Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fall is great

After my return from a summer full of racing and travel I took some downtime to enjoy being at home with no where i had to go. Sandra and i had been excitedly planning a weekend in Naramata (near Penticton) full of pumpkin and biking. Jean Ann, Sandra, Keith, Myself, Jeanine and Sandra's mum convened on their cottage thanksgiving weekend for 3 days of hanging out with great food, friends and trails. We had no tv, phone and cell reception on at the edge of Lake Okanagan which we looked out at from the balcony. We fell asleep to waves lapping against the shoreline.

Then it was time for my annual cyclocross race at Vanier Park. Photo by Greg Descantes

I typically describe cyclocross as all my weaknesses on a bike thrown in to 45 minutes of pain, but by the last 2 laps I seemed to be figuring it out and made my way up to 3rd at the BC Cup.

My new Norco CX bike feels great and with some more practice I think I could delve into the world of CX;-)

Yeah!! A bike race in Kamloops! Henry Pejril came through again for the cycling community hosting a fantastic weekend of Cyclocross racing. On Saturday October 20th we had our provincials and sunday Nationals. Attendance was great for Nationals and we had 2 Ecstatic National Champions crowned.
Nice Ride Wendy. Thats how excited every race winner should be!!!!

Wendy Simms outpowered Alison Sydor and Lynne Besette for the title. While Ontario boys Mike Garrigan and Greg Reain distinguished themselves from the rest getting away early. Garrigan overtook the reigning National Champion Reain for the win.

Riders all seemed happy with the twisty and fast course. There were a couple grumbles about the lond sand section, but what's a course without a tough challenge? I've seen Euro cross races with way more sand and they gave birth to the sport.

Me? Well I had 2 great races. In provincials I lead the chase over Wendy and Lynne finishing 3rd. That gave me the Silver medal as Lynne was from Quebec. Sarah Stewart also like me, coached by earned bronze followed closely by Jean Ann Mckirdy.

At Nationals I got called up at the back. This day though I was determined to start better and try to contact the leaders. I was able to move up oodles in the first 2 turns and found myself with Kelly Jones leading the Chase group on leaders Besette, Simms and Sydor. Jean Ann and Mical bridged up and we headed out on lap 2. I miscalculated my speed though and hit a curb while hopping it. When I went to put down a powerful pedal stroke I got the horrible feedback of a flat tire. I stuck with the girls along the straighaway, but couldn't corner quickly with the flat and they pulled away as I drifted back through the field. Team 3 Rox racing helped me out in the pit zone giving me a spare rear wheel. Thanks guys!
I'm pretty sure I was dead last at that point and began my fight to the front. I felt awesome and pushed myself hard to move up. It was a blast. I ended up finishing 10th, 1 minute off 4th. Not bad for the time i lost with the flat and traffic so I'm pretty pumped. World cups have definitely made me a better cyclocross racer. I know I only have to go that hard for 45 minutes not 2hrs!

For complete results checkout or

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So as the Season winds down I thought I would take this time of reduced blogging to thank a bunch of important people in my life. So in no particular order......

Mom and Dad
My parents have always been extremely dedicated and supportive of my brother Geoff and I.

When I decided to move to BC and headed west with my mountain bike it was my mom who hauled my road bike across the country to visit me. Mom started her plane trek from New Brunswick on Sept 11th. Yes 2001. Her plane was forced to land in Winnipeg due to the tragic events in the US. Now in Winnipeg with a bike box my mom spent several dayscarting it back and forth to the airport trying to catch a flight before finally settling on the train. It had been raining and the cardboard bike box was now soggy and crumbling. Mum arrived in Victoria tired and vowing to never travel with a bike box again. I don’t think I ever adequately thanked her enough for that. Thanks Mom!

Dad was my first sponsor. As Geoff and I got more ambitious about racing it was Dad that drafted a sponsorship proposal for each of us expressing his belief in our abilities and his desire to help us a long the way. Dad also signed up and became a commissaire for the NB race circuit and tirelessly drove us to races as Geoff and I inevitably fell asleep in the passenger seats. Thanks Dad!

Keith. My secret weapon. He pretty much does it all. Keith has been my training partner, my technical coach and my major support system. He is always grounded and confident in me, pushing me to strive higher. It was Keith that encouraged me to stick out the low paying jobs which allowed me the flexibility to train and race by telling me anyone could go back to school and get a “real job, how many women can say they could be one of the best mountain bikers in the world?” Thanks Keith!

Dan. I met Dan when he was coaching the Uvic Triathalon club. I keenly showed up to all the practices hoping to figure out just how these interval things would make me faster. We’ve worked together for the last 4 years. Through balanced programs and keeping training fun and interesting I have seen huge improvements every year and am looking forward to another year of training under his guidance. Thanks Dan!
Dan at the 1/2 Ironman. Dan has done 10 full Ironmans!!!!

Geoff. My brother got me started. He gave me his old bike and patiently took me out riding as I made my way slowly and clumsily around the trails. He introduced me to the sport that has shaped my life and given me countless fun memories. Geoff is still an active part of my racing success offering advice and support as he blends his own DH racing career with his work as a coach with

Norco. Neil Mckinnon the Eastern events manager in 2004 took me and my Norco (care of the Bike Barn in Penticton) under his wing. He kept promoting me to the team guys and I guess it worked. That fall I signed with Norco and we have grown together. Norco has been fantastic, increasing their support over the years and including Keith as an important part of my team. The bikes are awesome and the crew is great. Special thanks to this year’s crew Pete, Jamie & Havy as well as Fee and jill who were super fans!
Havy and me at a Canada cup

Sues and Grainger. Raised a wonderful son and always have room for us when Keith and I show up on their doorstep with multiple bicycles and often a cat or two in tow. They have taken in our cats for weeks at a time so we can travel together and they keep Keith well fed and loved when he gets left behind as I go off ot race for a month. Thanks!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tobacco Free Sport


BC Athletes to Speak Out Against Tobacco UsePacificSport registered athletes to share “be your best. be tobacco free” message(September 11th , 2007) – The Tobacco Free Sports (TFS) program has a new face – nine new faces to be exact.

Starting this month, the Tobacco Free Sports program, a provincial initiative funded by the Ministry of Health in partnership with PacificSport, Alcohol Drug Education Services (ADES) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), will have nine PacificSport registered athletes representing the program as the Tobacco Free Sports Athlete Ambassadors.

“I know I could not have achieved the success I have if I used tobacco products,“ says Kamloops mountain biker Catharine Pendrel, Gold Medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games. “Sport has been a huge influence in my life providing me with great self respect, confidence, identity and rich opportunities. For kids that are tobacco users, I believe setting athletic goals can provide the motivation and peer group to help them be tobacco free.”

This energetic and dynamic group, representing all regions of the province, has been prepped with professional public speaker training from the Esteem Team, a national non-profit organization that promotes athlete role models to inspire youth to achieve their life goals, as well as tobacco use prevention information from Vancouver Coastal Health. The athletes will be speaking at a variety of sporting, non-sporting, school and community events, weaving their personal sport story into the risks and effects associated with tobacco use.

“Tobacco use is still the single greatest cause of preventable illness and death across BC,” says Minister of State for ActNow BC, Gordon Hogg. “If we can harness and distribute the positive message coming from these athletes we can inspire future generations to work toward a healthy, tobacco free life.”

ActNow BC is a partnership-based cross-ministry health and wellness initiative that promotes healthy living choices to improve the quality of life for all British Columbians.
“Each of these athletes has had to work extremely hard to get to where they are in their respective sport and each of them has a story to tell of their journey, says Roger Skillings, PacificSport CEO. “They have set goals, overcome obstacles, and have made positive choices in their lives. They are excellent role models for youth and adults alike and their message of living life tobacco free is very powerful.”

For more information about the TFS Athlete Ambassadors, or to inquire about booking an Athlete Ambassador for an event, contact Janet Filipenko, Program Coordinator at or 604-730-7273.

The Tobacco Free Sports Athlete Ambassadors are:
Stacie Anaka (Victoria - Wrestling), Michelle Bartleman (Sea-to-Sky Corridor - Skeleton), Josh Dueck (Okanagan - Para-alpine Skiing), Andrea Dziewior (Vancouver Island - Para-alpine Skiing), Spencer Landsiedel (Fraser Valley - Swimming/Modern Pentathlon), Ali Lee (Victoria - Field Hockey), Callum Ng (Vancouver - Swimming), Catharine Pendrel (BC Interior - Mountain Biking), and Chris Wong (Northern BC/Vancouver - Freestyle Skiing).

Media Contact: Joanna FoxPacificSport Manager of CommunicationsC: (250) 882-5426O: (250) 744-5537

Program Contact:Janet FilipenkoPacificSport TFS Program CoordinatorO: (604) 730-7273