Monday, 23 April 2012

Biking & Good Adventures Soon

April is the one month each year that skiers get to kick back and take a rest from structured training, racing and generally being in the 24/7 athlete mindset. It's a time to recovery physically and emotionally from the past 11 months of work and recharge before training begins again. I've been spending my time hanging with friends, working at Fresh Air, grading final exams, running and luckily this year, mountain biking.

The mountain biking around Ottawa has been unreal this spring. Absolutely beautiful. It was a low snow winter in the Ottawa area and although this meant no fun spring skiing after Nationals it does mean that trails are dry and ready to be shredded way, way sooner. I'll take the trade-off this year, I love biking.
The Lakes are not a lie at Kanata Lakes
I've ridden mostly at Kanata Lakes and just once at Camp Fortune so far. KL is a cool place, it's a tightly twisting network of trails over lots of Canadian Shield rock. There are no big hills, just short, steep, rocky climbs and downs. There's a good mix of flowy and technical riding to be had although definitely more rocky than flowy. I got my first dual suspension XC bike last spring and it's changed my biking life. KL is a whole new playground now! 
I captured Mike in action by hiding in the bushes.
Looking back-
Looking forward.

These shots are from a ride on April 17. Notice how dry and gorgeous the trails look...

Another cool thing about KL is the contrast between where you come from and where you end up. The trail network access is off of Klondike road which is the current boundary of a Kanata suburb. You drive through the suburb, park at the side of the road, hop on your bike and cruise into the trails. See above the for trails, see below for the contrast.
Suburbs to sweet trails works for me.
Aside from biking, I've been finalizing my plans for the upcoming year. I decided sometime last winter that I was ready for a new adventure and wanted to step up my training and racing regime once again. I did a bit of research and decided that the Alberta World Cup Academy was the team that I would most like to be a part of. AWCA is a Canmore based team and operates as a national development centre under Cross-Country Canada and the Alberta World Cup Society. They have arguably the strongest group of athletes and coaches in Canada right now and are situated in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Sold - except that team spaces are limited and I had to apply for a spot and then wait to hear if I would be accepted. This added a bit of stress to my April and I'm sure my boyfriend would tell you that I spent far too much time being very worried about the outcome of the selection meetings. Good thing biking helps calm my nerves!

I found out just last week that I've been granted a spot on the 2012-2013 team and am so pumped for the upcoming season! The timeline for moving is short. I have to be in Canmore by May 14, at the latest, so I have been hustlin' to make new living arrangements, sublet my room in Ottawa (still available!), finish grading exams, sell furniture, ride bikes and of course spend as much time as possible with my amazing Ottawa friends.

Stay tuned for more news on the big move and Happy April!

Spring skiing at Camp Fortune? Nah. I'm happy with this.

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