Thursday, August 28, 2008

National Challenge Champs

You are checking out the very first Canadian Women's Team Pursuit Champions! Yesterday Steph, Laura and I laid it down to win our first event of Track Nationals over the 3km distance. We qualified in a time of 3:49.3 with a few errors leaving room for improvement in the finals where we rode faster and smoother to take the gold and the snazzy Atac jerseys that you see us sporting above.
For reasons that I do not fully comprehend, our event wasn't a "real" National Championship - regardless of the fact that there were 5 teams in competition AND the event is run at both the World Cup circuit and the World Championships. Regardless, Steph Roorda, Laura Brown and myself are the Canadian National record holders in the event! HA! We caught our opponents in the gold medal final with 1.5 laps to go - it's too bad though, I would have loved to see the time that we were setting down!
It's a good start to the weekend - let's hope I can build from here!
Oh yeah - and for those who are aware that I'm a brutally bad blogger when it comes to consistency - not much has happened over the last few months - I swear...I've actually been at home and catching up on my sleep! Well I guess there was a little bike racing in there too.... ;)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

2008 Canadian Criterium Silver Medallist

And here's a pic of the podium with my buddy Steph in 3rd! We raced hard and in the end Merryl took us on the uphill drag. Congrats Merryl - if I had to be beat by anyone - I'm glad it was you!

I'm hanging out in Quebec city with my Mum and sister (who arrives on Wednesday) for the next few days...mind you, I'm not all that much fun - I ride, sleep, eat and then waste time until it's socially acceptable to eat again! Today was a day exploring the hotel bed - now that I'm not in a crusty hotel room in Beauce I'm hoping to sleep a little better.

Next race: Saturday for the Nationals RR. It's a good course for me - so I just gotta rest up and get ready to go HAAAARD! Then I'm home for's been a great trip - now I'm looking to cap it off with a BANG!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Coupe de la Paix - Meneuse du Classement General (mais avec des accents aigus)

Coupe de la Paix - General Classification winner! Check out the MONSTER trophy I got for winning the overall! Here I am with the wonderful Lemieux family that has hosted me while I've been here in Montreal. Special thanks to Catherine who has graciously allowed me to take over her appartment (and internet connection) for the duration of my stay - it was also awesome to spend some time with her!

I brought me home some hardware on this one. Yesterday and today I finished second (yesterday first in the field sprint as Karol-Ann Canuel of the Specialized team broke away in the closing laps of the race and held it) and today Joelle Numainville nipped me at the line for first. Going home I'm bringing with me two trophies, three medals, two jerseys, some cash - and I left the beautiful flowers for the Lemieux family. Not a bad haul all in all - and it was a great race to attend to boot!

And as for picture captions: The first is me winning the field sprint in Montreal-Nord for 2nd place. The second picture is the podium from Montreal-Nord with myself, Karol-Ann Canuel and Audrey Lemieux. The third and fourth pictures are me with the Lemieux family - the first with Isabelle and Serge and the second with Catherine!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Check La!

This is BY FAR the biggest trophy I have ever won (it may be the only one that I personally have ever won).

I'm hanging out in Montreal at the moment and competing in La Coupe de la Paix. Let me tell you - they sure know how to put on a bike race here in Quebec. The first event was last night and it came down to a field sprint. On corner 3 a girl got herself tangled in my handlebars and crashed, giving a few girls a moment's head start. Joelle Numainville (ESGL 93 something) made the best of the situation and got a good 10m gap on me with about 500m to go. I chased hard and closed the gap, but I was unable to respond to her sprint, so she won the drag race up the final hill quite handily.

Today, going into the event, I really wanted to get me the yellow jersey (once you start on a jersey streak - you get greedy!). About 3/4 of the way through the race, after a particular active section where Specialized had attacked left, right and centre, Julie Marceau made the final decisive attack and I went with her. It became evident very quickly that the pack was out of fight and we worked together for the last 13km to hold of the field. In the end, I won by about a tire width as I misjudged my strength on the final sprint and had to count on a well-timed bike toss...but a win is a win! To quote Andrew Pinfold - you only have to be in the front for the final few meters...or centimeters in my case!

I'm pretty stoked as I think this is my first ever win in a breakaway AND I go into the third of four events in Montreal Nord on Sunday wearing the yellow jersey. Plus how could life not be great with that trophy (which weighs a ton BTW) and the flowers?

13 in 14 - A Success!

If you are curious - that's 13 races in 14 days...and I think I'm finally recovering!
The madness started in Tulsa, OK where I attended Tulsa Tough with my Vanderkitten teammates. Personally that leg of the journey is one I would prefer to forget, but you have to have the bad days to appreciate the good!
After three days of crits in Tulsa, I was off to Montreal for le Grand Tour de Montreal - and there is no rest for the wicked. I left Tulsa at 6pm on Sunday (arrived in Montreal at 3am - but that's another story - although it's a good 'un) and raced in Montreal at 5pm Monday. I joined up with the National team (including VK teammate Moriah) under the direction of Luc Arseneau for the 5 day, 4 stage, Stage Race. It took me a couple of days, but eventually my legs came around and I was able to come 18th in the crit - although I really think I could have done better...but come on man - that finish was worth a WOPPING $ out - I am making the big bucks!
From Montreal we made the trek out to PEI by car (about 10 hours by car - 15 hours by bus I would find out on the way back) where we were given 1 travel day and 1 day of rest before starting the Tour of PEI. For me, this was the real highlight of the trip. It was super cool to be in PEI (even got to see Anne of Green Gable's house) and I rode the best I have all season. I started the tour with a 4th place finish behind Rochelle Gilmore (Menkini), Tanja Hennes (Specialized Designs for Women) and Sophie Creux (ESGL 93). However, the more exciting part was that in this case, 4th was NOT the worst spot as I got to sport the top Canadian jersey (as seen above) - lemme tell ya, it was a pretty special feeling.
The rest of the week continued to treat me well as I got another two top 10s (8th in the 3rd roadrace and 10th in the crit after taking myself out in corner 2) and as a team we got MJ into the top 10 on GC to finish 9th! Way to be MJ! It was a great group of girls to work with and I truly enjoyed my couple of weeks. My two requirements for bike racing: 1) to learn, and 2) to have fun - were fully met. A big thanks to Luc, Andrew, Nena and Sophie for keeping everything running smoothly - I was sad to move on back to Montreal.
Watch out PEI - I will be back!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

BC Cup win #2!

Yesterday's race ended with me winning the field sprint - only this time I got it right as it was for the WIN...which is WAY more fun than 2nd place :)

My lack of blogging over the last 3 weeks has coincided with a relaxing little break at home - which is rapidly come to an end. On Wednesday I'm heading out east for a 6 week stint that will end with Nationals in Beauce, Quebec. Due to my travels and my dad's exciting summer plans to go to England and Scotland, Dad decided to make the trip out to Vancouver this last weekend to watch me race. I was more than happy to oblige with my second win of the season (and first against a female field) on a flat to rolling course in the south eastern reaches of rural Surrey/Langley. I figure I'm now 2 for 2 for field sprints at the BC Cups I've attended...just gotta make sure that the rest of the race plays more to my advantage ;)

It was fun to race with the girls at home and Marni and Alison respectively represented ValueAct and Aarons on home turf. Dad got a sweet pic of us rolling into the finish where we ended up:
1. Me!
2. Marni Hambleton (ValueAct)
3. Sarah Stewart (Total Restoration)
4. Alison Testeroete (Aarons Pro Cycling)
5. Steph Roorda (Team Giant)

I had a good fun time out in the sun - only real complaint being that the prize money was LAME. I paid $55 (non-late day registration) and for first I only won $125...kinda a brutal return on investment...luckily I'm off down to Tulsa where over three days there is $39,000 in prizes for just the WOMEN - crazy eh? Also if you interested in money - the Banff Stage Race at the end of June is boasting some sick prize moola with $1,400 for the Race win and $400 per stage...too bad I'm out east!

Monday, April 28, 2008

In the South

Last Thursday, I flew into Atlanta and I'm not 100% sure I knew what I was getting in for. I've been having a bit of "culture shock" being down in the South and all - but in a good way. For instance, on Sunday I tasted grits for the first time and I keep throwing in a "y'all" just to keep it interesting.

Saturday night we raced Athens Twilight - and came away with a VERY impressive result - Jen Wilson took Vanderkitten's first podium of the year with a sprint to third out of an impressive breakaway group. Kele Murdin (who's guest riding for us) came 6th and I sprinted to 10th across the line in the group gallop...which wasn't too shabby considering that coming out of the first corner on the last lap I clipped a pedal (that's what happens when your heart rate has been 205 plus for the last two minutes - NO JOKE) and the bike did a cool maneouver (I learned it from Jenelle on the BMX!) and my wheel smacked the pavement pretty hard. I thought that I had put the thing out of true and I spent the next couple of corners praying that I didn't have a flat. Go figure, all I did was burp the tire so I made it across the line without any casualties...but I'm guessing that might have added a little to the rolling resistance.
Anyways - enough bike racing - I wanna talk about the SOUTH!

First off - this evening we are staying in Beaufort - sounds like a nice place...but remember prounounciation the A-merica way and it it B-U-ferd gorgeous eh? It's my second experience of this type as I was staying with Leigh in Decatur pronounced D-CA-ter...maybe I am not doing it justice...but I have found it entertaining at least!

The race description describes Beaufort as "surrounded by magestic marshland"...I find that to be a funny sentence...but hey, who am I to judge.

Bottom line is that I'm really enjoying the Southern hospitality (if poor pronounciation of French names) so far and I can't wait for the series of races we have coming up over the next 5 days!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Good Old Roubaix

Harris that is. Alena pointed out to me earlier this week that this was the first year in 6 years that she hasn't taken the line for this event. I missed having her out there - but I will also use this opportunity to give a shout out of congratulations to Alena and Dean on their recent engagement. So I took to the line without my perrenial teammate - or any teammate for that matter...and it was a little frustrating to say the least.

I ended the day in 2nd by winning the field sprint after some good strong teamwork from Giant placed Steph Roorda off the front solo. There was an absence of horsepower in the pack and so a good deal of the chasing was left to yours truly. I have found a few fun pics - but I'm giving super props to Jono's mom for this super pro looking photo.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to hooking up with the rest of the VKats down in Georgia next week - SE crits here we come!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Jenny 1, Redlands 1

K, so I'm lame and I'm TOTALLY reusing team camp pictures (pirated from MJ's Facebook) but I wanted a picture - it makes the blog more exciting :P

But onto last weekend - I won't lie - it wasn't pretty folks - but I did come out on top of the Redlands Classic this time! Three stages (plus the prologue) and I got a with all the sprinters at the bottom of the list - but no DNF - and I'm holding on to that!

On the upside I now have a killer set of wheels on my BH courtesy of Spinergy. They are HAWT - nice white spokes and all - I'm liking. And for another shameless plug - my Specialized helmet. Chris has noted that he can see my entire head through the helmet - but it's the comfiest thing I have ever had on my head - partially because it's nice and light and ACTUALLY FITS my head. Neat concept I know - but it does!!!

Now I'm chillin and getting ready to defend my title at Harris Roubaix tomorrow morning. I'm up against a tough contingent of my old team :( the Giant girls and the other strong women of BC cycling - notably Sarah Stewart and her Total Restauration team and the Trek team AND a great number of other girls whom I'm sure will make things rather difficult for me tomorrow. But I've had a lovely dinner of spaghetti and homemade pesto (made by yours truly and I'm quite positive I will never be able to have store bought pesto ever again!). Should be a good one.

And for now I'm off to bed - hoping that my legs recover that little bit more from the evil hills of southern California by tomorrow's race!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Yay - I made it!

Now I have less than a week before I conquer my race nemisis - the REDLANDS CLASSIC.

Mind you, this time I am WAY more prepared, but I'm still a little frightened and I'm readying myself to battle my demons from two years ago when I was time cut on the 5km "Stage 1". Good times!

In the last week I've made important discoveries - like - since I purchased my car last June, I have ridden more kms than I have driven. So the next time I'm trying desperately to "integrated with regular society" and someone asks how much I ride - I can tell them that in a year I ride more than I drive...and I drive enough to own a 2007 Versa.

The real question at this point is whether it costs more to fuel my car at $1.20/litre or to provide me with food...

That gave me a something to ponder while training with a great group of Junior+ athletes (the official age was U20) put together by Jeremy, last week. It was a fun to train with a different group and it was good motivation for the end of a build. The boys were entertained by my Driven shifters - I love it! It's so much fun to have a product that people aren't used to seeing - it gets lots of attention. Plus I like that I can shift down with my pinky finger when I'm on the hoods!

I'm chilling out this morning as part of my "makeshift" weekend as I am usually more busy on Saturday and Sunday with my "real job - ie bikin'" and so every now and then I need to relax during the week. Going to head out later this am (it's supposed to rain this aft, so I better get out before that!) for some power intervals. Yeee haw!

Here's to the start of 2008 - GO VANDERKITTEN!

Monday, March 17, 2008


This here photo in the Langley Times was SO CLOSE to being SO COOL - it's from the first weekend of racing where I won! - check it out

This weekend went okay. Snake roadrace was AWFUL - but I made it order to go chill out on Bradner road on Sunday - I ended up 5th...wish I had done better, but you win some you lose some. :)

The kittens had a go of things down in CA this weekend, but were the victims of bad luck - especially Lizzer who has a multi-coloured face and bottom - feel better soon!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ahhh, if only I were insightful

The days when I am looking to procrastinate (much like today...) I spend WAY too much time surfing the net. Actually that is likely a true statement without any qualifications - I get up in the morning and check my email, Pedal, Cyclingnews, Canadian Cyclist, The Weather Network, and when I'm feeling intelligent, Then I trundle into work and turn on the computer - where I intermittantly check those same websites throughout my 5-9 hour tenure (depending on my training load and my ability to stay focused on the task at hand...) When I really don't feel like doing anything I start checking out people's blogs. In all honestly, it's a pretty scary world the internet - you can learn a good deal about people you've never met.

All this being said, the number one thing that strikes me when I read other people's posts is - I'm boring. I can give race reports most weekends and beyond that...well...I could give tax tips? Although I'm fairly sure that would scare off anyone who wastes their time checking out what I have to say.... That, and I never have poignant, insightful rants. I guess some people have it - and well, I don't. Not to say that I don't have strong opinions (which I do), that I am more than willing to share (which I will!), but I just don't see myself sitting down to record my whitty banter.

So now that I've shared my inadequacies - this last weekend was the first full weekend of Spring Series. The best news of the weekend: Armstrong is over! It's a good's actually hill repeats that someone decided to disguise as a race - maybe I'll like it more when I remove half my torso to lose 25lbs - until then...I'm stoked that it's over - and that I survived - and that I rode quite well! YIPPPEEEE. Props to Kika Pendrel who stayed with the front group of the Bs!

In all honesty - the day before was more my cup of tea with the roller Zero Ave course. In the end I was 4th in the sprint which is better than a kick in the pants. I came around the final corner (about 300m from the line) too early in the group and had to lead it out up a 3% rise from 250m. I gave it, but was punked at 50m and 10m to go by the rounding out of the podium - but I guess I'll live ;) On to next weekend of Snake Hill...because Armstrong's not hard enough!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Most Elusive and Lucrative Win of My Career

Each spring, up here in Vancouver, BC the largest development team in the area - dEVo - puts on a lovely set of 10 races held over each and every weekend in March called the Spring Series. Generally the weather is a little off of nice (read torrential downpour) and hypothermia is not unheard of...okay, well now I'm being a little melodramatic, but they do tend to provide true Canadian tough conditions.

This morning close to 300 riders congregated for the first roadrace of 2008 - River Road - Spring Series #1. I went in with a little bit of apprehension as last year I made the break with about 30km to go and was dragged along to the finish (with some moral support from both Cody Campbell and Jonathan Page) to finish up 3rd (thank you yellow line violator!). So last year's success haunted me a little as I REALLY wanted to upshow myself from 2007 - what with this being my first representation of the Vanderkittens on home turf. The race itself was fairly uneventful. Or perhaps that is not the word as there were more crashes than I could count (Laura get better fast!) and people were trying to attack, but in good cat 3/4 form, EVERYTHING was brought back. Oh - as an aside, at the Spring Series there are only 3 categories for everyone - A, B, C - I take part in the B category with all my buddies in cat 3/4 men, the juniors, the majority of the women, and often anyone else who wants to show ;).

Coming into the last 2km the pack was really very close together, thereby making it rather difficult to move around. On this course the finish line sits about 800m out of the final turn and today we had a good headwind rushing the straight. Consequently, I wasn't too concerned about my positioning out of the final corner as I knew that this one was a sprint of patience. Rounding the corner I was in the top 15-20 and I continued to move up. First to the lefthand side of the road, then I saw it open up to my right and I swooped to that side (doesn't that make me sound like a superhero) - then things seemed to go into slow motion as I realized that I was going to win. I jumped around my last two competitors in the last 50m to take it at the line... by at least 2 inches!

Bruce Denis was a great sport about losing to a girl ;) and Chris was impressed as he has difficulty beating Bruce on the track this winter! Speaking of which - huge props to Chris who was in a 2 man breakaway with 10km to go before his race was called due to a crash victim in the middle of the road.

And with the race report out of the way, why was this the most elusive and lucrative win of my career you ask? Well elusive - come on now - who doesn't want to ROCK the world in March - many people would agree that the Spring Series are the be all and end all of the season (please note the irony!) And for lucrative - well today kids, for my first place finish I took home a big 25 bones! That's right baby, making my net income for the day $(1). I'm not actually complaining as I really enjoy these training races and it's nice to have an opportunity to get some good, cheap racing in!

So now that win #1 of the season on my fancy new BH is under my belt, we up the training and prep for more success!!! PS - I am hoping that maybe there are a few pics online from today - and I will post one later if a suitable one is found.

Friday, February 29, 2008

New Season Resolutions

I'm gonna reach for the stars here. Sure I would really be proud to eat perfectly and lose those pesky pounds, and I would really love to win a few big races - but what am I REALLY aspiring for this season? I'm going to start blogging more regularly. Yup - I am going to be a blog-o-holic! Luckily the bar from 2007 was set rather low...

The last month or so has been wikked. I had a wonderful week down in the Bay Area meeting all my fellow Vanderkittens - and I am pleased to announce that the team is fabulous. In the 8 days we were down there, I don't know if I've laughed so hard in a REALLY long time (good abs training)! And to top it all off - we came, we saw, and we made noise at the first NRC of the season! I finished up with a prime and a 9th place finish, which ain't so bad for the first time out - and it leaves plenty of room for improvement. Liz matched my prime and Leah sprinted to a respectible 14th place for a GC rider - plus we were good and aggressive - it was a BLAST!

But all that excitement sure took it out of me - and so here I am 10 days later FINALLY getting around to my "report". Mind you, in that time I've really enjoyed getting to know my new beautiful BH bike! So much NEW - so EXCITING! And now MJ is across the pond in France and I have no one to obssess about stuff and food - it's hard to make it through so maybe I will use the blog as an outlet... I am in particular love with my saddle. Dude, I said it before and again - the Specialized saddles are 'da bomb! Hot looking and pleasant to spend hours and hours upon - next week is the real test...riding it for 3 hours around the 200m Burnaby track...I'll let you know how it goes - but I have faith - PLUS I managed to get my old Powertap up and running as a track PT - so that should be fun all around...I just need to make sure I don't become preoccupied with watching the wattage and do something unbelievably dumb/dorky.

So I PROMISE I will keep on top of this here blog - if for no other reason than to share the dorky pictures that get taken of me on the bike (although for the first time out, I'm going to stick to the one of me putting the HURT on!)- but at least our kits are the hottest thing going - so that balances my weird faces out!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

If I take away a 1 from 11 that's FIRST...right?

My bike all pretty and good to go in our stall (pre-flat) Vanderkitten stickers and all!

Steph in the most comfy bed in the world and me in front of one of the stranger signs to have up in a restaurant (Chilli's in case you were curious!)
So here I sit in the hallway of a hotel (the internet doesn't work in the rooms) just after midnight on the evening after my very first TRACK WORLD CUP! It's been a fun week hanging out in what is possibly the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in for riding (and I've been sleeping really well - shall I go so far as to say there is a correlation???) The track here in LA is fun - fast and not bumpy (for which certain parts of my anatomy are pleased after the 6-day) and I'm enjoying seeing all the other teams and nations.
The most interesting part for me has been to see how I react to being in this environment. After a few class A meltdowns in my career I was a little concerned that I would freak out and compromise any chance of racing well. So in the week leading up I waited to feel out of control, I got on the plane and waited, I rode the track for the first time, packed my bag the night before, loaded the car to go to the track, weighed my bike to make sure it wasn't too light, jumped on my rollers to warm up, flatted my rear disk while warming up, watched while Bob (mechanic from the land Down Unda') and Mike saved my life by looking for an alternate wheel, and took my bike to be inspected for the final time - and I still had complete was an amazing feeling - like I finally understood that I am at this level and that I belong here. It hasn't been the slightest bit intimidating - only really exciting! I've been waiting for years to race at this level and I'd built it up to be this unfathomable experience - but it was just another bike race. A bike race that I was 100% ready to do and so excited to be a part of the process.
After rolling a few laps of the apron, we all went to the rail and soon enough we were on our neutral lap. In all honesty - the 20 laps of the race were a bit of a blur. I fought for the wheel a couple of times, and I was pleased that I didn't really get pushed around. In retrospect I probably needed to be a "rung" of girls up the whole time, but you live and you learn. With 2 laps to go it was fully on and as I came round with 1 to go, I felt gased, but kept going. Two girls came around me in the final 100m and as I crossed the line I looked up to count heads - to see 10 in front of me...being 3 too many...

All that being said - I was really quite happy with the race. I would have preferred to make the final - I won't lie, but for my first shot - I felt like I did things well. I was SUPER happy with my preparation and the process and I have taken a few lessons with me for the next time out. I really wish I could race the points race tomorrow to test out my lessons, but instead I'm going to be a super cheer section for my teammates Steph and Julia. Being a spectator has its advantages as well (like not being stressed out when I'm still up at 12:26 from a Red Bull induced stupor) and I can learn as much as possible for my next World Cup - because there will be another!
Now I just need to start looking for a track team for the 2008-2009 season....

Friday, January 11, 2008


So here's the thing about giving people your blog address - it means that you should probably update it more than once every five I'm going to have to work on that...

Luckily, life is ramping up for me and I have a bunch of rather exciting life (read: cycling) events going on at the mo'. The top of my list is being on the VANDERKITTEN women's team for 2008. The team has incredible management and the girls are supercool and I am STOKED! So to ease all the questions - no that's not our kit for the season - apparently the kit is going to be even cooler (although they had me at pink plaid), but we're waiting until the team camp for the I'll keep you updated.

Also - completely unrelated (aside from the kitty theme) - aren't my shoes COOL?!? While they are not technically Vanderkitten, they are still unbelievably cool and the fact that they match is a plesant side effect!
Okay - that was my forray into the regular world - back to I'm heading down to LA on Tuesday to compete at my first World Cup on the track! I'm super stoked - it's going to be so much fun! Friday afternoon is the scratch race and, yes, I'm super stoked.
On a side note - a survey I filled out recently had me list my guilty pleasure - at the time all I could come up with is a book and ice cream in bed...but on second thought - it's bumping out on the couch watching some drivvel...much as I am doing right now - watching Degrassi: the Next Generation. I'm not sure why I love the show...but I do. I'm also going to give My So Called Life a shout out as Becca gave me the full series for Christmas and I'm reliving my high school years...Jared Leto and all (he is HOT!)
Here's to a KILLER 2008!