Monday, December 28, 2009


First a disclaimer. I am one of only two, possibly three people who have had season nordic passes at Mt Bachelor every year since the Nordic Area opened all those years ago. I don't even remember what year that was maybe 1976 or so. I have always supported the mountain and have coached up there since 1993 through The MBSEF.
I have also dreamed of skiing closer to town on trails that were not on a mountain but through more rolling terrain. Meissner was the area I dreamed of. Tumalo Langlauf Club helped realize that dream a few years ago when they raised some money and bought a real groomer. Sunnyside Sports from the beginning has supported the grooming at Meissner. We pledged $10,000 the first year they started the grooming. With the purchase of the new groomer we will give more. This year TLC bought another groomer that is bigger and more reliable. They also cut some new trails. I can't even remember the names of all of the new trails but today I skied them for the first time. I was skating today as that is my favorite technique and the conditions were perfect for skating. I only skied new trails and was out for almost 2 hours. It was like being on a ski holiday in Canada or Europe. These trails rock. They are fun (kind of like our mountain bike trails), not too hard but still with some stiff climbs. Mt Bachelor was packed today, and yes the small parking lot at Meissner was pretty full but it was relaxing, only 15 minutes from town and again great skiing.
If you haven't tried the new trails and experience what the new groomer has done stop by the next time you go to skiing. Remember to have a State Snow Park Permit (you can buy one at Sunnyside Sports), and as the sign in the photo says leave a donation. Grooming ski trails is an expensive operation. Take care and enjoy the snow.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Cyclocross season is over for me, though the pros are in Europe getting ready for the big event - worlds. I decided I could go out and try the mountain bike. The rides were short but very fun. I went out to Horse Ridge three times. The first day it was close to 55 and quite warm, the next day started out warm but then this cloud came by, the temperature dropped 10 degrees and it started to snow. The next day was probably a perfect ski day but I had arranged to go to Horse Ridge with Serena, Ben and Renee. It turned out to be my favorite condition, two inches of fresh snow on hard dirt. Somewhat slick but extra fun. Except for the cold feet afterwords it was a perfect day.
I had to throw in some photos of some pies Kathy and I made. The one for the Team cyclocross party is my all time favorite. It has the distinctive smoke stacks which was the backdrop of the Nationals race course, you can see the crowd and the racers. Kathy is amazing.
I have also done my share of skiing. A couple of days with Mary and Mike, Serena joined us for one of those days. The skiing has been very good, though last Saturday for the Nancy P's classic race the conditions were horrendous. I like the change of seasons. I like to ski, and do my winter mountain bike rides. This year the mountain bike will even be more fun as I missed the fall season.
I am planning a trip to Mallorca this spring, if you are a reader and are interested please email me at . We will be going in early March.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Interview on Cyclocross

Interview with me on CX Magazine. This interview was done a few days before my race last week. I was quite honored that Jason picked me for this piece along with being interviewed by Heather for the official guide for Cyclo Cross Nationals. I liked the format with the slide show of me doing what I do and a few slides of me racing. The interview took almost two hours but he had to make it a piece that would not just appeal to my Mom and Kathy. I was intrigued by the content. Of all the the questions I answered these were the ones that he thought most interesting.
Mainly, as I said I feel honored that feelings and thought that I have are appealing to others. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed being the centerpiece. I have to admit my ego is well chuffed about being recognized.
Next year I have more goals, one is not to be injured. Two is to get a medal and three is to race two national championships, Canadian (I should be a Canadian citizen by then) and our in town.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009 Cross Nationals what a 4 days

Well the event we have been waiting for is now over. I remember going to a get together for Tom Vinson (USA cycling event coordinator) about a year ago and now we will wait another year for a repeat. I can't say this years race was what I was expecting, but it was a fantastic experience. From checking out the course with Chad and Renee (the snowy photo), to having Mary and Mike warm up in our tent and us getting to be in the Pit for them, to all of the Sunnyside Team mates hanging around, lending a hand, taking photos, racing, it was just a fantastic experience. I think everyone on the team had good performances and, if they are like me they want to improve. What we can't improve on was Team Spirit, we have that dialed. There was not one other team out there that had the support that we had. I would rather have all that than a medal, though both would not be a bad thing.
Tomorrow is a day to test the back skiing and get off the bike for awhile. I am already looking forward to next years season though. Thanks to everyone for making the last four days so memorable.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was overwhelmed
at the start of my race today. I had messages from friends as far away as Scotland and I would swear half of the crowd was cheering for me. I literally had tears in my eyes at the start line. That was a new experience. One is supposed to be full of adrenaline not tears. My start was OK I was in reach of spot number 5 and I was feeling like I could really handle the snow. Then bam down I went after hitting a rut of solid ice. Whoa I said take it easy. I was holding my own and really starting to reel a couple of riders in (in fact I had just passed my friend Ron) and I was feeling very solid on the corners. My back was holding out and my legs were ok. I was really accelerating out of the corners, trying to be like Ryan Trebon. I had two more in sight and the next one was just around the corner when boom again. I had take a different line down this drop to get by the next rider and I hit another solid ice rut. This time I bent my rear mech (for my brit friends), I got my pit bike but I had lost my momentum. I finished strong but I just didn't have to catch those guys again.
Starting this race was a victory for me. I didn't see the results, but with some luck I may have cracked the top 10. No, riding a trainer will not get you a national championship if that is all you do, but it will allow you to start a race in your hometown in front of a huge crowd and be competitive. This race was one of the best things I have ever done. I didn't take my doctor's advice nor my PT's advice. I knew there was a risk, there is always risk in racing one's bike on solid ice. I will say for who I am and what I do it was way worth it.
Thank you for all your encouragement. I heard every one of you if you were out there cheering, and I thought of my friends in Scotland.
Bike season is over for me for the year. I am already looking forward to next year though.
PS Thanks to Rich Wolf and Linda Topping for the photos.

5 hours and counting

So why do I write this blog anyway? Do I think I know so much that I have to let it out?
I really am not sure. What I do know is I am writing this one for myself. I have decided to race, I have spent some serious time on a trainer this fall and early winter, I have ridden outside 6 times since October 1st. So what exactly do you expect in this race? These are the thoughts that go through me head. So first of all, assuming I am correct and racing will not re injure me, starting this race is a victory for me. 6 weeks ago I was pretty sure I would not race this year. When my leg strength came back and pain went I started to think maybe. When it stayed away and the practice barricades didn't aggravate anything I was pretty sure. Now I am just waiting at home for the big moment. I do think a top 5 is in reach. It will be hard . I will have to have all my skills on top of my game and my legs will have to answer to each call to go.
I will have fun. The course could not be better suited for me. Not many dismounts, slick corners and a couple of drops. I will write the second half of this this afternoon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Sunday December 6th, 67 days after my ruptured disc. Here I am racing my bike again. The morning after and I feel great. Tired legs and sore throat (from shouting all day long). Back feels great and no shooting leg pain.
I am probably not healed 100% and I still plan to be careful but I did have a lot of fun yesterday. Everything from starting conservatively, passing most of my fellow racers ( I started last and finished 5th), passing many of the 100 racers in the younger group in front of me (I just wish they would practice in the mud once in a while) and feeling like I can still ride a bike. That was outdoor ride # 6 since September. It was a chance but one I wanted to take.
After my race I got to watch the rest of my team race and of course the pros. I was in the pit standing next to Chris Horner (he was pitting for his girlfriend) and I got a couple of photos of the pros racing. Ryan Trebon gave it everything he had but ended up third. Veronica is the picture of concentration at the start of the women's A race. I feel very proud to be in the pit for two women ( Serena and Veronica) in the A race and one man (Matt). Those men and women are so fast to even start with them is amazing.
Kathy asked me this morning if I am even more excited about Nationals now. I am not more excited just more confident I can do well. I am not sure how well as one race does not make me ready. I will rest the next few days and start with my head high.
Thanks for reading and thanks to all for all the support I have had.
One more comment. I have never wanted this injury or my blogs about it to me a melodrama. Being injured and recovering is a small thing in our world. It has been fun to do this and share though. I had more fun racing yesterday and was more proud of my 5th place then of many wins I have had. I wouldn't change this fall for another because of all the things I have learned about myself and about the support I have gotten.