Thursday, 30 April 2009


On the way to wildflower!

See for the latest news on the journey


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Leaving Vancouver

Here we go, after an 8 and a half month stint here in Vancouver I'm packing up my room for the summer.

I can't and won't even try to describe in one post the fun I've had. Just look back over my last 8 months of writing and you can see, it's been amazing.

I'm finding it pretty hard to pack everything up as it means I can't hide from the fact that I have to leave for a while but I do have lots to look forward to this summer including the Wildflower triathlon that I'm flying out to California for tomorrow. It's a huge event and will be great experience for me, will also give me my first Olympic distance race of the season.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me train so hard out here, given me a hand when I've needed it and made my life easier. The list is a mile long but I'll for sure mention my sponsors Speed Theory who have become my family out here, my family back home who have made sure I wasn't feeling too homesick and my girlfriend Denise who was the best part :)

There are so many things you don't see coming, for instance that car last Thursday. But I did not see this coming, how my time out here would effect me and how it would change my perspectives. I guess that's what travelling and life is about, learning from the new people you meet, letting yourself change and maybe effecting some other people's lives in the process.

It's pretty hard for me to write this post so I won't ramble on, I've loved it here and I can't wait to come back a year from now. Summer will be great and I hope to have some good races...

...Bring on California!


Saturday, 25 April 2009

1 of my 9 lives

To quote Fraser "that's one of my nine lives gone".

First off, I'm walking, breathing, eating and in a few hours I'll be back in the saddle.

No concussion, no broken bones and as of 48 hours after the crash no aches or pains to report either.

It was 12.45pm on Thursday and I was minding my own business, riding down the road, visible to all when a minivan decided to turn into an ally way without signalling (or checking their mirrors). Without delving into the gruesome details I was thrown off my bike onto the road hitting my head pretty hard, bike was run over (new bike) unfortunately ending it's life after only 40km and I took a bit of a hit as I smacked the ground as well. Luckily after an afternoon at the hospital all tests came back clear and I was released for a long night of constant concussion checks, icing, compression tights and regular stretching (at 1am, 3am and 5am).

Life goes on and I am just very happy to be here blogging 2 days after. As of right now I'll still be on the start line at Wildflower in California next weekend.

The first people I called (while I was still lying on the ground) were my friends at Speed Theory. They've become my family here in Vancouver and seeing as Denise was busy in an exam they were my first call. Murray quickly came over and carefully took me back to the store where they fed and watered me plus kept me warm before they made me go to the hospital to get my head checked out. I waited until I was checked out of the hospital before I called home and woke my parents up, the last thing your mum wants to here is that you're heading "into" hospital not "out of".

Main thing is, I'm OK. I'll be back on the bike today and back in the water tomorrow.

Next stop, Wildflower!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Hey guys

I'm not going to try and hide my excitement over my new bike, like a 6 year old at Christmas would best describe it. It's been here for a while but not fully built and wasn't ready to take home until yesterday.
Thanks to my brilliant sponsors Speed Theory they hooked me up with a 2009 Cervelo S2 with 7900 DA and Look Carbon pedals. I put it on the scales last night and they actually went below zero ... honest.
I'm currently running around getting all my friends to pick it up while also trying to keep finger prints off it, I'll take good care of it and hopefully it will make me fly this season.

Enjoy the pictures,

Sitting in the store

Me taking 5 hours to actually leave the store with it

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Exams are over!

4 in 5 days last week was not enjoyable but as of Saturday they are all wrapped up with only months and months of stress free training ahead :)

I am already loving being able to relax in between sessions and the sun has made a few appearances of late so I've been getting outside too.

I've been reading a lot of blogs recently and I get the same impression from many of them...that hard training (plus everything that goes along with it) is a drag. I'm sure it's not intentional but I guess when athletes sit down and reflect on their days and weeks the feeling that comes to the surface is "fed-up-ness" as I like to put it. I would say some guys and girls out there are fed up, not having the same sick love of cold and wet bike rides as I do, but most are just tired while blogging and probably love their crazy swim and run sessions as much as everyone else.

I think it would be easy, as an age group triathlete, to read the Pro blogs and think "hey this guy's complaining about something I wish I could be doing everyday". But I don't think it should be taken this way, these guys will still love all the work and training that goes into race prep but I guess it can get to a stage where the training no longer seems like the most important part but the racing and the money take that title.

This I guess is dangerous as you can forget why you're doing it. No one leaves their high school careers meeting after being told by the advisor to go out and be an athlete. In general it isn't financially stable or too rewarding either but if you head out in the rain enough, on the mornings when it's cold and dark and Simon Whitfield stayed in bed then one day it will "pay off" be it in terms of money, recognition or just personal happiness.

I don't think it matters why you are training hard, it could be to win, to break the top 10, to finish, to race for the memory of a friend, for your family or for's the fact that you are pushing your limits a little more than the next guy and hopefully in doing so you'll inspire him to push his limits too.

I think the Pros out there still hold that close, even if money can get in the way sometimes, deep down they are limit pushers and that is something to be proud of!


Sunday, 12 April 2009


Hey guys,

been up in Whistler for a few days now. My family have been across here in BC for 10 days and it's been great to spend some time with them. Being in Vancouver is amazing but it does mean you miss your family and we are all very close.

For one thing I feel my family are just as invested as I am in my future in sport. Mum has put in almost as many training hours as I have if you count the car rides she used to give me to swimming. She'd meet me at school EVERY day at 3.40 to take me to training (40 minute car ride) then have to drive all the way home (rush hour) plus pick me up 4 mornings a week at 7.45am (driving through rush hour to get there) to take me to school.

I'd estimate 2 hours a day in the car 4 or 5 days a week (plus other sessions in between). That's alot of time! 2x4x50x10=4000

I think I'll push my kids toward a more time friendly sport...or one where they can train from the house (cycling!)

Dad as well, having always been my main sponsor but also as the one who would wake up at 4.30am 4 mornings a week for 5 years to get me to the pool! Though now it's a habbit for him so he does it anyway ... even though I'm 4,000 miles away :)

They did it without complaint or protest for 10 years and they still do every day 24/7, helping me get up and out on my training rides, runs and swims in the rain and snow .... or occasional sun, 7 days a week. Now however, I also have the added support of my girlfriend who supports me 100% in my training as well ... even though often I'd rather stay in and watch TV with her, she sends me out to train regardless.

What I'm trying to say is this is not a solo effort from anyone. Attempting to be the best at anything requires 100% from many different people, not just the athlete themselves. I think realising that is one of the first steps.

I'm off to thank my mum for all those lifts!

... again


Monday, 6 April 2009

More racing

Another weekends racing under my race belt.

Maybe it was the sun ... or the fact I'd had an easy week last week, but this weekend I felt great heading into the Sunday morning Spring Series race in Aldergrove. The sun was out and 20 degrees was the predicted high, same again today here in Vancouver so all the shorts and tshrits are back out.

Met up with my Atomic Racing buddies from last weekend before the race and we headed off together for the 65km of racing along the US border. Almost immediately Mike who had worked really hard last weekend with me was up at the front looking keen so I darted up the outside into the wind to the front. 2km into the first full lap he had already pushed the pace off the front and I managed to get a good 50m gap along with another rider (very strong and kitted out in full CSC kit). We played around a bit off the front for 5km or so waiting for others to bridge, pretty soon Mike was up with me along with a Glotman Simpson rider. The 4 of us pushed it for a few laps but by around 20km the peleton had organised and reeled us in.

I wasn't too worried though as I still felt great and knew I had made some people hurt having to catch us up :)

The next 20km went by without trouble but I was sitting at/or near the front just preserving my energy ... my mind was working overtime to try and think up a good break away plan!

The course was pretty simple, a square; big downhill into the wind, right turn and a big ring power hill followed by a fast downhill, right turn with a 2km flat tailwind stretch, right turn and a hilly (very hilly) section back to the line.

My plan was with 2 laps to go (14km) I'd work my way to the front, power it down the big headwind hill, quick right turn then keep up the pace before sprinting up the big ring power hill hopefully making my break for freedom. With 2.5 laps to go I found Mike and we discussed tactics, he would pull me to the front and slingshot me up and over the power hill then try and hold up the peleton as much as he could...

Here we go...

Crossed the line, 2 laps left. Mike picks me up and starts to drag me to the front. 2nd and 3rd places while working down the hill into the wind, front of the pack gets strung out. Fast right turn and the top 5 get strung out at the front ... big hill approaching.

Mike pulls out to the side (everyone thinks we were just taking our turn) but he puts on the gas and storms off the front, me 2 inches behind. He worked so hard pulling me half way up the hill (15m gap on 3rd place) before firing me up to the top and over the crest. I'm busy cranking out full speed and don't notice the gap opening up, next thing I know I'm turning right onto the fast tailwind stretch and the pack aren't in sight :)

My heroics however were doomed, I held the lead for the rest of the lap, catching a group of B and A riders in the process, 3/4 of the way through the final lap however I feel a group of around 12 catching me and with 1.5km to go it's me with the rest of them for the finish.

The sensible thing to have done would be to rest at the back of the group for the final 2 minutes to rest up for the final hill ... but that would have been easy so I spent the last 1km or so breaking the group of 13 down to 6 .... which ... killed me :)

Final hill : I sped off up through the initial part of the accent (200m to go) in the lead but quickly all those sensible cyclists who had saved something for the end passed me and I crossed the line in 6th. I was in no way disappointed though as I had been courageous and had fun in the process!

With 1 week until my final exams and 4 weeks until Wildflower it's all go in Vancouver, lots of training, even more studying and hopefully when the dust settles in mid May it will have been worth it.

Until then,


ps. New bike arrives this to follow!