Friday, January 14, 2011

The Miller School

I was out at The Miller School last night watching the Blue Ridge School hoops team duke it out with The Miller School, when who should appear and thwart my halftime trip to the john than our local pro, Pete Hufnagel. "You gotta see this," he told me.

Indeed, they've got a bike shop set up out there for their student bike team, and you really do gotta see it.

at first, I was too excited to focus on any one thing, and the photos I took show it.

Or, I might have been starstruck by hanging out in such a lair with such a pro. But things slowly came into focus - is that a dozen trek 8000s?

finally focused. Hufnagel's personal whip hanging in the workstand.

Hufnagel has a goal to make The Miller School into the choice educational facility for Junior Expert riders, nationwide. It would be the kind of place you could go to when you're 15 and obsessed with bikes and be treated like an actual varsity athlete, sort of like the mutant children in X-Men.

Substitute Pete for Xavier. Rad.

Apparently, Kazane threw down some pretty big funds to provide the school with some frames. ditto that for Trek.

and oh hell no, those aren't Miller School stickers. That's a custom paint job, kid. Now go ride some intervals.

The shop itself was at one time a dirty storage facility. Hufnagel says there was just tar flooring and boxes where this photo was taken.

Now it looks like the sort of apartment you'd pay $10,000/month to live in in Manhattan.

no teenage bike lair is really complete without a lounge area where you can watch bike porn and dream.

hanging over the T.V. 1600 acres sounds like a trailwork project to ponder. The paranormal loop, for reference, is 6.5 miles long and on less than 100 acres.

a parting glimpse

Items still in the works: high school 6 race series in the state of Virginia. Team car. Some real young talent that will blow the doors off of any local weekend warrior who thinks he owns Tuesday/Thursday worlds (like me).

On my way out, a few things became clear:
1) Holy shit that's cool.
2) I'm a Blue Ridge School fan through and through. My allegiance is all north side. But my boys at Blue Ridge School had better get training if they want to remain the team to beat in high school mountain biking in Virginia.
3) No matter what you do this weekend, there's a kid out there somewhere riding harder, dreaming bigger, and getting stronger than you are.

Like this guy.

The red shades compliment the pink kit very nicely.

It's Friday. Looks like a killer weekend to ride. What you did last year doesn't mean much anymore. Those resting on their laurels need not apply.

1 comment:

  1. Jaw-dropping. I've seen pro road teams that weren't as well-supported and organized.