Friday, August 26, 2016

Ocracoke Island


 Summer Vacation 2016.   Back in the dead cold of winter we decided to splurge this year and rent a house for an entire week.  We have never rented a vacation house for an entire week before, so the cost and commitment was a bit daunting at first. We made the reservation and then waited through a very busy spring and summer.

The day finally arrived and we rolled out for an uneventful 2 day drive.    The rest of the story is difficult to put into words.  So,  I'm just gonna say that this trip was good for the soul.  I was able to share some parallels between this island and Bonaire, with the family.  That was good.  Getting the 3 of us to Bonaire is pretty cost prohibitive, and I was glad to be able to share the vibe with them.


The loooong drive proved to be worth it.

Jockey's Ridge

Southern Point, Ocracoke

Low Tide

Sailing across the Pamlico Sound at low tide,  about 20inches deep!


Simply Beautiful
Appalachian Dream in her temporary berth.

Awesome Bakery Trailer

Awesome Tacos
video

This is the last working Fish House around,  fishermen sell seafood here and locals, tourists and restaurants buy them


Shane,  an example of the friendly locals, was always there and welcomed us with open arms

The long drive home: Full Hearts, Clear Eyes


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Stolen Bikes

Well,  just before I left for the beach vacation, I got word that a bunch of bike club bikes were stolen.  Click the link below for details: http://tripsforkidswnc.com/news_updates/bikes-stolen/

Spread the word and help us get this bike club rolling!

Monday, August 08, 2016

What is Winning?

 I've been trying to figure out, for a long time, what drives me to compete?  How far do I want to push myself? How much of the non bike aspects of my life do I want to sacrifice to potentially win?  And the big one,  is winning worth said sacrifice?    These are not easy questions to answer.

I have learned over the years of training, that I don't like a strict routine.  I have to work my "training" into regular rides to keep it fun.  I do enjoy training, especially for endurance events, because that involves endurance rides.  Long rides are what attracted me to mountain biking in the first place. 

We watched a documentary on Netflix last night: The Great Alone, the story of Lance Mackey,  who one the Iditerod dog sled race 4 times in a row.   One thing he said at the end of the movie, after winning the race, overcoming cancer, working through his crap filled childhood: " If I win again, nothing will change". 

That statement struck a chord.   There are people out there racing for all kinds of different reasons.  I learned in the first couple of years of training and racing to find my own reasons.  But when it comes down to it,  if I happen to win,  nothing will change. 

This is specifically to the level that I am racing at though.  I 'm not seeking sponsorship product or dollars.  I'm not seeking fame or making a living off of my results.   If I were, I would approach racing from a much more serious, regimented standpoint. 


 I'm thankful for the position I am in though.  I don't have to feel pressured to train to win.  I enjoy training, I enjoy lining up against others, I enjoy turning myself inside out.  If I happen to get on the podium,   that is icing on the cake. (Although I prefer pecan pie)!  


Smoked chicken wangs are good to! 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Tired

I'm tired.   Worn out, spread thin, ragged.  But, it is summer time and I don't know how to do it differently.   I feel some pressure, because I normally have an 8 week window to get kids out into the woods.  This summer we have an extra 2 weeks.  So, naturally, I took advantage of that time and booked extra rides.  

It turns out that those 2 extra weeks are difficult.  And now I'm running on fumes.  

I remember working at residential camps when I was younger.  The first 6 weeks would be great,  weeks 7 and 8 a person starts slowing down and then the last 2 weeks was so hard.  Mentally and physically. 

I think the mental effort and fatigue contributes a lot to the overall fatigue.  It is amazing how much brain power is consumed, making sure the whole group has what they need and is safe. 

I have somewhat of a morning off so I might go for  a little trail run,  gotta dig up some motivation.

Don't mean to complain here, but this is my life, and sometimes I get a little ragged. 

Mebbe next year I limit the ride program to 8 weeks and spend a little time relaxing.   But then I feel guilty for not working.....  The wife says I work hard and a lot. 

And that leads to another issue.    I have this little voice in the back of my head that is seemingly constantly telling me that I should be working instead of playing.  That voice that was ingrained from childhood,  the one that tells me that there is always something I am doing wrong.    I work hard to shut that voice up......  

Here's to the dog days of summer!!! The finish line is in sight along with some family vacation time (well earned according to the wife)!   I cannot wait to put my toes in the water and my butt in the sand!!

Monday, August 01, 2016

Jerdon Mtn/ORAMM

 Jerdon Mtn and ORAMM weekend is complete.  I have been involved in this race for 10 years now.  ORAAM was my second endurance race, after surviving Cowbell Challenge in Charlotte while is was still at the Whitewater Center. 

I raced the past 2 years and made my peace with the event.   This year I was back in my support role, recruiting a fine group of folks to help me at rest stop #2 both days.  People asked me if I miss racing.  There is not a simple answer to that.  But, yes, I miss racing, I just don't miss the suffering that goes with the racing in this heat.   It was  a "cooler" year, but still hot! 

I had awesome people around me this weekend, with absolutely no negativity, no power struggles, just a bunch of good ideas making rest stop 2, #1!! 
Will I race this again?  Mebbe.

It is always cool when someone who reads this blog comes up and introduces themselves.  Sometimes I'm so surprised that people still check in here, that I'm not really sure what to say and end up not saying much at all.  For the record, I love meeting people and learning what type of life you lead!  

 Thanks to all the awesome folks who were out there this weekend getting it done!  See you at the next one

Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Heat

 Summer has been super busy, hot and fun.  The heat is killing me.  Saps my energy.  Once I get done with a ride, and get bikes rearranged for the next group,  I'm so worn out.   The mental strain of keeping up with a dozen kids on bikes in the woods is hard to describe, but equally draining.   But,  I would not trade it for anything!  I love what I do and love the kids who I work with.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be in this position! 
 I got a visit for Mike K last weekend.  He pulled me out on a road ride and bought me coffee.  I took him on a tour of the Swannanoa River Valley,  stopping at Dynamite Roasting for some joe and a scone.  It is always great to see Mike and ride with him.  He hosts a Warmshower location if you ever need a place to rest your head in Shelby, NC!
Another day at the lake was in order.   Soaking in the water,  trying not to get burned etc.  Fun times with the fam!  I'm glad to be able to get the kid around water more this summer.  He is loving it too. The water (Caribbean ) was such a part of my childhood, and I'm glad to be able to share that with him.  Strong swimming skills is a good life skill to have as well.
 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer is Funner

 Running my self ragged and having a fun time doing it. 

We have had some pretty great times on the lake this year.  I'm so thankful to get the kid on and in the water more often this summer.   Learning how to swim and be comfortable around water is such an important life skill. It has been so hot lately that the kid is loving it too.  
 The Trips For Kids WNC ride program is going amazingly well.  Weekly trips are going great and our schedule is booked with some groups on a waiting list.  If you want to help us keep the program rolling and getting kids on bikes in the woods, please consider donating here : Donate Now!
 A friend gave me some old windsurf equipment and it turned out to be perfect for teaching the kid.   I did have to order a tiny sail for him.   He has gotten out on the water a couple of time and now we are waiting for a windier day. 
I finally found time to replace the old gate/fence at the entrance to our house.  The chicken coop on the left is next, and then the fencing project will be complete. 
 It is a big, beefy, ranch style fence.  The gate opening is 2 feet wider than the old one, which will make it a lot easier to back trailers into the back yard. 
And ,  I cut down 2 of the neighbor's trees.  These Bradford Pears had been obliterated by recent storms, and they need the remains cut down.  With some wedges and rope work, they fell exactly where I wanted them too.