The Women: Wednesday Roundup

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1. The World Cup season has finally begun! I have been counting down the days until Vital slideshows, watch parties and friendly bets commence and the first round of the year did not disappoint. Riders found themselves all the way in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where there were a few stand out performances in the women’s downhill race. Manon Carpenter has been nipping at the heels of Rachel Atherton for quite some time, in South Africa she finally came out on top with her first ever World Cup win.  Rach may not have won but she did fight some serious adversity to a 2nd place finish. After spending the week on IV drip with a bacterial infection, Rach dug deep and pulled out a remarkable finish on one of the most physical tracks of the year. I think that there is going to be a good battle between Manon and Rachel this year. After dominating everything else she has set her mind to, Jill Kintner got her best downhill World Cup result to date with a 3rd place (YESSSSS Jill!). She is fit, skilled and has some serious motivation, watch out for this one.

2. Gold Rusch Tour: I go on and on about the Gold Rusch Tour but I think that it is such a cool program and I am so honored to be a part of it. Rebecca is one bad a#$ athlete but she is also incredibly smart, motivating and approachable and she has put so much time and effort into making this an exceptional program. Check out the schedule for Rebecca Rusch’s Gold Rusch tour and see if you might be able to #jointherusch.

3. Jolanda Neff & Maja Wloszczowska: I have yet to meet these two Liv teammates but they sure started the season with a bang. 1st and 3rd at the first World Cup of the year…and with some serious style at that. These girls can ride!

4. Clinics: Clinics are an amazing way to improve your bike skills quickly and safely. In my personal opinion one of the biggest things that holds people back from progression is a lack of a solid foundation. By foundation I mean body position, balance and braking (building on other elements from there). If you have problems here (which I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t) it will hinder your performance down the line and you are more susceptible to crashing and frustration. There are so many great coaches out there who offer clinics, camps and private lessons which are well worth your money. Here are a few that I recommend: Lindsey Voreis at Ladies AllRide, Kat Sweet at Sweetlines, Katrina Strand, Claire Buchar & Chris Kovarik, & Simon Lawton at Fluidride.

5. Biking in Afghanistan with Mountain 2 Mountain: Following her idea that “women and girls are change makers and catalysts for peace and global prosperity,” Shannon Galpin started a campaign to get women on bikes in Afghanistan. As one can imagine, this has been no easy feat. Shannon is currently in Afghanistan training with the Afghan Cycling team on the 53 bikes she just imported into the country. You can also check out the Bicycling Magazine Instagram feed where she is currently sharing her incredible story. 

6. Trish Bromley: Trish has been absolutely killing it this year. After a season-ending injury early in 2013, she made it her mission to do 2014 right. She learned to flip this winter at Joyride 150 in Toronto and has since taken it to the famous Post Office dirt jumps in Aptos, CA where she landed it on the mulch jump at the post-Sea Otter Jump Jam. When girls are out there pushing it, it motivates other girls to step it up which leads to some incredible progression. I think Trish is going to be one to watch this year and I am so excited to push each other this summer.

7. Rachel Atherton: This video has some great insight into what keeps her pushing the limits year after year.

8. Giant #DreamUpgrade: In 140 characters, explain what you would do with your dream bike!

9. Sturdy Dirty: You live in the NW? You a woman who loves riding with your friends? Want to race but have dance parties, bacon shots and mini massages along the way? This race might just be the race for you.

Photos: Dave Trumpore | Marius Maasewerd | Kris Hanning | Unknown: please contact for proper credit.

I read stuff that I am inspired by and totally motivated by all the time. Rather than keeping it to myself, I thought I might as well share it in hopes that it motivates you too. :) Check back next Wednesday for another dose. 

The Sea Otter Reunion

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The yearly family reunion has come and gone once again. There were more than a few family members missing this year with the overlap of the first World Cup of the year. Can’t say it was the best scheduling on behalf of either but I suppose that’s how it goes sometimes. Despite the absence of many riders, the crowds were as big as ever and the weather was perfect to top it off. I spent a lot of time over at SRAM helping out Rebecca Rusch with the Gold Rusch Tour. Over the years, it has become my favorite thing about Sea Otter. I absolutely love meeting all of the lovely ladies that make the journey out to Sea Otter to be a part of this cool program, both riders and attendees alike. I saw so many improvements in a short period of time at the clinics. It is amazing what cleaning up your foundation will do for your riding (more on that soon!), seeing those dramatic changes from so many women totally made my week. The panel discussions are so fun and informative too! Even though I am sitting on the panel for the discussions, I learn so much from all of the other athletes and have put to use so many tips I have picked up.

Aside from the Gold Rusch Tour, spending time with my Giant family was a real highlight. There was quite a strong presence from Giant this year, we pretty much had an island. Ha. Really though, I couldn’t be happier with the great team that makes up Giant, I love working and hanging out with this crew so much. Awwww.

ps- Thank you all for giving me a good a#% kicking regarding this thing…I am really, really going to try to keep the regular content coming, so if I start to slack…let me hear it! :)

Tunes // 4.22.14

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  1.  Adios General | Sol y Lluvia
  2.  El Diablo | Company Quinto
  3. Vivir Mi Vida (remix) | Tono Rosario
  4. Summer | Calvin Harris
  5. Do You Only Wanna Dance | Julio Daviel
  6. Cuba Libre | Zucchero
  7. Mal Bicho | Los Fabulosas Cadillacs
  8. Can’t Remember to Forget You | Shakira & Rihanna
  9. 212 | Azealia Banks
  10. Matador | La Fuente
  11. Timber | Pitbull

♫ Listen

I have been going crazy over all the photos from the EWS in Chillan de Nevados, Chile this past week. I have fallen in love with Chile over the last two years and it makes so happy that the rest of the world got a glimpse as to how cool it is, I hope that more people choose to ride, travel and race in here in years to come.  It is a stunningly beautiful country with the most warm and welcoming people. Enjoy some of my favorite tunes from my trip down south…

What’s in my Camelbak

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One thing that I have gotten good at over the years is packing…well kinda. I still think I bring way too many clothes, but that aside, I usually have exactly what I need and a well packed back makes anywhere feel like home. Since it is really starting to feel like Spring and Spring usually means the start of bike adventures, I decided to start with my Camelbak. These core items go with me wherever I go…

  • Camelbak Spark: This is my favorite pack for long rides. The weight sits really low and I think that it actually improves my posture on my bike. The pack as a whole really hugs your body and you hardly feel like you are wearing anything which I love.
  • Smith Buff: This goes everywhere with me…I usually use it as a neck warmer but you can use it for so many things.
  • Lezyne Pressure Drive
  • Jacket: I always pack a jacket of some kind, a small little windbreaker goes a long way when it gets chilly. In the winter it is not uncommon for me to pack my small down jacket as well.
  • Snacks
  • Elixir: I feel so much better after my rides if I drink this during my ride rather than straight water.
  • Little bag with derailer hangers, bolts, power links, zip ties etc.
  • Chapstick with a bunch of extra hair bands around it
  • Tire levers
  • Hand warmers: I get cold easily and they can make a long, wet ride much more comfortable.
  • Tube
  • Extra pair of gloves
  • Duck tape: Fixes everything.
  • Tiny Lezyne multitool which I keep in my pocket
  • Lezyne multitool with all the essentials
  • Identification: I always keep a copy of my license, passport, emergency contact info and insurance info in my pack. When I travel I also have a paper with local contacts, information as to where I am staying, flight info and travel insurance (I use the same paper when I enter a country as customs/immigration like it…I have multiple copies and always keep these together)
  • Emergency pack: first aid gloves, emergency blanket, headlamp, knife, whistle, fire starter and compass
  • SPF (not pictured because I need to buy more!)
  • I keep all the random bits in a little bag so I don’t have a bunch of loose items in my pack. Makes transferring items from one pack to another a breeze.

Is there anything that I am missing? What do you carry in your pack?

My 2013 Gift Guide

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I put together a gift guide with some of my favorite things for this holiday season. Enjoy!

1. Lezyne Port-a-shop // This kit has almost everything you need and is something I use nearly every day.

2. Voluspa mini candle // I bring a candle with me almost everywhere I go. It is just one of those things that makes a place feel a little more like home and that is important to me since I am on the road so much. These are my favorite.

3. Right to Play 20 for 20 for 20 // My favorite organization Right to Play has launched a campaign to give 20,000 kids the gift of play. Through play, kids are both educated and empowered which helps them to overcome adversities and become the leaders of tomorrow. I have made a personal donation and it would mean a lot to me if you did to.

4. Vio Life Sonic Toothbush // I love this thing. I keep one is my purse when I am home and I always use it when I travel in lieu of my larger electronic toothbrush. It operates on a AAA battery, is small and very travel friendly.

5. North Face Thunder Jacket // It doesn’t matter where I go, this jacket comes with me. It is my favorite jacket I have ever owned. Perfect when you are a little chilly after a ride. Layer it under a waterproof shell when things get bad and you will be happy and comfortable.

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Photo of the Day

p4pb10223865 Katie Holden Mountain biking in Whistler BC Katie Holden Mountain biking in Whistler BC scott-markewitz-012 scott-markewitz-018

I’ve gotten quite a few POD’s recently. The red wave was shot near Mendoza, Argentina by John Wellburn and appeared on Pinkbike. The others were shot by Scott Markewitz in Whistler and appeared on Bike Mag. Stoked!

Sound Velo

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After returning from Argentina, I had the opportunity to coach this awesome group of ladies at Tapeworm down in Renton. The Sound Velo/Team Group Health Team has primarily been a road team in the past but as of recently, more of the women are racing mountain and cyclocross. We worked a lot on changing body positioning from that of a road bike to a mountain bike and getting them comfy on more technical terrain.

PS. They have the best collection of puffy jackets ever.

Järvso, park love

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I loved this place before I even went up the mountain. It has such a great laid back vibe. And the numbers they have rolling through this park are quite impressive! For those who have visited Highland Bike Park, this place has a similar feel. There is a good variety of trails, with nice progressions from trail to trail. And when you are taking a break, there are comfy couches to lounge on with your friends while eating the best food I have ever eaten at a bike park. All of the trails are named after Swedish pop star Barbro, so you’ve got Twist Twist, Lite for Liten, En Tuff Brud etc. My favorite trails were Kristin, Malin and En Tuff Brud. I must say, the berms in this place are some of the best built berms period…soooo snappy. As I mentioned before, days in Sweden are long in the summer, so the lift was running till 10pm! That was a first. 

Aside from riding and filming while we were here, we coached a two day camp. We had a really fun and enthusiastic bunch which made some solid gains in their riding in just two days. Seeing people ride corners and technical terrain with ease after some modifications to body position and breaking makes me so happy. Bikes are so much more fun when you feel confident on your bike!

 

Lofsdalen

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Lofsdalen is growing! This place may be a little small now, but not for long. Right now there are 4 trails, but there are plans for many more. Gravity Logic has been out here marking trails and helping this park to build a foundation for excellence. It is pretty cool to be able to travel around the world and be comfortable on a trail right from the beginning, Gravity Logic definently has a signature!

It was a little wet during our time here but I live in the NW so a little wet weather is always welcome. :)