Wow.. It’s been two months since my last post. A lot has happened since I came back from Germany!
I was home for 2 weeks before leaving for Road Nationals in Augusta, Georgia and boy did I have a good time. Most of you already know how I did from Facebook, but I will tell you here. I came in fifth in the time trial. Definitely not my best day, but that’s how it ended up and I’m happy to have gotten on the podium! In the criterium, Addyson Albershardt and I attempted to form several breaks, but to no avail. It came down to a long road sprint and I won! My first ever national championship on the road. I was and still am stoked :D The one I really wanted to win though was the road race. Winning it would get me the automatic nomination for the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 23. So… I did! I can’t even begin to explain how happy/excited/stunned I was… And still am. The next day I did the Elite Road Race for fun and so I could help out my pro teammates. I shagged bottles, chased down an attack, and tried as hard as I could not to get dropped. I came off 500 meters before the finish line because I cramped in 3 places, but I would say 33rd is a pretty good place out of 86 starters.
After Road Nationals I came back home for a week and then I was off again! This time to Windham, New York for a MTB World Cup and Sun Valley, Idaho for MTB Nationals. Dorothy Wong and Jeff Herring accompanied me to New York. We stayed at Dorothy’s parents house in Richfield Springs, which was about 80 miles from the race. It was a bit of a drive, but totally worth the view. Their house sits on the edge of Lake Otsego, surrounded by mountains. I took the kayak out a couple times and just sat in the middle of the lake reading my book. It was very peaceful :) The Windham course was SO SICK. I pre-rode it two days in a row and felt pretty comfortable with everything besides one of the sketchy descents. While I was there, Dorothy introduced me to the Shimano mechanics. Those guys are awesome. They replaced my XTR shifter because I broke a little plastic piece off and tuned my bike up for me so it was race ready. I also met the reps from Belgium Bike and they hooked me up with some solid chamois cream and…. Wait for it… A French National Team jersey autographed by Julie Bresset, the current leader of the individual World Cup standings for women! I was treated well :) There were six girls in the race. Fabulous turn out, don’t you think? Three Canadians, one Brazilian, and two Americans. Six doesn’t seem like a lot and it isn’t, but the other 5 girls were FAST. I beat a whopping two riders to place fourth and my teammate, Alicia Pastore, got second.
I made a spur-of-the-moment trip to New York City with two South Africans, Brendon Davids and Caitlin De Wet, and two California locals, Casey and Kim Williams. The train ride into the city was a bleary-eyed 2 hours. I think I got three hours of sleep the night before, not smart when you’re planning to walk the streets of New York City for the next 12 hours. I managed to survive and had an amazing experience! What we did: took a taxi from the train station to the ticket booth at the dock, the guys bought sunglasses from one of the many creepy dudes standing on the street with a plastic bag, took one of those red double-decker tour buses to the boat, took more than enough pictures of the Statue of Liberty (sadly we couldn’t go on the island because all the tickets were sold out, but we did stop right in front of it), saw the Brooklyn bridge and the Manhattan bridge, walked Wall Street, saw the Stock Market Exchange building, payed our respects at the Ground Zero Memorials, ate New York pizza, took a taxi to the Empire State Building (I had to act like I was Brendon’s 12 year old sister so I wouldn’t have to pay 50 bucks to get in), rented cheap townie bikes and shredded the pavement in Central Park, roamed Time Square, the three-story M&M World store, and Toys R Us. I think that’s all we did…
The next day Dorothy and I parted with Jeff, heading to Chicago with a connecting flight to Las Vegas. We stayed the night there, got up in the morning, and flew to Salt Lake City. From there we loaded up our sweet Volvo XC60 and drove the remaining four hours to our rented condo in Sun Valley, Idaho. To be honest, I was not particularly happy about the course and neither was anyone else I talked to. It went straight up the mountain on a fire road that kicked up to 12% in a couple places. I rode it in practice, so I figured I would be fine when it came to race day. I was sitting third wheel at the base of the climb and slowly fell back to fifth by the end of the race. Every lap near the top of the climb I would have to jump off and run because I was losing traction and wheelie-ing. After the race I was talking to my coach and he noticed my seat was tilted upwards, scooted too far forward, and my bars were a little high. Yup, I definitely learned my lesson on how important position is. Oh well, I still got on the podium. I jumped in the Short Track Cat 1 Open Division for fun and ended up sixth! It was like a cyclocross race, but about 40 minutes shorter.
So… That is what’s happened since I got back from Germany! I had a ton of fun, learned a lot, made new friends, and raced my heart out. I’d like to name a few people/companies for helping me along the way:
My dad for funding all my adventures, being my mechanic, supporting every decision I make, and for loving me through thick and thin.
My mom, brother, sister, god-family, and friends for being my support group. I would never be where I am without their encouragement.
Dorothy Wong and Jeff Herring for being my other family away from home by taking care of me on all my adventures and supporting me in all I do.
Shimano, Jensen USA, Voler, Clif Bar, Jamis, H20 Overdrive, SoCalCross, Kool N Fit, SDG, and Lazer for sponsoring my mountain biking and cyclocross.
Team TIBCO/ To The Top for giving me the opportunity to show the world what I can do.
And last, but CERTAINLY not least… You. Yes, you, person who is reading this. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say. I will never forget you.
Remember this so that when you’re feeling down, you have something to make you smile up.