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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life is like riding a bicycle...

Albert Einstein once said "Life is like riding a bicycle - In order to keep your balance you must keep moving".  This little gem really seems to resonate with me right now since I've had tons of competing priorities in general everyday life.  Some days it feels like if I stop moving life will just catch up to me....so after returning home from Sea Otter, I had to keep things moving.

I headed back to work for a few days then set back out on the road to head to the first Pro-GRT of the year in Port Angeles!  I had only been on my big rig one day before making the trip back over the boarder, so I was a bit nervous how the weekend of racing a proper DH course was going to fare.  The Port Angeles courses though are always such a blast, so my focus was on having fun and becoming one with the big bike again.
America! | Photo: Paris Gore
As per usual the course set the pro-racers down "White Knuckle" right out of the start gate...the trail name really says it all - It's mind over matter, how long can you go without touching your breaks!  A fairly "one-line" course, but tons of fun and great to feel the wind whipping past once again.

Some big names were present in both the lady's and men's fields, and this year, thanks to a lot of hard work from Jill Kintner, the Pro-GRT series is now a fully sanctioned UCI series.  Racers can now earn valuable UCI points in their hunt to achieve World Cup Racing access.
Me ripping through the trees | Photo: Paris Gore
Saturday saw the pros race for a spot in Sunday's final...having a qualifying round was another first for the series and really helps prepare you for what it's like to race a World Cup DH.  The course was running fast and Claire Buchar of Whistler surprised everyone by taking the qualifications win.  Jill Kintner and Miranda Miller were close behind and hungry for some redemption for Sunday's finals.  I ended up snagging 6th place behind long time World Cup racers Vaea Verbeek and Emilie Siegenthaler and was hoping to find some precious seconds to narrow the gap on Sunday.
Ladies pro Podium | Photo: Eric Ashley
The weather held up for everyone and Sunday's race was one of the best organised events yet.  In an effort to take some time off I found myself riding a bit tight right out of the gate and made some big mistakes early on in the race and completely blew a crucial corner into the infamous "huck to flat" section of the course and would have to settle for hanging on to 6th place.

Jill ended up coming out on top followed by Miranda and Claire.  It was awesome to see Miranda have such a great result this weekend as she had suffered some nasty injuries at the beginning of last season that took her out for the entire year.  Kudos to her for persevering through such a long road to recovery and for smashing the course!!

Now it's time to shift my focus a bit...it's time to head back to California, where I'll make my MTB coaching debut!  I'm super excited to have the opportunity to coach for the Dirt Series program this year and can't wait to put all my gymnastics coaching experience to work in a completely different setting!

Time to just keep on moving forward!