Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm Back! (In White and Red and Black)

It seems like it has been forever since I've written on here! I apologize to anyone who has checked in for an update and found nothing new. I promise to keep you up to date on my happenings from now on.

2013 was a crazy year to say the least. I could write for hours about what has happened in my life over the last 8 months, but I will save you the time and sadness and just give you a recap of all the fun times I have had. (in pictures)

The girls in Germany
The beers in Germany

More beer

Sushi with the best

These beauts have always been there for me (thank you!)

Proud sister right here

Impaled on a stake while riding, not fun

My great, silly coach

One of the happiest days of 2013

Good times at Canada Summer Games

After our win in the team relay!

MSA waterfall swim

Fishing at the Ruppel's cottage 

I had an amazing time working with the Horseshoe athletes this fall

Scary rollercoasters at Cedar Point

Nice kayak on the pond

Spent a lot of time with this buddy lately

Some of the crazy Horseshoe kids, miss you guys!

Dirk's first pumpkin carving (mine's better)

My first ride on the Norco Bigfoot

He's a good skier

Ryder with my Canadian Cycling Mag cover!

Just threw this in there cause it's awesome

Our first Tucson meal, Mexican obv. with a little post-travel giggles
 If you haven't heard the news, I will be racing for Norco Factory Team for 2014! I'll be joining my good friends Haley, Evan, Evan, Andrew, Andrew and Peter on the XC squad. I can't wait for an amazing year with these amazing teammates! 

I would also like to extend a huge thank you to Barry and Taylor Near, and everyone at Trek Canada who has supported me through the years. Barry and the team have been a huge part of my success since I was a junior racer and have always believed in me and my abilities. It sounds cheesy but I can honestly say that I would never have reached the level that I am at today without them, and I owe much of my success to their amazing support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Keep checking in for updates from my Tucson/California/New Zealand/Australia trip!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Albstadt World Cup #1

It has been an exciting week in Europe and I think it's time for an update! We flew into Frankfurt on Tuesday and drove to our race accomodation in Jungingen (just outside of Albstadt). It was a long day with an overnight flight so we were off to bed early for a solid 11.5hr sleep.
Hotel Post in Jungingen
Our awesome breakfasts
Team chocolate fondue
Our favourite little bakery in Jungingen
Artistic Bottle Holder
Getting onto the course Wednesday was pretty exciting as I had never been to Albstadt before. The course had been wet earlier in the week but a lot of gravel was put down and everything was rideable. The climbing was almost all on steep roads or doubletrack and the descents had some slick corners and rocks, making for lots of all-out climbing and tired, slippery descending.
The forecast was calling for rain for most of the weekend, but we lucked out on Saturday with 20 degrees and sunny skies. My race went fairly smooth, moving up a little each lap and finishing in 20th position. It was a little hard to know what to expect at my first European U23 World Cup, but now I feel even more ready for the race this weekend in Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic.
The town of Albstadt
Castle (way off in the distance)

Bike got a little muddy this week

Road out of Jungingen


After the elite men's and women's races on Sunday, we headed to Nuremberg for a couple of nights before crossing over into Czech Republic. We got in an easy exploration ride on Tuesday and headed to the old city Tuesday night for a team dinner.
St. Sebaldus Church

We are now in Saar, Czech Republic and looking forward to World Cup #2 this weekend!
Rockgarden on the Czech course


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Exciting Couple of Weeks in Ontario!

The first home race is always pretty exciting and nerve-wracking, as no one is really sure what to expect out of their bodies and their competition. My first race back at home was the Ontario Cup at Woodnewton, and this year the Ontario Cycling Association put on a 'U23 Eliminator' race on Saturday, which added to the excitement of the weekend. It was my first eliminator race so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it ended up being really fun and a good way to get activated for Sunday's XC. I finished 2nd in the final and was happy to get a chance to try an eliminator race before racing the World Cup Eliminators in Europe later this month.
I was feeling good going into Sunday's XC race and was keen to defend my win at last year's Woodnewton O-Cup. We got off to a quick start with Cindy Montambault, Laura Bietola and I getting a gap on the rest of the field in the first lap. Laura was strong on the climbs and after 2 laps it was just her and I at the front. On Lap 3 Laura got a gap on me and I couldn't chase back on before the finish. Overall it was a great weekend with two 2nd places and I am feeling confident going into the first 2 World Cups next week.

Trek Canada's U23s
Elite Women's Podium

Last weekend I also got the chance to help out with the 8th annual Ontario Shredders U15 Devo MTB camp at Hardwood Ski and Bike. I have helped out with this camp before, but I can honestly say this was the best group of kids ever! We had over 60 kids attend the camp and over 10 coaches and helpers, by far the biggest camp yet. The future of mountain biking in Ontario is looking bright!

To top it all off, I recieved my brand new Superfly race bike! I've gotten out on it a few times and I can't say enough great things about it. It's light, it's stiff, it's fast! The new 896gram frame, SRAM XX and top of the line Bontrager parts make it by far the lightest mountain bike I've ever had. Thank you to Trek Canada, SRAM and ESI for tricking out our rides!
I am off to Europe Monday with Team Canada to race World Cups 1&2 in Germany and Czech. I can't wait! Check back for some Euro updates. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Back Home to a 2013 Trek Domane!!!

I had an absolutely amazing trip to New Zealand this winter. There isn't a whole lot more to say, the riding was amazing, the weather was amazing and the people were amazing. I can't thank the Peters family enough for welcoming me into their home and making me feel like part of the family. I enjoyed every day and I hope to be back again next winter!
It was sad to have to leave the sun and beautiful weather in NZ, but coming home to this beauty made it a little better. A HUGE thank you to Trek Canada and SRAM for tricking out my new Domane 5.2. I took it out for it's first ride today and it felt amazing. I wanted to test out the IsoSpeed technology that helps give the bike a much more comfortable ride, so I was sitting down through every pothole and bump I could find. Before my ride I was unsure if there would be a big difference between it and the Madone, but the bike soon proved me wrong. The decoupler at the seat mast-top tube junction gave the bike enough give when sitting down over bumps to make the ride much, much smoother. I love it!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Weekend of Riding/ Exploring Lake Taupo Area

This past weekend we decided to take a little trip down towards Taupo to check out some more trails, before the sad day that I have to head home. Saturday we drove to the Waihaha track, a techy hiking/riding/hunting trail, with some steep climbs and some pretty amazing views. 

After a day on the bike, we stopped by the Tokaanu Thermal Pools for a soak before heading to Dirk's Aunt and Uncle's bach in Turangi for the night.
On Sunday we checked out the Tongariro National Trout Centre. The centre has a hatchery that produces a few thousand trout per year that are used to stock the kid's fishing pond, as well as a backup in case of a natural disaster (like an eruption).

For our Sunday ride we drove to the other side of the Pureroa Forst Park to ride the Timber Trail. The whole trail is 85km long and is mostly wide and smooth, but has some amazing suspension bridges, and some really beautiful views. 

I have less than a week until I have to head home to the snow and rain, but I will be enjoying my last few days here in the sun, and keeping my fingers crossed that spring will arrive in Ontario soon!