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!

Monday, April 14, 2014

AZ 2 CO

Well its been a while...guess that means I've been busy with Momentum Endurance coaching, training, moving, and building bikes!  Being busy is a good thing!

Its definitely game time for the 2014 race season.  My first race, the Whiskey 50, is two weeks away,  and the first WORS race is the following weekend!  All the Momentum Endurance athletes are in full swing with their training and so am I!

Gila Monster on our last ride!
Great Horned Owl nest spotted on drive to Durango!
We packed up and left AZ about 10 days ago.  So far Durango is awesome and the training is going great!  I did however get in a few good jam sessions in AZ w/ Tom Sampson before making the trip to CO.




Shriver has been a great host and tour guide for the huge network of trails in Durango!  Thanks man...I've hit so many fun new trails on the Remedy and now on the new Superfly FS!  However I have been slaving away.  Painting, carrying King Size memory foam mattress' up two flights of steps, and even fixing laundry room appliances....I think I'm paying my rent in labor for the month!

Pro Gold - 1 Dryer - 0
Colorado Trail


Had to fix the dryer with some Pro Gold EPX Cycle Grease!

















My new Rock Shox equipment arrived last week and I was able to finish the build of the Superfly!  Two days ago I took 'er out for the first shred sesh!  WOW...it can go!  I'm always blown away at how good a 29er FS can descend after being on a trail bike.  In my head I think I can and should be able to rip so much faster on the trail bike with the dropper seat post, but then I get on my race bike and its just as fast or faster and I love it....

Rock Shox front and rear!
Shimano XTR all around!

Bontrager cockpit w/ 720mm wide bar!


The jump to the bigger wheels size was much easier this year after riding the 27.5 Remedy all winter in Tucson.  I'm a huge fan of the trail bike and think everybody should get one!  They are so good for you skills, your visual confidence on the trails, and they take a beating that keeps your race bike in tip top shape.

 



No time wasted in finding some mud, some river crossings, and using all 100mm's of buttery smooth travel!












Training at altitude is definitely a little different and way easy to overstep the boundaries of fatigue.  I've definitely learned that you need to back it down a notch or two sleeping at 6,000+ft and training up at 8,000+ft.   I just finished up a 20+ hour training week and today resting and cleaning bikes!  One more big week of training on tap and then the Whiskey 50!  Can't wait for the first big race of the year!  Thanks for reading!

I wonder if the baby Road Runners have left the nest yet?

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Hustle

Another last minute decision to head up to Phoenix turned out to be a great weekend.

Lots of riding, lots of coaching, and lots of work on the upcoming race season.  Cooper Dendel was in town and we did some serious shredding...both on the road and on the trails.  Last Sunday was really big with a successful Tour De Cure followed by a Bugs shuttle run in the afternoon!  The dirt was amazing up there....

Bugs Hike a Bike w/ Cooper

After Cooper left I was pretty smashed and had to go for a massage....it was one of those massages that was pretty serious and almost left you more worked over than before you started....which probably meant my body really needed it....

Friday I headed out for another good Bug Springs run w/ Jake and Kenny from NoTubes.  My legs felt horrible after the massage...at least for the first hour.  Or maybe it was just pedaling the Remedy up the mtn for 5,000+ ft.


I was just making sure the bike was ready!
The race was just really an excuse to skip town and hang in PHX with good friends, but as soon as the race number goes on things change.  This time I raced Andrea's Remedy which is a solid 2 lbs lighter than mine.  Its really is crazy how much 2lbs makes a difference in accelerations and on the steeper climbs.

The race started and pretty quickly it was whittled down to 4 guys, but I had a feeling it was going to be another tactical battle with Trav.  He crushed me on the climbs...just enough that I couldn't get around him for the descents.  This went on for the first 2 long laps...he even gapped me a few times, but I made sure to sit on him on the last climb of the lap into a headwind and jump him before the final descent before heading to the 2 tech laps.  I had just enough of a gap to push on and extend my lead on the first tech lap.  As the race approached its final lap I started to fatigue.  Trav put 30 seconds into me on the last lap, but I had a large enough gap to hang onto the first victory of the year!  Andrea proceeded to match me and won her race as well!


I was pretty smashed after and we didn't party Saturday night, but was feeling good enough for another sweet ride w/ Tim Racette and his fiancĂ© Evelyn on Sunday.  We did just about everything in the Maricopa County Park system including the race course at McDowell which I hadn't done in a long time.  Finished 'er up with some Senor Taco.  Perfect way to end the weekend.


Next up:  New race equipment for the 2014 season!  Bye Bye Remedy hello Superfly. Can't wait!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tour de Cure

Hey Everybody,

I'm officially kicking off my 2014 season at the Tucson Tour De Cure.  If you can help out and make a donation the ADA and 26 million people living with Diabetes would really appreciate it...

Donate Here

Its a 100k ride and just about the perfect way to start my training for the Whiskey 50!

I've also been getting in some good training at building Trek trail bikes and bleeding Rock Shox Reverb dropper posts!

I can build an entire bike in 5 minutes!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

White Tanks Whirlwind & Wolftooth

Last weekend we decided to skip town and head up north to Phoenix.  We had a blast!  I was up in the air about racing, but I wanted to go to the venue and at least do a lap on the course and hang out with Trav, Chloe, and the AZ Devo crew.  It doesn't hurt either that the burrito truck at the MBAA races is top notch!

So Friday evening we headed up to Brad P's house.  He grew up in the same neighborhood as me in Pinckney and moved out to Phoenix in 94 or 95.  I still remember going out to visit him to do Cactus Cup way back then...

Had to rock the Bontrager skinsuit!
Aero to make up for the heavy bike!
When we arrived Andrea was unsure if she was going to race, so I made the commitment.  I had a hard time justifying going to the race if neither one of us was going to twisty tie on a number!

So once again I found myself on a start line of an MBAA race w/ a trail bike.  That's right I raced XC on my Remedy 9.  Luckily the courses out here are a little more tech than the courses back home.  I was able to suffer through the climbs (Remedy pedals pretty good) and use the 140mm of travel and Rock Shox Reverb dropper post to my advantage on the descents.  Of course after the dust settled I was locked in with Travis Woodruff my buddy and Momentum Endurance coaching colleague.  Ben Sonntag of Durango and Bryson Perry of SLC were long gone.  Trav would try to drop me on each climb and I would try to recover on each descent.  With 1.5 to go I tried attacking the descent and got a gap, but Trav closed on the pedaling section.  It was a heated battle that came down to the last corner.  I tried to stay patient.  I was riding the corners a little better(maybe it was the 2.35 knobbies) than Trav and when he started to slide I went.  It was just enough grip to get the last spot on the podium!

First race of the year!

That evening I was pretty smashed and vegged on the couch and watched all the Olympics that I could handle.

Supersition Mtns in the background.
The next day we woke up early and hit up some amazing trails in Gold Canyon, AZ before driving back to Tucson.  The drive home was interrupted by a huge biker rally organized by the Hells Angles who were riding to the prison in Florence.  There must have been 1000+ bikes....it was huge!

I have also been doing some testing for Wolftooth Components since I have been out here.  Midwest proud!  Lets just say I am really impressed.  I was pretty happy to be running the light set up while Trav was crushing me on the climbs in the race last weekend!

I was able to remove my front shifter, f. der, inner & outer chainring, cables, housing, and frame fittings and replace with a WT 34 narrow/wide chainring.

Clean look and light weight.















So far the set up has been flawless and I have done everything from racing XC to 4 hour trails rides, to gnarly 2 + hour descents...not a single dropped chain.

All you need is a Shimano R. Der. with a locking clutch and you can do it....I actually ran this setup on my Superfly for Iceman this year.

The exciting part is the new GC(Giant Cog).  Its a replacement cog to convert your Shimano cassette to an 11-42.  You simply remove the 17t cassette and spacer and install the 42 GC on the inside of the cassette.

Out here in AZ with all the steep mtn climbs its been really nice to have the range.  I've been riding the Wolftooth 34 in the front and with the GC in the rear I've been able to climb everything that's climbable and never run out of gears on a descent.  The shifting to the 42 both up and down is flawless!

The production models will be available soon and improvements have been made(not sure how you can improve perfect though!)

This weekend I'm hoping to make it up to the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo and have some fun ripping more trails!  WooHooo - Thanks for reading.  Next up - Training in Tucson w/ the Czech's!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Video Killed the Radio Star

Having so much fun on the new 650b Remedy!  The bike is so capable, so fast, and so fun.  Words can't describe so I thought I'd just do a video blog!

The Trek Remedy 9
Don't forget to switch to HD!

The big ride!  First time on the stuff at the top of Mt. Lemmon.  WOW!  That's some good stuff.  Just need to work on my climbing so I can make it up there more often!



Possibly the most fun section of trail ever?  The Chutes - I think I spotted Greg HB Herbold out there the other day!



The Upper 50 - Like a playground for MTB's...so many alternate lines!


Until next time RIDE ON - or maybe more realistically STAY WARM!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back in the Desert Again

Well we made it....Happy New Year

The driving has been epic lately.  I think I spent over 70 hours or 5,000 + miles in the car between leaving for the last race of the season in NC and arriving in Tucson.  That's a lot of miles in a 3 week time frame...I might even be qualified to drive a big rig after that amount of hauling.



So - CX Nationals is this weekend....and I'm not going to be there.  I'm a little bummed but at the same time when I look back at the weather conditions in WI from mid Nov - mid Dec I am not surprised.  It was hard to even train thru to the North Carolina race.  Add in the holidays and the time spent traveling and starting my season earlier than normal there was no way I was going to be prepared to have a good go.

Now that I'm hear in Tucson where its 70 and sunny every day I'm pretty OK with it.  I hear the weather in Boulder is pretty rough from snow and frozen mud ruts to gail winds.

I'm totally ready for a break and I definitely found my Remedy for the bad weather!!!


So far so its pretty awesome!  I've just been on a few (4) very low key rides to get the feel of her.  First Impressions....650b wheels are definitely for me, for a 140mm trail bike it climbs like a dream, super stable at high speeds, and again the dropper seat post is a must!  Really looking forward to some more time.
Rock Shox Reverb Stealth edition
Great Platform for Climbing




The Perfect Wheel Size?

 
So far we've hit Fantasy Island, AZ Trail, Bug Springs/Prison Camp, and even discovered a new loop at the Como Trails...check it out




Next up maybe a trip up to Phoenix area for the McDowell Meltdown, some rest, some relaxation, and a little cross training...oh yeah and of course more fun sweet mtb rides on the Remedy!