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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Week In Review

this is an audio post - click to play

Went for a great ride with Nick "Diesel" Ranno, my teammate.

Up St. Vrain Canyon to the Peak to Peak Hwy... my favorite Boulder road ride. Great stomping grounds... makes me miss the base miles! Feels great to get a couple solid days of training in before I hit the road again to Utah.

My #1 Road Ride hands down though is Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction... a must!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Nick's Mobile Office

Lugged the camera into the mtns today to show you some of the epic mtn roads here in Boulder. Got in a beautiful 4 hr ride and was reminded of all the incredible places the bike can take you.

So let me introduce you to, "Nick's Mobile Office", my 3 jersey pockets. If you have called my cell and wondered what my machine is talking about... let me explain.

In those 3 magical pockets, I carry my office with me each ride...usually containing but not limited to:
My cell phone
I pod
Digital Camera
4 Powerbars
The Kit (CO2, lever, tube)
Rain Jacket
Credit Card

I feel like the only thing missing is a fax machine

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sacrifices = Balance

Chasing the dream as a cyclist comes with so many sacrifices. Anyone that is close to a dedicated cyclist knows first hand how these sacrifices don't always add up... there has to be a balance.

Your bikes end up worth more than your car
Your worldly goods end up in boxes because you move so much you don't have time to unpack
You have lived in a van sometime in your career
You drink Cytomax 10 times more than you drink beer
You find tan lines intimidating
You spend more time in the car than you do with your girlfriend

And you have to try to explain to a Morgage Broker why you haven't made any money in 3 years....(happened to me today!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I Would Go Crazy...

if it wasn't for the bike.
This is a pic of what my road bike really felt like today!

Today was one of those dayz, nothing seems to be going right (except I did sleep in till 10 am!).

Ran stressful errands all day until 5pm when I finally got out on my road bike for a 2 hr spin, first time in 3 weeks on that machine! Word of advice... ride first, then run errands. If riding is your priority, do it first or you will be thinking of it all day.

This year I am training on the mtb as much as possible, that way you race in the position your used to. My road bike felt like a foreign machine, like I was learning to ride all over again.

BIKE JOUSTING... You must check out this link! I don't recommend this though...
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lap 1, Before the Storm

Thanks to Travis Woodruff for sending this pic of a clean me (this is also pre-bonk) during lap 1 of Aspen's NORBA XC.

Moments of the Teva Mtn Games

Well this all went down at the Teva Mtn. Games in Vail! Great event and even better after party... Put together some of the best extreme athletes out there under one event and this is what you get... This year they had a full on roller derby. A little pic of me and the "bruisers'

Nick Ranno and myself also did a local interview, yes... in a tent.

Pro Diet and Wet Ride

My garbage can shows exactly what happens when your a sponsored bike racer (poor). My diet has consisted of 50% powerbars for the past 4 years and I am still not sick of them!?!

Today I went for a chill 3 hr rainy mountain bike ride with Travis Brown and Walker Fergusan. Felt like that euro rainy mist nearly the whole time. Walker has hairy legs and Travis is looking to sport the "Mr. T" mohawk for Singlespeed Worlds! Another tattoo or brand is in his future (prize for winning SS Worlds). He has two already. That is one tattoo I wouldn't mind sporting. Good luck T.

Monday, July 25, 2005

STXC Damage Control

After Saturday's adventure my legs were pretty tender! As I did a couple "hot" laps to open up before the Short Track, I was already sensing the dreaded cramping twinge... not a good sign. All systems were switched to damage control at that time.

Well to give you an insider scoop on what a pro stxc consists of is straight up 101 proof pain. You go completely ballz out right from the gun until you get lapped by the frickin fast cats (usually around 12 minutes into the race for us rookies). Start position is everything and finally I have worked my way up to the second row. These races are suppose to last 20 minutes plus 3 laps... I have only stayed in for one! I guess you just have to pay your dues. After yesterday's effort I moved up 1 spot overall to 29th...

The starts can be pretty scary with everyone fighting for position since that is pretty much where the race develops. From there you just try to hang on. I can feel myself working my way up, but I can also see this is going to take a couple YEARS to get used to.

Pictures are of the STXC Start and an attempted Ice Bath the night before! Anything you can do to speed recovery. Tristan recommended it... I don't!

Velonews link to the Race Report below.
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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Adam Craig Talks about Peanuts?

this is an audio post - click to play

I guess Adam has this thing for Peanuts and Oranges... they must work because he has been up there in the top 5 at the World Cups! First American to do that since the 90's!

Kid has talent, I would throw my bet down for a World Championship in Adam's future... he gives us hope that you can make it without drugs. Knowing Adam personally, you can have faith in the sport!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Pain In My Voice

this is an audio post - click to play

Picture is what it looked like in the village during our XC Race ... Epic!

Quote of the day:

Jason Sager at the start of the race, "Racing is like going to the Dentist, you know its going to hurt, its going to suck, but you got to do it anyway".

Epic Suffer Fest

Well here it is... NORBA National #5 XC Race Report. This could possibly be the hardest thing I have done in a long time Since this is a blog of a first year pro, it is bound to have its ups and downs. Well, today was on the steep down slope. The heat dug in deep at the beginning and it took everything in me to stay in the race. My highlight was lining up in the second row next to Roland Green and Seamus... it was all downhill from there.

Some dayz your the hammer and other days your the nail. If your not on your game and hesitate for a minute, you will fade so fast! Well to add insult to injury the weather opened up and we had severe lightning and thunderstorms which made the conditions disasterous. I was holding on for dear life, I can't even explain how hard this was.

At the beginning of the season I made a vow to myself not to drop out no matter what, to use each experience as a learning one...

By the time I finished, people were huddled under whatever was considered a make shift shelter. Now the front of the race got in without weather, the back.... we suffered like dogs... Click on the audio update to hear it from the source!

Props of the day, Junior Sam Schultz, 19 years old finished 6th!~ I can't even comprehend!

Picture 1 is of the pain face after I collapsed w/ cramps.
Picture 2 is a view from the rainy trenches.

Trek Personalities

Check my interview on the Trek Site to read an interview with Zapata "Zap" Espinoza, the official storyteller at Trek Bicycles.

Stay tuned for Aspen NORBA XC Race Report this afternoon!

Click on the link below.
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Friday, July 22, 2005

Got Hair?

Jeremiah "Tyrone" Bishop of the Trek/VW squad in the early years with K2 (Yep, on top of the podium). This just goes to show you how time changes things. Now to JB's defense, I could easily post some great hair pics of my own! Now that JB doesn't have "the hair" where does he hold his secret powers?

Quote of the day:
Andrew Shepherd, Trek VW Regional Mechanic talking about his new chamois.

"I can't wear smalls... it is like trying to shove a baquette into a zip lock bag".

A Little Place I Like To Call Aspen

Aspen Colorado, the 5th stop on the NORBA Circuit and the qwest for the top 20 continues.

Today is the day before the storm.... tomarrow's XC Race. The course is brutal without the usual reward of a killer downhill. Straight up the exposed mountain, some traverse and then a b-line for the bottom. Ah well.

The day before usually consisits of final prep on our bikes, tire choices, etc. The longer you stay in the team expo though the more drained you can get. It is like a tractor beam and it will suck you in. It is exciting to see what all is going on and visiting with the rest of the traveling circus but this energy will slowly drain ya. It is interesting that some of the top pro's don't really come out of their holes till you see them at the start.

Well check out my custom Nike Poggio Road/Mtb shoes... perfect for those courses that don't require you to get off your bike. They are light (remember rotational weight... sqwauk sqwauk) and stiff, so the power transfer is out of this world. A little tire tread and some rivots! Off to eat like like Brian Smith's dog Max...(if you have met him you would understand!)

That hot pic is Jerimiah Bishop as he puts on the Sun Screen to maintain that nice Olive tone!

Stay tuned and scroll down for some more great stories and sweet audio clips!
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It's A Lifestyle

Well last year I attempted to combine two seperate lifestyles that both represent me.... Bike Racing and Dreadlocks.

First off it shouldn't be that hard to be a hippy. I have never washed, twisted, and played in the mirror more in my life. I swear I felt like I was going to the prom everyday. This season I am getting the "didn't you used to have dreads?" comment quite a bit... I guess you can't miss the guy with dreads sticking out of his helmet.

I actually had a blast with them, but I think I could write a book on how I was treated differently with the dreads and without. The bottom line is I am a simple person, interested in the natural lifestyle but I am also a cyclist who had a hard time strapping on the helmet. It was more like placing it on top of my head and pulling the dreadies through the vents till it fit!

If your a cyclist with the locks.... much respect. I wish I could have pulled it off (you should have seen my Mom's eyes though when I walked off the plane with the dreads!! Priceless)

Jah Bless
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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sue Haywood Stops By

this is an audio post - click to play

Sue Haywood Makes Us Proud

Pictures include a hot shot of Sue on top of the box and a picture of Sue and Poz with their game faces on at Vail's Everest Awards.

This past weekend I found myself in Northern Idaho (nearly Canada). To make a long story short... mud and contacts don't mix! I barely pulled out a 28th place effort and moved up slightly in the overall rankings. My goal this season has been to finish in the top 20 overall and be the highest ranking rookie on the circuit.

The real story of the weekend was Sue Haywood's huge win that was more than earned! She dug sooooo deep to stay ahead with only a 2 second gap at the finish. Thanks for those goose bumps! Sue is one of those pro's who you can't help but love because you can tell she loves what she is doing. Her attitude and style makes her a great role model for all.

Click on the link for Sue's Victory Story
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Team Manager Jon "Poz" Posner calls in with an update

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Talking to Myself

this is an audio post - click to play

Special People!

If your a cyclist, no matter what level, you can appreciate a good mechanic! I am honored to be working with some of the best ones in the business. Having someone wrench on your bike at the races takes off so much pressure and these guys cannot be thanked enough!

Thanks to all our mechanics Zack, Dave and Shep!!! You are appreciated!

Example 1:

Last weekend in Idaho my bike got worked over a course of 2.5 hrs. This time in the mud directly translates into about 3 hrs of hard wrenching work and $300 in parts... (A new Rear Der, Chain, Chain Rings, Cables and Housing, Grips, and a 30 minute Bath and we are back in business!)

Here is a couple pictures of the boyz behind the clean bikes!

Check out Zack's latest post on the Trek website "VAIL, RHYME'S WITH JAIL AND BAIL", Click on the link below...
Link to related article

Dirt for Dinner

Here is a quick pick from the muddy Idaho adventure! 2.5 hrs of pain = 28th place... hmmmm, I am still waiting for ticket into the top 20. Next stop Aspen, CO.

The snow man is actually a "hail" man. A sign of things to come before the start of the XC at Sandpoint, Idaho

FRS Online Review

So Travis hooked up some FRS product and I have been trying it out and loving it. Check out my review on the www.frsplus.com website by clicking on the link below.

Check this stuff out.... it works!
Link to related article

Monday, July 18, 2005

World Cup Debut

Today's Lesson.... World Cup 101

Down the road of life there are different levels each of us aspires to, whether it be in our jobs, hobbies, spirituality, etc., and each situation has the "next step". Rewind to last week and I find myself embarking on my first World Cup experience, Angel Fire New Mexico, my "next step" in my cycling journey. Now with only 3 NORBA Pro Nationals under my belt, the WC experience was early for me but I was ready.

Driving down to the race and even the week prior I just was shrugging the experience off as "nothing to lose". But the night before I found myself walking the start area and getting goosebumps. The UCI banners can be intimidating combined with the flags of the countries represented along the start arena. It didn't take long for the goosebumps to set in and the nervousness to follow. The number of races I have done are countless but the nervousness is always there. Every race is an unpredictable experience that could have hundreds of outcomes.

Well I made the mistake of calling Mom that evening and she can tell in an instant when something is wrong, needless to say my nervousness freaked her out and then it freaked me out. I went to bed running through the years of racing through my mind, funny how you can remember nearly every second of every race....tomorrow morning the biggest race to date.

As the race drew closer I was excited just to get it underway. Soon the call up, first in English then French. I was part of the back row mafia since I was lining up with no prior international experience. The gun went off the and euro dust followed. I could barely see and was breathing in so much dust with my heart pounding out of my chest around 185 bpm. As my lungs filled up with contaminents so did my legs!

Finally settling into my own goove I worked my way up the mountain at Angel Fire. This course was unique because it was on climb that you could regroup and find your composure, the decent was so narly you finished with your triceps and hands cramping from holding on for dear life. As a first year pro I find modivation in these situations by trying to see how many big names I can chase down. One after another I worked my way up to a final position of 39th..... I was stoked, the race went as expected and my first one was out of the way. At the end of the finishing area I had a little flashback... there were a group of kids with posters looking for autographs with start lists in their hands. "Mr. Martin can you sign this for me..." What? Do you know who I am? Well this was me 15 years ago and these kids made my day.

Ride with Nick Martin.com launch

Welcome to the initial broadcast of www.ridewithnickmartin.com. Stay tuned daily as I take you into the trenches of what a professional mountain biker goes through... emotionally, physically and mentally. Every elite pro has to go through these motions, there is no free ticket to the podium. As I document my daily adventures I will show you what goes down when you quit your job, surf couches, work on your tan lines, travel more than the dead heads of the 60’s, spend more time in tight clothes than Brian Boytano, and consider your daily ride as “going to work”.....living the dream. This is a lifestyle page of first year pro Nick Martin. Check in daily as I take my camera and laptop with me on my adventures.