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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sick Geronimo Bike Park Ride Sesh

Did some shuttling today with Mayhem, Roy and Mad dog! First day on the DH trails, was a ton of fun!

Here is a link to our sweet Dual Slalom track video:http://vimeo.com/4424421

Geronimo Bike Park Dual Sl Test Ride!!! from Michael Buell on Vimeo.

Last weekend we took a mini trip to Sol Vista! Got in a ton of DH and had a wicked good time with friends on the best tracks in the state! Unfortunately I was lazy and didn't take any photo or video.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New mexico Road Trip Part 2

After a very eventful and tiresome weekend, one that will be remembered for its close calls and bad luck, but also for an extreme boost in confidence as I was riding extremely well all weekend with good focus and having fun, Michael and I headed to Albuquerque where we would spend our days riding, eating and playing freerider 2! Joey and Camillo joined us as we convoyed out from Angel Fire. We would also be providing and ride for Vince Sanchez(trail guide) in exchange for a bed. After a glorious lunch at Quadilahara(sp) restaurant, I got the fish tacos, its a great dealio, we headed to the Santa Fe area where mucho DJ'ing would take place! Vince provided the local knowledge and led us to this great spot called the Garbage Pit. Protected from the wind and boasting great dirt jumps and a single slalom track, we were all psyched to ride, even though we were all beat up from the long week at Angel Fire. After an hour or so we demanded Vince bring us to the famous riding local known as the Santa Fe Dirt Jumps! I had seen video and was excited to ride this spot. There were some sketchy yet inviting locals who enjoyed our presence as the busted out sketch ball tricks and their cameras when things got too hairy. We were all feeling good and progressively moving our way through the lines towards the large jumps. It was a little windy but the conditions could not have been much better. We would session the the jumps until we were all well worn out. Big props go out to Camillo Sanchez, Yeti Regional Team rider, for not riding trails too much, his confidence grew and he managed to hit every single line without much problem, he was mucho estoked! The night would end at Chris Boice's house where his family gladly welcomed us to stay in their home!

The next few days were a blur of riding, eating, riding, video games, bowling, ice cream, crashing, photo shoots, we all felt like 15 year olds again and it was awesome! We were so well taken care of at Chris's house and the NM locals showed us a lot of great riding. Sandia DH was soooo mcuh fun, Chris gave us the full tour, these trails are incredible, no wonder why Chris is so fast! The fun didn't stop there, dirt jumping was just a short pedal away at Vince's house. We rode until dinner time which was 7pm every night at the Boice Residence. The jumps were technical and fun, thanks Vince for letting us shred your yard!

Thursday: Rest day and shredding at Vince's. All was well until Camillo went OTB onto his shoulder. He sustained some damage, but nothing broken and he seems to be recovering quite well. Heal up quick little Colombian buddy! Another awesome day spent riding, playing a ridiculous amount of freerider 2 and eating a glorious dinner and desert repaired by Lisa and Mark, thanks you two for all of your hospitality and kindness!

Friday: Half day spent ridng DH and filming and shooting with Long Nguyen, check out his pictures, they are mint! We shot the loamy turns on one of Vince, Boice and crews newest creations for a long time, it was so much fun! We made our way down slowly, searching for great spots to shoot. We were all pushing ourselves and pinning it the whole day! More freerider 2 and Dinner ensued later that night to cap off another great day spent underneath the NM sun.

SAT and SUN: Early wake up call Saturday morning as we packed and left our home away from home and journeyed our way to Pajarito, NM. This small ski resort located just above the famous city of Las Alamos known for its involvement in Nuclear research in the early 20th century. It was an interesting drive, all bleary eyed from too much freerider 2 and X Box, the terrain changed rapidly and somehow we went from a barren desert to an amazing lush, rocky forest with humongo aspen trees. The Pajarito Punishment was a great Locals race! Only 9 pros showed but it would still be really competitive and fun. Practice Saturday was fun, Loamy new course designed by Chris and Vince ( Kung Fu trail designs) something like that, I'm pretty sure they made that up on the spot. Well done though boys, it was fun. Only got in two runs, had some mechanical s, changed tires to wets and the lifts shut down. Camillo the Colombian Camera man got a ton of foty of us riding each section of this steep technical track. Later in the evening we did a bunch of dirt jumping and ridng on the mountain. I finished off my night by revamping the jumps and digging until I could not see anymore! A great starry night sky was out and was great to stare at before I went to sleep. Sunday, race day came around and I got in 3 quick laps in before the morning practice ended. I banged my rotors up a bit and barely had time to fix them before my race run. It was a best of two run format as there were not very many riders and there was enough time to do so. I really enjoyed this format, except for the short recovery time between runs. The course was tough to ride top to bottom, my brakes were bad to begin with and by the time I was nearing the bottom I couldn't hang on very tight. I took it pretty easy and made it down, that was the goal. Next run I would ride a similar race run, trying to be smooth and on lines all the way down. I hit the top great and had a similar run all the way down, just barely holding on, my breaks were shot! In the end I would finish 3rd behind Joey(2nd) and Chris Heath(1st)I won $100 bucks and a chile pinata filled with candy...AWESOME!!! It was a great race, Tony Gradillas from BikeWorks bike shop did an awesome job putting things on. Too bad he was injured and didn't ride with us.

We left town and started our trek back home but opted to extend the vacation one more night at the Great Sand Dunes. I had never been to the Sand Dunes before so we high tailed it there! Rallied the Rover hard on this sand wash road, so much fun, ate dinner, took Camillo's bike out for a spin on the Dunes, which was soooooooo much fun! Did some more Rover rallying and fell asleep next to a roaring camping fire.

What a great road trip, thanks for all the good times friends!