Monday, October 25, 2010

Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships Seattle
A little bit of gold, a lot of beer but no bacon

Norm and I have wanted to hit the SSCXWC for a few years but it never fit into the "schedule" (read: serious racing). When we heard that Seattle was hosting the race for 2010 we knew it was the year to go and pretty much signed up when it opened. We dropped Tycho for a fun-filled weekend of grandparents and cousins and we crossed the border for a fun-filled weekend of mud and beer. Saturday was the qualifier event which was an alley cat circle tour of (lower?) Seattle with a few checkpoints. The top 4 of each heat would qualify. After watching the first few heats go off I saw 2 guys dressed in drag nearly get taken out by a car, an entire heat of racers blow through a red light without even looking and a couple dudes trying to outrun a train. I wondered how exactly they had gotten insurance for this little not to ask questions I guess.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not strong on the orienteering.... I was a little worried about getting lost so I quickly scouted my heat for Seattle-ites and made sure to keep a close eye on them. In the end it was no problem as there were enough arrows and racers scattered about town I could figure it out. I did however get snaked while standing in the finish chute by a girl who really wanted to say she had beaten Wendy Simms. I guess I should be flattered. I received my race number for Sunday and waited for Norm, the one in the family with a much better sense of direction. Unfortunately for Norm, he flatted and did not qualify so he was pretty bummed...

Sunday we decided to race the MFG series before the SSCXWC - why not? Norm's luck kept getting worse as he had a mechanical in the MFG single speed race (Nathan asked HOW he could possibly have a mechanical with only one gear...) and then had ANOTHER mechanical in the cat 1 master race. He had obviously spent more time on my flash new Ridley's than his own bikes....My race went much smoother as I got to play in the mud with legend Ann Knapp who was the same chipper girl from years past (her traditional war cry on the start line is "lets have FUN ladies!!") and Kristi Berg who I battled with way back during my first Seattle race when I was just getting into the sport.

The skaters at the start - all nice and pretty. Katie Rabien is the real skater on the left (check out her bedazzled outfit) and I am just a wannabe (no bedazzles). photo by Norm Thibault

The start. Note the water balloons being pelted at us from above. I am tucked in behind a skeleton. Or maybe it was strongbad. Either way I did not receive a direct hit. photo by Norm Thibault

Finally at 3:30 it was time for the big show. SSCXWC. As it got closer more people came out of the woodwork with costumes and the beer fumes got stronger. They lined us up at the base of a steep hill and we were off. I tucked in behind a skeleton and Strongbad as the Rad Racing boys started pelting us with water balloons. I scrambled up the hill in good position and starting enjoying the chaos.

For a brief moment I was even ahead of Golden Speedo winner and now 3X SSCX world Champion Drew Mackenzie. photo by Norm Thibault.

The first lap was pretty crazy with some people going out hard, others having costume malfunctions and some even going the wrong way on the course to get good video footage. The mud had gotten pretty thick over the course of the day so there were bodies down all around. We hit the big run-up to the beer ridge where there was a 6 pack of barriers complete with a wall of beer at each one. These eventually got smashed down and became "floating" barriers that moved every lap. Coolers full of beer were being splashed on everyone by drunk spectators so the entire ridge smelt like a brewery. Apparently I have to work on my beer hand-up as I missed a couple but eventually started completing the transaction. I kept looking for the bacon station but apparently the drunks were not able to work with fire at that point in the day. I passed chickens, wrestlers, santa, saquatches, speedos and pretty much everything in between. I rolled in first girl (although I am not sure how they could tell anyone apart) and earned myself the golden bikini (well more like an 80s style one piece), a SSCXWC heavyweight belt, a custom frame and a SSCXWC tatoo to make it legit. It should go nicely with the white trash panther I got when I was 17. Not too bad for the first race on my new Ridley singlespeed. Maybe Stybar should come challenge Drew next year.

SSCX world champions for 2010 Drew Mackenzie and Wendy Simms (both from Vancouver Island much to the dismay of the Seattle singlespeed hardcores) photo by Norm Thibault

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yes its true...after 5 years of flying the orange flag I have a new sponsor - RIDLEY! I wasn't feeling a lot of love from the orange camp so I started looking at my options. There was no doubt in my mind that Ridley would be a perfect fit for me. The company is Belgian, I LOVE Belgian chocolate! The company is named after Ridley Scott (the director), we were going to name our KID Ridley! Ridley Scott has a kid named Noah. I have a nephew named NOAH! The World Champion Stybar rides a Ridley, I think Stybar is HOT! Sue Butler and the Subaru Hudz team ride Ridley X-fires, I want to show up Sue and ride Ridley X-nights! Ridley colours are red, white and black, I look GREAT in red, white and black! Kevin Bacon is white, I LOVE bacon, the gateway meat. 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon separation. It was meant to be.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I was a little nervous about how I would fare my first weekend back racing cross after a year on the sidelines. I was hoping to do a local race to get the kinks out before the UCI season started but it was not meant to be. Nothing like making Star Crossed your comeback race to put a little fear into your training. It is one of my favorite events because the racing is competitive, the course is fun and the fans are rowdy (if you trip up in the barriers the drunks in the beer garden show no mercy and spray beer all over you while they mock you). Better make sure I screw up in the darker portions of the course.

I knew I was fit (good for the last lap) and strong (good for the first lap) but wasn't sure how my body would react to the distinct pain of lap 2 when you have burned a bunch of your matches off the line but haven't quite settled into a rhythm. I didn't have any UCI points so I was definitely going to be burning some matches.

The weather was perfect, and when I say perfect I mean wet and muddy. On and off torrential downpours throughout the weekend.

My goal was a podium finish and I managed a pair of second place finishes against the powerhorse Katerina Nash (LUNA) so it was a solid starting point to the season. Norm met me at the finish line with a big grin and said "well, I guess that answers THAT question."

No race report can tell a story like the photos of Joe Sales ( so I will shut up now...

Rad Racing GP. Katerina Nash (LUNA) leads out the sand pit by the beer garden in the pouring rain. Photo by Joe Sales

Rad Racing GP. Me (5'10) trying to get a bit of draft off Katerina Nash (5'6?). Photo by Joe Sales

Star Crossed. Heading into the velodrome in the pouring rain. Photo by Joe Sales

Star Crossed. Always a few Canadian flags in the crowd. Don't screw up, don't screw up..... Photo by Joe Sales

Star Crossed. Pretty much the coolest picture. Photo by Joe Sales

Monday, September 6, 2010

T4 - Tim and Tycho's Tickleberry Triathlon

Ironman Canada weekend up in Penticton. NO, I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR 2011. Geez enough with the question. But yes Norm did (nutjob).

It was a heavy spectating weekend as always BUT we did a little event of our own. The first ever T4 (Tim and Tycho's Tickleberry Triathon).

Tim's brainchild:
LEG 1: ride the Chariot around Skaha lake
LEG 2: stop at Tickleberry's for some ice cream
LEG 3: tube down the channel (but this year had to be substituted for skinny dip in Skaha Lake since it was too cold to tube)

Uncle Tim and Tycho at Skaha Lake

Norm was in line signing up for 2011 so he had to miss the first 2 legs of the T4 but he met us for the glory lap.

Tycho skinny dipping in Skaha Lake to make sure he got the participant medal.

Norm and Tycho - professional Ironman spectators.

Assault on Mount Benson

We finally got a chance to hike up Mount Benson this summer! Benson is our local version of Vancouver's Grouse Grind but its less manicured, less traveled and there is no gondola to take you down so the legs are usually a little crippled after the return trip. The last time I hiked Benson I was 6 months pregnant so this summer it seemed like a breeze, although Norm couldn't say the same since he packed the 25lbs of dead weight up (Tycho). Marty even got to join us. At 14 years old he needed a few boosts up the steep stuff but he added the summit to his resume nonetheless.

Views of Nanaimo from top of Mount Benson.

Tycho taking the easy way up. His first summit "ex" - utero

Marty with his first summit as a fourteen year old puppy.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Trans Rockies

Some time in February, 2 or 3 months after Tycho was born, I decided that I needed a race goal to get back in shape. For me, this means signing up for a race that scares the crap out of me so I have to get my butt off the couch and train even when its dark and farty outside. I didn't want to set my goals TOO high for MTB season since I had no idea how my body would respond post-baby. But I definetely wanted my fitness back for cross season. The best way I know how to get in shape for cross is to cram buttloads of hours into August, follow it with speed work and running, then fine tune everything as I race into shape. With that recipe, the perfect race goal was Trans Rockies - 7 days of racing through the Rockies in August. Lucky for us they honoured our free entry from our 2008 win, Rollin said he was in for support, my parents said they were in for baby duty and suddenly we had more than enough reason to squeeze in a few more rides each week. I thought the training would be the hardest part but I was wrong....

Day 0
We drove for 2 days to get to Fernie, registered, met my parents (who had flown in from Ottawa a few days before) and set up our camp in the high school lot. Everyone was a bit cranky and tired. Tycho had a cold, I was getting his cold and my dad had a different cold. Germ Awares like myself and Norm knew we were doomed. Stage racing is gard enough healthy. We went for a spin to flush out the cobwebs and got back just in time for an absolute downpour to flood our campsite. As we were trying to sort out cooking and sleeping arrangements in our van/borrowed pop up trailer (thanks Wally!) I wondered what the hell possessed me to do the Trans Rockies with a baby? Was I an absolute IDIOT? I didn't share these thoughts with the crew...

Day 1 Fernie to Fernie TTT - 31km
We thought we were pretty lucky to get an early start time for the team time trial. We were wrong. It rained all night and we had a mudfest course to deal with. To top it off we were the rabbits for our competition. I had some chain suck issues almost immediately and I probably could have climbed faster on my CCM Scamp when I was a portly 10 year old nicknamed Seacow. Mical and Jeff started 30sec back and caught us within 1-2km and Gretchen and Cannon started a minute back and caught us within 2-3km. You do the math on a ~500km race. Ouch. That stings. But I sorted it all out by the downhill when I realized I had to drop the competetive side of my brain if I was going to get through the week and have some fun. Sweet Fernie singletrack was a good place to start. When we finished we were so covered in mud that people in the street looked at us in horror. 3rd place finish but two pretty shattered egos.

Day 2 Fernie to Sparwood/Elkford - 71km
The circuitry in my brain is hard to rewire as I had a fast start and followed the right wheels to get in with the lead group for the opening fire road. But I was pinning it and it was only the first 5km of a loooong 71km stage. oops. Time to slip back to a more manageable group for my training. A steady climb before we hit the long steep fun descent. But Norm yelled out that his brakes weren't working. I could smell something burning and then some hot mangled piece of metal popped off his bike in the shape of a swan. It was his rear brake rotor. Uh oh. Poor Norm had to run/coast most of the 7km descent. 3rd place finish but 4+hours of bike repairs and definitely 2 bruised egos as the other 2 Open Mixed Teams seemed out of reach already. But we had a great camp site by the river and it was sunny (mostly).

Day 3 Elkford to Etherington Creek - 65km
More rain overnight and a recently graded fireroad meant that this opening ride with the group was a mess. Slick mud, high speeds and a big group of mountain bikers is never a good thing. But we managed to stay out of trouble and felt reasonably good and so we were rewarded with a giant hike a bike that opened up to unbelievable views. A fun descent and we saw the Tokyo Joe's team and even managed to make up a few minutes on them. 2nd place finish, higher spirits and another great campsite.

Day 4 Etherington Creek to Anchor D Ranch - 60km
We thought there might be a more mellow start today with the TR3 crew heading home but chatter around camp was that there was only 2km of road before the opening singletrack so Norm warned me I had to "BE AGGRESSIVE". I started fast and went into the singletrack top 10. Sweet! Mical and Jeff were towing the train but I still had them in my sights. Norm is a great starter so I always assume he is on my heels. But I hit the road and no Norm. I had to let the lead group go. Bye-bye. Sniff. I let the chase group go. No Norm. No Norm. I circled around and around and around until he finally showed up and let out a huge groan. "NOOOOOOO I thought you were BEHIND me!" apparently my white Frontrunners kit isn't as distinctive as the orange Kona and he was soft pedalling waiting for me to catch him. We chased through the mud and cow poop all day but Mical and Jeff were long gone. 2nd place but riding stronger.

Day 5 Anchor D Ranch to Little Elbow -54km
More rain (and hail) on the ranchland meant more liquid cow poop. Norm and I are mudders so we just put our heads down and ploughed through. We had originally thought "only 54km, should be an easy day" but again we were wrong. I got delerious at one point and made up a story about how I was vacationing in Hawaii and getting the mud treatment at the spa that day. This was after I had stopped drinking my water because there was so much cow feces on my bottle that I would take dehydration over bacterial infection of my bowels. 2nd place and riding strong but cold rain soon followed and rumour was there was fresh snow on the peaks.

Day 6 Little Elbow to Rafter 6 Ranch - 72kmThe TR website described day 6 as: the “Queen Stage” will be one of the funnest days you will have on a mountain bike. However it ended up as the hardest, most hellish day I have ever had on a bike. We knew this was going to be a super tough day even before the elements turned on us. Longest stage with the most climbing is never easy but listening to the rain all night we knew it would be a whole new level of survival - there would be people cracking today for sure. Lucky for us we seem to excel in crappy conditions but sometimes I wish I was a sunny warm day race specialist as opposed to a shit weather specialist. Dressing for the day was hard enough - I ended up with thermal knees, 2 x undershirts, arms, jersey, winter gloves, rain jacket with an emergency tuque and extra vest packed but everything was soaked within minutes. We were cold and wet but it was all manageable until we hit the exposed area at the top of the mountain which had 50km/hr winds and sub 5C temps. Descending would have been fun on a nice warm day but my hands weren't functioning and I was having a hard time focussing so we had to stop in the trees to put everything we had on. I gave up on eating with my club hands at about 35kms and barely drank. Checkpoint 2 had a warming tent but i knew if I went in I would never come out so we kept moving and ended up winning the stage for Open Mixed and 6th overall but it had taken its toll on our bikes. Norm spent about 4 hours working on my bike - new brake pads, rebuilt pedals, new cables, new bushings for my rear shock, new casette, and the fork was seized but he couldnt do much about that. He thought about changing the chain but figured it would be fine as it was only 6 days old...... He gave up on his own bike and decided to just race his back up bike for day 7.

Day 7 Rafter 6 Ranch to Canmore - 46km
Well we should have changed the chain as I busted it 3 X and had to baby it in to the finish so what could have been a solid finish for us ended up as just a fun ride through Canmore to end off a tough week of racing. And as always the best way to end a tough ride is with a plate of poutine.

Thanks to Rollin, Lizzie and Geo - our awesome support crew - we couldn't have done it without you guys and thanks to and Tycho for being such a trooper! Oh the stories we will tell....

Monday, July 12, 2010

First Chariot bike ride!!

We have been soooo good. But we couldn't wait any longer! I know "they" recommend you wait a year until you tow your wee one behind a bike (probably because they are no helmets that fit) but we just had to take Tycho out for his first spin when summer showed up. It wouldn't be very fun to wait until December when the weather is crap. So we put the bike conversion kit on my Kona PhD (aka the preggermobile) and went out for our first family bike ride with the Chariot!! wahoo!!

The PhD will be towing the Chariot on a daily basis when I go back to work

Tycho didnt stay awake very long. He is pretty used to the Chariot by now - he has been in the carrier for skiing and running since he was only a few weeks old.

Norm had to take a turn

Thursday, July 8, 2010


People keep asking me how Norm and I could race BC Bike Race with a 7 month old baby. No, we didn't put Tycho in a baby kennel for the week. No, Marty didn't babysit him. No, we didn't leave him in the van with the windows cracked while we raced. Norms neice Hope traveled with us for the week and took care of Tycho while we raced. She was awesome! The oldest of more than a dozen cousins, Hope has more baby experience than I do and is amazing with kids. We were sad to say bye to her at the end of the week and poor Tycho is in Hope withdrawl. Thanks Hope!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BC Bike Race 2010

Geez. I just did some blog surfing to catch up on what everyone has been doing the past week and find out my Open Mixed competition Catharine Pendrel and Mical Dyck have been posting blog updates for every single day of BC Bike Race. Keeners. I better get my butt in gear.

Norm and I went into this years BCBR with a solid streak of Open Mixed leaders jerseys - 7 for 7 in 2008. Buuuut when we heard that Catharine Pendrel and Geoff Kabush were teaming up we knew we would be doing laundry this year. And with the Mical Dyck - Jeff Neilson duo, we knew it would be a good battle for second. I wasn't sure if the body was up for such a battle but since my motto this year was to kick it old skool and "race back into shape" I didn't have much choice. I was banking on my base from years past to carry me through 7 days and hoping my leg speed would bust through the cobwebs and make an appearance somewhere along the way. Surprisingly, my base did hold true and a teeny bit of leg speed shone through but it was my back that gave me the most grief. Apparently carrying a small human in your belly for 9 months slowly deteriorates your core strength - huh? I did not get the memo.... Anyway this is the short and sweet version of the week.

Day 0 - this ~9minute time trial prologue basically set the stage for the week. 1. Pendrel/Kabush 2. Dyck/Neilson 3. Simms/Thibault If you cheat at choose your own adventure books, you can skip to the end

Day 1. Nanaimo. Home turf! If there was a stage where we would have an advantage, it would be today. As we rolled the neutral start through town, our adoring fans cheered loudly from the sidelines. Unfortunately the RCMP bike cops were having such a great time they forgot to pull off the front and Norm had to sprint up the hill to tell them it was game on or there would be a log jam at the first trail head. Crisis averted. But in a twisted irony Norm burps his tire and eats shit only 5 minutes into our favourite trail on day 1. He flats. His CO2 cartridge head is busted. He cant seal his tire. As I am waiting at the troll circle going around and around hoping the trail gnomes will play nice (0 laps = bad luck, 3 laps is usually safe). I see rider after rider pass by in a long train. When Norm finally appears ~10mins later he is hurt (busted ribs), pissed off, stunned, a little wobbly and we have about half the field to pass. Not the best start to the week. 3rd place with a big chunk of time to make up.

Norms pain face. photo by Dave Silver

Day 2. Cumberland. I love racing Cumberland trails and know them pretty well by now. I told Norm "today is the day we go for glory, and by glory I mean second place..."One of the buses breaks down and the race is delayed. I hear the announcer say the bus isn't even here yet so I casually go to the BMX track to warm up. I head to the bathroom and hear "30seconds to race start". Whatthehell!?! I boot over to the start line, sneak through the side chute and see Norm looking around frantically for me. I have time to yell at him that i am here and the gun goes off so I have no time to take off my warm up jacket. Woah. That was CLOSE. Norm was NOT impressed! I love Cumberland trails so we have a pretty good day - 3rd place - but my back starts to fatigue and I have to pee the ENTIRE race.

Day 3. Powell River. New stage for the event so noone knew what to expect - definitely not the million bridges that we crossed! The coolest part of the day was passing by a primary school on the way out of town and the ENTIRE school was out cheering us on!! Awesome trails but unfortunately this is where my back went on strike. I was the weakest link and Norm looked like he was soft pedalling. 3rd place and a trip to the massage tent to try and get some strength back

Day 4. Earls Cove-Sechelt. I knew this stage and was well aware of the climbing ahead. My back felt pretty good for the first 3 hours and then there was a "TWANG" and i was almost in tears at every rock, root and climb. I limped in not caring how much time we lost. Seems we were solidifying our 3rd place position quite nicely. Another massage.

Day 5. Sechelt-Gibson. Apparently the massage did the trick as I felt pretty good off the line and we decided to try to stay with Mical and Jeff (and Melanie McQuaid who was leading the open women race). I asked Norm if it felt like he was in the middle of a cat fight and he hissed out a small "meow." It was pretty fun to be racing again instead of just staring at Norms wheel hoping to not be dropped. Mical stops to get sharkies at one of the aid stations and we get a small gap and hold it for 2nd place. Small victories!

Day 6. Squamish. this is one of my favourite places to ride and we know the stage pretty well so Norm and I decide to take off up the opening climb and push it every chance we get. I can hear Mical behind us the entire day but we keep pushing and keep a few minutes buffer. 2nd place and feeling stronger.

photo by Joe Sales

Day 7. Whistler. We were about 15minutes behind Mical and Jeff and about 5 hours in front of 4th place. It was a short stage but you never know in stage racing so we were supposed to go hard off the gun and see what happened. Unfortunately there was a screw up at the start that had the front of the pack mixed up with the back of the pack and I had to exert a bunch of energy passing a whoel whack of people up the biggest climb of the week. Normally I would suck it up and get on with it but Tychos sleeping habits were getting blown to bits and I was running on 4 hours sleep. I had nothing to donate to the cause so we kept our lock on the solid 3rd place finish.

Showing off my third place award and the pipes gained from 7 days of BC singletrack. Oh yeah and pale skin, puffy eyes and some scratches and bruises. photo by Smiley

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This past weekend was our 2nd annual Rock City Rumble paintball war out at the Mark property. Although they don't make paintball guns in Tycho's size they do make camo onesies at the hunting superstore in nanaimo - who knew? So Tycho played superfan in the "safe zone", flirting with Lisa and telling everyone stories about how he earned his ninja headband in 'nam.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Now that I am on team M.O.M. you might think that I spend my days wandering around WalMart looking for good deals on diapers. Sorry to disappoint but I have yet to have my skin itch in a way that only WalMart can trigger (although Zellers is a worthy adversary). With a full year on maternity leave I envisioned myself with heaps of spare time to kill. Maybe I should pick up a hobby. But apparently being super mom takes a bit of time. Who would have thought a little munchkin could be such a time suck. A pretty cute time suck but still on the high side of maintenance. Now add moving out and starting a major reno on the house, training for BC Bike Race and suddenly I am busier than if I was working full time. What happens when I DO go back to work? Gulp. I will just have to sort that out when we get there. So for now I am still dabbling in the race game hoping for a fun summer of all play and no work. When summer shows its pretty face that is....

Before I started racing seriously I was a firm believer in the scientifically unproven regime of "racing into shape" and I now I find myself full circle. Training time is limited so you may as well just go for the good stuff. Once I got my first race out of the way without a major catastrophe or meltdown I picked a few more local training races. Minimal travel for maximum return. That wasn't too hard to find as BC is home to many top athletes. I went to a local Island cup race in Duncan and lined up next to multiple Xterra world champion Melanie McQuaid. Never saw her the entire race. I went to the new Nimby Fifty race in Pemberton and raced against current World Cup leader Catharine Pendrel. Got absolutely annihilated. A couple of second place finishes but a smack in the face memo that I am nowhere near the top of my game. But it didn't seem to bother me. Especially since a few weeks back I discovered that I can be a local hero without racing around the world. It was only a third place finish in the local trail running Gutbuster series yet I had people all over the island congratulating me like I was a superhero! Hmmm. Have I been busting my butt all these years when all I had to do was get pregnant and pull out a podium finish in my own backyard and have it sent out to cyberspace via the world of facebook? duh, less training more marketing now you tell me....
Our cute time suck.

Our ugly time suck. Underneath the pretty interior was almost no insulation, 3 ant nests, secret cupboards, water damage and dodgey wiring. I guess you could say we were a little overdue for some upgrades.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

By the Pound

So…..uhm….how much weight did you gain?!?

That is probably one of the most common questions I get asked about being pregnant. From girls, and cyclists, and especially girl cyclists. And the question is usually asked with a grimace. Like extra pounds are a virus or a contagious disease or something. Actually pounds are probably even less desirable to cyclists than a virus. You get rid of the flu by sitting on the couch. You have to work your butt off to get rid of the pudge.

Norm and I at our anniversary dinner a few days before Tycho was born. Dont let the colour black fool you. There is 50lbs more of Wendy to love in that photo.

One of the few "full on" pregnancy shots of me just a few days before Tycho was born. And yes, that is Norm trying to get his arms around the bonus me.

Now that I have shed most of the baby weight (Thanks to my new Chariot!) I can come out of the closet and say that I gained almost FIFTY POUNDS during my pregnancy. Holy. Crap. All of the books & magazines said the average weight gain for pregnancy was 20-30lbs. Uh hello. I hit that mid-way. I am not usually a weight weeny. I can’t be. I am taller than most girls on the circuit and I am pretty dense so if I played that game I would waste away. I probably out-weigh the legendary “fillet” by 30+ pounds. But when the pregnancy pounds started adding up I wondered what I would tap out at. One morning Norm and I weighed in the exact same and he joked about finding a teeter-totter. ha ha ha ha ha – shut it. I think that was the same week I went into the midwife and saw that the last person on the scale weighed 126lbs – less than my non-pregnant state. I muttered something about midgets under my breath. But eventually I just had to embrace it. I was “eating for two”, if I went for a walk I was a hero, naps were prescribed and everyone said I looked great. How can you NOT embrace that?

Shedding the pounds with a little resistance training with my new Chariot.

Buuuuuut once Tycho was born (at just over 8 lbs), I was stuck with extra weight and a body that wasn’t good for breeding OR biking. The glow was gone. Time to get moving. I started with walking & swimming. Then graduated to hiking. Then added XC skiing & baby stroller boot camp. And finally I got up the nerve to start running & biking. I had to suck it up and ignore my bruised ego. January 2009 I was at the cyclocross world championships and January 2010 I was starting my run-walk program with a 30sec run for every 4:30 walk. Ouch. But the body is a pretty amazing piece of machinery and after 4 months I am only 5 lbs shy of my world champs weight. Now I am not saying that the distribution of that weight is the same (I missed the memo that when your hips open up for childbirth your ass follows) but it’s a start.

Monday, April 12, 2010


It had to happen sooner or later. And no matter when it happened, it was going to hurt. My first race back. Almost a year now. But what better way to hurt than on some local Vancouver island trails. I chose the Cumberland Vancouver Island Cup race as my comeback race. 3 x 45min loops of the best singletrack around. Norm was supposed to race with me but he lost the coin toss after our friend Erin called in sick for babysitting duty. Welllll thats not entirely true. She said she could still take care of Tycho but when she called to let the germophobe (me) know she was sick, her voice was so scratchy she sounded like a pack-a-day-princess and she described 2 year old Parker as having snot running down her face. Hmmmm. I decided to skip the fight with the common cold because I knew I would lose that round. So Norm got to ride up island in the sun and play super-dad-supporteur while I raced. 

I wasn't sure how the body would react to the harsh reality of a race after such a long hiatus. I have been able to get out riding at least 2-3X/week for the past month but race efforts have definitely not been in the program. As a result, the metallic taste of blood in my mouth after the first 200m was a bit of a shock. My Hei Hei Supreme was still pretty nimble on the technical trails and my legs were still pretty solid on the flat sections but I had to back off a bit on the climbs for fear of a giant mushroom cloud on lap 3. I had a great battle with Joelle Guynup for most of the race but lucky for me the race ended on downhill so I managed to lead the way on the last lap. Apparently a few of the local boys were pretty pumped I was not on form....yet. Norm hasn't lost his touch as super supporteur, even with a tot on his belly. While our handoff was sub par the bottle was full of cold coca cola to get me through to the finish. 

Norm and Tycho donned their Cumberland "dinner jackets" for the race and lucky for me our 2009 Kona kits were based on the dinner jacket (although no royalties were paid out to the town of Cumberland) so I fit right into the family portrait.

The morning of the race I wondered why my arms and back were so sore. I had only done a short spin in the afternoon the day before. Ohhh yeah. Then I remembered we had taken my nephew Torno to the Nanaimo BMX track in the morning and knocked off a bunch of laps before we (the adults) all got tired and had to drag him home. Wish I was 8 again.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marty and Me

Marty turned 14 years old this week! If you dont know who Marty is, you probably dont know me too well. I have had Marty since he was 6 weeks old - he puked on my feet driving home and its only gotten better ever since. I watched that stupid movie Marley and Me when I was pregnant and I absolutely bawled. I am not much of a sobber when it comes to movies but your hormones get all jiggy and when I thought about losing Marty I couldn't stop blubbering. I had some flashbacks of all of our good (and bad) times together over the past 14 years.

1 shredded Mini Cooper S back seat (I have still not forgiven him)
1 shredded GMC van seat
953 eye watering farts
2 expensive knee surgeries after chasing a "bad bunny"
2 pink casts for said knee surgeries
1 bacterial infection of the spine (Kristenn figured it out)
830 rocks chased on the beach
14 teeth removed from eating said rocks
2 mailmen forever terrorized by a big black dog for cookies
1 wedding
1 ass kicking received from a small fluffy white dog
1 ass kicking received from a marmalade cat
32 ass kickings delivered to dogs that tried to hump Marty
4 bras with the underwire skillfully removed (Marty's specialty)
5 expensive science textbooks eaten
3 chewed leashes (until i got smart and bought a metal one)
0 dumps in the house
6 bones stolen from his buddy Rex down the road
15 tennis balls and baseballs found in the park and immediately destroyed
1 ego crushing incident where Marty ran into a park bench
9950 enormous dumps
8 pounds of bacon (1 pound a year for his birthday)
1 whistle that both of us can hear in a crowded room
967 customers greeted at Frontrunners
6 awkward humps in the back seat of the car (the only place he gets horny)
2 girlfriends Heike (boxer) and Humu (pointer)
1 non-sexual male crush on his buddy Raven (pitt bull mix)
26 energy gels consumed with his girl Humu
1 enormous belly ache from said energy gels
54 frisky romps in the snow
2 fluffly white pillows shredded with his girl Humu
748 snuggles when Marty is allowed in the bed
656 beach cruises
1575 amazing trail runs, skis and mountain bike rides

Thanks for the memories Marty. Lots more to come!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Allright, allright, allright. I know I have been a slacker. No posts for months. But its hard to get fired up to maintain a race blog when one is not racing. Pregnancy, new baby and Olympics then BOOM its March already. I will try to summarize it all down for you so we can just move on.

Pregnancy. Done. No problem. Waaaaaay easier than training and racing. You get fat and everyone says how great you look. You go for a walk and everyone thinks you are overdoing it. Naps are prescribed. A girl could go soft being pregnant. Although I did get sick of of every female in the room chatting me up about labour and babies. Especially at the pool. In the changeroom. Naked. uhhh awkward......

Labour. Done. 10 hours. Hardest thing I have ever done. No drugs. But I really wish someone had told me that laughing gas was an option. I call do-over.

Newborn baby. Holy crap. I have never felt so utterly useless in all my life. Maybe I should have changed more than one diaper (that my 4 year old niece had to help me with) before Tycho was born. Rookie.

6 week+. After the first smile it all seems worthwhile.... those fog hormones kick in and you forget about all the rough spots.

2010 Olympics. Kicked ass. We got to see 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and a bronze medal for Canada. The Canadian fans were amazing. Unlike the euro fans who only like a winner, we cheered just as hard for DFL. The energy was incredible. And Tycho was like the Willy Wonka golden ticket as we got pulled out of every line up to go through the "access centers" (who knew?) and got to use the toasty warm family washrooms.

There. That wasn't so painful. Just like ripping off a bandaid.