Spectacular Fall!

Spooky, wet Halloween night MTB ride (l-r): Me, Ryan, Rich, Paul, Jean Ann.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written and even though it’s technically the off-season, I’ve been up to a lot this fall.

After Worlds, Ryan and I hit Sin City for Interbike, where we met up with some of the Local Ride crew. Paul and Sue did a great job of showing us around and teaching us the ropes of how to survive in Vegas and maximize the free booze at various parties. One of the highlights was our field trip with Paul, Sue, Barry, and Nona to watch CrossVegas in which Jean Ann was competing. We cheered loudly while spraying her with cheap beer. We ran into Kika several times as well – always nice to see a familiar face in all that chaos.

I enjoyed an amazing September through October of beautiful, dry weather and trail conditions – it was almost too dry near the end of October before the rains came…. For Thanksgiving, a troupe of us made the drive to Naramata, where we spent Thanksgiving, chilling and riding mountain bikes.

I also chose to contest a few ‘cross races and fared better than expected, winning the BC Cup at Vanier Park and then going on to snap up the B.C. Championship title! Canadian Championships in November were muddy, cold, technical, and tough, but I loved the tight back-and-forth battles and deep level of competition. There are so many fast Canadian female ‘crossers out there!

I made Ryan’s 40th birthday unforgettable (I hope in a good way) by stretching it out over two weeks and including a fab weekend of mountain biking in Squamish on sweet singletrack and organizing various dinners out with friends and family. Oh, and I baked him a delish chocolate pumpkin torte as well. Recipe here (theirs looks WAY nicer, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of practice).

Near the end of October, the monsoons finally hit and transformed our trails from dusty and rutted to moist hero dirt. If only the rain would have stopped there, but it didn’t. Our trails are now gooey, sloppy, and slick, but still super fun – and the local trails are in great shape, thanks to a few faithful volunteer trailbuilders who are out there nearly every day. Make sure you thank them when you ride past!

At the beginning of November, a gang of five from Local Ride Racing went on a fieldtrip to Kamloops for the Interior Cross Series’ Cacti Cross, organized by our friend and hero Catharine (Kika) Pendrel and her hubby and my coach, Keith. The outing also gave us a chance to catch up with former Local Ride employee and my childhood friend, Tanya, and her b/f Ryan. The gracious hosts generously opened up their home to us dirty bikers. They are dirty bikers too, so it was all right. The day before the race, a bunch of us went on a social mountain bike ride on some of the best Kamloops trails. Because five of us made the trip from the Coast and we had to do a mountain bike ride and a ‘cross race that weekend, it meant that we transported 10 bikes up to Kamloops between us. Crazy? Just a little!

At Cacti Cross, I won the most lucrative draw prize (I still believe it was rigged) – a 2.5-day XC SuperCamp for me and a guest at Silver Star Mountain Resort and Sovereign Lake! Kika had been emailing me since the summer, trying to convince me to register, but although it sounded amazing, I just couldn’t make it happen financially… enter my theory of the rigged draw prize!

As a result, Leah and I went on a road trip to Vernon for some XC super camping! It was great to spend quality time with Leah and the setting for it was amazing. Leah had never had any formal skate skiing lessons, and the improvements she made over the extended weekend after some quality coaching, drills, and fun skiing were amazing. I hadn’t skied in over a year, and I was pleased with how I got my groove back and was really able to make a jump in my form and technique. The fact that the weather featured mostly bluebird skies and impeccable snow conditions helped as well, along with the super friendly coaches and staff, and the delicious lunches at the Bull Dog. Thanks to Julie, Guy, and the coaches from SuperCamp, and Jo from Silver Star Mountain for the wonderful experience, as well as Brian James at the Village Ski Shop for providing us with great Rossi gear! The vibe on the mountain and the small-town friendliness made me definitely plan to head back up soon with some more of my friends. Thanks also to Gabi for letting us crash at your place and eat your food!

There’s my short autumn recap. I’ve also been doing some trail running and yoga to add variety to my activities. I don’t have any big plans yet for the winter, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

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