May 30, 2011

Ridin' and Paddlin': Campbell River, Deep Cove, Pemberton!

7 of us risked the ferry line ups and the potential of rainier/cooler weather for the long weekend and headed over to Campbell River/Quadra Island for the weekend. Now, we have biked a ton on the island but always on Cumberland trails (which are fabulous). Andrew and I were into heading to a new place and although I've passed through Campbell River a number of times I've never actually stopped and checked it out...

We stayed at the Elk Falls Campgroud about 2km from the center of town and about 3km from the ferry to Quadra Island. Saturday morning/afternoon we biked right from camp and headed up the Dean Martin trail towards the Snowden Mtn trails. We had some minor navigational oopsies but made it to the trail head of aligator and then all the way to the other end of the park to cheschire cat and back through lower deliverance and back the correct way down dean martin and elk falls... It turned out to be a great fast and flowy 5.5 hour ride.

The next day we explored Quadra Island on bikes. We were all newbies on this island and just kind of took a shot at some trails. We managed to find ourselves on a little bit of an epic hike a bike hiking trail... all fun and adventurous though we all came out with big smiles on our faces and really hungry. Nonetheless, after the grueling hike a bike we found a great little restaurant on the ocean had some lunch and proceeded to rebecca's spit where we threw rocks, lounged and enjoyed the afternoon!

Our final day in Campbell River we drove to the parking lot at the Snowden trails and rode from there. We rode Vlad's trail, Tax trail and three pigs.. All super fun trails with the right amount of technical excitement.

All in all some really fun trails over in Campbell river and really different than what we have here on the shore. It was a good warm up for the next weekend where Andrew and I will be racing the Nimby Fifty mountain bike race.

This past Tuesday was good fun. We had flat waters, a longer course and some fast folks out. We paddled hard and felt sore at the end... my kind of race.... I paddled the Starboard New and rocked it on the flat waters of that evening. It was a tough battle between Mike D and I.. he is strong and fast and someone to watch out for in the SUP scene!

This is one tough race, it is long, it is technical and there is a crap load of climbing on switchback singletrack!
The weaher turned out perfect with a little rain the days before to dampen the sandy trails and a slight overcast to keep things from steaming up too much on race day. I always get a little stressed at the start of mountain bike races as I feel the pressure of singletrack riding and the need and want to pass and be passed fairly taxing and difficult.
So, I decided to start further back in the pack but kind of forgot that it was a road sprint leading to a long logging road climb into a short single track descent to more logging road climbing and then the lengthy singletrack ascent... I placed myself a little off especially due to a chain mishap right before the beginning of the long climb and found myself stuck in the wrong place for awhile.... it was a little frustrating as usually I climb hard to make up for my slower downhill but you know i am getting WAYYYY stronger on the descents and loving them all the more for it! WOot woot... On the switchback climb I felt stuck... I am not confident in my mtn bike racing skills to just say "excuse me I need to pass" so I just let it be until a good opportunity arose.. I felt this slow ascent slowed me down but at least when we reached the top I passed some people and the right people passed me and I got to ride one of the most exhilareting trails "overnight senstion" on my own with no stress and LOVED IT and rode it all! woohoo! I was pretty pumped from that which kept me fueled for the next grueling section of the course. This figure eight loop thing with tons of hike a bike (at least for the likes of me)... but again was pretty pumped to ride all of meat grinder etc trails no problems.. I even got a "nice line" from two guys I passed on the "DOWNHILL"... haha but alas my luck or skill would run out on the last huge steep rock slab.. I freaked mid way hit the brakes supermaned over my handle bars and watched my bike bounce handle bars over seat a couple of times on the rock and into the bush.. when I finally picked myself up and grabbed my bike it was twisted and something was dangling which shouldnt have been dangling.. my heart sank... but a nice man behind helped me out quickly and told me it was just my front gear switch and could ride but without switching gears... hooray I didn't have to run the last part! I got myself together and managed to finish off the last bit of trail on bike and then laughed at myself while pedalling on the road totally spinning out in my little gear... FRUSTRATING... haha.. In the end I beat my time from last year and it was a longer course.. I AM IMPROVING... and really thats all that counts in a race like that for me..

WICKED race! Totally recommend it if your into that kind of thing... 5 of us eventually headed back to Nairn Falls, enjoyed the falls, a campfire and general good camping fun times.

The following day Andrew, Ned and I headed back to Pemby trails and hit up a really new trail called Rusty Trombone... not even on the map yet! FUN,.. its tough with steep rock slabs and loose sand and some super steep sections..all good but I think ridin nimby up is wayyy better than the road... just a helpful hint!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

May 18, 2011

Tour De Indian Arm: Deep Cove May 15th

Really fast, relatively smooth race this year. Last year this was my first SUP race with only 4 other racers. This year there were around 8-10 racers on the SUP and tons of different lengths and types of SUPs out there. The sport is definitely catching on here at Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks.

I was on the Starboard NEW, a 12'6'' x 23.5 board. It is fast but also very tippy. I was a little nervous to race on that board as I know how choppy it can get out on that particular course. On a nice sunny day there can be tons of boat traffic which causes funny and unexpected waves.  Luckily for me, the weather actually cooperated. The rainy/cloudy weather didn't invite too many boaters out on the water and limited the rise of the wind that usually occurs from the heat of the sun. These calm waters created a fast and smooth race with only occasional boat waves (some were quite steep and a little nerve racking but I managed well and stayed standing on my board).

Right form the beginning Kelvin, Mike, and Dale shot out in front and I was in the chase. I never looked back and didn't know how far behind the next person was but I didn't really care as my goal was to catch the other guys in front. There were times where I could feel myself slowly getting closer and the reality of catching them real but just as my excitement would peak the distance would then stretch once more. This was my entertainment the whole race as i wasn't close enough to anyone else to have a chat with nor really battle it out with someone. It kept my mind focused on teh right thing (moving forward)

came out in 4th and 1st female and teh first 12'6'' board over the line. There was a great bbq in the rain and some fun draw prizes... one of my fav winner prizes BEER! Results are here and I didn't get any pics... BOO...

heading to the island this weekend to explore campbell river and quadra island on mtn bikes and hopefully some SUPin...

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

May 8, 2011

On the SUP at Lake Whatcom

Before Race Photo by: Katja
For this race I paddled a board from Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks,  it was the Race(12'6'' x 26.5) board from Starboard. The Race is a really great board as it is fast on the flat but can handle the chop as well. I feel stable and in control when the wind picks up and feel smooth and quick when the water is crystal flat. I am still a fan of the 12'6'' boards but am up for trying out some more 14 foot boards as I love the longer races.

I got a ride up with good friend Gary and met up with Johnny, Ben, and Eric at Old Town Cafe in Bellingham. Awesome little breakfast place right in downtown Bellingham. The rain was just pissing down hard all morning so I was glad that we were heading to a paddling race over any other kind of sport that morning!

After the sign in and getting ready we were off. I was on the short course with some others 5 miles up and down the first section of the lake. It was choppy at the beginning  but as we headed away from the end of the lake it got flatter until we reached the turn around, the waves picked up a little and the board was getting louder with the thumps from the waves but I felt solid on the board. As we turned around the  markers and headed back I caught a few little rides but mostly kept working hard until the finish! Fun race and beautiful lake (even in the rain)

Following the awards we headed back into Bellingham to have lunch at one of my favorite spots Boundary Bay Pub and checkd out the local Saturday Market (lots of fun things to check out at the market from food to jewellery...). After  a stop at REI we were back home in Vancouver! Fun event even in the rain!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

May 6, 2011

Comox Snow to Surf Relay: Fig Rolls Racing capture Gold

Fig Rolls did it again. We managed to pull off a gold chocolate medal and place 11th overall out of 176 teams.

The relay is a nine person team + much needed support driver.
The race consists of a downhill skier, nordic skier, 2 runners, mtn biker, kayaker, road biker and 2 canoeist in 2 canoe!

Andrew and I decided to race the canoe leg again this year as we had so much fun last year!
We were surprised to put the canoe on the water in 10th place... The current and wind were strong but waves minimal. We were hoping for a few more waves to put to use our canoe which was sturdier than other top teams in marathon canoes. Thank you Burnaby Lake for the lend of the canoe, it was fab. Last year we had people in marathon canoes tipping into the water all around us due to the waves but this year it was just an all out sprint with difficult steering due to the funny wind and current... Andrew did a stellar job steering the boat and I did as much as I could to keep the boat powering forward. We almost caught the boat in front of us but didn't and in the meantime a boat behind us managed to catch and motor right past us close to the end. Oh well, it was a fun finish nonetheless with our three boats sprinting into the marina all together. I've decided that I am really enjoying the canoe (probably stemming from my love of the SUP)

Lina and Andrew photo by: Paul Palfreyman

Paul put up some pictures on his blog HERE

During the week I have been busy working as a TOC and at Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks, trail running, SUPing (on my Starboard), and mtn biking! All wonderful things.

A little promo: head to DEEP COVE MONDAY NIGHT for my SUPfitness classes. They are from 7-8pm. Tons of fun and a great work out!

We also figured out that we are heading to a small (china standards of small which is about 1 million people) village Yongchuan near Chongqing China with Maple Leaf Schools where I will be teaching some grade subjects and Andrew will be teaching ESL. We will truly get to experience chinese culture. We are both very excited about this opportunity and look forward to exploring, discovering, and enjoying a different part of the world.

Bring on the Adventures

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!