Sunday, September 25, 2011

I don't really hate my husband - Fall Epic 8 Hour

I love my husband.  But, there were several hours yesterday where love turned to hatred.  Usually, I am the one pushing him to do races.  I even convinced him that TransRockies would be a better honeymoon than a few weeks in France riding bicycles and drinking good wine.

So, yesterday was his day.  He proposed we ride the 8 hour tag, which I went along with.  It wasn't until the day before that I realized my longest ride this summer has been more in the 2 hour range.  He also decided that instead of the classic he goes, I go, he goes, etc., that he would bust out a fast first lap and then pass off to me to ride 3-4 hours and then he would finish the day.  Not the fastest way to complete an 8 hour, but less painful than the alternative stop/start.

As my hours on the bike wore on and grumpiness settled in, I grumbled something about there being a 'tag' in tag-team as I went by the AWI tent.  But, Jeremy was there each lap to offer some yelling and encouragement that kept me riding my fastest.  And, while I proclaimed my hatred of him for 'making me do this' while out on my last lap, it is not true.  Jeremy is an amazing husband, who I love very much.  I am glad he pushed me to do this race, as I impressed myself by pulling off pretty consistent lap times and after his encouragement was even able to make my last one, one of the fastest.

After my laps were over, I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon recovering, eating and socializing.  Jeremy moved us up in the standings from 8th to 6th place, blowing himself up pretty good in the process.  And, I would do the race again, glady.  But, don't tell him that.  For once, Jeremy deserved a day where I go along with his ideas ;)

no pics from the 8 hour, but the above are a somewhat comical sequence of Jeremy rescuing me and my bike from a fairly deep and fast moving river during last year's TransRockies.

Monday, September 12, 2011


As a kid growing up with a rather strict British dad, there were several rules to be followed.  Eat with your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right, always say Thank You, speak just loud enough so that those around you can hear, but you don't disturb other conversations.  The list goes on, but those are the good ones that I remember and that I still follow to this day.  There is one rule, however that has become a part of my adult life that I broke yesterday: you never enter a competition you haven't prepared for.

I'll never forget my dad pulling me from a skating competition.  I was 10 years old and I had starting slacking at practices.  The night before a meet my dad told me I wasn't competing.  "Start practicing more and I'll let you enter the next one", he told me in his to the point, no nonsense, don't argue with me fashion.  It was a good lesson.  One that made me a better competitor and made me not just try my best on game day, but in practices too.

Yesterday I raced provincials.  I was nowhere close to ready.  Rides since I've felt better have been completely unstructured and I knew I was slow.  But, I needed to get back out there.  I needed to feel what it was like to feel like a hero for 30 minutes and like death for an hour.  I needed the feeling of digging deeper for any amount of energy you have left to finish the race.  So, I broke the rule that has governed my competitive life since childhood, I swallowed my pride knowing that I would not be a contender.  I lost the race in a spectacular fashion.  But, it felt so good to be back.

Big thanks to all the spectators cheering for me, even though the next girl was 10 minutes ahead of me.  I even had some cheers from my fellow racers while out on the course.  You guys rock!  Thanks for welcoming me back in such a warm fashion.  Standing in the start pen with you felt like coming home.  And lastly, an enormous Thank You to Caleb for the perfect feed.

I have two racing friends that were also out this year.  I hope you are better soon and back out there.  We miss you!
slower than in races past on the uphills

at least going down is just as fast :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Good things do come in small packages

It is September and my race season has really just begun.  Finally healthy, I am super excited to race my bike.  In my illness I lost 12 pounds and I joke that 6 pounds came from my left leg and the other 6 came from my right.  But, in all seriousness - I think at least a couple of pounds came off my calves, glutes and biceps :)

So, eager to race and test my new parasite-free fitness I have done a few Wednesday night races at Hardwood. The series came to a close all too soon last week, so Jeremy and I decided to venture down to the King trails for their weekly series.

The race has a real small town feel.  After chatting with Matt P and Sean, who create a unique course each week through fast and fun flowy single track with at least one hill to remind you that you need to ride hills more often, we were soon swept up by one of the regular racers who took us on a tour of the trail.

The race went off at 6:45pm and I got lined up next to a decent sized field of women.  They ranged in experience from beginner to fast and I soon realized I would have to work to have a decent race.  After two laps of the course, I crossed the line in 4th.  In true small town fashion, Jeremy and I were embraced by our new comrades and spent a good 45 minutes after the race chatting.

We'll be back there for the last race of their season next week.  Promises of a post-ride trip to the pub, draw prizes, fun trails and great folks... looking forward to it!  You should come too.  Directions and info at:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Trek Women at Buckwallow

The Trek Women had our last ride at Buckwallow.  We had a small, but incredibly keen group in attendance.  Highlight of the day was when I went down a section of trail and told the ladies if they wanted a challenge to follow me, otherwise stay to the right.  I looked back and not only did everyone follow, but everyone cleared the section.  Personal highlight was clearing all of Bear Bluff for the first time.  Good to ride with some strong females, as sometimes my ego is all that's needed to step up my game and not wuss out on the rocks : )

Thanks Eden for the pics...
all smiles as the rain begins just as we finish our ride

being the only novice, Kim scored a private lesson with Erica

Sessioning some rocks