Cyclocross is called the steeplechase of cycling, and professional racer Brian Matter is hooked on it. It’s kind of a combination of mountain biking and road racing” the state’s leading rider notes.”For me, cyclocross is just a lot more intense.â
It’s intense because it can be like an obstacle course on wheels where riders have to dismount to overcome barriers, negotiate hairpin turns, ride over sand, mud and asphalt, all while trying to break away from a pack of riders over a crowded course.
âYou can crash. Â You can break a chain. You can get a flat tire,â says Matter, listing only a few things that can go wrong. Â With little margin for error, Matter obsessively prepares. âMy training philosophy is kind of finding my limit and just going past that limit. Â Itâs that willingness to go above the limit that makes the difference.â
Fortunately for Matter, his Sheboygan home is just blocks from a great training course, the sandy beach along Lake Michigan, âIt really is a great place to train. I can ride twenty miles north, twenty miles south. Not a single stoplight, not a single person, not a single car.â
On the beach, Matter is alone in his pursuit of a dream. Â Something heâs wanted to do since childhood. âIt was a goal from when I was 16, 17, 18 that I wanted to be a professional cyclist,â Matter recalls. âTurning pro means you get a piece of card in the mail, it doesnât really mean anything except you have to race against guys who are way faster than you now. So it was twenty years of hard work before I started feeling I was living the lifestyle of a pro,â he says.
Now that lifestyle of a pro includes winter training in Arizona, and touring the world.
âI get paid to win races. Â Everything I do is built around cycling.â