Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last ride in Palm Springs!

Today was the longest ride of my life. A group of us rode instead of doing the criterium, which was an option. We rode from our house down to the Saltin Sea and then turned up into a place called Box Canyon. It was a 45 min ride from bottom to top. We averaged about 30 kp/h going up, it was a gradual, but hard climb because of the speed we were going at. We had a few close calls today with some dogs in some different neighborhoods. Some of us were sliding sideways with our brakes locked up, or riding on their front tire trying to steer out of the way. But we avoided the worst. We all thought today was going to be about 160 km or max 180 km. So we only brought food for about 5-5.5 hrs on the bike. By the time we turned around we were already at 105 km. which meant we would be at least 210km by the end of the ride. We took from different roads home, some quieter roads. In the end the ride was 217km. Which was longer than we all expected, but a good ride for the last day. Surprisingly no one cracked on the ride, we all made it home fine, tired, but fine. We packed our bikes and then headed out for mexican food with the coaches and all the guys. Tomorrow we all head home, back to snow and rain!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Todays Ride

Got up super early this morning with Evan, Owen an Craig for the Palm Springs group ride. It starts at 7:30 am from Palm Desert which was about a 1.5 hr ride from here. So we got met the group in the middle kind of, we were 45 min from our house, and the riders were just starting a climb that was 45 min from the start. It was almost like a race in the first 20 min then it mellowed down and got into a steady pace. We rode with Steve, my coach, for the ride and a few other guys. We rode with a guy named Ben, Flater stayed with him for a couple weeks after the camp last year. He's super cool. Once the ride ended we rode around a bit to get in some extra hours. We finished at 4.5 hrs and 140 km. Pretty sweet day. One day left, it's gonna be hard and long. I am going to literally make myself crack in the last hour.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Riding report from last Thursday until today..

The camp started off last Thursday for a few of us, Owen, Evan, Kevin and myself. The first couple of days we just took it easy and put in some long easy miles. On Saturday the 14th we did the annual “Tour de Palm Springs” which is a 100 mile charity ride. We rode with the front group for the entire 5 hours, which was awesome because Kristin Armstrong was riding in the group as well. To ride an chat with the Olympic Time Trial Champion is a pretty cool experience. We finished off the ride with sun burns and tans which was a nice treat coming from the cold of BC. On Saturday evening Matt Potma arrived after just watching the Tour of California prologue just earlier in the day. Sunday was he day when the rest of the gang arrived. On Sunday morning Matt went and picked a few of the guys from the airport, and a few of us stayed back and headed out for a couple hour recovery ride around Desert Hot Springs. In the evening everyone arrived and got situated at the house, along with a few of the guys finding the floor for their first nights sleep. Monday morning we set out for a plan of riding around 4ish hours. But with the bad weather came a change of plans. We did a different ride with some groups turning back early and others going a little longer. Most of the riders were soaked and freezing cold by the time they finished the ride, so everyone was scrambling for a spot in the showers. Once we were all settled and done later in the afternoon it was a good day For Tuesday’s ride we did a 4 hour fairly hard ride, with three twenty minute hills repeats in the middle. Then we headed back for Palm Springs where some decided to ride the Tram climb which takes around a half hour and climbs a couple thousand feet, it’s a grinder no matter what kind of gears you have. Wednesday was a recovery day, two hours for some and four hours for others. A couple of us rode earlier in the morning to get in an extra couple hours. We all met at the Tram climb for eleven AM sharp. The route for today was 50 km, with a 15 km climb to the turn around point. We went up to a place called White Water Canyon. Which was super cool, some good scenery at the top. Today was the most epic ride I’ve ever been on, we rode from Palm Springs up into Joshua Tree National Park. Which is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. The ride was fast and hard, especially on the climbs. A little group of us rode in front all day, and rode further into the park than other. At the end of the day we rode 180 km and it was the most epic ride most of us have done. A lot of the guys were pretty cracked after today, because of the blistering pace! Thursday we all thought was a recovery day, so no one brought enough water or food, and when we all met at the Tram Dan told us it should be an 8/10 day. We weren’t expecting a super hard day. A little group of us pinned it pretty hard to the turn around point and then we rode even harder on the way back and had a little race with some attacks and everything, which killed our legs. We then headed back to the Tram which was our meeting point. So a couple of us decided to ride up the Tram, which is a 30 min climb and goes 2000 feet up a mountain. Then we all headed home from a three and half hour, 100km day. The rest of the week, weather wise, is looking pretty nifty. Everyone right now is either on the verge of cracking or are already cracked. Tomorrow will be a 3-4 hour rest day, super easy and then Sunday is a criterium for some people or a long hard climbing day for others, which I will be doing!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, 16th
Todays ride was probably the worst ride of my life. We started at 9:30 am sharp and headed to downtown Palm Springs to meet up with everyone else at the Rodeo house. It was pooring rain and I didn't dress warm enough in the morning and I got the chills and was shaking on my bike and was barley able to shift gears and brake. Which was horrible. Dan Proulx just told me to hop in the van and sit in there the rest of the time. I was only riding for 2 hours when that whole situation happened. I really wanted to ride longer because thats what I came down here to do. But I would rather not get sick and hypothermic! Some people rode for 2 hours, other 3 hours, and some rode even for 4 hours of what I would call miserable conditions, but normal to people from Vancouver.

Tuesday, 17th
There was a change of plans today and we a different ride than planned. We rode out and did a 20 min climbs three times at a good hard pace. It was sweet because Catherine Pendral and Jean-Ann McKirdy and so on were out with us for the ride and for the rest of the week of training. I rode pretty hard up the climb the first couple times then on the third I just toned it down and rode in the pack we had going. Then we headed back into Desert Hot Springs where some riders could head back to our house. The ride would then go back into Palm Springs to the Tram Way climb for some and other went back to their homes in Palm Springs. Owen, Kevin, Evan and myself did our own loop rode by Kevin's house to drop him off and then we headed for the Tram where we ended up meeting up with the rest of the group. They had just ridden the hill, so Owen, Evan and myself decided to just ride back with everyone. We had heard from the rest of the guys when we met them that Jacob Shwingboth had had a bad crash when the group was doing 50 kp/h. He had pretty bad road rash and was banged up a little. SO Dan took him to the hospital to get all bandaged up. He should be back and ready to ride again tomorrow, just with a few more bandages than today. We rode for 4.5 hrs today, felt like 5.5 because of the efforts we did up the climb earlier. Great day in the sun though. This is what we came down here for!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday's Ride

Sunday, 15th
This morning we slept in and slowly got into the day. Matt Potma got in late last night. He watched the prologue for the Tour of California yesterday afternoon up in Sacramento before he made his way down into Desert Hot Springs. This morning Matt was heading to the airport to pick up Mike Rothengatter, Ben Cowburn and Tyler Allison. When he left to the airport Evan, Owen, Kevin and myself headed out for a recovery ride around town. We were doing a super light ride to spin out the legs after the 5 hrs we spent on the bike yesterday. We rode for an hour and forty-five minutes. We were planning on a little more, but we still have some big days ahead of us this upcoming week. By the time we were finishing our ride Tyler, Matt, Ben and Mike were heading out to get some groceries. Tyler brought down a super comfy seat for me, it’s a carbon Fi:zi;k Aliante. Which is light but still feels like your sitting on a couch. Then we sat around and watched the live coverage for the Tour of California. Then we made an 8 egg, green pepper, tomato and ham stuffed omlet. As the night went on some of the other riders slowly started to arrive at the house. Steve brought the last two riders in at 11:30 pm. Now it was time to sleep and look forward to the ride tomorrow, which the weather forcast states is going to be a “rainy” day. Which were not looking forward to, as we came here for WARM weather training.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Friday, 13th
Kevin and I went out for our own ride today, Evan and Owen went for a long one and Kevin and I just wanted to build into the long rides. Kevins bike finally got in at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon. So we quickly built it up and headed out, we picked out a 80 km route that went through Palm Springs, Cathedral City and some other little towns. We headed out with some great weather and some super strong winds. We had to cut out a little loop we were planning on doing because of the wind, we were doing 19 km/h into a super strong headwind and we were just killing ourselves. So we decided to turn back and do an extra loop at the end of the ride. We rode for 2:45 and did 80 km. Near the end of the ride the sun decided to hide behind the clouds and then its started to spit a bit of rain, so we just headed straight home. When we got home Evan and Owen were already back at just veggin' out. They rode 120 km, just over four hrs. We made rice and soup for dinner last night. In the house there are three fire alarms that constantly beep, like every couple minutes, which gets very annoying during the night when were trying to sleep. We woke up in the middle of the night and had a tough time getting back to sleep.

Saturday, 14th
Today we woke up at 6:30 am so that we could ride the Tour de Palm Springs. We skipped out the first 15 miles and met the guys doing the ride in Desert Hot Springs. We started the ride by going out Dillion(anyone who rode last year with us on this road hates it) but it went awesome today, we had a tailwind the whole way and were in a good sized group pushing some good gears and going pretty fast. At one point on a very slight downhill we were going 70 kp/h. I didn't even have anymore gears to be able to pedal. In the beggining of the ride I noticed a Cervelo Test Team girl rider in the group, finally about halfway through the ride I started up a conversation with her. At the end of the ride Owen said that it was Kristin Armstrong(2008 Olympic Gold Medalist) so that was pretty sweet. The rest of the ride was pretty low key. We just rode near the end of the pack and drafted lots. At one point I dropped my knee warmer out of my back pocket, so Kevin and Evan waited for me and we had to Team Time Trial back up to the pack, because the pack was cruising at like 35 kp/h, because there was like no wind today. We rode with the pack for a while but when we were almost in Palm Springs we just turned off and made our way back to the house. We rode 150 km today, rode for 5 hrs and average 30 kp/h. Were just hangin' out in the house, eating food and watching TV. Were just about to head out to the pool/hottub, then back to the house for coverage of the Tour of California!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Arrival in Palm Springs

I arrived last night at around 5:30 pm, I took a taxi to my hotel and just took it super easy all night. Did a stretch and watched a couple hours of two and half men. I eventually packed my bike and got it ready for a quick early morning spin.

Woke up this morning to a bright sunny Palm Springs! I was so happy. I quickly made a bowl of instant oatmeal in the coffee machine. I mixed it and ate it with my fingers. It was an interesting experience. I then jumped on my bike for an early morning ride before I went and met Kevin and Evan at the airport. I kinda got lost riding around, it took me forever to finally find the strip, and by the time I did I didn't have enough time to get a coffee at a coffee shop. I was ripping around asking people if they new where a Quiznos or Subway was, but they all said "I don't know" which realy helped an out of towner like me! I finally found a quiznos and bought a turkey bacon ranch sub. I then hurried back to the hotel and ate, showered, caught another cab back to the airport, then met the guys, then took yet another taxi all the way out to Desert Hot Springs. Once we finally arrived we just got settled in and unpacked bikes(well only Evan and I because Kevin's bike didn't arrive. So hopefully it will be in tonight or tomorrow morning.) we then headed to Vons, which is the US's Safeway, and bought a ton of food. Since then we've just hung out, ate, stretched and watched a movie. Just waiting Owen to get in, He has already landed and should be here within the hour.

Tonights menu is a salad, then chicken pasta!

Tomorrow were doing fair sized day, Evan and Owen are going to ride longer I think, and Kevin and I are going to build into the longer rides as neither of us have ridden 16o since last summer!

Monday, February 9, 2009


I am just in the midst of packing up all my riding stuff for PS. I just got my bike all fitted today and now she's ready for some long hard miles. I just bought all my bars and gels and drink mix for the trip today. I also have a load of laundry in, so that all my clothes are fresh! Evan planned out some rides for us when were down there, on Friday we are going to do a 5.5 hr, 160 km ride, with lots and lots of hills. Then on Saturday we are going to do Tour de Palm Springs, which starts at 7:00 am sharp. We will head out for a 5 hr ride with a big group of riders, which should be really fun. Then on Sunday we are going to do a light 3 hr recovery ride, so that we can rest up for another 4-6 hrs with everyone else on Monday.

The next two days I am just going to take easy and rest up as I am having a bit of drainage in the back of my throat right now, and I would hate to get sick before I head down for the training camp, because that would ruin the whole week.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rest Days

I am just on a couple rest days as we speak. I've had some solid build weeks up until now. My coach Steve Lund has been putting together a kick ass schedule for me, and I'm running way better than I thought I would be at this time of the year. I will be doing one more big day on Sunday and then I will be laying low until Palm Springs. Yesterday Owen and I went XC skiing first thing the morning for a couple hours. It was cloudy when we started but by the end I had my jacket unzipped and was sweating pretty hard. Then we riped my racing machine(shitty 1994 Nissan Sentra) down to my gramma's for a quick snack and then we headed out for a ride in the Febuary sun of the Okanagan. I was an awesome ride, I only had leg warmers and 3 long sleeve jerseys on(which I was getting warm in) It was only +5 only at the peak of the day. It felt like heaven. So I can't even imagine what its going to be like when were riding in 25 degrees in PS. Today I had school from 9-11:45. But for my second class which is a teacher assistan period, my teacher just said its Friday, Go Home! Which was very nice, So I just hung out with some friends for a bit. Then I made my way back to our acreage up in Peachland for a mellow friday afternoon of watching movies and getting in some good recovery!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

1 week until PS training camp!

Only one week left until we head down to PS. Just got the itinerary for the Team BC Palm Springs training camp. There are 3 rented out houses, two for girls and one for the guys. Steve Lund will be staying in the guys house and Dan will be staying in one of the girls houses. It seems like they have some pretty sweet rides picked out, which include Joshua Tree Park, Palm Springs Tramway climb and some touring of Palm Springs. Owen, Evan, Kevin and myself are heading down earlier than everyone else to get in an extra few days of training. Tyler I think is going to be a day or so behind us because he has an awards night he has to attend to.

Im getting in some solid training these days. Not being in school as much helps alot more than I thought it could have. Like yesterday I slept in, and did a spin in the morning with some intervals, then later in the evening I went on an XC ski. I had tons of time to recover in the middle of the day which makes a big difference. Tomorrow Owen and I are going to get a hard day of training. We are going to XC ski in the morning for a while, then head out on ride early afternoon. Im leving these double header days right now, it makes the training seem easier, and I am recovering alot better.

Great news, my road bike just arrived today, Aart got it all built up and ready to rip. I had to switch the cassette and handlebars to meet my specials needs! I will also be rigging it up with my old San Marco Rolls saddle than Sebastien gave me. Then the bike will be ready to rock!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I forgot my password for the last couple of weeks, so I wasn't able to update anything. So here it goes. Have been getting in some solid days of training. I am building up for Palm Springs right now(which had a high of 82 today!) I have been XC skiing and going to the gym lots, and of coudrse riding and spinning a fair amount.

On Friday night my parents and a bunch of my friends had a surprise birthday for me. My friend said we were just going to dinner, but one of the my other friends was in the seat behind, I had no clue he was there..., then he blind folded me and the two of them drove me around for a half hour doing donuts and 180's, which messed up my sense of direction, So I definately had no clue where we were. They then drove me to my house where about 25 of my friends were waiting to surprise me. It was an awesome night!

As of January 23, I only do to school every second day for two classes. Which works out to about to 2.5 hours. Which is tolerable. I am loving sleeping in, making sweet meals and dedicating alot of time to training. I have been sleeping in, making a coffee and laying on the couch first thing in the mornings. I will be able to make great pre-ride and post-ride meals from now on, along with good recovery. Which will be an advantage leading into the 2009 season.

The past few weeks I have skied one day and rode the other. Last Sauturday Tim and I rode for 3.5 hrs in -5ish weather. It was chilly, toes and fingers froze off. But it was totally worth it. I made the day even more enjoyable with a couple fresh Bean Scene coffee's! This weekend I went XC skiing both days. I did a long ski up at Telelmark by myself yesterday. I did Fern Creek, Telemark and Panorama. By the end I could barly push myself along the flats. My arms were perfectly dead and unusable. Then today I went skiing up at Nordic with Cory, Marnie and Gill. Cory, an amazing skier, gave us all a 15 min lesson on different skate technique's. I learned I have been skiing wrong for the past 3 years. Today was an awesome ski, I worked on my form all day and got in a better workout, and didn't have to work as hard on the hills.

My new bike has been shipped and should be in in the next couple of days. Its the Rocky Mountain RSL Team road bike. It has the DA, which I'm pretty stoked on. I should have it up and runing my Palm Springs. My grandad also just bought me a bike box last week for my birthday, which is awesome because it will really come in handy over the next few years!