Tuesday, June 20, 2006

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. I felt good and was able to get by a bunch of women on the descent. When I came through the start at the end of lap 1 with Alison on my wheel I realized I was in 3rd! I was being told Mary M had 1:30 on us, but could see Katrina Nash (Hanusova) ahead and set my sights on reeling her in. I passed her just after the first climb and kept pushing to the top and getting a clean run down the descent. Going into the final lap I was still in 2nd with Alison Sydor and Shonny Vanlandingham in contact. I’m pretty sure Willow and Heather were just a couple seconds off. Shonny went to the front on the climb and I held her wheel. About half way up Alison passed us on a technical climb I had messed up and Shonny went with her. This was about the time I started seeing stars and my legs went from hero to zero. Girls started passing me depressingly fast and I just had to convince myself to keep spinning. By the top of the climb I was in 9th and Jimena and I took turns leading the descent which was a little sketchy when seen through blurred vision. She was able to pull away after the last woods and I came in 9th. Still a great result, but leaving me with the feeling that a little better pacing could have seen me on the podium.

I definitely want to do more Norbas in the future. The depth of the fields are excellent and the circuit is very fun and friendly.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hiking Welsh Dickey

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

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.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hardwood Hills: Canada Cup 3

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 race so whenever I got the chance to lead I went to the front and hammered. But today was not the day. Mical was not to be dropped, nor Kiara. Marie had been putting about 30-45 seconds into us a lap. Midway lap 3 was my undoing. Kiara got by me first on a climb while I refueled and I didn’t immediately try to cover the move. She opened a good gap, but I was still in third. Then was the sound it’s always tough to hear late in a race, the sound of your competition breathing hard down your neck. You know the attack is coming soon. Mical attacked on an open stretch between two sections of single track. I tried to follow, but my legs didn’t want to respond. From then on it was all about how fast I could motivate myself to go. Unfortunately, not hard enough. I lost gobs of time that last lap by giving into my body’s desire to slow down. I did hold on to 4th but lost too much time. Mical went on to catch Kiara and finish 2nd only 2:30 off Marie Helene. A very impressive ride. Jaqulin Mourao of Brazil finished 5th.