Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Winter Park MTB Series Wrap Up

I couldn't have been more excited for the final race of the WP series as all I heard was how fun it is. Since Bryce was doing an epic day on the dirt bikes with the boys on Saturday, I drove up with Shelby Friday afternoon for a relaxing evening and good night's rest. Race morning brought perfect weather and at 10:16am, we were off.

I was able to stick with the top girls for the first few miles but when we hit the first big climb, I settled in 6th and was focused on my race. I knew it was going to be a long day so I paced myself well until I hit the first descent where I was ready to rip! Wrong...within seconds of bombing downhill, I got a bit of ''chainsuck'' and the cage on the rear derailleur pulley ripped right off :( I jumped off my bike to figure out what was wrong but realized quickly there wasn't much I could do. The above pic is how I road about 17 miles of trail to the finish! It was not pretty, nor did it sound good and my gear selection was very limited (i.e. non-existent). Needless to say, I didn't finish all that great but still had a blast and can't wait to ride those trails again.

The highlight of the day came about a half hour after the race when I found out that I had placed 3rd in the pro women's class for the series! We all got sweet Epic Singletrack jerseys and had a great time celebrating :) Big congrats to Shelby for winning her class as well. This was her first season racing mountain bikes and she rocked it!

After a fun evening of chatting, eating delicious pizza and watching Kingpin, we woke up on Sunday ready to rip it up on the dirt bikes. We had a huge group ride planned in Rand with a great route. I've never ridden in the area before and couldn't believe how fun the trails were.

Everything was going great until I tagged a tree with my handguard and it slingshot me off the trail into a rock ravine. I tried to bail but unfortunately smashed my finger so badly that I'm pretty sure it's broken. My day was over as pulling in the clutch was pretty much impossible but luckily it began raining right as we got back to the truck. I'm thinking a few weeks in the splint and I'll be good to go for the first cyclocross race on September 9th. Fingers crossed :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Send Judy Freeman to Worlds Fundraiser

On Thursday evening, Rocky Mounts hosted a great event catered to raising money to send our good friend Judy Freeman to the mountain bike world championships in Switzerland this fall.

Ideal market and Boulder Sausage donated tons of food so Tom was on grilling duty. Big thanks to Dale's Pale Ale for providing heaps of beer and Izze for giving away some delicious non-alcoholic beverages! Also, huge thanks to Tom for getting the idea together and organizing the whole thing. He's one nice boyfriend :)

The turnout was absolutely fantastic and the event couldn't have gone any better. People donated $10 for all you can eat and drink then could buy raffle tickets (3 for $10) or walk around the silent auction and bid on over 30 killer products!

As always, Timex stepped up and sent me several watches to bring to the event. Some were auctioned and some were raffled. They were all a huge hit and raised quite a bit of money for Miss Judy. Thanks again for all your support, my life has never been the same since our partnership in 2006!

Jason Fryda of Pearl Izumi was the dedicated MC of the night and couldn't have done a better job. He facilitated the raffle as well as the thanking of the sponsors and overall vibe of the party.

The best part of the event is when Tony surprised and presented Judy with her custom made Team USA cycling shoes in front of everyone. It couldn't have been more perfect and the shoes were totally rad! Great Job TT.

Judy was able to raise enough money to cover her entire trip and I haven't stopped getting thank you notes and emails 2 days later :) She leaves for Europe next week and we all wish her the best of luck. GO TEAM USA!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Global Trainer Demo

On Wednesday afternoon, Trista and I drove up to Ft. Collins to meet our teammate Wendy at the local Runner's Roost. We had another GPS demo scheduled for their weekly run group!

Pre-run we had a lot of great questions about the product and how it compared to the Garmin.

We also gave the runners a chance to personally enter their user info on the computer and set up their customized screens before heading out!

During the run, one of Wendy's previous athletes came by to check out the watch. She's an engineer so was very intrigued with the technology and sophistication of the product. We also introduced her to the new Health Tracker which she was extremely excited about. I think we might made 2 sales for the Runner's Roost in FOCO :)

As usual, we also downloaded the runner's data into the Device Agent and Training Peaks and gave them a quick tutorial of each of the programs! Other fun and successful Team Timex demo night!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One year older!

Yesterday I turned 27 and have until October 2nd to be the old woman in Bryce and my relationship before he catches up :) I can't even tell you how many times I'll be called a ''Cougar'' between now and then...oh boys.

On a more exciting note, I was treated with grilled pork, yam chips, strawberry/feta salad and barbeque peaches for dinner and an AMAZING homemade Nutella Cheesecake for dessert from our wonderful roommate Paddy! Holy moly was it incredible. My parents sent out a massive box of goodies from Trader Joe's which also made my day :) Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My first mental bonk!

Saturday was another one of the epic Winter Park MTB races. Since there was another big event going on, the start was moved up to 9am so we decided to go up Friday evening and stay with our friend Shelby instead of getting up super early race morning.

This race is a little unusual because you have to take the chairlift up to the start! Yes, that means that it begins at a much higher elevation! The start was at 10,800ft and we did 3 loops of 5 miles that brought us up, down and around some great singletrack then we had a 1 mile uphill climb to the finish.

The race started on a mile uphill climb then jumped onto the loop which went straight down then straight up. The entire loop was really fun but really tough. The altitude was at an average of 11,000ft so having a third lung would have been extremely helpful!

Bryce rocked a first in his age group and I came in a mere 7th in the pro class. I was sitting in 3rd going into the final climb and feeling extremely strong on both the climbs and descents until I just completely cracked. I honestly don't know what happened. I was tired but not totally spent but my brain just told me that it didn't want to go hard anymore. Soon after those thoughts, I got passed by 2 girls and then just totally gave up! Every girl that passed me on that last 3 mile stretch just made me even more mad. I couldn't control my mental state, nor could I make myself go hard again. The feelings that happened on the trail are indescribable and I sure hope that doesn't happen again. Coach Neal assures me that it happens to everyone and you usually rebound stronger...let's hope so because that was the weirdest thing that has EVER happened to me before.

After I stopped thinking about the race, we headed down the mountain to hit some of the really fun and technical descents. Our lift passes were good until 1:30pm so Bryce demo-ed a 2012 Trek Superfly 100 and we played around for the rest of the afternoon! In racing there are good days and bad days, however every race is a learning day :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My New Favorite Bicycle Accessory!

The Rockshox Reverb dropper seatpost is by far the best invention to date for the all mountain rider. With a hydraulic remote button to change your seatpost height on the fly, what in world could be better?

This was an early birthday gift from Bryce and I was so fortunate to have it on our trip to Crested Butte last week. It makes going downhill even more fun than it already is on a 6in travel bike!

Simply amazing...

The remote is perfectly placed so that you don't have to take your hands off the bars to hit the switch to raise it or put it down. The Orbea Rallon just got a facelift and it pretty much changed my entire view of all mountain riding. Giddy up!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crested Butte Part 2

How come vacations always seem to go by at double speed? Since Jon got stuck on a work project back in Boulder on Thurs/Fri, we held off on riding the infamous 403 and 401 trails until Saturday so he could join. This was the midway point of the climb up 403. The views are just terrible aren't they?!? Hehe.

When we stopped to get a quick snack, there were several other people checking out the views and a couple came over and offered our whole group a cut up watermelon. It was not only the best tasting thing at the time, but so awesome that they did that. We had a great chat with them then headed back to hit the summit of our first climb.

Crested Butte is known as the Capitol of Wildflowers and it was absolutely apparent. They were everywhere and unbelievably gorgeous.

Right at the top of the 403, Tom got a flat so we had to wait until he fixed it.

I guess it wasn't all that bad though...the views were great and at an elevation of 11,500ft, it was a perfect temperature!

Me and my hunny!

After descending the 403 and waiting for Tom to fix flat #2, we began the climb back up to the 401. Midway through we hit the biggest patch of snow I have ever seen in August! It had to have been over 8ft tall. The last part of the climb was super steep and pretty treacherous, but we all made it and enjoyed another epic CB descent! As most people forget, there is a pretty long climb out of the 401 which totally cracked me and a few others.

After being out for almost 6hrs, a nice cold soak in the small creek by our condo was very much needed! That and a cold Coke and a big bowl of ice cream of course :)

After a killer sleep Saturday night, we woke up very tired but ready to do some fun and easy dirt biking on our way back. We met up with our good friend Eric who was camping with is family and planned out a 2hr ride (or what we thought) around some trail we had never ridden. Let's just say that 2hrs turned into 5+ on some of the gnarliest trail I have EVER ridden...no joke. I wish I had pictures but then again I don't think an image could describe how difficult this stuff was. Needless to say, I was beyond wrecked at 2.5hrs and the trail just kept going and going and going. I made it back alive, but barely and our 5hr drive home in the rain and traffic was brutal. It's almost noon and I'm still in my pajamas trying to crank out work and get motivated to shower! Great 4 day vacation...I really needed it :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's VACATION Time!!!

Although our summer has been 100% jam packed, we were able to squeeze in a small 4 day getaway with our good friends in Crested Butte. I honestly can't think of a better way to spend my one and only vacation of the year! After an effortless drive through the mountains and over Cottonwood Pass on Thursday afternoon, we geared up and did our first ride of the trip - Snodgrass. It's short and sweet but left everyone excited for the weekend's festivities.

Crested Butte is a fun and quaint little town that has great people watching and fun shops to visit. We ate dinner at the Brick Oven then headed home for a big day on Friday. Tom was in charge of breakfast and made everyone some mmmm good pancakes. I'm pretty sure he got batter just about everywhere in the house and on himself as well but it was well worth the laugh. After a short drive in Bobby's Rocky Mounts van, we began the infamous Doctor Park ride.

The first part of the ride was on a paved road that quickly turned to dirt and climbed for 9 miles up to 10,000 ft.

After this really fun creek crossing (where Bobby fell in and Robert snapped his chain), we had a very steep 3 miles to the top of the mountain!

Since Robert had to fix his chain, we took the opportunity to get some good photos and eat a quick snack :)

The climb was tough but well worth it as the views from 11,000ft are pretty spectacular!

This was the beginning of the wicked awesome 3000ft descent! It was a combination of steep rocky trail with fast and flowy singletrack through trees. Bryce got me an early birthday present which I still need to write about but I have to say that a remote dropper post is the absolute coolest thing EVER! After a quick lunch downtown, Tony, Bryce and myself got right back at it and rode our dirt bikes on the Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman loop. 3hrs on the mountain bikes followed by a 3 hour moto ride...ahhhh, the life :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Another Mountainous Weekend

After an easy drive up to the mountains Friday evening, Bryce and I woke up Saturday morning and rode out to the Meadow Mountain trailhead for a casual 3hr mountain bike ride. It was a ride Bryce used to do all the time when he lived up there so it was fun to check it out. Once we got back to the house, we quickly showered and hit the road towards Grand Junction. Sunday was another RMEC dirt bike race that was supposed to have awesome high country trail!

After stopping at the local grocery and grabbing a large pizza from Little Ceasars, we drove the last hour up the gnarliest dirt road to the race site and campground. We got registered, mingled with everyone around then had our pizza for dinner. Our usual crew was there as well so we had a great fire pit chat to sum up the night. We slept in the back of the van on sleeping pads and in sleeping bags which was actually quite pleasant. Bryce made me coffee on a camping stove in the morning while I was in charge of peanut butter and banana sandwiches for breakfast!

9am came a lot quicker than we thought and before we knew it the race was about to go off. As always, Bryce started at 9:19 and I went at 9:40. The first 8 miles was a transfer section and a combo of dirt roads and really technical and fun terrain with some serious drops. The first test was 3 miles with lots of roots and steep rocky climbs. Everything was going great until some guy behind me ghostied his bike on top of me and pinned me against the side of the trail. I was totally fine but in a super awkward position and losing a lot of time. Since there were tons of racers behind us, we had to wait until they went by to get the bikes untangled and back on the trail. When I saw the guy at the next stop, he was super apologetic :) The second test was 6 miles of really open and dusty trail that was more dangerous than fun (in my opinion). However, I did make it out crash free and headed to gas then to the third test. About a mile into that test, I came upon a young rider who didn't make it up a rock ledge and was stuck under his bike screaming. The guy in front of me was already to the rescue but it was apparent that the fallen rider was really hurt. I dropped my bike, fought the oncoming race traffic and ran to the start of the test for help. My hip was absolutely killing me but at this point, it didn't matter. I found some course workers who immediately got the EMT's on the radio and we headed back into the woods to help the 13 year old who crashed. After being evaluated, we ended up carrying him out on a backboard. My race was obviously over at this point but I knew I had done the right thing. I heard the last 2 tests were super fun but I'm glad I was able to help and there's always next year.

Bryce, on the other hand, had a great race finishing 3rd in the Pro class. There were a lot of local guys there that ride those trails day in and day out so he didn't finish quite as high as he would have liked in the overall. After a long trip down the mountain, we made our way back to Edwards where Bryce's Mom had prepared us a delicious dinner to go. We thought it would be a good idea to just eat there but as expected, once we got out of the van, there was no way we were getting back in it to make the 2hr trek home. We crashed in the mountains and woke up early Monday morning to get back to Boulder where Bryce immediately turned around to drive to Denver to be to work by 9am! Just another fun and typical weekend for us :)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Spreading the Powerbar Love!

Although I didn't compete at the 2011 Boulder Tri Series events, I worked the Powerbar tent at each of them and had lots of fun and interesting interaction with various individuals walking the expos!

June 19th was the Boulder Sprint where I worked with Tim Hola and Jenni Keil. July 10th was the Boulder Peak where I worked with Wendy Mader. And lastly, August 7th was the Boulder 70.3 where I worked with Ellen Hart! I couldn't be more fortunate to have such an amazing sponsor that provides such great support to keep me properly fueled for each of my favorite sports. Thanks Powerbar, I couldn't do it without you!!!