Thursday, August 20, 2009

Change of Pace

So it's official. My 2009 cycling season is complete...well except for my potential clandestine cyclocross season - but I haven't decided as of yet so we'll see. I'm a little sad to see the end of it - but at least it was super successful so that makes it easier.

It has also given me a little more time to concentrate on the other things in my life - like wedding planning! YAY! This picture is from the most wonderful "soiree" that Chris' parents put on for the two of us in honour of our engagement/wedding. It was fantastic and a blast - not to mention a ridiculous amount of wonderful food!

Life it treating me well and my body is slowly, but surely mending itself - and I'm getting a good deal of reading in - and I've been so lucky as to have time to re-read the Twilight series. I love it. So fantastic. Life is good! ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009

2 Wins in a Row :)

Since getting home from PEI I have been enjoying a great deal of time lazing about on Chris' couch here in Ottawa. I've been enjoying some good weather, some fantastic, uninterrupted internet time and of course some fun with the Christopher. I'm still a little brain dead from the fatigue of the last month - so I think I'll stick primarily to picture telling. Above was me chilling with some reporters post-PEI stage win. I think I was a little excited. There is a video of my talking to one reporter - but talking is an inaccurate statement as I believe that YELLING would more aptly describe what I was doing. The first time I watched it I was incredibly I'm not going to put the link on here - but know it's out there ;)
Anyways, yesterday I raced the Preston Street Criterium in the Little Italy area of Ottawa. The weather was CRAAAZY with some torrential downpours - but only in showers, and it cleared up quite nicely for the end of the race. Now, living in BC, we race in the rain a fair amount - but it still scares me a little - especially when I'm racing with a bunch of Ontarians (of which Chris' comment was that in his whole life he figures he raced in the rain in Ontario a grand total of 6 or 7 times). So I went to the front off the gun and didn't really let more than 2 or 3 people get in front of me. About 6 laps in there was a crash behind me and one of the masters racers I know pulled up beside me and said "don't worry - he'll get a free lap." At that point I figured out that we were in a break - which I was more than happy with. We kept working well together and built up a 20 second lead fairly quickly - and just before the end of the race we lapped the field.
Due to some confusion at the end (we caught the main field on the last lap), I got a little gapped at the finish and didn't manage to beat any of my breakaway companions in the sprint - but to be honest I was pretty fried in the last few laps anyway!
Honestly, I feel that the race wasn't as hard for the level of wrecked that I feel this morning - but I'll chalk it up to being a wee bit dehydrated (it was MUGGY here yesterday) and that being my first day of intensity on my bike since PEI.
Here's to Nats this weekend - TT on Friday, RR on Saturday - good times to come!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I won in Charlottetown baby! Final stage of the Tour de PEI - good times :P
More to come...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

One stage to go

To the tune of "Home for a Rest"

You'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best
I've been gone for a month, I've been bonked since I left
These so-called vacations will soon be my death
I'm so sick from the bike I need home for a rest.

We arrived in late-April and Belgium was cold
We searched for the web on the side of the road
We never saw nothin' but curious townsfolk
Kept the wind at our backs with the speed of our spokes


You'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best
I've been gone for a week
I've been bonked since I left
And these so-called vacations
Will soon be my deathI'm so sick from the bike
I need home for a rest
Take me home....

Elsy Jacobs our first race to war
Julie’s break showed that she was surely hardcore
Next up was the Swiss, large mountains would yield
The beautiful lakes and wonderful meals


Bern World Cup brought us and the fans to the streets
The three k long hill proved to be quite a feat
Then next down to France with the poppies around
“So What I’m a Rock Star” was the common sound

You'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best
I've been gone for a month
I've been bonked since I left
And these so-called vacations
Will soon be my death
I'm so sick from the bike
I need home for a rest
Take me home....

The gas tank is empty, L’Aude’ll be over soon
My legs are sore as I stare at the moon
I'm knackered again, come on sleep take me soon
And don't lift up my head 'till the the twelve bells at noon

You'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best
I've been gone for a month
I've been bonked since I left
And these so-called vacations
Will soon be my death
I'm so sick from the bike
I need home for a rest
Take me home

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Outdoor slippers

Now I was the first to condemn these as a fashion. Well if I'm honest, my sister was the FIRST person to condemn these as a fashion...but I will reluctantly admit (after being on the road for three weeks) that they are conveniant. They are in fact my outdoor slippers.

Outdoor slippers may not sound that exciting, nor helpful to some - but for those of us who are constantly on the lookout for free wireless - outdoor slippers are a key tool. Take right now for instance. After having travelled through Switzerland, down to the mediterranean area in the south of France, I am sitting at a trailer park, under a set of concrete steps...all to bring you this invaluable information.

I think I'm just excited to get online. Racing starts Friday...YIKES! Here goes nothin'!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Grazie Trek. Danke Trek. Merci Trek. Thank you Trek.

The view from my hotel window in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Trek is the best company in the world. And I have proof.

They have managed to find me a new frame and it's currently being shipped to my hotel in Switzerland from the Netherlands - go multinational company. I owe them a world of gratitude and I can't explain just how happy I am!

But the beautiful landscapes here in Switzerland might start to explain my fantastic mood. It's gorgeous. The coffee is exquisite and I'm sitting at an internet cafe. This is the life!
Our dutiful mechanic Michel getting one of the girls water before we head out on a ride.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chocolate, Waffles and Beer

Welcome to Belgium!

I am reporting live from Sambreville, Namur, Belgium. It’s gorgeous – I’m loving every minute of the riding and also the hanging out.

Life has kept me on my toes as the airlines busted my frame on the way over here. Nothing like a little bit of adversity while you’re trying to get over jet lag. I haven’t yet had time to have a memorial service for my Trek frame as of yet as I’ve been too busy trying to manhandle the airlines (Lufthansa to be exact) to try to get some cash out of them – but in the meantime I’ve been riding the National team spare bike…very lucky they had it over here – whew!

Other than that we’ve been hanging out in our team apartment for the week (complete with internet poaching that requires us to sit on the curb across the street) before we head to Luxembourg to race on Friday. The riding has been picturesque – including our hill intervals up the Citadelle in Namur this afternoon. I haven’t been feeling terribly chirpy between the cold that I contracted just before I left and the jet lag – but it’s coming around!

The roads in Europe have proved to be everything I had dreamed of – plus a little wind (or a lot of wind as the case may be). I figure with the bike and such (oh yeah my matteress is actually patio furniture – not sure why I chose THAT bed!), I hope I’m getting my bad luck for the trip out of the way.

Tomorrow’s a recovery day and I think we’re going to venture into town to find us some world-famous Belgium chocolate…I’m sure that it won’t disappoint. I mean they have chocolate in EVERYTHING (especially if it’s a breakfast cereal) so it must be good chocolate!!!

Until next time!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ahhh Redlands - I guess you're alright after all! ;)

Following my last capture all post - I decided to actually keep y'all updated on what's going on. As I believe I previously mentioned, after about 10 days in Tubac, I headed with the Canadian National team over yonder to California (where the temperature has been more moderate!) to take the line at the Redlands Bicycle Classic for the second year running and see if I could take a little dignity back after an excruciatingly painful race last year.

To say that I improved on last year's performance would be an understatement. I confuddled myself in the prologue by completing the 5km (uphill) prologue in a time 45 minutes faster than last year - and to be honest that was my first indication that I have brought a much stronger skill set out to play this season. Friday's roadrace was the race of my life. I believe I finished around 36th in a small group of stragglers just over a minute down from the winner. The day was hard with a couple of challenging climbs and some killer wind - but the conditions played to my strengths and I was stoked at the end of the day. Especially stoked as my major concern going into Friday's race was simply to make the time cut so that I could start the crit on Saturday!

Going into this race, I told myself that I was coming to Redlands to see what I had, but most importantly I was here to contest the crit. I had difficulty falling asleep on Friday night as I was so stoked on my performance from the day before, but I must have got enough sleep! The plan for the race was for me to help Joelle and give her a leadout at both the intermediate halfway sprint as well as the final (at this time I would like to give Joelle super props for her 10th place on Friday's Beaumont roadrace). Now, in the crit, I'm afraid I wasn't able to help her out, but she managed to place 6th regardless and I followed shortly behind her in 8th. All and all a great day at the office :)...which takes us to the Sunset Loop. But I mean really, what does one say about the Sunset Loop??? My first marker of accomplishment was when I was still with the group when the "neutral" car pulled off (after about 8km of climbing) as last year I wasn't able to hold on to the group for the start!

I managed to stay with the main pack until the 5th lap (with a good deal of chasing on the downhill I might add - thanks to the girls who helped me stay in contention for as long as I did!). But alas at the start of the steep pitch on the 5th lap I was completely toasted...I'm not sure if it had something to do with my lack of food consumption as I had been concentrating so hard to stay with the group (I will totally admit this is a rookie mistake!!!) Luckily enough I found a couple of super awesome girls who towed me around for the remainder of the 9 laps and we made our way down to the finish line. I will save EVERYONE my thoughts on the fact that we made it within about 250m of the line and then we were diverted off course for the boys to start (they were not pretty thoughts!), but I'm super stoked to have finished! Before today, I was okay with the thought that I may never finish the Sunset roadrace at any point in my cycling career! Also props out to Carrie and Sarah who rode likes STARS today - I'm so proud of you!

So yeah, it's been a week of surprises and pleasant ones at that! I'm stoked to start my season so strong (and it makes up for not getting to do the first Spring Series!!!) Thanks to Vince and Serge for taking care of the team for the last 2 weeks and also to my teammates for such an awesome experience. It was truly a fantastic group of girls full of positive energy and I will miss you when I get home :) But above all I would like to give a SUPER SHOUT out to Robert - the best host housing dude I have ever had. Not only was your house beautiful and welcoming - but you have made our time here that much better! Oh yeah and I will forever owe him for driving myself and a few fellow BCers to LAX really early tomorrow morning. Yes, he is da bomb!

But before I head back to the rain, I'm making a short wedding week trip back home to Calgary where I hope to get all sorts of wedding related tasks accomplished! I'm STOKED to see my family and really excited to get to check out the reception venue and hopefully find my dress! So the fun just keeps on rolling - hope all is fantastic with everyone!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't Forget Your Passport!

And the title of this blog is more than a TV show played on's actually sage wisdom - but perhaps I should start with a wee update of what I've been up to for the last few months before I get into the nitty gritty.

My travels commenced in early December with a unplanned trip out to Hawaii to help my sister and Mum get ready for the Honolulu marathon. Yes, I took that bullet and hung out in Maui with my bike for a week - oh how difficult is my life! The day after I returned home the snow started to fall in Vancouver (and we ended up with CRAAAZY 2 foot snowbanks...where do I live again?), but luckily I was only home for 48 hours before jetting off to England for some family fun time!

The purpose of our sojourn in England was to attend the first marriage of one of mother's parent's offspring (read: cousins on my maternal side). There were plenty of jokes about the fact that Karen is the youngest of the seven of us and the first to really grow up! Below is a picture of us in chronological age from Karen to Rosie - there are a number of other photos floating around from over the years that are far cuter - but I don't have access to a scanner!!!

The ceremony was fantastic and the party afterwards was even better! So great to spend time with the fam and have Granny show us all how to party it up! However, for me, by far the most exciting part of the trip was when my dreamy then-boyfriend asked me to marry him! The night before Karen's wedding we went out for dinner and I came home with a beautiful ring!!! We shocked my Mum - it was quite entertaining!!! Unfortunately three days later Chris and I parted ways in a rushed goodbye in the Heathrow airport (so romantic!) as I returned home and he jetted off to start his new flashy job as a policy analyst with the federal government in Ottawa. :(

So back to Vancouver...full of snow...BLAH! Seriously - this winter has been spectacularly bad! Lucky for me this has been the winter of training camps and in early February I headed down south for a series of camps starting with Team BC in Palm Springs and then off to Santa Rosa with the Trek team. Santa Rosa was a DREAM!!! I loved it - definately a week to remember. We were treated like rock stars - we even had our own chefs! We sported the awesome new Trek kits (and I'm SUPER bad at taking pictures or else I would have a picture of them for ya!). Bottom line being that it's SO great to be with such a positive, well run organization - I can't wait for the rest of the season! Below is a pic of my perennial teammate Leah Guloien and I gunning for it at the Valley of the Sun criterium in early February. (We're sporting the fabulous Team BC jersey)

HOWEVER, the real great story from the past few months (I'm still working on distancing myself from it to find it funny...not sure if enough time has passed as of yet) comes from my journey between leaving the camp at Santa Rosa and returning home to Vancouver for my 1 week of home time before jetting back down to the National team camp in Tucson (well Tubac to be more precise!) where I am now.
As part of the aforementioned rock star treatment, the Trek Red Truck staff drove the team trailer 16 hours south of the border to Santa Rosa. For anyone who has had to travel with a bicycle, you understand the utter relief of having someone show up with your bicycle unharmed by the airlines (and your pocket isn't assulted either!) While I didn't send my bike home with the crew (I was staying a few extra days in Marin county), I did send my very large duffel bag home - hoping that the airlines would be less extravagent with their baggage fees if I only had a bike bag to load.

That evening as we were heading out in the team van for dinner we were contemplating whether or not we should have locked up the rental house. We had yet to have done so during the trip, but I decided to make a joke and point out that while the bikes were now gone, it was only the easy stuff to steal that was left - like laptops...and passports. Right, passports - OMG...NOOOO!!! At that very second I realized that I, being oh so brilliant had shipped my passport back to Canada in the Trek trailer.

At this point I would like to point out that in general, I like to think of myself as a responsible, organized and intelligent person. Shipping one's passport back home is not behaviour fitting of someone with ANY of those traits! Needless to say, the following 48 hours were on the stressful side. I called (and in this order): Steve (who was driving the trailer home), Chris (who had just landed in Vancouver to come visit me!), my Mum (who can fix EVERYTHING...right?), my Dad (who has similar magical powers to that of my mum), Air Canada, Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Border Services Authority, the Canadian Embassy in San Francisco and my coach Jeremy. There were a mixture of responses - mostly empathetic...and generally confused and landened with "how exactly did you do that?"

We tossed around a number of options on how to deal with the problem, but in the end Chris ended up scanning me a copy of my passport and my parents (who decided on a whim Friday evening to spend the weekend in Victoria) took my passport to the WONDERFUL folks at Air Canada who greeted me off the plane with it.

So in the end: no harm, no foul. However, I would still advise that you keep your passport with you while travelling!!!

And on that note, I bid you adieu from Tubac, Arizona with my passport in my purse!