Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Website

Things have moved over to www.b-matter.com

Check it out!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

PRO XCT Preview, Nationals, & Pro Gold

Right Now is the calm before the storm.  Things have been going great since returning to the Midwest.  A new team, 3 WORS wins and the Chain Drive victory. I just finished up a really solid block of Sub LT training and now I'm resting up for the WORS Cup ProXCT and MTB National Championships in Bear Creek PA. 

En Route to my 3rd WORS win of '14 in Eau Claire

The WORS venue is new on the PRO XCT circuit and I think people are going to find it very challenging.  It very difficult to find a rhythm out there, lots of accelerations, and lots of 180+ turns.  It should be a good one....







Then I'm off to PA for MTB Nationals.  I don't think I've ever done an official MTB Nationals.  Back in the day it was just called Norba Finals.  I don't even recall them handing out Jersey's because the Canadians were always doping....I mean winning.  Needless to say I'm pretty excited.  Last year I did Transylvania Epic this year I opted for Nationals.  One day to lay it all on the line...and that's exactly what I'm going to do!  I think the course will suit me much better than the previous years of long climbs at altitude.

I've been busy building up a secret new TREK Superfly!  You can check it out Friday night under the lights at the WORS Cup Short Track!  Its fast and looking good.  I also just shined up the rest of my bikes...the training hours and the bad weather have been taking a toll on the equipment and the bikes were in need of some TLC....Here is where PRO GOLD comes in! 

Part of being a privateer PRO is being your own mechanic....another part of being a PRO is looking good and repping your sponsors.  PRO GOLD helps make my job easier by cleaning the bikes, shining the bikes and keeping 'em running smooth!  So todays blog is all about my top 3 favorite Pro Gold Products.

#3 - Pro Gold XTreme Chain Lube.  I always have it on me.  Its my go to lube.  I have some in my camelback, in my toolbox, in my car, and in my spare parts bag.  I'm never too far away.  If you clean your bikes up really nice(see #1) and put on a light coat of the Xtreme the night before your race it soaks in and works like a champ!  Hands down best chain lube in all conditions.


#2 - Pro Gold Towels.  These things are amazing and work on anything.  They come in travel size individual packs or in a bulk container.  One towel can clean an entire bike!  They will clean a dirty driveline, they will clean dead bugs of your bike from a cross country trip, they will clean grease of your hands or off your legs, they even do a decent job of cleaning up tubular glue during cross season.  Best part of all is you don't have to ever trash another hotel towel again.  I always have the towels in my race bag.

 
#1 Pro Gold Degreaser and Bike Wash.  This stuff is like green magic.  Spray it on your bike, wait 5 - 10 minutes and hit it with a hose.  Your bike is clean as a whistle.  If you have an extra messy drivetrain or haven't cleaned your bike in a while you might need a sponge and some water to make things a little easier.  Sometimes I'll hit the drive line with a little extra and scrub with a brush when its really dirty, but the end result is always the same.  Magically clean! 
 
Honorable Mention - Pro Gold Blastoff - This stuff is super duper top secret!  Hit your driveline with this stuff and Voila - Instantly clean.  Works amazing in the pits at a cross race or when you need to clean your bike in a hurry - like when its 10 degrees outside and you are freezing.  So fast and so efficient.  You need to check it out.

Ask for them at your local bike shop - or come find me at the races...I might just have a sample or two!



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NEW TITLE SPONSOR!

Really excited to announce that I am now a member of TEAM WISCONSIN!  With the support of Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospitals I am happy to join the team after 3 months of hard work by all parties involved.  I am looking forward to a great season of racing, new team mates, and many more trips to the podium!

The best part of joining the team is that I will be able to keep my relationship with my current bike sponsors TREK Bicycles, Bontrager and my nutrition sponsor CLIF Bar! Along with all my other sponsors!  It was really the perfect situation for everybody and the excitement on the new team is very welcoming and motivating!

Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospitals was the driving force behind the change in teams.  The hospital system is the premier destination for orthopedic care in the Midwest and they even provide sports nutrition and sports psychology to keep you healthy on all spectrums of the playing field.  I'm really looking forward to partnering with them to promote cycling at the high school level and all other levels throughout the state of WI and the Midwest!


Inside collar of new team clothing:  Custom - Thanks Guys!

So my first outing with the new team colors was my favorite week of the year!  Junior Mountain Bike Camp at Michigan Tech University & the Keewenaw Chain Drive.

This year we had 17 campers registered.  5 days in the UP on the best trails in the WORLD!  Yep, I said the WORLD.  Copper Harbor has been doing some amazing things with the unique landscape they have.  If you haven't been to the Keewenaw, it needs to be on your summer vacation bucket list.  We were able to ride Copper Harbor on Day 2 of camp, as always simply amazing...even in the rain!  After the Copper Harbor morning session we had a physiology lecture from Dr. John a professor at the University and then were able to go ride another (new to me) trail system at Swedetown in Calument.  The next day we were lucky enough to be able to Demo Trek's new Fuel EX 27.5 and all the other bikes in Trek's lineup.  The kids were so pumped and definitely spent most of there time on MTU's new Flow trail.  Its impossible not to go down that thing with a huge smile on your face....you can also go pretty big if you want to...here is one of the campers Caleb going really BIG on the Remedy 9.8!

video

The camp is also based around the Keewenaw Chain Dr.  a great chance to get the campers an opportunity to put everything they learned to the test.  How to clean and prep a bike for a race.  Thanks PRO GOLD! How to properly eat and recovery, Thanks CLIF BAR!  It was also a great opportunity for me to represent my new team.  I was super excited to land on the top step of the podium for Team Wisconsin!  It's always a little extra motivating to win in front of the campers as well.  They finish their 16 mile race just before I finish the 30 mile long course, but even more exciting is to finish and hear the war stories and the great results of all the kids.



All in all a great weekend!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Home To Eagle River & back

Oscor's pumped to be home too!  Morning beach walks!

We've been back in Wisco for just over 2 weeks and it seems like the party is definitely just partying on!  It was a long drive but it felt good to be home and sleep in my own bed after 4 months of being gone.  Within 3 days I was off to the first WI race of the season.  Thankfully it was a smaller race on the local trails in Greenbush.  More of a chance to get familiar with the punchy singletrack style racing in the Midwest vs the longer climbing races out west....and to see how much I needed to chop down my handlebars(from 720 to 680).  The answer was almost an inch on each side.

I raced the 2 man 6 hour race.  Last year Andrea and I battled w/ Street and Schwaller, this year I had a new team mate and we took the win in dominating fashion.  It was fun to get in some hot laps, smash some strava segments, and test out the bike.

After some mid week training with Tristan we were off to Eagle River for the first real test!  WORS #2 at Crystal Lake.  Its pretty awesome to be able to stay at the cabin for this race.  I love it up in the Northwoods....its so relaxing and there is some great riding on the road and off.

Cooper was crashing the cabin with us so it was a good opportunity to make it over to Crystal Lk to pick her up and go for a pre-ride.  It proved beneficial as it was game on from the start of the race.  It was refreshing to go hard the entire race....no holding hands!  Nathan G was on the gas and 5 minutes into the race we were already establishing a gap.  I told him to keep the pressure on....and he did.  I came through to help out 1/2 way through lap one and we were gone!  It turned into a 2 man dual pretty quick and in the end I was stronger than Nathan on the day and got my first WORS win of the season!

Cooper also won her 2nd race of the season which was pretty cool.  I gave credit to Andrea's secret pancakes.






After the WORS race it was time for a big block of training!  I had always wanted to ride my bike to Eagle River....and finally the weather and the long holiday weekend presented the perfect opportunity!  After a big day on the bike Wed I strapped on a small back pack w/ a credit card, some Clif Bars, and a change of clothes and started pedaling north!  I planned to stay in a motel half way up and it ended up being the perfect trip.

Day 1 Headwind through farm country 112miles - 6:15 - Avg 17.9mph - 5300kjs - Avg Power 233
Day 2 Rolling hills of the Northwoods 101miles - 5:01 - Avg 20.1mps - 4500kjs - Avg Power 248

 I ended up with 19 hours of riding in a 4 day period.  I pretty much was smashed and spent the rest of the holiday weekend chilling out at the cabin.  Looking forward to the next WORS race and some possible exciting news coming in the sponsorship department!



But I can't lie and say I'm not missing the Southwest...last #shredit of the year from Winter Vacation

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Whiskey - Go Go Go

Had so much fun partying after the Whiskey 50 that I almost forgot to update about the race.

Reppin' Momentum Endurance & some 'PORANGE' Bontrager RXL's!

It's basically the story of Goldilocks & The Three Bears....

Last year I was coming into the race in pretty good shape.  I had a few races under my belt and was mentally ready to go, unfortunately it was my first Whiskey 50 attempt and I had not pre-ridden at all.  This left me racing nervous and over my limits way to often and although I had a great start I suffered at the top of the slkull valley climb and lost positions the whole way down the mtn.

This year although I was not quite as race ready with only 3 weeks of steady training in the legs, I was much better prepared for the altitude w/ 2.5 weeks in the thin air of Durango.  I also had way more knowledge of the course...having it raced it last year and having 2 solid course inspections one full run of the course and one 25 mile preview of just the technical bits.  The combo of these had me just as confident heading into the race weekend.



Knobbies & a skinsuit!

Things kicked off Friday night at the Fat Tire crit.  I had pretty darn good legs and definitely wanted to have good showing and get a hard effort in so I could rest up Saturday and crush it on Sunday.  Mission accomplished and it was HARD!  First 20+ min effort of the year.  I started slow, but made the front group when it really mattered...once I was established I stayed put....with 2 to go I was in a group of 7...all others had slicks, and I was rocking the knobbies.  I was getting out cornered when I heard the side knobs biting on the pavement and I had to ease up....once the small gap opened I knew I was in trouble.  I was able to hang on for a 6th place finish....one off the podium!



The XC was altogether tactically different than last year.  I had a great start into the first singletrack.  I slotted in about 10th wheel just behind Ben Sonntag.  There was a gap behind me....I had made the front group.  As soon as we started going up though Ben was struggling.  I opted to be patient knowing I got myself into trouble last year riding over my head...and the lead group rode away.  Luckily for me Kabush caught me just before the first major descent and I thought for sure he was my ticket back to the front group.
an XC race w/ some techy gnar!

We slayed the descent!  It was so much fun....but when we hit the next climb I knew something was wrong....Howard Grotts and Carl Decker caught us and went by...again I thought to myself be patient and opted to stay with Kabush.  I never say those two again and Kabush started going slower and slower.  The chase group swelled to like 25+ riders on the descent down to skull valley.

On the climb back out of skull valley I was feeling pretty good...not great, but good.  But by the time we got to mile 8 where it gets steep I was struggling a little....a small group of 4 or 5 had a 15-20 second gap towards the top of the climb...I was fairly confident I would catch them on the descent...especially when my Tucson training buddy Tom Sampson was just in front of me on the final descent.  I was really hoping we could hook up jam the descent and be in contention for the sprint for 9th place.


Plenty of climbing at the Whiskey
We almost caught them on the trail...then we almost caught them on the pavement, but it was not to be...I ended up watching 9th - 14th sprint about 10 seconds ahead of me.  I felt great on the descent and on the pavement and had way too much left in the tank.

So - last year I was smashed...this year I was reserved...next year will be just right!

After the race we partied!  Prescott Station to celebrate Chloe's win, then the next day to Sedona to shred some red rock single track.  Hi Line and Hangover....so much fun.



A day later we were off to Moab to ride the Worlds Famous Slickrock! 



Then it was back to Durango to gather the rest of out belongings before the long drive home!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

#tbt

One month ago I was discovering new trails in the Tortolita Mountains!  The 'WILD MUSTANG' was an instant favorite!



Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Training & The Southwest!

Does it count as training when you have a huge smile on your face the whole time?  When your riding with these guys it does...


I'm so glad I decided to make the trip to Prescott a week early and get in a good day on the race course with Tom, Trav, and Chloe.  Last year during the race I really struggled with a longer race than normal and not being familiar with the course whatsoever was a killer.    I think its going to be a huge advantage this year.

We had a blast ripping the descents on the Whiskey 50 course and I feel it was critical to preview the one hour long 2000ft+ vertical climb in the middle of the race.  I'm much more confident now heading into the week.

The ride capped off another big week of training which makes 3 solid weeks of quality volume leading up to the race.  Now its time to rest up and soak in all this good training.  I'll go out again on Wed and ride the 25 mile course which does not include the Skull Valley climb, but will allow me to dial in all the technical lines.  Other than that its going to be full rest mode.

In a few minutes I'm going to be headed out for an easy spin with an old school buddy!  Skyler Reeves....yep its been a long time.  After our ride yesterday Sky invited us over to Prescott Station, a really nice restaurant in town, where he works with some amazing food.  If you are in town this weekend for the Whiskey stop by and say hi.  Its been about 9 years since I've seen Skyler and must be another 3-5 since we've ridden together!  Can't wait.

Driving across the Navajo Nation Reservation on my way back to AZ I had a ton of time to think about the good times we used to have...whether is was in the Saab or in the Dodge Caravan we covered some ground! 

Some beautiful scenery thru the Reservation
Love the Southwest

The only other time I had been to Durango was back in 97.  We rallied Sky's Saab on some dirt roads, went cliff jumping, and on the way back managed to catch some air over a cow grate and came down with a flat after dropping our buddy G - Heitman in the 15 passenger van.  G rolled by a few minutes later threw a banana peel at us and laughed as we struggled to get the car on the jack on a powdery dirt road.  In the end the lid to a Tupperware container gave us enough stability to get the car up and change the flat.  Later that night we almost got arrested for playing a little frisby in the buff up at Ft. Lewis on the soccer fields.  Finally it was race day...the Cow Chip classic and Derek managed to uphill endo into a scorpion on the pre-ride....so many good times from back in the day!


The plans for the next adventure are coming together....Sedona and Moab on our way home from the Whiskey!  Can't wait....but first the race!