Matt McCain, local road cyclist and founder of Everyone Rides, tells us which gear essentials help him go the distance during grueling 100+ mile rides.
Matt McCain’s love of cycling began at age 12 when he developed an affinity for BMX bikes. That affinity soon grew to a passion, and by the time he was 16, he was an associate editor for BMX Plus! magazine. “Cycling is just something that’s always been there,” he recalls.
After moving from LA to Naples in 2002 and purchasing his first road bike, this family man and founder of Everyone Rides, (a local, multi-event fundraiser benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County), discovered a new passion in road racing. Now an experienced endurance cyclist and expert on the gear that keeps riders going on frequent 100-mile rides, Matt maintains that Naples is “one of the best cycling communities” in the country.
For McCain and his wife (also a cyclist), balancing long, arduous rides with taking care of small children can sometimes prove challenging. (Looking to balance that workout life and raising children? Check out the Three Trimester Triathlete). “Our other friends are getting babysitters so they can go out to dinner. We’re trying to find babysitters that will show up at the house at 6:30 a.m.!” Outside of family time with his 4- and 6-year-old boys, McCain still loves taking off for six hours and, armed with the right gear, getting the most out of every ride.
SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet
After a terrible crash in which his helmet saved his life, McCain is excited to see MIPS technology in SCOTT helmets. “MIPS technology basically allows a little bit of movement inside the helmet, so it’s a cushion … [it also] has a low friction layer between the padding and the helmet to allow just a little bit of movement so it can absorb some of a blow [from a fall].”
For McCain, the Oakley Jawbreakers’ lens shape is key: “It’s a single lens that wraps around, so your peripheral vision is really good … when you’re cycling, you’re constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure there are no riders or cars coming up behind you, so increasing peripheral vision is really important.”
Rapha Jersey and Bibs
Super lightweight and incredibly thin, Rapha Jerseys are perfect for sultry and sticky Naples weather. “Having a jersey that’s really, really lightweight and breathable is very important … the material is just really sheer so you get the moisture away from your skin faster but keep some of it in. The material stays moist as you’re riding along, and that moist material helps you stay cool … you almost feel naked when you’re wearing them.”
Giro Empire ACC Shoes
McCain first tested these on a 130-mile ride and “they were terrific.” The shoes are “incredibly light, really stiff, [and] what’s unique about the shoes is they’re lace-up … the advantage of laces is, it’s more aerodynamic, [so] you can really custom tailor how they fit to your foot — plus they have a cool, old-school retro look, which is very slick.”
Read Matt McCain’s full performance review of Giro Empire ACC Shoes.
Solestar Kontrol Road Insoles
Solestar Kontrol Road Insoles are some of the best insoles McCain has ever used, primarily because of their fantastic arch support. “During a ride, when your arch is supported, you’re being held consistently throughout your foot, so there’s equal pressure. [Solestar] supports are carbon, so they are really stiff and you’re able to take the power you’re generating and have as little loss of power as possible.”
“Because I don’t train very often,” he jokes, “my whole world is about marginal gains.”