Thursday, February 16, 2012

Have you met Matt?

I am always skeptical when people say "he's the nicest guy" "they are great", you know all that nice crap.  Anytime I hear the name Matt Carnal it is always followed by something flowery and sweet, like he is every one's best friend.  I have always been 6 degrees away from Matt, so I don't know that much about him.  I do know the dark side of Matt, the underlying layer of the onion.  That's right the part that will make you cry, not out of sadness.  Out of Pain.

This is an unofficial view of the person we call Coach, Matt, King of Strava, and other things behind his back -because you would never say it to his face for fear he will rip your legs off and beat you with them.  Actually people that call Matt "Coach" allow him to rip their legs off... willingly.  I know how crazy is that?  I have only had a peripheral friendship with Matt and for what I knew of him he is a stand-up guy.  Never have I heard anyone talk about Matt in any other light.

Most recently I started following Matt on and he was involved in the Base Mile Blast.  This was a challenge to see how many miles one could accumulate in a set time (Jan6-31).  Matt put in 3,347mi and his last ride was cancelled due to mechanical issues.  He was only planning on riding the great state of Oklahoma from South to North.  No big deal, Right?  Even without putting in miles that he wanted on the last day, Matt had a lead of 981mi.  Not bad.  Oh, yeah I forgot to mention that Matt is gearing up/training for RAAM.  Now we can officially add "Crazy" to the things we call Matt.

Matt's dark side, let's get to the juicy tabloid stuff...  Matt has been coming by the shop and getting some work done on bikes and what not.  He has invited me to ride, so I decided to meet up with him yesterday for a little ride, I would turn around and he would continue.  I rode to the meeting point and Chad showed up to ride with us.  Chad and I chatted and then Matt showed.  We headed out in the light rain/heavy mist on the trail and then made a slight detour to head West.  In conversation something was mentioned about my wanting to climb 29,000' in a month.  Matt said he would like to do that in a weekend, and he could, and probably will.

The lights started to go dim around mile 62, I'm pretty sure Matt was just getting warmed up.  He rode 100+ the day before, I commuted 10mi.  I did my best "keep calm...", and then I was shelled, literally and figuratively.   Matt and Chad slowed to allow me to catch, and I told them to leave me, "I'm a big boy, I know my way home, don't want to slow you down."  Matt would have nothing of it.  Here is the guy that has been ripping my legs off and turning me inside out for the last 2-3hrs and now he is playing the nice guy routine.  This is the genuine Matt.  This is what makes him such a great coach, he knows how to motivate you all bad guy style and then when you need it most he can be there for you.  Not a crutch, but a gentle push. 

Riding bikes has allowed me to meet all kinds, types of people.  The bike is the vehicle that brings people together.  If you have not met Matt, you should.  He is as exactly as billed.  Don't be fooled by the names people call him.  Beast, Machine, Evil, Crazy, these are how he rides the bike -not who he is. 

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I hope to do a follow up actual interview, a first for sprintingthebelllap

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I'm not exactly sure what I am going to do with myself, I know there is a few of you out there that would love to comment on that.  Feel free, there is a tab for that at the end of this post.  Any who, working at the shop is going to take a chunk out of my racing, I knew this going in.  Keep reading, I'm not whining.  Promise.  I'm in a state of cycling limbo, I want to be out racing with my team, but I wont be, so... do I need to train?  I am not currently training, I am just riding.  I feel great, and I am having a blast riding my bikes.  Isn't that what it is all about?

I guess my problem is that my mates are out there training and racing and they are gonna ride circles around me.  I mean I have a rep to maintain.  Pride, what a double edged sword.  It's hard to wrap my head around.  This is one of those times when you have to "check yourself".  What am I doing this to gain, why do I do this, what am I trying to prove?  The soul searching questions like, which came first the chicken or the egg?  For me all the answers are on the bike, or found while on the bike.

Goals.  Two years ago I did what "they" tell you to do and I wrote my goals down.  I didn't meet one of them.  Last year, I had no goals other than race a lot, and help my teammates in races.  Check and check.  This year is a mixed bag.  If I were forced at gunpoint to write something down it would look like this...
  • Ride my bikes
  • Use the bike for commuting as much as possible (3mi rule)
  • Be a bike advocate
  • Ride with anyone regardless their ability
  • Have fun
How's that for a list that I hope to attain?  I do have selfish goals, and I thank God for Strava.  I do have the goal of climbing Everest in a month.  29,029' in 30days, after that maybe we will go for more.  I'm not big into distance, because that takes forever and would limit my MTB riding.  I should look into a time goal?  Don't get me wrong, I love to ride bikes, but sometimes you have to have a crowbar to get me off the couch.  I'm thinking about becoming "that guy" that goes out and poaches Strava KOM's.  Still thinking about that one, hey a Man has to have a hobby.  Right?  Well for now it will just be the Everest goal, don't think I can make it this month (short on days FEB).  I'm thinking March will be a good month to climb Everest.

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