Sunday, June 28, 2009

1 stage down

Stage one started in North Van at 10 today. The shortest of seven days, not to be confused with easy.
Steve and I had a spot in about the mid of the 400 riders so off the star we had a bit of work to do.
A shorter section on the road to the trail head was all we had until trail narrowed up and there wasn't much you could do but to be patient all the way up first climb of day.
This didn't really change going down. First decent was typical North Shore xcountry trail I guess. For most it meant slow ride or walk. After this the second climb was on us and here we didn't see many riders at all. Last decent to finish was super fun mostly ridable stuff.
We crossed as fifth mixed team in Lynn Valley.
Overall not sure how I felt. Legs didn't say much but I didn't feel I pushed as hard as I wanted. I didn't have what I wanted I guess. Though six more rides to figure it out.

Now we are on the ferry to Nanaimo. Could be tricky to get over in morning so making sure the whole crew is here.
Our support Meredith, Karen, Kim, Jen, Toby and SQ had a great day. Thanks!

First blog on the BB so no photo upload and no idea if it will turn out ok.

Will try to keep posting Hardcore news! Unless Steve makes me suffer too much.
Mark people just love your colors! Even socks!
Congrats to all the other Albertans who always seem to show up to this great events.

Happy riding!
kate and the Hardcore bunch!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A taste of North Shore....

Yesterday I made it a couple of more km down the highway to Surrey. I'll stay here until start of Stage 1 Sunday. Yesterday was not a great day so lots of time to relax, it rained, rained and rained! Ended up going to bed early but couldn't get good sleep with my green machine in the trailer below. So at midnight I got up again, got the bike out of the trailer and into safety of the hotel reception. Nice sleep after that!
Today started as yesterday, so I took my car a few blocks away and dropped it off for an oil change (again...putting on the km's this summer), and walked back in beautiful west coast rain! Got a message from Steve who was ready to go hit the North Shore! So got my stuff together, and got the bike out of storage and rode to pick up truck at dealer and headed over to North Vancouver. Toby was exited as he got to come on his first bike ride since his little episode. It was dark but not raining, and we started somewhere down low. The climb up was great to start, we took it nice and easy, in a very short bit, we were both off our bikes hiking!! Toby was wondering what took us so long....4 legs vs two wheels..4 legs seem to work better. I'm still not sure we rode the right trail up, as speaking to a guy after at the bike shop, there shouldn't have been anything we couldn't ride to get up, hmm we will see... Down was great, but of course I forget what it is called, I'm sure Steve got it though! He is the trail master, remember them all! A few drops I didn't do and with rain it sure adds a bit of twist to the roots. Going to be a great ride Sunday!
Check out our racer profile on BC racer page.
Many great teams and solo riders ready to go, and looks like the sun will show up as well!
Happy Riding,
kate & toby

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Almost in Vancouver!

So we almost made it to Vancouver.

Toby and I left Calgary Monday after his vet appointment that went really well! he is progressing in a very good direction. We met up with Steve and Karen in Canmore and to pick up the trailer. Since a later departure we decided to drive to Salmon Arm and take the night there. This morning we got up early to get a short ride in, one lap of the Salty Dog race course! And of course it didn't disappoint! Toby even got a few minutes of excitement as he tricked Karen to think he'd be good when she had to untangle his leach, and then took off on her. It didn't take long for him to sniff his way to Steve and I (wonder if it was my stinky Canada Cup race clothing!! yeah, roughing it up on the road!).

Tonight we're Travelodging it in Langley, just outside Vancouver. Steve and Karen is searching for a camp spot in North Vancouver possible for tomorrow night. So maybe we'll get a little taste of stage 1 if it doesn't rain too hard or at all. Calling for a bit of rain but you never know.

Looking forward to Sunday start!
Happy riding,
kate and toby

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A couple of races, couple of trips to vet and on the road..

The last week has not been boring, it became a bit more than I'd planned for.

I made it down to Edmonton on Friday a little in time to do a lap on the race course and get the bike ready. The race Saturday had a start of 2pm which is very late for me, and I wasn't sure how to get ready for 2pm. I slept as long as I could, had a breakfast at Tims and then went down to see the Expert men start and to get and idea of how long the laps would be. It was 10am and already really hot! The hardcore boys just swept the podium!! Good job guys!! I had lunch at Subway and then I headed back for my race. I warmed up with doing a prelap, it was almost 30 degrees so didn't feel I needed much more as I was hot enough! So when the start went the girls as always just took right off, it started with as steep climb and I got left in the dust pretty much. I little disappointed that I had no change on hanging on, but oh what could I do. We had to do 4 laps, one less than posted due to lap times during the previous races. I didn't really start enjoying the race until end of 3rd and 4th felt even better! I ended 5th which gave me UCI points, not sure what I'll do with those, but nice to have :)

Racing Canada Cup is a bit different than ABA races, you better follow the rules. So when I planned on getting home quick, and had changed and started the car, Steve calls me and says I have to be on the podium for fifth, I saw trouble! So I turn car off again, get my dirty cloths back on, and back to the awards. I was the only one with running shoes on though, but no trouble for that. So when I finally got on the road it was 5pm, so I didn't get home until after 9.
But this was not the end of a long day!

When I got home my roommate told me I needed to call Meredith as Toby had an incident with his leg and she was trying to get him to a vet. So still dirty from race I get back in my truck and drive over to the Vet, she wasn't there but a vet tech was and she hadn't heard of Toby yet. So I call and Meredith was still looking for a vet on call. She rushed over to this one and they took Toby in. He was in a lot of pain and couldn't walk or stand up properly, and his back was sort of pointing up. They had to take xrays and they showed some swelling around the spine. So now the only option was to get him to Calgary for a cat scan as it could be a disk rupture. We didn't have much time as if surgery is required the sooner the better. So in the truck, back home to quickly repack and on the road to Calgary. Toby cried on the way down and I felt so bad for him. We got in about 730 in the morning and they took him in and gave him some more pain killers and couldn't get the scan done until later on. After a few hours they called and the cat scan showed no disk rupture, so they verified it by doing a mylogram and that was good news. They believe it is a spinal stroke, which they are not sure why occur. It is also a change of a trauma, but both diagnoses has the same treatment so they treated him with anti inflammatory. And the next day I got to take Toby home! After a few nights with now sleep and lots of worries he would never come on a real mountain bike ride again, we headed back to McMurray. I had my one week of work on site for the summer scheduled this week, and I already missed Sunday and Monday so behind the program already. I couldn't leave Toby on his own so he got to spend the next to days with me at work, he was pretty exited.

Friday we packed up again, this time for 2-4 weeks on the road. First stop would be Edmonton to pick up the Hardcore Trailer (thanks a lot Mark! that makes it that much easier for us) then to Canmore. Didn't make it down very fast and spent a bit more time in Edmonton than planned so I missed the pre lap ride on Friday, I also missed the package pick up!! UCI rules!! This could mean trouble. Saturday morning I got up there as soon as they opened and tried to pick it up. A guy didn't really know what he was suppose to do so he gave Mike and I a handwritten plate and as I'm walking out I pick up some zippy ties it reminds me I also need pins for a rear number plate, which I didn't get! so I go back and ask for a rear number and we then realize its more to it so they had to call in the "secretary" for the race. She tells us we really should have done this yesterday, send someone like our race manager! hmm Toby?? well he has a bad leg so I couldn't really put it on him. Well to make the story short, you really have to make sure you understand all the UCI rules, some are not written so you just have to talk to lots of people and hope for the best. She was nice enough to not give us a 50 dollar late fee, but she had to write us up, so we get a fee from UCI of 35 franks, and we would not get called up, meaning start in the back of the pack, which since I'm usually last out anyway, wasn't a big deal. But for reference if you can not make it to pick up the day before an event, have a photocopy of your licence and have sign a paper and give this to someone to say you are ok with them picking it up for you! Unwritten UCI rule.

The race was so so for me. Great course but I never felt I took it out, I got very comfy riding behind a girl, she was really fast on the technical down hills, and had a nice comfy pace up! Too comfy for a race pace, so I am a bit disappointed, in a short race I'm usually never comfortable, it is a 2 hour or so painful affair! Still a nice run for next week start of BC bike race! I'm happy to see so many good riders out on a Canada Cup, both men and female though, hopefully this is a trend that will keep growing! These are great events and there are so many good riders up here, it's unfortunate that very often the attraction to the USA cups are greater.

Toby got to come with me on the trip, while SQ will fly down with Meredith next week. We miss her but Toby still requires a bit more attention than normal so it would be a bit much for me. He did great during the race, and I'm sure he enjoyed watching from prime spot across from the feed zone. Thanks Karen for feeding and Toby watching!!

Later Toby got to go for a good swim and we are now in Calgary to relax until Monday's vet appointment. He has had such great recovery so far I'm sure the his Doctor will be very impressed. My only concern is that he is learned how to manage with the 3 legs when he does certain things, rather than retraining the fourth leg. So hope to get some ideas on how to encourage him to use all legs as he should. After the appointment we'll be back on the road and meet up with Karen and Steve for the drive out to Vancouver! One more week and we'll be on our bikes for 7 days!

Happy Riding!

kate and toby

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Time at home..

The last two weeks I've spent in McMurray! It is great to spend some time at home recovering, well that was the plan. Though, at home there is always little projects that are waiting to be done. One I've wanted to do for a very long time is my back yard. I have spent very little time back there as it is just not a spot to relax and hang out, Toby even has trouble going back there sometime. So it was time to get something done, and what perfect timing as Cody and his buddy just started up a contracting company doing concrete. So a few minutes of sketching out a layout and the plan was in place! Cody and his team didn't take long to put in the pad and I'm very happy with it. Though the goal was no grass at all!
No more dirty dogs! So my job was now to landscape around the pad with rock and some brush. It took me almost as long as it took them to lay the pad to figure out the rock. Ended up using washed stone, nothing special but natural sort of look, good think I'm not in the exterior design industry. This was my week of rest of course, but who had thought doing some landscaping would be much more than rest! Well, two tonnes of rock and two days later my legs and back needed a good massage. Now I need to prepare for the lower deck to cover the rest of the grass and to place the dogie pool back in, probably after BC bike race looking at my current schedule. But all the work is so worth it, this morning after the dogie bike ride to Tims and Dog park, we had breakfast on the Pad and it is so nice to be able to sit in the back yard. The other night we also had a hotdog night....and the dogs are really looking forward to the dogie pool!
So back to biking a bit, last week was my recovery week, a week early as my legs felt pretty dead, and only 3 weeks to the start of BC bike race. The week consisted in easy spins to Tims and dogpark (love those), a group ride with the boys (fun times on other side of town), and hauling rocks to my back yard, which I thought half a tonne would have covered, but after 4 loads (2 tonnes) I can still need a few buckets here and there. Then I ended the week with a longer easy road ride. So into this week I felt pretty good, a little stiff from lifting but a massage on Tuesday fixed that all up!
This week is my last week of any load, so putting in a regular base week, longer rides with not too much intensity. Besides a cofferide to Tims and dogpark in the mornings I did intervals yesterday and group ride (3 of us, hopefully group will grow soon) and today I did a longer road ride and got sand blasted in a mini storm. Tomorrow I'll head out on road again and plan on heading down to Edmonton Friday to ride the course for the weekend race. Then race Saturday and Sunday it's back to work ah..5 days of full day work load! Can't complain though, I'm enjoying this a few hours of work here and there kind of summer! Think I need to look into becoming a teacher!
oh, and fyi - I really like my new bike!
happy riding!