Thursday, 20 December 2007


And so the Christmas season has begun… With presents wrapped and thoughtfully arranged, under a small and almost poorly decorated tree, the festive spirit is in the air. It seems that everything comes just in time for Christmas. My brother Matt, and his girlfriend Laura, have just moved into their new home. At the age of 18 I am unbelievably proud of him =) He has come a long way since 1992 when I brutally knocked him over the head with a baseball bat resulting in 6 stitches! Then a few years later he went to school and told his friends all about it...via rumour I became the school bully. Also in time for the holidays are the first steps of my little niece Leila (pictured). She is becoming a confident 'walker', with a side of attitude it seems. Despite her devilish curiosity, she is still the most gorgeous thing ever!! Wouldn’t you agree?

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the annual work break-up BBQ. For the past 4 years I have attended and this year, with my assistant in Shannon McCurley (pictured), I was upgraded to head chef. As the locals have nicknamed the two of us Nicky (Shan) and Paris (I) we were out to prove a point. For my first BBQ I was quite pleased. Yes, there were flames and yes, there were minute amounts of charcoal, but by the end of the night when the majority were sitting in the spa drinking the remainder of alcohol, the general consensus was pretty positive toward the earlier cuisine. An early morning to follow took its toll on the trek to Glenvale. I slept the whole way, felt heavy in the warm-up, committed to a very hard race, and managed to beat the boys home to finish second! I’m thinking it was a fluke, but secretly hoping it's a hint of form for the weeks to come. To see how far I've come in ways of sprinting watch the family footage via my Mum's blog!

I’m fairly certain that I have never been more unmotivated to race than I was on Wednesday night at Revolution 2, and even more certain that I have never seen such entertaining cycling! For those that were there, I know you loved it, for those that weren’t; you’re not special, because you missed the best night of track racing in over a decade. The controversy, the personalities, and of course the promoter’s dream crash, made the women’s racing seem even duller than usual. Although the women’s podium was dominated by internationals, there were no real stand out performers. The racing was fast, and I was certainly spinning on my chosen gear, but the win could have gone to anyone… myself not included as I was, how do you say… creeping. This morning I woke to rain, and rode in it for a mere 4hours by myself, and decided that even THAT was more enjoyable than the thought of racing my track bike anytime within the next 12months!

Results: Revolution Cycling Series, Race 2, Vodaphone Arena, Melbourne

Sunday, 9 December 2007


It wasn’t my most successful camp ever, in fact I didn’t even make it up the hills I used to ride at 17 years old, so to finish the week with a bit of a snuffle made some sense. I fear that I am getting sick! The week consisted of long kilometres, plentiful DVD’s and the daily brew stop. In variation to previous camps we had weigh in prior to and post each training session, urine testing every morning and calculated skinfolds. As you can imagine, this wasn’t good for the head, so as I’m climbing Tawonga saying to myself ‘You’re overweight and dehydrated’ there was no wonder I was getting dropped! Then when my skinfolds were measured at 68.9 there were comments like ‘Don’t crack the concrete’ and ‘Why are you eating? You have enough stores for 3 days!’... all in good fun of course! As the Anchorman quotes and pointless conversations drew to a close, so did the camp.

24 hours later... I was in Shepparton. I was never really sure how today would unfold for me. Whether I would have good legs after a week away on a VIS training camp, or whether my emotions would get the best of me and I would fail miserably in the race. Neither occurred while on my bike today, I was simply grateful to be a part of an event celebrating the memory of Scotty People’s, or as he referred to himself ‘Big Sexy.’ How the race unfolded is of no real concern to me, but from a mass start of 200 people, I made it safely to the finish as first women. Although not the World Championships or a prestigious tour in Europe, today meant a lot more to me than any other race I will ever be a part of, it was significant because it was a day for Scotty, and so for Scotty I rode.

I was a little teary I‘ll admit... when I woke up, on the start line, during the race, throughout speeches and there was the time I left a large wet patch on Shane People’s (pictured above) shoulder! It wasn’t because I miss him, as I miss him everyday, in fact photos of him are plastered on my bedroom wall in memory. It was more in realisation of the effect he had on his family, home town and the WHOLE of the cycling community! It was nice to see some winners donate their cheques to a significant Scott Peoples Foundation and to see Tim Decker (Scotty’s sponsor) tear up on the podium. On the other hand, to the disgust of other women in the bunch, some weren't very delighted at seeing a few men lighten their load early in the race! Something a mass start has now introduced me to =P. David Pell (pictured top) went home with the Men’s division and Jamie Crass the juniors. Thanks goes to Mal Sawford for looking after me during the race and best wishes to me on recovering from this sickness I can feel coming on!

Results: Scott Peoples Memorial Race, Shepparton, 120 kms
Full Results: Scott Peoples Memorial Race Shepparton, 120kms

Sunday, 2 December 2007


After dinner and a 2am finish I woke early to ride through to Glenvale. A little tired, sore and suffering ‘pursuiter’s cough’ I managed to dodge the two crashes in the final lap before packing up my bike to head to the airport. After a flight cancellation, security scare and 8hours of waiting I finally made it to Adelaide for my AIS induction =) I have secured a visiting scholarship that sees me riding for the National Team domestically in Feb-March and internationally June-Sept. There was no time for celebrations with less than 24hours in the state before flying home to partake in the Great Victorian Bike Ride with the Diabetes Foundation! I skipped on the camping, socialised as I do best, and took advantage of the fulsome meals. With an abundance of media commitments and 500kms in 4 days, I was feeling the heat, or was it sunburn??
Friday afternoon saw me say goodbye to the Diabetes team before the trek to northern Victoria for my first race of the season. The Tour of Bright was to be as punishing as always, and after the bike rack (bikes included) had been spotted on our rear windscreen I was afraid that my Bianchi would never make it there in one piece! We would soon discover that the racks were never secured... oops... Saturday morning had me tackling Tawonga with no real obvious form, lucky to have my other leg intact after the descent! I was pleased with the afternoon session considering the lack of disc wheel and time trial bike, but that power certainly didn’t transfer to Hotham. Sunday could only be described as hard. I was dropped at ‘The Meg’ 5kms in before chasing back to the group, and this was to happen all the way to the summit. A VERY busy week has left me exhausted and keen for a break... NOT a training camp!

Results: Tour of Bright, Stage 1, Ovens - Bright, 79.2 kms
Results: Tour of Bright, Stage 2, Individual Time Trial, 15.7 kms
Results: Tour of Bright, Stage 3, Bright - Mount Hotham, 58.0 kms
Results: Tour of Bright, General Classification