Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
And poor Andy ate %$&* in one of his "riding" shots. That is what happens whe you are trying to ride slow for the camera cuz you aren't flowing. Man that has got to hurt but he was ok. Maybe just a bit bloody for his next photo shoot with a bike magazine. But at least he swept off the course for us with his back as he slid down the mountain. OWE!!!
It was nice to get out on a good ride yesterday too. The area is really beautiful. You just have to sometimes look really super hard for it but it is there I swear!
So today went better than expected for me. I placed 11th which certainly isn't the best I have ever done in a national cross country race but given that I really had quite a few things riding against me, I was down right pleased with the result. I could have given you a list of things and reasons why I should be completely off the back today but I have chosen to remember how much of a fighter I am when thrown for a loop which has seemed to be the going rate since May last year. There is no sense trying to give yourself excuses to do bad because the situation is what it is and you are what you are and you have done what you can do and that is all she wrote.
I think that my result it is a great start to what is going to be a really good season. I mean heck, if I can survive 2 parents on the verge of dieing on me for the entire winter then I can start off the year just like I did last year here with an 11th place right? I think so. Lets put it this way. I am going with it and given that last year was my best season ever, I have got high hopes for the rest of this season. It may take some time but I will get there.
The race day wasn't without incident of course. I mean now that is asking far far too much isn't it?
So today I got to the team tent to find that my one and only race wheel was loosing air in it. We were trying to get it to seal in a couple days which sometimes isn't enough and it wasn't jiving. So I got to ride on a tire that I had ridden in years - the Kenda Karma which is a great tire. Whatever, quite honestly the day hadn't even begun and the tire was the least of my worries. I would just have to get out there and learn the tire as the race progressed. And I did. The first few laps of the race consisted of getting adjusted to the new bike and the new tire at race pace effort. That is a lot different than dinking around in your backyard on your bike, that is for sure! And as it turned out, the Karma on the front couldn't have been more perfect!
And I have got to say that the Tomac Type X Hardtail is a phenomenal bike. Absolutely phenomenal. It just begs you to rip the downhill while tipping the bike over with your weight back. It is crazy amazing and I had little problem adjusting to this new incredible machine that I am going to be able to ride for the whole season. I am psyched. An all carbon, well machined bike. And considering that this was my very first MTB race back since I broke my hand/wrist/arm in Windham, NY in July, I was pleased with my current dh skills and was happy the bike could help me along with that. You never know how that stuff is going to affect you and I was ok out there today.
The other wack-a -dilly thing that happened in the race was that I saw a snake in the middle of the trail. Just a black one with a green stripe but thankfully I seemed to be faster than it. I see a snake here every year and this one was tiny compared to the big one that I saw a few years ago thank heavens.
As for the team, Chris Magerl, our team mechanic rocked the mechanical aspect of the weekend and is just an all around outstanding person. I am looking forward to working with him for the season. He is a listener, do'er and thinker. He is good at what he does and he cares.
Heather Holmes is still nursing her broken wrist but was out there helping with our feeds all weekend........even though maybe one of them was dropped during the race. But you know what?? Beggars can't be choosers and having her there made a world of difference. Thanks Heather - you rock!!!!
I also met Andy Schultz and Colin Cares for the first time this weekend. Andy is our Men's Pro guy and Colin is our under 23 guy who also races Pro. What great guys plus they are ripping fast! Andy was 12th surviving on like one water bottle the entire race (2 hours) and Colin killed it for 24th! Not too shabby out of 110 + guys that started the Pro Men's field.
Tons of spectators showed up this weekend too.
Next up is head to San Diego for the week at my cousins house.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Got a good lap or two in on the "shortened" course. Well ok, they shortened it mileage wise but because what they threw in instead was major climbing the times were almost the same for a pre-ride. Race pace will be interesting to see how much time we drop off.
The first climb out on the course is a doozy. The first time up it I was like "REALLY/SERIOUSLY?!!???" because it was so steep and about 3-5 minutes maybe??? The second time up it, it wasn't as much of a shocker thank heavens.
From there it sent you down some singletrack that boasted large rocks on either side of it in mostly the corners of course. Then it was pavement to the old dirt climb up past the water tower, some new downhill windy singletrack off to the left in a gully and then back up to the downhill dusty rutted singletrack that we always do all the way down to where it used to figure eight. Then it was left instead of right down the fast open descent to the cul de sac and on back towards the start/finish. Pro women were set to do 4 laps on Sunday.
C Mag starts in on working like a crazy man:
Matt Ohran shows up with the entire Mona Vie crew
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Couldn't dodge this one
Amanda trying out the new rig
Wind plus weather so cold that we needed to wear our thermal jackets while riding today =
Ahhhhhh. On to CA tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I have probably used each and every one of my friends as crutches over this entire winter.....when I didn't go into hiding that is. And all of my buddies don't really know how much that meant to me weather it was getting a phone call from them to see how I was holding up or them just simply making me smile. There were certainly times this winter that if a stranger had frowned at me in the store or something I would have started crying right then and there. But having all my buds support in every way that it came in was unreal because I was a mess.
But all this reflective stuff I am typing is relating to me picking up my new ready to ride Tomac Type X bike for the first time from the shop.
I am so lucky to have someone as knowledgeable as Ryan Keating at Revolution putting my bike together for me at a moments notice. Ryan is a phenomenal mechanic. I actually met him when I was on SoBe/Cannondale 8 years ago on the road when I first went Pro, and he continues to be the happy - go lucky - smart guy that existed back then. You won't ever see Ryan without a smile and joking around. And every year he always puts up with me dropping my bike(s) off in 3000 parts and saying "I need this yesterday"
And then on to having Chris Tolsma at Binghams work his magic measuring all my angles and sawing stuff off from my bike to make it fit. That guy is awesome and I won't even ride my bike unless Chris has gotten to it first. That is a Kathy rule. Chris knows what he is doing and knows just how to set things up correctly so that you aren't riding with knee pain, numb toes or tingly hands. He knows his stuff and is always so willing to make a my bike ridable at a moments notice as well.
And for them both to do things so quickly and get all my stuff in order so effortlessly so that I can squeeze in ONE ride on my bike before I leave for CA is just so nice and awesome!
All this brings me back to "We need each other". Without these guys and without all the other guys and gals who had to take on other responsibilities while Ryan and Chris worked on another Pro's bike I wouldn't have a fully built and ready to rumble bike in my hands so quickly. Thanks all you guys for all your hard work. You make the world go round!
Now, if you all can just work on this Utah weather for me a bit.
You would never know that just days ago it was 74 degrees would you? Eeeeek.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The lonesome ride by myself started out ok for the most part but as the day progressed it just got ugly and eerie looking out there.
It was all gloomy and dark, no cars on the road, the wind was blowing, things were flying in the air like newspaper and you could hear the wind whistling through the trees. Yeah......eerie.
It was a good time to ride by myself and think of a plan of attack for the week. The coming week was inundated with places to go and people to see and lots to do, along with being fully packed and ready to leave for 2 weeks by Thursday morning for the first races of the year in CA.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The motley crew..........
Shannon and Erica (in the background!)
and Brian, who was too quick to get a picture of.
The wind was fierce today but that was all good as the riding was fabulous. We got in about 4 hours of trail riding which was so much fun! It was also great to see everyone and their mother out on the trails enjoying life in shorts! We may have all been landing planes with our white legs but, goodness it was fun.
Afterwards I got the call from Revolution that my Tomac Type X bike was ready to rumble and all assembled! So I picked that up and then dropped it off with Chris Tolsma at Binghams in downtown SLC. You seen that place? They moved off of Foothill Blvd into their new digs by Pioneer Park and it's gorgeous! All set up near the best sandwich shop and coffee shop too. Check it out when you can.
And a bike THANKS to all these guys for helping me with all my stuff. They are so patient with me and they all make my world go round in the right direction with their crazy amount knowledge and extensive backgrounds with bikes. Thanks guys and gals!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
So first off I found a new training partner in Heber. His name is Paul and he is a "Tri Guy". He works a ton but enjoys hammering himself into the ground when he can. Perfect training partner!
Paul and I met about 4 years ago in the local coffee shop and exchanged #'s but never could make training together work out. This time we did and it has made those longer rides a heck of a lot more fun! He may have called me a few names though as I had to hammer up one of Hebers 8% climbs three times this particular time out. Let's see.....after it was all said and done I remember him saying he had fun in a "Kathy is a %&*@#$ kind of way". But he held on the whole way through and even got through the suffering of the last interval which he didn't even think was possible for himself when we first started them. A true glutton for punishment which means Paul will be flying very soon.
Here he his estactic that we are ready for the final descent of the day.
Oh yeah, and before I went out on this ride I had a doctors appt. and there was this thing in the waiting room.
Is there something extremely wrong with me that I had to hold myself back from checking this toy out? I duh no, it just looked like fun but I didn't want to get weird looks so I didn't. But it's just so colorful!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, March 16, 2009
This year we will have 7 riders. 5 Pro women (Zephanie Blasi, Danielle Musto, Heather Holmes, Amanda Carey, and myself) and 2 Pro Men (Colin Cares and Andy Schultz).
The team has already seen some great wins this season by Amanda who won the first Intermountain Cup XC race and by Andy who won the 4 person open category at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo. Andy has also already crawled up onto the podium taking 3rd at the first Kenda Cup West race! Danielle is on fire too and already has numerous podium appearances at her LONG endurance events (6 hours in the saddle at times!!!).
Everyone is off to a great start and I couldn't be happier to have all these guys and gals as my new teammates. And, in a way its almost "home" for me again since this team is what has sprung from the old Ford Cycling Team that I was on years ago.
As for what we are riding this year, that'd be Tomac bikes! Tomac, you may ask? Awe come on, you remember the legendary John Tomac don't you? I had a poster of him in my place of work at Deer Valley at one time!! Who ever thought I'd be racing his bikes for him in 2009? Wow, dreams really do come true. As for the bikes, here is hardtail we will be using. Mine is here and is being built up as I write! Our softtail is looking mighty fine as well and cannot wait to get my dirty paws on that one too.
As for all the other ever important sponsors of the Kenda - Tomac - Hayes Team, I think that my neighborhood may be convinced that I am trying to save the world from its economic demise all by myself because my new sponsors have been busy shipping stuff left and right. Every day there is a new surprise box. Gotta love it!
And you gotta love the fact that these companies are still sponsoring teams and people this season. That is true dedication to the sport. So with that in mind, if you can, next time you need tires, sunglasses, nutritional items, and/or anything else you may need to ride, try to remember those companies that have decided to still throw cash around at the sport. Those companies need some serious pats on the back and they deserve as much support as possible from us all.
The official press release for our team can be found here with all the sponsor links included.
Team Bios can be found here.
And the team website can be found here.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
At first I had no idea what was going on (what else is new right) because as we all stood in Shannon and Jens driveway ready to leave we were all "mountained up", ready to hit the dirt....or so I thought. Little did I know, it was "road ride day on the mtb". Too funny. Not that it really mattered at all since I had to ride either way! The big tip off was Brian showing up on his road bike which was a great thing since he could put a good gap on us in sections and we would fight our hearts out to catch up. Perfect! It worked out beautifully and I got to see and ride more of the valley than I ever have.
Once we got North of Bountiful a bit, we turned around and headed back towards the capital and City Creek area. By then the sun was certainly out and the warmth was soaking in. Shannon then took us for an urban mtb ride through the University of Utah campus. He knew EVERY nook and cranny to go have fun on from balancing on curbs, to rolling over rock garden walls, to jumping sidewalks. That was fun. I finally got to put my 2.3 tires to use today.....well, a little!
No pictures of the ride today but as you can see from this picture of Heber Valley on the way home, things are melting!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
We headed from the Zoo on Shoreline and on up through Dry Creek. We hit mud in a few spots for sure but it was just a great excuse to work on technical skills, balance and, of course, your bike afterwards. Eeeeeks. My bike wasn't so happy happy go lucky after that part!
There were times when the mud was just flying off wheels, the air filled with mud asteroids and you'd be lunging one way with your upper body to avoid the flying mud and your lower body would be doing something else in order to keep the bike up right. Goofy cyclists. Of course we didn't all escape the mud asteroids as my best one was a solid nose plug. Yep, one just the size of my nostril got jammed right in there. How is that for great aim? Shannon got a good one right in the eyeball, while Bob and Mark were just trying not to catch them in their mouth.
But overall things were dry. Drier than I thought they would be. After doing a loop on that Shannon and I decided to head up Emigration Canyon to top off the tank....or maybe just the opposite. Getting just under 4 hours in today in the Salt Lake area felt awesome!!
We saw sooooooooooooooooooooooo many road bikes out there today and there we were with our junked up mtb bikes rallying up the road with mud all over us too. We must have looked like the misfits that we are. Maybe that is why a select few that I said "hi" to pretended I wasn't even there. Nice.
I will never understand why people don't say hi back when you clearly said hello to them in their face. Whatever. Such party poopers!! It is an interesting world out there and I will keep saying hi until I am blue in the face because that is who I am and I won't expect everyone to reciprocate I guess. But to those who do and can say hi back because you aren't charging it up a hill - you rock!
Friday, March 13, 2009
In addition to making sure I wasn't get my tail run over by cars backing out, I was seeing all types of birds today.......if you can really call what I saw "birds". The first ones I saw were some kind of herons or cranes or something. Every year those guys migrate through here and its pretty cool to see. Couldn't get a super great close up but you can see their gangly legs and long necks on the right side of this pic. One is brown and the other is white.
Then I ran into some ducks floating in the "river". But I only got a duck butt shot:
As for the other "bird" I ran into....A chicken on the right in the pic.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Well, he didn't because I scared the ba-Jesus out of him.
Whoa, just noticed its Friday the 13th. Now it all makes sense.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
This last week has been wonderful....how long has it been since you read a crazy sentence like that on my blog?! So my parents are settled in their new home away from home as of last Saturday and mom is in luxury having every need catered to at all hours of the day. She is extremely happy in her new place and is having the time of her life exploring all the different hallways, going to the library, running into old friends, checking out all the activities they put on and most importantly having all her food cooked for her. All she does is head down the elevator, orders off a menu, eats until she is full and leaves. She doesn't have to tip or anything. This assisted living facility is just like an all inclusive resort and it sooooo darn nice. I'd move in too if I could!
Everyone is nice there and she is enjoying spending a lot more time with dad who is only a few floors down from her. She does keep wanting to do all the activities (this is quite normal as she is busy body) and I have to tell her that this isn't freakin' Summer Camp and to take it down a notch. I know she wants to "go" and "do" and "see" and "be" but she needs to take the time to heal up some and let that little 97lb body of hers gain weight and get strong again. She does get that and is trying to take her time with things but I have a feeling she may enjoy the fully stocked and well frequented bar downstairs a ton once she really feels better!
Dad seems to be getting along quite well there too. When he was shown his room for the first time he said "nice!". That is a good sign as getting him to speak is difficult these days. And like I said before, he is in a different part of the assisted living place but he (like my mom) has all his own furniture now and has a room to himself just like my mom does. It is a much better situation for him compared to the other nursing home he was at. The other one was nice and all, but this just suits dads needs much better. At this new place I believe they are trying to teach dad how to get in and out of his room since the lock operates much like a hotel credit card key. It ought to be interesting to see how long it takes for him to learn.
Some deer better not pick my lawn to die on! YUCK!
But winter is still certainly here in good ole Heber Valley.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Man I guess I have been busy the last few weeks trying to get my life in gear. And I guess no news is good news to some extent. But actually, to rewind some, last week started with my mom telling me on Monday that she had her infection back again. This would be the third time now since December that it has come back. And if she can't get rid of it, she won't be able to take her RA medication which is why she is in this pickle right now anyway! She has been without her RA medication for a good solid 3 months now and it has taken its toll on her. She is in pain and is practically paralyzed with inflammation. This RA stuff is nothing to mess aground with. She has had ONE infusion with RA meds (when she was cleared for the 2nd time from the infection) and will get another in 2 weeks if she can get rid of the infection again by then. We need all fingers crossed because her quality of life has diminished greatly without her meds.
So yeah, then Tuesday she calls and says she may be going to the hospital and I need to fly to WA soon. OK.......I start making my plans to go on up but then Wednesday she calls again and is WAY better - the antibiotic for the infection is working I guess. She at that point tells me to stay put and then proceeds to tell me that she is now finally moving into the assisted living place Saturday (as in last Saturday). Dad also moved on that day from his other nursing home to the same place my mom is now. She is only a few floors above him in assisted living while he is in memory care but the closeness has allowed her to see him a ton. Excellent news really.
So yeah, lots - o - drama the beginning of last week and Thursdays tubing adventure couldn't have come at a better time. I went snow tubing in Heber City with David M, Team Manger of our 2009 Kenda - Tomac - Hayes MTB Team ,
and Chris Magerl our trusty team mechanic.
We had a blast bombing down the hill. C Mag kept trying to get arrow dynamic on us to get more speed.
C Mag was also in charge of pushing like a bat out of hell to get us the most momentum possible upon starting our descent down the snowy chute. He is such a team player always wanting us to go fast even if not on bikes!
With all this going on this last week, I was also putting in some nice and big hours on the bike. In retrospect it probably actually kept me sane and focused vs. in a complete tail spin with all the different things going on with my family. Sometimes the bike is your savior.
We planned on heading to St. George last weekend to cap off this training period with some sweet riding and St. George did not disappoint! That place absolutely rules. Especially this time of the year (snowy) when you can hop in the car, drive 4 hours and be riding in shorts and jersey.
We got there on Friday just barely barely in the knick of time to get a ride on the Churchrocks Trail. Chris definitely finished off the ride in the dark - I scooted out early to avoid doing that.
The next day Erika Powers, Chris and I headed to the heavenly land of IHOP for breakfast before our big ride. I ordered the Harvest Grain N Nut pancakes that they decided to down size on us with out telling anyone and I was served two pancakes on this massive plate that were the size of a saucer for $8. Well, that isn't sure isn't a recipe for "Come Hungry, Leave Happy" is it? I was reaching for the pepper, eating the garnish and begging off of others just to get more calories in me!! IHOP definitely heard from me on that one, in a nice way of course!
After that we headed to Over the Edge Sports in Hurricane, UT to meet up with the group headed to Gooseberry Mesa.
Hurricane is cool with horses on the streets...kind of like Heber actually! Oh and Hurricane is even more on the map now with an American Idol contestant from there. And, yes, I watch that show. Love it along with all the other reality TV I get hooked on over the winter while training in my basement.
The views on the drive to the windy but dry Gooseberry Mesa Trail system were awesome.
Erika and part of the group on Gooseberry. It is amazing how good riding can bring a ton a people together and you just all get along because you all share the same interest of sweet riding!
Chris and Erika. We decided that Gooseberry is a VERY good way to dust off any cobwebs on your technical skills cuz if you aren't looking up or if you don't know where to put your weight, you are hosed.
Gooseberry is amazing to ride on!
Check out this massive slab - o - slick rock
The only incident of the day was Chris going ass over tea kettle and clipping his carbon brake lever in the process. Nothing a little duct tape can't fix.
We also found a cell phone on the trail only to discover after calling the last number called on it that is was the guys who made the Gooseberry Trails!! We got to meet him (Morgan) and talk to him some about making the trail which was cool.
Then Sunday we went to church...
...of the Big Ring!
We summoned DJ to come ride with us on the Gem Hurricane Rim loop. She is something else, that girl. She knows how to suffer!
Man this place is just ugly! (not!)
The "SHHHHHHH" in Sherwin came to life today. 2 Sherwins = 2 flats.
DJ built a lot of the trails we were on today and I would say she did a dang good job! Ahhhhh, singletrack!
At the very least it makes you happy, something that has been missing a lot from my life this winter with my parents being so sick.