Tuesday, 26 July 2011


I'm starting to wonder why I am the one who has put up the last two race reports? I don't really race mountain bikes, truth be known....I don't really "race" anything. I participate in various event, I socialize, I take in the sights, I get some exercise, I have a great time, and I learn new skills.  I'm not sure if these are the things that you readers really want to hear about . Oh well, no one is tying you up and forcing you to read this, so I guess I will just go ahead and babble since I am home alone right now, and Matt keeps telling me that part of my responsibility of being an AWI team member is to write about the races I play in.

So back to the original point of this post: rundown of AWI representation in the 8hr Rockstar Adventure Race. So for my second kick at the can, I joined forces with my brother (who is an experienced adventure racer), and tackled the Rockstar. We were racing under the guise of team Double Distilled. Is it fate, or just coincedence that my brother raced under that name with some other team mates in the past? You see, the taste for fine single malt scotch is something that both my brother and I are afflicted with. Keep and eye out next year, we may be flashing some Tartan.

Once again Sean Roper and his crew put on a sensational race. I can't say enough great things about the Storm series of races, if you haven't tried one yet, I highly recommend you do. The race runs like clockwork, the staff and volunteers are extremely friendly and helpful (including my most awesome fiancee Matt, who is responsible for getting lots of broken bikes running again, including one which kept throwing it's peddle off. Fixing this peddle resulted in a third place finish for the bike's owner (bet the 4th place team wouldn't be to happy reading about this!) To bad we didn't stay for the after party because there were a few people who wanted to buy him beer. LOL, it would have been pretty funny if he hadn't told me about the mechanical mishaps and the people who wanted to buy him a beer......when the first woman came up to him asking him what he was drinking, so she could get him another!

The weather for race day couldn't have been better, and Bark Lake is an ideal location for this type of race (both for racers and spectators). I could go through the race bit by bit, but really there isn't to much to say. My brother Kevin is amazing to race with. We had a great bike, no problems with the Nav (thanks to Kev's superior skills and experience), and fun bushwacking (which only left a few marks). The paddle left a bit to be desired, we haven't figured out if we kept pulling to the left because one of us is stronger on one side, we should have traded spots in the boat, the wind was working against us, or we just had a wonky boat. Next year I may bring my own boat and we'll see what happens. So for our first attempt at racing together, we finished last (as per AWI rules), but as per Storm's results we finished 4th....not to bad if you ask this newb. We'll be back next year for sure.  Just look for AWI, it will disguised as Tartan.

I believe that Andrew will be responsible for the next race report (see, you're not the only one with the password buddy!) That's it for me, until the Xterra duathlon at Hardwood next month.

Happy trails, Shannon

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

I did just as it told me....I got LOST IN THE ROCKS AND TREES

So with a LOT of encouragement from Matt, I agreed to try my first mountain bike race this past weekend. I only agreed because this was a race that was far away from all the people I know and would be self conscious racing in front of. Of course when I say I am going to race, that really means that I am going to start at the back of the pack and ride around the course at my speed, trying not to get in anyone's way or take anyone out. You see, I'm not that good on two wheels, but put me on something with four legs and that is a whole different ball game. Any how, against my better judgement, Matt and I made our way up north into the rocks and trees. This is a race that he has wanted to do for a long time now.

We stayed in a motel in Mattawa on the Friday night that was right on the Ottawa River, this made for a great relaxing night reading on the balcony before bed. Race morning came, did the usual stuff for Matt's race and saw him off as usual, then I found a shady spot to read for the next two hours before it was my turn (awesome, not even Matt there to watch me start and cause me to be nervous!). So the 30km race was small (sweet, less people to worry about running into!), the start went of well, I decided to start in the middle. By the time we hit the only section of single track (just down the driveway), I think I was in about 4rd spot. We had to get onto the highway for a short section and then make a left turn off the road onto some double track....here is where the "problems" began. The leaders carried on down the road, past the left turn sign, and this being my first race, I was hesitant to head in an entirely different direction by myself....so I turned around and rode back to the nearest race official to ask them where to go, meanwhile telling everyone I passed that I thought the leaders went the wrong way. It turns out the leader DID go the wrong way, so I sent the 4 wheeler after them, and led the rest in the right direction. Things were going great for the next 10 minutes or so, and then it went wrong. To sum it up, myself and a new friend ended up doing an extra 13km with lots of standing around discussing which way we should go. An extra 50 minutes or so of riding, with lots of repeated climbs up the same hills made of loose beach sand, and we were back on track. We rode the course just to see what we would have missed had we pulled the plug, we chatted, we rode through really deep muddy puddles, we hung out at the check station for a bit....all in all I had a great time. It turns out the problem was that someone had stolen a very important directional sign, aside from that the course was extremely well marked. This was a fun race for my first time, and I will go back again next year, the organizers are great, and the area is beautiful. So I think there is the possibility that I could have done quite well at my first race, but instead I did as it told me, and got Lost In The Rocks And Trees.

Cheers, Shannon

Sunday, 3 July 2011

More international tales

Hanging out at the guebec city airport, have a good amount of time so here is the rundown. travel here was solid smooth like butter. Training on the course was good, it was a little damp out there in spot. Except for the Ontario section which was bone dry and sandy.

Got to watch the kids race at nine thirty which was neat, I dont usually get to watch my teammates race much. They trucked her pretty good out there. Gave me some motivation to be on my A game.

Race day was nice and hot by 2 30, Stayed as cool as possible, rolled up to the line pretty much at the back, no biggy, stated sure enough almost ended up in a pile up right off the gun. Stayed upright, stayed positive. First singletrack was all just hike a bike, got to the beatrice, opted to stay on the bicycle. Probably a bit excited, rode the left hander into it too fast lost the front end and tucked and rolled. I was fine, but my stem was turned at about a 45degree angle.

Luckily im old school enough to still carry a tool with me, I was at the back, 1 st lap, so i opted for a proper fix, took my time to make sure I wouldnt need to stop again, and with the follow moto revving his engine behind me, I got going again.

Didnt take long to catch back up, took me a while to get onto some clear trail, Then I was able to start cranking out some good laps.

Rode up to Cameron, followed him into the beatrice, he crashed right where I did and as it turns out so did about half the field. I didnt have anywhere to go, ended up rolling off my bike again, im pretty sure we were in a full embrace at one point. Now apparently I got back on and yelled T.O.sucks as I rode past him, I dont remember that part.

After that nothing to exciting, at the end of 5 I caught Bishop, and started getting my head into last lap mode, when out of nowhere a commisaire jumped out of the woods and stopped the two of us. First world cup pull in a while. bummed but thats the way the cookie crumbles.

Got a few UCI points, held it together, had some good laps.

So home, some good livin, then off to New York for more bike racin goodness,

Thanks to my team for a great stay and of course Kevin and Norco for the support.

AWI front, im working on some recruiting, stayed tuned there could be some new names pop up on the roster. Of course i need to run them past the president first.