Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Race Season is Finally Here!

My race season finally got underway last weekend, with the first BC Cup of the year, "Race the Ranch".  The first race of the year is always like a big family get together, where you get to reunite with all your racing it's always an epic event!  There were a few familiar faces, and some new ones as well...sadly one of my racing buds from last year decided to go on a trip to Europe instead of racing this summer; Jen you will certainly be missed this season.

Photo source unknown
Gettin loose!
This year with all the off season training I'd been focusing on, I was super excited to get out on the race course and put all the gym time and drills to the test.  Practice went well, and on race day I felt pumped and ready to kick some butt...and that I did!  This race course is short, but really heavy on the pedals; by the end of my race run I was glad to have logged a bunch of time on my new XC bike in the last couple of months as I had lots of extra gas left in the tank to really hammer on the pedals in the last straight away.

Despite a couple slip ups, I came out on top in the Pro-Women's category and destroyed my time from last year by over 30 seconds!  All that hard work through the off-season definitely paid off, and I'm pumped to keep the momentum going.
Photo by Stephen Exley
Coming into the home stretch
As always, there was a super great vibe going on at the Ranch through the weekend, and it was great to see the crew from Cycles Lambert out wrenching in their new race support digs as well...Lookin good boys;)

I am now excitedly awaiting the arrival of my new Santa Cruz Carbon V10, as I'm sure I'll be shaving even more seconds off my race times with the addition of my new "super bike"!

My next race is quickly approaching, and this one is a big one, as it will go towards my national ranking and help me on the road to gaining enough UCI points to race in a World Cup Event!  On May 19th I'll embark on my journey across the country for the first Canada Cup race of the year being held at Mt. Tremblant, QC.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

C4 Training Sessions

After some successful race training sessions last year with Cory Leclerc-C4 Rider Trainning, I figured it'd be great to get a jump on things this year with some early off season training.

Photo by Zander Geddes
Pump Track Action
My training has brought together strength and cardio programs, courtesy of Karen Mann, and on-the-bike drills and training sessions with Cory and the rest of the C4 Race team.

Karen provided me with not only a very detailed gym training plan but also some great input on correcting some of my movement patterns to help fix some of my old injuries, and prevent new ones!

Training with Cory and the C4 boys has been challenging, yet super fun, and has really helped me gain some needed confidence and improvement in my technical abilities.  Although not always conventional, Cory's methods work and he certianly keeps you entertained along the way.

Photo by Zander Geddes
Cory giving us a pep-talk
In all seriousness, Cory cares about your success, and really strives to help one reach their goals.  I'm stoked for what lies ahead this season, and know that I am better prepared thanks to all the hard work!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Almost all set...

I am just about all set for the race season with the addition of a new protection piece, courtesy of Cycles Lambert and Leatt Brace.

After a crash I had last year, where I suffered a whip lash type injury to my neck, I thought it was about time to start protecting that vital area.  My new Leatt DBX Comp II arrived just in time for the onset of the season, and I was glad to have a couple days to test it out before my first race.
I wasn't sure how it might afect my range of motion while on the bike, but after just a couple laps I didn't even notice it was there.  The DBX comp II is lighter than than the DBX comp, and does have a lower profile giving greater range of motion.  I was impressed with how easyit was to get it dialed into the fit I wanted. 

On top of that Lambert also included some new necessities to keep me running through the season!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New TLD's like Christmas all over again!

Over the past couple of weeks my new Troy Lee Designs kit for the 2011 season has been showing up bit by bit; it's like Christmas all over again...and again, and again.  As more pieces roll in, I find my closet becoming overrun with bike gear, and am loving it!

The new race kit

TLD has once again outdone themselves with colours and designs that really pop...not to mention an ever growing women's line.  Some of my favorite additions this year, are the Skyline shorts and the women's moto shorts.  Troy Lee has also added some base layer pieces this year that are women specific and the new undershorts and chamois are amazing!
Women's Skyline Shorts...feels like you're wearing nothing at all!
There are some new additions on the protection front as well, and in my opinion these are some of the most comfortable and light weight pieces of any armour I've tried.  The boday armour is really great for anyone who also uses a Leatt brace, as the padding is removable so you can adjust where you need to to get a good fit.  I did find that the sizing was a bit larger than usual, so I ended up sizing down one-size in order to get a good fit.  Here's a look at some of the pieces.
BP 7850-HW
Elbow guard 5500
Knee/Shin 5450
This year I once again decided to go with the D3 carbon helmet to protect my most vital brain:)  A super light weight helmet with awesome graphics and of course amazing protection!

D3 Carbon- Medusa all the way baby!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's all about XC right now!

I know I've posted lots about my XC adventures already, but this one adventure in particular was a milestone for my friend, Kari Mancer, who last year suffered a terrible injury to her back (not to mention several other bumps and bruises) while riding.  Today we went on, what would be, her first pedal up the Happy Trail into some technical Pemberton XC trails....or should I say Cross Country/Downhill trails.
At the top of "Cream Puff" looking down onto the Pemby valley
It was great to see Kari back out on her bike, and killing it after so many months off and still rehabing from her accident.  Go Kari, go!!!!

Kari stoked on her ride!