Ready. Set. Go, Grady!
We recently Zoomed with Grady Ellis, who was out in Colorado sporting his Norte jersey in the 2021 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. Grady also rides for the Norte Varsity Team. He goes to Traverse City West Middle School as an 8th grader and has rolled with Norte since his days at Willow Hill. He’s always been eager to try and try again, so for anyone who doesn’t think they can do it, Grady’s your inspiration.
Norte: Hi Grady. Thanks for joining us during a special week for you. Where are you right now? What have you been doing this past week?
Grady: I’m in Colorado and was in Winter Park racing nationals. It was exciting. Nationals is a race with all the best racers in the country. They’re racing for the title of the best racer in their age groups. I race 13-14. I’ve also been watching the pros and youth U23.
I raced in the cross-country race and 11-14 short track. That’s a half-mile loop where you go a ton of loops. It’s like a really hard effort for 10 minutes. We made about five loops.
N: Who else is out there with you from Northern Michigan?
G: Kyan Olshove (19) and Max Myers (19) (both racing in U23). We’ve been helping each other out and just hanging out.
N: You’ve done it all at Norte—from Adventure Bike Club, formerly known as Bike Más, to now being on the Varsity Mountain Bike Team. What are some lessons you’ve learned at Norte that you’re finding useful in Colorado?
G: I’ve learned to keep riding no matter what hits you. When I can’t make it up the hills, I just keep struggling and just keep going. Out here in Colorado, the altitude and elevation difference is a real challenge.
Also, there are rocks you don’t find in Michigan. I went to this bike park before nationals, and there was a huge rock that I was not comfortable with—at all. You have to go over it, so I kept trying it and trying, and finally, I got it.
N: One of your first coaches, Ben Boyce, wants to know about your race-day nutrition? So what’s fueling you out there?
G: In the morning, I would eat some Cocoa Puffs. Then Alexey, the person taking care of me here, would give me some goo to prepare for the race.
N: What’s next? Do you have your next race planned?
G: I’m racing Ore to Shore in Marquette in August and then Peak2Peak. Then Ice Man. When I first raced in the Slush Cup, I was basically last, so I’ve learned that when you want something, to train hard for it.
*Dan Ellis, Grady’s dad and rad Norte coach, also let us know that Grady will compete for points this fall in the 2021 MISCA Race Series.
N: Anything you want to add?
G: I’ve seen people noticing Norte out here. So keep riding and representing the team because definitely, people are noticing.
And we’re noticing you. Grady placed 15 out of 42 in the 11-14 Short Track and 21 out of 56 in the 13-14 Cross Country races. He’s racing for Norte and Northern Michigan. We couldn’t be more proud of him.
Ride on, Grady. Ride on!
*Thank you for the images, Avery Stumm