Thursday, September 30, 2010
Should I go for the bike I KNOW will be awesome (since it's the one I've been on the past two seasons but with a fancier new suit)?
Or should I dabble in the unknown world of hard tails with 29-inch wheels?
They cost the same coincidentally. Comments welcome -- i really need help with this one! Vote on the right.
And thanks for your help!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Just a few days ago, we were frolicking in the late season conditions of Hardwood Hills. and now, an empty space on the rack where you used to rest.
Dear bike, how I miss you already.
I remember the first day we met. It was at the shop, and the boys wouldn't let me take you home because you looked too good in the window.
Our first ride, and how fast we bonded.
Our first time off-roading, which was also my first time ever riding in BC. Together we conquered some of Squamish's most amazing singletrack, including the Test of Metal.
It was with you that I first attempted the Tremblant Canada Cup ... which was also my first race in Quebec.
On your back, I had my best season ever with all kinds of podiums, PBs, and just amazing rides.
And lately, we've just managed a great three for three podiums for the end of 2010, including a 100km ride I wasn't even sure I could do -- but we did it, together.
I wouldn't be the rider I am today without you.
We've spent so much time together, playing, working, hanging out. It's hard to imagine a replacement. Will it be as good? Are the best races yet to come?
I hope you'll be happy in your new home. And at the same time I feel like a loser for suggesting you'd even know the difference.
Afterall ... you're just a bike.
The last of a string of late races, the Fall Epic 8 certainly lived up to its name. Rain makes any ride "epic" in my book. And rain it did.
Our team was four strong, with Tim, and the Kiwis, Bryant and Carlene rounding us out. We agreed that we'd signed up for this thing to have fun, but were quickly in the lead and found out that in fact, winning is fun. So we ended up with a bit more focus than we'd originally set out for, which I think was just as well since that's the sort of juice you need to get through 6-8 hours of constant drizzle.
I got the first go-round, and had a grand ol time slip sliding around on the roots. By the second lap, I'd figured out a little more of the course and conditions and hooked up much better. My third and fourth might as well have been dry because I was comfy as could be.
8 hour courses are so fun -- nothing to dread, all flow, lots of single track and rad people to share the trails with. In the end we were able to hold onto gold, putting an extra lap into second place. Nice end to the season.
Thanks Don Rats, and Kiwis!! We done good, and it was great hanging out with everyone for the day. Isn't that the best part of 8 hours?
Also, huge congrats to Matt Spak for his win and former teammate Evan Sharpe for his silver in the solo category. I can't imagine going around in circles for 8 hours, but on a fun course like that, maybe it's not out of the realm of possibility. Y'all got me thinking ...
And to Martin, (fellow Sweet Pete's racer) and his team *chapeau* for your fine podium result as well!
Holy crap, DOUBLE RAINBOW!!!!!
A nice parting gift from mother nature.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Garmin's stem mount: Does this look reliable to you?
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Paul's Dirty Enduro -- It's officially on my calendar. 100km of singletrack for me, 100 dollars raised for others.
I think it's the 15th time this race has been run, but it's my first time to line up. Here's hoping I can even ride all 100km of singletrack ... in a row.
But if the going gets tough, there are plenty of inspiring things to pull me through. First of all, Paul's story, and the love and support he still inspires today.
Paul was a young man who loved to ride bikes -- mainly in the Ganaraska Forest where this race is being held. According to his friends, he'd gather up fellow-riders and rip the trails all day long. He'd always say, "Let's do 100km!" but they never actually did.
He passed away by taking his own life in 1996. This event is run by his friends and family who come together year after year in his memory. They raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association, put on a full day of activities and from all accounts, everyone has a good ol' time.
If you want to read more about Paul, his sister wrote a beautiful article in the Globe and Mail you should check out. I posted it below as well.
As for the race, I'm told it's 100km, mainly singletraick, never the same trail twice. I hear there's poison ivy, and its winners are worshipped like royalty. And I'm also looking forward to a promised hot lunch (which will probably be a cold dinner by the time I actually [literally] crawl over the finish line.)
If you want to show your support I'm trying to raise $100 for the event. I gave myself a head start with $20. Link to my fundraising page, follow the directions and be sure to print your tax receipt.
Then wish me luck on the 18th! Oh, and if someone could come and drive me home, that would be awesome ;)
By Mary Lou Archibald
Globe and Mail
Friday, Mar. 12, 2010
My brother’s life is a dirty and exhausting endurance race that never ends, despite the fact he committed suicide 14 years ago today.
Every September since Paul died in 1996 at the age of 34, family, friends, mountain-biking enthusiasts and greenhorns have gathered in the Ganaraska Forest near Peterborough, Ont. We honour Paul’s life, sustain his passion for racing and the Ganaraska trails, and talk about the mystery and heartache of knowing that someone you can’t live without thought you would be better off without them.
On the one hand, Paul Rush was a rough-and-tumble mountain biker who could always be counted on to pull ahead in the home stretch during 24-hour relays with his biking buddies. He was a humble and hard-working cyclist, the strong and often silent type with broad shoulders, solid legs and a heart that could climb the steepest hills without missing a beat.
Paul loved to ride the trails, the more offbeat and rugged the better. His dream was to do a 100-kilometre endurance race, not to prove he was better or stronger or faster than anyone, but because it was a new challenge and adventure. It was inevitable that the Dirty Enduro race that started because of him includes a 100-kilometre trail that winds in one big loop with a new view at each twist and turn, which is exactly the way Paul would have wanted it.
On the other hand, Paul was a real character with an offbeat sense of humour. He had twinkling Irish eyes that reflected his appreciation for a good time with family and friends. Women loved Paul, not just for his charm and good looks but also for his sensitivity and vulnerability.
He had four older sisters who loved to spoil him, and a couple of girlfriends who probably would have married him in a flash if only he had popped the question. Yet he remained the eternal bachelor. I questioned this many times, and he always told me he was afraid of getting married and having kids because he might screw it up. I should have known this was a sign of his insecurities, but he always said it with a chuckle and such casual flair that I thought he was pulling my leg.
Paul was a big tease with everyone, especially kids. Nieces, nephews and friends’ children could not wait for him to shower them with attention. Young ones and even too-cool tweens would sidle up to the friendly giant, knowing that when the moment was right he would scoop them up and twirl them, bench press them with his big “muskles” or cart them around the block on the back of his bike.
His love and affection were unconditional and unencumbered. You could be yourself with Paul, and no matter how shy or quiet you were, you always knew he had no expectations. And he made a mean pizza from scratch, turning the kitchen into a cheesy disaster area, but the results were mouthwatering and the cleanup with Paul always fun.
Unfortunately, Paul was also a man who lived with the “black dog” of depression for years, a dark secret we live to regret.
Paul was raised in an era when boys were taught to deal with their anger or frustration by scrapping, or shutting up. Going to the doctor was for pregnant women and old people. And talking about it was something you were only allowed to do in the church confessional, to ask forgiveness for feeling this way when you should be grateful you have a roof over your head and food on the table.
So when Paul had thoughts of suicide, and even attempted it unsuccessfully, as we later discovered, he sucked it up because that was what real men did. When he told us that stray dogs were chasing him during his solitary bike rides, little did we know the animals that were really haunting him were in his mind.
Paul lost his job, and he told us it was because his boss was a jerk. He probably was, but what we didn’t see was that Paul’s anxiety, in the days before employee mental health was a sincere consideration, led to behaviour that was typically dealt with by pushing the difficult worker out the door.
In the end, it was not the stray dogs or the tough terrain that took Paul’s life, but his own desperate desire to end his pain.
So every year we gather, and what started with a few close family members and friends and a pot of chili 14 years ago has become a big event with hundreds of riders and volunteers, and more than $17,000 in donations. The funds are used to raise awareness about suicide, especially among young people.
The cause has become a potential source of healing instead of pain. Family and friends would much rather see Paul leading the pack in the 100-kilometre race year after year. Instead, we gather annually to watch others continue the race, and it is a bittersweet ride. Whether they participate for the thrill, or to honour someone who suffers from mental illness or tragically took their own life, the participants at Paul’s Dirty Enduro continue his life journey on his behalf.
Mary Lou Archibald lives in Brantford, Ont.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
These are my people!
Found it on the report IMBA and Sacred Rides put together on women in mountain biking. Check it out: http://www.sacredrides.com/womenmtb/
PS: WANT! WANT WANT WANT! http://sacredrides.com/tours/mexico/yogamtb/
Monday, September 6, 2010
Nice to see our own Steve Smith up on the podium for the men's DH World Champs at Mont St Anne. Many respectable finishes for our riders, wish I had been there in person to cheer everyone on!
I think I owe this thing a bit more of an update than that but it's still the holidays, so that's all for now. More later ;)