Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014 XC National Championships

My weekend at XC Nationals didn't turn out the way I'd planned. I was racing my best race of the season, in 6th place comfortably, when I had a mechanical that ultimately forced me to the sidelines. One thing that is hard to understand is how luck plays a role in this racing game I play. I had the perfect lead up to this race, my body and mind were in the game, I had the course dialed, DIALED! I was racing my very best. Sometimes the body is perfect, the mind is perfect and the bike is perfect and you put together a race you are proud of. This was not that weekend for me. So it's, onward and upward from here! Thanks for the pit and mechanical support I had from Stan's NoTubes all weekend, Richie is top notch! Massive thanks to Jamis Bicycles for supporting me and making my favorite bike in the whole wide world, I love my Dakar XCR!

(Taken during the pre-ride)

Start line

Start of the race

Rock Garden

Also of note is the fact that my little family was there!  I  can't thank them enough for coming all the way to Pennsylvania to support me for the entire week. I'm so grateful to have a husband that supports me in traveling all over the world, chasing my dream and a son that is willing to stand in the sun and draw race posters for cheering! (Translation of his poster; "Jamis, the Jamis logo, GO MOM").

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Family time in PA!

We spent the week at Bear Creek Resort preparing for Nationals. In the meantime we enjoyed the pool, the fire flies and all of our bike racing friends!
Sunset at Bear Creek Resort

My boys at Bear Creek

Catching lightning bugs at Bear Creek
My boy holding down the fort at the No Tubes tent!

Awesome treats from Carey (Fresh Georgia Peaches and homemade paleo treats!)

Riding the course with John!

The first time John has ever ridden any national level course with me!

Cannonball at Bear Creek!

Teach them young

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Exploring Milwaukee on two wheels

Erica and Evelyn ready to explore!
Sven's European Cafe

Lake Michigan, South Beach Milwaukee

Lake Michigan, South Beach Milwaukee

Lake Michigan from downtown Milkwaukee

Evelyn and Erica and Lake Michigan

Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park

Ray’s lived up to expectations, in fact, it far surpassed them! I’ve been dreaming of riding here for quite some time. Some of my friends from the mid-west have posted videos and photos. My friend in Las Vegas has visited both of them while working to get a bike park built (The Hub, the project has been stalled for now, but I want to help him get it off the ground again!). When I looked at the maps and our race schedules I almost did a flip on my bed! Ray’s is only open every other Sunday in the summer time. We lucked out with a Saturday race and a flight out of MKE and a Sunday between the two where it was open. I talked Evelyn and Crystal into joining me (which was easy, but slightly nerve wracking since National Championships are less than a week away and we all want to do our best there). We all had a crazy good time and luckily no injuries were incurred. We rented dirt jumpers and explored all the open lines. The lighting was really low so the photos didn’t turn out, but you can get the idea. 
They have a 4 turn pump track, a wood skills/bridge area and a longer jump line. No gaps, no drops (unless you make it that way), just keep the rubber side down and rolling and you’ll have nothing but fun! I’m telling you this, every one of you readers: if you are in a 4 hour driving radius of either Ray’s bike park, do it. Absolutely do it! You will not regret the effort, it just might be one of the best afternoons you ever have!



Pump Track

Erica, Evelyn, Crystal

Crystal, Evelyn, Erica

Evelyn on the jump line

Pump Track

Monday, July 14, 2014

Philadelphia's 9th Street Italian Market

Exploring with Evelyn

Sunday, July 13, 2014

ProXCT# 6 /Subaru Cup, Wisconsin

The 6th round of the Pro XCT was in Wisconsin this past weekend. I nearly cracked the top 10, rolling in 11th place. I was sure I had a top 10 in laps 3 and 4 but I wasn’t able to catch 10th on the last lap. 
The course was a blast again this year, the WORS people do a great job making courses even though they have very little elevation to work with. The built a skills section at the end of the course that I looked forward to each lap. There was a pile of large rocks to get up and over, a “staircase” made from railroad ties, a steep dirt drop, 3 small rock rock bars and a bridge built slightly off camber between two trees. The rest of the course was twisty single track through thick trees, low ferns and all was so green!
I rode my Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Team with Stan’s NoTubes Valors. My team mate, Rotem and I both agreed that the full suspension was the right choice for that course, it made getting over the rocks so much smoother. I was happy to have my Valors for the short and sometimes steep climbs. This is the first race I’ve had my RockShox dual lockout system. I utilized it on the steep climbs as well. Since there was rain forecasted I chose to run my Geax Sagruaros, they can handle slippery conditions as well as dry. We had a little rain at the end of our race, but the course stayed in good shape for us. Not so much for the men’s race after ours, they were covered in mud and grass by the end of their 6 laps!
The highlight of the race was meeting Chris, Ben and Dianne from Mt. Borah. Mt. Borah is a great supporter of Team Jamis, they have been for a few years now. They make our custom kits which are top notch quality. I wear my kits every day in every condition and I’m always comfortable. They look sharp and hold up to a silly amount of abuse and washing! I talked to Chris about possibly racing the Mt. Borah Epic next summer, we shall see!

PS-as soon as I get a photo of me racing, I'll post it. So far I haven't found any!

Views during my warm up

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Antelope Island