Failed Goal = Lifestyle change

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Part One: The preparation

Sometimes it isn’t about the end goal. Sometimes it is about the work you put into it during journey. I am usually a fan of making hard but attainable goals, however, in 2013 I set a huge goal for myself that walked the line between attainable and unrealistic. I had been mountain biking for 2 years. I was consistently riding a few times a week during the year and even more during the summer months. I had done one race as part of a 6 person team at a 24 hour race. I was obsessed with mountain biking and I wanted to become better, so my husband (Jim) and I decided to sign up for the Cascade Creampuff (organized by our very own Michelle). For those of you that don’t know, that is 100 miles and almost 20,000 ft of climbing. Seems like a reasonable next step right?

Jim and I both knew that we were taking a big step, but we were fully committed. We signed up for early season races, started putting in mileage on the road bike and spending LONG days on the mountain bike. We became competitive with each other as we sought out longer, crazier routes in our local forest, the McDonald-Dunn. Our routes started to look like a toddler had taken a crayon to the map. It was fun and it was miserable.

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Route or crayon?

The first BIG task was the Test of Endurance 100k. The Test of Endurance had over 10,000 feet of climbing which included a rooty, steep climb up Mary’s peak on the North Ridge trail. This is a trail that any sane person only descends. I managed to survive the race. I didn’t make the best time and I came in last in Open Women, but I finished. I felt like I was limping to the finish line because my muscles were cramping like they had never cramped before, but I accomplished my first long race.

This is actually from last year, but the sentiment is pretty much the same.
This is actually from last year, but the sentiment is pretty much the same.

After that, the base miles continued. Longer rides, better nutrition and more electrolytes. A friend of ours shared her homemade “salty tang” sports drink recipe and it changed our lives. It banished cramping forever! We experimented with more “food water.” Eventually, the race day details started to come out. I knew I could do it with unlimited time, but I wouldn’t have unlimited time. I was worried, but I tried to hold on to the hope of finishing. I would tackle it with all my might.

A few days before the race I went out on a fun ride to relax. It was a beautiful day and I really needed it. After that much training, all I wanted to do was ride for fun. With only a few minutes of descending to the trailhead, I went down hard. I still have no idea what happened. I was “just riding along” and then I hit the trail with a scream. Nothing was broken, only an impressive bruise and some pretty good scrapes. Those scrapes would be my war paint for race day.

Read about race day in part two.


IMBA Trail Crew in Corvallis!

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Good news! As part of the local trail building craze that is happening in the Corvallis area, Team Dirt will be hosting the IMBA trail care crew. It is a great opportunity for land managers and/or the general public to get out, learn how to build sustainable trails, and then get their hands dirty building new trail in the McDonald Dunn. It is free to participate. The training on Friday, May 1st is geared towards land managers and Saturday, May 2nd is geared towards the general public. Pick your poison or do both! If you want to dig you have to attend the Saturday morning class.

Here is the link to register:

IMBA trail care crew registration


Team Dirt: Build it. Ride it!

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One of our local IMBA clubs, Team Dirt, is currently running a fundraiser for fancy new trail building equipment. We need it! Please check it out. Your donation (along with volunteer time) will help build new amazing trails in the Corvallis area.

Notice that when you donate, you can choose to put your favorite trail builder to work!

Donate here:

Build it, Ride it!


Adventure Report

Ridin’ and buildin’

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Epic lunch spots deserve nothing less than an avocado sandwich.

Rheannon and I rounded out our spring breaks with a nice balance of some all-day epic trails at Oakridge, followed by an early morning OSU trail build day out at Vineyard Mountain. (It makes me wonder – what would be the third addition to make this weekend a mountain biking trifecta?)

Jim and Rheannon’s good omen en route to OROR.

Since Rheannon is training for the Cream Puff, she, Jim and a couple of friends decided to get up early and eschew Oakridge’s friendly bike shuttle to make the 3,500 feet climb up road 1910, where the rest of our group met them at Kate’s Cut-in. The road climbing crew arrived with smiles on their faces and we had a blast riding ATCA – Upper Alpine, Tire Mountain, Cloverpatch, then lower Alpine.

Five minutes into my first descent on Alpine I thought to myself, “Why haven’t I ridden this before???? Like, a LOT of times????” I had a perma smile pasted on my face that propelled me through the tough climbs (and seemingly endless switchbacks at places). Thankfully our crew knew how to infuse some leisure into a long day – it was the perfect mix of shredding, climbing, snacking, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Perfect ‘lunch on the ridge’ weather

After falling face first into a table full of tacos Saturday night at Eugene’s Tacovore and getting a good night’s sleep, Rheannon, JIm and I headed out to Lewisburg Saddle Saturday morning for an OSU trail building work party. The college is taking out the unauthorized Tower (Antenna) Trail and digging the new Vineyard Mountain Trail corridor that will connect the top of Vineyard Mountain with the Saddle.

We were there the whole time, yet new trails always appear almost magically!

We were happy to help break ground on this new project, and I’m pretty excited about all the new trails that volunteer coordinator Matt McPharlin said the college has in store – a Horse-Saddle connector plus an overhaul of the High-Low trail that will connect Peavy with the Saddle. It’s gonna be great when we can leave from the Saddle and hit more single track without so much gravel grinding!

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A great view on the new trail!

What a great weekend – and it’s only going to get better! We’re looking forward to more trail stewardship and definitely getting out to Oakridge more this season (especially since that is Rheannon’s training grounds for the Cream Puff!)

Adventure Report

March Bend Adventures

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IMG_3772  There is nothing that describes a good time like hanging out with your buddies around a campfire roasting weenies and smores. Chatting about the way you bombed into that slick berm, and railing it like a moto rig with a two wheel drift.. or the way you didn’t quite hit the drop with enough speed which resulted in bars to your chest and a face full of dirt at least in my case..


Traveling out to Bend, Oregon has become a winter & spring weekend destination for us. The dirt soaks up so much moisture that by the time the rain hits the ground, to railing berms, the dirt is pristine. Soft but not too soft, tacky but not enough to cling onto your tire, and loose where you want it to be.

We started out Saturday morning, after a hot roast of campfire coffee, some eggs and sausage we made the ascend up Storm King in the Deschutes National Forest. The dirt was so perfect calling it “Hero Dirt “ wouldn’t have done it injustice. From Storm King we worked over to Funner and no wonder why they call it that. It was flowy, technical and had some pretty good rock drops. One that I decided to go a bit front heavy on and dropped myself onto the forgiving dirt. Mouth & eyes full of dirt and with a couple of bruises later I was still begging for more descent down this trail.

Ariel climbing up the trail

After some well deserved lunch and refreshments we met up at the top of Wanoga snow park lot and headed up Tiddlywinks. We worked through patches of snow, ice and down trees at first then rounded off to the top of the trail leaving the beautiful sights of Mt. Bachelor behind us. Through the trees and around rocks and logs we made it to the best part of the trail, the descend part (in my opinion).

IMG_3713 (more…)

Gear Review

Shredly is here!

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This little package arrived in the mail yesterday!

Super excited to be sporting Shredly jerseys this year. Next step is getting them printed. Stay posted for a full review of the Shredly gear. My first impression is that these are the most comfortable MTB shorts I have ever tried on.
For those of you that don’t know. Shredly is MTB/outdoor gear designed by and for Women and made in the US. Check it out.


Spring Fling Volunteer Day

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As part as our “will work to race” policy, Soso and I volunteered to help out at the Spring Fling trail run that is put on by our favorite Corvallis area race promoter. We woke up at 5 am, drank a lot of coffee and made our way to Alsea Falls. It was still VERY dark out as we prepared ourselves for the day. We helped with set up and spent the first few hours registering runners for either the half marathon, 10k or 5k distances that were available. I was very impressed with the brave runners who turned out for a very muddy, very wet run! We felt nice and snug hiding under the registration booth while the rain came down. Eventually though, we had to leave the comfort of fresh baked blueberry muffins and ventured out to sweep the half marathon course. We chased after them with the 10k hot on our heels. However, it didn’t take long for us to catch the tail end of our group. We then went into hiding mode. We didn’t want to put pressure on the amazing woman who was rocking out her first ever half marathon. She didn’t pick an easy one!

IMG_1342Our best attempts at hiding

IMG_1339 We did occasionally sneak out of hiding to share some food and encouragement. Nothing like gels, goos and water to keep a person going! We fueled ourselves with some avocado sandwiches and pushed ourselves up the nasty backside Alsea climb. We stopped to break down the top aid station and gave ourselves plenty of space to enjoy a very wet decent down a few of the mountain biker built trails that were on the course. After that we continued pulling down trail markings and practicing our track stands as we made the way back down to the finish. All and all it was a great experience and we were able help a few runners stay on course. We will certainly be back to help again!



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Hello All and Welcome!

We are a new Women’s mountain biking team based in the Willamette Valley. We are just getting started, so please be patient as we get this blog up and running. We hope to provide new opportunities for the Women’s mountain biking community and to encourage new riders.  We also hope to have a lot of fun in the process!  Please check back with us soon and we hope to see you on the trail!