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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Back in the N-Dub

It was a hectic and short week following Sea Otter...Fly home, work a few days, try to get some time in on the DH bike, set-up new suspension and then hit the road for North West Cup #1!
En route
The North West Cup MTB series is one of the most fun and chilled racing atmospheres...and it never disappoints from a racing perspective.

This race was all about getting back in touch with my DH bike and testing out my new Marzocchi suspension.  This past winter, most of my training was on the trail bike, and I didn't really get to log much time on the big bike...needless to say things felt a bit off through the weekend, but it sure was fun ripping down the muddy, fast track!
My steed pimped out with new Marzocchi suspension
The new Marzocchi 380 fork and the Moto shock felt amazing!  I'll need to make a few tweaks but all in all I was extremely happy with how everything performed.  The bike was snappy out of the corners and tracked great through all the ruts and high-speed bumps.
The shuttle system...different but it works!
It was great to see such a massive Canadian contingency out for the weekend and I think we all made a pretty good showing!  For the Pro-Women it was Miranda, Vaea, Danice and myself followed by the other Jaime from the USA.  For the pro-men it was Kevin Aiello followed by Canadians Remi and Kyle, then Luke Strobel and Kirck Mcdowall.  Check out the full results here
Coming into the finish
I moved one step up the ladder from Sea Otter, so that was definitely a plus and I was happy that despite feeling off all weekend, I was able to put together a decent run with just one slight ride-off the track after getting cross-rutted.
Ladies podium...Canadian girls killin' it
Some things to work on for sure before heading to Europe for the worlds cups, but I am feeling positive and confident and can't wait for more racing!  

Next up is the first Sea-to-Sky Enduro held in Squamish BC this coming weekend!  Looks like I may be partaking in the Enduro World Series in Scotland at the end of May, so this will be a good warm-up!

Until next time...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The results are in...

Race day has come and gone and I'd have to say that it was a fairly successful start to the race season.  I felt great on the bike all weekend and had probably one of the best times at Sea Otter so far!
Gettin' ready for race day...sweet tail gate cover!
My race run felt relatively good from an actual riding perspective; however as I neared the bottom section of the trail I realized I had way too much "left in the tank".  For some reason I just didn't trust myself to push 100% from top to bottom and I conserved too much energy.  While I'm somewhat satisfied with a top 5 podium finish (You can check out the full results here), I really felt a top 3 finish was mine to lose.
Photo credit: Vern Fisher
On a track that's won by pedaling your brains out, you just have to be pushing the whole way.  It's tough when you cross the finish line and your legs and lungs aren't burning...at that moment, you just realize you didn't leave it all out on the track.  When I came across the line and I didn't even feel tired, I knew that I had lost my opportunity to be on top of the box.
Photo Credit:  Chris Rasmussen
I believe my fitness is much stronger this year, as are my technical skills on the bike, and now it's just time to start believing in myself and gaining momentum and confidence.  I'll take a top 5 finish for now and use that as fire to fuel me as I really get into the busy race season to come.
Post race visit to the beach and pier
Until next time...


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sea Otter kicks the season off right!

I always find Sea Otter classic to be one of the best ways to kick of the racing season...not only does it give us Canadians a chance to soak up some sunshine and warm weather in early April, but on top of that it's also just a great opportunity to meet and catch up with product sponsors and to really kick the racing season off in a super fun atmosphere!

The start of this year's journey was a bit hectic, as I had a big final exam just just a few hours before my flight departed!  I rushed to the airport and luckily everything went smooth and it was clear skies all the way until I arrived at the hotel.  Morning came early, but I was super pumped to get the weekend started and log some laps in on the track and check out the expo area.

After a few hours of practice we headed into the expo area to check things out.  I headed over to Juliana Bicycles/Santa Cruz Bicycles before things got too crazy busy and finally got to meet the Juliana Bicycles Crew in person and put faces to names.  The new Roubion bike, just launched by Juliana Bicycles,  and the new Santa Cruz 27.5" Nomad were on display...Loving all the new colors this year and can't wait to get my hands on the new bikes!
The new Roubion...she's a beauty!
Juliana Bicycles is also holding an awesome contest right now where you can actually win one of these sweet new steeds, and a trip to Roubion France to ride it!  Check out their web-site for all the details - www.julianabicycles.com

Next up was a trip over to Marzocchi to finally catch a glimpse of the new 350CR enduro fork, which is 27.5" wheel size compatible.  The fork feels amazing and I am just itching to get my hands on this bad boy for my new trail bike!  Loving the new stanchion colour too!
The new 350CR 27.5 enduro fork

It was a pretty fun first day of Sea Otter and great to be back on the bike in a race setting.  Can't wait until race day!



Friday, April 11, 2014

Juliana Bicycles - Bike Nights

To really kick off the Sea Otter Classic weekend of festivities, Juliana Bicycles hosted their first of many ladies "Bike Nights".  Inspirational women are chosen to share their stories and passion for biking.

On April 8th, Vanessa Hauswald was chosen to share her inspirational story of how biking and the biking community helped her win her fight against Cancer.  The term "fight like a girl" is certainly a fitting endearment here, as Vanessa fought her way through one of the most deadly forms of cancer and is still riding, coaching and being awesome today!

I was unfortunately unable to make it out to the event held at the Juliana Bicycles/Santa Cruz Bicycles factory  but was however fortunate enough to meet Vanessa in person while at Sea Otter Classic this year.  What an amazing woman, and such a humbling story.  I really found hearing about her fight put my own life into perspective....it sure makes some of life's minor challenges seem pretty trivial.

It was amazing to discover how much her community rallied around her and helped in her time of need.  It seems that one of the great takeaways many people got from Vanessa's story, was that you can always ask for and find help when you need it no matter how great or small the challenge.