Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is This MTB Heaven?

The freezing rain and -15°c weather at home made me even more excited to start my trip. After an uneventful flight from Toronto to LA and a long lay-over, I was lucky to get the Air New Zealand Middle Earth plane for the second part of my journey. The hobbit safety video got things off to a good start and the 13 hour flight went by pretty fast. I arrived in Auckland with my fingers crossed that my bike and bag made it, and luckily both were there waiting. I was even lucky enough to have my own personal shuttle service from the airport to Rotorua. (you're the best)
I've had a few days to settle in, get some sleep and get out for a couple of rides (and I'm pretty sure this is heaven.) Right across the road is the Whakarewarewa Forest, with 100+ km of the best trails I have ever ridden. It's so nice to know that I will have the whole summer to explore and ride all these amazing trails.

Doesn't do it justice at all.

The new bike's first time in the mud (lucky bike)

Monday, December 10, 2012

So Here's the Plan

So I am all packed and ready to head to New Zealand for the winter! A huge, huge thank you to Barry and Taylor Near for setting me up with this amazing Superfly Comp to take with me. I am beyond excited and I will update again when I arrive!
All set.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Has Begun, It's a Wee Bit Chilly

The trails are covered in leaves which can only mean one thing, fall is here. It's my favourite time of year to ride, but I don't like knowing that winter is just around the corner. It's also the time of year for our team bikes to head off to the bike show and to new homes. If you are looking for a bike, it's a great place to check out I'm sad that they are gone but I'm really looking forward to next year's superlight Superflys! Thank you to Trek and SRAM for the amazing support and even more amazing bikes. They helped make it an awesome season!

All ready to go

Lately I've been keeping busy working with groups at Hardwood and playing on the new pump track.

Radical Riders getting their certificates

New awesome pumptrack at Hardwood
And before you go you have to check out this awesome video of a 5 year old ripping a trail in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh Ya We Killed It (Fall Epic 8)

My last race of the the season (as of right now anyway) is over, and I'm a little sad, but it was an awesome race! Erica Leonard and I defended our title at the Fall Epic 8 Hour at Hardwood, finishing off 14 laps of the 10km course to win by a comfy 2 laps. Last year we only finished 13 laps so we must be getting faster (I know Erica is). It was a great race with the best teammate I could ask for, and an amazing way to finish off the season. Hopefully we will be back next year to kill it again!

Our mothers raced as a tag team as well so they came up with some fitting team names...
The girls (left) and the moms
Little Sis racing into 3rd with her team

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crank the Shield 2012

A couple days back home from Austria and I was off again to Haliburton for my first MTB stage race. Crank the Shield is a 3 day stage race through the Haliburton area in northern Ontario, with lots of singletrack and amazing scenery. You can race either solo or as a 2 person team, with age categories for each. I decided to take it on solo and see how I could do on my own against the under 40 women.
The first day was definitely the hardest with rain and 12 degree weather all day. The rain had made all of the trails slick and soft which made for some slow going on the doubletrack sections. I was verrrry happy with my choice of bike for the weekend (Trek Top Fuel). My back was very thankful for the full squish on the bumpy trails and the lockout was perfect for the road (Thank you SRAM). The 66km pushed my limits but I finished with a decent time and after pigging out on the food at the finish and a hot shower, I was feeling much better. In between stages we got to stay at Camp White Pine in some great cabins, with some even better food. The all out buffets for breakfast and dinner were AMAZING, with everything you could ever want to eat. After this very muddy day it was also awesome to have the Trek Toronto guys there to clean and tune my dirty bike (Thanks Taylor!).
Day 2 was a much better day, with the trails drying out overnight and a much nicer 15 degrees in the morning. I was lucky and got to ride with Haley and Watson who were racing in the 2 person mixed category. It was much nicer to have someone to talk to (Haley) and someone to draft (Watson, but we talked too). Riding with them really helped me push myself and we finished the 65km in 3:45.
The last day we started out with a chilly neutral ride from CWP to Sir Sam's ski hill for the start. After riding some great trails at Sir Sam's, we headed out on the road back toward the Haliburton forest. Some of the course was sections of trails that we had ridden on day 1 but in reverse, which was cool to see how the trails rode in both directions. We finished off the 67km stage at Haliburton Forest and were greeted by an amazing and much needed BBQ.
Overall it was an amazing event that exceeded all my expectations. Chico Racing has always had great races, but this one was truly the best. All the organization, food, lodging, volunteer support and atmosphere were the best of any race I have been to. I want to say a HUGE thank you to Sean Ruppel, Chico Racing and everyone that helped organize this event, it was great! It is possible that this may have been the last Crank the Shield, but if it does return I would recommend it to anyone who's up for a challenge!
Here are some pictures from the weekend, mostly thanks to Miss Haley... Smith?

1st Overall Solo Women
Saw this on the sign-in board and thought it was a little odd... Does anyone know this woman?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

World Championships Saalfelden 2012

So my 3rd World Championships are over! After 12 amazing days in Austria I'm back in Canada (and can't say I'm too happy about it). I gave you a bit of an update for the first few days of the trip so here is the rest of the exciting stuff that happened (like the race haha).
At the start of the week I got in a lot more time on course, which was drying nicely until a big dump of rain on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. By then I was feeling good with the course so after one lap on Thursday I was ready to race. The Team Relay was held on Thursday evening, so it was a good chance to watch the racers on the course and see what it would be like for my race on Friday morning. Team Canada put a team in for the relay consisting of Geoff, Mitch, Catherine and Marc-Antoine. We got off to a great start with Geoff coming in from the first lap in 2nd position and Mitch closing the gap on the second lap. Mitch came into the pits with France to send off Catherine with Olympic champ Julie Bresset. Catherine had a great ride, putting Canada into 4th with just M.A. left to go. After an awesome battle with Manuel Fumic and Ralph Naef in the last lap, Marc finished strong for Canada, earning a 5th place.
It was definitely motivation for the next day and I woke up Friday ready to race. The U23 women had an 11am start, which was the perfect time for great temperatures and minimum time to be nervous. The course had mostly dryed overnight but the one forested section was still slick in the morning. I didn't have a great starting position but I made the most of it and tried to fight my way through the pack on the startloop. After the startloop we were in for 5 laps of the 4.5km course. The short laps made the race feel like a blur and before I knew it I was out on my last lap. It was a tough course and even though my 32nd place wasn't at all the result I was looking for, I was happy with how I raced. This trip has given me a ton of motivation for next year and the ideas for training this winter are filling up my head.
Once again I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped me get to the World Championships. I had amazing coaching by Peter Glassford and great support from Barry Near, Trek Canada, and everyone at home. It was an amazing experience!
Preriding "Maple Syrup Falls"
Team Canada with Mechanic Andy

Haley made me eat it

Antoine with his rather large cut
Cheering with my huge pretzel

I will be home for a couple days before heading north for Crank the Shield on Friday. It will be my first stage race and I have only heard great things about it so I can't wait!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

First Few Days in Austria for the World Champs!

I made it!!! After a year without racing the World Championships it feels amazing to be back! I have been here for a few days now and have spent most of my time getting used to the time change and getting my legs back under me, but it has been a great few days nonetheless. (When reading, we usually means Haley and I)
I arrived in Munich in the morning on Thursday after an overnight flight from Toronto. I suprisingly got quite a bit of sleep on the plane, so the 3 hour bus ride with Team Canada to Saalfelden went pretty smooth. We arrived in the evening at our accommodations and after a quick grocery shop I was off to bed for a much needed 12 hours.
Friday we woke up to 5 degree temperatures and pouring rain. I waited until the afternoon when it had cleared a little to go out for a spin through the town, leg warmers and all. I wasn't feeling up to doing much else so we opted for watching a movie and getting rested for the rest of the day.
Saturday the weather was a bit better with no rain but still some chilly temperatures. We took a spin to the course to check it out but the rain had made it a bit slick so we finished up on the miles and miles of bike paths around town. We figured out the bus schedule for Saalfelden and wandered around downtown until we could find our way around. Most of the town seems fairly new but there were some cool old buildings and walls in the older part of town.
Today the weather took a 180 and it was 25 degrees and sunny all day. I went out for another lap of the course which had dried quite a bit overnight. The course has a bit of everything, with a couple longer climbs and a few steep descents. I'll be getting in some more time on course in the next few days to get all the lines dialled in for my race Friday morning. I'll update again in a couple days but for now here are some photos from my trip so far.
Street downtown Saalfelden

The local bike shop tube dispenser

A little chilly and cloudy in the mountains

Some sheep lawn mowers

A cross cut into the cliff (if you have good eyes)

Some amazing weather on Sunday

The view from our house

Thank you to everyone who has helped me get here! It has been an amazing experience so far!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Austria Tomorrow!

I'm leaving for Austria tomorrow and I can't wait!!! It's going to an amazing 12 day trip, flying into Munich and taking the train to Saalfelden where the race is being held. I was in Austria a few years ago to race the World Cup in Schladming and it was one of the coolest places I have ever been.

A Look at the XC course
A huge thank you to Sally at Sigvaris for these new compression socks! They will be a lifesaver for the overnight flight!

My last couple weeks have been busy, with a week long trip to Wisconsin for Trek World and the US Pro XCT Subaru Cup in Mt.Morris. I had never raced there before but it was a great course with lots of short, punchy climbs and some fun rock gardens. It was great to have a few Canadian teams (Team Quebec, 3 Rox) head down to do one last race before Worlds. I ended up with a 9th in the XC and 8th in the ST.


This past week I also had the chance to hook up with Andy from and he put together a great piece on me and my travels. Check it out Cayley Brooks- Globetrotter

I also want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me fundraise for my trip to Austria. Your generosity is very much appreciated! Thank you! If you would like to make a donation the website is

Monday, August 13, 2012

Buckwallow Ontario Cup

 Yesterday was my last O Cup of the year, but it was a great one. I didn't get to race Buckwallow last year and its always one of my favourite courses, so it was nice to be back. After a few days of rain, the course had to be closed on Saturday for prerides so that the trails wouldn't get ruined and everyone was worried that the course would be changed to all doubletrack. After the first lap my worries were gone and it turned out to be an amazing course! I had a strong race and finished 2nd with my third O Cup podium of the season.

I also want to say a huge thank you to Chico Racing for a generous donation to the Ontario athletes who have been selected to race at the World Championships. It is so amazing to have the support of our province to help us reach our goals. We couldn't do it without you!

Thanks to the Bailey's for the pictures!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Big News!!! And some ECO 2012

I got some super exciting news the other day that I'll be heading to Austria this September to represent Canada at the World Championships! This has been one of my main goals this year and I am so happy to have achieved it. Last year I had a tough season and wasn't where I wanted to be in my racing, so it is extra special to have improved enough over a year to compete for Canada again.

I have started a fundraiser for my trip to Worlds Here. Please donate if you can or share with your friends! There are some cool perks for donating like hats and t-shirts!

Here are a couple pictures from the East Coast Open at Blue Mountain. Peter and I both finished up in 3rd place.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Racing and some more racing (Windham WC and Sudbury OCup)

So I have a couple more races under my belt now. I managed to better my 9th place at the Mont-St-Anne World Cup with an 8th place at Windham World Cup. The course was very similar to last year, all on the side of Windham ski hill, with one long climb and descent back to the start. It was another hot race day, which I've started to get used to, and the course was bone dry. It was an easy bike choice for this race, with the fairly smooth course the Superfly was the bike for the day. Overall I'm very happy with my race and I was glad to have improved on my result from last week.
Heading up the climb

Apparently I was too sweaty to hug
After one week home I was headed up North to the new Sudbury Ontario Cup. I had never raced there before so I drove up Saturday morning to check out the course. I made the decision before-hand to bring only my Superfly hardtail (which ended up not being the wisest choice). The course ended up being the roughest, rockiest course in Ontario and my back would have appreciated a full-suspension. That being said, Mitch won the Elite Men's category on his Superfly Pro and Mikaela Kofman won on her hardtail 26", so I can't really use that as an excuse haha. I finished up 3rd and I'm looking forward to the Canada Cup there next year.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mont Sainte Anne World Cup 2012

After a disappointing Nationals last weekend, I was looking to have a strong race on the very challenging course at Mont Sainte Anne. I had a solid week of preriding and learning the course and I was ready for the punishment MSA always dishes out, and it’s a good thing I was. Just before our 4:30pm race, it poured rain and totally soaked the mostly dry course. I luckily had time to change my tires and the race went really well with no huge crashes, but lots of slideouts and some running. I ended up 9th and got my first top 10 in a U23 World Cup, which I will hopefully be able to improve on this weekend at the Windham World Cup.

On the startline

Check out more photos and our team report at

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Canadian MTB Nationals 2012

Back on the road for our second roadtrip of the year, we made the 1000km journey up to St. Felicien in northern Quebec for Nationals. This was my third trip to St. Felicien and not much had changed since I had been there for Nationals in 2009 (it's still a small northern Quebec town with a zoo). The whole week leading up to the race was hot and sunny which made for a great, dry course. It was a similar course to the one we raced in 2009, with a some new sections and a few sections taken out to shorten it to 5km. My race was a tough 4 laps and I was disappointed with my 6th place position after having a great Canada Cup season, but it was definitely a learning experience and I will be building off this race for the upcoming World Cups.

U23 Women Start

Mitch had an amazing race, finishing 2nd in the U23 mens race after a tough battle with local Leandre Bouchard. Peter also had a great race finishing 6th in the elite mens category. Jon Barnes won his 2nd national title in the Master's 30-39 men category on Sunday after a very close 5 lap race.

Champagne showers

A huge thank you to Trek, SRAM and all our supporters! Check out Trek Canada for more updates and photos!