Thursday, April 29, 2010

London


Waldek, Katerina, Georgia, and Tom

Westminister Abbey with the house of Commons in the Background

Tower Bridge

Monday we packed up the van and drove to London. We had met a BBC World correspondent in Dalby doing a story on Absalon and after drawing us a very convoluted map of London and places to see, figured he'd just take us on a biking tour.

So within 3 hrs of arriving in London we had had two cappuccinos, lost Katerina, found Katerina, had ridden over London bridge, tower bridge, and around Buckingham palace, Westminister Abbey and the House of Commons. Pretty exhausted at this point we went to Ping Pong for dinner where we got to try some great dumplings, soups and rice wraps.

We over nighted outside London and then drove onto a train to go through the eurotunnel to France and then on to Belgium. It was a long day of travel with a failing rental van, but we made it and the sun is shining!

Now in Houffalize we had our first ride on the new course. It's pretty climbing intensive in Houffalize style and at the moment dry and dusty. They're calling for rain tomorrow, but a dry weekend.

Dalby World Cup

Dalby was awesome. The course was super fun and I'm feeling great on my bike. If only I could learn to start and not go from 3rd to 33rd in the first 30 seconds!

Katerina had an amazing start and Georgia and I moved up together to the top 10 by lap 2. I crashed pretty good and then caught back up to Georgia who had joined Katerina by lap 3. From there on out we formed the Luna train. It was super nice to have team mates to ride with and we stayed together till about 3 minutes to go when Georgia put in a surge and Katerina went with it. I tried, but I had used all my surges early on and there was nothing left. I could see a rider behind me and was trying to push hard to the finish to nab the last podium spot, but it wasn't to be and I got out sprinted on the finishing stretch, finishing sixth.

Katerina out sprinted Georgia for 3rd and Luna grabbed the top team spot. A pretty solid day, but a bit disappointing for me as I felt with a better start I had the legs to do better. The thing about racing though is that it comes down to more than just legs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This foal was born on the farm our last night in Dalby

Sunny day at the venue

our cottage grounds!

The El pacas would follow you around if you went into the fields. I guess the do a good job of keeping the foxes away from the sheep too

Friday, April 23, 2010

Eruptive travel plans

Yes I made it to Dalby! With Iceland's Volcano erupting last week things weren't looking good for many people getting to Dalby Forest in England for the first World cup of the year. My journey began monday as one of the 27 international flights that were allowed to land in Germany that day. The flight that was scheduled to leave 30 min before mine was canceled, and although they checked me in to the flight they would only check me as far as Frankfurt, not Manchester and wouldn't actually confirm my flight.

Waiting at the airport the flight got pushed back an hour and it wasn't till we were actually flying south of Iceland and the skies were beautifully clear that I was confident we would actually land in Europe.

Tuesday was a lot of hanging out at the airport. Luckily for my sanity I found wireless and coffee and was able to keep an eye on Manchester airport and German airspace to see if either would open soon. Nope. I grabbed a hotel and took my bike for a spin. Waldek would hopefully arrive the next day and we'd drive to England via a ferry.

I got to the airport Wednesday in time to get the last Van. Although we had a reservation, they would give our vehicle choice to first come first serve so I signed up for the 9 passenger van and hoped Waldek would arrive! Our mechanic Zak wasn't able to get over, but Waldek got in just an hour after scheduled and we made a mad dash to get on the road in time to make our Ferry. We got to the sold out Ferry with 10 min to go.

Once on the boat it was a great way to travel. The ride took about 10hrs but there were restaurants, cinemas and sleeping rooms. I had my first sleep on a boat and got in a solid 8+hrs of sleep, before they were announcing it was breakfast time.

3 crappy coffees later we were off the boat, had visited Hull a bit and were on our way to Dalby where Georgia and Katerina would hopefully be arriving from the flight into Manchester. As it usually does all worked out...except for Zak's arrival and we were moved into a great little house on a sheep/horse farm.

The course is pretty cool. I did my first lap solo and had a couple moments where I was a little spooked to try some drops or steep ride ups, but after I got over the mental bit I had a blast and am looking forward to Sunday's race.

Internet and phone reception are pretty absent, but I'll try to keep in touch guys. It sounds like almost all Canadians have made it, or will make it to Dalby and the weather is awesome so should be a fun weekend.

Racing and travelling has begun!

Last weekend I joined the Luna team for Sea Otter. The weather was awesome and this year they gave us a new course rather than the 0ld 2 x 19mile loop. The old loop definitely had some nice scenery and trail, but the new course offered more interesting racing and a sub 2.5hr race. If it had rained it would have been hellish (read: soggy grass), but it the dry, although not fast, it was challenging.

The week was pretty chill with lots of seaside rides and the racing was lung and leg busting as I blew the cob webs out.

ST: A crappy start in the short track meant chasing the lead for several laps, but I thankfully bridged up eventually and then felt completely justifeied in sitting in for a couple laps. This was made easier by willow sliding out in front of Lene and I on a mucky climb. Georgia got off the front and I yelled for her to go for it. We both later shared our mutual feeling of "aw crap this is too early in the race to go off the front!". But Georgia pulled it offf convincingly and I sat in until 2 to go when I attacked willow and Lene. I dug deep and went fast, but only for a lap and the Lene Reeled me in and countered to grab 2nd behind Georgia, leaving 3rd for me.
Luna had some fun with the fact we're making our women's cycling clothes and had some fun outfits for the short track.

xc: My lungs and legs were burning for the race, but a massage by Waldek and a delicous cashew pesto tilapia at the fishwife and I was ready to roll next day. With only 4 laps it was going to be a short race and came down to the same crew as yesterday withHeather joining the mix. With a fair amount of the Laguna Seca raceway track within the course the race was pretty on off with some cat and mouse on the track and hard pace on all the off road. Again I had to learn the lesson that I can't get away from world Class riders just by setting a hard pace up the climb, you have to make a holy crap attack. Last lap and we were all still together. I tried to push the pace on the first climb and at least neutralize attacks, but Lene could handle it and put in a surge around me at the top. We all stuck with her till the next climb when she went again and I wasn't able to stick her wheel. Georgia had the legs though and got by me to chase her down. Willow and I were left to push eachother to the finish. Georgia ended up catching and passing lene for the win while Willow and I did a sprint for 3rd mano o mano which i surprised myself by winning for my second 3rd of the weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So I guess it is time for another update.


Resist Corporate Coffee...Amy and I do our part to support the local guy in Seaside... Ahh the sacrifices


Chris and Zak getting ready for Breakfast at Mama's in Mill Valley


Wouldn't be a trip to San fran without a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. We actually had sun at this photo shoot! Ethan took lots of people pics which hopefully I'll share later

Our photo camp started off with casual shots at Picolo's coffee shop in Sausalito. Good idea Dave

I'm now healthy and already on my second trip,first team camp and then Luna Summit, but have yet to have tested my form in a big race.

I'm hanging out in Seaside California with my new team mate Amy Dombrowski. Seaside and Monterey are pretty awesome with bike paths all along the coast line where you can check out otters bathing on rocks,oh yeah and it is sunny now!

This past weekend was the Luna Summit, where 130 women from Luna local teams all over the USA come to learn more about the Luna program, learn from the pros and other accomplished women and feed off of each other's energy for a great weekend of learning, networking and having an awesome time. A rainy weekend didn't slow these gals down at all as we headed out on the mtb, road, for runs and swims (some even in open water).

We learned how the Luna program has contributed over 3 million dollars to the Breast cancer Fund and how only 10% of Breast cancer cases are genetically linked, environmental causes being linked to the other 90%. Scary. The Luna program began its relationship with the Breast cancer Fund about 10 years ago with ClifBar's goal to bring these women an energy bar that wouldn't be rock solid when they climbed summits in support of Breast cancer prevention research. Check out http://www.breastcancerfund.org/

After this great weekend, the Luna Pros went their separate ways till Sea Otter, while Georgia, Amy and I rented a mini van and drove to Monterey for a fox demo. I got to play soccer mom while Georgia and Amy were my navigators. We made great time even through the deluge of rain and got out for a great coast line ride and Bajito Bowls and fish tacos at the fish wife. We spent Tuesday hanging out with the wicked crew at Fox and Bike media from as far away as Germany testing out forks and shocks while riding out at Laguna Seca.

Fox was awesome taking the time to make sure we knew how to best dial in our forks and understood how everything works. The terra Logic fork (stable platform) has been perfected this year by creating a more supple fork that still has a distinct on/off option.

We now have 2 days event free to train and rest up for racing this weekend!