Sunday, June 29, 2008

Broken Bikes equals many friends here in Germany!

So our bikes took a beating this week, the frames are fine but many other things have been buelled! However when a kid from the USA is in need and is very far away from home, it is no problem for many people to go out of there way to help us out! Our neighbors helped me, as well as the swedish junior team, the whole race organization knew who we were and were stoked to have racers from the USA, we were very popular with everyone. The race was good, I'll talk more later about it when I have battery, but I was just glad I could race so the result didn't matter too much, but I got 21st out of 65 racers. I sat in the hotseat for a while because I ran third due to a mechanical in Saturdays seeding run, in that run I also tried doing a no hander over the finish line jump no clipped in and nearly biffed it huge, but was able to save it for the most part, that was also a good way for people to know who you are. Michael was a little bit behind me, had an OK run but would like to be faster yet so would I. We both hope to due a little better in Switzerland for the next IXS cup. It is in Scual(sp). Thats where we are headed next! We will try to update all of you soon, we will have to find power first! Thule, Germany was great, the people are awesome and the rider was good. Free camping, showers and a DH only race with a good turnout here in East Germany. I would like to see more of this back in the states where the race organizers really care and the mountain works with them to put on the best race possible. I was told to tell all of you about this race and hopefullly more people from the states will race. Germany sure was fun, now, it is off the Switzerland!!!

Race Recap

Michael Says:
So Don't have much computer battery so this will have to be quick. Just wanted to do a quick recap on the weekend. Everything ended up working out pretty well. We got Brian's bike a squared away on Friday so he is now back in the Game. My bike however suffered the same blown shock problem today during my last practice run, I was also able to get a hold of a shock to borrow for the race run. The race was greate, IXS cup puts them on well, the competition was strong. At then end of the day Brian finished 21st with a 3:12 and got to sit in the hotseat for quite some time. Due to some technical problems during seading he was one of the first out of the gate and held the lead for a while till some of the higher qualifiers came down. I finished 30th with a 3:14
All in all it was a pretty awesome weekend.
Next we'll make our way back south towards the Alps and Scoul Switzerland, and hopefully do some riding at a few spots along the way, if I can find a shock. I'm sure I'll be able to get one to use at the next race just not sure about for the next few days. If not maybe we'll just play tourist, and go swimming in some sweet lakes or something.
We have lots of pictures for this week as well but will have to post those after charging the computers.

Friday, June 27, 2008

This Just In

Michael Say's:
Turns out we won't be coming home early, as changing our tickets would cost something like $4000 dollars, so well instead find something else sweet to do over here in Europe land for another week like originally planned.

Then there were two; The end of the road is near!

The last 24 hours have been interesting! First off, my bicycle is out of commission due to lack of product support over here in Germany, secondly we had to make a midnight hour trip last night to the Hanover Airport to drop Caleb off for his early flight home, the trip home was a hoot as Michael and I got lost seriously ten times driving around in circles till nearly 3am, the European road system is either terrible or they need to dumb it down for us Americans, thirdly we have decided to cut our trip short, returning to the states early so we can prepare for the Snowmass mountain states cup race as well as to save for a possible trip to Canada to race two World Cups up there. Our bikes will need a little loving when we get back, but I think this trip has prepared us greatly for the rest of our race season back home, and we both are looking forward to possibly eating some burritos and sleeping in an actual bed, but first Michael and hopefully me have to kick some German butt this weekend, sleep on the ground for a few more nights and if all goes right party on the streets with all of the other Soccer hooligans Sunday night if the German futbol team wins the Euro Cup VS. Spain. Sorry about the lack of pictures, blogger didn't want to upload mine last time. I'm sure we will poach this sweet spot again for internet and give more updates on the race weekend, maybe some friendly people will provide me with a bike so I can ride, I know I would try to help someone out if they were in a different country without a bike!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Michael Say's:
Now up in Thale Germany, North east of Frankfort. Parked on the street in front of an apartment building, stealing the only unlocked internet we've found in a long time. Hear for an IXS cup race this weekend, I think. Should be pretty sweet. Hiked the track in the dark last night, looks like a ton of fun. Hope everyone had a good time in CB.

IXS CUP RACE: Thule, Germany!!!

Quick update here for ya'll, Caleb is in the driver seat about to melt, pass out, or freak out. We have been cruising around the lovely country of Germany for a few days now taking the bike park tour, finding places to ride on our way up to the IXS Cup Race here in Thule. Here is a recap of our last few days; after leaving Italy, we drove up through Innsbruck, Austria, accidentally found ourselves lost doing round about donuts through Munich, and cruising 95mph but still getting blown past by Ferrari's on the Autoway. We spent two days riding in Winterburg, they're bike park was really fun, small, but I felt like I made some big improvements, then off to Willingem(sp) for a day on the WC course which claimed my rear shock. We hoofed it up here from there walked the DH course last night will fireworks from Germany's Victory lit up the night sky above. Trying to find a shock right now, hopefully I can find something a race, cause this course looks awesome! More updates to come, Calebs about to lose it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shladming Adventure Continued

As I was saying before we were off on another adventure, this time up north to the Country of Austria to ride Shladming's bike park to ride some serious DH! It was quite the effort on Michaels part driving and finding his way up there throughout all of Italy's confusing highways. As we ventured farther north into Austria I started to feel more like I was at home. The scenery, architecture, and vibe that the land was giving off reminded me of Nederland and other Colorado mountain towns. I really like the fact that the Gas stations stay open later, and they also have water faucets with drinking water just another plus! I'm not saying that Austria is cooler than Italy, but it sure is more convenient to travel through. The Euro Cup is in full swing right now and Austria was playing Germany, so there was nobody on the road providing for the easiest night drive in Europe so far. After about five hours we made it, found a sweet place to sleep up in the mountains and since it wasn't threatening to rain it made for a good night.

The next day we found the information desk, bought some tickets to ride for the next two days, built up our bikes, geared up and got after it! The first run my bike was making weird noises, so I look down and miss a switchback, go careening down the run, bottom out on the next switchback, go flying and land on the road. That was only the first 20 seconds of my run! After I tightened a few loose bolts, we rode hard all days blowing my hands by the end! The riding was awesome, it was a long mountain but steep so I really put a toll on your brakes and trigger finger. We all had fun but ended up getting rained out mid afternoon a few hours before the lift closed, it reminded me off a Colorado downpour! This ruined our camping plans so we went on the hunt for a bed. There were a lot of B&B's in Shladming, I rung the doorbell on one of them and was greeted by a very nice old man who did not speak English, so he sent in his wife who spoke very little English but somehow we together managed to settle a room and a price in their lovely house. It really did boost an awesome view of the mountain and was situated right above a lush green valley. The fallowing day we rode some loose wet muddy terrain, got dirty, went big over some sweet jumps and overall pushed ourselves hard for the rest of the afternoon. Once packed back up we hoofed it back to Val Di Solle and found our camping spot yet again. So our journey to and from was successful , the Kangoo survived and we had ourselves one hell of a weekend cheering on our boys/girls in red, white and blue.

Mountain cross was epic last night, the USA kicked some butt and Ross "the crusher" Milan killed it yesterday showing everyone when it goes bar to bar he is one not to be reckoned with. Brian Lopes(lopez) looked good, but couldn't put it together like last year and Carney and Nelson each had a great day, got some valuable experience and will be much wiser the next time around. The night ended up in the streets with most of my riding idols stumbling around, there were plenty of hugs going around and Texans getting loose. It was really fun and now we are planning out our next adventure. I believe we will be heading up to Winterburgh or Winterburg, however its spelled, but we heard there is a fun bike park up there, so we will once again be loading up the Kangoo for another adventure with our bikes!!!

For all of you who raced CB this weekend shoot me a post and let me know how things go eh!

Take care all and have a great day!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

World Championship Update

HOLY CRAP! Just popping in, the cliffhanger story will have to wait, but for the time being I thought I would give a quick update on Championship Saturday here in Val Di Solle. Sam Hill killed it all the way till the end, he crashed, and still ended up third!!! One of my Idols Steve Peat was in the hot seat till the last racer, I thought he just might finally win a World Championship, but fellow countrymen Gee Atherton took the Victory alongside his sister who won the Elite Women. I called Gee for the win, but I would have loved to have seen Peaty win one right in front of my eyes! Joey finished first American, and had a good run considering his rough weekend of getting his ankle crushed, pretty proud of him for gutting it out and giving all he had. Joey will be leaving us as he will be heading back to the USofA to his sisters place for some R&R. I hope he rests up and kills it out there! So our crew has been trimmed from 5 to 3! Michael, Caleb and I will be heading up to Winterburg, Germany for some DH action tomorrow after all is finished here in Italy! It has been a great day so far starting with a hike through the forest from my campsite to the DH course, and will probably end somewhere in town after the USA boys go for the Mountain Cross gold. Its almost time for the big show. First I need to re-apply more sunscreen as my face is burning to a crisp!

Good luck Kristin, hope your having fun this weekend, good luck with your race, hope all goes well and can not wait to here how everything goes!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Its about time - World Championships!!!

So sorry for the delay on this post, it has been nearly a week since my last update and for that I apologize to all of my die hard readers. After talking to my parents for the first time earlier this week I learned I have quite the readership, I'm really happy that this has made a difference and has kept everyone updated on our adventures. Also its great to read all of your comments, so keep them coming!!!

Since the last read the adventures have not stopped, everyday has been one big adventure for us.


Morzine to Val Di Solle was quite the journey, definitely a little more than we bargained for. Of course the drive was longer than what we thought, we got lost trying to drive through towns, the freeway is pretty easy, but the tolls are fairly substantial and are starting to add up, the bike box straps started to make a heinous vibrating noise, kinda like we were a huge bumble bee! Gas is really expensive, especially in Italy. Gas stations are full of crap in France, but occasionally you find something worth consuming, once you enter Italy, the Auto Grill greets you with delicious sandwiches, I used to live for these types of sandwiches, now I cannot enjoy them, it is fairly depressing! The wine and olive vineyards are stunning and everywhere in some parts, mom you would be in heaven over here! Fun fact of the day: Wine is cheaper than water!!! Don't buy fizzle water, its terrible but it does make you drink it slower, so at least you have water! Castles are everywhere, its incredible, we haven't done anymore wall rides on them but Joey invented a new game called "dibs" where you point and "dibs" the castle, if you do then it is yours and you gain more castle strength. Basically it was a way to argue with each other about who has the coolest castle! After a full day and who knows how many Kilometers later we made it to Val Di Solle!

Val Di Solle

Our mission was to get Joey here in time to get everything done and ready, Mission Accomplished! Now we had to figure out what to do that we were here with five days till the races. First things first, find a place to camp out! Bingo, a circle sign with a nice road leading into the forest, it must be a campsite or something right? It was a glorious spot situated in the spacious Italian Woods, the only problem was it rained that night. Good thing I had my tent all set up! We slept in that next morning until the rain slowed, broke down camp and went to town. After going to the market, which by the way closes for like four hours for lunch, a little inconvenient for us but really cool for the locals, I wish we did that, it would slow the pace down to our daily lives and we would all get more family time! We went exploring more into the crazy mountain villages, it amazed me that people built and continue to build on the hillsides with the steepest switchbacks needed to get around. It was foggy up in the high altitude village so we didn't get to see the view but it must have been incredible! Back into town we went with one question on our minds, what were we going to do next? We asked around for a bit, did some research and settled on Shladming Bike Park, home of World Cup races and a really tall mountain boosting tons of vert for some good mid trip downhill mountain bike training. We were told its a 3 hour trip, but traveling in the Kangoo I'm sure it will take us longer!

Tune in next time and find out whether or not we find the place, if the Kangoo makes it, we all sell our bikes and buy a vineyard and turn into major Wineoes! I figured that I would leave this story to be continued as it will be a long one and also that I have to head on out into the rain find Michael and Caleb and set up camp. Check out the race tomorrow on! It should be showing around 6am for you Colorado folks, it'll blow your minds what these riders are riding down!

All of the USA Team members are going to bed now, many of them beat and bruised from the long weekend, but they will all be going for the gold tomorrow morning risking everything down the gnarliest course ever! Dustin Belcher would like to extend a hello to everyone and that he may be down right now, but he is not out as he will be back riding soon looking to prove to everyone that he really did deserve to wear the Red, White and Blue!

Still having an awesome time, watching a little futbol right now just enjoying the last moments of comfort inside the USA hotel before I head out into the night, into the rain, spiders and forest! Next blog also will include world championship racing action and reports, so check back in about 24 hours for full coverage!



Saturday, June 14, 2008


Being after midnight over here it is fathers day, so I would like to extend and Gigantic HAPPY FATHERS DAY to our father Mr Tom Buell! Thank you dad so much for all of your support in making our dreams a reality, we have the greatest dad in the world. In my 21 years of life, and I'm sure Michaels 24(dang he's old haha), my father has been such a great influence and inspiration to me and if he wasn't such a dedicated father to all of his children I wouldn't be the person I am today, that I am sure of!

A few things I admire about my dad and what has influenced me to this day!
  • His work ethic: I've never seen someone so hard working. I don't think anyone will find a nicer man, someone who always wears a smile on his face and is there to greet you the second you walk into his shop.
  • Attitude: Always positive upbeat and cheerful! Now you all know where I get it from. and Mom too, they are both great people, but mom its dads day so let him have his glory:)
  • Motivation: Up @ the crank of dawn, coffee brewing, ready to meet the day dead on no matter what lays ahead of him!
  • Perseverance: Once he starts a project he finishes it! I'm getting better at that, one thing at a time right?
  • Kindness: Would drop everything and go out of his way to help a stranger fix, pull or push anything.
  • Leadership: The best trail boss, keeps everyone well informed and grouped together! Can't wait to come back and ride dirt bikes!
  • Being Tall: It doesn't hurt being tall right? Reaching things in high places so my mom doesn't have to climb on the counters:) Just kidding!
There are so many more I could list but I should stop because he is also a very modest man and doesn't brag about every good fortune, I know he likes to talk his kids up and show everyone what we are doing, but it is him who deserves the credit and praise, if it wasn't for our dad none of this would be possible! So anyways before I make this thing a biography, HAPPY FATHER"S DAY DAD, we hope you enjoy yourself on your day! Wish I could be home on this day with you riding dirt bikes, eating a home cooked meal by our wonderful mother, and watching the sun set sitting outside in our own backyard!


Michael and Little Bull

PS Let me know when your email is back up and running!!!

Colds can't keep me down!!!

hahmhm, or whatever noise you make whenever you have a frog in your throat. I think Joey was kind enough to share with me his cold yesterday, and today I suffered a bit with lack of energy, but I still managed to have an awesome time on yet another beautiful day of riding! We explored Les Gets this morning. We all got up earlier than our usual 9am wake up time and found our way over the mountain to Les Gets resort where the 2005 world cup was held. It was fun to ride a new area for a while but we got bored of riding break bumps, swampy rutted jumps and flat wooded trails, so we adventured back to Morzine. It was an ADVENTURE cause we didn't know where we were going, all we knew was we were going down and towards the valley! The hiking trail I believe that we were on was called the grand tour, and was it ever. There were a few good elbow dragging berms, but most of the way down consisted of fire roads, bike trail and cow trail. The weather was fairly nice out and the track in Morzine had surprisingly dried out substantially and mud tires were a little sketch on some of the dry corners. Because of this we rode mostly in the tree's where the traction was excellent and the roots and mud made for good fun! Joey called it early, probably figured that he had survived a good week of riding and didn't want to risk anything else before worlds. I cannot blame him since we were just riding faster and faster, yet were getting more tired which eventually leads to disaster. Michael and I took one more and after playing around on the roots up top I had my best run on the bottom of the whole week! It was fast, loose and fun! That was a great way to end it so I called it, I was also tired, because of Joey's stupid cold and hungry.

Eating snacks has got be be one of my favorite activities! Anything tastes great after runs on the Pleney, and my choice of snack for today was about five rice cakes with chocolate hazelnut spread, jam and nuts, a banana, orange and an apple! I told you all I've nearly eaten a fruit basket everyday! Snack time however was cut short to wash my bike. I love how the bikes when wet look so nice but when they dry they look like pieces of junk. All of the dirt streaks show up, its just unpleasant. Anyway, after greasing every bolt on my bike and putting it in my bike box we all went to the store where I bought a heap load of snacks for the next days journey to Italy, and Gluten Free pasta which would be accompanied by an awesome salad! It was the best meal I've had all trip and to top it off I found some chocolate quinua cereal and had that for dessert! Now I am extremely full and stuffed to the brim, even had to unbutton my size 32 shorts, it sure beats not having anything to eat the night before, yet that adventure was worth it and provided me with found memories I will cherish for the rest of my life! No crazy adventures tonight, just some dance offs, packing and general goofing around.

Being in Morzine was a great break from the previous intense race weeks. Riding here I hope has made me a better rider as I feel I am more comfortable now riding on my own bike that doesn't feel so new anymore. This place was so much fun I really hope I get a chance to come back here, and when I do I know I have a place to stay! Now its off to bed and in the morning Val Di Sole Italy for the World Championships of Mountain Biking where Joey will be going for the Junior Downhill gold, GO JOEY!!! We will be team USA personal assistants and will help as much as possible, but also we will all learn as much as possible from the best riders in the world as they too will all be vying for the top box and to be called world champion. Its gonna be awesome, I can't wait!!! Who knows when I will find more internet so for the time being, this is Brian Buell signing off, stay classy America!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just another day in Morzine, France.

For some reason I'm having a hard time committing myself to writing this, it feels like homework. The reason being I had such an epic day and I want to go to bed! Lets just say another beautiful day in paradise, 8 laps on the DH, some timed runs, fun runs and slippery runs. In the afternoon after riding some of the sickest trails ever, we walked down our driveway to the road where a road race was taking place. In one day this sleepy town transformed into a road biking mecca, and after the racers went flying by with Michael and I cheering them on, they tore everything down and probably started to head to the next town. Never have I seen a camera man standing on a motorcycle pointing the lens at a cyclist right next to him, nuts I tell you. Road biking gets way more exposure than I could dream downhilling could ever get, and this is just a warm up race for the tour, I can only imagine what the tour is like! That was pretty neat though, I have never witnessed a road race before, so I appreciated it! Cleaning the bikes is turning into a daily choir just like doing the dishes, its non stop mud! I'm not complaining, its so much fun and I can tell I'm getting a lot more comfortable on my bike! Finally after a few days of settling in and working on bikes and other stuff, we all went and explored(everyone but caleb as he was preparing for a date with this french lady from Paris) . Mike, Joey and I took the Kangoo)rental car) up to Alvoriez for the ride of its life! The town is crazy, dead like most other resorts during the off season, but the architecture of the buildings and hotels were something out of Dr Seuss. It looks like someone found as many wood boards as they could, nailed them all together and called it good, but the best part about this place is its situated over a huge cliffside, you don't see that in the states! We went on some four wheeling adventures with the Kangoo and it Kan got err done! We tooled around on some fire roads for a while on the mountain, went through a tunnel, did a car wall ride in it, the Kangoo can go anywhere. So after we tried to rally down the mountain into the town below the cliffs but found a road block and when we tried to come back up, the grade was steeper than what we thought! After some pushing and going nowhere, Michael backed her down the hill, revved the engine and peeled out shifting into second and keeping her pinned the whole way up, sparks flying, rocks spraying, axles stressing. I swear if someone was watching out of one of those hotel windows, they probably would have thought this thing flying up the hill making terrible noises was a rally car doing the Pikes Peak hill climb. I was doubled over rolling on the ground trying to avoid the spray and also laughing so hard, probably the hardest I've laughed in a while, at the sight of michael gripping the wheel close to his chest grinding his teeth trying his hardest to not let up, it kinda looked like he was laughing uncontrollably. Definitely my trip highlight so far, by far the most awesome thing that has ever happened in a Kangoo! After regrouping, we did some photos on the cliffs and did some driving on the sweet curvy mountain roads through montroude nad back to Morzine. I honestly thought we were not going to get back in time for Caleb to go on his date! Now I'm here, just ate about a whole fruit basket today as my food supply has dwindled. Looking forward to some more good riding tomorrow as Les gets lifts open for riding! I really have to pee so good night and god bless! Made it through another friday the 13th!!!

View from outside my window

It was great sitting here by myself eating breakfast and looking outside the window down out at the town of Morzine and the mountains that surround the area. Its such a good view I figured I should share my breakfast views with all of you! About to suit up and ride, as soon as those lazy bums get out of bed! Yall have a great day now!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Morzine mansion, or should I say...Chalet!

Its interesting to compare mine and my brothers style of writing, I don't know who is more interesting, but he sure can supply some interesting filler pictures! Anyways, right now I am listening to the wind, rain and church bells outside, Michael, Caleb and a fellow named Peter who shares the mansion with us, its actually called the Eira Chalet, check it out @
I didn;t rea;;y think about it until now, but the place is pretty much ours!!! HAHA, its glorious, just have to make sure we keep the joint clean otherwise we might have to pay, don't think it will be a problem even with all this mud! Its so nice though, we have a power wash to hose our bikes down with, boot dryers, like a hundred of them hanging on the wall to dry all of our stuff, they are a huge lifesaver, cause evreything from top to bottom is soaked after each day of riding! Yet today I wore my fisherman pants which are real fisherman pants and a simple spray down is all you need to clean them and everything underneath is dry! I love my fisherman pants and was stoked to wear them! We were all in rain stuff today, it didn't rain though, it was just peanut butter, I wish I could find peanut butter, they have no peanut butter! How am I supposed to make a PB&J sandwich? Anyways, the riding is super excellent, great for training and will help in our quest for getting faster! Yesterday was fun because we got to ride all new trails, but today was awesome because we knew what the tracks were like and got to bomb down them getting really loose in the mud...I LOVE MUD! My bike doesn't though, I was working on it for like a day and found about a pound of mud stuck in to nooks and crannies. Shes all ready to go now and I'm so ready to get rowdy tomorrow with my mud tires! Caleb and our British buddy Peter are all hanging out now in the couch room, talking smack and having a good time. They all just got back from the pub which was kinda deserted, certainly no good looking French ladies. I have been on the computer trying to upload pictures, speaking of which check out my facebook photos or my on, I'm trying to get all of the photos uploading in one place or another by hopefully tomorrow, trying to take full advantage of the internet here! I kinda don't want to leave, I could definitely see myself living here, but I would definitely have to learn some French first, speaking here is really hard and the people are not too helpful either. Found some gluten free bread yesterday, I finally can eat a sandwich, now I need to buy some dough and make myself a pizza, or past! I think I have been living on way too much fruits and veggies even for my taste. It was awesome however when we went down to the farmers market yesterday and I bought a roasted chicken and potatoes, good energy food for riding and great for making delicious salads!!! I'm feeling very good though, been riding hard and no bad injuries or sickness! The mountains here are stunning and I haven't even touched the surface yet, tomorrow after riding I think we are going to to some exploring and check out some of the mountain passes and towns. I will be taking tons more pictures in the next few days so look out for those! I should go to bed about now if I plan on riding well tomorrow, but as you can tell I'm having a great time. Wish I could have some cereal in the morning, cannot find any cereal though, I'll make due! Could go all night, already have just about, but its time to call it a night! More pictures and updates tomorrow!



Michael Say:
Just got done riding our second day out here in Morzine. The trails are awesome, and we get to be covered head to toe with mud all day which makes things even better. Don't get to play in the mud to often out there Colorada way, so I always look forward to tuning brown once in a while. The slick fast trails are great to train on, and there are ton's of fast riders around, it will be impossible for all of us to move on from here without getting faster. I think the gondola people hate us though, wiping those things out probably gets old after a while.
Sorry no new pictures from the trip yet, but I promise there will be some soon, in the mean time enjoy the angry cat below, and since pictures are usually more fun then words here is a sweet picture of a scorpion I almost stepped on in the grand canyon a few years ago.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There hasn't been any photos for a while here, so for those of you picture book liking folk, here ya go.

Michael's Section

Michael’s first post!!!!!

Well Brian has somehow done a pretty good job keeping this blog going with fairly frequent updates, not really sure where he finds the time, especially with always having to go on adventures to find the internet. Now that we have easy internet access I guess I have no excuse not to contribute a little bit.

So far this trip has been pretty awesome!!! Sure getting all our luggage lost for a week, and having to race on rental bikes was a little annoying, and by a little annoying I mean it kind of blew. Oh well though, at least we got to spend those days hiking around in the Pyrenees (which are awesome mountains), and driving the scenic drive to Barcelona and back.


Andorra was awesome, Brian has done a pretty good job filling you in on that one. We had a great time. The place can get a bit overwhelming at times being such a bustling city, but the mountains were pretty spectacular, and one gondola ride puts you up above all the chaos on to one of the coolest bike parks around.


From Andorra we traveled back to Spain again, a few wrong turns later, we found ourselves right in the middle of the city center, a nice reward for having almost no clue how to navigate the ridiculously confusing highway system. We drove right past a bunch of the big monuments and squares with all the giant statues and what not, I recognized a bunch of I from the trip I took to Spain back in High School. We explored around there driving down random roads for a while, half just checking things out, and half having absolutely no Idea which way was the right way to go. Eventually we made our way back out of the city and south toward the airport, we found ourselves the cheapest hotel room we could, (TIP, when traveling with a group of five tell the hotel people you have 2-3 and hide the others while your there, seeing as they charge per head, and we don’t mind sleeping on the floor we find ourselves doing this quite often. Our day off in Spain was pretty rad. After finding the hotel room and unloading all the luggage off the roof of the car we got ourselves some food and headed to the beach to relax for a few hours. I hadn’t been to a real beach in six years I think, and seeing as I spend almost every day in the mountains I was looking forward to this. I would of stayed out there all day but unfortunately we still needed to deal with getting our luggage back.

The Fiasco

Not really an exciting read but this is how it all went down. If you get bored reading as I do I would skip to the next part.

So Brian and I both did a pretty good job I think not freaking out about our lost luggage, and bikes, I’m pretty sure about 99 percent of the people in this world would not of handled things quite so well. I guess that just the way the two of us go about life though, getting all worked up about things and letting it ruin your day, doesn’t make anything any better.

With that said though, I was still pretty frustrated with dealing with the airline people, they were full of nothing but promises and never delivered. Now wanting to do nothing but hang out on the beach, Brian and I headed back to the Airport. My 3rd time there in less then a week. After talking the guys at the car rental lot into letting us park there, we headed in. We had lost the paperwork needed to clear security to get to the lost baggage people (and by we I mean Brian), so after dealing with a bunch of unhappy people, me speaking poor Spanish and them speaking poor English. I got in, Brian was cut of and had to wait. After a half hour of phone calls, they tell me the luggage will hopefully arrive back to the airport sometime the next day. I in no way believed them after they had failed to come through everyday for the last week, but we hoped this time things would work out. The next day we went back to the air port again early. I worked my way through security with the right paper work this time. I get the the office, they call around and now tell me that the baggage wont be back now for 3-4 days, from what it sounded like it was close to the airport, but this is how much time it takes them to get stuff checked back into there system, After letting them know as nicely as I could that this was completely unacceptable, and how bad they were messing up our vacation due to the contents of the luggage, they were able to make a few more phone calls and that 3-4 days turned into 1 hour. Funny how that works. They send us to some back office across the street from the main terminal, I guess this is there way of getting around the check in time, and soon a truck pulls up with all of our stuff, and surprisingly undamaged. Needless to say we were quite relieved to have our stuff back and to finally get on with our trip.


Traveling to Scotland was a breeze. All our luggage arrived so already we were about a million percent ahead of last week. The Train ride up to Ft William was absolutely gorgeous. This time last year I didn’t think Scotland was a place I’d get to anytime in the near future, so all in all it was pretty awesome to be there. I’d say so far from all the traveling I’ve done it is definitely up there amongst my favorites. Racing there as well was on another level. The locals are so into the sport, and the atmosphere was awesome. Oh yeah, and they have this Bannana Milk there which is basically like the best stuff ever put in a bottle.


Now were in France, I was hoping to do a little better recap on my thoughts of the trip so far but its getting late and I want to get some sleep as we will ride all day tomorrow.

The riding here is really good, and from what it sounds like we have just scratched the surface. We’ve somehow managed to find ourselves a place to stay in this really nice chalet. We were wandering around on the streets and asked a random dude on the street riding a bike if he had any recommendations on where to stay around here he made a phone call and set us up with this guy named Simon who owns this place.

Its off season right now and the place isn’t technically open, there are two other guys more or less living here for the Summer and then the caretaker. So 7 of us total living in this huge place. So basically its like were staying in our own private mansion.

Lots more to talk about but I’m going to bed, more to come tomorrow, and hopefully lots of sweet photos.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Traveling: Ft William to Morzine, France!

Ugh, we finally made it after two flights, lost baggage and a night sleeping underneath the stairs in the train station in Geneva, Switzerland. Today started out very slowly, and with a security guard staring over me telling me to wake up in french. Travel information desk didn't open till 10:30, and the plan carrying the rest of our bags would not arrive until 12:30, so we all had some time to kill and with the security guard waking us at 6:30 it was a long morning! Luckily I found a grocery store where I bought some fruit, yogurt and chocolate milk. Joey completed his first sudoku puzzle ever and Michael and Caleb spent their morning wandering around asking for info and watching bike videos studying. We ended up renting a car after finding our bags, this car wasn't very big and the pack job we had to do was hilarious, but it got the job done. I'll provide pics after I download them, sorry I can't find the cord at the moment? Anyways, driving through Geneva into France we were informed by some arrogant French security guard that Swiss rental cars can only spend 8 days in Europe, they are not a part of the union? Confused we agreed and moved on, we have the car for 27 days and we all agreed we would deal with that then! The Alps are pretty neat, and I have just seen the start of em! We drove through town after town till we made our way to Les Gets, found information and was told that the lift would not run till sunday, the town was pretty dead so we headed on down the road to Morzine where there is also tons of riding, and when all the lifts are running you can bike into Les Gets and also back into Switzerland. Hungary, we found the only place open, lucky me it was a pizza place, I'm really craving pizza right now, bu they do not do rice crust anywhere! We spoke with a few locals and they hooked us up with this guy by the name of Simon, he runs a Chalet just on the edge of the hill. The place is awesome, two rooms, a large lounge area upstairs with pool, internet and TV, a place to store our bikes and a very nice women who made up our rooms by the name of Jill, It is also the early season here, pretty much the off season, not much going on as the snow is all almost melted off. It was raining and the temperatures dropped from those in the valley, but should make for some awesome riding tomorrow! I can't wait to just ride, train and have fun for a while with now schedules to fallow but our own. It really is a beautiful place here, can't wait to explore the area which we should seeing that we have a car. Wish I could speak french, but its not all that bad because most people speak english as well. Its getting to be pretty late now, Caleb and I are just finishing up on the Internet, which is addicting , and I'm looking forward to a warm bed and some sleeping in, we in to at least 8 I think would be n ice, then riding all day long!!! Still can't get over being in Scotland last week, now we are here in Morzine, finally, it is time to sleep!

Ft William: Race day!!!

Oh boy what a week!!! I had a very surreal moment in my qualifying run yesterday as soon as I crested up over the Nissan arch jump starring down towards the grandstand finish area. I had watched so many movies and have seen riders do this many times before, but actually doing it at that moment made me pause for a second, and I thought to myself, I’m doing here, doing it, time slowed down for just a second and little video clips of past movies ran through my mind, then time sped back up again and I executed exactly what I just visualized and saw myself not from a riders point of view, but from a spectators, weirdest experience I’ve ever had riding! I think the past few days of riding were catching up to me and fatigue was setting in, or the golf game I played the day before screwed up my arms because I had massive arm pump, it was really bad! Yes, I did play golf and it was awesome! I had made friends with the owners of the Ft William Country Club and Caleb and I played a round as one of their guests. The course was different to say the least, your never going to play on a course like this. It was full of rolling hills and natural terrain which made it tough, but the surroundings were so breathtaking that I didn’t even care how I played, just the fact that I was there was enough make me extremely happy. I figured if I didn’t play golf in Scotland I would regret it, now, back to the bikes. Compared to the first few days, race day I felt weaker, I still haven’t figured it out but it played a major factor in the way I rode my run. I didn’t psyche myself out or anything neither, I was riding well, liked the course and had finally figured out all of my lines. Before the race run I chilled out with my fan club, all seven of em, just a few kids I met at a bus stop, they made me a banner which was awesome! While watching the women qualify I ate an energy bar and drank plenty of water, so lack of energy shouldn’t have been a problem. At the top of the gondola I did my warm up, a variation of one at least; really don’t have a set warm up yet, I more or less just ride around visualizing, looking through turns, do jumping jacks and other dynamic warm ups. The start was delayed for around 20 minutes, I watched some riders set off down the hill before I went up for my run. I also took in the view from the top taking mental pictures all the way up to my race run as I was in the gate, figured it would keep me relaxed. My run was a mixed bag of great, good and bad riding! Out of the gate I felt a little twitchy and not as loose as I would have liked to have been, as soon as I entered into the rough sections I started to ride faster, however I made mistakes and my arms started to pump up causing my hands to lose their grip. After giving all I had up top I tried to be smooth and to have fun on the bottom but it was too late, my hands were gone and my technique was faltering. I made it down successfully through the middle tree section, but it was slow, and as I came out of the forest and entered in the last stretch called the motor way, I was holding on for dear life, death gripping my bars and letting out joyous heehaws off of all jumps as I knew I had just about made it. Then on the last table top jump, the excitement of finishing turned to fear of endowing over my handlebars as my bike bucked me forward nearly ending it all, but it didn’t and I finished into the arena and I could hear my fan club yelling from the top of the stands, I gave then a little point and a wave, my day was done as I finished out of the top 80. The rest of the day was an awesome display of riding from Greg Minnar and Tracy Mosely as they were the victors. Ft William was and probably will be the coolest race I will ever compete in, the fans were amazing, the numbers were outstanding and the environment was a celebration of bikes, also I was listening to the race at the top on the radio, when does that ever happen? After, we rode our bikes back on the bike path for one more time, did some wall rides on a castle and then packed and celebrated our weekend of riding long into the night!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ft William... DOING IT!!!

Glasgow to Ft William

Green street station platform seven, this was where our adventure to FT William from Glasgow begins. After spending what seemed like hours in the apple store I walked outside to find myself engulfed in the city, it was the weirdest feeling walking out of a place that felt so familiar into an unfamiliar city in the middle Scotland. I have experienced these feeling many times over the last week and a half. Just to think that I’ve been to Andorra already and will probably never go back there again unless there is another bike race. I suppose you just have to live in the moment and take everything in as it happens. All of us were stoked to catch the train, we had to talk with the conductor first to make sure that it was ok that we could carry all of our luggage on, but once that was done we were off cruising through the countryside passing sheep, castles and small villages while moving at a moderate speed. The country is amazing out here, I like to consider Moab, Utah as God’s country, I might have to add northern Scotland to the list as the rolling hillsides and the lush forests fuel my imagination dreaming of dragon’s, braveheart, Robin Hood and other fictional childhood fantasy tails. I have to admit though, being up here kind of reminds me about Harry Potter, it’s like I’m in Hogsmead right now! It was a brilliant four hour train ride to the town of Ft Bill as they call it here. While on the train we meet a fellow by the name of Dale, he is a mechanic for the chain reaction boy’s and was one of the nicest people I have met, most people are extremely nice up in these parts, but they have such thick accents that sometimes things get strewn about within conversation and I forgot what the heck I was talking about in the first place. Dale helped me carry my bags to our room once we found a place to stay, what a nice bloke.

Ft William

Like I said above this place is a bit like something out of Harry Potter, the main street at least is. Our hotel is situated above the main street, so the sounds of the bar patrons echo long into the night through our windows. There are many shops, bars and restaurants, but the best deal on food has to be in the super market as there is a salad bar for a set price which we all have taken advantage of. Ft William is the largest village between here and Glasgow and does offer the familiar McDonald’s restaurant with their hilarious tastes of America menu, it’s also a good place to get free internet! I would really like to cruise around town one of these nights and visit some of the local pubs and divulge in some of the customary eats but for right now I’m just trying to survive the long rides to and from the race venue and the DH course at the moment. I saw schools of kids up at the race venue today, massive amounts of people walking the pits and course and its only Friday. As good of job that Ft William does organizing this event, they still need to accommodate the biker without any form of transportation between the town and venue, It is a 7 mile ride to a from the race venue, and on the way there it is about a 4% grade the whole way, definitely a good warm up ride!

The Course

After watching a dozen race movies featuring the same Ft William Course over the last few years it sure was a trip actually being here and riding the same thing! When I spoke of surviving the course earlier, it’s just that, survival out there! I got a pinch flat my first run down, so I got to walk the majority of the course getting a good look of most of the lines and how they were being ridden. It was a tough day as Michael and I had our difficulties getting our new bikes dialed in. I messed up my derailleur a bit breaking the chain and Michael with the crash of the day went flying heads first into a face first slide down the backside of a road gap jump, he also broke his derailleur after suffering a blown bead and an explosive tube that stopped him dead and sent him flying in the first place. Today however was much better! Magura breaks and Shimano have been a huge help as well as Maxxis for letting us store our packs behind their tent and allowing me to use some tools. The first run was tough, my hands were in pain and I was unfocused the whole way down thinking about my soft rear suspension. Caleb helped me dial it in for the next run as we added a little more high speed compression to the mix allowing the glide and skip over the wallowing holes that had developed over the course of a day. There are two different personalities to the course, the top is exposed and all man made on the top of the Ben Nevis, lots of huge rocks and berms, really fun once you can get the flow down staying as loose as possible using every inch of travel whether it be in your fork or your arms. The bottom half consists of some technical woods and a peddle section which jumps called the motor speedway, new to this year is a road gap the bypasses a rock slow rock section. The finish area is really fun, after having absolutely no jumps in Andorra, it is nice to be able to take breaks while in the air before having to peddle more already exhausted from the last 4 minutes of the course. All in all the course is a good one, it took me a while to warm up to it, but now I’m feeling more confident and ready to race come Sunday, still have some work to do finding my lines however.


Joey being our tour guide to Ft William took us to this sweet castle where we did some wall rides and messed around a little bit. I’ve spent a fair bit of time out in the streets riding around testing my suspension and I’m pretty sure most people think I’m a bit crazy watching me bounce around all over the place. For those who don’t know, there are these bugs that are called midges, and much like mosquitoes, they are annoying, bite and are absolutely everywhere, while talking to Tracy Moseley’s parents, they said it’s the worst year yet for the little buggers. Mountain cross training was tough; Rudy didn’t have a good run and didn’t qualify, so now he is a spectator. I’m developing a sweet Scottish accent and am thinking of getting a kilt. Today I also talked to the owners of the Golf Club who were really nice; I think I might golf one of these days, check that off of the bucket list. Now the boys are in the room eating fish and chips and after they are done we are going to watch 4X and hopefully not get attacked by midges.

Joeys Section

The trip has been awesome so far. I’m glad things are starting to work smoothly. Andorra was a rough week for all with bikes not showing up and all. I only had a few runs on the track before the race and then had a fairly poor run in qualifying. The track was very slippery during qualies and fairly dry the day before when I was riding it. I had a chance to meet up with some locals there and they showed me some of Cedric’s secret trails. It was really good training to ride on the steep, off camber, rooty, wet tracks there. It will certainly be good for the World Champs in two weeks. From what I’ve seen the track will be steep, rooty, and knowing Europe, wet. Looks like Usa cycling took a full team of 7 for the USA Junior team. I’m really looking forward to that race. Runs are going well here in Fort William. Having ridden this track at last years Junior World Champs has been helpful. The track is the same so I already know quite a bit about it and will be able to improve and build off the mistakes I made racing here last year. It’s such a rough track it’s hard to even do a full run but I think tomorrow I will try to a few timed runs. The Yeti is set up really well for this track and is getting up to speed well. The boys at Fox got my suspension al dialed and a bit stiffer for all the holes on the track. Rough is an understatement for this track. One more day of practice then quails and Race on Sunday. I really want to make top 80 and race in the finals, hopefully go top 50 then. There’s just loads and loads of fast euro guys over here you have never even herd of. Thanks to Maxxis too for letting me pit with them. I did runs with Sabrina today which was real fun. She is definitely fast and a cool person. .She also introduced me to a fast French girl today too and I got to do a few runs with her J I miss every body at home but we are having the times of our lives. The Buells are great guys to travel with and I love how they always keep an awesome attitude no matter how hard the airlines are screwing them. I can’t wait to get to Morzine and Pila next week for some riding with out the pressures of racing. Should be real good fun and good training for worlds too. I will try to do a few more updates on brains blog over the next few weeks as well.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Apple store in Glasgow, Scotland!

Here we are sitting in the apple store in Glasgow, Scotland using internet that doesn't cost a dime which is nice because I'm slow at this typing business and thinking on my feet while the clock is ticking is not my thing on a computer at least! 

Quick recap of the last weekend and few days!

The weekend was described by as Michael as a sort of of bust! I think the weekend from a riding standpoint was more of a bust, but the weekend as a whole was quite awesome! The level of riding that was on display was amazing, and the atmosphere was great! I love having my stuff, like everything, I packed my house it seems like, but in a way it was nice just totting around only a bag. It was not nice however the items I had to borrow from friends. I was grateful for the help, but it was a pretty expensive weekend since we had to rent bikes. Hopefully the airlines will compensate for everything! That was the weekend, a great place to stay (thanks Caleb's mom!), breakfast every morning, and a brisk 5 minute walk to the gondola provided for exercise everyday!

The race: Michael and I both had one day of training on these rental bikes! They were ok, not high end, tuned machines but they did the trick alright! I dove straight into practice heads first flying as fast as I could, since I new all of the lines and had envisioned it beforehand I was comfortable going for it trying to make up for lost time! Crashed a few times, but I found my speed. Race day quickly approached and after a near successful full practice run, and another run in which i sectioned off the course, I was in the gate ready to qualify in my jean pants and Michael's jersey! I had a great run al the way to the end, I might have been right on the pace, but I fell in the last corner! I had taken it fairly conservative in the mud, which was just peanut butter by now after about 200 competitors had already stirred the course up! It would have been a thing of legend to have qualified, but I was close and pretty happy! All of the other guys faired all right, only the big boys qualified, non from our group, but I have a great feeling abou fort william! It was a great learning experience as always, and we all had a great time at the after party! 

The following day, we packed up, still without bikes and bags and drove back through the scenic countryside to Barcelona! By the afternoon we were on the beach, eating fish and checking out the views! All full and tired we retreated to a hotel near the coast and relaxed! Joey and Rudy tried to go to a disco but failed to find one. Michael and I went to the airport to demand satisfaction and that was what was delivered, the next day! They told us 3-4 days, but somehow after a few calls and some custom's clearing, the bikes at 1pm on Tuesday were back in our possession, finally! It was a big relief and I was glad to see that the baggage people actually felt for us as they described this as a colossal mistake, which is still and understatement! Just the first week in our six week Europe trip, hopefully things go a little smoother from here!

After a few flights and some slumber in the airport we are awaiting a train to take us to the FT, but for now I would like to get out of this apple store to explore the city of Glasgow! Hopefully riding in Ft William next time I post! Until then...Cheers!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


In the airport in London! More to come when I have free internet!