Monday, October 25, 2010
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
Monday, September 6, 2010
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.
Friday, August 20, 2010
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....
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.
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!!
The PhD will be towing the Chariot on a daily basis when I go back to work
Thursday, July 8, 2010
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 davesilverphoto.com
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.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
ROCK CITY RUMBLE II: THE RECKONING
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
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?!?
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.
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
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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 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.