Thursday, 12 November 2015

2015 PNP Spring Series

The PNP Spring Series, one of the best annual MTB series in the country- and something I always look forward to racing in. With Under 19 women officially racing in C grade I was pretty excited for what the committee had in store for this year. With 5 races in various venues across Wellington, with a range of pure cross country, enduro and endurance races this year’s series was one of the best yet.
The first race was at Makara, and for once Wellington weather was actually smiling down on us all- and tan lines might have reformed over the course of the race. With Khulan racing in C as well I was kept on my pedals and definitely had a good race on an awesome course.  And it was exciting having a nearly full podium.
 The second round was at Wainui, and the weather was almost complete opposite. The best way to describe the course was Muddy. With it pouring down the night before the race the day was overcast (and freezing), but still fun to race in. With Khulan and Izy Alloway racing it was pretty rad that we managed to get a full podium despite the weather!
The third round, the most cross country enduro to ever exist- so the only one that I’ve ever done. As it was at Makara this year, it was good racing down my local trails. With each grade doing a different combination of Peak flow (the sick new(ish) trail), North Face and Ridgeline there was definitely a range of trails to be ridden.
Having missed the Belmont round the next Race I did was the final round, at Mt Vic. If there is one word that captures every single Mt Vic race, it would be steep. So naturally this was no different. But it was still a pretty fun day. With being assigned to do 4 laps of the course, it was always going to be a long day. This round I got to enjoy the company of Khulan as we ended up racing round the course together- which was good fun! It was pretty awesome that we managed to get 4 girls racing this round!!
It would have been impossible to go to any of the races without the help I got from absolutely everybody! Cheers to everyone that came out and pre-rode the courses with me, racing a course blind isn’t a lot of fun! And to Mum and Dad for driving me round Wellington to pre-ride said courses.  Also thanks to everybody that gave me lifts to the various races! Mostly I want to thanks Mud Cycles for supporting me and my bike- and giving me endless encouragement (I even got baggies!). The boys at Mud are some of the best out there- with some of the best banter, as well as support! Can’t wait for the rest of the summer- after exams that is!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

CX Nationals 2015

The time of year has once again come where the battle for best cyclocrosser in New Zealand is fought, AKA CX nationals. This year it was down in the ever warm Dunedin which comes hand in hand with a long roadie. With the excessive sounding four bikes for two people racing we were off and down south we went.
Cyclocross is a special sport, the easiest way to describe it is ‘riding around on muddy paddocks on a bike that looks like a road bike but isn’t.’ Despite what it might sound it is definitely one of the best codes in cycling!
The race started with the excitement of being called up to the front as I raced at nationals last year, and the nervous excitement stayed for the first few laps. With Shannon Hope also in my grade I was keen to race to my max- which I reckon I did. Even though the weather was super warm at roughly 2 degrees with the occasional snow shower I still managed to charge- and ended up winning! The guys at Cycle World ran an epic race with a really nice course with a lot of variety in surface.
The epic looking trophy and awesome Huttcross cap!
The other Wellington riders did pretty well too! With my fab brother Jonny placing 3rd in U19 men with a stunner of a race. Brendan Sharratt placed 3rd in open men despite his derailleur snapping on the last lap. Peg Leyland also podium in her grade. Dean Johansson also did a really strong race!
This year’s journey to nationals wasn’t quite as last minute as last year and it wouldn’t have happened without some amazing people supporting me. First up is Dad and his amazing work in the pits and driving me down to Dunedin and back- I really couldn’t have raced without him! Second up is MUD Cycles who did the last minute bike check the day before we left Wellington, the guys in that shop do an amazing job of looking after me and my bikes! Also there are the amazing organisers of Hüttcross who supported me going to nationals and they run an awesome series to train/ race in! Also Avanti Plus Kapiti let me borrow one of their hire Cyclocross bikes to use as a back. Nationals this year was an amazing experience and I can’t wait for Hüttcross next week!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Wainui 6hr Worlds 2015

Despite Wellington putting on one of its best storms, the weather and the tracks held up pretty well for the whole day.  This year I was in a team with Dylan Reid and Maxwell Wickens, and it was a very fun day out. The atmosphere of the day was amazing, as always, with lots of different people there that I knew and getting to meet some new faces- namely the trackie/ roadie Izy Alloway.

By the end of the day the three of us (me, Dylan and Max) clocked up 14 laps  taking 2nd place in the mixed team category, with Team Cowbell Factory Racing took up 1st with a crazy 17 laps ( they won the day).

One of the best things about Wainui worlds and events similar to it is the atmosphere- everyone’s there to have fun, hence the number one rule- don’t be a dick.  Also you can smash your lap and then recover with a donut and decent banter with your team mates.
Of course I wouldn’t have made it to the race if it weren’t for all the people that made it happen for me and everyone else. Firstly, there are the race organisers and the WTP (Wainui Trail Project) for making sure the tracks were in a ride-able condition after the storm, and that the whole day ran smoothly.  Of course there are my lovely parents that took me out and brought me home, and always support me no matter what I do.  Also I have the amazing guys at MUD Cycles that look after me and my bike, so I have brakes tuned to perfection.  Naturally cheers to Dylan and Max for being in a team with me!!  Looking forward to it again next year!!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Crazyman 2015

 The Crazyman is a pretty tough race, to put it lightly. This year I was doing it in more or less the same team, Brooklyn Saunders kayaking and Tess Meyer did the run.  I was pretty pumped for the race, as we had set the record last year (with Anna Gibbs running) I was hopeful that we’d be able to do it again this year. And we did.
Brooklyn had a super fast start- managing to be 3rd into the water, overall she managed to shave about 10 minutes off her last years time.  I also managed to take roughly 15-20mins of my time, so we were looking on track for a fast time. Tess then put in a stellar effort; she really gave it her all. So we managed to come in roughly 20mins ahead of last year!!
We wouldn’t have been able to race if it weren’t for all the amazing behind the scenes people that support us! As we were representing WGC, Caro- our sports director- definitely was cheering us on even if she wasn’t there on the day.  We also had our parents to taxi us around all day! Cheers Mum and Dad- I definitely wouldn’t have been able to race without you! The crew down at MUD cycles were also crucial to my racing, with a quick bike check over (or clean) yesterday they ensured that I was all set for race day. A huge thank you to Michael Jacques (the event organiser/ manager) and all the marshals.
Awesome race today – super stoked with our performance today!!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Wellington MTB Club Champs

Having been too sick to do Karapoti I was pretty excited and nervous to do a race. Coming into the race I wasn’t expecting to be a super star or anything, my main goal was just to have fun- which I did.  This year I’ve learnt lots of things; key ones being that level 2 is a big jump from level 1, and bikes will always be there to ride but school won’t always be there to pass.  So since Karapoti I’ve been focusing on doing well at school, so cycling has taken a bit of a backseat. That doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed the same masochistic training sessions.
As I hadn’t done any races since the start of March I felt like I’d been hibernating for the last two months so I was pretty excited to catch up with everyone that I hadn’t seen for ages. I was also pretty excited about this race, having Under 19 Women officially race C grade and the awesome Wainui trails it was shaping up to be fun.  The day had three different races, a Cross Country, Super D and short course Criterium.  All were fun and challenging in different ways.
I wouldn’t have been able to race at all if it weren’t for all the people supporting me. My parents do an amazing job of driving me all around Wellington so I can pre ride courses and get to races. They have a huge role in my support system and are really invaluable! Also the awesome shop, MUD Cycles, have supported me in every choice I make.  They also look after me and my bike perfectly – and have some A-class banter!! I wouldn't be able to race withouta functioning bike!  I also want to give a special mention to my brother Jonny- despite abandoning ship and moving to Palmerston North for uni he still manages to give me a lot of support- miss you heaps!!
Looking forward to an action packed May!!