Tuesday, May 26, 2009


What the hell! I was told I would be tired but this is insane. Oh, did I say previously that Trey is home, well he is, and man can that kid eat, especially at 12,2,4,and 6am! Tara is a trooper and I am doing my best to run down stairs as she is feeding, grabbing burp clothes, diapers, water, and whatever else I get summons to. The best was the first night he was home and I went out to my car at 2 am thinking I needed something from it, never did figure out what that was. Needless to say I am cracked, but it's all worth it, especially when that little guy goes back to sleep on my chest in the middle of the night.

Another "light dawns on Marblehead" moment. The last ten 10 days he was home I was off the bike and realized I actually need to ride my bike to be decent. Ohhhhh, that's why we train so much, so we can actually ride a race well. Otherwise you feel like a big huge bag of poop riding up climbs, descending singletrack, and even trying to eat a GU. Man, I never thought I loved training so much for the sole purpose of not having to suffer so much in a race.

So the race recap goes similarly to my last one, front of the race for the first bit, then slowly start fading into " No Mans land", hate it in that town. Basically became an "also ran". For those of you who don't know what that is, it's someone who rides the race and is just another finisher, not a contender. There is some positive notes to the story though. First of all Fairlee VT is gorgeous. Second Tom Masterson's Coyote Hill MTB Camp is a gem of a facility and needs to be visited, what singletrack! Finally, the sun was out with what was supposed to be a gloomy Sunday and the singletrack became real fun especially after dialing in the Scalpel.

Something I have learned in all the years of racing is that patience is key. I'm not at my best, period! When I was younger I would rack my brain looking for the problem which typically was starring me in the face. I would like to call it wisdom, most who know me though would have a hard time with that one , ha! We'll chalk it up as years of racing, or wisdom, whatever. It's the same thing really, jeez. I will get there, and I will have good days, but racing mountain bikes is becoming more than that to me. It is about the bigger picture now, it's about places like Fairlee, the beautiful Mountain Bike Camp, and great people sharing a love for the outdoors.

I hope you can all share the same passion in whatever it is you enjoy and be able to embrace the big picture of that past time. Have a great week and find something great to do outside, it will make you feel like new!

Matty O.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some Rain, Baby watching, Mtb Riding!


Wow, sorry for the delay! I would like to think I have an excuse with the baby here, but he isn't even home yet. Trey is doing great, unlike the weather, he is progressing beautifully. In fact we are officially on the spell count for getting him home. Those of you who don't know what a spell is, it's basically when he stops breathing due to brain immaturity. We usually have to stimulate him and remind him to breathe! NOT FUN!! 5 days with no spells means homeward bound, he is on day 2, but I wont Jinx it and will keep you posted.

Training has been going well and there hasn't been much to report on the racing front, not much on the schedule this month. Two weeks ago we travelled to the Winding Trails classic which turned into a race in the desert with the heat. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but New England can be so beautiful and SUCK so bad at the same time. Be hot or not, be cold or not, be dry or not, make up your damn mind. Needless to say, without sounding like "that guy", I didn't have a great race. 1 lap in the lead, 2nd lap in the top 5, 3 rd lap top 10, you can see where this is going, 5 lap race, do the math!

On a positive note, I really got to test out the new Cannondale Team Scalpel on fast dry terrain, and man was I pleasantly surprised of how light and responsive it was. I knew the bike was fast, but holy crap, I felt like I was carving a turn on a newly tuned pair of skis , oh wait, I never tune my skis. I did once though and holy shit was I flying. Those of you who ski know the exact feeling. This is my third Cannondale, and they have really dialed the full suspension cross country bike, making it fast, light, and extremely rider friendly.

Another nice thing about this years MTB scene is I 'm seeing a comeback in participation, something I haven't seen in quite a while. People are realising the fun of the sport again and I think that trail riding or free riding is helping the race scene tremendously. Its nice to see. The course is a road course on dirt basically, and to have that many people show up to a dirt road race, fantastic!
I especially like the younger kids getting into it and I see a huge participation change. Good stuff.

Ipswich, where we live, has very similar trails to CT and I see a huge change in the amount of people riding in Willowdale State Forest, another great sign that the sport is progressing again. I hope the manufacturers are able to agree with my claims and mountain bike sales are on the rise. Tim Johnson, Jesse Anthony, Lyne Bessette, along with my friends Jim, Kris and surf legend SO-FRO, have all been enjoying the new trails in Willowdale and Bradley Palmer. I think all would agree it is becoming a great place to ride. Jesse didn't even fall in a pond today so it must be smooth in there.

Another great area I got to see again was Harold Parker State forest. Haven't been in there in years, what a gem of mixed terrain. Nice change from the smooth trails by my house. Colin Reuter, Linnea Koons, Tom Parsons, my buddy Scooter Relihan, and some others had an awesome group ride through some real challenging trails. The last time I went on a mountain bike group ride, that just keeps on moving without stopping was about 10 years ago, what a blast! When you get a group together that all know how to ride a bike steady, you get a nice flow even when its technical. Unless of course someone flats more than once, aaahhhhmmm , smooth it out my man and you'll stop smashing that equipment up! The only thing missing was the apres beer, I am trying to take things a little more serious this year, but I will definitely be enjoying some this summer if not already!

Well, back to the grind, thanks for reading and I promise to keep you all up to speed.

Drive fast, take risks!!!

Matty O.