Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I headed out to the woods last night and it was steaming when I got to the parking lot.  A thunderstorm had just gone past and the air was literally filled with steam.  I got changed and ready to roll, the thermometer read 92.  As I got into the trees the temps were cooler and the thermometer dropped to 77. Much better, still humid though. 

I rolled up through the woods thinking about stuff, as usual.  I was still feeling a little tired from my 90 miler on Saturday so I decided just to ride until I felt like going home. 

It turned out to be pretty wet out there, even the trails that usually drain and dry fast were still wet.  The mud holes are getting bigger.   They say to ride through the center of the mud holes so that the trail does not get widened by people riding around the holes.   That makes a lot of sense.  But when I went through on hole and my  wheel dropped down deep enough to almost make me crash, it's hard not to pick the smooth line around the holes. 

I ended up with a 2 hr mellow ride and felt decent.  It was good to get out and spin around the woods.  It was good to start feeling good again mentally.  Sometime you just have to plow through things, other times you just have to let time pass. 

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I love bikes.  I love what bikes do for people.  Bikes mean a lot to me and that is why I plan on always being involved in the bike world.  

Since I was a kid,  my bike was more than just a hobby.  More than just something to do with my time.  It is hard to explain, even people who have known me for my whole life don't get it. 

Bike motivate people.  I have seen and  heard stories, as you have, of people getting healthy,  losing weight, eating better because they started riding bikes. 

Go to the World Bicycle Relief Website and read stories of how lives have been changed because of bike.  Bikes mean education, medical relief, small business ops and more. 

Bikes give me something to do with my family,  a great way to hang out with and meet new friends.

I remember in college when I would go out for a training ride.  Coming home after an "epic" 8 mile ride I was pretty pumped.  You don't have to be an endurance junky (freak) to enjoy a bicycle.

I also like working on bikes.  I used to take my bikes to the bike shop for everything.  Then I started doing the math and realized that I could do a lot of the work myself.  It's fun.   There is nothing like dialing in a derailleur, riding on it and smiling because it shifts so smoothly.   There is something cool about mounting a tubeless tire at home with a floor pump.  

Bikes definitely build confidence. 

Bike build the immune system too.  Since I have been commuting by bike, I have been sick less and my allergies are almost non-existent. 

I also save a ton of money on gas by not commuting by car. 

I love bikes and look forward to a continued lifestyle of cycling!!!

Have a great day.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Summer time is officially here and it is hot.  I'm not complaining though, because hot here, means really hot in surrounding areas. 

This, for some reason is always a sad time of year form me.  The days start getting shorter.  Not noticeably, yet, but definitely getting shorter by about 20- 30 minutes per month. That leaves plenty of time for riding and playing, but still......

I'm continuing to learn a lot about my past and how I was taught and treated.  I'm realizing that the ways I was taught to act and react are not always the best.  I have also realized, due to my recent confrontation, that I don't have to act like I was taught, and I don't have to feel bad about that.  

If the things I am doing or saying and the way I am acting is offensive to people around me,  I am the one who needs to adjust.  Typically, it is not your fault if I offend you.  I have no right to tell you to "  get over it", or "toughen up", "lighten up" etc.  

I have realized that I lack a genuine sensitivity towards people in general.

I have spent most of my life searching for approval.  And when I did not get that from a young age, I developed coping mechanisms to deal with that lack of approval.  One of those coping mechanisms is sarcasm.

I can be extremely sarcastic, and I am good at it.  Now that I realize how detrimental , I am not proud of it. There is a healthy bantering that occurs between friends and that is great.  But, when I use my sarcasm to make myself feel better and use it to bully those around me, it becomes verbal/emotional abuse.  And it is wrong.

I recently realized that I have trouble maintaining close friendships.   One of my previous supervisors, who I respect and trust, looked at me during one of our meetings and said" You have trust issues".  I balked and could not believe that she would say such a thing.  But I hung on to that thought and processed it. A couple of years later, I was able to trace the trust issues to the roots. ( I"ll hopefully share that with you in the future). 

Interestingly, now that I can see the root of the problem, I can start to deal with it.  In a sense I am starting over,  rebuilding who I am and becoming who I want to be.  Becoming a better friend and making myself vulnerable.  The cool thing is, I find people wanting to spend time with me.  It seems that people feel more at ease around me,  probably because I am not ripping them apart and judging them.  I guess I would not have wanted to hang around me either!

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Another ride that I have been wanting to do for several years, I was able to do today.  It is a big loop with big mountains and today got hot.  90 plus degrees hot.

I headed out the door at 8:20am.  A little later than I would have liked, but I am home alone and I was being lazy.  And,  I didn't have anyone to come home to, so it didn't matter anyway. 

Riding up to the Parkway, I wondered what my legs were going to feel like.  I was already sweating 10 minutes into the ride and was glad that I was going up high. 

My goal was to ride north on the parkway, south on Hwy 80, then west on Hwy 70 through Old Fort and Black Mountain, and back home again. 

I finished the ride with a total time of 6hr 6 mins, and riding time of 5hrs 40 mins.   The stops were necessary and I could not have done without them.  4 stops to re-fill water bottles, one to buy a coke, and two stops to douse my head and shoulders in water. 

The long climb up to Craggy Gardens Visitor center went well.  I paced myself knowing that I would still have a lot of climbing to do after the following decent.  As I rode past the entrance to Mt Mitchell, I decided not to ride up today.  As much as I wanted to, the extra 10 miles would make the end of the ride very difficult.

As I rode down Hwy 80,  the air temps got hotter.  I could feel the air thicken with humidity and thought that I should have done the loop the other direction.  Now I know. 

I got to the little ice cream shop at the corner of hwy 80 and hwy 70, stopped to refill my bottles.  They wanted to charge me 10cents for a cup of water. 

The portion to Old Fort was uneventful.  I stopped again at the EMS station just outside of Old Fort to fill up my water bottles again.  The people there went out of their way to make sure that I was taken care of.  That was great.

The temps were getting really hot now and I knew that the 4 mile climb up the Point Lookout Trail were going to be tough.  I got in the little gear and spun easily, keeping my heartrate low. Fortunately, there was quite a bit of shade and a large stream about 3/4 of the way up.   That was my first dousing.

Once making it up the grade I was able to get in a bigger gear and make some time. 

I pedaled through Black Mountain, stopping at a local coffee shop with a hot dog stand behind it.  I filled up on free water and bought a coke.  15 miles to go and I was trying to figure out who I could call for a ride.

I spotted a spigot at the Community School and stopped for my second dousing of the day.  It felt so good.  I tried not to think and just focused on keeping good form and pedaling smoothly.  If I thought about the heat and my fatigue, I started to panic.  I kept reminding myself that I didn't feel too bad, which I didn't,  just really hot. 

I made it home safely and was pleased to see that I had ridden 90 miles.   If I add in the climb up Mt Mitchell, it will be very close to 100 miles.

Great day, great ride!

Have a great day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mike Ride

I headed up to the high mountains on Saturday to go for a ride with my friend Mike Keeley.  It was perfect timing.  I needed to get out of town and needed some Mike time.  If you ever need some level headed advice and want to hear some good stories (some of them embellished),  go for  a ride with Mike.

He had told me on the phone that he was good for a 3 hr ride.  I was fine with that.  It was perfect for what I needed that day.  When I got to his house, he showed me the route for a 5 hr ride.   It looked like a whole lot of fun, and I was game.  When I mentioned the time frame of the route he had picked, we went with a shorter route...good choice.

We rolled down into the valley.   Not much to tell really, other than we chatted and swapped stories the whole way.  Mike and I are both dealing with tough times in our lives and we shared the details of those.  It was really cool,  if I were ill, I would want Mike on my side!! 
We saw a sign that said "Lavender Festival".  We were somewhat intrigued and stopped to ask the "traffic director"  some questions:
Mike: What is at the Festival
Dude: Lavender and you pay down there
Mike: How long is it going to be here?
Dude: I'm here until 4pm
Mike:  What time does it start tomorrow?
Dude: Ummm,  morning time..

We kept riding.

There was quite a bit of new pavement which is really nice.  Nice and smooth. This is the road leading back up to Little Switzerland.(above)
And below is Little Switzerland. 

Have a great day!!

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Friday, June 18, 2010


Stress saps the mind, body and soul of it's strength.  I have taken quite a hit since everything that went down last week.  I was worried that I would not be able to hold on for the Thursday Liberty Road Ride.  I showed up anyway, because I needed to ride. I opted to drive to work instead of riding and then riding to the ride. 

I go home, changed and headed up the parkway to the shop.   Surprisingly it didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would.  My legs still felt flat.   I figured I would head out with the group and see how it went.

Fortunately, most of the regular fast guys didn't show up so the pace was fairly chill. 

I was able to hang on and thanks to a lead out from the one and only Robert Watkins, I got a huge gap on the group.  But, then he pulled off, and I couldn't hold on.

We regrouped and continued.  Pacelining and chatting.  Once we hit the short stretch of Hwy25, everybody was sitting up and chatting.  I accidentally rolled off the front, and realized that they weren't coming.  I upped my pace and continued to roll.  Knowing that if they worked together, I would not last long, I continued to push it and stayed out front until they caught me.

A few of them passed me, and then a few more. I thought that I would not be able to hang on, but I tested my legs anyway.  To my surprise, I was able to keep the pace and ride steady.  I tucked in and drafted. 

Towards the end of the loop before we get back to Hendersonville rd, there are some grunt hills that are always challenged.  Today was no different.  Someone attacked, and then there were the counter attacks.  Fun stuff.

We rolled back towards the shop tired but content.

Have a great day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chimney Rock

Public Planning Session Will Consider Chimney Rock State Park Master Plan
RALEIGH – As part of the process to create a master plan for Chimney Rock State Park in the Hickory Nut Gorge, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will conduct a public planning session May 26 at the Lake Lure Town Hall. Citizens are invited to visit the drop-in session anytime from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Proposed design alternatives for the state park will be presented and the public will be able to ask questions and offer comments to officials of the state parks system and Greenways Inc., a Durham-based environmental planning and landscape architecture firm responsible for completing the plan.

“Creating a world class state park at Chimney Rock has been and continues to be a partnership effort between the state parks system and the community,” said Lewis Ledford, division director. “Chimney Rock State Park has benefited from strong support in the community, and it’s important that citizens continue to be involved in the process.”

A state park’s master plan is essentially a blueprint for long- term development of facilities and recreation opportunities and a guide for protection of natural resources. It is meant to be an organic document, evolving as the park grows and as knowledge is gained about a park’s natural resources and public use.
The N.C. General Assembly authorized Chimney Rock State Park in 2005, and more than 4,300 acres in Rutherford, Polk, Henderson and Buncombe counties has been acquired in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and others. In 2007, the former Chimney Rock tourist destination was added to the park and offers the principal current public access.

The drop-in planning session will involve a workstation format allowing citizens to attend at any time during the day and spend as much time as necessary to review and discuss design alternatives. Proposed designs will also be available beginning May 26 at Written comments may be submitted through June 23 either by using an online comment sheet or by mail to: General Management Plan Coordinator, NC Division of Parks and Recreation, 1615 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699- 1615.

(From the Pisgah Area Sorba web-site)

Please take the time to comment.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Emotional Abuse

Last week was a rough week for me and a lot of you asked if I was OK. Thanks for your concern.  I am OK,  in fact I have never been better.

When I finally stood up and confronted the people who were making me feel uncomfortable, and powerless,  I felt a power and control of my own life that I have never felt before.   The sky was bluer and the grass was greener, the air fresher.  I cannot explain it other way than to say that a great burden had been lifted.

Obviously by my previous posts, the people I confronted did not want to let go of that grasp and most likely felt powerless.  In fact, that is the root cause of emotional abuse.  A person feels so insecure that they belittle those around them to maintain a false sense of power.

I am guilty.  I have done just that.  I have belittled people around me and made myself feel better because they could not take the heat.  It was not really a conscious effort, but a learned trait.  And it took  a lot of losing to realize that what I was doing was damaging to others and not helpful to myself.

I have had a lot of friends help me over the years, by example.  Being positive and treating people with respect.  You know who you are, thanks.

Now that I have taken control of my life, I no longer live under a cloud of fear.  No longer wondering when I will screw something else up.

Another thing I noticed over the past 3 yrs is that I jump every time one of my bosses walks in my office.  I jump as if I am doing something wrong and I am going to get busted, even though I knew I was doing nothing wrong.  Weird.  Since last week,  I no longer jump when they call my name or when they come rushing in my office to ask me to do something.  In fact, I am more eager than ever to get things right.  Not for them, but because I know I have what it takes to do the job right.

I no longer live in fear.  

If you feel belittled, insecure, worthless, jumpy, if you are called inappropriate names, etc,  you might be encountering emotional abuse.  If you are, please talk to someone or contact me.

Since writing my story last week,  4 people in similar situations have shared their situations with me.   I love that I can help others through this by sharing what I am going through.  This is nothing to be ashamed of.

There is freedom,  you have to be the one to break the chains!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


You know what I'm thinking?  
I'm thinking about the huge impact that you would have on multiple lives and the future if you clicked here and donated now!!!
Have a great day.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I have the opportunity to go to the Breck Epic in August and I need your help "Just like in 2009 we’re gonna give away 4 free entries to the race to the folks who can do the best job of communicating the experience. And who are also the most popular. That’s right, you guys (the bored, the imprisoned and the insomniac reading this page) get to vote on which ones you like. "

All you have to do is send an e-mail with JANES in the Subject line,  nothing else and send it to: and add a short note telling them you would like to see me win. 
Vote only once,  if you voted on Facebook don't vote here!!

Thanks for your help and please pass this on!!

Saturday afternoon I took a road ride out to Marshal, via the Bear Creek loop.  I love that loop and have not been out there for several months.  I was feeling good and the hills felt a little bit smaller.  My biggest challenge came in the form of heat.  It was blazing hot, and in 3  hrs I drank all 3 bottles that I had brought and was still 8 miles from home. I debated with myself as to what course of action I should take.  Then I started to get hungry. 

I decided to stop at a shop on the River Arts District to beg for some water

Cloth helped me out, and filled me up.  They told me that I could have some water on the condition that I bring some friends back.  First of all, if someone needs water and asks for it,  just give it to them without any conditions. 

So, I needed water bad enough, and I appreciated the water, that I now need to take some friends to visit Cloth.  Who wants to go? 

Pulling out of the parking lot, Gordy came by on his bike with a messenger bag full of Salmon and other food from Greenlife.  I tried to figure out how to get the bag away from him without him knowing but came up with no solution.  Next time....

My kid caught some fish this weekend.  He was a champ!!
Lastly, just a little tidbit to think about.  For some people, saying "I'm sorry", is one of the most difficult things to do.  I think the root of the problem is that they don't want to, or in some cases refuse to admit they were wrong.  So,  if someone didn't do anything wrong, there is nothing to say "I'm sorry" for.  And no amount of telling them what they did, will help them.  It is something you have to decide for yourself.  It takes practice, and after a while, admitting wrong becomes second nature.  Try it.

Have a great day!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dirt Ride

 Disclaimer: there might be some embellishment in this post

After such a long week it was great to get out for a ride.  This is a rest week, which means easy rides. Unfortunately, due to work I have not ridden since Saturday's assault on Mt Mitchell.  I have the best job in the world for me right now though, so I am not going to complain. 

I met Nolan over at Bent Creek.  He had one hour, so we headed up Ingles Field and down Hickory Top,  although HT is not all down!! 

We had planned on a nice easy ride.  I let him take the lead and he upped the pace.  I think he has been training secretly and this ride was really a test to see where my fitness is.   Knowing his schemes, I kept my efforts at around 75% the whole time.  And I let him take the lead.    Even on the downhills I held back,  not wanting to show what I have.  It's something I learned from Lance Armstrong when we used to ride together. 

We had some good talks about life in general.  It was great to just ride with a friend who understands the need to ride.  In fact, all of my friends who ride, understand the need to ride.  It's the non-riding ones who think I am crazy,  for more reasons that one.   But that's fine,  we do it because we love it.  It makes us feel good, it keeps us healthy.  And our kids love it!!

It was hot and steamy,  as we climbed the grunts on Hickory Top.  I was feeling good and relaxed which translated to the bike being looser and rolling smoother.  I was hitting little jumps and riding the little techy sections with confidence,  letting nothing bog me down. 

We rolled on down the dirt road hitting speeds of at least 32 mph,  a squirrel started to run out in front of me.  It changed it's mind last minute...that would have hurt.

Out onto BC Gap road we headed back.  Nolan admitted that this ride was a little faster than we had planned.  We were both satisfied though.  I was fine taking a chill pace back to the parking lot, but when he said we had two hill intervals left, and thought back to last time we rode, and how he got the jump on me,  I knew what he had in mind. 

We kept the same pace up the first long hill before descending to the Deerfield Conn parking lot.  I had taken the lead and was about 20 yrds out.  I sprinted in the saddle to widen the gap and kept going.  Nolan has a lot of power and I was not sure if I could keep the pace up.  I slowed and let him catch me.  As he caught on, he attacked.  I stood up and close to the top of the hill was able to get in his slipstream.  We were both trying to recover before the last climb to the parking lot.  I wanted to surge but stayed tucked in. As we reached the bottom of the hill, I eyeballed a target where I would attempt my attack.  Nolan knew that I was going to try something,  he is one smart cat,  so as  the hill tilted up, he attacked.  It was a good attack and had me a little worried.    I threw my plan out the window, and stood on the pedals.   I stayed behind him a for a couple of seconds until I got my rhythm and came around,  not fast, but gradually.  Then I was in the lead and we were there.  Thanks Nolan.

1 hour in the woods was great for me today.  I was able to get back home to see my family,  cut a neighbor's grass and hang out with my wife!! 
Fun times.

Have a great day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Moving On

This week I was told" Thanks for ruining my week", I was called rediculous, immature, childish, a hard headed idiot, told I was acting like a Nazi,  and told that talking to me was like talking to a 3rd grader. I have been studying and processing my experiences for several years now.  I'm not sure how much more I need to confirm that the relationship is not healthy.  And, after doing quite a bit of research realize the relationship is categorized as abusive.  

I am partially to blame for not making a stand earlier in life. But due to a low self esteem, I didn't think I had the courage to stand up for myself.  So, I stayed in the relationship and endured. 

But, not anymore.  I am making a stand and not going to take it anymore.   I am my own person and I will not be manipulated by the fear that you won't approve.  I will not be bullied into acting like you think I should, so that you will be pleased.   While I care about you, as I care about anyone,  I will not subject myself, or my family to that environment.  You cannot and will not control me.

I was also asked if I could forgive someone without ever talking to that someone.  While it would be peachy keen to do so, I believe that if that were possible, it would invalidate the true meaning of forgiveness.  The underlying meaning behind the question is " can't we just sweep this under the rug and move on".  In order to experience forgiveness, there has to be repentance.  So, no,  while I am fully prepared to forgive, I cannot forgive unless there is repentance.  True, upfront and honest; with no excuses.

If you are in an abusive relationship, please get help.  If I can do it, so can you.

Time to move on.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Pray For Grace

A person called me last night to ask what was going on.  Referring to the situation that I wrote about yesterday.  He had only gotten a little piece of the story.  He was infuriated, yelling at me and calling me names.  He told me that I am a hard headed idiot, and that talking to me was like talking to a 3 yr old.  
That is what happens when you stand up for what is right.  Things get crazy.  I'll openly  admit that part of the issue was my fault for not confronting the issues long ago.  I had learned that it was better to sweep things under the rug, and not get people upset.  I know better now......

Why must I feel like this today
I'm a soldier but afraid sometimes
To face the things that may
Block the sun from shinin' rays
And fill my life with shades of grey
But still I long to find a way
So today I pray for grace

I take a moment to myself
So I can myself
To feel myself
And be real myself
Life's addictions and afflictions
Cause abrasions from their friction
Sometimes, it's easier to live in fiction
I can run, but I can't hide
From the pains that
Reside deep down inside
There is no pill
That can be swallowed
There is no guru
That can be followed
There's no escapin'
From my own history
Those that I hurt,
And those that hurt me
I was dead for a million years
'Fore I was born and
I'll be dead for a million more
After I'm gone
So I live, to give somethin'
That can live on
Like the way you hum a song when the music's gone
Like the warmth on the sand
When the sun goes down
And I'm sittin' with myself
Nobody else is around but,


Been a long, long time
Since I been away
Been a long, long time
Since I felt this way
Been a long, long time
I found the words to say
How much I'm grateful
For my life today
'Cause under every cup
You might find a nut
Behind every corner
You might get jacked up
At the end of every rainbow,
You might find gold
The last bite of your sandwich,
Hope you don't find mould
'Cause none of us
Can live the perfect life
The kind that we see on nick at night
And sometimes, we all
Just lose sight
Of the pain that will guide us
From dark into the light
We fall down yes, but we get up,
And sometimes we just need
A little bit of love
To help make it
Through another day
Into the night, into the light,
Into a Saturday
So in the morning when I'm waitin'
For the sun to raise
And my head's a little foggy
Like I'm in a haze
I remind myself that
Everything is gonna be okay
I take a breath, slow down and say...

Michael Franti- Pray for Grace

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


I'm not sure what to say today.  I had something to do, that I chewed on for way too long and I did it.  I confronted an individual,  and the outcome,  while disappointing, confirmed that what I was doing was right.  The result confirmed my observation and now it is out there, and as I have said before, I have no regrets.

Part of the issue was my problem.  By not being honest with myself and sweeping stuff under the rug.  Acting like everything was ok so I could have the approval I needed to feel good about myself.   After a while, that approval, that I had created, started to feel a little off.  Then it didn't feel like approval anymore.  I got tired of playing the good guy, catering to how I thought they wanted me to act.   So, I quit.  I am my own person and someone has an issue with that, then so be it.  I have found an inner peace, one that comes from my Creator, and I am pulling away from the trap of seeking man's approval.  

I am tired of acting like everything is ok when it is not.  That is a bold faced lie, and I hate lies.  

You can either take me how I am, not try to change me, not tell me what I am doing wrong and that your way is better, or you can leave me.

There is a difference in offering suggestions for improvement, and always feeling like you have the right answer.  The first I am open to.  The second....not.

Just some really tough stuff that I want to put out there. Maybe you are in a similar situation.  I hope that you can stand up and do the right thing.

I'm venting here, but as stated in previous posts.  This blog is to challenge you in your life.  To give a different, sometimes brutally honest perspective.   Maybe sometimes I approach things a little bit differently than traditional.  But I feel like that is a good thing. 

So, its out there.  And this will probably drag on for way too long.  The one thing I know is that I will learn a lot about myself through this situation and I look forward to that. 

Just like in cycling, in order to grow, I have to push my boundaries,  challenge myself, and step out of my comfort zone. 

Have a great day.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Mt Mitchell

As I pulled out of the driveway on Saturday morning at 7am, it was foggy.  I was tired from a solid block of training. Jubal had to go to school to make up snow days and Rhonda was at home alone.  Not a good recipe for being motivated for a long ride.....

I forced myself to go, knowing that the humidity was high and that it would pay off for ORAMM.  I pedaled over to the parkway and started my personal assault on Mt Mitchell.  I used to do this ride several times per year, but have not done it in at least two years.  I was excited about doing it again, yet somewhat apprehensive.  It is a long ways!

I spent some time warming up before I got to the first big climb.  At the top I felt good and had the feeling that this was going to be a good ride. 

My gut turned out to be right.  As soon as I got above 3000 ft or so of elevation, the sun shone brightly and the views were incredible.  I have wanted to do a ride above the clouds since I moved here 6 yrs ago and it finally worked out.  The conditions definitely caused my spirits to soar.   I spun on up the road, thinking about life.  Nothing too deep, just letting my mind jump from thought to thought.

I could not remember how long this ride had taken in the past, but I was thinking about 6.5 hrs.  When I estimate a ride time I like to inflate the time, just in case.  I was expecting to get back home around 2pm.

Just before Craggy Gardens, I stopped to fill my bottles at the spring.  I know of two springs up here and I use them every time.  The water is so pure and cold.  Interestingly, I feel really energized every time I use this water.

It is difficult to explain the sensations and feelings that I experienced today on this ride.  If you ride, you can understand.  There are some rides where everything clicks and things are great.  This is one of those rides.

I made it to the top in 3 hrs and 2 minutes.  I don't know if this is fast or slow, and would like to know and compare the time to others, to satisfy my competitive drive.  But, the other side of me doesn't really care.  It was a great day.

The top was windy, socked in with fog and chilly.  I filled up my water bottles, ate a Honey Stinger Bar and plunged back down the mountain.   It is not all downhill though.  There are 3 substantial climbs before getting back to Craggy Gardens.    It felt good though.  I felt good.  I rode within my limits and still had plenty of energy left.  Maybe I could have gone a little bit faster, maybe a faster pace would have pushed me over the edge.  Maybe next time I'll find out,  maybe not.

Somewhere down there, near the center of the picture, is where I work!

The ride back was a blast. Not only was I elated that I had made it to the top,  I was elated about still feeling good and not having to creep up the hills.  I was still maintaining a steady rhythm, this was good.  As I cruised past Craggy Gardens Visitor Center,  I did the math and realized that I could potentially make it home in time to pick my kid up from school on the bike.

And that is exactly what I did:

Have a great day!!

Friday, June 04, 2010


On my way to the Thursday Night Liberty Road Ride, I stopped by the house to swap out water bottles.  I had grabbed some new Enervit bottles and the flow was too little. I felt like I was suffocating and dehydrating while trying to drink. Not to mention that the lids leaked so that my fluids dribbled down my chin.

Before I got off the parkway I stashed a bottle of ice water.  It was blazing hot and I knew that I would need it when I got back. 

Everyone agreed that it was hot out, and I was hopeful that it would not be a hammer ride. 

The pace was medium chill for the first 15 minutes the the hammer came down.  There were some really strong riders today, so I just hung back in the back while they rotated pulls.  It was the only way I was going to survive.  I hung on longer that I have been able to in the past. 

Everytime we stopped to regroup, the sun beat down on us.  The air was still and there was a thunderstorm in the distance.  My head was starting to hurt.  I was spending a lot of time at my HR max,  I don't think that is a good thing.  I knew that I was starting to overheat.  My legs were tired and I couldn't hang on.  When Sam pulled up next to me and said " Do you wanna ride with me?",  I gasped and said "Yes". 

He didn't say where he was going, but it was more comfortable than trying to hang on.  And that is what road cycling boils down to.  Comfort levels.   The one who can be the most uncomfortable for the longest time....wins.  Ok,  maybe that's not all of it, but that is part of it.  

I have a long ride scheduled for Saturday. I'm not sure where I am going for that one, and being a bit tired from last night, it is hard to think about it.  I'll decide last minuted, I'm sure. 

So, we slowed the pace to moderate and kept spinning.  The group waited up and on the last hill before Hendersonville rd, I could not resist the pull of the animal deep inside.  I attacked.  It was good and I got the jump, but halfway up the steep grunt climb, I ran out of steam and got dropped. 

We re-grouped for the ride back down to the shop.  It is a really cool part of the ride where everyone is tired and the attacks stop.  We roll as a group.  Chatting about things. 

A good day, good ride with good people.

I was glad that I had stashed the bottle,  the ice had melted but the water was cool.  I ate a Honey Stinger Gel, and sipped on the cool water.  Unzipping my jersey, I slowly spun up the last hill then soft- pedaled down the other side,  cooling off, looking forward to the next ride.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


It was hot and humid and the air was still when I headed out of the parking lot.  I knew that the lower BC trails were probably soggy so I headed up Ingles Field to Hickory top, then down to Sidehill,  taking a right and crossing the creek I considered taking BC Gap rd but was pleased to see that the trail was dry enough that I would not damage it. 

Climbing up, I was excited about the ride today.  My focus was to keep a steady pace and enjoy the ride. 

As I hit BC Gap rd, I turned right and climbed up to the gap, rolled under the Parkway, took a couple of pedal strokes and rolled down the other side of the ridge. 

Dropping down into Mills River on an after work ride is always exciting.  Dusk is slowly creeping up and tonight, there were large patches of fog that added to the mystique.  As I descended, I thought about the last couple of years and friends who have come and gone.  I have enjoyed reconnecting with a lot of them.  Some have found me, and I have found some, but it always comes down to one thing:

Do you respect me and accept me for who I am right now?  Are you willing to accept the fact that I have been through a lot and see things differently than I used to?  Are you willing to accept that this is my family and I am taking care of them the way that I see is best?   Are you willing to let go, and let me be free to be me?  And of course I have to ask myself the same questions, but the answer is yes.  But the one that sums it all up is the last one:
" Are you willing to let me be free to be me"?  
Definitely a loaded question, but a valuable one.  The ones who can't answer yes, don't get very far with me.  They are trying to change me, to tell me how to think, tell me what I should or should not be doing and how I should be doing it.  That ain't right!!! 

So, some folks are still friends and we stay in touch, others have moved on.  ( one even unfriended me on Facebook.....seriously, got me good there.)   But, the interesting thing is that the ones who have accepted me have empowered me to move past the ones who have not.  In the past, I would have done what I could to keep those relationships, despite the fact that I was becoming someone else to please them.  I am growing out of that mindset, and the freedom I have found is so empowering.

I climbed up to the bottom of Trace Ridge.  I have not done this route since I got my Siren about 1 yr ago.  I'm not sure why, I just have not been over this way.  So, tonight was the night and the bike didn't let me down.  I definitely let the bike down and dabbed more than 5 times, but for the most part we just climbed together in silence.  The air was stifling and I was going as slow as I could so I didn't overheat, but that is nearly impossible while climbing Trace.  Taking a right on Spencer and gently riding the contours of the mountain I enjoyed the feeling that one experiences while the sun is setting.  The soft light, the birds singing, bugs buzzing.  The sound of the forest. 

I climbed up Wash Creek Road, dropped down into BC and headed back to the truck.  Body taxed, mind clear,  satisfied with life.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Training Stuff.

I am starting to feel stronger on my rides.  I think that the past two years, I have erred on the side of caution and been too careful about getting enough rest and doing the right amount of recovery rides.   No wonder I felt so rested.  I never taxed my muscles. 

The race Friday night,  I was able to see that I could sustain an effort longer than I thought I could. Granted, the race was somewhere around 1.5 hrs, and I don't think that I could sustain the pace for 6 more hours.  But in the past, I would not have been able to do what I did. 

I'm jonesing to get out and race again, but I can't find anything for the month of June.  I used to ride The Cowbell Challenge, my first endurance race, in Charlotte this month, but that event has moved on.  The plus is that I won't have to go to Charlotte and suffer in the heat!!

So, I have planned to do some long rides here in the mountains.  It will be healthy to take a break from race pace and get some long miles in.  (That's what I keep telling myself).  

Next up is the Hot Doggett 100 on July 10th.  It's a fun one,  the shorter rides they offer are just as fun!!  Then Oramm on July 26th, which I am very excited about!!

Come out and join us!

Have a great day.