After a busy September, October was play month and we did it well with a road trip to Moab, Utah, Fruita and Grand Junction...A very worthy 40hr detour on our way to Cross nationals in Winnipeg.
The last time I was in Moab (2000) I had gone with 4 guy friends from University on the Greyhound bus. Starting in Bangor Maine it took us 3 days each way for a week of riding. I was a totally different rider 14 years ago and although I appreciated the unique scenery of petrified rock and tumbleweed rolling down the road way I couldn't make the most of the trails.
This time we shuttled the Whole Enchilada and were giddy..well still are from the 3000m descent through alpine, Aspens and desert. So happy to have my 5" Orbea Occam and Fox dropper post with me for all the rock ledges!
Winnipeg did an amazing job hosting this event. The course was fast and challenging with double sand pits and steep run ups. The downtown venue created a great vibe and the fast and female event kicking it off introduced me to some rad rippers.
Racing was fast and tough with my luna teammate Maghalie charging hard for us to go 1,2 at nationals and then having Gabby Durrin push me in the Grand Prix on Sunday
|Loving disc brakes and DI2!|
This trip also brought me back to the Province I lived in for half of a 7 month exchange trip I had done with Canada and Cuba (Canada World Youth) back in 2000/2001. After 14 years I got to see my amazing host family again. So lucky!
I haven't done a lot of Cross racing outside Canada and this was definitely a cool event. 3 races, 3 different venues in 3 days. We raced in the mud, rain and near freezing temperatures Friday, At night under lights Saturday and in Sun and over steep run ups Sunday. Each course was unique and fantastic. The quality of racing was top notch (I think 5 women from here placed top 10 at the following world cup and that was with many of us missing in Europe) so women's cross racing is on fire in North America and was a pleasure to be a part of. Form was waining though so it was great to get home to recharge....for Hawaii
My first time to Hawaii did not disappoint. I have never ridden somewhere where it was so easy to do 4-5hr rides. The constant supply of banana bread stands definitely helped. In one day we did an epic road ride, swam in a waterfall and went snorkelling. Not bad.
And of course we climbed Haleakala the World's longest paved climb. After driving up 2 days earlier to hike we discovered it was 0 degrees at the top! We went home and pre packed our jerseys with a down jacket (pockets busting at the seams!), rain jacket, winter gloves, knee and arm warmers, 800 calories of Clifbar goodies and enough water for a 3hr+ climb to 10000+ft.
Then we woke up to rain...a no go day for a 3000m Volcano, riding the West Maui loop was a darn good consolation prize though.
|Homemade fish taco fuel!|
|Keith tests out one of the contenders, but Julia really does have the World's Best Banana Bread|
|Atop Haleakala 0 degrees|
|Matt refreshes after the climb, we got amazing weather for the final 2hrs of climbing but enjoyed it too long and ended up descending 9000ft in pouring rain. After hauling up a down jacket and winter gloves I was happy to use them!|
December was about packing in winter and family and both were awesome!
Ohh and an Olympic Preparation Worksop in Ottawa too. It was really inspiring to get together with coaches, athletes, COC and IST staff and see how huge of a collaborative effort the Games are, how much work everyone from every aspect does to make them an amazing and successful experience and how much support we as athletes have to do our best. The 3 days were full of amazing speakers and people
|NB girls unite. Boxer Mandy Bujold on NB/ON was my roommate|
|Olympian and humourist Jean Luc brassard will be the Chef de mission in Rio|
|We even got in a little food competition|
|Talking Rio, Sport and getting the most out of Performance at the games|