Sunday, January 30, 2011


What? Another 3 hour ride,  outside, without freezing?

I rolled into Fletcher Park at 10 am for a 3-4 hour ride.  I was feeling confident until Will Black, Matt Dinsmore, some others, Chris Larsen? Matt? Eric? and of course Robert Watkins showed up.   8 people total.

We rolled out and set a moderate pace.  A flat course with some rolling hills was chosen, and after about 30 minutes, I didn't know exactly where I was.  It is so much easier knowing the terrain and what is coming up.

It was a fairly uninteresting ride, pulling and dropping back to recover.  It was great to meet some new people and to catch up with I know. 

We wound around for a while, through some really pretty country side, enjoying the views and keeping a steady pace.  After a while I realized that we were almost out at Dupont State Forest.  I know then that I better hang on, because it would be a very long ride back to the truck, alone.  

I was able to hang on, and actually felt pretty good.  I stayed hydrated, and fed, and while it was painful,  I felt better than I have in previous years.

3 hours  and 55 miles later we rolled back into the parking lot. 

60 degrees and sunny,  great way to finish January!!


With a forecast high of 50 degrees, I decided it was time for y first ever Bakery Ride.  Marios, the president of Asheville Bicycle Racing Club had invited me to come out several times but my schedule never worked out.  Today it did (and Marios did not show up...)

But, all was not lost, Keving Hessler showed up, and I knew it was going to be a good day.   We farted around for a few minutes until about 50 roadies got ready and rolled out.  Downhill to the river, with no one pointing out holes or debris,  I thought about moving farther up in the pack.  Less than 3 minutes later I was on the side of a road, rear tire flat, watching the whole pack move up the road and around the corner.  Then it was like a dream,  a vision of sorts,  a lone rider pulled out of the pack and rode back to me.  It was Kevin.

In my haste to try to do a quick change, I was not making any headway.  Kevin, being  a seasoned veteran bike mechanic, took over.  In minutes we were on our way, alone.    We pushed the pace for a while, and decided we should not push the pace because we would blow up,  we both agreed,  then we continued to push the pace.

 Our thinking was that they could be just up around the corner.  So we shifted through our gears, climbed and descended.  Coming around a corner we saw a lady walking her 5 dogs, off leash down the middle of the road.  Since Kevin was pulling, as he did for most of this ride,  he squeezed by and left me surrounded.  After much yelling and screaming, I got away with one little yapper on my heels.   I unclipped my left foot and took a swing, kicking the little punk right on the nose.

 As we rolled around the last ridge above Marshall, we could see some folks gathered at the bakery below.  We pulled up, I went in to fill the water bottles, peed, and came out,  2.5 minutes max.  I looked at Kevin, in a matter of seconds, the group left,  we decided to wait for stragglers. 

Erica Chard came out of the bakery where she had been hiding,  then the last two riders, Carla, and Wendy rode up.  So, there were 5 of us left to ramble up the river.   Everybody took some turns at the front, until we came upon Bob Wright, who had flatted. 

We stopped to help him get going again, then let Wendy and Erica set the pace, which was a great recovery from earlier.

After 45 miles and about 3 hrs, we got back to the parking lot and headed our separate ways. 

Enjoy the ride!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


It was cold,  low 30's, snowing and getting colder.  The wind was whipping too.  What made today any different than any other day that it was too cold to ride?  Any different than any other day with the same condition?  I don't know,  but there was something inside me that needed to be let out,  so I went.

I headed down the parkway,  when I got to hwy 25, the rangers were shutting it down.  No traffic was great.  What I needed was solitude and that is what I got.  The icy snow crystals lightly stinging my face and I spun down the road on my single speed cx bike.  When I took a right at the 191 ramp, the wind coming around the bluff tried to knock me over,  I stood up to gain ground, going down hill.

 Into the Arboretum and up Hardtimes rd.  It was thick and slow.  The dirt had taken on the form of playdough.  Not sticking  to the tires but soft enough that my wheels sank to the rim.  I was forced to stand on the pedals to maintain forward motion.  At the top of the gap the wind was blowing with force.  If there was not a forest, I am not sure I would be able to stand.  The trees were groaning and creaking,  I was alone.
After a little snack, I headed back down the icy soft dirt hill,  out to the parkway and back home.

It was a good ride.

Have a great day.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I finally got some knobby tires for my single speed- cx- flat bar- commuter- touring bike.  I was excited to see how they handled on dirt as opposed to the slicks that came on it.    I mounted the clincher Kendas and headed out the door.  Not sure how much air to put in, I went with 80-psi to avoid unwanted flats.  The temp was around 35 and was going to drop like a rock when the sun went down. 

Rolling down the parkway with the happy buzz of cx wheels on pavement,  I was content.   A bicycle can do that;  provide freedom and contentedness in a crazy world.

I rolled through the Arboretum and up Hardtimes rd taking note that the gates close at 7pm.   I had to make sure I could access the water fountain on the way out.  Once I reached the gap and started the decent, I cautiously let the bike pick up speed.  I was surprised how well the tires gripped, and I let it roll faster.  Surprised by the white field of ice and snow on the road in a bend, I slowed and readied to slide around but the tires held. 

As I was riding, I realized that this was my first time being back in the woods in 2011.  It felt great to be back.

I circled around, heading back to the Arboretum, back up Hardtimes from the lake, just as the sun was going down.  Stopping to fill up with water, I took a deep breathe and continued on.

1/2 mile from my neighborhood, dark was starting to settle in.  I rode up and over the last little climb, greeted by smoke coming out of the chimney. 

Walking inside to the warmth of the wood fire, and the love of my wife and kid,  a feeling like no other.

Have a great day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For Sale: Garmin Forerunner 405

Brand New: in box

Asking $250

Sunday, January 02, 2011

To You

to you, the oppressed, repressed, suppressed and depressed,   
this is your time to fight, or take flight so you can one day come back and fight.  
stand up, be proud, take charge
let your emotions guide you, not control you
stand up for what's right,
stand up to the ones who wrong you, 
who disrespect and belittle you, 
who tell you you can't do what you can do
when you do, they'll tell you you are wrong, but they are wrong,  
until they admit they are wrong, they will be wrong,  
but when they admit they are wrong, then they will be right
and they will be free
free from the bitterness and rage that is trapped inside
trapped by the pride that covers their eyes

but don't be concerned with that
look at you and what you can do,
its a new day, a new year
do whats right, start today, seek the way
and do what you love
love your neighbor as yourself

to you oppressed, repressed, suppressed and depressed,
this one is for you, I did it
and so can you
stand up and be proud, proud of who you are and what you can do
what you can do for you and your community

Saturday, January 01, 2011


So much to do, so little time.  So much that I wanna do, and so much that I was told I couldn't do, or it wouldn't be practical.  Practical for who?  You?  I'm not doing this for you.  And no it's not practical,  but what is practical?  Practical is based on presupposition, and each person seems to have his/her own presupposition.

So, I'm gonna follow my heart, my travelin' bone. Gonna pick up my wanderlust where I left off.  I'm gonna pack my bags and hit the highway. Let the wind blow through my hair, the sun burn my skin,  smell the fresh air.  I"m gonna get out of this city, and see some stuff. Maybe see the world. It's gonna be grand.

And then when I get to work, I'm gonna do my job.  I'll mingle around the water cooler and talk about the hardships of life.  I'll answer the phones and push the papers.  I'll explain things, encourage things, discourage things.   When quittin' time rolls around, I'll head back out into the great wide open.  I'll roll those wheels down the road.  I'll head south for a bit, then a little east,  and I'll be home again.  With the ones who love me, unconditionally,  who care about me and don't give up on me.  The ones who I live and work for.

And then tomorrow,  I'll get up and do it again.  And the next day, and on and on.  Until the weekend,  then it's the same, just no work.  Just fresh air and travelin' dreams,  all day long.

Have a great day.