Friday, October 30, 2009

Siren Stuff

Brendan has a new prototype he is working on. It is "hawt". Check it out: The Siren's Call

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Yes it is fall, yes the leaves are turning all kinds of vibrant colors, yes we have had snow at higher elevations and yes it is supposed to be 69 degrees today!!

I love it here.

I also love to ride my bike. I never thought that I would be fine with taking two weeks off the bike, but it has not been that difficult. That said, I also realized this past week and a half, how much I like to ride. Not just as training, but to get out and enjoy the wind on my face. The sights and smells of the forest. Seeing other people out there doing the same thing. I love it.

Last week I said that I was going to start riding again this week. I was feeling relaxed and so put it off another week. I figured that if I was not jonesing too badly for a ride, then I was due another week off. I think one thing that has helped me stay relaxed and not pressured to train/ride is that I have not registered for any races yet. I do have plans but having not actually paid money, there is a lack of motivation.

That all changes today. Details later.

So it begins. 4 more days off the bike and then some base miles. I remember last years base miles. Nice easy pace. I felt great. Not fatigued like later in the year when I try to balance fatigue and fitness. But the base miles, I really enjoy. More like touring than training. Fun stuff!!!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Goodnight Moon

This is the text form one of my favorites childrens books that Jubal owns:
(It is a much better read with the illustrations.)
Goodnight Moon:
...Goodnight room
Goodnight moon
Good night cow jumping over the moon
Goodnight light
And the red balloon
Goodnight bears
Goodnight chairs
Goodnight kittens
And goodnight mittens
Goodnight clocks
And goodnight socks
Goodnight little house
And goodnight mouse
Goodnight comb
And goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush
And goodnight to the old lady
whispering "hush"
Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere
--"Goodnight Moon", text by Margret Wise Brown

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Swank 65!

Don't forget about the 11th annual Swank 65!!

From the web-site:

The Swank 65 Mountain Bike Journey is mountain bike racing at it’s most primeval, far removed from civilization and polluted air. The race begins at 2500 feet, and consists of a triad of cloverleaf shaped loops winding around Gloucester Gap in Pisgah National Forest. Rolling over rugged mining roads, fun single track, tough climbs and hell-raising descents, the exhilarating course will test your skills and desire as you explore the devilish terrain of the Pisgah National Forest. 42 miles (65K) in length.

I have raced this two times. Last year, this was the first race I did that I used a heart rate monitor. Not knowing exactly what I was doing, I paced myself a little too slowly, but finished feeling strong and fresh!! That was pretty cool.

This race is tough, with a long gravel road climb up to the Farlow Gap Trail, but it is totally worth it to come out and test your fitness against 150 other people. The atmosphere at the start/finish is really laid back and it seems that everyone is chilling and having a good time.

I won't be racing this year, but I will be out on the course, marshaling and heckling. ( are marshals allowed to heckle?).

Have a great day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Weekend

I got a little bit restless on Friday and decided that I would go for a run. I ran for 23 minutes and it felt awkward. But, I ran. It was a good start to cross training.
I woke up on Saturday with some really stiff calf muscles. After walking around a bit they started to loosen up.
I headed out to the Black Mtn Trailhead to do some trail work. A small group of us hiked up and did some drainage work along the way.
After returning home I chilled with my family. Not doing much of anything in particular.

Sunday we headed out to Bent Creek, Jubal wanted to ride, Rhonda and I walked. The air was warm and the colors vibrant. I think that we are just past the peak of fall colors. When we got back home I laced up my running shoes. I had a loop in mind that includes the Mtns to Sea Trail. I had never done the entire loop and anticipated that it would take 1 hr or more. I was pleasantly surprised when I got home 40 minutes later. The are a couple of options that I can add on to make the loop longer. I love to trail run, but I can't help but think what a sweet trail that would be to ride on....
Today I was supposed to start riding again. I'm not quite ready yet, so I'll put it off for another week. It is amazing how much of a mental game training and racing is. I really enjoyed last year and look forward to stepping it up a notch this year. I'll start up in a couple of days, or maybe next Monday. I've been warned not to get back on too soon. I'll heed that warning, let my body rest, then get back in the saddle!

Have a great day.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Trail Work

Trail work on Saturday. Meet at the Black Mtn Trail head in Pisgah National Forest at 9am. Be there if you appreciate the trails we ride. I promise, if you show up, you will gain more appreciation for the trails we ride. You will feel genuine ownership!!

Last night I re-cabled my Siren. I used to think that a person had to have special training and skills to do shifter and cable work. But, as one who has worked on cars a lot; replaced an engine, replaced a transmission, replaced water pumps..... a whole lot of replacing, I thought I would give bicycle maintenance a try. I did some calculations and realized that it would be way cheaper to do it myself.

The front derailleur I can do in my sleep. The rear takes a little more patience. I have also taught myself to overhaul the bottom bracket. Currently I'm working on a brake bleed. What's next? Wheels. I don't know much about wheel maintenance. I'd really like to learn how to build a wheel and overhaul the bearings. Hmmm. I'm gonna need some more tools for that!!

I have not been on the bike in 5 days. I'm starting to get the shakes and when I look at the bike I get excited. I'm not quite ready to ride yet, but driving to work gets expensive. I plan on starting to commute again next week and riding minimally for the next couple of weeks. I also plan on doing some running, my cool boss discussed the possibility of some lunch runs which would absolutely rock!!

I have also started my 2010 schedule, it is listed on the left above my sponsor links. The list is more of a wish list right now, I'll have to see what the travel money looks like in a month or two.

Well, it's Friday, I hope to see you at the trail work day.

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winter, not yet.

We tend to rush things this time of year. The leaves start falling, the wind gets colder, and the air starts to smell crisp. " Ah, winter is coming" people say as they look to the sky. And, while this is true, we still have 2 months of autumn left.

According to, winter does not start until December 21, 2009.

Why do we rush things? I'm not sure, exactly, but in my head, the sooner winter begins, the sooner it ends.

Don't get me wrong, I love winter. I enjoy the wood stove cranking out the heat on a cold windy night. I enjoy layering up to go outside and play in a bit of sunlight. I enjoy a long ride on a winter day. But, I gotta say that warmer temps are simply easier to live in.

The mind starts playing tricks on a person. It tells us that since it is getting cold now, then winter has begun. But in reality, it has not. It is still autumn, and we must wait until the sun reaches the furthest point north. Then we can say that winter has arrived. Then we can brace for the next 3 months of cold weather. ( except for those two weeks in Feb, in the southeast, when we get a heat wave).

If we wait until winter has really arrived, to start thinking about spring, then it will take a lot less time for spring to come.

So, get out, enjoy the cooler temps, the colorful leave, the crisp air, winter will be here soon enough.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stephen's Big Birthday BBQ Ride

Make plans now to join me in celebrating my birthday on November 21st. ( my actual birthday is November 18th).

We will be riding a 40 mile loop starting in Swannanoa, down hwy 9, through Old Fort, back up old US 70, through Black Mtn, then to Swannanoa. We will then head over to Okie Dokies Smokehouse to re-fuel with some real southern BBQ, Fried Pickles, Hush Puppies and maybe Banana Pudding.

There is no fee for this fun group ride.

If you don't want to ride with us, please come join us after the ride and hang out.

I'm also asking that you don't bring gifts (unless it's something really cool). Instead, bring your change that you have lying around, and if you don't have any lying around, go to the bank and get some, or to your friend's house. I'm sure they have some lying around. Bring the change with you. Let's see how many water bottles we can fill up with change, which we will then send to World Bicycle Relief!!

This is gonna be one fun event that you don't want to miss!!!

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Days Later

The above picture encompasses how I feel about the race, and finishing the season on a high note. It is now 2 days after and I am starting to feel normal again. My back is feeling a lot better, my muscle fatigue is ebbing, and I'm sleeping really well.

And so, my season is over. Since this is the first year that I have really followed any type of training plan, this is my first ever "off season". I'm not really sure what to do for now, except that ride less for a couple of weeks sounds good.

Last year I started training at the beginning of November. I will probably wait until the end of November this year to start training seriously. I will be doing some running over the next couple of months too.

Thanks to all who helped me with the World Bicycle Relief fundraiser. As far as I am concerned, even though I did not reach my goal, it was a huge success. Goals often have to be assessed and readjusted, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is in fact healthy.

We raised $1095. That is enough to send 8 bikes, with some change leftover. Great job to you all and I look forward to continuing to raise awareness and funds for WBR. In fact, I have a couple of events planned that promise a good time. So, stay tuned!!

A huge thanks to my sponsors who got me where I needed to go. Not only do my sponsors support my personal goals, they also help me get the word out about "The Power of Bicycles" which I feel is a race of it's own, and of huge importance. So, thanks to you all and I look forward to continuing our partnership in the future. ( look in the left column to see who I am referring to).
And thanks to my wife and kid for supporting me and helping me be my best.

Have a great day.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

The Final Stage

As I made the drive out to Brevard one last time for the last stage, I could see cloudy skies through the darkness of morning. Not cloudy like yesterday, but nice puffy clouds that would allow the sun to actually reach us.

As we lined up to start, a wave of relief swept over the racers as Todd made the announcement that Farlow Gap Trail would be eliminated from today's stage. It had been a tough decision to make. Todd was up at the gap at 2:30am checking out conditions: snowy, icy, and cold. After a lot of deliberation and consideration, Todd removed the loop for the safety of the masses. As much as I wanted to ride Farlow and the recent trail work that I put into it, I was relieved and support his decision.

We road down the pavement for the neutral start to the dirt road. I was riding the yellow line about 15 back. I felt like I was stopping people from moving up, so I slowly moved forward to make room for those who might want to position themselves to go when we hit the dirt road. It was a neutral start but it felt odd for me when I found myself pulling the group over the little incline before the turn.

As we hit the right turn onto the gravel, I moved far left and assumed my pace. The first group was gone, but there were several smaller groups forming. As we hit the first long climb of the day, I decided to try to get on with one of those groups. I pushed harder than I wanted to, caught the group I wanted, but then could not hang on. I dropped back a little bit and ended up behind Cheryl S and Carey L. I rode with them for a while and ended up yo -yoing with them a little bit. Then Cheryl dropped us and it was Carey and I. Carey got on my wheel and I attempted to go my pace yet pull for her. At the top of the climb we continued to ride together until we hit the next turn. I slowed way down to get some food.

I slow to the pace that I wanted and continued to ride steady. The skies were clear, the temps around 35 degrees, and the wind was blowing 10-20 mph with gusts that were stronger. It was cold.

My ride was having a little bit of trouble shifting so when I got to the 1st rest stop which was manned by Sycamore Cycles, I asked for help. Wes got me rolling in no time and it was good to have solid shifting again.

On to Cove Creek, it felt like the Swank 65 ( one of Todd's Races, held in November ), but when I passed the campground, there was no crowd cheering, and no finish line. On up to Daniel Ridge and back onto the FS rd. Suddenly the woozier feeling of the past hit. Not bad, just enough to let me know that I needed to do something differently. So, I started eating and drinking more. I looked down at the time and realized that 2 hrs had already past. It felt like it had only been 1 hr. I had some catching up to do.

I hit the second rest stop (same as the 1st) and stopped to re-fill. One of the guys commented on my front wheel. I told them I thought it looked crooked but I wasn't sure. They checked it out and sure enough it was. It turned out that the skewer was a little loose. They tightened it and I was off.

Back up hwy 276, right on another gravel road that eventually led to Bennett Gap Trail. This is another trail that I have never ridden. It was great, but I was ready to be done. The views and terrain reminded me a lot of Kitsuma.

Dropping down to the horse stables, I reminisced about my year of racing. So many highs and lows. So many DNF's. So much learned and so many new friendships formed, and old friendships made stronger. Rain, cold, heat, ice, snow, mud, wind, sun, mud, rivers, darkness, nausea, sweat, toil, frustration, elation, support..... and the list goes on. It's difficult to sum up the season in words.

The final climb up to intersect the Black Mtn Trail was long, but not as painful as yesterday. I held a steady pace. I might have been able to push a little harder, but I didn't want to take any chances. Getting to the final hike-a-bike was great. I pushed the bike to the top, climb on and got rolling. It was chilly but warming as I dropped back down into the valley. I was tired and cautious but determined not to get passed on this long decent. I pushed as hard as I dared, took couple of risks, reigned myself in, and let loose again. The last 1/4 mile I looked back and didn't see anyone. I let up and enjoyed the ride to the finish. The crowd cheered, I pumped my fist.

I finished.

40 miles, 4 hrs 30 minutes.

Have a great day!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday's Stage

When the alarm went off at 5:30 am, I was already mostly awake. Then the coffee pot cranked up and got some delicious, Kinetic Coffee brewing. I rolled over and got up, feeling stiff. I was more awake than yesterday so things were looking hopeful. I went about getting my things ready to go, and was loaded by 6:45 am. As I was driving down the road, looking at the dark, cloudy, cold sky, I wondered if I should go back home and get my warm hat. I opted not too, because I was already 10 minutes from the house.

I got to the start venue, changed and dreaded the ride. It was chilly and a bit rainy. But, the forecast, which is often not reliable in the mountains, said it was going to clear up and warm up. It never did.

We started with a pavement ride to the Turkey Pen Trail head. I knew that it would be worth the effort to get in the lead pack and get pulled to Turkey Pen. I positioned myself in the top 20 and cruised. I got a few moments to chat with Jeremiah and Sam but they were focused on what was ahead, so I cut the chit chat.

We hit the dirt road to Turkey Pen and I cut back. My heart rate was 180 which was way too high.
Next up was a series of 7 river crossings. It was cold but not as cold as it was in January. Then we climbed up the same road that we climbed yesterday, to the 1st rest stop at Yellow Gap. I stopped to fill my bottles, and wring out my socks by the fire.

Next up was one of my favorite trails. It was 36 degrees at the trail head and colder up higher. As I rode up, I mingled with a few other racers, but since I was riding my own pace, I quickly found myself alone. Then I saw a couple of snowflakes. Looking farther up the mountain, I could see that it was snowing. Very cool.

Mike and Shaun, course marshals were out there along the trail. They have been bike packing the course and volunteering.

As I wound higher the snow thickened and started sticking. At the top of the trail there was about 1/4 inch on the trees and leaves.

Down Pilot Mtn Trail I was determined to preserve my back, so I took it easy and walked a lot of sections that I usually ride. My back was feeling a lot better today, still stiff though, and I did not want to re-injure it. As I neared the gnarliest section I could hear voices. They saw me and started cheering me on. I had to ride it. And I almost did, I bobbled at the end but got a round of applause anyway. It was great to see smiling faces of my mtn bike friends!! Dicky, Eric W, and Beth were the ones I remember, there were others but I'll need a picture to relive the moment.

Onward to the next rest stop then to Avery Creek Trail. Believe it or not, this was my first time on Avery Creek. It's a great trail that I will have to ride again when my back is more flexible. I again played it safe and walked the steeper drops.

Once reaching the Horse Stables I knew that I could finish, but had to resist the urge to push it. I have one day left and want to finish well. So, I took it easy up the really long gravel climb. It was great to reach the top , do the dreaded hike a bike again, and roll down Black Mtn Trail to the finish. 37 miles, 6hrs and 30 minutes.

Have a great day!!
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Stage 1 ( yesterday was actually the Prologue)

The alarm went off at 5:30 am this morning. I don't do mornings well, never have, probably never will. My body simply does not function until the sun comes up. The coffee maker cranked up next and I started mixing my bottles and getting everything ready. In the truck and loaded by 6:40am, the family still sleeping, I hit the road. I tried to drink my meal replacement shake but could not. I sipped on water, and drove. My eyes blurred and I had to concentrate on staying awake.

I did not feel good. I had not slept well, my back hurt. I had a nightmare that I was doing a building project, the one I finished back in April. Only this time I did not get a building permit. The City Inspector happened to come by and see the project and proceeded to bust me. I had other dreams but can't remember them.

Needless to say, I was not set up for a good start.

I got to the start/finish line, changed and saddled up. The atmosphere was very laid back as I got in the back of the group. The race would not start until we hit the dirt road 2 miles after riding on Hwy 276. Once we hit that, everybody left me. Hmmmm.

The route today took us past the horse stable and up Clawhammer Rd. This is a nice long meandering climb that brought us to Buckhorn Gap. I'm not sure what all the trail names are, but at some point we ended up on Squirrel Gap Trail. This is old singletrack, cut into the sides of steep mountains. At some points we were riding on a 4 inch wide ribbon of single track with a long tumble as a consequence to a poorly calculated move.

I was in pain. All the little jolts jarred my back and I questioned continuing often. I knew that I would finish the day, but did not know if I would come back for stage 2.

After a shin deep river crossing, we hit a gravel road climb for 3.5 miles. We will take this same climb again tomorrow. The last time I was on this road was with The Goat, the sun was setting, we had 6 miles to go before we got back to the cars, and the temps were right around the freezing mark. We had gone through rain, snow, and sleet. It was a good day.

Today though, up to this point the skies had been clear and blue. As I neared Yellow Gap, the cloud cover thickened and threatened rain. At the rest stop on Yellow Gap, Rodney and friends encouraged me to eat and drink on the ride down FSR 1206. I heeded the advice.

As the day dragged on, I continued to spin. We took a really pretty trail by the creek, and if I were not so tired, I would look the name up for you.... I ended up back at rest stop 1, which also now served as rest stop 3, I didn't even stop. I had enough food and fluids, and knowing that there was a wicked hike a bike for the next mile or so, I went for it. Slow and steady.

I had trouble carrying the bike on the steeper parts. I usually sling it up on my back, but the pain was too much so I ended up pushing is a lot. I was so glad to finally get up and over black mtn. From here it was mostly down, steep techy down. From the last switchback, grassy field at the finish caught my eye. The sun had come back out, and I was almost there. I crossed the line in 5 hrs 42 mins. Slower than I thought I could do, but considering my condition, I am happy to have been out there and even happier to have finished.

Right now my back is feeling better than is did this morning. I'm looking forward to starting Stage 2 tomorrow and seeing how things go. The stage holds 42 miles. 5 more than today...

Have a great day!!

Pisgah MTB Stage Race: Stage 1

In a bit of a panic after re-injuring my back Friday morning, I sought the advice of my wise Facebook friends. I posted, " Poll: chiropractor of massage therapist?". I got a lot of good advice. I ended up calling a chiro, but with the $85 initial visit fee, I declined.

Instead I stretched, rode the rollers for 15 mins, took a hot shower, took some Ibuprofen, applied Tiger Balm, and iced. It started feeling somewhat better throughout the day. It does however take a lot of energy to protect an injured back.

We arrived at Brevard College, the venue for the time trial. Jubal and I picked up our packets and retreated to the van to check out our loot. The skies had finally begun to clear and the sun was actually starting to shine. It was chilly but not raining, I didn't hear anyone complain about that.

I decided to go out and ride the 1 mile lap that we would end up riding 4 times in the race. I just spun around the course easily and felt good. After about 1/2 mile of double track we road a bit of single track through a small wooded area. Muddy, rooty, slick and dark. Fun stuff. Then back to the start line.

We lined up, Todd counted down and we were off. I didn't want to push hard but I also didn't want to get left totally in the dust. So, I pushed to keep up and my back was feeling ok. The pace was high, and my HR hit about 170, way to high for endurance, but I kept going. I held my spot for the first lap, about 20yrds back from the next person. I made it my mission to catch him. He was strong on the flats and slowly pulled away. When we hit the techy woods section, I gradually reeled him in and road his back wheel. He bobbled, and let me pass. I had intended to follow him and draft him on the flat double track section. But, I took the opp and passed him. I got a little gap on him but he reeled me in on the double track. We hit the tech section again on lap 3 and I manged to get away from him, slowly increasing the gap for the rest of lap 4.

We stuck around and watched to kids, then the pros race.

Jeremiah Bishop took 1st, Harlan Price 2nd, Colby Pearce 3rd. I'm not sure about Sam Koerber, he got a flat in the second lap and had to play catch up. He has 3 days to make that up!! Andy Applegate had a good race too, he is recovering from illness, and was just glad to be riding his bike.

My back hurt about the same on the bike as it did walking around, so I was thinking it was going to be ok. This morning, after an un-restful sleep, my back is feeling pretty good. I'm looking forward to getting out and riding my own pace for 37 miles!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not Sure

I woke up feeling good this morning. Got up and got going....well, going in the kitchen to get the Kinetic Coffee, a new Sulawesi which he has started roasting. Get some before it's gone, it is delicious. I put one sock on, then the other. Half way through the other, my back flared up and sent me to lie on the floor. Hmmm. Not good.

I did some exercises and iced it. I guess I'll be nursing it all day, resting a lot. Hopefully it will loosen up again. It was feeling a lot better last night.

We'll see what happens.

Good news on the WBR-Siren front. Congrats to Brad, Todd and Chris for making the top ten in the 24 hr national championship series!!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


After riding my bike to work yesterday, my back started to feel better. Even while sitting all day in the office chair, I could feel it gradually improving. A couple of minor adjustments to my saddle on the way home and I was pedaling mostly pain free. I hit a little bit of dirt to make sure that the pain would not return and I felt fine. The confidence is oozing back.

It is raining today, and supposed to start getting colder. I'm no stranger to riding in the rain. If you live here and want to ride consistently, and outside, it's what you do. Ride in the rain. But, when the temps drop below 55, the rain can get really cold and cause all sorts of problems. I'm not really excited about riding in cold rain, but hey, that's racin'!!

I'm having lots of trouble focusing and it is getting worse as the time gets closer. I feel like time has been slowed. A lot like a good action movie when something is blowing up, the hero is running away, but it takes forever because it is slo-mo...... that is my current life.

So, sometimes I set my goals really high. Sometimes I reach those goals and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I am fine with that and other times not.

When I decided to do this race, I turned the focus to how much money, with your help, we could raise for World Bicycle Relief. I set the goal at $5000. Since this is a team/community effort, I guess I should have asked you how much we could raise together. Lesson learned, next time I'll confer with you. That said, we have raised $1095 to this point. With 1.5 days left until the start of the Pisgah MTB Stage Race, I think we can double that. But I can't do it without your help. When this posts on Facebook later today, share it with your friends, and let's see what we can do!! Click here to get in on the action.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Small Glitch in The Plan

So most of my confidence went out the window Saturday morning when I woke up with severe back pain. Anything short of laying on my back was painful.

I have a history of back issues. In college I had 2 weeks of total bed rest due to straining my lower back. I know back pain.

I immediately reverted to my physical therapy exercises, hot bath, ice pack, and lastly Ibuprofen. ( this is the first time in years I can remember taking Ibuprofen).

Sunday felt a little bit better, and knowing that some activity would help loosen me up, I went ahead and went to the trail work day. It did loosen me up.

Monday showed continued improvement, and this morning it feels slightly better, but still stiff.

The issue with back pain is often caused by the muscles around the back. In this case, my leg muscles got really tight.

Several factors contributed to this, one of which was getting lazy with stretching before and after riding. I hope I won't make that mistake again.

Then to add to the stress, I woke up Monday morning with a stuffy nose. I hit that right away with Echinnachea, natural decongestant, and Emergen-C. ( Emergen-C should sponsor me, I use the product enough!!). I'm feeling better this morning, though.

So, the plan is to ride to work this morning, and see how my back feels. If is doesn't feel right in the 1st 5 minutes, I'll come back home and drive to work. Hope for the best.

2.5 days and the weather forecast looks cold and rainy.....should be a good taste of Pisgah!!

Have a great day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

3.5 Days

Jubal and I went out with race director Todd Branham of Blue Ridge Adventures and a small crew of locals to do some more trailwork.

We hiked up Daniel Ridge trail, crossed the creek to the bottom of Farlow Gap trail. We then went up to the 4th switchback and started digging. The trail here was really steep with stone steps. The re-route now takes you winding around the contours of the terrain, connects with an old railroad bed then comes back to the trail. Check out Todd's blog for pictures.

3.5 days until the race. At this point I am really excited. The weather looks like it going to be nice. As in, mild temps and a chance of rain. Exactly what I have been training in all year.

So, I haven't mentioned the fundraiser in a while. I am one fifth of the way to my goal. So, do your part now. Go to the couch, dig under the cushions, get your change jar and empty it, check your floorboard in your car (or truck, not your motorcycle), and donate here...

Have a great day!!

Friday, October 09, 2009


Last night was my last ride before started my tapering. I'm understanding that peaking is the fine line between fitness and fatigue. If I am reading my body right, I am peaking. A good balance of rest and short intensities, ie 2 minutes or less at a time, between now and race day will have me as ready as I can be.

I got a package in the mail yesterday. When Rhonda called and told me about it, I was hoping that it was a surprise John Henry Single Speed frame....( I like bikes, what can I say?). She told me the box was badly damaged. When I got home, this is what I found. There is a stamp on the side that says, " Received Damaged Condition". Thanks USPS. I noticed that it was damaged, but thanks for letting me know that it was that way when I got it. And would it cost that much more to use proper English when you stamp packages?

Not exactly sure what was in the box, I tore it open:
My new Syntace F99 Stem...Sweet!! Just in time to the Pisgah MTB Stage Race!!

Good luck to the "Siren/ World Bicycle Relief 24 hr Pain Train". They are at Moab this weekend getting ready to duke it out one last time this year for the 24 hr national championship title!!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A little Bit O' History

Places I have lived in chronological order:

  • Longview, TX
  • Tulsa, Ok
  • Monaco, Monte Carlo
  • Longview, TX
  • Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
  • Rubio, Venezuela
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Toccoa, GA
  • Wise, VA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Shelby, NC
  • Durango, CO
  • Asheville, NC
Vehicles I have owned:
  • 81 Buick Station Wagon- mid-sized
  • 87 VW Golf
  • 85 VW Fox
  • 80's VW Vanagon
  • 01 Honda Accord
  • another 80's VW Vanagon
  • 92 Ford Ranger PU
  • ? Ford Windstar Minivan
  • 01 Ford F-150
  • Spartan, kid's bike from the local hardware store. Black with gold graphics
  • off brand wanna be freestyle bike- red
  • Dyno Detour- freestyle bike- Fuschia
  • old school 10 speed- grey, blue and red
  • Specialized Hardrock Sport- rigid- gold
  • Schwinn- World Tour road bike- black
  • an aluminum framed road bike- black
  • Bianchi Veloce- Celeste
  • replacement Bianchi Veloce- Celeste
  • Bianchi Giro- Blue & Gold
  • Specialized Hardrock Single Speed- Blue
  • Bianchi WUSS Single Speed- White
  • Bianchi Pista- fixed gear track bike- chrome
  • Trek 6000 Series- sparkle grey
  • Siren 55- World Bicycle Relief edition-White. the best bike ever!!
What else do you want to know?

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Ride

This is the view that I get on my morning commute:

I wore my "3 Feet Please" jersey today. I only had one vehicle come too close, and by the way he looked at me in the rear view mirror, I'm pretty sure he was being belligerent. On the back in giant print, it says" 3 FEET Please, Thank You." Pretty cool.

After work I hit the road for my last long evening road ride of the season. I could be more sentimental, but with the sun setting earlier, there is not time for a 3 hr ride after work, unless I ride into the dark.
I rode up Hwy 9 and down the other side, taking a right turn on Cedar Hill, which turns into Old Fort Rd, and then ends up on Hwy 74.
I then took Hwy 74 west, towards town, through Fairview, to the Pkwy. South on the Parkway, over the hill and through the woods, and I am home!!
It was a good ride, I pushed the pace on the climbs. I'm feeling really good, and confident about the Pisgah MTB Stage Race. I have learned a lot this year and look forward to applying it to the race next week.

I have been eating honey out of a gel flask on my rides. This has worked well, with the exception that honey is so thick that it is difficult and slow to get out of the flask. Last night I mixed in some water- 1 part water- 4 parts honey. This did the trick, and I was able to get a shot of honey, easily. Even better than gel!!! I have been told that chocolate syrup is good too. I might try that sometime this winter.

Sometimes I forget where I am and start to complain about the cold, the hills, etc. I really am blessed to live in this place, and am more determined than ever not to take it for granted. And when I do, I'll just go back and read this magazine: , and read " My Kind of Town" written by Chris Strout.

Great article about training for endurance MTB in Chicago!!

Have a great day.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Another Weekend

These are some pictures from my ride up the Parkway to Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. I love it up there. It feels so far away. It took me 2 hrs to get up and 1 hr to get down.To the left of the picture is the gap where the visitor center is. In the center of the pic is the tunnel that the parkway goes through.

Kudos to Nite Rider for building a bomb proof blinky light.

The parkway is in the process of being re-paved, but I managed to hit one of the only remaining pot holes, at 35 mph. My light was jarred loose, it hit the ground and slid. It hit so hard it sounded like a water bottle hitting the ground. I stopped, turned around, picked up the pieces and quickly snapped it back together. I was bummed when it didn't work. After I got home and got cleaned up, I took it apart and put it together, taking a little more time. I turned it on and it worked. Sweet.

Sunday was take a kid mtn biking day. What a blast that was. There were close to 30 kids out there, plus parents. We rode around on the kids loop and the skills area the whole time. Jubal rode some of the obstacles alone, and some I spotted for him. His confidence is building. I won't be long until he is teaching me how to ride logs!! Although, I was able to ride the telephone pole that is laying out there, yeah!!

A couple more longish ride this week and then I start the tapering for Pisgah MTB Stage Race. Check out Todd's blog, some pics of Jeremiah Bishop and Sam Koerber working together on the same trail that they will be battling on in 1.5 weeks. Good stuff.

Pisgah Area Sorba still needs volunteers for the race. You can come out for one day or all of them.

Have a great day

Friday, October 02, 2009

Finally Friday

For some reason, Bent Creek was packed last night. I had way more company than I usually do. At one point I was riding along, lost in my world of thought. I was riding one of my favorite trails and moving along at a nice pace. Suddenly, there was a for in the trail, a blue one, with a wheel attached, and a bike and a person. I locked the brakes and pulled over. I apologized repeatedly and told the guy that I had been daydreaming. He said that it was ok, and that he understood.

The temps were mild, right around 60 and I was feeling good. 2 weeks until the stage race, I'm excited. And ready.

I rode up Ingles Field to check out the "experimental deforestation" that is happening up there. Below is the picture at 5 points:

I wonder how much silt that is going to send into the are waterways when it rains?
Contact Pisgah Area Sorba for more advocacy info.

I was towards the end of my ride when stopped to check my saddle. As I was getting back on a group of 5 guys rode up from behind. I started to speed up, but then pulled over to let them pass. It turns out that I knew a couple of them. One guy dropped back and chatted with me, then suddenly, the pace picked up. Then we were hammering. I hung on, figuring that I would try to stay with them for a few minutes. We stayed together for the most part, and it was starting to get dark. Up a steep pitch, I held it steady, passed one, passed another, then passed a third. I'm not writing this to impress anyone, but simply to say, that a month ago, I would not have been able to keep that pace.

That is the first time that I have gone at XC pace in a group, on the Siren. I was really impressed. I was following wheels closely and had to follow their lines. I did not want to brake for fear of breaking momentum and slowing the guys behind me. The bike was snappy on the climbs and solid in the corners. It has taken a little time to get used to the handling, or rather be confident enough in my skills to use the bike and trust it. Last night was that point where everything clicked and we worked together like a well oiled machine. Sweet!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Another Opp.

From the Pisgah Area Sorba web-site:

As of today, Sept. 29th, we still need volunteers for the Pisgah Stage Race on October 15th-18th. In exchange for PAS providing at least 10 volunteers on each of the 4 days, he is giving us a generous donation which we have used to purchase tools and a pop-tent w/ logo. The remainder will go toward a later event as seed money to raise more money that we will donate to a very worthy cause which Van will unveil soon. I’m most in need on Thursday and Friday, but could always use a few more on the weekend. The job will be primarily be getting to key trail junctions or road junctions to direct the racers. We have some well-known Pros already signed up for the race, so our reputation is at stake. I’ve listed the volunteers I have gotten commitments from listed below. Since I need at least 10/ day, look the list over and let me know that you can come. I’m counting on you to give some of your time to a very worthy cause.

Thursday (afternoon- evening at Brevard College):
-Mark Allmond, Van Rogers, Shaun Moore, Mike Wilcox
Friday (all day in Pisgah):
-Mark Allmond, Van Rogers, Shaun Moore, David George, Mike Brown, Carlos Galarza
Saturday (all day in Pisgah):
- Mark Allmond, Van Rogers, Shaun Moore, David George, Mike Brown, Thad Johnson, Kevin Spradlin and 2 students.
Sunday (all day in Pisgah):
- Mark Allmond, Van Rogers, Shaun Moore, David George, Mike Brown, Thad Johnson, Katherine and Harley Mangum, Mike Wilcox

There are a few more I need to contact again to confirm attendance. As you can see, we need help! We need people who know the PNF trails and roads and we need people we can count on. The race starts at 8:00AM, so I need you to be ready to start by 7:00AM in some cases. E-mail me by Thursday if you can so I can work on the assignments with Todd that afternoon.
Mark Allmond
828-421-5843 or 828-891-2149

Don't miss out on this opportunity to give back to your mountain biking community.

Have a great day.