Thursday, November 25

Happy Thanksgiving...PLRA

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Made it out to annual Turkey Day Ride at Pontiac Lake.

Thanks Robert and Team.  Part 2 later tonight.  It's time to head over for Turkey and Football at the In Laws

Sunday, November 21

Bloomer Park CX- Hello Master 35+

Maybe it wasn't that bad, but it felt that way going into the last 2 laps.  I'd like to start by giving out some praise.  Great race to J Osgood!  You attacked and gave it you're all.  States is looking good for you and thanks for listing me.  Nice job Brian W for the win in B's.  You should have clinched the Series, so only States left.  Tough break for Vince, going down twice is rough.  He looked great and I thought he had it.  Joberon, you're funny in the best way and nice win.  I won't bring up all the questionable things I saw today, but most of us know what they were.  As for me, here it is.

It was great racing with these guys today.  I lined up second row, behind Osgood, and was ready.  The whistle blew and I slipped off my pedal on the down stroke and was left to chase hard right off the line.  I made it onto the back by the time we hit the crowd and was making passes.  I caught up to the David Johnson, Osgood, Goocher and Joberon group and was feeling good.  They were chasing the 2 leaders and holding good speed.  The group stayed together almost the whole race, except for me and D Johnson.  On lap 2, just past the first set of barriers, Johnson went down and I came to a dead stop to avoid him.  I lost a few seconds and would never pull them back.  The gap was steady for almost 2 more laps until I popped. 

Going into lap 4 I couldn't match the power on the asphalt and straight sections.  I was fading fast and D Johnson was coming from behind.  I dug deep, but had nothing left, Johnson caught midway through lap 5 and I couldn't hold his wheel.  He was on the DC train and riding away.  With 1 lap left I was riding in no man's land, I was beat up, tired and humbled.  It was a great race and I learned a lot.

I was there for the first 3.8 laps and would have won B's with my finishing time.  I made the right choice moving to Masters and am planning on a top 5 finish at States.  I know that's a lofty goal because of who might show up on race day, but I feel it's possible with a little luck and a clean race.

Thanks to my wife and two sons, who allow me to train, travel and race.  Thanks to everyone who comes out and cheers.  Thanks to those who volunteer and Thanks to Robert for doing this.  I know we have one race left, but I wanted to do this now.  See you guys and gals in two weeks.

Saturday, November 20


Come on MICHIGAN, get out and RACE! Check out these participation numbers. Oregon’s Junior and High School Series Just the Ticket for Cyclocross Growth

Wednesday, November 17

Race Day Decision

We'll I've registered for the Master 35+ today, but I'm still feeling that I have some unfinished business in the B's.  I only have 5 of the allowed 6 races for the series and I'm currently 3rd with 2 races left. 4th place could easily catch me if I don't earn any more points and if I finish 5th or better at Bloomer I think I could clinch 2nd.  Brian has first clinched if I don't race, and do well, at both remaining races.  Most have told me to stay the coarse and finish the season in B's.  A small few have supported my idea of moving to Masters 35+.  So the question is, do I race a double on Sunday or not? The 3 options are as follows-

Option 1- Race B's and sit on for a good finish, trying to conserve energy for the Masters Race.  This will give me 6 races and possibly a top 3 for the series.  I may also have something left for Masters, but won't be 100% and now how I stack up for States.

Option 2- Race B's all out and see what happens.  I won't be competitive in Masters and shouldn't race it.

Option 3- Don't race B's and skip the glory of a possible series podium.  Focus all my energy on the Masters race and get a good idea of where I stand and what needs to be done before States.

As the title says, this will be a race day decision.  I will give a big hint though, as to how I'm leaning.  Unless you've been racing since the late 90's you probably never heard of me.  You don't now my history or were I came from.  You still might not now who I am and you might not care.  Guess what? That's how I like it.  I ride for me!  I race because I like the challenge.  I like to suffer and learn something about myself.  I love what cycling can be and what it has done for me.  I love watching others race and cheering them on, when it seems everyone else has left because their race is over.  I want to do more to help others succeed in ALL areas of cycling.  Sorry for that last part, sometimes I get off topic.  See you Sunday (slight chance of rain, SWEET!)

Sunday, November 14

Stony Creek CX - Change is Coming

A cloudy, windy day at Stony Creek today.  Windchill was about 32 deg, but nothing like the start of Iceman last week.  I lined up in the third row because I decided to stay moving rather than stand and shiver.  That lead to a mid-pack position through the first several turns, then I had to battle my way to the front, patiently making passes and chipping away for half the race.  I finally make contact with Brian and decide to sit on and feel him out.  I stay behind through lap 4 and half of lap 5 when he decides that I've been a passenger for too long.  Just past the beach he pulls offline, sits up and tells me to go through.  I'm not sure if this is a tactical move or he's spent, so I give a small attack to the barriers to test his reaction.  He didn't respond.  I decide to put in a strong tempo to build the gap and halfway through lap 5 I see it worked.  I back it off a bit and check my gap, the next 2 laps, to make sure it's holding.  I cross in 1st place for my 3rd CX win of the season.

By the numbers: Place 1st, Time 45:16, Avg HR 169, Max HR 177, Zone 4 - 6:13 (156-166 bbm), Zone 5 - 38:15 (167-176 bbm), Over 176 bbm - :07.

Next weekend's CX race is at Bloomer Park.  It's only 4 miles from my house and I liked the layout last year.  What does any of this mean?  I'm making a change.  I'm going to race Master 35+ for the last 2 races of the season.  Is this a wise choice?  It depends on what you want.  Do you want a series or State title?  If so, NO!  I haven't clinched the 'B' series and the Masters are faster every weekend.  Do you want to be a stronger, faster rider?  If so, YES!  The best way to get stronger is to race with stronger guys.  When you become the 'big fish in the pond' it's time to find another pond.  I have a short time to make my mark in Masters, with only 2 races left, so I need to focus my training for 3 more weeks and do my best.

Monday, November 8


Friday afternoon I arrive at Williamsburg Rd.  for my preride. A recon of the last 12 miles of this years Iceman.  This was the first year I ever road the trail before race day and I was glad I did.  The trail was snow covered from marker 12 until 8 and some new trail was added.  I made some mental notes and was ready for the race.

Saturday morning was the normal ritual of coffee, oatmeal, OJ and fruit.  Get the gear to the car and head to Kalkaska for my 9:22, Wave 6 start.  I had a solid 30 minute warm-up and checked out the first 2 miles of the start and it was time to line up.  I was on the front row and stripped down with 1 minute to go.  I thought my plan through and was ready!  My plan was to sit on until we got off the pavement then be the first onto the dirt.  It went perfect.  We left the line and within 100 feet, I was tucked in second wheel and saving my energy.  No one was coming up beside me to challenge for the lead, so I continued to wait.  The first surge came after the left hand turn, about half way to the school two track.  I shifted over and followed, still sitting in second and waiting.  Once we hit the grass I moved over and took the lead, lifting the pace to hold off any attacks but nobody was coming. 
    We are now on the dirt and I can hear guys behind me sitting on.  They're close, They're shadows are cast beside me.  I keep the pressure high and charge forward, it's only a matter of time before someone challenges or we start catching riders and slowing down.  About 3-4 miles in we start see riders, the trail is wide open and passing is easy for awhile.  My attention changes from the race behind to the race in front and also how to stop from freezing.  My face and ears are stinging,  my fingers are so numb I can't feel the shifters, break levers or grips. I start to shake my hands when I can and pray things will warm up soon.  It takes about another 2 miles before I start to feel better and now I need to focus on passing people quickly because I can't get stuck at the wrong time or my goals for this year are gone.
    From 4 miles in until 4 miles to go it seems like an endless parade of
riders.  Sometimes I had to wait minutes for a spot to pass, while other times I could get by quickly.  This eventually took it's toll on me.  Within the last 2 miles I was fighting the devil on my shoulder telling me I had nothing left, it's time to sit-up and cruise in.  With 1 K left there is a short, steep climb that took my last bit of snap and power.  Once over the top I was praying for the finish.  It came shortly after and I crossed it in 1:55:34.  My best time and good for 2nd place.  The race was over, but not the Iceman.  The Iceman doesn't end until the Bell's Sunset on the Season Party is over.
This year's party was a blast for me.  I wasn't drinking and volunteered to be the DD, so everything was seen in HD.  Too much to detail, but it was great to see so many friends, pros, Gary Fischer dancing and The Orbitsuns. 

Congratulations -B Matter great race, I loved it.
A Naish, J Colflesh, Ryan K, D Kline and all the other winners and best timers.

Thanks to all who cheered, gave praise and shared what they had.  You keep it fun.

Visit for some great videos and see you there next year. Now it's time to focus on the rest of cyclocross season and the fast approaching holidays.

Wednesday, November 3

The Great White North?

Well the weather for this years 'nice'man is ever changing and with 2 days left it looks like more of a iceman.  Temps in the upper 30's and a chance of snow (30%).  The weather isn't the story though.  The story is how everyone comes together for one day of racing (riding).  Pro's, roadies, mtbers, young and old they all have a reason and a story.  My story, for this year, has not been finalized.  It has a beginning and it goes like this.

 I have a goal for a sub 2 hour finish and over the last 3 years it has eluded me.  A bad crash, flat tire and getting stuck in single track have all cost me.  This year should be, will be the year I break 2 hours.  My goal is a sub 1:50:00 and top 10 finish.  The biggest obstacle this year is starting in wave 6.  I have a 3 minute gap before I catch the next group, but then there's 80+ riders to pass.  All I can do is my best and hope for a little luck.  See you all up there.