Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Post Mountain States Cup happenings

In the last few weeks I have done the fallowing: Explored a bit of my local area, climbed around a local waterfall, nothing, slept in and did nothing but watched college football, that was awesome!
Been watching a lot of football, Broncos are 2-0...somehow, unfortunately the Buffs could not fallow suit, they are currently stinking it up at 1-2.
Been playing a bit of Frisbee golf, B Bailey has gotten me into that, plans to possibly create a course on the property are in place.
I guess I have been working a lot, which has been unusual as we have been away usually every weekend.
Did a photo shoot with Devon Balet and got some cool shots of us riding on the property, would like to do that more.
After work, we all have been doing a lot of nothing, just hangin out, I definitely felt this at the last race, should do a bit more to keep in shape!

This past weekend however, there was a collegiate race that happened at Sol Vista. It was put on by the School of Mines, part of the collegiate series I so frequented as a scholar, this year however I just raced the open category. It was a good race, but before the race, I forgot to mention me and Michael rode winter park for a bit of fun...which it was. Back to the collegiate race. The course was Cheez it which I really don't enjoy too much as a race course, it is slow, and technical, lots of small bumps and flat washed out turns, makes you feel like crap on the bike, fun trail, just can't go as fast as you really want to. There were some fun festivities that took place over the weekend, including the Collegiate Pump Track World Championships. I participated in Crocs and my board shorts, and won using Dieder's bike. That night some CU hooligans created a 20 foot tall tepee and then proceeded to light it on fire, it then grew to about 30 feet tall, perfect conditions for it made for a successful bond fire. The next day was the race. Joey took the Men A by a huge margin, he also took the speed trap victory as he was fastest through the rocks at 22 mph. The speed gun died and the open classes could not be recorded, which was a bummer as the payout was a cool $100 bucks. Joey repeated and won the Open improving his already fast time by a second and beat me by a solid 7 seconds, as I felt like I had a good run, but not a fast one my any means, still happy with 2nd and the nice little payday that came of it! After the race, as the fire still simmered from the night before we did a bit of free riding in the rain, watched the Broncos defeat the brownies from the bar and then cruised over to Todd and Julie Olsen's house for some BBQ and pump track action. A sleepy food coma induced drive home and a late night brought the weekend to a close.

Currently, its cold out and I feel the ski season creeping ever more closely, already looking at ski stuff on the web, doing a little research!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

End of the season review

Started the month of August off right by winning the Colorado Crankworx Dual Slalom and a thousand dollar novelty check, stoked on that! The race was a mud fest and I think my all mountain riding skills and ability to adapt to conditions won it for me as I never dropped a race.

Only video I could find: http://broadbandsports.com/node/28443&loc=mostpop

The next weekend Snowmass held the Colorado State Championships. I had been looking forward to this race ever since last year when I got cought in a freak lightning storm at Sol Vista. Team Geronimo and the Juniors had a great showing with a few state champions being crowned. Unfortunately I couldn't hold it together to capture a jersey. After qualifying 4th in 4X I was knocked out of the final by Jon Watt and into the final where I law darted into the back of a roller...8th for me, 6th for Michael. The DH was a great course and was holding together on race day. I qualified 10th on decent yet mistake riddled run, I tried to clean it up for the final but I had a mechanical and had to play it safe all the way down. I was saved possibly and flagged down near the bottom and was rewarded a re-run. Using Michael's bike I had a grea trun going until I lost it, got off line and slid on my head for the second time in 24 hours. A crash and a 14th place result left a bad taste in my mouth as I knew I had a top 5 in me.

Snowmass video

We took a bit of a business trip to Tahoe instead of racing out east for a three week planned trip. It was a very productive time as we coached with Gene Hamilton and World Champion Greg Minnaar at Northstar, CA. After the camp we stayed with our friend and fellow racer Graeme Pitts for a week. It was a great time and very vacation like as we slept in everyday and ate very well thanks to Leslie and Gary Pitts. We rode XC, swam in lakes, built trails and did a bit of sight seeing. I would recommend riding 'toads wild ride' as it was really fun, technical and flowy.

The last race of the season went down last week at Sol Vista and it was fittingly called the Sol Survivor. I was in first place for the overall heading into the race and had to do well to retain my lead. Michael was also in the hunt in 5th. First race of the weekend was the 4X, the same course that was used for the national champs. I had an interesting qualifying run and ended up seeding in 1st, just ahead of Ross Milan, Chris Boice, Dave Zeigmond and Michael. I cruised through my first two heats and then met Milan, Zeigmond and Petr Hanek in the finals. There was a big pile up right after the first straight that involved Petr, Ross and me. I had a bad gate and ended up fallowing in on the wheels of Ross and Petr until Ross slid out into Petr causing a road block for me. I tried to jump the pile but got caught and crashed. Everyone scrambled to get back up and onto their bikes, Ross was first to the next turn, Dave who crashed all by himself above the pile up got up and passed me while I was running to keep in the hunt. I could not reel them back in and ended up in 3rd, earning some good points for the overall. The DH was held on the classic course 'Cougar' I had a good practice and seeding run landing in 2nd place .01 behind Chris Heath for 1st, Chris Boice qualifies 3rd. In my race run I made mistakes all the way down the track and was a second and a half slower than my seeding and ended up with a disappointing 7th and a 2nd Overall in the series. I'm happy with my season, made progress and found myself in position to win, thats all I could ask for. Michael moved into 4th place for the overall.

Sol Survivor, 2009 Mountain States Cup Final - More Mountain Bike Videos

Next up are some collegiate races, and the Red Bull 12 hour races to finish up the season. In the mean time, I'm gonna have some fun exploring and relaxing in the valley as I'll be moving back to Boulder soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Some pictures from the last few races!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009 National Championships: Sol Vista part 2

I awoke Sunday extremely lethargic and exhausted from the previous night, and I didn’t even party, just a late night. I felt pretty bad too, not sick, but not into it. I tried to focus as much as possible, but after missing my practice run that morning, all I could do was stay loose and ride around a bit. I approached my qualifying run differently then I had all year, instead of going for the win and replicating a race run, I just wanted to hit some lines and cruise. It was the most asleep I’ve ever been during a run, I was so relaxed, but not in a good way. I even hit the three amigo’s without much thought, just hit em and that was that, didn’t even think about it. Next thing I knew I was at the bottom blowing the last berm and then through the finish, seeded 32nd. I attempted to take and nap and refocus over the time between seeding and my final run. I studied my Go Pro Helmet cam footage and visualized the course. Going up the lift I was calm, but still could not feel anything but sick in my stomach, maybe a bit nervous. Did a little warm up top on the trainer, but when I got off I felt like I just got off the trampoline, I was all wobbly and tired, not cool! I took a few swigs of water and then got in line, the UCI made sure of it. I tried to get my legs moving last minute before my run, no luck, time to ride. The course felt even more blown out right out of the gate, held a decent line up top with ok speed, but then the blown fest began! I was losing my feet left and right throughout the loose rocks section, blew a few turns in the sandy section and tried to make it all up by peddling. The rest of my run after the jumps was ok, blew the big berm again, definitely never figured that one out and when I crossed the finish line and saw my time it was a big disappointment. Instead of mingling in the pits like I usually do, I never stopped after my run to talk, just kept going all the way back to the pits to think about the past 2:30 minutes. I slipped into my street clothes and saw the exciting finish that had my good riding buddy Joey Schusler finish 5th and Aaron Gwin take 1st. This race left a nasty taste in my mouth, I know I had a good 4X finish, but that’s not what I was here for, I wanted a great DH finish! It was a tough weekend and I’m pretty proud of myself for overcoming some obstacles this weekend, but I was just hoping for a different outcome. Not the end of the season, not by a long shot. In the next month I will be competing for the State Championship in both 4X and DH, traveling to the East coast and possibly a world’s nomination. You’ll just have to tune back in to see what happens next!

Thank you to all of my sponsors who have helped me get this far: Team Geronimo, Kona, Tom's Sportique Eyewear, Wind River Trees, Bonsai Communities, Basalt Bike and Ski, MRP, Rockgardn, SRAM.

My final run:

Brian Buell National Championship final run Sol Vista from Brian Buell on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009 National Championships: Sol Vista

The dust has settled and I have cleared my head allowing myself a chance to analyze the weekend and my performance at this year’s National Championships. This whole season of racing had been in preparation for this weekend, my training was geared so I would peak at my highest level for this race, a lot of time and effort had taken place and it was time to perform on America's grandest stage.

Training pre race

Being a Colorado resident this race is perhaps considered to be in my backyard, home court advantage if you will, but let me tell you this, there was no such thing as home court advantage this weekend. After inspecting both the dh and four cross tracks which were new tracks being introduced at this years National Championships, I realized that it will take a lot of effort to do well on either track due to the massive amount of terrain, the difficulty of the obstacles and the risks that will be taken to enable a fast run.

Thursday: Both tracks were in need of getting ridden in, especially the four cross track. To get an idea of how large and tough the four cross course was, I practiced Thursday morning on my Kona Stab downhill bike instead of the Cowen hard tail like usual. Practice went well, the course got burnt in nicely and I had a ton of fun on the big bike. The Pro only downhill track was raw, to get a good idea of what it was all about imagine clearing an 8 foot wide path through loose baby head rocks, deep sand areas and toss in three large doubles ranging from 30-50 feet, then add some high speed berms, jumps and moto whoops. It was a recipe for a hard race course that was great for spectators and the progression of the sport. Practice went extremely well minus a near weekend ending case on the 48 foot gap on my very first run. I did 5 runs and was feeling completely up to speed was a great feeling. Thanks to some bad sausage I ate that night the rest of the weekend was turned upside down and left me playing catch up.

Friday: I woke up feeling absolutely miserable Friday morning. I couldn't even sit up without getting sick, laying down was the only thing I wanted to do and the only thing that was at all comfortable. I had to get up though, the sun was baking me out of my sleeping bag only causing more discomfort, it would end up taking a monumental feat of will power and mind over body to rise to my feet that morning. Unfortunately I would be unable to practice both downhill and four cross due to my illness, instead I sat still in a camping chair in the Team Geronimo pit all day, unable to help with our junior riders, paralyzed with sickness from a few bits of sausage that had obviously expired. Towards the end of the day I felt my body fighting the stomach bug off and I was able to ride around and later watch the Cat 2-3 four cross. Team Geronimo Rider Roy Benge did extremely well on this demanding track finishing in 3rd place, good job Roy! Team Geronimo Riders Tanner and Tyler Spence, Robert Pettit and Alec Toney also had great runs and did very well impressing me as all were extremely competitive out there. The day ended well as I was starting to perk up a little with the help of my wonderful mom and her extensive knowledge of Chinese herbs.

Race Day Saturday: DH practice & Four Cross

Four cross would have to wait until the end of the day, there was DH practice to be had. I awoke this morning alive, awake and best of all nausea free ready to ride and make up for lost time. The three amigos jumps on the downhill course had been in my thoughts ever since I cased number three hard Thursday, I didn’t have a fear of them as there was nothing to be scared of, I had just wanted to hit them for the last 48 hours. Downhill practice went really well and on my first run through I greased all of them without a worry, over clearing all of them a little bit actually, it took a few more runs but by the end of the day those things were second nature. Highlights from that practice included a top to bottom helmet cam run with Mike Kreger. Thursday I had the chance to ride and film behind Shaun Palmer, which was pretty cool! I was nuking it through the roughest part of the course and high sided landing hard on my back and head, thank goodness for full body armor. After I got up and dusted myself off I realized that my helmet cam mount had snapped off leaving my camera sitting on top of the rocks…rough!

The one hour of practice for mountain cross ended and I was extremely exhausted! Where did all of my energy go? Yesterday’s sickness was starting to take a toll on me, luckily I had a chance to recover while watching CAT 1 qualify, I also ate a fair bit of Almonds and a Laurabar that my mom provided me. Without a real reason I waited and was one of the last to qualify. My quail run was fun and full of hucks to flat, Canadian head slaps and rear tire roosting me into 9th place overall. The hard tail was a bit rough on this course but it made it that much more fun. After many, many delays, debates and decisions the pros finally got their chance to run it at right around 8:30pm. The lights were causing funny shadows on the course and made things a bit distorted as it wasn’t completely dark yet, luckily I had just switched into clear lenses. Here is a round by round reply of how things went down:
Round of 32: Heikki Hall had opted to not race making this a three horse race. Logan Bingelli and I would easily advance after a sketchy start by us hard tail riders.
Round of 16: This time the round was packed and I was left with 3rd lane choice. I had a great gate start and pimped Logan on the inside and rode second all the way down on the wheels of Mitch Ropilato.
Round of 8: Again was dealt with 3rd lane choice and was going up against some great gate starters, because of this I let them all get in front of me and tangle up in the first corner allowing for me to go from 4th to 2nd again riding the wheels of Mitch to the finish line.
Round of 4: The final! 4th gate choice as I was the slowest qualifier. I was going to stick with the same strategy as the previous round but during the first straight I had a great start, hesitated for a second and then saw the bottom of the turn wide open. I came out 3rd behind JD and Mitch, JD would crash trying to take Mitch on the inside of a tight flat corner. I was in 2nd looking to make a move on Mitch when I missed my high line through the grass, this allowed Houseman to slip in on the inside to take 2nd position, I fought for position but Houseman is a big man. This is how we would finish up, Mitch 1st, Houseman 2nd, Me 3rd, JD 4th.

Immediately fallowing the race I was informed I had to take a piss test, this made me ultra excited as I had never had a reason to do this before, I had made the big time at last. It was an insane race, so many spectators, it was night and somehow I managed to make it to the final of the National Championship four cross with the defending national champion, the nation’s best young racer and probably the most talented mountain biker. It was a pretty surreal experience overall, the whole night I never was a bit nervous, I had no expectations, I felt right at home and it was more like a jam sesh then a race, somehow I kept coming back up to the start. The crowd definitely was pumping me up as they were chanting my name and yelling people’s champion, great stuff! The best part was my whole family was there on hand to experience it live and a bunch of young ski team groms I coach were also in attendance just soaking it all up as well as our junior racers. I just felt like a kid out there, not a care in the world just having a blast doing what I love to do!

I would have to thank my brother though for giving me the low down on practice the day before and also my mom for keeping me energized and of course all of my supporters out there that were behind me the whole time making it a night to remember!

Some Videos:
Fallowing Mike Kreger Helmet Cam:

Go Pro helmet cam Brian Buell fallowing Mike Kreger on the Sol Vista National Championships pro only DH course from Brian Buell on Vimeo.

Mike Kreger chesty cam:

Pro Downhill Track POV Cam - 2009 U.S. National Championships from Litter Mag on Vimeo.

Filmed and edited by Noah Sears for Western Slopestyle Productions & Bike Magazine: Just click on the image below!

2009 US National DH Championships from NoahColorado on Vimeo.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Whistler to Colorado

Pretty mellow ending to Whistler, once the Lanes left the weather got crappy and cold. Phil and friends arrived but we were only able to muster one top to bottom run with them as the rain was taking its toll on us and the mountain. I felt like I was swimming while riding, everything was soaking wet, I was riding a bit sketchy, fast but taking some risks especially since I could see anything. It was a good few runs total, but in all honesty, I think we had our fill of Whistler. After loading up and drying off we headed over to Brian Lopes's cabin where the crew was staying, hung out then hit the road.

The wet weather had foiled my plans of riding hard all day and then riding the next day in Vancouver with Kristen Smart, a ripping local, but it was best we just start trucking. Then Pacific Northwest is a real cool place in all weather conditions as the fog and clouds make the landscape look incredible which made for a nice drive to the USA Border where we would run into the grumpy patrol. First off, as we pulled into the open lane, the dude working it decided to leave...huh? After backing up and driving to a new lane the guy comes back, nobody helped Michael back me out and into the new lane, they just sat there all pist of looking. We pull in and turn off the loud diesel handing over our passports and get the usual barade of questions and reasons why there are only two of us and 13 total bikes in the trailer. Not a surprise we go to immigration, grumpy patrol man treats us like we are criminals and rotten eggs and at the end of the search pretty mush tells us to get the hell out. I'm gonna check off the possibility of being part of the border patrol. Did some fueling up at in the USA and later that night found a parking lot ontop of Snowqualme pass where it misted on us all night, somehow I still fell queckly to sleep.

Day 2 of travel was long! Washington and Oregon are so slow, speed limit of 65, give me a break! Also on one of the hill climbs the truck overheated and when we popped the hood I realized that the propane line was broken of and was spraying liquid propane everywhere, not a good situation! We got that fixed and put some water in with the coolant and away we went. Made great time in Idaho and Utah hovering around 80 something the whole way. With no working fan, the windows were open the whole day and for periods of time I felt deaf as I could not hear a word Michael would say to me. Camped out near Green River on HWY 6 at a, enduro dirt biking spot we found a few years back, really wish we had em today, would have been awesome! Michael climbed in the cab and gunned it towards the finish line way before our navi system(navigator Nancy) said we would get home, I finished a book I started at the beginning of the trip, success!

It sure is hot out, but it was great to get back! The Ranch is so nice, I can relax a bit, sleep in my own bed and eat great! Now, all I can think about is getting prepared for National Championships! More to come about that, hope you all enjoyed fallowing us around the Northwest , get ready for some more racing action as the National Champs come to Sol Vista next weekend, I'll be ready!

Monday, July 6, 2009

More from Whistler

Yo Everyone, Michael here,
Weird you may be thinking, Michael is actually posting something. I definitely don't get a chance to post as often as I'd like to. Most my time usually gets eaten up pretty quick with Team stuff and what not. I think about posting a lot and then never get to it. I guess I tend to all the other stuff so that in turn Brian gets a chance to spend time doing this kinda cool stuff :)Brian's been doing a pretty good job though of keeping everyone up to date on our sweet adventures. This seasons definitely been awesome, feels like its lasting forever yet flying by at the same time. We've had a bunch of sweet adventures and a ton of good riding, in a lot off cool places, currently up in Whistler BC at then end of a sweet trip which included a race in Mt Hood and two awesome day's riding just outside of Seattle.
We'll there is my short post for now, mostly just wanted to add a few photos of myself, since Brian seems pretty partial to posting all the sweet ones of himself. So enjoy, and hopefully I'll keep up a bit better with this blog thing here. These are photos from throughout the year as well as this trip.
But before I log off I wanted to extend a thank you to Ace and the rest of the Lane family for making this last trip possible for us!!!
One more day here at Whistler tomorrow, then back to Co, next stop Sol Vista and National Champs

Friday, July 3, 2009


First real day was a Beauty eh! Rode all day long, not much more to say. Trails are a bit dusty, but I was chucking my meat all day long and having a great time. The day was capped off with a sweet hike a bike up from the top of the mountain to a sick bandit trail, oh it was EPIC!!! The trail also ended right at a killer food joint with the biggest plate of nachos that I have ever seen in my life! Overall, about a 10.8 on the stokage scale for the day. Pics and stuff to come!!!

Sick, just saw a Turner DW link bike cruise by! I'm chilling here at the GLC restaurant which is located at the base of the hill and has a great view of the riders coming down the mountain. Its been a great stay here in Whistler with Ace and crew, we had a ton of fun, learned lots and progressed! Michael and the Lanes are currently on route to the Vancouver airport leaving me here to fiddle around and rest. I've been needing some rest as the week has been filled with adventure and constant activity, mostly mountain biking:) We got here on Canada Day, July 1st, experienced the 4th of July in the great White North, had some great Lake adventures, Village adventures and of course adventures on the mountain. The Magic Bus is on its way back home too right now, safe and fun travels to them, it was epic! Lets do it again!!! I'm not totally alone though, part of the Sol Vista Crew and Alex Vidal has made it out, and we are going to shred tomorrow, our last day here. The weather here has been awesome, sunny and very warm, I was a sweating machine, but it made for a great atmosphere. At the moment it is misting and I can't see the top of the mountain, this means the trails are going to be super sick tomorrow! Can't wait to ride again, but resting is just what I need at the moment, I went so hard yesterday afternoon, I closed down the park! Anyways, feeling fast as hell and the Kona is killing it. More stories of the weekend to come, for now here are some pictures, yes I finally took some yesterday and they are pretty cool! Check em, out!

Also, in the mean time check out this quick vid from Mt Hood that I dug up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOmM4GVpWJk

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Road Trippin: MT Hood to Whistler

Status update! Didn't make it too far from Hood. Yesterday we headed up North on I-5 to Seattle. From Seattle we hit up I-90 East towards Snowqualmie for a little riding at some secretive locations. Just Mike and I as the Bus shot straight up to Whistler, we will meet up with them shortly! Non of the guys on the bus have been, so they were all anxious to get up there. After some fun riding, we found a lake with a rope swing at the bottom of the trail, did that a few times to cool off and clean up before heading back to where we are now, Renton, WA. We stayed the night at Sully's (owner of Rotec Cycles) house and are now hanging out watching his daughter paint, she is quite the little artist. Soon we are going to go ride some XC with Super World Cup Pro Luke Strobel and maybe a little dinner with Colorado friends Mikey Gilbert and Jenna Greene. More adventure to come...

Made it to Whistler! Had a good time in Seattle, rode some sick trails with Strobel and Cam, even found some time to sit down with my good friend Mikey and his faience Jenna at their place in Renton. It was great travels, even found our way up near Mount Baker to camp for the night last night. Made it through boarder patrol and all of the construction, Michael played limo driver as he picked up Ace and family from the landing strip in Pemberton, and I looked after the trailer while he was gone. Now we are just chilling in the Village, we have our very own room in the middle of the village equipped with a stove, so we are all set! Tomorrow we will ride all day, do some coaching with Ace and family then hopefully meet up with the bike crew and shred! I will also get some pictures up shortly, but in the mean time check out the video from Mt Hood that I posted in my Mt Hood feature! Enjoy!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mount Hood


Took off after a long day of packing late Wednesday afternoon and started heading west! Made it to spanish forks and hunkered down with the smell of cow crap lingering in the air. Woke up to some cows looking at us really confused like, they were starring like they were trying to figure out what were were. Anywho, we drove all day yesterday in the big rig and finally made it after a sweaty ride resulting in no AC fan. Luckily MT Hood, Oregon is nice and cool. The DH is rad, such a fun track, everyone loves it! Our pit/camp spot is prime and the magic bus is great, what a good road trip this is turning out to be! This is a bit short, but I'm about to be kicked out of this milk shake joint and I need to find some new interenets because this one is pretty slow. Pictures and Video to come as well as race reports! Peace!!!!

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!

Qualified 2nd and ended up in 5th! Pretty stoked, got paid...enough to make it to whistler;) Here is a little something to check out before I get the full recap up later on because now were heading out to hang out at the sickest lake ever!

Race Day, June 28, 2009

Just ran my qualifier and nearly achieved my goal of qualifying 1st. Lars Sternberg of Transition Bikes bested me by .2 of a second. My run was pretty good, had some mistakes up top, took the fire road a bit conservatively and rode a smart line into the bottom flat out sprinting to the finish. Pretty happy but I wanted to be the last man down the mountain! Michael is fixing a flat so his run didn’t go to well. We are both looking to get after it in the final. I’m setting a few goals for myself for this afternoons final run:
• High Energy, calculated/smart riding.
• Calm “in the zone”
• Loose body
• Look ahead
• Pedal hard but rest and relax, open the lungs, shake the hands out!
Ultimate goal: On the box with the top spot.

Just checking in, still dripping wet from the lake adventure! Awesome day thus far, and tonight we are going to party like its on sale for $19.99! First, here is how my run went down:

Made no mistakes up top like I did in qualifying, went real fast on the fire road section and nearly had a catastrophic crash going real fast but kept her rubber side down, no biggie, just a bit of a scare. Smashed some rocks going 100mph then sat down to catch my breath. Sprinted into the bottom woods section of the course, rallied the rock garden and ripped the loamy berms, all was good until everything went dark. The dense forest does not allow for light to enter in and it is impossible to see exactly where you are going, so instead you ride by feel! I rode this section calculated and kept my line, didn't feel very fast though, still was told I was going quick. The very bottom section where the begginer/sport and Expert/Pro course merge, it got blown out by race day and the berms were break bumped out and loose. I went so slow through that section to make sure I didn't do anything stupid that I was forced to peddle extra hard all the way about 20 seconds worth to the finish flat out! Bummed I didn't get on the hot seat and that I was off of the box, but I was a mere 3 seconds of 1st place on a 4 minute track and I was less then 2 off of 2nd. Joey ended up 4th, 1 second in front of me. A good run, but not great and I have yet to find the top step, but I feel it coming and with Whistler looming I feel the speed and a big result rapidly appraoching. Pretty stoked on 3 straight podium finishes, gonna keep this momentum going into SOL VISTA for National Champs! Anyways, hands are freezing up outside the huckleberry inn and the guys are probably waiting for me back at camp, so I'm gonna sign off. Thanks for the read and take er easy out there, good night!

P.S. Made a salamander friend at the lake today, her name was Sally!

Qualifying video to come! My finals video didn't turn out as the batteries died on the Go Pro 10 seconds into my run.

MT HOOD Video:

Helmet cam of 2nd place qualifying run:

Fluidride #3 Mount Hood 2nd place Qualifying run from Brian Buell on Vimeo.

Here is a quick video clip of the podium finishers from the FLUIDRIDE Cup last week:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crested Butte Wildflower Rush

Its almost time! State champs is this weekend and I'm extremely excited to get out there and ride to the highest of my ability and get a good result which will hopefully be State Champ! I've had my eye on this title after a rough outing last year where rain, lightning and slick rocks ended my chances for the title. I feel stronger and faster than I did last year and I'm on a new bike, so I'm looking to give everyone a good run this year. Keep checking back for daily updates and my thoughts during this weekend!

Photo Caption: Yeehaw!!!

Saturday Evening Update:

First off, let me extend a big ol Happy Fathers day to the big man! Dad ,without your constant love and support non of this would be possible, THANKS YOU!!!!

Its amazing how fast you can go from being on the top of the world, everything seems to be going your way, and then it all comes crashing down on top of you! Well, today I experienced this exact feeling, and it made me sick to my stomach! Before I start explaining myself, let me give you all the full weekend update.

Arrived Thursday evening and secured an awesome pit spot right next to RPM, Roy gets mad props for helping with the setup, good work Roy!!!

Friday: Early morning sunshine brought about a beautiful day! Things started crackin when we met our good friend Bergin Parks, our Mechanic for the weekend. Registration went smoothly, then all of us loaded the lift to do a full DH run inspection. The lift lines were out of control, took 30 minutes to get through the line ride to the lift. The course is pretty nice for a National Forest approved trail, a little lame in spots, slow and hard to maintain good momentum! There are 3 sections that pretty much divide up the track, all with different terrain, flow and speed. Bergin was an awesome help as he dialed in all of the kids bikes and ours too. Feels good to have a mechanic, definitely allows us to focus on ourselves more for a change. 4X track is new and was really fun, short but fun. A bit of everything mixed in, lots of wide passing opportunities, grass turns, good rhythm section to the finish. Got in as much practice as we could muster until we both started to get light headed. Rest of the day was full of working on bikes, hanging out with friends and making delicious food before an early bed!

Saturday: Woke up to an overcast sky and cool temps. Made a proper breakfast full of eggs, sausage, beans and toast! Early DH practice ensued and about a minute in I got to know the dirt on the inside of a berm real well, took a bit of a soil sample, wacked my hands and tore my jersey(which was brand new). It was a good rest of the run as I was looking at lines. 2nd run took a top to bottom, I'd say about 80%, not too much peddling and got down to the bottom with a 3:55. I predict the winning time will be a 3:39 depending on the trail conditions. Qualifying is going to be interesting, I'm going to go hard and try to simulate a race run, peddle hard and put up a good time. Top 5 is the qualifying goal, top 10 is reasonable too, but only if I don't have a good run. Finished off the day with two more fun Dh runs, fallowed and discovered more lines and started to find my speed in various sections of trail. Bergdog is doing an awesome job, he is keeping my bike in good shape, nice and clean. Next up was 4X.

4X dialed in the lines, had fun interacting with the crowd and friends. SMBA/EMSC Athletes Grant and Ross Ellwood were here cheering me on and giving me good impute on my runs. The rain,drizzle started to come down as qualifying got underway. I opted to watch riders take their runs hoping the course would get tacky, however that was not the case. It rained hard for long enough to make the course slowing and slick. I qualified 8th with a conservative run. The rain picked back up and Michael and I went back to the pits and switched to mud spikes for the finals.

Race: Round of 32. Gated my way into first and cruised the rest of the way down advancing, Michael would do the same. Round 16: Me and Tommy T gated everyone, T made a very aggressive move forcing me inside, the rest is a bit of a mystery, but the next thing I knew I was on my back and my bike off the course. Definitely a huge disappointment as I was feeling and looking good out there. The day wasn't so sour as Michael made it to the final and ended up on the podium in 4th. The mountain cross was really fun and the mud made for some awesome racing. Props to the kids as they killed it today too: Roy 3rd, Bobbo 4th, Alec 7th, Tyler and Tanner also did well, but I forgot their places. It was Tanner's birthday today too! A lot of things went wrong for a lot of racers today, I'm happy Michael capitalized and kept up the moral leading into tomorrows DH race. Note: After I got back on my bike, I won the unofficial flat turn contest with a full out moto style drift in the mud, so at least I got that going for me. I"m stoked and pumped to get after it tomorrow on the downhill course especially after today's result! Might need to find some extra strength for tomorrow as today was very tiring! I'm determined though, so lets hope things work out. I need to sleep!!! Buenos Noches :) Pictures and video to come!

Weekend thoughts: Thoughts on
DH course: An improvement and a step in the right direction. I think they did a good job of creating a fun race worthy National Forest approved public trail. I know many, especially the locals would agree upon this, it is a fantasy of mine and I hope it comes true, that someday we are going to have a race in Crested Butte, the cradle of mountain biking, that will use all of the terrain and potential this mountain has to offer. Favorite part of the course would definitely have to be the ski jump above the finish arena, the spectators were so loud!
4x course: This course was well thought out start to finish! There were a ton of things that I liked about it, it definitely made up for the course length: variation of terrain, flat and bermed turns, wide open, line choices, passing lanes, grass(I would like to see more of this), rhythm. Suited all riding styles but the mud added a degree of difficulty making things fun and interesting. To do well being fast wasn't going to be enough, riding smart and assertive was the name of the game. Short but very sweet!

Qualifying Run: I felt great after my qualifying run! Ran cut spikes on the front and swamp things on the rear so I wasn't too weary of the greasy spots on the track, but I still kept it pretty conservative. I wanted to simulate a race run in a way so I peddled a good amount just to gauge how hard I should go in the finals in order to have enough fuel in the tank all the way to the end. I went about 85% and finished with plenty of strength, or maybe I was just so stoked on the biggest bar hump I've ever done in my life on the ski jump that I didn't notice the pain. I was just stoked to hear I came down number one!

Final Run Plan: Pretty much emulate my qualifier run minus the bar hump. I took what I learned from my qualifier, to peddle hard and keep good momentum all the way throughout a faster tackier track then we had for qualifiers. One thing that I did not plan for was an epically gnarly headwind going into the bottom jumps! I was psyched to be the last man down the mountain with a goal of running a 3:39.

Final Run thoughts: I would like to congratulate Chris Boice first on his run, because he had a great final run plan and pinned it to perfection. I had a good run and as I came through the finish line I thought that it might have been a winning time but I would have to get lucky as it wasn't great. I went to hard up top and should have chilled out a little more, I didn't take any time on the course to open up my lungs, I was straight sprinting every time peddling was necessary. I botched a few key turns where exit speed was important and had to stay on the gas hard to make up for it. I toned it down through the bottom single track aspen tree section, but when it came time to sprint and squash the table tops I felt sluggish and could not pump the landings very well, so I only maintained speed instead of accelerating down the transition. If you watched Greg Minnaar's run in Fort William you could see how important pressing and sprinting those jumps were and how much time he made up on Sam Hill in 30 seconds. I was immediately disappointed because I failed to achieve my goal but Chris was the faster rider and deserves top spot and I'm definitely more than happy to be standing beside him in 2nd as this years DH race was extremely competitive with a lot fast riders all gunning for the top spot. Also, I thought 1st place would be a great fathers day gift to my dad!

I would like to thank: My parents and family, my brother/teammate michael, my mechanic Bergin Parks, Team Geronimo and all of the junior riders/ parents for their enthusiasm and support, Ace Lane @ Bonsai Communities, Willy Warren @ Kona Bicycles, Gene Hamilton @ Betterride.net, Mark @ Rockgardn, Basalt Bike and Ski, Smith Optics, Ergon Grips, Sram, and everyone else who has supported me throughout!

Next time we'll be on the top of the box :)

Sunday: 1st Place Qualifying run:

Crested Butte 1st place qualifying run from Brian Buell on Vimeo.

final run 2nd place video:

Crested Butte Final Run GO PRO HERO Helmet Cam from Brian Buell on Vimeo.