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Australian National Mountainbiking

Toowoomba Nationals 2016

After this weeks debacle of events, it was touch and go whether we would make it to the race. Thankfully the Gastro bugs stayed away.

We did everything we could to make it happen. We managed to borrow my Mums car (thanks Mum!) and somehow squeezed my bike into the back. The forks hung over one child’s head, and the handlebars over another.

Baby Z woke at 1am for a breastfeed and again at 4am ready to start the day.

Today will be sleep deprived racing at its greatest.

I tried and tried to get him back to sleep but it was futile.

In my pre kids life at a Nationals race, my bike and gear would be super organised and I would be in the right mind set to race. But this time around I was just hoping to pack matching gloves and water.

The morning was spent packing three lunch boxes full of tasty goods to make sure the kids were happy on the almost 2 hour drive to the race.
Photo: Lunchboxes all sorted.Yes, I know who likes the triangles and who doesn’t

As for my own nutrition, I made sure I had a banana for before the race and some protein for after the race, and my water.

While getting everything ready to pack into the car, Baby Z managed to fall out of the car onto his head and he got a big lump. Ice packs needed, and one cranky baby loaded into the car. After numerous discussions between Master F and Miss T about who brought which toy, we were finally off.

Photo: Bumped head

Photo: Finally on route to the race

We made it to the track and I really wanted to ride half of the course. I seem to do much better in races when I have warmed up on the track. But unfortunately I couldn’t get onto the race track because there was a race on. Luckily I had ridden it the day before!

My mind was distracted over the multiple cries of ‘Mummy!’ ‘Mummy!’. It is hard to focus. I made sure I drank some water and nibbled some food.

Although I was racing Cross Country, the butterflies from my prior downhill racing days were back. I think it was because I could see the downhillers doing runs, and I knew how they were feeling.

After giving the kids more food, and drinks, I was off to do a short 10 minute warm up before the race start. I kept bumping into some of my old downhill racing buddies. So my warm up was not too good and soon it was time for the race start.

Lining up with top names like Rebecca Henderson, Imogen Smith, Anna Beck, Jodie Willet is pretty cool. Even though I was racing in Veterans (which I found out is now called Masters!! ), it was nice to be amongst the Elite.

The gun went off and we were off up a fire road then onto single track. I pushed hard to try get a good position into the single track. The passing opportunities were limited on the track, so it was best to get a good position early.
Photo: The race start. I am in there at the back.

The Toowoomba track is fun!! I enjoy technical uphill. I am much better at it than long grinds. The downhills were super fun, and left me smiling. I loved going past the kids each lap and hearing them call out ‘Go MUMMY!’.

I managed to overtake a few people as I went around. Which is always a good confident boost.

I knew there was a girl in my class in front of me and one right behind me. I pedalled hard to try catch the leader on the climbs and stayed off the brakes on the downhills. I could see her, but just couldn’t quite catch her.

I came through in 2nd place, 11 seconds behind the winner. Stoked with my race as I kept positive and had my angry face on.

After the race Master F asked me innocently ‘Why didn’t you go faster so you could get the gold medal Mummy?’

I tried baby, I tried!

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Hoping gastro has a 3 day incubation period…. Aussie Nationals T-Bar!

Here’s hoping that gastro has a 3 day incubation period, not 2. …. Aussie Nationals T-Bar!

The next round of the Australian National Mountain Bike Series is on this weekend at Toowoomba (or T-bar).

I’ve entered in the Cross Country race, which is on Saturday. I’ve never ridden the XC tracks there before, so am excited to have a crack.

Gastro Baby

But, on Wednesday night, baby Z started vomiting at 1am. After a change of sheets and clothes, he went back to sleep. Only to do it again at 4am, then again at 6am.. You get the gist.

By Friday he was fine. So, if gastro has a 3 day incubation period, then I should get it on Saturday night. Which is great as it means I can still race on Saturday!. But if it hits me on Friday night, then it will be all over.

Today I had the chance to pre-ride the track. Thanks to my mum for looking after Baby Z and Miss T!!

I organised the three kids to get the eldest to school and the other two to my mums. I could smell poo…. I figured it was baby Z needing a nappy change. Yep he sure did. But it had actually exploded out his nappy and onto my top and onto my pants. Awesome. Then it went all over the floor… So I had to clean all that up before I even got out the house for the 2 hour ride to the track. Exhausting…

The track is awesome. Some tricky uphill sections, with fast fun downhills.

Car Troubles

Along with the gastro baby, we also have problems with our cars. Yes that’s right, both of our cars.!

Our 4WD has a broken accelerator. Apparently something has snapped and it means you can’t push the pedal properly as it just hits the floor. So it means a slow and sluggish drive. It will cost $600 to fix it and they have to send it away somewhere. ARGH. So todays 2 hour drive was painful and my leg is sore from pushing so hard on the accelerator.

The other car also has problems. But I can’t fit my bike in there easily anyway. Plus the back seat smells like spew and it looks like this:
No cover on the car seat. Means no baby can sit in it until the cover is clean and dry.

So, stay tuned to see how I fair tonight and tomorrow for 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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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




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



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.




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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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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Australian Nationals Series

The last round of the Australian National Series was held on the weekend at Stromlo, Canberra. I didn’t get to go to the race, but found out yesterday that I came 3rd overall in the 4X series. Next season I hope to get to a few more races and do one better than that. :) Monday, 15 March 2010


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Race Cancelled !

I was all booked and ready to go to the first 2 rounds of the 4x nationals are being held in Sydney. The races were being held in conjunction with a xsportgames event. Unfortunately the entire event was cancelled due to some legal issues. Im pretty bummed about it being cancelled. I’d already started to pack and prepare for the ‘big’ weekend away with bike and baby. Im not sure when the next one will be. They havent released the dates yet. More time to train and get super fit though!
Thursday, 11 November 2010


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Round 3 and 4 - 4X Nationals

Round 3 and 4 - 4X Nationals

The final two rounds of the Nationals 4X were held at Toowoomba showgrounds.

The track was quite fun, and I wish I had more time prior to the event to practise the track. Lately I have been playing it safe at races and dont hit the bigger jumps as I dont want to injure myself for the race! But if I went there prior to the race I could practise things in my own time. Anyway, the weather was great and track very fast and in perfect condition.

Round 3 was held on the Saturday. I came 2nd in one heat and 3rd in the other 2. Finishing the race with a 3rd place in the final.

Round 4 was held the next day and I came 2nd in two heats and 3rd in one, then 3rd place in the final. I finished the season in 3rd overall for Elite Women 4X.

Pretty happy with coming 3rd in Australia with a 8 month old baby. Thanks to Tony, Felix and Team Banshee for their support.

Photo Below: Spraying champagne all over everyone. I like that part.

Photo Below: After the race


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Australian National Champs

We are all packed and ready to go! Tried to pack as light as I could. Travelling with a baby plus bike makes it hard to keep under the 23kg limit applied by Qantas. I am really hoping my bike bag comes in under the 23kg so then I dont have to pay extra. I just realised that my Silver Frequent Flyer status must have expired meaning I am now back to Bronze. Silver you get 32kg allowance. Bronze only 23kg.

We have a car seat, baby bumbo seat, portacot, massive gear bag with full face, armour, riding kit stuffed in there. Plus nappies, wipes and little bowls with suction bottoms. The cat is about to be taken to the cattery for the week and the Boy is currently sleeping - giving me time to quickly post this update. I am excited to race and my bike is finally race ready.

Had a few hiccups with the brakes not working properly. They were stuck on full time. Then i got them fixed, and then they wouldnt go ‘on’. So a fresh set of pads and another $70 later and it should be perfect to race on Thursday.

I am nervous about racing because its been over a year.... Im hoping it all comes back to me and I can get that competitive edge back. Numbers are down for 4X, so that should mean there is less pressure. But Im hoping it is still fun and there is some good competition and racing heats.


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Australian National Champs Race

Australian National Champs Race

We arrived safely in Adelaide with Bike and Baby stuff. No problems with excess baggage so that was good. This was my first race back since having a baby and also since Dec 2009. So its been a long time! Im not feeling too fit, but entered the race with the aim to get back into it, have fun and see friends.

4X is not my preferred discipline. I rather DH or XC, but 4X seemed the easiest of the 3 to race in while looking after a 7 month old. Tony my husband was there to keep the little man looked after while I was racing, but because I am still breastfeeding so I need to be close by.

It was hot and dry up at Eagle Mountainbike Park. I had not ridden the 4x track before and it looked quite tricky in places. As soon as you are out the gate there is a rock drop then a gap jump over nasty looking jagged rocks into a berm. Practice went ok, and I was comfortable with clearing the rock gap jump on the first straight. There were 5 different lines you could choose from, with the Gate 1 line having the largest rocks to jump over, and Gate 4 the smallest. I was comfortable with all the lines except one. I had a decent crash on the one straight out of Gate 2. I think I clipped my front wheel on a slippery rock which sent me over the bars. I got some good bruises and thankfully didnt break anything.

Gate starts are getting better, but sometimes I cant clip my feet into my pedals. Something I need to work on. Race Day: Practise at the track started at 8:30am. Seeding at 4:30pm then racing at 7:30pm. So a very long day out on the hill. Especially for a baby... I seeded in 3rd place which meant I had a choice between 2 gates in the final. This was good because it meant I didnt have to choose Gate 4 which sent you straight into the outside line of a berm. A very slow line. Sarsha seeded in 1st place, so got 1st choice. After a bit of indecision, she chose Gate 2. Indi chose Gate 3. I was happy with this because it means Gate 1 was mine. It had the largest rocks to gap, but was the fastest line. Felix was pretty cranky by the time the finals came around. I could see Tony and him on the sidelines in the heat struggling. So I had extra things to worry about. I was completely over the race by the time finals came around. It had taken too long and my little man needed feeding!

Because the Elite Women had seeding rather than Motos, it meant that I had no practise riding with anyone else in the gate with me! So this was a big downfall I was not confident with storming out the gate and over the rocks with 3 other girls. This showed in the final. I failed to clip one foot in, and was very slow out the gate. Everyone says I gave them all a 20m head start. Whoops. I came out the gate in 4th place, then managed to get into 3rd on the first corner. Then one of the girls nudged me out the way on the 2nd corner. But I got her again on a rock jump, when she went around it. With a sprint to the finish, I nearly got 2nd, but had to settle for 3rd.

I was happy that I raced and competed, but not happy with the ‘way’ I raced. Lack of preparation, practice and sleep! Hard to give 100% on the little sleep and energy that I had. Next Nationals race is at Toowoomba in March. I will aim to be a bit more positive by then!

Here is a link to the highlights footage.:

Photo Below: Me racing in the 4X Finals.

Photo Below: Pump track racing.

Photo Below: Podium in 3rd Place


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