Category Archives: Cycling

Spring is finally here!

I never thought I would be so happy to see +1 on the weather forecast. This winter has definitely been a long, deep cold winter and most of us are desperate for any hint that spring is around the corner. It’s hard to stay motivated when you are staring at the treadmill t.v. screen again because it’s -21C outside and no matter how committed you are, -21C is just cold. Too many of the triMom runs turned into core workouts because the roads or weather were horrible.

Ready for -19C temps. I never run with a scarf but tonight it's a necessity. It kept freezing from my breath hitting the cold.

Ready for -19C temps. I never run with a scarf but tonight it’s a necessity. It kept freezing from my breath hitting the cold.

But as I type I can hear the wind blowing in warmer air and the rain is washing away the last of the snow mounds. When you lift your face to the sky you can actually feel the sun warm your face – yes, I really am vitamin D deficient I think and ready for a new season. This spring I am introducing a number of new clinics for families and individuals that are near and dear to my heart. For me, exercise is always something that I share with my family. My husband and I go for long bike rides instead of date nights. We share are enthusiasm for the sport and for pushing our limits each time we go riding. My kids are getting bigger (too big, too quickly) and now go running with me or jump in on a workout; whether, it’s doing a few push ups, burpees, planks or just hanging out and talking to me while I finish off my last set. The point is it isn’t something that tears me away from my family but is something that bonds us together. Gives us something to do together, to share, to make time for each other. I can’t wait to hear about my daughter’s day on our run. She’s guaranteed uninterrupted mummy time, something she is always looking for.

My daughter completing her first triathlon.

Whenever we hear ads about gyms or making the time to workout, or the latest Pinterest post about fitness, the slogan is always about making time for yourself. Hey, don’t get me wrong I think we all need some time to ourselves but exercising shouldn’t necessarily be yet another thing that pulls us away from our family, making our schedules that much more compressed and stressed. There are more than enough things going on in our lives to stress us out. And the sad thing is our kids are getting less and less active too.

On one of our runs my daughter had a brilliant idea. She asked me if she could start a running group with her friends, just like my triMom running group. She said she wanted her friends to see how much fun it can be to go running with your mom or dad. She was 7. So starting April 27th, she and I will be running a Family Run Clinic for 9 weeks. We are going to teach everyone some key running drills, technique, how to pace yourself and most of all …. how much fun you can have running together, being together. Participating in an activity with our kids versus watching them and spending quality time together.

I also want to start right at the beginning, the same way I started. Give moms a chance to get outside, meet other moms while exercising with their babies. It really does start at birth. The more active we are as parents, the more active our kids will be. Now triMom offers a Stroller Fit class and when the weather isn’t cooperating a Mom and Baby class. It is one of the best hours in my week. A room full of adorable babies and motivated, beautiful women.

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We do only have so many hours in a day. Or more importantly so many seconds – 86,400 seconds in fact. Each day we are blessed with another 86,400 seconds. How do you want to spend those seconds?
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Day 5 and Race Day!!!

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I did it! I still can’t believe it. Friday flew by in a whirlwind. We woke up at 6:00am and went straight to transition. Transition was open from 6-7:30am and if you were late you weren’t racing. Of course it was raining. My bike was soaked and there was no point towelling it off. Normally you set up a towel to wipe your feet on and if it’s raining you put your shoes in a plastic bag so they are dry when you run into transition. Because of the number of athletes in transition no towels and no plastic bags; which on the one hand made set up really easy and on the other everything was sopping wet.
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I was out of transition by 7ish and heading for breakfast at this lovely little french bakery down the road of our hotel, when we saw several athletes sprinting for the transition area. We don’t know if they made the cut off. Some were only just entering the park at 7:30am. Could you imagine coming all this way, training for over a year and then told you can’t race. I felt so sorry for them as they rushed through the park.

After breakfast we headed back to cheer on the earlier waves and get a feel for the roads. It poured it down with rain the previous night and it was on and off all day. I wanted to see how much speed you could safely take into the corners. Just as I turned to say to Peter how fast and well riders were taking the corners a man from Brazil miscalculated the corner, lost his back wheel and slid on his hip through the corner. His chain slipped and it looked like he hurt his hip. He managed to get back on his bike and carry on. It was one of many crashes that day.

Before I knew it it was time to get my wetsuit on and head to the swim start carrels. For the first time ever, I felt a good excited – like a kid in a candy shop. I made sure to stick to the back of the group so that I was last in line and had the outside start position. My swim coach has drilled into mine and all his athlete’s heads to always start on the outside. You are told to enter the water and hold onto the pontoon, then … Bang! The gun goes and I’m off.
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I had the shortest line to the first buoy and I usually swim straight but I underestimated how aggressive the other swimmers would be in the water. It shouldn’t have been a problem if they swam a straight line but I think they were sighting one of the inflatable banners over the run section so they kept heading for shore. Or in other words they kept swimming into me and pushing me towards shore as I kept trying to swim for the first buoy. In the past this would have led to a full panic attack but this time I didn’t break stroke and just kept realigning myself. I had my best swim yet.
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Swimming parallel to shore I could see Peter. So I decided to wave.

Swimming parallel to shore I could see Peter. So I decided to wave.

By the time I was out of the water and at the end of the pontoon I had my wetsuit stripped to just below my waste. Another nod to my swim coach who made us do drills stripping our wetsuits while running out of the water. It was a 250m run up to transition and then another 50m or so in transition to get to your bike with another 100 m out followed by 25m to the mount/dismount line. My time shows 4:17 which is unusually long even though it was my fastest transition ever. Very calm and well executed. The extra distances ate up time but it was the same for all the athletes.

The bike was 3 loops of Hyde Park. It’s a technical course with corners and fast sections but it was especially tricky with wet roads and rain. As you left transition to head out to the bike course officials were urging you to be cautious as many athletes had already crashed. During the run you saw many torn and tattered tri-suits from sliding across the road. Even still I had a blast! I loved this course. With each loop I gained more confidence. By the last loop I was taking the corners at full speed. I averaged 32km/h on the course. The results are skewed because the course actually measured over 23k, which we were notified of during the briefing. This makes our times and speed look slow because 20k is used to calculate speed not the 23k of the actual course. I didn’t want to get off the course I was having so much fun. You can see in Peter’s pictures the rain and the water flying off me. I was more soaked from the ride than the swim.
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I did the fancy dismount and headed back into transition. Again it was a long run in to even the playing field. I had no idea where I stood in the race but I new I wasn’t last out of the water and that I passed people on the bike. I hit the run course feeling good but by the end the run was a struggle. I gave it everything I had. My first lap was under a 5 min pace and the second was just over. The last lap was a mental battle but I won. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:31. When you factor in the longer than usual transitions and the longer bike course I had a personal best! I finished 69 out 97 of the best female athletes in the world in my age group.
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It was my best race and I had the time of my life. Now that I know what to expect and what I need to do I want to go to Chicago in 2015!

GO CANADA GO!!

Ps. A friend gave me a Canadian flag and I carried it with me for the entire race. My own good luck charm.

Day 2 in London

Big Ben, Big Swimmer .. Why not?!

Today was FUN! Peter and I got up just after 6:00am, grabbed a banana and hit the bike course before the traffic started. Best decision! The course will be completely closed off starting tonight and by 9:00am there are too many cars, pedestrians, cyclists and birds to be able to ride properly. We were joined by a Brazillian, an American and a few Auzzies …. sounds like the beginning of a great joke, right? We literally had the park to ourselves and practiced all the technical sections at various speeds. This course is fast! It does have a hill with a 3% grade for 1km but the winding section has a fantastic flow to it. With the right line I should be able to hold my speed through the corners.

Afterwards we headed for breakfast and then toured London. Managed to get lost on the Tube several times, check out Peter’s Ace Cafe (a motorcycle cafe dedicated to cafe racers) and then headed back to the hotel. After a rest I hit the run course. Hyde Park is absolutely beautiful to run in. Nicely groomed trails with lots of room and lots to see. I have to complete 2 loops of the serpentine for the race. It also has a deceiving hill climb or false flat.

Lindsey he is getting the hang of the camera but he also gets side tracked. I was on my third loop when I finally flagged him down.

Lindsey he is getting the hang of the camera but he also gets side tracked. I was on my third loop when I finally flagged him down.

Crossing the Serpentine Bridge
Most importantly my run felt comfortable and my foot felt good, especially considering I spent the morning walking all over London. It also helped shake off some jitters that were building. It’s hard not to get nervous watching other athletes training or even talking. So many have been competing for years and are very serious. The first question everyone asks is which race are you in and then what time are you hoping for, followed by a long list of racing accomplishments. It can be overwhelming. I keep reminding myself that I only started 4 years ago and started from scratch. I’m ahead of the game. Either way my run helped me clear my head and remember that I am quietly confident. ;o)
Notice all the layers go back on after the run. It has definitely been a day for layers.

Notice all the layers go back on after the run. It has definitely been a day for layers.

We finished off the night having the most delicious Indian Dinner with some Canadian Team Mates. As a side note Canada has 419 athletes competing. Rumour is we are the second largest team here. And you can tell! Everywhere you look you see red Canadian jackets.
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I have been meeting so many people from other countries we’ve decided to document it with photos. At the end of the week we are going to make a collage of all the pictures. It’s been a fun project and keeps the focus on enjoying the moment for what it is … an unbelievable opportunity.

I was told the swim is crisp ... I get to find out tomorrow.

I was told the swim is crisp … I get to find out tomorrow.

For my friend Erika

For my friend Erika

There is a good size team Erika. :o)

There is a good size team Erika. :o)

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How I improved my cycling this year

Peter and I having fun on a Ryder Special Group Ride.

Peter and I having fun on a Ryder Special Group Ride.


I’ve loved cycling this year! It’s been a great summer for riding, the weather has been just right to really enjoy the roads and the company. My training has been spot on. I changed two key parts in my training and race prep that I think has helped me hit an average of 33 km/h in my races. The first is I found a great bike shop and send my bike in for regular tune ups and the second is I joined the Cascata Bistro Sunday group rides.

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Scott at a Rock and Road not only owns a great store but he can dial my P2 so that it shifts on an absolute dime. I have a SRAM Red groupo on my P2 which I love but it can be difficult to fine tune and can be temperamental to shift. I had been struggling with it so much that I was going to ditch it and get a new group when Scott said” “Bring in your bike and let me have a try.” Am I ever thankful that I took him up on the offer. Now I take my bike to his shop a few days before I race – EVERY race. It’s amazing the difference a proper tune up can make. And my race times are proof.

Rock and Road has become my go to shop for all bike parts, accessories and service. It’s because of Scott I have been able to get my hands on a great pair of Reynolds aero wheels that sing when I get up to speed, new rubber for my wheels that grips the road like nobody’s business and he just started distributing Lake Shoes.

Picking up my bike with my NEW Reynolds Aero wheels. Thank you Scott!

Picking up my bike with my NEW Reynolds Aero wheels. Thank you Scott!


Lake Tri Shoes
And I really feel that Scott has been a key part of stepping up my “A” game. If you haven’t been to his store, check it out. I promise you’ll thank me for it.

With my bike dialled in, the only area of improvement left is me. The best way to improve your cycling is to ride with cyclists. I love triathlon but to be good at it you have to be a great multi-tasker which means you are a jack of all trades and master of none. So you need to turn to the masters. I started riding with the Cascata Bistro Sunday group ride. There are 3 different speed groups so there is a place for everyone. I spent most of the summer chasing the boys in the 30 km/h speed group. Don’t let the speed deceive you. That is an average speed over 65km of riding and normally over 550m of climbing. It’s a killer and I’m sucking air most of the time and it’s made me a better cyclist. The summer may be ending but the Sunday rides will continue. Like I said there are different speed groups for all levels and stages. Join us next Sunday, wheels roll at 8:30am. Plus, there is coffee on the patio afterwards.
The Cascata Sunday Group Ride

Angela and I after a Cascata Ride. A great friend and great mentor, competing for Canada at the Long Course Championships.

Angela and I after a Cascata Ride. A great friend and great mentor, competing for Canada at the Long Course Championships.

A Lesson in Humility

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I raced the inaugural IronGirl race in Grimsby, Ontario this past weekend. It was my first women’s only race and it was much harder than I expected. I hate to say it but I went into the race with a certain amount of arrogance that I am ashamed of and behaved even worse after the race. My husband warned me not to underestimate the women who would be racing and he was right.

Although the race is a great, friendly race for all women to compete in (and I strongly suggest every women try the race at least once) it is also an opportunity for high performing women to compete in a no holds bar race. There are no men to swim through or ride through to get clear space. The race course is theirs for the taking. And it was empowering to see so many strong women at one race. Most of the races I attend through the various race series available in Ontario there are anywhere from 125-200 or so women and usually anywhere from 25-50 women in my age group. At IronGirl there were over 500 women racing and 92 in my age group. The top women in each age group were serious women, all looking forward to owning the course.

My aim had been to podium but that didn’t happen. I still had my best race to date. If you are following my blog posts you know that the swim is my physical and mental achilles heel in the race. I have been painstakingly working on my swim with my coach Mat Reid with the goal of holding onto the feet of the lead pack by the time I get to World’s – which is in 4 1/2 short weeks. Yesterday not only did I hold on but I was 5th out of the water. 5th!!!! Out of 92 women. I remember getting out the water hearing my husband scream: “You are at the top! At the top baby!” I shook off the swim and headed for transition. I took too much time in transition and let two women slip past me.

I hit the bike course and started hunting. My bike leg was consistent but not nearly as fast as the Toronto Triathlon Festival. I averaged 31.6 km/h according to sportstats and here is where my bad behaviour starts. My garmin had me clocked in at 32km/h and although it is only .4km/h difference it somehow makes me feel better. And either way it doesn’t change where I place in the race but I still stomped my feet and had a full-blown temper-tantrum over the difference when really I was mad at myself. I was at the 7.5k mark when the race leaders passed me. It was so exciting to see women as the leaders and they were only 5k ahead of me. I’ve never been that close before!

As I entered the dismount area I jumped off my bike. I even did the fancy one footed dismount. Again I took too long in transition, feeling tired. Every time I had a chance to slow down I wanted to stop. Not throw in the towel but maybe have a nice little nap or rest before I moved onto the next section of the race. I forced my feet into my running shoes and headed out onto the run course. This is where I really started to beat myself up -the run. Ever since I injured my foot in May I have struggled to get my run back.

As I left T2 my cheering squad was waiting for me. I could hear them cheering as I approached and continued to hear them as I hit the road. Later my daughter would tell me I looked tired and she thought yelling extra loud would help. God bless her. I owed her a big thank you and explanation later about Mummy’s poor sportsmanlike behaviour. So yeah, I was tired when I hit the run course but I started to settle into a good pace by the 1.5k mark. I was running a 5:15 pace which is my best pace since injuring my foot. It told me the intervals are paying off and my pace is starting to improve. Then I hit the trail section of the course and I lost my rhythm. I struggled to get my legs to turn over. By the time I exited the wooded trail my pace was right off and I had a km to go. On the run three more women in my age group passed me. One of them in the last 300 meters.

Within 15 minutes or so of finishing the results were being posted. This is when I started behaving badly. I really thought I had done well, which I had, just not as well as I had hoped. When I saw that I finished 9th I started complaining about the discrepancies between my garmin and the results. Very loudly. That I should have placed higher, never acknowledging the women above me and the excellent race they ran. I went into this race thinking I was fantastic and would sweep the field. That I was Team Canada and look out. Well I was served a well needed lesson in humility.

The truth is as I later had to explain to my daughter, I have been training so hard and ran my best best race to date yesterday and it wasn’t good enough. I hated that! I hated that even though I have been training so hard and so consistently I still couldn’t make it to the podium. That I was frustrated but that doesn’t excuse my behaviour. The women who finished above me ran a great race and instead of complaining I should have congratulated them. There are no guarantees in life and even though I worked hard and I ran my best race I didn’t win and I didn’t podium and that’s life. I should be proud of the fact that I came out with the leaders not behind them. I was in contention the entire race. I finished 45th out of 500+ racers. I finished in the top 8%!!! These are all huge successes. All of which I told my daughter. I told her that success isn’t always measured by where you finish or a grade but by your own personal achievement.

For three years I have been diligently working with my swim coach so that one day I could be on the coattails of the leaders in the swim. Yesterday I became one of the leaders. That success is unmeasurable!

Toronto Triathlon Festival – It’s all about the Expo

Crossing the finish line
On July 21st I raced the sprint course at the Toronto Triathlon Festival, also host to the National Championships for Age Groupers, Para-triathletes and the Elite Juniors Under 23 as well as 10 spots were available for next year’s team competing at the 2014 Grand Finale World Championships in Edmonton. It is the biggest race I have ever participated in! Athletes traveled from across the country to compete. I have never seen so many Team Canada race kits at one venue before – which helped ease my nerves as it’s the first time I raced in my team kit. The transition was massive! With the bikes racked, the racks seemed to go on forever.

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TTF is organized a little differently than other races I have attended. There is a mandatory race briefing and it is the day before. Biggest waste of time ever! And every athlete who came out of the briefing was grumbling about it. Unless you have never raced before there was no point in sitting through the briefing. The only key information were changes to the course from the previous year which are highlighted on the on-line course maps and that the ITU drafting rule of 12m on the race course would be enforced which can be shared via email. For athletes travelling from within the Golden Horseshoe or further it meant 2 hours of driving, an extra $20 in parking for a 12 minute pointless meeting followed by a forced walk through of the Expo. So in other words, you were forced to attend (anyone who did not attend would not be permitted to race and would not be refunded their race fee) a pointless meeting to guarantee “x” many athletes walked through the Expo to see all the vendors. You actually had to walk past each and every vendor to get the second part of your race kit. Unlike other races your parking on race day is not included with your race entry. If you choose to race this event next year add $40 to the race fee to cover the parking for the briefing and on race day.

The wave set up is a little different to other races. All the men are grouped first and all the women last. To keep the waves divided by gender the wave 30-44 for both genders were oversized by 40%. Normally it’s not really a big deal and I have swam in much larger waves but in this case the swim course is around the docks at Ontario place. It’s a very narrow, zig zag location so the swimmers in those waves were literally being squeezed together making it difficult to move forward never mind pass. When you factor the panic a lot of swimmers were experiencing from the unusually cold water it was like trying to swim through pea soup. The buoys were difficult to sight once you cleared the west channel with the sun being directly in your line of sight and obscured by boats and the congested swimmers. Most importantly there was nowhere to warm up in the water, which considering the temperature of the water that day would have been a huge benefit. Actually, I should say the women were unable to warm up. There was enough of a gap between the olympic distance and the sprint that the men and the Elite Juniors Under 23 were able to warm up but not the women. The women’s waves didn’t start until half an hour after the first gun for the sprint. So the men were primed and ready. The women, it felt like were an after thought without the clear advantages the men experienced that day. For a national event, championship and team qualifier the discrepancies between gender are unacceptable. When the race organizers were questioned about the discrepancies they could not or would not provide an answer. They need to address these issues moving forward as most women were extremely frustrated. Had this not been chosen as a championship race or qualifier the number of entrants would have been significantly less. Changes need to be made going forward if this race wants to have the success and stamina of other races in Ontario like Gravenhurst and Guelph Lake.
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So what did I like? The bike course is amazing! You feel like you are flying. It was 1.5km short based on my Garmin 510 but it was fast and fun. There was more officials on the course ensuring everyone raced a fair, individual race. The transition was well organized and close to the swim exit, giving a more accurate swim result. The transition was easy to navigate except for when the organizers shut down the centre aisle while out on the bike course screwing with your navigation off the bike. The transition and course were lined with country flags stressing the significance of the race. The run course had plenty of drink stations, it was easy to see where you were in the race. The km markers were difficult to see. Maybe making them brighter, larger or more in your direct line of sight? You knew where you were based on the drink stations. The finish line was a party! Every racer received a finishers medal and recovery food/drink was right there when you crossed the line. And for my family, there was a lot to do which my husband was grateful for. At the end of the day when you packed up your transition you had to have your wristband with your race number matched to your bike before you left. It was a nice detail that I think should be instituted at all races.

The police, firefighters, Maple leaf mascots and more were at the Kid Zone

The police, firefighters, Maple leaf mascots and more were at the Kid Zone


This race has the potential to be a great race but they need to make some significant changes going forward.
*The waves need to be more evenly distributed and stay small in order to navigate the harbour.
*Everyone needs to be provided with a satisfactory warm up.
*Ditch the mandatory briefing and the obvious walk through of the expo; if the briefing is necessary then provide free parking and omit the expo walk through. Let athletes make up their own minds if they want to visit the expo.
*Figure out the parking scenario. There should be a discount or parking should be free. The race is fee is higher than most sprint races to begin with and those races include entry into the park and parking for athletes.

If this hadn’t been the national championships I wouldn’t have signed up for the race. And it won’t always host the championships …

Celebrating my finish with my family. My Aunt came down to cheer me on. I could hear the extra voice. Thank you!

Celebrating my finish with my family. My Aunt came down to cheer me on. I could hear the extra voice. Thank you!

Binbrook Triathlon Race Review

Amy cycling

Today has been an exceptional day for me and not because I broke records and killed the course. Quite the opposite. I did have my best race today and I also forgot my timing chip. Total rookie mistake and I made it but it really doesn’t matter. Today was an exceptional day because I finally overcame my anxiety in the water. I have written many times about my struggles with the open water swim in triathlon. I have also been using this site to help work through my triggers and discover coping strategies. It’s been cathartic for me to write about my fears and how to overcome them. It also helped me describe what I am going through to my swim coach, Mat Reid, so that we can work together to not only make me stronger, faster but confident in the water.

And it finally all fell into place today. I was able to get a warm up swim in before the start. I worked through my favourite drills and became acclimatized to the water. It was a brisk 64F or 17C. Definitely a wetsuit swim. After my warm up I stayed in the water and chatted with a few athletes I know from the Y. We didn’t talk about the race or the people. I didn’t even know how many people were on the beach. We were so busy talking about our training and past races that we were all surprised when the gun went off. There was no time to think, never mind be nervous. I just started swimming. Even though I was on the outside of the pack I was still pushed around, kicked in the face and pulled. All of which would usually cause me to panic and give up. But this time I didn’t! I just kept swimming and settled into my stroke. With the water being so cold I wasn’t able to use my usual 3 stroke breath and had to stick to 2 stroke. Before I knew it I was at the first buoy and I felt strong. On the leg back I was able to pick up my speed and swim stronger. I had a clear line to the beach and just zeroed in on the exit sign. I didn’t feel any of the fatigue I usually have climbing out of the water and I even had a smile for my cheering squad (husband and the kids).

I used my coaches trick for getting my wetsuit off quickly and it worked like a charm. My transition was poor. I have to say, if there is an element that needs work it is my transition. I have new shoes – that I love, but I need to take the time and practise slipping them on and off with wet feet.
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The bike portion of the race went well and thanks to my Garmin 510 (courtesy of Rock and Road Cycle) I have all my data saved. I averaged 31.5 km/h over the 30k course. It’s a great speed for me and even better when you factor in I have been laid up on crutches for the past 3 weeks letting my foot heal. When I got home I was able to plug my Garmin into the computer and get a better look at my ride. I couldn’t be more pleased! I averaged 30.5 on the first half of the course (15km) and on the second half I averaged 33.4 km/h!!!!! I still can’t believe I pulled that speed off. It also proves my husband right. I’ll never live that one down. It’s all in my head. I have the potential to be so much faster if I would just turn my head off. The numbers prove it. I can do it so I have to do it. Starting this week with my training. All this data helps me focus my training sessions to help improve from these results and to remind me of what I can truly do.

It really is all just a head game isn’t?

Meeting Clara Hughes

Clara Hughes

Today was not only the first beautiful day we have had this spring but it is also the day that Sydenham Hill in Dundas, Ontario became Clara’s Climb. We honoured Clara Hughes for all her many successes in sport and life with a plaque on the hill she trained on from 1991-1998 during part of her cycling career.

Clara is one of my heroes because she represents everything I believe in. Hard work, perseverance, believing in your dream and inspiring people to do their best. She always has a big infectious smile on her face and when she talks about pursuing your dreams, anything seems possible. I think that is what makes her so Canadian. Our stars that rise to Clara’s, Simon Whitfield’s, Ryder Hesjedal’s level are humble, sincere and see themselves as a bigger picture that is our national story. A story that will inspire the next generation to even greater heights. Clara said today that it’s not about the medals and the instant fame that comes with it but what you do with it.

I was so proud to meet her in person with my daughter and to have her sign my aero helmet. I will be racing on the same course she time trialed during the 2012 London Olympics this September. She said I’m going to love the course. “It’s a lot of fun but harder than it looks.” Remembering she road that race with a broken back! On September 13th I will be riding with Clara on my shoulder.

My autographed helmet

What A Great Turn Out!

Set up

London Calling was an absolute blast! We had a full house Saturday morning and the competition was fierce. Cat calling, trash talk and cheering could be heard from every corner. We had 6 bikes to a station with 3 stations. One dedicated to computrainers and the remaining two stations had a variety of trainers giving everybody a chance to try something new. We raced on Tour de Giro’s 24km short course with some wicked hills to add some kick to our ride.

Scott and Derek from Rock and Road Cycle in Burlington came to check us out and encourage the riders. Thanks again for all of your support, both on the day and leading up to the event. A special thank you also to Hammer Nutrition and Preferred Nutrition who provided our prizes and the goodies in the swag bags.

And of course, a special thank you to Eric and Art of Tour de Giro who ran around making everything work and giving everyone a great ride. If you haven’t checked out the site, you have to. It really is the best and only way to train indoors.image-3

Here are the pictures from the event and the video that my very talented brother-in-law put together for your enjoyment.
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Rock and Road

It’s been a pretty exciting couple of weeks. I am working with Tour de Giro getting everything ready for March 23rd. It looks like we will have swag bags for the event! I met Scott, the owner of Rock and Road Cycle in Burlington, who is sponsoring London Calling and who is now sponsoring ME! Yep, that’s right! Rock and Road is the official bike shop for triMom!

My husband and I are always checking out new bike shops, seeing what they have to offer, dreaming up wish lists for our bikes. We thought we had been to all the shops in the area but one night we were driving home and passed Scott’s shop. It was too late to pop in so we made a mental note to check it out. Best decision we made! My husband was shopping for a new seat post for his bike and what he wanted was on the expensive end. He went to Rock and Road and found what he was looking for at the best price. Within the week he was off and riding. Each time we price out parts Rock and Road has the best price, so when the owner’s of Tour de Giro asked what bike shop I’d recommend – Rock and Road was top of the list.

It’s not just price that makes Rock and Road so attractive to us, it’s the service too. We play a game when we go into bike shops looking for gear I need to see if the salesperson is going to talk to me or my husband about the product and if they are going to take me seriously. Especially this year. Most of the gear I bought was when I first started and I didn’t want to invest too much not knowing how far I would go. So now we are investing in quality gear. Shops either take me seriously or give me a little chuckle and dismiss me. I hate to say it but majority of shops fall in the latter group. It is hard enough to find quality race gear for women as we are not the target market in North America. I have gone to Mountain Equipment Co-op most of the time. They sell real cycling clothes for women that are equal in quality and fit to men without covering it in flowers and various shades of pink.

Looking for shoes is the perfect example of the gap in women’s products. There are either entry-level tri shoes for women maybe in 1 or 2 styles. For men there are at least 4 low-end options and a mid range plus the high-end version – all in the stores. For women there is only the low-end and high-end. There is no mid range and the high-end isn’t carried in the stores, you have to specially order it. It’s frustrating to say the least.

And this attitude of women being a secondary market carries through to a lot of bike shops. I can count on one hand the number of shops, and we have been to a lot of shops, that have taken me seriously as an athlete and Rock and Road is one of those shops. Like I said I have only had this experience a few times. Brant Cycle, Blacksmith Cycle in Toronto where I bought my new Lake tri-shoes and had my Retul bike fitting, and Rock and Road – my new go to bike shop!

If you have a minute you should drop by Rock and Road and check out the store. It’s time to get your bike tuned up and ready for the road. I was out riding this weekend. It was a little surreal to be riding on a sunny day in 10 degree weather surrounded by snow but it was so nice to be back on my bike. I didn’t manage to snap a picture of myself riding but here is a shot of my husband and his buddies enjoying the weekend.IMG_2274IMG_2275 Riding season is just right around the corner. You don’t want to miss a day riding because you were late in getting your bike to the shop. And if you are a newby looking to get set up, you can go to Rock and Road and know that you won’t be talked into something you don’t need. They’ll help you find the right bike for you.

And don’t forget to register for London Calling on March 23rd!! I am so excited about this event. The ride will be amazing. There are only 18 spots in total. Please don’t wait until the day to register.