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! :)
I was so proud to be a part of this event. I saw how hard everyone at Altius worked to put this thing together and to see it all come together in such a spectacular fashion was pretty bad ass….the turn out was huge, the excitement was contagious and it was just FUN. So fun. There was a lot of pressure to make this a great event and they went above and beyond, I think you are going to see a lot more of the Downhill Taxco in years to come.
I LOVE RAMPAGE. It is seriously the coolest event ever. I went there a few days early to hang out and dig…it is so cool being out in the desert in this kind of environment with all of your good friends. I like getting to know a place and Rampage is no different. Pretty cool to see all of the lines up close, see how other riders see the lines and also help to bring what they see to life (I have a long way to go when it comes to digging though!). The days were long but I loved every minute of it…sunrise to sunset!!
I was so honored to be a part of the Deep Summer Photo Challenge this year. We had such an incredible team (Schley, Tippie, Zink, Sorge, Kerr & Jackson) and and the incredible Scott Markewitz and the super talented Anthony Bonello editing! The photo challenge is a bit of a whirlwind. You’ve got 3 days to shoot, 1 day to edit and then it’s showtime in front of all of Whistler. Pretty awesome if you ask me!! So without further adieu…
I love NYC. It’s as simple as that. I will pretty much make any excuse to go there. No, it’s not the mountains…it is as far as you can get from my ‘happy place’ but in a totally different way it is another happy place for me. I just love walking around. I love the sights, the sounds, the people, the smells, the bustle. There is always something going on, people are always on their way somewhere. I absolutely love it. I can spend day in and day out just exploring!
So yah, you get the point. I did an event with Rebecca Rusch last fall in NYC. I also ran the NYC Marathon last fall. I could not spend this much time out east and not come to NYC.
For this trip I partnered up with Bicycle Habitat which is a pretty awesome shop out of Soho. From there we held a free clinic in Cunningham Park in Brooklyn. We had a great turnout and I think everyone learned a thing or two.
NYC has quite a vibrant mountain bike scene. There are a bunch of die hards that work really hard to make sure that everyone can ride a mountain bike in NYC which is pretty cool. Aside from mountain biking, people just love bikes in general. Pretty awesome!
If you are ever in NYC, do yourself and check out Yonkers, Cunningham and Highbridge Parks. You can find more information on Ride the City. There are more details about the trails and it also helps you to get to the trails via subway. Which I must add was a real experience. I am pretty good on the subways but the subway at rush hour with a bike was a definitely a good life experience. I navigated my way from Jersey City to Brooklyn…3 train changes, a lot of stairs and a mad sprint to the park. Yewwwwwwww. :)
One cool thing that I did while in Vermont was coach the Little Bellas for a day. Little Bellas is an organization developed by the Davison sisters with the goal being ‘to help young women realize their potential through cycling’. They have weekend camps, week-long camps and month long camps…and let me say, the girls love it. They get dropped off every morning and get to spend the day out on the trails, doing yoga and hanging out with all of their friends. These girls are young but they learn fast and there are some real shredders. I had a great time helping the girls to make some small improvements to their riding which made some pretty noticeable differences. It was also so fun to answer a huge array of questions and sign some posters and sweet Camelbak schwag. LOVED THIS!!
I am on my way out to Pennsylvania right now for the Dirt Fest. It is going to be an awesome weekend. Miss Rebecca Rusch ie. The Queen of Pain has scheduled a stop of her Gold Rusch tour here so we will be around all weekend doing demos, coaching and skills clinics. I would love to see all of your smiling faces so be there!
If you can’t make it but you know someone that might be interested, spread the word.
The Tour of California rolled through Santa Cruz County yesterday. Pretty cool to have such a big event in my own backyard. I rode up to the Bear Creak KOM with a few boys to check it out. There were sooo many people…lawn chairs, BBQ’s on the side of the road, lots of costumes, beer, wine, snacks….great scene. I was totally blown away by the guys speed uphill…especially after nearly 100 miles. So gnarly. I have a whole new respect, seriously. Those guys are machines. There were also some guys that were just totally blown out, faces were pure pain…and they were still flying too.
Not only were they flying uphill but they were pinned on the downhills. You would think being a downhiller and all I would be able to descend on a road bike…not the case. It is freaking scary with cars and little tires. hahah. Last night when we were watching the Tour on TV we saw this guy descending Jameson Grade PINNED….foot out and everything. Crazy.Wayyy more gnarly than any downhill course.
Peter Sagan has won Stages 1 and 2 so far. He got a flat like 5 miles from the finish in Stage 1 and still came back to win. Yesterday he got in a wreck, got a flat and won again…digging deep.
Anyway, for all you California people, there is a good chance the Tour is coming to a town near you. Today is the start of Day 3 and it is 8 days long so there is still a bit to go. If you’ve got a chance I would definently recommend checking it out. You can find all the info here.
Sea Otter has come and gone once again. I feel like it totally sneaks up on me every year. You are doing your thing all winter and then all of the sudden it is the middle of April and bike season has officially begun. I kinda like it like that. Anyway, it was a great festival once again. Busy as. I raced slalom and downhill, spent a bunch of time at the SRAM Ladies Lounge, did a signing at Camelbak, went to the Strength in Numbers premiere and caught up with all my friends and sponsors. Fun times. Busy times. I felt like I just left Vegas at the end of it all.
I wish there were more slalom races, it is seriously so fun. Everyone loves it…racers and fans alike. I had a mechanical in qualifying and ended up qualifying right near the back which meant I was going to have my work cut out for me from round one. In slalom you are put into a bracket according to you qualifying position so first races last, all the way down and it goes out from there. Anyway, I raced Jojo (Joanna Petterson) in round one. Last year I crashed in qualifying and she took me out in the first round, this year we battled it out and I beat her. :) Good fun. Anyway, I made it to the round of 8 and got knocked out by Junior World Champ Manon Carpenter who went on to get 3rd. Jill slayed it all night long. Jill 1st, Buhly 2nd, Manon 3rd. On the boys side, Kyle Strait did America proud and won it…sooooo awesome.
I got my butt kicked in the downhill. I have so much fun riding the track and doing massive trains but racing it is another story. I have been working on my pedaling a lot this off-season and I am feeling pretty strong but to be honest I was just beat and the girls totally out rode me. Not a whole lot in the tank come Sunday after a big week.
I am so excited to add Camelbak to the sponsor lineup for 2012. They make some really great products, they are based in the Bay Area and they people are rad.
Just before Sea Otter we went out and shot some photos which you should be seeing in the near future on the website, ads and/or a tradeshow booth near you. Keep yer eye out.
Camelbak treated me very well at Sea Otter. In addition to keeping me running in heat with delicious Elixir’s, they rented a totally bad ass house right on the beach. it was a very nice place to unwind after the crazyness of Sea Otter. Pretty cool for all the boys too, after working the booth all day they got to blow off some steam with a sunset surf session.
The Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival is growing fast. More people, more sponsors, more legit. Pretty cool to see here in the SC…or Aptos I should say. This is the 3rd year going for the festival and in addition to the Pumptrack, Dirt Jump and Short Track races/contests, they added a Super Enduro. Overall the festival has a great vibe, really laid back, lots of vendors, lots of food, beer, the Camp of Champions air bag. Fun times.
I have never done a Super Enduro but I decided I ought to have a go at it as it was the first legally sanctioned race in Demonstration Forest and Nisene Marks. The race was capped at 50 because it was the first event of its kind in the area…stackedddd field. Huge step for mountain biking here in Santa Cruz County. Basically the format of the race was three climbing stages, three downhill stages. The climbing stages were not timed per say but you had to finish them in an alloted amount of time. The downhill stages were timed and a combo of those three stages gave you the winner. I was sooo nervous for this race, I mean there was nothing scary on any of the courses but it was more the unknown. Wasn’t sure how to pace myself, didn’t really know where I was going. I seriously had so much fun, it was like a giant group ride with a few timed bits mixed in. When all was said and done it was like 25+ miles and 5000+ feet of climbing. Can’t say I did too well, I really had no idea where I was going and I found it hard to keep speed, get in the right gears or anticipate much but I just went with it. At least I got the first one out of the way and I know what to expect for next time. I think this is something we are going to see a lot more of in the near future. :)
Soooo we attempted a Women’s Day in Santa Cruz back in March, but the skies decided to let loose for a week straight and we had to cancel. Specialized held a Women’s Day this past weekend…which ELLEN promoted, how cool is that? Well, I was racing this past weekend so I had to pass on that specific ride. BUT third times a charm right? MAY 12th @ 12pm we are doing a women’s ride at Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz, CA and I would loveee to see you there. Everyone is welcome…all ages, skill levels, speed, experience! It is just going to be a fun ride for everyone! It will be a great opportunity to ride some fun trails and meet some fun new friends and get some fun schwag. :) It’s going to be FUN.
You can sign up by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with May 12th in the subject line.