Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I have started looking around at the parts options to build my new bike. So many options!! Of course cost is a factor. I considered switching the components from my current set up, but it just does not feel right, putting old components on a new frame. Hmmmm, what to do.

I still have a little cold hanging on, hopefully it will be gone by Saturday. But I remember last year, I rode with a cold and still placed 10th in the series. But it would be so nice not to be sick.

Today is New Year's Eve. Yippeee!! Our ritual for tonight is pretty much the same as other nights. The only difference is that at mid-nite, if we happen to be awake, we listen to the fireworks before drifting back to sleep. I'm must be getting old, but I just don't like to be tired in the morning!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kind People

I really, really like kind people. The type of people who are kind to me simply because I am a human being and they care about their fellow man (woman) kind.

The first example is the girl with the pink and black dyed hair at the video store. Rhonda and I rented several movies for the Christmas weekend, apparently this is the time of year to air all of the really bad re-runs. The girl told us that a Blu-Ray disc would work in our DVD player: it did not work. When I took it back and informed her that it did not work, she apologized, without hesitation or making excuses. Kind person.

The next example is the dude in the big ol' conversion van who pulled out in front of me. I was riding my bike downhill, going about 25-30 mph and this big ol' van pulled up the driveway, pull out, then suddenly the dude saw me. Instead of stop dead in the middle of the road, he hit the gas, squealed the tires and got out of the way. I caught up to him at the stop light. Unsure if he was upset, I waited for the light to change. As soon as I put my foot down, I saw the driver's side door open, the dude leaned out and apologized for pulling out. No excuses, just a simple apology!!! Kind person.

Be kind, be considerate, and sometimes, even if you feel you are in the right, an apology without excuses is a good way to go.

Have a great day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Jubal got a cool little balsam wood airplane for Christmas. We went out and flew it yesterday. We had a blase together, some good landings and some crash landings.

I got in some good rides over my 5 day weekend. I got to do some strength and speed workouts. It's nice to switch it up from the slow pace of the past couple of weeks, although I can see that those workouts have made a huge difference.

I also went to the local park to practice some skills. Basically I confirmed that I don't have any skills. I have never really focused on practicing skill like this so I look forward to the improvement there too.

The 2009 race season starts on Saturday for me!!!

Have a great day.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day Ride

Merry Christmas

From the World Bicycle Relief website:

"UPDATE: Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, all gifts received by December 31, 2008 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $750,000 – that’s $1.5 million toward The Power of Bicycles! Please help us reach our goal today!"

I will give one copy of 24 Solo, (Gripped Films) to the first person to donate the $135.00 (US) that it costs to provide a bicycle for relief. One bicycle can have an immediate effect on 20 individuals. Please donate today.

All you have to do is donate, and then let me know, so that I can send you the DVD.

This is something that you DO NOT want to miss out on. You provide one bicycle, which is matched and becomes two bicycles, which in turn reaches 40 plus people, and then to top it all off, I send you an autographed copy of 24 Solo. ( autographed by Chris Etough, not me ).

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

5 Days

Yeah, 5 days of not work. Nice long weekend. Rhonda works Thursday morning and this weekend, so I get a lot of daddy/Jubal time. I also get to ride my bike!!
I'm not sure what is in store for this week, probably a short road ride today, another one tomorrow then a long mtn bike ride Friday. Maybe the test on Saturday, then some power drills on Sunday. (subject to change at a moments notice!!)

The ride home last night included 30 minutes of riding fast. I have not gotten to ride that fast in a while and it felt good to crank it up and unleash the inner beast. I don't believe that in the past I could have sustained that pace and felt that good. I'm really looking forward to seeing improvement in the coming weeks as I do more speed work and muscle endurance work, two things that I have never done in my life.

Have a great Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rhododendron: The cool thing about this plant is that when the temps drop, the leaves curl up and droop, the colder it is, the tighter the curls. It was 28 degrees when I took this picture after riding my bike to work. It was 22 when I left the house. Warmin' right up!!
Last night I had planned on going to the Mellowdrome for some testing, but Andy Applegate recommended waiting until later in the week when it would be warmer. So, I opted to wait, but decided to ride my bike home. It was 25 degrees when I left the office, 5 minutes later, I turned around and went back to the office, got in my truck and drove home. Too cold.
Check out the Siren Blog, thanks Brendan!!
Have a great day!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Roanoke VA

It's great to be home after spending the weekend in the Shenandoah Valley. I took Rhonda and Jubal up there to visit her parents. Roanoke is a great area for the in-laws to live because there is so much outdoor stuff for me to do!!!

I decided not to take my bike, but instead to run on the Appalachian Trail. The AT goes from hwy 311 up to McAfee's Knob, about 7 miles round trip.

In the past, less fit days, this has taken me about 3-4 hrs to complete, and I remember feeling totally useless after the run. So, I planned for a 4 hr day on the trail. I was pleasantly surprised when I got there in only 1hr10 mins!! The temps were in the 40's, and I wore shorts and short sleeve shirt. So nice.

One of the AT shelters:

The summit:

The Views:

The Edge:

The "Time for Stabucks" look:

But before coffee, I decided to work on some other skills that most people don't know about:

After work I get to go to the Mellowdrome and do some testing to see where my fitness is. I'm looking forward to 30 minutes of pain!!

Have a great day!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bent Creek Night Rides

Back to my Thursday night ride schedule. We are so fortunate to have a place like Bent Creek. Not only is it close to town, but it has great gravel roads, in addition to the trail system. So, when it rains for three days straight and the trails are too muddy, one can still ride out there.

Last night was a two hour slow ride. Stephanie joined me again. I tried to talk her out of coming with me, because the pace was going to be so slow. She came anyway. It turned out to be quite the exciting ride.

Stephanie has been having issues with her battery packs not holding a charge. After 45minutes, the first one died. We stopped so that she could switch it out. The second one lasted a whole 10 minutes. She recommended heading back to the car. I suggested that we keep riding, as my light was enough for both of us since we were on the gravel roads. She was game and I was glad. So we kept riding, chatting, and enjoying the shorts weather.

It was nice and warm, some stars were out in the sky, the woods were pitch black.

Good ride, good company.

When I got home I opened the door to my house and was greeted with the aroma of fresh baked molasses cookies. Hmmm, those won't last long!!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Check out Chris Strout's blog. Some really exciting donor matching stuff going on until the end of the year: two for one, can't beat that!!!!

What do you do?

I got a Christmas card in the mail yesterday. I'm usually excited to get these cards. It tells me that someone remembered me and took the time to let me know. ( don't think that I don't remember you if you don't get a card from me!!!) But, this card was different. It was from one of those friends who walked out of my life, 2.5 yrs ago. No explanation, no goodbye, just gone. He was one of my college friends. He came to "visit" us in Asheville, not just to hang out, but with the agenda of encouraging me to apologize to some other friends who had turned their backs on me.
The relationship went sour when I asked what I needed to apologize for and he could not tell me. That's the perplexing thing. I have told all of them, that if they will only tell WHAT I need to apologize for, I would gladly do it. But to this day, they have not responded. So, I put it behind me, move on.

Now I get a card, and there is nothing about catching up, working things out, apologizing for walking out etc. The note inside said something like this:" Hey, I got married last summer to a girl from Canada who I met while I was in Jerusalem. The pictures are of me and her with a deer that we got at a friends land. I hope your family is doing well". And that is that.

So, what to do? Move on. I don't have the energy to waste on drama. I'm in a new place with new priorities. And those priorities don't include having "cool" friends. I want real friends. Friends who care, who will be there for me. And I have a few of those, actually, more than a few. So, that is where I am going to put my energy.

But know this, if any of those guys ever needs something as simple, or complex, as a glass of water, it's theirs.

I'm really looking forward to Bent Creek tonight!!! Warm , gravel road ride!!!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Here are a couple of pictures of the trim work that I have been doing. One step closer to completing this project that we live in and call a house.

Above is the living room window:

The kitchen/dinette window:

The doorway into the kitchen/dinette:

I had a great ride to and from work today. I was so relaxed this morning that I had to remind myself to stay focused. It was warm, 55 ish and the fog and low clouds were very scenic. I'm fortunate, several areas of the USA are under several inches of snow!!

Tomorrow is another day off the bike. More time to work on some trim. And we are getting a quote from another contractor for the addition to our project that we call a home!!

Have a great day.


We have our office Christmas party today!! Okie Dokie Smokehouse is catering. Yum yum gimme sum!! If you have not eaten there, you are missing out. Jalepeno hush puppies rock!!!

I rode to work today, it was 51 and foggy, great day for a ride, barely broke a sweat. This week is a rest week, so I get to ride slow every day. Every other day. The in between days, I don't ride.

Have a great day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Weekend

Jubal went to visit my parents in Charloot for the weekend, and this was Rhonda's weekend to work. That left me with lots of time on my hands to ride and work on the house. I was not at all motivated to work on the house. I thought about working on the house first thing Saturday morning since it was about 20 degrees. But I put it off. I also put off going for my ride, until it warmed up to 25 degrees.
I hit the Parkway on my mtn bike and headed to Bent Creek. It was cold but I was dressed perfectly. I did a nice ride out around BC, dodging hunters. It seems that a group of about 15 hunters had converged on BC for the last day of legal rifle hunting in the area. I asked each one that I passed if they had had any luck. As if rehearsed, they all gave the same answer:"Nawt yeeeet", in a slow southern drawl. I reassured them that I would send any deer their way.
The new camera is working out quite well. It is really compact and easy to stick in my rear jersey pocket.
One of the views from BC.
As I headed home, I noticed that the temps had warmed up to a balmy 40+ degrees.
After getting home, I changed and went to get some food. I hate eating at home alone, so I stopped by good old McDonald's for a Big Mac and 2 apple pies. Remember when the pies were fried? They were so much better!!
I ended up getting some work done on the house, and amazingly enough it turned out fine. I am working on the interior trim, around doors and window, and some staining needed to be done. I had the wood stove cranked, thinking that is would help dry the stain more quickly. All of a sudden I smelled a strong gaseous odor similar to that of kerosene. At that point, with visions of my house going up in a huge ball of flames, I shut the wood stove down and opened all the doors and windows. I also decided to do stain the wood outside before installing it from now on. This will be one of those projects that I need to chip away at all week.
Sunday I continued working on the house and then hooked up with Stephanie Grant for a spin around Bent Creek. ( I love that place).
I ended up with 6 hrs of riding for the weekend. I'm really glad that this is a lighter week, with only 7 hrs on the schedule, it should be quite relaxing!!
Have a great day.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Back in Action

We got a camera last night. The catalyst was Jubal's Christmas play at school this morning. He is a sheppard. They are singing songs but he would not sing them for us. He is making us wait until the play!!

The above is a picture of one of the mtn views on my ride to work. Love it!!!

Now I can start posting pictures again, in case you are the kind of person who doesn't like to read.

Have you given your lunch to anyone lately?

Have a great day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's raining on my day to go mountain biking in the woods after work, but I'm not complaining. It hasn't rained this much in a long time. "They" are saying that it is supposed to cool off tonight with a chance of snow. It's been close to 60 the past couple of days and the reprieve from the cold has been nice.

I'm not even going to load up the bike because looking at the weather map, it looks like its raining all the way down into the Gulf of Mexico. Sweet!!!

Not a whole lot going on in life right now. I'm counting down the days until I get to start racing again. My whole mentality has changed about my approach to race day. With the training program, I feel I am more confident that I am training with a purpose, and by following the guidelines, unless something really weird happens, I should do well.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rainy Day

It's raining here in western NC!! It wasn't raining when I left home on my bike this morning, but it did start raining once I got to Swannanoa. It's warm though so I just put my rain jacket on and kept riding. I enjoyed it so much that I was just cruising and totally don't remember part of the ride!! It was that relaxing.
I did check the forecast this morning so I knew what I was getting into unlike the 17 degree ride last week, the temp this morning was 60. That's like spring. It was great. The ride home might be a different story, we'll see.

Have a great day.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Wow, this sign is posted in Pisgah. I can't wait to find out what the story is. Some say that there was a meth lab discovered in the area complete with booby traps. Of course, considering that a meth lab is an un-exploded ordinance.....

Last night I decided to replace my front tire. The threads in the side wall were showing through, and while there was still a good amount of tread left, I didn't trust the tire in sharp rock sections like the last 10 miles of the Snake Creek Gap route. I have Bontrager tubeless rims with some Bontrager tubeless tires. I was told I need a compressor to set the tire. I don't have a compressor. I was also told that I don't need a compressor. Since I don't have a compressor, I chose the latter theory, that I don't need a compressor.

Getting the tire on the rim was one of the hardest parts of the job. Once I got one side on, it was , for some reason, really hard to get the second side on. After a lot of twisting, pulling, groaning, and some more pulling, then some prying, it finally popped on. Then I connected my floor pump an started pumping. Nothing. Most of the air was escaping from the rim where the valve stem is. So, some more tugging, prying, whatever it took I got the bead a little tighter on the valve stem side of the rim. Pumping again, the tire was holding most of the air. Keep pumping, POP, less air escaping, POP, POP, yeah, that's what I like. With the tire finally holding air, I let the air back out so I could add the Stan's Sealant. It was too hard to get the bead off of the rim, so I just pried it up a little so I could get some in there. Hopefully it was enough, I'll add a little more before my race in January.

Have a great day.

Weekend in G-burg

This weekend we went to Gatlinburg to spend time with Rhonda's side of the family.

We left Friday night and did the 1.5 hr drive in about 2 hrs. As we pulled into town, we got stuck in parade traffic. Fortunately for us, we arrived between the two parade times and did not have to wait too long to get to the center of town, where the cabin was. We finally got there around 7pm.

Skip to 9pm. I started getting my things ready for my road ride on Saturday morning. It was supposed to be cold, but I never come out this way to ride so there was no way I was going to let cold stop me from getting this ride in. I basically had two choices. Ride from G-burg up to Clingmans Dome and back, or ride to Cades Cove and back. I chose the Cades Cove ride, due to the cold. I figured that it would be really cold at the top of Clingman's, and the ride back down would be very cold.

Then I suddenly realised that my cycling shoes were missing. I slumped to the floor. Disappointed and frustrated. I could drive home and back. It would take about 3 hrs. If I left now I could be back by 1am, but then I would be tired in the morning and that would not do much for my training ride.

Rhonda and I had a brief discussion and decided that I should go get my shoes. I like the way she thinks.

So, I got in the van and headed home. It was 11pm when I got home. Rhonda called to check on me and I decided to spend the night in Asheville and drive back in the morning.

7am, Saturday. On the road again. I got into G-burg around 9am, ate a second breakfast ( the first was from Starbucks in Asheville) and got ready for the ride.

I rode to Cades Cove and back. It was a mellow but cold ride. The road follows the Little River which I paddled down 6 yrs ago. It was cool to look at the rapids as I was riding by. The memories of paddling friends flooding back. I stopped briefly at the Sinks and relieved paddling up to the edge and going over the 20 ft falls, submarine-ing at the bottom and resurfacing to the cheers of friends from the Carolina Canoe Club.

On down to Cades Cove, I stopped in the visitor center to refill a water bottle then headed back to G-burg. Except for some flurries, the ride was uneventful but fun and relaxing. I was very glad that I made the trip to get my shoes!!!

Sunday I went out for a 1 hr spin before loading the family up, saying goodbye to the in-laws, and heading back to Asheville.

This week should be interesting, trying to get the hours in, it's gonna be cold with possible rain and snow. (please, no rollers!!!)

Have a great day.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Yesterday I was able to nail down two sponsors that I am really excited about.

The first is Siren Bicycles out of CA. Click on the Siren logo to the left and check out their web-site. Not only to they build custom bicycles, they are also partnered with World Bicycle Relief. I am very excited about partnering with them and continuing to spread " The Power of Bicycles" while riding my very own hand built Siren.

The second is Okie Dokie Smokehouse. If you like BBQ, you are gonna love this place. The best service, the best BBQ and great prices. They are off of I-40 in Swannanoa, exit 59 only about 1/2 mile off the interstate. So, stop by and give 'em a try, you won't be disappointed!!!

Thanks Siren and Okie Dokie for believing in me.

Have a great day.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


So, yesterday's ride home from work was a lot less thrilling than the freezing death ride to work. I forgot to mention the one inch long icicles in my beard when I got to camp. Wow!!!

The ride home was good, I have a route now that gets me there in just under one hour and still staying in Zone 1 of my training zones. That's really cool.

Last night after a dinner of yummy homemade tacos, we went to get our Christmas tree. There is a lot down next to Wal-Mart that has really nice trees for really good prices. The guy dropped the $40 price on a 6 foot tree to $25 in a matter of minutes. Seems like he is desperate to sell them. Since we couldn't fit that big of a tree in our house, we settled on the 2.5 ft one for $15.

We then went to Wal-Mart to buy a stand, and found that they are selling trees too. Hence the markdown for the quick sell.

We usually buy a tree with a root ball so that we can plant it after Christmas. We have done that 3 times, and 2 of the trees are growing really well. The other died, and it burned really well!! The guy didn't have any with root balls this year and we didn't want to wait another week for him to restock, and we didn't want to drive around Asheville looking for one, like we did last year, so we went ahead and got this one. It smells so good.

I'd post pictures, but we are currently without a camera. Maybe I can track down the thief and borrow it for a couple of days so I can get some pictures posted.

In riding news, I am starting my Bent Creek Thursday Night Rides again. Hmmm, I love the dark cold woods!!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda....

I should have checked the temperature this morning, then I would have driven to work instead of riding, then I could have saved myself from this uncontrollable shivering!!!!

I think 25 degrees is my limit, not the 17 that it was this morning. Too cold.

Check out Siren Bicycles, the link is on the left. Really cool hand built custom frames!!! And they support World Bicycle Relief.

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More Training

I had a great work ride this morning. Temps were around 32, nice and toasty!!! I found a secret passage that puts me on the Blue Ridge Parkway within 5 minutes of leaving my house. This is great because I can avoid a whole bunch of traffic. I am looking forward to going home that way too and avoiding a whole lot more traffic, after dark.

The only drawback is that it will be after dark, and the Parkway is really dark after dark. It doesn't help that I have a slight fear of the dark. It really is not good when I am trying to keep my heart rate low. I'll see how it goes!!!

Sunday I went running after Rhonda got home from work. I didn't feel like getting on the bike so I ran. I ended up running for 1 hr 45 mins. That was really cool. That's how I found the shortcut for my new ride route. I ended up running all the way to the BRP Destination center. I'll have to take Jubal there to see the stuffed black bear. I got there just in time to get some water before they closed. I headed home, but decided to take the extra half mile loop, just because. It was a race with the setting sun though, it was almost dark by the time I got out of the woods!!! Again, that dark thing.

But I made it home and had some delicious venison stew to refuel!!!

Have a great day!! ( and watch out for the boogey man)!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

2 Rides

I got 2 rides in over Thanksgiving:

We spent Wed, Thur and Friday with my parents and older brother down at Lake Lure. We were staying in a vacation rental at Rumbling Bald Resort. I debated on whether I should take my road bike or my mtn bike. I have my mtn bike set up with a slick on the back for commuting so I decided to take that. I guess it is only a semi slick because it does have some tread.

Wednesday morning I got dressed and ready for a 3-4 hr ride. I was not sure where I was going but the map said that at the back of the resort, there were some 4wd roads. If this were true then I would be hitting some dirt for the day, if not, I would resort to a ride on the pavement.

I found a dirt road after some climbing and decided to follow it. It went up, and kept going up for the next hour. There was actually quite a bit of hike a bike due to the fact that I had the slick on the back. It was impossible for me to get traction on the leaves/roots/dirt/rocks. So, I pushed the bike a lot. After about 45 minutes of up, I could see Chimney Rock on my left, and Rumbling Bald Resort on my right. I was following the ridge line. The road finally dropped, but then went straight up the next mtn. This happened 3 or 4 times.

At times I considered turning back, but I hate going back the same way I came, so I pressed on. I had enough food and water to last 6 hrs so I was not worried, and using the HRM to keep my speed even keeled, I felt like I could go all day!!

After about 1.5 hrs of riding, the dirt road became wider and more traveled. I figured this meant that I was getting closer to somewhere. I was still climbing a lot and knew from looking at maps that the slope would eventually come to the Eastern Continental Divide.

I kept going. After about 2 hrs of riding, I came across a family out for a hike. We greeted and I asked them where the heck I was. They laughed and told me that if I continued on the road, I would come to a gate, then take the paved road down to hwy 9. It was mostly downhill so I tucked in and glided down the windy road. Once I hit hwy 9, I had the choice of going right and trying to find the back way or going left through Bat Cave / Lake Lure. I decided on left, since I knew it would take about one hour and I had 1.5 hrs to get back.

I made good time, dropping down into Lake Lure, following the winding curves of the Rocky Broad, making it back in time for Thanksgiving lunch!!

The ride on Friday was less eventful. I did and out and back for a total of 1 hr of riding. I went the back way to Lake Lure, this time the road took me below Rumbling Bald Mtn, the opposite of Thursday when I was on top of the Mtn.

So, not only did I get to hang out with family for a couple of days, I got to eat some good food, soak in the hot tub, and of course, ride!!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Show

The snow was a no show. Oh well. The temps are up, it was 29 when I left the house this morning, and a forcast 45 for the high. I'll be riding home mostly in the dark tonight, but I have mounted not one, but two red blinky lights on my bike. 3 more weeks until the sun starts setting later.

Last night, Rhonda and I were watching tv. I heard a vehicle pull up in the driveway, doors slamming and people talking. I looked out and did not recognized the people but there were two dudes in a pickup truck. We quickly turned the lights off in the house and waited until they got to the door. I had the phone in my hand ready to dial 911. Once they were at the door, I realized that it was Geoffrey and Garren, my older bro and his son. They had come up from Charlotte to camp and were trying to find a place to watch some Monday Night Football!!
It took about an hour for my nerves to calm!!!!

Have a great day!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Well, another cold Monday, 80% chance of rain later today. I decided to take a day off from the training plan to let my body rest. I had a couple of good rides this weekend, nothing spectacular, just good solid rides.

Sat and Sun we went out to Jackson Park in Hendersonville to watch the UCI cyclocross races. They were definitely action packed. Jeremiah Bishop got first place in the men's pro cat both days. He did have to work for it though. Sun he got gapped after hitting the deck. It looked dicey at first but he caught up to the two leaders. Then with two to go, in typical Bishop fashion, he hit the gas, gapped them and held it till the end.

Congrats to Nathan Wyatt who placed 5th on Sunday in the same race!!! Nate is a local who is doing quite well!!!

I'm looking forward to entering a new phase in my training program. Starting this week I will be doing some speed and skills drills. In addition, I'll continue doing some running as cross training. Fun stuff!!!

Have a great day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow Day

It is currently snowing in the Asheville area!! The high today is supposed to be 32. With snow and probably ice on the roads, winds gusting to 25mph, and having been sick earlier this week, I am relegated to driving to work. I hope I can get back on the bike soon!!

World Bicycle Relief has some cool stuff going on. If you were ever going to donate, NOW is the time. Who doesn't like two for the price of one? You donate $135 for one complete bicycle, WBR sends two bicycles out into the community. $135, that's only $33.75 per week!!!!

You can donate here: Bicycles

In other news: has added me to their blog list. Check out their web-site to find lots of info on bicycle news.

UCI cyclocross races this weekend in Hendersonville!!! I'm not racing, only spectating, but expect to have a good time!!

Have a great day!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Feeling Better

Quite a bit better today. Two things learned, don't run when it is 21 degrees, and take half a dose of cold medicine.

I ran a couple of days ago, before work, and while it was exhilarating, I believe that it broke down my immune system.
Stress is another thing that breaks down the immune system. I can usually track 2-3 days back from when I am sick,and remember a more than normal stressful event that occurred. In this case it was the break-in.

So I took the full dose of cold meds and immediately felt nauseous. I did it again 4 hrs later and remembered that I usually take half a dose. oops.

I seem to be feeling better this morning, I can't wait to start riding again.

We are looking at getting some motion detector lights installed around our house. I will do and have done a lot of projects around the house, but electric work is one thing that I really don't feel comfortable doing. The whole possibility of electrical shock or fire is a little bit intimidating. So, I'll have to figure out what to do there!! Do you know a good electrician?

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I woke up at 4 o'clock this morning!! Could not sleep. Lots of thoughts running through my head like a herd of stampeding horses. Mostly trying to figure out ways to keep my home safe...
Trying not to stress about it, just make it better.

I finally went back to sleep after about 45 minutes, and woke up, dragging when the alarm went off at 6:30. Ate breakfast, and got all ready to go, still dragging. Got the bike ready, put the bike away, and went back in the house to change. I wimped out and drove to work today. 21 degrees was too cold. And it turns out that I have a head cold, so it's good that I wimped out.

I'm still brainstorming and pursuing some ideas for sponsorship for 2009. Every little bit helps. We'll see what happens.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Hero-ette

It's my birthday!! If you forgot that's ok. If you remembered that good too. I'm gonna celebrate by telling you about my hero.

My hero is a girl. She doesn't have a cape, or any real super powers,( well she does, but we won't talk about those here, it's a secret). My hero puts up with me, cooks for me, cleans, takes care of our kid. She is a CNA at a local nursing home. She feeds, cleans and dresses old folks. Then she comes home and reads to my kid. She gets up at times in the morning when it should not be legal for people to get up. She gets the kid ready for a day out in the cold, then she goes out, makes pb& j's for 500 people she doesn't know as they ride their bikes. Sometimes it's annoying, because she won't go away, she'll never go away, that is not annoying.

She takes care of the neighbors kids, without concern for her personal time, she pulls weeds in the garden, did I mention she puts up with me?

But this is not about me, this is about my hero-ette. This is the best birthday present I could have. My hero-ette, waiting for me at the next rest stop, at home after a long ride or a long day of work. Waiting, being, supporting.

I love you Rhonda,

Have a great day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The sermon was about earthly possessions. How fleeting they are, how we should not cling to them. They are only possessions, things that we cannot take with us when we go. There are more important things to cling to, to strive for. And how we should not fret when the bank account runs low. God never promises to give us what we want, only what we need. I have to say, I have everything I need, and a whole lot more.

I do struggle though, when the bank account runs low. I like to be in control, if something is broken, I like to find a way to fix it. It is hard for me to be satisfied with just OK. As far as earthly possessions, I have things that I like, that I take care of, but some of those things were gone the next time I came home, or if all of them were gone, I am aware that they are replaceable. ( even my entire collection of Louis L'amour western novels ).

Rhonda was at work when Jubal and I got home today. The first thing I noticed was the yoga ball that we use as a desk chair was in the kitchen. The next thing was the little 2" X 3" box sitting on the desk in front of the keyboard, it was not there when we left. I looked around the house. There was a shirt on the floor that had not been there before, one arm warmer moved, a sock out of place. A whole lot of little things that indicated someone had been there, uninvited.

With that burning sinking feeling in my stomach I called Rhonda at work to see if she had been home. She had not. I found a couple of things missing: a flashlight, the camera, mp3 player. I called the Sheriff's Dept and the deputy came. He looked around, there was not much he could do. He was very nice and seemed frustrated that there was not more that he could do. I gave him the list of missing items and their description. He thought that they must have gotten in the front door somehow. I suspect the old credit card method.

After he left, Jubal and I went to the park. It was cold but sunny. He told me that the police know everybody and that they will get the mean people who took our stuff.

I don't care about the $500 worth of stuff that I don't have anymore. ( I might be a bit more upset if my bikes were gone, I don't know). I upset because someone came into my house, with out invitation. That's what is frustrating about this.

We'll probably, never know what happened, how, who etc. We just know that it did.

So, here is to a new day. Moving on. Not being a slave to fear. And continuing to love my neighbors.

Have a great day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

60,000 what?

I had a contractor come over last night and look around at our house. We wanted an estimate for expanding. The original ball park quote is between $40,000 and $60,000. Part of that has to do with outdated electrical, ( some of which we got experience with this summer). Another part would involve restructuring half of the roof. That quote was for the most amount of expanding that we could do. So, it's back to the drawing board to downsize. Maybe we'll be able to afford a closet!!!

In other more exciting news: Cohutta 100 is on April 25th this year!!! 5 months away!!! I can't wait to see what my new training program is going to do for me!!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Training for 2009 started today. I ran!! About 30 minutes in my neighborhood. Cold and rain, oh what fun. It was great having the HRM because I didn't have to push hard, just run steady. I'll get to run a couple of times each week until for a month or so.

I used to run a lot. I ran a marathon a couple of years ago. I did that in 6.5 hrs, in Charlotte. It was a great run in that I finished, but it was a long time to be pounding on pavement.

In college I ran a lot of trails. We had WMA forest right out the back door. I remember the first time I ran for 45 minutes. I was elated. While there I ran the Hog Pen Hill Climb, a running race from Helen GA to the top of Hog Pen Gap. This is a point where the Tour de GA crosses on the way to Brasstown bald. Go visit sometime. The Appalachian Trail also crosses the road there.

My family sometimes goes to a place near Elizabethton TN, to stay at Fairhaven. The AT also goes nearby there.
One time I was feeling ambitious so I decided to run on the AT from Carvers Gap down to hwy 19. It was 13 miles and I felt good. There was a lot of downhill.

The next time we went to Fairhaven, I was feeling ambitious but didn't want to run the same thing. So, I switched it up and ran from hwy 19 up to Carvers Gap. This trip took about two hrs longer than the other direction. I ran out of food, bummed some from the only person I saw all day: a backpacker. Shortly after that I ran out of water, with about 6 miles still to go, and about an hour of daylight left.

The backpacker had told me about a spring that crossed the trail a couple of miles up. I didn't have anything to purify the water with, but filled the bottle and drank anyway. Right by the spring was the paw print of a rather large cat.

I don't know if it was just the pure mtn spring water or what, but I felt energized, really energized after that. I continued on, cresting the last mtn right as it got dark. The last half mile or so was in the dark. I had planned ahead enough to bring a flashlight though. That was a great day. Oh, yeah, it was the middle of winter too!!!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Last Year....

...I finished the Swank 6 minutes faster than I did this year, and it was 4ish miles longer last year. What does this tell me? Well, considering that last year I was on a single speed and actually racing, going hard when I could, and this year I was on a greared bike and trying to go at a slow steady pace, I am going to assume that my fitness has improved this year.

I don't have any scientific or well thought out reason for assuming this, and I usually don't assume but that is what I assume today. Someone tell me if I am way off.

So, I am taking this week off, then I will be jumping right into a training program that my coach wrote specifically for me.

The plan included some weights, stretching, running and hiking, speed drills and of course endurance rides. I am very excited to be starting a new program and it is great to know that every workout I am doing will be for a purpose. Much better than my previous philosophy of:" go fast, hard and long, and hope that I will do well in a race". With that plan, even my recovery days were too hard and fast!! Only 3.5 weeks until the sun starts setting later!!!! Have a great day!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Swank 2008

The day dawned bright and clear. That made me happy. It was cold, about 32 degrees but the bright sunshine told me that it would warm up some. And, that was at 6:30 am.

I got the family stirring, fed and in the truck. We headed out, early, which is how I like it. A quick stop by Starbucks, then hit the road for Brevard. The problem with the road between Asheville and Brevard that early is that there is nowhere to make a pit stop, if you know what I mean. The woods were fine, a little 6 inch hole in the ground, and my gut was relieved and happy.

On to the start, picked up my packet/number, and got dressed. I have realised that warming up on rollers works best for me, so that is what I did. I was a bit wobbly but then remembered that I had not been on the rollers on my mtn bike for a long time, and had not been on my mtn bike ( I had been training on my road bike) in two weeks.

I got off the rollers, road up the gravel road to take care of something or other, and realised that I had a quickly deflating front tire. I panicked, looked at my watch, and panicked some more. There was a pin head sized hole in the center of the tread. I had 30 minutes to fix the flat. I have tubeless tires on the bike and I really didn't want to put a tube in. The other problem was that I only had one spare tube, which I did not want to use, in case I needed it no the trail.

I ran around, and located someone who had a spare, someone else told me that had some Stan's Sealant if I wanted that. After some short instruction on how to take care of it, I figured it was worth a try to Stan's it. I pooped the bead loose, dumped X amount of Stan's in and started pumping with my floor pump. Air started gushing out of the rim, I pumped faster. Air and Stan's were blowing everywhere, I pumped faster. Suddenly, I heard the satisfying "pop,pop" of a tire bead sealing!! I spun the tire around, listened for a leak but could hear none. It ended up holding for the entire race. Victory before the race even started. For me, at this point, it is these little battles that I cherish.

By the time I got the bike rolling again it was time for the rider's meeting. Todd gave us the details, told us how not to get lost, and we started with the 1/4 mile lemans run!! I don't really enjoy running in my mtn bike shoes.

My plan for today was to follow my heart rate monitor. This was my first race using it and I was curious as to how it would play out. After the run, I was already close to 100% of my limit. My goal was to stay below 80%. I would end up spending 3% of the next 5 .5 hrs in this zone.

I did what I could, but if I had slowed any more, I would have fallen over. I won't bore you with all the details, but I really learned the importance of some weight lifting and speed workouts. I have read about it, and tried some, but seeing it first hand makes a huge difference.

The ride was great. It was nice going at a slower pace, not pushing it the whole time. One huge difference was that I was able to gauge my food needs better. I did get hungry a couple of times, but I was able to eat right away, and my body never was pushed over the edge. A lot of people ended up passing me, and it bothered me a little, but my goal was to assess my fitness, and that is what I did.

The weather was great. It alternated between warm and chilly. My temps were easily regulated with arm warmers slid up or down. The rest stops were great, and of course the time spent in Pisgah was even better.

After getting to rest stop 3 , which was also rest stop one, where Rhonda, Jubal, Jackie, Jen, John and Sarah ( wow, that stop had a lot of J's), I only had 9 miles left to ride. I was feeling good, Rhonda said I looked good. I stopped for no more than 30 seconds and took off.

I thought I might be able to pick the pace up, but then realised that I should just keep it steady. One of the mistakes I have made in the lap races this year, is to pick up the pace towards the end, using valuable energy that could have granted me one more lap, and a couple of spots.

It was great to hear the crowd back at the start finish. It was even better to hear Todd calling my name and hi-fiving. Then to top it off, there were Rhonda and Jubal!!!

Two Cheeseburgers later, we went back to rest stop 3 to hang out there, and help clean up and bring things back to the finish line.

38 miles, 5.5 hrs. Definitely not my fastest ride, but my goal was to learn and that goal was achieved.

I'm looking forward to next season!!

Have a great day.


I'll post the story and pictures tonight.

I finished and felt good at the end, good enough to eat some food, and walk around!!!!

Have a great day!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dodging Bullets

Jubal woke up sick yesterday, Rhonda's not feeling well today, I'm popping herbs and vitamins and feeling good so far. I hope it holds off so I can race on Sunday. The weather is going to be awesome!!!

Have a great day,

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I'm in the Asheville Citizen Times!! Check out the story and the Swank 65 race details.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Day

A new chapter in American/world history.

Congratulations President Obama, please remember to support your local bicycle clubs!!!

I purchased the Mtn Biker's Training Bible, by Joe Friel. I am reading it and soaking in every bit of info. So much is making sense. I have been training so wrong. It's surprising how terribly wrong we can do things when we don't have a standard, a constant to compare them to.

So, I'm starting over, starting fresh. I will be able to use the fitness that I have, but it will be refined, and I will be better all around.

I'll keep you updated.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What are you doing today?

Just in case you needed another reminder!!

Starbucks is handing out free coffee, Krispy Kreme is giving out doughnuts, Ben and Jerry's is giving out ice cream, and I am giving free autographs!!!

Have a great day!!