Ride Bikes

Downhill/Gravity Enduro/Dirt Jumps

3 tips to make you a faster, smoother and more energy efficient mountain biker

So you’ve got the bike set up right, you are confident and have some fitness. You may even have some new riding socks.

You are all set to ride and you want to be faster, smoother, save energy, go harder and ride for longer.

Riding more often is going to make you fitter and stronger. But ultimately when riding, you want to carry more speed and go fast, while still conserving energy. So you can ride for longer and travel further.

Conserve energy while still going faster? Yes that’s right!

Here are 3 tips to help you reach that goal:

  1. Don’t brake.
  2. Choose good lines.
  3. Pump the track.
Doing these three things means there will be less pedalling (when you don’t need to), more speed, more energy.

Don’t brake

Try to carry speed by not braking as much. If you brake you will only have to put in the extra effort and pedal to get back up to speed. By not braking, you save that pedalling energy for later. Saving 1 pedal per corner on single track means you have the energy to pedal another 30 + pedals on the hilly or flat sections. Don’t brake unless it’s absolutely necessary!

Choose good lines

Line choice is a great skill to have. It is a key skill for downhillers, but it’s often overlooked by the cross country rider. Remember that the most direct route (or the A-line) is not always the fastest. It may not line you up best for the next corner. Some B-lines around drops are actually faster as you can carry speed and you don’t loose momentum on dodgy landings. Learn what works best for you and your bike. Ride smart and choose lines with purpose.

I remember reading an interview with Missy Giove (professional downhill mountain biker who dominated the sport in the 90’s and early 2000’s) which always stuck in my head. She always visualised the track before each race and imagined herself as water or a river, choosing the fastest route to flow down the mountain (Source from Dirtragmag).

Pump the track

Learn how to flow better and pump the trail. Pumping is more useful on the flat or downhill sections. Sometimes the trail is too rocky, rooted or rutted to get pedals in. So by working with the trail you can actually maintain speed and gain speed without pedalling or loosing speed. Small rises and falls in the track are actually like little roller coaster tracks. You flow down one side and ‘G-out’ at the bottom to carry speed up the next side. Push the bike down at the low points, and be light on the bike on the high points. It may not always be obvious where the track rises and falls. Sometimes it’s over rocks and roots and micro hills. You will be amazed at how much speed you can carry while pumping over a trail without even pedalling. If you are unclear of the concept of pumping, try playing the Tiny Wings game on your phone. It’s just like that.

So, by doing these three things, it will mean less pedalling, more speed, more energy!

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10 years since my first DH race!

10 years since my first DH race!

Way back in May 2004 I randomly decided to have a go at Downhill MTB racing. I had done a bit of DH riding, and wanted to meet more girls who rode. I had only ridden with one other female.

So, I packed up my Norco A-line DH bike in the back of my Pulsar hatch back and went out to Bennetts Forest for the Inside Line MTB Club event.

I don’t remember if I had ridden the track before. I remember pushing the bike to the start line thinking that I just wanted to get down the hill in one piece and enjoy the experience. The track was not very steep and a perfect beginners track. It was a pine forest and there was nothing too frightening on the track. I think I came in last place, but it didn’t matter because I was hooked.

I met some great girls who taught me a lot about riding and keeping race nerves under control. We kept racing together/against each other for years.

Photo: 2004. My bike and I when I first got it. I’m in my work clothes and just wanted to pose for a photo.

May 2004. First race!

My second race was at Fox Creek Long Track. I found some photos while reminiscing. This race was a challenge!

I think there were five of us racing in Elite Women. Myself, Sarah Booth, Julie Harris and Gemma Mayfield. Carol may have had more sense and decided not to race (and get the white socks muddy). The conditions were muddy and a bit more muddy…. It has been raining for days. The race still went ahead. I remember the top part of the track wasn’t too bad, but the bottom section was almost unrideable.

These photos showed how bad it was getting through a section. Once you stopped it was impossible to get momentum again to keep rolling. Your wheels got all clagged up and wouldn’t spin.

I found the results too. Boothy had the skills to keep it rolling, but Julie, Gemma and I really struggled. It took Gemma 21 mins to get down the track! I think she actually went off the course and physically couldn’t lift her bike back onto the track.

Photo: I needed to push my bike up over a kicker… it was exhausting…


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Gravity Enduro Round 2 Garapine

Gravity Enduro
Racing Gravity Enduro
5th - Gravity Enduro Round 2 Garapine QLD - GE (21st April 2013)

Hardly any sleep the night before. Teisha is still waking once or twice. I hadn’t seen the tracks before. Heading down blind! Tony had to look after both kids by himself for the 4 hours. I was worried about how he would cope. Thankfully Gaz Hopewell was there to help out.

I lined up for the start and had to give Teisha a quick breast feed. Then I got Felix sorted with some snacks. 5 mins to spare before the start. I quickly checked my bike over and tightened up some loose screws.

There were two tracks. A blue and a black one. The blue one had some pedalling and some little doubles/gaps. Without seeing these I decided to go around them. Otherwise I could stack and then I’d loose lots of time. The black one was steep in places with roots. Quite fun, but it was a bit daunting heading down without knowing what was coming up.
We had to do each track 3 times, so I started to learn the tracks by the last few runs.

It was fun, but really hard work with a baby and toddler. Everyone was feral after the race.


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Gravity Enduro Round 1 Mt Joyce

Gravity Enduro

4th - Gravity Enduro Round 1 Mt Joyce QLD - GE (7th April 2013)

Pre-race coffee
Breakfast before the race.

Breastfeed before the race
A quick feed for Teisha before the start.
Baby cuddles after the race
Cuddles after the race.


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Reminiscing Australian Nationals 07/08

Reminiscing - Australian Nationals 07/08

I have been sorting out photos on my computer and found this one. It is the poster for the Australian Nationals 07/08. The Adelaide MTB Club and Inside Line MTB Club got a massive poster (about 4 m long!) of this and it was put up at the entrance to Eagle MTB park.

I was pretty stoked to get put on the poster as the Downhiller. I miss downhill, but not sure I can get back into it any time soon.

Tony was on the committee and the volunteers worked so hard to pull the event together. It was Adelaide’s first Aussie Nationals Race at Eagle Park.

I raced in Elite Womens XC and DH. I even got the same race place number. I don’t know many people who have had a crack at both the XC and DH at an elite level, but it was pretty tough!

I came 16th in the XC (the highest ranked South Australian) and 5th in the DH. I had a small incident with a rock wall in the DH which I was a bit annoyed about. Because I could have got a better result.


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Team Banshee

I am stoked to announce that I will be part of Team Banshee Australia for the coming 09-10 MTB season. With races lined up locally and nationally I will be kept busy throughout this year and next. My bikes have been stickered up with my personalised “Banshee Jayne Rutter” stickers. SWEET! I am so eager to get out on my Rampant and get training. However I will need to wait until at least September before I can go at it hard again. I am also getting myself a Banshee Viento for XC racing. This one from http://www.bansheebikes.com/viento.html looks sick. But mine may not be as pimped out as this one is to start with! Its not the lightest XC bike on the market, but its renowned for being tough and strong. Hopefully I can build it up to be around the 10.5 kg mark.

Full details of the race calendar are located here <>. The QLD 4X series should kick off in September, followed by the Australian Nationals Series in November. The Australian National Mountainbike Championships will be in February 2011 in Adelaide. Thursday, 10 June 2010


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Australian National Champs

Adelaide put on a good event for the Australian National Champs. The rain came down early, but cleared up for the DH racing in the afternoon.

The elite womens class was taken out by Clare B (photo below), with Leigh D not far behind (photo below).

Third place went to Claire W (below), who took the Australian National Champs jersey as she was the top placed Australian. Claire is racing in a new stylish green kit this year.
Saturday, 16 January 2010

The under 19 womens title went to Em H (photo below).


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Adelaide Xmas

Adelaide xmas

So I headed down to Adelaide for xmas to spend some time with family and friends. I was keen to check out the new 4X track at Eagle, but ran out of time.

Some footage of the dirt jumps in the Adelaide CBD. Just the small ones for now, but maybe one day I will hit up the big ones...

Went down to the dirt jumps at West Beach too. Which was fun. Quite windy though. Also got thrashed at table tennis.

Friday, 25 December 2009


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Cedar Ck DH & Brookfield DH

Cedar Ck DH & Brookfield DH

Cedar Creek DH

Brookfield up the top of the track.

Dust, dust, steep chutes and sharp corners. Not much time to rest on this track. By the time you made it out of the tough stuff you were at the bottom.

Completely different to the recent Canadian tracks I have been riding! Which are all perfectly groomed. Five girls were racing Elite, which is quite rare for the state series. I qualified in 1st and held on to the position for the final. Its nice to be back racing (last race was the Nationals in February!).

Lea - Cedar Creek

I have raced this track once before last year. It hadn’t changed much. A few sharp flat turns with a long fire road in the middle and a steep rock garden up the top. I qualified in 1st (only just!), then couldn’t hold on for the win, with Lea getting me by 5 seconds in the final.

(photos thanks to Chris Dalziel and Graham Reid and bradleyadamphotography)

Sunday, 30 August 2009



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Panorama & Kickinghorse Parks

Panorama & Kickinghorse Parks

Kickinghorse MTB park was quite blown out and dry. But plenty of trails to keep you entertained. The boys went rafting while I opted to ride the park by myself. So I dont have any photos. The next day we went to Panorama, a smaller MTB park, not far from Invermere.

This place was pretty cool, with active trail fairies looking after the place. Crazy Train was one of my favourites with a nice rock drop and pallet work at the start. The video above shows my first attempt of this section of the track.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


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Whistler has plenty of variety to keep us entertained. We only had one day when it rained. There was lightning around, so the lifts got shut down just shortly after we made it to the top.

So we took our time down Crank It Up in the pouring rain. It was fun sliding around in the mud. It has been hot most days and steamy in body armour. But there was no way I was going to go ‘armourless’ because that would just be asking for an injury! I have been loving the Garbonzo runs.

The roots and rocks up in the top section are so much fun. So much variety, tight turns, massive berms and pallet drops... or steep chutes or rock roll downs. My favourites include Original Sin to Freight Train (or No Joke to In Deep), to Duffman and Aline. Or, Angry Pirate to Aline or Ninga Couger to Karate Monkey.

Aline had some sweet tabletops and step downs. There were a few kicky jumps that I didnt want to hit at full speed. Here are some photos of the riding.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Jayne and Tony

Jayne on the roots

Jayne wall riding.


Tony doing GLC drop


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We got out on the tracks today and decided to pay for a guide to show us around. That way we will know the best way to link trails together and get a feel for the terrain.

Riding for a good 6 hrs in the sun and am pretty buggered now. We linked together quite a lot of trails, ranging from green runs, through to double black diamonds. The double black runs wern’t too full on, but the guide said they were the easiest of the double black ones.

Maybe tomorrow and later in the week we can build up to the others. There is a huge range of tracks and the runs seem to go on forever.

Sunday, 19 July 2009


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We caught the bus from Vancouver to Whistler on Friday midday and met Nicko at our hotel. Not wanting to rush things (and end up in hospital) we decided to check out the place and have a few beers before getting on our bikes. We will ride tomorrow. The weather is perfect. Nick wanted to ride this afternoon, so we let him go up the hill (and haven’t seen him since....). The beer is good here, and not too expensive. The coffee is terrible. Our hotel is really close the bottom of the lifts. Looking forward to tomorrow. Time to build up my bike!

Saturday, 18 July 2009


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After 14 hours or so of flying, we finally made it to Vancouver. The plane trip when fairly quickly as we watched movies, and had a few beers. Only about 4 hours into the trip I decided to put on some roll on deodorant.

Unbeknown to me, the roll on ball fell out (due to the pressure difference) and I ended up pouring liquid deodorant all over myself. The smell was fairly overpowering, but at least it wasn’t a bad smell.... After the deodorant incident, everything was fine. Our bikes made it safe to Los Angeles, where we changed planes and went through customs and then through it again. Nick had already told us that his bike did not arrive in Vancouver (he had been in Canada for 4 days without a bike).

Ours made it fine to Canada and in one piece. On our 2nd day in the city we decided to hire bikes and ride around Stanley Park. In Canada they run their brakes backwards (front brake on left, rear on right). Tony decided to undo his front brakes to avoid going over the bars. Stanley Park was a great place to do skids. We also saw a raccoon. This one was in the sea, scavenging around for food (I was surprised to see one in the water, but I dont know anything about raccoons...).

We found a nice brewery/pub on Granville island and also another one in Gastown called Steamworks. The city was full of cruiser bikes. They look cool, but not sure how functional they are... especially going up hills.

Saturday, 18 July 2009


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So, Canada here we come. On Wednesday we will be flying out of Brisbane to head to LA then Vancouver. My bike is already packed up and ready to go. Weighing in at 25.4 kg I am hoping I can sweet talk Qantas to let it go through without having to pay excess baggage. If its over 23 kg, you have to pay extra, if its over 32 kg, it doesn’t go on the plane.

I need to travel light in my other bags too. Not just for the cost, but for ease of carrying everything. I also have a new bike! Yes its true. A lovely Banshee Rampant.

Welcome Rampant. I still need to build it up, but will wait until after Canada. I can’t wait to hit the jumps on this beast. It is sweet. The paint job is quality, the Candy Red/Raw colour sparkles a little in the sunshine. That’s it for now. Stay tuned for an update of mountain biking in Canada.

Saturday, 11 July 2009


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There has not been much racing happening lately. I have entered in the last 3 State DH races, but they have been cancelled due to rain and floods. So, what has been happening..... My last DH race was back in February in Tasmania. I have not been on the DH bike much, but mainly because of the weather and lack of races. The bike has been recently serviced and my forks have pretty much been replaced.

We head to Canada in a week and a half. So my bike is all ready to go. Today I went out to the jump park to see how the new forks felt and get out on the bike. I felt a bit sketchy - but mainly because I did not want to crash and injure myself so close to going over seas. I have been hitting the weights frequently to build up strength. Even though this restricts time on the bike, its been quite wet and cold so no big deal. I have a unicycle which I am learning to ride. It is great fun and requires patience. I can only ride about 3 m at the moment, but getting there.

Sunday, 5 July 2009


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Back to Tassie. Tony and I spent the week between the Penny Farthing Nationals and the DH Nationals driving around Tasmania. Lots of wineries, great beaches and walks. We met up with Nick and Trish on the Thursday in Hobart at the Whiskey Distillery. Nick had hired a massive van so we could get around with the 4 DH bikes (Mine, Tony, Nick and Joes). Nick found out that massive vans don’t park too well in tight car parks. The van accidentally clipped a parked BMW. Oops. Nick wasnt happy as he didn’t choose the lower excess and therefore it would cost him $3000, so we drank some whiskey. After whiskey we went to the Cascade brewery. Nick got a parking fine. The weekend wasn’t too good for Nick with a taco’ed front wheel in the DH qualifier and then we got evicted from our accommodation (no fault of our own, the park stuffed up).

Anyway, Back to racing! Last time in Tassie I only managed to ride 20 seconds of the track before breaking my wrist. So this time I made sure my bike was built right and took it slow on the first run. The track had changed, but nothing too tricky in there. It took me a while to build up the courage to do the ‘Wrist drop’ (see cover photo). Its not overly big, but has a nasty kick if you get it wrong. Tony found this out when he did it the first time and crash landed (not inspiring me with confidence!). I finally did the drop and it was fine :) yay. I didn’t feel like I had long enough to learn all the good lines on the track. I had only ridden my DH bike once since the last Nationals in Dec - not good preparation! So I wasn’t feeling too confident.

Tony practised but wasn’t too keen to race. Tony calls it CBF’d. In my seeding run, the track was fairly blown out. Some corners were very slippery and dusty. I ended up going over the bars in my seeding. Something I havent done in a while! I managed to get my feet down and run it out, so no injuries. I rode straight into a hole and stopped dead (it wasnt there before I swear!). UCI points were up for grabs on this round, so considering I didn’t race the National Champs, it was a good chance to get some points so I can aim to be eligible to race any World Cup races later in the year. My race run was ok, but fairly tentative. The track is long with lots in it. Its great fun at the top with lots of corners. Its the first time I have had good fun on a DH track in a while. I ended up in 7th Place (Now I have 9 UCI points).

The ‘wrist drop.’ doesn’t look big, but theres a hole in the landing.

Me in the DH

I entered in the 4X for some fun. I raced on my DH bike so it wasnt ideal. My gate starts are getting better, but because I have no ranking I get the worst gate numbers to start in. There were only 5 girls racing, so I had a good chance to get into the finals! Well, I didn’t do too well in my heats, but it was good experience. I ended up on equal points with 2 other girls (so sitting equal 3rd), but because I have no ranking, I got bumped out of the finals! I still don’t really understand the rules, but I was a bit annoyed. Oh well next time. I need to get a 4X bike and some practice if I want to be serious about it. My DH bike is too heavy. I ended up in 5th Place.

Me in the 4X

The National Champs are in SA for the next 3 years. I am glad its not in Canberra any more, as I dont really like that track. However, I dont think Adelaides track is up to Champs standard (the DH that is), as its quite short. Still there is plenty of hill there and more trail can be built. XC is an option, there is time to switch and focus on the XC.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Leigh in the DH


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Saturday, 13 December 2008
Again a wet race. Not feeling too confident. Lost my chain in my race run. :( boo.

Photo: It was a big turn out for Elite Women this race. This is most of us.


Canberra World Cup!

Canberra World Cup!

Photo Above: The finish line.

What a fantastic atmosphere at the World Cup! It’s a shame it always has to rain at these events though.

I decided to take my bike down to Canberra despite my wrist still in a cast. I hadn’t been on my DH bike since the crash earlier in the month. I did sneak out for an extended XC loop into work at the start of the week, but that was the extent of my ‘training’ for the World Cup.

Without knowing if I could even ride or hold on, I figured if I didn’t bring my bike I would be spewing. We arrived to Canberra on the Wednesday night and my bike failed to turn up. Apparently it was still in Brisbane. Not a good start to the weekend. It arrived the next morning so that was all ok.

Practise was sketchy and I struggled to hold on with my left hand and also reach the rear brake. I also could not lift the front of the bike too easily. Feeling very unfit and not confident, I decided to rule out hitting any of the big jumps and just roll down the track. By race day I figured I may as well race. I kind of hoped that I didn’t qualify so then I could watch the main race in the afternoon. Not the best attitude I know, but it’s not like I was in top form for the race!

I came in 21st place with only the top 20 qualifying. So I guess I got my wish! It was pouring with rain, and not very inviting to get back out on the bike. So I sat back and watched the pros!

Well done to Tracy Moseley and Greg Minnar for taking the win.

The after party was out of control as per normal. I am feeling very tired now. I can’t wait for the Nationals, hopefully I will be fully recovered and in fine form by November.

Thanks to Tony and Sacha for being my support crew, driver, caddie etc (TEAM RUTTER). Thanks to Annette for lending us her car and to Jimmy from Bikeology (
www.bikeology.com) for keeping my bike running nicely over the weekend.

Photo above: My first time on the bike in ages… Wrist in cast. Rolling around the car park at Canberra World cup.

Photo above: The start ramp.

Photo: Looking down the track from the midway point.

Photo above: This bit was tricky with my broken wrist. My hand kept bouncing off the bars.

Photo above: Dust and rocks.

Photo above: The top rock garden.

Photo above:Me and the Aussie Flag

Photo above: the bottom part of the track.

PHoto above: Me and the crowds! I was feeling lame because I didn’t do the big jumps. I felt like yelling out “I have a broken wrist!”

Photos above: Poor Matti Lehikoinen. Broke both his wrists. After 6 hours worth of operations he got a total of 12 screws, 3 metal plates, 3 pins. At least his mates got him a jug of beer with a straw so he could still drink.

Photo above: Sacha and I. After qualifying in the rain.




Very wet race. Did the 4X and the DH. I actually did better in the 4X! Ended up 9th place and didn’t qualify for the final. Gold Coast track just isn’t my track. I enjoy it, but just don’t seem to go fast on it!!!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Scary section of the track. Straight after this it went almost vertical.

Elite women washing bikes. While some of the Elite mens fathers did theirs. haha




Photo thanks to Angus Meek.

The Adelaide Nationals Round 1 has been raced and the dust has settled. Finally a dry nationals race! Although its a pain, I am thinking that I race better in the rain, so maybe I should pray for rain...    This time I decided to not race the XC and focus on the DH. Last year it was easier to do both as I was living in Adelaide, but this year it was just too hard. The aim of the race was to get some confidence back and not break any bones! Last year at the Adelaide round I finished in 5th place in Elite Women.    After a very very busy weekend visiting friends, family, practising the track, going to a wedding on Saturday night and then racing, I was exhausted. And that was before the race even began.    The track had changed slightly since the year before, making it shorter and faster in sections. A few tricky sections had been removed and a couple of new interesting parts added. The start mound of the track had been made higher meaning you didn't have to pedal as much out of the gate. However after the first berm, there was a jump over 2 large rocks/boulders, into a tight corner. It was quite daunting. If you didn't get enough lift off the lip you would case your wheel into the rocks (hopefully not the front wheel...). I didn't do the jump on the Friday as my confidence was fairly limited. Saturday morning, I rolled into it a few times and finally turned my brain off to hit it. As is always the case with these things, it was easy when I finally did it.    There was another new section where the track that cut through a loose rocky section and dropped into the old rock garden. This was hard to do fast, as there were often loose rocks over the track. I had a few moments there in practice, but wasn't too worried about that bit when it came race time.    I also did the creek gap (dry water run off area with large rocks about 2m gap), that I hadn't done before so I was stoked. There is a large set of doubles at the bottom of the track that I didn't build up to, which cost me time, but I will hit those next time!  

Me hitting (ok casing...) the creek gap.

It was nice to see that even though I have been off the bike for a while that I can still ride. A nice confidence boost. Although it would have been nice to go well in the results (I ended up 9th), I was happy with how I went. Hey, I didn't break any bones or anything on my bike, so that's got to be good!    The next race is in 4 weeks at Illinbah in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Its a long track so my arms will struggle with their lack of strength. But hopefully I can work on that rapidly between now and then. 

Saturday, 1 November 2008




So I have managed to get back on the bike, and fall off again... I badly bruised my right wrist (I initially thought it was broken, but it's ok). The Round 1 of the Australian National Series is on this weekend in Adelaide. Keep tuned, and I will fill you in on how I go.

Saturday, 18 October 2008




1 week to go until I hopefully get my cast off…..then its back on the bike!

Sunday, 21 September 2008


QLD DH State Titles 2008 QLD DH State Titles 2008

QLD DH State Titles 2008

I couldn’t race the final round of the DH (the State Champs), but went along to watch. My wrist was still in a cast.

Found out I won the overall Elite Womens Series for DH. So I was stoked with that.

Lea won the State Champs.




Photo above: This is the gap jump that I crashed on and broke my wrist.

So, my big goal for the year was to race the Canberra World Cup round in the DH in August. I wanted to go to Canberra for an ACT state race before the World Cup to get in some practice so I could do my best at the Worlds. I have never really felt good on the Mt Stromlo track, so now was my chance to get some confidence up and learn some good lines. I booked a quick trip down to Canberra, flying down at 6am on the Saturday, then flying out at 6.30pm on the Sunday. I went by myself and hired a car.

The track had changed a bit since last time I raced there at the Australian Nationals. There is a new rock garden at the top and it is about 100m longer. There was also some new drops and jumps thrown in. All was going well on the Sunday morning and I was confidently hitting some of the bigger jumps and A lines. When it was final race time I was a bit worried about the wind on some of the jumps because it tended to blow people off course. While racing I decided that I would have to ‘harden up princess’ and hit the bigger jump in the wind (see main photo top).

I thought it may not have been such a great idea when I got blown over in mid air and landed on my head, knee and wrist. I ended up breaking my left wrist and am most likely not going to be able to race in 4 weeks (hey I am struggling to type….). So I have had a change of focus and now it is on the National Series (starting in November). I will aim to get selected for the World Cup Champs next year.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Photo: Cara

Photo: Claire.

Photo: Me.

Photo left: in the waiting room waiting for an X-ray.

Photo: Broken scaphoid.




Photo thanks to Nicole Photography. It was a very close end to the Queensland DH series with only 13 points separating me and 1st place at the final race. So I had to win the final race to win the series.

With a spectacular crash at the last corner, I thought all hopes were gone. But I must have pinned it up the top of the track and managed to win by 3 secs, which made me the QLD Elite Women DH State Champ.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Photo above: Just after the crash. Determined to win!


Kandanga DH

Kandanga DH QLD State Race

Tracey Hannah made an appearance this time. She took the win, with me in 2nd place and Lea in 3rd.


Photo above: Elite women podium


Toowoomba State Round


Toowoomba is a nice track, tricky and rocky in places, and fast and tight in others. Saturday was dry and the track was sandy in places. I had a few close calls in the sand nearly resulting in the first stack for the Mini dee (my new Commencal Supreme Mini Dh).

Saturday night it rained and rained and rained. We tried to find somewhere to eat and Sizzler (yep they still have them here in QLD!) had a line up outside! Apparently Jimmy Barnes was playing so most accommodation was booked out, so were places to eat. It continued to rain.

Sunday morning, the track was slippery and clayey. It started to tack up a bit when the sun peaked through the clouds. The competition was good in the Elite women's field. Although there were only 3 contenders for the crown, it was anyone's race.

Photo: Me through the rock garden.
There was the local girl, Sam who rides a bit ragged and loose, but that was perfect for the course which was dry and loose and sometimes rocky in the corners. Although only new to the DH scene she had the home track advantage.
Then there is Lea. She is a fast rider, gutsy and smooth. Lea has raced the track before and has been top of QLD DH scene in Elite women for a while. She tried to fix her bike a few nights before the race and lost the rebound in her rear shock. So she was riding an old short travel mongoose (sounds like it’s a disadvantage, but I actually think it was better suited to the track).

Then there was me. I like to think I am smooth and nimble on tighter courses and I tend to ride well in the wet. I have come up on top for the last 2 races against the other two girls. So, if it were horse racing, I'm not sure who the favourite would have been.

Photo: me near the bottom of the track.
In the qualifying run the course was wet but starting to become tacky in places. The local girl Sam, had a spectacular stack on the last corner over a double. Lea had a clean run. I got stuck in some soft dirt on a tricky corner for a bit, then pinned it down a rocky fast section and lost the front wheel somewhere and had Mini dees first crash. I’m not sure what happened but rider and bike where dis-attached from each other.

Race time came around and the heavy rain and then more rain meant the track was very very wet and slippery. The clay had lost any kind of grip that it had earlier. This would be by far the trickiest wet track I have raced on.
We all got stuck off the track on the same tricky corner and Lea had a crash on a steep rock/cement chute. Presentations were put on hold due to the weather so we weren’t really sure who won. Results were posted later in the week, and I found out I had won by 6 seconds, which was surprising for me.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Photo Above: Lea