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Student-Athlete

Goodbye Nova Scotia

23rd August 2016

Let me start off by saying that as a general summarization of this season- I am extremely happy. The most important thing I gained from this year was not only the knowledge that I now have one more year of serious racing experience in, but that I can compete at an elite level. This makes me more motivated than ever and hopeful for the next year. I know what I can do now and I know that I can do even more. Unlucky races are wicked for teaching you that… though tough to swallow at the time.

The countdown has started, there were approximately two weeks before I fly down when I started writing this post and now there is one full day. I’ll take both my cyclocross and mountain bike on the plane with me as well as my regular luggage, so if you see anyone at the airport thursday morning fumbling with bike boxes- it’s probably me. This year’s race machine- the Trek Superfly 9.7 has served me very well. I feel more confident and more technically skilled than ever, being on that bike- huge thank you to Andrew and Cyclesmith again for that and all the support.

After Nats I came home for some much needed rest and recovery, in order for me to feel fresh and prepared for the varsity season in Atlanta. I tried my hand at some surfing, went kayaking, rock climbing and spent plenty of time in the water. I also made sure to catch up with friends and family since I’d been away so much while I took 2 weeks to recharge. It did me a world of good. I’ve had a couple amazing rides since then and while I really appreciated the break, after a few days of doing nothing I really wanted to get back out there. There are a few witnesses who can attest that I was literally bouncing off the walls. I was like ” All I want to do is go mountain biking, take me to a trail PLEASE!”

So for now it’s back to base training with a few wake up intervals interspersed, but mainly trying to maintain the fitness that I already have. I’m excited to meet the team at SCAD and get settled in, but I’m not thinking about it constantly. People keep saying that I must be so excited, but really I just feel like I have no idea what’s going to hit me.

Of course going away to school brings up a variety of emotions, just like with everyone else who does. The only thing is that none of my friends are moving quite so far away, but neither are so many people getting the chance to do exactly what they want in a varsity format. I really can’t believe this is happening and that I get to race for school. I’ll miss my friends and family, including my amazingly supportive boyfriend- Ethienne, but I’m exactly where I want to be. As I remember saying to dad recently: this is the most forward path I can take!

New coach, new team, new courses to see and moving to another country all at once… If this isn’t throwing myself in the deep end I don’t know what is. Good thing I have a team of great supporters waiting for me at home. Really, the cheering and encouragement makes all the difference. I wouldn’t be able to pursue this path if it weren’t for being surrounded by so many amazing people. Dad- you’re still my number one even if I’m not giving you a heart attack doing hill repeats together and exploring dirt roads because really, although I’d much rather have a plan than ‘fartlek’, there’s no one else I’d rather do it with.

Oh yeah, and the actually school part… I am extremely grateful for the opportunity SCAD has given me and will continue to do my best in school and training as I do with everything else in my life. Who knew I’d be going to art school? But I’m sure anyone reading this can tell that I do really enjoy writing, so how fitting it is that I’ll be doing a BA majoring in the subject.

So that’s my spiel on moving away, I will be home every so often, but most of the NS cycling community will see me a lot less now. All I can say is that you’re all part of the reason I am where I am today and played a part in cultivating my love of the sport. That’s pretty cool, so thank you everyone and I’ll keep you updated. Also huge thank you to BNS this year for providing funding so I could race the Canada Cups without worrying too much about emptying my bank account. Now I am looking forward to see what my partnership with SCAD will lead me to and how I can make everyone proud.

Here’s a few photos since I’ve been slacking on social media these days. These are snapshots from the past month or so.

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Nats post race “heh” grin

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Bike paths are a cyclist’s best friend

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Happy about seeing cycling infrastructure again, this bridge is built right beside the road as a part of the bike path. I’m sure it’s helpful for pedestrians too but I was seriously amazed there was a whole other bridge for us! #Dolbeau-Mistassini

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post race ‘omg’  (St. Felicien)

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so many beautiful views

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motel on the road home, little sketchy…

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At PitaPit waiting for my highly anticipated gluten-free wrap. My shirt says “Jeff’s Old Volks Home” -this is the super garage that makes sure our Volkswagens could take my bike and I across the country several times!

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‘one said Volkswagen’ in Gore, NS for the Gorefest 6h endurance race. Race takes place on a farm, hello corn!

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Pit stop from the ride on Saturday with dad and Mr. Scallion in the blueberry fields. Yes, I ate quite a few. Solid 1000m elevation. Wentworth exploration is always fun, especially with two trail dogs!

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Wentworth: The Lookoff

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“When your shifter cable is broken and you’ve had enough of riding in the second biggest gear on a long ride. ” You stop at the beach waiting for pickup. @Lawrencetown

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Bike path bridge @Dolbeau-Mistassini where we also crashed at the Nadeau household for the week leading up to Nats. Big, big shoutout 🙂

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“Flying down the railbed on a sunny day means I’m so happy with myself I have to take a no handed selfie” So well in fact that I didn’t even crash afterwards.

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Here’s the kicker…I usually ride to the beach even if my bike is intact. That’s one thing I’ll miss about the shore- I don’t think Atlanta has a beach every 10km. This is Ostrea Lake.

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I don’t actually spend ALL my time on a bike, some I spend on the beach…or IN the beach…

Goodbye Nova Scotia, I'll see you in a few months.

Goodbye Nova Scotia, I’ll see you in a few months.

I am an aspiring athlete looking to make my mark on the mountain biking world. I love racing and training with my teammates, and I am looking for new ways to be faster and stronger- the fun is always in a good race!