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Monday, August 30, 2010

MSA Update 1

Okay, where do I begin...

The Drive:

We left Saturday at 10 from my house and planned on making it to Montreal, then calling it a day. The full drive to MSA takes around 10 hours, but with stops that quickly turns into 12 hours.

The drive was going well for a hour until we quickly came to a dead stop on the highway. We didn't know what was going on, but there was only one or two cars traveling west bound which provoked some questions. East bound the traffic was bumper to bumper as far as the eye could see. Thanks to a text from James' father we heard that there was a accident west bound and the road is closed. A passenger fell off a motor cycle :( Not something you want to think about.

Now that we knew what was going on we just had to inch along in traffic for a hour. After that it was pretty smooth sailing till we hit Montreal. It was pretty slow traffic through Montreal, but probably the best traffic I have witnessed while going through.

After making it past Montreal we stopped for dinner and discussed the remainder of our travel plans. Everyone was up for driving the remaining 2 hours to Sainte Anne De Beaupre. When we hit town it was adventure time! Motel, Hotel, or B&B. Search was on! We figured the closer we got to town the nicer the places would be but the more expensive they would be as well, so finally we settled on one. It was called Motel Spring. Julien Absalon's fan club as also staying there. At breakfast some were sporting jackets that read just that.."Julien Absalon Fan Club"

I forgot to pack my bowling shoes...

In the morning we had time to kill as Team Canada check in wasn't till 6pm. Over to Mont Sainte Anne we go! We got there just in time to see the 50 km race go off. The Louis Garneau riders were pretty intense. After we watched the start we went to drop stuff off where my mom, Kyle, and James are staying. about a 15min drive outside of town. We grabbed a quick bit to eat and headed back to hill. This time it was our time to hit the dirt!

First stop, PUMP TRACK!!! Love pump tracks. Spent a good 30-40min there and snapped a few pictures. Now that we were `pumped` it was time to hit some real dirt. Into the first single track i got a stick in the derailleur and over the bars i went! Had to laugh it off after making sure i didn`t break my bike. Very thankful that the SRAM XX derailleurs are strong. At this point everyone else took off down the trail and I was further back. I cruised through and checked out all the new lines that had popped up since the last time I rode the course. Coming to the end of the single track I was stopped and asked to leave the course as there was racers from the earlier race coming through. At this point I was sure the others had made it on to the next section or been kicked off as well. But I couldn`t find them so I had to wait around while they rode the sweet drop off section.

After meeting up again we moved to the other side of the course and rode the sketchy down hill rock garden of death. Not having much energy and only have ridden the one single track leading up to this I decided I would leave it till tomorrow (Today). When I was here earlier in the year with Team Ontario provincial MTB coach Mike Garrigan helped build our confidence up by breaking down the descent. Repeated times of riding the rock corner, then finally committing to riding the rest. All very helpful, and I will be thinking about it all as I head into it today.

I stood in the straw off to the side while the others took there run at it. Some successful, and others not so much. But none of the attempt resulted in injury. One of the guys that was working on the course told us earlier that day this section claimed two victims and was shut down early. One broken foot or ankle and other was arm. Mentally focused and committing is key to success on this one.

We rode the rest of the course then it was time to clean up and get groceries. After that it was time for Emily and myself to check in at the Team Canada condo`s. Very nice places and everyone was very organized! After getting through the paper work we got our kits and we were set. While we were down by the tent where everything was going on, vans full of Team Canada athletes were pulling up. Catherine Pendrel, coming off her win at the Windham World Cup, and also wrapped up the title of World Cup series leader!

I had to go inside to get the Internet code for our condo and as I'm standing in line I read specialized on the shirts of the guys in front of me. Then I see there face...Todd Wells and Christoph Sauser!!! Pretty damn cool! Also saw Irina Kalentieva several times yesterday wearing her rainbow jersey. So far I have seen Team Russia, Australia, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, and I might be forgetting some. Allot of the top riders were pulling in last night from Windham, should see some more big names today!

Excited to rock the AMAZING Team Canada kit !!!

Two of these sweet bridges on course!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spa Day!

No no, not me! The real princess is black, white, and carbon all over. Aka my bike :)

Only two more days till I leave for Mont Sainte Anne! That said, this isn't just a normal race, so I figure my bike deserves a little more than just a normal wash and tune. Normally I take around a hour to clean the bike...not much to clean on a hard tail. However, I spent just over three hours today taking it apart to clean and tune. Working SO well!

Oh, and those white mud tires...they are white again!

Also made the decision to 'stealth' the bike out for worlds. The white tires have come off for now, but still could make a appearance depending on weather. What changed the look of the bike the most was black grips instead of the white ones I previously had on the bike. I guess keeping with the spa bike had a manicure? Didn't think it would change the appearance too much, but I did know there would be less cleaning involved!

Tomorrow is going to be my last chance to get everything packed, but it is going to be a tight squeeze with work. Saturday morning we will hit the road!

Until then the princess and myself are resting up. Picture will be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Yep, it happened!

I've come to the conclusion that It's hard to keep everyone updated and share photos with just Facebook and Twitter, so what better way than a blog! Basically, I've made the creeping possibilities a whole lot easier ;) That, however, can be discussed another time.

So what can you expect from my blog? During the race season expect race reports, training updates and where in the world my bike takes me (yes, world). When I'm not racing, a glimpse of my life in the off season which includes more training, school life, and anything new and exciting. I'll be switching up the music playlist at the top alot, possibly sharing some trainer mixes.

There won't be many race reports left for 2010 as this season is coming to a end, but I saved the best for last :D 2010 World Championships are just around the corner! This is a bundle of excitement for me. Not only is it World Championships, but it is my first race at the world level. Mont Sainte Anne is the host of the event, and some might know about the love hate relationship MSA and I share. Lets say it was a make and break experience, but no fear, I will show MSA who is boss this time and what better way then rockin' Team Canada SE Kit! I'm 200% honored to represent Canada on home turf at WORLDS! It's going to be an amazing experience, and now I have a blog to share it on!

After I leave MSA I start another year at school in London, which means University Cups!! This consists of four races at various venues around Ontario. Always a good time!

In the days leading up to Worlds and U-Cups, I have to pack for school, Worlds, and earn some mula to pay for all this. Yesterday I sold my track bike :( But at the end of the day it was a good adventure while it lasted, and now with the money I can... ohh the possibilities.

In the mean time check it out if you haven't already

Don't forget some Charmin...ohh tubes and CO2's might help too ;)