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  • Posted Mar 22, 2004

I love to see my name in bright lights. How about you?

I've never seen a season on the horizon that has so many racers positively geeked as the 2004 season. You can almost taste the sweetness of the buzz.

Heck, it is late March and you could easily have over ten races in already plus a trip south to work on the farmer's tan.

Looking at past Iowa Rider of the Year results, you could see guys doing just a handful of events showing up at the top. Not anymore.

That in itself scares me. "How am I supposed to be in shape for racing in April!?!!?" Remember, there are only three professionals in Iowa (Kerkove, McCartney & Lieswyn). The rest of us only dream of the hard life as a pro while slaving away at work or school.

As always, ride for health, fitness and piece of mind and race for fun.

Marco

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SPARKS, BANG CRASH!

You're riding in a pack and you hear the squeal of brakes, inevitable four-letter words and next thing you know, you're on the ground. What happened? You just crashed.

Like it or not, World Cycling Products is marketing the inevitable with the new dvd entitled 'CRASH'. Yeah, it is like driving past a car accident, but you could learn from others crashes to make sure you come out of it as safe as possible.

CLOTHING
HELMET:
First off, make sure your helmet is in 100% perfect shape every time you ride. Helmets aren't meant to last forever. They are intended to do their job once, then in the garbage. Make sure you clean it once every few weeks in the kitchen sink with some mild dish soap to get off the sweat and check the integrity.

GLOVES: Wear gloves all the time. If you hit the ground, your hands are going to instinctively go out and collect all the pea gravel, glass and grit from the ground as gravity and interia will allow.

UNDERSHIRTS: Those fancy DeFeet Un-D-Shirts aren't for fashion. They are meant to wick perspiration from your skin and provide a layer of protection from crashes. If you're only wearing a jersey, the jersey will rub against your skin in a crash. If you're wearing an undershirt, you will have a layer of protection between the jersey and the skin. Remember, they're not Kevlar, so you'll still get some road rash.

THE CRASH
THE WATCH:
If you hear or see the start of a crash, don't just crank on the brakes blindly. Watch ahead of you to see what is happening and where people are going. You don't want to cause a more massive pileup than is necessary.
THE HOLD: If you can see the crash coming your way, it is every man for themselves. That means if you can grab onto someone to keep from going down, do it. I know it can be a dirty trick, but it works.
THE CUSHION: Again, unfortunate, but if you can see someone to land on top of to soften your fall, go for it. Admittedly, they hit the ground first, so they were in the way, right?
THE LIMP: Hit the ground and relax. I know it sounds tough, but if you relax, you're not going to be fighting to get the road rash over 110% of your body.
THE FETAL: If you're unfortunate enough to hit the ground, roll up into a ball until EVERYONE is past. I've seen guys crash and bounce right back up on two feet, then get hit by other riders. Definitely would have been safer on the ground in a ball. That way, people can move to avoid you instead of a dance to see who is getting out of the way.

Okay, some of these 'pointers' are admittedly tongue-in-cheek, however, crashes are accidents and can't always be avoided. Don't point fingers, place blame or throw punches. It is bad enough that you're on the ground, don't make it worse.

The more crashes you see and participate in, the more you can read into how to avoid them and come out safely. Honestly, after awhile, they seem to happen in slow-motion. If you think quickly, you can minimize your exposure and keep the rubber side down.

Next issue, we'll see some 'best of crashes'.

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Nick Frey Interview
3/18


Q: Congratulations on a breakthrough season in 2003. Apparently you've got the hookup for 2004! Tell us a little about your new team and racing schedule.

A: Thank you. Yeah, I am on Hot Tubes, which is a junior 17-18 only team of 6 kids, 5 of whom travel to Europe in mid May (France, Belgium and Holland) to do three UCI junior World Cup stage races. Hot Tubes itself is a company which works hand-in-hand with Cervelo to custom paint frames, and is owned by Toby Stanton, who is the team director. He gets us all of the equipment we need, as far as bikes, helmets, shoes, clothes, and covers all of our costs to Europe and to major junior races in America, including food, plane tickets, race entry fees, licenses, etc. The 6 kids are picked based on their results at Junior Nationals, and especially the time trial, as time trialing is the backbone of the team. Two of the 6 are veterans, who were on the team as 17-year-olds, and are now 18, then there is a new 18-year-old, and three 17-year-olds, me being one. I have raced with all of them, and, though I don't know any of them extremely well, they are all really cool guys.

Q: What did you do different in 2003 as far as training and racing to achieve the results you saw? What are your 2004 training plans? Similar? Different?

A: I worked a lot more with Donny and the old MRT team, in terms of group rides Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and also really got into the Tuesday Night Race (Ride). We did a lot of practice TT's and a lot of longer, harder workouts, including our Moab training camp in March of 2003. The preparation for the race was not complete, however, without (1) Josh Lukins' excellent Lemond TT bike, which he graciously lent me, (2) JJ Bailey's sweet Zipp dimpled disc, which he also graciously lent me (not to use on the trainer, of course!), (3) Donny's custom painted red HED 3 front track wheel, and (4) Chris Mahary's Ksyrium SL road wheelset. In all, I figured that about 70% of the equipment I was using was borrowed! All of this, along with the training, added up to 2nd place in the TT, 7th place in the crit, and 9th place in the RR. For 2004, we have Brian Walton, a 14 year Euro pro and Olympian, as our team coach for Hot Tubes. He gets to use the new Philly CTS/Cadence Cycling training center, with all the testing equipment. The Europe racing will also be harder than any other race I've been in, so those will be great preparation for the junior World Cup Qualifying events in the states. I have also been training the last four months like crazy, and plan to have a detailed training schedule to build up to Europe and to Superweek, Fitchburg, Tour l'Abitibi, Redlands, and Nationals.

Q: What is your favorite discipline in bicycle racing and why?

A: My favorite, duh, is the time trial, mostly because I like the long, drawn out pain you must go through to get to the finish. There are no tactics, no faking or hiding it. I like to push myself, not be pushed by others.

Q: What is your advice to someone who wants to get started in racing?

A: Juniors: seriously consider cycling, because it is one of the fastest growing sports in the states, and although it is not yet accepted, it soon will be. Start before you are 14, to have a good chance at being really competitive, or else have fun with. Fun is the key, because if you don't like it, you won't improve. Find a junior team, and start racing as soon as possible. Racing is the best training, and go to as many local and regional races as you (or your parents) can.
Seniors: Start riding with groups to get comfortable, and just don't give up. Always remember that pain is temporary, and getting dropped sucks much more than hurting and staying in. When you get pushed to your limit, you must stay there to increase your limit. Racing is great fun, and the friendships you make while doing it last. If for no other reason, do it to get in shape. RUNNING HURTS YOUR KNEES! Cycling makes no impact, and you can geek out on sweet gear that runners only dream of!

###
Bikeiowa.com Questions:

Name: Nick Frey
Hometown: Des Moines
Age: 17
Job Status: lawn mowing business!
Family Status: no brothers, sisters, no wife ;)

1. Current Bike/Components: (soon to be) Cervelo Coloist w/ dura-ace, Mavic Cosmic Carbone, Deda Newton handlebars, Ritchey WCS stem, Speedplay Zero Ti pedals, SLR seat, Pneumo helmet, Adidas Frosco shoes.

2. Dream Bike/ Components: I just told you!

3. Bike Racing Team: Hot Tubes
4. Fave Race: Tour of Kansas City Series
5. Fave Training Ride: Tuesday Night Ride
6. How I got into cycling: Neil Neumann, friend, told me about MRT, contacted Keith, started racing, rest is history.
7. Recent Accomplishments: Won cat-3 state crit, cat-3 KC Circuit Race, 2nd nationals TT, won my age group in expert at the Fort Dodge Snow Series!!!! J
8. Do you use a coach: Yes, Donny Quixote and Brian Walton
9. 2004 Goals: Win nationals TT, place top 5 in World Cup Qualifying points, win stage in Europe, make the World's team.
10. Long-term Goals: Get into a good college, far from Iowa!
11. What is the condition of USA Cycling: Dunno, I don't pay attention, but I think they try to swindle every dollar out of racers. They need to realize that without building a strong junior pool, there is no base for the future of racing. The most important step will be getting schools to recognize cycling as a sport, not a hobby.
12. What is the condition of Iowa bike racing: I think its getting much better. IORCA is a great idea, but there is definitely not much in the way of road racing. Cities need to realize that a weekend criterium series can bring in a good chunk of change and publicity, not a lot of nuisance.
13. Favorite part about training and racing in Iowa: There is a good blend of hills, wind, and flat, with a widely varying climate, and cycling is much easier in the RAGBRAI state.
14. What could be improved: People's attitudes toward cyclists, roads, Iowa State Legislature.
15. Hobbies: Skiing and cars
16. Something that you may not know about me: I'm sick of farmer's tan and have been going tanning with my girlfriend!
17. Parting Shot: Tuesday Night is not a race. Don't get pissy if I beat you in a sprint or two!

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Random Notes

Does anyone know what Tracy Thompson's max wattage is? After leading the new Atlas team to the win TWICE last weekend, I don't think I'm the only one wondering what he's got under the hood.

Secret Miles: Texas or bust for Wes Hartman of Team Mack and a bunch of the Iowa State Cycling team, including Jack and Brian West, and Andy and Dave Cornelison. We're definitely going to see some competition from the motley crew form Ames.

My bike is better than yours: World Champ mtb racer and all around good guy Steve Tilford to Donny Quixote on his Surly Karate Monkey at the start of a KS mtb race: "Dude, that bike's not going to cut it...but i dig it."

Pink Bikes: Doesn't anyone ever learn? Apparently Surly now has a short run of pink 1x1 frame/forks. Take it from me. No matter how confident you are in your manhood, pink bikes are not worth it.
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