Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stage 5

I woke up at 5am.  Well, I didn't really wake up,  I had not really slept.  30 minutes here and there all night long.  It turns out that everyone I talked to was feeling the same.  I knew I would feel better once I got on the bike and started riding.  Today  we were being shuttled up past Gloucester Gap for the start.   After getting loaded up and securing a spot in the front seat of Wes's truck, we slowly crawled up the road.   3 trucks with trailers full of bikes and a big yellow school bus full of people. 

I'm not a big fan of shuttling to the start, but I was looking forward to a shorter stage today.  25 miles that included Farlow, Daniel Ridge and Bracken Mountain, ending at the Brevard Music Center. 

We lined up and Todd counted down sending us ripping down a 1 mile downhill to the gap then the gravel climb up to Farlow.  I push for 10 minutes then settled into my pace.  The climb as usual was relentless.  It was a relief to get to the single track climb and have something other than gravel to focus on. 

The morning had started out cloudy, turning into heavy mist.  When the wind blew, the water drops fell off the trees making it seem like rain.  The temps were warm though, and I was comfortable.  I couldn't push the pace too high though, because it was humid and I knew that overheating on a day like today was a real threat. 

Down Farlow,  I started riding, then watched Dick come flying by, bobble, go airborne and land on his side.  He got up quickly and was ok, but I was spooked so I started hiking down the trail. 

The hike a bike sections on the other side seemed to go quickly and I soon found myself having fun, pushing my pace on lower Farlow.  I didn't get caught on this section, but Melissa came within sight.  She had passed me at some point each stage and I was never able to catch up to her.  Today, I was determined not to let that happen.  She would be my motivation to keep pushing.  I didn't really care if that person was male or female,  I just knew that I needed motivation.  I had also passed Hans on the Farlow downhill, hike a bike, and was looking over my shoulder for him to catch me as he  usually did.   It turns out that he crashed, breaking his nose.  He still finished the stage about 30 minutes behind me. 

I flew down Daniel Ridge and stopped at the rest stop to get  my fresh bottles and headed out.  Melissa passed me and disappeared.  I headed out in pursuit, knowing there was an 8 mile gravel climb coming up.  I'm happy to say that no one caught me after that point.   I reeled Melissa in and rode with her for a mile to recover, before picking up the pace just enough to pull ahead and out of sight.  Thom Parsons and I rode together.  We chatted a bit, but mainly just put our heads down and climbed.  Thom dropped off at some point and I rolled on.  Finally reaching the top with noone in sight behind me.  A few minutes later, I spotted Melissa on a switchback above me.  I refused to let he catch me, so I punched it.  The last 6 miles is newer, less than 1 yr old single track and with the rain it was slimy.  There was no way to rail all of the turns so I decided to punch it up every single climb, and not stop pedaling unless the trail tilted down,  even then taking a few good pedal strokes. 

I glimpsed her less as the trail went on and finally made the last down hill.  Glancing back I didn't see her, but kept the pressure on until the finish. 

Crossing the line felt great.  A big hug for Todd and Heather and I was finished. 

I wound up 10th in the 40 plus cat and considering the back injury on the first day, I am satisfied with being able to ride through the pain and stiffness and hang onto my  position. 

Can't wait until next year!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Stage 4

 After feeling empty and lacking power all week, I got tired of it.  I grabbed a hot dog and  french fries at The Hob Nob Cafe, then picked up a giant pizza at Marco's on the way home along with some beer from Earth Fare.  I've been watching my diet, eating lots of veggies and less snack foods, but my body was hungry for some carbs and fat.... and that's what it got. 

This morning, on the way to the race, I picked up a dozen Bo Berry Biscuits for the volunteers and bought steak and cheese biscuit for myself.  It tasted great and stuck to my ribs!

I lined up at the back of the pack, not wanting to get caught up in the gravel road sprint.  I fell in behind some folks who were of the same mind and we took a steady warm up, up the gravel.  Left turn onto Spencer Gap and up the steepness to the single track.  I found my groove and was pleased that I was able to maintain my desired pace.   Crossing the top of Trace and dropping into the gnar on the other side, I stopped to let the Simril train cruise by and then rolled down again.  I was again pleased when I relaxed enough to ride almost everything. 

Down through the bottoms we came to a very confusing spot.  I saw markers in two directions and new where the route was supposed to go, but didn't know if the route had been altered by the race directors for some unknown to us, reason.  Pretty soon there was  a group of about 6 folks there, and everyone thought it best to follow the arrow to the left.  I went along with the crowd. 

By the time we reached aid station 1 it was obvious that we had made a mistake.  Nothing to do but keep riding, and so we did.  I kept my pace and tried not to think about anything except nutrition, pace and pedal stroke. 
 Down Lower Trace, across the river, through the campground, left up Wash Creek Rd,  cruising along with Dick and Hans,  more of the Dutch crew.  Super nice guys and strong.  We made it to rest stop 2 where the wife and kid handed me bottles with water and Coke.  Perfect,  the stop took no longer than 10 seconds.  We headed up Trace and I walked the steepest parts and rode what I could, knowing that I needed to save some for stage 5.  I was with about 3-4 other guys and Pua, who had gone the right way, passed us halfway up. 

Finally to the top of Trace, then down Spencer Gap to Wash Creek Rd. Hang a left on the gravel road that leads us to Bear Branch,  bomb down, then back to Wash Creek Campground. 

Todd informed us that he would be taking our average MPH, and adding 4 miles to our total time.  Everyone that I heard, agreed that was a fair way to go about it.  The only downside is that we missed Middle Fork and the super fun upper section of Fletcher Creek.  That's racin'.
A dip in the super cold creek to get the muscles primed for tomorrow, and we loaded up and headed home. 

One more day..... looks like it might rain!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stage 3

34 miles. 5178 ft of elevation gain.

I drove up the Parkway to the start this morning and was treated to some great views of clouds filling the valleys and bright sun overhead.  No tourists out this early so I made good time to The Cradle of Forestry, got warmed up, and to the start line.

The start was actually fairly controlled with all the leaders on the front.  I was feeling good and ready to ride like I had trained.  We knew the left turn onto gravel was coming soon, but were caught off guard when the police leadout pulled into the left lane and stopped.  With no warning, the first half of the group barreled past the turnoff and had to turn around while the second half of the group made the left.  We could have used a marshal or arrow or something.

Onto the climb, then left on Club Gap.  Lots of anaerobic riding.  I was feeling good and felt like I was under control.  I guess I didn't have as many matches as I thought I had.  I ended up walking a lot and was glad to get onto S Mills River Trail.  3 of us road down together, a smooth train of cyclists on old rail trails.

Across the river and onto Squirrel Gap Trail, the trail with no trailhead.....

I stopped to make a minor adjustment on the bike when Marc,  a friend from Curacao, passed me.  We ended up yo yo-ing for the rest of the day.  Neither one of us saying much, but glad to have someone to keep the pace. 

The first rest stop was at mile 18.  I was hoping that 52 oz of liquids would be enough.  Up and down on Squirrel, then dropping down Laurel Creek Trail and across the river.  With 3 miles to go,  riding the past hour overheated, I drained the rest of my water and sports drink.   The climb up Bradley Creek road was a grind and the slowest that I can ever remember doing that climb.  Marc was just behind me, keeping pace.  I could tell he was dragging, just like me so I periodically let him know how much was left in the climb. 

At Yellow Gap, I sat down and ate some Coke and potatoe chips.  I was feeling like crap, and knew that I had some endurance pace, but no snap.  I got back on the bike and headed up the climb.  I kept within sight of Marc for a while, losing him in the contours but catching sight when the trail straightened.  Then I lost him.  I climbed, hiked, hiked and hiked.  Up and over the top, I was feeling ragged and worried about the decent.  I took it easy and didn't take any chances.  I would get halfway through a switchback and simply freeze up.    Halfway down, I came across Thom Parsons.  He followed for a while, then asked how often I got out to ride the trail.  I said not very often.  I immediately hit a switchback and just froze up.  I didn't have the mental stability to make the turns.  Unfortunately for Thom he was not expecting my crappy skills and had to stop fast causing him to take a small tumble.  (sorry Thom).  I apologized and he waited for someone else who could ride to take some solid footage. 

I eased the rest of the way down the mountain and turned right.  Marc was at the rest stop.  I didn't stop.  He quickly caught me and it became apparent that he was super strong on the downhills and flats, and I was stronger on the climbs.  Without a word, we worked together,  me pulling up the inclines and he pulling through the flats/ downhills.  I glanced down once and we were hitting 27 mph. 

We finally hit the pavement for a mile then left and across the finish line.  Marc waved me up, and we clasped hands and held them up, crossing the line together. 

Another day down.  Still looking for my mojo.  I'm in 10th in the 40 plus cat,  and I'd like to stay there, so I have to keep fighting. I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong with my components causing undue drag.  I looked it over and couldn't find anything.  Maybe this is just not my year.

What I do know is, I 'm going to give it everything I've got.  Never was much of a quitter!

Nothing to do but ride!

Stage 2



Wednesday, September 18, 2013:

  • 29 miles, 5118 ft of elevation gain
  • Named for the Brevard town mascot - the White Squirrel
  • Includes Thrift Cove, Buckhorn Gap, Club Gap and Avery Creek Trails
  • Rest Stop 1 - Mile 14
  • Rest Stop 2 - Mile 22

I woke up feeling about 55%.  As the morning went on, my back started feeling a little bit looser but still tender.  We lined up and the gun went off.   I went for it, but after about 2 minutes, I realized that my body was not ready yet.   I had spent so much energy protecting my back yesterday that I had almost not power.  I rode on the outside of the trail to let the hordes behind me get past.   And then I settled in to my pace.

Nothing to do but ride.  It is frustrating.  Having trained more consistently than ever before,  knowing that my legs are stronger,  doing everything right and then an uncontrollable weakness creeps in.   I've been dealing with back issues since college.  I was on a humanitarian trip, helping build a concrete wall for a community center in the Caribbean.   I was digging a trench all day in the hot sun and completely destroyed my back.   2 weeks of bed rest and then 6 months of physical therapy and I was able to run again.  

Nothing left to do but ride. 

I spent most of the day alone. Sycamore, Thrift, Black, Maxwell, aid station 1, the gravel road of death climb, Club Gap,  Avery, rest stop 2.   I stopped to refill,  get Coke, and eat some chips.  Pedaling down the hill to the horse stables, I didn't think about much except the 4 mile climb up gravel.  Clawhammer to Maxwell.  I hit the inline and click up a gear, spun, click up,  it felt good.  I had some power back so I found my normal race pace and held it there for a few seconds.  The seconds turned into minutes and I was making some headway up the giant mountain.  Something had clicked and I was feeling about 85% now.   I went with it, and help my pace to the top.

Then I started thinking about the Squirrel, Laurel, Pilot Loop on tap for Thursday and wondered if I just might be able to move up a little out of my current 10th place ( in my cat: 40+). 

Up over the last climb and down to the finish, feeling satisfied. 

I spent the afternoon before dinner hanging out with the "freaking" Canadians: Joel, Anna, Mark and Christian.   They are fun loving, kind people, who talk a bit funny eh?  But they fed me spaghetti, beer and Mark even washed my bike for me.  

Thursday is going to be special!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Stage 1

28 miles.

I woke up to some awesome weather,  cool and overcast.  Perfect.  Coffee, get the kid ready for school, load up and hit the road.   I was feeling good,  little did I know that feeling was fleeting and things would take a turn for the worse.

I made it to Brevard with plenty of time to sign in and get ready, taking a nice warm up ride.  I still felt fine.

Todd told to ride neutral until we hit the left turn on hwy 280.  I guess the "other" Canadians, didn't get this memo or don't speak English so well because they tore out of the parking lot like bats out of Pisgah Hell.  Pinning it from the start.  I was missing the pros from years past who were able to at least keep the pace steady.   This was the fastest we have ever gone out of the gates.  I rolled up to the front, and let the 3 guys know that we were neutral until the left on 280.  One guy laughed and said " Oh,  I'm pulling off soon anyway"....  doesn't get it.

So we all tried to hang on and after the race, found out that we all thought the pace was way too high.  Anyway.

Left turn onto the gravel up into Turkey Pen then drop down the single track to S Mills River.   I was feeling a bit off, and not managing the trail very well.  I was bouncing all over the place and not sure why,  I simply did not feel in balance.  I slowed down and went my pace trying to find my mojo.

Up Mullinax and onto the steep grunt climbs.  I had some momentum, slipped on a round rock, and came to a sudden standstill twisting my wrist and jerking my back.  My wrist hurt but everything else felt ok.   But, over the next 10-20 minutes, I felt a burning sensation creeping up my left leg, into my glute and finally stopping in my back.   I stopped and got off the bike, knowing that my "race" was over.  I couldn't keep power on the pedals and I couldn't ride the techy stuff.

I got back on the bike, and tried to relax, find an easy gear and just spin.  And that's how I spent the rest of the day,  just spinning, trying to keep moving forward and not giving up.   We still have 4 days left and anything can happen.  Typically when my back does this, under normal circumstances, I recover in 2-3 days.   Racing bikes?  Its gonna take a miracle.

I managed to find a position on the bike that would give me periodic relief, especially climbing up Buckhorn Gap Trail.  I made my way to the top then left on Black Mountain.  The hike a bike then the down hill.  I know quite  a few people who like Black Mountain trail, but it is so eroded, that its not fun for me anymore, much less with a tweaked back.  But that's how it is so I gotta  roll with it.  And that's what I did,  walking some riding some, grimacing lots,  down to the bottom and to the finish.  3hrs 41m,  about 30 minutes slower than I had planned.

Massage by Hands On Healing Professionals, cold dip in the river, Ibuprofin, warm epsom salt bath, ice pack, stretching exercises,  and hopefully tomorrow I'll be a bit more limber..

The weather stayed nice and cool for the whole day,  perfect for me.  Although my new friends from Curacao were cold.

Can't wait to line up again tomorrow.

Pisgah MTB Stage Race 2013

Well, here we go.   Stage Race #5.  I am surprisingly not nervous.  The day before is the  worst.  Lots of mental and physical pacing.  My mind tires before my body, then I have trouble falling asleep.  I think I got about 6 hrs which is a record for the night before. 

I have been trying to decide if I like bikepacking or racing better.  I've had to scale back this year and find a balance.  The answer would be neither.  I like both.  This time of year however,  I'm tired of pushing my limits of fast and would be content to ride my own slow bikepacking pace, soaking in the views. 

But when I hit the line, I know that I'll get pumped up and know that I signed up for a race, not a tour.  And it turns out that I love to race. I still love to push my limits, and see what all my training and consistency has added up to.  Podium? Highly doubtful,  but I suppose there is always that slight chance. 

Sometimes I wonder if I would line up even if there were no podium.  The answer is yes, for example: The Save The Trails Challenge.  I'd like to see a lot more of these fun type rides. 

But this week is all about racing, so here goes.  The drive train is lubed, the chamois buttr'ed, the coffee hot and the engine rested. 

Nothing left to do but to ride!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monster CX and Stage Race Prep

 The alarm went off and I went back to sleep.  I woke up an hour later, an hour late.  I took a deep breathe and rolled out of bed.  It was nice to know that I was not in charge of the rest stop this time.  I was to meet Mark Smith from Liberty Bikes to support rest stop # 3 at Monster CX.

Somehow, I got ready, got coffee, picked up some breakfast and made it out to the start in record time.  I made it with 15 minutes to spare.  I had planned on meeting Mike Keeley at the start to wish him good luck, but when I got there,  I totally forgot to look for him.  So, I just stood around, said some hellos and watched the start.  Sorry Mike!
 I headed out to the spot and helped Mark and Norman get set up.  We had a huge spread of a buffet.  Pete, Sarah, Jaimee,  Ben and Macy showed up a little later.  We were a well oiled support machine and got lots of compliments on how well organized we were.   Mission accomplished.

 This was Mike's first ever Endurance CX race.  He has done some shorter gravel rides, lots of centuries and several multiday trips, so he knows what it takes to get it done.  He rolled into the rest stop smiling, and feeling "ok".  He looked great and I told him so.  After some bacon and gatorade,  he was off to the finish.  Congrats Mike!
 I had to head out a little early to get to the kid's first soccer game.  I grabbed the leftover doughnuts and offered handups out the truck window as I passed racers.   Noone accepted until I came across this dude.  He is a local endurance racer who knows that you don't pass up a doughnut in the middle of the woods.  Mike Pearce along with Mark Sackett recently took a shot at the Palmetto trail.  They ran into a lot of flooded land and had to improvise but they got the job done!
 Sunday, I took the kid out for a ride.  We were out for 1.5 hrs, and had a great time.  I realized that my headset was getting a little stiff so after the ride and a stop at Waffle House, I set about getting it in order.  I wound up with a new stem and new headset.  Thanks Matt at Liberty Bikes for helping me sort things out.

One last shakedown ride tomorrow, then its go time on Tuesday!  Can't wait.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday Night Ride

 Well the final (for me) Thursday night Liberty Road ride rolled out with about a dozen guys.  Bob Wright joined us after a long hiatus,  it was good to see him out and about.  The wife works with him now at the hospital and she reports that he is a hard worker.   He apparently works hard at his cycling ability as well because he pretty much ripped my legs off.  Just what I needed as final prep for next week!
Thanks Matt for the last minute flat fix!

We pedaled out at a moderate pace.  On the I 26 climb, I found myself on the front again, so I set my pace and we cruised up.  I didn't hear any chatting so that made me happy.

 The rest of the ride was mainly a repeat of previous rides.  Pull, peel off, try to recover,  land in front again.   There were 4 really strong guys, and I found myself in the group just above my skill level, but I dug deep and was able to hang on and do my part.

Me taking a picture of Nixon taking a picture

 We had a nice cloud cover, still lots of humidity, but cooler air temps made it bearable. 

overheated and toast....
I'm always at my limits after this ride.  I'm feeling great about my fitness and feel like I am more fit than ever before.  This group ride might have been frustrating at times, but I keep coming back because I know that it is good for me.  Part of the frustration is my own fault,  coming in with hopes and expectations that I have shared before.

I learned a lot this year though.   I met some new and solidified friendships with old friends.  Our cycling community is diverse.  Lots of hidden talent,  lots of strong personalities.  I'm excited about the future of cycling in our town.

While a lot of the rides tend to feel cutthroat, beat each other into the ground,  I believe that anyone on the ride at any time would sacrifice a training ride to help a fellow cycling with a flat or other mechanical.   I saw it happen repeatedly this year.  Someone waiting for a rider who got dropped to pull them back to the group,  stopping to help change a flat,  waiting while half the group got caught at a red light.  Sometimes even turning back to go look for someone.

What sticks with me about this ride is that our cycling community really does care about our fellow human being.  It is encouraging to ride with folks like this.  And in some strange way, it gives me the energy and desire to keep working with kids and teaching them to be world conscious riders,  aware of the humanity around them.

Thanks for the great rides,  see you next year!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



I put on my Honey Stinger kit looking for inspiration and motivation.  It was time to do one last set of intervals in my prep for the Pisgah MTB Stage race which starts in one week.  I drove out to Rice Pinnacle and headed over to Hardtimes to get some big gear hill climbs in.  It was early so there was not much traffic.  I headed up hill getting warmed up and then turned the gas on.  Heart Rate hung around 102% and RPE felt awesome.  I wished I had set the timer because I made it to the top in what felt like no time at all.

Anaerobic,  I turned around and soft pedaled back down the hill.  I felt like I could do the max amount,  I felt great and was excited about how far I have come this year in my training.  At the bottom, I turned and headed back up.  This one hurt a little more.  I had started the timer and realized that I was trying too hard.  I relaxed and practiced proper pedal stroke and body position.  Much better.  

I was feeling good.  The timer confirmed that I am faster than a couple of months ago.  I hope it lasts through next week.  Not that I'm racing or anything,  just out for a ride.  I got to the top of the climb and headed back down for a couple more.  I was softpedaling again,  minding my own business and getting along just fine.  

Suddenly, I felt a little prick in my leg,  I looked down and saw the silhouette of a flying insect.  the pain intensified as I flicked the piece of crap insect off my leg.  Chills ran trough my body and my inner thigh started throbbing.  

I screamed.
This is me screaming in pain.
Noone was around.  I'm thankful that I'm not allergic, but now what am I going to do with a swollen, itchy inner thigh?  I quickly look around, trying to find some plantain, a broadleaf plant that can be chewed and placed on the sting area to relive the pain.  None.  I pulled over to a creek, still in pain,  kind of wishing I had stayed home today.  Picking up some mud out of the creek, I placed it on the sting.  This offered relief.  I replaced the mud often for the next 4-5 minutes.  The pain subsided to uncomfortable.

Mud on the sting area.
 I decided to keep on with my training, but when I started my next interval, I found that I had no power left.  The adrenaline and hystamine rush had left me flat and sluggish.   I headed over to explore loop to take the scenic route home.  Bombing down Sleepy Gap, I felt a little off.  About the third undulation,  I hit it fast and off balance.  I came alarmingly close to loosing control and flipping over the bars.  That was the end of my fun for the day.  

I soft pedaled to the parking lot and called it a day.  

I tried to float like a butterfly but got stung by a bee....

Monday, September 09, 2013


 This is one of those weekends that will go down in my mind as one of the best days of my life.  I had the opportunity to share my love of whitewater with my kid and wife. 

6 Yrs ago, I was paddling whitewater as much as I now ride a bike.  I was an American Canoe Association certified instructor in Canoe and Kayak as well as Swift Water Rescue certified.  I was at a point in my "career" where I had run the Chattooga, Noli, Wilson's Creek, Rocky Broad, Tallulah, N Fork of the French Broad... and then some.  I was gearing up to run the Narrows of the Green one day, but just never felt the confidence.  Then gas prices went up and the kid was older and I couldn't be gone all day.  So I sold the boats and bought bikes,  started racing endurance mountain bike.

Before I sold my Mad River Outrage open canoe (that I could roll), the kid was about 3,  I took him down the ledges on the French Broad River in Asheville.  He cried almost the whole way.  My singing silly songs did little to calm him.  

And so, my career ended.  I often reminisce about the friends and fun times I had.  There is something about water, that runs in my blood and makes me happy. 

When we decided to skip the myriad of bike event options in Asheville and head to the NOC for the day, we figured with the great weather forecast, we should rent a boat.  

We got on the river before 1pm and headed downstream.  I was in the stern as the guide, the kid in the middle  and the wife up front.  After Patton's run, the kid stowed the paddle and enjoyed the ride. 

While the raft floated downstream, so many memories washed back.  The flood, the swims, the rolls, the surfing, the classes.  All fun times.

Except for the first time I joined the Carolina Canoe Club.  I was new to the sport and did not know how to use the river to it's fullest potential.  I had enough food and water for a 2 hr max, point to point run.  The club members planned to be on the river all day,  surfing, eddying, playing, chatting etc.  I was starving 5 hrs later, but learned a lot that day. 

 I was confident in my guide skills even though a little rusty.  I was about 90 % sure that I could guide us through Lesser Wesser.  I decided that we would not stop and scout, and instead we just went for it.  I've been through it enough that I have it memorized.  I had looked at it on the way up to be sure that it was the same.  It was exactly how I remembered it. 

We floated down, hit the first wave,  the kid shifted/ slipped into the bottom of the boat,  I yelled at the wife to paddle forward,  straightened the boat,  skirted the first hole of the falls, rode the tongue, punched through the bottom wave and we were through. 

And then it was history,  the kid's first major whitewater trip.  He loved it. 

At the take out, he got to try out a little SUP action! 

Fun times.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Thursday Night Ride

The ride went off fairly smoothly,  after a last minute time change, I apologize t anyone who might have shown up at 6pm and gotten left.  I hope you had a good ride. 

About 8 of us set out for what turned out to be a smooth fast paced ride.  The sun is setting earlier, and the air temps were definitely cooler than the past couple of weeks.  I focused on my wheel sucking,  attempting to take less pulls.   It didn't work,  I find myself at the front wanting to do my part.  That's just the way I roll.   When I see the opportunity, and I have skills that match, I take up the slack.  In every aspect of life, not just cycling.

One more Thursday Night Liberty Bikes Ride left for me,  then the stage race and some mountain biking after that.   As if I need more,  I've only been riding my road bike once per week lately!  

Fun times!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Rigid Bites...

 I got to go for a quick spin around Bent Creek.  I rode the John Henry which is a 29er.  The bike is smooth and stable.  And while the rigid fork works well on gravel roads and pavement,  it really bites on single track.   It was the least enjoyable ride I have had in a long time.  I gotta find some Suspension Experts and figure out a solution.
It was early and still foggy in spots,   still humid but with the cooler air, it felt good.  Not many people out so it was pretty peaceful.  The above pic looks like something out of a fairy tail story. 

The rest of the day consisted of phone calls, e-mails, cutting the grass for some friends, selling bikes at The Bicycle Thrift Shop, taking the kid to the Great American Hobbies RC track ( a much better experience than the other shop),  and attending the Velosports Racing Team's Ring of Fire,  end of season party.  They hooked Trips For Kids WNC up with a $500 check.   Thanks guys, and thanks Heidi for helping out!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Of Bikes

 The after summer lull has ended and school programming has picked up.  I am slammed.  But it all revolves around getting kids on bikes and encouraging families to be active.  4 new bike clubs are in the works.  I'm working on figuring out the best way to support and encourage each of the clubs,  I know there will be more in the near future. 

2 weeks until the Pisgah MTB Stage race.  Can't wait.  I'm almost finished with my training,  just a couple more peppy rides then some relaxing ones.  I'm enjoying the chill rides more and more.  Maybe its age, or maybe I've had my fill.  I still like to go fast, maybe I have proven myself to myself and know what I can do.   I won't stop training though,  I still want to see what I can do and go on adventures!
 Speaking of chill rides, the kid has taken more of an interest in riding,  watch Facebook for announcements of family/kid friendly rides.  This is something a lot of people have shown an interest in  and I think it will be  a blast.
 I finally put some phat tires on the John Henry and took it for a spin.  Jason and Adrienne were in town so we took a chill ride together.  Finished up with BBQ at Moes......BLAM!  

This bike is amazingly smooth and fast.   It's wheelbase is a bit longer than the Siren 55 that I use for racing,  so it took a few minutes to get used to.  I love this bike more each time I ride it.  I decided that I want to set it up with a suspension fork so I'm shopping around for one.  80-100 mil ought to do the trick.   Then after some chain suck, I got home and measured the chain....oops,  looks like I need a new chain,  which means chainrings and cassettes too.  Dang it.  The fork might have to wait. 

Shadow Rider

Autumn is right around the corner.