Friday, July 20, 2007


After a long haul out of the country and then 2 weeks in "la belle province" it has been pretty nice to just putter around home again. Dont get me wrong, I DO love traveling all over the world to check out new places but sometimes you just need a dose of home to recharge. Riding with Norm on my favourite trails, walks with Marty at the beach and catching up with friends and family always puts me back in a good head space. This dose at home has been especially good because I just started my year off from work. Wahoo! Now I can add things like: sleeping in, rides in the MIDDLE of the day in the sun, hot tubs after rides in the MIDDLE of the day and cooking good food after rides in the MIDDLE of the day to my list of rechargers. It is going to be one sweet year off. Sure I will have more time to train but I think I am more excited about having time to rest and recover.

One cool race I had to pass up because I was in Quebec doing the world cups was the first ever BC bike race - a seven day mountain bike stage race from Victoria to Whistler. BUT lucky for me Andreas Hestler who was helping organize/promote the race asked me if I wanted to do a "guest stage" of the race and hand out awards. Hmmm lets see, ride some fun west coast trails, with no pressure of racing, in the hot summer sun, in the MIDDLE of the week, to chat with people and check out the event. Tough choice. I signed up for the Squamish to Whistler stage because I would have some turnaround time at home after Quebec and I knew the trails would be super fun. I partnered up with Lesley Tomlinson (Rocky Mountain Haywood) and Karen Eller (Scott) for the day. I rarely get to mountain bike with girls so it was a blast riding with them, although I did feel a bit guilty about passing people that had 5 days of riding in their legs.....The organizers took great care of me with a big loot bag, dinner and some awesome riding. Definitely a race I will have to add to the list. So many....

Another "local" race I got to do was the Padden Mountain Pedal - a classic race that has been running for 15 years. In fact, it was one of my first year pro races. I remember it well because the crazy organizer (Mark Peterson my Kona Les Gets manager) had us line up one deep across this field and sprint for a narrow opening to see who won the hole shot $$. It was nutty for the girls race and absolutely chaotic for the men. He resurrected the start format for this years race. I had a blast racing some great single track, having fun with the twisty, flowy trails that would never be found on world cup courses (not up to code....). It helped me remember why I race mountain bikes. Its so easy to get caught up in all the world cup hype with points and selection criteria and start getting down on yourself but riding some super fun trails at a grassroots event brings it all back into perspective. Now I am not getting soft on you but I have had a frustrating year of racing and I think I just needed to remember the fun side of racing again. So with a couple weeks at home recharging I am set for Nationals - bring it on!

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