One thing is for sure and that is Matt Domarski and his family definitely know how to organize a race with a friendly, family atmosphere.  He rocks just like his technical awesome course.  This I'm sure has something to do with the race getting more and more popular every year because I couldn't find a parking spot in my little Prius anywhere.  I had to park in the woods.    It was great to be back racing Root 66 race series. There is a lot of familiar faces around and it just feels so at home. Seeing all of the kids proudly riding their bikes is nice to see since they are the future of our sport. water softener reviews

  We had a crummy week of rainy weather and it was a nice surprise to have sun on race day. I was pumped to race, not hiding the fact that there is always a great cash prize for the winner. Domarski Farm is one of not to many races where men and women are treated equally and it's highly appreciated.  Most races have less of a payout to the women.  Every little bit helps in this sport.     So the gun went off and we started the race and usually I'm not a big fan of fast starts where you push yourself way beyond normal limits but today was ok and I felt good.   Just when I started getting into my rhythm, relaxed a little and being glad to be out there I hear a little "ppssss" and then I knew I was in trouble.  Crap I just got a flat tire.  So I tried staying focused on changing it I realized that my super light "racing" tube is not that easy to work with, so I had some trouble with it...real PRO :( I was good to go and even it felt like an hour went by I still had lots of hopes!  I jumped on my bike trying to make up time . I started going fast around a sharp corner and I heard that annoying "psssst" again....?! I couldn't believe that! So this is it... Had to walk over an hour back to the venue. That completely sucked! My favorite race and I couldn't even ride the whole loop :( 
Have to wait till next year! 

  I took my time getting home and stopped in Hotchkiss Mobile Shop. www.artmobiles.com   I love their art and spent over an hour talking to the owners and admiring their unique work.  We have some of their things at home but I just love to look for more :)  Sandra gave me some good ideas along with a coffee and dessert.  I could of spent all day there.  Check it out next time your passing thru West Stockbridge Mass. 

I also got spoiled by Rachel's deserts that evening... I really treated myself that day:) Thanks Rach!

  My favorite racing partner - Mike, passed on the trip. He is desperately taking some time off the bike and trying to heal his damaged ankle after the crash on the group ride. I feel very sorry for him because he worked really hard through the winter and is anxious to race again.  Also its nice to have someone to train with and help with motivation.Looking forward to my next race. Hopefully I used all of my bad luck for this year! Enough is enough! 

Thanks for reading!
 Have fun on the bike :) 
Aleks
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I wasn't the only one who flatted ...

 
 
 Thank you very much to everyone for coming to the 2nd Blue Sky Bicycle MTB clinic! And thanks for making it a success with tons of laughs and free instagram followers smiles!!!  What a great group of women that made me feel so relaxed and comfortable. I was really proud of everyone and look forward to working with everyone again soon.

  It's awesome to see women encouraging other women. Can't wait for June 12th and our ride at SMBA! Hope you all will be there! Thanks to Jen and Blue Sky Bicycles Shop for doing such a good job at promoting these clinics and women's mountain biking! Thanks to Stan's No Tubes for providing No Tube's samples for everyone.

Have fun on the bike,
 See you soon,
 Aleks
 
 
Just a quick reminder about Blue Sky Bicycles MTB Women's clinics! It's free to attend and we are planning to have lots of fun and get in a nice midweek ride ! I checked the conditions at  Luther Forrest today and even with all the rain we had , it's great out there! I also have a surprise from Stan's NO TUBES for everyone!!! 

05/31 -  Beginner Women's Clinic  5:30 pm :  Ride at LutherForest. This is for everyone! We would love to share a fun riding experience in the woods on nice easy trails. We will practice our turns, going over small obstacles and small hill climbing. Trails are a lot of fun and they are great for every level. I want to encourage you to relax on your bike and enjoy nature. We meet at Bluesky at 5:30 pm and drive (let us know if you need a ride) over to Luther Forest which is located off of exit 12 on the Northway in the town of Malta. Anyone that just wants to meet there can do so at 5:45pm. We meet at the TRAILHEAD Parking. 

See ya all there:)
 Aleks
 
 
    Back in Canada and another weekend of great racing and cool people.  Baie-Saint-Paul is definitely my favorite course. Lots of single track , rocks, roots and sharp fun turns. The trail builders changed some things this year and the course was better then ever. Very similar to our local trails with alot of places to pass.  The loop is pretty short and makes spectating perfect with being able to see the race 5 or 6 times per lap.   And like every year George the
promoter always makes us feel right at home.  He is genuinely interested in how we are doing and what we think about our trips to Canada.

    So we set off for the trip friday night with a pitstop right out of Montreal because it was raining so hard we could barely stay on the road.  Funny that the first hotel we pull into was one we stayed at a few years back for the Bromont Canada Cup.  The stay was nice and gave us some good rest for the morning trip up to Quebec which bad
construction traffic added a couple more hours to the trip.  We arrived around 1pm, pre rode, and did the usual.  Hotel, dinner, nervous time wasting and bedtime.  The next day was more time wasting until racetime.  Unfortunately I didn't notice my rim was dented really bad.  Mike was nice enought to swap wheels with me so I was good to go.  He had to run a tube but still wasn't sure if he was racing since his HUGE ankle was still swollen and sore. The doctor thinks there is some ligament damage but no way to tell until he gets an MRI.  He ended up starting but dropped out after a few minutes of sharp pain.  A week of rest might be what he needs to get the swelling
down.  It was a real bummer since I know this is his favorite race of the year.

       My race went similar to last week with a few more top girls showing up this time around.  Allison Mann from California and Amanda Sin from Canada were just a couple of the new additions from Tremblant.  We had a really
fast dusty start and the trouble began.  I have a hard time with the starts and this was no exception.  My first two laps were not the fastest but I turned it on for the second half and passed a few girls finishing in eighth place.  Unlike other races they payout 10 deep for the women so it was nice to be rewarded for a hard day.  I learned a
lesson in this race and that was to be patient, don't get frustrated and hang in there.  I have always been faster in the second half so my work now is to become better at the beginning.  
   
      Our racing companion, Bryna also had some trouble on the start but finished a strong 17th. I think she has been on every one of our Canadian excursions.  We love Bryna's humor and knowledge of reality TV.  I know she is already thinking about next year.

  Beside the results and all mechanical issues we had , it was an amazing weekend. The race promotor - George said goodbye with a big hug and made us promise to come again. I loved the atmosphere and the scenery in Baie Ste Paul is incredible.  Even if your not into cycling it would make a great vocation place.

And no I didn't get any speeding tickets.  Ha Ha
Thanks for reading and see you on the trail:) 
Aleks
 
 
      I love May for many reasons but the big one is Canada Cups.  The years best two races back to back on super technical courses and tons of fans going crazy.  The closest thing to it in the states I would say is the national in Wisconsin (the only race I've ever been to where they had kegs on the side of the trail).  The venues are cool with things to do for the whole family and plenty of places to watch the action.  Mont Tremblant is race number one which is one of Canada's top ski areas  north of Montreal.  There is a European style village at the base with coffee shops, restaurants, and  cafes with the course cutting right thru the middle of it all.  You can sit and relax drinking a beer while the racers wiz by.  Having everyone cheer when you go by makes you want to keep going.   


     Like last year we stayed at the mountain with our room 50ft from the start line.  Its so nice to walk out your door to the warm up area without worrying about driving anywhere.  Aleks blew apart her new XTR pedal after 30 seconds of use which has to be the first time in history a shimano pedal failed.   The guys over at the Norco tent were nice enough to lend us a set.  Thank you big time we owe you guys.  So another reason for staying at this place is the rooms all have really nice kitchens.  So the night before the race we made dinner with our friend Bryna and watched American Idol, Brynas favorite TV show.  Good times.  

         So skip to the race.  I was not expecting much considering I was in a bad road crash a few days before and my ankle is swollen like twice the size of my other one.  I know I shouldn't be racing on it but its Canada.  Can't go to Canada and not race.  I figured I'd make it a lap or two and then hang it up, but I stuck it out for 34th out of 70+ starters.  I'm happy with that and even though its 4 days after the race and my ankle still looks the same and I'm racing again this weekend in Baie Ste Paul Quebec.  Yee haw.  Aleksandra's race went well, especially since this was her first of the year.  She lined up against some stiff competition and ended up 6th.  I'm really proud of her and even though she wanted better this is a good start to the year.  I think all of her training is going to pay off this year.   Bryna also did well placing 12th and picking up some UCI points for the World Cups.  Oh and also a thank you to the Wells family for the feed.  After following their two sons around the world they are professionals in the pits.

        So check back after the weekend and I'll let you know if Aleks gets any speeding tickets in the prius.

mike
 
 


       Just as usual I have to start with ...wow it's been so long I haven't written anything on our blog?! It always seems like life is flying by and everyone is getting trapped with their busy lives. Working and training is a pretty challenging combination but it is a great feeling at the end of the day because you are always one step closer to your goal.    

    Hopefully your spring has been treating you well and you're finding time to ride your bike in between some wind and rain we have had recently. I still don't want to complain too much because I believe that mother nature has been pretty good to us "east coast bikers" this spring.    

   It will be great to meet some local ladies tomorrow at the Blue Sky Bike Shop which I am so proudly representing this year...  We have decided to add some rides and clinics to the schedule this year in hopes of promoting the sport of mountain biking.  We live in one of the best area's for it so why not promote dirt and our local ride spots. I can't wait to see everyone tomorrow !!!   We are organizing a Beginner's Women only clinic tomorrow and I would love to have anyone interested join us . Or If you know anybody who would like to get into riding, this is a perfect opportunity, so please pass it along. 

  We are meeting at  Blue Sky at 10:30 and we will ride from the shop to Saratoga State Park. It'll be super easy ride and I know some of you are already having great skills but it would be great to have some crowd of  smiley faces. Schedule is available on the www.blueskybicycles.com or  here

Thanks!
Hopefully see you there!!!
Aleks
 
 
     Back in the game ... with new experiences, new hopes and a new fire for 2012 .

 Thanks to all of you who kept coming back to our "sleepy" website. We will try to do a better job in keeping you updated.  I believe that last season was a good learning experience for both of us and hopefully since last year is out of the way we can get on to having a "good" season.
Last year I didn't like to go to races, I didn't get excited riding my bike and I didn't truly didn't believe in myself. Things are different this year.

PATIENCE
Sometimes you have to take a big step back to actually move forward. I took some time off of riding my bike last summer. Enjoyed gardening, cooking and hanging out with the best group of women drinking wine and laughing endlessly.
Fall was full of great mtb rides on our local trails at SMBA and Spierfalls. There is nothing better than that.

PERSPECTIVE
My best cure was hanging out with friends and getting perspective of the years of training , racing and riding. I finally found myself having fun on the bike again and started to miss The REAL training with serious goals and  significant dreams. It's not easy to live everyday training, eating and sleeping with no time for anything else,  while your social life becomes non existent...especially when you have to work to pay for your hobby:)  but you have to believe it's all worth it.
I enjoyed reading this article written by Justin Lindine (he is a great writer and racer)

"In the words of the mediocre 90’s pop-punk band, Lit, I am “My own worst enemy”,
and so are you.  See, you think the key to success in cycling is training hard
and taking easy recovery days, right?  Wrong. It’s mental toughness and the
ability to take discomfort and monotony with the composure of a Buddhist Monk. 
That and the ability to occupy yourself in airports and hotel rooms for long
periods of time with little to nothing to do…which is why, I am told, Twitter
was created.  So, in preparation for the hardships and discomfort of this coming
season, I have taken to turning the heat down to sub-arctic levels, eating the
same breakfast every single day (forever), and have learned to pretend to like
updating my Facebook status.  (...)
You see, cycling is a game where the strongest doesn’t always win,
but the smartest often does.  So this season I’ve decided to forgo my, “if
you’re going to be dumb you’d better be strong” philosophy for a more elevated
form of gamesmanship.  I mean, if I can convince myself that I like social media
and rice cakes, I am capable of anything."

                                                                              Justin Lindine

FRIENDS

I didn't really expect any support in this upcoming season and with that said I can't even express how thankful I am to Liz Gormley and BlueSky Bike Shop for believing and supporting me this year. She is a great friend and fellow rider who comes from a long history of cycling and keeping the bicycle communtity together.

Mike is sponsored by Greg Jackson and Spin Bike Shop who through the years have
been with us. He is very proud riding for Spin and is looking forward to qualifying for the Windam and Mte Saint Anne World Cups.  And of course teaching a lesson to his boss, Greg.

On  top of that we will proudly be sponsored by Specialized, Trek, Stan's No-Tubes, Genuine Innovations, King Kage, First Indurance, Boeshield, Gates, Saratoga Water and Verge clothing !  

HAVING A GOOD TIME

We are starting  the 2012 season full of enthusiasm and excitement! We look forward to racing and we've been happily riding in the cold weather.
Looks like the spring time is just in  the corner, hopefully see you soon on the trails:)

Happy Rides,
Aleksandra




 
 
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It feels like we have been racing not only on our bikes lately but in our lives. Working, training, racing on weekends and in the mean time working on some little house projects and try to keep our social life entertaining...it's like a race; we still enjoy it.
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CANADA CUP   

 Couple of weeks ago we went to Mont-Saint-Paul Canada Cup. I was very excited to race there, especially because I had some bad luck the weekend before and I needed to make it up. After the last year's race there, I consider Mont-Saint-Paul one of my favorite courses-races even though the course this year was completely different.  We didn't have the best of the luck this year with the weather. After a month of the rainy weather in NY we had welcomed some sunshine, but I guess the rainy weather chased us to Canada. As far as racing in the rain and mud - I truly enjoy it but I am a big fun of staying on my bike during the race , instead of running with the bike...I guess it was a little bit to much rain and it seemed like we were running with the bike about 75% of the race.  Also It was cold, challenging to run in the deep mud and I was thinking that anybody who finished the race should be proud and happy to of finished. I ended up 6th and Mike got 22nd, Bryna finished 8th and my teammate Linnea finished 11th. I have to say though the I'm so impressed with the Canadian race organization and I will happily go back to Mont-Saint-Paul.  
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DOMARSKI FARM ROOT 66 RACE  

We had the best weekend over at the Domarski Family Farm. We both had good legs, good spirits and good luck which earned us both top podium spots. Apart from the great racing the atmosphere is unbeatable. It was a nice surprise to discover that Matt Domarski who organized the race has some strong polish roots and some of his family was visiting.  We got some of the best in the world recovery drink- Polish beer from Matt's family and not to mention the best prize list in the country.  That's our favorite race and we can't wait for the next year.  
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ENJOYING THE SUMMER  

Last weekend we decided to take a little break from racing and stay home, enjoy and relax. We had an outstanding weekend with good rides on our local trails.  Our family came for dinner and my good friend Renee brought the Genuine Innovations's (one of our generous sponsors for 2011) rep Jim over as well.  Good times and plenty of wine over on East Ave.  Saturday our SMBA club had a demo bike day and it was a pleasure to meet everyone out on the trails. I can't believe how many members came to ride even with our pretty rough rainy weather. We rode some cool trek bikes and met some new people. I believe we have the greatest cycling community in the universe. We joined all our cycling friends at Julie and Mark Bettinger's house for a disco party and it is always kind of strange to see everyone without helmets afterwards :)   
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RIDING WITH THE LADIES 

  I had the pleasure on wednesday to ride with my Saratoga Super Cycling group. I was planning a nice relaxing ride with the coolest group of  girls but I have to admit it,  that really kicked my butt. Everyone was riding very strong and I'm super excited about it. I look forward to ride with those guys again!  

Enjoy the summer riding and have fun,

Aleksandra
 
 
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     Home from Canada and enjoying the rest of the weekend.  I had the best time at Mont Tres Blant ; perfect venue, perfect course, outstanding big crowd of spectactors and I felt stronger than ever... We stayed in the middle of everything at the fancy Hilton in the beautiful Tremblant village. It was great to watch the morning races from our hotel window with our feet up to until warm up time.   I was on fire the whole weekend and I guess too confident. I started the race from the back and I wanted to do everything I could to get to the single track as close as possible to the leader Catherine Vipond.  I got a little crazy and took a risk at the place I probably I shouldn't of try to pass, instead of taking the way around I took the risky line off of a steep drop and unluckily hit the other rock which made me flip over my handlebars.  I hit it hard and I wanted so bad to get up and continue my chase but my knee didn't want to listen so I ended up with the frustration and fighting the pain. Well, that's the racing and we have to pay for our mistakes. I hope I can recover quickly and start to train again. All I can say , I love Canada and can't wait for next week Baie Ste Paul Quebec.
   Mike had  a good solid race , finishing 24th out of 80+starters. He raced against a tough field and he also started from the back pack so it was great to see him passing people and making his way up.  I'm always so proud of him:)
    Have a great week and make sure you ride your bike.
Aleks
 
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    We had an outstanding race last weekend and happilly both of us made it on the podium!  It's pretty funny thinking about what bike racing is does to  us; It wasn't that exciting at first while driving to the race at a"turtle" speed because you can barely see the road through the pouring rain, and there is always the same question in your mind " why are we doing this to ourselves? ". I guess when you jump on the bike and ride the course you love, weather doesn't matter, it's even more exciting when it's rainy because you actually test your skills and challenge yourself even more. Tymor Park is a great technical course with plenty of rocks and roots, It was my first time racing there and hopefully not the last. There is nothing better than racing on a course you like. And the people are so nice there. I felt good and had fun on the course. 
    
    For a first time I raced my new Trek Superfly and probably that got me excited, racing a new machine. There is the picture below of my new bike which Mike built perfectly for me.  I'm very proud of my super mechanic Mike who has become so detailed with his latest builds.  Thanks to Embrocation Cycling Journal for suppling me with the great equipment.

   Mike had a great day also with his rival Seamus also racing.  Seamus is having a strong season with his latest finish of 13th at the Mellow Johnnys Austin Texas National. They took turns pulling each other and finished together a second apart.        

    We just got to Canada today for the 1st round of the Canada Cups at Mont Treblant and the course is basically the same as last year which is AWESOME.  The Canadians can fit more fun and excitement into one corner then the US can in any of their National courses.. We both love coming up here and the atmosphere reminds me of home in Europe. Canadian  people are so friendly and especially so passionate for the outdoors.  There is a million kids here riding proudly on their bikes and it's great to see their smiles.  

Keep your fingers crossed for us tomorrow!  

Thanks and have fun riding, Aleks
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Pro Mens Podium

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Pro Womens Podium

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Maddy was a great sport and she also fed us during the race

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Seems like Mike has some new competition coming up. Mark finished 11th in Pro Men Open field his first cross country race!

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Our favourite couple- Seamu's parents

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My new Racing Machine