This past weekend I turned south and went to Richmond, VA for the Dominion Riverrock event.  If you love adventure and outdoors, this is an event you have to check out!  Rock climbing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, slacklining, dogs jumping into water, people on bikes jumping on ramps, trail running, mountain bike ‘rassin and more!

The dogs were getting some siiiick air!

The course they set up for the race was top-notch.  Flowing, fast, fun singletrack was the name of the game here.  I was even more stoked to race after I pre-rode than before, and I was pretty durn stoked before!  Some of my favorite portions of the course were the man-made rock-gardens.  They reminded me of Olympic and World Cup courses, but not as steep and big.After a nice pre-ride, I cleaned up and hit a local english pub for some bangers & mash, followed by a stroll back down to the event to catch a little bit of live music and bouldering.  There’s always something going on at this event!


Race day started with some sleeping in, followed by some packing and eating.  Once everything was back in the car, it was time to head to the race and get serious.  During my warm up, I caught up with some of Harrisonburg’s finest:  Ryan Fawley & Nick Waite.  After some spinning and chatting, we lined up for the show, and with a short count-down by the announcer we were off and riding!A decent start was made not-so-great thanks to a rider getting too aggressive and knocking into me around a corner.  Party Foul!  Unable to get back around, I decided to constantly badger him once in the singletrack while he assisted in my losing major time to the leaders.  Eventually, karma kicked in and he slid out, gears jammed, and I passed with a slight grin on my face.  Am I evil?  For the rest of the race, I continued to dodge, duck, dive, and dodge through the awesome singletrack, finishing in 4th overall.After clean-up, I got lost again in the festivities.  While lost, I found  some awesome fish tacos and a cheeseburger.  I finally found my award and prize money, as well as my sanity (temporarily) and caught some jumping dogs and people (on bikes) before packing it in and heading back home to B’more.YOU HAVE TO CHECK THIS EVENT OUT!!!!  Go to www.dominionriverrock.com, then leave a comment telling me that I’m right.Cheers & Jeers,Jordan

Mont Tremblant Canada Cup- Part 1 of 3

Here we go again with more UCI racing action up in the Canada Land. The past three years that I have gone to theses races I always learn and improve a little bit. These races are every bit as fast as any Pro XCT that I have participated in. When your racing with the likes of the fastest Canadian riders like Raphael Gange, Matthew Hadley, Kris Sneddon, Peter Glassford to name just a few its going to be blistering. I managed to get 16th out of 70+ which isn’t to bad and Matt had a little bad luck with some rocks and had to go to the pits finishing in the 50’s. We left it all out there on the 850+ climbing per 4mile technical track. My legs still are burning when I stand out of a chair or walk stairs and Matt was cramping on the car ride home. That’s a good thing because racing that fast only means one thing…you get faster. Hopefully I improve this weekend in Canada Cup Part 2: Baie ST. Paul!! I do have to say that my Giant XTC 29er is the best bike I have ever ridden. Even for how rocky the track was i don’t think i would have wanted a dual suspension. With the big wheels equipped with 2.2 Schwalbe Racing Ralphs and snappy handling with a plush RockShox Sid out front. I had the perfect tool for the job!!

The trip as a whole was more or less an in and out mission for Matt and I so there’s not a lot more to report on except we were both wishing we had some more time to ride some really sweet single track that was everywhere!!! Also, its amazing the amount of people doing things in Canada. I always ask myself “what do these people do up here”. Pretty ignorant I guess but I’ve come to the conclusion that they just live. When all you see is people out walking, riding, fishing, riding dirt bikes and little “PEE WEE” racers decked out with Sram XX parts and hauling down rocky trails makes me think the Canadians know how to live.

Cant wait to get back up there this weekend to toe the line again and see what happens. Stay tuned for part 2!!!

                                         Squirrels and Orange Juice?


The Jungle

Rumble in the Jungle (H2H series)

As I was sitting in the car this morning before my friend started the sport race, a short hipster dude walked by in some fresh Adidas sunglasses. Looked a lot like team mate Matt Miller. As we awkwardly made eye contact I convinced myself that there is no way that it’s Matt. He was racing in Canada less than 24 hours ago. Sure enough, it was Matt who decided to drive straight through and miraculously made it to another bike race this weekend. We hit a pre lap on the Rumble in the Jungle’s gnarly course that had a resemblance to bear creek minus the climbs.

“Fueled by Gummy Bears, Forrest races his Anthem X Advanced to 3rd in the pro men at H2H Rumble in the Jungle”

After I fueled up with a handful of gummy bears and a Raw Revolution bar, we headed to the start line; Matt in the middle somewhere and I on the front. I was second into the one track behind some guy who was getting real squirrelly. I think he needed some Giant Maestro suspension. Fortunately I got around him with one other guy who got by and hit it pretty hard creating about 30 or so seconds on the first lap. We got to an intersection went what seemed to be the obvious choice and… Wrong. We finally found where the course had gone just in time for everyone to catch us. Then we cruised over the rocks trying to keep it smooth and get away again. One other guy came with us this time. I was conserving a lot of energy by carving corners with my Schwalbe Racing Ralphs while ahead and behind were squealing breaks. After a big attack and some silly mistakes on the last lap I ended up 3rd in the Pro race. Matt rode his Anthem X 29er to 6th. Not too shabby for right after a 12 hour drive and a UCI race the day prior.

The Schwalbe Racing Ralphs hooking up

As everyone around was complaining about their backs, their arms, and their butts following the finish, the Giant midatlantic crew was comfortable due to our ESI chunky grips, four inches of maestro suspension, and the dynamic duo of Selle San Marco Concors and Enzo’s Buttonhole chamois cream.
Look out for Matt Miller at the legendary, Stan’s NoTubes Transylvania Epic starting on sunday. A week long stage race through some of the most epic trails in Pennsylvania… Maybe the world! Seamus will go to the second round of the Canada Cup for some more UCI madness.

Michaux Maximus


The Michaux Endurance Series is known as the roughest, toughest and stupidest race series around.  Aside from the State College area (MTB mecca of the Universe?), it has the biggest trail mass in the region.  The 40 mile races are long, extremely technical, have tons of climbing and often make you question why you do this sport.  Or maybe affirm why you do this sport.  One thing is for sure: you either love it or hate it.
Me? I love it.

This past weekend was the first of the three race series and it ended up being a beautiful day!  I brought along the XtC Composite 29 hardtail to race.  I knew it wasn’t the best choice when compared to my Anthem X 29, but it’s light weight and sharp handling had me feeling it would do the job just swell.

I started off rather easy as I usually do in these races, but this time, easy put me into the first singletrack in the top 5.  My goal was to watch the power on the climbs, hold a pace that would be manageable for 4+ hours, and rip the one-track like a good boy should.  Here is the file for you nerds.  Keep in mind I run a buck twenty five on the scale, so other than me just landing on the suck side of fast, that’s my excuse for why the numbers are weak.

Mostly I just added this because I have no pictures other than the jar of pickle juice I just downed.

 ok, fine.  here’s the pickle juice, too.

Anyway.  I feel I rode quite well.  Maybe should have given a little more on some of the long climbs and maybe lost a little on the slow tech sections with the hardtail, but certainly gained on some of the rippers and maintained a rather steady pace.  Good news is that I didn’t bonk, my one flat sealed itself and I had no bike issues other than the scratches and gouges from the endless rock.  Oh, and I crossed the line as the fourth soul with an emptied tank.  The views were scenic, the trails variable and the competition was good.  Furthermore, paired with the hilly ride from the preceding day, it was an excellent workout with an eye on the main goal of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

TSE Countdown: less than a month.
Fast guys: still signing up.
Scared factor: 10
Psyched factor: 11

-the matt miller experience

26’ers, Ain’t Dead Yet: Giant Anthem X Advanced 2 Bike Review

Giant Anthem X Advanced 2:  Affordable Rocket Ship

While everyone and their grandma has a 29’er these days, we here at Giant Mid-Atlantic would like to take the time to point out:  26’ers ain’t dead yet!
Take for example the Giant Anthem X Advanced 2.  Built using Giant’s Advanced carbon technology, this frameset is the standard for lightweight and responsive in a full-suspension race bike.  Throw in a reasonable pricetag, and you’ve got yourself a budget racer’s dream bike.  Now for the skinny:
Fast has many angles

The First Impression:  Once built, the bike weighs in at roughly 25lbs.  Not too shabby.  This can be knocked down easily by swapping out the stock wheels for lighter ones (like our Stan’s Crest or Podium MMX wheelsets).  The build is solid, with SRAM X7 mostly, and an X9 rear mech.  The rockshox suspension feels smooth out of the box and is easy to set up.  Other upgrades to this bike included Giant’s Contact SLR bar and seatpost, a team issue Selle San Marco saddle, and our custom white/blue ESI grips (BLING!).   Otherwise, the bike was stock.
The Ride:  Just as with Anthem X’s prior, this bike is quick handling and SUPER fun to ride.  Climbs in and out of the saddle are made easy with the Maestro suspension keeping the rear wheel glued to the ground.  Descents are tamed with the 4″ of maestro suspension as well, playing rock gardens and roots like a fiddle.  Cockpit length is slightly on the long side, and the test rider (Giant Mid-Atlantic racer Jordan Kahlenberg) kept a 90mm stem in place to handle the steering.  
Test rider, Jordan Kahlenberg, racing the Anthem X Advanced 2
Despite the fact that the bike isn’t decked out with top-end XX or XO, you don’t necessarily miss it as the stock X7 works well.  The 2×9 drivetrain is perfect for racing and trail riding, and is right at home on a bike like this.  
The Verdict:  If you don’t have $6K to spend on a race bike, but crave carbon full-suspension, then the Giant Anthem X Advanced 2 is a must ride.  For smaller riders, or riders that still prefer 26″ wheels, this bike will more than satisfy you needs.  After several races and many hours of training, the bike has been holding up well overall and has had no issues.  We love it!
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