Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Take a Kid Mountain Biking

Come on out and join us on Sunday, October 4th. It's gonna be a blast!!

Have a great day.

First Fire

I lit the fire in the wood stove for the first time this season. Such a nice feeling. The warmth from a wood stove is like none other. I'm looking forward to seeing/feeling the difference in our house this year. With the 6" addition walls sealed tight, the thick ceiling, and the re-insulating of Jubal's room, we should be nice and toasty this year.

What I am not ready for is to ride in the cold. I'm really looking forward to some time off. I'll have to do a re-cap of the season after my last race, The Pisgah MTB Stage Race.

I would say I am a little burned out from traveling and racing. We love it, and we will keep doing it, we just need some time at home. So, after the stage race, I'll take some time off of regimented training, and relax.

Ok, not really relax, there are plenty of house projects to be done and time to be spent with family. I'll also continue to ride, because I miss it when I don't. It is pure, simple fun.

I have to figure out how to ride enough to maintain some fitness, but take enough time off to be rested for next season.

Have a great day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dirty Sunday

Sunday was a scheduled work day at Bent Creek. We were hoping that a lot of people would show up. We wound up with about a dozen hard working volunteers.

The day was supposed to be warm and sunny. Quite the opposite of Saturday. I got to Mike D's house, hooked up the trailer and headed to Rice Pinnacle.

After waiting till about 9:20am, we were supposed to meet at 9am, we decided to send a small group of 3 to cut some trees out of trails, and the rest of us headed to the gravel pile.

The project for the day was to reconstruct the trail through the mud hole on Campground Connector, on the campground end of the trail. The campground staff were very friendly and seemed excited that we were there to help out. We hauled several loads of gravel, and could have used some more but our arms were screaming at us and begging us not to shovel any more. We complied.

We finished off the job by narrowing the trail down, by laying logs, underbrush, and planting trees and ferns. It is amazing what a handful of determined, willing workers can do when they get together with a common goal. I have only been to a few trail work days previous to this year. There are a few reasons, some logistical, some personal. But now that I am making more of an effort to get out there, I appreciate the trails so much more. I often think about how different life would be for me, not to mention the rest of Asheville's cyclists, runners, walkers etc, if we did not have a place like Bent Creek. Don't take it for granted, do your part to care for it.....even if you can only get out once or twice per year.

Upcoming work days:
  • 30th Wed Black Mountain 5:30-8PM. Meet at the BM Trailhead.


  • 11th Sun Farlow Gap. 9AM-2PM. Meet at the Daniel Ridge Trailhead.
  • 24th Sat Black Mountain 9AM - 2PM. Meet at the BM Trailhead.


  • 14th Sat Farlow Gap. 9AM-2PM. Meet at the Daniel Ridge Trailhead.
And many others. Check out Pisgah Area Sorba and stay tuned for more opportunities.

Have a great day.

Saturday Epic

My friend Mike Keeley invited me up to Little Switzerland for "High Mtn Camp". Every once in a while, he dreams up an "epic" route and we go for a long ride around the mountains. Generally this is a 3 day weekend affair filled with riding. But somehow I always miss out on 2 of those days. This weekend was no different.

When my alarm went off at 6am, I wondered why. But then it did not take long, probably seconds before the answer rousted me out of my warm bed: "because I can". I heard the coffee pot brewing, rolled out of bed and walked to the computer. The forecast was calling for 100% chance of rain. I checked out the "weather in motion" and saw that there were two storms, one moving north of Asheville and the other moving south of Asheville.

It was on. I loaded the bike, toasted some homemade whole wheat bread that I topped with peanut butter, honey and local blueberries, and his the road......after I drank some coffee. Once on the road, I sent Mike a text telling him I would be there by 8am. He texted back and told me to bring my blinky red light. Too, late. I was halfway there.

As I climbed Hwy 226 the fog got thicker.

I walked into the house, and they were eating waffles. Mike had also mentioned that I should be ready to eat when I got there. I sat down, had some coffee, and a waffle. As we sat there chatting, the conversation turned to me and my troubles with nutrition, how I had a habit of not finishing etc. ( no one mentioned my recent successes). And now they were trying to force feed me, fatten me up, and slow me down....set me up for failure. I was onto their scheme but I did not let them know.

It turned out to be 4 of us: me, Mike, Mike's brother Scott, and Todd. It was chilly due to the damp air, but not raining. We headed north on the Blue Ridge Parkway and joked about how nice the views were. We couldn't see more than 100 feet over the edge. The fog was dense, the trees dripping and the road was saturated. We were soaked in a matter of minutes, but warmed up on the first short climb.

We saw turkeys, a little black bear way up in the distance, chatted about bike stuff, life stuff, and other stuff. We had assumed a relaxed pace and were all looking forward to the main goal of the day: Beech Mtn. This would be my first time climbing Beech. I've heard a lot about it. Steep, switchbacks, a killer, long, intimidating. But, I was game.

About 20 minutes into the ride we came to Hwy 181. We got off the Pkwy, and I needed to fill a water bottle. I guess the guys were getting a little desperate about my fitness and how good I was feeling. The waffle had not done the trick, so they dug deep into their bag of " what can we do to slow Stephen down"? So, Scott decided he wanted to get a cup of coffee. We pulled into a little deli, that had some delicious looking and smelling food. I didn't give in though. I filled my bottles and ate half of a Powerbar.

Then they got really desperate and we sat there, for a long time. Then I started shivering. Some jokes were made about me needing to eat more. I guess the deli staff was in on it, because one called out from the counter, " Don't you wanna try one of these prime rib sandwiches"? I said, " Maybe another day".

I stood up and made it apparent that it was time to go. We walked outside and then they decided to clean their bikes. It was raining still but they went for some paper towels. Aahh, I got on my bike and headed down the road. I was freezing, shivering but undeterred. They caught up shortly and we headed to Banner Elk. The pavement was actually dry but the sky was overcast. We headed up the gap towards Banner Elk, then dropped down the pavement into the little town. Left at the stop light, past Lees McCrae, then right. A steep little downhill and the road turned up.

We decided to meet just over the top at Fred's Mercantile to get some lunch and re-assess. As we started climbing it started raining. It rained.....hard. We climbed. And climbed. I imagined the great views.... and climbed. About 2.5 miles later I got to Fred's. Not too long after the other guys got there and we went down to the deli.

At this point Mike laid it out," Ok" he said. " Before we order our food, we have to decided if we are calling Rhonda ( his wife) to come pick us up". I said that I really wanted to ride back, to get the miles in my legs. They all ( wisely) decided to call for the team car. I guess at that point they got desperate. While I order a ham and cheddar melt, they ordered a large pizza, with everything on it. Mmmm, my mouth watered and I wavered. But I snapped out of it and did not fall for their last ditch effort to derail me. Nice try.

I finished my sandwich and hot chocolate and bid the fellas adieu, as they waited for the pizza. I knew I had to get out of there before I saw the pie, and before the team car arrived, or I feared I would change my mind.

I zipped up, put my helmet on and wheeled the bike out into the rain. That 2.5 miles downhill was a little scary. I was already cold, soaked and shivering, but riding down created a shivering in me that caused my arms to shake which caused high speed wobble in the front wheel. I had to remind myself to relax.

I got to the bottom of the mountain and hit the gas so I could warm up. I never got warm. I got to a point where I wasn't shaking, and knew I wasn't hypothermic, but I never got warm.

The ride back was uneventful. Just more rain, in fact it poured off and on, and rained the rest of the time. I stopped in at the deli to refill my bottles. I did not eat a prime rib sandwich this time either. I kept a steady pace and tried not to push too hard. I was able to push the pace comfortably though.

I couldn't remember exactly where I was most of the time, in relation to being finished. I knew a couple of landmarks, but knew better than to tell myself that this was the last climb. When I finally got back to Hwy 226 I was elated, but desperate to finish. I had about 1.5 miles to go when I got off the Pkwy. My phone rang and I didn't want to answer it. I pulled over. I had a bit of trouble pulling the waterlogged glove off of my hand. Considering that, I knew that it would be a big hassle to pull my phone out. I put the glove back on and head to the house.

Suddenly I hear Mike whooping behind me. They had caught me just before getting home. Managed a cold smile and mumbled that they should have a warm fluffy towel ready for me. When I finally made it back, I did not want to take a shower, I was tired of water, I didn't want to soak myself with any more. It was only that fact that it would be hot water that got me in the shower.

I got dressed and went upstairs. We chatted and Mike asked if I wanted something to eat. I figured a sandwich would be fine, but he raided the fridge. He ended up pulling out some Mexican Lasagna. I cut out a huge square of it, heated it up and I ate it.

As much as I wanted to stay, relax and relive the day, it was time to head home and meet my family for dinner. I loaded up and hit the road. It was still raining and I was tired. I decided that if I had stayed any longer, I would have had to spend the night.

Another High Mtn Camp in the books. I got in 80 miles, felt good, and road a new route. The day was a success, even the with attempts to stop me. I look forward to the next Camp!!!

Have a great day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dirt Ride

Another great dirt ride. I have a hard time complaining while I'm riding though. It is simply fun. The leaves are turning and falling, decorating the trail with shades of yellow and brown, but the air is still warm. It seems odd. It is interesting to me how every year, the change of seasons is different.

I finally got my new saddle adjusted and rode the entire 2 hours pain free. I was feeling good. Pushing the pace a little bit to see how my body would respond. It was humid too. Sweat was pouring off of my body. My clothes were soaked.

I headed up the road to Bent Creek Gap, wondering if the colors would be more vibrant up higher. I love that climb. It's long. The colors were not much different at the gap , so I turned and headed back down.

As I turned onto South Ridge Rd, and crossed the first stream, I felt the first real chill of the oncoming season. The air around the stream was definitely cooler and sent chills through my body.
The changing of the seasons is a time of anticipation. I enjoy riding in shorts, but know that any day now, the air will turn cooler and it will be time to pull on arm warmers. And then comes the full-on winter gear.

But for now, I'm enjoying where we are in the changing seasons. I'm content. I got back to where I was parked just as it was getting dark. I will have to start bringing lights soon.

Have a great day!

Let's Get Dirty

Don't forget to come out and do some maintenance on one of the coolest trail systems around. If it weren't for Bent Creek we would have less options for Mt Biking. But if you don't have to be a cyclist to come out. Runners, walkers, hunters etc. Come out, help out, and have a good time.

If you are from out of town, Lake Powhatan Camp Ground is right there, smack dab in the middle of the action. So, make a weekend out of it!!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn

Today at 2:19pm is Autumnal equinox. Summer is gone and Fall has arrived. This is probably the coolest summer we have had since moving here 5 yrs ago. We never even got the air-conditioner out of the shed. We don't have central air or heat, so we got a little window unit that we use about 5 times per summer.

So, Fall is here, and the leaves are starting to turn colors and fall. Jubal exclaimed that is was indeed fall because the leaves are falling.

Last night did get a bit damp and chilly with all the rain and no sun that we have had. I decided to turn on the baseboard heaters to see if they were working and to chase away the chill. They heated up right away. After about 10 minutes, I found that the smoke detectors work as well. I guess the dust that had collected in the heaters, wafted up and set off the alarms. Good to know.

I'm taking a rest week this week. It works out well because the family has been sick, and it has been raining, a lot.

3.5 weeks until the Pisgah MTB Stage race. I'm very excited about that. Todd, the promoter, shortened the stages just a little bit. Enough that the top riders will still be challenged, but that the not so top riders won't be out there for 12 hrs.

After reviewing the maps, I realized that I know most of the routes, or have been on them at least once. Enough for me to get the feel of the area.

Last year, mid October, the temps got hot for this time of year. I'm wondering what this year is going to be like. While some cold winter weather would be epic, I'm thinking that 60 degrees and sunny would rock!!

Have a great day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

3 Feet Please

After nearly getting creamed last week while riding my bike, I went online and did some research about laws concerning bike in North Carolina:

Passing a Bicycle
A motorist overtaking a bicycle must pass at least two (2) feet to the left of the bicyclist and must not move back to the right side of the highway until safely past the overtaken bicycle. [§20-149(a)]
A motorist may not drive left of the center of the highway to pass a vehicle, including a bicycle, in these circumstances:
• Unless the left side is clearly visible and free of
oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead
that the motorist can pass the bicyclist safely.
• On the crest of a hill or at a curve in the road
where the driver cannot see at least 500 feet ahead. [§20-150(b)]
• At any railroad grade crossing or intersection,
unless directed to do so by a traffic control
officer. [§20-150(c)]
• Where the Department of Transportation has
placed signs or markers indicating that passing
should not be attempted. [§20-150(d)] and [(e)]

Riding Two or More Abreast
There is no law that requires bicyclists to ride single file, nor is there a law that gives cyclists the right to ride two or more abreast. Some other states address this issue in their statutes, but there is no consistent treatment. It is always important to ride responsibly and courteously, so that cars may pass safely.
(Source: A guide to NC Bicycle and Pedestrian Laws)

Very interesting.

Several states have a 3 foot passing law. A vehicle must give a bicycle 3 feet of space while passing. Check out this web-site: . With fall just around the corner, I ordered one of the long sleeve jerseys. Get one for yourself and help make your town safer for cyclists!!

There is also this really cool web-site: Road Guardian. It is a data base of trouble spots around the world. You simply register, log in, then report any time you find a trouble spot while cycling.

This could be such a useful tool in developing safer roadways for cycling and motorists to share. Please sign up and do your part.

A couple more useful sites:

Have a great day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gravel Ridin'

After I wrote the post below, Rhonda got up looking and feeling better. She offered to take the kid to school. That freed me up to ride!! I spotted a bear this morning too, did not get a picture. Enjoy the pictures.

The Warren Wilson Farm Barn
Some single speed action.

Saturday I got out to Bent Creek for a gravel road ride. Somehow I only got sprinkled on. I left as a storm was moving out and another was moving in. Perfect timing.

I decided to try something new. I have been riding the WTB Rocket V saddle since I started racing. It has done well and has been comfortable. But I have always wanted to know what a sleeker saddle would do for me. When I found a great deal on a Shadow V, I went for it. It's white too.

From the first ride, I knew I was going to like it. Once I finally got the angle and everything right, it was comfortable. It is a lot narrower and I really like that. It is so much easier to get over the back and I find that my thighs don't rub the saddle. I think I'm going to like it.

Not much else going on. Still taking care of the family due to sickness. Hopefully I'll get back on the bike tomorrow!!

Have a great day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cool Stuff

Lot's of cool stuff has happened this week. I've been really encouraged by friends, old and new, who want to help spread the word about World Bicycle Relief. Thanks to all of you, you know who you are.

4 Weeks until the Pisgah MTB Stage Race and I still have over $3000 to go to reach my goal. I am counting on you to help out with this cause. If you have any questions about WBR let me know. I'd love to discuss the cool things that they are doing.

Training is going really well. I have been focusing on one of the important aspects of training. That would be pushing the body almost to the limit, and then resting/recovering. Finding that limit has been tricky, and it all depends on life's variables: stress, weather, diet etc. I am finding that I am going farther and feeling good the next day.

Not much else going on.

Have great day!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Off Road

The only problem with this off-road ride was that I was on my road bike, and the off- road part? I found myself suddenly on the shoulder sliding and rolling. Fortunately I hit a patch of grass and was able to tuck and roll. I stood up uninjured, raising my arms in the air as if to say" What in the world was that for?"

I started out on the Bat Cave loop again after work. I love this ride. Two long climbs, one takes about 20 minutes the other 45 minutes. Long smooth switchbacks winding up through rhododendrons, next to bustling mountain creeks up to the Eastern Continental Divide. In between the two climbs are some fast descents, some valley bottom farm land, and a few scattered houses and businesses.

I was feeling good, riding under overcast skies with occasional sprinkles. The air was fresh, cool and humid. On tap for today was some varied pace riding. Last week I pushed hard and felt it all week, so tonight I was going to back off, still push at times, like over the top of some grunt climbs, but then keep a moderate pace the rest of the ride.

Down through Bat Cave, then up and over the Divide to Fairview, I ended up on Cane Creek Rd and eventually to Sweeten Creek rd. I was riding along, respecting traffic, staying over as far as I could when I heard a semi behind me. It had slowed down and was going my speed. That's fine, in less than two minutes, traffic would clear and he would be able to get to his destination in no time. He was headed to the UPS transfer station 4 miles down the road, 1 mile from my house. But for some reason, he decided to pass now, I was going about 18 mph, we had just started going over a rise, there was oncoming traffic, and I heard him step on the gas. I couldn't believe it, actually, I could, it happens all the time, but at the same time I was blown away. He pulled out, giving me about 2 feet of room. Then I guess he realized that the oncoming traffic would not appreciate him being in their lane, and he cut back. At this point, I was even with the rear wheels of the truck, the beginning of the trailer.

Having hauled a trailer or two in my lifetime, I knew that the rear wheels of the trailer were headed straight for me at this point. I looked right and in a split second saw that the shoulder was grassy, I hit the brakes, hit the shoulder, dropped the bike and rolled in the grass.

This is where it goes crazy.

I stood up, motioned, and the truck kept going. Not only that, but NONE of the other 30 cars in the 50 yrd radius stopped to see if I was ok. Amazing, this human race. Seeing someone go down and not even caring. What? Do we not even have the time to care anymore? We really need to wipe some things off of our schedule. Whatever it is, wherever you are going, whatever package you are waiting for, is NOT WORTH SOMEONE'S LIFE!

I got back on the bike, not wanting too but knowing that the best thing was to go make a report.

I was headed to the UPS transfer station when I noticed the semi in an apartment complex. The driver yelled at me to " Come here" . I almost didn't but decided to see what he would do. It turns out he apologized. Whoa!! My faith in the human race was restored, a little bit. He said he " thought" he gave me enough room. I was kind but firm, letting him know that he didn't. He apologized several times and made sure I was ok. He was genuinely sorry.

After a dramatic finish to a great ride, I headed home.

Be careful out there...drivers and cyclists.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pisgah MTB Stage Race

5 weeks away......

Are you looking for something to do that weekend? October 15-18th? Come volunteer. Contact Pisgah Area Sorba!

Davidson River Campground is 2 minutes from the start/finish.

It will be a fun time whether you race or not. The Pro fields are loaded with great talent. It should be an exciting race.

I know of two guys who are volunteering. They'll be loading up bikepacking style and hanging out in the woods for the weekend. That's cool.

What else can I say? It's gonna be great, race, volunteer, come cheer us on. Help make the South East's first MTB Stage race the best ever!!

Have a great day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend Fun

Saturday I loaded the family up and we headed out to the Daniel Ridge trail head in Pisgah National Forest. We joined about 8 other people for the hike up to Farlow Gap Trail and then on up to the wash out. Our goal was to make this area of the trail safer.

It wasn't long before the group was gone and the 3 of us were left to get there when we could. That was fine, after all, I did not expect them to wait on little Jubal's short legs to get him there. However, not wanting to miss out on the majority of the work, Jubal spent a lot of time riding on my back, against his wishes. But he complied and we eventually got there.

They had been there for maybe 5 minutes and were already starting the job. This group was not going to mess around. Roughly 2 hrs later we were finished with the trail re-route and it looked good. You can't really tell by the picture so you are going to have to go see it for yourself.

Sunday I hit the road for a long ride. I was not exactly sure of my route but figured that Laurel Mtn would be a good start. I headed out the door, hit the Parkway, down through the Arboretum onto Hardtime Trail. Up the hill, I had the choice of riding gravel road to Bent Creek Gap Road or mixing in some single track. I did the latter. 1.5 hrs after leaving home, I got to BC Gap road where I joined up with Frank, OJ and some other Carolina Fatz guys. We chatted a little on the way up but then got spread out. Everyone going their own pace and chewing on their own thoughts.

Once at the gap, I stopped for a minute then continued on. I considered taking Spencer Branch to Trace but decided to save it for later. Through Mills River Campground and up Yellow Gap Road. I arrived at Laurel, nodded to 2 guys in the parking area, then started climbing. This was the first time on the new bike up on Laurel and it climbed like a champ. It was amazing, and while I did not clean everything, I probably cleaned about 50% more than in the past. Part of the stuff I didn't clean is sketchy and I didn't want to risk injury.

Laurel is a fun trail but you have to respect it. There are parts that level out and are easy, then it suddenly kicks you in the teeth if you are not pacing yourself well.

All the way up I was trying to figure out if I should head up to the parkway or head back down the loop to Yellow Gap Rd. Where the trail split, I realized that I was low on water and opted for the Parkway and re-supply at Pisgah Inn.

I was getting tired but the bike was still dancing up the rooty rocky trail and I was loving it.

Once at the top, I refilled and headed back down the pavement. I looked down and my speed was 38 mph. I considered dropping down Big Creek but passed. I still had some gas in the tank, so when I saw the sign to Bent Creek Gap, I hit the dirt again, down into Bent Creek. Again I had the option of gravel road or single track. I chose single track and took a left on Sidehill. Fun swooping downhill ride. The fun was over and if I headed home I would have time to hang out with my family.

But the fun was not quite over, I turned and head up Hardtimes again, just to get one more sustained climb in. One I got to the Parkway, I got on the pavement and followed it home.

I was excited after 6 hrs and 20 minutes of riding, I had ridden 64 miles.

Great weekend;

Have a great day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Ride

My boss sent the office staff home early. I got to go for a ride and make it home in time for dinner with my family!!

I headed to Bent Creek excited. The parking lot was not bustling at 2 pm like it is later when I usually get there. I hit the trails, knowing that if they were too muddy I would need to stick to the gravel rods. Either way was fine since I was on my bike!

I did my normal big loop and ended up with 20 miles in 2.5 hrs. It was a good ride. The air was chilly with a hint of fall, but the summer's humidity was still in full affect. I sweat on the climbs then was almost, not quite, chilled on the descents.
I took the time to take some pictures of the green that is slowly disappearing. I usually don't like to stop but, my legs were feeling a little slow, so it made it easier.

The trails are in great shape. Pisgah Area Sorba has done an excellent job of maintaining these trails. There is so much more potential for more trails at Bent Creek, I really hope that at some point some mileage can be added.

I'll be joining PAS in some Pisgah trail work this weekend. It is part of a joint effort with The Pisgah MTB Stage Race and the forest service. Should be fun.

And in remembrance, today is 9/11. Remember those whose lives were taken in NY, and let's bring the troops home so no more lives are wasted.

Have a great day.


I watched our President's speech last night on tv. All I'm going to say about it is, yes, let's do something. I'm tired of the high prices of health insurance. It's ridiculous.

I have been fortunate enough to have been able to afford health insurance my whole life. I have been close at times, to not being able to afford it. It's a scary feeling.

Others are not that fortunate. They can't afford it, they don't have a safety net. If they get sick or injured, they are in a world of hurt, physically and financially.

Some may say, " well they should get a job, not be lazy, be wise with spending" etc.

I say, " easy for you to say". I'm not saying that the good old government should take over. In fact, I'm trying to make this post touch on politics as little as possible. I'd rather take the humanitarian route, start from scratch and ask: doesn't everybody deserve a fair shot at health care? If you answer no, you are cold and calloused. That's all there is to it.

If you answered yes, then let's focus on what we can do rather than what someone else should do.

But what can we do? hmmm, good question. I don't know. Which renders this post completely useless. I hate to complain if I don't have a solution.

I haven't quite figured out if I am fully in support of the current reform idea, I need to continue to study it. But, I do know something needs to change. I also know that like gasoline, prices are inflated, and could be lowered.

And one more thing. Something that blew my mind last night during the speech. When one of the audience yelled out "LIE" after Obama said some. Wow, really? They can do that? Freedom of speech rocks!!!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What I'm Eating

I took a 2.5 hr road ride last night. Got into the edge of a huge storm, but only rode in the rain for about 15 minutes. The air was chilly, hints of fall, leaves turning color and the race against the sun to get home before dark. Good ride.

So, for literally years now, I have been struggling with my nutrition. I've have to successful races in the past month and am really excited about the future.

I have yet to ride over 4 hrs but what I am eating now is very simple:

Electrolytes: I use nuun. It tastes good, its sugar free, and it is light. It also comes in yummy flavors and a waterproof tube that I stick in my jersey pocket in case I need a refill.

Complex Carbs: I use a Maltodextrin powder called Carbo Plus. Just google maltodextrin and lots of options come up. This is the main ingredient that is found in all sorts of gels and bars. The powders cost a whole lot less.

Simple Carbs: I use a form of fructose called honey. Honey is the bomb. I have a gel flask that I fill up and carry with me. I have not used it past 4 hrs yet, but am looking forward to it.

Hydration: Plain water. I finally found that I need plain water. I tried all sorts of things, but for some reason, my body needs plain water to digest the nutrients that I put in.

I have found that this combo gives me energy but does not give me the hypoglycemic crash that I have experienced before. Even after I get home, I'm not starving like I have been in the past.

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Weekend Re-cap

Congrats to Cara Applegate for making the winning donation. I'll be sending you that copy of 24 Solo!

Friday night I got started on another remodel project. Jubal's room, which used to be our room, was poorly insulated and it gets really cold in there in the winter time. So I tore the sheet rock off, pulled out what insulation there was. Sealed caulked the wall, sealed it up, put in a bigger window, and then hung sheet rock. It took most of Saturday to get the job wrapped up. I was tired and didn't know if I had the energy for a long ride after that.

I got on the Siren and headed down the Parkway to Bent Creek. I was feeling fine and ended up with a 4 hr ride. One thing that I realized at my last race in Charlotte is that I am not fast on twisty single track. I decided to put some focus on working on that skill. I use so much energy braking and accelerating that if I could learn to coast through turns with momentum, the game would change.

So, I did and what a blast that is. I'm not close to perfecting the skill, but I did feel some improvement.

On the way home, I was riding up the parkway and some dude caught up to me. I had seen this guy on a road bike, so I soft pedaled to let him catch me. I'm pretty sure that he thought he reeled me in. When he caught me, he said hello, and promptly attempted to drop me. Hehe. Not gonna happen. I jumped in his slipstream as he hammered away. He had a little mirror on his handlebars that he kept looking in. I was still there. We got to the top of the climb, he shifted gears, I shifted gears, we picked up momentum, and suddenly, he got into the tightest tuck I have ever seen. I couldn't resist taking the picture below....

Sunday I got out for a 1 hour ride up and over Avondale Rd, fun steep climb with a view at the top:

For some reason, I think I am smiling, but I am not...I am having fun, really!!

And then Monday, was spent with good friends in SC. Fun times!!

Have a great day!!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Trail Work

I got to get out for my first Dirty Thursday last night. The local chapter of SORBA (Pisgah Area Sorba) has an evening of trail work on Thursdays. I usually cannot get out there during the week but last night worked out well. I got to pull the tool trailer too.

I arrived around 5:30pm, hooked up the trailer and headed over to Rice Pinnacle. By 6pm we had about 10 people ready to offer some free labor. A reporter from Mountain Express even showed up.

We loaded up and drove up to Ingles Field Trail head. It turns out that I need to stiffen up the suspension, we kept bumping the trailer jack on the gravel road.

After we got our tools and had a little safety talk by trail building guru Shaun Moore, we walked up the trail. Hmmm, I don't like walking.

We ended up splitting into several groups. Most people worked on mud holes, creating drainage so that the mud holes would disappear, and choking the trail down to make it narrow again.

I ended up going with Mike and Patrick to scavenge for some rock to use as rock armoring. On Sept 27th is a big trail day and we are going to need lots of rock!

This turned out to be a lot of fun. We ended up finding quite a bit of rock and it was a flashback to childhood, rolling the rocks down the steep hill.

We worked until dark and headed back to the parking lot where we hung out for a little while before going our separate ways.

There is nothing like a group with a common purpose, working together, then enjoying each other's fellowship after the job is done. We should buy some wholesale clothing for everyone who works on the trails for Dirty Thursday.

Have a great day!!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

US National Road Championships

Georgie: all the way on the other side of the road in yellow and white.

The 3 stooges: Mike, Roger and Mike.

Cool VW Van, these guys are in the way....

A look of disbelief that I didn't win the cap...

Last Sunday we went to Greenville for the US National Championship road race. I was beat from racing the previous day but we went anyway. Mike, Mike and Roger were going to meet us there so it was bound to be a fun time.

We first went to Spartanburg, because for some reason I thought it started there, I was wrong. When we finally got to downtown Greenville, it was blazing hot already. We walked around, went to the start /finish, but nothing was really going on yet.

On our way back to the van we passed the Bissell display. They had a bike set up and connected to a generator which was connected to a vacuum cleaner which was connected to a pump that was connected to a gauge that measured output in inches. If you generated enough power to get to 20 inches, you got a free cycling cap. I walked up, signed up, watched a guy do it. I got on the bike and failed. Ohhhh, I was mad. I should be able to do it. So, I took a break, watched two more people walk up and do it. Arrrrgh!. I got back on and got to 19.5 inches. Now I was really mad. So, close yet so far away.

Defeated, we left and headed to Paris Mtn to meet with the guys and watch some climbing action. The Colombians had gathered in mass to cheer George on and there was a small crowd of other folks setting up.

It was a fun time of hanging out, drawing KBS ( Kelly Benefit Strategies: supporters of World Bicycle Relief) , on the road in chalk, pushing the stragglers up the mtn, ( I pushed Floyd Landis ), eating, cheering and relaxing.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

24 Solo DVD Auction

I have an autographed ( by Chris Etough ) copy of 24 Solo that I will be sending to the person or group who makes the largest donation between now and Sunday, Sept 7th at midnite.

Simply click on the World Bicycle Link on the left and use your credit card to donate. And in the meantime, check out the Velonews article about the race....

Thanks for your generosity.

Have a great day!!!