my “off season” recap

Every year it seems that the off season flies by and is as busy as ever!  This winter was no exception as the cyclocross season ended a month later while mountain bike began a month…earlier.  Hmm.  I am always sort of planning ahead while sorting out logistics for the current season but I still had a LOT of work and catching up to do…

On top of that, “winter” never really happened this year in Western North Carolina.  I took a few weeks off from structured training but couldn’t completely avoid the trails.  There were more than a few occasions where I was comfortable in short sleeves!  In fact I was able to mountain bike on my birthday in February-a first!

my backyard...

As much as I love winter (and I really do!) I love trail riding year-round even more…

I’m happy to announce that in 2012 I am riding for a new team, Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training p/b Asheville Bicycle Racing Club.  It is primarily a road team; in fact, we just earned a designation as one of eleven women’s “Domestic Elite” teams!  HERE is the press release from USA Cycling.

But wait, since when have I raced on the road?  The answer is basically “never” and my focus this summer continues to be the North American Mountain Bike World Cups.  The ProXCT (domestic professional race series) has five stops this summer, similar to last: Texas, California, Colorado, Montana and Wisconsin.  Then Nationals are again in Idaho.  And I live in North Carolina..on the eastern half of the country dismissed by USA Cycling.  It is not exactly practical for me to chase the entire series from a financial/logistical perspective.  Moreover, due to the Olympics this year the timing of the schedule is difficult to follow: two races in early March; one each in mid-June, July and August….

However, the Southeast has outstanding opportunities on the road circuit.  I mean, there is a reason that United Healthcare and Colavito have bases in Asheville and pros from BMC, Kenda/5-hour Energy, Exergy Twenty 12, Specialized Lululemon…to name a few…live or train nearby?

For the first time I have a local team to work with and I feel strongly that some more time on the skinny tires will aid my weaknesses off-road…  I am very fortunate in that my team supports my goals in multiple disciplines and I have the flexibility to choose my schedule.  I’ll be racing the BMC Team Elite TE01 hardtail and Road Racer SL01 bikes:

ready to ride!

Every year Asheville plays host to a number of cycling team camps.  We were fortunate to have camp in town, as living in these amazing mountains is like being on vacation every day!  Unlucky for us our camp took place on the only weekend it snowed ALL WINTER!  Spin-Tech Training has a nice studio with computrainers and we were able to utilize the equipment and snack on delicious Pepper Palace products!

We spent three hours in the freezing cold for our photo shoot with Paul Christopher (Christopher Graphics) and Kristi Eidson Hedburg.  Beauty is pain, right?

here are some behind-the-scenes shots:

Cara-giving Paul some tips!

Kate and I forgot our spray paint!

coffee break in the car to warm up!

we were joined by a random zombie:

you know, just the usual zombie..

model zombie joins the fun! (photo: Paul Christopher)

Asheville was a finalist to host the 2014-15 Cyclocross National Championships and like tons of others we showed USA Cycling our support:

photo: Paul Christopher

As it turns out, all three potential hosts earned bids and after Boulder and Austin, Asheville will host Nationals at the Biltmore Estate in 2016.  It’s a long way, but I am already excited!

the Biltmore Estate. photo: romanticasheville.com

The team photos turned out wonderfully–HERE is a link to Paul’s gallery.

presenting 2012 Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training! (photo: Paul Christopher)

Left to right: me, Cinthia Lehner (USA), Janet Trubey (USA), Klara Rossouw (RSA), Bergen Watterson (USA), Erica Chard (USA), Cara Applegate (USA), Kate Ross (USA), Stephanie Bunnett (ZW), Amy Alexander (USA), Mariske Strauss (RSA) and Allison Arensman (USA).

Our talented roster includes riders from three countries, covers junior, U23, collegiate, elite and masters levels.  I am looking forward to a great season with these ladies!

Thanks to all at Spin-Tech Training, our team director, Sonni Dyer, Paul and Kristi for a great weekend at camp.  I am pleased to continue working with my coach, Gordy Paulson (Speed Cycling) and massage therapist Tavis Cummings  (Omnium Bodyworks).

And just like that, break was over, training resumed in full swing and the first races began in mid-February…

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