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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Breathe In For Luck



You know the season is in full force when your bags still are not unpacked from the last race. Few things are worse then opening a suitcase only to be greeted by the remains of last weekends lycra effort.

This weekend Vail, CO is playing host to, The Teva Mountain Games, hands down the best event of the year (Norba needs to come out here to take some notes). Check out Yahoo's live updates as the weekend unfolds. I will do my best to bring the event to you from my shoes, but next year you will have to see for yourself.



It is amazing how much damage one can do to a bike in only a matter of 60 minutes. I rolled into Vail early to check out the local Wednesday night series and see if I can take some evil satisfaction in challenging Henry and Janelle on their home turf. Not always an easy task but it paid off (life is somehow better when you have a Benjamin in your pocket).

Special thanks to Vail's own "cutters", Art's Barbarians, for taking me under their wing and showing me the local ropes....



If you are wondering what I am doing tomorrow....... it will probably look a little something like this!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Home Is Where You Park It



You know the guy.... that friend that each of us has. Something happened at birth and from that point forward he/she was a genetic freak. The "guy" that will single-handedly conquer any adventure you throw his way and do it with a 50 lb. backpack filled with rocks.



When the "guy" calls to get together tomorrow for an adventure, you better bring your credit card because you don't know if you are going to have to spend the night somewhere....

Well Boulder's "guy" is none other than, Chris "Botsy" Phillips and his forearms are bigger than my quads, seriously. I think Chuck Norris actually takes after Botsy, not vise versa.



Speaking of Chuck.... "My boy Mike" raided my closet and tagged me with another one of his killer stencils. If you are looking for some one of a kind duds, drop him a line. The boy has skillz... for realz.



Well, it is summer time in Boulder which means one thing: The creek is flowing fast and it is filled with hippies, kayaks, tubers, hippies, and cyclists icing their legs. The water is ice cold from the mountains winter run off and it is the place to be on a hot afternoon.... Maybe not in full lycra though but hey, if you got it rock it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Best Of Rides '05

The "go-to" media in the cycling scene is gradually making a shift from your ad contaminated issue of Bike magazine to the free speech, daily updated, media source we fame as the "blog". At the heart of all these blogs lies the photography, bring'n to the public the places we have traveled, the people we have met and the moments we have shared....



I contacted "The Godfather" and challenged him to dig through the stack of flash drives littering his desk and come up with 10 photos that strike a chord in his heart.

Giving birth to:

The top 10 photos of 2005

"People We Meet" Category



At the heart of every successful team is an ace wrench, Trek/VW is no exception. I call this photo, "Nutz and Boltz".



"Someone Feed Tristan", no seriously folks.... Someone should feed Tristan. Ah the sacrifices of being a XC racer. Not only do you skimp on dessert but your days of being an underwear model are over.



Travis Brown's daughter Zara is a chip off the ole block. I think each Pro UCI license should come with a copy of this picture, in refrigerator equipped magnet form, entitled: "Listen To The Children".

"Places We Pedal" Category



Anyone who defines themselves as a mountain biker has made a pilgrimage to Moab, UT sometime in their life. For me it is an yearly quest in mid October to the epic "24 hrs of Moab". Just thinking about all those hours I have suffered in the desert brings chills to my legs.



The desert is a whole new world when day turns to night and the time comes to strap on our lights. Brian Smith has always been my go to man in these events because his mind is even more powerful then his legs.

"If You Ride, You Crash" Category



Soulcraft's, Yuri Hauswald takes the cake in this category. Yuri crossed the line drippin in blood and was kind enough to let me take this photo before seeking medical attention. If the word on the street, chicks dig scares, holds true.... Then I must be Bono.

"Too Good To Be Fiction" Category



I am blown away everyday as I climb into my pimped out Touareg that VW would give a bunch of dirty mountain bikers a luxury vehicle... I am not complaining but maybe we should at least learn to park.



I have had wheelie lessons for more of the top pros than I can count.... And I still can't wheelie. Trent Lowe hands down has it mastered better than anyone I have seen. I hope he isn't keeping the wheelie in the closet now that he has made his move to the other side of the fence.

"Ode To Singletrack" Category



The best part of my job is that I get to session singletrack all over the United States, from Santa Cruz, CA to Mt. Snow, VT, life is good!! But nothing beats the smell of the Aspen trees at an altitude of 10,000 feet, ah the high country.... It has to be my favorite place on earth.



I know there isn't any dirt in this photo but there is a whole lot of rock. The miles traveled over the course of one season are countless but it is the experience, the sweat, the ride, that keep us coming back for more. Thanks for tuning in and keeping "the blog" alive.

"Ode To The God-Father"



Before there was ridewithnickmartin there was Sager.... You can't forget your forefathers. Here's to chasing dreams amongst other things. Best of Rides

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Like A Rolling Stone

Angel Fire New Mexico, the latest stop on the '06 ridewithnickmartin tour, is home to one of the most raw XC races in the States. It is definitely a course that uses natural selection to define its winners.



Well today it was "Rad" Ross showing that it only takes a week to get in shape, holding off legends T. Brown and Ned Overend for the big "W". Unfortunately I got passed by Ned in the final climb to finish 4th (but I still managed to hold onto 3rd in the Under 50 category).



Ned is still out there making us young bucks suffer like dogs at the young age of 50 something. With legs like this it is no wonder I got dropped. Much respect!



The secret to Ross's success lies deep within the 24 inches of his prerace dinner. For $6.99 you couldn't go wrong.

BTW: Sager and I are still working out the guidelines to our '05 photo blog off so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out this video for your "Free Entertainment" for the day.



In other racing news, it looks like this weekend's World Cup in Belgium is going to redefine the definition of "raw", sporting over 240 registered lycra superheros in the Mens race and 150 in the Womens.



Let your imagination run its course and envision what will happen when you throw 240 men down a course that looks like this..... RAW!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

These Are The Dayz Of Our Lives



You know life is getting ruff when you have to be on your bike by 10 a.m. and the hardest decision you have to make before Noon is whether to go for the double chocolate Powerbar or bring money for the Gold Hill General Store. Opted for plan "B" since I already had three Powerbars for breakfast.



Just in case you guys didn't get the memo, there is a new fad storming through the garages of all the Pro Mechanics. I give Trek head wrench, Zack Vestal, props for being the first to come out of the closet and shine in public with his new recumbent, "The Rocket". Isn't it glorious.



I only have enough energy to do this a couple times a year, and I must be feeling lucky.... Time to challenge Sager to a "no holds bared" blog off. Not your typical internet bout, but a Top 10 pictures of '05 throw down. Only one rule, none of this fancy, "I know how to work photo shop and live in Park City" B.S., straight up living the life in my chamois footage.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Taking Names



In the blue corner, weighing in at 140 lbs, a man who has completed more 24 hour solo races than anyone else in the world, Nat "Tough Guy" Ross. Don't underestimate the power of the pink hat, it is no longer reserved for the "oh so hip" frat boys or the "too hard core for black" skateboarders.



In the red corner, weighing in at 160 lbs (when he isn't carrying his wallet full of singles), Mike "I need at least 3 women in the pool" West. This is what happens when XC racers drink with-in 12 hours of finishing a race. It usually involves tight clothes and a kiddy pool. Today's main event, Jello Wrestling!



Good times, good times! West single handedly manhandled three women without breaking a sweat (I don't think this is his first time either). His superhero status just got bumped up a couple notches, he is now asking to be referred to as, Dynamo.



The precursor to all this madness was the opening race in the Colorado Mountain Bike scene, Battle of the Bear. Rad Ross and I managed to break away early and hold our own to finish up 1-2. These local races are good confidence boosters after getting hammered last weekend on the National scene. Check out the size of the checks?!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ordinary Is Just Not Good Enough Today



A picture is worth a thousand words and this one pretty much sums up my weekend. Every race I reach a point where I say to myself, "Ouch, I forgot how much this stuff hurts". I guess pain is temporary because like mice in a cage, we always come back for more.



Thanks to Mountain Bike Action for reminding me that things could have been worse. Check out Sager in the far right getting his blawg on at the expense of his hommies. (Just an FYI but all my pictures on this blog can be clicked on to view in full action format)



Um.... yeah, I think I will officially punch my "Man Card" twice today. Just when I thought I have seen everything on two wheels, some messenger guy has to totally go and raise the bar. Cross bike manual to picnic table..... With canti brakes?



If that wasn't good enough, how about I follow it up with a twist? BTW, I still can't ride a wheelie.



Anyone have a thousand words for this one? Sager was officially nominated, Trek/VW fan of the year. He followed up Tristan's hug by saying, "Words cannot explain the flood of emotion I feel right now..."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Can I Take A Mulligan?



Some days you are the hammer and other days you are the nail. Everything was going as planned, rolling in control around 20th.... Then the worst foot pain imaginable started to flare up with each bump and pedal stoke. I will save you my sob story and get to the point, don't race in shoes that you don't train with.



This sport can be so frustrating when you work so hard to try to break through and you still see how much work lies ahead. There are so many talented pros out there all chomping at the bit. Tomorrow is another race and another learning experience.



The crash of the day goes to Maverick Pro Mike West who went down in style. I guess this is what happens when your sweet Ti Skewer snaps off.



Rumor has it that JHK is trying out for the World's Strongest Man. JHK and Wells ate it going for the "W" uphill only to have Kabush sneak by for the victory. Much respect boys for laying it down. Races are relived in our minds over and over again, I wish I could have this one back.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Point and Shoot



One of the advantages of getting to a race venue a week early is you get to scope out all the sweet lines..... Or in Rad Ross's case, you get to build all the sweet lines. After 4 days of riding the same loop over and over I think I have it about dialed. Regardless, nothing can simulate what it will be like when 100 pros kick up a permanent cloud of dust.... Operation point and shoot.



Got Seatpost? Ranno apparently does.



Total impulse buy but I threw down for this sweet '84 Honda Goldwing. Can't wait to open the throttle.



Prerode the course today with the Giant boyz and if you are looking for some inside information I am laying down my chips on Adam Craig talking home the "W". Until the dust settles.....

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Stale Taste of Recycled Air



I can't see the horizon, I can't drink the water and I spend most of my day sitting in traffic.... I must be in Southern California. Ross found out one sure fire way to take out your road rage..... taunt roadside statues to make yourself feel more like a man.



If you are a professional mechanic, the second best thing to the final race of the year is "New Tool Belt Day". Meadows was showing off his strong early season form that can only be complimented by something Carhart. Priceless.



This weekend's Norba National opener is a cross between "Uban Assault" and "Someone's Backyard". My game plan is to visualize I am being chased by the cops and anyone wearing lycra is armed and dangerous.