Friday, October 29, 2010


 I took a little spin on my old faithful route, down the Parkway and around Bent Creek.   Made it a gravel road spin, due to the recent rain.  It was an odd ride.  The thoughts and struggles in my head, sapping my legs and motivation.  I knew it would be good for me to get out though.  So, I went, slow and steady.  The leaves on individual trees are all at different stages of change.    Similar to people, all in the same forest, yet at different stages in life,  yet still standing side by side. It's great to have friends standing by my side,  it's even greater to have friends to stand beside. 
Have a great day!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Not Halloweeny, rather expressing displeasure.   The Blue Ridge Parkway up to Mt Pisgah will be closed all winter starting on Monday:  Report in Asheville Citizen Times.

Have a great day

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Rubber

Hooray for fresh tires on the road bike.  Thanks Kenda!!

Since there is a 100% chance of rain, I think I'll break them in on the rollers in the " Top Secret State of the Art Training Room Facility".   Maybe watch Ride The Divide too.

Then work on the secret project that will dictate my future.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Waiting in anticipation of things to come.  Waiting is an important function in life that most of us attempt to avoid at all costs.  What is it about waiting that we don't like? Inconvenience?  Not part of our plan?   I'm not sure, but I'm very familiar with it.

Most of the time, what it boils down to is waiting on someone who is on a different timeline than us.  Waiting for food, waiting for the UPS guy,  waiting for the weekend, ( who invented the 5 day work week anyway? It should be no more than 3.5 days). 

So, what do you do when you wait?  Read a book? Small talk?  Force the issue or enjoy the moment? 

I typically force the issue, and have found that it rarely ends well.  I can be as stubborn and driven as the next guy, and I can get the job done, but if the time is not right, things tend to fall apart. 

This time around, I am embracing the wait.  I have never really slowed down long enough to embrace it, to feel it.  It is different than shunning it, or replacing it.  It's a new frontier really, waiting,  exciting in a weird sort of way. 

Consider the crops.  Ideally, a farmer waits for the crops to grow before harvesting.  What does he do while waiting? Something else.   I'm going to do just that.  I'll tend to matters when needed, but while the wait continues, I'll do something else.

Very exciting.

Have a great day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Fun

 The weather has been stellar this October.  Highs in the 70's, lows in the 30's. 

We celebrated by spending a lot of the weekend outside.  We had considered a camping trip, but decided to stay home.  Saturday, we braved the leaf peeper traffic on the parkway to drive up to Mt Pisgah.  A really cool 3 mile round trip hike along the ridge line to the top of the mountain.  There is an observation deck on top with 360 degree views.  Lot's of tourists up there today.  2 quotes: " Does Asheville have tall buildings? Cause there are some tall buildings, that must be Asheville",  and, The Lady: " Are you from here?", Me: " Yes,  are you?", the Lady:" No, my soul is, every time I leave, I cry".....   

The kid likes to have fun:
 The view of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah Inn:
 After the hike, we headed home and enjoyed the company of the Strouts and Lavoies.  Good food, great friends!!!

Saturday, we were sitting around discussing options, and the kid suggested disc golf.  That's what we did.  9 holes at Richmond Hill.  Fun times:
 After we got home and had some lunch, I kitted up and headed out the door.  Down the Parkway to Bent Creek.  I met up with Chris and Nolan and had a very relaxing ( and sometimes a little too fast) ride around the contours of the Experimental Forest: 
4 hrs and 40 miles later, I wound up at home,  satisfied with a full weekend and looking ahead.  I hope to be getting some good news this week concerning my future.  I can't wait to share what I am looking into.  It's gonna be great.

Have a great day.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I rode Kitsuma today, for the first time since the improvements.  I try not to complain about things in life unless I have a solution to the problem.  I don't have a solution,.  As I sit here typing this, I am still very disappointed  at what I saw today.   I have read the reviews on MTBR, but still headed to the trail with an open mind.  What I found slashed my hope like a new development going into a ridge top.

The trail was totally sanitized,  even the spots that had absolutely no erosion issues, read: rock and gravel with good drainage, that could be ridden in a deluge with no trace that a bike had passed,  was sanitized and will be a mudfest next time it rains.

Kistuma is indeed changed.  I am proud that I got to ride the trail as it was.  

 Below is a picture of a sanitized switchback.  The picture does not show everything but I believe that after a severe rain, erosion will be very apparent.  On top of that, half rotten logs were used to support the tread.  Give it a year and a hurricane and this will look different.
 Farther down the trail, I could not believe how wide the tread was, and how loose the soil was on the uphill side of the trail.  With almost no effort, I stuck my foot into the side of the hill.  Where will all of this sediment end up when it rains? 
 Again, the picture does not show very well: 2 things:
on both sides of the tread is a ditch, a couple of inches deep.  Kind of like the gutter at a bowling alley.  I imagine that water will gather in these gulleys, traveling downhill , eroding the tread, until it hits the undulation in the upper middle portion of the picture.  Said undulations are less undulations and more dips that threaten to stop a 29" wheel in it's tracks.  There were numerous "rough undulations".  Not smooth at all, and not effective.  Again, I imagine that the water will run downhill, hit these extreme undulations and erode them away, causing them to collapse on themselves.
From what I understand, the extreme undulations were intended to "slow you guys down".   Guess what?  I made it down the length of the trail 5 minutes faster than my personal record.  The extreme undulations will gradually get worn down from people dragging their brakes over them in addition to the rain that is bound to wash it down.

I am not one who could clean this entire trail,  but today, save for one spot where I dabbed due to my shock at what had been done, I cleaned the entire trail.  But I didn't feel any glory.  I had not conquered Kitsuma,  not the Kitsuma that I have been trying to conquer for 4 yrs.  I conquered Ingles Field at Bent Creek,  that's what it felt like anyway.

Kitsuma of the past always made me feel like I was in the middle of nowhere, even though I was only 3 miles from pavement.  Kitsuma of the past always had a respect from me, a fear that if I did not respect her, she would deliver severe consequences.  Kitsuma of old was always draining mentally as much as physically.

Today when I rode her,  it was easy and brainless..... what to do?

I'm not sure I have a solution for this one.  I'm not sure what to do.  MTBR folks listed some suggestions.  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I am sure I don't like what happened......

While the trail is not utterly destroyed, it still has potential.   The super deep and ridiculously steep undulations need to be more rounded on top.   After it rains, the trail will show where work needs to be done.  Hopefully, the forest will reclaim the trail and bring back the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kids and Bikes

I've been spending the past couple of weeks volunteering at the Erwin Middle School Bike Rodeo for the 6th grade PE class.  It has been a blast helping out and watching kids improve in both riding skills and safety skills.  We have two more days left if you want to help.  ( Friday and Monday 9-12).

Then when I was invited to help out with the Erwin Middle Bike Club,  I couldn't resist.   We wound up with close to 30 kids riding around, burning calories, having a blast and practicing safe passing. 

What if every school had  a bike club?

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I rode out of my driveway for an easy 2 hr spin and realized immediately that I was overdressed.  I peeled off a layer then hit the road.   Nothing super exciting,  except for the fact that I was on my bike, which is always exciting.  I pedaled out to Black Mountain on hwy 70 then turned around at Duke's and headed back Old 70. 

After the kid got home,  we bought a large gourd and carved it up:
Have a great day!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Longish Ride

After dropping the kid off at school and making a run to the store to get a new battery for my computer, I stalled a little more, waiting for the sun to come up.  It was chilly outside, and I was hoping for some solar heat to come my way.

It was 59 degrees, when I finally rolled out, which is not that cold, but felt cold for some reason.  I headed up the parkway, planning on a 4 hr spin around Bent Creek and back home.  I love this route.  Not the techiest route around, but definitely a good workout. 

Feeling good, I pushed a little hard up the hills.  This would be the longest ride I have done since the stage race.  About 1.5 hrs into the ride, I decided it would be wise to cut it short and head home.  Maybe if I had paced myself a little better, I could have gone into the 4th hour, but I was not really worried. 

I hit some of the single track in BC,  passed a squirrel hunter on Sidehill, and headed back to the Parkway. 

It was an uneventful ride, but exciting just the same.   The colors of the leaves are amazing right now, and something about that ride did something in my head that left me feeling peaceful and confident about the future. 

The past 7 weeks have been amazing that way.  In the past I have been stressed in the situations, losing sleep and not eating.  This time, though, things have been different.  I'm cherishing every day, and every moment spent with my wife, kid and friends. 

Have a great day.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Another weekend of LEAF.  Time spent with the kid, outside.  Wandering around,  watching, talking, chasing, eating hot dogs and BBQ.  Laughing, singing, loving life and living in the moment. 

We didn't spend a whole lot of time in one place.  Just long enough.  From kid's village to the big tent and back.   A little canoeing, throwing the Frisbee, some arts and crafts.  

Most of Saturday was spent hanging out with the kid's of Okie Dokies.  Two little boys and mine made 3.  It was a blast keeping up with 3 different little personalities.  Those kids are hilarious.

On Sunday as we walked past Eden Hall, I was captivated by the roots/rock sounds of the Boukman Experyans.  I was drawn in, dragging the kid behind me.  As we made out way through the back, the music was cranked and the beat was thumping.  The building was filled with people, bouncing, smiling, hugging.....I shed a few tears as I thought about this Haitian Band and their motherland is going through.  I shed a few more tears as I watched these people, pouring their hearts out, doing what they love, and sharing smiles and joy.  It was a good moment.  It reminded me that I need to love more, to give more, to let go of myself and continue to help my brothers and sisters. 

Just the day before, I reached out the window of my truck to hand the guy $2.  I could hear my dad's voice in the back of my head,"  Lock the doors, don't look at him".  I had to fight past society's view of this guy and realized that he is human,  and he has a need.  He had the guts to ask.  So many people don't have the guts to ask for help.  Analyzing how he wound up there, and what he was doing about it will get me nowhere.  I was there, he was there.  He was hungry,  I know what it is like to be hungry and unsure where my next meal is coming from.  Try is sometime, and watch the people around glare in disagreement.....

We all have neighbors, brothers and sisters,  right where you live, who need a helping hand.   Be that hand today!

Have a great day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Last One

I rode out for my last Thursday night Liberty ride last night.  The air was cool and the wind was blasting.  I have only been on the bike a handful of time since the stage race and I was not sure where my fitness was.  As I rode up the corridor of the BRP, I breathed deep and enjoyed the bright fall colors on the trees. 

We had a dozen guys show up for the ride.  I made sure to let everyone know that I did not intend to ride fast like we have been doing all year.  I'm tired of hammering and going fast, pushing myself to the limit and going crosseyed.  While that is all fun, my body and mind need a break.   I need just to wander on the bike for a couple of weeks before I go fast again.  In addition, I am still coughing a little bit,  leftovers from my sickness last week.  

We rolled out on our regular route a little after 5pm.   It turned out to be a great ride.  The weather was great, with out first strong winds of the season. We rode, chatted, formed a paceline, broke up on the hills, re-grouped and repeated.  We were still able to get some good speed going and every now and then someone would pick up the pace.  It was perfect. 

Before the ride, I was feeling sluggish and unmotivated.  After the ride I was definitely invigorated, and my motivation to ride long again was back. 

We got back after the sun had dropped behind the trees.  Riding through the golden glow of the evening, parting ways and then riding solo back to the house,  was peaceful.

Fall is here, enjoy the ride!

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


What are you going to do today to make the world, even the small world right in your own neighborhood, a better place?  What extra effort are you going to take, to "help someone across the street"? 

Is that something you do on a daily basis?   Do you practice random acts of kindness? 

What is random acts of kindness became: habitual acts of kindness? 

It is sometimes difficult to fathom how one little act of sacrifice can have a long lasting  affect on the whole world.  We are programed in a fast food society.  We are problem solvers.  We want things to move faster and smoother and are very successful at creating machines and ideas that make our lives faster and smoother.  

A problem comes when we don't consider the collateral damage.  The faster/smoother ideas generally only benefit one people group in a society, and the others.....get left.   Another issue arises when the machine breaks,  the system comes to a standstill and things get backed up.  

Let's make a point today of not focusing on the faster and smoother, focus instead on habitual acts of kindness!!

Have a great day. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It was with mixed feelings that I rolled out of my driveway on my bike yesterday.  I was riding out to Erwin Middle for another round of bike rodeos.   It has been great working with the volunteers and staff, along with watching the concept of bicycle safety click in the 6th grader's heads. 

As I pedaled along the river, I reviewed where I am in life and wondered what was going to happen.  I am amazed that I am still commuting by bike.  10 yrs ago, I never knew that I would be where I was, that I would have spent so much time on a bike in so many types of weather.

The bike is an amazing machine,  a tool that has brought me so many friends and so much community support.  The bike has been my companion when I was lonely, took me away my aggression when I was angry, helped me face my fears, and challenged me to keep going.  The bike has given me self-confidence, and a desire to keep going. 

So when I have days like yesterday, when I feel like my dreams are not going to come to fruition, I will keep going, I will keep my head up and I will keep pedaling.  

In the end I realize, it's not even about me,  it's about how I can positively affect those around me, with the hopes the the ripples will extend all the way to the edge of the pond.  When it's all said and done, if people don't remember me, I am fine with that.   It's the thought that I am not doing as much as I could that saddens me,  and inspires me at the same time.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I got the opportunity to help out with a bike rodeo for the PE class at Erwin Middle School the next two weeks.  Yesterday was the first day and it was a blast.  We split the kids into four groups and with two adults per group, we had out hands full. 

It is so much fun guiding the kids through the drills and watching them succeed at each station.  Kids are smart and we need to give them more credit,  more of the bigger picture to think about. 

I also rode my bike for the first time in over a week yesterday.  I commuted to the rodeo and then took the scenic route back home, going through downtown.  I hope to do the same again today. 

I have a meeting on Friday that might give me some idea about what the future holds. 

Have a great day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Here We Go

I'm finally feeling normal, only a tiny bit of cough left over, but my energy level seems to be sustaining.  My recovery indicates that I did have more than sinus, and Rhonda tells me she thinks I had the flu.....Swinus Flu?

Saturday, I left the fam and went to Enka/ Candler Fire Dept to help out with a bike rodeo.  It is  a really cool activity targeted towards kids that helps them practice signaling, stopping, balancing and how to be safe on a bicycle.  We had roughly 70 kids come through.   There is such a huge need for more bicycle education.

After coming home, we were all tired so we went to the soccer complex to watch soccer,  after going by Sonic for some milkshakes ( I had peanut butter). 

As we were sitting there, we smelled cigarette smoke.   Smoking is now banned in city and county parks so I walked over to the guy, sitting 15 feet behind us and said"  Hey man, do you mind not smoking.  Especially since its illegal.". 

I had noticed this guy when we first arrived at the park.  Sitting alone on a bench, in the shade, with sunglasses and a 4 inch cross hanging around his neck.  He apparently was not with anyone, as I didn't see him talk to anyone the whole time we were there.  He spent most of the time doing something on his lap top. Red flags were going up everywhere.

So, he put the cigarette out and I went back to chilling.   A few minutes later, I turned around to check on him and he was gone.  Finding that odd, I looked around the park.  He had moved to the other side of the square, in a spot where, I had to move around to find him, as if he intentionally was hiding from me.  When he saw me looking, he yelled"  Mind your own business".   A few minutes later, wanting to keep an eye on him,  I looked and he was gone.  Scanning the park, I saw that he had moved again.....this to another spot where he could see me but it was difficult to see him.....creepy.  

Nothing more developed, but keep your eyes open and stay safe!

The rest of the weekend, was spent with family and helping a friend out.  Nothing too exciting.  This week should find me busy with some things and hopefully a bike ride!!!

Have a great day.

Friday, October 08, 2010


So much on my mind this morning.  So many thoughts, dreams and discouragement all at the same time.  Every time I start to write something, I delete it. Except this time.  I didn't delete this. 

So many things I want to do, so many dreams.  So many pieces have fallen,  been guided rather, into place.  Waiting, breathing, practicing patience.  I can see where the next piece needs to go, just can't find the piece.  Which means I don't really know where the next piece needs to go......

Relax, breathe, enjoy the day.

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Pushing On

I'm pushing on through the clouds of discouragement that surround.  It's a bad time right now, but the upside is I'll be able to identify with more people now. 

In 3 weeks, we will not have health insurance.  I have never gone without health insurance but will be joining the 86.7 millions Americans ( over the past two years) who have been without health insurance.  Kind of a scary place to be for me, but other have managed, and I'm sure I can too.  

From September 2, 2010:
"The Creator has something in the works and I need to embrace patience in a way that I never have before".
 Sometimes my eyes fall from the bigger picture, and my faith waivers.  I start to look around at the waters raging around me, start to panic and start to sink.  Life is not progressing where I want it to, where I need it to.  I'm not getting anywhere and I'm attempting to accomplish goals on my own power.

I take a deep breathe and exhale,  then do it again. 

It's time to test my faith and the theory that if my Creator cares for me, I will be provided for,  in every way,  despite my circumstances,  good or bad...

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Half way through the week.  I've been sick for a week now.  Finally got some antibiotics going yesterday and about died last night choking on my phlegm.  Fun stuff.

Still lots going on, but nothing interesting enough for you to read about,  unless you like reading about job applications......

I'll hopefully get something rolling soon, either a ride or a story about us moving into a van down by the river.  Either one will be more interesting than job apps!

I'd post some pictures too but I can't downloads pictures directly from my camera anymore.  Whoever thought that up, was not thinking.

Maybe tomorrow.

Have a great day.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Day 31

That's right,  I've been without a job for 31 days.  Pretty crazy, I didn't think we would last this long, but it's amazing how far a dollar can stretch.   We are being pretty creative with eating, and pinching penny's.  The savings will run out at some point, but until then.....

It's amazing how busy I have been too.  I have a couple of projects I'm working on.  One involves a lawyer, the other involves "true grit".... if you don't know, you'll have to wonder.  I'm not ready to spill the beans.  Both will be equally exciting and as much as I want to reveal, the time is not right.  Stay tuned.

I messed around with the tarp in the backyard some more and found a style I like.  It is pretty versatile, with an awning that can be raised or lowered, depending on need/precipitation/wind etc.  I'll post some pictures one day. 

I got a cold this week too, so I have not been on the bike a lot, but it was good to take some time off too.  I'm tired of hammering and trying to go faster,  time to just enjoy the ride.  

Take A Kid Mtn Biking Day on Sunday,  check with your local chapter of SORBA,  and don't miss out on the fun!!!

Have a great day.