Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Long time no blog

 To be honest I’ve been a bit bored riding about my own adventures when so many of my PCS Coaching clients are having their own.  Adventure by proxy?  It’s much cheaper and easier on my legs.

I’ve often been told if I could focus on just one thing I’d be dangerous.  Well that’s in no danger of happening now I’ve taken on the role of MTBA Vice President in addition to my usual mum/massage therapist/coach/writer jobs.  It’s been challenging and interesting so far and enabled me to see some behind-the-scenes action.  Being part of improving the management of MTB will be something to look back on with pride though I think.

After racing the first National Series round in Adelaide I knew what I needed to do.  Get faster – definitely get faster.  Balancing training, working and family life with jet-setting to Victoria every second week for the remaining rounds was unlikely to happen so I’ve staying in Brisbane while the National series was run and won. 

Luckily, south-east Queensland has a booming club scene and there has been dirt criteriums and XCO racing every weekend for the last six.  It has been amazing turning up to see 200 local riders at an interclub.  Who says XCO is dead??  The secret has been to make the racing fun, cheap ($10 for MTBA members) and easy with early starts and self-seeding (grades A to D).  Racing against the guys in A and B grade has been fun and I’ve had some epic tussles with Masters hitter, Kevin Jones.  It’s still disappointing to not have more women backing themselves and racing A grade.

The exciting part of the last few months has been the continuing support of Liv/giant who have offered me the chance to be an ambassador for another year.  I’m staying away from road racing this year as a semi-protest against Cycling Australia’s shabby treatment of MTBA events but also due to one too many broken collarbone photos on Facebook.  Who knew there were so many sheep stations to race for at $10 crits?  It’s also an excuse to play with two amazing bikes this year: the Giant Obsess hard-tail and the Lust dual suspension.  The Obsess has already acquitted itself admirably in its first XC race and I look forward to pinning the Lust in Canada for the Singletrack 6 (the rebranded Trans-Rockies).  I might even have a crack at this Gravity Enduro deal everyone keeps banging on about.

A new sponsor for 2014 is KWT Maxxis and the new rigs have already been shod in Ikon and Ardent Race goodness.  Showing their grip and durability at the Adare XC where there were many flats, I’m confident of a great season ahead with Maxxis.  I’m grateful for another year of support from Owen at Ride Mechanic who keeps me in the most amazing chamois cream (I will spare you all the details but it literally saves my ass), bike lube and cleaning products.  Here’s a secret, or not – I’m a slacker when it comes to cleaning my bike.  You guys who spend hours polishing your derailleurs – what the hell?  Who has time for that?  RM Bike Juice, Zalish, Avaqua and Bike Milk is a 10 minute job to get from muddy mess to sparkling machine.  This could be THE product for busy mums who ride!

I’ve been using Shotz nutrition products for 5 years now and am chuffed to be working with them again this year.  I recommend their products to all my coaching clients and am super excited to get new flavours.  Just one message to the product managers – don’t ever change the Protein bars.  EVER.

So here I am in Bright after some epic travelling.  A few laps of the course and it’s not what people would call ‘technical’ but with some tight sections in the pine forest and corners which kick around just a bit more than you expect them to it will challenge the riders at speed.  It’s just a really nice ride if you aren’t racing and it might be fun to stay in the area and explore some more trails.  I will withhold judgement of the entire town until tomorrow morning’s coffee foray.  How is my form? After a short stomach bug last week I’ve recovered well and it might actually work in my favour being forced to take an extra couple of days off the bike.  I will just sit back now and let the taper weave its magic.

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