Sunday, August 26, 2007

Velonews

Hey Guys, Go check out the latest Velonews.
On page 128-129 (Planet Dirt) you'll find a story on me and Sydor.

So what’s next?

September 2nd Swiss Power Cup: Zurich, Switzerland
September 8th World Championships: Fort William, Scotland
September 15th World Cup Finals: Maribor, Slovenia
September 22nd Good luck Beijing Invitation Race: Laoshan, China

As you can see I’ve got an exciting and busy fall planned. It all kicks off this Wednesday with an ungodly 4:00am wakeup to get to the airport in time to start my Around the World Adventure. I decided to kick start the next set of races with the Swiss Power cup to get my mind and body focused for Worlds the following weekend. I am psyched to get back to Switzerland and visit Sandra and her family –my favorite Swiss – Sepp and Sonya. Ricky Federau and I will be traveling together and teaming up with our Swiss counterparts. It should be awesome. I hear there is even a Minnie golf tournament in the works.

The following Tuesday Ricky and I head to Scotland to meet up with the rest of team Canada to prepare for Worlds. Canada has decided not to enter a relay due to lack of rider interest, myself excluded. By this time I should be on the right time zone and well rested for the “Big” race. Fort William promises a wicked course and I’m sure it won’t disappoint based on the race I did there in 2005. I’m ranked 29th going into Worlds with 4 women in front of me racing the Espoir category instead and Gunn Rita still absent from this year of racing so a poor starting position will not be the case and I’m excited to see how I can do after an exciting summer of racing.

Everyone leaves Scotland on the 10th with many of us heading to Maribor, Slovenia for World cup finals. I’ll be meeting up with Sandra in Zurich and doing a road trip through Switzerland to Slovenia. Should be rad! I’m looking forward to seeing a new country and World cup race venue and of course visiting many backereis along the way. Sandra is going to hang out with me for a couple days after the race to see more of the country and keep training at the tail end of the season fun.

Recently added to the schedule is the Good Luck Beijing Invitation race. Yes I get to go race the Olympic Mtb Course and I am a little excited. What a great way to send you into the off season with some motivation!!!! I’m not sure how it ended up being 3 women and one man being sent, but am thankful that I was selected to go. I have to assume 1-2 of the guys declined the trip, but who knows. So I head to China on the 19th making it a trip around the World by the time I fly back in to BC. At the moment I’m slated for one race on the 22nd, but there is a possibility of doing another on the 25th. We’ll see….

Good Bike rides and car crashes

Having time at home to ride has been awesome. Keith and I have been able to get out on some good exploration rides and enjoy an atypically cooler august in Kamloops. After many a good training rides you inevitably need that recovery ride. So as I head down Columbia on my road bike having just been invited to the Good luck Beijing Invitation race I am in good spirits and ready for a mellow ride. About 5 blocks from my house however the drivers side door of a parked car swings open just as I am about to pass the car. Boom! The right side of my body collides with the door and I am sent sideways to land on the center line a couple feet away. I pick my self up and get off the road leaving my bike, but luckily no cars are dangerously close. My head is spinning, “I can’t believe that just happened”. I’m okay, but a little freaked. My bike on the other hand and the car door are in need of replacement. Keith was able to get there within 15 minutes with ice and so bruising was minimized. Muscles are tight, but nothing a little time and massage won’t work out. As a rider you’re always watching out for that sort of thing but when cars have tinted windows and no lights on there just aren’t the warning signs you look for. For the umpteenth time this summer I feel incredibly lucky.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tobacco Free Sport

So I am one of the lucky athletes selected to be a Tobacco Free Sport Ambassador. With the program we will travel around our region of BC sharing our sport stories and encouraging a tobacco free lifestyle. To do that we needed some public speaking training, or a tleast I do, so after a fun weekend in Squamish and Whistler Keith and I headed to Vancouver. We’re now crashing with friends Jenny and Chris as I go to my tobacco free sport ambassador training for Two days and Keith gets to do lots of visiting with our Vancouverite friends.

Finally, Comfortably numb

After an only partially successful attempt at comfortably numb in July Keith and I were determined to ride the rest of the trail. What we got to ride before was so much fun we wanted to check it all out. We headed to Pemberton Friday night and camped out at a great park called Nairn Falls. After a two year abstinence from camping, Keith and I were tenting again and cooking with a camp stove. It was great! Saturday morning we got up early and after a quick Oatmeal breakfast were driving to Squamish for TT provincials. Well I raced and Keith went for an mtb ride. The race was about 38km and a fun foray back into road racing and a good way to get in a wicked flat land power interval. The race took me just under 57minutes and then I got to kickback at a BBQ with the other racers and some friends. My but was incredibly sore…there’s something about that TT position that makes sitting down within the next hour very uncomfortable. We headed back to the campsite that night and after some down time headed out for the little hike to the falls. They were pretty cool. The water was so powerful it had caused underwater passages to form between the pools of water. (pics to come)

Our friends Dave and Craig joined us the next morning to ride Comfortably numb. We started in Whistler Village and after about 10km of road riding ended up at Wedgemount where the trail head starts. From there the trail climbs switchbacks and twists over very rooty terrain for about 7km before sending you down a little descent and back up through some gnarly tricky terrain. Although the trail is definitely rugged you can get some pretty good sensations of climbing fast…especially when you’re riding with three guys. It took us about 1hr 30 of hard trail riding to reach the ½ way point. From there you’d think you start going down…and you do, but not before climbing to the highest point, descending and climbing back up. The descents were rocky, challenging and fun and all rideable and I was LOVING the Phase for all of it. We had a wicked ride with only 1 flat tire and a couple rain showers, but were all pumped on a wicked day of riding. The trail took us 2hr 45 of riding which we though was pretty good as the sign recommended 4-7hrs for completion. From there we followed some fast fun bike paths back to the village and ended the day with a fast twisty descent right to the parking lot. It was wicked.

Being a tourist at home

Keith and i hiking Helmcken Canyon


Helmcken Falls (4th highest falls in Canada)


I got back to Vancouver Monday night and Keith was at the airport to pick me up and take me home to Kamloops. After a lazy day of hanging out at home on Tuesday my Dad arrived in town. We got in some fun summery stuf like having a BBQ on the back deck and checking out some local sites. Keith, Dad and I did our first trip out to Wells Gray Park where we did a little hike around Helmcken Falls. The falls are 3x higher than Niagra. It was a beautiful park and Keith and I are thinking about going back with the road bikes for some camping and exploring. The next day we headed through Salmon Arm to Revelstoke to show Dad some of the local area and the places we love to ride and spend time
.That's my Dad!

Best Short Track Ever

Still reeling from my first Norba podium the day before in the xc I headed out for an AM coffee spin with Mical and Joele. Legs didn’t feel soo bad, but could definitely feel them whenever the grade turned upwards.

In my warm up my legs started to come around. The last week they just didn’t feel like they were clearing. Seems I just needed 90 minutes of race pace climbing to flush them out! Tired definitely, but I thought my legs might pull through for me on the day.

One lap of the short track course in North Carolina took about 3 minutes of which probably close to 1min was climbing…good for me. The rest of the course was a series of tight corners with some max power bursts between. I had an okay start and was able to use the climb to gain positions. On second lap the leaders were still close, but I knew to do well I still had a lot of moving up to do. At the top of the climb there was a tight corner. I buried myself to get to the corner with the group ahead of me and then cut way inside and asserted myself into a leading position by clearing at least 6 girls in that one move. From there on out it was going hard until I caught someone and then going harder to get by them and on to the next. Mary, Katerina and Georgia were off the front, followed by Willow and Heather and then Sue and Leah. I kept reeling in girls and the leaders. Finally with about 5 laps to go I caught Willow and we separated ourselves from Heather. I was putting out a good suffer face, but was riding well and Willow and I stuck together the rest of the race. The last lap was super fun with Willow continually attacking and me trying to maintain my lead. I kept my lead through at least 5 attacks by Willow and sprinted hard to the finish with Willow finishing in the same second. Yes I won a sprint!!! Katerina took the win, followed by Mary. Georgia got gapped with a couple laps to go but held onto 3rd, 8seconds in front of me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hope you brought your climbing legs!




Wednesday night Mical, myself and Kris Sneddon arrived in Charlotte North Carolina for round 5 of the NMBS series. Luckily I had already reserved a car as only 1 agency still had vehicles left. We had to try out three different SUV’s however before we found one that could fit three people with bike boxes and luggage. It was a little sketchy with one box jutting into the front seats so that when I had to brake hard catching a restaurant entrance last minute the box came forward shifting the car out of drive. It was a bit of an epic trip through the twisty, hilly roads out to Banner elk. The directions we had were limited and the signage even worse. But eventually we pulled off the foggy wet road and were given beds at the Kona team house. After a wicked 10.5 hr sleep Mical and I set out for a pre ride.

Starting at the base of Sugar mountain the course headed up….way up to the top. I’m not sure how many km we climbed nor what the elevation change was, but I was the first racer to the top of the climb first lap and it took me 30 minutes. After this climb we headed back down the mountain looping in and out of the woods as we crossed ski runs loosing vertical quickly. The descents were really rocky and the thunder showers the last few afternoons made the course greasy. In preriding I had been descending okay so I was a little unnerved when I entered the woods and was a pinball being tossed back and forth from Rock to rock. I really should have left my tire pressure as it was rather than adding more with someone else’s pump and gauge that morning. Georgia Gould and I had been duking it out on the climb, but I had opened a gap near the top. By the time I was in the woods though she was on my wheel. We both struggled down taking turns apologizing and letting the other pass as we picked ourselves up from spills or near spills. I went down hard on my hip on one rock and she pulled away.

Heading into lap 2 Georgia was still in sight and at random points I could see Marry McConeloug or Katerina Nash behind me. I did another hard 30+ minute climb, but didn’t have the legs to reel in Georgia. Heading into the first woods 2nd lap I could hear a rider closing on me. Willow was ripping up the single track, hungry for a podium position in her home state and known for her technical skills. She caught me near the end of the descent and we rode the rest down together and headed out onto the climb determined to reel in Georgia together. We took turns at the front when one of us was stronger in a section. My legs were definitely hurting, but when I was on her wheel I felt good and within my limits. It was all good until the course turned steeper and I just couldn’t produce more power. This was at about 20 minutes up with 10 minutes still to go and Willow just starting pulling away. I was desperately hoping Mary and Katerina weren’t close enough to close because I wasn’t confident I could respond if they caught and attacked me. I crested the climb in 3rd and was pretty confident I could hold it to the end.

Three laps took me 2hr and 38seconds and I ended up losing just under 3 minutes to Georgia and 1.20 to Willow, but held off newly crowned Czech National Champ Katerina Nash and US National Champ Marry McConneloug. Wendy and Mical duked it out all race dropping the girls they were racing and finishing 12 and 13th. Joele rode a strong race making a couple guys feel abashed at how she could school them on the technical descents after 2 years of riding. Kabush took 2nd in the men’s race to Jeremiah Bishop. Toulousse finished 9th, Sneddon 12th and Hadley 16th. Solid rides all round.

So I finally got my first Norba podium! Short track is today at 3 and it looks like we’ll be getting more rain.