Friday, June 22, 2012

Jr. Camp & Chain Drive

It's been a while since the last update, but its been busy and time has been flying.  I'm almost done with base miles and that means the season is just around the corner!

First off - Jr. Mtb Camp.  Part of the Michigan Tech University youth camp programs and still the best week of the year.  It is awesome any time you go to the UP.  They have amazing trails, an awesome laid back mtb atmosphere, and add on top of that being able to give back a little to the kids and have fun with them ripping up the can't get any better.  Here is a highlight video I made after 4 days of riding.

Watch more video of Brian Matter on

What makes the weekend even cooler is the Keewenaw Chain Drive.  Its the perfect opportunity to let the juniors go out and practice some of the new skills, and then tell war stories afterwards!  The race itself is really cool.  It starts off in downtown Houghton and rolls across the draw bridge to the Keewenaw Peninsula.  The race gets going with a $50 KOM prime at the top of Cemetary Hill.  Its pretty brutal and this year I had to battle it out with roadie superstar Ryan Baumann.  I might have beat him by a half bike length.

After the KOM the race gets right to it with some pretty good singletrack....Tyler G and I soon separated ourselves from the group and were racing mano y mano for the win.  Tyler pulled the first half - I pulled the second half and started ramping the pace with 6 miles to go.  I bobbled through a river crossing with 2 miles to go and Tyler attacked.  I bridged up to him and then waited for a big sprint.  I had sprinted here before and I was pretty confident I could get the win!

 A couple more days of training big and maybe a TOAD race - then its interval time!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Deja Vu

WORS #3 is in the books and it coulnd't have been more exactly oppostite of last year than it really was.  Last year I suffered, I got dropped, I was scared, I suffered and I won the sprint.  This year totally different.

It started off with a much needed rest week.  After losing Rosco and a hard training week I was smashed and really really looking forward to a rest week.  We even took it up another notch and mid week cruised up to Eagle River for some ultimate relaxation.

Sunday morning we took a short 2:00 drive from Eagle Rive to Wausau to get ready for round #3.  I arrived to the familiar venue to hear the stories of all the course changes, the new start, the rock garden....

The only thing that really concerned me was the different start.  Much much shorter, so I wanted to get to the front and check it out right away.  The full contingent of contenders were present and I knew positioning would be critical with all the two track - dispersed between the singletrack sections.  I felt like I led through the majority of the first lap.  I wasn't afraid of being aggressive and I wanted the riders in 5 - 10th to experience the full yo-yo effect.

Starting lap 2 a few attacks that I didn't really respond too because I was on the front all of Lap 1.  Into the first singletrack Tristan jumped and got a good gap.  The remaining portions of Lap 2 Nathan and I worked hard to bring Tristan back.

Lap 3 was a tough one...Nathan was jamming the singletrack sections on the verge of control.  My left hamstring cramped on the climb in the middle of the lap.  Luckily I could shake it out on the long two track descent.

Starting Lap 4 I think we were all pretty tired.  We rolled pretty slow all the way to the first climb.  I glanced back and I saw Mark and Corey coming up and decided to attack.  I figured we were all hurting the same so might as well go for it....I think right after Nathan flatted/crashed into Tristan.  Tristan bridged up to me and then it was the two of us....

Wausau Sprint 2011
Wausau Sprint 2012

This year I wanted to lead out the sprint...not sure why as it was the wrong decision with the result that I wasn't really looking for....

After the race the real party started...A 5 hour drive to Decorah, IA.  A night at the Bluff's Inn and a new friend first thing Monday morning.  Another rescue Boston Terrier.  He was found as a stray a month ago, lived in a shelter for 15 days, until his time was up.  Luckily the Northeast Iowa Rescue Association saved him and put him up for adoption.  15 days later he was ours.  Welcome to the family OSCOR!
OSCOR - after 2 days

Rosco in 2006

I think they would have been pretty good buddies.