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Stitches, staples and street creed

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

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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.