Sunday, December 30, 2007

For a Reason

Continued from yesterday's thoughts. I believe that everything happens for a reason.

I read Louis L'Amour. He writes western novels. He was around when the west was being one and has been through a lot. Inevitably, the hero in his novels would make a sudden move, unknowingly moving out of the way of being shot. Something they dropped, bent to pick it up, at the exact time that his enemy was pulling the trigger. Any number of things happened and they usually missed.

Everything happens for a reason. I try to remember this when I am late. Or when I am stuck behind some slowpoke, who is out for a Sunday drive on Tuesday afternoon. If you could go back and write down everything you had ever done, and were able to compare it to everything everyone else had ever done, I believe that this life would make a lot more sense. But we can't, so what do we do?

Well, I just focus on what I am here for, to love my neighbor as myself. The ultimate reason for everything that happens? To bring us to a relationship with our creator.

Other things:
My bro. Geoffrey introduced me to iTrain. This is a training program that you load onto an mp3 player and listen to as they guide you through a workout. That is the first time I have ever slobbered while riding my rollers. I think its gonna be huge in helping me develop some sprinting capabilities. I'll keep you updated.

Have a great day.


What is your motive? Why do you do the things you do? What is the result? Some things to chew on.

Yesterday, Rhonda and I went for a ride in Bent Creek. It was a foggy wonderland of trees enshrouded in mist. We were unable to see the ridge tops. We rode 15 miles.

Later, we went to Second Gear, this is a used outdoor gear thrift shop. You can find some really cool deals there. I bought a stationary trainer for Rhonda. Now she will be able to train in the shed, while Jubal is playing in the yard.

We also went to see " I Am Legend". The only hokey part about this movie was the people who were infected turned into some sort of vampire monster things. But, they did such a good job that I did not mind too much.
The idea that I liked best about the movie is that God speaks to us in many different ways. And he does have a plan for us. "But, what is this plan for me?", you ask. I would say that most likely that plan is doing what you are doing right now.

I currently work at Camp Rockmont, in Black Mtn. I work in the personnel office. I answer the phone, help parents get their kids registered, help staff get hired, and help whoever needs help around the office.

5 yrs ago I was into whitewater paddling. I was paddling up to 5 days per week. ( That was back when we had rain). I decided to pursue white water instructor status and get into teaching. I did this in Kayak and Canoe, two skills that are similar yet very different. After I got certified, we moved to Durango, Colorado, where I had found a job teaching paddling. Only, there is no paddling in the fall and winter. So, we found another job to subsidize ( more on that another time). Everything was lined up before we got there, even a place to live. It was great!!! Fairly stress free.

Then strange things started happening. The people we worked for for 5 yrs didn't tell us goodbye. We got to CO and the house that had been "lined up" had not been lined up. Rhonda was pregnant( this was not a bad thing, just with everything else going on, it added to the stress). And the list went on. I was not able to find another job that would support our family.

So, we had an option, to move to Las Vegas with my brother and his family, or move to Asheville, with some friends there. We chose Asheville. And in a nutshell, I got a job at Starbucks, then a job at a mental health agency, they cut funding, so I worked at Starbucks again, and roofing ( ouch, that hurts), then I got another job full-time job at Families Together Inc. It was a great job and I learned a lot. I worked there until one year ago. My supervisor and I had a great discussion. She basically said, " You don't like your job". I had to agree. So, they liked me so much, they kept me as a handyman to work on the new property they had purchased.
Then last March, the state dept. of mental health cut funds again. I got laid off. My boss gave me 4 months to find a new job. ( he said that this was one of the hardest things he had done). Two days later, I went to a camp job fair at App State ( yes, the national champions). Two weeks later, I had a job at Rockmont.

Don't tell me there is not a God who cares about us. He is real, and he is there, and he sometimes speaks to us in a still small whisper that you hear. That voice in your head that says to feed the hungry, or to care for the fatherless and the widows. The one that says to love your neighbor as yourself. The voice that says " Seek and you will find".

Never stop seeking.

Have a great day.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


My parents drove up yesterday to pick up my kid. They took him back to Charlotte. My cousin Garren came with them too. We had lunch at Okie Dokie Smokies in Swannanoa. That place rocks. Delicious pulled pork BBQ sandwich that is so tender it almost melts in your mouth.

I had a big ride planned with some friends today, but I canceled that. I couldn't leave Rhonda at home alone. We will be taking a mtn bike ride at Bent Creek together. Then after that? Who knows.

Have a great day.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bent Creek Night Ride

20 miler last night with Jeremy Arnold. He's a great guy who knows a lot about the area trails. We had some great gravel road riding as the trails are still muddy. We also had some great discussion about life and spirituality. I really enjoy discussing those sorts of things. Everytime I get into a conversation about what I believe vs what others believe, I get challenged. And challenge helps me grow.

This is the elevation chart of our ride.

Fun times,

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boxing Day Hike

We decided to do something a little different yesterday. We parked on Sweeten Creek Rd, under the Blue Ridge Parkway. We then hiked on the Mountains to Sea Trail south to Hendersonville Rd, and Starbucks. Jubal loved hiking in the slushy snow mix that was on the ground, and I was motivated by a hot cup of good coffee. Rhonda was just glad that I was hanging out with my lovely family.

Since Liberty Bicycles is next to Starbucks, I went ahead and stopped in to get a new bottom bracket. Later, after getting back home, I replaced my entire drive train: chain ring, cog, chain, and bottom bracket.

Tonight is my Thursday night Bent Creek ride. Big ride planned for this weekend, details later.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Hikin'

We took a drive up to Mills River Rec area yesterday. We drove on the FS road, up and over Yellow Gap, down to Slatey Creek trail. Jubal has not taken a nap in the past two days and I guess the windy, bumpy dirt road was enough to lull him to sleep.

We got to the trail and started hiking. The skies were gray and fluffy, although there was not precipitation in the forecast. 15 minutes later, it started sleeting. Jubal excitedly picked up the drops of sleet. The drops promptly melted. He wondered why? Very cool.

Needless to say, we didn't get snowed in and stranded. And we didn't have to live for days off of trash that we had in our car's trash bag. In fact, we made it out and home for some homemade tacos.

This morning we woke up to scattered slushy snow on the ground!!

Have a great day.

One of the Rhododendron tunnels on the trail

Water Falls on Slatey Creek

Jubal took the next two. This one is a rock with bear scat near the top.

This is the trail with a root and some leaves.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a great Christmas season. Remember to keep it real!!!

Yesterday, Jubal, Rhonda and I took a drive up near Roan Mtn to visit my parents and grandmother. It was a great relaxing trip. Usually when I go up there I take my bike and ride up to Carvers Gap on Roan Mtn. Today I decided not to, not sure why. But I was able to relax all day. And I enjoyed it.
Today, Jubal, Rhonda and I are just hanging out, being lazy.
It's funny, I have 5 days off is a row and I don't have any epic rides planned. Maybe it's because I have two epics and a race coming up in the next two weeks. Yeah, there you go, I 'm not lazy, I'm tapering!!! OK, keeping it real, I am feeling a little bit lazy!!

Well enjoy your day.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

College Fund?

I have a scheme. I have a plan. I have a great way to pay for Jubal's college tuition, buy a new car, and a new house. All I need is for Jeremiah Bishop to go to the Olympics, and win several World Championship titles.

Then I can sell this on E-bay. I hope he is not reading this. Jubal's college education is a lot to put on his shoulders. But, apparently he is pretty tough.

In reality, I will keep this jersey for a long time. Maybe even put it in my will to wear it to the grave. Or, I'll pass it on to my kid, to represent the inspiration that Jeremiah gave to me. Jeremiah personally gave me this jersey with his autograph on it.

( my dad built the shadowbox, pretty sweet)

And to quote Jeremiah, "Go Big".

Thanks Jeremiah.

It's raining again. I hope that the areas on water restriction are getting some relief. Looks like a long ride on some wet dirt roads is in order.

Have a great day

Friday, December 21, 2007

Turning the Corner

Today is Winter Solstice. This is very exciting. In a couple of weeks, I will be getting home while it is still light. And, I 'll be able to take longer Thursday night mtn bike rides.

Now, I'm going to go enjoy my 5 day weekend!! What am I going to do? Play with my family, ride my bike, and eat. Oh, maybe some sleep.

Have a great day

Thursday, December 20, 2007


It rained here in Asheville last night. I went home and took a ride on my rollers. I decided I didn't want to be wet and cold in the dark by myself.

Instead I got a tattoo, Jubal did too.

It's Ronald McDonald.

Friday Morning

I got up this morning hoping that I could ride my bike to work. I was happy to see that the rain would be just past Asheville by the time I left. I drank my coffee, ate my delicious homemade granola cereal, kissed the fam goodbye, and hit the road. After a mile, I turned around to go back home. I forgot to pack a pair of dry socks to wear after I get to work.

I took a detour today up to Bee Tree Resevoir. I got a great picture of the dam from below, but the gate was closed, so I could not see the lake. I was late for work though, oops.

Things I saw today:

-Pileated Woodpecker

-a NASCAR sign hanging on a mailbox that says: Speed Limit: NONE

-3 wild turkeys in a pumpkin patch

- a 5 mile long oil slick down the middle of the road

I also almost got creamed by some elderly woman who rolled through a stop sign and didn't see me until I yelled and she looked in her rear view mirror.

Have a great day

Evening Ride

This morning it is 29 degrees, foggy, and everything is covered in a layer of frost. 60 % chance of rain tonight, so I don't know if I'll be going to Bent Creek but we'll see.

Here is the map of the short ride home. Click on the maps to see a larger version.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I got some sweet software today. I can trace any route that I take in SC and NC ( not that I would go to SC), it will give me the mileage, the elevation chart and other items of intrest. So, I present to you, my AM work ride....


I got my supply of energy shake in the mail yesterday. This is a really yummy vanilla flavored meal replacement shake. I drink this before a race/rde and then about 30-40 miles into the race/ride. I also picked up my Gatorade bars. I oredered plenty. They should last most of the year!!

Jubal is following in my footsteps of being a multi-sport enthusiast. For Christmas he got a long board that a friend of ours built custom for him. He got to try it out yesterday and he loves it. He rode it half a mile.

Have a great day

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


These are bigger so you can see them better. Wow, that is some good quality right there!!

I figured it out...

This is me sitting at work...

This is me driving to work....
Can you believe they want to charge me money for these pictures?

4 days

until Winter Solstice.

I bought a new cell phone yesterday. I got the $20 version, I might upgrade, it is low quality. You get what you pay for. It has a camera. It takes little pictures. I'll post some little pictures as soon as I figure out how to post the little pictures. The manual tells me how to take pictures, but not how to post pictures. I guess they don't want to see my pictures. They are afraid my pictures will look better than their pictures. They are right, but that is not what it is about. I can appreciate their pictures, they can appreciate my pictures. I wish they would tell me how to post them.

Have a great day

Monday, December 17, 2007

5 days...

until winter solstice.
This morning's temp was 22 degrees, feels like 10 degrees according to I decided that today was not a good day to ride in the sub-freezing temps. I think 25 degrees with no wind is my cut off. And, it is winter, we are supposed to be hibernating.

I was thinking about life Saturday in Roanoke as I was riding around Carvin's Cove. It is amazing to me the ways the we make ourselves feel good. Some of those ways are fine and healthy, and some are not. Good food, exercises, sleeping in. These are all fine in moderation.

But that was not what I focused on. My thoughts revolved around how we can make ourselves feel better if we can find a characteristic in someone else that makes us look good. For instance, a person steals stuff. I say to myself, "Self, I am better than him, because he steals stuff and I don't". Yeah, that is some good logic. Let's continue: I don't speed, I am better than that person speeding, I don't overeat, I am better than that person overeating. I don't kill, hate etc, I am better than that person who does those things. I think you get my drift.

The thing I have learned that I still struggle with, is this: I am no better than anyone else. Once you come to grips with this statement, and embrace it, it becomes so much easier to love your neighbor.

Stay Warm

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Carvin's Cove, Roanoke VA

This weekend we went to Roanoke Va, to visit Rhonda's parents. Roanoke is cool because it is in the Shenandoah Valley. Within 10 minutes drive is the Appalachian Trail, lots of Mtn Biking and the Blur Ridge Parkway. Before my mtn biking days, it was a ritual to take a 7 mile round trip trail run up to Macafee's Knob on the AT. Now that I am mtn biking, I drive 10 minutes to Carvin's Cove to ride. This is a fun area with very well maintained trails.
I was able to ride about 25 miles before I started to run out of food and drink. I had planned on being out for only 2 hrs. I ended up riding 3 hrs and barely had enough to make it back to the car. Too bad, I wanted to keep riding. I posted some pictures of the trail below.

These deer were about 20 feet away.
Mmmmm, that one is eatin' size.

Looking up from the bottom of Jacob's drop.
The top, I rode up this trail, walked some of it.
Halfway down Hi-De-Hoe
View of Tinker cliffs on the AT, from Hi-De-Hoe
View of the lake: Got Rain?

Schoolhouse Trail

Comet trail
Trail intersection
Enchanted Forest
This ride was fun because I didn't have a map of the area. I had seen one at one point, but did not bring it. There is a dirt road that circles the lake, so I knew that if I got lost, all I had to do was go towards the lake. When I came to an intersection, I read the names of the trails and picked at random which one I wanted to do. Just cruising around.
I took Happy Valley rd- Schoolhouse- Little Bell- Enchanted Forest- Tuck-a-Way - Jacob's Drop- left on the dirt rd at the top- Hi-De-Hoe- 4 Gorges to the dirt rd- back on 4 Gorges to Hi-De-Hoe- to the Bennett Springs parking lot- back up Hi-De-Hoe to 4 Gorges- to dirt rd. - down to Happy Valley- to Comet- Tuck a Way- Enchanted Forest- Little Belle- Schoolhouse- Happy Valley- to the parking lot.
3 hrs, 32 miles, 32 degrees.
Great day.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday Night Ride

The ride went well last night. I got 20 miles in in a little over 2 hrs. I got off work a little bit early and was on the trail by 5:30pm. I took Wolf Branch to the dirt road to Ingles Field. At Five Points I turned around and got some downhill coming back down Ingles Field. I was a little bit overdressed with long sleeves and knickers, but I was hoping to be comfortable later.

Back to the parking lot, I met up with Megan, Eli, Lori, Chris, Mat and their dogs Lucy and Yogi. Lucy was a cool dog who would run right next to her owner. She would run along the trail next to him, sometimes so close that they were touching. Crazy dog. The funny thing about it is that Chris said that she seldom runs with other people and that she always stay beside him. About halfway through the ride, Lucy decided to run next to me. And she did for most of the rest of the ride.

Great night, great people.

Today, Jubal is singing in some sort of Christmas program at school. This should be entertaining!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


What in the world? Rhonda decided to make some toffee. Well, if it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger. Unfortunately she burned her first two batches. It tastes good for the first two seconds, the your mouth gets hit with an acidic burn flavor that would match a piece of charcoal. ( don't ask how I know how charcoal tastes). So, I say to myself," Self, this can't be too hard". After all, toffee is equal parts butter and sugar. Yugh. I don't like toffee anymore.
I pour in the sugar and butter, start the boiling process, and stir vigorously. First mistake and second mistake in one move. The buttery mass starts to boil then the sugar separate into a bubbly mass of , well I can't think of non disgusting words to describe it. After the allotted ten minutes I poured it. It looked kind of like barfed up Play-Do, or what I think it would look like if someone barfed it up!!

I tried another batch and the same thing happened. I checked on the Internet. One web-site said to add water, which I did. I put by bark batches back in the pot and added water. Hmm, it dissolved nicely. I started the boiling process again. I must have added too much water, it was taking a long time. When it finally boiled down to what I thought was the right mixture, I pour it in the cookie sheet and went to bed.

Get up, run into the kitchen like a kid on Christmas morning. Arrgh. It is still runny. Now I am saddened like the kid on Christmas morning who got a Barbie instead of a GI Joe. I scrape the mixture back into the pot and start the boil process again. It begins to thicken. Ooooohh, a bubbly thickening mass of buttery sugar. OK, I think it is time. So, I pour it. 30 minutes later it is not hardened. I'm that disappointed kid again.

Oh well, gotta go to work, so I can spend my money on more sugar and butter.

Lessons learned:
-Toffee is butter and sugar
-Don't stir it too fast
-Don't burn it
-Don't pour it too soon
-Be patient
- And last but not least, if your kid asks for a GI Joe, don't get him a Barbie!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

73 degrees in the shade

I had a great ride in this morning. I only needed minor layering. Chilly on the downhills but comfortable the rest of the ride. At the start of my ride the sun was not high enough in the sky to be above the ridges but it's rays were reaching through the gaps in shades of pinkish orange. It was lighting up the east facing mountains, casting shadows from the tall trees. Very Beautiful.

3 of the last 4 miles of my ride is on Old US 70. This is a 2 lane road with a speed limit of 35 mph. It is well patrolled and people are respectful for the most part. There is one school bus driver who is overly respectful. She will not pass me even though we can see that there are no cars coming for a mile up the road. It does not matter how vigorously I wave her around, she won't do it.

My concern is that the people behind her, including the dump truck drivers who are on their way to the quarry, will become irritated and take it out on me as soon as they realize I am the cause of their irritation. So, I usually find a driveway to pull into to let her pass.

The there are the dump trucks. If there is traffic, I generally pull out of the road so that they can pass. Especially if they have a load and we are getting to a hill. My hope is that they will treat me and other cyclists with respect.

Have a great day and love your neighbor,

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gatorade Bars

Its what keeps me going. I have tried all kinds of energy bars over the past several years. These work the best for me. The problem is that they are not available in stores. I can order them online, but they cost almost $2 per bar. That can get expensive. If there is a will there is a way. I have found that Sysco can supply Gatorade bars.
Now the challenge is to find a restaurant that can order some for me through Sysco. That is what I did this morning. The identity will remain a secret for now, but within a week, I will be eating Gatorade Bars on my rides and during my races.

Look out world!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007


I slept until 7:20am!!! That was too late to get my work ride in. I guess I could have done it, but didn't want to rush around getting ready, waking everyone else up. I did enjoy the extra sleep though. That means rollers for me later tonight!!!

This brings to mind the value of things we do. What do you do and what value do you put on them? I value the opportunity to ride my bike to work, but I value more, the opportunity to let Rhonda and Jubal sleep in. Sometimes I am very selfish in the things I value. What about you?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Story

I decided to go big this Sunday, and was concerned when I woke up and it was raining. Thankful for the rain but half expecting to be riding on the rollers in the shed this afternoon.
Fortunately for me, the rain let up. We came home from church and I got my things together and headed out.

The plan was to ride from home, to the Parkway, through Bent Creek, up Bent Creek Gap, and then see how much time I had.
I got going with short sleeves, and shorts with knee warmers. It was a little bit chilly but not too bad. The parkway is great for a warm up before getting on Hardtimes trail at the NC Arboretum. Going up Hardtimes, I decided that I would take my time and not push it. I took a left on South Ridge rd and the another left on Bent Creek Gap Rd. Things were going well and I was feeling good. After climbing up to the Parkway I took off down Wash Creek Rd. The choice now was to go down Trace Ridge, which I have done before, of go explore past Mills River into Pisgah, possibly up to Yellow Gap and maybe even Laurel Mt if I have time. I chose the latter, and decided that if I was at Yellow gap and the Laurel Mt trail head by 3 pm, I would go up Laurel Mt.

I rode up and over Yellow Gap, saying a prayer for the family of the woman who was murdered here recently, and hoping that they find out who did it, and catch them soon. I arrived at Laurel Mt trail head at 3:14 pm. There was a guy there getting his downhill bike ready so we chatted for a couple of minutes about the trail. This was my first ride on the trail. It is 7.4 miles long, with a couple of hike-a-bike sections. I decided that, even walking some of it, I should be able to make it in two hours. I took off up a little steep section. There are five little trails that suddenly branch out from the clearing. I had to yell back at the downhiller to ask which way to go. Once I got on the right track, I picked up a slow but steady pace. Up, up, up. This trail is far away from traffic, people and vehicle. While some parts of the trail were covered in leaves, other parts had absolutely no leaves. Some really great views, some really cool rock formations, one forming a cave over the trail. I could camp here if I had to.

Up, up, up. Pushing several sections that maybe I did not have to, but I wanted to make it on my own. Not push too hard and have to be rescued. About 2 miles from the top, I ran into Paul, a guy that I had pitted next to at the 12 hrs of Tsali last year. I'm glad, because he was able to point me in the right direction at one point where there was a trail that was not on the map!!

I finally make it to the top of Laurel Mt trail. This means that I have a half a mile hike to the Parkway. Riding on this trail is illegal. I finally get to the Mt Pisgah parking lot. It is 5:15 pm. The sun will set in 2 minutes, leaving me with about 30 minutes of light. I call Rhonda and ask her to meet me on the Parkway. I did plan ahead and bring my headlamp, which I attached to my handlebars, so I could make it through the tunnels without hitting the wall.

After 30 minutes of mostly downhill, Rhonda and Jubal find me. I put the bike on the rack, jump in the car, and head home for some homemade pizza.

10.5 mph avg, 45.83 miles, 4h 21 m riding time. Good day in the woods, and a new trail under my belt.

Sunday's Ride, in pictures

The story will come later....

Hardtimes road in Bent Creek

South Ridge Rd, Bent Creek

Overhanging rock on Laurel Mt Trail

Mossy, wet, slippery trail,

Me at the top of Laurel Mt Trail

The Laurel Mt Trail follows this ridge line

Mt Pisgah

The sunset on the parkway, on the way home


A little bit of rain in the forcast, the weather map shows some moving this way. It looks like it will be clearing up this afternoon, just in time for romp in the woods.

Hooray rain...

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Up at 7:30am , no sleeping in with little ones. Some cinnamon roles for breakfast. Today's plan is to take Rhonda to a craft for. Fortunately for Jubal and me the fair is in the parking lot of West End Bakery!! They have some delicious treats. After that we are going to look for a Christmas tree. Scrounging for some fire wood is on the list for today as well.

Have a great day, and do something nice for someone.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sports Drink Slushy Anyone?

I got to Bent Creek last night, and got on the trail around 5:45pm. The sun had set, but there was still enough light to make out the trail. I rode down the paved sidewalk across the bridge and up Wolf Branch. Halfway up Wolf Branch, barely able to see the trail but not wanting to turn on my lights, I passed a group of 3 riders who were amazed that I was riding without lights. On up to the dirt road, up Ingles Field.
I just had my suspension fork serviced by Suspension Experts, they did a fine job, but when I put my bike back together I tightened the stem too tight. This caused my steering to be too stiff. Half way up Ingles Field I stopped to fix the problem. This would make the downhill safer. I had turned my lights on at this point. Got up to Five Points and took off on Little Hickory Top. I was now riding into a headwind. With 35 degree temps, and a 15 mph wind, the windchill was around 20 degrees. Flying back down into the valley. Take the road back to the parking lot, hoping to meet up with the Biowheels dog ride. I ride up into the parking lot and there is no one around. Moments later someone rode up. Bruce, turns out that he lives right down the road from me. I joined their group of 3, making it 4. This group told me that the Biowheels group had left about 20 minutes before, and were going the same route we were. I figured that I could take off and try to catch them, but knew that when I did catch them it would be because they were back at the parking lot. So, I didn't try. It is cold and lonely out there at night. We took a slow but steady pace, giving me another 10 miles to make my total 20 miles for the night.
About 15 miles into the ride, I took a swig of my sports drink from my water bottle. Wow, slushy. The freezing temps had turned my drink into an icy drink. I'm sure that did not help the cold to the bone feeling that I was experiencing.

Coldest ride this year. I hope it snows soon!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Winter Rain and a Bike Ride

I got to experience a little bit of winter rain on the ride home last night. I stepped out of the office when I felt a rain drop hit me on the wrist. "Wow" I thought, "this could be a cold ride home". It only sprinkled here and there, so it was quite the enjoyable ride.

It is getting dark about half of the way home now. The sun sets here in Asheville at 5:11 pm. In Raleigh NC, the sun is setting around 5pm and in Knoxville, the sun sets around 5:17pm. Weird. I did some research and found out that the sun will not set later than 5:11pm here in Asheville. With winter solstice coming up on Dec 22nd ( shortest day of the year), that means that early January I will be seeing the sun set a little bit later each day. Sweet!!! Riding my mtn bike on trails at night is a blast, while riding home on the road at night is a little bit less fun. Might have something to do with all of those metal boxes on wheels.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Free Heat?

Yes. Well, almost free. It costs to pay for gas and repairs on the chainsaw, and to haul the wood etc. But with a lumber company between work and home, and a sawmill half a mile down the road from my house, it is pretty inexpensive.

When we moved into the house 3 yrs ago, it came with an oil heater sitting in the living room. Fortunately for us, there was already a chimney. All we had to do was find a wood stove. We bought a used one that we found in the want ads. It cost us a whole $100. We installed that, thanks to help from my parents and my friend Jared Mauldin. Then we sold the oil heater for $300. The people even came and removed it themselves. ( the guy also bought a stroller that I had bought to resell. I made about $20 off of the stroller, he he he).

We have not regretted selling that smelly old heater. To drive out, load the pickup truck with wood, take it home, cut it up, ( leaving sawdust all over the lawn which makes it look like snow), stack it in the wood shed, take it in the house, do it all over again, it makes me feel good and warm. Its great cross training too.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sunday's Ride Pics

Pictures courtesy of my guide: Jeremy Arnold

Beaver dam
The Trail ends in the beavers lake
Hike a bike up Spencer Gap trail
Somewhere out there
Climbing up Bent Creek Gap Rd.
Tunnel on the Parkway
View from the Parkway
Coming down Big Creek
Jeremy hits the deck