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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Rainy Day

The last few days have been wonderfully dry but this morning I woke up to the familiar sound of raindrops on the window. I had a couple things on the agenda for today but managed to make it out for a nice refreshing and very wet morning ride. I was a little rushed for time so it was just a lower lap for me today - Pipeline to Lower Skull. Pipeline was one of the first trails I ever rode on Fromme and probably the trail I've ridden most on that mountain, and I always enjoy going back to it.
My legs were a little tired on the climb today. Maybe it was from the little run I went on last night (not a runner), or because I've pedalled up Fromme a few times in the past 5 days. It was a shorter climb though so not too bad, and the ride down was more than worth it (as always).

Other than a little run in with a very solid tree it was a good clean run. Up and down in just over an hour - perfect little ride!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dincus Article on CCN

I wrote an article about Dincus Apparel for CycleComponentNetwork.com recently. I met Chad, one of the hard working owners of the company, my first year racing in 2007. Since then we've become friends and Dincus has become one of my supporters. Over the past couple of years Dincus has really taken off and has made some big changes to their clothing - they are now made of Bamboo and so are both eco-friendly and very cool to look at! Check it out: http://www.cyclecomponentnetwork.com/review/stylish-and-ecofriendly-mountain-biking-apparel-from-dincus.html


Today was an absolutely perfect fall day here in North Van. I had hoped to be working but since that didn't quite work out, I made the most of the beautiful weather and headed up Fromme for another good workout and to make another attempt at riding Executioner/Dreamweaver - the trail I'd managed to get lost trying to ride the last couple of times up there.

Third times must be charmed, because I found it this time. Not sure why it was so difficult the previous two times. Maybe by the time I'd pedaled my way up that far (not that it's really all that far, but I haven't been doing a whole lot of anti-gravity riding lately) all my blood was in my rosy red cheeks instead of my brain so I wasn't thinking clearly. Anyways, I'm glad I found it today - it was awesome!
Executioner crosses a couple of creeks, so there are some nice little bridges to ride over. I always find those spots the most scenic and peaceful - listening to the water run down the rocks, seeing little waterfalls, and usually there's a bit more mist (on wet days) around as well, making it seem almost magical.

Whoever made the sign for Dreamweaver did a great job and put it in a rather interesting spot on the trail. I think most people probably don't even see it, because you have to actually stop and turn around to see the sign. The above picture is looking backwards on the bridge I just crossed, and the sign is hanging above it.

Now that I have rediscovered the trail hopefully I'll make it there more often. Not that getting lost is so horribly bad, but when it results in a hike-a-bike I'm not as excited about it - I'd rather ride than walk!

Playing in my Backyard

In the past week I've gone out on a few pedals up Fromme, which isn't exactly what my DH race bike was made to do but considering it's such a light weight DH bike it's not really all that tortuous of a climb. I wouldn't call it easy, but hopefully the more I do it the easier it'll get.

The first of these Fromme rides was a solo mission. I guess I haven't ridden Fromme enough lately, because I got myself completely lost and ended up on a 3 hr ride/hike. Still fun of course!
Next time I went with Bryden and didn't have much more luck than my previous time - I thought I started us off in the right place this time, but once again got lost. We managed to make it out in a more reasonable amount of time though - only a 2 hr ride this time.

Then this past week the fall/winter rains came. Aaaahh.... now we are into the typical North Shore wet riding over slippery roots and ladders. Thankfully it's still decently warm out, and for me being wet isn't so bad as long as I'm not cold at the same time.

Bryden and I got out this past weekend on a couple of rides. Both were squeezed in at the end of the day so we were fighting daylight with speed... we won, but it was close.

Bryden looking content covered in mud near the end of our Fromme ride on Saturday. Sunday we made it out to Cypress, and were lucky enough to have our own shuttler - my dad! We did a quick run down Mystery DH and then a 2nd lap down Slippery Canoe/Wild Cherry/Roaches. I got us a little lost again on lap #2... quite the trend I'm making for myself. But we had an awesome ride and made it out just as it was getting difficult to see in the trees, so really it was perfect timing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Team Canada Coach Geoff Pendrell talks about World Champs

I actually wrote this article for CCN a little while ago but just realized I haven't posted a link to it on my blog yet. It gives a little bit of insight into how our new DH National Coach, Geoff Pendrell, felt after his first coaching experience at the World Championships in Australia this year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Licensed to Ride!

It's been awhile since I updated my life here... Apparently I tend to be a bit more sporadic once racing has died down.

I do have some exciting news though! Over the last couple of weeks I've been working on getting my motocycle license!!! I'm so excited about it! As a birthday present from my wonderful boyfriend I received motocycle lessons from a very experienced and great teacher, Randy Cook. He runs a motorcycle school business called Cyclelogics out in Maple Ridge. So I've done a couple of nights of classroom time, and then this past weekend I was out on the bike all day Saturday and Sunday. It was so much fun!

I'd never ridden a motorcycle before in my life, so I was a bit nervous about it, but it all went very smoothly. I think having a fair bit of experience on 2 wheels has made a big difference for me - just being able to feel and balance the bike, and understanding how to lean in corners and looking where you want to go rather than having "target fixation" on objects you want to avoid.

There are 5 of us in my class which is a great size for a lot of individualized teaching. None of us had any prior experience, so Randy had his work cut out for him. He quickly proved to us how good of a teacher he is, and by the end of the first day we were all maneuvering our bikes around the obstacles in the parking lot in a slow, (more or less) controlled manner. And slow speeds on a motorcycle are much more difficult to control than high speeds - you really need to find that balance!

Randy doing some paperwork while we take a little break from riding.

Above is the obstacle course Randy set up for us, and that's Carol out there practicing away. At the end of the day on Sunday we all did our skills test on this course. I am very excited to say that thanks to Randy's great teaching, I passed mine with zero demerits!! This coming weekend we will be set free from the parking lot and venture out onto the highways and biways. This is where it gets a bit more serious, as the obstacles out on the road are not just pylons but rather moving objects. Randy's been great at drilling defensive riding techniques into our head though, so I feel ready for the challenge and am looking forward to redefining the words "high speed". So far that has meant 30km/hr - soon it will be more like 80km/hr!

Kerri taking a break before doing her skills test. As you can see in the pictures, we had amazing weather!