Friday, February 29, 2008

Goin Racin'

I get to work a half day today. The butterflies are already churning. Why can't I relax and just enjoy the ride? I don't know. I get giddy-excited just about anytime I do an event, race or not. My stomach turns upside down. That makes it hard to eat, which in turn causes a lack of fuel to burn. At least this is consistent and I can try to eat bland food the night before. This will be the last in the Snake Creek Gap TT series. As I said before I am currently in 9th place. My riding times from the 1st two races were very close together, so I don't anticipate that I will be much quicker this time. Also it is supposed to rain tonight so that could leave the trails muddy and more difficult to ride. We'll see what happens. Either way, its a great trail and a very well organized race. Yeehaw.
Jubal is also excited about our trip. Like me, he loves to stay in hotels and eat at restaurants. We are planning a trip to the Knoxville Zoo on Sunday if the weather is nice enough for walking around outside. If that doesn't work out we'll head back to Asheville. Jubal doesn't know yet. It's a surprise!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Snow again

It snowed again!!! We got about a quarter of an inch, the roads are mostly dry. They closed schools, Jubal is dissapointed. We went to Starbucks, Jubal and Rhonda are happy. I go to work, I'm happy. I'm happier at 5 pm when I go home!!!

2 more days until the Snake!!!

I have an exciting fundraising event coming up for these kind folks:

Stay tuned!!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I have never seen any object on this earth that has just happened for no reason. Well, OK, except the appendix. I'm not sure what that is all about, but considering the evidence, I'm sure there is a purpose for it. But, I believe that all objects, all things, are created. The time line of the creation is fuzzy in my head, but I don't think that is important for this conversation. I believe in a God who created us and everything else for a purpose.

Consider this. Isn't everything that we as humans create, created for a purpose? I don't see anyone aimlessly creating things for no reason. There may be people creating things that we think are a waste of time, or useless, but to the one who creates those things, there is a purpose.

I believe that God has created us for a purpose. Now, I also believe that we have the freedom to disagree with God. ( as I said in yesterday's post). At the same time we have the freedom to choose to live for the purpose that God has created us for.( I recommend God's way of living) If it were mandatory that we lived for God's purpose, it would not be as fulfilling or meaningful as when we choose to do it on our own.

Consider a robot. If I were to invent a robot to wash the dishes, it would wash the dishes, because that is all I programmed it to do. On the other hand, if I created a robot with the capability to wash the dishes, and with the capability to choose whether or not it wanted to wash the dishes, and it decided to wash the dishes on its own. How much more meaningful would that be? I say a lot more meaningful.

I believe that God created us. I believe that we all have a purpose. What is yours?

Have a great day...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I think one of the coolest lessons that I have learned as a Christian, is that of freedom. Typically, when you think of Christianity, you think of a religion with lots of rules. Rules that sometimes don't make sense, but somehow make you a better person. Rules that sometimes will even make you a better person, than those around you. ( or so we are taught). And that is not what Christianity is about at all.

As a Christian living in this freedom, I don't have a bunch of rules. Does this mean that I can do whatever I want to? Yes, it does. As anyone can do whatever they want to. But, we have to realise that there are consequences to our actions. Everything we do affects everyone around us. That being said, I don't do whatever I want to. The results would not be good, the consequences would not be worth the actions.

So what do I do? I look to the Bible, not as a set of rules, but as a set of guidelines to help me make the best choices available. And guess what? If I mess up, I'm not gonna get struck by lightning. ( on the other hand, I could do everything just right, and get struck by lightning). ( I'm beginning to wonder if lightning is overrated).

So, what do I do when I mess up? Get up and try again. Just like riding a bike. You get off the trail, you lean to far to the front, squeeze the brakes a little too hard, and wham, you wind up on the ground. Get up, try it again. If I were to ride my bike constantly in fear of doing something wrong, I would never ride my bike.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Laurel Mtn Trail Work

I left Rhonda and Jubal at home on Sunday to go help out with some trail work. It was too cold for Jubal to be out in the mountains. He still has a little bit of a cough and we did not want to risk another cold. So, I left them. I was able to get back by the end of nap time though. So that was cool.

28 people showed up. We split into 4 groups, each group having a chain sawyer, and headed up the trail. My group ended up cutting through several downed trees, creating one log ride, and then building a ride over for one tree that was over the trail. I only made it up about 3 miles of the trail before I had to head home.

About half a mile from the the trail head, there is a tree that was next to the trail, got blown over, leaving a huge gaping hole in the trail. One group worked on that all day, filling the hole in with rock work to create a rock bridge. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Needless to say, I am tired today. I'll take today off the bike, and see about tomorrow. I have the Snake Creek Gap Time Trial this Saturday, so I am determined to take it easy this week.

Have a great day.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


With 8500 ft of climbing today, the route provided a little bit less than the Cohutta 100. The Cohutta has 12,000 ft in 100 miles. That means 3000 ft per 25 miles and today I climbed 2800 ft per 25 miles. Not too much of a difference. Sweet!!

Long Ride

I considered getting up at the break of dawn to imitate race day. I had a long gravel road ride planned that would be similar to the Cohutta 100. I did not get up at the break of dawn due to two things. One: it was cold,, two: I was tired. So I slept in until 7:30, got up had some coffee, took my time getting ready, considered staying home to play with my family. And finally hit the road just after 9am. I decided not to push the pace too much as I had 70 miles in store. South on the Parkway, through the Arboretum, up Hardtimes Rd, left to go up Bent Creek Gap Rd, down Wash Creek Rd, right on 1206, all the way to hwy 276, turn around and come back.

It was warming up by the time I hit Bent Creek Gap Rd. I had knee warmers and arm warmers on. It was warm enough to slide the arm warmers down to my wrists. It was difficult passing up some of the sweet Pisgah single track, but I figured it would be there another day. I wanted consistent pedaling and some longer climbs. And I got it. Bent Creek Gap and Yellow Gap being the long climbs today, I got to climb them each two times. I also got to descend them 2 times.
I had calculated the one way trip to be about 35 miles. When my computer showed that I had 35 miles and I wasn't at 276 yet, I got a little worried. I kept riding and about 1 mile later, I heard traffic whizzing by on the pavement of hwy 276.

I stopped for a p break, and then pulled out half of my pb and j, climbed on the bike and headed home. Very pleased that I made it this far. I considered that I have not ridden the mtn bike more that 45 miles this year. I cruised down the road, kept a steady pace, continued to drink and eat. I reached Mills River Campground, went on through to take a left on Wash Creek Rd, and up to Bent Creek Gap. On the climbs I was sweating sufficiently so I knew that I was drinking enough and taking enough electrolytes. Up to this point I had been riding in the sunshine all day. As I descended into Bent Creek, I was surprised that the temps were dropping and that it was cloudy. I figured that I was cold only because of the downhill, but oddly enough, I was still cold as I rode the entire length of South Ridge rd. At the Arboretum I stopped to fill my bottles, and ended up putting my jacket on.

Back up on the Parkway, north to home. Great day, great ride, and I feel good about my fitness at this point: 6.5 hours total ( including stops) 12.3 avg, 75 miles.

Finishing out the day with some Marco's pepperoni pizza and 2 new editions of COPS!!!!

Have a great day

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rock and Roll Baby.....

Skillet: They came, they saw, they ROCKED.

Today I get to go to school. I'm going to the local tech college to get some Quick books training. See, the thing about books is, they are quick, and you have to know how to keep up with them. Kinda like me, on a mtn bike ( unless I'm dehydrated).

Have a great day

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

( I took this picture)
We got to watch the lunar eclipse from our porch last night. Very cool stuff. I'm glad American Idol has commercial breaks or we would have missed part of the show.
Rhonda's birthday went well, in addition to taking her to a Skillet concert ( tonight) I bought a sweet Mtn Hardware lightweight rain jacket. I surprised her with it and had it delivered yesterday.
Posted by Picasa
I'm looking forward to having a couple of days off of the bicycle. Then Saturday I'll be taking a long ride. The goal is 70 miles, but we'll see what happens.
I have decided to start helping the local mountain biking club Pisgah Area Sorba, with maintaining the trails that I ride. Now that Jubal is old enough to come out there, it will be easier. I won't have to leave the family at home, and I can teach him about caring for the environment at the same time. There is a work day planned for this weekend. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bent Creek

I realised last night how tired I am of riding in the cold and dark of night. Had it been warm last night I would have continued to ride. But, I'm just tired of freezing my tail off. The ride was good, and I had the energy to continue, but I'm over it. Bring on the spring!!!!
I have only ridden single track one time in several weeks. I struggled on the steeper pitches. I'm not sure exactly why, most likely because my muscles are tired from all the activity I have put them through. I have not really taken a day of since last Tuesday. So, I'm going to ride to work today, and then take Thursday and Friday off the bike. Saturday, I am planning a long ride to test my fitness for the upcoming Cohutta 100.

Today is Rhonda's 31st birthday. I bought Skillet tickets for tomorrow night. There might be something else in the works, we'll see how it pans out.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Do Something

“All that’s needed for injustice to prevail is for good people to do nothing.”

What are you doing? Or not doing? What are you doing to contribute? What are you not doing to contribute. If you are doing something already, great. If you are not doing something, do something. If you are burned out from giving too much, take a break. Or, do something else. I did something. for 3.5 years. I got burned out. I took a break for almost 1 yr. Now I'm back to doing something. I'm not going to talk about what it is, that will come in another post. I don't want you to compare you to me, or me to you, or you to him/her, or so on. Do something because you know it is the right thing to do. And if for nothing else, to keep injustice from prevailing.

Have a great day.... doing something!!!

Happy Monday

Yesterday was a great day for resting. We went to church, I worked on the pump track,( I almost leveled it all and gave up) , we watched a special on climbing K2, Jubal and I laid on the couch and watch the Daytona 500 , ate some deliccious homemade potato soup, kept the fire in the woodstove burning, went to the sawmill to get some free firewood. No wonder I'm tired.

I decided to try to add some weekly mileage to my work rides. This morning was a beautiful golden morning. It started out foggy but soon cleared up with the bright morning sun chasing away the wet, soggy fog. Rounding one corner of my climbing route, still in the valley, I was greeted by an old farmer drinking coffee, smoking a pipe, and watching the sunshine creep down from the top of the mountain.

Over the rolling hills, a bit more climbing, down to hwy 70. I decided to take hwy 70 all the way to Black mtn and the return to camp on old US 70. Turning on to Lake Eden rd I looked up to the right to see a hawk coasting alond, weaving in and out of the trees. I picked up my pace to ride next to it for half a mile. I ended up with 20 miles. Temp is 45 and rising, spring is coming!!!

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Great Saturday

I had a great ride with my friend Mike. He laughs at me because of how I dress. He thinks I don't put enough layers on. But I am comfortable until we stop for coffee, then I get cold. He laughs again. That's ok, he bought the coffee. You can laugh all you want to if you buy the coffee!!

We met at the parkway and Hendersonville road. He is from Shelby so I didn't want to kill him with climbing. We rode north past Cravens Gap up to Bull Gap. Took a left on Elk Mtn Senic Parkway. I think that it has been over a year since I have been up here. It is one of my favorite road loops. There is a huge new development going in. We agreed that while it is unfortunate that they are building there, we would both enjoy living up there.

We rode down the mtn, across Merrimon, past Beaver Lake, and to Riverside Dr. Cruised down the flat road, took a detour to the Mellowdrome at Carrier Park to watch the fixed geared riders do some training, then off to Starbucks. After some good conversation, coffee and a sour cream donught, we headed to Azalea park where Mike's daughter was playing soccer.

40 miles, 3 hrs- Fun times!!

Have a great day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


It is still dark outside, I want to be in bed. This is the only thing I don't like about cycling. Getting up early. I'm definitely taking part in nap time today!!

I'm up so early on saturday, so I can go for ride with Mike Keeley. Mike has a new bike with compact cranks. He is going to show me how to climb fast, I hope I can keep up.

Here is our elevation chart:

After nap time, I'm going to use the rest of the daylight hours to work on the pump track. I completed the uphill side with 8 rollers. I know it is good because I can pump all the way up!! The other side will hopefully include a table top jump so I can work on those mad skills.

Time to go eat some granola.

Have a great day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tree Climbing

I saw something crazy when I was on my way home yesterday. There was a dude in a tree near the 20 foot tall chain link fence that surrounds the Juvenile Detention Center. I'm pretty sure he wasn't rescueing a cat, as there were 20 cops on the ground surrounding the tree. But, knowing how minds work, I would not be surprised if that is what he told the officers.

In other wierd news. Jubal has hives. Supposedly some sort of reaction to meds or stress on the body or illness. One minute he is fine and the next he breaks out in itchy, splotchy, red, bumps. Poor kid. He is taking Benadryl, like you would for any other type of allergic reaction. He looks so pitiful, but every once in a while, he looks over at me with swollen face and droopy eyes, and cracks a little smile.
Have a great day

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yes. We. Can.

disclaimer: this is not a wholly political statement. this is not a request to vote for any one person. this is not pro Obama or anit any of the other candidates. this is a cry for freedom and to realise that we as human beings are capable of huge things, if we work together.....

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.
Yes we can.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.
Yes we can.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.
Yes we can.
It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.Yes we can to justice and equality.
Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.Yes we can heal this nation.Yes we can repair this world.
Yes we can.
We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.
But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.
Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --
Yes. We. Can.
( Barak Obama)
And a very cool work of

I'm going night mtn biking at Bent Creek. And while I'm there, cruising throught the forest, I am going to dare to dream....

Have a great day...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nothing Happened

I went all the way to SC and back, and nothing happened. It is amazing. The curse is broken. Maybe we can get along now, and not be paranoid everytime I go there. Maybe even get down to ride on some of the mtb trails.

The career fair was interesting. Half of the kids at Lander have the cold funk, I did some parenting skills counseling at lunch with a lady that I met there. I met Miss SC 2006, and she proudly told me that she was going for Miss SC this year. I've got her autograph on the information sheet, if she gets Miss USA, the sign up sheet will be listed on E-bay!!!!

I made it home in time to work on the pump track some more. I have a slight uphill section that I am working on. I have 8 rollers started and can actually pump through 6.5 of them. I'm having a little trouble on the berm just before this section. It looks like I'll have to get some dirt piled up so I can get a small wall ride, which will allow me to line up and get some momentum. This will be pretty cool. I have a feeling that the track will continue to evolve for a while, at least until I get it dialed in.

I woke up this morning to overcast skies, but no rain, so I got some of my wife's homemade granola in me, and hit the road. I couldn't resist the riding home this evening with the chance of snow flurries!!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Greenwood SC

Greenwood is home to Lander University. They also have a criterium every year. That is where I will be today. I'm going to be doing some staff recruiting at a camp fair there. Every time I go to SC, something weird happens. Whenever I have to go there, I get a little bit scared, unsure of what the day will bring.

These camp fairs are great places to go if you want a summer job. And possibly if you need a full time job. That's how I got mine.

I drove by the local sawmill today and secured some fill dirt to work on the pump track. Now I have to find the time to go load it. A couple of trips should be good.

Off to take a shower and hit the road.

Have a great day.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Ahhh, yet another freezing ride to work. 20 degrees this morning when I woke up. Stuffed some wood in the wood stove ( Jubal calls it the firestove), drank some coffee ( of course). I decided to wear my wool base layer today and it made all the difference. What is it about sheep hair that keeps us so warm. If you ever need to buy something for someone and don't know what, go with something wool. It is great. I might splurge on a wool jersey for next winter.

I started building a pump track in my back yard yesterday. I'm starting small, then will build up, I think it will be fun if I build it right. The idea is that once completed, one should be able to ride the entire circuit without pedaling. In addition to the fun factor, it provides skills training and a workout. It will take a while to haul the dirt I need in my little pick up truck. ( if you have a bigger truck and want to help me out, lemme know). But in time, I think this will be really cool. Jubal is excited about it too.

This is not my pump track, or my house, or even my neighborhood.

I wonder what the neighbors think.

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


We drove down to The Queen City. My mom offered to help Rhonda with our taxes. They got "the box". They had fun together, and played more than worked on the taxes, but they got them finished. If we had made $100 less last year, we would have gotten $1000 more in our return. I guees I won't get enough back to buy that sweet high end mtn bike, I'm $1000 short. Maybe next year.

I took advantage of the nearby trail system and rode my mtn bike to Colonel Francis J. Beatty Community Park. The Traheel Trailblazers do an excellent job of maintaining this trail system. With about 6 miles of trail, this was a perfect time to assess my gear and fitness for the season's upcoming lap races.

After a Starbucks run and a delicious breakfast of bacon and biscuits, I was off. The temps were quickly warming up and as the day went by, I ended up in shorts and short sleeves. Ahhh a small taste off spring. Round and round, working on cornering without touching the brakes. Jubal and my dad stopped by to play at the park so I stopped by for a minute. I discovered that there are some alternate more technical routes that can be taken, so I started to alternate routes every lap, in an effort to keep it interesting.
36.73 miles 3.5 hrs, and feeling good, I headed back to the house. We had expected to meet up with my brother and his family but, that didn't happen. I was somewhat dissapointed as I had hoped to ride for 4 plus hours. But I got over it, took a shower and went to Starbucks.

I figure Charlotte trails are not much different from Asheville trails, they are simply not tilted as much.

Have a great day.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Last Night

"This is the last night you'll spend alone Look me in the eyes so I know you know I'm everywhere you want me to be The last night you'll spend alone I'll wrap you in my arms and I won't let go I'm everything You need me to be". ( Skillet)

The ride at Bent Creek was smooth. A little cold and a little dark, we saw one other cyclist in the parking lot. So, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We ventured onto some single track and were surprised to see that it is in pretty good shape. We only rode the trails higher up, and stayed away form the lower trails like Explore loop, as these tend to dry out more slowly.

Lost was last night. I've watched this show faithfully from the first season. I'm getting kind of tired of something good almost happening, and then the thing that almost happens, that could have been good, turns into something more complex. My life, even at its worst was not even that bad. I've always had some hope, these people have nothing. I guess I'll keep on watching it though.

I decided to sleep in this morning. Jubal is sick with a fever and I have trouble sleeping when he is not feeling well. Plus it is cold again, and I'm getting tired of freezing on the way to work. I'll push through and keep riding, but sometimes a person needs a break. So I got up and checked my e-mail and saw this:

"ATTENTION Panheads! Grammy-nominated Christian Rock sensation SKILLET is coming to the Orange Peel, Thursday, February 21st ...."

Yeah!!! This band rocks, they are not the cheesy Christian pop rock bands of the 80's, they actually have skill, sound good, and they have a chic drummer.

We have been fans since the beginning. While working at a camp we invited them to do a show for the kids. They did, and we got to hang out quite a bit. These people are real. My best memory of Jon, the lead singer is seeing the band at a music festival. After they played, another band was on, and I turn around to look around the field in front of the stage. Way out in the middle of the field is Jon, walking towards some dude in a wheelchair. Just going to hang out with the guy who couldn't get close to the stage. Hmmmm, who does that remind you of?

It works out doubly well, because the 20th is Rhonda's birthday!!! It's gonna Rock!!!!
Have a great day.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


It is Thursday and it is not supposed to rain!!!! That makes for the first dry Thursday night Bent Creek ride in a long time. It's gonna be fun!!!!!

I rode my bike to work yesterday. It was 60 degrees. I felt naked wearing shorts and short sleeve jersey. It was overcast with a good chance of rain. I made it to work before the storms hit. Then the storms moved out before I left to go home. They left wet roads and 20-30 mph gusts of wind. That was fun. Cruising along, no wind, wham, gust from the left, wham gust from the right, wham, headwind. Woohoo!!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Snake Pictures

Here is the link to some pictures from The Snake. You can sort of see how techincal this trail can get. And yes, I am smiling. I love it out htere!!!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Nasty Weather..

It's interesting to me, and I am guilty, how many times we refer to the weather as nasty, terrible, or inclement, just because it is inconveniencing us. Last week it was a pouring down rainy gray day and a friend commented on how nasty it was. Just before that comment, I had been thinking what a beautiful rainy day it was. I was sitting in my warm office, and he had been working outside. Now, if things were switched, and I had been caught in that cold rain storm, would I think it was nasty? That's not the point. I try to remember that days like that serve a purpose, just like nice warm 60 degree days, like yesterday. And even more so, 100 degree days that are so humid you feel like you are breathing water. They all serve a purpose, and they only become nasty, or terrible, or awful, when they inconvenience us.

I was thinking about this yesterday and I realized that we treat people like this too. This person or that is fine, until they inconvenience us. Then they have all kinds of issues and problems and imperfections. Take for instance that sweet old lady out for a Sunday afternoon drive. That's great, until I get behind her and am hungry and ready to get somewhere to eat. Then she becomes that old woman who should not be driving. I could go on but I think you get the picture.

Things are fine, until they are an inconvenience. Then we do what we can to change that. For the weather, you wear the proper clothes, and you are protected. People are fine, until they become the inconvenience. Then we want to change them, but we can't. And, I am not aware of any clothes that can protect me from that annoying person in line behind me, who is standing too close to me and smells like week old cigarettes.

So, what are we to do? Tough question, what do we do with those people who annoy and inconvenience us to no end? The answer: Love them. Simple. We each serve a purpose. You may say forget that, or that's too much trouble, or some other lame excuse. But let me tell you a little secret. I guarantee that you are annoying and an inconvenience to someone at some point.

So, how about a little love?

Have a great day.

Getting Better

The family is starting to recover from the head cold rapmpage that took us down last week. Jubal sneezed up a 2 inch long greenish yellow snot rocket this morning. The high here is supposed to be 68 degrees today. Warm enough for shorts, but it is firewood gathering day so long pants were in order.

This weekend should bring some lap race practice to me. It'll be flat and not very technical, but that's ok, I'll be on the bike.

Last night I started one of my roller workouts and made it 2/3 rds of the way through before losing energy and decided not to push too hard. Recovery is the hardest thing for me, I like to ride and push myself. Another thing I should not have done last week is that fast ride in Bent Creek 2 nights before the race. A slow shorter ride would have been better. Live and learn.

Happy Super Tuesday!!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

More on Diligent

Diligent (according to Merriam Webster): : characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort : painstaking

Sometimes it does feel like beating your head against the wall. I think diligent and perseverence go hand in hand. The race Sunday was painstaking, it was steady and earnest, definitely energetic effort. But worth it when I finished. I also had lots of time to think about being diligent.

NUUN, even though there is no sugar in it, they do use some sort of artificial sweetner. This made it sweeter to my taste than I would have liked. I'm not sure how much my head cold affected this as nothing really tasted that great. I did miss getting the little bursts of energy from sipping GU2O. This is my sports drink of choice. It does have sugar and carbs. So, I'm going to experiment with Hammer Nutrition's Edurolyte powder. I have attempted to use their capsules, but everytime I do they get stuck in my throat and I have to make myself gag to cough them back up. I don't wanna die like that. The directions say that I can add the electrolyte powder to my sports drink. So, that's what I am gonna do. It should also be easy to carry along on a long ride, by dumping some in the old waterproof NUUN tube.

Rainy Monday, means no real rides today or tomorrow. Maybe the rollers tonight.

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I just found out that I placed 6th out of 34 single speeders, with a time of 4:07. 10 minutes in faster than 7th and 10 minutes slower than 6th. 46th out of 143 overall. Thinking back on the day, there is not one thing I could have done to make better time. It was a lot of little things combined. One more race in the series.

Edit: I went back to review the results some more. From my calculations, I am in 7th overall for the series. The way it works is the winner is based on best single time. So, if the weather is terrible and no one makes better time at the race in March, then I will retain 7th place overall. If the weather is nice, I'm going to have to dig a little deeper. Top 10 would be very cool.

Head Cold and Racin'

Jubal got a cold at the beginning of the week. I thought to myself, " Great, that means I will get it just in time for the race." And guess what, I did.

The ride down was great. We took I 40 west to hwy 74 to hwy 64. Hwy 64 winds through the Nantahala Gorge, dark and mysterious. Lined with steep rhododendron cliffs on both sides, the road follows the cotours of the river. I have so many memories of this place. Hwy 64 then passes through Andrews, where there is a Hardees that appears to be in the middle of nowhere. Sweet!!! After passing through Murphy, we get to go through the Ocoee river gorge. This area is more copper colored. Ducktown, just up the road is home to some fine copper mining, and the residues in the surrounding areas, turn all sorts of copper colors. A quick stop at the Occoee Whitewater Center. Another set of memories floods my thoughts as I look out over the river.

We then make our way to Cleveland, I 75 south to Dalton. The hotel experience is much better this time. Nice and warm. I still don't get much sleep. The hotel room is a little warm, because, when one person in a family gets a cold, the whole family gets it. And so we all lay around moaning, groaning, taking meds, and sneezing.

Race morning, the alarm goes off at 7:20am. I could sleep for 2 more hours. I consider not racing, being sick, I don't think that I will beat the time of my first race. This will not be the last time I consider this. Grab some breakfast, pack the car. Feeling a little weird, I am not able to eat much. I wnoder if I should have taken the cold medicine, or drank all that orange juice.

To the finish to check in, and then drive out to the start. Through the rolling farm land, listening to the mellow sounds of Matt Kearney.
Warming up

We arrive to the start, and get changed and ready, then we wait. It seems that the start is later than last time, but I have trouble remembering.
The Start

I am in the first wave of riders to start. Off the front like a rabbit, I get passed by everyone in the first wave within the first mile. They are all on geared bikes, and I end up passing them as the day goes by. The first 17 miles goes by fairly smoothly, other than feeling like a big cottonball. I have trouble getting a rythym, and consider getting in the car at the halfway point. I feel like my downhill skills are improving some. I make all of the switchbacks except one. Down the hill to the halfway point, I stop a little too long to lube my chain and stuff.

The next several miles is uphill, some slow and steep. Within the first mile, which is mile 18 of the race, I slow almost to a stop and seriously consider turning around to go back to the car and drop out. But then I consider that Rhonda and Jubal will be gone and I'll have to climb back up anyway. So, I plod on, and though I still feel bad, I begin to feel a little better. To summarize the rest of the race, I felt a lot better on the last 8 mile tech section. I was able to keep some momentum and walk a lot less, often leaning on tress so I would not fall over.

On to the finish line where I eat two bowls of chili and a bowl of homemade peach cobbler. We load up the car and head home only to stop one hour later at a BBQ restaurant. I eat 6 hushpuppies, 1 BBQ sandwhich with slaw and half of Jubal's Grilled Cheese sandwich. We make it home, watch some tv, fall asleep, get up, go to bed and sleep.
The Finish

Friday, February 01, 2008

I'm Singin'....

in the rain, just singin' in the rain, what a beautiful feelin'!!!!

I went for a quick ride in Bent Creek last night. 1 hr, 14 miles. I got to the Rice Pinnacle parking lot and was surprised to see only 4 cars there. It was a little bit chilly and not too cold (34 degrees). The forecast was for 100% chance of rain but looking at the radar, I didn't think that we would get that until later. And I was right, sort of.

I took off on Rice Pinnacle road, it was really pretty, with overcast skies. The roads were moist but not muddy for the most part. There were some spots later that were slimy with mud. I rolled around setting a good pace for myself. I passed a guy with gears, took a right on the old Sidehill, which is now a dirt road. Right turn on Bent Creek Gap rd as it started to get dark. Left turn on South Ridge Rd. I ride on for another couple of miles before turning the lights on. Then as I am cruising along, I hear the leaves stirring, it sounds a little bit as if they are running next to me. Hundreds of little tiny feet running along the gravel rd. It is then that I wake up from my half elated day dream( night dream). It is raining, and raining big drops. I stop to put on my sweet rain jacket. At one point I look across the valley towards the north, and I see someones light over there. Pretty cool.

My torso, arms and head manage to stay dry and warm. My legs and feet are cold, but I keep cruising. Left down Hardtimes Rd, through Hardtimes parking lot, back to Rice Pinnacle, jump in the truck and head home to some delicious homemade bread and Fettuccini Alfredo. ( my wife rocks).