It Was A Very Good Year – atmo

It Was A Very Good Year – atmo

matt2014 was my last year in the 30-39 expert race category. I was a solid top 5 racer but at every single race, I’d get caught by the lead group of 40-somethings. I knew the bar would be set higher this year and was determined to be able to hang. After spending the off-season training hard at The Shift, and getting not only a new mountain bike, but also a Marin carbon cross bike (thank you Gap30!), I began the year with a 4th place at Barry Roubaix in a sprint finish. Good start! Two weeks later I followed that up with a first place at Yankee with a solid margin of a whopping 9 seconds. Fast forward to Iceman where I started in wave 1, and also knew my main competition in KLM garb. If John Osgood didn’t win every year, he was at least on the podium. The start left me chasing for the entire race but I rallied and was feeling good with 10k left (which NEVER happens). I hit the single track passing the group I’d been riding with, put a gap on them and came up to another group. What’s that ahead? KLM? Tight barricades with 1k to go and I manage to pass one racer through an opening in the brush and finish with John just out of reach to claim third place. I was a scant 6 seconds from him and only 20 seconds from a first place finish.
I began this year with a few goals. Make it to my 40th birthday, make it through my 40th birthday party, get a new mountain bike, and make this the best cycling year of my life. Throw in a new car to really give it the mid-life crisis effect. Only this was no crisis. It was a celebration. After eleven of my twelve races this year, I was privileged to climb the podium with some amazing racers from several teams (mainly Cross Country), but special thanks to Roy Kranz and Paul Dunn for keeping me motivated and showing me how to compete at a new level. No matter how much we beat each other up (and we did… typically it was us three breaking away), the finish line demarcated race tactics from good natured mutual respect and beer sipping.
It wasn’t a good year strictly for the race results, though. More than ever, I learned that I can’t train hard without playing hard to balance it out. That’s where Founders Racing really steps up! I’m so happy to be a part of this team! The great turnout from them and other good friends at my 40th birthday shindig was amazing and I can’t thank them enough for making it my favorite birthday ever! Drag racing Scott and Marnie with Jeremy on an old 70’s kickback tandem still makes me laugh! Casual rides through urban single track and downtown parking ramps led by Jeff Jacobi (usually with a beer stop somewhere) are what keep this sport dynamic and fun. Ride hard and just go out easy the next day to enjoy the scenery. Take your kids out for a “recovery ride”. Ride the Barry Roubaix course on a nice day without turning Strava on. Seriously, that just makes you try too hard.
I raise a pint of Centennial to everyone for a great 2015 with one final congratulations to Tom Stolz for making a huge comeback from his wheelie serious injury last year! Also to the additions to our team for 2016, welcome to Founders Racing! Can’t wait to ride, race, and party with all of you for another year!
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