Friday, November 30, 2007

Bent Creek

It was almost dark when I got to Bent Creek last night. I pulled into the parking lot, only a couple of people were there getting ready to ride, a couple more were packing up to head home. I parked, got my gear together and hit the trail. It was dark enough to hide some of the contours and roots in the trail, but not so dark that I could not see the trail. I rode without my lights for the first 20 minutes.

Up Wolf Branch, then over to Ingles Field, making my way up to Five Points. As I'm feeling somewhat sluggish, I keep a steady pace. I don't see anyone. It is dark but not too cold as I am riding uphill and staying warm. I arrive at Five Points and decide to work on some downhill skills. Taking Little Hickory Top, I climb for another mile then coast down most of the way. After getting to the bottom of the trail, I get on the dirt road.

Now it is cold. And with the cold comes the loneliness. Its funny, I can ride all day by myself, but at night, it is lonely out there. I decide to head back to the parking lot, to go home and get some dinner. As I pull into the parking lot, I see about 15 people milling around. The Bio-Wheels group is getting ready to head out. Oooooh, I say to myself. I fill up my water bottles and add a layer, just in time to join them for to make my ride longer.

Bio-Wheels has some very strong riders. They typically place well in local and national races. The thing about the Thursday night Bio-Wheels Ride is that, you would not know the skill that you are riding with. This is the " Dog Ride". They bring their dogs. There is one dog to two people. And we stop at all the creeks so the dogs can drink. The ride also stops at all intersections to regroup. Not only do we regroup, but we sit around and chat, about whatever, until someone starts riding again. About 15 people, 8 dogs, and 10 miles later, we get back to the parking lot.

I get 20 miles for the night. Good ride, good spaghetti for dinner.

And this morning? Good coffee.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


This has been on my mind recently. What do I regret? I'm digging around up there and can't seem to think of anything I regret. To think of with a sense of loss: to regret one's vanished youth.

Have I regretted things in the past? Yes. Do I regret them now? No. I dealt with them, and moved on. One can hold on to regret and in return regret will only hold on to you. You have to deal with your circumstance. Realise you made a decision that was less than wise, do what you can to make it right. Then, move on, free from the past, ready to face a new day with new challenges.

But, don't forget about the poor decision. Learn from your past. I'm sure you don't want to make the same mistake again!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


It is Wednesday, it is cold, our house is warm. The water started to freeze on the edges of my water bottle on my ride in to work. My ears felt like they had clothespins on them. I'm drinking some good coffee and eating some homemade cranberry nut bread ( thanks Rohnda). Jubal and Rhonda go to the library today. Last night we had tacos for dinner, then watched the Peanuts Christmas special. After work, I get to ride my bike home and play blocks or cars or wrestle with my kid. It's Wednesday, the only thing better is that tomorrow is Thursday.

Enjoy your day!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This Just In....

My loafer friends Mike Keeley and Roger Ivestor are in Asheville again today. They like to come up to ride, visit Liberty Bicycles, and eat at Panera. Somehow they make sure that I am not able to get away from work when they come up. I guess they don't want to make me feel bad for riding better than me on my home turf. They also always dog on me for riding single speed mtn bike. Come on fellas, stop hatin'. Show some love for simplicity.

These guys are from Shelby NC. I used to live there. I was just getting into cycling when I moved there. I joined a bunch of fast guys for the regular evening group ride. The only thing that was regular about that ride was that I got dropped and lost every time for the first 6 months. I had to ask cow farmers how to get back home.

I met Mike and Roger on these rides. My first memory of Mike is, on my first or second ride with the group, he dropped back and said" Hey, I'm Mike". I introduced myself. He then said " Your bike is too small".
I don't remember my first encounter with Roger, but I do remember that I taught him how to ride in a pace line. Good job Roger, without me, you would not be where you are today!!

Great guys these two. We are each ten years apart in age. We have tossed around the idea of riding across America on our 40th, 50th and 60th years. 5 more years to train fellas.

Red Sky at Night....

...sailor's delight, red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. ( anonymous). This is one of my favorite quotes, and it is right on just about every time.

This morning for example. I woke up to grey. Everything was some shade of grey, even the grass was a greenish shade of grey. ( My hot cup of Starbucks coffee was definitely black, isn't black a shade of grey?) Then I looked out the dinette window and there painted on the thick grey cloud cover was a swatch of bright red/orange/pink sky, as if the clouds were on fire. Ahhh, I'm not a sailor, I say to my self, but I should take warning. So I did. I put on an extra layer for the ride to work.

It was a good ride. Cold and blustery. I left a little bit early so I could ride slower. I rode faster, and took two side loops to do some hill climbing. Feeling good in this grey soupy world, I followed Christian Creek Rd as it winds its way up the side of the mountain, only to turn and eventually drop back down into the Swannanoa Valley. The ridge tops are poking into the clouds, making them impossible to see. As I get closer to my destination, the bright sun begins to break through, lighting up the hillsides.

Finally at camp, the wind still blowing, I appreciate having a tailwind on the ride this morning, then I think about the headwind that I will have on the way home.

"Sailor take warning"

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Rain

It was at 6:14 am that I decided not to ride my bike to work today. Rain and 40 degree weather is a healthy recipe for a nasty cold. I decline. I'll ride on the stationary trainer on the porch later tonight.

It has not rained this much for a while. Perfect for a cold fall day. It started yesterday and looks like it will continue on and off for the rest of today. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees. The leaves that are left have turned brown. We are definitely well into fall.

I love this time of year. Actually I love all times of the year. Now that the leaves are down we can see the mountain ridges that were previously blocked from view. Every detail is revealed. Each contour, valley, cove and ravine has been exposed. Beautiful.

We watched Amazing Race last night. The amazing thing about this race, to me, is how whiny those people are. The race consists of teams of two people, racing around the world, participating in different challenges. The goal is to get across the finish line first, and win one million dollars. The one thing that got to me last night, is towards the finish, two teams were racing neck and neck to the end. One of the girls yelled out to the other team," Come on, you guys have finished first 3 times in a row". Her point was:" Hey, it is not fair that you guys have won 1st place 3 times in a row. Let us win." What? It's a race!! If they get there first, they deserve it!!

Isn't this just like us? How often we compare ourselves to others, compare our cars to other people's cars, houses to houses, kids to kids, spirituality to spirituality, etc. Here is your challenge for today. Take note of how often you compare yourself to others. You do it without realizing it. Often if you are critical, you are trying to prove to yourself that you are better than what you are being critical of. ( I'm not being critical, just sharing something that has been a challenge to me).

Have a great day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Full House

Geoffrey and his family decided to stay in Asheville and go to church with us this morning. I invited them to stay with us Saturday night so that they could save some money. The result was 8 people in our 624 sq ft house. Loads of fun. There were people sleeping, jumping, running, playing, sneezing, and fighting all over the place.

We got some sleet last night, we got excited. It does not take much to get us excited.

After we got the little ones to sleep last night, we watched Live Free or Die Hard. Great movie about a man fighting for what he believes in. There are so many things in this world worth fighting for. I'm not necessarily talking about fighting hand to hand combat, but fighting in the sense that it takes some work to achieve our goals. Then, there are things not worth fighting for, but we do any way.

What are you fighting for? What are you using your efforts and skills and energy to achieve? Whatever it is, I challenge you to make sure that you are not merely doing it for your own selfish reasons, but to help those around you.

This picture shows two kids, cousins, who fought consistently all weekend. They fought for toys, a place to sit, for the attention of those around them. ( they had their good moments too). The best times were not when they apologized or shared when they were told to. But, when they would run up to mommy or daddy and say, " Mommy/ Daddy, I shared", and this time they did it on their own.

Remember to share today.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Weekend After

We have been spending time at a lake house on Lake Lure that my parents kindly rented. We had access to a canoe, paddle boat, two kayaks , a fireplace and cable tv. Ahhhh, that's all this family needs for entertainment.

We shared our thanksgiving meal on Thursday for lunch. Since then, I have not had a regular meal. Just lots of random snacking.

As I sit here, I can see Chimney Rock across the lake. Yesterday, we saw an otter across the cove. The Temp is 27 degrees.

I almost joined some local mtn bikers for a ride yesterday in Mills River. I'm glad I didn't. It took them 7 hrs to go 21 miles.

Instead I took a 1 hour ride on my mtn bike on the paved roads around here. I saw quite a few dirt roads, but I did not want to go up one and not come back, never to be found, so I stuck to the paved road.

Now, I'm going to get some more Starbucks coffee. Then think of ways to procrastinate packing up.
Have a great day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy the day, enjoy the family, enjoy the food.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Ride

I left the house at 8:30 this morning, headed to Bent Creek via the Parkway, up to Trace Ridge, down into Mills River, back up to Bent Creek through Bent Creek to the parkway and back home. 11.6 mph average, 48miles, 4 hrs 7 minutes of bliss.
Enjoy the pictures:


If Jesus had been a cyclist, he would have said " you can't put a new bicycle chain on old chain rings". I tried, it doesn't work.

My bosses decided to give us the day off, in addition to Thursday and Friday. Sweet! Long bike ride in store for me. I'll write a story about it after I get back, and hopefully some pictures.

Have a great day,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The view of the ridge from Lake Eden Rd.

The camp's property on Lake Eden Rd.

The view from my office window.


The plan this morning was to take some pictures of the scenery that I get to experience on my way to work. If I had done this, you would see pictures of dense fog. It is very beautiful, and I love this weather, but at this point it is thicker than pea soup, only not green.

So, I'll see if I can get some shots on the way home and post them tonight.

Two more days until Thanksgiving vacation. My family is coming up to the mountains to visit. I am excited about not having to drive far for once. In fact, that is why we moved to the mountains, so we would not have to drive to the mountains. I have become somewhat of a snob since moving here. I don't like to leave the mountains to go to the flat lands and the cities that my family members live in. But, they are family, so we occasionally do.

My brother Geoffrey is bringing his mtn bike. I'm looking forward to dragging him through the woods.

Have a great day,

Monday, November 19, 2007

Goin' Through the Motions..

Today's ride to work was one of those days. Have you ever felt like that? For whatever reason, you put it in cruise control and just get through it. Yesterday's ride took it out of me. So I just got an easy cadence going and cruised in to work. It didn't take too much longer to get there, and I barely broke a sweat.

Goin' through the motions is sometimes what it takes to make it through a difficult time in life. As an endurance athlete, it could mean the difference between finishing and not finishing. Life is like that a lot of times. Just getting through one more day of work, one more meal, one more whatever it is you do everyday.

But guess what? This is fine. For a short time. In cycling we call it recovery. An easy ride the day after a hard ride. It keeps the muscles loose, and helps with the muscle memory. Tomorrow I will take a day off the bike, then on Wednesday, I should be recovered and ready to rip it up again.

Are you having a rough day, week, year? Do what you need to do. Go for a recovery ride, then come back fresh and ready to rip it up.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Birthday

Today marks my 35th year, for me, of being on this earth. I rode my bike more miles today, that the sum of years I have been on this earth. Hmmm.

We woke up this morning, and I got the Starbucks Christmas blend going. Rhonda got up and made blueberry pancakes and bacon. Yummy. We picked the blueberries back in August up at a spot off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Yummy. After breakfast, I took Jubal to the park to ride his bike. He rode 1.25 miles, and would have kept going. It was time to go home to get ready for church. After church we came home. I ate a PB&J sandwich, drank some sort of energy shake. And headed off to Bent Creek.

Bent Creek is an experimental forest about 10 miles from our house. I like to ride my bike to Bent Creek, ride around on the trails and then ride back home. I save gas, I get more time and miles on the bike, and save the trouble of having to load up the gear and find a parking spot once I arrive.

I met up with Jeremy Arnold of Mtn Goat Epics , . He is a super nice guy with some fine mtn bike skills. We met back in May at the Burn 24, and finally got together to ride. As we were riding up one long climb, someone caught up to us. It turned out to be Otto. A guy I met in birthing class 3.5 years ago. We consistently run into each other on rides. We decided that if we ever tried to plan a ride together, it would not happen.

So, the 3 of us tooled around Bent Creek for 1.5 hours. I decided I needed to head back home. So, we parted ways. I headed back through the woods. I was riding up Hardtimes Road, a dirt road that would connect me to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some one's dog ran up to me, looked at me, then started chasing me. The he started lunging at my foot as it was spinning. Then it tried to bite my foot. At this point I started yelling at it, but it would not stop. It only got more aggressive. I decided I should get off the bike and use the bike as a shield. Finally a lady ran up and informed me that the dog was just playing. Huh, could have fooled me.

I got home. My cyclo computer showed 12 mph average, 3 hrs 35 minutes, and 40 miles. Sweet.

I got a shower, we loaded up and went to Wild Wing Cafe. This place is great because you can choose any of their wing marinades to go on a hamburger. I got the Redskin, covered in spicy mayo, fried jalapenos, and nacho cheese. WOW!! That made me sweat.

Great way to celebrate #35!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Asheville Holiday Parade

Not the most fun day of my life. Actually one of the least fun. Like I said in an earlier post, I don't mind sacrificing my time and energy, if the outcome is worth it. But, try as I may, I cannot figure out why I was there today.

I signed up to be a bike marshal. I was assigned two groups of floats that I was supposed to escort through the parade route, and encourage to keep moving. It was more like, " here is a herd of cats, herd them".

At least I got to ride my bike. And I got to see two of my former clients from the child mental health days. It was good to hear that they are both doing well. Other than that, well, it was a good old fun time at the Asheville Holiday Parade.

Got My Cake... and Ate It Too.

November 18th is my birthday. That is tomorrow. At first I could not figure out why Jubal wanted to sing Happy Birthday to me as soon as I got home from work last night. Then he asked Rhonda where the socks were!? Ahh, my birthday present is a pair of socks? Jubal sang to me again. Then he asked mommy when we could have some cake!? Ahh, they made a birthday cake for me. I went into my room to change out of my cycling clothes. Jubal came in and said, " Look daddy", and proceeded to show me the birthday cake and my present where they had been cleverly hidden under my bed. Yes, good kid, looking out for his daddy. Then Rhonda came into the room. Ahh, busted.

Rhonda gave me some very nice wool cycling socks. Jubal picked out a delicious Chocolate cake.

Today is the Asheville Holiday Parade. I got suckered into bike marshaling. Should be fun riding around the floats, helping keep the flow of things going. I'll tell you more about that after it happens.

Have a great day...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hooray for Friday

Last night our first winter storm of the season blew in. Complete with freezing temps and snow flurries. I opted not to ride my mtn bike at Bent Creek last night. When temps change as quickly as today, and the wind is gusting up to 40 mph, it is not so pleasant.

This morning is another story. Our house is so warm, now that I got the siding fixed, that I fake myself into thinking it is not so cold outside. Even though the internet tells me the temp is 30. How easy it is to lie to ourselves in an effort to persuade ourselves to do something that we want to do, or to do something that we don't want to do. We can come up with all kinds of justifications. We are so creative when it comes down to getting what we want. We will sacrifice, take risks, and as I said before lie to ourselves. We must consider though, is it worth it. In the end, is the result, or the consequence, worth the justification? We also must ask, what is the result, and how does it affect the world around me? And then ask, would I take those risks in an effort to help someone else?

Have a great day, take a risk, and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First Snow

I had to make a special post to announce the first snow of the year. Just a mere flurry, but snow nonetheless!!!

The Ride Home

In an attempt to avoid traffic during my ride home in the dark, I am trying several different combinations of routes. I found one route that features a stoplight that will help me cross a very busy road. While I was sitting at the stoplight, thinking about how good a peanut butter milkshake from the Sonic across the street would taste, a guy pulled up next to me in a vehicle and started warning me about how dangerous the intersection was, and that people run the red light on a regular basis. I told him thanks for the info. But, he didn't stop with that, he continued to repeat himself, and continued warning me about the dangers, even as he was driving away, he continued talking!!!!

I took a shortcut through the golf course. It is dark, and was not aware that people play gold at night, in the dark. I'm riding along on the little paved golf path, which turns out to be very bumpy. So, I'm riding along and I hear " CRACK" , oh man, someone is playing golf. Good thing I have a helmet on.

And I leave you with this to chew on: " Love your neighbor as yourself". A neighbor can be the person who lives next to you, works next to you, drives next to you.

Who is your neighbor?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rainy Autumn

We continue to enjoy a colorful autumn season. Two of the maple trees in my yard are turning golden-oranges while the third large maple tree has already lost most of it's leaves.

The ride to work was uneventful, although it hurt. I am not fully recovered from the Swank 65. I'm still waiting for the full results to be posted so that I can get a better idea of how I did.

Not much else going on today. Enjoy....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Warmth Returns...

...for a little while anyway. High today in the upper 60's. Today is a rest day. That means no riding the bike in the warm weather. Some would say this is good weather. Some call rain bad weather. Is there really such a thing as bad weather? Sometimes bad things do happen when weather happens. But is the actual weather bad?

I was amazed a couple of weeks ago when it rained. I was not amazed at the rain, although rain is an amazing thing. ( Think about it: water evaporates, rises into the atmosphere, condenses, falls to the ground, and does it again. Just like it was created to!! Every time. Amazing!!). I was amazed at how many people, in the middle of this drought, were complaining that their plans were ruined because it was going to rain! What? Are you kidding me?

We, as humans, complain a lot. We take so much for granted. Like the guy who was watering his lawn during the drought in the middle of a rainy morning. Hmmmm. Often we cannot see our surplus, due to our selfish desires.

What is the point that I am trying to get across? Let's be thankful. Start by making a list of everything you own. Then look at that list and decide what you don't need. Then instead of selling it, so you can buy something else, give it away.

" But ", you say," I don't know who to give it to". That is no excuse. Put it out by the curb. Someone will come by and find a need for it. I love to stop by someone else's trash and pick up something that I might use. Just this weekend, I saw a little toddler slide in someone's trash. It was a little broken but that's OK, I can fix it. Then we drove up the hill and found another slide, this one a full 6 foot long, really fun slide. So, I got that one too. We are keeping the long one, it is now bolted to our back porch, and Jubal loves it. The other one is out by the curb waiting to be picked up.

Stop complaining, and enjoy the things that the Creator has given to us!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Swank 65

I woke up to the sound of the annoying alarm on my watch, beeping into the cold dark morning. It was so warm under our comforter that I was mad at first. Then annoyed, then nervous, then hungry. So, I rousted the family. Jubal was wired from the start. He loves to come to my races and ring his cowbell and cheer me on. At one point during the race, after I had passed through the 3 rd and last rest stop, Jubal would yell" Go daddy, go daddy," every time another cyclist would ride up. Ahhh, my smack talking youngster.

We left the house as it was getting light. The sunrise was a beautiful combination of colors that rivaled the colors of fall. We got to the start/ finish with plenty of time to register, change and warm up. It was good to see TJ, from Liberty Bikes and his wife Jeanine. Also present were a bunch of Bio-wheels guys: Mike Brown, Eric, Matt, Ben and some others. A lot of out of towners had shown up. I met a guy from Nashville and a girl from South Africa who is now a permanent USA citizen.

Gather around for the riders meeting. The rules are laid out. The bikes are lined up. The racers grouped up at the start of the Le mans starting line. The Le mans start is a running start that someone thought would be good to help thin out the field before getting bottle necked on the single track.

Half a mile trail run, onto the bikes. I left the Start area in 25th place. Going up the first climb, I am breathing way to fast and my legs are sloppy, sapped of strength from the run. I lose several spots, which will become a pattern for the rest of the day. Onto the first clover leaf loop headed to the first rest stop. Just cruising along, trying not to push to hard, to ride my own race. One thing I learned this year is that I cannot race faster than I train. I soon find out that I am overdressed. I am sweating like it is the 4th of July. Fortunately Rhonda and Jubal have found their way to the 1st rest stop. I change out my long sleeve thermal jersey for a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers. I also change my thermal hat for a thinner lightweight cycling cap. Now that I have my temp. controlled, I move on to the second loop. We climb, climb and climb some more. Mostly old road bed that has become singletrack, the terrain is not too technical, with just enough creek crossings, and grapefruit sized rocks thrown in to keep it challenging. I see a Bio-wheels rider, Eric, ahead working on his bike: flat tire. I move on, 15 minutes later, Eric passes me. 5 minutes later I catch up to Eric. He is walking. Another flat. I offer my spare tube, neither one of us know how far it is to the rest stop.

Back to rest stop #2 ( same one as #1). This is the beginning of the long dirt road climb up to Farlow Gap. The down Farlow Gap Trail. Farlow Gap Trail is about 1 mile of hike a bike. Meaning, unless you are some insanely talented down hiller, you are walking. Very technical, covered in leaves, and steep. Fortunately it was dry. I get passed by 3 women on this section. ( How did that happen?) Down into the valley, up the other side, back out into the open forest. Down another trail, cruising, enjoying the scenery. Relax, brake, stand up and pedal, jump a log, relax, pedal......

Finally to rest stop # 3 where my family is again waiting. Rhonda hands me my bottle filled with sports drink, Jubal high fives, and I am rolling. The rest stop lady told me it was 3 miles uphill and 5 miles downhill to the finish. She is wrong. It was more like 5 miles up hill and 4 miles rolling terrain to the finish. So, I keep pedaling, up. The road passes Looking Glass rock where I can see about 5 climbers hanging out halfway up.

Not knowing how far was left, I am riding conservatively. It is a bad feeling to go all out thinking you only have 3 miles left, only to find out that you have 2 additional miles. At the one mile to go mark, I see someone gaining on me, now I go all out. 100 yards to the finish, I make a mistake by looking over my shoulder to see where he is. I almost crash over a 10 foot embankment. I hear him saying that he is done, and he backs off.

I cross the finish line, the crowd cheers, everyone is pushing and shoving trying to get my autograph. OK, not really. The crowd does cheer though, and my support team is there to see what I need. I don't know where I place, and am not worried about it right now. I just want to get changed and get one of those big fat juicy hamburgers!!!

It turns out that I placed 45th overall ( out of 130), and 9th in the single speed cat. The top 10 single speeders win a cog from Marshall Hance of Endless Cogs, a local cog manufacturer. Sweet! Pleased with my results, we hang out for a while, cheering the other racers, before heading home.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


mmmmmmm: Starbucks Christmas blend is out, don't miss this great coffee!!! I'm drinking some now, no sugar, no milk, strong and black!!!!

Today is Saturday and we are sitting around the house. I am resting up for my big race tomorrow. The Swank 65 is a 65 k mtn bike race in the Pisgah National Forrest. Todd Branham, the race organizer puts on a sweet race with great organization and support. Over the 42 miles this race goes through Farlow Gap Trail 2 times. This trail has about 2-4 miles of hike a bike, unless you are a very talented downhiller. The route also has about 4000-5000 feet of climbing. I'm gonna be tired.

So, we'll watch some TV, check the chimney for creosote build-up, and take a nap.


Friday, November 09, 2007

To Ride or Not to Ride....

That is the question that popped into my head at 6:30 am when my alarm went off. So, I laid there. I had a choice that was difficult. I love to ride my bike, I am saving about $20 plus dollars per week, ( more now that gas is above the $3 per gallon mark). Minutes later, Jubal calls out, " Daddy, can I get up?". So, now I am up, let me get some good coffee and see how I feel. Ahhh, Starbuck's Komodo Dragon. Legend has it that the Komodo Dragon eats the coffee beans, they don't digest but get passed, and then are collected, cleaned ( I hope) and roasted. Whatever the story is, they make some good strong coffee.

Ahhh, I'm waking up with the dawn. Jubal and I are eating homemade granola cereal. I finish up and begin to put my cycling clothes on. I laugh at myself on the inside. It seems that once again, I will walk out into the freezer that we call winter, and ride to work. I love to see the motorists faces at stoplights. They are trying to figure out what planet the alien in spandex came from.

It seems that, as I do on most mornings, I had already made up my mind to ride, even before I was awake. In fact, most "choices" we have to make, we have already decided before the option comes up. Our world view helps us determine the choices that we make. How we spend our time, how we spend our money, the friends we choose. Rarely do we step outside of the guidelines that we have set for our self.

So, I will continue to wake up early, and try to talk myself out of my decision to ride to work. And, pretend that I would rather drive, and spend money on gas. But, I'll pull on my spandex, my jacket and gloves, pump up the tires , and ride to work. And, love it!!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finally Thursday!!

I look forward to Thursdays. Thursday has a lot of meaning for me. It means that I only have one more day until the weekend. It means that I can sleep in a little because I drive to work. It means that I get to take my kid to school and hang out with him on the way there. It also means that after work I buzz over to Bent Creek Experimental Forest for some mtn bike riding.

It will be dark when I get there tonight. Dark and cold. I have been meeting up with some folks from Bio Wheels, a local bike shop. They are a fun group to hang out with and some really good riders. In the summer I will ride for 2-3 hours on my Thursday night ride, but this time of year it is more 1-2 hours. In January, I will add more mileage due to training needs, and I like to be out there.

Riding at night is very different from day time , obviously. At night, shadows jump out and strange voices are heard. There are no sights to see other than what is directly in front. Some say that the hills are easier because you can't see them.

I took Jubal to school this morning. Some days he likes to go the way mommy goes. On the interstate. Other days, he likes to go the other way. Today was an other way day. There are usually cows in the fields at Warren Wilson College. They have an active farm and raise cattle, and grow veggies. Pretty cool place. Warren Wilson is also on one of my bicycle commuting routes.

Today there were some giant cows right beside the driveway. So, after we almost got rear ended, I pulled over so we could watch them chew there cud. As I mentioned before, I like Thursdays.

And to quote Jubal: " Some cows have udders!!!"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

33 degrees

Quite cold on the ride in to work this morning. I managed to stay fairly warm though. I actually had a tail wind to boot! The fall colors are vibrant this year. It is said that the colors are more vibrant when there is more rain, but this year has rivaled years with rain.

Some of the sights on the way in are interesting and intriguing. I ride by Azalea park where there is a dog park and there are almost always dogs out there walking there owners and making them chase Frisbees and balls. I ride by Gentry's heating and cooling where I am sure the contractors make crazy comments as I ride by. ( they all share the road though). Once I get on old US 70, I ride in between Owen Middle School on the right and the Juvenile Detention Center on the left, complete with ten foot chain link fence and topped with barbed wire. As I take a left onto Lake Eden rd, the dead in road that Camp is on, I get a great view of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountains that surround Mt Mitchell. Although, Mt Mitchell is blocked from view by surrounding peaks. ( when I figure out how to post pictures, I'll post some).

I decided to incorporate some additional climbing today. I have reviewed maps and thought I know where I was going. I ended up climbing about 2 miles up some steep switchback road, only to find out that I had to turn around and go back down. I was really hoping that the big old golden retriever who tried to attack me on the way up, was gone. It was.

You just have to keep trying different options. Eventually, if you don't give up, you will discover what works, and see a lot of new things along the way.

Have a great day,

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Happy Tuesday

We woke up this morning to the sound of the wind blowing and some rodent scratching in the wall. I thought it was Jubal, my 3 yr old son, and told him to be quiet. Oops. It was only 6:30 am.

Rhonda and I are starting to do Pilates workouts 3 times a week. Core strengthening is an important part of preventing injury in everyday life and more specifically in cycling.

Speaking of cycling, it was quite dark when I got home last night. I'd much rather ride my bike in the woods at night than on the road. To improve my visibility, I ordered a high vis. yellow/ Illuminite jersey. The pieces of clothing have bright reflective bits of something that reflect light really well and hopefully help me be more visible.

Jubal is in pre-school now. I take him every Tues and Thurs morning, and Rhonda picks him up. Today their morning activity was play dough. Play dough is a lot like our lives. There is a purpose for it. We have the freedom to do whatever we want to with it, but it will only come to it's full potential if we use it for what it was created for.

Have a great day,

Monday, November 05, 2007


I'm new at this blog thing, although I have read plenty of blogs. I'm not sure yet where this adventure will take me, but I really hope it will make me rich. Both of my brothers have had blogs for some time, and now I have one of my own. I'm not sure how I feel about this, or if anyone will read it, but I am going to give it a shot.

Today is Monday, I'm sure you know, but you will find I like to point out the obvious. I have been struggling with some sort of cold/sinus funk for the past two weeks. I wasn't sure if I should ride my bike to work this morning as it was 32 degrees when I left. I decided that if it didn't kill me it would make me stronger. It didn't kill me, so I must be stronger.

Soon I will be riding in the dark. It gets dark tonight at 5:30pm. That is half way home for me, good thing I have a sweet headlight, to show the way. I love to ride at night.

Well, here's to blogging.
See you soon