Monday, August 31, 2009


This is the overconfidence that I experienced during lap 3.....

Have a great day.

Coming Together

It looks like things might be finally coming together for me in the race world.

This weekend was the Widmer Bros. MTB Marathon at the US Whitewater Center in Charlotte NC.

With some major storms rolling through I waited until Friday to register. Races at the Whitewater Center have been canceled in the past due to a little rain and I didn't want to go through that again. Just to be sure I called South Park Cycles, the sponsoring bike shop. They first asked me if I was crazy for even suggesting that the race might be canceled, then went on to tell me that there was no way it would be cancelled.

So, I registered.

Then we headed down to my folks place in Charlotte for the weekend. Friday night at 9pm, I had a nagging feeling that the race still might be canceled. I checked my e-mail and sure enough there was a message from the promoter saying that the trails were currently closed and we should check back in the morning. Let's just say that that did not help my stress level.

I managed to get some sleep and checked again in the morning but there were no updates. After getting up at 6am I headed out the door to the race venue, not sure what to expect.

I got there, hooked up with friends and got set up. Then came the announcement of a 1 hr delay. Not good. The forecast was for 88 degrees and it was already hot and muggy at 8am. This would push the end of the race deeper into the heat of the day. And we all know what heat does to me.

The start finally rolled around and we took off. I was careful to maintain my target pace but still managed to go faster than I wanted to. After 1 mile, I started letting people go past, I had to as I did not want to maintain a high pace so soon in the race. After about 4 miles I settled in to the pace I wanted and ignored the riders going past me. At one point I pulled over to let about 10 guys go by, they said thanks, I said " See you around mile 30", they laughed. It was all good we were racin'!!!

Lap one went by and I was on to lap two. I was feeling good, drinking and eating, and most importantly sweating. The lap 3 rolled around. Halfway through the race, the temps were rising and I was feeling good. So, I went out, excited, but cautious. But in my excitement, despite my caution, I let my pace pick up. Then I started catching people, lots of people. Then I really felt good and failed to keep my pace steady.

I rolled into the pits for my last lap. Jubal had been a little sick so had stayed at my parent's house with Rhonda for the morning. I had to mix my own bottles with the help of OJ and Lindsey. So, I did. But 1/2 mile into the lap I realized that I had not added nuun to my bottles. Bad mistake. The trail looped back around close to the pits, so I grabbed a bottle, laid my bike down and took of running. I must have looked crazy running up, yelling at OJ that I forgot my nuun!!!!

Halfway through the 4th and final lap it was very apparent that I had spent too much on the third lap and probably a little too much on the first lap. One of these days, I am going to invest in a HRM that is PC compatible so I can find out exactly where I am spending my energy.

By this point, it was getting really hot. I found out later that the temps were closer to the mid to upper 90's. I was getting really hot despite keeping my pace really slow. I was experiencing some light nausea but was managing that. Looking back, and comparing to the last race, I'm thinking that I again had too much sodium in my race diet. I had doubled the amount and I suspect that as the cause of my nausea. I decided to play it safe and jump in one of the lakes that we had ridden past 3 times already. The lake was luke warm. Thoroughly soaked, I rode on, spinning the cranks and not getting too excited. The last lap went on forever. At one point I though I was almost done so I picked up the pace and realized that I had a ways to go. I got passed by a couple of people who I had passed the last lap.

When I finally came out into the open at the WW Center, I was pumped, I still had some left so I stood up, shifted and hammered to the finish, hoping no one would step out in front of me, I rode across the finish in 5h43min. I pumped my fist in the air, and punched the ez-up tent that was over the finish line, ouch.

Preliminary results showed that I was 17th in my category. I'm very pleased with a top 20 result.

And to top it off, I was on a sweet bike that I really help smooth out the rootyness.

Have a great day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Luv Your Trails

Bent Creek Trail Work Day!

SUNDAY, SEPT. 27 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Join Pisgah Area SORBA on Sunday, September 27 for trail work on Bent Creek trails. All trail users welcome.
No previous trail work experience necessary.

Meet 9 a.m. at Rice Pinnacle Lot.
5 work crews will head to different locations to perform needed trail maintenance.
Bring water, lunch, sturdy boots, gloves and helmet (bike helmet okay). Tools will be provided.
Stick around for the social event following the work day.

Win an INDUSTRY NINE wheelset! Volunteer for this trail work day and get entered for a chance to win!

For more information, contact our Bent Creek Trail Work Coordinators:
Shaun Moore: (828) 606-4130
Jerud Crandall: (843) 409-3865

Have a great day

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy Feet

After my conversation with the Swiftwick reps at Fool's Gold, I was disappointed that I did not get to see them at the finish line. But, loyal to their word they contacted me and asked me where to mail the samples.

I was very excited when I got the socks in the mail, but as with all new, cutting edge innovations, I was skeptical.

They sent me one pair of Zero Ole and one pair of Four Merino( which I have yet to put to the test, they feel great though).

I wore the Zero for an entire day. Compared to Defeet, these socks are much softer and more cushioned. I am a fan of Defeet because of the ventilation properties. My feet get very hot very quickly and Defeet socks tend to ventilate well. But when I wore the Swiftwicks, it felt like air conditioning on my feet, no joke. They felt great.

Compared to Sock Guy socks, Swiftwick really has figured out how to make a sock hug your foot. While I also like Sock Guy for the soft comfort, Swiftwick adds stability with compression.

I wore the Zero Ole starting in the morning for my ride to work. I sweat and the socks kept my feet cool. I got to work, showered, got dressed and put the socks back on. They were not even damp. I wore the socks around the office all day and my feet never overheated. I then wore the socks again for my ride back home. It was in the upper 80's and again, my feet stayed cool. Nice. I cannot wait for cooler weather when I can try out the Merinos.

Swiftwick has quite a few other socks, t-shirts, and arm warmers. Hmmm, I'm needing some new arm warmers. I'll have to add that to my Christmas wish list.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I took a little bit of a break from the bike over the weekend. After feeling good at the Fool's Gold 50, I pushed hard during the following week, and could feel myself getting slower from the extra effort, so decided to chill and hang with the family.

I need to be better about easing off after a long hard efforts/races, but when I'm feeling good I like to keep going. Not the best plan.

So this week I have started up again, nothing long but doing some high intensity.

Feeling good.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ending and Beginning

The air in the WNC moutains has the smell of fall in it. This is a sad time of year for me. I guess more melancholy than sad. Then end of summer, daylight getting shorter. Temps cooling off.

And this year, the little one goes to Kindergarten, his first year of all day school.

We went to "meet the teacher" last night and I felt really bad for the kids. It was utter chaos. When we left his eyes were big and round and he affirmed his nervousness by telling us. I assured him that school would be much calmer than that. Half of those kids were brothers and sister of his classmates and they wouldn't be there.

And then there is Rhonda, who has been with the kid almost non-stop( except for the past two years of preschool where he went only in the morning). Big changes.

I have been thinking about kids, and why we have them. This reasoning might change some day but for now it makes the most sense. We have them, not to keep them, not to make us happy, but to teach them well, send them into this world to make this world a better place.

We teach them what is right, and we have to let them go. If we hold on to them, then they don't reach their fullest potential. And that potential might not be what we had intended for them to do.

Kids have a mind of their own and their generation is so different, yet still the same. But the way they do things will be different, hopefully better. And they will make mistakes. But, that is ok, because we are people, and people make mistakes. I hope that I can give him the tools to move on when he does make mistakes.

So here is to you class of 2023!!! I look forward to what you have to offer!

Have a great day.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blueberry Pickin'

Saturday Rhonda worked so Jubal and I went up to the highlands to pick some blueberries. After a lot of picking happened we got bored and decided to take a hike. The little hike turned into a big hike.
I know the area well and didn't need a map. It was great to be able to meander through the woods with Jubal. He is old enough that he enjoyed the walk and I only carried him once for about 10 yards to get past some rough stuff.
It was an awesome day to be in the mountains. Clear blue skies with white puffy clouds and the occasional dark great cloud blowing by.
When we finished I asked him if he wanted to go on a long hike again sometime. He said " no way"!!!! Funny kid.
We hiked over 3 miles with 500 ft elevation gain.
We were both tired by the time we got back to the truck.

Sunday consisted of working on the drainage around the house and finally building shelves in Jubal's closet.

Have a great day.

Friday, August 21, 2009


80% chance of rain today and my legs are really tired, so I'm gonna take a day or two to rest up. I've been pushing hard on training rides and have seen some improvements. Too bad its at the end of the season.

At this point I only have two races left this season: Widmer Bros Marathon ( tentative ) and the Pisgah MTB Stage Race.

I'm also thinking of an ORAMM rematch sometime this fall....

I am already getting excited again about the Snake Creek Gap TT in less than 4 months and Cohutta!!! I am also looking forward to taking a break from training in November. I'll still ride the bike but cut back a lot on my hours. I have ridden a lot this year. Not sure exactly how much because I got tired of writing it down. On my birthday/Christmas wish list is a heart rate monitor that is desktop compatible, then I can download the info and keep track of it on the computer.

Good stuff.

Have a great day!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Congrats to Brendan and Mary. They are pregnant. Welcome to the awesome world of children. A lot of people will offer a lot of advice. Some will make sense, some will not. You have to filter that and do what works for you. My two cents: Spend time with the kid. (I don't think you will have a problem with that). And assume that he/she understands, grasps, and can do more than you think he/she can. You will be amazed at the brilliance!!

Also, they are organizing the San Jacinto Endurance Ride: a self-supported mtb ride in the San Jacintos!! Sounds like fun.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday Ride

40 miles
4000ft of climbing
Fun times!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back At It!

Well, back to the training mill. Training is quite a bit more exciting now that I have had a success. I'm a little bit cautious about getting excited, wondering if the success was a fluke. I'm sure it was not though...

I'm waiting for the official results to be posted. I was told that my time was right at 6hrs 10 minutes for the Fool's Gold. I'm excited to see where I placed and where that extra 30 minutes would have put me.

Rhonda and Jubal both had a great time. That is key for me at races. If they are not having fun, if it's not a place to be that is enjoyable for them, then I'm not having quite as much fun. But, they enjoyed it, so next year? Maybe!!!

Have a great day!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fool's Gold 50

We hit the road Friday morning to head down to Dahlonega GA. On the way down we felt the temps rising. Of course, I was supposed to race, there was no way the temps were going to stay cool.

After an uneventful trip, we got to the Etowah River Campground. Let's just say we won't be staying there again. It was mostly desolate when we arrived, despite there being quite a few tents and 20 plus RVs already there. But, to make a long night short, after the sun went down and the temps cooled, the party started and people came out of the woodwork. So, not much sleep.

I got up around 5:30 am to get ready. The morning temps were cool and the party had died down. I saw a couple of headlamps roaming around and was comforted to know that I was not the only crazy person up at strange hours getting ready to ride.

I tried to eat but the butterflies in my stomach had turned into some sort of monster, clawing at my gut from the inside out. After arriving at the start, I rode my bike down the road. My nerves settled a lot once I was on the bike. Still only able to drink half of my pre-rece shake, I headed to the start line. Once there, I joined the rest of the folks, only I went to the back of the field. While Eddie, the race director gave instructions, I chatted with Joel and Mark.

Eddie said go and we went...about 50 yards... until the little hill that gets us up to the gravel road. Someone at the front went down, and the domino affect ensued. After getting through that little issue, we were off. I ignored what was going on around me and stuck to my target HR. But I still wasn't feeling good. And, I wasn't getting better, maybe a little worse. Just feeling nauseous. Not good. I kept spinning, and kept drinking my sports drink, tried to take in a little bit of powerbar, I almost barfed. After a long hour and 20 minutes or so, I finally made the 1st SAG.

I sat down on a log. Not sure what to do. I figured I would sit there for 30 minutes and see how I felt. I decided to start sipping my sports drink. For some reason it made me feel worse. I considered going back to the start but was not ready to give in yet. I had only come 12 miles. I watched people come and go. Lot's of people. I decided to defy conventional research and sip on plain water to see what happened. I sipped and felt bad. Sipped some more and felt....not quite better but not worse. 10 minutes later, I felt like I could go on. 20 more minutes of sipping water, plain water, and I was on the bike, headed onward.

I remembered an e-mail conversation with a pro mtn biker. He said on a 3-4 hr training ride, he drinks only water, and takes some gels and a powerbar, just in case he needs it. But often on a 3 hr ride, he does fine only water.

At that point I scrapped my whole nutrition plan and went back to what I did years ago. One bottle of water and one bottle of sports drink. I alternate drinking from each bottle and end up drinking around 20-24 oz per 10-12 miles. And to eat? In addition to the calories in my drink, I ate Clif Shot Bloks and a couple of gels. Actually, thinking back I had one gel, and 9 Shot Bloks total.

Interestingly enough, I felt better as the race went on. I'm really glad too, because the course was fun. Not super techy but enough grunt climbs to sap my energy. It got hot too, but I kept rolling at my target HR and felt fine. There were a couple of longer, steep climbs that my HR spiked and I got really hot, but over the top, after recovering, I felt good again.

I started reeling people in too. That was a good feeling. These people had a 30 minute head start on me too. And I wasn't pushing hard, just steady. Deep down inside, I was elated, but had to ignore that feeling. Otherwise I would push too hard and not finish.

SAG 2, then SAG 3 went by and I was feeling fine. I had not felt this good in a very long time. Even on training rides.

When I finally got to SAG 4 I was pumped. At that point I was convinced that I was going to make it. And, Rhonda and Jubal were there. Rhonda had walked and Jubal had ridden his bike the approx 2 miles from the start finish, awesome. Rhonda said, " Hey, you look happy". I said, " I am since I started drinking water". I must have been somewhat fatigued because I wouldn't normally do what I did next.

I noticed the volunteers were wearing Swiftwick shirts. I had heard a lot about their socks, they are supposed to be really comfortable. So, I said: " Are you swiftwick?", they said "yes". I said," do you have any samples? My feet hurt and I need some Swiftwicks". They said" Not here, but come see us at the finish line and we'll get some for you". I said" thanks", and then laughed because of how I must have sounded. I didn't get to see them at the finish, but got an e-mail later telling me to watch for a package in the mail!!

The last 12 miles of the race were the longest. I was ready to be done but still enjoying the ride. I let myself get caught in a conversation with another racer. He was talking about how he was tired of the climbs and ready to be done. I let that get to my head and was thinking thoughts of "Please let it be over soon". I started to push too hard too soon. So, I backed off and let him go. But the mental damage had been done and I could only focus on getting there.

The difficult thing about a new route is not knowing exactly what is next and how far from the finish I am. I kept the HR steady but bumped it up a little more. I started to get little cramps in my calves which went away after on the bike stretching. I'm suspecting that those were from some cleat adjustments that were made before the race and the muscles not being used to the new position.

When I finally rolled through the finish line with a time of 6:10 I was ecstatic. I pumped my fists like I had won the race. I got off the bike, held my hands in the air, and cheered for myself. I'm sure people thought I was crazy but I did not care. I finished a race and I felt good!!! Success at last!!!!

Unfortunately my support team did not see the finish, as they were coming back from their 4 mile round trip, but they got there soon after. Jubal asked if I won. I said "no", but my friend Mark said" Oh yes, Daddy won"!!! Thanks Mark.

And thanks to: Siren Bicycles for the "best bike ever", Okie Dokie Smokehouse for the best BBQ ever, nuun, World Bicycle Relief for believing the power of bicycles, to Rhonda and Jubal for being there for me, Kinetic Koffee, yum, and to all the others who have helped me through the hard times, I think we are starting a new chapter!!!

Have a great day!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

No Foolin'

Enough with the processing of feelings. It's time to go racing. One more day until the Fool's Gold 100/50. I have opted to do the 50 miler.

New training and different nutrition, I'm nervously excited to see if I can get past the 4 hr mark and still maintain...

Just for the record, I'm rooting for Dave Wiens,

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


It is frustrating trying to do something right, pouring everything into it, going over it with a fine tooth comb, checking it again, and it still comes out filled with mistakes.

Overwhelmingly frustrating. And then I tend to question myself, what I am capable of, if I am capable....of anything really. Does everything I touch turn to mud? Will I ever be successful at any one thing? Could I even mess up mud pies?


Other times I wonder if I am doing what I was meant to be doing. But then, what was I meant to be doing? You can speculate, you can advise, you can suggest, but when it comes down to it, it is my decision and I know what is best for my family. And even if you don't like it, and never approve, that's too bad, you might be missing out on something great.

I grew up, went to school, learned all kinds of things, graduated with a degree from college, landed in the "real" world. Then I realized that things were not exactly the way that they had been taught to me. That a lot of the teaching was only speculation and what they thought was right. But that lesson I learned the hard way. I got burned, a lot.

Then I question myself again. I didn't ask the right questions, I trusted the wrong people. So then what? I don't know.

What do I want to be when I grow up? What do I want to do? How do I want to contribute?

I struggle with that ( and a lot of other issues ) daily.

5 years ago we moved to Asheville. We moved here because we got burned after moving to Durango, CO for a job that fell through. We moved to Durango because we were not respected or cared for at our pre-Durango job.

Asheville was our second choice and when some folks who we were friends with let us move in to their finished basement, it became our first choice.

I got a job in child mental health and after 9 months moved to a company called Families Together Inc. The education I got during my 3 yrs there was amazing. I met all kinds of interesting people with all kinds of different beliefs and ideas. And I worked with for the most amazing management team. Through a series of positive events, it became obvious that it was time to move on. But where, I didn't know.

I believe in miracles. 3 days after we decided that my time was to end at FTI ( let me say again that it was a positive move, and I am still friends with everybody there), I had a job interview, and two weeks later I had got the job where I am now. Additionally, I had prayed for a job that I could: ride my bike to work, day-time hrs, have energy left at the end of the day so I could hang out with my family, and have weekends off so I could continue to spread" The Power of Bicycles" .

So, here I am. Where I believe that I am supposed to be. Learning new things, meeting new people, but more than that, learning about myself and hopefully becoming a better person.

And, in the end, I wonder if that is what it is about. Becoming a better person. It is so easy to focus on others and "help" them become better people, showing them what they are doing wrong, and how they can do it better, that we neglect ourselves, and don't listen to ourselves when the obvious thing to change.

So my challenge to myself and you is to be the better person. Do your best, and when you make mistakes, I hope you are surrounded by people who also make mistakes and are aware enough of this that they extend grace and help you carry on. And if that does not happen....let's chat because I know what it is like to make mistakes, I'll help you carry your burden.

As for me, now? I'm content. Frustrated but content. I have time and energy to spend with my family, I work with great people, I get to ride my bike and help people in Zambia. Can it get any better?

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Getting To Know

I'm getting to know and hopefully understand my body a little bit better.

Last night's ride I did the Bat Cave Loop. That loop is so much fun with lots of climbing.

I think that my nutrition is set, although I have yet to break the 4 hr mark. I'm hoping that it will stay consistent. I think I was simply getting too much nutrient and it was clogging up my system.

As I climbed hwy 74 last night, going up the long steady grade to the Eastern Continental Divide, I upped my pace and heart rate to see what I could sustain. Sure, enough, 15-20 minutes near LTHR (167 bpm) , my head started pounding and I started feeling bad. So, I eased off and let my HR hover around 150bpm. About 10 minutes later I started to cool off and felt a lot better. Good lesson to learn.

I finished the 2.5 hr ride feeling good but tired.

As much as I like riding my bike, it's always nice to take some time off the bike to rest and recover.

Don't forget...

Have a great day!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

So Much For The Weekend

The weekend went by fairly quickly and added quite a bit of stress to my life. It is so amazing how stress affects the mind/body and training.

Saturday, Mike Keeley came to town so I asked him to bring his CX bike. I took him on a dirt road tour of Bent Creek. I got up with Rhonda at 5:45am and headed out to meet him at 7am.

I really love being able to ride my bike out the door, and be on the dirt in 45 minutes, rather than driving out there.

After the ride we went to Starbucks for coffee and snack. This was the first time in two weeks that I was going to have some coffee mid-morning. I felt kind of bad for breaking my semi-fast.

The ride was uneventful. Mike thought that since I was on fat tires, and he was on skinny CX tires, he should attack and show me that even though he is older, he still had the speed. Knowing that this was the first of 3 hill left before getting to Starbucks, I just jumped on his wheel and waited. He went again on the 2nd hill, and again I held on..waiting. He pulled out and I pulled through holding the pace steady. On the third hill, he was still on my wheel and I slowly picked up the pace, spinning the legs slightly faster every hundred yards....until he dropped. Yeah!! Mike has a habit on beating me on sprints, so it was nice to take one home on my turf!!

Sunday I got up again at the same time as Rhonda. But after not sleeping well, did not feel good. I left on the bike anyway, hoping that I would start feeling better, but I never did. I ended up only riding 2.5 hours. I had hoped for double that.

The stressor: the power in the addition was not working. None of it. I flipped the breakers, looked for a loose connection, replaced the breaker switch. Nothing worked. Ooh, I was irritated.

Sunday afternoon while I was waiting for a friend to come help me figure out the problem, I took the panel cover off, poked around trying to figure out which wire went where, walked into the addition and the power was on.

And so that sums up my weekend. Not what I had planned but I did get some time outside and on the bike and for that I am thankful.

Have a great day.

Friday, August 07, 2009


I'm finishing out two weeks of high paced/ high intensity training. Is it making a difference? I'm sure it is. I have gone two weeks without getting nauseous on a ride as well.

Last night's Bent Creek ride felt a lot better. I was able to climb better and my legs don't feel as toasted this morning, as they did last Friday.

One more week until the Fool's Gold. I have opted to ride the 50 miler and see how I feel.

It looks like I'll have the weekend to myself, so I should get some nice long rides in and hopefully some good pictures.

Don't forget to help out with this. We are currently at $496 and have $500 pledged. Only $4004 to go!!! ( you can donate as little as one Dollar!!).

My thoughts and prayers are with Fat Cyclist today.... Be thankful for what you have.

Have a great day.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Should Have Learned

I should have learned the last time I went up there that the stinging nettles are called stinging nettles because they STING!!!

I took a ride up behind camp again last night, still hoping to find that perfect loop in my "backyard". It didn't happen. What I did find though was a steep challenging course with lots of climbing, that seemingly goes up for a very long time, briefly drops down again, the climbs some more.

The thunder was still rumbling as I rolled out of the office. According to the weather map, the storm was moving out and the gray clouds and rain should be moving out soon. They did just that but not without a couple more strikes of lightning. About 15 minutes after hearing the last thunder, I passed two trees that had the bark peeled off, victims of lightning, the meat of the tree shining bright under the dark canopy of forest.

I kept riding watching for bears, dreaming of sweet singletrack and thinking about life.....

Approval: We all seek approval of some kind, and who we seek that approval from determines a lot of the direction that we live our life. If we seek approval for poor decisions, we will likely get that approval from others who make poor decisions. And vice versa, if we seek approval for good decisions, the lifestyles of those who approve, will likely indicate a lifestyle of good decisions.

I'm not saying that everything we do is done for the approval of others. But I have noticed that there is something in all of us that wants to hear someone say " well done", "good try", "Hey man, nice shot"....

But, what happens if we don't get that approval? And is approval from some people in our lives more important than others? And what is approval? What if I am doing something perfectly good and " approval worthy", not harming myself or others, and contributing to the good of mankind, but someone else sees it as a waste of time. What if my sacrifice to achieve a greater good is misunderstood by someone else as a waste of time?

I'm thinking that at that point it is time to stop seeking approval. Maybe we should fight the urge to seek approval in the first place, and simply do something because it is the right thing to do. Much in the way that we fight the urge NOT to do something because we are afraid of failure. Press on, do what is right, and not for the approval of mankind....

So, those thoughts consumed me last night on my ride. Good thoughts, good ride.

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bat Cave Loop

I got a nice 40 mile ride in last night. I decided that I needed to add a longer Tuesday night ride to the mix. Rhonda agreed so I went for it.

I left camp, skirted Black Mtn , the south on highway 9. The climb up to the Eastern Continental Divide is not steep but it is steady. The pavement is super smooth too!! Once at the top, OJ, who had decided to ride with me, bombed the downhill, caught some cars and drafted behind them. I took my time on the twisty downhill. I have no desire to risk hitting the pavement.

The temp at 2pm had been 87, but by the time 5 pm rolled around with some thunderstorms, the temp dropped to a pleasant 77.

Going south on 9, we were looking straight into a dark, menacing, thunderstorm. It was headed south east, so we were hoping that it would move on before we got to it.

After descending from the Continental Divide, Hwy 9 consists of some long flats, long rollers, and more downhill.

After 20 miles we hit the final downhill that dead ends at Hwy 74. Taking a right at the stop sign, the fun really begins with another climb up to the Eastern Continental Divide again. This is one of my favorite climbs in the area. The road takes you up a narrow valley, next to a cascading creek for most of the ride. Lots of twisty road leading through the town of Gerton.

Gerton has a little store, a volunteer fire station, and a post office. Really cool place.

Once we reached the Divide again, we hit the fun switchbacks that lead into Fairview. Most people don't touch their brakes on the descent, it's a fun one.

Then hwy 74 turns into a 4 lane with lots of traffic, and not really that exciting. Although, we were again staring into a large sized thunderstorm. A wall of grey blocked our view of Mt Mitchell and surrounding mountains . Not sure whether we were going to get wet, we kept the pedals turning.

Once we finally reached the Blue Ridge Parkway, the rain had started. Oj and I parted ways. As I got closer to home, the rain really started letting loose. I made it home before I got drenched, though.

Good ride, just under 3 hrs. My legs felt good although tired towards the end. I'm really glad that I am able to add in some longer rides and more intensity. Nutrition wise, I felt really good too. There was a point where I started to feel funny, but I chewed on some Power Bar chews, and felt immediately better. I'm wondering if I need to add a little fructose to the mix.
My understanding is that fructose digests a little bit faster that Maltodextrin.

Next up: exploratory mtn bike ride after work!!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Back at it after a computer virus took us out for the weekend.

Saturday I went on a long ride on the Siren. That bike rides like melted butter...smooth and creamy. I left from my house, took the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Aroboretum, a nice big loop on some single track and gravel road. Halfway through the ride, I stopped by the campground to refill my water bottles. The good news: I felt good the entire time. I was sweating, and my stomach felt fine. 4 hours later when I got back home I still felt fine. Sweet. Maybe I'm getting somewhere.
I'll be doing a 3 hour ride today after work with more tempo pace, another good test.
After 3 days of more intensity and one long day last week, I can definitely feel what my legs have not been getting. I'm not sure why I thought I could go without the longer rides, but I did.
Another thing that I am sure is helping is cutting back on coffee. Don't panic, I'm fine, I have not lost my mind. I still love coffee. ( Kinetic Koffee ).
My fried Joel recommended trying a good strong cup of joe in the morning and then no more during the day. I was accustomed to a cup in the morning at home, then a few more in the morning at work. He told me that he had similar issues in the past and when he cut back, things improved.
Well, it appears that things are improving, I'm keeping my fingers crossed....well, not really because it would be hard to type and do other things with my fingers crossed, but you get the idea.
I'm also sleeping better. Imagine that!!! Thanks for the tip Joel!!
Have a great day!!