Friday, July 31, 2009

Meet "John Henry"

Really exciting news on the Siren Bicycles front!!!

Check it out!!!

The Coach

The problem with hiring a coach is that you don't always know much they really know about training. I have paid my coach a lot of money over the past year, I pay his mortgage, buy his food, pay his race entry fees, tell him how cool he is and a whole lot more. I thought he knew what he was doing, but apparently he is just learning as he goes.

So, I had a chat with him and told him to get it together or I'm going to fire him. He said that I couldn't really do that, because I am him. Well, I guess he has a point, that's why I have him as my coach, he has a lot of really good information and a great sense of humor.

I got some really good info from a friend who knows what he is doing. Based mainly on that info, and re-evaluating my current fitness, I realised that I have not been spending enough time riding tempo. So, I have added in some more tempo/ high intensity workouts. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens over the next couple of weeks.

I have also had some success with my nutrition this week. I'm gonna give it a couple more weeks to make sure that I am getting it, but things are looking better!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On The Fritz

With the home computer down for some reason, it's gonna be difficult to get reports up, so you might have to take a break for a couple of days!!!

Until then you can click here and watch the temps rise!!!

Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


On Sunday the guy gets in an argument with a cyclist about whether or not he should be riding his bike on Tunnel Rd with his family. The guy apparently goes too far, pulls a gun and attempts to shoot the the front of his family and witnesses.

Miraculously, the bullet misses the cyclist, going through his helmet.

The guy gets arrested, charged with 1st degree attempted murder with bail set at $500,000. The guy is a firefighter, he gets paid leave.....

Today, the judge reduces bail and the guy is out and about!!!


Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shout Outs.....

World Bicycle Relief : Don't forget about the fundraiser!! Help spread the word about " The Power of Bicycles".

Siren bicycles: In review, they rock!!

Okie Dokie Smokehouse: Delicious, and great folks who keep it real.

nuun: Still lovin' it.

55 Performance: nutrition and fitting

Kinetic Koffee: Simply delicious

The Path Bike Shop
: support your local bike shop, but if they can't get it for you, give these guys a call!!

Thanks to the above and to all of the other people in my life who encourage me and keep me motivated.
The sport of cycling rocks and bicycles as a tool are going to become more and more prevalent. Like people, there are so many different aspects to cycling that there is enough to go around for everyone. If you want to see cycling grow, both as a sport, recreation, a tool for business, medical, education, aid, etc., then get involved. And guess what? You don't even have to ride a bike to get involved. The obvious thing would be to donate. But, there are so many other things that you can do. It is individual. Look at yourself, what you enjoy, what you are good at, and use it!!!

Have a great day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Before I get to the story of the race, let me tell you about my bike. The bike is simply the best bike ever!! I was bombing downhill. For the first time ever, I didn't have people behind me trying to get past. I was the one trying to get past. The bike is so stable and smooth, that all I do is point it downhill and it goes. My forearms don't ache from hanging on, and with the higher bottom bracket clearance, I can take some sweet lines. Another cool thing is that I don't get the rear wheel bucking action that I have had on previous smooth!!!

So, thanks to my team Siren-WBR, and to my sponsors, my support team, and all the other great people who keep me motivated. You guys rock.

Well, another DNF for the resume. Man, this is getting old, but what do I do? "I love to ride my bicycle."

I think that a lot of things are going on. I don't think that I can really point to one reason for this trend, but I will say that heat is a major player. And it is something that I will have to continue to learn how to deal with. With Rhonda working weekends, and me working a desk job complete with air conditioning, it is virtually impossible to do any heat acclimatization rides. Oh yeah, and it has not been really hot up here this summer.

I think that my calories and electrolytes were right on today. I was sweating the entire time, and didn't have any "hunger pains".

I also think that not spending much time training at tempo pace has a lot to do with how my body reacts.

The process does get frustrating at times, but I'm still enjoying the challenge. So, a day off the bike then it's back to the drawing board.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy the ride!

Have a great day.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Things

Thing one: My bike ROCKS!!!

I rode the Kitsuma short loop last night. First impressions are simply that the bike rocks. The balance is great, the stability superb, it is light, stiff, responsive...and forgiving.

I'm not sure if I was going faster on the downhills, but it felt like it!! My hands did not get tired from braking. The lines were a whole lot smoother, and I did not find myself getting jarred to pieces. And lastly, for this short review, I didn't hurt. Anywhere. Neck, back, knees...everything felt great. Yeah!!!

Thing Two:

Thank you Asheville for coming out to watch Freedom Riders and support World Bicycle Relief. A large contingent of Pisgah Area Sorba came out, and then a bunch of other folks who love to ride their bikes through the woods.

If you were not able to make it but still want to make a donation, click on the WBR link on the left side of the blog.

3 days till ORAMM!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I like sleep. I don't like it when I don't sleep. I haven't been sleeping well lately. I don't like that. I think all of the chemicals that I took over the weekend are messing with my sleep patterns. Although, I think they have all left my body, I won't tell you why I think that, just trust me.

Mmm, sleep.

Maybe tonight.

Pass the coffee please.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This guy came by for a visit last night.

We have not seen an opossum here in the 5 yrs that we have lived here.
The Siren, initial report:
The bike fits like a glove. I road it home from work yesterday, all on pavement, taking it easy because I am recovering from the sinusitis that took me down. On pavement the bike is stable, climbs well, is uber comfortable and light. The only pain I had was from improper seat tilt which was easily remedied. I am looking forward to getting the bike on some single track.
I also rode around camp property a little bit. I rode a short flight of stairs and just glided down. Brendan did an excellent job. One friend of mine who is not a cyclist, came by my office to see it and could not stop looking at it.
It looks good and feels great!!
Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So, last week I over trained and paid the price: Sinusitis. I tried to rest over the weekend and stayed off the bike for several days. I crammed natural decongestant, manufactured decongestant, antihistamines, pain relievers, etc into my system in an attempt to get well.

None of it really seemed to work. I was also not sleeping well. Probably from the excitement of my new Siren!!

I took the afternoon off on Monday and went home to try to sleep. I slept for a while and then got up to do some research on my current enemy which was making an attempt to move in permanently.

The info that I got off of the WWW was to eat raw garlic. There were several other recommendations, but I decided to go with this one.

If you have never eaten raw garlic, I don't recommend it for pleasure. Maybe for a good dare, and the pleasure of the onlookers but not for the heck of it. It burns.....a lot!!

But, the result? Within minutes I could feel my sinus pressure start to dissipate. Within one hour, I was feeling a lot better. I ate a whole clove and it seemed to be working. I ate another clove before going to bed and woke up this morning feeling a whole lot better.

I'm sold on garlic. Good stuff.

Have a great day!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Build

I decided to take it easy this weekend since I was not feeling well. I didn't take it so easy. While I didn't do anything strenuous, we took Jubal to race his bike at the French Broad Cycling Classic. The rest of the weekend was spend building up my Siren 55 SL.

This was the first time that I have built a bike from the ground up. I have done plenty of work on my bikes but not as a whole. I was nervous about messing something up, so I took a lot of deep breaths and took it a step at a time.

The Shimano XT Externall BB went in with no problem. Next was the headset. With thought of doing it myself, I called Youngblood Bicycles to ask if they had time to do it while I waited. They did. So I drove over there, and got the headset bearing cups pressed in.
Everything went fairly smoothly. I installed the headset, the Reba, The stem, handlebars and brakes. Then I transitioned to the shifters. I was moving my XT shifters from the Trek to this one. I could use new ones as these are worn, but for the sake of our finances, I'm going to try to get these to work. I started with the rear derailleur and immediately learned something new. I learned that there are over 130 different derailleur hangers!!!
Talk about customer service. I e-mailed the builder about what I needed and he e-mailed back within ten minutes to tell me which one I needed. Sweet!!
Ski Country Sports was the shop that had the part so I took off over there. I walked in and the guys immediately started drooling. That made me feel really good!

Back home with the right part, I assembled it with no problem. Next up was the front shifter. I ended up at Liberty Bicycles this time for a clamp spacer. I got it as close as I can but I'm not sure it is exactly right. This is one area that I don't have a lot of experience with. I'll play with it for a bit and see if I can get it, but might need some additional help.
Everything else went together smoothly. I test rode it around the yard. The rear shifting worked fine without adjusting, nice. The front I had to play with a little bit and only have a little delay going from the little to the middle.
I decided to go out on the road and ride up the hill in front of our house. The ride felt great. Super comfortable, the bike worked with me. I didn't feel like I was pedaling a bike up a hill. I felt like I was pedaling and the bike was somehow working with me to get both of us up the hill.
Thanks Brendan of Siren ,Chris of WBR and everyone else who made this possible.

The most exciting thing for me about this bike is that it will enable me to get the word out about the " Power of Bicycles".
Have a great day.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Over Done

I guess I pushed my body just a little too far. I now get to nurse a sinus/head cold. No long rides for me this weekend. I can't say I wasn't warned. But, if I had not spent the extra time on the bike, I would not be closer to a solution. Oh well. That's how it goes.

On the way home from work last night, we saw about 12 City of Asheville Police cars with lights on. Some driving around, some parked, officers walking around looking into a wooded area next to the highway. That was about a mile from our house.

Around 8pm I heard sirens coming into our neighborhood, lots of them, and they silenced down the road before they got close. There were going to a little section that is about 200 yards from my back door. This was getting interesting. I saw a few Sheriff's deputies drive past our house a couple of time, but other than that things got quiet again.

We went to bed at 9pm, looking forward to a good night's sleep. Suddenly I heard a helicopter flying fast at low altitude. Thinking it was the EMS helicopter, which often flies over, I rolled over. But, the helicopter circled another wooded area a couple of roads over, circled about 10 times.

Excited, I walked out in our back yard to get a better look. The chopper flew over to our road, 5 houses up, not more than 200yds off the ground. I stood out back and watched. I could hardly see it, silhouetted against the night sky. Other than the little blinky lights, the chopper was dark. I could not make out any markings. Wondering if it was police or army, I kept watching at it circled my house. Each pass was a little tighter until they were hovering almost directly above me. Feeling very small and exposed, I waited for them to turn their spotlight on me, they never did. Wanting to know what was going on , I went inside and called the Sheriff's Dept. The lady said" We have a couple of officers out there, that will be the Highway Patrol helicopter, they are looking for something".

I deduced that they were looking for someone.

This morning I read in the Asheville Citizen Times that a driver had led officers on a high speed chase, had ditched his car in my neighborhood, and was " at large".......

Have a great day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


......$4830 to go....check it out!!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Might Be On To Something

I have been doing a ton of research trying to figure out what is going on with my body. Working with Namrita has been great, she has opened my eyes to what nutrition does for the endurance athlete. If you need nutrition help, get in touch.

Last, night I went on a 3 hr road ride. I figured that would be the best way to gain some endurance, and add some time in the saddle. Rhonda is cool with it, so I went for it.

After a lot of processing info, sometimes conflicting, I had 3 possible solutions to go on:
1- I was getting too much fluid. ( hyponetremia )
2- I was not getting enough fluid.
3- I was not getting enough calories.

#2 I had all but eliminated last week when I drank 130oz of fluid on a 3 hr ride, and still got nauseous. All of the fluid had been carefully measured and supplemented with the electrolytes.

The original plan was for last night's ride was to start with reduced water. My research showed that my 3 possible issues all have similar symptoms, making it difficult. So, I packed 3- 16 oz bottles with electrolytes and calories. ( I 'm trying to stick with the liquid diet).

After getting to work though, I changed my mind and decided to up the calories too. I decided to do this because if you are running on too few calories, you feel sluggish and tired. At the Hot Doggett, I could have laid on the side of the road and taken a nap. So, I needed to add calories, and didn't have any gels with me. All I had was some PowerBar Endurance drink mix; Lemon Lime. For my electrolytes, I had nuun, and I could not remember what flavor I had put in the bottles. I figured the worst that could happen is it would taste terrible.

And it did. The first swig made me gag, but if the experiment worked, I figured I could endure.

I started the ride with a steep 1.5 mile climb. Almost too steep. After coming back down my tendons in my legs felt really funny. Then I rode around Bee Tree/ Riceville Rd/ BRP/ Biltmore Forest etc.

I decided not to take it easy, I wanted to push it, to simulate race day, maybe a little under that, but definitely stress the body and make sure that what I was consuming was doing the trick.

It turned out to be a successful ride. I did not get nauseous at all. I sweat the entire time, not a dripping, running, sweat, just a steady sweat. I got a twinge of hunger once, which Namrita said is sometimes a mental thing, it was right around the time I usually eat dinner. And on top of that, I felt really peppy. The hills were no problem, I felt strong, not sleepy, and did not want to quit riding. I have not felt like that in a long time.

So, we are going with the "less is more" theme for me. I still have some more experimenting to do, but results are results, and that ride was great.

I should be able to get several more long rides in, hopefully one in the heat this weekend, and then ORAMM next week....

Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What to do...?

I'm switching up training a little bit. It occurred to me around mile 60 of the Hot Doggett, that I had slacked on my long rides recently. By this time of year, I have done several 80-100 milers on the road. This year, none. Hmmm, could this be a contributing factor to my issues? Possibly. Regardless, I'm going to add in some longer rides, and be more disciplined in getting that time in the saddle.

Something else that has not helped is that now that I am stronger, it takes less time to commute. So, I'll be adding some miles on my work commute, to up my time in the saddle too.

Someone asked me if my family misses me while I'm riding. They say they do, which makes the long rides more difficult, but they are also on board with what I do. If it were affecting us negatively, I would simply not do it.

Sometimes, I think about what I would be doing if I didn't ride......not sure about that.

Have a great day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hot Doggett 100

For once I finished a ride!!!

This is gonna be short because nothing exciting really happened, other than actually finishing.

I got to the start, picked up my packet, changed and rolled down to the start line. I contained myself and took it easy on the climbs. When the lead group took off after 5 minutes, I didn't even try to keep up. I pulled over after 15 minutes because my seat was twisted to one side, fixed that and got going again. Rode with a group of guys who were taking it easy. I was feeling good, and I was sweating.

I had come to this ride nervous. Nervous that I would not finish. So I was really keeping tabs on my effort and keeping it under control.

Then it hit: 2hrs and 15 minutes, the nausea hit and stayed with me for the rest of the day.

I'm starting to wonder if there is more going on than nutrition. Maybe I'll schedule a doctor's appt.

Back when I lived in Shelby, NC, where I started learning how to really ride, I would go for 4-5 hr rides with the locals. They were, and still are, a bunch of hammerheads. One time I caught a couple of them talking, kind of whispering, and I realised that they were trying to drop me. They just wanted to push me a little bit. ( I didn't get dropped....that day). All I would take with me would be a bottle of water, one of Gatorade or GU2O, and some gels and a power/clif bar. Shelby is ATL or CLT weather, hot and muggy. I don't ever remember having these problems. So, I am really wondering if something else is going on inside my body.

It is good to have Namrita working with me though. Every time I get back from a ride, I send her my info and she analyzes it and gets right back to me. And she hasn't given up on me, which I really appreciate. My gut, (pun intended) tells me that we are going to dig to the bottom of this.

The good thing was that I was able to manage the sick feeling. I was able to keep riding, easy pace, and made it to the end. Miles 70-95 were pretty rough mentally, but it helped that there were other people out there to chat with now and then.

101 miles, 7h 20 min.

My legs felt great, just not my gut.

So, on to the next of these times it's gonna happen!!

Have a great day

Friday, July 10, 2009


My wheel set arrived yesterday. It is sweet, all I'm going to say is that it is from No-Tubes. I'm so excited to have a nice wheel set. I decided that for this ride, I was not going to skimp. I wanted something long lasting and durable. From what I have been told, that is what I have.

Hot Doggett Goals:
1- Finish
2- Finish feeling like a human being, not feeling like a piece of cat barf.
3- I have a 6 hr goal in mind. I'm fine if I don't make that, but definitely want to beat last year's time of 6.52!

Don't forget about my fundraiser. I'm attempting to raise $5000 before I start the Pisgah MTB Stage race in October. Please consider donating. Simply click the World Bicycle Relief link on the left. I only have $4830 to go!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Hip Tilt

I've been having some issues lately. It was difficult to pinpoint. I started not feeling good, physique wise, on my road bike. After making some seat adjustments, I finally realised that when I put knew cleats on my shoes, they had been placed too far forward. It probably happened when I go the new shoes. Then my left knee developed some tightness over the top of the kneecap. I also noticed that the tendons were lumpy. No pain, just some tightness mainly while riding.

The easy part was adjusting the cleats, although it's not really that easy. After having a pro-fit done several years ago, I know how it feels to feel perfect on the bike. Conversely, I know how it feels not to feel right. I strongly recommend getting fit by a pro bike fitter!!

After looking up diagrams of knees on the Internet, and discussing my issue with several people who know joints and ligaments I still was not sure what was going on. Then suddenly on the way home from work I realised that I was tilting my hips back.

The cause? Poor posture. Simply getting lazy and hunching over. As soon as I assumed good posture, and tilted my hips forward, the tightness was gone. And the bike felt smooth again. Even stretches that had not felt like they were doing anything improved.

After having rested for the past 5 days, doing only zone 1 rides, I decided to spice it up a little last night and do a self test. After a short warm up I put the hammer down on my ride home. I unfortunealtly got caught by two stop lights, had some head wind and pouring rain, but managed to take 2.5 mins off of my ride time. Sweet!! My PR for my commute home. Yeah!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hot Dogget

I'm riding a road century this weekend. The Hot Dogget 100. This is a really cool ride starting and ending in Mars Hill, NC. The scenery is some of the best around, rolling hills, river valley roads and some big climbs.

Last year I got dehydrated and nausea, of course, and managed a time of 6:52. It was blazing hot. This year looks like it will be cooler, high of 85?, subject to change at a moments notice. I'm really looking forward to a long ride, and continuing to work on nutrition and pacing.

While I have not had many successes this year, ie good strong finishes, I have seen myself get stronger and learned a whole lot about my body's needs, nutrition, pacing etc. It seems like I have so much more to learn, but I imagine that one of these days, things are going to click.

Once again, my goal is to finish feeling good, knowing that I could have gone just a bit harder!!

Have a great day.

Monday, July 06, 2009

4th Weekend

We took a family trip up to Pineola, NC this weekend for some camping and hanging out.
Saturday, after watching the parade at Banner Elk, we headed up to Table Rock. Table Rock is a climbing destination for a lot of the south east. Back in the day, when I was a climber, I visited there several times with my bro. It's a cool place that will always have a place in my heart.

Jubal decided to do a little climbing too.....
.....and he pondered some BASE jumping......
.....but then he settled for a goofy pose for the camera....see the girl on the left? That is my wife, and I love her....just so you know!!
I took a break from riding for the weekend. It was a good break and I'm glad that I spent the time with my family.

Have a great day!!!
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