Originally posted on muddbunnies.com
I feel like most of July was a blur, I rode a whole lot of bikes, participated in the WORCA women’s event even after being sick with a stomach flu leading up to it and the first solid food I kept down was the morning of the event, it didn’t go so well, but I completed all the stages (and gave myself mild heatstroke to boot) Riding bikes in Whistler is one of my favorite ways to spend my summer. When I wasn't riding bikes in Whistler...
I was riding them in North Vancouver, this month it felt like I spent most of my time riding on Cypress as well as with the Muddbunnies, which was pretty awesome!
Near the end of the month I raced the final Sea to Sky Enduro in Whistler and got to redeem myself after the previous race, I came first, not only did I come first in my category I was the fastest woman on the day!
As the month was coming to a close and I was really questioning my personal career choices I got invited to go and coach for a week in Seattle with Kat Sweet. I was pretty stoked on what was to me an amazing opportunity to get to go and coach with someone I looked up to, and the bonus, I got to spend a week somewhere I had never been. Spending the week in Seattle gave me a lot of clarity in what I want to do, it was also an amazing, fun and all round brilliant experience. I was introduced to the parents on the first day as “Our guest coach from Canada” which of course had them giving me weird looks when I started speaking, needless to say I set them all straight by telling them “Oh didn’t you know, this is the new Canadian accent” to which one witty parent responded “Oh so you are down here from Whistler for the week?!” Yes really! Who knew that stereotype of Aussies actually extended beyond the border.
I should probably point out that I was coaching at one of Sweetlines Gravity Girl Camps, had 15 girls between the ages of 8 and 14 participate. After the first day we split the girls into 3 groups, we learnt all the important things about biking, you know, riding skinnies, jumping and drops, there was even a wall ride in there. Let’s just say these girls got skills. We also managed to fit an afternoon of trail maintenance in there so they understood how important it is to give back to the trails! The second highlight of my trip was getting to go on one of the Seattle club rides, at this point in time I need to say thanks to Christina, Karen and Rachel for taking me on a “post work” ride that came close to doing me in! As we were pedaling up the FSR on Tiger Mountain the Ladies debated the fact that I need to go all the way to the top, then elected Christina to accompany me. The view was worth it! From there we headed down a trail that was almost like a downhill single track pump track, can anyone say fun! We then regrouped with the other two ladies and proceeded down another fun trail. When we finally shot out onto the FSR I was secretly happy as I figured the ride must be close to done. Let’s be honest, coaching for 7 hours a day, then going for a reasonable sized pedal wasn’t my smartest idea.
A short conversation ensued and then we were heading for “just a short pedal up the road” to drop into another trail, Fully Rigid I think it was called. At this point in time I realised we were not in fact any where near the cars (or if we were we were not actually going to head to them) After what seemed like rather a lot more uphill pedaling we dropped into another amazing trail, mainly downhill but with a few ups here and there to keep you honest. I think there was a forth trail after that then we had to pedal up (yes more up) the rail grade to get back to the cars. It was pretty much dark when we arrived back at the vehicles and we had covered over 21km!
But it wasn’t over there, back at the vehicles and out came the coolers, and the wet wipes! I was promptly handed both a chocolate protein milk and a beer, all I have to say is the Seattle ladies have this riding thing dialed. Though I was tired (and suffered the next day) I had an absolute blast, I felt so welcome and totally loved the adventure we went on! All good things must come to an end though, and on Friday after our class ended I hoped in the car prepared for a long drive to Whistler (So I guess when you look at my end destination it’s not like I was heading into bad things). Although I had been riding my bike all week my partner was quick to point out that he had not and that we had big plans for the weekend.
Saturday was pretty much a bust for me, when I can’t remember the last rest dayI had it usually means I am due for one, and the short ride I participated in told me that if I planned to survive the rest of the weekend (yes it just happened to be a long weekend too) then I needed at least one day down. I also realised that the EWS was a week away and that although I had been out riding my bike, I had not gotten a lot of training in. Sunday in true Jac-Venture style required some additional victims… I mean friends, to come and partake in the adventure I had planned. After a long drive up some back country roads we proceeded to ditch the truck and take to our bikes. Around 2 hours later we arrived at the Alpine, at which point I proceeded to tell one of my friends (who was also participating in the Enduro the following week) “This is great Enduro training” I then also pointed out the high point in the distance that marked the start of our descent.
Another 2 hours later we arrived at said point, I guess I forgot to point out it’s one of those evil points of reference that never seems to get any closer until you are pretty much upon it. It’s a good thing the downhill is so good on all these adventures or I suspect my list of volunteers who are happy to come along with me would dwindle pretty fast. Now when I say DH I mean steep, I should also mention it was hot and dry, and by hot I mean a cool 31 degrees. And by dry I mean super dry fine powder loose. Add this to the steep and you can imagine the sort of ride it was. To help with that imagery, thing Sunpeaks, but on small bikes! About half way down I pointed out that if we could ride this we could handle whatever the EWS threw at us.
At the end of all this awesome downhill we found a lake, we had a swim, it was nice, we then went and drank beers and ate too much food, if nothing else I was now confident that I was ready to face whatever the EWS wanted to hand out the following week.