if I wanted to go to Whistler to do some filming. Silly question! So between races and weddings and exams I was off to Whistler for a couple days of filming and relaxing with the Anthill film crew. We did some really neat shoots with Darcy

Married on a Mountain

Image
Also in this time our beloved house mates of 2 years got married and all the family and friends descended on Kamloops for several days. Matt and Catherine's wedding was perfect, up on a mtn, looking over a ski run they tied the knot and then we dined on a conscientious catering buffet, before Keith and I delivered our speech and assigned the bride push ups in her dress. Dancing and roasting marshmallows over an open fire completed the evening in style.

Turning 30 and the Epiphany

Image
In September I turned 30 and then made another attempt at the 150 mile epiphany ride with ClifBar in Napa Valley. Always epic, last year I double bonked, starting at only 4hrs in so this year I entered it afraid, well more afraid but better prepared. Not only did I have a bigger summer base of riding miles, but I did my best to draft for the first couple hours and eat lots often. I ended the ride feeling strong enough to duke it out with the masters men up the final climbs with some painfully placed attacks. It is so much better to finish strong then spending the last 3 hrs just trying to make it and hoping desperately that someone will stop their car and offer you a ride. Salmon Run Not far from Kamloops you get incredible glimpses of the salmon run so when Geoff and Mom were in town for my big 30 we took them out to see it. Geoff and mum, Ahhhh

Vegassed out

Image
Party at ClifBar. Best at the Show Foosball, beer,and live music Interbike has come and gone and with it my last trip to Vegas. The show now moves to Anaheim, CA. Vegas is an interesting place to say the least. I'm glad I've seen it, Cirque de Soleil and Phantom, but I'm glad I do not have to spend more time here. A couple early morning runs down the strip alongside homeward bound revelers, gamblers and the leftover smells and discards of a night of partying has me wondering how people survive here. For an athlete, or those that like fresh air, dislike shopping and waste it is overwhelming to say the least. Some of the hotels and displays are definitely impressive, as are women's abilities to walk in 4 inch heels. With sufficient funds you can see some amazing shows with sets that won't be traveling to smaller towns like Kamloops, but you see it at the expense of witnessing the more depressing parts of our culture as people don't go to Vegas to use mod

The show down

So I’m sure you’re dying to know who won the bet, Matt or I. Well Matt did win the race, but not the bet. He redeemed his man card by catching us a fish, with his hands. Sunday dawned to rain, lots of rain. I can’t say I was excited to race. You know I just wasn’t really into racing up a mtn so close to Worlds, but there was a lot of trash talking happening so I had to suck it up. Mt Revelstoke is a beautiful climb. It averages about 5.5%, climbed 25.4 km and 1400 m of elevation change. On a clear day you see beautiful mtns. This Sunday you say the rain dripping off your nose and a lot of mist. With 10 km to go I was having trouble shifting, my fingers were so cold. I couldn’t squeeze my bottle hard enough to get water out of it, but at least I was climbing. I reached the crest in 1hr 16 min and 45 seconds and Matt had not caught me. Wahoo. As I descended down to the cabin where organizers had goodies and hot chilly waiting for us I saw Matt charging up to
Image
Back home and the garden looks like something Alice would have stumbled into and not resurfaced. I did find this Zucchini though, 15inches makes a lot of zucchini bread. Rainy weather isn't too conducive to activity, but I need to keep some miles in my legs for the Epiphany ride. I am determined not to double bonk on the 9hr ride this year. I've been reading "Talent is Overrated" and highly recommend it. Matt and Catherine are home, but only for a short while. We had a farewell get together for them last night as the head off to Victoria for the winter on Monday. Before they leave though, Matt and i have some trash talk to sort out. The 27km Revelstoke Hill Climb. He thinks he can put 5 minutes into me, has recruited light wheels from a friend to do so (Derek I thought you were my friend!).... sunday will be the test. Matt does the math and it doesn't look good..for anyone

Reflections on a 4th place finish

Image
Willow Claims worlds Bronze, Irina Silver, Maja Gold Well, I'm sure you have guessed that 4th wasn't my goal for the World Championships in Canada. I had a lot of momentum behind me with two world cups wins and the world cup overall, a win at MSA last year and a huge group of supporters that traveled from New Brunswick, Ontario and BC to cheer me on. The crowds were insane. It was the loudest race i've ever done. Kids with NB flags ran alongside me screaming, the switchback climbs were lined with roaring fans and the descents exploded in noise as you came through. My preparation was good. I felt strong and ready. My head was good. I didn't feel overwhelming pressure, just confident. The race started with my best ever World cup start and some good line choices saw me move into 3rd for the start loop. Eva Lechner, Maja and i got off the front, but into the woods on lap one i wasn't able to enter first and the chasers caught back up to us. On leaving the f

World cup Finals

What a season! The World cup series has now come to a close and in a pretty darn fantastic fashion. The World Cup finals in Windham, New York saw myself and the Luna team achieving many season goals. Luna put a rider on the podium at every World cup this season and we took the team overall in a dominating fashion. I achieved my 2nd World cup win of the year and my first World Cup overall title. After a 5 year absence, the USA once again saw themselves hosting a World cup and the town of Windham put on a great event. You could feel the positive vibes sent out from the town. Church signs welcomed us with "You Pedal, We Pray" and coffee shops marveled at the amount of espresso consumed and by so many different accents. There were nightly parties and lots of entertainment outside of the racing. Keith was traveling with me and we made it more of a trip than just racing. Flying into Montreal we made our way slowly to Windham with a stop at the Kingdom Trails in East Burke,

I guess it's good we're in Revelstoke for training...do have a monday flight though

Forest fires cause air quality in Kamloops to plummet to hazardous levels Poor visibility forces cancellation of airline flights while the elderly and those with health conditions advised to stay indoors By CAM FORTEMS, Kamloops Daily News Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Forest+fires+cause+quality+Kamloops+plummet+hazardous+levels/3419784/story.html#ixzz0x9r7loTk

Hanging with the Seattle Luna crew

Image
tuckered out by the end of the day! Lavonne, Sara, me and Carrie This weekend I had the fantastic fortune of heading down to Seattle to hang out with the Seattle Luna Chix. I was invited to give a skills clinic at Duthie Hills in Isquaa to Luna riders and local women. We got a great group of enthusiastic women who had decided to brush the dust of their bikes and get back into riding, or gain some more skills for their tool bag. It's always amazing to see women's confidence grow and how much smoother and relaxed of riders they can become in 3hrs! Duthie Hills was fantastic for the event. I had traveled to Seattle expecting to be coaching out of a soccer field or school yard when in fact we were treated to a skills park with a cloverleaf of trails branching off from the park. A trail named Bootcamp was reminiscent of a 15 min pump track. wicked! The area was created and maintained by the Evergreen Club and is well worth checking out. From Basic body position to climbi

A brief comparison

Image
Kamloops Pre and during Forest fire season

World Cup: Val di Sole

Image
So we're all settled into a nice apartment, good coffee and ah yes we found a nice pizzeria right by the venue. Prep went well. The course was pretty simple; steep ass climbs and fast fun descents. I did a hard work out on Wednesday as I need to feel fast on my mtb again and rid the bad energy I was still carrying from Switzerland. After a couple intervals and laps on the course I had figured out how to ride through the tenderness in my arse and the grumblings in my head. Thursday Waldek and I scouted out some mtn view lakes for a photo shoot (not every team can claim to have 3 national champs). It rained pretty hard but we found a trail down from the mtn top lake so all was good. Our hotel served some amazing multi-course meals, venison seems very popular here. One more day of race prep and I was set to race. I actually had one of my best world cup starts ever and it was on flat rough grass. Go figure. I came through the start loop in 9th and moved my way up so that abou

Champery to Val di Sole

Champery was a tough week for me, a crash in training had left not only my but, but my confidence bruised. Not many things frustrate me as racing below my ability level though so I was determined to turn things around for the next World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy. How can things go wrong after a week of good Italian food and coffee? After the race in Switzerland, the Luna crew hung out for another day. On Monday we climbed the Col de Cou...for cappuccino of course. Once atop we appeared to have 2 options for descending back to Champery. Georgia and Waldek both remembered riding a different trail down. So as Waldek and I tried out the hiking trail, Georgia and Zak opted for the other route. Both worked out and Wadek and I got to do some fun switchbacks and a fast descent to our meeting point. Tuesday was driving day. An 8hr drive took 12, but we got to stop for freshly picked apricots, autogrill coffee (some of the best coffee in Italy is served up by baristas on the freeway. I

World Cup Champery, Switzerland

Image
Zak enjoys some of Katka's family's baking brought in from Czech republic Ooh yeah that's good babowka After Nationals I got a day with Keith and then i was off to Europe again. I was excited to be hitting the World Cup circuit, particularly after being able to confirm good form at Nationals. My brother Geoff was traveling with the national team as an assistant coach so I was also looking forward to some hang time with him and the other Canadians. Travel was smooth and our entourage of two vans and 2 cars, all fully load, made our way from Zurich to Champery. Champery is in South east Switzerland in the Alps. It is one of the most beautiful places I've been too. The view from our hotel seemed out of a painting or fantasy movie. The weather was amazing, actually a bit hot, and by Wednesday we were out for our first look at the course. yes this is the view from my hotel, unreal. Champery is hosting Worlds next year so I was eager to spend some time on the cou

Canadian Nationals

Image
C-squared As Keith and I drove from Revelstoke to Canmore I started getting excited to race. Marie-Helene Premont was sure to be on form after her 4th at the last world cup and she was going to force me to be on my A game. After a beautiful and sunny drive through the mountains with some rest stops we arrived in Scenic Canmore with it's vertical mountains on either side of the valley. Although Canmore used to be a regular stop on the World cup circuit, that was before my time and I was excited for the chance to not only race there, but ride as well. Our house mate Matt had spent the fall there building trails. Keith and I got in some good rides and preparation (including some river dips), some good visits and dinner with friends and were ready for race day. The only thing that disappointed was receiving word that Marie Helene would not be attending due to Bronchitis. It felt anti-climatic as I had prepared myself for such a great battle on the bike, however I knew Amanda

Stoked to get Spanked in Revelstoke

Revelstoke has always been one of my favourite places to ride. Not only do we get to ride some of the best trails in the world, undulating interior rain forest funness, but we get to do it while visitng my in-laws who spoil us daily. This weekend we also got to try racing on the revelstoke trails. Friends Carter and Christina came with us to Revy for the racing and riding. BBQ's, enough time to watch the tour before riding or racing along with coffee shop stops with friends Sandra, Jeanine and Ryan who were camping nearby made it a fun, relaxing weekend. The race sent us through some solid amounts of single track and tough climbs making it not an easy, but a rewarding day on the bike. We capped off the fun race with another bbq and some Mt. Begbie brews with the other racers. Now a couple days to rest and prep for nationals.

BCBR: Final stage

Image
Last week was an awesome week of riding and racing with my race Partner Geoff Kabush. I'll sum it day to day with some highlights from each stage. Last year my luna teammate Katerina Nash and I raced together. We were so perfectly matched and could rail the singletrack I was a little nervous of trying another partner, particularly an uber fast elite male, but passing up on the opportunity to race with Geoff Kabush, fellow Canadian National Champion and World cup winner and getting to follow his lines on some of the worlds best Singletrack for a week, was an opportunity I would have been foolish to pass up. My Team for the week Geoff "Super Domestique" Kabush Amanda Soigneur and gourmet sandwich maker. James "Jimmy" Sullivan: team mechanic. Yes I will fully admit that those people that do stage races without this kinda stellar support are doing a whole other level of endurance racing. Day 7: Whistler. After another great sleep in Squamish we headed to

BCBR: Day 6 Squamish

Image
Day 6: Keith has finished school and joined us as a guest racer. Really it's not fair for me to have all the fun! We stayed with friends Dwayne and Renee and I took advantage of a King size bed getting some needed sleep. The Squamish stage incorporates the infamous test of Metal and gear Jammer courses offering riders tons of good descending. Some descents are more like jump trails where as others are rugged tests of agility and skill. I liked it all. After Yesterday's wicked day Geoff and I were amped to have another chick show down. We marked the top ten, but climbed within ourselves (by this I mean within my limits). We were riding in a large group containing the 2nd and 3rd place men's team and all the solo guys from 6th to 9th place. We strung together some good descents. On the climbs some guys tried to get away, but we kept them in check. The legs are definitely feeling yesterday's race, but still feel good. Through aid station 2 Geoff and

BCBR: Hump Day and Chixed day

Image
We left beautiful Powell River (only accessible by Ferry and float plane) in the am and headed by Ferry to Earl's Cove on the Sunshine coast. Day 4: Ah hump Day. So far so good. 4 days in, 3 to go. Geoff and I have been a good team. We've had some good laughs, some good mishaps and lots of good riding and racing. We've been able to stay close to the front at the start and then gradually settle in with a fast, but not the fastest group (Barry, Kris, Corey, Collin, Chris, Jason). Hump Day: Earl's cove to Sechelt. I started with a slight headache and a delicious breakfast before heading to the Ferry. Then another race from the Ferry. This was the hardest stage last year and it was tough again today. There was tons of climbing, steep climbing and not a lot of single track until over 2hrs in. Fire roads make your mind and legs feel flat and missing a turn lost us our rhythm and time advantage over Jeff and Mical, but we got back into rhythm and pulled away through s

BCBR Day 2 and 3

Image
Day 2: Cumberland. I like this stage. Big Climb, BIG descent. We got to stay at the Kabush's home for 2 nights which was great and after a good sleep I was looking forward to racing Cumberland's flowy trails. We initially lost the race leaders Chris Sheppard and the Kona Boys, but then tucked in on Geoff's wheel on a fire road we came up on a group. It was all the leaders. After sitting in a bit i went for a fake attack off the front to rile up the guys, but then eased off to let them have the singletrack first. We were able to stick with them for an hour through flowy singletrack and until the base of a 20 minute climb up to Forbidden Plateau. From there, the guys really started racing and I waved them good bye and settled into my own group with geoff. We crested the climb with Andreas, Blake and Ron and headed into a super fun rocky descent. Entering the descent Geoff went for a v ramped bridge and I followed. When we were both on it we realized there wasn'

BCBR Day Zero and -1

Image
Friday: Day -1 Geoff and I arrive at Endless Biking to get the new xtr dyna sys put on our bikes. Nice and shiny and over 400km of racing to put it to the test! Day 0 was a short individual TT in North van over some pretty rooty trails. Geoff and I raced individually and teams took the slower rider's time as the team time. 8min 55. Racers are on their own till we hit Nanaimo, then I join the rocky Mountain team for the week as we travel around with the race. Day 1: A way too short sleep of about 4.5hrs after getting to sleep at midnight and having people waking up at the hotel way too early. Those beeps when you lock and unlock cars should be banned. 4.5hrs is a scarily short sleep to head into a stage race with. We all hopped a ferry to Nanaimo and started racing right off the boat. Well actually two police officers on bikes escorted us for almost 30 minutes through town to the trail head. The poor officers got quite the workout with 500 racers bearing down behind

Test of Metal

Image
The Test of Metal in Squamish, BC is always one of my favourite races. The race sells out on January 1 st in about 20 minutes, but luckily they still let elite riders in on race day. This year over 1100 racers ranging in age from the teens to the seventies signed up. This was the 15 th anniversary of the race and festival weekend and all 15 past male race winners were brought back as well as many of the female past winners. The weather was perfect and the course only slightly slower than the previous year due to weeks of rain leading up to the event and i had been talking smack to a bunch of guys leading up to the race so the competition was going to be fun. The great thing about the Test is the people. This includes the fans out lining the streets with sprinklers, out on the trails, often only semi-clad and the people racing alongside you. The whole community gets into the race and make it loud and vibrant. Afterwards there’s a big BBQ and lots of local parties. T

Women's night at Flowt Bikes in Revelstoke

Image
the always popular and useful lesson on how to fix a flat tire! talking suspension Delicious appies from La Baguette. If you're driving through Revelstoke you have to try their chocolate almond bread, or gelato, or .....the list is long Brendan Macintosh from Flowt bikes invited me down to participate in my first women's mechanics course last week with a bunch of great gals from Revelstoke. With over 20 women attending we broke into three groups all lead by female instructors. Amanda taught them how to change a flat tires, I discussed on the trail maintenance and flowt's resident wrencher Theresa, got into the nitty gritty of more in depth mechanics. We started with great appetizers and ended with fun door prizes and some Luna bars. Every year the night get's better so you might want to keep an eye on Flowt shop events. http://www.flowt.org/Flowt_web_page/Home.html