Thursday, June 24, 2010

Test of Metal

The Test of Metal in Squamish, BC is always one of my favourite races. The race sells out on January 1st in about 20 minutes, but luckily they still let elite riders in on race day. This year over 1100 racers ranging in age from the teens to the seventies signed up.

This was the 15th anniversary of the race and festival weekend and all 15 past male race winners were brought back as well as many of the female past winners. The weather was perfect and the course only slightly slower than the previous year due to weeks of rain leading up to the event and i had been talking smack to a bunch of guys leading up to the race so the competition was going to be fun.

The great thing about the Test is the people. This includes the fans out lining the streets with sprinklers, out on the trails, often only semi-clad and the people racing alongside you. The whole community gets into the race and make it loud and vibrant. Afterwards there’s a big BBQ and lots of local parties. This year we were hosted by Squamish Locals Dwayne, Renee and Livy who treated us to an amazing weekend and lots of scrumptious food.

The Race: 1000 person mass start. Wahooo! I was able to hang onto the front group of 13 men cresting the paved climb and claim my first of 10 women’s primes. I was a little nervous that it would come to a sprint with Wendy, Sandra, Catherine or Jean ann as a large pack stayed together most of the climb, but lucky for me it broke up right before the last pitch and I didn’t have to humiliate myself. On the men’s side Kris Sneddon out raced Kabush for the first prime, Geoff went on to grab the other 9 and solo in with a new course record of 2hrs and 29 minutes.

I was super happy with how I was able to ride the race. I was surrounded by elite men for most of the race and ended up 19th overall with a time just under 2:52. I didn’t match my record from the previous year, but definitely felt the competition depth and racing was just as good or faster this year.

My housemates Matt and Catherine pulled off great rides despite mechanicals finishing 5th and 3rd respectively, while my housemates of the weekend Dwayne and Carter raced with me for 2hrs before riding off to sub 2.50 races. Renee got the awesome claim of beating her sister by a couple hours. Yeah that’s right! And Livy took her first steps. And yes Drew Mckenzie, you beat me fare and square. it's on for next year!

Thanks Keith and Christina for the bottles and weathering the heat and feed-zone for me!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Women's night at Flowt Bikes in Revelstoke

the always popular and useful lesson on how to fix a flat tire!

talking suspension

Delicious appies from La Baguette. If you're driving through Revelstoke you have to try their chocolate almond bread, or gelato, or .....the list is long

Brendan Macintosh from Flowt bikes invited me down to participate in my first women's mechanics course last week with a bunch of great gals from Revelstoke. With over 20 women attending we broke into three groups all lead by female instructors. Amanda taught them how to change a flat tires, I discussed on the trail maintenance and flowt's resident wrencher Theresa, got into the nitty gritty of more in depth mechanics.

We started with great appetizers and ended with fun door prizes and some Luna bars. Every year the night get's better so you might want to keep an eye on Flowt shop events.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

a couple pics from Pete's Bday

Martin, the pants have been censored out

Km and Logan


Ellen and me

Aaron and Pete

Catherine and Matt



Me going gray

Barb looking very chic

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Salmon arm to Sicamous

This weekend our household headed to Salmon arm to ride the Salmon arm Sicamous traverse. It was a fantastic ride which ended in one of the best single track descents I've done.

For you locals and trail hunters, we parked in North Canoe and road up to the trail head by a combination of road, trail (salty dog) and ski trails...and maybe some bog short/long cuts circles. Once we found the trail head we had huge grins. The single track was way more than we expected and well marked. We cruised the twisty singletrack for over an hour before a long switch-backed descent (34) dropped us out on the highway just west of Sicamous. From there we cringed in the draft off of Matt as he pulled us back to the car at 32km/hr on our mtbs for 30 minutes!

Great day!

2 leader Jerseys, 1 house

Catherine is leading the Canada Cup Series. I'm leading the World Cup. Not too shabby.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Nimby Fifty


Keith and I had pretty much the perfect weekend. We headed down to Pemberton last friday after work for a weekend of camping and riding. We camped at Nairn Falls, and although it rained all night, the air felt so good and we slept awesome. After a week of 6hr jet lagged sleeps I got 9hrs our first night tenting and 10 the next.

We did realize in the morning that out tent fly wasn't as waterproof as it once was, but we stayed warm and mostly dry. That morning we raced the Nimby fifty. A combination of Pemberton's new and established trails. After a controlled start and some fire road climbing we worked our way up an 11km, 1hr single track climb. The trails were beautifully made and lead us to some stellar descending down rock faces and twisty forest trails. The second part of the course was tough. A lot of steep climbs greeted tired legs, but lots more fun descending was also to come!

The event capped off with a party dj'd by papa Josh, burgers, salads and drinks. The rain even let off. I love these smaller grassroot races with a real community feel and lots of people that just love riding their bikes. Good times!

That night we bailed on our soggy tent, that had gotten wetter since the morning, in favour of our truck and canopy. We feasted at the Wildwood (salmon and Risotto) that evening with friends, slept amazingly and the next morning, post camp-style oatmeal headed to the Blackbird Bakery for some delicious espresso and to top up with cinnamon buns before another great day of riding. Thanks Glen, Ken and Karen for the great company! Russ and Dean for the great racing!