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Monday, September 6, 2010

Western Open- Fantastic end to the 2010 season!

So the 2010 BC cup race season is officially over and what better way to end the season than a trip to Golden, BC!

Golden has been a long standing favorite place of mine to ride because of the sheer steepness of the terrain...and the “Western Open” course at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort did not disappoint.

Being the last race of the year I was really hoping to end on a high note...and that I did! As I came through the finish line I was pretty happy with my run and my time, and as the last pro lady came through I was stoked when I realized that I had taken top spot with seconds to spare.

This win gave me enough points to clench 2nd overall in the series, which I am particularly proud of being my first year racing in the pro/elite category.

This year I had a great support system to help me out through the course of the season, and I definitely couldn’t have been as successful with out that. A huge thanks to Cycle Component Network, Troy Lee Designs, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Summit Bike Shop, and Smith Optics for everything! I’d also like to say thanks to Cory Leclerc (C4 racing) for coaching us ladies and teaching us how to go fast!

I definitely have a lot to be proud of this year, and am really looking forward to off season training with C4 racing and the 2011 race season. I’ll be taking some much needed rest, but the riding season is far from over!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Crankworx- Air DH

The Air DH held on A-line (one of Whistler bike park’s most popular trails) is probably one of the most fun and stress free races of the year, it’s a Crankworx crowd favourite, and there’s always a few show-boaters to keep them happy.


After a successful Garbonzo race, I headed to A-Line to try to learn how to scrub the jumps and stay low, in hopes of smashing my time from last year. This was definitely more difficult than one would expect- mostly I ended up out-jumping a lot of the jumps in my attempts to go faster. On race day I figured that the many laps I’ve logged over time would be enough and I would try not to “out ride” the trail.
                            (Photo by: M. Mallory CycleComponentNetwork)


The women’s field was pretty stacked which was awesome! I had a decent run, beat my time from last year, and ended up 15th which is not bad considering the caliber of women racing. At the end of the day Anne Caroline Chausson came out with another win; she really attacks every race course, and it was amazing to get see her ride. My next race is the Canadian Open which is the very last race of Crankworx. It’s a challenging course, but it’s super fun, and has some great new additions- time to get out there and train!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crankworx- Garbonzo DH

After a successful weekend at Mt. Washington I was stoked to get back home and start ramping up for Crankworx! I got right into training for the Garbonzo DH race, and even got a chance to get in a training day with the C4 ladies group. The course was in pretty good shape, and it was almost looking like we might get to race Garbo with dry conditions.... Wrong! Of course in true Garbonzo fashion, it rained the night before and continued misting on race race day. The course got pretty slick, especially through In-Deep and the bridges on Duff Man, and I, like some other riders, ended up coming down with a couple minor crashes.
             (Photo by: James Healey)

Despite a few slip ups, I was happy with my run and the fact that I took 18 seconds off my time from last year. Having yet another opportunity to race against the world’s top female riders racing on the world cup circuit was a great experience and to top it off I came out with a 7th place finish! I never really thought of myself as an endurance racer, but when I got near the bottom it was easier than expected to find my second wind and push through all the hurt... next up Air DH!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Monster Mile- Mt. Washington

Last weekend we headed to Mt. Washington for the 6th BC Cup of the season, and after arriving from what was a surprisingly hassle free trip we met up with a couple of the crew from the Bryson Racing Clan for, what would be, a very interesting course walk.
The Mt. Washington course is one of my favorite courses on the BC Cup circuit; it’s rough but it’s super fast with some amazing wide open sections, technical roots, lots of rock and overall just tons of fun!

The course is definitely hard on your bike, so it was great to get to hook up with Jason from Cycles Lambert again this year, as he provided some much needed love and support for the CCN crew and their bikes; thank you Jay!

I was really excited for this race, not only for the great group of people I got to ride with and hang out with, but also to put-to-test some of the lessons learned over the last few weeks working with “C4 racing”.

As I dropped into my race run I felt confident, and knew where I had to pull back, and where I could just let go. I hammered on the pedals through the finish line and after catching my breath I relished in the fact that I kept the rubber side down, remembered to breath, and came out with a run I was satisfied with.

Miranda Miller took top spot for us ladies and I ended up in 2nd; I was pretty stoked to get to share the podium with my training buddy, Jen MacMillan from the Bryson Clan, who rode her way to 3rd place despite getting a flat near the end.

It was an amazing weekend to end on as we head into Crankworx and the upcoming BC Cup finals!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Panorama- Mad Trapper Canada Cup

After a very long journey home I am excited to finally get my thoughts down on paper following last weekends Mad Trapper Canada Cup. It was great to see so many riders stick around to partake in what was another exciting race event. Thanks to some antics had by some of the Jr. men after Nationals, the course got some much needed maintenance and a re-route back to what was the original course from past years. I was pretty stoked not to have had to contend with the uphill pedal of the last course, but at the same time it would have been nice to get some redemption from the preceding weekend.
(Photo by: Taylor Smith)

The course had definitely taken a beating during practice though and was even rougher than the National course by the time race day came around. It was dry and dusty and as I crossed the finish line I was pretty exhausted but happy with my 7th place finish. It was a long couple weeks of riding and racing, and it was nice to have a celebratory beer with a few of the other racers.
As the day wrapped up another great night ensued and more amazing memories were added to the bank. I have to say a big thanks to CCN for providing the trailer for our 2 week adventure, and of course to Summit Bike shop for getting my trusty steed all tuned up before leaving. Props to Panorama Mountain Resort, for being such a great host to the thralls of riders that took over the small resort town over the two-week period; I’m sure we all look forward to coming back again soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Panoram update #2

After recovering from Nationals and a couple great nights out it was time to go ride some bikes again! Being so close to Golden, it was the perfect opportunity to get in some well deserved laps on Mt. Seven and ride some of the other trails Panorama had to offer.
On Tuesday I was stoked to get to hop in with the Bryson Clan as they headed to Mt. Seven for the day. We started our day by getting to ride a newly built trail from the top, “Red Wine Enema” followed by some more amazing laps down the “Psychosis” trail. As expected by the time we got to “snake alley” we were all grinning ear to ear and ready for more laps!

Us ladies hung back and took some photos to capture the amazing day and then it was back to the resort just in time for dinner.

The following day us ladies explored the many great trails Panorama has to offer and finished off our day by the pool with some water slide races.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Panorama- Nationals update


It was a long journey to Panorama for what was hoped to be a couple weeks of great riding, racing and all around good times. Being what seemed to be the first to arrive, we definitely had our pick of prime spots in the pit area to get ourselves all set up....and the locals even came out to welcome us.
The course twisted it’s way down “Insanity”,with a couple new, more technical sections added to the National course. Included in this was a re-route lending way to an uphill pedal into the “Cliffs of Insanity”. The Cliffs of Insanity were a crowd favorite and made for some spectacular crashes, during the race.

On Saturday we had our seeding run, and even with a conservative run I managed a 6th place seeding! On race day I was stoked to ride, but a little nervous being my first ever National champs. There was a great women’s field with about 16 riders and despite several slip ups in my run I rode my way to a 10th place finish.
(Photo by: Tanya Crocker)

Overall it was a great experience and as the exhaustion of race day wore off, Sunday night gave way to some debauchery at the “T-Bar” and many great stories to tack back home...but that’s another tale.

Now it’s time for a few days of free riding...Mt. Seven here we come!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Phat Wednesdays are here!

Every summer WORCA (Whistler Off Road Cycling Association) hosts the “Phat Wednesday” race series held in the Whistler Bike Park and last week marked the first race of the year. This series brings together hundreds of downhill enthusiasts for some good racing and good times. In keeping with tradition, the first race was held on B-Line with close to 300 entrants- One of the largest turnouts!
(Photo by: M. Mallory, CycleComponentNetwork.com)

Just this past week racers took to a slightly more technical descent down Angry Pirate, finishing up with Ho Chi Min. As always the night finished up with a few beverages and prize giveaways at the GLC. With a hectic race schedule already planned for the next couple months, I’m not sure how many races I’ll get to during July and August, but the $2 entry fee is always worth it!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Arduum = Gnarly!

I just got back from a crazy weekend in Mission racing the Arduum Challenge, and have a few new bruises to add to my repertoire! Arduum is by far one of the craziest tracks in the BC Cup circuit only because it's such a tough trail to "race". Out for a chill day riding with your buddies it's great, but trying to put in a clean run is near impossible! This year there were a few improvements to the trail over previous years, and the shuttle system was tons better too.

Unfortunately there was quite a high number of injuries due to crashes, and I myself was included in that number. On practice day I bailed pretty hard off the "Race Face Rock Drop", bouncing and tumbling several times down the steep run out, somehow managing to miss most of the nasty stumps, trees and rocks on my way down. As I picked myself up off the course I was shocked to have walked away with minor injuries. As the day went on things began to hurt more, and new injuries seemed to prevail as the adrenalin wore off. In the end I decided to drop out from the race in hopes of keeping myself somewhat in tact for some very important upcoming races.

The course claimed many riders over the course of the weekend and I wish all the racers who came out more worse-for-wear than I a speedy recovery!

Until next time.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

DH Smackdown- Northshore Bike Fest

Following a disappointing finish at last week’s race in Whistler, my aim was to come into this race with the intention of regaining some of the momentum I had started to build after the second BC Cup in Nanaimo. I had raced “Ned’s” last year and it was a great experience, so I was really looking forward to this weekend. We had a great team contingency, everything was well organized and there was such an amazing vibe. It was great to have a base camp too, with the CCN trailer in the midst of all the “North Shore Bike Fest” festivities.
(Photo by Florent Carreyron)

Training went pretty smooth and on race day it was really just about trying to keep my nerves calm enough to maintain my focus and hit my lines. This race was certainly a big improvement over last and so from that I will be able to draw out some positives and bring myself one step closer to figuring out exactly what I need to do to get myself into the right mindset for each race. I rode pretty conservative and had several close calls during my race run but was still able to pull out a 6th place finish. Being a highly competitive person it is always my goal to come out on top, so when that doesn’t happen it’s back to the drawing board to try to figure out what I can do better next time. Maybe it’s time to rethink my approach to practice or maybe I even need to stop putting so much pressure on myself; one thing’s for sure though, I will definitely not let a couple of less than perfect races get in my way and in the end I am still pretty stoked to have found out that I am now sitting 3rd in cumulative points for the BC Cup series! The next upcoming race is the Arduum Challenge... one of the gnarliest tracks in the series and always lives up to it's name!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fluid Ride Cup #1

This past weekend I participated in the first race in the Fluid Ride Cup series held in the Whistler bike park. The course consisted of two epic Whistler trails combined...Slayer and Detroit Rock City. With all the rain we’d been getting in the days leading up to the race the course had gotten pretty messy, which ultimately led to a few crashes had by many riders throughout the weekend.

I had some pretty good training runs and overall I was confident heading into race day. Unfortunately the biking gods were not smiling down on me for race day...right out of the start gate I made a costly error and from that point on all I could think about was trying to make up some time. I had lost some of my focus and just a few short turns into my run I had two off the bike crashes in a row. From there, I actually made it through most of the technical sections unscathed, but being that I fell victim to a couple more crashes near the bottom, any chance of contending was gone out the window. As I came through the finish line, I really couldn’t believe what had just happened; talk about being trapped in one of your worst nightmares! Despite the crashes though (and not to mention a bit of a dent in my pride & confidence) I was able to stay injury free and finish my race run....this was more than a few other riders who crashed that weekend could say.
(Photo by Todd Hellinga)

It was tough to see the positive side of the race, but a friend and I later joked that there were lots of positive mantras to take away from the experience: “I got all my crashes out in one race”, “it can only go up from here” etc. etc. Seriously though, I did learn that when mistakes are made the best thing to do is really forget about them and just race your race; once you start over thinking or trying too hard you’re only going to make more mistakes. A wise man once told me “you’re going to have bad races...you have to have a short memory and move on”. Some excellent words to live by for sure, and with an entire race season left to come there’s lots to look forward to. My next adventure will be on the North Shore at the 3rd BC Cup of the season!

Friday, May 28, 2010

WORCA Twoonie Ride!

I participated in my first ever WORCA (Whistler Off Road Cycling Association) twoonie ride on Thursday and needless to say I was in store for some good old fashion XC riding, Whistler Style. The race started out in Function Junction at the Whistler Brewing Co. and finished at Rainbow Park. There were what seemed to be hundreds of riders gathered together for the second ride of the season; and I was glad to see that there were just as many riders out simply for the fun and fitness as there were to race. Being that I was twoonie ride “virgin” I was really just looking forward to ridng some Whistler XC and work up a good sweat. It was a great selection of trails and a good mix of climbing and descents. I have to admit, as much as I like the challenge of pushing through some of climbs, I enjoyed the descents more. I found myself grinning ear to ear when we reached some of the technical descents and flowy bermed sections of trails and despite some torrential down pour I had an amazing time! After we finished it was off to the Dubh Linn Gate pub for a beer and some well deserved snacks. Next week the ride will be hosted by Summit Bike Shop and will take place in the Whistler Bike Park; I can’t wait!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BC Cup #2- Turner DH, Nanaimo BC

After a few weeks of rest following BC Cup #1 I was itching to get another race under my belt. My result at Race the Ranch was not what I had hoped it to be, and so I found myself looking forward to some redemption as we headed across to Nanaimo for the second BC Cup of the year. After quickly getting settled into our campsite, we rushed over to the course and managed to get a couple laps in. The course was super fun and it was nice getting a sneak preview as to what we would be up against through the weekend. During practice on Friday I had the opportunity to do a walk through and session a bunch of lines with one of our newest CCN female riders; this was particularly helpful as it was a great way for me to analyze the course. There was just one jump I had some issues with, and at the end of the day I decided to pump through it and go with the strategy of staying on my bike.
(Photo by Greg Woods Olsen)

On race day we got an early start and I was able to get in three training runs, and as the race got under way I felt confident with all my lines. There was such a mixed bag of weather that day I decided to walk the course before I had to make my way to the start line. I was pretty happy the rain tapered off just before the elite and Jr. Categories got underway as this made for some ideal conditions for the lower half of the course. As I came through the finish line I was happy to have stayed on my bike and know that I put everything into those last few pedal strokes; I crossed my fingers and hoped that I was able to podium this time around.

As the crowed huddled around the results board I waited anxiously for the women's standings to come up, I was so stoked when I saw my name in the 2nd place slot! Despite having high aspirations for myself, coming into this, my first year racing pro/elite, I really had no idea what to expect and being able to make the jump to a podium finish after only two races was a great feeling. It certainly lit a "fire under my butt", as I want to clench that top spot. I am certain that with such an amazing team behind me, it is only a matter of time.

I am now setting my sights on the Fluid Ride Cup in Whistler, BC this coming weekend!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Whistler Bike Park opening day!

After much anticipation the day had finally come... Opening day of the Whistler Bike park that is. Don't get me wrong I love shredding in my backyard of Pemberton, but the sheer vertical you can get in a day riding in the bike park is just amazing! Although I missed the official opening day on May 15th, I was able to get my fix the very next day. Seeing as how actual opening day was a complete zoo (as I was told by several buddies who attempted to fare the lineups) I was glad not to have contended with such mayhem. I headed up with a buddy and did a warm up on Upper Whistler Downhill; I could not believe what amazing shape the trail was in, and this was just the beginning.
(photo by M. Mallory, CycleComponentNetwork.com)

We headed to joy ride next, and then got our jumping fix by hitting up A-Line. This was by far the best I had seen the trails on an opening weekend since my very first opening day about three years ago. This time of the year is always quite amazing, as all your "summer" friends come out of hiding and it's like a big mountain biking reunion....and to top off the day we all met for some much deserved beverages on the GLC patio. I can't wait until Garbo opens!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Race the Ranch, Kamloops B.C.

So it’s official; the BC Cup series has finally begun and what better way to start off the 2010 season than with a few dusty berms! Being the first BC cup of the season it was great to get to catch up with some familiar faces from last year, and meet a few new ones in the process. I was also pretty stoked to get to test out my new D3 helmut and Women’s GP Pants from Troy Lee Designs.

There was some buzz surrounding this year’s course due to some rerouting and course additions, so as practice began on Saturday it was great to get out and do a couple cruisy laps before the line up got too big. This year’s course was definitely an improvement over last and it seemed that it would hold up better through the course of the weekend. A couple of my favorite new additions were the road gap at the top of the course, and the step down gap as you approached the finish.
(photo by M. Mallory, CycleComponentNetwork.com)

Saturday afternoon gave way to some crazy weather which made things pretty interesting as you were contending with hail and super strong winds; there were a few occasions where the wind would actually blow you off trail over some of the more exposed jumps.

On race day the sun came out, and the course was in pretty good shape as the day began; however by the time the Elite and Jr. categories got underway there were a few more ruts and loose corners to contend with. I had planned to cruise through the top and then really hammer on the pedals through the middle and bottom sections. I had a pretty good start, but unfortunately as I hit one of the more exposed jumps I was blown off course and had a pretty big crash. I dusted myself off, got back on the bike and pedaled my butt of to try and make up for some lost time. I guess that’s racing for you. I came out with a 2:33 which was about 15 seconds off pace from the leading women's time; I have no doubt that without the crash I would have clinched a top three finish.

In the end though, it was good to just get another race under my belt, cheer on Taylor one of my fellow CCN teammates, and have a few beers with friends by the camp fire. My next race is not until the May long weekend, and with the Whistler Bike park set to open May 15th I'll be looking to spend as much time as possible riding and working out all the early season kinks.
(photo by M. Mallory, CycleComponentNetwork.com)


Cheers!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My new TLD gear!

I was packing up all my gear getting ready to head to Kamloops for the first BC Cup of the year when "ding dong" the door bell rang...... I had been waiting on some of my new Troy Lee Dsigns gear and it was finally here; I was like a kid at Christmas time!
I tore open the packaging and couldn't wait to try everything on. The new D3 helmut and women's GP pants looked and fit absolutely amazing! I also got a few of the classics, Moto, Sprint and XC Lite shorts, to round out my kit for this year; what a way to start the day!

Thanks TLD!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sea Otter Classic 2010

Well, my very first Sea Otter Classic is now a few days behind me and after a long journey back to Canadian soil I had a chance to reflect on the whole experience.

Sea Otter marked the start of my race season, and the first year racing in the pro/elite category. After seeing the depth and calibre of the women’s field, I was a little intimidated at first; but after some good advice I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to compare my race time with the best of the best and simply use Sea Otter as a jumping off point for the rest of the season.
(photo by M. Mallory, CycleComponentNetwork.com)

On Tuesday April 13th, we packed up all our gear, and with my new 2010 Rocky Mountain Flatline and CycleComponentNetwok crew in tow we set out for our 20+ hour journey to Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey California. We arrived the next afternoon and were greeted with warm weather and blue skies- This was a nice change from the cold and wet we left behind in BC.

After settling in me, Taylor and Andreas (two fellow CCN team racers) walked the DH course to get the lay of the land. We were so stoked to just get out there and ride our bikes after such a long journey. The course was very Kamloops like, and consisted of lots of jumps, berms, high-speed straight-a ways and lots... I mean lots of pedaling sections!

Practice for the pros were in the mornings, so it was great to be able to get lots of riding in and then walk the vendors area, and take in all the many events going on. Getting on course for the first time was actually a little surreal as there I stood, in line with some of the greatest riders in the world... Steve Peat, Greg Minar, Rachel and Dan Atherton and Sabrina Jonier, waiting to drop in! I was pretty excited to ride the new bike and get a feel for how it took to the course.
A lot of riders talked about using a short travel bike for the DH, but my Flatline World Cup felt great! With all the ruts and holes that developed through the course of the weekend I was glad to have 8 inches of travel.

Before practice on Saturday I had the chance to take in most of the qualifying rounds for the Pro-Dual Slalom. Having had the pleasure to watch the pros take to the Whistler Dual Slalom course during Crankworx last year, this was definitely an event I was looking forward. I even rushed back to the course after getting in a few last minute training laps in the afternoon on the DH course to catch the end of the finals. Besides racing the downhill, the Dual Slalom was by far the highlight of the weekend for me. It was pretty inspiring getting to watch the speed and fluidity many of the riders came through the course with; it definitely inspired me to hit the pump track and slalom course (when it’s built in Whistler) upon our return to BC.

The Downhill was on the final day of Sea Otter and the crowd turn out was amazing. The course was super fast, and any wet spots had dried up by race time, but there were also a few more ruts to contend with than previous days. The women were the first to race; I was definitely happy with this as the afternoons were scorching (for us Canadians at least). I was glad I brought along my Troy Lee Designs "XC-Lite" shorts for race day.

As the race got under way I made sure to keep the nerves down; I was fourth in line to drop into the course so at least I didn't have too much time to over think things. I did pretty good through the top section but near the end I ended up casing one of the gap jumps; this defeintely cost me some time. I was happy with my time, but as with any race there are always things you could have done better; I know for next year I can definitely pedal a lot more! Next year I will be looking forward to some redemption, especially since I'll know what to expect from the course.

All in all, the entire experience was amazing and it was great to see so many bike enthusiasts from all avenues compiled into one big venue! From a race perspective, the organization was great. The shuttle system was efficient, and every person I came into contact with just amazing! I got to meet some great people and I will definitely be back next year... I am looking forward to competing in both the DH and Dual Slalom events.
Thanks CycleComponentNetwork for making this trip a success!

Cheers!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My New Race Bike

We had just finished pushing up to the top of one of our favorite trails, when I got the call from Summit Bike Shop that my new Rocky Mountain Flatline World Cup had just come in! I was so stoked and couldn't wait to get down the trail to get my first ride in on the new bike.

This year's Flatline World Cup is lighter, more stable and snappier in the corners......Not to mention sexy as hell. I definitely owe a big thank you to Peter Vallance and the crew from Rocky Mountain Bicycles for all their support.

Cheers!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Early Season Riding

Thanks to a pretty mild winter we were able to get out and get some early season laps in on “Grumpy Grouse”, one of our favorite local trails. Most of the shuttle roads are unaccessible until some time in March, so naturally we decided to push up to the top. It was the perfect day for a ride and to our delight the trail was completely clear; we had been up to do a bit of trail maintenance a few weeks earlier only to find that much of the trail was still covered in snow......thanks mother nature for helping us out!

Anyone who rides Pemberton on a regular basis knows that spring and fall are pretty much the best times of year to ride. The trail conditions are at their best; super tacky and super fast. It’s looking like another great year of riding!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thank you!

After many weeks of dedication putting together my Bike resume and getting it out to some potential sponsors I am happy to say that it has all paid off.

For the 2010 season I'll be racing for CycleComponentNetwork.com; a team that consists of several other riders of varying disciplines. Thanks to CCN we're sure to have tons of support and tons of fun at all of this year's events.

In addition I will also be representing Troy Lee Designs Canada; I cannot wait to try out the new Women's line of MTB gear and the new D3 helmut. Thanks Lori and the TLD crew for all your help!

I'd also like to say a big thank you to Peter V. and Rocky Mountain Bicycles for their support for the 2010 race season. I can't wait to get my hands on the new Flatline World Cup!

Last but not least I cannot forget about Summit Bike shop; you guys have always been so key in keeping me going throughout every bike season!

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter Training

The holiday season has come and gone, and I'm now looking forward to the upcoming 2010 biking season. I know it may seem like months away, but it's time to start training. Luckily with the new wind trainer I got for Christmas I'll be ahead of the game come race season.

In addition to hitting the wind trainer I'll be making sure to get in some Yoga, and log some time at the gym. Since Whistler plans to be a sea of Olympic craziness for several weeks I'm happy to have converted our storage room into my training space.

If this winter is anything like last, I am looking forward to some early season laps.

Until next time!