Tuesday, 29 October 2013

It's been a long time.

Well, it's been a long time. So long, in fact, that I forgot the password to get into my blog, and spent about as long trying to figure it out as I did writing this whole post. It's been a busy fall. It seems that my professors failed to communicate with each other regarding the amount of assignments they would be giving us, and each decided to give us twice as much to make up for what they presumed would be a lack of work from the other teachers. This has resulted in my room becoming a cave and me being the only occupant for much of October.

I can't complain too much though; we were learning some pretty cool stuff. From learning to conduct a submaximal VO2 max test, to taking and examining our own blood lipid profiles, to... drawing with our feet (?). Lots of cool stuff going on in Kin! On a side note, a ran into a Queen's PHE/Kin alumnus on the weekend - none other than Kevin Simms! The world really is small. And very cool. But that's enough about school. On to more exciting things!

Taking blood lipid profiles: "Haley, you're a geyser!" as blood literally pours out of my finger. Cue lightheadedness. 

At the beginning of October, I raced the final U-Cup of the year with Queen's University. For those of you who don't know, a U-Cup win is a win of the highest honour. Those medals are coveted, let me tell you! The last race was at Ganaraska Forest, and was the muddiest race (by far) of the year. I managed to keep it upright and have a ton of fun on the trails while coming out with the W. Queen's also took the overall team award for the series for the fourth consecutive year. I think we may have started a dynasty or something...

Some descending practice with the Queen's MTB team

The next weekend, I did none other than race my second ever 'cross race! I think that officially takes away my "beginner" status. Heck, it might even make me a part-time 'cross racer. Anyways, the race at Enniskillen Conservation Area in Clarington was a ton of fun. The course felt almost like mountain biking with some fast single track - it was great for a relative 'cross-newbie. Laura and I took charge of the race on the second lap and never looked back, working together to pull away from the rest of the field. On the last lap, all bets were off! We sprinted for the last single track section and I managed to gain the edge (after both of us sliding out in a slippery corner). The race was close - only about 1 sec between us - but I ended up taking the win. I think I might be starting to like this skinny tire stuff...

The next day, I headed up to Barrie for the legendary Brewery-Brewery ride. An easy ride out to Creemore primed us for a huge lunch. I should have known something was up when Dr. Watson only ordered a bowl of soup, but I was too busy eating my ogre-sized burger. Sure enough, the way back turned into a hammer-fest. I hung onto the lead group for the whole way and ended up with all the QOMs after sticking it out with the boys... Which led to the question, "Is it Strava-doping if it's a group ride?" Dr. Watson says it's okay, but I think its up for debate.

The next weekend was a double-header in Kingston, so I figured I had to race or risk being (rightfully) called "soft". The flyover, long and deep sandpit, and shattering head winds made for a tough course, but it was fun nonetheless. I came out in second on Saturday and first on Sunday. Yup, I like cross. It was pretty cool to see so many women out on Sunday - especially younger girls! The Ottawa Bicycle Club is doing some great work putting on this series. Awesome to see so much involvement.

Last weekend I headed home again to rip some trails in Durham Forest and to help out at the Norco Bicycles demo at Buckwallow. The snow and freezing rain weren't a deterrent to everyone wanting to try out the new 650B Revolvers - those bikes were coming in and out of the tent all day! I've got to say, after riding the Revolver for the latter half of the season and the fall, I don't think I'll ever give it up. I've never been on a bike that's so whippy, agile, and fast all at the same time. Can't wait to race it on Canadian soil some more come spring!

I'll have more (exciting) updates soon... just have to slog through this last assignment crunch and then I'm FREEEEE (until exam time, that is...)

Saw none other than Jack Johnson here in September. Unreal venue and show!

I may have a lot of schoowork, but there's always time to ride my bike :)

Sometimes I get so bitter at Kingston for its gruelling headwinds... and then it goes and does things like this. It's like Kingston is virtually saying, "SEE Haley?! I'm not that bad"

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