Skiing at the World Criterium Races

A Little Personal Info

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Hi, I'm Brad! I love the great outdoors and enjoy skiing. This blog is inspired by some of my many life experiences and world travels. I have a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis and work to find solutions to some of the world's challenging energy and environmental problems. In 2011, I went back into competitive snow ski racing and won the USSA National Speed Series (Downhill and Super G) title for my class (M5). It was an amazing and fun year of skiing. I also enjoy being around all kinds of animals from horses to dogs and love to spend time at Tahoe, my little farm near Cool or traveling somewhere new around the world. I have been to Nepal and seen Mount Everest, to Alaska's Denali, the Matterhorn in Switzerland and even Maroon Bells near Aspen, CO. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my website.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tribute to World Cup Ski Racer - Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Red Bull Locomotion
By Bradley Meister

This is a small tribute to Lindsey Vonn who is a member of the US Ski Team and a World Cup Alpine Ski Racer.  Lindsey is a Three-time Overall World Cup Champion, an Olympic Gold and Bronze Medalist and a World Champion Gold and Silver Medalist for starters.  As of this writing, she has 46 total World Cup wins.  We all know that Lindsey’s success is tied to her relentless work ethic, focused values and tremendous talent.  This is just a fun way to put some words together about Lindsey and her sponsor Red Bull.   
Photo Credit:  Red Bull

Out movin on the slope, my new race pattern is getting some early downhill action
But like Lindsey Vonn says, without hard work you can’t get no satisfaction
I was getting ready for the downhill racing season, and needed a little inspiration
I went to a race, and there she was, looking to make it victory number 5 this season

The Downhill Queen, the Gold Medal Supreme, the three-time Overall World Cup Champion
The world cup skiers are all around her, but none of them can catch her
So I went on over to the other side of the race to see if I could finally meet her
I said Lindsey Vonn, why are you so fast…
she said I ski the… Lindsey Red Bull Locomotion

Then Lindsey pulled me aside and told me a little secret, on how to ski a little faster
Put a little Red Bull in your mouth, and you’ll be down the slope before you know it
It’s unlike any protein shake or chocolate nut-filled candy bar
A few sips of this “Go Potion” and you’ll be carving some sweet new Lindsey motion
So forget about your worries and get out those 216 downhill skis
You’re about to do a new speed dance
called the… Lindsey Red Bull Locomotion

So I went out to the store and bought a big old can
And there was Lindsey Vonn pictured on the box, wrapped around that Red Bull jam
I got it home, could hardly wait and then drank it down without a notion
Then I went to the slope and now I understand exactly what she was saying

I used to back off when I would hit about 70 in my tuck, yeah I was kind of chicken
But now I feel alive, my GPS says 85, and I’m ready for some serious racing action
And as I go to sleep, I hear the words of the Downhill Queen echo in my head…
If you want to ski fast you know what to do
just fly the… Lindsey Red Bull Locomotion

That’s right…Lindsey Red Bull Locomotion
You know what I’m talking about…”Just point em”
Like straight down the hill…all out

So as I was getting ready for my next downhill race,
I bought a super sized case of Red Bull
I put a sweet wax job on my skis and then slipped on that spyder suit
And as I was inspecting the course, a gate judge says, "this one looks kind of scary"
Don’t worry none, you just sit back and you’ll see something new

I got in the gate, something started to brew, and all of a sudden
I felt the onset of the Lindsey locomotion
It started in my feet, then moved up to my head, I started moving my hands
Then clicking my boards and it felt like I was growing feathers

Well I flew out of the gate, I didn’t once hesitate,
I picked a good line and never got behind and this is what happened next
I flew over crazy jumps like I had wings, then worked the bumps
and tucked till I soared into alpine hyperspace
I nailed the course, it was such an adrenaline rush and in my blog…you know what I said…

Once you pop that cap, you had better be ready to ski fast
Cause there's no fooling around with the….. Lindsey Red Bull Locomotion

That’s right… Lindsey Red Bull your wings and get after it
You know what I’m talking about…”Just point em”
Like straight down the hill…all out

Thanks Lindsey!!!
2011 United States National Speed Series M5 Champion
Downhill and Super G

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tribute to my Friend and Sugar Bowl POW Days Skier...Mary

Volkl Dreams
By Bradley Meister

So, I guess this needs a little introduction.  Pizza means snow plow...and when you ski the Volkl Kenja skis, pizza is a thing of the past - especially for Mary in her Snow White Volkl Dreams.

Photo Credit:  Volkl

I‘m... thinking of skiing down the slope
To watch you go down fun places that I’ve been
And you probably saw the ski report
got excited, touched the snow and even felt invited

But you didn’t do the pizza down the run this time
You were trying to carve a perfect turn
To somehow ease your mind
Maybe you’ll tell me all about it when you're
In the mood to ski with me next time

She said she bought some new pink girlie pants
And also has black and turquoise colors
That she keeps in her extra stash
And now she bought a new plug-in helmet with her extra cash
Next she’ll use that extra cash to make those girlie colors match
With those Volkl Kenja skis

During the day she works in the Capital City and does the big number crunch
And then after work in Roseville I hear she likes to kick-box and even punch
But six am is just too early to start to your bureaucratic way
Why not stay asleep and just enjoy your perfect snow white Volkl day

Cause you didn’t do the pizza down the slope this time
The audit girl is trying to sharpen her pencil
And ride that downhill ski with a little speed in mind
Maybe she’ll tell me all about it when
She’s in the mood to ski her way with words on her Volkl dreams

On the weekends, she hits the belt room with her entourage for lunch
With Wynken, Blynken and Nod...who are part of a larger star gazing bunch
Their technical ski talk may be only a Red Herring
Because underneath, there is something about Mary
That must make them all so daring

But you should have seen her skiing with your own eyes
She was almost fully forward in her boots
And nearly touching the snow below her with her daisy dukes
With her upper body looking somewhat quiet
She has slowly learned to be inspired by the fall line
In her snow white Volkl dreams

There’s no more need for last minute bailing
She's down the hill and no longer trailing
Her entourage has finally stopped their wailing
Cause Mary's spills and thrills are not as hailing
In her POW Days Volkl Dreams

But just let me say that you should have seen her
Skiing with your own eyes
I was cruising down the tree line, and it actually caught my eye
Maybe I’ll see her next time, she skis outside
There's no more pizza down the fall line
The snow is always calling…in Mary's Snow White Volkl dreams

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Color and Halloween

Wow...well over 200 kids tonight trick or treating in Auburn, CA!

Fall colors in Washington State in Bremerton.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Brad's Ski Tips

These are the elements that I find contribute to my very best skiing whether free skiing or racing.
Strong legs:  I find my confidence and my ability to attack the mountain are proportionate to my leg strength.  With strong legs I can ski all day and do not get tired.   I started working out pre-season in August and can now squat over twice my weight seven times.  I find with this level of strength in my legs I can do nearly anything I want on the slopes and all day long.  In all, I do squats, leg press, hamstring pull-overs, calf raises.
Warm legs:  Having warm legs significantly improves my skiing.  I find on cold days I like to wear one pair of thermals and then a pair of thin fleece pants and then my outer layer (three layers).  Strong warm legs make a huge difference in my skiing.  A warm upper body and head go without saying but sometimes the legs are neglected and those are the muscles you are using.
Good Cardio:  I like to ride a stationary bike in the winter for 30 minutes every other night to get my heart rate up.  I find I rarely get winded on the slopes - even at over 10,000 feet.

Good Equipment:  There is no substitute for good equipment.  Bindings, helmet, boots, skis and poles.  Make sure your bindings are set correctly.  I like to do the reality check of twisting out of my binding once I click in to check setting levels for recreational skiing.  Get a good fitting helmet and wear it.  Hot wax your skis with a good wax...often.

Correct Fit of Equipment:  I found that going to a smaller boot size, for example, with a very thin sock results in better skiing performance.  I like to unbuckle my boots when I get down to the lift line for a more relaxed fit going up on the chair.  Once at the top of the slope, I buckle them down.

React to Conditions:  If you find yourself getting back on your skis, aggressively drive forward in your boots to get on top of your skis again.  When you go back, you will stress all the muscles in your quads (bad) and this will result in your legs getting very tired very quickly.  Again, if you find yourself back on your skis, drive forward using your arms for momentum if necessary. 
Carbo Load:  The night before a day of hard skiing, I carbo load more than usual. 

Watch Videos and Learn:  At the expense of making some laugh, I love to watch and study videos on line.  You tube has great videos of Bode, Julia and Lindsey.  It is amazing how much you can learn if you watch YouTube videos.  For racers, watch how Lindsey moves her feet.  Most racers do not move their feet enough.
When all these elements come together for me, I am ready to go out and ski at a very high level of performance.  To me it is hard to describe how wonderful it is to click into a pair of World Cup level skis and cruise down an open run or race course at 70+ mph.  It is a natural high that I really do find hard to describe. 
I wish you all the very best this season. 


My Equipment:

HEAD World Cup RD GS Skis 191 cm with HEAD Freeflex Din 18 Bindings
ROSSIGNOL World Cup SG 209 cm with Rossignol Axial II Din 18 Bindings
ROSSIGNOL World Cup DH 216 cm with Rossignol Axial II Din 18 Bindings
Lange RS Race Pro 130 Boots
Scott Race Poles
POC Helmet
Scott Goggles

Remember it's all about having fun!!!
Lindsey, Resi and Hailey
Photo Credit:  US Ski Team

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall is here - getting ready for a great ski season!

It is hard to believe the summer is over.  We already have snow on the ground in the Sierras.  I drove up to our cabin in the Tahoe area just the other day and brought home my boat.  This is the third summer I have limited myself to only a half a tank of gas (23 gallons for the entire summer).  Just go easy on the throttle!

I put on my 2011 National Speed Series Championship Belt Buckle today!  Felt kind of cool to wear it for the first time...and you thought just rodeo cowboys wore big belt buckles!

I have been working out very hard at the gym.  The world championships are only about 5 months away and will actually be in the United States this year at Mammoth Mountain in California. 

That's 405 pounds on the Squat Rack.  Just the right amount
of weight for downhill leg strength!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Working Person's Investment Guide

Disclaimer:  The Guide was written when I was in my early twenties.  Some of the information is not relevant today and many of the phone numbers and some of the companies are no longer valid.  The intent was to provide some fun ideas on how to start planning for a more solid financial future.  Hopefully, none of the jokes will offend anyone and were meant only to be light and funny from the perspective of a younger man.  I hope this Guide can provide a few ideas for you.  Please use the information at your own risk.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Road Bike Training with US Ski Team

Here is a recent article on some road bike training I did with the US Ski Team along the California Coast in June 2011.  I joined the team for a portion of the bike trip and it was a lot of fun.  The team made a video too and it is on youtube and the link is below.​=DZbPvbhBAxQ

Special thanks to Steven Nyman, US Ski Team!  Here is a picture of the World Cup bib they gave me after a good day of road bike riding.  It reads "Nice Riding Bradley" and is signed by Steven Nyman.  I have also shown a picture of Steven Nyman wearing the bib on the Napa road bike trip.  He is in the picture with Erik Fisher. 
Photo Credit: US Ski Team.

Here I am below crusing to a bronze medal in a downhill race near Sun Valley, ID.

Thanks again to US Ski Team members Erik, Will, Travis, Nolan, Tommy, Andrew, Marco, the US Ski Team coaching and strength training staff and everyone else.

Awesome group of ski racers.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fun at Tahoe

A great weekend of training and fun and food.

Me with my Benotto 1500 Road Bike (an older road bike but still awesome)

Donner Lake near Lake Tahoe

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Flying in Alaska

Alaska is breathtaking. 
It is one of my favorite places in the world.  If you haven't been to Alaska, be sure to make time to go sometime soon.  In hindsight, I waited too long to go and now I try to go back every year and take in more of what Alaska has to offer.   From grizzly bears to brown bears to polar bears and black can see it all in Alaska.  A nice trip is to fly into Anchorage and then go North to Denali and then up to Fairbanks.  From there, you can circle around to the East through Tok, Glennallen, Palmer and then back to Anchorage.  On that same trip you can also head down South to the Kenai Peninsula and see Homer, Seward and a lot of other great towns.  A nice hike outside of Anchorage, past Eagle River just off Highway 1 is Thunder Bird Falls Trail. 

The pictures below include sights from Denali (young grizzly bear and Ptarmigan birds) to near Homer (caribou), Misty Fiords, near Ketchikan and Lake Hood (in Anchorage). 

Here are some amazing landings in Alaska by a Bush Pilot. 

Brad's Tips for Flying:

Do you know the acronym CIGARS?

Controls, Instruments, Gas On, Attitude Trim / Autopilot, Run-Up / Radios, and Seat Belts / Switches / Safety.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Owl Creek Ranch in the Beautiful Sierra Nevada Foothills

This is my 20+ acre ranch located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills at about 1,800 feet in elevation.  It is close to where I live in Auburn.  This property is an epic playground and is a great place hang out, ride horses or just drive a tractor.  The property has an occasional mountain lion, lots of black bear, mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, red tail hawks, quail and lots of other kinds of birds.  A large pond near 600 feet long is filled with a variety of fish and many water fowl including ducks, geese, blue heron, and an occasional osprey.  I am currently growing over 700 Noble Fir and Douglas Fir trees.  I built the little house on the ridge by myself with the help of my tractor!  The property is a great place to train for skiing... pushing a wheel barrel up hills! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ski Racing

I am the 2011 United States Champion for the USSA National Speed Series (M5 Class).

My early years of ski racing.  This was a GS course at Alpine Meadows in California.  I was 14 years old with my coach in the background critiquing my run.

Look who I saw at the US Nationals in Winter Park, CO on April 1 and 2, 2011.  It's none other than...Julia Mancuso.  Here she is at the finish and up at the start of the GS race with other US Ski Team members.

And Steve, Sarah and Other US Ski Team Members.

Here is a list of Super G (SG) and Downhill (DH) races I skied for this year.

Jan. 14-16 Sun Valley, ID SG

Jan. 22-23 Mammoth, CA SG/SG
Feb. 4 Mammoth, CA SG
Feb. 11 Park City, UT SG
Feb. 19-21 Aspen, CO SG/DH
Feb. 26 Schweitzer, ID SG/SG
Feb.28-Mar.2 Soldier Mt., ID DH/DH
Mar. 12 Okemo, VT SG
Mar. 19-20 Ski Cooper, CO DH/DH

Mar. 24 Copper Mt., CO SG (Finals)

This is actually a pretty good video of what a downhill course looks like to a racer.  This was the 2002 Olympic Downhill Course called the Grizzly.