Monday, April 27, 2009

Racing through the snow: Bear Springs Trap, April 25-26, 2009

Sometimes you do not have to go far from home for an epic race. It was actually the first time I was home and able to race Bear Springs Trap, so I was excited. Tim and I decided a weekend of racing and some cabin time was exactly how we wanted to spend the weekend. Little did we know we would have a little different weather on the 'other side' of the mountain...
Friday we headed to Hood River and did a little singletrack warm up at Post Canyon with Tre and our friend Chris who was visiting. So much fun. A bit too much climbing and a camera that got left behind, but we explored a new trail, riding it uphill instead of the intended down.
Saturday was short track. We got up there in the afternoon to pre ride at least part of the course. We pre-walked a lot of it too, as we found the sunshine hadn't quite found some of that white stuff to melt it out. But how bad could it be? There was a lot more walking than we anticipated and our pre-ride was not as much of the course as we intended, but we had to race at 3, so we explored some forest roads in the area to pass the time and make sure we arrived to the start line on time. It snowed, rained and the wind picked up for our afternoon short track, but we both came out of it victorious. Granted, I was the only pro woman, but we raced with the guys, so I just kept going, making sure Tim would not lap me. He won the cat 1 race and was 3rd overall, and there was more than 3 men. There were probably 20 or so.
Sunday was the main event. The cross country race. Tim and I came prepared. Our winter riding shoes, toe warmers, embrocation, the correct layering for any weather and we were pleasantly surprised with the sunny, but cool weather that greeted us throughout the day. Unfortunately for Tim, he didn't really get to race. After the start loop, there was Tim on the side of the trail. This time I didn't stop to help him. He said something like, "I'm done". I replied, "go back to the car, fix it and finish the race." He did. I am proud of him for overcoming a very frustrating flat and enjoying the ride. I forged on and won the race. It was a lot of fun, even with the snow and running. And what's better than a home made trophy??? Love racing in Oregon!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunny Sea Otter! April 17-19, 2009

Having not been at Sea Otter last year, I was excited to return. And the forecast was looking good. I think most would say perhaps it was too good. Too warm. But spirits were high, the crowds were there and it was game on. Erin Ford and I did the drive to Monterey in one day, taking a brief stop in Redding to spin out the legs. What a fantastic idea!

Beautiful river trail in Redding. Downhill both ways. Really.

Friday we spent most of our day hurry up and waiting, parking too far away, making a trip to the airport, waiting for my bike to get dialed and then pre-riding the course. It was amazing weather, so it was just good to be outside.
The views from the course at Sea Otter.

Saturday was short track. I had a miserable last row call up. Not exactly sure how that worked out, but I didn't panic. I also didn't really move up all that much. It was hot. My legs didn't feel like going as fast as I wanted them to, so I ended up getting pulled from a short track for the first time in a long time and finishing 20th. I lasted for most of the race, but oh well. Highlight of that race, having Tinker shade me prior to the race. How many people can say that Tinker has shaded them???
Sunday the temperatures had soared and they made a decision to cut our course. One lap instead of two. I was initially pretty annoyed, as I had prepared not only mentally, but food wise for 38 miles and I knew I had some endurance in me, just not a lot of high end speed. With only 19 miles, high end speed was going to be essential. While racing, although I felt like my skin was going to melt off of me, I hydrated well and started to pick up towards the end, seeing more people to chase down. 10 more miles was all I needed, but in the end, I missed top 15 by 3 seconds, and finished 16th. I can not complain, because I felt a lot better than Fontana and for someone that does not like racing in the heat, I thought I did a fairly good job.

The Monavie-Cannondale compound. It was a busy place.

It was great to have everyone on our team in one place at one time. Sort of. We still couldn't manage all being in the exact same place at the same time. I didn't get around the venue very much in my heat avoidance mode each day. Bummer, because there I missed some people I would have liked to see. Maybe next year.

Team Monavie-Cannondale attempts a team photo.

Our amazing hosts, Alex & Karen!

Monday, April 13, 2009

FAN MAIL

Well, this has got to be a first. Definitely blog worthy. Just a normal Monday, until the mail came. A letter that was forwarded from USA Cycling, (and again from our old address) which was sent there by a fan from the Czech Republic. I have been asked for autographs and pictures, but this is a true, dedicated fan. Check it out:


How can I not send him an autographed trading card??? Thanks Ervin for making me feel like a true super star today. Your card is in the mail!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The rain shadow DOES exist!

The market was closed on Friday, so Tim and I headed to the cabin equipped with mountain bikes, cx bikes and gear for inclement weather because the forecast was not great. We had a huge upside surprise on Friday and Saturday with sunny weather and warmer than expected temperatures. Although it rained a bit on Sunday, it was still not cold and fairly pleasant. Friday we took a cx ride with our friend Tre. Tim and I did the bonus loop and checked out some new gravel roads. Tim likes to call this his "exploratory rides". Good fun. Saturday and Sunday were spent on fat tires over by the Syncline. Saturday looping Syncline over to Hospital hill and back and then Sunday a shorter abbreviated loop. Over 16,000 feet of climbing later, I am still smiling. What a great weekend!
Tre came out an played for a while. I'm way overdressed for the weather.

The views were spectacular

Mt. Adams was hiding from us Friday

Mountain biking on Saturday

It's hard to get sick of this view! From the top ridge between Hospital Hill & Syncline.

Even Sunday it wasn't really 'raining'.

Rockin' the coyote trail

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Team training camp in the SUN!

A week of riding in Vegas and St. George... with the boys... Here are a few pics. For more comprehensive coverage, check it out at www.monavie-cannondale.com.