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Nick Martin

The happpy couple

Rhymes with "carriage"

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 04, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:17 BST

It is amazing how fast a season can fly by. It was a already a year ago that I announced my...

December 5, 2007

It is amazing how fast a season can fly by. It was a already a year ago that I announced my engagement to my now wife, Tracy. What was meant to be an end of the season invitation to the Trek headquarters from the legendary Zap Espinoza, turned out to be a life changing 72 hours.

For my team-mate and best man "Rad" Ross Schnell and I, the weekend was going to be a celebration after a hard earned season and a chance to get things lined up for the upcoming year. Our conversations on the plane ride to Wisconsin centered around how good if felt to be single and free. Nothing but our bikes and travels to occupy our time. Life was simple, life was good.

Once arriving at Trek's homeland, we were greeted by Zap and his gracious family, given the VIP tour of Trek's headquarters, and we socialized with Trek dealers from all over the country. Free food, free housing, great company... Life was good.

Bike racers are simple creatures, especially mountain bikers. In an effort to prolong the real world for as long as possible, we will literally work for next to nothing for the chance to wake up in the morning and simply ride. If wealth was measured by the amount of free time one has, then as a cyclist, I was one of the richest men alive.

The weekend quickly began to follow a underlying theme of serendipity. One moment after the next left Ross and I looking at one another in disbelief. Maybe it was the hands on demolition in the Bontrager Wheel Testing Area, or maybe it was the tour of Zap's house with his room filled with old memorabilia covering the walls (including Tomac's actual World Championship bike with drops), or maybe it was perfect trails that littered Trek's headquarters. Eat, sleep and ride were our instructions... Life was good.

With all this excitement, the farthest thing, from either of our minds was settling down.

Well it turns out some of life's most important decisions can be made at closing time. Yes it was 2:00 am, and yes I did have a couple alcoholic beverages in my system but at the moment I saw her from across the room, my decision making skills were not impaired – I "knew".

A whirlwind of thoughts and emotions followed but I was already prepared to pull the trigger and get down on one knee. Her name was Tracy, and I would have asked her to marry me on day two but I was advised to "Wait another day" by Zap and company.

So I did wait, but for only another 24 hours. Now fast forward a year and change. As of September 14th, I was a married man. It's crazy how fast things change. I have gone from vagabond mountain biker to responsible married man in only a year. Life isn't quite as simple, but it is still good. In fact, it's great!

Best of Rides,
Nick Martin
www.ridewithnickmartin.com

The happpy couple

Rhymes with "carriage"

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 04, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:17 BST

It is amazing how fast a season can fly by. It was a already a year ago that I announced my...

December 5, 2007

It is amazing how fast a season can fly by. It was a already a year ago that I announced my engagement to my now wife, Tracy. What was meant to be an end of the season invitation to the Trek headquarters from the legendary Zap Espinoza, turned out to be a life changing 72 hours.

For my team-mate and best man "Rad" Ross Schnell and I, the weekend was going to be a celebration after a hard earned season and a chance to get things lined up for the upcoming year. Our conversations on the plane ride to Wisconsin centered around how good if felt to be single and free. Nothing but our bikes and travels to occupy our time. Life was simple, life was good.

Once arriving at Trek's homeland, we were greeted by Zap and his gracious family, given the VIP tour of Trek's headquarters, and we socialized with Trek dealers from all over the country. Free food, free housing, great company... Life was good.

Bike racers are simple creatures, especially mountain bikers. In an effort to prolong the real world for as long as possible, we will literally work for next to nothing for the chance to wake up in the morning and simply ride. If wealth was measured by the amount of free time one has, then as a cyclist, I was one of the richest men alive.

The weekend quickly began to follow a underlying theme of serendipity. One moment after the next left Ross and I looking at one another in disbelief. Maybe it was the hands on demolition in the Bontrager Wheel Testing Area, or maybe it was the tour of Zap's house with his room filled with old memorabilia covering the walls (including Tomac's actual World Championship bike with drops), or maybe it was perfect trails that littered Trek's headquarters. Eat, sleep and ride were our instructions... Life was good.

With all this excitement, the farthest thing, from either of our minds was settling down.

Well it turns out some of life's most important decisions can be made at closing time. Yes it was 2:00 am, and yes I did have a couple alcoholic beverages in my system but at the moment I saw her from across the room, my decision making skills were not impaired – I "knew".

A whirlwind of thoughts and emotions followed but I was already prepared to pull the trigger and get down on one knee. Her name was Tracy, and I would have asked her to marry me on day two but I was advised to "Wait another day" by Zap and company.

So I did wait, but for only another 24 hours. Now fast forward a year and change. As of September 14th, I was a married man. It's crazy how fast things change. I have gone from vagabond mountain biker to responsible married man in only a year. Life isn't quite as simple, but it is still good. In fact, it's great!

Best of Rides,
Nick Martin
www.ridewithnickmartin.com

Vail Colorado's finest

Stitches, staples and street creed

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 30, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:17 BST

In an effort to temporarily escape this train wreck that has made itself at home in my body, I sit...

July 1, 2007

In an effort to temporarily escape this train wreck that has made itself at home in my body, I sit here nursing my pleasant morning coffee buzz (it's noon) for as long as possible.

Its not the road rash that covers my forearms and knuckles or the huge scab that continues to infuse itself with my shorts... .It's the four staples holding my knee together that are making me hit the reset button for the second time this season. In the moment I feel like a 28 year-old trapped inside an 80 year-old's body.

One minute, you're ripping singletrack, trying to find a happy medium somewhere in-between your comfortable riding limit and your edge . The next, you're aimlessly stumbling around trying to assess the damage from your high-speed yard sale.

Nine out of ten times you get up, straighten your bars, and talk about it later over a beer with your lycra-clad friends. Well, this time I looked down and saw a huge gaping white hole in my knee cap. Immediately I began to run through my current insurance status in my head? Luckily, I had just send in my yearly dues to USA Cycling's Adventure Advocates. (Great program for less than US$300 a year).

One bloody hour bike ride later, I arrived at the Boulder Community Hospital's ER room ready to put in two more hours of casual chamois time as I awaited my stitches. Just long enough for me to think about all the things I was going to do with my time this coming week.

Well, a week quickly passed and this rest was exactly what I needed. I felt rested, motivated, and ready to jump into the second half of the season head first. Unfortunately, I made a rookie move and jumped the gun early. As I lined up to race the Boulder Evening Short Track Series, stitches and all, I uttered my famous last words, "I just won't crash." It turns out I jumped in knee-first and split my stitches wide open...ugh.

I am back to the drawing board. Only this time, I have staples instead of stitches. A little medevil if you ask me, but at least I should walk away from this with a little street creed.

I'll me back, motivated, and refreshed and hopefully singing a different tune in my next diary entry. Until then...

Best of Rides,
Nick Martin
www.ridewithnickmartin.com

Testing the prototype

30 square miles surrounded by reality

By:
Cycling News
Published:
May 15, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:17 BST

The more I travel, the closer I hold true the timeless saying, "There is no place like home." If...

May 16, 2007

The more I travel, the closer I hold true the timeless saying, "There is no place like home." If only these carbon soled Nikes could harness Dorothy's magic powers. Somewhere in between my road trip to NORBA's opener (Note: The series is now called the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) - ed.) in Arizona and my 40 hour round trip trek to the infamous Sea Otter Classic, I lost my travel legs (despite the efforts of our new Volkswagen Touareg?).

Maybe I am getting soft and old at the ripe age of 28, but after only a month of racing I have opted to abort my original plan to drive to most of the NORBA's and take the path of least resistance, United flight 1161.

Home for the past three years has been one of America's cycling paradises, Boulder, Colorado. From the parking lots littered with roof racks to the hundreds of miles of bike paths that are plowed before the city streets, cycling is in this city's blood. So much so that it is the only place I have ever been where it is border line acceptable to sport the casual chamois in the grocery store (For the record, I don't condone such behavior).

Despite the typical stereotypes associated with the liberal republic of Boulder, these 30 square miles surrounded by reality are the ideal stomping grounds for nearly 100 professional cyclists. When your idea of "going to the office" involves a daily dose of chamois cream and four hours of monotonous motion, it pays to have a healthy dose of the best performance enhancer out there...training partners.

If the rolodex of pros to choose from wasn't enough, you have more than your share of group rides to get out there and flex your quads. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the "guaranteed to make you suffer" Bus Stop ride leaves from North Boulder. Show up only if your idea of fun is getting pulled around by Tyler Hamilton on his fixed gear at 40 mph. Then it's Wednesday mornings for a little taste of dirt and your morning short track practice. If you are still biting at the bit, show up on any given Sunday and simply sit and drink coffee outside North Amante and Boulder Cycle sport with 150 of your closest lycra-clad friends and call it a ride. Pick your poison...

With all these opportunities to get out and work on the tan lines, I have learned through the tried and true method of trial and error, how fine the line between over-training and staying healthy truly is. With that being said I am learning to enjoy a balance of quality and quantity that hovers more on the quality side of living.

United Flight 1161 to Fontana, California is preparing for departure so I need to fold this Mac up and gear up for the next NORBA. Learning from our mistakes is genius, making the same mistake twice is no one's fault but our own.... See you out there!

Best of Rides,
Nick Martin
www.ridewithnickmartin.com

Taste testing Malibu,

Who is this character called Martini?

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 04, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:17 BST

With this entry, I am popping my Cyclingnews diary cherry and kicking off the fast approaching 2007...

April 5, 2007

Who is this character called Martini?

With this entry, I am popping my Cyclingnews diary cherry and kicking off the fast approaching 2007 mountain bike season. Maybe you have heard of this Nick Martin character from the blog'o'sphere, over at www.ridewithnickmartin.com. If not, swing by and catch up on your homework. I am a 27 year-old professional mountain biker based out of Boulder, Colorado, and am chasing this cycling dream daily.

I am not that young prodigy that just fell into a huge natural VO2 max.... I am more of the stubborn, live-out-of-the-VW-van and live-off-powerbars kind of athlete. This will be my third season racing professionally under the flag of Trek/VW, and I am hoping that persistance pays off.

This off-season, like so many before them, has taken me on some great adventures. It was kicked off in style last August when Zap Espinoza invited "Rad" Ross and I down to Wisconsin to check out the Trek factory and hang out with some dealers. Well there must be something in that dairy air because I met a woman and ended up leaving Madison engaged after only threedays! Crazy I know, but when you meet her you'll understand....

From there "Rad" Ross and I headed to Malibu, California, for the month of January. Our main goal was to work on our tan lines and if we managed to get in shape, that would have been an extra bonus... Nothing helps nurse your motivation better than a little sunshine. In between bumping shoulders with the rich and famous and hitting up some of the sickest roads I have ever seen, I ended up with tan lines and Ross ended up in shape.

Next week (referring to the NMBS #1 in Phoenix, Arizona. - ed.) is the first race of the year. How quickly you forget what the "pain cave" feels like after three months of "taking it easy". Needless to say, I am more excited about having my name on my number plate than I am about going hard. But hey, it has to start sometime.

If I was a gambler, I would lay all my cards down on "Rad" Ross Schnell, Trek's newest pro, for turning some serious heads down in Arizona (Maybe we should consult Martin more often before placing bets? Schnell finished third in the time trial, fifth in the short track, and 15th in the cross country - ed.). Let's call it an inside hunch. Stay tuned next week as the NMBS series story unfolds this season.

Nick Martin

Author
Nick Martin

27-year-old mountain bike racer Nick Martin specializes in cross country and endurance off-road events. The Boulder, Colorado, resident aims for a breakthrough year in 2007. In his sights are top 10 finishes at individual races and the overall in the US National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS). While cross country races will be his primary focus, Martin will also be on the line at short track events. The Team Trek VW racer gave up everything three years ago to capitalize on the opportunity to go pro. Ever since, he has been building confidence and making a name for himself on the national scene. In 2006, Martin finished 14th overall in the NMBS series and took fifth at the 24 Hours of Moab. When not on his bike, he's busy honing his writing and photography skills.