July 3, 2004 – McQuaid’s Yard Sale in Calgary Olympic Park

OH NO Canada!

Canada’s 137th birthday and the 2004 Calgary World Cup are now said and done, and I was somewhat a part of both. I was flying to Calgary on the 1st of July, happy to be seeing my Ford Cycling teammate Dara Marks-Marino for the first time in a LONG time (both of us have been racing crazy, but in different countries!), and actually, it has been a while since I have been to Calgary. The race was held at the Calgary Olympic Park, so cross country and downhill mountainbiking in the shadow of the huge ski jumps from the Olympics. Kinda cool, I have only raced in Canmore in the past so this was all good for me. I like the course too, a good combination of power climbing and riding with some fun twisty singletrack. The down side is there is, like, NO passing, for a long ways. Start was critical…

I was hoping that my first World Cup race in North America would be an exact opposite finish of those in Europe, but it was not to be. I crashed out in spectacular fashion to make it four for four unsatisfactory world cups this year. But having said that, there are some very positive things that came out of this race. First off, I crashed in top 15, moving forwards as my start wasn’t spectacular… the races in Europe I would be struggling in 250th and going backwards, so that was encouraging. Also the course ended up being quite technical because mother nature was not cooperating and every day, like clockwork, all the drying that had occurred due to beautiful, warm, sunny skies would be obliterated by a deluge of rain. I think, actually, the deluge was on the men’s race today, bummer for the boys. I am off topic, the point is that I felt like I was riding quite well technically, and I think this will come to bear at the nationals. I chose the High Roller tire, which I have not used yet, and really liked it. While lots of girls were sliding all over, I was sliding forwards.

But to the crash… I was attacking going as fast as I could on a rolling section and then suddenly found myself on my head. Bike slid out from under me. I got up, pushed up this little hill, too big a gear for it, four girls including Dara ran over/past me, then I hopped on to go and wrapped my chain all over inside my spokes. It was ugly. Everyone in the whole race passed me while I pulled my chain out (my wheel off, my feet for leverage…) and then I got going again, only to shift again and have the chain go right back, comfortably lodged inside my hub somewhere. I was done for. Thanks to Shimano guys for fixing my brand new beautiful Title 9 K2 Zed team already!

After we indulged in a little retail therapy, Dara dropped me at the airport. We should meet again in Durango for the NORBA Finals. For me, nationals and Keystone is what is next… my psycho two major races in two different time zones in two days adventure. I leave in two weeks for Quebec, then Denver. With a little luck I should make it to both of them. 🙂

Thanks to Houshang Amiri for the coaching and the feed zone this weekend for both myself and Dara. Thanks to Ford Cycling for their support, as well as Saucony, K2 Bikes, Compex Technologies, Maxxis, Sundog Eyewear, Powerbar, Shimano, Giro, Descente, Hypoxico, Arq Hair Salon and Rider’s Cycles. Until two weeks from now! M

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