Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Happy Holidays,  time to ride, avoid the rain and enjoy family time.  I have absolutely no complaints about the warm weather,   the rain is slightly annoying and I could complain about that some, but at least it seems to clear up every other day so that we can get outside.

 Spent a little time in Roanoke riding around Carvins Cove.

 Back home,  I took a ride aruond Bent Creek. 

All this gravel grinding has me thinking about a proper gravel bike,  I could go a lot farther with something lighter. 

 And an evening sail with the family before the next storm rolls in!  Sunshine and smiles for miles!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


 Recovery from my tooth work and feeling  a little restless I got out for a quick gravel ride out at Bent Creek. It was not very crowded which was nice.  I might have seen a dozen folks and only about 3 bikes.
It was overcast in the parking lot then turned to fog, then cleared up and I could see a large cloud filling the valley below.   Pretty cool view.  Sometimes I wish we had less trees.  The forest is cool and all but we have some really great views that are obscured.  It is part of the feel and mystery though. 

I'm hoping to get out to ride today but life might put me on the rollers.  I don't hate the rollers yet, and could really tell a difference on yesterday's ride.    The key will be making sure I have good music to listen to while I ride.   That makes all the difference. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Crowned One

My name means crowned one.....not the type of crown I had in mind when I discovered the meaning when I was 12 years old.  

Head cold had me sidelined last week and then the dentist appt on Monday morning and the ensuing discomfort, kept me off my bike the entire day. 

I'm not sure what caused the most discomfort,  the dental work or the bill.  Holy toothache Batman.  With insurance, I paid $642.   Merry Christmas huh? 

I also can't figure out why the staff always smile at me so much when I'm at the dentist office.   Are they really happy to see me?  Do they feel sorry for me?  Are they excited to get in my mouth and poke and drill?  Kind of creeps me out.

Ugh,  I gotta get back on the bike.  It is always hard this time of year with so much going on and the kid being out of school.  Oh yeah, and rain.  Looks like some more roller work! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

2 Rides

 I got out for a ride on Sunday morning,  mostly warm but chilly up higher in the hollers.  I'm loving the warm miles I have been getting lately,   hopefully it will make the dead of winter from mid Feb through March easier to manage. 

Later,  the kid asked if we could go for a ride..... of course we can.  And we did.  We did a short 45 min loop and called it a day. 
I'm taking a day off from training today,  which works out well.  It is rainy and windy.  I'm planning on doing some core work, just need to get motivated to make it happen.

Christmas wrapping at REI Asheville started this weekend.  It is always a fund time, great way to spread the word about the program too. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My weekend.

 I had the day open and planned a big road ride to get some saddle time.   This is one thing that I let slip the past couple of years and I paid for it.  The lesson: if you want to do long rides, you have to do long rides...

I rolled out of the house after it warmed up.  Wearing a vest, knee warmers and arm warmers.  The day was sunny and a high of 70 was forecast.  No complaints here.   I pedaled out through Swannanoa towards Black Mtn and eventually south on Hwy 9.

A quick stop at the spring to refill and I was on my way again.  Up and over the Eastern Continental Divide, my thoughts wandered.  Down through the pastures and farms, past the Straight Away Cafe, I considered stopping for lunch but it was a bit too early.

Winding around and mostly down, I spotted another set of tire tracks on the wet pavement in one of the curves.  I never caught up with them.

 Left turn on Old Fort Rd for the climb up and around Round Mtn.  The road turns into Bat Cave Rd and then descends down into the valley where Old Fort is.  I again considered stopping for food, but decided to just stop for water, eat a bar and keep riding.  
 I decided to take a right turn and ride through Graphite and up Mill Creek rd on the gravel.  I was surprised to ride past a small pond and see a bald eagle sitting on the edge.  At first I thought it was a decoy, possibly to scare geese away, and then did a double take when it turned it's head. 

 I climbed back up the mountain , through Black Mtn where I stopped for a little snack.  I was hoping for the prepackaged sandwiches, but they didn't have any, so I went for the honey bun with 460 calories and a Coke.   I should have only eaten half of the honey bun but I was so hungry.  My burps tasted like honey bun the last hour of the ride.  
 The last bit of the ride, I was spent and excited that I had gotten the mileage.  This was the longest ride that I had done in a very long time, and I look forward to building up over the next few months.  I love this loop, though I have only done it 3 times.  I have a couple of ideas to mix it up a little bit.  It is definitely nice dropping down in elevation and feeling the warmth on my skin.

Forgot to add:  68 miles of sunshine and smiles!  

Friday, December 04, 2015

Not Yet Cold

 The air is cold, but the ground and trees are not yet frozen.  I can still smell the warmth of the leave decaying,  still smell the dirt.  In another month,  it will be frozen, and smell like ice.  It will feel like the inside of a freezer.  Frozen solid radiating ice.
December is in full force.  Always a crazy busy time of year.

Word about The Bicycle Thrift Shop seems to be spreading.  I love being able to help people, I'm just the middle man though.  Community members donate bikes and The Shop gets them to new homes! 
Ride on!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

National Guard

With the most recent attacks,  I can't help but think about the 3rd world countries that I have lived in.  Countries with civil unrest, stringent gun laws, high crime and their people divided. 

Reminds me of the time the town of Rubio, Venezuela was under curfew.   I was out in the school yard playing basketball with some friends, one evening, and a tank rolled slowly down the street,  turning it's turret to aim towards us and the soldier telling us to go inside...

I'm saddened and infuriated by the increased attacks by Americans.  Americans attacking their own.  Shouldn't we be calling them traitors? 

The war is here and it is not going to get better.   People get upset and want more gun laws,  I'm not going to argue that perspective,  enough people are already doing that. 

We need viable solutions, now.

How long until someone reaches out and organizes the traitors for a full scale attack?  I'm not CIA think tank, so it would surprise me if this hasn't been thought of already.

We need to do something now. 

The National Guard comes to mind: " Under State law, the National Guard provides protection of life and property and preserves the peace, order and public safety". (source:

Each state has their own force,  can we start with schools, posting 3-4 armed guards? 

What do you think?

Under state law, the National Guard provides protection of life and property and preserves peace, order and public safety. - See more at:
Under state law, the National Guard provides protection of life and property and preserves peace, order and public safety. - See more at:
Under state law, the National Guard provides protection of life and property and preserves peace, order and public safety. - See more at:

Running With Refugees

In this time of crisis around the world,  I have a friend and Trips For Kids WNC supporter who is raising funds and awareness for a people group that I had not heard of.  They have been living in refugee camps for 40 years,  in the Saharan desert.
photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Outdoors
 Read the story here:

photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Outdoors

It is a pretty amazing survival story.  A peaceful people, with hope for a better future.