Well, it sure has been some time since I last wrote, only as there has been a large gap between my races. I was able to get in some good training rides and some long days on the bike in this time. I missed racing every weekend, but lets face it, the drive from Whistler to Vancouver was getting repetitive!
I was preparing myself for the Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops August 10th-14th. I was lucky enough, or so I thought at the time, to be able to stay at a team mates house and get some pre-riding in on the courses before competition went forwards. I got in a fast group ride on the road and time trial course, and on one of the most gorgeous bike routes I have ridden, minus last season in Hawaii. The next day, I took to the Mountain bike course. I was flying around the course, loving the flat fast sections, when I took the bottom of a downhill too fast and flipped over the bars when my bike hit an off-camber dusty section. I went head first into the ground, and cracked my helmet straight through in six places. I was able to shake about 6 lbs of dust out of my shorts, and I was eating dust and sand for the next week. I wasn`t feeling so hot after I crashed, more so sick. From that point on I took it really easy, dealing with crazy headaches. The day after I pre-rode the time trial course (which they changed on me the day before the race!) really easy, and felt okay on my bike.
Wednesday I moved into the village and got to see Team Toba and gather up all of my clothing! I forgot how much I missed my cycling team back home and how much better it is to train with a team rather than on my own! I was still feeling okay when I kept my heart rate around 120 bpm and under, anything else I was dealing with a pounding head. We got settled into our dorm rooms, and had some mushy pasta and something that tasted like peperoni lasanga. I took it easy and went to sleep early to prepare for the time trial the next day.
Thursday was the first day of compeition. A 14km time trial, which had two decently big hills. I was really nervous, as I didnt know how it would go, and I knew my strength was not in the time trial. I started off really fast, and my head was throbbing. I felt that someone was throwing rocks at me as I raced with screaming legs. I was granny gearing up a climb, which in the pre ride I rode in my big chain ring. I knew something was up when I was done and I couldn`t hear and it felt as if I was 8000ft under water. My jaw and ears were numb with pressure and my head was going to explode. At this point I didn`t know what place I was in, but I knew it was a terrible race for me. I ended up taking the silver medal, but held a little disappointment, and nerves for how my noggin would be for the road race the day after. I knew something was wrong at this point. I had no balance and couldn`t stand on one foot with my eyes close or touch my nose and someones finger without missing. I got my head assessed and confirmed that I had a bad concussion, and unfortunately I wasn`t able to continue in the competition. After watering myself with tears, no I didn`t grow, I tried to pull it together. I was upset I wouldn`t be able to race, as I knew I was in contention for some top medals in all the events. I looked back on my season and realized how much I`ve accomplished and how happy I am with what I achieved this year so far. I had to hold my head high as Western Canada Games was a fun race for me, and the competition wasn`t even close to what I was used to racing. There will be so many bigger races in my cycling career to worry about, I couldn`t hold on to this. Time to help out my teammates and win some medals for Team TOBA!
Friday was the road race, and I was in the feedzone cheering on my teammates! It is sure different on the sidelines. I hated not being in the race to tell everyone tips! Manitoba nailed all of our feeds and everyone raced great! We were able to pull out a gold medal with Anna winning a sprint in the womens race, and Prendlagoose (Chris, Edwardo, Carlos, Garyv) winning the sprint for third on the mens side. We pulled off many top ten finishes, and with some young racers placing top 12 who can compete in the next Western Canada Games, we know there is some rising talent who will bring home some more medals in four years! Tough day on the sidelines, but it was still great to be around my team and watch all their successes!
A rest day on Saturday provided me with lots of needed sleep and some delicious ice cream mmm. We were able to enjoy watching some volleyball matches and some evening entertainment watching a magician and our boys team run around afraid of girls....does anyone know how the man ate the balloon, i`m still confused by this.
Sunday was the mountain bike. We also knew we had some great medal contendors. The course had its faults of course, with super fast flat sections, not a true mountain bike course. There had been two concussions, one broken shoulder and one broken collar bone on this course this week, but everyone was able to stay up on their bikes, for the most part, during the race. Anna took a close gold, and the rest of the team finished up right behind with many top ten placings on the men and women sides!
Closing ceremonies were a blast, and a bit oily (after exploding glowsticks haha). It was fun, and a great way to leave the games!
After a long weekend of watching and cheering on my teammates, I was still sad missing out on some medal opportunities. Everything happens for a reason though, and it was still one of my favorite weeks this summer, getting to be in hot weather and with Manitoba Cycling Team! Im excited to get back to Winnipeg, in just under two weeks now and continue riding with team Manitoba...when my concussion heals up! I have decided to buy a cross bike, which I`m sooo stoked for. Mom aren`t you excited for me to have another bike in our house!!! haha. The summer has flown by, and I`ll miss living in Whistler! I had a great birthday yesterday, and got to enjoy being a Whistler tourist, minus the foreign peoples taking of pictures in parking lots.
See ya Winnipeg in two weeks! Hopefully see you bike sooner than later!