Jaymie Mart - BARBADOS NATIONAL DOWNHILL TEAM - one of the most colourful and well loved athletes on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup tour today.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Yea!! The season HAS STARTED!! What a kick off let me tell you, I've just landed back from 5 fast and furious days in the beautiful MARIBOR, Slovenia. A lot can happen in a week.....where do I start..FROM THE TOP of course!
We stayed in a cool wee apartment at base camp, BULLFINK. We literally woke up in the morning and rolled down to the start line. I landed in on Wednesday and we were welcomed in by Fee-Gee and Jill and a MASSIVE vodka jelly. Mr Rennie came by and we had a wee party which was heaps of fun. In the morning, Top fuel and I nipped out to the shops and stocked up on breakfast for the millions, it was YUM tastic. We were a little short on outdoor furniture, so Nathan and I borrowed some from the neighbours for the week. Buhl carried over some of my fav coffee creamer and some LUSH coffee from the US. LUSH!
The course was the same as last year, so I felt comfortable with all the obsticals, but had to shake a monkey off my back and throw myself off the first jump. The UCI reduced qualifaction from 30 to 20 for the womens final (GRRRRRR different story altogether!!)...so I had to step it up and find an edge. I had to do everything on course head on and do it as best I could. My first attempt at the jump was squiddish, I took off, pulled and pulled up short like a total jessy......but that was it, the monkey was long gone, and all I had to do was improve on it. It was like everything else in life that scares you, you think about it so much, the easiest thing to do is shy away....but once you actually step upto the plate, you realise the easiest thing to actually do is face your fear head on!
Although I haven't spent much time on Caecelia to date, I had faith in her and in my riding. I spent a while with Damion, he was so ace, he's so busy, but he made time for me and taught me about suspension and helped me with the bike set up. Jose from Trek also sent me some really wicked personlised instructions to help me set the sag, reboud and compression for my rear shock. I'm fit at the moment, not as strong as I would like and my sprint is rubbish, but I know what I have to do for the rest of the season. Work hard on my anaerobic threshold, lactate tolerance, strength and speed and not squid around! A winter of marathon training doesn't condition you for a 4 minute fast, hard MTB race!! I was cornering well and riding aggressivly, but again, I need to work on pulling everything together when the clock starts ticking.
Buckle from Trek came out to watch and I so wanted to ride well for him, he's been so cool...he even stood at the bottom of the course like a true factory manager scribbling down split times. I finished 25th overall, 8 seconds away from the top 20 cut off. I was gutted, and cross that I could pin point exactly where I lost time and why, I made some silly mistakes, but like everything else in life, I guess the most important thing is to learn and build. Top 20 is NOT out of sight at all. I'm just a little out of practice, but if that's all that's wrong, then I'm happy with that, becasue it's easily mended!
So.......quick round up.....I AM AN AUNTY!! Both my step sisters had babies this week, Emma and Paul are now proud Mummy and Daddy to Isaac, and Rachel and Paul have a shiny new baby girl, Evie. They are both SO adorable and I can't wait to meet them both!!
K, so, we had some whopper dinner parties, Damion and I got upto no good, army rolling under the stars and spying on people. Jill bought me some apple catchers to beat my ENTIRE collection. Buhl and Fee finished 4th and 3rd in the 4x. I surfed on a big ole bin lid. Mio taught me some Japanese. Buhl flashes for coffee. Ryan and Brad are RAD, throw way too many mushrooms and squirt squirty cream up peoples noses. Rod Warmer is back, Britians oldest EMO, it was so lovely to see him again.
Fee, Jill and I are famous in Greece, we got an article in the Gravity mag. My future sister in law, Thin LizZy won a silver award for her radio programme at the Sony awards last night. If you run a medal, you should never be afriad of wearing it EVER DAY!! Cunny is officially consistantly rude rude dowg on the scene. One of my friends pees her pants after too much coffee...no names!! Bawbag is the new UCI technical delegate, congrats. We missed NEVEN!!
Thursday, May 01, 2008
K, so, it's about time I payed homage to my new stead, Caecelia. We got introduced at the Sea Otter and she is currently winging her way back to the Motherland after a brief stay in customs!! You guessed it, I'm rambling on about my new bike. The Trek Session 10.
Prudence is small in size and perfect for me. Between now and next Wednesday when I fly to Maribor, Slovenia for the first World Cup of the season, I will be spending a little time tweaking it and making small adjustments. I need to swap out the saddle, change tyres, cut the bars down, put on my lucky grips and having a think about the suspension set up.
Most of the guys on the circuit probably doubt the technical ability of the girls when it comes to maintaining their own bikes. Some say would say we don't help ourselves as most of us do utilise the dumb blonde and batter eyelids to get tyres changed etc...Never judge a book tho hu, that isn't a real reflection of incompitence at all!! I suppose a lot of guys wouldn't know I have 2 degrees and a truck drivers licence? I have worked at various bike shops over the years and am more than capable, with the right tools of maintaining bikes myself. One thing I can't do is suspension. So, this season, I am gonna take full advantage of the brainboxes on the circuit and see if I can put my feelings and preferences when it comes to suspension into practice myself. I need to understand the main princlples and how to make adjustments for different course myself. Check out the bike, the photos come straight from the Trek site. Also, you can check the stock spec and keep up to date with the new kit. There is a lot going on at Trek at the moment which will really benefit the gravity world. Keep up to speed folks. X
K, so, back to the bike. How is this beast a true gem in comparison to the other bikes on the circuit? Firstly, it has way more travel than most bikes, with 10 inches, it is ideal for the bigger courses. It has a LCM which stands for Low Centre Mass, the purpose of this design focuses the weight of the bike on the lower middle of the frame. This is critical for slow stunt terrain that requires balance and timing. Upon first inspection, the chain line seems a little crazy, this is the CTE (Chain torque eliminator) and the purpose of this design is to prevent kick back, it eliminates chain growth, and provides excellent pedaling efficiency on hard accelerations up to big gap jumps. Okay, so, I haven't really had a chance to test these features, but from the Sea Otter, I can safely say that it pedals really well and presume that this can be attributed to the LCM and the CTE!!
Also, it is QUIET, which for me is awesome. I don't know if you remember CCA? (Crawford Carrick Anderson). When he was racing, he was one of the top 20 in the world. Crawford was deaf which caused him obvious problems when it come to balancing. When he first started riding, he was terrible, as soon as he took off, he'd get all squiffy in the air and crash. Once he got to grips with this, he was unstoppable. To this day, I strongly believe Crawfords disability played in his favour, he couldn't hear the bike, he couldn't hear the rattlings which provide many a momentary distraction to most riders. For me, sometimes I hear the bike and immediately think something is loose. Having a quiet bike for any rider is beneficial, as it provides one less sensory distraction.
Now I bet some of you are thinking 10", wow, she's a luck girl. Well, yes I am.....and it gets better. Let me introduce to you Betsy.....Betsy will be with me at the end of June. She is Treks new invention, their 8 inch model. Ideal for small Barbadian riders, oh, wait a minute, that's me!! This wee bike is gonna be a big deal, so keep your eyes peeled!! It's gonna get a finger licking whoppin launch!!
Speaking of whopping launches.....all of my friends seem to be cooking at the moment! I'd really like to welcome Hazel May (9ls 3oz) and Ted Brown (9lbs 11oz) to the world. My good friends Zel and Arron and Vicky and Alex are all proud as punch!! My boss was due yesterday and both of my step sisters in the next two weeks!! It's quite an exciting time all round for my family and friends, and the horrific birth stories are the best contraception for me!! I just wish I wasn't so busy s I could pop down and see them all!! I'm sure I'll make some time. Congratulations.