Thursday, May 31, 2012

Well as I am writing this I am sitting in my Georgian college dorm room for year 4 of travelling to Barrie, ON for the Trek Store Canada Cup with Cycling BC. This is my longest running race/trip I have taken part in. With huge thanks to Cycling BC for making this happen each year. It's an amazing project for the juniors who are looking to make that step up the ranks and hopefully secure a spot for the World team. With that, I've to Barrie many times and haven't explored much. But it is a sign you are travelling to the same place enough when you notice new buildings and stores that have closed...

Here is a quick video with all the pictures from my latest trip to Europe with the Canadian National mountain bike team. 

Bigger update to follow soon, could possibly be post Canada Cup. I am then off to the Evan Mcneely's for the time between this Canada Cup and Nationals in St Felicien, QC.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New video from back in April when the mountain biking in the Okanagan is just dreamy.  If you haven't ridden Smith Creek it's a need to ride right now kind of trail..

Monday, May 28, 2012

Never a dull moment with Cycling BC while travelling Quebec

Well after a great week of hanging out in Quebec City area, thanks to Jeremy Martin, I met up with Cycling BC on Friday and settled into the "LoveStory"(pls see previous post if not in the know of LoveStory) With some great weather over the weekend it meant a few nice laps pre-race day to test the legs. Quinn Moberg and Louis Dillion are the other Cycling BC riders, both poised to tear it up in the junior mens field. As always coach Steve Lund has masterminded a great trip.

Detailed Results Elite men Page 28 of 29.

Race morning was filled with lots of coffee consumption, chamois time and nervous feelings. 

Race started at noon and with my UCI points I was able to snag a front row start. Led things off for the first lap, exchanged with Mr Bouchard a couple times and then once teammate Raphael Gagne and Cam Jette put the hammer down I was done, couldn't follow 3rd and 4th. Raced "The Mitch" Bailey for 5th and thought the race was over..then found out right at the lap area we had another lap..Junior thinking then caused me to go backwards. Laying down my last bit of energy on the fourth lap made the fifth lap a sufferfest and just holding on for dear life. I was then passed back by Mitch, Andrew "Nova Scotia" L'esperance then passed me like I was standing still on a climb. Phew I couldn't hear/see anyone behind me so I put my head down and focus..But once your legs say no, and body is going in la la land after myself dropping a feed and not drinking much I was then caught by the duo of Adam Morka and Leandre "flying Bouchard". Now sitting in 9th after a good stint at the front, then a stint in 4thish and BOOM! cracked. Now I had to dig even deeper to hold off Antoine"The mexican looking" Caron for 9th. I did manage to accomplish that and hardly be able to stand upright after the race. Hard one on the back for the hardtail but it was a sweet race. So fast, so hard and warm. Satisfied with it, would have been disappointed if I held back and saved energy and finish where I did or even a couple spots higher. It's a Canada Cup and as you can see through results the six U23's in the top 10 that are more than capable of the podium or even higher. 

Lastnight I had a nice midnight wake by ride Louis Dillion yelling "Fire, Fire" So I ran outside to find out coach in his gonch with a hose putting out a pretty large sized fire that was overtaking the chicken coop. Apparently I am such a good sleeper that I didn't hear them yelling for me for about 30 min, then were in and out of the house calling 911, putting out the fire totally on their won by the way. With Coach Steve making the save of the day by running into the burning chicken coop and grabbing bikes and bike boxes. Could have been pretty bad. I guess thanks to Louis who felt the need to drain his bladder. Pretty disappointed I missed the fire party but it made for a pretty eventful evening. After many questions like ``Are you smokers!?" from the police and some investigating from the 15 firefighters that showed up nothing was determined. Quote of the night, Steve Lund "Never a dull moment while travelling with Cycling BC in Quebec" 

Off to Toronto today for Canada Cup finals in Hardwood Hills next week. Stay tuned..

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beautiful day for the Baie-St-Paul Canada Cup today! Super pumped to get some racing under me on home soil. Again this year the organizers have put together a beautiful course. Racing is at noon eastern time, 9 AM western time. Hopefully an update this evening or tomorrow!

Watch Ryder Hesjedal today at the Giro where history has already been made and he could now be the first ever Canadian to win a grand tour at the Giro d'italia!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Louis Dillion today quoted "So on Monday I may have done something pretty stupid. Well not really, but I didn't run all winter and I thought it would be a good idea to take my dog for an hour and half run. I went bare feet because I don't like runners, they hurt my knees" I then laughed and said "a run in bare feet" He replied with "It was just a jog, not full out" I then mentioned it may not have been smart with a Canada Cup race this weekend, but he said "The Africans do it" I then laugh "What that's how your supposed to run. And I'm cheap."

That now starts off my week in Baie-St-Paul, Quebec with a good laugh. Pre-rode some course yesterday and race prep tomorrow. Cycling BC gang has landed and we have now settled into our "LoveStory" house here. Keep posted for some straight up beauty blog posts pre, post and lets hope not during race updates. Because if I did during updates it would most likely mean I was really sucking..

BSP is a fantastic little town with some greats sights. Check more out here and a little wikipedia mind blowing information reading here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dear Diary,

May 20, 2012

La Bresse, France.

Over the past weeks my travels have gone something like this; Kelowna-Prague CZE-Nove Mesto na Morave-Prague-Heidelburg GER-La Bresse FRA-Frankfurt-Quebec City. Played some tourist while travelling through some of Europe's prized cities and landscape. The sights may have been so much for some people I would imagine their heads may have exploded. I would highly recommend checking out Prague if your ever within reach, obviously not actually within reach as you would already be there.

Race report from the Nove Mesto na Morave World Cup has already been updated and possibly even a few blog posts back already. Today is May 20, the weekend of the 4th round UCI cross country mountain bike World Cup in La Bresse, France. It was a pretty fantastic weekend for Canada. But lets go back to post Czech World Cup and update until today!

After the Czech World Cup I was pretty mangled having not had a great race and still pushing as hard I could, which wasn't very fast by way in case you didn't see my 48th place finish. I had some higher ambitions than to come into the race and feel tired and slow. You know it's going to be a hard day when your standing up going balls deep and just going backwards the first 45 seconds. I was not happy with the result but got over it quick by my delicious post race meal of steak. Next day was some cheering for our fellow Canadians out there. I would say for everyone it was overall a good weekend for Canada with 3 women in the top 10 for elite women, top 20 for U23 women, 2 men in the top 20 for elite men, and Mcneely top 30 tying for best Canadian U23 Europe result since 2008!

Next up on our journey to France we drove into Prague and spent a couple hours walking the old town and bridges. Those sights will stick with me for as long as I'm around. The main goal of going through Prague was to find a Starbucks for our Team coach, as he has a Starbucks addiction. Also enjoyed a nice lunch with fellow riders Evan Mcneely and Max Plaxton on a boat on the river! Next up was a fabulous afternoon of driving through Czech and into Germany. We arrived late night in Heidelburg at the Holiday Inn. Only it was so much better than a North American Holiday Inn! With dove soap, gummy bears and a mini fridge upon arrival we knew it was a high class. Although it did suck leaving Czech as you could eat like a kind with 3 side dishes and a main course for about $11.50..Now we were back in classic exchanging large amounts of money for small meals Europe. I do have to say that since the local white asparagus was in season it did somewhat make me feel better about paying $25.00 for a salad. Quick sleep, early morning exploration ride. We used the force(a term used from something called “Starwars”, I don't really know what it means but it sounds legit!..) and only got lost six times. But we did find another beautiful town, another old bridge as well as cobbled roads and old churches. Back to the upper class feeling Holiday Inn for some stomach filling with what would have to be the biggest bestest most awesome breakfast spread I have ever seen. Bread, pastries, salmon, fruit, sausages, 4 types of eggs, fresh squeezed do it your self orange juice, granola, oatmeal, potatoes and so much more. I would keep rambling but I don't want to make you all salivate..It was back in the vans for some more “talking about feelings and stuff” food consumption, music listening, iphone, ipod, ipad gaming and making fun of our other team staff singing to music in the other vehicle. Once we crossed into France a grocery stop was in order, but not without a 20 min side road idiotic road design flaw detour to access the market that was 100 m off the highway.. It was then a sick mountain drive up into the snow and minus temperatures to reach the location of the what is now this past weekends World Cup in La Bresse, France. As the week went on temperatures rose and we rode more. It was cool to have another old school type course with a long climb and long descent which was technical enough to open big gaps as well as the climb being long and steep and technical enough to open even larger gaps. As the race approached there was some added pressure with Canada's Andreanne Pichette taking 11th in the U23 women's race. After having a bad race last weekend I was now further back in staging which meant the first 5 minutes of the race was even more crucial. Right from the gun I knew I had the legs for a decent ride. I avoided some crashes and took some risks and came out of the start loop top 30 and ride into 22nd by the 2nd lap. I was having an ON day as normally a course with long steep climbs doesn't usually play to my strengths. But hey maybe now I am turning into someone who can climb especially when I'm on. I was descending well enough to make up all the time lost of the climbs and or jump across to the groups ahead of me. It felt like the descent was long enough that I could actually recover and of course have some fun making some air time and giving the crowds something to cheer for. Faded slightly in the last lap to finish 28th in a sprint and bike toss with American fast boy Howard Grotts. My best Euro U23 World Cup/World Champ result to date. It was also nice to finish and be so empty that I could hardly hang onto my bike. As my whole body was shaking. I was able to perk up by dinner time for our seven pizza eating session. France is just great for always having Pizza ovens and cooking in them is unreal compared the eating out during trips. And then today was another day of cheering on our Canuk teammates on course! The women's race is always exciting as Canada is #1 ranked in the world!! Today was the most nervous I've ever been while not being in actually in a bike race. The womens race came down to the last minute and the men's was almost the same. Crashes, flats, mechanical's etc plagued some riders today. But oh boy did it make for some exciting action! Mrs. Catharine Pendral took 4th in the womens and Max Plaxton had an amazing ride finishing 9th after a 33rd start position! During the races I calmed my nerves by drinking a grande coffee, eating a sub sandwich, a chocolate croissant, another sandwich, a pizza and a delicious chocolate pastry. Had to make up for the lack of calories yesterday, I did fortunately bonk after the race yesterday on the ride home..

Tomorrow is another day of morning bicycle exploration in the mountains followed by a drive to Frankfurt so we can stop to eat some road side meat from vendors. It is then right over to Quebec City where I will be staying with my Rocky Mountain teammate Jeremy Martin before the second round of the Canada Cup series in Baie-St-Paul, Quebec.

Picture update soon when I get some highspeed internet!!


Had a little post race pizza eating session last night. 7 pizzas later and Evan Mcneely and I were back to normal after a hard world cup round here in La Bresse, France. I had my best Under 23 world cup finish to date with a 28th. I was riding as high as 22nd with a lap to go but faded slightly on the final climb.

Bigger race report to come. Only Internet in town is at the cafe.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

World Cup #3 Race Report

Currently had a blog off with the Evan Mcneely, and since he is using the blogger app I assume I will win no matter what. As last night he spent hours writing a heart felt update and his new not so special "Ipad" wasn't able to connect to enough wifi to update it.

Well I have to say the course in Nove Mesto na Morave is one of my favorite race courses now. With 4.5 km filled with roots, rocks, jumps, drops, berms and a heinous amount of climbing in between the downhills your constantly thinking "This is fun, except for feeling while climbing.."

First off shout out to my roommate Evan "Shoes" Mcneely for a solid 29th.

I started in 42nd, of the 118 riders, which in my books was pretty solid. But after loosing a bunch of spots in the start loop due to the non-responsive stump like feeling legs I was in for a tough race. Battling it out, shredding the downhill and trying to rest up for the climbs worked out alright but not as I had hoped. I made up positions but not enough to satisfy my hunger for a better finish. The course was constantly up and down which meant even minimal recovery was tough to find.  I had a full on battle with some Belgium dude who was climbing, like a "cougar" would when chasing her prey at the bar, but descended about as a slow as the average 104 year old person walks. One time he decided try and yell at me for passing him while he was off his bike, while racing a on bike bike race, and I was riding past him. His Belgium accent with an attempt of some possible English came out something like "ayyyaachzzayy" with a super serious unsafe arm throwing hand gesture. From then on it it was really on. It was now my mission to beat him no matter what. I ended up passing him on a uphill just before the finish and never looked back. There were lots of riders coming and going through the race whether it be me passing or me getting passed or other riders passing me or me passing other riders..Hopefully you get the gist of it. That passing and getting passed turned into a 48th for me.

I will post a video of the lap soon here, which will show full details of how unreal the course is. Also racing with the many Czech fans that were out made things a little better, getting cheers through the jumps and downhills made me feel a little better. Luckily no one was cheering on the uphills..that usually just means I'm riding really really slow and they feeling bad.

Today was a fun filled day watching the elite men and women. Always feel very fortunate to be able to cheer on our Canadian riders in person, on the course. Awesome rides by them today, Max Plaxton with a solid 14th for the men and Catharine Pendral with a 6th for the women.

Just finished consuming my last Czech dinner for the very appealing price $8.00 CAN. It's unbelievable how much food you get for so cheap here. I think my full on super upper class meal of lamb the other day was the first to make it over 10 bucks.. Our hotel also has the continental breakfast, not american style with a muffin and orange juice, but with eggs, granola, coffee, pastries, buns, meat and cheese. Which means the possibility of us sneaking out sandwiches for lunch is pretty high.

Off to Prague for some touristy sight seeing tomorrow with the main goal of locating a starbucks for Coach Dan. There could be some awesome photos up for that or there could be none if I'm having way too good of a time.

Check out more of Rob Jones Photo's

Here is a full video recap of the elite men's race. Click this Link.

Photo by: Rob Jones @

Over and out,

Gossip Girl

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ahoj. Jsme na kanadské cyklistické asociace projektu se nyní usadil do našehoubytování v blízkosti hřiště v Novém Městě na Moravě.  Sorry I've already started speaking the natural tongue here..Already forgetting I'm english. Anyway we've settled into our accommodation just outside the town on Nove Mesto Na Morave where the course is located. After two nights of fantastic sleeps, buffet style breakfasts and confusing rides on the course I think we at Team Canada are all feeling pretty comfortable. Only two bikes were lost in air transit, luckily staff bikes were in full loaner use. The course is pretty awesome I must say. Constant up, downs, rights, lefts, ups, downs, roots and jumps plaster the wooded area making for a very fast, technical and spectator friendly course. In 2011 I think there was 20,000 spectators..that's a little nerve-racking coming from the town of Peachland that has 5,000 people.. We've also ridden some of the nice quiet local roads to and from the course, which is 14.583 km to be exact.   After some thorough laps and video reconn with the one and only Evan Mcneely its now to spend some hours on the internet lurking hard and hardly working to rest up the body and legs for Saturday's showdown in the Under-23 field. 

Here's a few, well a lot more than a few, photos below to give you the idea of what the area of like. Small towns, narrow roads, beautiful fields, little shops is all you need to enjoy a nice little week in Czech republic for a bike race. 

More reports coming post race..

Monday, May 7, 2012

Another new video today! There are going to be tons popping up over the next two months on this trip. I am currently sipping a nice fresh brewed coffee and interneting a little bit before I off to the airport. 

This video is from Knox Mtn in Kelowna. It's from way back in mid March but I've had some problems uploading it. So here we going finally. PS Watch it in 720p HD!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's already been a month since I was down in the Pueblo, Mexico with the Canadian Cycling Association for the Pan American mountain bike championships. It was a fantastic trip, another good set of memories for the memory closet, some good bike racing and awesome new race prep ideas for future..I was also lucky enough to drop a coffee cup two days before the race on the floor, which exploded into both my feet and caused some Jaws like bleeding. We were able to spend a couple days scouting the course and getting ready for the battle that was about to happen up at 8,000 ft in the sun where I don't think there is any ozone left. It was also a selection race for the six of us Under-23 riders for the Czech Republic and France World Cups in May. I was fortunate enough to have a pretty solid race and make the cut along with Evan Mcneely. It was a weird race with so many different factors affecting everyone's races. I wouldn't say I had the best race but with having been at altitude all winter in Park City, Utah, topping up altitude two weeks before at a ski resort and racing smart lead to a 5th place at my first Pan Ams.  

I have just finished making the video edit, one month later, from our two days of pre-riding. Tomorrow I am now off to Europe and on the road for two month's to travel to 7 races in 8 weekends, only to come home for some R&R for a few days. Then its time for Axel's GrandFondo then straight to Canmore for the last Canada Cup.

I'll be leaving the Okanagan just as it's getting nice out. This morning is 100% bluebird day out there after a  pretty crappy two weeks of mixed weather conditions. I've probably ridden in my rain cape more in the last two weeks than the last two years, lucky me!

I was also fortunate enough to be able to take part as a medal bearer in the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary tour. What a cool experience that was, as well as inspiring hearing all the stories of the participants.

It sucks that I'll be leaving while I'm half done working on my car with a new project. With my car being known for it's seized bolts in the rear lower control arms that means cutting grinding and new bolts for a fresh set up. But I don't have the time for that before I head overseas. So that means I have the front coilovers in and stock struts in the rear making for an awkward ride at the moment, should be a killer setup when I'm done. Also thanks to bicycle friend of mine we made a trade with some bike clothes for some super sticky tires! Go cart civic here we go!