Friday, December 30, 2016

Little Adventure Week

 It has been somewhat of an adventurous week for me.  Mixed it up, and missing the bike, but glad to get out and push my boundaries.  You just don't know what you can do unless you give it a try. 

Half way to the in law's house, I realized I didn't have the proper cold weather gear for riding.  Fortunately,  I always pack my trail running gear just in case. 

When we got to Roanoke, I dropped the wife and kid off and headed to the hills.   An 8 mile round trip to MacAfee's Knob was just what I needed to relieve the stress of the day. 

The next day,  I wanted to attempt both Dragon's Tooth and Tinker Cliffs but the dog needed some exercise, so I headed out to Carvin's Cove for another 2 hr run. I felt pretty good considering I had been sick the previous week and have not run in a long time.... 
 Fast forward to later in the week, and 40 mph hour wind gusts in the forecast.  I loaded up all of my sails this time and headed to Lake James to see what it was going to be like.  The whitecaps were pretty dense and the wind was blowing spray off the tops of the waves.   That is a lot of wind.  I was not sure if I could handle it so I rigged my 4.6 and headed out.  Nope.  Can't handle it.  I was getting worked.  I made it across the lake, and turned around,  wondering if I would be able to make it back. 

The 40 plus mph winds were crazy. 

I had a couple of back up plans and was prepared to go that route if needed.  I fell in, a couple of times and managed to get back up.  Once I got going it was ok, still getting worked, but making it back across the lake. 

 I got back to the beach and hung out for a few minutes,  allowing the burn in my forearms to subside.  Then there was a lull,  meaning the wind dropped down to about 20 mph.  I took off again and enjoyed 2 runs before the fierce winter wind kicked in again.  
 I decided that I had pushed beyond my limits, so I packed up and headed home.  Disappointed and excited at the same time.  This was the strongest wind I had ever sailed in!  

Now I'm watching for the next storm. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Heavy Heart

Man,  my heart is heavy this morning.  All day yesterday and looks like today.  When will the sadness end?  I know I gotta let time do it's thing, but good grief. 

I had a dream about Alex early Sunday morning.  We were at the park, he was being silly.....  good times. 

I got to spend the weekend with the kid.  Since it was rainy and cold, we didn't do a lot.  Went to the toy stored to buy some toys for Toys For Tots.  Toured Field and Stream,  wrapped gifts at REI.  Chill weekend.  I have to consciously peer through the cloud of sadness and realize how good I have it.  It is easy to lose sight of.  Although, none of what I have is mine,  it has been granted to me from my Creator. 

That helps me keep things in perspective.  I don't know why Alex and Milena are gone, but if I truly believe in the grand scheme, then I believe that there is or will be a purpose for their leaving us. 

Several interesting thoughts have come to mind through this. 

- Kids are angels who have come to earth to learn how to be human.  Totally unfounded other than my mind doing it's thing.  But,  what if it were true?  We better step up our game and fight the good fight!

-In general, people are only motivated through tragedy.  Floods, drought, pipelines, the presidential race etc.  People tend to only react when something negative impacts them.  Maybe if nothing negative ever happened,  then we would sit around being self absorbed, bon bon eating, lazy bones.  I don't know, but its something to think about. 

Thursday, December 08, 2016

In Memory of Alex and Milena

They were more than just kids on the playground.  We had unofficially adopted the kids.  They were special.  They taught us a lot.  We have been going to that playground since we moved here,  we know the parents and kids who meet in the evening to walk, play and socialize.  I call us "the park family".  We share stories, success and frustration.

Alex and Milena joined us about 5 yrs ago.  Their caretaker, Abuelita, lives across the street, so they became regulars at the park.  Alex was an intelligent, upbeat and downright silly kid who was always goofing off.  I was really impressed recently as Alex had learned to respect his peers and his school work improved.  He was a cool kid with a lot of promise.  I loved him as my own, and would have done anything for him,  as I would my own kid.
Alexander Bautista-Gomez

Milena was an amazingly smart and cute little girl.  She always had a smile and a hug.  I spent countless hours, pushing her on the swing and chasing her around the playground.  She was a bright light at the end of the day.  I could always rely on her to bring some giggles and laughter to the playground.
Milena Maria Alejandro-Bautista

I'm gonna miss those kids.  The playground family is gonna miss those kids.

I stopped by the playground after dark last night.  I was alone.  Bright stars in the sky. Shadows cast by the streetlights.  The air was chilly and slight breeze moved across the swing set.  No kids laughing, no adults walking.  Just me and the quiet, sad playground. 

Needless to say, the heavy sadness will linger for a while.

They were crossing the road after walking to the dollar store to get sweatpants.  Crossing the road to get some Subway because the kids were hungry.  A car coming down the hill, just after dark did not see them.   No one person's fault, just a series of tragic events.   Abuelita was also hit, but sustained only minor injuries. 

A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging out and waiting for the super moon to rise.  It finally did and in the light of the moon, Alex asked the wife, "What happens when we die?  Do we just "poof", disappear?"  The wife responded, telling him, " Well,  we believe that if you believe in God then you will go to heaven when you die".  Alex responded " Oh, that's good, because I believe in God".

Enjoy that playground in heaven, little ones.


Monday, December 05, 2016

Need a Little Help.

Click here to help.

  I have been hesitant to put this out there, because I never want to be a burden to the community that supports us so well.  But sometimes, we all need a little help from our friends, and I am humbly reaching out. 

I am the director of Trips For Kids WNC.  Along with the support of the community, we provide mountain bike outings to youth who would not otherwise have that opportunity. 

The truck I am using to haul bikes for the outings, to support area events, and to pick up bike products to stock The Bicycle Thrift Shop is ailing and threatening to stop in it's tracks sooner rather than later . 

$5000 will give us a healthy down payment on a quality truck and leave us with a manageable payment plan.

Please help Trips For Kids WNC continue to fulfill our misson.

As always, thanks for the support.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekend at Home

 I always get a little sad when the wife and kid head out of town.  This year was the same, especially when I realized that I had nothing planned for myself.  In the past, I have either done a bike trip or a huge home improvement project.  This year, I was actually wanting to take a windsurfing safari to the coast, but I'm a worried about driving the truck that far.  I decided to keep it local.
 I managed to find some simple things to do, like cutting down a crepe myrtle,  much to the dismay of all the old people in the area.  Crepe Myrtles are on the invasive species list.  And I don't really like them. 

 Got out on the bike for some gravel.....
and of course with some mild wind predicted ,  got out on the lake for a little while.  The wind was pretty light, but I got a couple of good strong gusts. My high speed today was 22.4mph.  I was able to get my gear a little more dialed,  I'm confident that I can break 30mph on this board, and 35 mph on my little board!!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


When you are praying for a miracle,  you gotta have patience....  I'm not great at that.  I'm pretty good at being patient if I have something else to distract me.  Other than that,  not good. 

I've been truck shopping.  I hate to be picky, but I need to upgrade to a 4x4 with crew cab.  With the kid sprouting long legs, we gotta have the space.  Add to that the need to pull a trailer filled with bikes,  the 4x4's are built tougher and will withstand the wear and tear better than my current truck.  In fact,  the truck is dying for that very reason,  it was not built to haul a trailer as much as I do. 

So,  even though we have been planning and saving for a while,  we are about $5000.  Hence the prayer for a miracle.  Praying that my current truck will last until we save enough, or somehow that $5k comes to us.  And there is nothing else for me to do. 

With that in mind, I'm thankful for distractions.  Like soccer with the kid, windsurfing and bike riding! 

 I got to enjoy a great day at the lake,  warmish sun,  strong winds.  I took my Garmin along and my max speed ended up being 26.4 mph.   With a little more wind and some rigging tweaks, I think I can break 30 mph.....  nothing like the feeling of being pulled along by the wind, skipping across the top of the water.  Makes me want to whoop and holler, which is exactly what I do! 
In the picture above, what appears to be clouds is actually a plume of smoke from one of the wild fires. 

Well,  here's to a prayer and a miracle.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016


 I've been able to get out on the bike consistently this week.  That's good cause I'm a bit stressed.  This whole truck thing is getting to me.   A 2006-2009 truck with 150k for $15,000?  Sounds crazy.  Sounds like borrowing money to survive is the American Dream.  But,  if you think about it,  borrowing has been the way of life in America since the beginning.

It is frustrating to me, because we have always tried to live frugally with little to no debt.  Until this year, we have never had a car payment,  were always able to pay cash for vehicles.  But that was before I needed something bigger and tougher.  So,  by doing what I do, and  needing to haul a trailer,  I need a bigger stronger truck.  So, I'm stuck, living the American Dream.  An old hippie forced to conform to consumerism and greed. 

Every dealer I talk to agrees that the price of trucks is out of control.  But their hands are tied, because they have bills to pay as well. 
 Something is going to work out, and I feel like I'm handling this situation better than I would have in the past.   I'm more excited about seeing how this is going to play out than stressed about it not working out. 

Trust is the key, and patience.  Waiting until the right one comes along, at the right time.

Can't wait to see what happens.

In the meantime.  Strong winds are forecast for the weekend!!

Monday, November 14, 2016


 A lot going on in my little head right now.  Besides the fact that its that time of year when memories pop up and try to bring me down, the demons in my mind telling me that I'm bound to fail so why try.  I keep turning my focus to the positive.  Its not always easy.   I have so many friends in the same boat.  Trying to figure this life out, one step at a time. Why do I keep trying?

 I'll tell you what keeps me going.  Knowing that I am created for a purpose,  to love.   Knowing that a power greater than me is in control and has an ultimate plan: to restore creation to a pre- destruction mode.  I believe in a God who loves and provides for us.  I don't believe in the god that so many churches teach about,  the legalistic, fire and brimstone, you are going to hell if you screw up god.  I believe in a God who has created me to love, to care for the fatherless and widows.  to look out for my neighbors.
 That's what keeps me going.   How do I know that such a God exists?  That one is hard to explain, but the evidence shows me,  points me in that direction.  The stillness at the top of a mountain,  the peace inside on the side of a wind ravaged lake.  The good things that come my way without warning.  The trials, that seem out of control, but once I make it through, I realized I am stronger, a little wiser, and slowly but surely a little more patient.   
 I have what I need and a whole lot more.  Food, warmth, shelter, clothes.  Sure,  I have a truck that is falling apart right now.  And the thing is testing my faith on a daily basis.  Every time I turn the key and it cranks,  I whisper a quiet prayer of thanks. 

I had a great weekend, getting outside, feeling the wind in my face, the splash of water, the leaves crunching under my wheels,  futbol with the kid,  brunch on in a holler with a bunch of friends.

My life is good, and I can't take the credit for that. 

Friday, November 04, 2016


 Fall is here and my head is spinning.  Lots of stuff going on.   October was my month of mayhem for the year. 

I accepted the Asst Soccer Coach position for the middle school boys team and that proved to be quite time consuming.   I wouldn't trade it for anything though.  Even though I hardly rode my bike,  I got to spend every afternoon with the kid and 23 other boys.  The Coach: Mike Kerr is an amazing coach and I learned a lot from the guy.  Super kind hearted and uses a positive reinforcement approach that is spot on.

On top of that, I decided to get my CDL so I could drive a school bus.  This turned out to be a time suck;  2. 5 days of class,  4 visits to the DMV, paperwork, on visit to pee in a cup (while talking about hunting with the female tech,  just another day on the job),  2 days of driving with instructor and 1/2 day of driving test..... and $200 later, I have my CDL. 
Over the summer, I decided not to worry about my old 2001 F 150.  It is getting worn and creaky but still seems to run fine.  Instead of upgrading, I decided to do some maintenance.  I took it in for rear shocks.  I got the call telling me that my front shocks were leaking and something else was broken.  They replaced all that.   The next day, the battery light came on signaling alternator failure.  Well,  that $600 better last for a while because I'm tired of spending money on this truck.  It has served me well, but my gut tells me that its almost done. 

I'm now looking around at trucks,  I want to upgrade to a crew cab.  Good grief, seems like everybody has lost their minds.  A 2007 Silverado with 150k miles on it for $12,000?  What the crap?  I'm kinda stuck in the middle and not sure what to do,  I don't have that kind of money and not sure I can afford the monthly payments for that amount right now.  New is out of the question for shizzy. 

What to do?  Keep on keepin' on,  and hoping for a miracle!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Change In The Air

After my weekend of windsurfing fun,  I was wiped out, lethargic.   I farted around getting stuff done and waiting for my body to recover. Feet bruised from the foot straps and just an all over good body soreness.   A little hour long ride brought me around though.  

I headed out to Bent Creek to spin around, nothing too hard, just a good solid medium paced loop.   I barely broke a sweat.  

It is that time of year when the air temps are changing, foliage color changes and brain patterns start to interrupt daily life.  Memories of days gone by and longing for the innocent childhood days creep in.   It is funny how memories tend to lose the negative and the mind longs for the positive.  I snap my mind back into focus, realizing and fully believing that I made the right choices.  I practice focusing on the positive and the now,  the good life that I have been blessed with,  the good choices (although not always easy) that I have made for myself and my family.  

I am "living the dream"  and am thankful for the life I live,  the friends I have, and my little mountain family.   

It is easy to slip into the old patterns of thought that tend to bring me down,  but just like anything,  consistent practice will bring about positive results!  


Monday, October 10, 2016

Hurricane Winds

And there it was,  the thing that was wreaking havoc across the East Coast of the US,  was the same thing that was keeping me up at night, excited about finally being able to windsurf in some strong winds.

I watched the forecast for 10 days (actually)  I look at the wind forecast daily, sometimes multiple time per day.  The forecast was for strong winds in WNC on Saturday and Sunday. Miraculously,  we had nothing planned, and the wife was not working.  I had both days free to roam. 

Saturday, the winds rolled in and I decided to stay in the area and see what Lake Julian would deliver.  It turned out to be a battle with strong gusts in the 30 mph range.  I watched several sailboats on the brink of capsizing as I scooted around the lake.  The winds picked up mid afternoon, but since I had been out there close to 5 hrs, I decided to head in and save some energy for Sunday.

Sunday morning, I headed down to Lake James.  I had been eyeballing the area at the mouth of the Linville river and was excited to give it a try.  Wind around 10-15 mph with 40 mph gust was going to make sail choice tricky. 
 As I rounded the bend and could see the water, I saw whitecaps all the way across the lake.  I rigged my 5.5 sail and headed out.  The air temps were warm and the water is still warm from the hot summer. 

I'm always excited and nervous when I head out in a new area, and I start off shaky.  It take an hour or so to get settled in and feeling comfortable.  The wind was blowing and I was flying.  I was overpowered though so I headed back in to re-rig the smaller 4.5 sail.  Perfect. 

I sailed back and forth for a couple of hours before the wind let up a little, then I headed in for some lunch.  I decided to drive around the lake to find a better access point with onshore winds.  The Linville river access where I was is good, but with side shore winds, if something happened, it would be a fight to get back to the beach area. 

No luck so I headed back to the same place. The wind had calmed down pretty good with no whitecaps to be seen so I took a chance and rigged the 6.5 square meter sail.

 It was on,  the wind started to pick up again, but now the gusts were long and wide.  Rather than the quick bursts that I had this morning, the wind started to fill in and I could rip back and forth across the lake several times before it let up. 

I was feeling comfortable and was getting used to the area.  Windsurfing on the edge of Pisgah National Forest under the shadow of the mountains that make  the Linville Gorge was new to me.  It made me feel really small, but thankful to be where I was. 

 Windsurfing is a passion,  it is in my blood.  When I was in college, land locked in the N Georgia Mountains,  before my internet access days,   I had no idea where to go to windsurf.  Whenever the wind blew, I would head to Mt Curahee to sit on the edge of the cliff and just feel the wind.  The movement stirs up good childhood memories for me.  Memories of being the underdog and having to find my own way, to figure things out and pursue a passion.   
I stayed out until my turns got sloppy and the wind picked up some more.  I thought about going in to rig a smaller sail, but decided to head in and call it a day.  I was tired and my heart was full. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


 I fell, on the first day of fall.  Just a little strawberry for me,  my front wheel and other components are pretty scratched up.   Got to close to a sidewalk, and back,  metal screeching and body thud....
 Got a nice load of poplar,  that stuff is great for fall and spring,  nice quick n bright burn.
AVLCX is in full swing.   This is a photo of the REEB ranch edition.  Fun times seeing friends.  That's Kevin Hessler down in the center of the pic.  Cool peeps doing cool things. 

The wind forecast looks great for this weekend... stay tuned for tales from the lumberviking windsurf safari.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Lake Search

Hermine winds reached into the Piedmont of SC and I had some free time, so I headed down to check out some lakes and possible windsurfing hidden gems. 

I had 3 lakes on the list to check out and with winds forecast to reach 30mph was excited to get on the water. 

I pulled up to Lake Robinson and was stoked to see that conditions were perfect.  Wide stretches of open lake water, small chop with some whitecaps.   I read all the signs and went to check in with the ranger.  He told me that paddle boards are not allowed on the lake.  I told him that this was not a paddle board, but classified as a sailing vessel.  He wasn't buying it, telling me that "they" were really picky about people being in the water, seeing as how it is a reservoir for the city of Greenville.  (odd because outboard motors are permitted on the lake). 

After a bit of friendly discussion, I asked who "they" were and could I call them to clarify the rule?  He said that would be his supervisor, and before we called, we should read through the hand book. 

We went to the office and started reading.  Then my fate was sealed as I read page 8 under section 5, Boating, rule number 4..... "There shall be no use of ........  and any wind surfing craft".  

So much for Lake Robinson.  And lake #2 on the list was run under the same rules.   The ranger was super nice and felt bad.  I asked him about Lake Saluda, he told me that is was a mud hole and to watch out for the shallows that were not marked. 

Desperate for a ride, I headed over to Lake Saluda.  I found the Lake Saluda Boat Ramp, the place was deserted.  It would be tricky getting out into the main channel where the wind was blowing, but I was game.   I paid the parking fee, rigged up and headed out onto the water. 

Once I got out there, it was on.  20mph wind with gusts up around 30mph, I was flying.   The lake is small, so it didn't take me long to cross, about the length of 3 soccer fields.   I sailed back and forth, getting a feel for the area.  After about 30 minutes,  I sailed a little too close to a log that was floating just under water, gently bobbing to the surface every now and then.  That spooked me a little bit.  I definitely did not want to wipe out in epic fashion, on a strange lake with no one else around to see it! 

I stayed out for about an hour total before packing it in. 

Lake Saluda lived up to the reviews and I won't be coming back unless there is nowhere else to go!  

But,  I did get to ride some great wind and I'm thankful for that experience!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Back Into a Rythym

 It is nice to be back into a rhythm.  Drop the kid off, get on the bike for a ride or pull on the shoes for a run.   Get some bikes fixed up, bills paid etc.  And in the vein of taking on too much,  I have accepted the position of asst coach for the Reynolds Middle Boys Soccer team.  The kid is on the team, and I am excited about learning from a coach who has been in the game for a while.  I'm not really adding too much too my plate, because I would be at all the games anyway.   We have a great group of kids this year. 

I finally got to ride again with my bud Kevin.  He is my connection to what is new in the cycling world, what works and what doesn't.  If you need new clothes, parts or a new bike,  go to Liberty Bikes and ask for him! 

My passion for windsurfing has been rekindled big time.  The problem is, in her absence, I found another love: cycling.  I still want to race my awesome Salsa El Mariachi though.   I think I'm going to be multi sport in the fall/winter and focus on racing in the late winter spring when I get ramped up for the Pisgah Stage Race.  That way, I can take advantage or fall hurricane season, when the winds blow strong and steady,  and not have to worry about missing a workout.  When the wind is blowing, windsurfing provides a complete body workout anyway!   

Sail Away

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back to School

The end of summer has come and today we head back to school.  I don't personally, go to school, but since we are pretty involved in helping out at school,  well.... back to school.

Growing up, I never liked school.  Maybe because by the time I went to college I had attended 7 different schools.   I never found a rhythm and was always behind.  I was terrible at math and got yelled at because I didn't understand simple math stuff. 

I learned to get by- by the hair of my chinny chin chin.  Just doing the minimum in order to pass.  That didn't always work.  I think that someone must have pulled some strings to keep me from repeating a grade here and there. 

I carried those habits through college.  I could not find purpose or passion in my classes and so D's and F's were common.   I did a lot of extra credit work to maintain my C average. 

Once I got into the brand new Outdoor/Experiential Ed program, I started to excel.  I got straigth A's in that class and finally had instructors who believed in me.  Having someone who believes in you makes a difference too!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ocracoke Island

 Summer Vacation 2016.   Back in the dead cold of winter we decided to splurge this year and rent a house for an entire week.  We have never rented a vacation house for an entire week before, so the cost and commitment was a bit daunting at first. We made the reservation and then waited through a very busy spring and summer.

The day finally arrived and we rolled out for an uneventful 2 day drive.    The rest of the story is difficult to put into words.  So,  I'm just gonna say that this trip was good for the soul.  I was able to share some parallels between this island and Bonaire, with the family.  That was good.  Getting the 3 of us to Bonaire is pretty cost prohibitive, and I was glad to be able to share the vibe with them.

The loooong drive proved to be worth it.

Jockey's Ridge

Southern Point, Ocracoke

Low Tide

Sailing across the Pamlico Sound at low tide,  about 20inches deep!

Simply Beautiful
Appalachian Dream in her temporary berth.

Awesome Bakery Trailer

Awesome Tacos

This is the last working Fish House around,  fishermen sell seafood here and locals, tourists and restaurants buy them

Shane,  an example of the friendly locals, was always there and welcomed us with open arms

The long drive home: Full Hearts, Clear Eyes

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Stolen Bikes

Well,  just before I left for the beach vacation, I got word that a bunch of bike club bikes were stolen.  Click the link below for details:

Spread the word and help us get this bike club rolling!

Monday, August 08, 2016

What is Winning?

 I've been trying to figure out, for a long time, what drives me to compete?  How far do I want to push myself? How much of the non bike aspects of my life do I want to sacrifice to potentially win?  And the big one,  is winning worth said sacrifice?    These are not easy questions to answer.

I have learned over the years of training, that I don't like a strict routine.  I have to work my "training" into regular rides to keep it fun.  I do enjoy training, especially for endurance events, because that involves endurance rides.  Long rides are what attracted me to mountain biking in the first place. 

We watched a documentary on Netflix last night: The Great Alone, the story of Lance Mackey,  who one the Iditerod dog sled race 4 times in a row.   One thing he said at the end of the movie, after winning the race, overcoming cancer, working through his crap filled childhood: " If I win again, nothing will change". 

That statement struck a chord.   There are people out there racing for all kinds of different reasons.  I learned in the first couple of years of training and racing to find my own reasons.  But when it comes down to it,  if I happen to win,  nothing will change. 

This is specifically to the level that I am racing at though.  I 'm not seeking sponsorship product or dollars.  I'm not seeking fame or making a living off of my results.   If I were, I would approach racing from a much more serious, regimented standpoint. 

 I'm thankful for the position I am in though.  I don't have to feel pressured to train to win.  I enjoy training, I enjoy lining up against others, I enjoy turning myself inside out.  If I happen to get on the podium,   that is icing on the cake. (Although I prefer pecan pie)!  

Smoked chicken wangs are good to! 

Thursday, August 04, 2016


I'm tired.   Worn out, spread thin, ragged.  But, it is summer time and I don't know how to do it differently.   I feel some pressure, because I normally have an 8 week window to get kids out into the woods.  This summer we have an extra 2 weeks.  So, naturally, I took advantage of that time and booked extra rides.  

It turns out that those 2 extra weeks are difficult.  And now I'm running on fumes.  

I remember working at residential camps when I was younger.  The first 6 weeks would be great,  weeks 7 and 8 a person starts slowing down and then the last 2 weeks was so hard.  Mentally and physically. 

I think the mental effort and fatigue contributes a lot to the overall fatigue.  It is amazing how much brain power is consumed, making sure the whole group has what they need and is safe. 

I have somewhat of a morning off so I might go for  a little trail run,  gotta dig up some motivation.

Don't mean to complain here, but this is my life, and sometimes I get a little ragged. 

Mebbe next year I limit the ride program to 8 weeks and spend a little time relaxing.   But then I feel guilty for not working.....  The wife says I work hard and a lot. 

And that leads to another issue.    I have this little voice in the back of my head that is seemingly constantly telling me that I should be working instead of playing.  That voice that was ingrained from childhood,  the one that tells me that there is always something I am doing wrong.    I work hard to shut that voice up......  

Here's to the dog days of summer!!! The finish line is in sight along with some family vacation time (well earned according to the wife)!   I cannot wait to put my toes in the water and my butt in the sand!!

Monday, August 01, 2016

Jerdon Mtn/ORAMM

 Jerdon Mtn and ORAMM weekend is complete.  I have been involved in this race for 10 years now.  ORAAM was my second endurance race, after surviving Cowbell Challenge in Charlotte while is was still at the Whitewater Center. 

I raced the past 2 years and made my peace with the event.   This year I was back in my support role, recruiting a fine group of folks to help me at rest stop #2 both days.  People asked me if I miss racing.  There is not a simple answer to that.  But, yes, I miss racing, I just don't miss the suffering that goes with the racing in this heat.   It was  a "cooler" year, but still hot! 

I had awesome people around me this weekend, with absolutely no negativity, no power struggles, just a bunch of good ideas making rest stop 2, #1!! 
Will I race this again?  Mebbe.

It is always cool when someone who reads this blog comes up and introduces themselves.  Sometimes I'm so surprised that people still check in here, that I'm not really sure what to say and end up not saying much at all.  For the record, I love meeting people and learning what type of life you lead!  

 Thanks to all the awesome folks who were out there this weekend getting it done!  See you at the next one

Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Heat

 Summer has been super busy, hot and fun.  The heat is killing me.  Saps my energy.  Once I get done with a ride, and get bikes rearranged for the next group,  I'm so worn out.   The mental strain of keeping up with a dozen kids on bikes in the woods is hard to describe, but equally draining.   But,  I would not trade it for anything!  I love what I do and love the kids who I work with.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be in this position! 
 I got a visit for Mike K last weekend.  He pulled me out on a road ride and bought me coffee.  I took him on a tour of the Swannanoa River Valley,  stopping at Dynamite Roasting for some joe and a scone.  It is always great to see Mike and ride with him.  He hosts a Warmshower location if you ever need a place to rest your head in Shelby, NC!
Another day at the lake was in order.   Soaking in the water,  trying not to get burned etc.  Fun times with the fam!  I'm glad to be able to get the kid around water more this summer.  He is loving it too. The water (Caribbean ) was such a part of my childhood, and I'm glad to be able to share that with him.  Strong swimming skills is a good life skill to have as well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer is Funner

 Running my self ragged and having a fun time doing it. 

We have had some pretty great times on the lake this year.  I'm so thankful to get the kid on and in the water more often this summer.   Learning how to swim and be comfortable around water is such an important life skill. It has been so hot lately that the kid is loving it too.  
 The Trips For Kids WNC ride program is going amazingly well.  Weekly trips are going great and our schedule is booked with some groups on a waiting list.  If you want to help us keep the program rolling and getting kids on bikes in the woods, please consider donating here : Donate Now!
 A friend gave me some old windsurf equipment and it turned out to be perfect for teaching the kid.   I did have to order a tiny sail for him.   He has gotten out on the water a couple of time and now we are waiting for a windier day. 
I finally found time to replace the old gate/fence at the entrance to our house.  The chicken coop on the left is next, and then the fencing project will be complete. 
 It is a big, beefy, ranch style fence.  The gate opening is 2 feet wider than the old one, which will make it a lot easier to back trailers into the back yard. 
And ,  I cut down 2 of the neighbor's trees.  These Bradford Pears had been obliterated by recent storms, and they need the remains cut down.  With some wedges and rope work, they fell exactly where I wanted them too.