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Autumn in Atlanta

25th October 2016

As I started writing this blog post I was standing in line, waiting to board my plane home from Halifax. A few weeks ago I was struggling with being away and felt like I needed a mental reset so I booked a flight home for this weekend. I spent two nights at home and I’m so glad that I did. I think it was just the thing I needed in preparation for Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals this coming weekend. To excel you have to take care of your body- fuel, hydrate, rest, stretch… etc. But you also have to take care of your mind and that might well be the hardest part. In fact, I know it is. However, here I am- I’ve been away, come home and now I’m heading back again feeling renewed. To see my parents, grandparents, brother and boyfriend again made the whole trip worth it. You all know how the relationship between siblings is, and Iain and I are a perfect example of it, we’re at each other’s throats most of the time, but when I came home after 2 months we actually managed to have some civil conversations. It’s the small things.. and then there’s the fact that I got to see Eti and it’s just a totally different thing being in a long distance relationship and then getting to see each other again. When someone really is your anchor, it’s unbelievable to come back together stronger than before.

I also got a ride in with Dad and Iain. It was chilly and windy, but the fall leaves made it a very scenic ride. I can’t remember the last time all three of us did that, but my coming home brought us together.

Moving on from my visit home- the next big focus was Nationals. I was really looking forward to it, and excited to race. I’ve done very well with the conference/regional races so far and now the pond AND fish are even bigger. I really am curious to see the course and the field- besides the fact that I’ve never been to Virginia before. That’s the other thing that makes everything so much more adventurous; all the places I’m going are new. Almost every time I leave SCAD, I see a new place.


Like this iconic peach…

I also won the Georgia Cross race that took place in Atlanta three weeks ago, so that was fun and I’m planning on doing the cross weekend in Savannah next week. Maybe even camping, who knows but it’s going to be fun. Hopefully I’ll do well and can bring home a few bucks since I’m certainly not making money anywhere else! Such is the life of a student athlete, if an immensely lucky one 🙂

Going home made me realize exactly how lucky I am. I have a team in Atlanta and one supporting me at home too.

What else? School… what I see and what I get to do thanks to being at an art school are very unique. I am surrounded by incredibly talented and hard working people- including my own team members. I’m learning some cool things about drawing and design as well as enjoying my speaking class. I get to write like I wanted to and then vocalize my ‘genius’.

SCAD, as a private university has very small classes- about the same as high school so I think that’s one thing I’m missing compared to friends at home. BUT, is that really something to be ‘missing out on’? Since the team travels most weekends I am generally not around campus on Fridays when most events are happening, but the college culture still seeps in, in other ways. Like trying to grab as much food from the caf to keep you going until the next time it’s open- forget clothes and grocery shopping, those are minor priorities! Thankfully, I haven’t had to do any all nighters yet and I plan to keep it that way.

I’m going to conclude this update with with a summary of Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships. (Fast forward a week from when I started this post) This weekend was full of wow moments. It was: wow look how immense these mountains are, wow look at the sky, wow it’s so windy, wow it’s raining, now it’s snowing, wow waking up to more snow, wow it’s muddy… wow it’s below zero and my derailleur has frozen. WOW, two podiums for me this weekend in the xc and team relay races! I’ll be returning to Atlanta with two National Championship bronze medals… not much to complain about there! Especially since it means that I won’t be starting at the back of the pack next year. I’ve earned my spot 🙂 Our chalet was beautiful, nice log-house-style with a view of the course and a hot tub! It was also great to have a kitchen again and team meals. I think this is my longest mountain bike season yet- having started in May but I’m ready to wind down and have fun with cross.


Snowshoe ski resort high in the mountains (1200m)


This is self-explanatory. What’s all over my bike (thou who shalt not be named) was the reason I had two mechanicals on Saturday in xc.


arr, I’m a muddy pirate. This was also my expression during all of my races.


Calm before the storm- preride. We look so clean!


My goal was the podium and that’s where I landed. Bronze this year and next year my aim will be ever higher!

Thank you to a wonderful support crew/team, this first quarter of school and racing from Atlanta has been really productive and enjoyable. I’ve been so many new places in the States that I would have never seen before. However, I am looking forward to going home in a month and seeing family again.

A big thank you goes out to the SCAD Cycling Team, Coach Namrita Kumar and sponsors- Castelli Cycling, Giro, Smith Optics, The Athletic, SWORD, BRASH Coffee and Peachtree Bikes.

I also proud to name and thank my own sponsors from back home who have gotten me to where I am today- Bontrager, Oakley, Cyclesmith and Bicycle Nova Scotia.

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!