Friday, July 13, 2012


Kaila, Deidre, Lauren, me and Katie!
I set out to try and defend my title from last year, and finished third behind 2 really strong and awesome girls. Same course as last year, straight up a fire road, then zig zag back down. Lauren and Deidre were climbing like champions, and the gap just kept growing from the start. I was sitting in third most of the race but Kaila and I had a battle, we were keeping the spectators guessing. She put in a strong effort at the start of the last lap and got around me, but I was able to pass her up the climb and find a little gap till the end. It was a good race, and a fun group of girls, great to see how solid the U23 womens field is getting!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mont Sainte Anne and Windham World Cups

Its been a long time since I last posted, but I figure what better time to start then after racing the two North American World cups!

 Mont Sainte Anne was my kind of course! Full of rocks and roots, technical up and down! The two days before the race the sky was blue and the weather was beautiful, and the course was dry to the point of being dusty (atypical for Mont Sainte Anne). The night before the race the clouds opened up, and let a down poor out, which continued on and off throughout race day. So the race would be true Mont Sainte Anne style; muddy! My race was not until 4:30, so I had the whole day to be nervous.  When warm up time rolled around, it decided to rain again, so rather then a warm up, it was more of a get everything really soggy before the race. The rain let up and we were off the line racing!

It was a fun race, the mud and wet gave the track a whole new feel. It was a lot of jumping on and off the bike and running up sections, it really made me wish I had done some cyclocross races! It was also just being able to be light over everything so that the wet roots wouldn't put you on the ground. I rode La Beatrice on my second lap, which is the famous technical descent on the course. There were some fly over bridges on the course that were killer! They were almost vertical at some points. On the second lap I was following a girl up it, and she slowed a bit more that I would have liked and I was not able to make it up. Thankfully I grabbed the railing on the side or else I would have fallen all the way back to the bottom. I was just stuck there for a second until I could get my foot on a part of the railing and hoist my bike and my self up to the top. The rest of the race I was just trying to be smooth over everything and have fun, I passed a few girls, and I got caught by some. It was a solid race, finishing 14th.

After the race we made our way down to Vermont, where we rode on the kingdom trails!

Erin Killing it at Windham!

Windham was dry and dusty, and stayed that way for the race. The course was as Colorado as you can get on the east coast. Lots and lots of climbing, and rocky loose descents. I had a terrible start, and spent most of the race picking people off, just tapping out a consistent pace up the climbs and letting it rip on the descents. I was trying hard to catch the two other Americans ahead of me, but never was able to close the gap all the way.

My Dads side of the family lives near Windham, and came up for the race. It was great to show them the mountain bike scene, and have them cheering for me!! 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mountain Bike World Championships 2009 Canberra Australia

I flew out of Denver Thursday night and arrived in Canberra on Saturday morning after 23 hours of travel, 3 air plane flights, one frustrating experience going through customs, one missed flight and a short bus ride. Traveling is a bummer.

Canberra has strangely similar terrain to Wyoming. To think I traveled half way around the world, crossed the equator and the International Date Line, and end up in a place just like I left. The two big differences were kangaroos and left side of the street driving.

The course was very cool! For those of you who watched the pro race on freecaster you probably have a bit of an idea what the course was like, but pictures never quite do the course justice. The whole thing was built for the race and a bunch of rock were brought in. There was always something interesting going on in the course, it made for hard racing because you always had to be thinking. There was a start loop road section that bypassed the fun section through the trees. It then met back up with the course on a short inclining fire road before narrowing down to single track. Right off the bat there was a technical rock step up with a tight switchback at the end. Then you entered “cardiac climb”, steep up hill section, not technical but hard to power up. You toped out on that and were led into “cadaver corner” a technical little rock section. Then through “defibrillator” a section of rollers that you could pump through to keep speed and get a bit of a rest at the same time to prepare for “death adder”. This was the technical switch back section. Big rocks, very difficult, even some of the “easier” go-rounds were challenging. I nailed all but one section. Going up the last bit of “death adder” you can look to your right and see “hammer head” which is where you will be in a matter of moments.
Chloe showing how its done on "hammer head" A line

There is an A line and a B line of ’hammer head”. The A line is crazy, the set up for it is odd, you ride over two huge boulders in order to get the right angle of entry, then there is a huge rock drop/roll into another that has a turn at the end. I wasn’t able to ride this line, it just freaked me out. There were lots of places it could go wrong. I took the B line, slightly less scary, and slower. After that there is a three rock roll, I was getting it in practice but messed it up every time in the race, there was a go-round for this one two but it was super slow, you could run down the triple roll way faster then riding the go round. Then you power up some rollers and go under the down hill course, before starting a down hill of your own. This part is super fun, big berms, always on the verge of sliding out on the gravely dirt. A short little traverse and into some dual slalom type action, the left line was so much faster. The two trails merge together just in time to cross the road and shoot up onto a grassy field where tech and feed are. Power through the feed zone and up a short fire road climb, where there is always a head wind. Then into single track again. Twisty fun single track, and compared to the first half of the lap, not technical. This single track brings you around to the feed zone again. You pass through the feed zone and go up and over the course on a bride. By this time your about 800 meters out, you go down a stretch with a few little table tops then round a corner and there is a little drop, or you can take the go round. The finish in now in sight, you make a right turn, then a 180 degree left turn into the finishing straight.

My race time was 10:30, got up and tried to eat a good breakfast but was already nervous so I forced down some serial and yogurt. Took the van out to the venue, and got a good warm up in on the trainer, I need to remember to start bringing those to races, I like them for warm up. I did a few sprints on the road, then it was time to wait. 15 minutes till start we had to start getting in our designated boxes to be ready for call ups. 10 minutes till start, call ups. I had a really good call up I was first on the second row, right behind Michelle Hediger (2nd place). 5 minutes to start everyone is in place. Waite. By this point I am so nervous I cant stand it, lets get this race started all ready. Then finally, 1 minute……30 seconds…….15 seconds, GO!! I was not expecting it, 15 seconds doesn’t really mean 15 seconds, it means that the gun will go off ANY time in the next 15 seconds. Caught a little by surprise I had a slow start, I felt like a rock in a river with all the water flowing around me. I don’t think I was quite dead last off the start but I was surely a fair ways back. I managed to move up a few spots on the road but I was still in the back log going up the first little technical section. The first climb was a scramble, forced to dismount because of an error by one of the riders ahead I ended up trying to run up the climb, but there were lots of other girls fight for those spots and it was a bit crazy. It thinned out a bit after that. There were still a girl right on you tail or just in your sights, so you were pushing hard all the time. You race faster when there are people around. I was stuck behind this girl from Chile, she was botching all the technical sections and totally throwing me off. I was going to the run up to the triple roll and she messed up right on the entry, I tried to go for it but she was in my way and I hit a rock funny and unclipped. Ran down, and passed the girl and Essence (teammate) passes me. Through the fun berms, and girl crashes in front of me, I barely miss her. Up the fire road after the feed zone I am cruising. I pass one girl and catch up to a group of girls, Essence among them. Essence is first into the single track I am close behind. I follow her all the way down the back side of the course. She is a fast and smooth downhiller so following her makes me go faster.

Through the start finish it’s a group of Essence, a Canadian, a Russian and me. The Russian and I get a gap on the other two up the fire road . I am having trouble with the technical up hill sections, I am able to maintain the lead over the Canadian and Essence, but the Russian gets a bit of a lead over me. She maintains the lead for the rest of the lap, I can see her, I just cant quite make contact. Coming through the start finish she is right ahead of me. I catch her in the twisty tree section and pass her up the road, getting to the single track first. Up the climb I botch it, but I still maintain the lead. She passes me right before you start the berm descent. I stay right on her, I just cant quite make the pass. Up the fire road my legs are tired, I sit in, there is a bit of a head wind. She wins the sprint into the single track. I know I have to get ahead of her at some point, the finish is getting close. But every opportunity she speeds up, and I cant make the pass. As we come through the feed zone I know where I am going to make my move. On the last little downhill there is a drop, which the Russian went on the go-round for last time. I would take the drop, much faster then the go round and gain the advantage. It worked. I now had a few seconds advantage coming into the finishing straight. That was all I needed. I was able to hold her off. Finally winning a sprint to the finish! 16th place! And top North American to boot. It was a good race, my technical skills were not spot on and I have things to work on, but overall I’m stoked. I love World cup style races, short and sweet. And I love the atmosphere there. Everyone is there because the love riding their bikes, and they are stoked to be there. The spectators are great, cheering like crazy for all the racers. I am blessed to be able to have experiences like these and hopefully I will have many more in the future.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bromont World Cup and Vermont US Cup

Photo credit ©Dave McElwaine

Bromont World Cup:

World Cup! It was like a local world cup, that probably doesn't make much sense, but it was small, not like the big venue and lots of people your expect at a world cup, but all the big names were there. out on the pre-ride I got passed by Julien Absalon and Margarita Fullana Riera !
Let me tell you I was a bit intimidated, not necessarily by the competition, (the Canadian girls are quick but I was confident I would be able to hang with some of them) but by the course. Ive never felt that uncomfortable about a course, its not a good way to go into a race.
The start basically shot you up a steep road climb and into some steep wide single track switch backs, they were a little rocky but nothing too technical. Then you go over this bridge thing and right into a short little technical descent. then back up a road for a short bit and some more climbing, then you enter into the trees climb on slick roots, (I ran this section pretty much every time). You emerge from the trees back on a road for the last power up. A short bit of single track led you into what must have been the old 4 cross course. Took a few berms on that then dove into the trees for some muddy slippery fun. This was the section that was giving me trouble, pretty much the second half of the course. It was not quite down hill, it was more a rolling descent, so it was really hard to keep you speed. and it was wet! I was slipping all over the place, even when I opted to get off and "run" I was falling. After that section you got back onto a road for a few peddle strokes and were thrown back into the single track. This section of single track was more manageable for me, still hard, but not quite the same as the earlier part. It was a little dryer. There were two sections where they brought rocks in to make a rock garden. You then crossed a stream, went up a short little hill, over a bridge and then into the finish.

The start was fast, and I was dead last. Up the whole first climb I could hear the sweep moto right behind me, a very demoralizing feeling. Up the second climb I was doing a little better and I caught and passed two girls. But once we got back into the trees I was all over the place, slipping a falling, and at one point I even tipped over a rolled down a hill. One of the girls passed me, and again I felt the presence of the moto behind me (one of the girls had dropped out). I came through the start finish in last. But I could see a girl just ahead of me, and I was able to pass her on the first climb. I was feeling better this lap, more confident. I picked of another girl on the climb, and was riding more and not falling as much through the woods. Coming through the last technical section I could see the third place girl. awesome. I passed her right before the bridge. From last to third in one lap, I was feeling pretty good. Everything was going well on the first climb, then I hit the little descent, and it was nationals all over again, a rear wheel flat! only this time I didnt have two laps to catch up. I was about to cry. I changed it as fast as I could, which was difficult because of all the mud. I got back on and again my friend the moto was behind me. The good thing though was that there were two girls in my sights. Up the last fire road climb I picked off one, and passed a girl walking with a flat. After the 4X part I was 30 seconds off the third place girl. through the technical section I was trying my hardest to catch the girl. but I wasn't making up any time, I was loosing time, by the finish I was about a minute thirty behind. 4th place, not bad with a flat. Just aggravating, I did this in the last two races! I have learned my lesson and now am running tubeless, hopefully that solves the problem.


I LOVE this course! You start off by doing a bit of a start loop, up a fire road into some double track, then a left into some technical trees, and a fun little descent. then out onto the ski run and back down by the start finish. After that its out onto the long part of the course. You start up a fire road climb, pass the feed zone. The road flattens out, and gets pretty muddy, before you turn up a brutally steep loose climb. I was never able to make it up the whole way. At the top you turn into single track. Pretty technical roots that you really have to be focused to be able to ride. You exit the trees onto a road climb, then back into the trees for a short descent. there are a few short punchy climbs before you hit the descent. The descent is so fun! I dont know what is so great about it but I really like it. Its steep enough that you can keep your speed and fly over the roots. There are two short climbs in the descent. You come out on a road at the bottom and traverse around back to the start finish.

I had a terrible start. All the Cat one women started together, and I was in the back half going up the first climb. Going into the first single track was a mess, people weren't able to ride the technical section at the start so I had to get off and ended up running the whole thing. Up the road by the start finish I was picking off people. Kayla and Alicia were just in sight. I wasn't feeling super good, but I was getting into my grove a bit after the bad start. I came through the first lap in 5th. I got up to Kayla and we were kinda swapping positions for most of the lap. I got ahead of her going into the descent, and I made up a bunch of time on Alicia on the descent. I was riding it kinda crazy, always on the edge of crashing. I made a sweet pass, but wiped out right after, so I had to get around her again. The last lap was hard and I was losing steam, I had all three of my gu's and was still felling tired. Kayla was right behind me going into the descent, but I thought I could get enough time on her in the descent to hold on to third. I was wrong, I wiped out in the same place as the previous lap, and on the last fire road section Kayla passed me. I just couldn't accelerate to match her speed, to at least give her a sprint finish. Ended up finishing 4th.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

USA NAtional Mountain Bike Championships Sol Vista Colorado

Photo credit ©Dave McElwaine

Sorry this is so late, but here it goes........... National Champs last weekend, as close to home as I think they have ever been! The course was a total Colorado course, lots of climbing, then a sick descent. A super steep road climb to start out, then it leveled off for a bit so you could take a breather before hitting the single track climb. Lots of switch backs, but pretty smooth, a nice climb that you can power up. After about 20 minutes of climbing you come out on a road for the last grunt to the top. Then into the sweet single track descent! The start is fairly flat with twisty turns; you hop over a log and then take a sharp right hand turn into "Wentz's way" triple black diamonds, steep, rutted, dusty switchbacks, with a super steep drop and a sharp left at the bottom. A bit sketchy, but awesome too. Then across a road into some more twisty fun single track. You then have a short steep rise to a bridge that goes over a road, and then under a tunnel into the woodchip climb, short but hard in the middle of the descent. At the top of the climb your back into a turney descent, with another log hop and out onto a road before hitting the last scary offcamber switchbacks to the finish. The Junior women did 3 laps.

The climb on my first lap was awesome; I was able to get on Alicia’s wheel before going into the single track, sitting comfortably in second. I held her wheel all the way up the climb, I was super excited, I hadn’t been able to do that all season. Then I passed her on the road right before the top, and opened a little gap. I was increasing my lead on the descent, I took a stupid little spill around one corner, but I didn’t loose much time. I was feeling awesome. Then over the second log jump, BAM, I slammed my rear wheel into the log and knew I pinched, I rode a bit further praying I hadn’t actually flatted, but of course I had. I started changing my flat, hoping I had gained enough time on the climb that I wouldn’t loose too many places. Alicia rode by, then Kayla, and Essence, Wesley, Lennia, Ellie and Ellen, and A few other girls I didn’t know. But I got the tire changed and was determined to gain some places back. Riding past the start finish I was freaking out, barring myself to catch the lead girls. But I was able to calm down a bit, and just get into a rhythm. I started picking people off, I went from about 9th place at the bottom of the climb to 4th going into the descent. I moved up into third right before the woodchip climb. coming through the start finish I could see the second place girl. people were telling me I was 2 minutes back from first. I wanted to win. I wanted to catch Alicia. I killed my self up the climb, and finally caught the second place girl, and was able to pass her down the steep drop, when she got off to walk. Into the turney single track and I got my first glimpse of Alicia! I was so close. Up the woodchip climb I tried to catch her, but I wasn’t quite able to. Into the last sketchy set of switchbacks, I was gaining on her fast, and on the second to last turn I finally made contact. I just couldn’t get the pass. A sprint to the finish, .48 seconds behind. I would have loved the win but it was an amazing race and I am happy with how I did. I was felling so good, and climbing so well. I surprised my self a little, I didn’t think I was going to be able to catch back up, it reminded me about how mental this sport is, you have to be mentally tough, and believe you can do it and always ask yourself if you can go faster, cause chances are you can.

Saturday I got to go up and watch the Pro Races! They were intense! I got some cool shots, here they are.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home again.

The last week in Germany went by so fast!

6/30 The whole crew went on a super sweet ride, maybe my favorite of the whole camp. we did an hour road climb to the top of a mountain called Shauinsland, were there was a awesome view of everything. Then we went on a ripping fun descent.

7/1 Was feeling pretty tired, so Lydia Davis and I went on a short ride close to the hostel, we went up a nice fire road, then found some sweet single track to take us back down. that one thing I love about Kirchzarten, you can ride up almost any road and find some sweet single track going back down. After riding everyone was pretty board, so we played this card game called threes, and had 3 rounds of word championship matches, I won the first, Davis stole my title in the second, and Lydia is the current world champion. We also went to core with the German national team again, not as hard as the first time, but still a major work out.

7/2 Went for a ride up to St. Peters and over to the Roscof (Really fun steep descent), with Lydia, Will, Kevin, and Davis. Good ride, fun trail!

7/3 Rest day, so Jimmy took us all to Basel to go see 70 of Vincent Van Gogh's Land scape paintings. It was very cool, you really need to see the originals to get the full effect of the painting, there is just something different about it, then when you see the prints, and alot of them have such thick paint it gives it a sort of texture that would never transfer into prints. It was just so cool to see them. And we also got to go look at the rest of the museum, saw some Picasso, and Monet, and some other artists I haven't even heard of. Very cool, I'm glad I got to go see that.

7/4 Pre race day. went out with the whole crew, Lydia leading us on a ride you chose by looking at her map. up up up a paved road, Lydia wanted to find the trail she was looking for, so her and Bryce forged on, they ended up doing a bunch of hike-a-biking, not the best for for the day before a race, but what ever. Will, Davis, Kevin and I turned around and headed down the paved road. The boys were trying to do nothings (no hand or feet), pretty stupid I think, at least they didn't crash. Then we stopped at the park and took some turns on the zip line.

7/5 Race day! We did a small local race in Frieburg, It was the same day as the German junior and U23 nationals, so there were not many people there. It was still a really hard race!

The course was really fun. It was really, only about 2km, and the pro women only did 5 laps, winning time was an hour. The start was on a little fire road climb that turned into double track, not very steep, but in the sun and really hot. There was a little dip into a creek bed then back out onto a fire road. Short descent on the fire road then a hard left into a single track climb. There was one switch back then a right onto a dirt road that took you into another section of single track (happened to be part of the Roscof, which we had been riding DOWN all week), this was the hardest part of the course, rocky and steep. At the top you got a little break, a single track smooth descent onto a fire road descent, before being shot back into a bit of a climb. At the top of the climb you funneled into a SWEET single track descent! Very twisty, and rooty and steep! You popped out of the woods at the bottom for a short section of road before a tight 180 over a bridge and the final stretch to the finish.

I started off with the elite women. I also ended up being put into the same category placing 6th (last but oh well they are elite) and winning 40 euros!!! It was pretty cool to line up with them and start with them even if they did drop me with in the first 30 seconds. The rest of the race I was pretty much by my self, but always pushing my self to see if I could catch some one, and also to try and not get lapped by the leader. I was so close to not getting lapped, but at the very end of my forth lap the leader caught me, I was finished. I was kinda bummed I didn't get to go out for my last lap. I guess I just have to ride faster. It was a really hard race, it was so short you had to go like you were racing a short track, but there were still some killer climbs, you were just killing it the whole time.

Chloe and Lydia had AMAZING races! Chloe placing 2nd and Lydia 4th about a minute behind.

Don't have pics from our race but I did take a lot from the boys race, who by the way did AWESOME, taking the full podium sweep, with Kevin 1st, Will 2nd, Davis 3rd, and Bryce 4th.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Engleberg Racer Bikes Cup

Engleberg is a sweet place, I could definitely live in that place. It a little town nestled at the base of the Alps. The stream that ran by the course was crystal clear.

It was a very fun course, maybe one of my favorites. Only about 3km. The climb was maybe 10 minutes up paved road that turned into gravel. Then came the downhill, lots of fun, wet rooty twisty awesomeness! You started by going down basically log steps that went into two steep switch backs. Then there was a fast rocky straight that led into another switch back, followed by another rocky straight. Then into the tight turney section, then up a short quick climb before going down some rocky rooty stuff. then there was a short hike-a-bike, it was just a short steep uphill that was too slick and muddy to ride. After that came, in my opinion the hardest part of the course, Chloe said if you got on your bike before you crested the hill you could time it right and make it, but I was never able to do that. You came to the top of the hill and it flattened out for a bit, before a slight downhill, then a wooden bridge shot up at about a 45 degree angle table topped and went back down the other side. The problem was getting enough speed to make it over, because it was super muddy and slick. I never made it over, and by the last few laps I was just running from the top of the hill and over, that wasn't so easy either however, thankfully there were these small wooden strips across the bridge that you could use to walk up, but it was still very slick. After the bridge there was this super fun part down basically down a grassy hill, but it was super muddy, and there wasn't really a line, you just kinda went. You went down and there was a off camber right hand turn then you went over a knoll and down this steep rutted straight, with a tight right handed turn right at the bottom, I was watching the boys race and there were lots of crashes there, but it dried up a bit for our race, making it a bit easier. After that, you dumped out into a field and it was a flat stretch through the field to the finish.

The Junior women did 7 laps, I got lapped near the end of the race so I only did 6 laps. my start was good, and I was getting a gap on some of the girls up the climb. But on the descent some of the girls were catching me. That's how most of the race went, I would catch then on the climbs then they would get a gap on the descents, I probably lost a bunch of time getting over that bridge. It an awesome race, the course was sweet and I had a good race, I was feeling good, its still crazy to me how fast the girls are over here, its a good experience, and it makes me want to get faster. Some of the boys are ready to go back and race American races, but I like the racing over here, lost of short laps, wet muddy rooty stuff. Its a fun change.