Friday, December 18, 2009

Great Barrier 80km MTB Marathon

OK... Pack car, go to work, drop table back to Andy, pick up Suse and be at ferry by 1pm... Check... How the hell, did I not know there were 2 ferry terminals in Auckland??? So at ten past one, I'm hooning across the city in my VW transporter trying to make it to the 2pm Sealink that leaves for Great Barrier. Oh, by the way, check in was 10 minutes ago... This is NOT how I had imagined or planned for this Friday to turn out.

Navigational embarrassment aside, at 2pm, I'm sitting on a ferry with my bike and a bunch of newly found cycling buddies on my way to Great Barrier Island, and the morning's stress and rush is all but forgotten. Tomorrow is the inaugural Great Barrier MTB Marathon, and as the island looms into view, it occurs to me that it's been a while since I was in the hills.

We climb off the ferry, collect our bikes and load our luggage rather dubiously onto a ute for the race organisers to take to the camp site. Then we jump on our bikes and make our way there on 2 wheels to meet our luggage. With camp set up, we cooked up dinner (when I say cooked, I actually meant "burn some food to the bottom of the pot"). Then we sat around and talked until our weary eyes gave way to bed time.

Race start was 10am, so the morning lent itself to a sleep-in and chilled out brekky in amongst the patches of rain.

Finally the race was upon us and after a slightly delayed start, we were off behind the neutral vehicle. As he pulled away for the race to begin, the hill that immediately presented itself made it very clear to us that today was no easy day in the saddle. A group of about 5 or 6 of us took off up the hill at a solid pace... We'd soon see how long it would last. I must admit I was slightly surprised by the amount of road that linked the mountain bike trails, but the trails were so awesome that the time spent on the road was not only worth it, but welcomed as a break and a chance to have a drink. I'll be honest, I was here to win... And the last 2 weekends of racing made this a difficult task to remain focused on, but no matter how hard we were riding, it was impossible to ignore the amazing views surrounding us at every turn. Hard climbing was rewarded with stunning outlooks across Great Barrier Island and the trails were sweet... Rugged, untamed wilderness at it's best. I couldn't help but smile through the pain. Having said that, I distinctly remember one road hill in the race which was about 7 km long and it winded it's way relentlessly up the hill out of Okiwi. That hill nearly broke me that day. There was no view or promise of sweet single track in this world that would have made that hill pleasant, but at least I knew it would top out and fall off the other side of the hill sometime (hopefully sooner rather than later).

The last section of the race was a road section and in an awesome stroke of luck, I was blessed with a tail wind to sail home on. I crossed the line 80km later in a little over 5 hours, before the rain hit. We climbed 2200 vertical meters. I was female winner and 4th overall... Not a bad way to spend a Saturday by any stretch of the imagination! The race was followed up with some awesome local-cooked chilli and then was the plane trip home for me to work in the morning.

I must say, that although it wasn't the biggest race I've attended, the atmosphere was fantastic and it's definately well-worth doing. I think this race has the potential to be the next Colville and realistically, the travel is no issue if you're searching for a good race. I feel completely honoured to have taken the inaugural title and hope I'll follow it up again next year! Check out the website

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winning on Waiheke - Round Rangihoua 4 Hour Challenge

I did this race last year and it was an absolute treat. Ferry ride to Waiheke, a day out of Auckland, good atmosphere and some really sweeet trails. Waiheke Mountain Bike Club have been developing bits of trail on the island based around the Onetangi sports club... They have about 10km worth out there now and it’s well worth checking out.

Have to admit that after this week's rain, I was a little concerned I could be in for a really muddy Sunday, but it was perfect. In fact, I think that it would have been too dry if we didn't get the rain. In true endurance style, we started with my all time favourite… The LeMan’s start… having said that, it was very forgiving at just 50m long and along a flat piece of grass. The organisers were awesome enough to assign me a support crew for the day seeing as I made the trip over by myself and I ended up in the very capable hands of young Eli (dude, I hope I spelt it right!)… He handed me bottles and food for the four hours so I didn’t have to stop to pick it up… Legend!

First lap I managed to hang on to the top bunch for half a lap, but let myself drop off a little in the realisation that I had another 4 hours left to go. I remembered the lap from last year… One nasty climb up the side of the hill, then sweet flowing single track all the way home. It’s a bit of a trick in a way… You have such a great time on the second half of the lap that you forget about the climb at the start and you think “wow, that was awesome, I have no problems going out on another lap”… Then you hit the climb again and reality kicks in… What goes down must first go up!

I felt pretty solid for the first hour or so. My laps were consistent around the 17-17.5 minute mark and I had settled in quite nicely. I was the only female solo there for the day, so decided to pit myself against the boys, and I knew there was only one guy in front of me about 2 minutes up on me. It was easy to gauge how far behind I was when I came into the grassy loop towards the timing area. The gap started closing about the 2 hour mark until I passed him going through timing. He hung on the back of me for a little bit but I think I got a bit of a jump up the small pinch just before the climb. I must admit that I was so stoked to have caught him that I probably pushed a little harder than I had been on that lap, and pushed out my best lap of the day. It was really good motivation knowing he was there because it kept me pushing for the rest of the race… It’s kinda like a horror movie… You know it’s there and you’re just running scared hoping it doesn’t come up behind and catch you.

My lap times lengthened a little before the end of the race, but in the end I came 1st in the solo category and also did pretty well overall against the teams. Waiheke Mountain Bike Club had some island ginger beer on tap (man, I’ve never had ginger beer that tasted so awesome!). All in all, a great day out, good trails, good company, fantastic training and some awesome tan lines (just what riding is all about!)

Big thanks also to Gary (Parks Manager on Waiheke) who saw me get off the ferry and offered me a lift to the race, then also gave me a lift back to the ferry after the race… I must’ve looked like a tourist… I evidently didn’t look like I knew where I was going.

I’ll be back next year guys!!! This is definitely a race to look out for next December. There’s a lot of heart that goes into the riding community and trails on the island and it shows.

Off to Great Barrier next weekend for 80km MTB Marathon. 3 nice big races in 3 weeks. Best make the most of Summer (whenever that may be!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Auckland 1 Hour Champs Round 2 and 3 Wrap-Up

OK, so I should've posted these long ago (sorry... Slack blogger). Here are the reports for weeks 2 and 3. See you tomorrow night for round 4!!! Make sure you get to our last round on the 14th of December for the series prize draws including awesome prizes like stuff from Spoke Mag and series vouchers to the NDuro Summer Series (surely you have nothing better to do on a Monday night!). We'll also have a prize in our last round for best dressed rider... BE THERE!

Hey all!

Sorry for the belatedness of this week’s results… Internet problems (serves me right for living in the middle of nowhere!)

Wow, some hot competition at the top of the pack this week! Tom and Chickenman fighting it out for the honors, with Tom eventually winning by one second over the man of chicken (not only can he fix bikes, he can bloody well ride them, too!). Piki (Sasha Smith) taking out the Women’s race this evening by a fairly comfortable margin.

Another great turnout from the young ones… Plenty of JAFA kids in attendance and also a fantastic turnout for the ladies this week. Have to say I am constantly stoked to see so many parents joining in the fun cheering everyone on and some even taking part in the race itself (awesome!!!)

There are some more photos which I will endeavor to add to the Auckland 1 Hour Champs facebook page this arvo which you can view if you click here. There is also an awesome li’l video put together by Fish which I will post in the next couple of days. Keep an eye out for it!

Tonight marked the middle of the series. 2WEEKS TO GO!!!

Thanks to Suse who helped clear the course after the race.

Massive thanks also goes out to series sponsors who are supplying some great prizes (Click to visit their website). Without them we wouldn’t have awesome races…

Bike 75
Go fast Sports
Spoke Magazine

See you all next week!

Another beautiful evening at Riverhead forest and the trails were running mighty fine and fast.

This week’s loop was just a little longer and saw riders battling it out right through to the dying seconds of the hour, with most riders finishing their final lap within the last 2 minutes and Andy finishing with a mere 9 seconds to spare!

The youngsters ruled the roost again this week with Kurt Standen taking out the men’s and Sasha Smith cruising her way to glory over the women’s field. We’re so stoked that she saw the funny side of us doing a 5 second countdown to the finish line even though she had a whole 3 minutes spare… There’s some photos of tonight up on the event page on facebook… Check them out here

Series points are looking a little different though, and it definitely seems that the key is participation with our two series leaders, Natalie and Fish, been riders who have completed both races (and let’s face it, that’s what having fun on your bike is all about!). Looking forward to seeing what next week holds. Remember, we have some awesome spot prizes to give away each week and even awesomer (is that a word???) end of series prizes, like NDuro summer series entries, and awesome prizes from Spoke Magazine, Bike 75 and Go Fast Sports. You need to be there to win your prize!

Massive thanks goes out to series sponsors who are supplying some great prizes (Click to visit their website)…

Bike 75
Go fast Sports
Spoke Magazine

Also big thanks to Chickenman and Raewyn for their help marshalling tonight and to Clark for helping clear the course afterwards.

Take care, and for those of you riding Taupo this weekend, go hard… There’s no other way to do it really, is there???

Peace out

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Huka XL Taupo

A little overcast and a smattering of rain to keep us cool... Perfect weather for a mountain bike race!

The Huka mountain bike race is run in conjunction with the Round Taupo Cycle Challenge. This is the second year they have run the mountain biking component of the festival and I gotta hand it to the organisers, they know how to pick out an amazing mountain bike course just as well as they run a huge, well-organised road event.

I raced in the XL category (elite). The track was as good as I remember it from last year... A great deal of fun, flowy singletrack with a few road and fire trail linkages. For me, an 80km race is a bit shorter and faster than my usual cup of tea, and I was dropped from the top bunch fairly early in the race. I rode by myself for some time until some of the Huka challenge men started coming through, and some of the fast bunch from the start dropped back (or I started catching them... One of the two!). There were quite a few sections of the trail we went over more than once, and one of them I remember vividly from last year (and with good reason)... A nice, solid single track climb weaving it's way up to the top of craters of the moon... I think the trail is called "Grinder" (very appropriate!)

Thanks to nutritionist, Christel from Nikki Hart Nutrition, i had a nutrition plan for the race, which I followed as best I could. Unfortunately the timing of my eating didn't necessarily coincide with the time of the fire trails, so I found myself starting to lag around the 3 hour mark. Something must have gone right between 3 and 4 hours (possibly the Go Fast Gum!) because when I hit the 60km mark at about 4 hours, I had this sudden surge of energy and finished the last 20km in an hour and 5 mins.

I came 7th in the elite women with a time of 5 hours 5 mins. I definately intend to return next year but have plans of potentially doing the maxi enduro (4 times around the lake on the road bike)... Hmmm. Tough call... The Huka is so much fun!

New bike ran superbly after some final touches the evening before the race and the SRAM XX groupset shifts like a knife through butter... Drool worthy. All in all, made for an incredibly enjoyable day out on the bike for my first race back for the season.

Big things ahead for this year!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Auckland 1 Hour Champs Round 1 Wrap-Up

Well, we had a modest, yet determined turnout for our first race.

The course was chosen Saturday after a week of lovely weather, and then the rain came down Sunday afternoon, and Sunday night… And Monday morning… And it made for a rather fun and slippery evening of riding and racing! I am pleased to say that at the end of the hour, we still had some big grins poking out from behind mud covered faces.

Tony blitzed the field with 7 laps in an hour, followed closely by one of our promising looking juniors for the series, Thomas Hinge. The Gals category was closely contested with Hattie finishing a mere 4 seconds ahead of Natalie Retief (phew!). Big ups for the week go to Callum, who took on the course as his fourth ever MTB ride (nice work dude!). I’ve never seen someone love the mud so much… I’m sure he got off his bike and rolled around in a nice big puddle.

We’re going to switch it up a bit and next week’s course will be a little different to this week, so if you weren’t so keen on this week’s mud (and even if you were), next week should be a treat! Junior riders outnumbered the oldies this week, so will be interesting to see what the mix is like next week, but Young Rider of the Series is going to be in hot contention.

Big ups to our series sponsors, without whom we would not have the pleasure of racing!

Bike 75
Spoke Magazine
N-Duro Events

See you all next week!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Auckland 1 Hour Champs! BE THERE!!!

Hey All!

Well, it’s been a quiet couple of months for me, plotting and scheming my next year’s worth of racing, and it’s shaping up to be a big one! There’s some awesome local races. Of course, the NDuro Summer series, 24 Hours of NDuro and a few others along the way, then some overseas racing again… 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships, 100km Night Marathon in Singapore and a couple of stage races in Australia and the UK. Phew!!! A lot of work to go into training before then!

So, here we have my first fundraiser for the season. It’s going to be awesome!.. The “Auckland 1 Hour Champs”… A little bit like a mini 24 hour race. The race format is a small 2-3km loop which you ride as many times as you can in 1 hour. The great thing about it is that you are never far from home and every rider (no matter how cruisy or fast) is a finisher as long as you have at least one complete lap. What a fantastic way to start the week!

Our first night is Monday 16th November at Riverhead Forest and the series will run for 5 weeks. There will be spot prizes every Monday night, as well as series placegetter prizes for both Male and Female riders. We will also have a special prize for the rider with the best costume at our final race (but more details on that to come closer to then!)

We also have the brand new “Young Rider of the Series”. This prestigious title will be earned by a young rider 18 years or under. It isn’t necessarily the fastest rider or the person who wins each week… The Young Rider of the Series will be awarded based on criteria such as completing the most races, turns up with a good attitude and improving the most over the course of the series. Exciting huh???

Massive thanks goes out to series sponsors who are supplying some great prizes...
Bike 75
Go Fast Sports
Spoke Magazine

I’m very appreciative of the support of these sponsors. It’s the same sponsors that chip in time and time again, and they add such great value to any race for you guys as riders, so please show them your support.

Details as follows:
* Entry fee $10 per race ($45 to enter all 5 races at the start of the series). Please be aware that being the rugged, grass roots event that I love to run, we won’t have any EFTPOS facilities on site, so please bring cash for your entry fee and also to purchase your can of Go Fast at a great rate!
* Registration from 6pm. Race start 6.30pm at the picnic area, Barlow road entrance to Riverhead forest.

As you know, I really enjoy seeing you guys have a great time at my races, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me. I also need a li’l bit of help for course marshalls each week and also with putting tape out for the course before the race (it’s not a big job). If you are able to help out or know someone who can, please also email me. Volunteers get a free can of Go Fast.

See you there! I can’t wait!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Season Underway

Ah, the good ol' power testing that marks the beginning of a new training season... And it never seems to get any less painful after you've been training all season... You just get faster :)

Back into it and excited to go! Big thanks to Giant for sorting out a way cool race bike for me. Can't wait to jump on my new Anthem X Ltd kitted out with the new SRAM XX... I'll be sure to tell you all how awesome it is!

Keep loving the ride!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2010 24 hour world champs across the ditch!

Well, for those of you who haven't already heard, the 2010 24 hours of adrenalin world solo championships is to be held on October 8th-10th 2010 at Stromlo forest in Canberra, Australia.

I'm hugely excited by this. Not so much travel, (relative) home turf, plenty of family and friends to keep me awake... It's going to be awesome!!!

I hope to use the 24 Hours of Adrenalin grandfather qualifying process to make the start line again, so I can start training NOW (YES!!!!!!).

Support crew will be announced in due course, but is just about finalised. I'd like to take a sneaky opportunity right here to thanks my sponsors for this year's racing:
Woodhill Mountain Bike Park
Go fast Sports
Bike 75
Acoustic Motorbike

Also big thanks to Spoke Mag for being a creative outlet for me. I hope to look forward to another exciting year's racing with you all... This next year is shaping up as a big-un... Let's see what it can dish out!!!

Next race on the cards is the Huka XL in Taupo at the end of November. Last's year's race was awesome and I'd strongly recommend it!

Peace out

Monday, August 31, 2009

NDuro 3 Rotorua

Is there ever a bad day riding the trails in Rotorua??? Yesterday was no exception with the third race in the NDuro Winter series. The turnout was a little thinner than usual with the NZ cross country team away in Australia for the world champs this week (good luck guys!!!), but it didn't dampen the atmosphere.

It was a nice change to start the race in the green lake car park, although it was a shock to the legs to crank up a hill first thing at full speed for the first time in a month after the 24 hour solo world champs. The change of start venue gave us the opportunity to do other tracks we wouldn't ordinarily do in a race, and actually somehow seemed to incorporate more climbing than usual (???)

I did the 50km and felt pretty good for the duration, recent racing and riding taken into account (I'm sure the Go Fast had something to do with my body lasting a little longer than it really should have). It had been a little damp underfoot, so the trails were really sticky and I felt great on the descents. It never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference it makes riding on the custom built race wheels Chickenman made for me (thanks Chicken!!!). They just roll so much quicker and the 500gm taken off the weight of my bike makes a huge difference on the climbs.

The usual suspects were in the course in terms of the trails... "Frontal Labotomy" always to be enjoyed, "Be Rude Not To", "Split Endz", "Spring Roll" and "Sweet and Sour", but the highlight of the course for me was "Little Red Riding Huck" and "Corners"... Sweeeet, sweeeet riding. Then, to finish off, right when we thought we were on our way to the finish line, we were sent back up the hill to descend "No Brains" (very cruel, Marcus!!!)

In the end, a second place, and a good day. The weather held off just long enough to let us cross the finish line, then poured to make prizegiving rather uncomfortable and to create a mud bath of the car park... Ah, thanks to the inventor of the 4WD! Bike is clean again and back to the home trails at Woodhill. Man, we live in an awesome place!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

World Solo Champs - 9th Place

Well, what can I say? 9th Elite Female in the World Solo Championships for 2009… Still great to be there, but a little way away from the result I had planned for or was expecting. It’s taken me a little bit of time to put this blog together because I spent the 24 hours after the race finished beating myself up about the result. You have all been so supportive and even to the extent that some of you have said you find me to be an inspiration, and for that reason, I felt it was important that I figure out for myself first of all the good stuff that came out of this weekend’s race and how I’m moving forward because being positive about a race and about your abilities is key to success… On the flip side, to back yourself so hard for a result and then to not achieve that result has been really tough for me to deal with.

Firstly, a little about the race… It was a hot afternoon, and we were called up to the start line of the race in our seeded order. I felt good… Nervous and hot, but good… The gun went off and we were off on our Le Mans start… 500m up over a hill or 2 and back to the bike. For those of you who don’t already know, running is not my forte (although I have been working on it), so I had dropped a little further back in the field. Not to worry, I had a full 24 hours to catch up that 20 or 30 metres. When I jumped on the bike and up the first hill, something didn’t feel quite right. I pushed it to the back of my mind, putting it down to pre-race nerves, until I reached the top of the first hill and was sick… On my first lap. I continued on, a little confused at why I was feeling so ordinary so early. I learned later that apparently the temperature had hit 36 degrees in the first couple of hours after the race start. I also had problems with my tire pressure on the first lap. We bled my brakes just before the start because I was having issues with my rear brake (not ideal) and the pump Haydz used must have had a faulty gauge, making them about 5-10psi too hard, so my bike was bouncing around the track like a ping pong ball until I stopped and let some air out. Second lap and I thought I was ready to settle in and peg back a couple of minutes… Not to be when my bottle cage snapped. I’d just done the hardest climb on the course and didn’t fancy going back down to my pit to get it fixed, so I just put the bottle in my back pocket. When it kept falling out, I had to stop for 5 minutes to try and fix it and came up with the ingenious solution of using the rubber band from around my spare tyre to hold the bottle cage together… Incidentally, this dodgy-fix actually lasted the full duration of the race (yes!!!).

Lap 3 and this time, I meant it… I was nearly coming dead last and was not pleased about it. Annoyances and illness out of the way, and a can of Go Fast in my tummy, I was ready to start reeling them in. I rode past my pit and yelled out at Haydn “how far in front is the next female?”. She was 4 minutes ahead. “Done!” I yelled back and took off in my big chain ring after her. I pegged her back on the first hill… Bang, bang, another two down. At the end of lap three I was coming 8th. Next lap, up to 6th, and the lap after, I reeled in another to pull my position back up to 5th place. This was more like it!!! I felt awesome. The tears welled up in my eyes while I rode thinking about my spot on the podium. But I knew, and Haydn knew, that I wasn’t eating enough. The heat was a real appetite suppressant and the course was quite technical, which made it difficult to find places to eat and drink on the bike. I had pre-determined places where I would drink and eat, but it was occasionally too tempting to catch someone or stay ahead of someone by caning it along a fire trail instead of settling down and taking a drink and some food.

I headed into my first night lap quite strong. The first night lap was always a test of how you would survive through to morning and for the first half of it, I felt good. It was dry and dusty and visibility was very poor as the lights reflected back off all the dust as it encroached on your lungs. Half way through the lap, I was sick again in a big way. It took me a good 10 minutes to manage to start moving again. Luckily I was near the half way feed zone, and I managed to grovel my way up the hill to Haydn. I felt better for having been sick, but the problem we were faced with now was trying to get my stomach to keep food down. It was just before midnight and I was on my hands and knees in the feedzone dry reaching and coughing up green globules of dust. This was not good half way through a 24 hour race… at the 20 hour mark, not too much of a problem, but I couldn’t do another 12 hours of racing without eating. What had I done wrong? Was it the heat? The dust? Had I gone too hard when I was trying to make up the time on my competitors? While I was in the feed zone, the girl in 6th place passed me…

I must have been there for at least half an hour. Haydn convinced me to get up and ride the rest of the lap so I could reach my pit area where we could try and get some food into me. We did this, and all the while I lost placing after placing. While I was in the pit, Tony Hogg (our fellow NZ team and pit mate)also came in. He was in first place and quite a substantial margin up on second place. We were both in a world of hurt.

I got on the bike a bit before Tony and headed out on a slow, arduous lap. About a quarter of the way through the lap, Tony came steaming past me again. He was back on! WOOHOO!!! I was a little surprised to come across Tony on the side of the trail, barely lucid with another rider holding him up waiting for the medics. He couldn’t stand up... I felt really gutted for him. He’d been riding so well.

The rest of the evening went slowly, but fairly uneventfully, but the above events of the 12 hour mark had a substantial effect on my ability to continue lapping at pace. Despite my best efforts, I wasn’t able to peg the deficit back and finished in 9th place. There’s a lot that has to go right for a 24 hour race to go your way, and it was a hard lesson to learn so far from home.

So, where to now??? Well, I have 9 days left in Canada and to do a bit of road tripping… This will, indeed, involve going riding (not training) in some very cool places, and I’ll be sure to tell you all about them. Upon my return to NZ, I’ll put together my race schedule for the next year and an events schedule, which will hopefully involve some more international events and obviously I will be seeking revenge against myself at next year’s 24 hour solo world champs. The Wednesday Nite Ride Series at Woodhill this year was a great success and I hope to do this again next year and also have some other very cool ideas up my sleeve. We will be looking for sponsorship/support for these events, so keep watching this space if you want to jump in and grab a piece of the action!

Peace out for now

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Race Update 14 hour mark

Got power to the laptop it was pretty hectic there for a while...Tony Hogg our other Kiwi crew member is battling hard for 1st place in elite men...yeah yeah

Megan just had her usual crash..we were hoping we had it under control for this race but the inevitable hit and she has dropped from 5th to 9th in one lap. She is in pretty bad shape but has just got back on her bike and once this slow lap gets out the way the sun will come up and she will get back into it. Nevermind... I'm doing ok by the way..I have lived this week on NZ time so iots still only 8.30pm for me even though its 2.30am, this way I can help her in her darkest hours...

Lap 6 down..up to 5th

Megan is up to 5th..about 20 minutes from 4th but looking very strong. Rebecca Rusch in 1st is only a few minutes behind lapping her..she's a bit of a legend so not much of a benchmark to work from. 2nd is still not thru so within Megan's 24 hour reach.
Megan is hollering so she must be ok :)

Lap 5 underway..

Lap 4 was back in form for Megan..looks like she is back. It was almost 15 minutes faster than Lap 3 which was 10 minutes faster than Lap 2 ...she also passed 2 maybe 3 girls...oh yeah bitches (that was from Megan haha) bad start is behind us...temperature is down to Low 20's thank christ for that..36degrees..thats just silly...

Heading out for lap 4

Alriiiight she is feeling good took 2.5 laps to get that spewy tummy sorted but you have to give it to the GOFAST I gave her ...she came round peaking..I'm still worried she's not eating enough but I think she has got the message...the rain is here and the temperature has dropped from the 36 degrees that was starting nto hurt even the top riders to about low 20's..rain is here too but can't see it being to dramatic..will help get rid of the dust..

Race is underway...1 hour 30mins

Ok Haydz here, race is underway...Meg had a shitty first lap with a stop already for a spew...grrr..nevermind we are underway anyway...will do my best to update here as much as poss. Over

Friday, July 24, 2009

Links to follow this weekend's World Champs race

Hey All!

Links to follow the race this weekend are...

AdrenalinLive Website
24WSC Twitter

My own twitter site will also be active and Haydz will update if and when he has time outside tending to my needs (I'm pretty high maintenance for him!)

Megan Dimozantos Twitter

Peace out for now!!!

Beary cool track... Run along now...

Today I had the pleasure of dragging Haydn's jetlagged ass around the course I will be riding for 24 hours over the weekend. The course has changed significantly overnight with the removal of the coal chutes, which means most riders will have only ridden the true course once or twice before the race.

We were lucky enough out on the trails today to come across a grizzly bear strolling across the course having a feed. He hung around for 15 minutes, then headed off towards the next bit of single track... Needless to say, we were a little cautious and nervous continuing on after seeing him.

Some food shopping and bike tuning and time to turn in for the evening... Registration and briefing tomorrow... 2 more sleeps...

Number 9 it is!!!!

Ha! Things do change aye? Luckily it happened so quickly... I was starting to get attached to number 8 ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lucky number 8 it is...

2 Days to go and feeling good!!!

I was stoked when I rode the course again today and put in a hot lap 5 mins faster than any lap I have done... And felt good at the end. Great way to finish my taper and then a massage and hot tub to freshen up the legs a bit. Bring it!!!

Caught up with Tony Hogg yesterday for a ride and dinner. Man, that dude is quick! I'm no slug on the bike, but he's gonna be one to watch.

Competitor list and pit allocations came out late this afternoon. Unless things change, I've picked up number 8 this year... I would like to say I resisted the urge to google my competitors, but the temptation was far too much. It could be a good thing or a bad thing that I can see the Women's field this year is very strong, and probably largely due to riders making the trip to try and strip Rebecca Rusch of her 2-year standing title. I am under no false pretences that this will be a tough race... 24 Hours is a long time and anything can happen... I'm going to ride the best race I can.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Exciting first blog! Canmore and World Champs prep

Thought it may be about time I set up a blog so you guys all know what’s going on with Megan and Riding.

As most of you would know, I’m currently in Canmore, Canada, awaiting the 24 Hour Solo Mountain Biking World Championships, and have been here for about a week now… Wow, bit of blogging to catch up on aye???

The flight from Auckland to Vancouver was actually pretty good, and for those of you who like travelling with your bikes to random destinations, I have to say that Air NZ have always been great to fly with and this was no exception. Off the plane at Calgary and shuttle along the Trans-Canada to Canmore, arriving there a mere 2 hours after my flight initially left Auckland (this time zone and date line thing really screws with your head)

First couple of days in Canmore I did quite a bit of exploring and “tootling” on the numerous trails along the riverside, and was stoked to find some amazing single track around the mountains across the other side of the highway around Cougar creek. Mount Grotto is host to a sweet little single track loop called the “Horseshoe Loop”. There’s tracks scattered all over the mountainside here and I’m pretty sure you could get lost in there for hours and have a great time. I may have been a little more inclined to wander if I’d been carrying bear spray with me. A few days later, I went exploring on the other side of the creek and found this awesome trail that was just this buffed, smooth single track climbing right up to the ridgeline, then there were little dipping corners carved into the mountainside that you could just fly into the berm and pop up the other side. It descended into some committing technical singletrack, then arrived on this meadowy ridge that overlooked the town of Canmore and the Rocky Mountains. Awesome! I think it’s really important when you visit somewhere new that you have a chat with the locals and not necessarily follow what’s in the trail guide or on the web. Generally, the best tracks are the local “secrets”, and I doubt I would’ve found these little gems on my own.

I spent those first couple of days in Canmore just spinning my legs out and adjusting to the time difference, altitude and heat. Temperatures have been between about 25 and 30 degrees most days, except yesterday morning when I had to wear arm and leg warmers in the icy shadow of the mountain around 7am. Canmore sits around 1400m above sea level… Enough to have you huffing and puffing up a climb or two for the first couple of days, and the sun rises about 5am and sets around 10.30pm… Fantastic for a 24 hour race (only 7 hours of darkness), but not so conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Third day I was up at the Nordic centre checking out the course for the race. NICE! Sweet, techy single track and some good solid climbs in there, too. I like it very much. It will be relentless at night. Still a bit breathless, cheers to the altitude, but having too much fun for it to bother me too much. Over the last couple of days, I’ve done a couple of laps of the course. The solo riders have a higher proportion of technical single track, being world champs. Probably the biggest talking point of the trail has been the Coal Chutes... Very aptly named. These steep li'l babies have been the source of frustration and fear for many riders scoping the trails. Not only are they a nice set of steep switchbacks, but they are actually made of coal, so have become a powdery, fast, crazy (ok, I'll use the word "uncontrolled") descent. Better still, being made of coal, if you happen to have a spill coming down here, everyone down solo alley will be able to tell from the coal shade of black covering you head to toe. Bring on the dark and coal chutes... There has been talk of the organisers removing it from the course... I vote no...

I’ve also had the privilege of coming across an elk, a tree squirrel, a deer (he was so cute!), and a bear (so cool!). The views are astounding, even out on the course… Everywhere you look is a postcard shot.

So, the bike has arrived in one piece, thanks to my Acoustic Motorbike bike case, Andy Pine from Go Fast has been awesome in organizing their Canadian counterparts to send me a rather generous supply for the race (thanks guys!), Haydn (the boss) from Woodhill Mountain Bike Park gets here tomorrow night and Chickenman from Bike 75 has been giving me mechanical advice via TXT. So, all I have left to do now is hang for Saturday…

I’m ready… Let’s see what Canada throws my way!

Watch this space for more details on where to follow the race.