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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Moments from 2014

It has been a fantastic year. There were the inevitable ups and downs, but the "ups" outweighed the "downs" by so much that I'm not sure 2015 will be able to live up to this past year (but I hope it does!). Here's a look at my favorite moments from 2014:

1) Mountain biking in Arizona. This trip was the perfect way to kick off the riding season last March. Aaron and I got to ride some amazing trails, hang out with some awesome people, and enjoy the nice warm AZ weather....which I'm thoroughly missing at the moment. While I didn't exactly want to leave at the end of our trip, the journey back to the colder weather was made sweeter by....

Riding South Mountain in Phoenix, AZ
2) Getting to meet my sweet baby niece, who decided to wait until the night I left for vacation to be born. Lil' stinker. Of course I forgave her as soon as she was in my arms that first time. And just like she was impatient to enter this world, I'm impatient for her to be able to ride a bike :) I can't wait to take her on many biking adventures. She's going to be a cyclists for sure. 

My little love!
3) Starting a new job in Iowa city! It's hard to believe what a huge positive impact this has had on my life. I get to ride my bike to work everyday (awesome!) and no longer have a stressful commute. I love my job (didn't think that was possible) and even got to join a bicycle advisory committee as part of my job. How cool is that?!

4) Getting a new mountain bike. Riding a 29er on vacation sealed the deal for me. While it wasn't quite right for me, I knew after riding it that a 650b would be perfect. And it was. That race machine led me to....
Post race with my Yeti Arc Carbon
5) Winning the Illinois Mountain Bike Series. I won the Iowa series the year before, so hey, why not tackle a new state? I still can't believe how well mtb racing went for me this year- five cat 1 wins and two second place finishes (plus one DNF, I still can't believe my darn pedal came off!!)

Some of my favorite ladies to race with!
6) The Sugar Bottom Scramble. As my home race the Scramble is always special to me, but this year took the cake racing with Robin and Brittany. These two were role models for me since the start of me getting into biking (and still are) and it felt great to finish 1-2-3 with them at this race :)

Hanging out post race with Britt, Robin, and baby Niels.
7) Getting 3rd place at the Iowa State Championship Road Race. Up until this point I didn't really feel like I belonged on the elite team. Working together with teammates and being able to put out more effort that I thought possible got me to the end. It was an incredible feeling crossing that finish line and knowing that my team took the top 3 spots.

8) I was utterly spoiled this year by also getting a new carbon 'cross bike. Oh boy can I tell the difference riding on that compared to my old aluminum frame! I'm going to go ahead and credit my new bike with how much better I did this year in 'cross.

Racing on my new Specialized Carbon Crux
9) Jingle Cross. It's always a struggle to not come in last racing against some of the top women across the county. With the crowd this race draws I'm usually happy to finish ahead of a few people. I was in for a surprise this year when I finished 6th place - two days in a row!

10) All of the above helped me end the season ranked 7th in the country for cat 1 cross country racing and 34th overall- holy smokes I didn't think that was possible! See what I mean by how hard it will be to top this past year?

I hope you too had a wonderful 2014 and will have an even greater 2015!