Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SoCal Sunshine: Fontana USAC PRO XCT, March 27-28, 2010

As usual, the first national mountain bike race of the year came too fast. And as usual, I skied the week prior. Is it my fault that my niece and nephew's spring break is that week? Maybe next year I will make it a sunny, warm vacation in SoCal.
The greatest thing about Fontana is that we get to visit our dear friends, Hal and Gina and their little guy Calvin. It makes Fontana pretty much my favorite race of the year.

Tim and his little buddy Calvin

Fontana is always a bit rough. This year was no exception, but it was much better after having a 'real' break and not going to cx worlds at the end of January. The XC race was on Saturday. I was really nervous. It would be my first serious race (not that local mtb racing is not serious) and I didn't know how my asthma meds would work. It was super windy on Saturday, so everything was blowing around in the air. I did survive. I had an amazing start, didn't climb as well as I had wanted to, nor did I go downhill fast enough, but I had a pretty decent race, I could breathe o.k. and I finished up 14th. I'll consider it a good start.

Great start.

Breathing o.k. (Photo by Dave McElwaine)

Tim playing support in the feed zone.

Sunday Tim raced in the early morning. I made it there to see the last lap of his race. It was the race within the race that was very exciting. Tim vs. Matt Ohran (my former team manager). We have become good friends with Matt, but they had been doing some major smack talk with each other, so I was really relieved when I saw Tim come down that last little hill with Matt nowhere in sight. Whew! But they are still friends.

Tim on his way to 4th place.

And we are all friends still.

Short track was in the heat of the day. At least the wind was not as bad. I had a brilliant start. First lap, I crossed the start/finish first. But as we all know, it is not where you are in the beginning of the race that counts. I went from first to almost last. I was a bit wheezy. No asthma attack, but the first really hard effort of the year must have been too much of a shock. Another 14th. At least I was consistent. And since I was there, I decided to stick around and do super D. I managed a podium finish in that. And I didn't even do the D of the super D that well. Looking forward to next year...

The field was too small and the race too short.

Gina, Hal and Calvin after cheering on Tim.

Super D podium

Had to say good bye to my little buddy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The invasion from MN: Spring Break 2010. March 20 - 25

While I was 'preparing' for my first national mtb race, my brother and his kids came out to ski. Abi and Alec have been visiting at least once a year since our wedding. It is great to have them out. For the past couple of years, their week long summer visit turned into a spring break ski trip. Unfortunately for me, I end up leaving for Fontana the last weekend of their trip. And I usually have to squeeze in some training and not so much skiing.
This visit was great. I snuck in a few last ski days. Or hours. But there wasn't much sneaking going on, b/c my coach came with me. It was worked into the 'program'. Sometimes life has to take priority. My niece and nephew are pretty special and it was worth making a few turns with them. But now it is back to business. Off to Fontucky.

Abi and Alec arrive! Yahoo. And off to the cabin we go.

Monday we did some skiing. They went on Sunday to 'test' it out, but I went mountain biking with Uncle Timmy.


On the slopes... or back in the parking lot after a great day of skiing.

Do we look related?

On my 'rest day', Kendra was really busy working.

Full service coach. She even skis with me. And she is actually a pretty good skier. Wednesday was BEAUTIFUL!!! I skied a few hours, then rode my bike home. My coaches idea. So helpful. But It was a gorgeous ride back from the mountain. And it isn't all downhill. Trust me.

Paul, Abi and Alec mid-day when we left them to ski until close.

Hamming it up back in Portland with Uncle Tim on Wednesday night.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pretty things.

I guess you shouldn't really call your bike 'pretty', but what if it is the truth? They say good things are worth waiting for, or something like that. Check it out. My 'prize' has finally arrived. Thank you Tony for your attention to detail and a job well done. He picked a GREAT color for me, because I was too nervous to do it myself. Here is the proud builder and my SSCXWC '08 Pereira frame and fork, totally dialed and very pretty.


It is the color of the sky!

For more pics, you can check out Tony's blog. Now I am off to spend some time at the cabin with my niece and nephew and brother who are flying in today from MN. I am going to sneak in some skiing, but apparently that is not the best training before your first national mtb race? Hmmm?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Skis and wheels: all in a weeks work.

With the kid brother in town, I had to ski with him. Especially since my 10-punch pass has gone virtually unused. After making him suffer through the road race on Sunday, Monday we packed up and headed to the cabin. A very relaxing (recovery for me) Monday, and Tuesday it was game on. We skied from almost open to close and met up with Kris and Brian. The snow was o.k., the weather chilly and it was winter all over again. Tuesday we did a half day with Todd & Melvin, then I had to go down and get to 'work'. Tre joined me for a ride and we spent 3 hours riding up and down and all around the valley. Then the kid brother left on Thursday. Life was back to 'normal'. I was pooped. I had to take Thursday off to recover.

Nik with his first glimpse of Hood.

Skiing Tuesday

Skiing Wednesday

Nik gives Mt. Hood 2 thumbs up.

Post skiing rice beers.

Tim and I spent a great day mountain biking on Saturday on Syncline/Hospital Hill. Patrick joined us and we managed to put in over 5000 feet of climbing. I knew that would feel good the next day out at Hagg Lake. It did. I played nice with the Master 1/2/3 men and then the weekend was over. Man, time flies. And now it is lighter longer. I think I am still missing that hour of sleep.

Patrick, Me & Tim

My spiffy new Pearl Izumi awesome carbon mtb shoes. Compliments of Tony Torrance at PI.

Not so new anymore.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Game on! 2010 racing season has begun! March 6-7, 2010

I completely missed posting a blog entry from last weekend, even though we had a great cabin weekend with a scenic Cherry Blossom recon ride on Saturday and a gorgeous day on Syncline and Coyote mountain biking on Sunday. I forgot the camera, and what is a blog entry without pictures?!?!

This weekend, Tim and I kicked off our racing season with our first races of 2010, both mountain biking and road. Saturday we checked out the Echo Red to Red mountain bike race. It was an awesome event. It was a great course, well organized and a heck of a lot of fun. I even debuted my "new" team for 2010. If you haven't heard by now, Cannondale discontinued their sponsorship from the very successful Monavie-Cannondale team as of January. That does not leave a lot of time to find new sponsors for a season almost underway. Therefore, I am back racing for the BEST bike shop in the country: River City Bicycles. I am always honored to don the kit of RCB. It is where I started and things always seem to go full circle. The bonus now is that Tim and I get to match!!!

Matchy-match

In our tried and true kits, we had a successful weekend of racing. I won the women's pro category and Tim took a close 2nd in the Cat 1 35-44. I think he came in 8th overall, however. Pretty impressive for the first race outing of the year.

And the best part of it was the Red to Red wine I received. Thanks to the sponsors for that!


Saturday night we celebrated with my kid brother, Nikolas, who arrived from MN while we were driving home from Echo. We went out to Deschutes in the Pearl and discovered why we spend all of our weeekends at the cabin when we aren't racing. It is crowded on Saturday nights!

Do we look like siblings? Nik, 25, Sue, 38. Yep, he is a bit younger.

Sunday we headed out to Banana Belt #2. I received permission to race with the master 1/2/3's, b/c I didn't want to get up early and wanted to race with Tim. It was good training. All was good until at the crest of the hill after the dam on the last lap when I heard that horrible noise, pssssst. I had a front flat. I was left to finish alone after a not very fast wheel change and Tim, even after sitting at the front of the race a majority of the time, finished 8th.

A great start to what I hope is a GREAT season!