Thursday, April 26, 2012

 Today was definitely the rain ride of 2012. Going from two days of 25C on the weekend to 10 degrees and absolute torrential rains(for the Okanagan). There was actually some flooding around these parts too.. Found some new single track descents today that unreal and will now be incorporated into my weekly dose of SICK single track.

Officially heading on the road for some biking racing on May 7th for two months. It goes something like this: Fly to Prague, Czech Republic for World Cup#3, Over to La Bresse, France for WC#4, Fly to Quebec City for Canada Cup#2 in Baie St Paul, Fly to Toronto for CC#3, travel back to northern Quebec to St Felicien for Nationals, back down to Mt Saint Anne, Quebec for WC#5, then down to Windham, New York for World Cup#6 and then finally flying home in time for Axel's Grand Fondo then to Canmore, Alberta for CC#4. Wow that is like 9 races in 10 weekends. Either I will get super fast or be walking my bike by that last race..It will then be time for some beach action, BBQ's, single track and sun.

Loving my Rocky Mountain Vertex 990 RSL 29'er  Having more fun every ride I do! I have to say I've tried a few 29'ers, just in parking lots of such, and they never felt good. I could hardly even wheelie! But since I've jumped on the Rocky my whole perspective has changed. First off I can wheelie like never before, the bike feels like a 26 but with the 29'er advantages. So pretty much you need to try one of these or you'll be out there not riding as fast as you could! Getting super pumped to debut this race rig at the World Cups.

I could talk more about nothing but I'll leave that for the desperate times..Time to go eat my chocolate chip pancakes, nothing like breakfast for dinner.
 Favorite road ride on earth. Kelowna-Glenmore-Carrs Landing-
Predator Ridge-Kelowna
Long climb from out from Okanagan Lake.
Onto the fun part.
 Fueling for today's ride but kept hearing this is my mind
"Nothing tastes as good as feeling skinny".
Little Turkey that's making an appearance in my part of the woods.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ski2Sea 2012

2012 Ski2Sea is a wrap and another year of great success for our Bike Barn team! We had a fantastic squad put together for the race, with myself, Aart Van Kooy and Jeff Symonds are all Bike Barn employees. We all joke about how serious the race is somewhat jokingly but you have to have a pretty serious team to take the W in this event that has been around since the early 80's. I hear old stories from my father that start with "back in the old days when ski2sea first started". Back then for the road TT they wore sweat pants and no helmets, nowadays the top guys like our roadie had a 10,000 bike, skin suit and an aero helmet...Or myself on the MTB downhill leg that is all on the road wearing an aero helmet, skin suit, 29'er bike, road chain rings, road cassette, booties get that point that we much geek out for what I can our local "World Championship" It seems like more people would know you in town if you won Ski2Sea over a World Cup mountain bike race..Olympics step in just above Ski2Sea. 

Jeff Symonds video report is up and ultra motivating for anyone who has not done the race or I should say awesome family event to attend! Here's the video: 2012 Ski2Sea race recap video

Here is the newspaper report: Click this link It explains our close by not so close chance of possibly but not really possibly losing the race for a crazy reason..

Already excited for next years event, fingers crossed it won't overlap with a big race like a World Cup or anything..

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pan Am Mountain Bike Championships 2012

Another trip done, another place traveled, another good race and some even better memories! We had a great group of people, amazing mechanics and coach. We arrived not this past Thursday but the one before in the evening and drove for a couple hours from Mexico City out to Puebla. I went into this trip expecting the worst of the worst and it turned out pretty good. With nine riders in a ten by twenty-five room sleeping in bunk beds we all got pretty close while talking about feelings and stuff. We were able to pre-ride the course for two days and we were the lucky winners of the contest of which country would get left behind on the venue and have to wait a couple hours for the bus to come back. I had a mishap and dropped a coffee mug on the floor and shards flew into both of feet. It looked like Jaws had just taken place 2012 Mexico style. Found out on the drive that it was convenient to have a garbage dump on the side of the road into a creek.. With chicken and rice in our system and on our plates for three days straight I am sure we had some energy in reserves, but with being at altitude we were burning lots of our beloved variety of food off.  Race morning came and it looked like the "weathers plan of rain" was out and the sun was in. After we spent the morning trying to find a somewhat empty toilet because of the lack of running water. Once that was accomplished one, two, three and even four times for some people we jumped on the bus out to the venue. The crazy driver of course was driving that morning and he hit a few of the speed bumps a little to fast and I think ruined the suspension a little, after that was achieved the engine started to slowly stop working, after ten minutes of going up a mountain in 1st gear at 6.66 k/ph we made it to the venue only to have the bus break down on spot and start smoking.  Just as we arrived our U23 Canadian women were racing with Andreanne Pichette and Laura Bietola both racing in the top five. After the chamois were put on the warm ups began at our 8,000 ft race venue. A good warm up took place as well as some pre-race get soaked with ice water. Enough UCI points for third call up. There were five Canadians on the seven person front line. I took the wholeshot and led into the first descent and up into the first climb. I wanted to stay out of trouble and then ride my own race as being smart that day would lead to a  good result because of the unusually high venue and the heat. I faded back to 8th on the first climb and then started working forward again to finish up in fifth. I had teammate Evan Mcneely just up ahead and first year U23 and ridiculously fast climber Howard Grotts from the US chasing me which meant there was no time to mistakes all the way to the end. Nice work to Russel Finsterwald for taking the W and Kerry Werner for 3rd.

Post race there was a cool down the US guys excluding Mcneely and Finsterwald as they had to pee in cups for anti-doping. I think the award for longest ever going before peeing in the cup goes to the one and only Evan Mcneely. While he was drinking water and thinking of waterfalls I found a Mexican guy on a bike that was making Tacos so I pounded back some of those, de-chamois'd, cleaned my no no place as you don't want to get infections, especially in Mexico City area. Packed up gear, got a Mexican jersey, started hurting with gut rot and suffered with the big climb up the buses with all the gear. Arriving back at the hotel we rush washed our bikes, showered, ate, packed, ate, packed bikes, ate, thought we were taking a 7 pm bus to town, waited more, then ate the dinner at our accomodation, waited more, took the bus to Mexico City, slept for five hours, checked in at the airport like a ninja, flew back the best place on earth Peachland!

Thanks to the Canadian Cycling Association, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, The Bike Barn, Mom and Dad and everyone else who has been apart of my life/training the last few months.

Pictures below, be aware if you are scared of blood, spandex and awesomeness!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pan American Mountain Bike Championships - Pueblo, Mexico.

Once again I am off on another trip, this time somewhere unusual for a bike. Really excited to be heading off to Mexico for the weekend. But I will be missing my Gramma's Easter dinner which I am already craving..

Well it's that time of year again where heading off to local airport gets more frequent and I don't have to bundle up with riding clothes and look like the michelin man. I can also get my summer car set up rolling with coilovers and sticky tires. It also means that riding not road bike bikes is getting better as the snow is slowly dissapearing, although it doesn't seem that way in the picture below as the ski hills are probably at their best right now. 

I've been back home for a month now and experienced every kind of weather possible, luckily its getting warmer but the winds are picking up so riding around at 11 k/ph seems to be the norm these days. A couple weeks back I suffered it out on the bike in the conditions below, once your soaked 3 min into your ride it can't get much worse. 

These spring days in the Okanagan are just so neat, I hope that everyone else is getting out and enjoying how neat it is instead of just me and my bike.

I also received a super gift from the other day. All I have to say is their bike are sick of course thanks to our awesome sponsors Shimano, Maxxis, Easton, Fi'zi:k Planet Foods, Honey Stinger and many more.

 Got out for a couple little mountain bike rides before I am off to Pueblo, Mexico for the Pan American mountain bike championships.  This is where I started riding mountain bikes and where my passion for cycling all started on these trails with my dad.
In other news my neighbor, Mark Jennings-Bates, and his paramotor partner just finished a World Record paramotor flight around Australia as a part of the Flight4Life which is helping support his and his wife's amazing charity the Check out the link for more info!

Also if your an Okanagan resident I think if would be great to spread the world and help the support Kelowna General Hospital's 6th annual Bike 'n Braai. Click on the link for more info: Bike 'N Braai Link