Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
USGP Portland - Pair of 5's
Sunny skies on Saturday or rain and mud on Sunday, the outcome was the same. I had great starts and managed to ride with the leaders for a couple laps but just could not hold it. Once the pressure was applied I slipped. A bit depressing yes, but deep down I knew it was a good sign that I at least had something in there to play with. It didn't last as long as my 40min race but it was there and I didn't want to puke after the effort. Euro was a go. I had taken a hit but I could only get stronger - right? Nothing like the world stage to get your ass in gear quickly.
Me, in the Portland mud pre-fade. photo by Russell Anderson
Norm Thibault and his muddy 2-pack after his big WIN at the USGP in Portland. photo by Joe Sales
Monday, December 1, 2008
Me, before compression sox were hot.
New Jersey USGP
Cross on the Rock
So 5 weeks later I am still keenly aware of the nearest toilet and doctors can't tell me what is causing havoc in my belly. I even broke down and went to a naturopath so I am sitting here drinking stinging nettle leaves after spending $200 on pixie dust. Hippie. So forgive me if I haven't updated my blog recently. Maybe when the pixie dust kicks in and I have my energy back I will have some good news to write about and be eager to share. So until then I have decided to share some entertaining photos. Enjoy
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Tabor, CZE World Cup #2
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Im getting HUGE-er in Finland
2009 UCI Cyclo-Cross Rankings
Last ranking / Women Elite : 20.10.2008
Mondial Ranking SIMMS Wendy (CAN)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
The main event
My fourth National Championship title! photo by Joe Sales
Its a bit unfortuante that even though the Juventus Cycling Club put on a great event the talk of the weekend was the overly anal officials enforcing random UCI rules. It was like they had scanned the rules manual (and there a LOT of UCI rules) and cherry picked their favourite obscure ones to enforce. At registration they told everyone that there would be a mandatory bike check 30mins before the start. ?? A bike check, WTF?? Apparently they were going to check and enforce rule
So 30mins before my race I went to the tent for my bike check. On an uneven grassy field with the wind blowing the plumb line they eyeballed my bike without a ruler. The "expert" said ohhh, uhhhm, yeaahhh, I don't know, this one is pretty close and called in another official expert. Ohhhh, uhhhmmm, yeahhh, I don't know, this one is close, get her on the bike. So I got on my bike against a table and they "measured" from my knee. They made it seem like they were doing me a favour and let it slide but I was supposed to go in the box now 30mins before my race or risk getting checked again. I chose to continue my warm up.
Contrary to UCI rules which state that the podium event should take place right after the race, Norm's awards ceremony for the Masters race was 2+ hours after his finish so he decided to stop the festering in his crotch and change out of his chammy. He went to the podium for his third place in pants and a Frontrunners jersey. As this is against rule
1.2.113 Unless otherwise stated, riders shall appear at official ceremonies wearing competition clothing.
Norm got FINED for wearing inappropriate gear to the podium. And he also got a fine for giving sass to the officials (although I can't find this rule in the UCI handbook....). They didn't actually tell him that he was fined, the posted it on an official communique that he happened to see outside the clubhouse. He was pissed! You can guess he will be protesting that fine. Two can play at that game.
After my award ceremony (in full accordance with rule 1.2.113) I asked an official if I could wear my pre screened KONA National Champion jersey for the UCI race the next day. They said yup no problem. Wait let me check with another official, yup no problem. But I had remembered some random rule reference a few years ago that you couldn't wear any sponsors on the jersey for 24hrs (I can't even find this rule, but i am getting a little dizzy). Since my race was 23hours later I decided to play it safe and wore my orange KONA skinsuit with the plain National Champ jersey over top (sorry Kona).
All bikes were supposed to be checked again for the UCI race on Sunday (you never know I might have slipped in a TT bike in while they weren't looking...) so as they were doing call ups (15mins before the race which is contrary to UCI rules) there was a line up of people waiting for their bike check to pass. I missed my call up. They called up everyone again and I was still in line. When I finally got through I was second last to pick a spot on the start grid. Our brand new National Champion in row 3. Respect. I wasn't the only front row racer to miss their call up so someone in the crowd yelled out "your start grid is all wrong" so a few of the girls moved aside and tried to let me through but the officials got very angry and said we would all be fined if they moved their position. You want to prove a point, I will prove a point. So I held my third row start position for the gun. The gun went off and I blew out all my anger and proceeded to get the holeshot. Bite me.
In the mens race, our new National Champion Geoff Kabush missed his call up and the racers moved aside to let him start on the front row. He was FINED $100 for not respecting the start order.
2008 Canadian National Champions. The commisaires tried to fine Geoff Kabush for wearing a hat on the podium but he reminded them this was not an official UCI podium. Suckers.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wendy and Norm stretching Geo style after the MOMAR race. It turns out with 2.5 hours of hilly trail running (~30mins of that because of "misnavigation") we needed a lot more than stretching to recover. photo by Lisa Ludwig
Fat Norm (with 20 MOMAR T-shirts on) caught loading up at the after-party dessert table. photo by Lisa Ludwig
I am not sure how I managed to get up the next morning and go to Parksville to race the Ramble marathon event. I could barely walk. But it was worth it. Bluebird day to race on some sweet singletrack and hang out with friends in the sun for burger and beer after the race. Ahh Island Life. Good times. Fat Norm never made it....
I got a picture taken with THE Jen Tilley. photo by Norm Thibault
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Norm has a theory. He says that ever year you should do some event that you are totally uncomfortable with and you are completely untrained for so you can remember what it feels like to race like a rookie from the back of the pack. Its actually a pretty good theory. It hurts like hell and its hard on the ego but it helps you develop some serious mental strength. This year my ego crushing event was the XTC off road "National Championships" at Buntzen lake near Vancouver. You might wonder how it could be ego crushing when I placed third, but lets get it out in the open right away - there were only three girls racing in the elite category.
If you know me at all, you know the Simms' are sinkers not swimmers. I am a cyclist and a runner but I am not a fan of the swimming and I don't swim well. That's not exactly true. I can breast stroke forever, but I flail at the freestyle. Norm was racing the triathlon so I was going to be there anyway but I was planning on doing the duathlon. Unfortunately no girls signed up so I decided to go for the triathlon. Hell, why not? My sister did an Ironman last year, the Simms' can't be that bad.
The morning of the race I got those pre race nerves that I haven't experienced for awhile. Just get through the swim. I hate cold water so I decided to go for the shock method and skip the warmup swim to stay dry onland. I started near the back of the swim pack to avoid the chaos. I didn't want to drown. The gun went off and within 100m I rememberd why I hadn't done a wetsuit swim for 4 years. The wet suit I borrowed doesn't fit me, so it felt like I had 10lb weights on my arm. Oh yeah and I hate swimming. So I switched to breaststroke. It was supposed to be temporary but I felt so comfortable I ended up breast stroking pretty much the entire 1.5km swim. I could swim in a straight line, I could breath and I could see the whole race. I felt like a bit of a fool but I wasn't here to impress. 2 laps of the swim course and I wasn't last! Goal#1 achieved. Sweet.
A slow transition (I guess most triathletes don't dry their feet, put on sox, change their shirts and tie up laces these days). and onto the bike. But my body was in a bit of shock when I jumped onto my Kula 29er and tried to chase down all those swimmers. It took my legs awhile to come around. A slightly faster transition and I was off running. I actually had a pretty good trail run except I was wearing a long sleeve jersey and was overheating like a non-Finn in a sauna. The run was a double loop so I got the opportunity to see just how far ahead 3X Xterra World Champion Melanie McQuaid (Nature's Path) was and Danelle Kabush (Luna) who was second at the Xterra World Championships in 2006. Ouch. I finished third of three girls. To rub it in even more, Melanie outsplit my shell shocked legs on the bike and Danelle had to nurse her baby on the start line. That stings. But I like to think of it as a podium at the Canadian National Off Road Triathlon Champiosnhips. It sounds much more impressive.
The next day I was absolutely wiped. Muscles in my body that I didn't know existed hurt like hell. More than a week later my groin is still tight from the out of the blue 1.5km breast stroke. So maybe it wasn't the best physical training I could have done for the start of the cyclocross season but it sure as hell makes me apprecioate the sport I chose. Stupid triathlon. But when the results came out I poured over all my times and compared them trying to figure out where I could shave time. There might be a little tri-nerd in me somewhere.
"get a life, only your MOM reads your blog."
Better yet, I should go to Finland for the Sauna World Championships.
"Sauna aficionados Finland withstood the heat longest to win the 2008 Sauna World Championships in Heinola, Finland, defending their current reign as sauna champs. To do so, the Finns had to outlast tough competitors from Belgium and Belarus.
The competition saunas are much hotter than traditional Finnish saunas. “This is the wrong way to go to sauna, this is not about relaxing, this is competition,” Ossi Arvela, the head of the competition, told AFP. But that doesn’t stop dozens of sweaters from around the world coming to Finland each summer to test their personal heat endurance.
This year’s men’s champion, Finnish Bjarne Hermansson, stayed in the 110 degrees Celsius sauna for 18 minutes and 15 seconds. His skin dripping and beetroot red, Hermansson said “it feels wonderful, it is a dream come true.” The Finn has been training in hot saunas for 30 years, and has entered this competition every year since its inception in 1999.
This year’s female champion was Leila Kulin, who withstood the heat for five minutes and 21 seconds. In a nail-biting finish, Belarussian Natalya Tryfanava lost out by only one second. “The secret to my success was Finnish persistence,” Kulin told reporters just moments after she emerged from the sauna as the 2008 champion.
The sauna world championships have been held in Heinola since 1999. There were 164 combatants representing 23 countries in this year’s event. The Finns certainly have an advantage, however. Their country of 5.3 million boasts some 3 million saunas, and every Saturday virtually the entire nation heads to the nearest sauna to unwind."
Extreme Ironing World Championships.
Rock Paper Scissor World Championships. RPS for those in the know.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Last day. I am usually a "cracker" on the last day of these multi day stage races. Norm gets stronger mentally and physically as the race goes on whereas I seem to start strong and deteriorate. I think its mostly mental. Its not that I crack completely and lose the race on the last day, but moments of weakness show through that could potentially unravel all of our hard work. So I told myself all morning: "dont shit the bed, don't shit the bed". The stage "only" had 2500m of climbing. After yesterdays stage it sounded easy. But it started straight up the local ski hill and Team Clif Bar was on us immediately so we knew it wasn't going to be an easy day. We got a bit of a gap and found a solid group of mens teams to work with. But everytime we looked back on a big climb we could see the yellow Luna helmet coming for us. Both Norm and I had mixed feelings. Part of us (the tired part) didn't really care too much if we lost the final stage as long as we kept our overall but this stubborn, hyper competetive voice kept reminding us of our winning streak. If we won today we would have won every stage of our last 3 stage races (TR 2007, BCBR 2008 and TR2008). That was a pretty strong voice so we pushed on and kept the winning streak alive. 21 stage wins in a row. Not too shabby.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Wicknasty ready to rumble
Mont St Anne World Cup