Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yesterday was an amazing once in a lifetime experience
(well maybe ;-)

I took part in the Olympic torch relay in Blind Bay British Columbia. A beautiful little town about 75km from Kamloops. The torchbearers arrived and were briefed on what was going to happen, We were shown how to light the torch and encouraged to try running with it so we knew how it would feel. With full fuel the torch wasn’t the only thing burning!

From our meeting point we were bussed to our run point. Along the way we watched videos featuring amazing Canadian athletes like Clara Hughes (medals in cycling and speed skating) and Cindy Klasen (5 speed skating medals in 2006). We also watched a video showing the torch relay which definitely helped us get excited to run.

The energy among the torch bearers and the collection of stories we shared made it a very memorable experience. The bus dropped me off to my awesome “family” fan club. Thanks guys! And I waited for the torch to arrive.

Sues, Matt, & Catherine carry signs as Keith, Tanya and Grainger carry cameras

Seeing someone running towards you (Tyler) with the torch is a beautiful moment, as is holding up your torch to accept the flame. Despite the burn in my arm the smile never left my face, even as I passed the flame on to Don and he ran onwards to the cheers of his children.

Ski race time!

I guess skate skiing is one of those things that looks beautiful in motion, but not necessarily in photo!

Ahh winter. Can I call it that when we are riding snow free in the valley? This winter has been very cooperative to training with temperatures often ranging from 2-7 degrees in the day, the roads becoming clear and dry and the city even sweeping the streets for us. I do kinda feel like I’m cheating a bit, not slogging it out on the trainer and choosing to ride rather than ski some days, but when you’re given a gift you take it!

Skiing has been phenomenal too though. Sunday marked our houses ‘ annual ski race. This year, the 30 km skate loppet at Stake Lake. Last year Catherine V and I raced it to the finish with her powering away from me in the final Km. This year I was hoping to use my improved ski technique to contest the finish. After feeling demolished last year in the 50km race Matt joined us for 30 and Keith had to sit out the racing and just try skiing without hacking up a lung.

This year Catherine and I started faster and stayed in a front group … not with Matt and Martin though. By the end of lap 1 and into Lap 2 we were skiing in the top 10 and going fully anaerobic at times to stay with our group and stretch the gap to the chasers. I was able to slowly edge away with 2 other guys and then just hold it together for a final climbing charge to win the women’s field and finish 6th overall in a time of 1hr 33min. Matt won handily by over 5min in a time of 1.22 (and will be forced by us to race the 50km again next year!) Catherine finished close behind me to grab 2nd female. Go Team!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Luna Teammate Katerina Nash wins Cyclocross World Cup!

Yesterday, January 17th, 2010 Katerina Nash (Luna) took her first World cup win in France over a stacked field. The World Championships will take place in her home nation, the Czech Republic at the end of the month.

Newest Luna member, Amy Dombroski (USA) finished a solid 14th for her 3rd consecutive top 15 finish at a cyclocross World cup. Both will represent Luna at the world championships.

Go Luna Go!

Results from the UCI World Cup #8 in Roubaix, France

Elite Women

1 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna 0:40:55

2 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens at 0:13

3 Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank - Nederland Bloeit 0:52

4 Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.NL 1:31

5 Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) ZZPR.NL 1:52

6 Caroline Mani (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 2:03

7 Eva Lechner (Ita) Gauss RDZ ORMU – Colnago 2:28

14 Amy Dombroski (USA) 3:55

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Christmas, weddings and winter training

Geoff prepares a delicious dinner from the "White Water" whie in NB

On December 21st Keith and I were off to NB. NB greeted us with 24hrs of snow which had us pretty excited for skiing. Unfortunately the warm temperatures and Christmas break meant the trails weren’t groomed for skating, but that just gave us the opportunity to do a lot of snowshoeing around my parents farm.

6 days at home passed very quickly. It was great to be home for Christmas and get to spend it with my brother and parents. But Keith and I had more plans for the holiday. After 2 sleeps at home and a great ski at Stake we were off towards Calgary of a snow venture. We skied Larch hills and Golden, both were spectacular, discovered a delicious restaurant in Golden (mountain view Bistro), as well as getting some awesome home cooked meals in Revelstoke with the in laws.

After waking up to –27 in Canmore we bailed on skiing or snowshoeing and went out for Breakfast. Our friends Jen & Chris were getting married in Calgary at 1 so we were off again.

Since getting married I’ve discovered I really like weddings. They’re all about celebrating life and love with all your friends and family. It’s hard to create a better day or moment. Biker weddings also mean getting to see all your bike friends get dressed up! The wedding and reception we’re great and a fun way to bring in the New year. The quality street chocolates decorating the tables were a brilliant idea.

Keith and the lucky groom Chris

Jen and Sandra

Sandra had her eye on the prize

As we left Calgary and entered the Kananaskis we had been admiring this crazy cloud.

Turns out it signalled a Chinook and as we drove our windshield, side windows and side mirrors suddenly iced over…as did the road. After a couple sketchy seconds we could see again, but it was definitely one of our weirder driving experiences.

We stopped for an amazing ski in Field, BC on New Year's day for a classic ski on skier set trails. We really got to enjoy the mountains here.

Now warm weather means the best of both worlds. Riding in town (no mtb yet) and skiing up high. Yippee for Kamloops winters! The next few weeks should be fun with a 30km ski race at Stake and the Torch relay on the 27th.