Monday, May 30, 2011

Intermountain Cup #6 – Draper, UT

The dry and rippen fast part of the course
I woke up to snow on this race morning! And not only was it snowing at my house it was raining and sleeting the whole 1 hour drive down to the race at Corner Canyon!!  

Who knew that it was going to be cyclocross weather and racing in Utah on May 30th?! I was really happy to have my full arsenal of cyclocross clothing and cold weather gear packed with me. My clothing choice of leg warmers and a wind proof vest proved to be the ticket. Yes, a tad hot on the uphills (that's what zippers are for!) but perfect on the downhills and a great defense for the howling wind and cold.

Off the line I was able to jump in front of the group of Pro women which gave me a nice head wind to contest as well. I wasn't feeling the love on that first lap and was pretty sure that maybe I should have warmed up even longer than I actually had on this cold day - oops. And, that was really proven to me on the second lap when I started to feel better and was in a better groove as I climbed.

The trails were awesome and even muddy in sections which is pretty unique for Utah at this time of the year. There were many parts requiring Cyclocross skills and mudder skills. I felt very at ease on all those sections as I was able to plow through them with not a second thought. It certainly kept you on your toes though....or on your face if you weren't so lucky!

Another thing that kept me on my toes was Sarah Kaufman who is having a great season. She was in it to win it and kept the pressure on. It was a great race in that respect of having to really think about things tactically and to try and figure out where the best places were to really throw down and keep growing the gap. You are never "safe" in any race so growing the gap is always a goal along with winning which I really wanted to do too! 
The wind was mighty making every effort I put in seem almost unsustainable but my body and mind persevered as I came away with another win for this season!
Heading into the mud!

A big thanks to all my sponsors who give me equipment and support that make my world and wheels (Stan's NoTubes Crests of course!!) go around!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Santa Barbara Living

I ran into some very friendly Peacocks on my ride

Every year I think I start this paragraph out the same way…..we are so lucky to have such GREAT friends in SB who open their doors to us allowing us to stay in their home.   We have come out to their house every year right after Sea Otter in order to get away from the mud season in Utah, see friends, hang at the ocean, ride to our hearts content in the sun and get some great sea level training in.  When the sun comes out and starts baking the mountains of Utah is when we return.   We love this open ended journey every year and feel extremely lucky to even have this wonderful option each year!!

A view of the Pacific Ocean

It was downright AWESOME there too with the May weather, the posse of friends, the riding, shopping, dining, nights with wine flowing and just simply….the environment.   We feel so lucky to be able to visit old friends there and to have also made so many wonderful friends that we keep adding to every year.  It’s almost another home away from home now. 

We love this place!

This is the time of year that I just don’t want to end but sadly it has to as all good things do.  That said, thanks Eric and Kristin for another GREAT GREAT GREAT time in Santa Barbara.  We will miss ya and we can’t thank you enough!!

Chris's hang out for most of May while he Kiteboards
If there is a snake to be seen, I am always the one to see it

Monday, May 2, 2011

Idyllwild Spring Challenge - Idyllwild, CA

Idyllwild Singletrack
Just outside Palm Desert up in the mountains at 5300 feet sits the town of Idyllwild which offers up some of the best riding and racing I have yet to come across.

The views in Idyllwild
The cross country course was a 27 mile loop course of some sweet buffed out singletrack.  And that’s no exaggeration….it’s awesome and I highly recommend checking this place out!  This weekend’s stage race would begin with the long cross country on Saturday and then end with the shorter Time Trial and Super D events on Sunday. 

This Road Runner at the house kept us entertained!

My hubby Chris and I were staying in Palm Desert with family and the weather differences were huge between there and Idyllwild.  It would be 70 degrees in the early morning when we left for the race but then it would only be in the 40’s once we got up into the mountains!  It was quite the climate change in a 1 hour drive!  Rest assured though it was a beautiful weekend with highs in the 60’s.  Perfect race temps!
Need I say more?  Ok..."Ahhhhhhhh"
Cross Country

In addition to the cross country course being fabulous it also offered some superior climbing.  There were three hills, all of which had Queen and King of the Mountain awards and primes for the first lady and man to the top of each one. 
Race Start

I punched it as hard as I could up each climb because I was seeing $$$ signs instead of stars like I normally do.  It worked, as I grabbed all 3 Queen of the Mountain primes!!!  Once at the top of the course I had to find my way down to the bottom safely while still punching it up and over power climbs to get there.  I hadn’t pre-ridden this part of the course so each fast approaching corner was a new experience!  There was a lot of DH to be had and after all that climbing I would have to say that we earned our turns!!

As I made my way down the wooded trail the boys pushed me as they always do and they were a pleasure to ride with.  Coming in safely and smiling across the line after a 3hr race was the perfect way to end the day while nabbing some nice cash for the win too!

Time Trial

Sunday was a busy day with two races, the Time Trial and the Super D back to back starting almost right in the town of Idyllwild itself.  I hadn’t pre-ridden either course so getting on these trails early was imperative.  I was able to get a lap in on the Time Trial and get warmed up just in time to hammer out my race lap. 

We were all being shot off the line 1 minute apart with the Pro Men in front and Expert Men behind.  Yikes!  Don’t want to get caught – pressure was on!!

I had a goal of doing the TT in less than 20 minutes but a chain issue requiring me to get off the bike and hang out in the middle of the singletrack to fix it for what seemed like an eternity put me 9 seconds over that goal.  Bah hum bug!   Least I finished!

A good weekend!
Super D

Immediately upon completion of the Time Trial I jumped in the car and Chris drove me over to the Super D to check it out.  I didn’t want to do a Super D without seeing it first and there was little time in between races – we had to rush!!

After taking a good solid look at the course and enjoying every last minute of all the downhill (a Super D is 80% downhill and 20% uphill), Chris picked me up at the bottom in the car and we headed back up to the top for the race start.  They were again sending people off in 1 minute intervals with me being sandwiched in between the pro and expert men.

The goal again for myself was 20 minutes or less for the Super D.  I not only met that goal, I was also was able to catch up to the Pro man ahead of me! 

My Super D wasn’t without incident unfortunately.  Even after pre-riding everything I still managed to blow a corner losing all my momentum.  That was really annoying but I was able to get back on track fast enough to start bombing down the hill again!

A beautiful solid granite award!
A weekend of family, sun, wins, primes, trophies, plaques, medals, money and some of the best singletrack out there was the perfect weekend!  And if it weren't for my sponsors I wouldn't be doing what I love. Thanks to all of them for every last speck of support!

More at home entertainment!