Friday, May 26, 2006


Our 6 week road trip has come to an end. Tri Peaks was good for the team with 3 top 20 GC finishes, a 2nd and 2 5ths in stage placings, and a constant presence at the front of the race. You should be able to find race reports written by the riders on the team website real soon. and we will do a better job of keeping those updated as best we can. Highlights (and lowlights) of my race:
1) attacking in the crit and getting a 30m gap (yay!), crashing myself out of the race 3 corners later (aawww)
2) Attacking in Sat.'s RR and getting a 1:20 gap on the field (yippee!), being led the wrong direction in the race by the lead vehicle and losing at least half of my advantage (shucks)
3) Attacking with 2.5k to go in Sat.'s race and having a 40m gap and 1500m to go between me and ultimate glory (oooohhh!), being caught by a schmuck and pipped at the line for 2nd place (looooser)
As for Sun.'s race, the highlight for me was definitely our leadout train heading toward the base of the final climb. Having all 6 of us in a line smoking it with Toyota, Health Net and all the other 100+ riders taking a back seat to the Priority Health Express was exhilerating for me. Nice work boys - good practice for the big 'uns coming up. A very special thanks to Don, Margy, Don, Doreen, Liz, and Z-Man for coming to cheer on the team in our Arkansas campaign. It meant soooo much to me to have you guys there! I hope it was worth your while.
Now it's home for 9 days to rest and recupe. Yeah right! 12hrs and 380ks in the last 2 days - beat that Tommy!! It does feel great to be home and back to homeostasis. The weather has been fantastic here in Boulder and I've done my best to take advantage.
Here I was trying to take a picture of the swollen Boulder Creek, but some hottie got in the way.

Scotty and I enjoying the view and the weather at 9000+ ft during our 6 hour day "at the office"

Here is Frank and I after our first ever motorpacing experience. This is actually what I look like when I'm faking a smile while trying to avoid passing out from exhaustion/dehydration.

I'm posting this for legal purposes: this was my attempt to catch a vicious canine in the act of trying to bite my leg off as I was riding back to our Fayetteville place (this happened roughly 4-5 times per ride by various dogs). "Fido" had just given up on me to avoid being smushed by the oncoming car. The reason he looks so small is that he's actually 1/4 mile away from me at this point.
So, upcoming races for the team:
June 1 - Captech (VA)
June 3 - CSC Invite (NJ?)
June 4 - Lancaster (PA)
June 8 - Reading (PA)
June 11 - Philly (PA)
June 13-18 - Tour de Beauce (somewhere in Canada, eh)
theme: big, big, big
I won't be racing the CSC Invite or Lancaster due to roster restrictions in the race, but I will still be the ultimate cheerleader (think skirt and pompoms). Here's to tailwinds and no bad luck!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


ugh. can't sleep. will attempt to post amusing material to pass the time. I'm not so good at impressions but I'll give it a shot: Here is my impression of Scott Nydam attempting to race Tri-Peaks this upcoming weekend -

You may or may not recognize this bloke, but he is a brilliant photographer from the Miami area. If you have a chance to check out his work, I highly recommend it:

I know stereotypes are wrong, but this home sure looks Arkansawn, doesn't it? This one is about 1/2 mile from where we're staying right now.

I pirated this from Phil Zajicek's site, but I just can't help it this was too funny not to pass on. Here is the english version of Jan Ullrich's blog. Die hard cycling fans might not get quite the amusement out of it that we did.

Okay, possibly getting tired now. It's worth a shot anyway.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mas o Menos

We had an up and down weekend here at the Joe Martin Stage Race. First off, Rich is riding on amazing form right now (any correlation with the arrival of his girlfriend??? You make the call.) He finished 3rd in Sat. road race, 8th in Sat. afternoon's TT, and 3rd in Sun. crit for a 5th place overall in the tour.

iamTedKing rode exceptionally well also with a killer 4th place in Fri. road race and spending 80 miles or so out in a break during Sat.'s RR only to be caught with 4k to go. It was a heartbreaker as they would have surely stayed away if there would have been full cooperation and organization in the break. Robbie and Eddy also rode well late in the races in attempts of delivering Richie to the sprint in good position. And of course Brian was Brian - doing everything in his power to help us along: covering moves, leading the chase, getting bottles, etc. All the things that never show up in the results or the race reports but are essential to a good team result. As for me, I was somewhere in between a useless lump of shit and a valuable team rider. The only times I was present at the front the entire tour was in a break of 8 guys late in Fri's RR and for about half of a lap during the crit. The road race break looked like it might stick at first but there were too many people not pulling through for us to take it to the line. That in combination with me cramping up caused me to sit up and wait for the field. This conservative, no-presence-at-the-front style of racing would have been acceptable (not good, but at least tolerable) if I would have done a decent TT on Sat. afternoon. But alas, I was crap in the TT going 5s faster than Glen Mitchell who was so sick that he didn't start the crit the next day. In my defense, my brakes were rubbing the entire TT and my pedal broke halfway through so that I was pedaling one-legged the second half...oh, and I think I had a slow leak in the front but I can't be sure. So, there seems to be some bug that is running rampant through our team. As mentioned, Glen "I am a Racing Machine" Mitchell was out of commision the whole week, TommyTommy has been puking or more recently had loose bowel movements (which he loves to describe to us in detail) to the extent that he's not getting any nurishment from eating. The Kings have both had illnesses that seem to come and go quickly but then reoccur without warning. I have been dealing with what I think is allergies for 2 weeks now - slight cough and occasional runny nose that hasn't gotten better or worse with time. Bottom line: annoying but we're feeling that we're getting it out of the way now so we won't have to deal with any of this come Philly Week and Beauce. how's that for a positive spin? Okay, so overall, I'd have to say I had a good time racing this weekend due in part to my dad, uncle Don and Margie showing up to cheer us on. It was really nice to see them, especially during this rather long hiatus from home. I was pretty down after the TT, but the fact is that I felt absolutely satisfied with my effort and the most important thing right now is that I got some good racing in and some good experience to boot. Oh, and to end on another positive - Brent Meister General, Scott Stewart (U23 team) and the Lees-McRae Cycling Team won Collegiate Nationals again this past weekend. Brent won the road race, team time trial, and won the bunch sprint in the crit (letting his teammate win the race from the breakaway). I believe that makes 126 National titles for Brent - or somewhere in that ballpark. I'm sure all the competing coaches and underclassmen had a huge party to celebrate his departure from collegiate racing. Alright, thanks for reading. 7 days and counting till I'm reunited with Kira, Boulder, and Masa...

Oh, and this is the team guilt trip of the day: this is Benno hard at work on our bikes since 10 a.m. or so today (Monday) while the racers have been lounging about aimlessly drinking coffee and "internetting" (a verb I learned from my sister) ALL FRIGGIN DAY! Thanks Ben.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Yous ain't from around these parts, are ya'll?

Continuing on with our Southern Tour, we are stationed in Fayetteville, AK right now. I made it through the rest of the crit series with the rubber side down. We had another good result with Tommy's top 10 at Sunny King but we're looking for some Ws! Joe Martin starts Fri. with Tri Peaks the following weekend. It's been nice not having to travel these last two days - the days sure seem longer when you're not spending hours in the car. We've got some sick dudes on the team right now, but hopefully we'll be 100% by Fri. The weather here in Arkansow' has been warm and muggy so far. We are in a beautiful area though and the scenery is nice for riding. I can see why my Uncle Don has chosen a place like this to habitate. I had some excitement last night with Rich when attempting to pick up his woman from the airport. First off, we had to deal with torrential rains and lightning on the way to the airport only to arrive and find that the airport was closed for the night. Huh? Whoops. Wrong airport. So by the time we arrived at the correct airport, Kate had been safely landed and waiting for a good hour (this is after roughly 14 hrs of traveling all the way from Germany). She took it surprisingly well and if there was any screaming or physical abuse it was not in my presence.
Alright, I'll try and get some pics of the area in the next post, but here are some from the past week or so:
This one makes me laugh. This is Rich on the trainer on an 80 degree sunny day in the beautiful hills of northern Georgia. Is this what it takes to be a national champ??? At least he's outside, right?

This is some of the team with our host family Dave and Brenda who we stayed with after the Spartanburg crit. Dave likes to do ultra marathons and other crazy person events - so we fit right in.

Here is proof that Sheeds is fast on bikes AND in cars. Doh!

Oh yeah, we conquered it. I believe this was at 2700 ft. above sea level (or exactly 1/2 of what I sleep at in Boulder)

This is the highlight of Sunday's ride for Brian and me. Here we are passing the "sag wagon" of the Cheaha Challenge which means that we will get to the last aide station before they pack everything up. Translation: free pb&j, chips, and brownies for Sheeds and I!

Friday, May 05, 2006

#2 in the books

Okay, so I've got crash #2 on the year over and done with so I should be good for awhile now. On the 1 week anniversary of my last crash, I went down again in the Greensboro crit last night. Nothing too nasty, just a sore shoulder and a funky looking puncture wound on my elbow. I went through another set of handlebars, though. I'm kind of tired of this crashing business. On the positive, the King brothers continue to step up their game and get good results for the team. And Richie keeps riding like a star, we just need to help the man out a little in the last few laps. I may or may not saddle up tonight, we'll see how I feel.
In other news, my man Scott Nydam is ripping up the field at Tour of the Gila. If you're not following the daily action - be sure to check it out at
Alright, no pics today - I'm a slacker. However, there may be some shots of my mortal wounds showing up on other blogs...
Today's mantra: I love crits. I love crits. I love crits. I love crits.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Ahhh! Back to society again. We've just been roughing it deep in the Shenandoah mtns for the past week. We stayed in classic summer camp cabins with bunk beds and the whole works. We did have such amenities as running water and electricity but were without essential cell phone reception and internet access. Thus, communication was difficult and updating blogs wasn't happenin. So, I'll try to overload you with pictures and stories to make up for the void. First off, we went 1st and 3rd in the prologue to get things rolling. It was a very high pressure situation 'cause Mark (our director) made it clear that he wanted the first position in the caravan that only comes with 1st place on G.C. So we had to dig a little deeper to appease the "slave-driver". Later that night, we successfully defended our G.C. and U23 jerseys (Brent)without much trouble but got shut out in the stage placings which is pretty much unacceptable considering the talent level of our team. I definitely didn't spend enough time up front during the race which always a weak point of mine. The highlight of the crit for me was going for the mid-race time bonus while trying to knock out the peak 1 min. power "Power Preme" that was worth 500 bones. Both ended up working out but was small consilation for bungling the finish as a team. In Stage 3, Eddy, Jake, and Graham all got themselves in a break and were able to gobble up the KOM points while Brent, Sheeds, Scott, and I were trying to make to make it over the climbs with the lead chase group. As the breaks started flying in the break, Eddy was able to hang on and deliver with a much needed stage win after our crit performance. The time gap from the break ended up being enough for Eddy to pull on the leader's jersey. 2 days, 2 leaders, same team - not bad so far! Stage 4 contained a huge cat. 1 climb in the middle followed by a cat. 2 climb near the finish. We now had 3 protected riders: Eddy, Brent, and I which made it extremely difficult on the remaining team members: Scott, Graham, Sheedy, and Jake. During the race, we were all near the front of the group heading into the cat. 1 climb when I flatted. Jake was nearby to give me his wheel so that I didn't lose toooo much time but I think I need some work in quick wheel changes. I set a hard tempo up the climb and tried to slowly pull back the leaders while passing dudes all along the way. I was probably within 30 seconds or so of the leaders by the top so I decided to take some risks on the decent in order to make up some time. So, because I'm tired of telling this story: I crashed on a decent and got a mild-concussion. The conversation I had with our mechanic Ben right after was kind of comical. My end went something like: "What race is this? What state are we in? Who's in the leader's jersey? Eddy? Really?!?" So, my race was over as Ben hauled me off to the hospital. I came out pretty good actually with a mild concussion and a little road rash on my face. My back and neck are pretty sore but nothing too damaging. 2 lessons came out of this event: avoid racing with triathletes at all costs and don't put someone behind the wheel of a car in the caravan without any experience or instruction. Okay, so at that point Brent and Eddy were on their own and after all the attacks were said and done, Eddy found himself in the lead group again with the same opponent. This time, the Fiorda Fruita dude got the best of Eddy and he ended up 2nd on the day but retained his lead by 15s. After this stage, Brent was 4 min. or so back on G.C. so we were basically down to one option. For Stage 5, we decided we would try to get Brent in a break to get about 3 min. so we could have 2 options coming into the TT on Sat. Well, he got into a break, but because of a communication breakdown, the break was able to get 4 mins. on Eddy's group and as a result we relinquished the G.C. lead to another team! Not the way you want to go into a time trial. So, it was clear what we had to do now: put a massive amount of time into the lead G.C. guys in the time trial. Easy enough, eh? Well, it ended up being (looking anyway) that easy as Brent scorched the course to put 70+ seconds into 2nd place. After the TT, the tension on the team was released like a giant exhale and all was well. We even cut loose a little Sat. night even though we still had to defend in the crit. After a glass of wine, 140lb Jake became a singing and dancing wildman that had people rolling all night. The crit was exciting to watch as Graham did some superhuman efforts and Scott continued to amaze. The little blonde freak was a super-domestique in his P/1/2 debut! That's another thing: This was such a great team effort from everyone involved. It took great riding from all 7 guys in the race and UNBELIEVABLE support from Mark and Ben to pull this victory off. I wish everyone could witness how hard Mark and Ben worked for the team this past week. It was astonishing and invaluable. Speaking of freaks and support, Brian Sheedy is the man. On very little training, that dude was able to dig deep everyday and somehow find the reserves to help out the team to the utmost. It was inspiring. So, I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to help the team seal the deal those last 3 days but I'm just glad we pulled it out. Winning is fun. My legs are feeling really good right now and if I can take care of a few crash-related issues and figure out what's been bothering my knee, I should be keen to do well in the USA Crits coming later this week. You can follow us at , I believe. Brian and I will be reunited with the crit boys who have managed 2 top tens and several top 20s at Athens and Roswell. Nice work, fellas!
Check out the pics below.
Scar Face

This pic doesn't really do it justice, but this is the e.r. parking lot with scrapes and dried blood on my face - mullet still intact.

Eddy getting aero on a spider - during post TT celebration time.

Brent's podium pic with other jersey holders - doesn't he look fast?!?
Jake living up to his namesake after consuming the amount of wine produced from 2 grapes.
Graham spending time in his favorite place: the break. This was during the 2nd critJake in a break later in that same crit. Shortly after this photo, Jake unleashed what was deemed "The most vicious attack of the race"