Saturday, November 29, 2008

2 Rides

I got 2 rides in over Thanksgiving:

We spent Wed, Thur and Friday with my parents and older brother down at Lake Lure. We were staying in a vacation rental at Rumbling Bald Resort. I debated on whether I should take my road bike or my mtn bike. I have my mtn bike set up with a slick on the back for commuting so I decided to take that. I guess it is only a semi slick because it does have some tread.

Wednesday morning I got dressed and ready for a 3-4 hr ride. I was not sure where I was going but the map said that at the back of the resort, there were some 4wd roads. If this were true then I would be hitting some dirt for the day, if not, I would resort to a ride on the pavement.

I found a dirt road after some climbing and decided to follow it. It went up, and kept going up for the next hour. There was actually quite a bit of hike a bike due to the fact that I had the slick on the back. It was impossible for me to get traction on the leaves/roots/dirt/rocks. So, I pushed the bike a lot. After about 45 minutes of up, I could see Chimney Rock on my left, and Rumbling Bald Resort on my right. I was following the ridge line. The road finally dropped, but then went straight up the next mtn. This happened 3 or 4 times.

At times I considered turning back, but I hate going back the same way I came, so I pressed on. I had enough food and water to last 6 hrs so I was not worried, and using the HRM to keep my speed even keeled, I felt like I could go all day!!

After about 1.5 hrs of riding, the dirt road became wider and more traveled. I figured this meant that I was getting closer to somewhere. I was still climbing a lot and knew from looking at maps that the slope would eventually come to the Eastern Continental Divide.

I kept going. After about 2 hrs of riding, I came across a family out for a hike. We greeted and I asked them where the heck I was. They laughed and told me that if I continued on the road, I would come to a gate, then take the paved road down to hwy 9. It was mostly downhill so I tucked in and glided down the windy road. Once I hit hwy 9, I had the choice of going right and trying to find the back way or going left through Bat Cave / Lake Lure. I decided on left, since I knew it would take about one hour and I had 1.5 hrs to get back.

I made good time, dropping down into Lake Lure, following the winding curves of the Rocky Broad, making it back in time for Thanksgiving lunch!!

The ride on Friday was less eventful. I did and out and back for a total of 1 hr of riding. I went the back way to Lake Lure, this time the road took me below Rumbling Bald Mtn, the opposite of Thursday when I was on top of the Mtn.

So, not only did I get to hang out with family for a couple of days, I got to eat some good food, soak in the hot tub, and of course, ride!!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Show

The snow was a no show. Oh well. The temps are up, it was 29 when I left the house this morning, and a forcast 45 for the high. I'll be riding home mostly in the dark tonight, but I have mounted not one, but two red blinky lights on my bike. 3 more weeks until the sun starts setting later.

Last night, Rhonda and I were watching tv. I heard a vehicle pull up in the driveway, doors slamming and people talking. I looked out and did not recognized the people but there were two dudes in a pickup truck. We quickly turned the lights off in the house and waited until they got to the door. I had the phone in my hand ready to dial 911. Once they were at the door, I realized that it was Geoffrey and Garren, my older bro and his son. They had come up from Charlotte to camp and were trying to find a place to watch some Monday Night Football!!
It took about an hour for my nerves to calm!!!!

Have a great day!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Well, another cold Monday, 80% chance of rain later today. I decided to take a day off from the training plan to let my body rest. I had a couple of good rides this weekend, nothing spectacular, just good solid rides.

Sat and Sun we went out to Jackson Park in Hendersonville to watch the UCI cyclocross races. They were definitely action packed. Jeremiah Bishop got first place in the men's pro cat both days. He did have to work for it though. Sun he got gapped after hitting the deck. It looked dicey at first but he caught up to the two leaders. Then with two to go, in typical Bishop fashion, he hit the gas, gapped them and held it till the end.

Congrats to Nathan Wyatt who placed 5th on Sunday in the same race!!! Nate is a local who is doing quite well!!!

I'm looking forward to entering a new phase in my training program. Starting this week I will be doing some speed and skills drills. In addition, I'll continue doing some running as cross training. Fun stuff!!!

Have a great day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow Day

It is currently snowing in the Asheville area!! The high today is supposed to be 32. With snow and probably ice on the roads, winds gusting to 25mph, and having been sick earlier this week, I am relegated to driving to work. I hope I can get back on the bike soon!!

World Bicycle Relief has some cool stuff going on. If you were ever going to donate, NOW is the time. Who doesn't like two for the price of one? You donate $135 for one complete bicycle, WBR sends two bicycles out into the community. $135, that's only $33.75 per week!!!!

You can donate here: Bicycles

In other news: has added me to their blog list. Check out their web-site to find lots of info on bicycle news.

UCI cyclocross races this weekend in Hendersonville!!! I'm not racing, only spectating, but expect to have a good time!!

Have a great day!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Feeling Better

Quite a bit better today. Two things learned, don't run when it is 21 degrees, and take half a dose of cold medicine.

I ran a couple of days ago, before work, and while it was exhilarating, I believe that it broke down my immune system.
Stress is another thing that breaks down the immune system. I can usually track 2-3 days back from when I am sick,and remember a more than normal stressful event that occurred. In this case it was the break-in.

So I took the full dose of cold meds and immediately felt nauseous. I did it again 4 hrs later and remembered that I usually take half a dose. oops.

I seem to be feeling better this morning, I can't wait to start riding again.

We are looking at getting some motion detector lights installed around our house. I will do and have done a lot of projects around the house, but electric work is one thing that I really don't feel comfortable doing. The whole possibility of electrical shock or fire is a little bit intimidating. So, I'll have to figure out what to do there!! Do you know a good electrician?

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I woke up at 4 o'clock this morning!! Could not sleep. Lots of thoughts running through my head like a herd of stampeding horses. Mostly trying to figure out ways to keep my home safe...
Trying not to stress about it, just make it better.

I finally went back to sleep after about 45 minutes, and woke up, dragging when the alarm went off at 6:30. Ate breakfast, and got all ready to go, still dragging. Got the bike ready, put the bike away, and went back in the house to change. I wimped out and drove to work today. 21 degrees was too cold. And it turns out that I have a head cold, so it's good that I wimped out.

I'm still brainstorming and pursuing some ideas for sponsorship for 2009. Every little bit helps. We'll see what happens.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Hero-ette

It's my birthday!! If you forgot that's ok. If you remembered that good too. I'm gonna celebrate by telling you about my hero.

My hero is a girl. She doesn't have a cape, or any real super powers,( well she does, but we won't talk about those here, it's a secret). My hero puts up with me, cooks for me, cleans, takes care of our kid. She is a CNA at a local nursing home. She feeds, cleans and dresses old folks. Then she comes home and reads to my kid. She gets up at times in the morning when it should not be legal for people to get up. She gets the kid ready for a day out in the cold, then she goes out, makes pb& j's for 500 people she doesn't know as they ride their bikes. Sometimes it's annoying, because she won't go away, she'll never go away, that is not annoying.

She takes care of the neighbors kids, without concern for her personal time, she pulls weeds in the garden, did I mention she puts up with me?

But this is not about me, this is about my hero-ette. This is the best birthday present I could have. My hero-ette, waiting for me at the next rest stop, at home after a long ride or a long day of work. Waiting, being, supporting.

I love you Rhonda,

Have a great day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The sermon was about earthly possessions. How fleeting they are, how we should not cling to them. They are only possessions, things that we cannot take with us when we go. There are more important things to cling to, to strive for. And how we should not fret when the bank account runs low. God never promises to give us what we want, only what we need. I have to say, I have everything I need, and a whole lot more.

I do struggle though, when the bank account runs low. I like to be in control, if something is broken, I like to find a way to fix it. It is hard for me to be satisfied with just OK. As far as earthly possessions, I have things that I like, that I take care of, but some of those things were gone the next time I came home, or if all of them were gone, I am aware that they are replaceable. ( even my entire collection of Louis L'amour western novels ).

Rhonda was at work when Jubal and I got home today. The first thing I noticed was the yoga ball that we use as a desk chair was in the kitchen. The next thing was the little 2" X 3" box sitting on the desk in front of the keyboard, it was not there when we left. I looked around the house. There was a shirt on the floor that had not been there before, one arm warmer moved, a sock out of place. A whole lot of little things that indicated someone had been there, uninvited.

With that burning sinking feeling in my stomach I called Rhonda at work to see if she had been home. She had not. I found a couple of things missing: a flashlight, the camera, mp3 player. I called the Sheriff's Dept and the deputy came. He looked around, there was not much he could do. He was very nice and seemed frustrated that there was not more that he could do. I gave him the list of missing items and their description. He thought that they must have gotten in the front door somehow. I suspect the old credit card method.

After he left, Jubal and I went to the park. It was cold but sunny. He told me that the police know everybody and that they will get the mean people who took our stuff.

I don't care about the $500 worth of stuff that I don't have anymore. ( I might be a bit more upset if my bikes were gone, I don't know). I upset because someone came into my house, with out invitation. That's what is frustrating about this.

We'll probably, never know what happened, how, who etc. We just know that it did.

So, here is to a new day. Moving on. Not being a slave to fear. And continuing to love my neighbors.

Have a great day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

60,000 what?

I had a contractor come over last night and look around at our house. We wanted an estimate for expanding. The original ball park quote is between $40,000 and $60,000. Part of that has to do with outdated electrical, ( some of which we got experience with this summer). Another part would involve restructuring half of the roof. That quote was for the most amount of expanding that we could do. So, it's back to the drawing board to downsize. Maybe we'll be able to afford a closet!!!

In other more exciting news: Cohutta 100 is on April 25th this year!!! 5 months away!!! I can't wait to see what my new training program is going to do for me!!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Training for 2009 started today. I ran!! About 30 minutes in my neighborhood. Cold and rain, oh what fun. It was great having the HRM because I didn't have to push hard, just run steady. I'll get to run a couple of times each week until for a month or so.

I used to run a lot. I ran a marathon a couple of years ago. I did that in 6.5 hrs, in Charlotte. It was a great run in that I finished, but it was a long time to be pounding on pavement.

In college I ran a lot of trails. We had WMA forest right out the back door. I remember the first time I ran for 45 minutes. I was elated. While there I ran the Hog Pen Hill Climb, a running race from Helen GA to the top of Hog Pen Gap. This is a point where the Tour de GA crosses on the way to Brasstown bald. Go visit sometime. The Appalachian Trail also crosses the road there.

My family sometimes goes to a place near Elizabethton TN, to stay at Fairhaven. The AT also goes nearby there.
One time I was feeling ambitious so I decided to run on the AT from Carvers Gap down to hwy 19. It was 13 miles and I felt good. There was a lot of downhill.

The next time we went to Fairhaven, I was feeling ambitious but didn't want to run the same thing. So, I switched it up and ran from hwy 19 up to Carvers Gap. This trip took about two hrs longer than the other direction. I ran out of food, bummed some from the only person I saw all day: a backpacker. Shortly after that I ran out of water, with about 6 miles still to go, and about an hour of daylight left.

The backpacker had told me about a spring that crossed the trail a couple of miles up. I didn't have anything to purify the water with, but filled the bottle and drank anyway. Right by the spring was the paw print of a rather large cat.

I don't know if it was just the pure mtn spring water or what, but I felt energized, really energized after that. I continued on, cresting the last mtn right as it got dark. The last half mile or so was in the dark. I had planned ahead enough to bring a flashlight though. That was a great day. Oh, yeah, it was the middle of winter too!!!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Last Year....

...I finished the Swank 6 minutes faster than I did this year, and it was 4ish miles longer last year. What does this tell me? Well, considering that last year I was on a single speed and actually racing, going hard when I could, and this year I was on a greared bike and trying to go at a slow steady pace, I am going to assume that my fitness has improved this year.

I don't have any scientific or well thought out reason for assuming this, and I usually don't assume but that is what I assume today. Someone tell me if I am way off.

So, I am taking this week off, then I will be jumping right into a training program that my coach wrote specifically for me.

The plan included some weights, stretching, running and hiking, speed drills and of course endurance rides. I am very excited to be starting a new program and it is great to know that every workout I am doing will be for a purpose. Much better than my previous philosophy of:" go fast, hard and long, and hope that I will do well in a race". With that plan, even my recovery days were too hard and fast!! Only 3.5 weeks until the sun starts setting later!!!! Have a great day!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Swank 2008

The day dawned bright and clear. That made me happy. It was cold, about 32 degrees but the bright sunshine told me that it would warm up some. And, that was at 6:30 am.

I got the family stirring, fed and in the truck. We headed out, early, which is how I like it. A quick stop by Starbucks, then hit the road for Brevard. The problem with the road between Asheville and Brevard that early is that there is nowhere to make a pit stop, if you know what I mean. The woods were fine, a little 6 inch hole in the ground, and my gut was relieved and happy.

On to the start, picked up my packet/number, and got dressed. I have realised that warming up on rollers works best for me, so that is what I did. I was a bit wobbly but then remembered that I had not been on the rollers on my mtn bike for a long time, and had not been on my mtn bike ( I had been training on my road bike) in two weeks.

I got off the rollers, road up the gravel road to take care of something or other, and realised that I had a quickly deflating front tire. I panicked, looked at my watch, and panicked some more. There was a pin head sized hole in the center of the tread. I had 30 minutes to fix the flat. I have tubeless tires on the bike and I really didn't want to put a tube in. The other problem was that I only had one spare tube, which I did not want to use, in case I needed it no the trail.

I ran around, and located someone who had a spare, someone else told me that had some Stan's Sealant if I wanted that. After some short instruction on how to take care of it, I figured it was worth a try to Stan's it. I pooped the bead loose, dumped X amount of Stan's in and started pumping with my floor pump. Air started gushing out of the rim, I pumped faster. Air and Stan's were blowing everywhere, I pumped faster. Suddenly, I heard the satisfying "pop,pop" of a tire bead sealing!! I spun the tire around, listened for a leak but could hear none. It ended up holding for the entire race. Victory before the race even started. For me, at this point, it is these little battles that I cherish.

By the time I got the bike rolling again it was time for the rider's meeting. Todd gave us the details, told us how not to get lost, and we started with the 1/4 mile lemans run!! I don't really enjoy running in my mtn bike shoes.

My plan for today was to follow my heart rate monitor. This was my first race using it and I was curious as to how it would play out. After the run, I was already close to 100% of my limit. My goal was to stay below 80%. I would end up spending 3% of the next 5 .5 hrs in this zone.

I did what I could, but if I had slowed any more, I would have fallen over. I won't bore you with all the details, but I really learned the importance of some weight lifting and speed workouts. I have read about it, and tried some, but seeing it first hand makes a huge difference.

The ride was great. It was nice going at a slower pace, not pushing it the whole time. One huge difference was that I was able to gauge my food needs better. I did get hungry a couple of times, but I was able to eat right away, and my body never was pushed over the edge. A lot of people ended up passing me, and it bothered me a little, but my goal was to assess my fitness, and that is what I did.

The weather was great. It alternated between warm and chilly. My temps were easily regulated with arm warmers slid up or down. The rest stops were great, and of course the time spent in Pisgah was even better.

After getting to rest stop 3 , which was also rest stop one, where Rhonda, Jubal, Jackie, Jen, John and Sarah ( wow, that stop had a lot of J's), I only had 9 miles left to ride. I was feeling good, Rhonda said I looked good. I stopped for no more than 30 seconds and took off.

I thought I might be able to pick the pace up, but then realised that I should just keep it steady. One of the mistakes I have made in the lap races this year, is to pick up the pace towards the end, using valuable energy that could have granted me one more lap, and a couple of spots.

It was great to hear the crowd back at the start finish. It was even better to hear Todd calling my name and hi-fiving. Then to top it off, there were Rhonda and Jubal!!!

Two Cheeseburgers later, we went back to rest stop 3 to hang out there, and help clean up and bring things back to the finish line.

38 miles, 5.5 hrs. Definitely not my fastest ride, but my goal was to learn and that goal was achieved.

I'm looking forward to next season!!

Have a great day.


I'll post the story and pictures tonight.

I finished and felt good at the end, good enough to eat some food, and walk around!!!!

Have a great day!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dodging Bullets

Jubal woke up sick yesterday, Rhonda's not feeling well today, I'm popping herbs and vitamins and feeling good so far. I hope it holds off so I can race on Sunday. The weather is going to be awesome!!!

Have a great day,

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I'm in the Asheville Citizen Times!! Check out the story and the Swank 65 race details.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Day

A new chapter in American/world history.

Congratulations President Obama, please remember to support your local bicycle clubs!!!

I purchased the Mtn Biker's Training Bible, by Joe Friel. I am reading it and soaking in every bit of info. So much is making sense. I have been training so wrong. It's surprising how terribly wrong we can do things when we don't have a standard, a constant to compare them to.

So, I'm starting over, starting fresh. I will be able to use the fitness that I have, but it will be refined, and I will be better all around.

I'll keep you updated.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What are you doing today?

Just in case you needed another reminder!!

Starbucks is handing out free coffee, Krispy Kreme is giving out doughnuts, Ben and Jerry's is giving out ice cream, and I am giving free autographs!!!

Have a great day!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Green River Race 2008

I had a fun time Saturday watching people paddle down this:

I saw one guy who was spectating almost die, he slipped and fell in the water, slid down one water fall and was rescued just before going down another. Had he gone down the second one, the outcome would not have been very good as the slide runs into a rock wall.

This is a boater at the lip of Gorilla:

This is Gorilla; I saw it run frontwards, backwards, sideways, upside down, left, right, center....

Rapid Transit:
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Sunday I started a 2 hr project that turned into 6 hrs. I got to go ride my bike in the 60 degree weather though!!
Have a great day.