Friday, November 23, 2007

Mike Janelle

Sadly and completely unexpectedly our fellow friend and racer Mike Janelle suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep last night. Brian and I feel privileged to have had some of Mike rub off on us during our time riding and racing with him. His attitude, zest for life and personality made him the best kind of person to be around. All my thoughts of him make me smile, whether its the tall tales of $80 dollars worth of McDonald's reviving him during a latter day in the RAAM, the smile he had at 3am in the morning, the visual of his SLR saddle and aluminium hard tail that he rocked mercilessly over the roughest terrain, or the utmost respect we have for his love of life. Rest in peace Mike you will be sorely missed.
A fund is being set up by Janelle's team-mates and friends to support his wife Maribel and their unborn baby. More information will be available at when details are finalized.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

adventures of the bike path kind

Two days ago I was in Grand Junction for the morning and rode the bike path along the river to the swimming pool. I was thinking to myself how good it was to see GJ city putting in bike lanes and bike paths amid quite a bit of road construction and development. It was 7am quiet and peaceful out. When I came across a group workers unloading and heading to a wetland area to cut dead brush. The truck was parked on the path and one of the guys was standing next to the trailer with a chainsaw in his hand head down utterly engrossed in whatever he was doing with it. He was taking up all but about a foot of the path and it was narrow enough to need to ride through the gap. I think okay one move to the left and I get clobbered with the working saw so I stop and stand there for seriously about 5 minutes. I try saying, HI, uh Hello, I'm here, see me, yes the saw is working, Yes I would like by, Yo idiot features look up, In the end I kinda wave under his cap and he finally looks at me. I ride by... what you don't necessarily expect to encouter eh?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another White rim in the Hopper

The Western State College cross country team raced nationals in Joplin, MS this past weekend so it felt appropiate that we thought of Coach Vandenbushe and Jen Michel while we were riding. It was Jen's first nationals as the new coach and with much respect and anticiaption we sent good thoughts their way while we where pedalling.
Our white rim group met at 6am at the Mineral bottom rd trailhead. Now whatever is going on with our indian summer, we took with wide open arms. It was fantastic to start in a 38f degree morning sans all the clothes that normally require later shedding and lugging around for the rest of the day.
Dropping in the canyon to mineral bottom Brian and Seth where nearly taken out by a flying mountain goat launching from 50 ft above them, It hit the road amid a flurry of loose rocks, bobbled, crashed and re launched off the other side.
The mountain goat followed right after we'd seen a herd of wild horses. Pretty cool.

There where no questions about the bright pink feathers malted along the road. (they couldn't be natural?). In the afternoon we met with a park ranger who nearly fined Lisa for shedding. But when he saw the occasion he let her off lightly. By lunch time we where joined by the Ricky G group of riders who had camped at the bottom of schafers climb and gotton it out of the way first thing. Life really doesn't get any better than an afternoon still of riding with 20 of your friends, in the desert, when the views are amazing in every direction.

To finish the ride we needed to ride up the canyon wall on Schafers climb. Jeff Irwin hammered Schafers Climb in his big ring. Brian cleaned it on Garrisons 2 to 1, 69er Single speed. I hiked 95 % and would have sold my 29er singlespeed for cheap cheap cheap at the time. Laura A rode much faster than I walked this year. Seth W rode his longest ever on a MTB as did Spenser P. Steve R made it 6 in a row. Jay just made it look easy. We got in by sunset. It was a fairly decent day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

World Bicycle relief

I am not sure how to embed information... so follow the above link to Zack Vestal's initiative for the World Bicycle relief fund.
At $110 a bike his goal is to raise $550 enough to provide 5 bikes through the World Bicycle relief program.
5 bikes that will in turn provide free and efficient transport for at least 5 people.

Here's some more info, taken directly from Zack's posting via the World Bicycle Relief website,
World Bicycle Relief’s vision is that simple sustainable mobility is an essential element in disaster relief and poverty relief. In developed and developing countries, bicycles fulfill the basic mobility needs of individuals and have a direct impact in support of healthcare, education, and economic development. Bicycles empower individuals, their families, and their communities.
Our mission is to provide access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles.
Simple sustainable mobility in the form of bicycles multiplies people’s efforts and efficiencies in areas of healthcare, education and economic development.
Healthcare: Brings healthcare to patients and patients to healthcare.Education: Brings educators to the field and students to schools.Economic Development: Sustainable mobility is a fundamental requirement in all economic systems. Bicycles multiply individuals' efforts in the following ways:
Bring goods and services to markets;
Enable workers to get to jobs or find better jobs;
Bicycles fuel individuals' entrepreneurial drives, and entire businesses can be run off the back of a bike.
During a commuting day of 10 miles traveled, a bicycle saves 3 hours.
Walking – 2.5 miles per hour
Bicycling – 10 miles per hour
Riding a bicycle increases one's capacity by 5 times.
Over equal units of time, one can ride a bicycle 4 times the distance as one walking.
As time increases, effort to travel increases. Riding a bicycle requires less effort, allowing one to travel farther in less time.
The average person can walk 2.5 miles in 1 hour – this equals access to an area of approximately 20 square miles. By bicycle, that same area would be equivalent to 310 square miles.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Brians birthday ride

Its that time of year again for our annual white rim ride.

Where: White Rim/ Moab Utah.

When: Sat the 17th.

Why: cause you need a weekend off cross racing or off the couch as the case may be.

BYOB and supplies for the day.

RSVP to me if you'd like accom organised or to know more info...

Its going to be good.......

Heres 2 more Maui Pics to carry us into winter.

And then for my NZ friends Guess who just got engaged? Chris and BOB Congrats!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Maui Pics

Lahaina group ride.
Sweet trails
We might have made fun of these costumes... but realised around the corner why... the group was in rain suits.

Post race we hung out in Maui for a few days of snorkeling, walking, relaxing, took a halloween boat trip, relaxed, we met up with a group ride from Lahaina - to see some local trails - super cool, even did a run and rode up Haleakala... a 10 000ft mountain. that one bit us hard core as it rained for the last 10 miles. Near the top in 30 degree weather raining and blowing in wet clothing Kristi and I giggled hysterically when I commented ' I'm not having very much fun' we thought at the time it was the funniest comment ever... as we couldn't move our hands, feel our feet or anything else for that matter.

Sunny times lower on Haleakala Volcano.

podium shots.


In the window: This would be why I am drinking my coffee black right now. Decided I didn't feel quite like being seen driving the car to the store this morning?!

On the event:
One of the things I really value about our racing lifestyle is the way the experiences influence my growth as a person.
Sometimes our schedule is so crazy and the event so condensed that it can be a complete whirlwind. But that's part of the appeal too, when you can step back and be - phew- I learned alot there!

I arrived in Maui fit and ready to race, I really worked and trained in the last few months before this race to improve and be ready for my best performance that I could have. It was exciting for me and I love the opportunity to compete with the best in this sport at the top level.
Prior to the race I'd been asked in a TV interview how much I thought luck had to play in the upcoming race. ( They like this question). I said that to a degree it did but I thought preparation played a bigger part as did the way the person reacted to factors outside their control during the race. I put luck in the small category of things you truly couldn't control...
Had to laugh to myself the next day as I punctured my tire 3 1/2 miles into the bike section. Luck? ( could I have controlled it better... I could have done one or two things differently - extra scoop of Stan's solution, checked my whole tire for thorns before putting in my first tube... otherwise no not really).
But what did become immediately apparent to me was how much pressure I had put on myself for this event. And how much weight I felt from that too.... when it was suddenly gone, I was like wow.... in the future I am going to attempt to keep it more light , because you just can't take anything too seriously, as you really don't know what is going to happen in the future. At all.

This is one of the things that I think Brian does best, and it is part of the reason I am so psyched for his success in Maui. More than his 3rd place result the best part has been the phone calls and emails of congratulations, his friends happiness over his race, his own celebration of his performance, the toilet papered car! Brian works full time, he has many responsibilities that he keeps in perspective and races because he Loves too. Its pretty cool to see him succeed.