Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Granoque and the Creek of French

So it's been a little while since we last talked. Racin' has been going well lately, my results have been getting better since Fairhill. I took the week off before Granoque since I had just gotten done with a big training block, and going into the race I knew I wasn't going to have that snap in the legs. The day before Gunnar and I headed down to help out with the racing they were putting on and to do the 1st TT ever put on at the estate. The running race was pretty intense, actually it was quite the opposite. From what I heard it was the one of the strangest start any bike racer would ever see, calm is a good way to explain it. Even after they were given the 30 second warning the runners were still completely chilled out. Weird. After the start I headed down the finishing climb to meet Jake D. to do some water and heed feeds for the runners. I will say that more then 1 person took the heed and poured it over their head.... maybe their body would still absorb it, or most likely it would just get sticky and gross. They all did a entire lap of the course which is about 7 miles, they did it in just over an hour, I think that if I was an in-shape runner it definitely would have been a awesome trail run. Then it was time for the pre-ride and TT. Both were awesome, the TT was a quick 15-20 minute shortened loop on the regular XC course. I did my best and ended up 10th? I think, not sure on that one but it was an perfect opportunity to open up the legs after having a week off. Later, Scottie, Gunnar and I headed down to the river to do some swimming, the water felt amazingly good, it was incredibly hot out and the water was an awesome way to cool down, probably good for the legs too. Everyone packed the venue up for the night and Gunnar and I headed back to Jeff's house where we were going to stay for the night. We took some naps, washed some bikes, got some ritas, and played some gamecube, fun night. The heat didn't seem to want to let off even at night, I was down to my boxers, with a window open, no blankets on and was still hot, but somehow I still slept really well.




The next morning we were up bright and early to cram everything back into the VW and head over to the venue. I raced first so after helping set up some P A system stuff it was time to get myself ready. Even with it being early it was still hot and humid, never fun with a somewhat exposed race like Granoque. I felt good and was about 7th into the first piece of singletrack. It wasn't long until we started catching the enduro guys. I got stuck behind one just as I entered some more single track luckily it wasn't a very long section and I was able to get around him pretty quick. I soon settled into a rhythm and for the first half lap I was doing really well and was very happy with how I was riding. But pretty soon after I started to feel the pace and started to get sloppy, I wasn't riding the rocks very well and lost contact with the group I was with because of it. I went through the second lap and was happy to get water dumped all over me. Second lap I seemed to get a second wind and was able to get some guys, still sloppy riding but I was able to get through it and ended up 5th.





^ Yes Aaron is still wrecking the Mid-Atlantic Races, another awesome win for him!



This past weekend was French Creek, another average race. The morning of was the annual spring flea market at the velodrome, always a good time even if you don't buy anything, I saw some awesome hand built track bikes and even bikes with really really old wooden wheels. I only spent two dollars on a hand pump for rides and my mom was happy to get sunglasses for Bad Andy, Thanks! Once we got to the race I quickly got ready and started riding around, did I say how windy it was... EZ-up tents blowing everywhere and even a tree, we'll get to that later. So off the start around 4th into the woods and I was feeling really good. Stayed with the lead group up the first long climb up to the top but as soon as we hit the descent I got stuck behind a fully rigid single-speeder, I respect that and the fact that he was in my class but he would not let me pass. I definitely lost a good amount of time on the leader and Jacob. I was on the chase and started catching some people, a very deciding point in my race was during a climb I over shifted up front and my chain dropped off, I was on a steep climb and had to walk watching the two people I was with get away. By the time I got back on I could no longer see them and started the descent at the top of the climb. Someone caught me and I rode back and forth with him, he would get a gap on the climbs and I would catch back on during the descents. In the last mile or so I had a few second gap on him but he made a move that I couldn't respond to, he got away right before the finish I wasn't super stoked about that. I'm definitely going to learn some stuff during this season. I've had sprint finishes in my past 2 of 3 races in this class and had I stayed with him during his attach it would have been 3 of 3. I'm really pumped for the next race, can't wait!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Greenbrier


Another awesome weekend of racing for the FFR team is in the books! Most of the team was down in Maryland this past weekend for Greenbrier, not only is it a nationals qualifier but it's also decides the Maryland state champs! The team set up shop the day before the race at a awesome campsite right by the lake, everyone was ready to get out on the course. By the time I had finally arrived I could tell everyone was itching to get kitted up. We got rolling very soon after and headed out. This was the first year I had ever ridden or raced at Greenbrier and I am a huge fan of the course, lots of climbing, a combination of fast smooth sections and slow technical areas. After an awesome ride and a few tries on the log ride we were ready to eat, not only that but we also had some entertainment via Scottie McGill. As we were sitting around the fire he asked his dad if he could go swimming, who could say no to seeing a small, fearless kid go swimming in the lake? Did I mention it was dark out, we also all knew it was going to be freezing. After his time wading around he came out and made some perfect sand angels. Awesome.



My race went very smoothly, no problems what so ever. I felt good up the first climb staying about 3rd wheel in the group. Julian was setting a blistering pace that I knew was going to come back to hurt me. I stayed with him and Jacob and Forest on the first downhill and then we started hitting traffic. The worst part about being a Junior is having to start behind almost the entire Cat 2 field, we were catching people within 2 minutes of our start. I got caught behind a few people and kept pushing everywhere I could. First lap I was able to get a gap on Forest after his chain came off on the rocky climb. Into the second lap, I knew I was going slower but I was able to go much faster on the descents since the groups were spread out by then. I ended up 2nd. Shortly after Scottie came in after his second race of the day with a top ten finish! Gunnar took home the win, beating all the expert juniors even with a flat on the lap. Zach also had some bad luck with a flat on the last lap as well, but he still pulled off a 2nd place finish! Jake did his first single speed race of the year and killed it almost breaking the top 10. In Scotties first race he took the W with some fierce older competition! Another awesome weekend for the team and we are all ready to kill it at Granoque this weekend!











Check out the team blog if you want to read it again...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday foam pits....

Soooo, no racing this weekend. I decided I need to work and make some cash money. No racing means no prep, no prep means I don't need to focus on drinking water and resting. So some of my friends and I decided we wanted to go to to this gymnastics place to jump on some trampolines and jump into some foam pits. I think the thought of a foam pit would make anyone smile, even just a little. But I know I was really excited, I haven't jump on these super bouncy olympic trampolines for at least 3 or 4 years now and I know how scary they are. I thought it was going to be a very not fun night but when we walk into the place and saw about 40 little girls running around I wasn't too sure, yes we all felt creepy. Apparently this Silvias place has a lot of good kids in it, I learned that before Elite, which is like Olympic level, there is level 10, there were two there and two others that go to my school that were level 10, pretty awesome. Luckily the people understood all we wanted to do was jump on the trampoline so we had that to ourselves most of the night. After I saw someone jump into the 'pit and saw a huge amount of dust fly up I started to think about the amount of sweaty, gross people that have been in this thing, there really isn't much you can do with the cleaning of a foam pit, nasty I know. I hadn't thought about this at first, I decided I was going to do my best to not go head first in, that didn't work. I over rotated something and went basically head first, it was dark, gross and hard to move, not a good combo. I finally got out after a lot of squirming and throwing of foam blocks. So basically by the end of the night I had a feeling of a scratchy throat which was actually just foam/dust, yes gross I know. But it was still a very fun night, it was followed by Ritas and then Wawa directly after.

Maybe I will bring my helmet cam next time, could be kind of cool.

Did I mention they had a poster signed by every US gymnast at the Olympics in 08, yes even Nastia Liukens and Shawn Johnsons signature.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The first one always hurts...

I won't start this thing off with Fairhill, there are way too many other things that happened since my last post. Last Wednesday Gunnar and I did a sweet ride up at Bear Creek. Gunnar picked me up at my house and we crammed our bikes into his little Jetta and headed up. I must say it is going to be awesome once I have my license, I can't wait till September. On the way up we decided we were hungry and conveniently we stopped at Gunnars Grandparents house for some food. Two grilled cheeses and one Oreo Klondike bar later we were getting Kitted up and ready to ride. What I did find out is that I really need to get my Technical skills back in check, been doing way to much road riding lately. We did 1 1/2 laps and called it a day and headed home, fun stuff.



Friday night we headed out to Zach's place so we could help out with his Michaux Mash race on Saturday. We got there around 6 or 7 and started loading all of the trucks up with race supplies, gallon upon gallons of Chili, Hand Cut French Fries and a ton of other stuff. After watching Lords of Dog Town (awesome movie) we went to bed for a 4 am rise the next day. I am usually okay with getting up early but this one really killed me, the combo of having one of my last really hard blocks of training for now and staying up until 12:00 the night before wasn't helpful. So we made our way to Dunkin D where the lady hadn't turned the ovens on, so we left to go to Sheetzs gas station. I got a donut and a Shmagel which was actually really good. We finally got up to the venue and started unloading, did I mention it was still dark out? I was put on parking duty for the morning and course marshall for when the 4 hour endurance race started. This was the first time I had to course marshall and it isn't the funnest of jobs, long and boring. I spent my time laying around, practicing my trackstands, wheelies, etc, and taking stupid pictures with my camera. The most excitement I got all day were 1 or 2 endos and some guy destroying his man parts.


Afterwards me and Gun went out to sweep and tear down all of the arrows and pick up whatever trash we found. The trails were broken in nicely and at the top of the course on one of the pine tree surrounded fire roads I could have mistaken for being in Colorado which I found to be awesome, wish I would have gotten a pic.... Gunnar decided that he wanted to slice open his sidewall right before the last downhill to. I have never seen a tubeless tire deflate that fast, no stan's shot out or anything. The best part was is that we had to put a road tube in, sketchy. The tire wasn't seated into the bead at all except for a small section and the tire wasn't centered at all. We made it back down and finally started breaking down the venue. Gunnar and I didn't get back home until 9:00 or so, and I still had to eat, get my bike, clothes, bottles, and everything else ready for fairhill the next day. I ended up going to bed at 10:30. Do the math it was a 18 1/2 hour day, not the best thing before a race, let alone the first XC race of the season!


My dad and I got to Fairhill at around 8:30, my race goes off at 10:30 so I had plenty of time. Set up the pop-up, got registered and ready to race. Warm up I wasn't feeling to hot, flat feeling legs and just tired. I went to staging and luckily this year since I am racing sport senior 1 men we get to go off first, don't have to worry about traffic or anything. Last year I would have to start at the very very back of the sport class, it was bad. Start went pretty well sitting about 5th or 6th into the singletrack. I knew there would probably be a lot of group racing since Fairhill is basically a road race and thats how it ended up. There was a group of about 5 or 6 of us that formed half way through the first lap, I was feeling a lot better then I was expecting and the course was amazing, fast swoopy and no real climbs, which is good for me this early in the season. The group split going into the 2 and also last lap. I was able to pass two people and gain some ground on some people in front of me. I eventually made it up to the guy in front of me and rode with him for about a third of the lap but he eventually just rode away from me. I got passed by one or two other guys and luckily the finish came. I was able to sprint past some guys. But I made a bad mistake and didn't look behind me, I was only looking ahead, I should have been in an all out spring because some guy was closing in on me. Once I realized this all I could do was give it my all for the last 20 feet, there was a lot of bumping between me and the guy and I think he ended up getting but it couldn't have been for more and the deepness of my tire. I was dead and ended up in 8th, didn't seem right to me but the timing isn't exactly down and I guess a few guys could have gotten away early that I didn't notice.


^ Finishing stretch and the guy I didn't know was sprinting me... So pro

Sunday, April 4, 2010

M-Ville Relay


There's a first for everything, and the relay was't just another first for me. I now know why so many people look forward to this race so much.I have done the stage race for the past 2 years now and I couldn't race the relay last year because of my leg. Not only was the weather gorgeous with 70+ degree temps and sunshine all day, but the course was awesome, tons of flow and lots of cool features. It was a rippen fast course with barely any real climbs, that mean't super fast laps and lots of fun! This past week right before the race I had a little bit of a cold, I only got 2 easy days on the bike. Zach suggested I make sure I watch my limit on my laps and to not over extend myself, as it wouldn't be helping my cold go away. So I just made sure to keep as consistent as possible, which I feel like I did pretty well. My four laps were within 15-20 seconds of each other. I also did my best to look for the hidden eggs on the course, and if you don't know what they are, since the race is handicapped they eggs basically give you points which in turn gives you a better chance at winning.


Had a super fun day with some awesome people, Zach claimed us a nice spot with plenty of spots to see the course as we were warming up or waiting for our next lap. Hopefully I can get some pictures up later with all the awesome constumes, uncle sam was my personal favorite.


Here is a lap I did with my helmet cam, nothing very eventful but still cool, at least I think.


A Lap at Marysville Relay from Kyle Miller on Vimeo.





BIG thanks out to Kuhn and PA Valleys, everything was awesome!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How have you been?

It's been a while hasn't it, I'm a little rusty at this blog thing lets see how it goes.

I've been very busy lately. During my two months (planning on one, we'll get to that later) of offseason my days were filled with eating, sleeping, school, and skiing as much as possible. Skiing with all my friends is fun but every weekend I was missing racing. So get your popcorn ready, I'm actually eating some now, I'm going to try and sum up the past 3 1/2 months of my life in one blog post.



If you didn't see my helmet cam video from a few post ago you should check it out, it's a pretty sweet little camera. As long as you have good lighting it has amazing quality, it is HD. The best part is, is that the case/mount is waterproof, air tight, and probably bullet proof, though I don't really want to find out. So basically I can use it anywhere and it doesn't only shoot video, it takes sweet pictures too. The wide angle lens makes all the pics look awesome. Every picture on here was taken with it.



So the reason I had an extra month of off season is not cool. I broke my collarbone skiing at the end of January. It was supposed to been an awesome day of skiing, finals were done, got out of school early since they were all done and headed straight up to Bear. It was my third day on my new skis after my others had gotten their edge ripped out. This was partially the reason I fell. I was doing a 540 off one of the jumps, I got a little squirrelly off the jump and new something didn't feel right. I ended up landing on one foot off balance. I remember staring at my ski carving to the left to try and regain my balance, If you don't know yet I was landing backwards so that doesn't exactly help, all of a sudden I caught an edge and slammed on my left side. The wind was completely knocked out of me, I've never screamed when I've crashed skiing so I could tell something was weird. I go down and meet back up with my friends and just lay down for a little bit trying to tell myself nothing is wrong. I actually end up taking a few more runs just skiing down and feeling like I'm going to puke from the thought of what could have just happened and of course the pain. I can tell you that a broken collarbone hurts more than a broken leg. I go inside the bathroom in the lodge, and take my shirt off. This was a true pain cave, dark inside my shirt lifting my unknown broken collarbone into a position it should never go into. When I finally do get my shirt off I see a bump, a large bump that shouldn't be there. I painfully put my shirt back on and go back out to have my friends help me get all my stuff down to ski patrol. I chill there for an hour or so, answering lots of questions and getting a ghetto sling put on. By the end of the night and a couple X-Rays later I find out that I have a fractured collarbone and will be out for 6-8 weeks. Sweet. Did I forget the part that I was supposed to go out west to Utah in 4 weeks, goodbye skiing paradise, hello couch and TV remote. I had a sling on for 4 weeks and wasn't completely cleared for another 2 weeks. So about 3 or 4 weeks ago I actually started riding and getting ready for the upcoming season.






I was out for the best week of skiing we have had in the past 3 or 4 years the best I could do was watch my friends get towed in my snowmobiles and walk around in the snow. Before I did break my clavicle I had done a few fun rides at french creek and bear creek and just around my house. I am a huge fan of long winter mtb rides.

This isn't how I broke my collarbone, but I found it pretty funny. Everyone was okay, and the person who screams like a girl.... is a girl, not me. If she wasn't my friend I probably would have felt a lot worse about the whole thing. I do feel bad that I chipped her board though.





The ski season ended pretty abruptly, we got a ton of rain about 2 weeks ago and every mountain within 30 minutes of me closed. I was bummed but I did find biking down the trails that I ski down is just as fun. Fishtailing all the way down.



MACDC camp was this past weekend. It was my first time actually going since I had a broken leg last year and the year before that I had conformation at church. It was cold, very cold, at least it felt like it. Our little space heater that Zach brought didn't do much to heat up the cabin, but I'm sure it made a difference. I have only ridden in Michaux once, it was a race and I am absolutely in love with the trails there. I always knew they were good but I didn't know how much I would like them. Awesome weekend with a lot of learning, can't wait for next year.


I really like this picture I don't know why, I took it today while I was washing bikes.
video
^This isn't how I broke my collarbone, but I found it pretty funny. Everyone was okay, and the person I run into who screams like a little school girl.... is a girl, not me. If she wasn't my friend and just a random person I probably would have felt a lot worse about the whole thing. I do feel bad that I chipped her snowboard though....

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I should also probably catch you up on how my cross season went. I will say it didn't go as I would have planned. I have a slight problem with over starting.... I started to tone those down at the end of the season when I was basically done training for the season and just going to races on the weekends. I did a lot of cross racing, took a trip up to Gloucester Massachusetts. Stayed up with some of the C3 team and Henrys at the Bahnsons AWESOME house on the coast. It was really really wet and cold on Saturday. when you were riding close to the ocean you could feel the ocean spray, I was freezing all of staging and soaked, not a good combo. Sunday was much nicer, and it was awesome to watch the pros both days it was completely packed with people. Other than that normal crossy funness, I have caught the cross bug and am already getting pumped for next September.


^ this is the biggest rock I have ever seen. ever.


^ Jeffs post winning face.



I will see everyone at the races. Off to the relay this weekend. If you see someone with a camera on there head at the relay, you know it's me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Amazing

Not to get all weird and psychopathic or anything but this is probably one of the most eye opening videos I have ever seen.


Everything that happens on earth is so unimportant when it comes to the entire universe, not even noticeable. It really is amazing.