Wednesday, February 29, 2012


2 year ago around this time, I caught the bikepacking bug. I tried to ignore it and make excuses. I tried to think up reasons that this new angle of the sport might not be so much fun. I tried to talk myself out of it.......

2 years later with a couple of trips under my belt, I am hooked.

There is something simple about self reliance. Loading up everything I will need for a 3 day trip and rolling out under my own power. Having a destination, but being unsure that I will make it there. On the other hand, I could make it there and then keep riding.

There is something special, something that reminds me how small and dependent I am on nature for survival, when I stop at a cold, clear mountain creek to filter some water. Laying awake at night, listening to the animals scurrying in the dark, going about there business, hearing sticks fall and the nearby stream talk and sing, is something special.

Lying so close to the moist dirt, under the canopy of trees brings a feeling of refreshment and energy that no amount of coffee can provide.

Then the night sounds go quiet as the darkness fades, invaded by light. The night animals sneak away into their homes. I watch for a few minutes as the sky turns various colors, depending on the mood of the weather and atmosphere.

I sit up and stretch, looking forward to another day.

Bikepacking, I'm hooked.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I rode out to Marshal on Saturday via the bakery loop route. Knowing that there were quite a few races going on, I rode alone, into the 20-40 mph winds. It was cold but warming. Without the wind, it would have been warm enough for minimal layers, but with the wind....

I ended up using so much energy getting out to Marshal, that I didn't have anything left to take advantage of the 20-40mph tail wind. I felt steady but not strong so I plodded home.

Sunday, I went out to the Bracken Mtn trail in Brevard, where we have been clearing corridor for a yet to be named trail builder to build 6 miles of new trail. It has been a fun and challenging task, wielding a chainsaw for 6 hours, cutting through Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel thickets. I come home dead tired, hopefully its good cross training.

Yesterday we finally completed the corridor clearing on the loop, and got a start on the connector to Pisgah. It is exciting to see the project from start to finish.

The City of Brevard is hoping for a finish date of July 1st!

This trail will become part of the Pisgah Traverse when it is complete. I'm planning on riding The Traverse again this summer. This trail will enable someone on the route to ride right through downtown Brevard.

Friday, February 24, 2012


It felt great to get out and ride in shorts and short sleeves. I stashed my arm warmers and vest in my jersey pocket just in case, but didn't think about them until I got home.

It was Thursday and my normal Thursday night riding partners bailed on me, one for a mtn bike ride and another for Papas and Beer... so, I headed out alone, as the sun was slowly descending , but not quite setting.

The smell of warmth in the forest is enough to make me want to lay down and take a nap. While the wind was blowing pretty hard, giving me a nice tailwind for the ride home, the trees and contours protected me while I was in the woods.

There were quite a few other people out there as well, some with dogs running around off leash, which is fine. But when the dude with 6 dogs that are out of control comes along, its not fine anymore. The rottweiler bounded and leaped directly in front of me, playing some sort of chicken game, and not moving until I changed my line. Then the WhyMORONer ran up next to me and attempted to bite my leg.

I have never found a WhyMoroner that even has a semblance of intelligence. I had a neighbor with 3 of these annoying dogs, they barked incessantly, at anything that moved, even grass. Then another time, I had one of these over grown mutts pee all over my food and supplies at a race. I have attempted to respect, and give these dogs a chance but yesterday was the last straw.

When the dog struck out, I moved my knee just enough that it was only able to nip, pinching the skin but not breaking it. Pinching it enough to make it sting for the next 20 minutes. I told the dude, who just grinned and kept walking.

So, WhyMORONer, if you see me coming steer clear.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


At some point over the past couple of weeks, I started feeling really tired halfway through the day. Sluggish, and no energy, I started researching the issue. I looked at what I was eating and realized that I might not be getting the nutrients that I need. Considering a multi vitamin, I contacted my nutritionist: Namritat O'dea. She helped me dial in my on the bike nutrition and I was looking forward to her recommendations.

After a short discussion, we decided that I needed to eat more fruits and veggies. We eat healthy meals around here but there were some things in my diet that were lacking. So, a quick trip to Amazing Savings and I was stocked up on the goods.

For lunch with a sandwich, I am substituting crunching broccoli, carrots or some other healthy crunchiness instead of potatoe chips. For my midday snacks, I am eating fruits and nuts. In the past I have loathed bananas. They are mushy and make me gag. I have managed to eat one each day this week.....I still gag a little, but if my body functions better, I'll take the gag over some sort of complicated life saving surgery.

Lifestyle changes are not always easy. I don't consider this to be a diet, and I don't have a goal date to reach. I plan on eating like this henceforth.

Will I still eat chips? yes, will I still eat chicken wangs? yes, but I'll definitely be eating a whole lot more fruits and veggies and less empty carbs in between!

Maybe it will even make me faster...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This has been one very mild winter and I have been loving it. Although I have not been able to get in any monster rides, with the help of some quick lunch rides, I have been consistent. Our Maple trees are budding, some of our flowers are blooming, and some of the freckles on my face are getting darker. Spring is in the air, along with the looming threat of a cold snap and the exciting possibility of a wicked snow storm.

While I'm not complaining about the mild winter, I would not mind doing some donuts in my truck in the snow.....

In the meantime, I found an adventurer's web-site. Alastair Humphreys. Way more raw and realistic than reality tv. This guy does some interesting things, one of which is microadventures.
I might have to try some of his ideas. Except for the one where they tried to live of the land for 4 days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lunch Rides

I've been able to get out for some lunch rides recently, which has been nice. Getting up early, get the fire going for the family, start work stuff, send the family to school, do more work until it warms up, sneak out for a spin when its a little warmer...

I got this jersey super cheap. It is very comfortable to boot. On my ride, stopped at a redlight, someone with a "Redneck for Red Wolves" bumper sticker leaned out of his window and asked if I was training for the Olympics....

Another day, another ride. I need to figure out how to get some miles in before the Pisgah 111k