Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Burst Appendix 1 year update!!

Hey everyone!

Oh man does time fly by! It has been one year since my appendix and here's an update as to how this year has gone for me!

So after about two months in the hospital and missing school, I returned to my usual life, ahead in science class and completely caught up in everything else! I gained back the 20 pounds I lost very quickly, and started fitting my clothes again! I started out with some longer slower rides then, with the help of physio, everything was feeling good so I started racing at the end of the Springs Series just in time for the stage race! Most of my first races back (especially long, hard road races), I would finish the race with a killer stomach ache. It felt as if you have had the flu and ate something that gave you food poisoning as well. The stomach aches would last for usually 1 hour afterwards and would prohibit me from being able to walk. All it was was the scar tissue getting stretched or something, but man it hurt!

I did months of physio and massage therapy- building my core back up and getting my tight, still sensitive scar massaged to try to loosen up the scar tissue. Honestly, I was shocked at how quickly I was able to get back into racing form and almost right away was hanging in and racing with the cat. 1/2/3 women again!

Even to this day, though, whenever I get a cramp it is always on the right side where my appendix was! Other than that, I am totally normal again, and am racing the strongest I ever have.

I also want to say a big thank you to everyone who showed me their love and support over those tough months! I really couldn't have recovered so quickly without you! :) Especially my parents and sisters, who spent hours and days at the hospital with me- even celebrated their birthdays there!

Maggie :)

Cyclocross Nationals

And it's finally ready to post... ;)

My first time in Winnipeg! We left rainy BC, to arrive in sunny (!) Winnipeg on October 23-26. My dad, my grandparents and I all went (with the Troublemaker- my bike ;) and arrived there with 2 days before the race. After getting picked up from the airport by a huge bus, we went to the hotel and chilled out before going out for dinner. We hung in the hot tub that night and stood on the corner of Portage and Maine :)

The following day, we went around to see my grandpa's old house and sight see around Winnipeg. Then, it was back to the Farimont and out to the Forks for a pre-ride of the course. My first impression of the course was that it was fast and smooth (tons of flow) but took a really big toll on you with a run up followed by 2 rideable sand pits and stairs. We met up with the Local Ride team, rode the course, then went back to the hotel for dinner and to pin the numbers, as well as a hot tub and steam room session (I lasted 2 minutes! :P).

We got up the next morning, had a bowl of granola and walked (well, my dad walked, I rode) over to the race course. We got there with enough time to chill a bit before in the crisp morning air, and watch some of the early races. Eventually, I got on the trainer and started the legs spinning.

Race time!! I dismounted a couple of times on my way over to the start line and felt more ready than ever. There were 9 u17 girls in my category, which is the most girls of that age group that I have ever raced in cross!! One aspect of the race that had all of the girls upset, was that when we got up to the start line, we were set to start behind the u13 boys on mountain bikes! I mean, a lot of us u17 girls race with the pro-elite women, so that start order was very discriminatory. Also, we were supposed to race for 40 minutes, but on the start line, an official told us that our race time had been changed to 30 minutes because it was easier to keep track of the u17 boys and girls if the boys raced for 40 minutes and the girls for 30 minutes. It was all very frustrating and disrespectful!

Anyway, the whistle blew and the race was off, and right away there was a group of four of us off the front. Within the first lap we caught up to the u13 boys, and one didn't get out of the way right away causing a crash in our race! For the first lap, three of us girls all stuck together, then Sidney McGill started pulling away, leaving Ruby West and I to battle for 2nd place. At the line, I ended up 3rd!

One more frustrating part of the day, was that the u17 girls were the very last category to go up on the podium! Many people had left by that point, so we only had a small audience. Despite that, I got  nice little polar bear and was motivated to win the next day!

u17 women's podium!
Left to right: Ruby West, Sidney McGill, me!!

We went out for a fun dinner organized by the race and then went back to the hotel, were we hung out with some BC Lions at the pool!

The next day, we got up early, packed up our stuff and walked over to the race for the Manitoba Grand Prix. Same race prep as yesterday. The race, too, played out similarly to the day before (it was the same course) and I ended up in 3rd place once again. It was a great first Nationals for me, and I can't wait to go back again next year and win gold racing Junior girls!

Also, thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Cycles Lambert, CODE Sports, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max and Cycling BC for the continuous support!

Maggie :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cyclocross Provincials

Last Monday we took the ferry (yet again!) over to Nanaimo for Cyclocross Provincials. After meeting up with team and a good sob after hitting a raccoon, we piled into the van, hit the ferry and made it to the race with 40 min before the start of the u17 women (race #1 for me). It was just enough time for me to do a lap of the fast, dry and hilly cross course. I knew it pretty well as it was the same course as last year. It was finally time to go, and I got the hole shot right off the start and was able to hold it throughout the 3 lap race. After three laps of running up 50 stairs, a couple of hills and battling through two sand pits, I knew the course like the back of my hand, and was ready to race the Elite Women's race with 16 other women!

 I had around 2 hours in between my races to have a waffle and heckle on the other riders, but eventually, it was that time again and this time, it was pouring with rain. After warming up on the trainer to some good tunes, and jogging around with Sandra Walter, we lined up, already drenched with water,and were off! I had an awesome start and right away was working to stick with the lead group which consisted of Mical Dyck and Sandra Walter. The course was totally different this time around with muddy, slick corners. It caused me to crash only twice, which I felt wasn't bad for a course that you practically had to surf on! I chased and was being chased for the whole race, but grew more comfortable with finding the lines around the mud and picked up my pace as we neared the last lap. Finally we were on the bell lap, sprinting down the long stretch of pavement and carefully rounding the corners. One of the corners I took too sharp and got full on blown across the face with a branch that cut my lip open and had others wondering if I had stopped to put on lipstick! I came across the finish line as the 6th fastest Elite Women in BC and already the fastest u17!!

Post Elite Women's race. With my bloody lip, it looked like I got punched in the face!

We rocked the podium then packed everything up and raced to the ferry, only to have to wait for three boats. Our team went out for dinner and were treated by an elderly couple paying for our bill! A happy Thanksgiving for sure! 

Ferry Line-ups

Thanks to Norm Thibault and all of the volunteers and commissaires who ran this race! 

Also, thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Cycles Lambert, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max and Cycling BC for the continuous support!

:) Maggie 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Whistler Cyclocross

Whistler Cyclocross brought an awesome double header weekend, with a very professionally-run race, fun atmosphere and a very unique course!

It all started out with day 1 of Whistler Cyclocross with a very mountain bike like course with a long run-up, multiple switch backs and then to contrast the mountain bike part, a windy ride through the town! I was racing elite women which went in the afternoon and gave me lots of time to pre-ride the course and help my sister work on her lines! In the early afternoon we were off and I was fast to clip in and first dismounted and up the stairs. Having five very strong women in the race meant you had to give it your all and had no choice but to "leave everything on the course." After one lap, the group split and I had to spend much of the race battling with the two ahead of me to the finish. On and off the bike, a crash here and there and after a 45 minute race, I finished in fifth place not too far off of the others, but had no doubt that Sunday would be a better day!!

My sis and I (Kaelen) Pre-race warm up
Photo By: Clint Trahan

The course was then changed for day two, with a little more flow (less switch backs) and a bit of a shorter hill. Once again, I rode some warm-up laps and after rocking out to some Katy Perry, we were off. I had a fast start, once again, and held my top 3 position for most of the race, chasing down the riders in front of me and being chased by one behind me! It was really aggressive racing and no one gave up until they crossed the line! And hey- I didn't crash!!! Coming across the line in 3rd place was definitely exciting for me, as I was racing against some very strong, elite racers.

Photo By: Clint Trahan

All in all, a hot, awesome weekend of racing, with a beautiful hotel right on the course, a very professionally run race, and loads of smiles all around!

Thanks to Whistler Blackcomb for hosting and running the event!! Thanks Jason at Loudenterprise for doing some mechanics on my bike before the race! :)

Also, thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Cycles Lambert, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max and Cycling BC for the continuous support!


Photo By: Clint Trahan

Monday, September 15, 2014

BC Track Provincials 2014

Walking into the Burnaby velodrome last Friday, the temperature dropped while my nerves soared! This past weekend was the BC Track Provincial champs and the second event in the BC Premier Track Championships after Trackfest 2.

I had signed up or all of the events and so, after warming up, the day opened with the Team Pursuit and Team Sprint. Teammate Clara Mackenzie and I rocked the sprint while our Team Pursuit team rode a solid ride. Sadly, there wasn't another u19 women's Team Pursuit team for a us to race against. It would be so cool to see more girls out at the track racing!

The morning also included a very aggressive Scratch race and an Individual Pursuit. The Scratch race had everyone constantly out of the saddle as attacks after attacks were launched. With three laps to go, I jumped, and got away to solo out the last 600 meters and win the Scratch race! I got the win and a PB in the Individual Pursuit, which I have been focusing on and getting used to riding in the time trial position. My time ended up at 2 min and 45sec!!

Individual Pursuit
Photo By: Pete Whalen

After a break, we were back on the track that evening where I got a PB also in my Flying 200m- 13.367 sec!! The Flying 200 was the first race in the Sprint Omnium, so we then launched into the sprint tournament. They were some very mentally tough three races because of all the thinking and strategy they required. At only 3 laps, these races require fitness but just as important is how well you can out think your competitor- like a giant game of cat and mouse!

I was up against Rachel Carey (VIPYRS) for a best out of 3 tournament. She took the lead off the start and despite my attempts to make her jump early, she jumped hard with one lap to go and won. The following race, I played around for 1/2 a lap and then jumped and stayed away with 2 to go. We were tied, so it came down to the last race. We played around a bit for the first 1/2 lap, and then I jumped at the same time that she jumped, so I backed off and then jumped again with 1 1/2 laps to go and was just able to hold her off at the line! I ended up with the win for the Sprint Tournament, but there were still 2 races left to decide who won the omnium.

Last race of the night was the Elimination, where I held the front until everyone but Clara and I were eliminated. It came down to a two lap scratch race where Clara hung on my wheel and then got me at the line.

A goodnights sleep and then up early to make it to the track for day 2 of racing! The morning opened with a Flying 200 where I got 2nd behind Clara which tied us for the Endurance Omnium. I got a PB of 39.5 sec in the 500 meter tt but not as fast as Rachels time, so I was also tied for first in the Sprint Omnium! The last races of the evening carried a ton of weight on their shoulders as they were the deciding races for the Provincial titles.

The Points race was a 50 lap race with 5 sprints for points. I ended up with two of them and Clara with two, so it came down to the final sprint. We were all exhausted after two full days of racing and Kia Van der Vliet (Trail Bikes) constantly attacking off the front and the tiredness was starting to show. With a last push, Clara won the sprint with me hot on her heels at the line.

Photo by: Tammy Mackenzie

I won the Keirin with a final push on the last lap to come around Rachel Carey.

I ended up 2nd in the endurance omnium, but won the BC Premier Track Jersey. I also won the Provincial champs Sprint Omnium jersey after a very fun and aggressive series of races. Great to see all of these solid girls out racing and I would love to see more!!

Thanks to Kelyn Akuna, Malcolm Faulkner, Galen Kehler, Cycling BC, all of the volunteers who made this race possible and run so smoothly!

Also, thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Cycles Lambert, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max and Cycling BC for the continuous support!

Rachel Carey and I.
BC Provincial Champ and BC Premier Track Champs winner

Maggie :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Superweek 2014 Part 1

Here's Superweek Part 1! Better late than never!

Sooo... last year, Superweek was all about trying to finish a crit (which I didn't quite accomplish). Going into this years week of racing, I did not really know what to expect. I knew that I had definitely improved from last year, as I had finished 6th place in both of the high speed, cat. 1/2/3 Bastion Square Grand Prix and Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race crits. Yet, with all the big, powerful teams like Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies coming to race, I knew I was in for a sufferfest.

The first race I did was the MK Delta criterium. I had done continuous visualization before and during Superweek so I went in feeling fit and strong, both mentally and physically. I made sure I had great position at the start, and the race was off!! Every lap, there would be either accelerations or attacks on the hill, but no one was able to stay away. I took great corners and the whole time, I kept thinking, move up, move up! There were some attacks that went and I was able to get away with them! It was so exciting.. but we got caught. With ten laps to go, I knew I was going to finish my first Superweek race and couldn't contain my delight! I ended up 20th place in the sprint out of about 60 racers.

MK Delta Crit
Photo By: Pete Whalen
The next day, I went into the Brenco criterium with a little more confidence. I knew I had no excuse now but to finish! Really exciting detail of the evening, was that I got interviewed by Delta TV before my race!! The race went well, with me in the front at the start and working my hardest to follow wheels and move up during the race. Coming into the final corner, I had decent position going into the sprint (that's one thing I needed to work on, was positioning on the last 3 laps) and luckily took my corner tighter than usual, because there was a big crash! I just managed to weave around the riders and sprint for 9th place!

Brenco Crit
Photo By: Pete Whalen

I couldn't race the Delta Road Race, as I am too young to race a UCI event.

But, unlike the other riders, I got to race out at the Mission Raceway on Monday for the Youth Criterium Provincials. It was fun and very aggressive being able to race against other youth around my age, both boys and girls!

Next up was the UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony and Sons. This was the first race which I did last year and only lasted 15 minutes in. I started this year with the goal to finish it, of course, and make the break that I was fairly sure would go.

I was the BC Premier  Road Series Youth Winner!
UBC Grand Prix

I started out with good, thought out positioning and clipped in right away (yay!- I had been practicing :) I maintained good positioning in the main field despite the 180 degree turn with a standing-start-like sprint out of it every time around!! I missed the break though, and fought so hard to stay in the main pack where I was finally dropped and pulled with 5 laps to go. But I lasted longer than last year and still rode a good race.

Continue to Superweek 2014 Part 2....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Northwest Juniors Classic Stage Race 2014

So, back to Elma for the Northwest Juniors Classic Stage Race!! A totally professionally run (not to mention, epic) stage race in Washington! On top of great racing, I mean, how often do you really get to race around an abandoned nuclear power plant?!

The weekend started off with us arriving at the Elma RV Park resort and after a day in Olympia, we met up with team mate Clara Mackenzie to ride the time trial course (the actual course- last year we pre-rode something completely different ;-) Saturday morning we got up and rode to the tt course. After lots of talking with my dad (coach) and visualisation, I knew exactly how I was going to ride the perfect time trial! A great warm up with a good playlist consisting of Eminem and Nicki Minaj and I was off! A perfect track-like start and very well executed time trial and I finished 2nd place behind Hannah Green (BYRDS) and beat my last years time by 3 min 56 seconds!

I went into the crit with a goal to make it super aggressive and make up the 12 seconds that Hannah had on me!! I also had a plan to attack and lap the field. The race started with a high-paced, Superweek like start and attacks from my teammate and I, as well as others. I won two sprints for primes which fuelled my engine even more! I kept attacking until I finally got away. I was able to push myself hard and enjoy the pain, so that I almost lapped the field and won by 1 min 36 seconds. The whole time I was pushing myself to catch the pack, I kept visualising Steph Roorda and when she lapped the field at the UBC Grand Prix! Trying (and failing) my hand at a victory salute, I came across the finish line absolutely ecstatic!!

Crit... before I attacked :-)
 Photo by: Northwest Classic Juniors Stage Race

I did not think that it was even possible to get hotter. But, yes, the next day was so crazy hot for the road race, it was hard to even move! The pace was set high early on, for our race, and with some constant attacks and counter attacks, the field split the first time up the 3 mile climb. The race had a very intense component with a staring contest between Hannah and I, waiting for the other to make a move! Eventually, we came to the last lap and it ended with an uphill sprint for 1st, where I won the sprint for the 15/16 women and Clara won the 17/18 women. All in all, a great weekend for Local Ride with Clara and I winning the GC in our respective categories and teammate, Jackson Pickell winning the 17/18 male!! Congrats to the both of you! I'll miss you at these junior races, as you will both be senior next year! Fun times!

Crazy me spraying the Sparkling Apple Cider
Photo by: Northwest Classic Juniors Stage Race

It was awesome hanging out with and meeting all these dedicated, competitive youth! Can't wait until next year!!

Thanks Erik Anderson, Jim Brown and all the sponsors, volunteers and commissaires who made this race awesome!

Also, thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Cycles Lambert, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max and Cycling BC for the continuous support!

Clara Mackenzie, Jackson Pickell and me!!  Yay Local Ride!
:) Maggie

Thursday, July 24, 2014

TrackFest 1

What better way to prepare for Superweek than 3 full days of track racing?! TrackFest 1 was an epic (not to mention warm weathered) weekend of track racing, with a small but strong u17/u19 women's category.

The weekend started out with me making the journey out to Victoria... without my dad! A big milestone for me ;) Anyway, I saw a pod of orcas on the ferry, then got picked up by my Clara Mackenzie on the other side! Off to the track!!

The Friday evening started off with a Team Pursuit with Clara, Gillian Ellsay and I on a team, which was a lot of fun. I hadn't been on the track in a while, so it was a good test to see how everything felt and such without having to attack and ride in a pack! Following that was the Kieran, where I got pushed back to second-to-last wheel at the start behind the motorcycle, but I managed to come around with one lap to go and win the race.

The next day was a long, full day of aggressive racing! It started with the Flying 200 were I didn't get my best time but a fast enough one to get second behind Clara. Following that, I won the Points Race and lapped the field with a few other girls, and then Clara beat me in the sprint finish for the Elimination! We finished the day tied for first.

Scratch Race

On top of those other races, I also did the Sprint Tournament and after some aggressive sprints, I came out the Sprint Champion. All in all, a great, sunny day spent racing and hanging out with awesome people!

The Sunday of Trackfest brought another full morning of racing with the Scratch Race, Individual Pursuit and 500 m Time Trial. The Scratch Race turned out really hard to get away in, despite many attacks. I won the close, final sprint! After that, Clara and I raced the Team Sprint, which was short and lively!

Time Trial

My Individual Pursuit was 2 km, so 6 laps. My line felt great and my times seemed pretty consistent and even picked up near the end. So I won this, but then Clara won the Time Trial with her super strong standing start, which is something I got some tips on and have been working on since, so it was a great learning experience for me! :-)

In the end, I did win the Omnium, but it was really close which made for some competitive, nerve-racking racing!

Thanks to Kelyn Akuna, the commissaires and the GVVA for hosting Trackfest 1!

Thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert and Cycling BC for the continuous support! :)


Friday, June 27, 2014

Youth Road Provincials + TT Provincials

This was my third weekend on the island after coming over for the Dove Creek Stage Race, and the Podium Search- put on by the Canadian Sport Institute: it was well organised, lots of fun and really interesting to see our how I did in each test. Then it was the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series and last was this race, the Youth Road Provincials and time trial Provincials in the Comox Valley!

I got to pre-ride the road course the day before the race and discuss with my team mate, Clara Mackenzie, our strategy for the following day. I raced u17 women, but we were put with the u19 women for the road race which made for more aggressive racing and a larger category.

All the youth at the start of the Youth Provincial Road Race
Guys are such posers :-P

Sooo, race day... After riding up to the race, we rolled out, warmed up and were off! The first 2 laps (out of 7)  stayed pretty tame, until I attacked on the hill at the start/finish. Gillian Ellsay was on me right away, with the others chasing back on fairly quickly. The race was that way for the following couple laps, with me attacking and Gillian staying with me, then a chase group catching us. A lap before the finish, as the chase group caught us again, attacks and counter attacks were launched, until it came down to Gillian and I in a break, coming down to a track-like sprint for the finish. After playing cat and mouse for a bit, Gillian attacked and won the race with me as the u17 BC road champ, and second in the sprint. All in all, a fun aggressive 63 km on a beautiful, rolling course, and I can't wait until next year were we will hopefully have even more girls racing!!

u17/u19 Women's Road Race

The following day I got to race the u17 time trial championships on a super cool, quiet course, again in the Comox Valley. A couple weeks before this, I got to race this course at the Dove Creek Stage Race, so I knew it pretty well. I ended up as the u17 Provincial time trial champ and the chance to meet and hang out with lots of other kids after the race, while waiting for the podium- which I must say, was very impressive with almost everyone in full kit and full podiums!!!

Thanks to Richard Ellsay and the Comox Valley Cycle Club for putting on an awesome event as well as Local Ride Racing, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert and Cycling BC for the continuous support! :)

All the Youth Road Provincial Champs

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

BC Road Provincials- Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series

Of course I always go into a race ready to win- especially the BC Road Champs were I got to race cat. 1/2/3 with some pro's like Anika Todd, Annie Ewart and Denise Ramsden. I proved to myself in at the Enumclaw Stage Race that I could stay in and race with the cat. 1/2/3's, so I had no doubt that it was going to be an epic weekend of racing for me!

After a ferry ride over, the weekend started with the Hotel Zed time trial along the water. I practised my corners, did a good warm up.... and missed my start!!! Ugh! Everyone I talked to afterwards though, told me that that was going to happen to me one day! Anyway, I still felt that I had a good tt (besides being 2-3 minutes behind everyone else) and applied everything from the corners to my speed that my dad and I had talked about!

Next up was the Accent Inns Cycling Classic Provincial Road Race! I raced this course last year, so I knew the course and how hard yet epic it actually is. The race started out well, with me up there in good positioning. It was an 80km road race and the first couple laps kept together with a harder pace set on the hills and an easier pace on the descents/flats. On the third lap, which was a KOM (well, Queen Of the Mountains) lap, they sprinted up the hill and I finally got dropped, but so did five others. In the end, there was a lead group of three riders, followed by another group of three riders then my group of six riders. Points went 10 deep, so I knew I had to beat at least two of the riders in our group.

Our group stayed together until the sprint finish, were I just squeezed out 10th place and two points!! :-)

So, in the criterium the next day (Bastion Square Grand Prix- BC Crit Cycling Champs) there were 29 riders who started and only 13 who finished! I managed to stay in and finish with the 12 other cat. 1/2 women! The race was crazy hard, and again, positioning was key- especially because there were accelerations after almost every corner. It was a 50 lap race which took around 45-50 minutes and had the fastest women's lap times ever recorded for this crit! It was quite aggressive with attacks being launched, but no one could stay away. So it came down to the final sprint and we were all together. On the crazy fast last corner a crash almost occurred and the pack went wide, so I took the inside line and ended up getting sixth at the finish!

It was an absolutely amazing weekend with some really good racing! Thanks to Jon Watkin, all the volunteers and sponsors and the City of Victoria for putting on an awesome race!

Thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio,  Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert and Cycling BC for all the support! :)
Accent Inns Cycling Classic Provincial Road Race- Final Sprint
Photo credit: Richard Wooles

Bastion Square Grand Prix- BC Crit Cycling Champs
Photo credit: Richard Wooles 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My first two Mountain Bike Races!!

The Sunshine Coaster and Ore Crusher were so much fun!! Judging by the fact that walking was a painful chore afterwards, I definitely pushed myself to my max, and now, I just need to work on skill!! I found that in both races, being a road racer and all, I was able to power up the non-technical climbs and flats and use those to my advantage, it was just when we hit the more technical sections that I couldn't ride them very fast. I found it very helpful having cyclocross skills for those obstacles that I couldn't ride- being able to dismount and mount quickly and run with my bike until I could get back on.

The Sunshine Coaster was the first mountain bike race that I had ever done, and wasn't quite sure what to expect despite the pre-race talks from my Local Ride teammates. I had a really good start, and was right up there on the climbs, once we hit the more technical trails I lost some ground, but again, was able to make it up on the non-technical climbs that followed! The race was so much fun despite all my crashes, and gave me a taste of mountain biking! I couldn't wait for Ore Crusher after that :)

Once again, we hit the road early and got up to Squamish BC with plenty of time before the race! So we (the team and I) pre-rode half of the muddy (but still epic) course and then it made sense what everyone was saying about there being quite a few roots...! Same as the Sunshine Coaster, I was right up there with the leaders on the non-technical start and then started loosing ground to those better technical racers. Although, I held my own and used my cyclocross skills to get myself through the mud and to the finish were I finished the Cycling BC Youth Mountain Bike Series Race and then did another lap to finish the Ore Crushers u17 race!

All in all, the small taste of Mountain Biking I have gotten these past months has been awesome! Thanks to everyones support and especially to my Local Ride teammates for all the help and encouragement!!

The Local Ride Family at the Sunshine Coaster
Finishing Ore Crusher

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race 2014

All year, I've look forward to the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race in Enumclaw Washington, due to the big women’s categories, awesome atmosphere and super fun courses! This year, I raced cat. 3 women, which were combined with the cat. ½ women but got scored separately. The field size was the biggest field I had raced since Superweek. There were 16 cat.3’s and 25 cat ½’s!!! It challenged me to race aggressively to stay in good pack position and to be up there to counter-attack and go with the breaks that I could. This year was especially awesome as I got to race with my new teammate, BC junior, Clara Mackenzie. Although the pack was very strong and it was difficult to work with team tactics, we went in with a plan, and I found it really nice to have someone there to cover you when possible and as moral support. This was our first race together and we proved that we make a great, determined team, not to mention that Clara looks awesome in the Local Ride blue and orange!

After pre-riding the course with my coach (aka. my dad) and talking about every corner, practicing the final sprints for the road race and crit, I went into the tt more prepared than I have probably ever been. My warm up consisted of some efforts and a gradual build until I got called to the start, being totally warmed up and ready to fly.

The time trial went really well. I ended up passing my 30 sec mark and ended up in 6th place with around 45 sec to make up on the leader, Sara Bergen.

Us BC girls: Me, Clara Mackenzie, Brenna Pauly, Kia Van der Vliet

After a delicious brunch consisting of pancakes and strawberry sauce and a nap, I went into the crit excited and nervous but also curious as to how I would match up compared to the others (cat. ½’s). Luckily this year, I didn’t crash at the start ;) and fought for good positioning right off the gun. Coming out of the race, I have a much better understanding of how crucial it is to have really good pack positioning. The race went really well for me, getting a time bonus and almost winning the sprint for the $200 prime, as well as avoiding the couple crashes (another bonus of the good positioning). In the final sprint, I got sixth out of the whole pack (cat. 1/2/3’s) and won the cat. 3 sprint.

Start of the criterium

Lastly was the road race. Once again, Clara and I went in with a plan also knowing that it was going to be a test of how much pain you can tolerate, with the 20+ min climb and all. This was the longest road race that I have ever done- 97km! 

First lap, I made my dad very nervous by almost being dropped first time up the hill!! Me and some others worked together and chased back on, were I then lasted until the last lap. The accelerations by that point, were too much for me and I got dropped, but a chase group formed and we powered out the last 10km. Coming into the sprint, I knew there were points on the line, because only Sara Bergen (out of the cat.3's) had gotten away with the lead group. So I basically had to win the sprint! The determination fueled my fire, and after a leadout by Sara Coney (thanks so much!) I started my sprint at the markers that my dad and I had figured out, and won it! 

In the GC, I ended up second with Sara Bergen in first and Megan Doherty in third. 

Congrats to all the cat. 1/2/3 women who made this race awesome!! Also, thanks to Erik Anderson for running another awesome year of Stage Racing in Enumclaw!

Thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio,  Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max, Cycles Lambert and Cycling BC for all the support! :)

GC: 1st: Sara Bergen, 2nd: Me, 3rd:Megan Doherty

Maggie :)

Race the Ridge 2014

This was the first opportunity so far this year where I got to race with just cat. 3/4 women, so it turned out to be a really aggressive field. The weekend started off with the road race, a fairly hilly course. My teammate Kelsey MacDonald and I pushed the pace on the hills on the first lap, to see who we could knock off the back. Some attacks where initiated, but none stuck. On the second lap, I attacked on the steepest hill, knowing that the decent included some corners where I could get out of sight. After launching the attack, no one seemed to react that quickly. I pushed myself as hard as I could, until I was caught by a chase of two girls right on my tail. We worked together for the remaining three laps, and it came down to an aggressive entrance to the sprint finish with attacks being launched and elbows out. In the uphill sprint finish, Louisa Scarlett took the win with a very strong sprint followed by me for second and Gillian Ellsay in third place.

I knew, going into the time trial that it could win or lose me the race. Having pre-ridden the course and having raced it last year, I knew the speeds I had to maintain to get a good time. I felt consistent, but my time wasn't quite where it needed to be for me to move up in the GC. It was a painful time trial, but that's racing! Thanks Jeff Ain for giving me tips on my time trial position- I have been training in it and it is slowly becoming more comfortable!!

Going into the crit, I was sitting second overall with Gillian Ellsay leading by an impressive 1 min 12 sec! I calculated which primes I needed to get and by how much I had to win by to close the big gap. Kelsey and I were upfront actively attacking and countering in an attempt to get away. I ended up taking the time bonus prime, but still needed to make up quite a lot of time. So, playing with tactics, Louisa Scarlett and I tried multiple times to get away, but the pack was not about to let anyone go. The race came down to a sprint finish were I got a good lead out by Kelsey and took the win, but wasn't able to make up enough time to win the GC!! Although, I still came out as the Junior Women Leader of the BC Premier Road Series!!

All in all, an amazingly awesome, fun weekend of racing that I can't wait to race next year!! Thanks to Local Ride Racing, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Cycles Lambert, Cycling BC, Giant Bikes, Q Energy, Power2Max, District of Maple Ridge and City of Pitt Meadows for all the continuous support!

After a couple weekends of Mountain Bike Racing, it's off to the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race- I am sooo excited!!! :-)

Play by play of my attack in the road race!!
Photos by Steve Devantier

Out of sight, out of mind!!

Thanks for reading!
Maggie Coles-Lyster 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Barry's Roubaix

The first thing I have to say is "Oh my gosh! It was sunny!" unlike last year, where we couldn't even tell which teams the racers were on, because they were covered in so much mud! So, after working on the TT bike for a bit, I went into the time trial feeling pretty confident (it also helps that I knew the course really well). The time trial did go really well! I pushed myself to my max and, when I finished, I could have sworn my head was going to blow up or I was going to throw up! I ended winning the TT in the Open Women's field!

Barry's Roubaix hurt a lot! Teammates Sandra Walter and Kelsey MacDonald and I went in with a race plan and it was so awesome to race with teammates!!! It changes the race experience a lot- having someone there supporting and covering your attacks and helping you make decisions as you race.

Anyways, the Open Women were put with the cat. 1/2 women to race, as, sadly, we did not have the numbers to have a proper field of our own. Although, it was a good challenge to race with the 1/2 women to get the pack experience and some hard race efforts in. The race stayed pretty tame the first few laps, so on the second lap, I decided to attack just before we entered the dykes... but came in with too much speed and slipped out in the corner! I got up as quickly as possible and started my chase back onto the group. As I was nearing the pack, Kelsey came back to help draft me back onto the group!! Thank you so much, Kelsey!! As I was already exhausted I sat on the back catching my breath for a bit and then joined in with pace line. After chasing on and the pace picking up, my legs just wouldn't allow me to keep up with the accelerations and I got dropped!

All in all, it was a good start to the season and congrats to Sandra Walter who won Barry's Roubaix (road race) and Kelsey MacDonald who got sixth in the sprint finish and was the top cat. 3/4 women!

Thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Golden Ears Physio, Kicking Horse Coffee, Giant Bicycles, Cycles Lambert and Cycling BC and Power2Max for the continuous support!

Racing Barry's Roubaix with teammate Kelsey MacDonald
Photo By: Sue Weston

Winning the Airport TT in Open Women's
Photo By: Paul Craig/Sue Weston

Thursday, April 17, 2014

California + Devo Spring Classic Stage Race

So, time to re-cap the last month! Over Spring Break my family and I drove down to California (for vacation and to ride). It made for a great father- daughter, mother- daughter training camp! I got my first ride in heading out of Santa Cruz. My dad and I were supposed to be picked up by the rest of the gang who were coming a few hours behind us, but, of course, they couldn't find us, so we were left out in the sun to burn our first day in Cali. Turned into a great tan later on, though. We then drove down through Santa Barbara. Didn't get a chance to ride then as we were only there for a day and had family to visit. Although, once we got to Laguna Beach, we got some good, long rides out along the beach, which was just gorgeous. It was soo nice to just get up and go out in a jersey and shorts in the morning, and still be warm!

Our last leg of the journey was 5 days in Palm Springs where I couldn't stop gawking at the canyons as we rode! My favorite ride out there was probably Box Canyon. It is just so beautiful, and the riding is really cool, as the ride out with a head wind was so slow (also because it was a false uphill) and we just flew coming back! All in all, it was an awesome trip that I can't wait to do again!

So... the night we came back, I had to get on the rollers and spin out for the Devo Spring Classic Stage Race the next day (My legs were a little stiff after spending two 14 hour days in the car). This was my first race back after my appendicitis and I was really stoked.

I was happy with my performance in the crit the first day! The cat 3/4 woman were lumped in with the 1/2/3 woman, so it made for a good, harder pace and a great learning experience! After getting dropped early on, Morgan Cabot came back and pulled me back up to the group! (Thanks soo much Morgan! :-) I then lasted until 15 minutes to go before getting dropped a second time. It was really good for me to feel what that kind of speed feels like again.

The time trial later that afternoon went well, but hurt like... yeah! Anyway, despite being passed by many other riders (which encouraged me to ride even harder) I felt really consistent and am happy with my first tt back, especially due to the fact that tt's haven't been my strongest race in the past.

The road race kept pretty tame the first few laps (besides the accelerations on Snake hill- ouch!) Finally, after setting the pace at the front on the hill, an attack was initiated and I just couldn't hang on. Alison Jackson and I finished off the three last laps at a good pace, ending with a sprint at the finish!

Thanks to everyone who made this race awesome! Also thanks to Local Ride Racing, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bicycles and Cycles Lambert for all the support!

Devo Classic Stage Race
Photo by: Paul Craig
Racing the Devo Classic Stage Race with one of my "big sisters," Jasmin GlaesserPhoto by: Paul Craig

Hill repeats up Highway 74 in Palm Springs

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Burst Appendix (2013-2014)

I never want to have to experience that again! Well.. duh! I only have one appendix! Anyway, back in November, right as I was peeking for Cyclocross Nationals, I started feeling sick and my parents took me to the clinic. We thought I had a burst appendix because the pain was on the right side, but the doctor diagnosed me with just a bad stomach flu- I mean, there was a lot of sickness going around then.. but still. Apparently, "a girl with a burst appendix doesn't stand with her hands on her hips." Well, that was kind of my way of holding myself together!! I couldn't really eat or drink anything for the next few days and started losing weight fast! Eventually, we talked to a nurse on the phone, because my nausea was so bad, but he, again diagnosed me with the stomach flu! When I still didn't get better, we went to see our family doctor, who sent me to the hospital for blood tests and X-Rays (still thinking it was the flu), which didn't help diagnose me at all. Finally, a week after I started getting sick, I went to the hospital and got IV and ultrasounds. It was then that they figured out that I had a burst appendix. It had been burst for quite a few days, and I got put as high priority for surgery. A tube was put in my stomach to drain the infection and stuff. Five days after surgery, after losing almost 20 pounds, I had my first real meal, and two days after that, was sent home. I still wasn't quite right, though, and had to be sent back into hospital for more IV/Antibiotics to help finish fighting the infection. It was all so depressing. Although, I had a lot of visitors (and movies) to keep me occupied. My friends would also come in and hang out with me, not to mention, I had to practically re-teach myself how to walk. My disappointment at missing Cross Nationals was crazy!!

Christmas was pretty-low key (if you count hanging with 50 crazy relatives low-key) and just after New Years, I started getting sick and severely nauseous again. Back to the hospital for more X-Rays, to be monitored and put on strong anti-nausea pills. Home again, sick again, this time, taken to Children's Hospital. Put as high priority, more X-Rays, and then diagnosed with a partial bowel obstruction caused by the scar tissue from surgery. They prepared me for surgery, but in the meantime, stuck a tube down my nose to try to clear the obstruction. The odds for the tube to work weren't too high, but guess, what? Three depressing days later, and I was allowed to eat again! I had a PICC line put in, to help get me the nutrients I needed, and, after a week in hospital, I shocked the doctors by being well enough to go home! It took a lot of visualization and determination, but I got back to normal, and a week later, got the a-ok to start riding again!!! First time back on the bike, I felt really great, just lacking muscle.

 Now, almost three and a half months after surgery, I am riding, doing efforts feeling totally normal, and back up to my regular wait!!! Not to mention, I have a pretty awesome scar to show people!! Every now and then, I get stomach pains, but those are going to be around for a while still. The memories still haunt me, but I am better now and looking forward to racing over the next few weeks!

Thanks so much to everyone who showed me love and support during those tough few months!!! I could never had recovered so fast if it wasn't for you!!

Post Surgery

4th time in hospital- clearing a Partial Bowel Obstruction

Rapha Northwest Juniors Stage Race 2013

When we first arrived in Elma for the Rapha Junior Stage Race on August 2nd, I was already so nervous. I could not stop picturing how the races would play out, using the strategies that me and my dad had talked endlessly about. We went out and rode the courses that evening, explaining techniques to my younger sister Kaelen, who was about to get a taste of stage racing for her first time. Seeing the course eased some of my nerves and excitement started to set in. The courses were amazing! Being surrounded by the abandoned nuclear power plants made for a very unique (and somewhat creepy) atmosphere!
We arrived at the time trial the next morning, and I couldn't suppress the smile on my face! My stomach was tied in a knot of nerves and I felt like I was going to throw up! Boy, I love race days! After signing in, pinning my number and watching my sister sprint away, all smiles, in her first T-T, I got on the trainer with my i-pod blasting J.LO, for my warm-up. My dad (coach) instructed me to increase the intensity over 20 minutes, then do some sprints.

I lined up on the line in my girls 15-16 category (I got upgraded), chasing the 17-18 girls. Off I went, tucking into my aero position and keeping my eye on the girl ahead of me. Time-trials could win or lose someone the race, so I knew how important it was to go my hardest. I thought I was catching the girl ahead of me, until she started disappearing around the corners, slipping away from view.  4 miles in and my legs were on fire! A quick glance behind me, showed the 30 second girl chasing me closing in quickly. She was so close at the turn around point,  she eventually passed me! I came out of the race so disappointed, but knew I had to immediately turn my disappoint around before the crit and use it to make me race harder. It didn't quite play out how I would have liked! When results were posted I found out I came in 5th in an 8 girl category! Kia Van der Vliet won, with an impressive 1 minute and 40 seconds on me.

I couldn't stop shaking from nerves and excitement preparing for the crit, but the course was a great course for me, and I knew what I had to do!  It was an uphill start, and I was expecting people to take huge advantage of it and go hard right away. To my surprise, it actually started out at a slow, easy pace, that gave everyone the opportunity to get into good position right away. Instinct had me go right to the front and sit second or third wheel, careful not to get boxed in.  The bell rang for the first prime and I started my attack early, going for it. I knew that if I got a prime under my belt I would feel more confident about the race. I won an Oakley hat on the line! Sweet! I sat in for 15 minutes after that, and since nothing happened, I launched a few attacks, none of which stuck. There were more primes and I calculated which ones I would sprint for. One of my goals is to always animate the race, and that is what I did. What is fun about riding around in a circle for 40 minutes? Some girls got away with 4 laps to go, but we chased them down before the final sprint. I had bad positioning going into the sprint, and knew that I would have to pick up the pace and attack off the front at the bottom of the hill. Two of the age 17-18 girls took first and second place on the line, but I got third in the sprint and first out of the 15-16 girls! Though that still meant that I would have to get away in the road race to make up the 1 minute and 40 seconds on the leader!

I rode up to the road course the next morning, after packing up camp, and sending my sister off for her first road race. After warming up and embarrassingly, falling over in soft sand on my way to the start line, we rolled out and got under way! I rode the first lap out, taking part in the pace line and getting to the front to ride at about 80% on hills to see if I could shake anyone off the back. On the second lap, Kia Van der Vliet and I seemed to have the same idea in mind. We both attacked and counter-attacked, animating the race. On the hill on the second lap, I attacked and got away! I was by myself, riding my absolute hardest up the hills. A chase group was after me, but I was creating a big enough gap to get “out-of-sight, out-of-mind.” I took no rest on the decent, flying around the corners, aware of the chasers coming in and out of view. I time trialed on the flats focusing on slowly increasing my speed and intensity. I forgot about everything, except for the fact that I had just attacked and stayed away by myself, and that winning would mean I would get to spray the champagne (sparkling apple cider) for the first time on the podium! It was so unreal and I couldn't stop smiling as I rode across the line and threw my fist in the air as a victory salute! Kia came across the line exactly 1 minute and 40 seconds behind me! Who won? I was so nervous waiting for the results. When they were finally posted my sister ran over to me saying that I won, and, when I went to look at them for myself I saw that I had won by .08 seconds! It is crazy how close that was!

On the podium, I excitedly sprayed the other girls with sticky apple cider! It was some of the closest, most intense (not to mention fun) racing that I had ever raced!

Thank you so much to Rad Racing, Erik Anderson and the sponsors for putting on such and amazing race! Everything about it felt and was professional! It was such an amazing experience! See you next year!

Giro Time Trial

Finish of the Road Race

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BC Track Provincials 2013

Track Provincials was such a fun weekend of racing! I got upgraded this year and was allowed to race with the under 17 girls. It was at the outdoor track in Victoria which is 333 meters, a lot longer than Burnaby, therefore, warm up consisted of learning the lines and average times. We got a warm-up in on Friday, but racing got rained-out. So it was back to the campsite for a good night sleep and some visualization before racing on Saturday! The first race was the Flying 200 and I got my best time of 13.8 seconds and came second after Rachel Carey, who had an incredible time of 13.1 seconds!

The next races past by in a blur of warm-ups, racing and cool-downs. The first mass race was a Points race, and it was a powerful one as we raced with the U19’s and Elite women! I got four points, but they were not enough to compete for top three. I apparently needed to get that race under my belt before I proceeded with the rest of my weekend, because, I then won the Kierin and got second in the sprint tournament. Probably some of my favorite races this week (although, I love them all) were the Team Sprint and Team Pursuit. Brenna Pauly and I won the team sprint with a time of 55.75 seconds and our Pursuit team won the pursuit as well. I would say the best part about all the team events was the experience of working together in a team and riding in accordance to the team’s needs. As we were racing the Pursuit, I just pictured us, in the future, at the Olympics racing the Team Pursuit like the Bronze Medal Canadian Women’s Team did.

The Omnium was close as we went into the Pursuit and T-T. In the end, I had the least amount of points and therefore won the Omnium, although, it was really close! It was such a fun weekend of racing! I can’t wait for next year!

Thank you to Minda Richardson and the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association for putting on such an amazing event!

Superweek 2013!!!

Superweek was the experience of a lifetime! Lining up beside and racing with Olympians! I had to get special permission to race on senior gearing and was thrilled when I found out that Cycling BC accepted our request! The UBC grand prix was the first race I did as I was away for Tour de Delta (next year, I am definitely racing it!!!) and I got dropped probably within the first 10 minutes. It was a hard course, and I also wasn’t quite expecting the pace to be so fast! On top of that, I had trouble clipping in right away! Getting dropped and pulled was quite disappointing, but my dad kept endlessly pointing that I was fourteen years old and who I was racing against. He would also note that I was not the first person to be pulled!

Gastown was absolutely incredible! I got tips from and warmed up with Laura Brown, and got called up next to her for being the youngest person to ever race Gastown!! This time I lasted 15 minutes in the race and was much more confident around the corners! I also clipped in right away after practicing starts in my driveway 100 times the night before! I finished the Tour of Gastown with a proud smile on my face!! I mean, I got to race in front of 20,000 people, with Olympians and amazing role models!

I lasted slightly longer at the Giro de Burnaby crit (probably because I visualized staying in at least 20 min. and approached the race with an “I am going to win” confidence!) The best part of Burnaby was when Jasmin Glaesser rode to the back as I was being dropped and helped get me back up to the front! It was awesome to have someone there to show me the lines and help me to stay in the race longer!

At the White Rock hill climb, I was lined up against a former professional road cyclist. It was great for me, because she pushed me hard to try and keep up. Laura Brown gave me tips such as, don’t go out too hard right away. Let them get the lead and then pass them once the hill gets steep! So I started out in my smallest gear, and was spinning so much, that my opponent got a huge lead on me right away. I was pushing myself hard, but still saving something for the end, so when I accelerated, I slowly closed the gap on her! I ended up winning my heat and got 13th overall in the hill climb!

The road race was hard! It was 80 km- the longest road race I had ever done, but because of my climbing strength, the hills were huge advantages for me! Jasmin attacked right off the gun and got away with a small group. I was in the chase group with a few people, but ended up back in the peloton, where I took my turns and hung in until the last lap. I got lots of feedback from the women in the race, which was great! Feedback such as “spin more to recover faster.” The learning experience was priceless! With under a half lap to go I finally got dropped as they accelerated up a hill, and I ended up finishing 20th. I was the last woman to come across the line, but the race started with 33 people!
I can’t wait till next year when I can compete and race even more with these fantastic women at Superweek!!

Thank you, Mark Ernsting and the sponsors of BC Superweek for allowing me to race and for putting on such an awesome week of racing!

My call up at Gastown Grand Prix!