My 2013 Gift Guide

HoldensGiftGuide2013

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.

Continue reading

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

IMG_9182

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

IMG_3524

IMG_3558

IMG_3568

IMG_3622

IMG_3628

IMG_3635

IMG_3639

IMG_3640

IMG_3642

IMG_3643

IMG_3649
IMG_3653

IMG_3666

IMG_3699

IMG_3714

IMG_3731

IMG_3733

IMG_3743

IMG_3757

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

IMG_3507

IMG_3496IMG_3502

IMG_3497

IMG_3491

IMG_3436

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. :)

Hafjell

IMG_3030 IMG_3029 IMG_2956
IMG_2949

IMG_2948

IMG_2946

For those outside of Europe, Hafjell only recently came on the radar when they hosted the World Cup Finals last September. However, Hafjell has had a long history of hosting sporting events, including the 1994 Winter Olympics. Lilhammer! Ahhh ha. Took me a minute too! Hafjell hosted Slalom and Giant Slalom. The Olympic legacy is still alive with the logo cut into the trees!

I was blown away at the size of the park. It is big! Lot’s of trails and tons of variety. Excavated, tech, jump, race…you name it, they’ve got it. A lot of love has been put into this park, the trails are very well thought out and there is a lot of love and passion put into these trails. If you are in Scandinavia, do not miss this place. And say hi to Snorre while your at it, he’s the man behind it all.

Here are a few videos to get you pumped while you wait for ours!

 

 

Sälen, the place to learn

IMG_3129

IMG_3072

IMG_3075

IMG_3079

IMG_3093

IMG_3148

IMG_3205

IMG_3234

IMG_3262

IMG_3266

IMG_3268

IMG_3270

IMG_3286

IMG_3349

IMG_3363

The first thing that struck me about Sälen is the sheer number of kids.

We arrived bright and early at the mountain and the adults were few and far between, but there were kids on bikes everywhere. Coincidence? Think again. Sälen is the largest ski resort in Sweden with over 100 chairlifts across their multiple mountains. In the winter time, this town swells to over 50,000, made up primarily of families. The slope of the mountain is mellow and there are little cabins scattered at the bottom of every lift which makes for a very family friendly environment. The mountain is safe and friendly and the kids roam free. Restaurants and shops are abundant. And pools, waterslide, spa and indoor wave make up a family center for rainy days or winter evenings.

The bike park itself was designed by Gravity Logic so you know it is going to be good. The trails are well thought out and the grade makes it the perfect place to learn. There are lots of little obstacles to play on and hone skills with little consequence. We met up with local phenom, Lucas Soderberg who showed us around the park and impressed us with his sneaky lines and style. This kid is one to watch out for…bike, skis, indoor wave, tramp…skillllls.

The Soderberg family invited us over for a wonderful meal at their house on our final day in town. And some Wii. :)

Midsummers

11485_10101583106304173_885645756_n

IMG_2633 IMG_2635  IMG_2666  IMG_2689  IMG_2696  IMG_2723  IMG_2727  IMG_2738  IMG_2774  IMG_2778  IMG_2780  IMG_2796  IMG_2805  IMG_2817  IMG_2873  IMG_2874  IMG_2875  IMG_2876  IMG_2877

IMG_2880  IMG_2882  IMG_2887  IMG_2888  IMG_2889  IMG_2891  IMG_2894

How have I missed Midsommer’s all my life?!

This holiday was so much better than I had ever imagined. For those of you unfamiliar with Midsummer’s, it takes place on the longest day of the year and is a national holiday here in Sweden. Think 4th of July or Canada Day, but better. The day is made up of lots of delicious food and drinks, a maypole, games (we only made it though one because everyone got lost on the scavenger hunt, haha), more food, dancing and lots of drinking and stories. I haven’t had much Swedish food before so this was my chance, I got it all! Swedes like to drink on Midsummer so a lot of that went on too. Schnapps is the drink of midsummer’s and before every toast a song has to be sung. Lots of songs were sung. We partied into the wee hours…daylight hours because it doesn’t get dark here! All in all it was an amazing day, with a lot of great new friends thanks to Jenny. Thanks Axel and family for having us!

Stockholm

20130702-225612.jpg

IMG_2421  IMG_2441  IMG_2474  IMG_2497  IMG_2526  IMG_2547  IMG_2553  IMG_2562  IMG_2565  IMG_2566  IMG_2569  IMG_2587  IMG_2590  IMG_2625

If there is one city that exudes class, Stockholm it is.

We spent a couple of days in and around Stockholm on our arrival and I pretty much fell in love with it. Every one rides bikes, everyone puts time into their appearances and the city is incredibly clean and friendly. The city is full of bike lanes and from my own observations it seems to be the transportation of choice for a morning commute. There are people of all ages, sizes and personalities cruising through the bike lanes! And talk about polished. Everyone is so well dressed,  I could just sit there for hours and people watch.

Stockholm has a the largest archipelago in Sweden and the hundreds of islands surrounding the city are popular summer weekend spots for the Swedes. We ferried out to Sandhamn and spent the afternoon on bikes exploring the island. There are no bike trails per say but saying that, there are no cars on the island so bikes are the most efficient means of transportation and there are lots of fun walking tracks that can be doubled as bike trails. The island itself is so incredibly charming. Beaches, sailboats, little red cottages and seafood a plenty.