Saturday, December 12, 2009

The next project…

This blog has been quiet for a while, cos honestly, I don’t think many are still reading it ;-) But anyway, here’s an update of what the next project is about…looks something like that…

Yup, it’s time to put on the rubber again and bike on hideous looking aerobars, pee in the wetsuit, on the bike and the run and do a marathon after a warmup of a 4km swim and 180km ride…yea baby, this year its time for Challenge Waaaaanaka


16th January 2010 in the beautiful location of Wanaka, South Island, NZ…

So yea, I’m back on the Triathlon horse, will be out there racing Olympic distance tri’s, obviously Challenge Wanaka and then it’s time to get the speed up for Xterra…on a singlespeed? Hmmm….

Anyway, this season I’m supported by Active Timing, Deano and Marcus’s timing company – so if you see all over my butt, you know what that is about!

headerSo, giddy up, might see you out there at the races and might even keep this blog going with some stories about my races…like the one where I did not set my alarm for the 5am start????

Over and out, Dr. Kat

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ryders Riders – the photo story


Photo’s are courtesy of Julie Melanson and Dr. Me, music by the genius Parker, from the album “To Eternity”.

Enjoy the show…

Friday, July 10, 2009

BC Bike Race Report

BC Bike race, 28th June – 4th of July, North Vancouver to Whistler. 7 days on a MTB. The ultimate singletrack experience. A years dream.

So. How did it go, what was it like?

In the previous two years the race had much more forestry road riding in the first three days, which was why I thought I’d be able to cope with the technical riding alright and have enough time to get used to riding roots and rocks. But the closer race day came, the more changes were made to the race – you guess it, they wanted to make it the ULTIMATE singletrack experience. And that’s what it was! This race is less of a ‘we ride from A to B to C to D’ kinda thing, it’s more a ‘we ride as much singletrack as possible at point A, then transport you to point B and ride as much singletrack as we can there, then we move you to point C…’ and you get the picture! This was bad news for me, but someone wanted a challenge right?

The race course was amazing. I never knew how much singletrack you can hide in a place. It went on and on and on, some days I was just looking forward to ride on forestry roads to get a break…for example on Day 2 we rode the first 40k’s exclusively on singletrack, oh hang on, I lie…there were about 5ks on the road riding through Nainaimo…it was mindbobbling at times. The terrain? Rough for me or anyone who was not Canadian. Julie always said, nothing in NZ can prepare you for what you’ll get to ride here, and on Day 1 I knew what she meant. Loads of up and downy tracks over roots, loads of lifting your bike (via riding or pushing) over uphill roots, tricky turns and twists, riding up rocks, riding down rocks and some rather steep shit…The organisers also made a lot of new tracks for this race, which was their payback to the local biking communities, but it also meant we rode a lot of real fresh trails, which, on a long day, can be a pain in the A. But there were also plenty of wicked old trails, flowy and just like back home! Needless to say I really enjoyed those!

And every day was different. None of the courses were the same and you never got bored.

And how did our race go?

Day 1 – North Vancouver, 30km. This day was short but insane, the North shore is the home of freestyle riding. Nuff said…riding on xcountry bikes is something for nutters, there was a lot of walking downhill and I wasn't the only one...

Day 2 – Nanaimo to Parksville, 70km. We got transported to Vancouver Island and got our first of 4 Ferry rides. The day was long, as said before, the first 40k’s were almost exclusively on singletrack and I can't really remember what went on there, loads of roots and rocks on the trails I guess?

Day 3 – Cumberland, 60km. Still on Vancouver Island. Julie's challenge for me was to ride at least 3 things that scare me, I did 6 1/2...was another long day, and frustrating at the end as I lost screws in my cleats - both of them. Made for some interesting riding, permanently clicked in on one leg, the other one did whatever, generally didn't unclick when I needed it, so I got to have a good look at the ground a few times. Oh yea, and we were lost halfway through the day due to some course tampering, cost us about an hour that day as we had to wait a long time until the marshalls figured out where we were meant to go...

Day 4 – The Sunshine Coast, Setchel, 70km. That was the one that killed most of us. We had to get up at 4.30am to catch the ferry to the mainland, race started at 11am, yes, it was HOT, and the course was longer than what they had announced. I think we were out for 7 1/2 hrs or so, there were tantrums thrown left and right and centre around us but we all made it home somehow. Best part of the day –one of the volunteers at the finish took one look at us and gave us an ice cold beer! Gotta love it!

Day 5 – The sunshine coast part II, 55km. This day started with 2 flats at the beginning of the ride, on the road section - we lost the bunch big time and had to play a bit of catch up so that they don't pull us of the course as it was road closure through the public 4 caught up on us that day, Julie was the first to bonk and the first half of the day was rather slow for her...once she came right, I decided to not be happy with the heat anymore and bonked! Talk about ping pong! I was about ready to throw up and pass out by the time the last aid station came round and we made it home somehow...

Day 6 – Squamish, 50km. This was the Test of Metal course and somehow we both managed to recover well after low energy day, even funnier was that we both felt better than on any of the days. People started to look rather tired around us and we felt it on the uphills when we started to leave the usual groupetto behind.

Day 7 – WHISTLER! 30km. As with Day 6, we were feeling on fire. We both rode stronger than on any of the days, I rode up hills I would have usually walked up and felt fine! The day started with a major climb, but we didn’t really care. We had a blast and screamed down the downhills and buzzed up the uphills. We were almost sad that the race was over and that we wouldn’t see the trusty volunteers at our Aid stations that had been such a relief every time we reached them!

The ups of the race?

Riding with Julie. She’s the best person I could have done this with. Sorry Julz that I was so slow at the beginning…

Riding with likeminded people around you. We’ve made so many friends, there were no egos out there (well, we didn’t hang out with the pro’s…) and it was a wholloda fun riding with a bunch of people that get the same buzz out of riding your bike for hours without end!

The singletracks. Who would have thought, but I started enjoying it!

The volunteers and aid stations. Social bunnies as we are we made friends with them, from day 3 on we just rolled into Aidstation 2 and our bikes were taken care of, water bottles and hydra packs were filled up for us and we got our special peanut butter sandwich handed to us! Talk about luxury treatment, you only get that when you’re at the back!

Tent city. Despite the snoring that went on in some of the neighbouring tents on some days it was such a great atmosphere, which you totally missed out on if you’d stayed in RV’s or hotels…go budget, have fun!

The Kick Arse Coffee. Yea, coffee man was THE man. Not having a good coffee in the morning almost stressed me out more than riding scary singletrack stuff – but there was no need to stress, coffee was served every day as soon as we got up! Good coffee!

Beers. There was always beer.

Being sponsored by Ryders Eyewear. Thanks to Brent I am now travelling light with 8 pairs of sunnies!

The downs?

The singletracks…yes, you can get sick of singletrack…

The transporting. We spent a lot of time in busses and on ferries in order to get to our starting point each day. Meant the mornings were a bit busy and hectic and starting times were late.

Day Zero. Have I ever stood in a line longer than on that day??? Hope they get this sorted for next year. If you go – be there early!

The non-existent after party. Apparently huge in previous years, but due to loss of sponsors and the economics, that was one of the things to go first. Meant we never really got to say good bye to some of the friends we made over the week.

The lack of bears. All hyped up, and nothing seen! Not even my favourite banana slugs were out!

Lessons learned?

Never listen to volunteers about a) what the track is going to be like or b) how much longer it will take you. They generally told you that there’s some really cool flowy downhill singletrack coming up, but ALWAYS forgot to mention that we had to ride through some tough shit or uphill for flipping yonks before we got to the downhill! And if they say, you’re there in 20min, it’ll take you at least an hour!

Take spare screws for your cleats. Nuff said.

Skills rule over fitness in this race. Knowing how to ride these Canadian trails or having good MTB skills is way more important than being superfit. If you don’t have the skills, you need persistence or just be dumb enough to try and ride the stuff!

All in all, a wicked wicked race. Go and do it! Even a MTB dumbo like me can enjoy this!

Big thanks to everyone who got me there – Ryders Eyewear, Peak Fuel, Em’s Powercookies, R&B Consultancy and Paul from

A huge thanks to everyone who has dipped in and supported limbs4all, the charity I chose to support during this race – every donation is greatly appreciated and will help someone to get back on their feet, literally.

And finally, a monster thanks to Julie for riding with me for 7 days!

And for Julie’s view on things, look at

limbs4all - Thank you all soooo much!

Guys, you are legends - to date we have raised almost $1700 for limbs4all, which equals at least 5 wheelchairs or 8 legs in Cambodia or Nepal.

I am so stoked about everyone's support ... thank you thank you thank you!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

BC Bike Race Photos

Some random shots from our 7 days at the BC Bike Race

The trusty Giants

Julie pulling her weight and both of our bags.

One of the views on the ferry crossings
4.30am start...

Bus life

Compression sox and a beautiful view

Riding time
This should be called "Course tampering in progress" - we found signs and markers but not the way home for some time!

Now who looks like Dean Watson???? can't escape em...
Singletrackbottleneck, daily procedure at the beginning. Spot the Kiwi!
Riding through Nainaimo
Always having fun with the volunteers - at this aid station it was orange kisses. Maybe one of the reason for our slow riding times?

the MASH crew

Stu & Mike, out tree planting boysMe, Sarah the flying Kiwi and Julie

Always having fun with the volunteers aye...Andrew from Tokoroa, one of our angels from Aidstation 2

Sarah Heine second in the Female 40+ solo category

Tony Hogg 3rd in the open male solo

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Are we there yet?

First of all - THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has donated to limbs4all to date. You guys rock, you guys make a difference!!!

2 more sleeps and we're on the start line to the BC Bikerace, 7 days, from Vancouver to Whistler.

Julie's about to arrive in Vancouver tonight, tomorrow is rego and briefing and drop of gear day.

I'm feeling the nerves, especially about the first day. The race used to start in Victoria, this year it has been moved to Vancouver, more specifically, North Vancouver - the home of freeriding...I checked out a few of the trails that we'll be doing on the first day and they are no good news for me. Lot's of roots, rocks and a lot of - at least for me - rather technical and steep stuff. This will be a challenge for me and I just hope that I and Gaili will stay in one piece.
I guess this is the point where I am so glad that I have Julie with me. She's a good technical rider and at home on those roots and rocks. I fully trust her, so I'll just sit behind her and try and do the magic she does on those trails - and hope it'll work!
Once day one is over I hope I can relax and get into the thing I really enjoy - riding looooong....

On a positive note - yea, the sun is shining!!!! And my sunglass-addiction has been fulled by our sponsor Ryders. I visited Brent Martin at the Factory the other day and got kitted out - 4 new pairs in 10 minutes, wayhooo. Love it, thanks Ryders!

I'll be signing out here for a while now, check for updates on the race progress!

Thanks big time to our sponsors Ryders, Peak Fuel, Em's Powercookies, R&B Consultants and Paul Westwood from (in case I make it...).

Auf wiedersehen!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Countdown has started eh...

3 more sleeps to go and I'll sleep on the plane to Canada...well oh well. It's the usual Kat-stress-before-I-go-overseas situation, nothing ever changes. Still got a couple reports to finish and decide about which bikini I shall pack...ah, yea, there was a bike race too, right!
Prep in the last few weeks, actually since the moonride, have been a bit average. I've seemed to be able to catch every bug in the air, damn it, so a big fat flue (not the porky oink oink one...) and a good old tummy rumble have ruined my last two big weekends. Well, gotta go with what get's thrown at ya and make the best out of it. Got a whole week to settle into the race????
I will post again just before the race, at this stage I would like to say cher bro to all the peeps that kept me company on my rides or at least part of them, especially in the later stages of my unmotivated training...A da Man Adam, Sarah PC, Martin and Jamie tha nutter - 4hrs in the rain wasn't enough for him, he did the same thing again the next day...tsts...

AND - a big thank you to everyone who has donated to limbs4all ... we're slowly getting there and its great to see who helps me and Mark!!! thanks so much!!!!

Okay, back to those which bikini shall I take issues...