Winter in Wellington

O mi god it is so cold! The weekend's riding was wet, muddy and did I mention it was cold? Our roadie on Sunday morning was in 2 degrees for the first hour... it then warmed up to 6 degrees!

Well I've finally got a heap of photo's up on flickr from my marathon on the Great Wall of China... Photo's

Life is gradually starting to get a little quieter. I purposely haven't found any new sporting goals so that I can get on top of some study and continue exploring different career opportunities. I'm finding the Mandarin studies very challenging to say the least. After 4 months we've learnt more than 100 words and expressions, 40 key sentences and 60 written characters... it's still a long way to go if I need to know 5,000 characters to read a newspaper!!! A big thanks to my lecturers who were very accommodating with my trip to Beijing and allowing me extensions on my assignments and mid year tests. I've finished my Chinese Civilisation paper now and happy to get an A-. I loved the course and only disappointed that it was only one trimester. Anyway if you're interested in reading my 1500 word essay on the Great Wall of China I'll put it up here soon. Alongside my Chinese language paper at Vic Uni I'm picking up a "Business Chinese" paper this semester at Massey Uni. This is really going to keep me busy!

Stepping back six weeks ago my sponsors Scott formed an all girls team to contest the 12 hour Cateye Moonride mountain bike event on Saturday May 12. In a small team of four, with star studded line up of Kaytee Boyd, Katrine Lawton and youngster Jessie Loe, we completed 26 laps winning the race by 10 minutes ahead of Team Shealers from Rotorua (Monique Avery, MaryAnne Avery, Nina Trass, etc). We had an exciting race and battled with Team Shealers throughout the 12 hours, and with their camp only a few metres away we kept a eagle eye on them every lap. We weren't too shabby to finish 16th overall. Here are the Results and Photos (Team #381). And in the above pic (L to R) is me, Kaytee and Kat. And here's some great video coverage of Kaytee. Last year I raced in a different all chicks team (Team #383) again winning the event - we did fewer laps at 23 but held a very convincing 1 lap and 3 minute gap over Dirt Diva's from Auckland. Of course, conditions were wetter last year which may account for some of the difference in laps. This year we had a ball, fully supported by Jim and Julie with a mint setup of two tents/gazebo, bike racks, the ever essential gas heater, lighting, BBQ, hot drinks, food and truckloads of Hell's pizza's. Our tent site just looked da bomb and though I may be just a wee bit biased it had some very, very nice equipment. So big ups to Scott Bikes and Colorado Traders! Check out the cool Scott hoodies.

The weekend before on Sunday May 6 was the Meridian Energy kids bike jam held at Trentham Memorial Park. I was asked to lead some of the kids around a 5km course. Of course all the 12 year olds wanted to take me on! I didn't have to battle quite so hard with the 6 year olds :-) It was a fun day out and despite the rain there was a huge turnout of around 700 kids. Now all we need to do is to encourage them to keep on riding. Here's an article from the Hutt Leader - page 1 and 2.

The day prior I raced the Crazyman duathlon, more well known for the multisport event since it is part of the national multisport series. Since I don't paddle (though not through lack of some people strongly urging me to) I opted for the 18km mountain run followed by a 34km mountain bike. I won the women's class in 3 hours 52 minutes - 1:45 for the run (including transition) and 2:07 for the MTB, taking 18 minutes off my 2006 time (5 minutes off the run and 13 minutes off the bike). This year the competition was very competitive especially after Fleur Pawsey (2007 Coast to Coast Champion) had a mechanical with her boat, and quickly changed her entry and made it for the duathlon start. She kicked me severely on the run with a seven minute margin, but I clawed it back on the bike to reverse the tables and win by seven minutes. A video clip on the home page gives you an idea of how crazy the event really is. Big thanks to organisers Michael Jacques and John Cussins who put on another fantastic event and who are always very welcoming and look after me. Photo's can be found here searching under race number 236.

In it's 2nd year, the Roadies vs MTB vs Runners Hawkins Hill Climb on Sunday April 15 was held in stunning conditions (as opposed to last year!) and I used this opportunity to get in a little hill climbing (about 400m elevation) and some miles in the running legs (as I continued down to Red Rocks after the race). Of course I got bagged for leaving my bike at home! Nearing the top I was in second behind Lisa (MTB) who then had an unfortunate bike mechanical and had to dnf - this left the title open for me. It was a poor turnout for the women with only 3 runners, 1 MTB and 1 roadie. Wayne Hiscock took out the Men's title and the dirt riders yet again took the overall title. Here's last years PNP report and my archived report. The roadies were gutted at coming last believing that they are disadvantaged by their course so an a-la-casual challenge was raised to swap codes. Needless to say the mtbers-on-roadies still kicked some roadie-on-mtbs butt... but from this we have agreed that the roadies are somewhat disadvantaged and next year the finish line will be at the UHF tower giving the roadies a shorter race.

Scott Karapoti Classic on Saturday March 3rd.... (to be continued)

It would've been downright wrong to miss the final round of the National MTB series since the race was held in my playground on Mt Victoria (way back on Feb 25). Needless to say I got hassled big time for racing in the Expert Class - but at least it was Expert Senior Women, not Expert MASTER women! I had a wicked time out there, climbing a hill and catching up with Rod Bardsley (who I haven't seen in years and who is project managing the exciting development of the Kapiti Mountain Bike Park) and waving and chatting to all the local supporters. There haven't been many races in recent times that I've been able to do that. Results