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Australian National Champs 2017

Australian National Champs 2017


I haven't posted a write up on the National Champs. It was way back in March and only 1 week after the Toowoomba Nationals/Oceana round. The year is just flying by.

Well, it was a different race. A different style of track to ‘normal races’ and I only managed one practise reccy lap on the morning of the race, in the wet, sloppy conditions.

The track was pretty much straight up for 15 mins of climbing, with some places about 20%. With wet tracks it was almost impossible to ride up some of them (I would probably struggle in the dry). So there were two sections where it was more like a cyclocross race; everyone was off the bike running or pushing.

After the climb it went straight back down through some awesome off camber sections and steep rocky chutes.

As you can see from the top photo, I ended up coming home with the win. There were some good battles, and I really had to push hard to keep the pedals turning over towards the top of the climb. There are some super fast climbers out there!

Photo credit: Russ Baker

I feel a bit funny about posting the National Champion jersey and flashing my medal. Mostly because it’s not an ‘Elite’ category medal, I feel a bit like a fraud.... Although I keep telling myself that I did actually win in my age category. It’s not pretend! So I have this debate in my head that tells me that I’m not really the national champion as there are plenty of other ladies out there faster than me (in older and younger categories!) .

But then again, I was there on the day, I raced people my age (who also happened to have kids), and I did win. So I’m going to leave it at that and enjoy my glory and wear my national jersey with pride (well, maybe not.. do people wear national jerseys around the place???)

Some photos:


Photo: Steep, rocky section

Photo: Beer recovery/celebrations after the race

Photo: 3/3 kiddos asleep. Awesome.


cell bikes

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Australian Nationals Round and Oceania Championships - XCO Toowoomba

Australian Nationals Round and Oceania Championships - XCO Toowoomba 12 March 2017


Last weekend the final round of the Aussie Nationals mountain bike series was held at Toowoomba. Training for the event snuck up on me yet again, but I managed to make it out on the day and put in a solid race. My first win at a national level, in Masters.

The race itself was fairly uneventful, so instead of sharing the details of the race, I thought I would share my rather comical life with 3 kids in the lead up to a National mountain bike race. Sometimes I feel like I am in an alternate universe.

Everyone has their own obstacles when training (or racing), whether it’s injury, sickness, work, family or travel which sometimes unfortunately takes precedence over training. This year I really planned to get out on the bike more. I am lucky that I get to commute to work, so I make sure I push hard and work for it during the 20 km stretch of mostly flat road. I love commuter racing, and I race any person on a bike that happens to be in the vicinity. Mountain bike rides are saved for the weekend, where I usually get out once.

Every time I head out for a ride, my two-year old clings and cries (this also happens every time I have a shower; ‘hower too mumma?Hower too!!”.) When I get back from a ride, there is a chorus of ‘mumma, mummy, mumma!!’ Where everyone explodes with information they are busting to tell me over the past 1.5 hours. No time to stretch or eat, it’s straight into getting everyone else drinks, wiping bums, or cleaning up something.

Two weeks before the race, our two-year old was eating his regular 3 bowls of porridge for breakfast (yep, seriously!). I’m making school lunch, preparing daycare bags, and getting my own stuff together for work. I hear him say ‘oh no, oh dear’. I look over and there is porridge everywhere. All over him and the floor. I figured that he had spilled it, and thought about scraping it back into the bowl for him (of his shirt, not the floor). But decided to just clean him up and get him out of the high chair and off to daycare so I could get to work. I cleaned up the mess and finally I was off to work. Half way there I smelled something awful and realised that it was vomit. Then the penny dropped. The porridge that was all over him and the floor was actually vomit. Which looked exactly the same as the porridge in the bowl--honest mistake right...

The vomit sessions continued on for another 4 days, when finally I caved and took him to the Doctor. In the waiting room he managed to spew everywhere, and I had to sheepishly go to the reception to ask for help to clean it up. “These pills will stop him vomiting, just give him 1/3 of the tablet on his tongue’. Thanks Doc. Struggling to figure out how to cut a tiny tablet into a third, I managed to get some into the toddler. Where he continued to vomit; tiny third of a pill and all. After another day and night of this, with hardly any sleep and so much washing (toddlers don’t know they are going to spew until it explodes out everywhere), we decided to take him to hospital. Diagnosed with a super bad case of gastro and dehydration they preped him for a drip, but then he had a reaction to the numbing cream they put on before the drip goes in. So, he didn’t have to have a drip. Luckily we didn’t have to stay overnight, and they let us go after making sure he was taking fluids. Only to vomit again when we got home, and in the middle of the night (right into my face might I add.. .. ewww).


I figured I still had a week to get gastro and get better again, so my Nationals race wasn’t over yet.

In the mean time, six-year old and two-year old collide on the lounge and two-year old gets a black eye.

bad-head-toddler black-eye-toddler

Fast forward a few more days, and I have clingy toddler again who wont let me put him down. So I spend the day carrying around a 13kg lump of toddler. My neck and back aches. The issue of the clingyness is solved when, yet again vomit explodes out of his mouth all over the place. Another few days off work to look after a sick baby means I am not getting any riding in. I’m spending the nights cleaning up vomit and not sleeping. There is even vomit down the side of the bed between the wall and the bed. I can’t move the bed away from the wall so the stench of vomit stays there all night, while the spew is soaking slowly into the carpet.

We seem to be getting onto of the vomit clean up, only to realise we have tiny bugs/mites in the beds. The chooks have them, and now they’ve found our way into the house!! argh. More sheets to wash, and beds to be vacumed and sprayed with bug killer...

With my lack of riding the last few weeks I focussed a little on getting my bike into order. Getting some new tyres (I’m running a Maxxis Ikon on the rear and Maxxis Ardent Race on the front). I got my forks serviced by the lovely crew at www.cyclinic.com.au and they were running sweet!

I also thought I’d stock up on race gels, I never seem to get to a real bike shop, so it’s nice to be able to buy them online. I find the Endura ones are good, but the Gu and Cliff shot ones are way too thick and hard to swallow. From this website you can also get trial packs of different flavours.

Managed to get out to the track to practise a few days before, with fellow mountain biker shredder AB and Jo R. My lovely mum looked after the black-eyed-vomit toddler and four-year old. My eldest was at school, so I managed to drop the kids off, and then make the long drive to Toowoomba with AB. I had to work in the car on the way there, so I was being very unsociable on the laptop while AB drove. Rushing back to the burbs after track practise, I was worried we would get hauled in the principals office for being late to pick up the kids. But thankfully we were only 10 mins late, so weren’t categorised as Bad Mums yet.

Race day arrived and I hadn’t got sick and no one vomited during the night. Winning! It’s a 1hr 40 min drive to the race track, so we were up early. We packed the car the night before and the kids lunch boxes. They get so excited about what might be inside their lunch boxes, they had eaten half of it before we had even got to the neighbouring suburb.


The track was steep in sections, with lots of uphill technical climbing, with some super steep pinches. Downhill sections were so much fun, rocky and steep in sections with surprise pockets of sand just to keep you on your toes. My hardtail went well and I was smiling on every decent (while trying to suck in some oxygen ready for the next climb). No photos of the singletrack as my cheer sqaud was safer in the main village area.

Photo: race start, pushing hard up the road to get into the singlet track.

Stoked with my race, stoked I didn’t crash and happy no one vomited.

Photo: My support team and cheer squad ‘Mumma, mummy, mumaaaa!”

The next day I was loading the kids into the car before work/school/kindy/daycare. They are all strapped in ready to go. I leave the car doors open and I run back inside to change out of my ‘breakfast clothes” (the ones that get weetbix on them) and into my work clothes. I only take about 40 seconds, and love every minute of the peace and quiet that welcomes me inside. While half dressed I hear behind me:

Mumma, quick it’s an emergency!” Says my four-year old as she runs in from the car.

Whats up?” I say half concerned but half groaning... I’m sure that someone has either vomited, fallen on their head or slammed their finger in the car door.

“Its a chicken emergency!!”, she exclaims. I’m wondering if the chicken has vomited, fallen on its head or got slammed in the car. I run outside to investigate.

One of our 7 chickens has decided to jump into the car, eat up crumbs off the floor in the back. She obviously found something delicious under the passenger seat as she was well and truly stuck under the seat. Welcome to a new week of craziness!

The next race is the National Championships in Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland next weekend.

Photo: Chicken. Yep that’s permanent text on the four-year olds leg

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