Thursday, April 30, 2009

Getting There

The dirt is spread and leveled with grass seed planted. I'm going to need one more load, after that is leveled we should have no more problems with the yard flooding.

Next up is caulking and painting the exterior. The Hardi-plank comes primed so I get a little time cushion before I have to get it painted.

The little things make a difference. Here is a little decorative touch that the builders put on each corner:

Yesterday I got pics of my new Siren and got word that the new team wind jackets are on the way!!! It was a good day.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Had To....

I couldn't wait to show the world!!!

I'd put a picture of myself with a big ol' giddy grin but I don't have my'll just have to use your imagination!!!
Have a great day.


This is a transition week for me. I get to do some cross training. I'm supposed to rest some too, but that is hard for me since I like to be doing stuff. And I have a lot to do around the house to get the project finished. I guess it is good that I have a desk job. I can rest while I work.

I told Rhonda that when I get this project finished, I'm not doing any more work on the house for the rest of the year!!!

This race is local, in Wilkesboro NC. I"m not great at the 24 hour thing because I like to sleep. I have done this the past two years and finished ok. The first year I got 16th single speed. That was great. This year I am riding geared. I'm really excited because I will be able to continue to dial in my nutrition. Everything I need will be in the pit and easily accessible. This race is usually hot too.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


And so ends my first ever cycle of training. I started back in November and targeted the Cohutta. This week is a rest week and then I go into another cycle.

I am definitely sold on a training program. It was great to be able to ride hard/easy and rest when my body needed it. It was also great to take time off the bike and focus on my wife and son and not have to worry about losing fitness. Rest is mandatory.

Last year around this time I started to feel tired and sluggish and the feeling did not leave until the following winter, when I cut down on riding. And I could not figure out why that was happening. This year, I also got tired and sluggish. The combo of riding all winter, family responsibilities, adding on to the house, all added up and made me very tired. My solution? Cut back on riding for a couple of days. And it worked. My legs felt great at Cohutta, and if it had been 50 degrees, I calculate that I would have finished30-45 minutes faster. Sweet.

We have run out of money for the addition. So, things have come to a standstill. It is up to me to finish the siding, trim, painting interior and exterior, hang a door, lay the wood floor, and finish the grading. Hmmmm. That is going to take a while. But I have learned from my training program and I am going to apply that principle to life. I 'm going to do a little here and there, knowing that I am making progress. And when I get tired, I'll rest.

Have a great day.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cohutta Trip Report

As I was laying on the bathroom floor last Wednesday night, in between fits of vomiting, I considered that it might be a really good idea to switch from the Cohutta 100 to the Big Frog 65. Each course, amazingly enough, has almost the same amount of climbing, so the 65 would be no walk in the park.
I made my decision, got permission to switch and have not looked back since.
We got to the venue just in time to meet up with Chris Strout and Brad Majors, teammates on the WBR/Siren team. They went for a pre-ride and I got checked in then hung out with the family. When the guys got back we soaked in the river for a little while then went to get some dinner.
5 am came as early as 5am comes every morning, I'm just not usually in a coherent state of mind and don't even know that it is 5 am. But on Saturday it was, 5am. I got up and started getting things ready. I was feeling calm and felt like I was prepared for the day ahead. Little did I know, I missing a single item that would have improved my race.
Off to the start at the Ocoee White Water Center. 7am the 100 mile ride started, and then the 65 milers lined up. I got called up to the front, thanks Bruce.
The race started up the 3 mile pavement climb. Dwight Wyatt hit the gas and I had to let him go. This was his first time ever to ride 65 miles on a mtn bike and he rocked it.
Nutrition wise, I will say that we have the calories figured out. Namrita has been so helpful in helping me get dialed in. Sweating though, is a different story. Actually not a different story, but the same story. And it has nothing to do with Namrita's advice, it was all my mistake. In fact, if I had stuck to the plan, I believe that I would have been 30-45 minutes faster!!!
I was doing fine, sticking to my targeted heart rate, even sweating....for the first 30 miles. Then I stopped sweating, got nauseas, and thought my race was over. At this point I knew that I needed to add more sodium to my diet. But, I had forgotten to bring some along. I had planned exactly how to carry it, how to measure it and everything but it was sitting in the van back at the start. I figured someone out there in the wild would have some salt. Someone, surely, had gone to Hardee's for breakfast and had a little packet of salt left over. Someone on a camping trip would have some. I even went as far as stopping cars passing me and asking if they had salt. (I figured I might get DQ'd for that but I could not have cared less...I needed salt). I never found any.
Instead I resorted to cooling down first by spraying myself with the water in my Camelbak, and second by jumping in creeks and soaking myself with water. That creek water felt great. Immediately when I cooled off, the nausea would leave.
That was the great thing about today. I feel like I was really able to pinpoint the root of my problem. Overheating, cool down and I'm fine, heat up and I'm not fine. And to prevent the overheating, I need to sweat. To sweat, I need to up my sodium. Simple. ( I even tried licking my arms, it didn't seem to help).
So, I lost places by taking the time to cool down, but, if I had not taken that time, I might still be out there. I even stopped one mile from the finish to cool off one last time. I knew that the last mile was pavement that had been baking in the 86 degree heat all day. And it was worth it because I was able to push it all the way to the end.
I ended up finishing in 6hrs and 50 minutes. I am pleased with that time and look forward to the rest of the year. And next time, I'm not gonna forget my sodium!!
Have a great day.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cohutta Mountains

This is probably my favorite race of the year. I'm not sure why. I think it has to do with the area. The start finish is at the Ocoee White Water Center. Where the Olympics were held.

I also drove through the gorge from Chattanooga, TN to Toccoa, GA every weekend for 9 months to visit Rhonda. I was working at a group home and she was still in school. I got off at midnight on Friday and had to be back at midnight on Sunday.

Then I got into whitewater kayaking and eventually canoeing. I made numerous trips down the Ocoee. Including the rafting trip that Rhonda and I took on the ride across America.

During college I had a great friend who we called "Opie". He lived in Blue Ridge, GA. Several times we got in his Scout and drove all over the Cohuttas: camping, fishing, canoeing.

I love that area, it holds a lot of memories. I spent a lot of time on the same roads that the mtn bike race follows.

Good stuff. It holds a different kind of beauty for me. Sentimental beauty.

Have a great day.


2 days until Cohutta!!

Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coming Soon.... a theatre near you: click here for details.
The Collective:
We are still accepting sponsors. Contact me if you are interested.
Have a great day!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Thoughts

Spring has sprung here in WNC. The leaves are coming out, the dogwoods are blooming. One of the cool things about Cohutta 100 is seeing the dogwoods all day long. The leave are not quite fully grown, and the bright white flowers of the dogwoods shine through the forest.

The Cohutta 100 is this weekend and I am nervously excited about it. I have never ridden it on a geared bike so that should be an interesting change.

My goal for this race is the same as my recent races. Finish...feeling good. When I say feeling good, I don't mean feeling rested, like I just woke from a long winter's nap. What I mean is not laying on the ground, waiting for an IV.

I have learned a lot in the past 3 months and this will be a good test to see if I have it figured out.

This race will also mark the completion of my first round of training with a training program. It will be interesting to see how that pans out.

I am already visualizing a slow to moderate start, since I love to hard in the beginning. Although fun, it almost kills me later....literally.

Have a great day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tearing Down Walls

I left early to take the remains of the wall to the landfill on Monday morning. Since it had rained last night, the roads at the landfill were a mudfest. The big dump trucks were getting stuck. The landfill staff was hauling in dirt to build the road up. When it was my turn to go in, I did some pretty fun fishtails but was able to make it in and out with no problem. The good 'ol boy directing traffic was impressed. He yelled at me on the way out: " Shoooot ( censored), Don't tell me you can't get 'er done"!!!!!

Enjoy the photos:

Have a great day!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Check This Out

Gearheads is coming up soon! And it's going to be a great time: good deals, people, events & clinics - (just check out the schedule below!) ... and tell your friends!

Yes, you can still register as a consignor or volunteer, or you can rent a booth for yourself, your club or your business as well or have a insert in our eco-bags that are going to the first 1000 people there!
Friday, April 24th 6pm - 9pm (volunteers and consignors only)Saturday, April 25th 9am - 5pm (let the deals begin!)Sunday, April 26th 9am - 4pm
Check out what's happening Saturday & Sunday!

Saturday 4/259:00 Gearheads opens. Let the deals begin!
11:00 Presentation by Riverlink.
12:00 Backpacking Basics by Frugal Backpacker. How to pack a Backpack.
1:00 Just because you're camping doesn't mean you shouldn't eat well. Favorite Outdoor Recipes by Frugal Backpacker.
2:00 Dr. Corey Duvall /Stay Active Clinic will discuss common pain associated with Hiking and Trail Running and answer your questions regarding issues you may have. "Knee pain and hip mobility: Functional screens and rehabilitative activities"
3:00 Tie it up tight and right. Learn the essential knots you need to know for the outdoors. By Frugal Backpacker.
Sunday 4/26
9:00 Gearheads opens.
9:00 Bring your vintage bikes for the Vintage Bike Show. Judging will take place all day with winner presentation at 2:00. Winner will receive a Gearheads Bucks, good for any consignment items.
10:00 Dirt Crit. It had to be done.. Dirt short track racing sponsored by Sycamore Cycles and Endless Bikes. 30 minute of fast dirt track racing that will test fitness and skill at the Ag Center dirt track. Fast and spectator-friendly bike racing at its best. Men's open, Women's open and Single Speed open Categories.
11:00 Road biking 101. Bring your bike and get ready to ride and learn the rules of the road. After a short presentation, there will be a road ride that will leave from the Ag Center and cover approx 19 miles of gently rolling and beautiful terrain. Sponsored by BioWheels.
12:00 If an accident happens in a remote area, would you know what to do? Skyland Search and Rescue will be on hand to inform you or what to do if you or someone you are with is injured in the woods. This may be one of the most important discussions of the weekend.
1:00 Dr. Corey Duvall / Stay Active Clinic will give a presentation for paddlers that you should not miss on how to prevent and manage injuries related to paddling. The lecture, "Avoiding rotator cuff damage and chronic dislocations", will address shoulder position, strength, and rotator cuff damage. Also learn exercises you can do to strengthen muscles crucial for kayaking and preventing injuries.
1:00 Pro Jump Demo. Watch local Pros rip it up at the Arena. Spectator friendly cycling at is best,
1:30 Bunny Hop Contest. Show your stuff and win some Gearhead Bucks. Open Class, bring your bike with the highest vertical leap, winner takes all. Sponsored by Suspension Experts.
2:00 Kids mountain bike race will take place at the Ag Center. Bring the little ones (12 and under) and let them play. A fun and short course with small bumps and rollers will test their skills yet provide a safe place to experience their first race. Great photo op for moms and dads.
2:30 CompuTrainer Heats begin. Test your fitness by going head to head with three other riders in a 3 mile simulated time trial. Prizes for the top four and Gearhead bucks goes to the winner. Sponsored by Asheville VeloSports Performance Center .
See you there! Please spread the word!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Holy moly, I feel like I'm on a speeding train and I can't get off. Things are really moving along now. Actually the whole project has gone quickly, but now finishing the flat surfaces really makes a difference. The sheetrock looks excellent. If you need some done, let me know, I'll refer this guy.

It should be primed on Friday.

I got a phone call and the contractors told me that they had started the siding. We are using Hardi-Plank lap board siding, and it looks great. It is pre-primed which is really nice. And it is inexpensive too.

In the training realm, my legs are feeling a bit heavy, so I'm going to focus on resting and getting some good recovery rides in. 1.5 weeks until Cohutta!!
Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Inside and Outside

The house is coming along nicely. We spent the day yesterday hanging the tongue and groove paneling ceiling. It looks soooo good. There are two more strips to hang but we needed a table saw to make long straight cuts.

The insulation is hung and passed inspection. As I type this, I am waiting for the sheet rocker to get here. The Sheetrock was delivered at 7:30am. I was laying in bed, wishing I was asleep when I heard people outside. So, I jumped out of bed......well more like rolled out of bed and went out to help unload.
The dark brown wood in the above picture is the gable to the current structure. I thought about sanding it and finishing it to leave it exposed, but decided not to.

The roof: Berry is the color. It looks great.

The guys plan on starting the siding this week. We are going to go with Hardi-Plank and paint it a mossy green color.

Have a great day!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

6 hr Grind on the Greenway

We got out of the rainy mountains around 7:45 am. I found out later that it rained most of the day in Asheville. Fort Mill was a different story. Temps were around 70 degrees but with a stiff breeze blowing all day, it was fairly cool. Rhonda wore her fleece jacket almost the whole time.

We got to the start finish, got ready, checked in. Same 'ol, same 'ol...

OJ and wife Lindsey let us hang out under there tent, and we are set up next to Andy Applegate.

The start of the race was at the bottom of the hill. The promoter said go and people took off. I started, slow but sure. My plan today was to go slow and steady. No trying to keep up with the leaders or drop that one person hanging on my wheel. Slow and steady. I was also going to focus on my nutrition and follow the instructions to a T.
Lap one went smoothly, a little bit of traffic after hitting the first bit of single track, but no much. I was going slow anyway, so I decided not to try to pass anyone.
I finished my 1st 9 mile lap in about 1 hr 3 minutes. I stopped only long enough to swap out my bottles. I had again planned on one bottle per hour, but this time I took the extra precaution and carried an extra bottle. Smart move, because I ended up needing it.
I did fine on lap two. It would take 2 more laps for me to find out if today was the day to push through the wall. After finishing lap two, I decided to put on my Camelbak...just in case. I was feeling good but feeling a little but gummed up. Not bloated or crampy, just feeling like I might want some plain water. But, towards the end of lap three I was feeling bloated. Hmmm, too many calories? I'll have to ask my nutritionist.

4 laps down and feeling fine. Well fine for having just ridden 34 miles on tight, twisty, rooty, wet, sometimes sloppy singletrack. Similar to last week, there was not a lot of climbing, but the pedaling was almost constant. Almost no rest. But I was definitely having fun. And I wasn't sitting in the tent. At this point, if I pushed it and didn't bonk, I could make it back in time to start another lap. But, I knew that if I pushed it, I wouldn't have the stamina for an additional lap.

So, I set out for lap 5, just keeping it steady. Feeling good, but knowing the finish was coming, I started dragging. I kept wondering if someone in my category might be right behind me. I didn't want to slow down and get passed in the last couple of miles. So, I kept going.

Up the last climb, the climb we started on, to the finish. They took the timing chip and not knowing where I placed, I went to sit down under the tent. I was not overly concerned where I had placed. Knowing that I had finished feeling good was enough for me. I was satisfied. After checking the results, I found that I was 12th in my cat, out of 26. Nice middle of the pack finish. 5hrs 45 mins, and 45 miles. Not bad at all.

I am not confident that I have my nutrition "nailed", but I am that much closer. I'll continue to do what I am doing, and then add some speed to the equation.
If you need nutritional help, contact Namrita O'dea. If you need electrolytes I recommend NUUN. If you need, want or even think you might want a new hand built bike, check out Siren Bicycles. If you have some cash flow that you want to give away to help make the world a better place, give to World Bicycle Relief. If you need BBQ then go to Okie Dokie Smokehouse in Swannanoa, NC!!!!
Have a great day.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dont' Do Skylights

After wrestling with the skylight flashing kit for about two hours, we decided to nix the skylights.

The day started great. Everybody was there and in a good mood. The first sign of a day going awry was the City of Asheville Engineering Inspector stopping by to tell me that the city is not going to regulate/ enforce the drainage issues from the new buildings next door/uphill. He told me that water is always going to flow downhill. Hmmmm.

We got started on the roofing. We went with the color...(drum roll)....Berry. Rhonda liked it from the beginning and I did not, but after months of deliberation, that is what we settled on. And it looks great!!!

We cut the holes in the decking and mounted the skylights. Then I started with the flashing while my contractors started with screwing the panels in. When we got to the skylights, we had to cut some pieces of paneling to make it fit but it wasn't fitting. After cutting, trimming, reading the directions repeatedly ( i could probably recite them to you) it still was not working right. It seems that the directions skip over some key parts, leaving us, the consumer wondering what that little piece is supposed to do.

My friend told me this morning that they were afraid to say anything to me, worried that I might throw hammer through the window!! I reminded them of the Incredible Hulk. ( I was in control the whole time, FYI).

So, I made the executive decision to scrap the skylights. It took about 30 minutes to un-install them, frame and deck the holes, and another 30 minutes to put the remaining panels up. I had to order two more panels this morning to replace the ones we cut. But it should only take them another 30 minutes to finish up. Sweet!!

Next project is to finish insulating, get that inspected and then start on the interior walls: sheetrock and wood paneling. It's gonna be nice!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I had high hopes of getting the insulation done last night, but those hopes did not come to fruition.

This week is a "rest week" for me. That means I should be doing just that. But I am not, I am working on the addition. There are some things that just have to be done this week. Things that I could put off until after Cohutta, but then the finishing of the addition would take longer etc. So, I 'm going to try to get a lot done this week. The I will take the next two weeks until Cohutta to relax and train properly.

Two and a half weeks to go!!! That's crazy.

More insulation tonight, again my goal is to get it done. Tomorrow we are hoping it will clear up and we can install the metal roofing and skylights!!! Getting there, slowly but surely.

Have a great snow day!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Almost There

It is 5:15am and the alarm is going off. Some days I can't figure out why the alarm is going off, today I know exactly why. I've been thinking about it since 2 am when I couldn't really go back to sleep.

Out of bed and load the truck. Drink some water. With everything loaded, I tell Rhonda goodbye and hit the Starbucks. Grande Yukon with a blueberry muffin to start the morning. It is dark, and cold, cold enough to wear my wool hoodie. I'm sleepy but feeling good. Next stop is the gas station for some ice to put in the cooler.

Scary looking game face....

I drive the two hours to Warriors Creek State Park, the sun comes as I am driving through Lenoir, the start of the Bridge to Bridge Incredible Challenge. A 102 miler that starts in Brevard and ends on top of Grandfather Mtn. That's a fun one.

I pull into the campground/pits and park behind Cara and Andy Applegate, D-Dub joins us later. Taylor Sullivan, promoter of the Cowbell Challenge, is kind enough to offer me space in his tent, and his girlfriend is willing to hand my bottles to me. Thanks Taylor and girlfriend. Since I am already parked, and comfortable, I turn him down. Maybe another time.

We start promptly at 10 am. I position myself in the front, by the starting line. 2 miles of pavement to the first single track. The race starts and the lead group pace is too fast for me. I slow down and let them go, spit out the back. I turn around to see if I am near the back. I'm not, oddly enough I am in the middle of two large packs, all alone.

The course is 99% single track. Whoopy, tight, turny single track. Mostly short quick grunt climbs and dips. Nowhere to rest and recover. It is pretty much constant pedaling. That raises the degree of difficulty.

I finish lap one and feel good, grab a fresh bottle and head out. Halfway through lap 2 I realise that I might be in for a bad day. I calculated one bottle of nutrition per lap. The problem that for some reason I did not process until halfway through the second lap, is that laps were taking me 15-30 minutes over my calculation. After completing two laps I am feeling fatigue and sit down to see if I can recover....and eat a pb&j. After about 15 minutes I feel OK so I head back out, trying not to exert too much, but even on the tight, twisty downhills my heart rate is rising. It is difficult to find momentum.

I finish lap 3 around 2:45pm. I have until 3:30 pm to decide if I want/can go out for another lap. I drink almost a full bottle and even add some Endurolytes to see if that will help. ( at the end of the lap I assess my rate of sweat. I would say I was perspiring, not sweating. People around me were all sweating, not good).

The pits...

At 3:20pm I felt good, after sitting under the tent in the shade, with the cool breeze blowing in off the lake. So, I take off, very slowly, but then I feel good so I push it a little bit, maybe I can complete this lap. I was feeling good and steady until I hit one twisty, turny, roller coaster like part of the course. Then I feel a little dizzy. I let off the gas and creep along. I realise it is time to stop. And I am not sweating.

The cool thing about a Camelbak is that you can blow water into the bladder and it pressurizes. Then you can spray yourself with water. That is exactly what I did, the cool water running down my neck and back felt good, really good. I understood at that moment that my body was not cooling itself properly.

At the halfway point I bag it and get on the pavement for the 1/4 mile ride back to the pits. Before the downhill I douse myself again. The cool air rushing past my wet clothes again feels great. By the time I get back to my pit area, I am cooled off, enough to feel like I could keep going. I don't keep going.

I'll be trying again real soon. I'll follow my nutritionist's advice to the T next time, and I refuse to make any more calculatory mistakes.

The upside is that I got the calories that I need. It feels good to hopefully have that figured out. The only time I got hungry was at the end of lap two. But I was able to replenish with the pb&j. Sweet.

Have a great day.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Moving Slow

I'm moving kind of slow this morning. I spend 2.5 hrs hanging insulation in the addition last night. Squats and climbing up and down a ladder is good cross training right? So, I'm tired. I opted not to ride the bike this morning. I'm going to rest up for the race tomorrow.

Spring has sprung and things around here are bright and beautiful!!! It is supposed to snow on Monday and Tuesday. Sweet.

Have a great day.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Counting Calories?

I never thought I would, but I am. I have kinda been doing it for a while, but kinda doesn't cut it for 100 miles on a mountain bike. I'm even counting milligrams of sodium. Did you know that 1 teaspoon of salt contains roughly 2300mg of sodium?

Thanks to my nutritionist Namrita, I am on track.

I get to test it again this weekend at 6 Hours of Warrior Cree


Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Rain Ride

I got a little wet on my ride home last night, looks like I'm going to get a little wet this morning. I really hope it is dry for the Cohutta!!!

Check out Rhonda's blog for pictures of the house, it is coming along. We get the framing and electrical inspections today!!!

Have a great day.