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)!!!