Professional Cyclist Competes In Grueling Bicycle Sport

By Andy Soth | November 19, 2015


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.”

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.

“You can crash.  You can break a chain. You can get a flat tire,” says Matter, listing only a few things that can go wrong.  With little margin for error, Matter obsessively prepares. “My training philosophy is kind of finding my limit and just going past that limit.  It’s that willingness to go above the limit that makes the difference.”

Fortunately for Matter, his Sheboygan home is just blocks from a great training course, the sandy beach along Lake Michigan, “It 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.”

On the beach, Matter is alone in his pursuit of a dream.  Something he’s wanted to do since childhood. “It was a goal from when I was 16, 17, 18 that I wanted to be a professional cyclist,” Matter recalls. “Turning pro means you get a piece of card in the mail, it doesn’t 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,” he says.

Now that lifestyle of a pro includes winter training in Arizona, and touring the world.

“I get paid to win races.  Everything I do is built around cycling.”

Andy Soth

Andy Soth

Andy Soth is a reporter for the “Wisconsin Life” project who grew up in a neighboring state but now loves Wisconsin because it’s like Minnesota without the smugness. 
2018-01-19T17:52:19-06:00Tags: , , , , , , |

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