The End of the Season, The Holiday Season, and the start of Adventure Season.  Things got crazy for a while.  I logged nearly 5000 mile in the car and completed the true Coast to Coast.  I’m in California for the holidays hanging out with the family and only have one more drive to go to make it to Tucson for the winter!  For now I’m enjoying the Cali times!

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The Pacific Ocean!

 

The End of the Season –

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An Absolute Must to have the bikes 100% perfect before 3 days of Jingle Cross

Jingle Cross was not my best.  I was sick 2 weeks prior and missed WI State CX Champs.  I thought I was ready to go, but with 3 weeks between races I didn’t have the snap for the most difficult cross race in the US.  Friday night under the lights I rode to a disappointing 12th place.  Sat I was also 12th place, but 5 riders skipped Friday night and had fresh legs for the ultra tough circuit that went up Mt. Krumpit not 1, but 2x.  The race was 1:15 minutes long!  Ouch.  By Sunday the fatigue was setting in, but my legs were starting to come around and I was able to pull of a 10th place after a last lap crash causing me to lose 2 spots.  Again not my best weekend, but at least each day got better.  Plus its always fun to race in Iowa.  I really hope they get awarded the World Cup opener in 2016.

Brian Matter riding a slick off-camber section of the descent off the top of Mt. Krumpet.

Jingle Cross definitely has World Cup potential

From Iowa City I drove home to unpack and repack and then head to my parents for an early Christmas celebration.  I was on the fence about heading down to Hendersonville, but when mom and day said they wanted to watch me race I couldn’t say no.  So we loaded up the family mini van and headed to North Carolina.  The racing there was completely different than Jingle.  High speed, high tactics, and no room for mistakes.

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Following Summerhill was a safe bet.

I was starting on the second row due to lack of UCI points after skipping some US races to head to Belgium earlier in the year.  Both days in Hendersonville I found myself chasing the lead group on lap 1 after so so starts.  Lucky for me the tactics played into my favor and I was able to ride back to the lead group.  Day 1 I made a late attack that landed me on the 3rd step of the podium.  Day 2 I hesitated and finished 6th.  It was a good way to finish the season.

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A podium to finish the season!

The Holiday Season –

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A little warm up in Athens w/ Dad before starting the Road Trip

 

It started w/ a road trip and the coolest part about it was that my Dad joined me at the last minute.  We started out w/ a Friday night Fish Fry in Sheboygan and hit the road Saturday Morning.  Saturday evening we had made it to the West side of Oklahoma City and scored a pretty good hotel room which was much appreciated after 14 hours in the car.  Sunday morning we were at it again.  The wind thru the plains was intense.  We took a break in Amarillo to visit with Alex Morgan and then hit up the hole in the wall Indian food stop in San Jon, NM.

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Dad wasn’t so sure about the Indian Food as we pulled in….but was pleasantly surprised!

 

Out of ABQ we found the Steelers game on the radio en Espanol and listened to a good comeback win as the sunset and we crossed the AZ border.  Sunday night we decided to stop in Flagstaff so we could enjoy the final part of the drive instead of suffering.   Mondays finishing cruise was spent taking the scenic route thru Sedona, Jerome, and finally to Prescott.

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Red Rocks of Sedona and a cool steel bridge of Oak Creek Canyon

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Spent a little time in Jerome – An Old Mining Town on the side of Mingus Mtn – after some good exploring found the real hidden gem at the Gold King Ghost Town!

We had two days in Prescott before Dad flew home and I continued to California to finish the Coast to Coast journey.  We had lots of good food and laughs at The Barley Hound w/ the Reeves and spent some good time outdoors walking the dogs and riding w/ Trav and Chloe.

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Some Prescott pedaling in the rain and wind w/ these two MTB SuperStars!

Wednesday morning I was off again and this time it was just Elmer and I.  Dad took a shuttle to Phoenix and then a plane to Richmond for Christmas.  I battled more crazy winds thru the Mojave and finally made it to Arroyo Grande, CA just in time to watch the sunset over the Pacific.  The next few days was spent enjoying time w/ Andrea’s family eating good food, hiking, and checking out the beach.

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Christmas Eve Hike with the Hildebrands got a little rad and we got wet!

The Adventure Season.

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Can’t think of a better way to start the Adventure Season and New Year than with these two!

We finished off 2015 with a big dirt road ride up in the Los Padres National Forest above San Luis Obispo, CA.  75 mile over 7000 ft of climbing and 6+ hours in the saddle.  The scenery was amazing, the route was sketchy at times, we saw bear tracks, mt lion tracks, and 2 massive bobcats.  It was a good way to close out the year and ring in the Adventure Season!  Next stop Santa Cruz for some top notch MTBn’!  Can’t wait…..