Just wanted to share this resource for amazing recipes that are clean, plant based and full of nutrition, protein and energy for your adventures out there! Get cookin’!
Stoked to be partnering with Beti All Ride Clinics this year! These clinics are for women of all levels, and aim to inspire confidence and a life long passion for mountain biking. As I always say, everyone wants to be a mountain biker, they may just not know it yet :). They have camps in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado locations . . . I’ll be coaching at the Angelfire, New Mexico location where the focus is on Enduro specific racing. Registration is open, and I’m expecting to them to fill fast as they are going to be AWESOME! Come ride with us!
So I’ve been down under for about a month now. Lots of riding, training, rehab, coaching, working. Lots of sun and sand when we get the chance too. I love summer.
This past weekend Chris and I head a couple of hours inland from Brisbane to Toowoomba QLD, hometown of overall amazing cyclist and now Enduro specialist Jared Graves, to give this Enduro racing thing a go. Jared didn’t race, apparently he was off doing some road gig, but there were plenty of legitimately fast XC, DH and Enduro experienced racers out with an overall turn out of 140 plus participants. Not bad for a club race.
I’ll start off by saying that it was hot. Understatement. More like trying not to melt. The weather man said that it was around 38 degrees C but apparently it was more like 45 and some people were reading 51 degrees on their little bike computers but those were just being baked in the sun, much like us. Regardless, it was the hottest conditions I have ever been in, let alone ridden a 5 stage Enduro in.
I had tried a little 3 stage local Whistler Enduro race last summer but I was told it wasn’t a true Enduro, more like a DH on little bikes. Even though it did have sprints and pedal sections, the uphills were very minimal. I’m still kind of confused as to what an Enduro is, I guess they vary. Because this one in Toowoomba was not very technical at all and very pedally, almost constant, and despite a few downhills, quite flat overall because the tracks had so many switchbacks across the fall line. But I only have Whistler to compare to so…Either way, it was fun and challenging!
I thought that there would be more girls at an event like this and apparently there usually are, but there were only 2 girls in A grade on Sunday. A shame because I wanted to see how I stacked up as I’m feeling pretty fit right now. So it was myself and XC racer Kylie Maduna. We are both relatively new to Enduro racing with totally different backgrounds. It was going to be cool to see how we went against each other. In the end, it was Kylie who came out on top but I definitely held my own, beat out by 9 seconds overall. Decently close racing in the scheme of things. Good on you Kylie!
Chris. Well he’s just a bit of a genetic freak. He had plenty of real competition and managed to come out on top! Not by much, 6 seconds, but his ability to produce power and feel pain is pretty impressive. And annoying. Ha! Only cuz I have to work so hard at it!
Overall a pretty cool experience, new crowd, chill atmosphere. Liked it and think we’ll be back for more.
Ever since hanging out with Bama and Tanesha (Santa Cruz Demo Team) in Moab last September, I’ve had Sedona on my mind. They told me to come visit, so I switched up the scenery, hopped on a plane with my Juliana Furtado and ended up shredding in the desert for 10 days! No racing, no filming photoing or coaching, just riding.
It’s crazy how life happens . . . Bama put me in touch with Troy Rarick, who is the man behind Over the Edge Bike Shops, and he invited me to stay in his sweet pad with a bunch of other riders. Really generous. Turns out lots of biking buddies that I’ve mainly met through racing were in Sedona too and on the same program – ride ride ride. Sedona is a cool little town with a pretty big trail network. You can go forever! So we did, every day. It was so good putting in those miles and shredding with a quick crew. It was also really good getting to know everyone better, and realizing yet again how many amazing people I have met through my bike adventures.
We took one day off bikes to venture to the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been and always wondered if it was mediocre, good, great or in fact grand. Rumours are definitely true and I can assure you, it’s grand.
Some people say Sedona has a unique energy, vortexes and blah blah blah. Well, my only observation about vortexes is that a) they are all within an easy walk from a parking lot and b) they all have a great view. But I can say this. Through the trails I rode, the people I got to spend time with and just simply being in this special place, I was surrounded by top quality energy.
When you want to perform your best, whether it be racing bikes or something else, you take your off season seriously. No but seriously, this is the time of year when you put your all into your training, you push yourself harder and you embrace the burn and the sweat because you know that when race day comes, you will be that much better.
Over the years I’ve tried various sport drinks/energy bars and have found that out of all of the supplements I’ve used, the plant based Vega ones have given me the boost that I need without any stomach upset or sugar highs/lows. The best way I can describe it is that it feels clean and balanced – my body feels prepped and my mind alert and able to focus. For the past two years I’ve used it before, during, and after every workout and I know that it has made a difference in both my energy levels and recovery time. It’s not easy to work a 12 hr shift after an early morning workout but with the proper fuel I can feel energized all day long. Having been a fan of Vega for a while now I am very excited to officially be a part of Team Vega this year! If you want to get the most out of your training give Vega a try!
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”
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I am SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED to be on the Pivot Cycles Factory Team for 2014!!! Not only do the bikes look awesome, but I’ll be riding alongside longtime friends and all-around great guys, Eliot Jackson and Bernard Kerr.
A few years ago there wasn’t a race when we didn’t ride together. They push me and encourage me, all while laughing and having a great time. When I podiumed at Mt. St. Anne, they were there, pushing me harder each run, and although I struggled to keep up, they waited for me and filled me with confidence. I missed that vibe when Eliot had to retire due to Asthma issues, it just wasn’t the same without him. BUT HE’S BACK!! All smiles all the time, Eliot is going to be our head cheerleader; helping us with lines and hamming it up for the cameras. Eliot also produces music on the side at his home in California… I sense a collaboration in the future!! haha
Bernard is also a multi-talented wizard: placing top 10 in Norway, as well as managing the Pivot Factory Team, and throwing massive whips, Bernard excels at organizing a whole team AND kicking butt at racing. Pretty cool. He approached me at the end of the season because he could see the stress that not having proper tech and coach support at the races was putting on me, and, as good friends do, asked what my plans were for 2014, and if I’d like a spot on the team. I jumped at the opportunity, knowing that the team dynamic is going to be amazing.
I am sad to be ending my relationship with Commencal; they have been so supportive of me over the years, and I will always be grateful for that. The bikes are great, and I’ve have some amazing times on the PerformX Commencal team. So thank you to all of my Sponsors past, present, and future: I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without you!
Check out the full Pinkbike Press release below:
Warning: the following is very honest, read at your own risk.
As an athlete, you can get caught up in so many external things. Results, achievements, popularity contests. As an athlete, sometimes you have to put deep and dark things aside in order to focus on the task at hand. You can’t be at a World Cup while falling to pieces but by being there it is somehow holding you together. Use that pain as energy to get those achievements you collect like an addict collects highs on East Hastings Street in Vancouver. It will make you feel better. Until you either fail and you come rocketing down or until the buzz just wears off.
When setting my quiet intentions for this new year, among other great aims like gratitude and positivity, one of the main things I said that I want for myself is honesty. I want to face each day openly, with integrity and straightforwardness. Honesty.
What I didn’t expect, so quickly into the year, was to be caught in one of my biggest lies. That I am fine.
I felt like by bringing honesty into my daily life at this point in my journey will help guide me toward what really serves me and what really belongs in my life. What makes me feel good, lets have more. What makes me feel bad, lets re-evaluate.
Of course this will be a process and might take me more than just 2014 but that is why it is called a journey, I guess. Everyone’s got one.
So, honesty. Yes. Tear down the walls. Clear away the cob webs. What is really there? Ok, this is good.
But some things come at you blind, you don’t even see them coming, no matter how hard you look.
Shortly after witnessing the miraculous, crazy, intense and amazing birth of my best friends new baby girl, I experienced something that I will never forget. I was about to have a sort of contraction of my own.
Obviously it is an emotional time. But it had nothing to do with where I was or who was there, relationships or circumstances. Those were just triggers. The thing that was coming at me was from somewhere deep and dark and it had been there for a long time. And it sure as hell just came right up and punched me in the heart. It punched me so hard that I actually physically fell.
I couldn’t find a quiet place quick enough to fall apart in. But I managed to stumble down a few halls and find a nook to absolutely lose my shit in. And I did. And it was kinda awesome.
To release something like that was the awesome part. To face it and to realize that it is your very own, that only you can face this loss is both humbling and pretty much the most honest it gets. Right in your fucking face honest.
I wonder if this piece of grief heard my intention. And it found a little crack with a little bit of light seeping through at that moment and it just went for it.
Either way, it came up. And I am processing it. Again? Well yes, it will always be there. But now I can face it with a little different intention. Part of the journey.
Now, this is what it is doing outside….
But what I am really dreaming about is this:
And of course, riding bikes. That is a given.
May you all find something big this year to be honest about. xo <3
Part deux of my most fantastic road trip ever started in Sedona Arizona. After talking to the folks in the bike shop in Moab we discovered that Sedona is where mountain bikers from Moab go to ride bikes in the winter – meaning it must be good. Our first stop once we arrived was at one of the local bike shops, Over The Edge Sports. The guys there were extremely helpful, marking out the best trails and loops for us in three different areas… there are a LOT of trails in Sedona so having some guidance was definitely appreciated.
We decided to start with the “most extreme” ride, a loop involving a trail called Hangover. It is not a trail I would ever recommend to anyone who is hungover – it is one of the most exposed trails I have ever ridden. It traverses around a butte and as it says on the trail map, “a fall off the trail will result in serious injury”. They are not kidding. That said, the views were fantastic and if you ever get the chance to ride this trail you probably should, just for the overall experience. It’s one of those unforgettable rides.
Day 2 in Sedona we chose an “easier” ride, a long loop in the Boynton Pass area. The riding there was much smoother with lots of little climbs and descents, a good amount of flow and nothing too sustained or technical. We managed to cover a fair amount of ground and had a nice self tour of the area, taking in more beautiful views of the big red rock landscape.
The next day was New Year’s Eve day and we thought it would a good day to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – the great big “C”, better known as the Grand Canyon. It was a quick 2 hr drive there and once there it almost felt like we we had the place to ourselves. I imagine it can be pretty busy there in peak season, but at this time of year we were able to to enjoy several of the view points with no one else in sight. We spent the day there trying to absorb the vastness of the canyon… it’s pretty amazing to see in real life. And what a place to watch the sunset!!
New Year’s Day, our final day in Sedona. We saved the best trails for last, this time incorporating a trail called Hiline into our loop. Hiline is kind of like Hangover in that it has some very steep climbs and runs along the side of a mountain, but the drop off’s didn’t seem quite as extreme and there was more flow to the descent. The views were stunning the whole way through – it was hands down the best ride of the trip and an awesome way to begin 2014!
Sedona is easy to fall in love with and hard to leave but we had something else to look forward to at our next destination – Laguna Beach, California. Not only would we get to ride bikes, but there also just so happened to be the season opener of the Monster Energy Supercross in Anaheim that weekend. Oh yeah! So we headed west and arrived to beaches and even warmer temperatures. In just over a week we had gone from winter in Moab to spring in Sedona and finally summer in Laguna Beach.
We filled up our CamelBaks and headed to Aliso & Wood Canyon Park to do some exploring on the trails there. The best recommended trails were very fast and over quick. The good part about riding the trails in Aliso is that you can get a lot of laps in as long as you can handle the steep climb inbetween laps. We put in 3-4 hours of ups and downs until we were satisfied that we’d enjoyed all that Aliso Canyon had to offer and headed to the beach. Finishing a ride and heading to the beach for the sunset is one of my favourite things to do. On top of that, we found an amazing Mexican restaurant that just so happened to have to the best seared salmon avocado lime salad I’ve ever had in my life! Mmmm!
The season opening Supercross race in Anaheim was sick! So cool to see the pro’s ride around that track, making it look easy. Lots of unexpected occurrences, crashes, and then Ken Roczen taking the win – so exciting!
So ended our fabulous road trip. Happy 2014 everyone!