Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eastern Ontario Cross Action

Sorry that there have not been a lot of updates lately. We ve been busy trying to sort out a bunch of stuff.
First off, wicked race last weekend held by the RWR crew. The venue was great, the competition was intense and the course design was outstanding.
The young guns of the area were in full effect as they were givin' their all to take home the massive trophies. Luckily we were able to take the hardware home and put in some great racing in a low key environment. Not sure if you saw the videos of the race on www.kriswestwood.wordpress.com but he also did an awesome job in recapping the weekend.

The OBC crew didn't lest the Ottawa city ban of cross races get them down, they held the race in Renfrew at the fair grounds, it was great choice. This series is also evolving. I really like the way it has a few tape off sections, a more of a staggered start and the course length is close to what we see at any UCI race. There were a couple really cool elements in the course that I was not expecting. Even Mc Neely put up a great fight and I could actually hear him breathing down my neck. It was great to be able to watch Tasha in the same race as well. Which by the way she won the challenge. My challenge was to try and lap her, her challenge was to stay on the same lap...so I m washing the toilet for a month, and believe me, when you eat as much vegetables as we do that is not fun.

If you are racing in the cold...the glove to get is the LG CX Kevlar, it was the perfect choice, first off it looks cool, cause it's white...secondly no problems shifting, hands stayed warm.
Also rocked the LG Plastron with wind protection, then the LG compression long sleeve thermal under my skin suit, LG Thermal underwear and I was golden racing in -4 degs.

I know it sounds lame, but thanks to all the guys who stood in the cold, to chat to cheer, to race. It was a great few weeks at home, we definitely appreciate all the support from the community.

I didn't think that I went that hard yesterday, but I missed the exit for Cornwall...
We got home and I threw some wood in the wood stove now all our stuff smells peperoni.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


SO this weekend is the RWR Hammer and Anvil cross race www.ridewithrendall.com.
I expect some stiff competition as some of Canada's best riders will be there.

Come by and race, watch or say hi.

I promise that the race will be entertaining.

After the race, Shawarma Palace Rideau street here we come.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nationals and then some

So Nationals has come and gone. And as much as Derrick and I thought those Jersey's would change our lives, well they don't. You win some and you loose some. I really did think it was my time to finally be racing and representing Canada as the national champ. I suffered off the bike for 6 months with health issues and took care of everything before I began training again. I'd made sure my body was going to be able to handle it and at the start of my season I wasn't thinking about any National title. I was just happy to be racing, but then it started to happen, my racing got better, I began winning races and getting better results than before. I thought this year was going to be the year and for all my suffering and pain off the bike, not only thinking that I might never ride again but the fact that I might never be healthy and happy again, that this nationals was going to be some magical day. Sure it wasn't a given but leading up to the race I thought my chances were really high.

The day wasn't meant to be for Derrick and I from the moment we woke up. From the rotten soy milk I had purchased the night before and was going to drink it before the race until I smelt it. To forgetting our electric pump charger at the hotel when we arrived at the course. Also to straying from my normal warmup and doing something different. To even changing my training the two weeks before thinking that it would work better to what I had been doing and was working great so far this season. What was I thinking. As that list goes on, so does the list of bad luck events off the start line of our races. I was shocked at the series of bad lucks, and verbal abuse that happened in the first 1 minute of the race. Then the crash in front of me which I somehow in a split section chose to ride over the riders bike and not the rider as she sprawled herself over the corner of the course. Which later lead to my seat post completely snapping in half, I thought something was a little off after it happened and then one little bump and snap. Everything played out in my head for the next 24 hours. But regardless, the mind and the legs weren't working in sync like they usually do.

As much as we both didn't want to race on Sunday, it was the only right thing we could do this weekend. Sure our legs and minds weren't even 100% on day 2 after tossing and turning all night, but it was nice have a little bit better day.

The greatest thing about this nationals was all the lessons I learnt, it's kind of how the season has been going. I think cause maybe my legs havn't fully came back from my illness, that my body is just saying go for it everyday this season and everything you learn in the process will stored away for the rest of this season and even better for next year.

Also the even greater thing about nationals was all the love/hugs and support we got from our fans, family and friends. Even though we complained to them or maybe cried on a few shoulders, it didn't matter, they understood completely. It showed Derrick and I that even though these people knew those Jerseys' were right there for us, they still loved us for having an off day at the office.

So part 2 of the cross season is about to begin. Everything happened for reason and it means for a few changes for the rest of our journey, but most importantly to only change the things that are not working not the ones that are. It's still a long season with Glen's Hammer and Anvil races, then off for the finale of the NACT series is Massachusetts, as well as UCI races in RI, then just a little low key stuff after that, like world cups and world championships.

My horoscope on Sunday said not to regret or get mad at time. Just to move on, don't try and make time stand still or go back as it will get you no where. Forget, move forward and believe in the greatest things to come.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What is a Snuggie!

So apparently I haven't been home on a weekend to chill out and relax and watch tv and see all the amazing tv commercials of what great things you can buy now a days. Just 5 minutes ago I saw something for a Snuggie. Man these things could probably sell at a cross race :). For those cold races, just wrap yourself up in a snuggie and then your hands are free to still ride your bike. They also would be very convenient at my parents house, as they like to keep the heat really low all winter long.

This week was great. Got to recover from two seriously hard days of racing in Kentucky. If you want to see how hard I went, just go to cyclingdirt.org from the Saturday race and watch at about 40 minutes. See me cross the line and then fall down like a turtle being flipped. What you can't hear on the video is Derrick coming over and telling me to get off the ground. I went so hard I didn't know anything that was going on. Then as I was down on the ground I had like 5 camera's around taking pictures, it was pretty funny. Anyways I have forgotten how hard I went those two days but not by too much as I have put all my efforts into my training this week. It's been going really well and this year I'm trying the complete opposite of what I have done the past 3 seasons for Nationals. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but what ever happens, I just want to been crossing the line saying I couldn't of gone 1 second faster or pushed 1 watt harder.

Kentucky was great prep but my racing was far from perfect. The first day I went ballistic off the start to crash and loose my 5 second lead that I opened up in the first minute of the race. I regained composure, crashed again, but then got a gap on the chase and finished 2nd. 2nd day I doubted myself a little bit and didn't think I could put in a good day again. In the first lap if I had only realized I was riding faster than day 1 maybe things would of went better. The videos don't give me justice cause as I was within 3 seconds of Georgia the announcers thought I was someone else, but no that was me chasing her down. Again some bad luck with not being confident enough on all the work I have put in this year in a short period of time. Even though I was closing on the first place, I became more concerned with what was going on behind, stupid, stupid me. I crashed more times I could count and each time I looked behind more and more until finally a mechanically left me loosing 30 seconds and dropping back to 8th. I picked myself up and ended up almost catching 3rd with 1 lap to go and then bobbled a bit to end up 4th.

How many times I have been mad at myself this week for Sunday's race can be more than one could imagine. Each time my races have been so so this year, I have beat myself up about it. Why am I so hard on myself, considering I was quitting racing in May this year during my illness, I have no idea. In years of past, I don't think I have ever picked apart my races like I do now. Maybe I know that I can do better or I should have more confidence, who knows, maybe I'm just searching for that one perfect race where everything lines up and I am unstoppable!


Monday, October 25, 2010


just getting ready to pull out of Findlay Ohio.
Saturday Tasha was on fire, she claimed her first USGP podium, she got the whole shot, had a 10 second gap , bobbled a bit in the sand, Gould passed her, and she could not match Gould, who would have most likely would have won any race on the planet that day.

I started like...I started like I don't know but it wasn't the best. Anyways, Pit bull to work and plowed through all the way to seventh, fought with Jamey Driscoll of Cannnodale and I hit a post and thought I broke all my ribs, Jones passed me and I finished 9th. I was happy with this this, not hitting the post, but the ride.

Sunday Tasha almost had Georgia, she really went for it, that was the plan, to just give'er. She went so hard she absolutely lost her mind and started riding into stakes, dropping her chain, and just being too frazzled. But hey, she tried her best for three laps to try and catch Georgia, the reports don t give it justice, it was insane to see her so fired up, she just went a little too deep into cave and it cost her a few places.

I had a great start, but just could't relax my upper body as my shoulder was giving me grief and I was grabbing handfulls of brake in the first lap, I was in about 8th, but some sloppy riding and I finished 12th.

The course is awesome, this is the 2013 World's venue, course will be different, but it's gonna be great...Louisville is a great city, wish we could have stayed longer, thanks to our hosts/pit crew/course builders/volunteer/racer Dwayne and his wife Michelle, and former host John R for the additional pit crew, hopefully next time we can bring a mechanic and don t have to leach off you guys.

Ok, Tasha wants to go to Walmart to get a yoga video.

Monday, October 18, 2010

2 days in Toronto

So back on this side of the border for some racing in one of our favorite venues in Toronto. We like this race, cause it's kind of home, well closer than most races, this time of year you get some good cross weather, not blistering hot, like 30 degs in Ohio, but not frigidly cold that as soon as your done you have to get out of dodge. It's great to chat with people that we don't get see very often and it's a pretty relaxed setting.

Maybe it was a little too relaxed the first day, as Natasha was a little behind the 8 ball. I'm not going to say that she didn't race well, she raced ok, but it's cross right, you put forth an ok performance you'll get an ok result. She finished 2nd on Saturday. She was forced into racing a different race, racing more defensively, almost scared. Saturday night she looked at me and said, "I'm not racing full out, this is gotta change".

Sunday, she put on her game face and she did her race, man, what a 360. To go from the nail, to the hammer in 24 hrs. I was fired up. I saw her ride in warm up and I knew that the fire was burning, she threw a match on it and I tried to poured the kerosene.
Jon Safka, cycling news photo

She rode awesome. I saw the lines, through the corners, on the off cambers, big steps through the sand, fluidity over the barrier and lots of pain in the pace...perfect.

For myself, Saturday ended up being a little bit of a cluster, crashing all over the place, having barrier tape fly across the course into my gears, almost taking out Alex in the first bike exchange, pushing so hard up the hill that I unclipped a pedal on a 20% gradient...but I struggled, fought back, found composure and put in a solid day.

Sunday was much better, it was a race. I lead most of the race and dictated the pace, put the attacks in and was relentless, I hammered over the hill through the drop off and bobbled, causing Davide to attack and could not match his acceleration after this. But I know it was a race, yah I went so hard that I forced my error, but eventually it would have been him who would have dabbed and I would have done a similar thing...

But it was 56 minutes of pain...today I know I raced when I woke up. Sometimes after a so so race on Sunday, I think I can't wait to better the performance next Saturday, today I thought, holly shit, it's gonna take me at least 48 hours to physically recover from this effort and probably 5 days to recover from the effort mentally, good news is that should work out just fine. This is what I wanted, this is what I got, there is no doubt in my body and mind that once I recover I am better and stronger than before.
Jon Safka, cycling news photo

So funny that on paper, 2nd place both days looks the same, but it's like the difference between Ultegra and Dura Ace, they look the same, but clearly not the same.