The Miranda Miller Interview

Jan 30, 2017 at 20:39
by Dave Trumpore  




So first things first. How did it feel when you finally got the confirmation that you had a factory ride for 2017. Did it take a while to really sink in, or has that not even happened yet?

I honestly don’t think it has sunk in yet. To be a part of Specialized Gravity is quite literally a dream come true. Unfortunately, I missed the first team camp due to a broken wrist, so I think once we all meet up in New Zealand and start working and riding together it will feel legit.

As a result, what has been the most immediate change in your day to day life?
At the start of January, I was able to take a step back from working full time and transition into training every day. I’m still training the same amount of hours but the quality of work has increased as well as the opportunity for recovery. When you’re working full time as well as training full time you can fall into a feeling of constant exhaustion. You also don’t have any freedom, you can’t afford to take any time off.

You have been supported by Specialized for quite a while, so were you always looking to continue this relationship or is it just coincidence that everything aligned the way it has this year.

Specialized Canada first started supporting me in 2013 and I got to know the Global Team a little bit better this last season. Of course if the opportunity to stay with Specialized was available I was keen on it—you’d be crazy not to! Everyone has been really supportive and welcoming to me, including me on trips last year to EWS rounds when really they had no commitment to do so. I made it clear that in 2017 I wanted to race a full season of downhill no matter what and they gave me the best opportunity to do so.

As a privateer, what was your source of income over the past few seasons, and how hard was it to work, train, travel and fund the whole program?

I’ve worked at a Squamish bike shop, Corsa Cycles, off and on for about 13 years. The owners have been unreal by giving me a job in the winter (slow season) and letting me take all of the summer off to go racing. And for the past five years or so they’ve also been my landlords offering me affordable rent as well as many other perks. Selling bikes at the end of the season would help pay for my way to a few rounds. The key would be to make and save as much as possible, make sure I had enough to pay rent and the bills at home all summer and then spend the rest on racing. I’d be broke at the end of each season, but I’d always make sure I was never in the negative. You kind of have to disconnect yourself from money when you’re spending it on something that doesn’t necessarily offer a return, at least in the traditional sense. You’ll spend it and you’ll make more. I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars on mountain biking, but it doesn’t owe me a thing.

Also, Squamish is a community of people that love mountain biking and are very open to the idea of what I’m doing; I’ve received a lot of love from Squamish.

Miranda Miller is more than happy to get stuck in with her bike setup.

bigquotesI've spent thousands and thousands of dollars on mountain biking, but it doesn't owe me a thing.

The Miranda Miller Interview

A lot of folks think your place on a factory team has been long overdue. Is that a sentiment you also share? There has also been a lot of discussion about women's racing and sponsorship opportunities, do you believe it was harder for you to break through than for some of your male counterparts?

I don’t believe that. I think that this is the first year I deserve a place on a factory team. Racing as a privateer isn’t easy, and I’m so stoked that I don’t have to anymore, but it also has helped me become who I am. It’s hard but it’s far more important to focus on all the great things that I do have, instead of the things that I don’t. I’ve worked hard to be here, and I plan on continuing to do so as there are many things I’d like to accomplish.

I think that I had it better than most privateers out there. I was a lucky one who got to pit with SRAM; they really made things easier for me. The last season or so I was sort of piggy backing off Luca Shaw. I liked hanging out with everyone there and it became comfortable for me, they treated me very well.

Was there any standout moment where you knew you were deserving of a factory ride? One of those moments where you really believe in yourself and know it's where you belong?

When people found out that I was still funding my entire season on my own they seemed more upset than I was. I’ve wanted to race World Cups for a long time, so I think I had accepted that maybe I would be privateer forever. At the end of each season there was always hope that perhaps my support would be increased, but when it never really panned out it put me in a position where I had to choose what I wanted to do. 10 times out of 10 I wanted to go racing. So you learn to decipher the difference between wants and needs and you budget accordingly. I realize that not everyone gets to race at that level so perhaps I just needed to be grateful I was even there. Having said that though, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have SRAM support me since 2010. They’ve been an incredibly loyal and encouraging group to work with and I will forever be grateful for what they’ve done for me. At the end of this season I think it was the first time that I truly thought I deserved a factory spot. It’s exciting to have a real opportunity to progress as a rider and racer.

Miranda Miller looks aggressive and confident following her 3rd place just last week in Leogang.

Miranda Miller has had a fantastic season as a privateer and is looking for another strong result going into the offseason and contract negations for 2017.

Was there ever a time prior that you felt like just giving up? You seem to have been on a lot of people's radar for a while now but never really broke through, and with all the injuries over the years how close were you to that tipping point.

I’ve been injured a lot. The summer of 2013 I had broken my arm and then headed to Norway for the World Cup before I was ready to ride and pulled the plate off the bone. It took some time to realize but I ended up having to have the surgery re-done that winter. After finally healing the arm I headed to Fort William to kick off a new race season. I fell in practice and broke both my radius and ulnas, in both of my arms. That was easily the lowest point injury has taken me. I remember thinking that it was all over. Perhaps just a bit dramatic at the time due to being in pain and discomfort but it did take a longer than usual amount of time for me to be happy again and realize that I was going to continue to race.

Speaking of injuries, what are some that really stand out. I know there have been a lot of them.

Tibia Plateau 2003
Arthroscopy to remove knee meniscus 2006
Broken Collarbone 2007
Acute Renal Failure 2009
Broken Tib/Fib 2010
Broken Ulna 2013
Re-plated broken Ulna 2013
Bilateral Radius and Ulna fractures- 3 surgeries 2014
Broken Scaphoid Feb. 2016
Broken Triquetrum Nov. 2016

What has been your approach to coming back after getting hurt? Following you on social media you always seem to add a little humor to the whole thing to make light of the situation, does that help keep you from dwelling on the negatives and help to move forward?

When you’re hurt there seems to be a point when you’re in pain and you feel like there’s no way you can ride again. Soon enough, you adapt and either the pain goes away or you’re accustomed to living with that pain, and you just want to ride your bike. It’s usually a little intimidating for your first ride back, but if you want it you just have to get on with it. Getting hurt will always be a part of the game. I think that I have also learned to listen to my body a bit better as well. It’s important to keep things in perspective. I can be consumed by the want to ride and when you can’t it’s sometimes hard to deal with. I always try to keep things real and take a step back by looking at the place I get to call home and the people I get to call friends.

Miranda Miller... Canada s chosen one.

In for the Kill Finals - Leogang DH World Cup 2016

You and Steve Smith were very close, how did his passing effect you? Was it hard to get back out there and race or was it something that motivated you to really chase you dreams this past season.

At Leogang I was watching the Pro Men come down and I realized that I didn’t know who I was cheering for. In the past despite what had happened in qualifying etc I believed that Stevie was going to win. I had a good result at Leogang but at the time it was hard for me to be happy or appreciate what I had done, I wish that I could have shared it with him. Your heart breaks every time you think of him as gone, so I try and focus on what he left. He showed me what was possible and made me believe in myself, often believing in me more than I did.

I know you've said you dreamed of standing atop a WC podium alongside Steve. Does he still motivate you to get on that top step?

I grew up with people saying that Steve Smith was the fastest thing out of Canada since Dustin Adams. I was too young to really know how good Dustin Adams was so it was all about Steve. He was one of us but he also happened to be one of the fastest in the world. A great thing about him was that he wanted to share it with you and in return I wanted to be able to share something with him. Even though I’ll never get to stand next to Stevie on a podium, I’m not going to stop trying.

The Miranda Miller Interview

bigquotes At Leogang I was watching the Pro Men come down and I realized that I didn't know who I was cheering for.

Miranda Miller only rode one World Cup this season so far and came third. Today she had another crack on home soil and landed the same amazing result for qualies.

What events are you looking forward to the most in 2017?

All of them. It’s going to be so cool to travel with a team all season and have some consistency. That’s one thing I’m looking forward to is having a full season where I can build on something, progress each round. I’ve never raced a full season so I was always just showing up at random events, staying with different people, getting there in different ways and seeing what I could do. But if I had to choose one, I think Monte Sainte Anne is my favorite track.

What's your take on the EWS series in relation to the WC? A lot of riders have been trying to do both over the past few seasons and is this something you see yourself ever focusing on as intently as DH?

I had a pretty good time racing EWS, but to be honest DH is still more fun for me. There isn’t that all out speed, roughness and excitement that there is in downhill—Enduro is more strategy based racing. For me the downhill circuit is still exciting as I’ve never competed in a full season. For example I’ve only raced MSA about 4 times whereas god knows how many times someone like Sam Hill has raced there. So for now I want to focus on downhill and only compete in a couple EWS rounds, but I think in my future I could also do well in the EWS series.

It's easy to romanticize about traveling around the world constantly and riding bikes, but everyone who gets to do it knows that it is incredibly exhausting and takes a toll on you mentally and physically, not to mention personal relationships back home. How do you deal with the long hours on the road, and the weeks of time spent away from home?

I used to miss home a lot more, but I think I’ve learned to be a bit more content with wherever I am. I’ve been injured and stuck watching races at home enough to know that 10 out of 10, I’d rather be away racing. Sometimes it’s hard not seeing Remi (Gauvin) as much, but he races the EWS series so usually we’re at a few races together. As long as I get to ride Whistler Bike Park a little bit, see Remi a little bit, and maybe eat some sushi, I’m good.

Beside having way less stress over planning the whole process, what do you see as the biggest benefit of traveling as part of a factory team?

Gravity Republic has a crew of super knowledgable staff and I think I’ll appreciate some direction. The opportunity to work on different bike set-ups, suspension test—it’s all things I’ve only really half-assed before. I think just to be included in a common goal with others will be cool. I rode with the team for a few days after World Championships in Val di Sole and even just for those few days of testing it was beneficial to have someone like Laurent offer me structure and instruction. I’ve never had much support at races as far as building a plan—always just made it up as I went along and learned from my mistakes.

The Miranda Miller Interview

The Miranda Miller Interview

The Specialized Gravity Republic is a pretty tight knit bunch, and one of the teams on the circuit that best resembles a family. Are you nervous about being the newcomer? Have you spent much time with the whole crew?

I think I’ve spent a total of 2 days with them, other than Finn. I grew up watching and respecting this team and the fact my first factory ride is on Gravity Republic still blows my mind to be honest. I traveled to a few rounds with Blenki last year and it was clear that he respects this program a lot from his time there. It’s a little intimidating for sure, but I’m not worried.

When the new team was announced, it seemed the majority of the comments here on Pinkbike were focused on you joining the team. Were you aware that you are kind of a big deal, and that so many people have been paying attention to your career and pulling for you he past few years?
Racing can be quite a selfish endeavor, you are constantly working on bettering yourself and so when there are many people that are genuinely pumped on your success, it’s a nice feeling. Sometimes I’m too busy being a fan of other riders to think that there are possible fans of myself, haha.

Describe Loic and Finn each in one word?
Loic; Gracious
Finn; Brooooo

What are you nervous about in 2017? Any pressure?
I think I have the same level of nervousness about this year as any other. There are always so many unknowns until you get to your first race. We’re still deep in winter in Canada and that’s always hard when you haven’t been riding your bike and you start thinking about race season—it’s like you’re not even sure you know how to ride a bike! Laurent and Kevin (mechanic for Finn and I) have already outlined and organized some things to help prepare for the season and any changes.

The Miranda Miller Interview

bigquotesI've never had much support at races as far as building a plan—always just made it up as I went along and learned from my mistakes.

The Miranda Miller Interview

What are your goals that yourself and the team have come up with?

I believe that I’m a very good rider but need to become a better racer. I think that I’m finally in a position for that to happen. I’d also like to see myself on a few podiums this year, both in downhill and enduro.

Lastly, your career thus far has been the sum of lot of parts. Who are the people you would like to thank that got you here?
Shawn Cruickshanks, Tyler Morland, John Dawson and the rest of the SRAM team.
The Specialized Canada and Specialized Global Team
The Squamish businesses: Corsa Cycles, Squamish Integrated Health, Mountain Fitness Center, Nesters Market, Locavore Food Truck and Shaun Greenaway.

Also, thank-you to Gravity Republic and Dan Hugo at Specialized for taking a chance on me.

The Miranda Miller Interview

Thank You, Miranda, and on behalf of the entire Pinkbike audience I wish you all the best, and look forward to you popping bottles from the podium throughout 2017


MENTIONS: @Specialized



Must Read This Week

68 Comments

  • + 263
 It's Miller time!
  • + 36
 Yeah that girl is going places.
  • - 39
flag everardo (Feb 2, 2017 at 7:10) (Below Threshold)
 That only sounds right when Cris Miller drops into a poool.
  • + 5
 That girl is on fire! #aliciakeys
  • + 3
 @mitchgulliver: She say's that she is a girl, but she is a flame. #lyricalgenius
  • + 1
 MAKE CANADA GREAT AGAIN!
  • + 6
 I think I'm more excited about Miller than any other WC rider this season - male or female.
  • + 64
 Very impressed with Miranda. She seems like a genuinely good person.
  • + 37
 She sure is. Witty af too!
  • + 13
 This. Specialized wins just by having her in their company.
  • + 31
 Hopefully the woman's races will be a bit closer this year. Miller looks really focused.
  • + 32
 I am not surprised that Squamish rider is slaying it on the WC circuit.
  • + 24
 I was Luca's mechanic on SRAM/TLD for two years and helped Miranda anytime I could. I'm so stoked for her and glad to see her get her shot. No one I've met in the last handful of years deserves it more. Go get em Emmer! #millertime
  • + 23
 That's one scary injuries list
  • + 4
 Renal failure!! What the damn hell. Not to mention breaking BOTH arms. I did one radius enough for a plate to be put in and that's more than enough thanks. I can't imagine the massive amount of commitment to come back from this injuries, especially as a privateer. Massive props to Miranda!!
  • + 15
 GET EM MIR!! Watching you battle through injury and chase the dream for years has been so impressive, I don't know if there is anyone more deserving of more support than you. Kick ass this season!!
  • + 12
 I'm glad Specialized stepped up. Miranda is old school Canadian, humble and grateful. Good luck, we are all watching!
  • + 12
 Uplifting spirit and very appreciative attitude!
  • + 10
 so pumped with her attitude and energy! good luck!
  • + 10
 Miranda is a class act. Kudos to the big S for recognizing her. Pin it!
  • + 8
 YEA!!!! Great interview. Between Miller and Loic the team pit interviews for Gravity republic are going to be the most down to earth, humble interviews ever
  • + 9
 Carrying the chainsaw forward! Very excited to see her race them all. Best of winning vibes to you MS Miller!
  • + 6
 So great to see her get her shot. I didn't realize the extend of all her injuries over the years. She's one tough woman (mentally and physically to keep coming back like that and I sure hope she can stay injury free for the rest of this season and have her best racing year yet.
  • + 6
 Great interview PB, Miranda's story is real and raw and its refreshing to see how much time, passion and dedication that she puts into this sport that she loves so much, factory support or not, she will always go racing. The real deal right here, crush it Millertime
  • + 10
 YA CHAMP!!!
  • + 6
 She seems like she earned and deserves this shot. She seems like she has a real good attitude and spirit and truly is stoked to ride her bike for a living. Best of luck to you Miranda !!!!
  • + 4
 Miranda signed my 12 yo sons wrist cast (broken mountain biking) after the podium at MSA last year. She was very down to earth and recommended lots of dark leafy greens and salmon for healing. She speaks from lots of scary experience. Go Miranda!!!
  • + 7
 Super inspiring and she thanked a food truck! Now....... Go Get Rachel -Another fan
  • + 2
 Donairs from that truck are awesome
  • + 4
 Can't wait, can't wait for the new season! This years DHWC is going to be totally radical!! Miranda is so deserving of this honor. The women's races are going to be tight this year. Rachel, I love you darling. You're poetry in motion on a DH bike and that's a fact. But... you've got your work cut out for you because the likes of Miller and Hannah and Carpenter are hungry for it. The completion is gonna be fierce this year. Again, I can't wait
  • + 4
 She should wear the chainsaw beard - the female chainsaw massacre! I knew, Stevie would live on! Awesome character this Woman, and very inspiring.
  • + 2
 Sounds good Miranda! I'm Happy to hear for the great opportunity you deserved! I met you one day last May in Fluid function whe i was chatting with Shawn, but i didn't know you. I wish to meet you soon in Squamish for a riding day. All the best. Go Miranda. Tiziano
  • + 2
 Wow. That is a lot of injuries. Lots of people think being a pro athlete is a cush job, but most pro athletes have a laundry list of injuries. Pro athletes put their bodies on the line and push their body to the limits all the time because there is a lot of pressure to perform. Lots of injuries come with it.
  • + 5
 Great article and good luck Miranda!! Kick some ass girl!!
  • + 1
 Didn't know she was a privateer until this article, she was everywhere lately. Stoked for her to finally land a deal worthy of her effort and sacrifices. Keep up the good work!
  • + 1
 All the best for 2017, will be following and cheering you on. Your love for riding and mental strength must be huge after the injurys. Not an easy thing to come back from. Have fun and kick ass out there!
  • + 3
 Great interview,great questions,PB. Wish you a great season without injuries,Miranda!
  • + 3
 Love the attitude, seems a born racer. Women's wc looks like a belter this year
  • + 4
 #longlivechainsaw
  • + 1
 Great props for Sandra and Dave, and I really dig what you said about returns on investment "in the traditional sense". Well done, you deserve what you've earned!
  • + 3
 Kudos Miranda! Congrats and I wish you a killer 2017!
  • + 2
 I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars on mountain biking, but it doesn't owe me a thing.
  • + 2
 Hellz yea this just made 2017 the start of the year it's supposed to be. Show em how it's done Miranda!
  • + 3
 So much awesome!
  • + 1
 Let's make this Miranda's year. Hype doesn't build itself. Hashtag everything and let's get behind one of our own.
  • + 2
 Good luck Miranda, be great to see you succeed at he highest level
  • + 1
 Awesome. Now that she will be able to commit herself 100% to just train and compete, she get even better!
  • + 1
 Very well deserved and so humble! Ms. Miller sets an example for all to follow. Great story!
  • + 2
 Where's the Milk sponsor deal?
  • + 3
 Raddd
  • + 2
 Such a rad person, and solid rider. Go forth and slay
  • + 1
 Go get them Miranda! Big Grin It's your time now!
  • + 1
 Miranda rules! So stoked on this.
  • + 1
 Yeah, Miranda. Beyond fired up to see you ride this year. Go get it!
  • + 1
 Go Miranda! Pure speed, desire and funny too! Stoked for her.
  • + 1
 Just awesomingly inspirational!
  • + 2
 More of this please!!
  • + 2
 Bout damn time
  • + 1
 Damn all that surgery...and still charging,stoked for her!
  • + 1
 Bravo Miranda....
  • + 1
 Canada's own warrior.
  • + 1
 Health in 2017!
  • + 1
 Yaaaba dabba do0!
  • + 1
 Go Miller Time!
  • + 1
 Stoked for her!
  • + 1
 Finally!!

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