This week’s Corona Coaster video by Nico Turner features Madison Saracen‘s Matt Walker. Matt has taken the lockdown as an opportunity to double down on his training, investing in some Rocky Balboa style gym equipment and riding some of Shropshire’s finest trails.
‘Due to gyms here in the UK being closed, Matt has invested in some equipment and has access to his girlfriend’s farm. We walked past a pen of cows before turning into a small room that looked like it once housed a horse or two, inside lay a bare bones gym with a squat rack, bar bell and a few plates – industrial, but it gets the job done for Matt.‘
Once the race season gets going – whatever form it takes – Matt thinks he will be well prepared. He spends plenty of time in this makeshift gym. Each session has a goal, with strength, dynamic and maintenance sessions.
“My quarantine gym set up – it’s pretty Rocky Balboa-esque in here. The winter block that we have is normally 11-12 weeks of decent training. Since lockdown it’s almost another winter again. The block of work I’ve been doing since November to now I probably wouldn’t be able to achieve something like that for 2 – 3 off seasons.”
With the border into Wales being closed, he’s been out on the trail bike in the Shropshire hills. His downhill bike has been left in the shed for months, awaiting access to Wales, but we get to see his new paint work. There’s even a sneaky peak at how his Mechanic Ewan Collier keeps his bike so silent.
The garage holds another bike, this one however had a 600cc engine.
“You can train and train as much as you like, if you’re training week in week out that’s only going to drain you. You need something to lift you, if that’s going out for a gin and tonic on a Saturday night or riding your motorbike on a Sunday…for me that’s what I like doing.”
It’s going to be interesting to see what sort of race season unfolds and which riders are on their game. If everyone has been treating this time as a chance to get in extra training, there’s going to be some serious competition. Matt’s hoping to be part of the sharp end of it:
“I’m young and I’m really hungry, I’m not at the top and I’m trying to get there. I’ve definitely put the work in so I’m excited to see what I get back from it”.