Tuesday, January 31, 2012


 Sunday morning I met Kevin at 9am to ride and get home so I could have time to spend with the family.  After spending most of the day at the Bracken Mountain Trail Project, the day before, running the chainsaw for 4 hrs, I was wiped out.    We wanted to ride up to Craggy Gardens but with my legs feeling dead, we changed our plans and headed down Ox Creek and up Heron Cove Rd.
 Temps when we started were near 30 degrees, but with some Hicappie gloves that I bought at Liberty Bikes, my hands were warm.  I have not bought a pair of decent gloves in 6 yrs,  it makes a difference.

Up and over, around the mountains, we talked about how nice it is to be riding outside today instead of on rollers.  It was a great day, but when I got home, I was wiped.  I ate some food, got  a shower, then headed back out for a walk in the woods with the wife and kid.  

4 months to go until she finishes nursing school.  I'm worn out and beat down as much as she and her study buddies are.  We are all tired of studying,  but its a goal that was only a dream a couple of years ago, she is so close and we are both so excited.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Night Ride Recovery Ride

The Thursday night Bent Creek CX ride has sort of fizzled.  Only two die hard members left,  I think that neither one of us had missed a ride since it started at the end of last year.   The temps were cool and cooling, cold again by the time we got back home.  The roads were a bit soft in some areas, but as we got higher, they were freezing and made rolling smoother and faster.  Kevin and I rolled around chatting and then commented that we felt like we were going fast.  When I got home and checked the time, we it turns out we had been going faster, than previous times, not by much but definitely faster,  and I didn't feel as depleted either.  

Friday was time for a recovery ride.  I headed out to Black Mtn and up Hwy 9 to the Eastern Continental Divide.  I could see clouds building up behind the Black Mountain Range and spilling over into the Swannanoa Valley.

I turned and rolled back down the hill into town and to Dynamite Roasting Co.for a cup of coffee and a scone,  my metabolism is kicking and I was hungry...

Thursday, January 19, 2012


It felt freezing cold outside and the wind was whipping.  Being short on time, I hit the rollers for a spin.....

That's it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I ran out of coffee....I had enough for 2 cups, to last me all day.  Normally when I run out of coffee, I go to the store and get some more.   Not today, I was on house arrest.  The kid on the couch with a fever, and the wife at clinicals.  So I suffered, I endured and I'm alive to tell about it. 

After sitting around the house all day, taking care of the kid, the wife got home around 4:30pm and I went out the door with my running shoes on. Cloudy with a  chance of rain, the skies already darkening, I ran up the road and onto the trail.  The wind was howling through the tops of the trees and I was feeling freedom.  The kind of freedom that comes after a long and stressful period in life, when things finally start to take a turn and there is the expected, the hoped for light at the end of the tunnel. 

I ran a steady but mellow pace.  Letting my mind drift around the universe of my brain.  My thoughts lingered on bikepacking, and planning another Pisgah Traverse this spring. 

Around, up and over the mountain, back down and heading home.  Sunset at 5:42pm.  It was getting dim, and I was in no hurry.  I passed several other runners on the trail,  I knew 5 of them. It was  great to stop briefly and chat with a few I had not seen in a while. 

 An hour and fifteen minutes later, I was back at home.  After a shower and egg/potato burritos, I went to the store to get more coffee. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bakery Ride Loop

 Kevin and I took a little spin around the Leicester area on Sunday.  The temps were in the mid 40's, the wind was blowing and the sun was hot.  We were both a little bit overdressed.  But I think that was better than underdressed on a day like this. 

We had some great views of the surrounding mountains, covered in snow.  Mt Mitchell, Max Patch and Roan, among others were all clearly visible.
 After winding around the ridges and dipping into the valleys, we passed through Marshal, hoping for a tailwind.....not to happen,  we occasionally felt a gust from the rear, but we were mostly pushing against the wind.   The last 15 miles were a grind, but it felt good to break the 3hr mark for the first time in 2012,  and at a higher pace than I thought I could maintain.
In the last 10 miles, I used my last swig of water to wash down a Honey Stinger gel, and got a good burst of energy that lasted until I got home.

It was great trading pulls with Kevin,  the dude is strong and getting stronger., braaap.

Friday, January 13, 2012

CX Ride

It was supposed to rain a little bit,  and then turn to snow.   I figured if it rained, it would be miserable, if it snowed, it would be worth the risk.   It rained.

I headed over to meet Chris and Kevin at Liberty before riding over to Bent Creek.  The sky was dark and stormy, and the rain started falling almost as soon as we got on the parkway.   Riding the single speed is fun, but drafting is key.   The rooster tails spraying up from the rear wheels made drafting difficult without getting totally soaked. 

We rolled up the parkway to Hardtimes road and got on the gravel road.  Talking, laughing, falling into somber moods of silence.   Carving around the turns, pedal, coast, carve. 

The rain continued to fall, off and on, and we were hoping the forecast was right,  only 45% chance at 7pm, and less after that.  We were relieved when we rounded a corner and could see the clear, star filled night sky up and to the left.  Then we rounded the bend to the right and it started raining again.

At one point, bombing down a hill, I hit a large rock, that made a large clunk.  I hit so hard, it felt as if both tires would go flat.  They didn't,  so I kept riding. 

We took a right on Bent Creek Gap Rd, then a left on South Ridge Road.  Towards the top of the first long climb,  my front tire went soft.  I did my best to change it quickly and got is filled with one co2 cartridge.   Back on the bikes and down the hill,  carving again.  Enjoying the flow we all got into a rhythm and got quite.   The rain falling, tires squishing through the mud, grinding the gravel,  slightly made more difficult by the sogginess. 

Off in the distance we could make out the Asheville area lights. 

We got back onto the parkway, and it started raining again.  I was mesmerized by the water droplets passing through the beams of light.  Such a cool feeling to be out, riding in this weather. 

We parted ways and  I rolled home.  I was tired,  fingers and toes starting to get chilled. 

It was a good ride.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Little Spin

 I took a little spin up the parkway.  I was considering riding up to Craggy Gardens, but the sun wasn't quite coming out from behind the clouds and it was getting cooler as I climbed.  So I cut my ride a little short.  I ended up going down Ox Creek mtn, which was a bit sketchy due to the sand on the road. 
There were clouds hanging over and around Mt Pisgah but the views were incredibly crisp.  It was a good.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Cross Training

I did not get much time on the bike this weekend, but I did spend a lot of time outside doing some different cross training activities.  Friday, I spent about 4 hrs helping a friend chop wood, then I took my kid for a ride at Richmond hill.  I rolled through dog poop, disgusting, and a disgruntled walker, knocked  a small pine tree down across the trail.  Real smart.

Saturday the kid and I hooked up with some friends and shuttled, yes shuttled and rode down the Point Lookout Greenway. 

And finally on Sunday, I met up with Chris Strout for a hike up the Shut In Ridge Trail.  I have never been hiking there before and definitely recommend it.  Especially this time of year, because the views are pretty cool..  The trail leads up above the Pkwy pretty quickly.  Now, I'm having thoughts of the Shut In Trail Race...

Friday, January 06, 2012

Night Ride

The sun was just dipping over the horizon when we rolled down the parkway to Bent Creek.  The moon hung overhead and was brightly shining in the clear winter sky.   The temps had gotten close to 50 today and were going to drop to 30 in the next 3 hrs.  I felt a little overdressed at the start, but almost 3 hrs later when I got home, my fingers and toes were getting a little numb.

I met Kevin at Liberty then we picked Eric up at Rice Pinnacle.  We rode a fairly easy pace which was nice,  after yesterday's 2 ish hour run, I was not feeling fast. 

There is still some snow leftover from earlier this week, in the contours that are tucked back into the mountain where the sun doesn't quite reach this time of year. 

I rode home to find home made pizza waiting for me, it doesn't get much better!

Thursday, January 05, 2012


I had a meeting at Starbucks, and since the temps had risen to 20 with a high of 40 later,  I decided to run through my neighborhood, onto the Mtns to Sea Trail and to the coffee shop.  I was surprised and disappointed that I made it to the meeting in just under an hour,  I was hoping to get close to 2 hrs today.  After the meeting, I ran back home.   That was a cool way to mix things up a bit, and now I have another option for some training with coffee in the middle.  Can't beat that!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


And so it begins: training 2012. 

I have been resisting putting anything on the calendar until after May.  The wife finishes nursing school and between now and then with be a ton of studying.  I find it difficult and simply wrong to go racing during this time.  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we are both very excited.

So, my first official training ride was on the rollers, and later I was able to put my first race on the calendar.  It was a pretty exciting day!!

Sunday, January 01, 2012


New Year's Eve found me out on Farlow Gap and Cove Creek Trails ripping it up with some good friends.  We ripped on each other a good bit as well, but everyone made it through.   There were lots of firsts on this ride.  First mellow winter for the yankees, first time on these trails for Nolan etc.

For me this ride will live long in my dreams and give me confidence to add to my repertoire. 

I have not been the most techy rider in the past.  In fact, I am pretty sure that I lose a ton of spots on downhills and corners.  This fall, I decided to do something about that and work on those two skills.   Nolan gave me a really good tip for cornering, which turned out to be the missing link for me.  He said, " poop over a cliff".   It works!

Then I set up my hardtail 26" trek single speed with a rigid fork and have been riding that all over Pisgah.  Forcing me to watch my technique and move around on the bike more,  loosening up my arms and putting more weight on my feet. 

For a personal victory, I stayed on the bike for more of Farlow than I ever have before.  It doesn't matter how much, or how far I made it.  I'm not comparing myself to others,  I just relish the fact that I improved in an area that I never thought I would!! 

Happy New Year!!