Meredith Miller of CalGiant has had a busy September, but October is truly a crazy month for the racer. Between racing Providence, Boulder and two World Cups, she’s also spearheading the Pretty in Pink drive to raise money for Hope Lives, a charity for women with breast cancer. She’s had a great Holy Week, finishing just off the podium and on the podium Day 2 of Gloucester. We caught up with her as she cooled down after Sunday’s race at Providence and found out how the weekend was, how she’s feeling about new teammate Elle Anderson, and more about Pretty in Pink’s plans for this year.
On returning to Providence… I broke my hand at this race last year! I’ll tell you, in the spot where I crashed, I looked at it every time I went by. I had clipped a root, so I was looking for that route every time I passed it. So last year, I broke my hand the first day with two laps to go, so I didn’t get to finish the first day and didn’t get to race the second day. So I was glad to get through this weekend with no mishaps! Pretty decent weekend.
On the weekend… Not nerve-wracking but I wanted a good weekend. I wanted redemption, for sure. And with the field we had here and the venue and this course and the spectators, it’s a really big weekend. So more than anything, I just wanted to do good. It’s a big race and a C1 and everything. There were a lot of other factors I was thinking about before my hand.
On the season start… I’m going OK. I just need to get off the start line faster! I keep missing that front group and I’m feeling good and feel like I’m riding fast laps, but I keep missing that front group! I don’t know what’s going on on that start line. My coach and I are going to have to do some work on that.
On her new teammate Elle Anderson… I’m dumbfounded. I’m speechless. We obviously knew she had talent last year and we were like, ‘She’s coming with us next year!’ So I’m glad we picked her up. Last year, it was an early race in California, before going to Cross Vegas, CalGiant was there, hometown race, and she beat me, and I was like, ‘We gotta talk to her!’ She made the jump this year and she’s just been on a tear! I’m trying to keep up with her now!
On riding with a teammate… This is my first experience really having a teammate. We weren’t able to use team tactics this weekend, but I suppose Madison was where it was really like, I was blocking and stuff. it’s really cool seeing her there and it gives me extra motivation. It’s been fun!
On Pretty in Pink… This is the fourth year of Pretty in Pink. I have the t-shirts and socks and this year new is cowbells. At Providence and Boulder we have on-site raffles, with stuff from Thule, Oakley, Light in Motion, Cyclocross Magazine, Modify Watches, and Skratch Labs cookbooks, and at the end of the month, I’ll do an online raffle where I raffle off one of my bikes, among a few other things as well. There’s a lot going on this year, it’s really exciting.
On motivation… Today, before the race, a little girl who’s mother died from breast cancer just last week stopped by the booth and asked if I’d wear these pink beads when I raced, which I did. I didn’t get to meet her, but I was wearing the beads today for her.
On how it started… That year, Cal-Giant put pink labels on all their berry containers and were donating all the profits to a charity foundation, and they asked if we wanted to wear pink kits, and I was like, ‘Heck yeah, let’s wear pink!’ And a friend of mine had done a lot of charity work and told me if I wanted to, I could do a little bit more and actually raise some money. Wearing pink is cool and I like it but if I’m wearing it for a cause, let’s really try to do something with it. So I decided I wanted to keep the money local. I’m not raising millions of dollars to give to a big charity so I wanted to do it at a local level where even if it was $5000, it would make a difference. So I came up with Hope Lives, which is in Fort Collins, Colorado, which provides complimentary care to women with breast cancer, to help them get massages, or to the chiropractor or to the grocery store or daycare for kids. So it’s not your typical ‘Let’s find a cure’ kind of foundation, it’s helping women already undergoing treatment.
On what’s next… Go home to Boulder! And then Europe, I’ll do the first two World Cups, and then we’ll see after that. At some point, I’ll need a little break but funny thing is, there are three C1s in November, so it’s going to be tough to figure that out, those are going to be important.