Monday, September 05, 2016

Lake Search

Hermine winds reached into the Piedmont of SC and I had some free time, so I headed down to check out some lakes and possible windsurfing hidden gems. 

I had 3 lakes on the list to check out and with winds forecast to reach 30mph was excited to get on the water. 

I pulled up to Lake Robinson and was stoked to see that conditions were perfect.  Wide stretches of open lake water, small chop with some whitecaps.   I read all the signs and went to check in with the ranger.  He told me that paddle boards are not allowed on the lake.  I told him that this was not a paddle board, but classified as a sailing vessel.  He wasn't buying it, telling me that "they" were really picky about people being in the water, seeing as how it is a reservoir for the city of Greenville.  (odd because outboard motors are permitted on the lake). 

After a bit of friendly discussion, I asked who "they" were and could I call them to clarify the rule?  He said that would be his supervisor, and before we called, we should read through the hand book. 

We went to the office and started reading.  Then my fate was sealed as I read page 8 under section 5, Boating, rule number 4..... "There shall be no use of ........  and any wind surfing craft".  

So much for Lake Robinson.  And lake #2 on the list was run under the same rules.   The ranger was super nice and felt bad.  I asked him about Lake Saluda, he told me that is was a mud hole and to watch out for the shallows that were not marked. 

Desperate for a ride, I headed over to Lake Saluda.  I found the Lake Saluda Boat Ramp, the place was deserted.  It would be tricky getting out into the main channel where the wind was blowing, but I was game.   I paid the parking fee, rigged up and headed out onto the water. 

Once I got out there, it was on.  20mph wind with gusts up around 30mph, I was flying.   The lake is small, so it didn't take me long to cross, about the length of 3 soccer fields.   I sailed back and forth, getting a feel for the area.  After about 30 minutes,  I sailed a little too close to a log that was floating just under water, gently bobbing to the surface every now and then.  That spooked me a little bit.  I definitely did not want to wipe out in epic fashion, on a strange lake with no one else around to see it! 

I stayed out for about an hour total before packing it in. 

Lake Saluda lived up to the reviews and I won't be coming back unless there is nowhere else to go!  

But,  I did get to ride some great wind and I'm thankful for that experience!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Back Into a Rythym

 It is nice to be back into a rhythm.  Drop the kid off, get on the bike for a ride or pull on the shoes for a run.   Get some bikes fixed up, bills paid etc.  And in the vein of taking on too much,  I have accepted the position of asst coach for the Reynolds Middle Boys Soccer team.  The kid is on the team, and I am excited about learning from a coach who has been in the game for a while.  I'm not really adding too much too my plate, because I would be at all the games anyway.   We have a great group of kids this year. 

I finally got to ride again with my bud Kevin.  He is my connection to what is new in the cycling world, what works and what doesn't.  If you need new clothes, parts or a new bike,  go to Liberty Bikes and ask for him! 

My passion for windsurfing has been rekindled big time.  The problem is, in her absence, I found another love: cycling.  I still want to race my awesome Salsa El Mariachi though.   I think I'm going to be multi sport in the fall/winter and focus on racing in the late winter spring when I get ramped up for the Pisgah Stage Race.  That way, I can take advantage or fall hurricane season, when the winds blow strong and steady,  and not have to worry about missing a workout.  When the wind is blowing, windsurfing provides a complete body workout anyway!   

Sail Away

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back to School

The end of summer has come and today we head back to school.  I don't personally, go to school, but since we are pretty involved in helping out at school,  well.... back to school.

Growing up, I never liked school.  Maybe because by the time I went to college I had attended 7 different schools.   I never found a rhythm and was always behind.  I was terrible at math and got yelled at because I didn't understand simple math stuff. 

I learned to get by- by the hair of my chinny chin chin.  Just doing the minimum in order to pass.  That didn't always work.  I think that someone must have pulled some strings to keep me from repeating a grade here and there. 

I carried those habits through college.  I could not find purpose or passion in my classes and so D's and F's were common.   I did a lot of extra credit work to maintain my C average. 

Once I got into the brand new Outdoor/Experiential Ed program, I started to excel.  I got straigth A's in that class and finally had instructors who believed in me.  Having someone who believes in you makes a difference too!

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

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:

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


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!!