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Ryan Barrett's Peloton Tales
 
By Staff
Date: 2/21/2005
Ryan Barrett's Peloton Tales
 

Ryan Barrett Talks About Himself

“Allow myself to introduce myself.” --Dr. Evil

Some of you may know me as I have written for the DP in the past. Some of you may also know me from the movie The Hard Road about the 2001 NetZero Team (although I am not as funny looking as the guy who played me in that movie), but for those who don’t, my name is Ryan Barrett. I am going to give you a brief introduction to me as I am going to start writing more stuff for the DP.

I live in Provo, Utah, with my wife Kelly and 6 month old baby girl Haley. I run a non-profit injury prevention program for children, and do some coaching on the side. I used to live in Long Beach, California, where I raced sorta pro with NetZero and Schroeder Iron and that is how I got involved with the Daily Peloton. I say "sorta pro" because I was never banking off the sport or anything and always had a job outside of racing. I quit racing sorta pro because Kelly and I wanted a house, kids, and all that good family stuff, and it just wasn’t adding up.

That’s not to say it’s impossible to have a family and what-not and be a pro bike racer, it just wasn’t working for me. I figured out that I was probably good enough to make some sort of living riding bikes, but would have to be on the road constantly to do so. The reality for a lot of domestic pros is that they rely on prize money for living expenses.

Anyway, before Long Beach, I lived in Indianapolis where I went to school at Marian College, which is where Kelly and I met. We were both on cycling scholarships at the time. Before that, I lived my whole life in Richmond, Virginia. So that’s sort of a little bit about me.

In this column, I am going to tell stories of life with my new team Healthy Choice/Goble Knee Clinic. Yeah, I am still racing. When I quit racing pro, I tried to quit racing altogether, but it just didn’t work. I guess I suck at quitting ‘cause I actually tried more than once, and I don’t think I’ve ever made it more than 2 weeks off the bike. The guys on Healthy Choice/ Goble Knee Clinic have really motivated me to train again and generally just helped me get my mojo for bike racing back after a few hard years. We’ll be traveling around here and there, and doing a lot of regional races here in Utah, and I’m sure there will be some good stories to tell.

I am also going to tell some stories from back in the day when I was riding with pro teams. I was writing stuff then, but it always came out a little softer than I wanted because I was worried about maintaining my spot on the team, or finding a new one. Now that I have no such worries, I can tell the stories I really wanted to tell. Don’t expect some crazy expose on drug use or anything, ‘cause I never really saw much that way; just some funny stories of stuff that happened out on the road, in the van, or even at home!

Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy reading the stories half as much as I like telling them.

--RB

Some pics about me from back in the day just so you know who is writing this stuff. I am working on getting a camera, so look for up-to-date pics in future articles!!


Ryan at the 2003 McLane Pacific Cycling Classic. Photo by Jaime Nichols.


Ryan at Laguna Beach. Photo by Jaime Nichols.


The Day Sweet Pete* Rode Through a Motorcycle

In 2002, I had my one and only opportunity to ride the USPro Championships in Philadelphia. Our Schroeder Iron team was there with the goal of getting Jamie Paolinetti to the final. Unfortunately for us, he had some kind of breathing issue and we were left leading out Hilton Clarke to the bottom of the wall.

Wait, wait, wait. Don’t fall asleep. I am not rehashing some boring story about a bike race. I guess I am, but this isn’t about the race so much as a particular event during the race. About half way through the race our team is on the front heading into Manayunk. For those who don’t know about Philadelphia, this is like the lead-out for a sprint, only you are heading for the narrow chicane that leads to the base of the main obstacle of the course, the aptly titled “wall.” As close as I can remember it was Pete Knudsen on the front, followed by Jason Bausch, Jake Erker, me, Mike Tillman, and Ken Toman.

We haul ass into the left turn that leads to Manayunk, and as we come out of the turn, there is a motorcycle official coming straight at us. There is absolutely no reaction time and I am certain that Pete (if not the rest of us) is dead. Apparently, the official was with the women’s race, run on the same course at the same time, and tried to shortcut by going backwards on the course, not knowing that we were heading straight for him. In any case, what happened next qualifies as a miracle. I swear Pete rode through the motorcycle. That is the only explanation. Pete being Pete, he didn’t even pause and we kept right on motoring into Manayunk.

There was a big bike race that day. Someone won. It was the longest race I’ve ever done, and I ate a “real” Philly cheesesteak after, but for me the big event of the day will always be Sweet Pete riding through a motorcycle.

* Maybe you are curious about the nickname “Sweet Pete.” Maybe not. In any case, it is the most fitting nickname I know. Pete is probably the nicest bike racer I have ever met. I can’t remember him saying anything bad about anybody. He just quit, so unless you already know him or he comes back, (which wouldn’t surprise me as he’s only like 25) you will have to trust me. I figure there was some kind of divine intervention that saved Pete, so nice guys may not win, but (at least some times) they are saved from a horrible bloody death.


I think Pete is thinking, "I could've taken the motorcycle." Photo by Jaime Nichols.


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