Temarah: Being the Lead Motorbike at the UCI World Cup & ABSA Cape Epic, how did that all come about?

Greg: I had done some work for the Absa Cape Epic in 2014 and 2015, managing their trade techzone, when a spot opened up for another lead motorbike for 2016, I had just completed the 2015 Amageza Rallye, they obviously realized that I would be better suited to being on a bike and I was lucky enough to be offered the spot.

Temarah: What does it all entail being the Lead Motorbike at these two big events?

Greg: The Lead Bikes roles are different on the World Cup and The Absa Cape Epic, at the World Cup we had 2 lead bikes alternating leading the races, the bike that wasn’t leading out the race would do a track sweep about 2 minutes before the start of each race, making sure the track was clear and that all the marshals were ready. The lead bike on the race would ideally be between 30 sec to 1 minute ahead of the leader with the purpose of indicating to the media camera’s that the leaders were approaching, as well as getting the marshal to make sure the track was clear. We also had a number board on the front of the bike indicating to the spectators how many laps were left in the race.

On the Absa Cape Epic we have 3 lead bikes and we run ahead of the leaders and various time intervals, usually we are marshaling traffic at the start of the stages, as the race usually starts on district roads and there are often vehicles trying to make their way into the race village for the later start groups. Then we are making sure that all the route markers are clear and there is nothing obstructing the route, we carrying marking tape with us just incase we need to clarify any markings. The route guys do such a great job that our days are usually pretty easy.

Lead Motorbike, Greg Miller at the UCI MTB World Cup in Stellenbosch on the 10th March 2018.

Temarah: How many times have you been a Lead Motorbike?

Greg: This is my 3rd year as a Lead Motorbike on the Absa Cape Epic and my 5th year working on the event.

Temarah: How does one prepare for an event like this?

Greg: I’m not nearly as well prepped as I would like to be, even though we are on motorbikes, you still need to have a decent level of fitness, riding off road bikes on tight mountain bike trails and be pretty physically demanding. The past few months I have been super busy working in Photographic production and have had minimal time to train. In the off season I try to keep myself in shape Running, Mountain Biking and Surfing.

Temarah: What are the essential tools/resources that you will need?

Greg: We carry route tape with us, one of the guys has a saw, incase we need to cut in fallen branches and wire cutters incase we need to open and fences or closed gates. Then of course we have the usual bike tools incase we have any mechanicals as well as lots of water…

Temarah: How does it feel to be taking the Lead?

Greg: We have the best seat in the house, we get to watch the worlds best marathon racers battle it out at the front of the race and we get to ride some pretty awesome trails, that would usually been out of bounds for off road bikes.

Greg Miller rocking his Silverback snapback after a pumping Mountain Bike World Cup!

Temarah: How long have you been riding on a Silverback?

Greg: I’ve been on a Silverback since 2014, I had taken an over extend sabbatical from Mountain Biking after I retired from racing professionally in 1997 and the guys at Silverback were instrumental in getting me back on a Mountain Bike.

Temarah: What does Silverback mean to you?

Greg: The Silverback guys got me back into Mountain Bikes and it was incredible to get back on a bike after so many years and to see how far the technology had progressed. What I really like is that even though the bike is marketed as a Germany brand there is something really South African and local about it, the engineers and designers that I have worked and ridden with have such a passion for the sport and the brand and it really finds it way into the finished product.

Temarah: Have you entered any of these races before or plan too?

Greg: I think I have missed the window to try any of these big marathon stage races, plus I have been spoiled getting to ride them on a motorbike… it much easier that way hahaha, I did do the U – Stage race a couple of years, most mostly as a social event with my friends… These days I just love riding my Mountain Bike to hang out with my mates, pull some wheelies and still play like a kid.

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