Tuesday, June 01, 2010

GGGGrowler!! YEAH BABY!!

As i am sitting here typing this, I think back to the amazing trail i got the privilege to ride on Sunday- the Gunnison Gowler. Thanks to Dave Wiens, I got into this race that filled up back in February in 10 hours when the registration opened. Amazing. I emailed him last week in attempt to get in, knowing there's a goooood chance i probably won't, cuz everyone wants to do it. That just shows how awesome this race is- and luckily i was able to experience it.

Chris and I headed up and over the pass from Carbondale into Crested Butte on Friday. We rode some trails there (they are drying out quick! pretty exciting...) and afterward met up with Rachael, who we just hired as our wedding planner- i am so excited to have someone to help me to plan the wedding- its going to be so fun!! I feel like things are on track for the wedding, and i have no doubt its going to be so amazing- with plenty of bike riding over the weekend and beautiful scenery. every time i go to crested butte it takes my breath away. I could stare at those mountains all day...

We camped out with some friends Friday night down in Gunnison off the Hartman Rocks trails which i would be racing on for Sunday. Saturday morning we did a great ride out on the trails, doing a good portion of the course so i could get a taste of what was to come for the race. With the race being about 95% singletrack, i was in for some good times for sunday!!

Saturday eve we met up with Jen Gersbach, Miles Venzara and Nick Gould for some tasty dinner at Garlic Mikes outside of Gunnison. I stuffed myself with bread and pasta- its going to be a long day on the bike! I looked at lap times from last years results- gonna be around 7 hours- yep that would be the longest race i have ever done. i kept thinking about that as i stuffed as much food in as my belly would hold. and then, i was full.

Chris and I camped out in the van with the doggies in front of the comfort inn hotel where jen, miles and nick were staying- ok so we poached the breakfast in the morning- and utilized the bathrooms. the key things in the morning of a bike race- especially when it starts at 7am! Chris pulled out the french press and whipped up some supa euro coffee to get us going. I can't say that i am used to being ready to race my bike that early in the morning. I dont usually get up until about 830am. so this was a tad rough for me.

We rolled over to the start line around 645am and it was really chilly- like 36F. but knowing it was gonna get really hot later, and stopping to strip clothes wasn't going to happen, we shivered in shorts and short sleeves (gersbach had sleeveless! crazy chick) until the symbolic gun shots rang out at 7am sharp. we had a neutral roll out for the first 2 miles through town which lead us down to the gravel and the famous kill hill first climb. this is where the race started. the neutral car pulled off, and it was on. well sort of. with over 200 people around you climbing a steep hill with all types of abilities, needless to say it was a chaotic first lap. The neutral roll out didn't exactly space everyone out, and there was a waiting line to get onto the single track. after getting rolling, we were going pretty darn slow- like painfully slow. but there was no point in passing, since you wouldn't get very far. there were just so many people all racing together that the trails were solid with racers. so, i had to be patient, and know that it was a long day, and not to get too antsy. half way through, things started to spread out more and i could finally ride without tipping over. looking back i really needed to pass more people in the beginning before the singletrack- i guess i didn't really think that it would be that backed up the course.

i finally reached the end of the first lap and saw gersbach on the sidelines- she dropped out. she had taken a serious fall and it shook her up a little bit. she was fine, but i still wanted to talk to her. looking back on this, i should have kept riding and talked to her later... not sure what i was thinking. i wasted almost 10 minutes hanging out eating, talking, etc. i would never do that in another race. funny. Chris was there, and he ended up riding with me on the second lap. This was totally awesome no kidding. having him there riding behind me helped me mentally so much. just knowing that if anything happened, he would be there- and i always love riding with him-he kept encouraging me, pushing me to go harder, go faster- i wish he could ride with me in every race! the feed zones were great- one of them had cold coke (which was perfect!) and bacon- yeah i skipped on that since i still had quite a bit left to race... but the vibe of the race was just that- fun, exciting, and hardcore. i feel like i finished strong on my second lap- i was running on low but was still able to push through it and finish in 4th place- i actually didn't know how i finished until today when a friend called me to let me know. I had no idea, other than what people would say on the sidelines while i was racing- apparently they were a little off as far as my placing- i thought i got 7th. My final time was 7 hours and 24 minutes. whew.

slightly delirious, very hungry, and sun baked i rode back to downtown gunnison (it was a requirement to ride back to officially finish the race) and they had free beer, food and a band playing- awesome! for $55, all this was included! i have to say, this was one of the best run races i have done- with all the amazing trails, volunteers, and great food at the end, i can see why so many people want to do this race! Hands down, one of my favorite races in Colorado.

Chris and I hung out for a while and enjoyed the food and caught up with everyone afterward- we shoveled in the tasty food and beer and hit the road back home. Time to rest and clean up for the next race in Angelfire! yeah!

Thanks again to Dave and all the volunteers who handed out cokes, bacon, nutella, and pb and j wraps- delicious! I will definitely be back next year!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Triple Crown Series, Nathrop CO

A little bit of suffering during my first race of the season- as you can see, I need to put a little muscle on the 'ole pipes since I can't seem to keep my arm warmers up...

My teammate Shannon Gibson and i before the Cross Country race for the US Cup. Thanks Dave McElwaine for the photos!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chalk Creek Stampede, Nathrop CO

Ahh, the first race of the season- very painful, unknowing of how things will go, and finding out how fit everyone else is. I headed down to Nathrop CO on Friday after work, driving down Hwy 24 through several inches of snow that later that evening changed to heavy cold windy rain as i reached Salida. Spring time in the mountains- gotta love it!

I met up with Jen Gersbach and her man Miles who drove up from Durango at the hotel in Salida, CO Friday eve. I was excited to be at a race for the first time this season i think mainly to see everyone again! We grabbed some dinner at a little pub next to the river- we saw Georgia and Dusty there too, fueling up before Saturday's racing. Ok ok so Jen and I did take note of what she was eating- and yes, we ordered the same :) ha! kinda funny.

The next morning we headed over to the bakery beside Absolut Bikes to grab some breakfast, and figure out what we wanted to do- Super D (which later would be called Super T) was at 10:30am, it was 8:30am and the rain was coming down in cold sheets. Mmmm.... Sit in coffee shop and be warm and dry, or ride bikes in cold rain...

so we ran back to the car and drove into Nathrop to ride bikes. yeah, we picked plan B. Jen is an overachiever- ha! thats probably why she's so fast!! Luckily the rain held off, but the wind started up- oh well. So the course for the super D was NOT what i expected- i was hoping they would do the last few miles of the xc course, which is fun, fast and runs by the creek, with a nice punchy gravel wide finish. perfect! nope, they did it TT style, where we pedaled either uphill or false flat the whole time-with maybe 15 seconds of downhill. SUCKKKKK! I was really sad about the course choice- it wasn't at all what i was expecting for a super D. Everyone rode Hardtails, i have my 5 inch travel bike. woohoo. Needless to say, I did horribly, and after Gersbach passed me i sort of gave up. I just wasn't into it anymore. Tomorrow was another day.

Sunday was the XC, and a lot more girls showed for it- every fast woman from Saturday (Georgia, Kelly, Heather, Krista, Katie Compton) as well as more fast girls who are locals here in CO. Good Times. We actually had a really good turnout, primarily since it was a Triple Crown US Cup. It was great to see everyone again- I think thats half the reason why i race bikes...

Up until the word "go" i was catching up with people on the start line, asking about how their winters went and what they have been up to- then i realized what i was standing there for when things got serious and we were hammering down the first stretch. ouch!!
needless to say, i had a horrible start- no surprise. I was off the back- uuuhhhhh! time to play catchup quick- but it being my first race, i needed to pace myself since i had no idea if my body would last at this pace- the first 2 laps were pathetic- but once i found my pace, i could hold it and just keep motoring. i didn't get first, i didn't get last. i am ok with how i did- i think i could have pushed harder, but this race is always super rough for me with all the flat power riding- not exactly my cup of tea.

I am looking towards the next race this weekend- The Growler. Oh yes, I got in! Thanks to Gersbach- i am one of the lucky ones who get to suffer on the 64 mile course this sunday in Gunnison. Ezther did it last year in under 7 hours- i am planning on 7.5 hours. Even though its only 64 miles, apparently its really technical- so not super fast. My plan is to get into my groove and just motor along. I am really excited for it, but a tad nervous too- we'll see how it goes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

12 Hours of Mesa Verde!

Last weekend, Chris and I (and the doggies) headed down to Cortez, CO for the awesome race, 12 hours of Mesa Verde. Originally I was going to do it solo, but looking back i am soooo glad Chris convinced me to do it on a team-Our team consisted of me, Chris, and our friend Kris Lathrop- Hi Ho Silver was our name! yeah!

The trail that we race on is Phil's World- one of the most fun, fast, swoopy trails ever- with the highlight of the course being Ribcage- yeah, you can get some serious air on those swoops if you're not careful- I rode several times on my front wheel praying that i could hold on with out crashing...

Lathrop did the first lap, which includes some running, and sprinting to get a good position. He ended up top 10 at the start! unfortunately, Kris flatted twice, and we ended up being a bit behind compared to the teams we wanted to be competitive with. Chris also had a rough first lap with his pedal breaking and derailleur hanger messing up- luckily though that was the last of our issues for the day, and the remaining laps were problem free! In between the laps, we had made a sweet campsite with a few of our friends from Durango and Glenwood- Dave n Kathy, Nick and Kara, Tim and Megan, Shannon Gibson and Kenny, Jen Gersbach and Miles, and others who came and went- I think we also had a 1 to 1 ratio of dogs to people too- I was excited to race, but it was awesome to just hang out and relax with everyone all day too!

We ended up 4th overall for the co-ed 3-4 people team- Which I thought was great! Jay Henry's team won, Gersbach and Gibson's team got 2nd, and another team I don't know got 3rd-
After racing we relaxed and killed a few beers around the camp fire. Doesn't get better than that!

The next day Chris, Kris and I rolled into Durango and met up with Jen G. and Miles and took the dogs to the river to romp and play- there was talk of doing a ride, but that quickly dissolved and relaxing was a way better idea. After dominating a couple bakeries (Absolut Bakery in Monaco, and Bread in Durango) we munched on our cookies and baked goods while driving back to Glenwood. It was a solid weekend of sweet riding/racing (whichever you would like to call it) and catching up with great friends. Next stop- Nathrop! Woohoo!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Moab, UT White Rim Weekend!

This is the Delicate Arch in Moab, UT. Kris Lathrop, Chris and I went on a hike on Sunday to see some of the arches in Moab. I hardly ever get the chance to go on a hike, so it was really fun to do the 'tourist' thing and see the sights instead of riding. The plan for the day was to go sky diving, but the weather was not the best.. and riding was out of the picture since there was no way I could sit on a saddle after riding White Rim the day before.

Kris, Chris and I had joined another group of people from Aspen who were planning to ride White Rim in a day, May 1st. We camped on Friday night at the top of Shafer trail (which is a long climb, especially at the end of the day) and began riding Saturday morning at 6:30am. The plan was to be riding by 6am, but hey, I am NOT a morning person. I thought 6:30am was pretty good... so we watched the sun rise on our bikes as we made our way towards the white rim trail, prepared with camelbaks, lots of granola bars and some sour patch kids. yep, i have decided that gummie candy is way better to eat for this type of riding than anything resembling a healthy bar or Gu. We started 20 miles further away from everyone else and our support vehicle (which contained our food, extra clothes and water) who stayed at hotels and began riding from the visitors center. I suppose we just like the challenge- so for the first 4 hours of our ride, we had to make up 20 miles on our group to catch up before we ran out of water- this meant going harder than I would have liked at that time of the morning but we did catch them- and it was glorious!

Now that the stressful part was over (not knowing if we would ever catch them and get more food and water) we could ride and enjoy ourselves. The views were amazing! I think thats what I like best about mountain biking- it brings you to far away places and you get to see things many people might never see-
We stopped for lunch around mile 65-70 which was cold pizza- sooo delicious! again, health bars just don't cut it when it comes to riding for that many hours- real food is essential! I was craving something real, and Nick Armano had turned us on to the idea of cold pizza last year while riding the colorado trail- pulling out a pizza from the back pocket on the top of a mountain pass in the middle of no where is the best!

After lunch we had a few set backs (Nick flatted 3 times! poor guy! sucky!) but the 3rd one held and we were off to finish our last stretch of our 100 mile ride. I have to admit, at mile 85, i was pretty much ready to be off my bike. I was riding my trusty Spot, which was great for the climbs, but when it came to the rocky sections my butt was killing me! A full suspension would be a much better bike for that length of ride- I am hoping to have my ASR-5 built up for this weekend at Mesa Verde. Chris was having an awesome day and he ended up pulling us on the long stretches of flatness on the trail- which was sweet since the wind was picking up and we were all getting tired. Finally the last climb was upon us, and we all knew once we got to the top the ride was done! our new Outside Van Sprinter was waiting at the top filled with chips and beer! oh yeah!

The group made it back safe and we all celebrated and rejoiced after getting out of our chamois and into some dry clothes while sipping some nicely chilled Tecate and BLL. White Rim in a day successfully accomplished :) This weekend is 12 hours of Mesa Verde- Cortez here we come!
Me n Chris stopping for an awesome view on White Rim. It was early, we probably had only been riding for about 3.5 hours. Still smiling! We couldn't have asked for better weather!

Ridin White Rim...

Kris Lathrop taking some action shots on the trail! He's got some serious talent! Nick, Chris and Me. Ridin Ridin Ridin
Our White Rim Posse!! From the Left: Me, Nick Armano, Steve, and Chris-Kris Lathrop is taking the picture. This was at 8am, we had been riding for about 1.5 hours- we just descended Shafer Trail and the weather was amazing! not too hot, probably around 55F. Let the day begin!
Still Riding...And Smiling! Taking a little food break/Fixing bikes/excuse to take in some of the scenery... It took us 11.5 hours to finish (total ride time was about 9.5 hours- yep, we took some serious breaks. We finished on Horse Thief trail, which was about 1500 ft of climbing at mile 99. oh yeah. We camped at the top of that climb, so we were done after that! woohoo!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

San Fran Visit

Simon, Kristin, and Tilda Lux! She is 8 days old here, and doing awesome! And yes, we are out at a bar in San Fran, CA. Ha! she is getting used the the hip scene :)

After the photo shoot in Solvang, Chris and I drove up the coast to visit my sister Kristin and her husband Simon in San Fran- They just had their first baby 8 days before we got there! little Tilda Lux, so cute! We spent a couple days getting to know the little chickadee. I was honored when Kristin said she looks like me! Kristin and Lil Til are doing great! And with Simon as her daddy she will probably be the most photographed baby ever :) We went out for some tasty sushi to celebrate Chris's 30th birthday! Mmmmmm!

Sunny and Warm West Coast Ridin

Chris and I stopped for a little photo action on a ride in Solvang a couple weeks ago. So warm and sunny! and I couldn't believe how green everything was! we timed the trip to CA perfectly with temps in the 60-70's and flowers blooming everywhere.

Solvang, CA

Riding in Solvang! and look, no arm warmers, knees, or lobster gloves! woohoo! I was invited to CA to do a photo shoot with Trek Bikes, and in between photo sessions we had a chance to ride around the beautiful area- It was such great riding! I can see why some road teams travel to Solvang for training.

Riding in Solvang, CA

Chris enjoying the awesome weather in Solvang! It was beautiful there- flowing grassy hills, amazing flowers- there is tons of road riding there too- Chris did Figueroa Mountain, which is the climb that Lance rides on when he comes to Solvang to train- its steep!!

Its a new year!

Wow, I can't believe that the last time I wrote on this blog it was the fruita race LAST year! jeez. I need to get my act together! Ok, well I will get ya up to date on what is going on. Part of the problem is that I can't write on this at work since its blocked on my computer there so my writing time has been almost extinct- my new job (In Glenwood Springs, CO) is awesome, but the down side is that I can't do anything fun like surf the web or write on my blog :)

so right now i am sitting outside in the warm sun as i type this- it has been a rough winter though, with lots of cold weather and snow. This being my first winter/spring up in Glenwood Springs, I had to change my activities a bit to accommodate all the snow- which was great- I started doing other activities instead of just riding- more skate skiing, skinning (yes, I got converted back to skiing again..) and running. I ran my first marathon in FL in January! So although I haven't gotten a lot of riding in this season yet, I have had a chance to experience lots of different things that I might have never done.

But now its time to start riding again- I have a saweet Yeti ASR-5 Carbon frame in the basement waiting to get built up! i am missing all the parts still, but hopefully they are in the mail...
I am really excited for the season- I am trying a different approach. I am going to do more endurance racing (which i think i am better at anyway) and doing less races overall. I have about 6 races planned right now- thats about a quarter of what i would normally do!

So here is the schedule:
5/1: White Rim Moab, UT in one day
5/8: 12 hours of Mesa Verde, Cortez CO
6/5: MSC #3 Angel Fire, NM (possibly)
6/26: MSC #4 Fat Tire 40 Crested Butte, CO
7/4: Marathon National Champs Breckenridge, CO
7/17: Silver Rush 50 Leadville, CO
7/31: Laramie Enduro
*** 8/22-8/28: Breck Epic!! the big race!***

Depending on how Breck Epic goes (which is gonna be RAD) i might do 12 hours of Snowmass and 24 hrs of Moab. I am excited about racing this year- starting a little later than most years (Fruita was last weekend) but hoping to not get burnt out like last year by the end of the season.

I will attempt to keep this thing updated with pics and stuff as much as i can- Promise!


Monday, May 04, 2009

(L to R): Jen G. (2nd Place) Jen S. (1st place) and Jen T. (3rd place) ALL Jens!!! supa cool! this was after the TT on saturday. First race sporting the new Dales Pale Ale Jersey on the podium! Woohooo!

Jen G. looking like she is gonna attack the camera guy... and killin it! She got 2nd on the day...

Me attempting to rip... but very very tired.... with a guy breathing down my neck....

Chad rippin it at fruita on the SS....

Monday, April 20, 2009

first race of the season!!!

wow so it started- the chaos of the season. again. its crazy how fast the seasons go by- i feel like i just finished racing cross a month or so ago- i suppose i am starting later than a lot of other racers- some have been racing since February. but, i am planning for a long season so i would rather wait for the weather to be a little better before digging too deep on the training aspect:)
the mountain states cup #1 was this past weekend in Fruita, CO. i have set my goals on local races this year since i am flat broke from years past of paying for airfare, hotel, car rental, entry fees, etc etc. la la la. and, since the local races are becoming just as expensive, i figured i would just save some cash and drive to all of them- after winning some decent prize money this past weekend, i am gonna try to have a goal of at least making part of my entry fees back at each race weekend- not saying that $70 is a lot, but it is something, and way more than expected for 3rd place in a 19 minute TT. i will take it!!!
so yeah- i got 3rd place on saturday- on a wicked hard TT course that included a steep climb that i thought i might puke at the top of, then some good techy type riding that weeded out the roadies from going too fast. i was way off of jenny smith's time, but still managed to pull off 3rd place behind her and jen gersbach, my new teammate. it made for a pretty funny podium of 3 jens... we got a few pics so hopefully i can post one if i can get a hold if any...
so i suppose i should insert a little blurb about my change of teams for the mountain bike season-i have decided to ride with the dale's pale ale/spot team this year( http://oskarbluesbrewsbikes.blogspot.com/2009/03/dales-pale-ale-spot-brand-bikes-team.html )
its gonna be a fun year if nothing else- i traveled with jen g, chad, megan and the rest of the crew for a few races last year and had a blast. this year i am taking a different approach- its called having fun and not taking anything too seriously- just racing my butt off and having a good time in between. thats the plan, and im sticking to it....
as far as sunday's race went, well it was quite a different story. i had my usual not so great start- but i didn't get too frustrated since i knew the race was 30 miles and it was long. i didn't preride it, but there were a few parts i had ridden during the co-motion training camp that i tagged along at. as the girls i should have been racing with disappeared in the distance, i started realizing that they were getting too far away. i needed to turn it on. but for some reason there was no gas in the tank. nope, i pressed on the gas, even drank and ate something, waited for my legs to power up, and nothing. i was totally flat. i have no idea what was going on. was it that i wasted myself in the week before riding too much? the TT the day before? who knows. i know! maybe my tire is flat! ha! actually it was pretty low, so i stopped and put a co2 in it. now i was way OTB. sweetness. riding alone, in no mans land, no motivation and flat legs. you can guess where this is going... yep, had a terrible finish, but i did finish. limping in, i went straight past everyone and spun around alone. dang. first xc race with the new team and didn't do so hot. perhaps its because i have forgotten how painful xc racing is- i have gotten spoiled by all these short cross races. i can't tell you the last time i did a 3 hour hard effort. prolly last xc race in the fall. ouch. i got done and wanted to puke so bad. i had to just sit there and not move too much- had to get out of the sun since my skin felt like it was burning in the 70F heat. ha! so sad- i better get used to this racing and sweating thing- perhaps my body went into shock from not being bundled up and inhaling 30F air during my training rideS. i suppose going from snow to heat is a shocker for the system...it was great seeing everyone again, although the turnout was kinda lame- i think a lot of peeps are boycotting these expensive msc races...
now its time to rest and recover a bit before enjoying the nice weather in boulder- FINALLY! its gonna be in the 70's this week- goodbye stupid snow! goodbye heavy tights and lobster gloves! until next year!!! nathrop is in 2 weeks- another flat power course- im planning on getting through it and looking forward to the climbing races :) hopefully my legs start coming around... perhaps i need to drink more of that beer... it obviously works for jen and chad who rocked the races all weekend...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

what the heck have i been doing lately? well....

a few weekends ago, chris and i and a bunch of friends headed up towards aspen to stay at the lindley hut. our group consisted of nick and cara, kris lathrop, ed and linda, jess, and chris and i. an awesome group! everyone we went with had been on hut trips before- i was the newbie! and i made plenty of mistakes- and i have learned the hard way that less is more- especially when you're carrying it on your back for 4 hours uphill...i also got a 20 minute cram session on avalanche knowledge- first time wearing a beacon and we were in some crazy back country skiing- safety first! luckily no avalanches on our side of the mountain, and everyone in the group didn't mess around with the safety factor. i think i will take a class next time before going out again- its good to know that kinda stuff.
on saturday, the group skinned up to star peak (about a 2.5 hr hike up from the hut) for a crazy decent down. i had a few difficulties on the snowboard, getting stuck when the terrain flattened out- but Chris was awesome and was always there to help me out-and very patient with me!
the weather was awesome- sunny and warm! no new snow, but there was plenty of it, and i had a great first hut trip- i am sure there will be many more- but i will probably ski next time... the split board was awesome, but skiing in back country with lots of crazy terrain is better when you have poles...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Colorado State Championships, Dec. 7th 2008.
The weather was sunny and warm, being a balmy 68 degrees for the last cross race of the season. All season this year the weather has been amazing, definitely not typical cross conditions...
it turned out to be a great race with a good turnout for the women. I ended up 4th with a sprint to the line. with it being one of my better races of the season, it was a great way to end the year. now its time to relax, spend some time on the snowboard and eat some good food!

Monday, October 20, 2008

24 hrs of MO-WIND-AB

jeez. where do i start. i decided to do the 24 hrs of Moab for the first time with a team of pro women, which the lineup switched around at least 3 times. finally by a week before (and even some doubts of doing it the week of) our team was set: Becca Blay, Nina Baum, Kristin Johnson, and me. Team SoBeBella. wicked. we were gonna be smok'en. i had heard horror stories about this race, about the weather being so awful that its not worth the physical and metal anguish.. but we pushed on, and got'er done.

i drove down friday and the weather was amazing- sunny, no wind, perfect temps. this was gonna be a great year. but then we overheard rumors of rain through the night, with temps dropping into the 30's. wow. suck-o-rama. i had brought all of my worst weather/cross racing stuff i could find and shoved it into my car along with 2 bikes (my hei hei supreme and my kula lisa HT-didn't end up using the HT but it was good to have just in case...)better to have extras than to fix broken stuff, especially when its that freak'en cold in the middle of the night...

i stayed in chris's camper with the other girls in tents scattered around near the cannondale tents. they had a sweet setup so we used to escape the torturous winds. and i have never been in a real sand storm before- this was nuts! my dog casey had tears running down his eyes from the sand and most people were walking around with surgical masks (i got one thanks to troy from cannondale) or hankies around their faces. EVERYTHING was covered in a fine, red sand that was so hard to escape from- it took 3 showers to get it out of my hair, no kidding. every crevice of everything was clogged, including the bikes. talk about crunchy drivetrains!

the race started with kristin on the line for the run. she got voted first, then nina, becca, and me bringing up the 4th racer. kristin unfortunately had a rough go, and double flatted and walked for a LONG time. which put us back almost a lap on the other team, Utah girls. dang. nina did an awesome lap, and so did becca to try to make up some time. my lap was going super well until i took a wrong turn (i have NO idea how..) and went off course 2 miles. so, that put me back about 15 minutes. we had some major time to make up over the night. we all rode as hard as we could but couldnt make up the hour we lost. but i did have a blast using my new light and motion lights- i got a Stella (lithium) for my helmet and a Seca Race for my handlebars. wow, they pretty much lit up the entire trail like a christmas tree! i needed that though, since i had never ridden such a technical course at night before. by my last lap, and the final lap for the team at 11:45am sunday morning, i could ride parts of the trail with my eyes closed. ok maybe not but i knew it better than before thats fursur. but we made up all but 20 minutes by the end. we got so close!! the whole team did awesome, had good consistant laps and was upbeat and cheery (as upbeat as you can be in crazy winds and freezing temps- oh it was snowing i guess early sunday am, i was taking a nap though..) but looking back now it was a good time. i would rather do a 24 hr race in warmer weather i think, all the clothes changing/drying/putting back on wet is not so fun. now that i have the lights, i better use them. perhaps some indurance racing might be in the cards.... :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

goLDen, CO cross'in it

CROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS RACING IS HERE!!!!! first one of the season in Golden, CO

i did a cross race in golden, co a couple weekends ago- just as a warmup for vegas to see how i would do/get the cobwebs out of the lungs. it was put on by green mountain sports and they did a great job with the course- it was not cross weather though! 87F and sunny, i took a few handups from chris- that water was a lifesaver! i think he was getting a kick out of feeding all the girls in the field... :) i felt good, and ended up 4th overall. not bad for the first time going hard in a while...

ahhhh! cross time!!!

yep, its that time of year again. i took some time off the bike, and that is why my blog has been seemingly left of dead. things are kicking up, time to get back in shape and begin the new season- the one full of racing your guts out, freezing your ass off, and drinking beer to celebrate! thats what you call.... cyclocross! woohooo!

i recently got back from interbike in vegas(last night) and i tried to refrain myself while i was there from becoming so overly exhausted, hung over and broke as i have in past years. i think the main reason this worked is because i was already sick (some sort of wicked cold that makes me cough like a goose) when i got there- which also meant that the cross racing wednesday night was going to be something i shouldn't be participating in, but i was there, and what the hell else was i gonna do? so i rested the best i could leading up to the wednesday night race and got called up 12th as, 'the always dangerous jen tilley!' ha! by richard freis. which i thought rather amusing. nevertheless, the race started, and i had a great first lap! top 12-15, hanging with teammate barb howe and then it happened- i couldn't breathe. i had no choice but to slow down, ride around by myself and try to salvage the race. i would rather not race sick anymore. now i am continuing to cough and hack today, still not recovered from doing an effort like that with no lung capacity. dang. live and learn....
thursday chris and i walked around the convention center, looking for all the new toys coming out for 2009- it was nice to enjoy the show and not work for a sponsor this year- of a few things to note, cliff is coming out with some very tasty 'protein malt balls' that were excellent! cliff rocks, i think they called them. i tested them at least 8-10 times, just to be sure i liked them... :)
vanderkitten has a few sweet new looks- a retro jersey, an 'REI' jersey, and the race kit which now comes in pink! sweetness. went by oakley to check out the new stuff, saw my most favorite rep, Andy who has graciously given me awesome glasses to race and hang in. Finally met Max from FSA who has been so patient with all the crazy ordering for the team and thanked him while checking out the hot new carbon wheels they have... sooo sweet.
lots and lots of new stuff, too much to list.. but there were definitely a few things that caught my eye- should be a good year for bikes in 2009!
now i just need to get healthy again, and build back up for the cross season and the upcoming 24 hours of Moab!!! 2 weeks away... its gonna be a hell of an adventure- our team of 4 pro women- we have been racing against each other all season, now racing together on a team! woohoo!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

rocks in winham... perfectly laid out for us!!

this is one of the many bridges across the course that made the riding super fun- there was some major trail building done to make this race happen this year!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

east coast chaos

over the past couple weeks, i attended the two norbas over on the east coast: windam, NY (which was a new venue) and mt. snow, VT. two races i was looking forward to and dreading at the same time...
i met up with my teammate allie who moved to NY (about 30 min. from the laguardia airport where she picked me up-where the chaos began) and we drove up to Windam on friday morning- i expected it to be muddy as all get out, but the course was dry, manicured and perfect- almost too good. the trails were newly built by local racers- there were plenty of rock sections, wooden bridges and fast fun descents (which is what i was doing in the pic- courtesy of dave m./cyclingnews.com). i knew i would have a good time racing it, even if i felt like total crap. which, after firecracker, i was wasted. i thought i could recover but as seen in the results over the last couple weekends, its evident i am wasted tired...
back to the story. so i got a preride in friday and then met up with my dad and sally at the local B&B- i have to admit, it was really nice. lacy window treatments and all... made to order breakfast, tea and cookies in the afternoon, and snacks at night. the rooms had VS on tv, and internet. doesnt get much better than that. what else could a bike racer want? ha!
saturday i woke up to a dry sunny day! even though it was hot and humid, i didnt mind- as long as the rain held off i was happy-i felt good in my warmup, and headed to the start line. i was really nervous, probably since my dad was there- it was sooo good to see him and sally again- and i knew they would be cheering like crazy for me no matter what place i was in. the race bottlenecked at the trailhead, which was expected. unfortunately i got a horrible placement once things panned out, and the race was short (i finished in 1hr 40 min) so there was little time to make up spots- i was not happy with my 25th, but i knew i was tired. perhaps too tired to be racing in the first place- im starting to learn this, and its taken me many years to figure it out...
after a horrible short track, i hopped in the car with the cannondale girls and drove over to the next venue, mt. snow VT. the plan was to rest up over the week in between, which was harder to do than i thought. i ended up riding the course everyday and then some, which looking back probably wasnt the best idea. the climbs were very steep, and going easy wasnt an option. so when race day came, i already felt like i had raced. i had no jump, no attack, no intensity in me. if i were at a home race, i probably would have sat it out. but it was the nationals and the course was fun- and that kept me motivated. the first lap was terrible. i flatted, rolled into the tech zone and morgan (our mechanic for the weekend) mistakenly ripped the valve out of the rim which made putting air in impossible. at this point, i knew my race was pretty much over. he threw on a heavy spare wheel and sent me off. i was way off the back, and had little motivation to push hard. but i figured i would put one last ditch effort in- go as hard as i could- just to see. well, this turned out for the worse as i puked at the top of the climb. i have never done that. i descended back down and had decided to stop after that point. i met up with my old teammate tasha (it was so good to see her again!) and we both struggled together on our last lap, laughing, chatting and catching up. it was as if we were back in boulder training together again. so maybe doing this at the national champs wasnt the best idea, but it made me finish the race, and we crossed the line together. at least it wasnt quite as embarrassing with her beside me. frosty was worried i guess, since we had been so far back. its good to know that people knew something probably had happened- a lot had happened- during those 2 hrs of racing. i am now back home and trying to catch up on sleep and get back to life in boulder. time for a break from the bike for a while, or at least until the next race... in 2 weeks. :)

Monday, July 07, 2008


Whats the best way to spend a holiday that most people relax, enjoy the weather, bbq, drink beer, and watch explosions? i know! climb 11,000ft at high altitude as fast as you can on a bike...
so thats what i did- along with lots of other crazy mountain bikers- it was the Marathon National Championships held in Breckenridge, CO. i was actually really excited about it, since the longer races seem to suit me better anyway- the pic was taken riding down main street while we all high fived the kids standing along the side cheering for us- definitely one of my favorite parts of the race! of course, this was before the pain started on the first climb...
i drove up thursday evening and met up with everyone at bretts house in dillon which was huge- 3 bedrooms with a loft- we all packed in and turned out to be an awesome weekend of racing and riding- oh and some wicked ping pong, Foosball, and a lot of relaxing-
we drove up to breck friday morning to start the race around 11am. i "warmed up" with becca- well we rode around a little to ease the pain of the first climb, which didnt help.. it was a classic tilley start- got blown off the back of the strung out group of pro women as we climbed up Boreas pass. i felt real bad. perfect- ha! just like the rest of my races have been this season. there were 2 laps of 25 miles each, and last year when i raced it i went too hard on the first lap. so this time, i sat back, paced myself and had fun on the first 25 miles. once i passed through the start finish after 2.5 hrs, i was ready to get things goin- i started on the climb for the second time and i felt awesome, being motivated both by lack of water in my water bottle (there were 4 feed stations on the course, one at the top of the first climb) and the fact that i could finally see some of the girls i was racing against- reeling them in. one by one. i went from being almost last up to 7th, making up about 8-10 minutes on the second lap. by the time i was finished though, i could barely stand. my brother jay had come up to spend the weekend in breck too, and met me at the finish line. it was great to see him- after some bbq and beer, i was returning to my normal state- well almost. nothing like getting close to drunk off of 2 pbrs! yeah!
it was back to the house for some relaxing... the next day brett took all of us out (keri b., jeff, megan m., brian fuentes, becca, brett, chris butler and me) for another epic ride in keystone- which was amazing, but i did struggle a little on the climbs... the thunderstorms rolled in and it was time for a nap! we ended the day with an amazing dinner- another perfect day. it was a great weekend filled with tons of riding, good food and good people- cant wait until next year!