Where I've Been

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I've Moved

This Blog is now closed and I have moved to a new site  which is a bit cleaner in design and easier to navigate. Hope you like it .

Heres the Link to the New Site - Check it out!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Giro di Burnaby

The Giro was our 5th race of BC Superweek which was down in the ‘colorful’ itialian part of Burnaby. I think all the girls were excited and a bit nervous going into the race because of how well we had all done in the past races. The course was wide open and at some points taking up three cars lanes, which made the corners very safe and fast to take.  Each loop of the course was 1.85km, which is long for a crit almost like a circuit race. 

       The race was very aggressive from the start with lots of attacks from the other teams and Trek. We were all covering attacks and staying on every move.  Five laps into the race one of the girls from Local Ride countered an attack of a team mate and I happened to be one her wheel at the time and went with her. We were able to get away and work together to get a big enough gap that some of the smaller teams wouldn’t have been able to chase us down.  Now I don’t know how it was in the pack but what I heard from the girls is that they sat on everything well and kept the group together so that no one could bring us back. They also grabbed most of the primes from the other teams.

       With 5 laps to go in the race I was getting a bit nervous I didn’t want the race to come down to a sprint, I had to make up my mind that I was going to attack the girl I was with on the next lap. So once the 4th lap rolled around, I waited till the right moment and then attack with everything that I had.  I didn’t want to mess it up from the team so I was super relieved when I was able to get away and solo it in for the win.

     The girls in the pack got ready for the group sprint with a third place still on the line. The sprint ended up going early and it worked out in our favor also. Karlee grab third place away from the other teams making two Trek girls on the podium for the second race in the row. The rest of the team finished strongly in the pack making a great showing of how we raced. So far the Trek girls have show that they are a very strong team and that others should watch out because we are on a roll!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

banff bike fest

We arrive in Banff with a monster of a rain storm on our tail which let us know what we could expect for weather for the rest of our week. The first race of the 3 day stage race was the Prologue which was a 1.5km sprint up hill. Having pre road the hill the day before at an easy pace a few of us thought there was still another curve in the road when the finished came up so fast.  The Trek girls had a good race though with a few in the top ten and Kristine getting a 4th place just ones hundreds of second off the podium.
       Our next race was the Lake Louise road race.  We found out the night before that the race had been shortened both for men and the women. The reason for this, wolves! Apparently there was a pack of wolves living at the far turn around and the park didn’t want a bunch of bike racers in that area. I think it would have been good motivation to go fast and not get dropped and be left to the wolves. The race now was only 66km and was in the pouring rain with temperatures at 5 degree making at lot of the racers miserable.  The Race was neither very hard nor easy, it sat somewhere in the middle with a couple attacks but nothing every sticking. In the end it came down to a sprint finish with Trek taking a strong second place finish.
     We had two races the next day, the ITT and crit. We were very lucky that the rain decided to take a break and stay dry for our ITT in the morning.  The course for the time trial is a very pretty with rolling hills around the base of the mountains. Most years there is always a bunch of wildlife on the course but this year we didn’t see any. All the girls on Trek had very strong TT, with all in the top ten and Kristine taken the second spot finish.
   For the Crit the plan was to go off hard and drop as many riders as we could right off the bat.  That was also the plan of one of the other teams there as well.  So the pace was set very high right off the gun and half the field was blown away in the first half a lap and was whittled down to only 9 riders in the front group by the second lap. All the four Trek girls in that group of nine were holding their own. There were lots of attacks but no one could ever break away. It came down to another sprint and Trek managed to grab a spot on the podium with a third place finish.
     Overall Trek had a great week of racing with three podium placing out of four races.  As well as a third place and fourth place in the GC.


Sunday, April 24, 2011


Well I think today deservers a blog post….Europe has slowly been breaking me down.  First it was my water bottle cage, meh easy fix, no problem. Next was a crash in Flanders where I lost skin, messed up my shoulder, broke my shoe and cleat.  Still an easy fix, skin heals, shoe can be fixed and cleats are meant to be broken. Next was a broken helmet, it only cost me an arm and leg as well as hefty visa bill.  Last but not least I (well not me but another racer) broke my bike by landing on it. Snap not quiet an easy fix.  So Europe you broke my stuff, my bike, my bank account and the cheesy thing would be to say that it didn’t break my spirit; but let’s face it, it kind of did today.

Only have another week to go in Europe and three races all in Germany, hopefully I will have a bike that fits and be back to working order by Friday.

Give me a day or two and I will bounce back.  A bike is just a bike and money really does come from trees. This is just a short post today but it has all the exciting bits in it, hopefully more (positive) exciting thing to come in the week.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How we roll

     So as our Canadian luck would have it (which there wasn’t much of to begin with) ran out hard core on our trip to Holland to race in a matter of days.  As a few of you might know from reading a status or two on my facebook, every day we raced we put our life in our hand, or maybe just our body and bikes but still, point made!

     We arrive after a longish drive across the vast European country side, it was really only 4 hours but who’s counting? We were glad to get out of the van and car to stretch are legs and were dying to get some food.  After we got our race numbers we headed to find our “vacation house/ camping house”. After staying in France and seeing what they call camping (a back woods shed) I’m wasn’t too prepared for what we got.  Our house was a modern two story condo style place, with leather furniture and mini flat screen TV. A full mini kitchen and when you got up stairs there was 11 beds! It really wasn't that big, I know you are thinking wow, 11 beds! If it had been a North American standard that would have been huge; In Europe that means bunk bed stacked three high with no wiggle room, fun times when you hit your head, arm or foot on the wall, guard rail or oddly place light….

     Later that night we had supper put on by the race organizers, which was tasty by buffet standards. It was the ordinary pre race food that you would find at races, pasta, salad, veggies, some kind of meat or fish. Breakfast was very western European, with bread, cheese, ham, and more bread, different kind of bread and a variety of dried crunchy bread… oh and pasta and tomatoes sauce again.

      The first stage was a 110km race that had two big loops of something like 46km’s and two small loops of 7km. Racing in Holland is very different from racing anywhere else because there is no hills, its dead pan flat. I’m not talking about Saskatchewan flat; that you can see you dog run away for 3 days. I’m mean like you can see your dog run away till he dies - in reality I mean no elevation what so ever. It is like someone took a rolling pin to the ground and said ‘hey I wonder if we can make this place even windier, oh look we just did’. This place has the wind of a jet engine, deep dish wheels are a big no no. I wish I had known that before…. Anywho the race started off with a bang, and the sound of carbon scrapping the ground. The sound happened three maybe four more times, actually lets be realist here it happened like nine or ten times to be truthful. The Canadians as our luck would have it didn’t manage to miss all the crashed nor be in front of them either.  One of was girls went down later in the race in a big crash and broke she bike but she managed to come out with only a bit of road rash and bruises.
      I ended up behind many of the crashes and crash-ies, having to unclip or off road it a bit and chase like a mad man or women (I’m not picky in which is used) back up to the bunch that was lucky enough to be in front of the crash.  I off roaded it a couple times in the ditch to move up to the front of the pack because I was getting tired of the middle and not being able to move.  But in doing so the European girls don’t like that a foreigner or maybe just a Canadian is in front of them. I got yelled at a couple times to move but I didn’t move so I got shoved a couple in the butt to move, oh well it wasn’t like I was going anywhere.
      A few of the Canadian girls had great spots in the front of the pack and moved like champs to get up there, me, I’m still a bit more timid and still getting my feet wet on the whole cross wind, crazy packs, and narrow roads thing.  I ended up getting a flat tire also in the race and burned a whole book of matches to catch back up. I caught back up and promptly got dropped - caught back on then a crash happened and I got caught behind it in usually fashion and had to chase with a bunch of girls to get back on. I ended up finishing in the third group I think placing 114th, yeah for me. No please don’t… I need to work on staying with the front of the group, I have a long way to go but I’m hoping in a couple years and more racing here under my belt I won’t have to be at the back because I’m a bit too nervous to take chances to move up. Two of the other girls on the team finished in the top 40 I think and the one positioning herself well within reach of the young rider’s jersey, sitting in 4th spot in line.  The race was over in less than three hours, 2 hours and 50 minutes.

     The second stage was a short road race of 80km that rolled along a 5 loop course through narrow towns and blinding open cross wind roads along a lake.  We rolled up to the starting line 20 minutes early, wasn’t earlier enough to get a good spot on the line though, there was only about 120 other girls in front of us waiting. We were already at the back and the race hadn’t started yet. In the first two km there was 6 or 7 turned where the neural start pace went from 40km an hour to almost a painful half track stand around the corners. Moving up was not going to be an option for me this time.  There was only two crashed this race maybe three.  One of the girls went down in the crash but bounced back up like a champ and finished the race and placed very well (after the race we had thought that she broke her ribs, but luckily it was just a bad bruise).  I got dropped on some nasty cross wind guttering and ended up in the second group. This group was chasing to get back on the peloton.  We were down to 20 second off the back, one of the Canadian girls that was with me in the group made a bold move with a couple others to chase back on.  I cracked because I didn’t eat or drink anything in the race and didn’t finished well.

        Third stage I will make this short…We got to the start line 40 minutes a head of time and we still were not in the very front.  Two crashed in the first 1km, Canada had one girl in it, she broke where collarbone and is now on her way home to get surgery. Another mashed her face up and broke teeth from the USA. I got dropped hard and so did almost half the pack in the first 10 km. But a couple American girls on the national team and an HTC rider hauled ass and dropped half of us that where hanging on for dear life in the gutter. My race ended here, before the first feed zone at 26km sad isn’t it…. A few of us rolled on the front, then the cops told the commissionaires to pull all 40 of us cause they didn’t wasn’t to hold up traffic every though we were not time cut yet.

       There was only one lone Canadian left in the race for the fourth stage the next day which she did amazingly well.  
     Now we are all ready to race again; we are heading back to wonderful Holland for another five days. We will tough it out, we picked ourselves up and brushed it off and are ready for round two.
 Yup that’s how we roll


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Europe and Flanders

Europe so far has had its ups and downs over the week and a half that I have been here.  I arrive in Belgium greeted with a surprise, sunny weather; warm sunny weather.  I took my bike out for a spin later that day.  I have glad to find that my bike had arrived in one piece but they did manage to break a strap on my helmet: how they manage to do that is beyond me it would have had to be creative though.

 Being away from Belgium for awhile I had forgotten about the crazy winds and the rough roads that make you get lost so easily.  I always seem to get turned around that I am going to other way then I thought I was. Lucky me that all I have to do is follow the wheel in front of me or get into a van when I have told when my sense of direction goes to shit.

Four days after arriving we had are first race, Tour of Flanders.  It was my first world cup and I will have to say more nervous then I have ever been.  But as my luck would have it I only lasted a short time in the race before I decided to become good friends with the pavement.  I was making my way slowly up to the front of the pack and was about a third of the way there when I started to see a couple girls bounce off of each other. The girls started to go down in front of me and there was nowhere for me to go… shit shit was all I could think, and then I got run over.  I smacked the pavement messing up my shoulder and knee a bit, little bit of road rash.  I got back up and tried to chase back on but the pack was flying and there was no way that a single rider, this rider, was going to get her butt back on the pack. Plus I was hurting from my crash.

I got into the car and ended up watching the race from that back. :(


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Catching Up

      Catch up is what I have been doing for the past few weeks since I have returned home from Tucson.  The last month in Tucson flew by with training, power tests, birthdays, a race and general randomness from everyone.  The last couple days were spent cleaning and packing and cramming in the last bit of training before we all headed back to the cold and nasty weather of the places we called home.

    The drive back home was a long and uneventful, we ended up following my moody GPS and making is back to Canada 6 hours faster than the drive down.  It felt like we drove up hill the hold way back to Canada, which is kinda funny since it felt like the opposite one the way down. Who know if you drive North you are really going uphill haha.
      Since I have been home I have been sick with a cold and cant seen to shake it at all…. It hangs over my head like a little annoying fly and just when I think I have killed it, it comes back and I feel the tickle in my throat is still there. Then whole time that I was in Tucson I didn’t get sick at all and now that I got home it has caught up to me and making me pay.
    Training at home suck, I hate riding on the trainer or roller which makes work out go so slowly, I’m looking at the clock every 5 seconds and it is the longest 5 seconds of my life that I wish I could be rid of.  I miss riding outside in the sun shine in shorts and jerseys.  I haven’t got riding outside once since I have gotten home, I have turned soft.  I fully admit that I am soft and quite proud of it, training in the sun made me fast too; Faster than I would have been if I stayed at home and toughed it out in the cold and on trainers.  I am not motivated to go to the gym like I was before I left; I now find it tedious and boring.

    I will be leaving to Europe with the National team in about a week and I am super excited to be going again.  I will be gone for about 5 weeks and have a full racing schedule of UCI races and a couple World Cups… If that doesn’t get me into racing form I don’t know what will.  I will be sure to update how it is going.
   Once I get back from Europe that first things that I probably will do is sleep for a couple days, then do laundry and start packing again.  I will be moving out to Vancouver for the rest of the summer to race in Trek Red Truck.  I’m hoping to be in amazing form by then and injury free.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Elephants upstairs

       I have been putting off writing a new blog post because here in Tucson there really isn’t anything new to tell.  We all have kind of fallen into a routine here in our apartment.  Everyone gets up on their own time then makes breakfast.  Our kitchen is so small that more than two people cooking at a time has people bumping into one another.  Once breakfast in done we take a look outside and  see what the weather is going to be like.  And if it’s warm enough we ride earlier outside, if not, we sit with are computers completely ignore each other in a very polite way.   We either ride together as a group for some of the ride or we all go our separate ways and get our work outs in.
       I think Tucson seems more and more like home to me, I have my favorite coffee shop, grocery store, frozen yogurt place and gelato shoppe, favorite mall and restaurant.  I do miss home and the people back there but it can’t beat the weather that we our having here.
       On the forecast for Tucson is has been sunny and warm for the month that we have been down here but our good fortune has started to run out.  Starting on Monday it is going to start getting colder and rain.  Wednesday is going to go down to only plus 9c here.  Those of you back home will be shaking you heads and calling us wimps for thinking this is cold but the truth is for Tucson it is.  Once you start getting use to it being warm it’s not fun when it gets cold again.  The desert is funny that way it can be both hot and cold all in a 24 hours period of time.
        We finally figure out what was making all the noise in the upstairs apartment above us, turns outs that they have a dog that runs around like an elephant chasing the cat that has wolf paws and a two year old hanging onto its tail.  When you put a dog, cat, and two children under the age of 5 all in a room together you get something that sounds like bowling.  There really is no other way to describe it.  I might actually think that an elephant would be quieter then the four little monsters upstairs, because elephants walk slower and not like a galloping herd of wild animals.  I never knew that is was possible that four things that don’t ever weigh a hundred pounds in total could make so much noise at eight o’clock in the evening.  Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t care that they make noise, I find it kinda funny in a way trying to guess whether or not they are sliding the dog or cat across the floor and then throwing tennis balls for it to chase,
      Today is the last day that we will have only four people in the house we will be getting to new roomies starting tomorrow; it’s going to be cozy… Or not.  The apartment really isn’t that big and the kitchen is pretty small to begin with and we are going to through 6 people all in the house see what happens.  They really should make a TV show about us, cause we would make good reality TV combined with the crazies from upstairs.

Anywho cheers for now

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lazy day

       There seems to be a trend in this apartment of blogging when bored in the evening.  Both Jannes and Cuylar have been updating their own blog lots and I seem to be catching the motivation to write also.  Today was a slow day for me, it was a day off.  I didn’t get on the bike to spin even; sometimes I just need a day to re-rest the mind set.  Tomorrow I will be geared up to go again with a fresh mind set.  It’s not that my body needs a day of complete rest but sometimes it’s my mind that does.  My mind after a day of not riding tricks my body into thinking that it is a fresh and ready to go as ever.
     So today on my day off I was going to go sit by the pool but it was a bit too chilly for sun bathing.  So I gathered up my lap top and headed off to le Buzz for some lunch and downloading video time.  Later this afternoon we drove to the Nike Outlet Store which only took a hour to get there because of the traffic.  By the time we left the mall we were starving… we were more than happy to get home and find that supper had been made.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tucson Update - well kind of....

Ok, here is an update on Tucson.

I got Twitter.

     Yes I know, I said I would never ever get Twitter but threats and presser made me cave.  Thanks guys.  Haha anywho it’s not as bad as I thought I just don’t understand it at all.  Twitter just another thing that I will get addicted too, like facebook, coffee, chocolate and Community.
     Now I know that this really isn’t a Tucson update, it’s an update on my life in general, so here is the real Tucson update.
      The riding has been getting better and better, my legs have finally started to pedal in circles; not squares. The riding has been sunny every day, not always warm enough for shorts and jerseys I might add but it’s still damn near wonderful.  I have still been taking it somewhat easy on the bike with no intervals just a lot of longish rides. More intense training will start in a few weeks time with hill repeats and speed work. I have all ready got tan lines on my legs much to my displeasure. I will have to get rid of those before they get worst. Otherwise I will have tan lines before its spring.
      We are now up to four people in the apartment; Brad arrived a couple of days ago and joined our Canadian village down here.  Along with Brad another new arrival was the espresso/cappuccino maker and it is HEAVEN!  I got some fresh espresso grinds from “Le Buzz” and now we can have Le Buzz coffee at home, no need to go to the shop.  But we still will anyways; it has free wifi and some of the best dessert bars that I have ever tasted.  Plus that’s what you do when you are super cool, you hang out at a coffee shop with your lap top in front of your and drink cappuccino’s.

Any other news? – The answer is no…. sorry J

Stay tune though, excitement is around the corner and through the desert, I can feel it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Le Buzz

We are living the life, we ride our bikes then we eat and lie by the pool and then eat again. We are living the life of a lazy man. The people here in Tucson must think that we are crazy it is their winter right now and we are walking around in shorts and t-shirts. Its 20c degrees here boo-ya! The riding has been going good besides the fact that my legs are stiff and tired from not riding outside for months. It is really nice not having to wear layers or to be suck on those terrible trainers. The first day up we got lost on the bike a bit and never could seem to find our way out of the city. The next day was more of a success with a nice ride out to a national park and then a couple loops of the 9 mile lap and back to our place.

The first few days of riding I over dressed, it was really silly of me to think that I would be cold after coming from Saskatchewan where the temp is about -12c right now. We found my favorite coffee shop in Tucson the other day, Le Buzz. They make the best coffee in Tucson, if you are ever in the area you have to stop at Le Buzz. You will always find a couple cyclists at Le Buzz because it is a couple miles from the base of Mount Lemmon. That’s the new Canadian hang out.

Peace out

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tucson Road Trip

Well my drive down to Tucson was a success, there were highs and lows and a whole bunch of fun that went on in a tiny car with three people for 33 hours nonstop. We started are trip with packing up the car late new years day and booking it down to Moose Jaw, so we could over night and pack up so we could hit the road early in the morning. Driving down to Moose Jaw was uneventful and the drive was quick. Thinking that the weather was going to be the same in the morning no worries were to be had by myself. I shouldn’t have thought that it would be that easy. We got up in the morning only to find that Saskatchewan had got dumped on by snow and it wasn’t going away. Since we were leaving so early in the morning snow plows hadn’t had the chance to clear the roads. But with Tucson on our minds we set off with high hopes for a great trip. It was very slow going and a couple close calls with crazy semi drivers but we made it out of Saskatchewan alive. Little did we know that we left Saskatchewan only to drive into Alberta.

Most people when they plan a trip have maps and a route planned out and such. We didn’t, we were just going to follow the GPS, hoping that it would get us there in a good time. We had no idea where or which way it was taking us either. So we are in Alberta and the snow is still blowing like a March blizzard. Seven hours, seven long hours just to leave the country is what it took. There was a lot of “What? We haven’t left Canada yet. Are you sure there isn’t a Tucson in B.C. and that’s where it is taking us” We finally crossed the border with no hitch, only to be not sure what state we were in. It turned out that we were in Montana, good old prairie country. It was like a switch had been turned because the blizzard snow stopped the minute that we jumped the border. It was smooth sailing for a long time in Montana till we hit the mountain pass. My little car was so loaded down that it didn’t have juice to climb the hills fast – we might have even been passed by a semi. It was pretty icy though the mountain with the odd snow bank that had to be dodged. Just a note to all who might not know – fast music, a heavy foot, talking with hands and sheer ice don’t mix.

We hit Idaho just as it was getting dark, and cruised with the 80 mile hour speed limit; we were just killing the trip. We drove though Salt Lake City at late at night, it took about an hour and half on the freeway just to get out of. We never stopped for more then 15 minutes the whole trip, only to grab food, bath room break and to fill up with gas.

Utah - I had said that I would drive the “night shift” so I started driving at 8pm. By the time 2 in the morning rolled around I was getting tired and a bit loopy. So to make matter even better we stop at a gas station and my GPS decides that there is an even faster way to get to Tucson. We time sure why not, let’s go that way. We start driving along and end up going through a small town and out the back side on a highway, but really should be called a back road. We drive along this twisty road up a mountain. It is very creepy we all the tree hanging over the road. It was like, old man on top of a mountain waiting to kill you with an axe, creepy. We continuo driving along the road and pass a sign with lights flashing saying “when lights are flashing road is closed” we think, ah that doesn’t apply to us it can’t be that bad. We pass another sign a little bit later saying such and such road close and the other one open. Hey here is a smart idea, lets ignore all the signs and hope for the road that we need is the one that is open. So we climb the mountain and it’s very steep but the road is clear with only snow on the side of it. The higher go the more the snow is making the road smaller and smaller and we get to a stop on the road about 17km in and there is no way that I was going to keep driving where there was only enough space for my Honda fit to fit through. We turned around.

The fun just kept coming in Utah; I think I might hate that place. Once we got back on track and we thought the normalness of driving was going good. Bam Utah hit us with a white out. The smart people pulled off the road and into the town site but we kept going cause we were on a dead line! We couldn’t really see that well and the road had about a half foot of snow/slush on it but that didn’t stop us, my good old car crept along slowing. No sleep for 24 hours and falling snow will make any one a bit tripping. I finally stopped driving at 6am and passed it on to someone else and crawled into the back of the car to sleep. I was out cold for about an hour till there was a major freak out in the car

The freak out was because we hit Los Vegas and the lights were shining like a city of gold. We drove passed the strip and it was pretty cool to see even as tired as I was. Just as I was falling back to sleep, there was another freak out. The Hover dam, it’s the hover dam! Is it the hover dam? Nah I don’t think it is. No, yes it is, it really is the hover dam! And I passed out again.

More mountain driving and never ending snow, is didn’t stop even though we hit the Arizona border. Arizona is down on the map from Canada and the thing that everyone was saying was “I think we are still going downhill” The whole trip felt more downhill then up. We finally got to are apartment at 3 in the afternoon after 33 hours of driving straight. We hit the hay soon after.