Adventure. Travel. Race.
There's something special about racing at home: backyard trails, known traction, familiar faces, waking up in your own bed, and a garage full of spares ... thank you, Cascadia Dirt Cup! This last weekend was our first two stateside races after EWS 1 & 2 in South America, and let me just say it was nice to have our introduction to stateside racing be at home.
We were blessed with rain the days leading up to the event, making for perfectly tacky trails -- a refreshing change from the typical dust ball-bearings that we are so accustomed to seeing at the beginning of each and every summer.
Photo: Colin Meagher
Each day was a separate race, hence the name, CDC Duex-Duro. Unlike most CDC races, the event was one large climb, followed by multiple descending stages, totaling about 20 miles and 4,600 ft of climbing a day.
Day one had us climb from the bottom, and routed us down Upper Dirtsurfer to the creek (Stage 1), from the peak after the creek to the bottom of Dirtsurfer (Stage 2), Hidden through 130 (Stage 3), and Bad Motor Scooter, GP and Toilet Bowl (Stage 4). Day 2 climbed us from the bottom once again, up to the Top of the World to then descend through the Baby-Heads, Hidden and Borderline (Stage 1), across to Antoine's (Stage 2), Mitchell Ridge (Stage 3), and Kleeway (Stage 4), one of my favorite jump-line trails named in honor of HRATS legend, Matt Klee, and the home-base for hecklers for this year's race.
Both Saturday and Sunday, Nick and I managed to take the win -- (even though Nick had a busted derailliuer and only three gears!)! T'was a great weekend to be a Hardin!
Cheers to the Cascadia Dirt Cup to giving back $8,000.00 to our local trail alliance!
Click the link below for Pinkbike coverage of the event: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/cascadia-dirt-cup-deux-duro-hood-river-or--race-report-2016.html
Photo: Colin Meagher
Photo: Colin Meagher
It's not every day, you get to stand on the top box of the podium with your husband... <3
You are what you eat!
As athletes, it is vital for us to ensure we are eating CLEAN in order to reduce the amount of overall inflammation in our bodies, and ensure we are getting the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals our bodies need to perform and recover quickly.
Our rule of thumb is to consume as few processed foods, refined sugars, flavorings and preservatives as possible. We eat according to an "Anti-inflammatory Diet", and do our best to keep our intake of "inflammatory foods" low: dairy, gluten, red meat, caffeine, etc. Instead, we eat a healthy portion of fruits and veggies daily -- the more fibrous the better! Fruits and vegetables provide a plethora of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, giving our bodies what they need to perform at their best, and recover quickly!
Why an anti-inflammatory diet? While the inflammatory process is an important part of healing, persistent inflammation damages the body and causes illness. Inflammation may be caused by: exposure to toxins, genetics, stress, lack of exercise and, the less commonly known: FOOD! By reducing the amount of inflammation in your body, you improve your overall health, increase longevity and prevent disease. You will not only feel stronger, you will perform better.
When choosing your fruits and veggies, it's important to be mindful of their source. If you're aiming to reduce inflammation but you're eating produce with exposure to chemical pesticides, you're kind of defeating the purpose. Look for locally grown, ORGANIC produce, particularly for "The Dirty Dozen" (see below).
But Why Hood River Organic?
Hood River Organic is based in Hood River, Oregon, and provides weekly (or bi-weekly) CSA delivery of locally grown fruits, vegetables and local add-ons to Hood River, The Dalles, White Salmon, Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Vancouver, Bend, and Seattle. If you care about your body, and believe in the mantra, "You are what you eat", do yourself a favor and choose Hood River Organic.
Customizable: Each CSA Box is customizable, weekly. We decide how many of each fruit and vegetable, and choose fun local add-ons, such as: Ten Speed Coffee, Cascade Creamery Cheese, NuCulture Cashew Dip, Portland Ketchup, Blue Bus Kraut, Columbia Gorge Organic Juices, Nuts and more... It's like grocery shopping online!
Accessible: Home delivery and pick-up options.... almost too easy!
Locally Grown: Support your local economy! Grown in the PNW, we are provided with year-round quality, organic produce.
Environmentally-Sustainable produce: Hood River Organic uses natural pesticides, and traditional fertilizer. Chemical pesticide-free food means less inflammation!
Pay as you go, and Delivery Hold: Going on vacation? No problem... put your box on hold!
Exposure to produce: It's not uncommon for us to get a fruit or vegetable in our box that we've never tried before. Or one that we wouldn't have purchased that particular week at the store. We are forced to think "outside the box" to use that ingredient, which exposes us to new recipes, and gets us out of that recipe rut! Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins, Homemade Kimchi, Spring rolls/wraps, fresh-made juices!
USDA Organic certified
Oregon Tilth certified
Good, quality produce
Hood River Organic saves us time, and makes grocery shopping easy. We simply customize our box, and pick it up every Wednesday at KickStand Coffee & Kitchen. We know what we're getting, and can plan the rest of our meals around the produce. Fruits and vegetables are of the highest quality, and most importantly, grown locally, organic, and environmentally-sustainable. We can feel good about supporting our local economy, while eating healthily, and improving our athletic performance.
Get involved and sign up today! Sign up for a single box today and get 25% off your first box. Just head over to the store, enter the code FB25% in the coupon code, and get 25% off your first box.
Follow me on Facebook for weekly delicious, easy-to-make recipes using ingredients from our Hood River Organic CSA Box!
Kim and Nick Hardin
When you fly with your bike, you're flying with one of your most prized possessions. You don't know who is going to be handling your bike, nor how many times it may be dropped off the baggage cart. Bikes need serious protection when in the big tin bird, and Dakine has you covered.
The bag itself is 51 x 30 x 12.5 in, made of a tough Nylon fabric, and EPA Foam, and folds in half for storage. It fits road, mountain and DH bikes -- both 27.5" and 29". While most bags have one handle, wheels and sit vertically (EVOC, etc), Dakine has two handles, wheels and sits horizontally. This makes for easier one-handed bag-driving, as well as greater stability as your taking tight turns throughout the airport. Not to mention, it's easier to drag it over rough terrain: gravel, grass, etc.
While most bike bags only have room for your bike and a few odds and ends, I'm able to fit everything but the kitchen sink (full face & half-shell helmets, pack, spare parts, sleeping bag and pad + much more), and still keep it under 70lbs (overweight limit for most airlines).
First, remove your front wheel, and put it into the handy wheel-sleeve provided with the bag, rotors in the fancy foam surround. You may choose to take your rotors off. Put the wheel sleeve in the bike bag, velcro-ed into position.
Second: Put your fork in the provided sleeve, take your bars off, and slip the rear end of your bike into the provided sleeve. Then, slip your bike into the bike bag, and affix your bars to your frame.
1. Lower your seat completely.
2. Take off your rear derailliuer, and zip-tie it between your rear chainstays for protection.
3. Put "chocks" between your pads on F & R Brake Calipers to avoid the need for a brake bleed upon arrival.
4. Deflate your tires slightly to give a little more room when packing.
5. No need to take the air our of your fork or shock.
Third: Put your rear wheel in the other wheel-sleeve provided, and place it in the bag, sandwiching the frame between wheels. Secure the straps, and pack your helmet, bag, and spare parts around the frame. Once packed, items are secure, and don't shift around.
VOILA! You're bike is ready for take-off!
All in all, the Dakine bag provides great bike protection for travelers, and is quick to pack, as well as stable and maneuverable at the airport. If you're looking for the best in protection and storage, Dakine's new bike bag is worth a look!
Stage 3, Argentina (Photo Sven Martin)
EWS Round 2 was a battle. It was challenging, it was hard, it was terrifying. At first, riding waist deep ruts full of sand was frustrating, and seemed impossible. As Sarah Leishman puts it, "I think the key thing that separated the fast riders from those of us who flailed all weekend was a willingness to embrace the chaos and the wildness of the riding and enjoy it." Eventually, with some serious pep talk, and a whole lot of creativity, it became fun, as riders right and left were slashing brown pow, and I learned riding sandy ruts was possible.
EWS Round 2 took place at Cerro Cathedral, one of Argentina's premiere ski resorts located just outside of Bariloche, Argentina. Bariloche is a town of german influence, located on the Southern shores of Lake Nahuel Haupi, with a well known chocolate manufacturing industry, as evidenced by it's "Chocolate Mall" that we became so intimately familiar with. The Enduro World Series did us a favor when the chose Bariloche: cheap eats of huge portions of steak tenderloin and french fries, lots of french fries. Don't forget about the empanadas...
Practice started early with shuttles on Stage 2 -- a rocky start, some tight, loose turns, and some deep, sandy turns in the flat -- I quickly learned that riding in Argentina required very little to no front brake, and whole lot of creativity. Six total stages were split 50/50 between the bike park proper, giving us the opportunity to use the gondola to re-coup our legs after our big weekend in Chile the week prior.
Dropping into Stage 2 high above Lago Gutierrez (Photo: Nick Hardin)
Looking down on the start of Stage 3
Pedaling through the woods on Stage 1 (Photo: Sven Martin)
The race weekend came and went as I chose to ride conservatively, and keep it rubber side down. Argentina was a true learning experience for me, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity once again ride alongside the fastest ladies in the world. After two days of sandy ruts, I placed 15th, First American Girl.
Special thanks to Yeti, Chris King, Easton, FOX, Race Face, Smith Optics, Dakine, Kate's Real Food, Hood River Organic, Vim & Vigr for a great start to the season!