Friday, May 31, 2013

Becoming "That Guy"

As I was out on my recovery ride today, I thought through my current stance on group rides.  And then suddenly it dawned on me that I could be turning into "that guy".  The Group Ride Nazi.  The one who consistently complains that someone is doing something wrong and thereby disrupting what could have been the most perfect rotating pace line group ride in the world. 

Nooooo.  I did not want that to happen, but it is happening.  This was later confirmed by an off hand but sincere comment from my friend Dave while I was at a local bike shop.  What he said was spot on.  It doesn't matter what was said, in fact I can't remember exactly what he said.  What matters is that the light bulb went off in my head.  I realized that I need to chill out a bit and enjoy the ride. 

My high expectation and search for perfection can become detrimental and cause me to chase the ideal rather than accept the reality. 

So now what?  Keep it rolling.  Ride with whatever group I need to ride with, but do it for the right reasons.  My hope is to have a group ride that works together, pushes the pace some but also holds up 10 seconds over the steeper climbs so the ones who are off the back can latch on and draft through the flats.  I want to encourage those who rarely pull, to stop wheel sucking and get on the front.  There are riders who feel like they don't have enough experience to pull, but definitely have the strength.  I want to encourage them to go for it.  They belong here and they have the right to share the load. 

I want to help first, second, timers and beyond to learn proper group riding etiquette.  I want to ride with a group of strong and fit folks, who with a bit of guidance would create a possibly formidable Team Time Trial rotating pace line. 

I definitely want to mix it up and push my limits as well. 

Ideal?  Maybe, so maybe I'll take it down a notch or two and chill for a bit.  Let my controlling tendencies go and turn the energy towards just being part of the group..... and maybe put in an attack once in a while.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The A's and the B's

I'm sure you are tired by now of hearing my rants on how the A's like to "bully" the B's.  I decided to do something about it and hatched a plan to make sure that the A group would finally leave ahead of the B's and hopefully stay separated.  Don't get me wrong,  I like the guys in the A group,  I know most of them and respect them all.  They are strong riders and I have learned a lot from the times they decide to ride a little bit slower.

And just to clarify,  I'm ok with other folks riding faster than me.  I just don't want to ride that fast, and there are others in the group who feel the same way.  So, what I did tonight, was nothing sinister or with ill intention,  I simply wanted to clarify that the B group needs to ride at a B group pace, and not feel like they have to chase down the A group which wants to ride faster.

I decided that the best way to get the groups to separate was to lead the A group.  Understand that the A's are so driven and have trained to chase breakaways and they simply cannot stand for anyone to be up the road ahead of them.  I decided that if none of the A's wanted to separate, I would roll out solo. 

Sam announced that I was leading the A group, which obviously drew a lot of questioning stares and funny comments.  I rolled out and about 10 guys followed.  The B's were to leave a few minutes after.

I took the front of the train and held a steady pace on the parkway.  We rolled the couple of miles to the first downhill to the creek then the climb up to the I-26 bridge.   I sat up a little, kept a high cadence and slowly drifted to the back of the pack.  And then I really backed off.  I mentioned to a couple of people not to wait for me if I didn't make it over the top.  I let a gap form,  and let it grow.  A couple of cars came up behind me and I waved them around.  They came around and were slowed by the group ahead.  I hid behind the cars until the group was out of sight.  Then I sat up and waited for the B's to catch me.   The plan had worked out perfectly. 

Again,  no offense was intended, only to make a statement that " A's are A's and B's are B's, A's are welcome to ride a B pace, but please respect that we don't want to ride an A pace". 

Only a few minutes later they came into view with Kevin Hessler pulling the train.  The dude is strong.  The rest of the ride was spent at  a mostly B pace, with some rotating pace lines and the obligatory sprints. 

Oddly enough, today's average was slower that Sam and my Team Time Trial average from last week. 

Kevin, dropping in my draft to recover a little bit. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mountain Sports Festival and The Floridian Invasion.

 We had quite  a big group of kids show up at the Mountain Sports Festival for the afternoon Kid's Fun Race.  2 laps for the big kids and 1 lap for the littler kids.   I was set up at the festival as The Bicycle Thrift Shop and we were selling a ton of bikes and gear.  It is so exciting to be a part of the cycling community and seeing people purchase and ride away on their first bike.   We have had an old Huffy Sundance in the shop for a long time and a little girl finally bought it.  She borrowed a helmet so she could ride around the park..... all day long.  I was so impressed that I gave the helmet to her. 
 For 3 days, I sent deals out of the door and happy people on their way.  A mother and daughter buying bikes so they can ride together; a kid getting his first bike- one that won't fit him until next year;  a lady who found a bike exactly like she used to have and then picked it up to give to her son;  A group of younster/hipsters who follow the NASCAR series and offer pedicab shuttles from the parking areas to the racetrack,  I almost dropped everything and went with them.  
 I also provided the "Meltdown Prevention Zone" complete with lounge chairs and bubbles. ( note to self, when providing stress relief, don't buy the cheap crappy bubbles from Walmart).  Kids loved it and so did parents.  Next year, I need to bring some larger chairs for the parents as well.

The weekend ended and when the dust settled, we have raised enough money to keep the program going over the summer!!  So exciting.

Monday, bright and early, I met up with my FLA friends Jason and Adrienne.  They brought Roy, Todd, Steve and Jamie with them to get a taste of Pisgah and that's what they got.  By the time we met, they already had close to 10 hrs in the past two days and were pretty worn.  The plan was to ride from Kitsuma over to and up Curtis Creek Rd.  I had to be home by 2pm and planned to peel off at 12:15pm. 

Fun times were had by all, and despite soreness and weary muscles, smiles were abundant. 
 It was great to ride with old friends and meet some new ones.  I love sharing my love of fat tires with others. 

Today I want to ride, but my body is tired and my legs are sapped.  With the Fletcher Flyer coming up on Sunday, I'll be taking a short recovery ride!  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday Ride Got Interesting

About 30 people showed up for tonight's ride.  Multiple skill levels.  There were definitely the typical A group riders, lots of B and it looked like the possibility of a B- group as well.  Sam gave the safety talk and then called for the A riders to roll out.  No one budged.  He called some by name.  Still no one budged.

We decided to roll out together with the hopes that the bigger climbs would separate the groups evenly.  We rolled out together.  I told Sam and Kevin that if we went to the front and rode a "B group warm up pace",  the A group would quickly lose patience and surge ahead.  This plan almost worked brilliantly.  2 miles into the ride, one A passed me, then 2, then as if a ripple of adrenalin passed through the group,  others followed.   Suddenly, I saw some of the B groupers passing me.  Some who had stated that there was no way they were going to ride with the A group today.  I sat up and announced that I was the B group, and that we should let the A group go.  Oddly enough, when the dust settled, we had 6 people who were willing to hold back and ride a B pace.

And this leads to some more group mentality psychology.  I have 2 major questions that are bugging me.  I have a hunch that the issues are present not only in cycling but anytime there is a group involved activity.

Question #1.   Why, why WHY?  Why do the A riders hang back to ride in the B group, then proceed to hammer at an A pace?  I have a theory of my own, but just to be sure I didn't miss anything, I took it to my Facebook wall and asked the question.  I got many different and interesting responses, some name calling, but one person had an answer and solution in one: . " But the short answer to your problem is you let the A rider(s) self-identify themselves as wanting to ride off the front; then you let them go. You regroup with others you feel comfortable with, and have a nice ride."( MR)  

" A riders self-identify themselves as wanting to ride off the front".  I think that is what it boils down to.  They simply want to feel the exhilaration of riding off the front and they cannot do that with their peers.  They ride with people who have less fitness and dominate.   

Question #2.  Why won't the B riders sit up and let the A group ride away?   Why did 20 B riders attempt to hang with the 5 B riders who were way above their skill level?  I think the answer is more simple but the solution is difficult to execute.  The B riders simply want to prove themselves by hanging with the A's. That makes sense, and I do the same thing at times.  It can build fitness and a stronger rider.  But, what I realized is that it does not help the overall goal of creating smooth rolling B group, with rotating pace line and  instruction for the B riders who need a little guidance.    

And that sums it up for me.  I ride in a group for the social aspect.  Due to my schedule, I get to ride with others about 1 time per week, and I don't want to go a pace where I am bleeding from my eyes.  Going the A pace will lead to reduced training benefits and burnout.  It happened last year and I don't want to go through that again.  I also enjoy teaching others and sharing the finer things of group riding.  It creates smoother more well rounded cyclists.   

So, I'm sitting up, and enjoying the ride with like minded folks. 

The rest of the ride turned interesting.  Sam White and I ended up separated from all groups and an unknown distance behind.  We made our goal to catch at least one person, which never happened, but we did make it home before dark.  We rode hard, exchanged pulls, put our heads into the wind and managed a 20.7mph avg.  Basically a team time trial with 2 people.   That was one of the most fun group rides I have been on.  It was unique and unplanned fun times.  

Want to start 15 minutes behind the group next week?

Monday, May 20, 2013

P55.5K The Race I Almost Didn't Start

I had originally signed up to race the P111K.   Then I found out that the kid's last soccer game of the season was scheduled for that day,  so I switched to the P55.5K, which was scheduled for Sunday.  Two prior,  GNAR: The Gnarliest Kid's Adventure Race Ever was scheduled (the day after PMABAR).  With temps around 40-50,  and after seeing adults in the beginning stages of hypothermia,  there was no way I was going to expose my kid to those same conditions.   Too much risk of hypothermia and illness.  1 hour before start time, Gnar rescheduled to the same Sunday as P55.5K.    After contacting the organizers, there was no hope of refund.  $65 down the drain if we didn't show up.

At first, I told the kid that we would go.  After thinking it through quite a bit,  I decided that I would much rather be racing my bike.  I decided to talk to the kid about it.  I was surprised at his maturity and understanding how much I wanted to race.  He easily compromised and agreed to let me race.  That kid is cool.

Saturday morning, I was loading the debris from the house remodel project to take to the landfill.  I wrenched my middle back pretty well and was concerned about how it would be in the morning.  It hurt but I hoped that it would loosen up after riding.   

That is how I ended up on the start line of the P55.5K.

It was not raining but foggy at the start.  80+ folks started, most of whom had raced the 111 the previous day.  Usually at races, people edge up to the start line to try for the hole shot.  Today, people held back.

Eric Wever of Pisgah Productions, said "GO" and we were off.  I started at a steady pace and held it for the first climb up Black Mountain.  I followed Shanna and here Endless Cog equipped single speed for a few minutes, then went around.  I continued at a pace that I could manage for now, knowing that I should back off just a hair, but enjoying the company I was keeping.  I was on Brad Kee's wheel with Carey Lowery right behind me.  This first section of trail can be a grind, so I pulled from the momentum of the savvy people around me.

At some point, I slowed my pace to something more sustainable.  Carey went around and Brad went on.  Hiking some and riding some, then mostly hiking up to Turkey Pen Trail,  down the trail and was surprised at how slick the trail was.  A nice layer of mud mad things dicey and I went sliding down,  staying upright but with lots of close calls.  This was going to take quite  a bit longer than I had originally though.

After getting to aid station one at Turkey Pen Parking lot,  I was greeted by the Motion Makers staff and friends.  A quick lube, water refill, PB and J, and I was on my way.  Riding deeper down into the rainforest, trying to eat, and stay upright.  Matt Fusco passed me at the aid station,  so he was my carrot.  The first river crossing startled me due to the height of the river, I was hoping it was at least crotch deep because I had to pee.  It wasn't.

On up Bradley Creek,  as trail I don't ever remember being on before, and then finally to FS 5015.  I like this road and grade.  I caught Matt and passed him as well as another guy.  A steady pace brought me to aid station #2,  hosted by Liberty Bikes.  The wife and kid were also there.  The kid gave me a square of Hershey's chocolate that I put in my pocket to save for later.  Unfortunately, on the way up to Pilot, it melted flat and would have taken too long to scrape out.

After a quick lube, water and sandwich, I was off again.  I decided to continue riding my steady pace up Laurel and enjoy the ride.  Laurel is a trail that can be easy at a leisurely pace, or hard if you are hammering.  I picked somewhere in between to conserve energy for the end of the day.  Eating, and drinking, and soaking in the woodland around me.  Then I hear thunder roiling in the distance, a couple of ridged over.  I knew that the storm could be headed straight towards me.  If it was, the Mount Pisgah ridge line might block it, but if it was big enough to spill over, I could be in trouble.  Sure enough, as I started down Pilot Rock Trail, the rain started splattering, turning into a chilling downpour.  Matt passed me, then Yuri caught and passed me.  I stopped to put on my wind vest, wishing I had my arm warmers.  I continued picking my way down the trail turned miniature flash flood creek.  As I popped out on FS 1206, I crested the first climb and saw Yuri just up the road.  I thought that he was a much better descender than me, and was surprised to see him so close.

I didn't try to catch him, but used the gravel to eat and recover a bit.

Aid Station #3, Suspension Experts, complete with Mike and fresh pineapple.  Yuri begged for someone to wring out his gloves, which they did.  I asked someone to wring out my chamois, all I got was funny looks,  some people wondering if I was serious...

A quick refill on water, Coke and another 1/2 of PB and J, and I was off,  down the S Mills River Trail then up to Buck horn gap.  Normally I can get some pretty good momentum up this trail but today it was not happening.  The mud was really slowing me down.  I didn't let it bother me though because everybody was in the same boat,  or bog.

Yuri caught me as we entered Black Mountain trail and we yo yo-ed until the final decent.  All this time I was thinking he was faster downhill than me.  So, as we hike a biked,  when he asked me if he should take the time to change brake pads before the decent,  my thoughts were " HECK NO".  But knowing that that action would give me a gap,  I sort of recommended that he should give it a try.

We crested Black Mountain.  I stopped to pee, and he went past.  I thought I wouldn't see him again.  Then as I passed Turkey Pen, I saw him ahead, running downhill with his bike.  I let loose a little bit, rode past him and didn't see him again until the finish,  but he definitely had me pushing my limits on the muddy slick downhill.

Clay was in there somewhere handing out free ice cold beer, but I was too close to the finish to stop.  I skidded, slid, and went as fast as I dared down to the start finish.  The wife and kid were there and Eric Wever took my picture.  He then told me that I had finished well and to pick a prize off the table!  It took me a few minutes to figure out why.   8th in my cat and 22nd overall.  Cool.

My back still hurt if I twisted the wrong way, but for the most part I would forget about it.

There are a mass of people to thank for helping me get where I am today.
I rode my Siren 55 SL,  this bike is amazing. Thanks Brendan and Mary Collier
Thanks to SpinTech Training for getting me in the studio for some structured training.  I recommend this to anyone, at least once per week, even if it is sunny outside. 
Thanks Eddie O'Dea, Tom Coleman and Wobblenaught.  The difference is amazing.
Thanks Namrita O'Dea,  my nutrition is dialed,  absolutely no issues!
Thanks Motion Makers, Liberty and Suspension Experts.  Not only do you help me on a personal level, you help make Trips For Kids WNC a success.
Thanks Eric and Erinna for promoting this race and holding a raffle to benefit Trips For Kids WNC.
Thanks to all my friends who cheer me on.
And most of all, thanks to my wife and kid for supporting my goals!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tired Legs

 The insurance guy came and went and left good news.  Hopefully it won't jack up our premiums, but it looks like a roofing project is in order this fall.  Anyone want to have a roof raising?

Peel off the outer wall, thick oak planks that were milled just up the road at the saw mill.  It was then that I remembered I had already rebuilt the wall a couple of years ago, but from the inside.  That made this portion of the project a little easier.  The floor joists were fine, except for a bit on the ends when I trimmed back to solid wood.  The floor was sagging 1/2 an inch, so getting the sil plate to slide in required a bit of creativity, but I finally got it done.  The sledge hammer helped me work it out.  That's what I like about working with wood!!

I was close to getting the OSB hung, but it was 4pm, and I wanted to go ride my bike.  No rain in the forecast, so I got cleaned up and headed out for the Liberty Thursday Night Road Ride.  Tired legs and body, I knew it was going to hurt.

I have been amazed though, since I got the Wobblenaught fit and pedal stroke instruction,  even on the days when I feel totally dragged out,  I can still pedal with enough power to ride and sprint it out.  I'm impressed and sold!  

 We set out with perfect temps and light wind.  About 15 guys and one lady. 

Lots of fun pacelining, sprinting, and socializing on this ride.  Only one angry driver, shouting things that made no sense: "I'm gonna punch you off your bike".  Right.

Have a great day.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Summer Heat

 I was pretty bummed when I found the rot in my house.  I've been working on this house for 9 years, gradually adding on, upgrading, rebuilding etc and I know what it is going to take to do that.  Riding a bike for me is a privilege, not an entitlement and this was  a good reminder.  In light of that, my recovery ride today took a little bit different than normal route, up the parkway and down Elk Mtn Scenic Pkwy.  I like climbing Elk better than descending.  
 The first heat wave of the year hit today,  temps up into the 80's and of course my body started rebelling,  but I complained so much about the cold this year, that I refuse to spread negativity and complain about the heat.  It is summer in a veritable rain forest, it is going to be hot and humid.  Suck it up and ride!

When I do the grilled cheese stop at PMBAR, I purposely leave tools, pump etc at home.  I'm not a real rest stop, I am policing FSR 5015.  The grilled cheese is an oasis in the woods.  I am not prepared to help in case of break down, (unless it is physical then I am prepared).  When Mike Pierce and Joel Watson rolled through though, I had a moment of caring.  Joel had come up from Charleston to race this beast with Mike, and he had lost a cleat.  When he said that his race was over, my heart sank.  I know what it feels like to DNF.  I went to my truck and pulled out a shoe with the cleat that he needed.  He was stoked to be back in the game.

Today, the mail came and Joel sent me a cleat with a little note and  an even smaller bicycle.   Thanks for spreading the kindness.  Little things like that make a person's day so much better!!

The insurance inspector/adjuster/what ever they call them is coming today to let me know if the damage is covered or not.  Should be interesting.  For some reason, I never thought to make a claim about any of the repairs that I have done.   Live and learn, I suppose.

I'll title this project:  "Rebuilding My House, 12 feet at a time".

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


We finally saved up a couple hundred bucks to work on the ongoing house renovation that started nine years ago.  Up next on the list is to replace the siding on the original part of the house to match the siding on the addition. 

I have decided to do the project in 12 foot sections, approx one per month until it is completed.   The Hardi Plank is 12ft long and this will also break the larger project down into smaller more affordable pieces.  

The kid and I went to town, tearing of 3 layers of siding.  Vinyl, pressboard, and finally shingle.  Once we got down to the wood, I was very discouraged to find quite a bit of rot.  It is all dry and looks like it has been there for a very long time.  But all of it will have to be replaced.  

I'm waiting for a call from the insurance company who is sending a guy out to assess the damage and let me know if it is covered. 

The only major projects on this house are this siding project and a new roof.  Two major projects.  It will be so nice when these are done!!  

Summer project number one is complete though.  Last year, the kid and I built this cool clubhouse, but ran out of time, and put a simple flat roof on it,  plywood covered with plastic.  It was pretty lame and leaked, so last week, we got a nice metal roof on it, and gave a little more light and room inside.  He is pretty excited about it.

The project went pretty smoothly and turned out really cool.

 Fun times.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday Nights

Ahh, the back of the paceline!
 The Thursday night ride has been a lot of fun lately.  Splitting into 2 groups has been fairly successful and everyone seems to be happy with the group they are riding with.  Oddly though, the A group still stops to regroup.  I'm not sure why,  they have free reign to hammer, and they still stop.  Sometimes long enough that the B group catches them, sometimes until we get just within sight. 

I hope that more people start to come out and enjoy the ride.  

Last night was cool, because there were about 6 people in my group.  There was a guy who did not have much experience riding with others, strong but no knowledge.  When we started the rotating paceline, we were able to coach him a bit on how to keep it rolling.  He seemed to pick up on it pretty quickly. 

The new kits rock,  get one. (Voler)
 The weather yesterday was amazing.  This was actually the 4th day in a row that I got to ride my bike!  The consistency is starting to show.  Unfortunately, I am looking at 3 days of the bike this weekend.  Oh well,  I'll be eating BBQ and that's a good substitute.

I had a chat with the kid about P55.5 vs GNAR.  We came to a compromise and are going to skip GNAR this year,  freeing up the day for me to "race" the P55.5.   I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm going to roll with it.  I can't wait to toe the line again.  March seems like a long time away, and I miss everything that goes with racing.  The challenge, the beauty, the struggle.  It motivates me and I don't take it for granted.  In the grand scheme of things, it is a huge privileged.

The forest is exploding in green
Get out there!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Spin Tech Training

Sometimes I ride the 3 miles each way to the studio, sometimes I drive.  I recommend riding there, because once when I drove, I forgot my shoes, and that really pissed me off.  Driving has that affect on people....

Anyway.  I roll up to the front door and am greeted with a vibrant, colorful display of bikes, clothing, accessories, and beer. 

Beer City Bicycles houses Spin Tech Training, a Computrainer facility here in Asheville NC.  I recently signed up to get some help with some training for the  P111K. 

As I walk into the showroom, Frank yells: "  Hey Stephen,  how ya doin',  put your bike in the rack over there and I'll get you set up".  I'm not used to people waiting on me but I welcome the help.  Within minutes, I am warming up on the Computrainer,  waiting for the computer to get warmed up as well. 

We calibrate the bike with the machine, and my 80 minutes of bliss gets started.  In front of me, I can see watts, heartrate, cadence, MPH and also the row of blocks which represent a percentage of my Functional Threshold Power.

My FTP is 247.  We found this out after submitting to a grueling, steady, hard 20 minute time trial.   I'm supposed to do it again after 4 weeks of training, and we are supposed to see some improvement....  I'm not sure if I would rather do that test or go to the dentist.  At least after the test, my mouth is not numb.

One concern when signing up for the training was that I would have to do several workouts inside each week.  As you know it is spring and we all want to be outside.   I was told that I had the option of coming in 1-2 times per week, and the rest of my training could be done outside.  And with the wet cold weather, this had turned out to be a great option. 

Do I recommend this as a training option?  Yes, definitely.  A quality workout 1-2 times per week,  80 minutes of my time, convenient location.  The only better option would be to have my own Computrainer.  The downside being that I would not have access to the wealth of training knowledge at Spin Tech. 

I had to bail on my plans for P111k  but am now planning on the P55.5 the following day.   And with the Fletcher Flyer 100 on the horizon,  I look forward to how much this training is going to help me.  

Sunday, May 05, 2013

PMBAR 2013

 I had the opportunity for the 3rd year in a row to "police" FS Road 5015 during PMBAR.  I was looking forward and so apparently were lots of other folks, to spending a day in the woods, and serving up some grilled cheese sammies and Coke.  I loaded the truck and headed out to be at the Laurel Mountain Trailhead by 8am.  Eric had not included N Mills River in this year's edition so I would be able to get the job done here.
My space for the day,  it was awesome.
 I got set up, brewed some coffee, turned on some tunes and waited.  I watched a couple of hours tick by, still waiting, seeing no racers.  Then I started to second guess myself, wondering if I had set up on the wrong day.  I called the wife to verify the date,  just in case.  Around 11am, I got some sammies on the grill and ready to go.  Perfect timing.  Just after 11am , the first team came through.  After about 20 minutes, the second team.  10 teams came through by noon, then there was another long lull in the action.  Finally around 1pm,  teams started rolling through fairly regularly and I was in business. 
nom nom nom
 The day had started misty and chilly, and gradually, the rain moved in.  The raindrops got bigger and bigger as the day went on, and people brought reports of wet and muddy trail conditions.  I was at a point where an out and back seemed the best way to go so I got to see a lot of people deteriorate later in the day.  Once a body gets soaking wet, and then chilled, it is very, very difficult to get warmed back up.  The body starts to shut down, and things can get hairy pretty quickly.  I would say from what I observed that most of the people out there were aware of this and aware of their limits.  But, every now and then, things happen and we need help from the outside.  For a couple of people, the grilled cheese and hot fire pit were not enough to bring them back from knocking on hypothermia's door.  Twice, I cranked up the truck with the heat on, to attempt to warm the racers up, but to no avail.  I had to watch the painful decision to pull the plug on the race.

Sometimes, no matter how well you plan and train, things turn south and it is a wise person who pulls the plug before having to call in the professionals...  I've been there, and it gets expensive.
Tony and Taft, eyeballing more sammies.
All in all, though it was a great day.  Seeing old friends and greeting new ones.  Lots of planning and speculation going on throughout the day.  It didn't matter if it was the pros or the first timers, everyone was looking for the quickest way somewhere.  Earlier in the day, it was the quickest way to the next checkpoint.  Later in the day it became the quickest way to the free beer!!
The warmest spot in Pisgah!

Sunday, I was pretty worn out.  A busy week prior, and then hanging out in the paradise called Pisgah all day.  I must say, I did feel several twinges of jealousy.  But at the same time, I was very glad that I was warm and dry.  Doing this has definitely been a highlight of my year!!

I do this with no expectation of receiving anything in return.  The folks who came and were refreshed owe me nothing.  I ask nothing.  I simply want to do something kind,  to start a ripple in the water, so to speak.

Every year, several people ask how they can repay.  So,  if you really want to do something, you can either click here to donate to Trips For Kids WNC,  or contact me to donate bikes or gear for The Bicycle Thrift Shop.   

Other than that,  a high five  or a smile is what I want,  and I got plenty of that out in the middle of the woods!!  You all rock!  Thanks for the inspiration.

Friday, May 03, 2013


I'm starting to think that this is going to end up being the year of non rides.  But, I'm ok with that, because the result of changed plans is spending quality time with my kid.  Maybe I'm supposed to focus on the kid instead of focusing on when I can get out for days at a time.

I was looking at my calendar and realized that if I didn't change plans, I would miss the kid's final 2 soccer games.  One weekend would be really difficult to change, but the other is a no brainer.  I pulled the plug on the P111K.   This is actually a good thing.  With all of the rides and events in May, relating to Trips For Kids WNC,  taking kids on rides/ bike safety rodeos etc,  I have not been able to train consistently.  I'll have to remember not to take on any racing in May, June and July. 

I do still plan on trying to beat 5 hrs at The Fletcher Flyer though.  And if/when the window opens, I'll head out for some solo overnight adventures. 

Until then I'll be out back playing monster tag, kicking the soccer ball and making ice cream runs!

Enjoy the weekend!