Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hodge Podge

Only got one ride in while down in Charlotte but it was FUN!!!  Although the weather wasn't horrible during our visit, it still didn't completely cooperate with my planned 3 rides over our brisk visit to the Queen City.

So where did we get to ride???  Settle down there, don't get overly excited.  And don't jump down our throats getting all twisted that we didn't even ride the "best" the area has to offer.  So we got into town on Wednesday and got to witness some fun times.  I even took some pictures.  I had planned on getting back to ride the trails there as I was very curious... the section we were at was very buff fast singletrack.  I asked one of the promoters about the trail and he did describe it as rooty and technical.  I really do need to see what "rooty" in NC means to "rooty" in NE... how do the two compare?  But alas, it rained the morning we were to experience Beatty.

So Thursday we got up and had an awesome breakfast before hitting.... drum roll please... USNWC.  Take it easy.  This was a good choice for our starting point of Charlotte trails in that it was 1. close by 2. clearly defined trail system with user ability labeled trails and 3. sounded like a neat little facility what with the whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, zip lining, canyoneering adventure land.  Annie and I headed out on the green loop.  This was the first all singletrack ride Annie was embarking on so I wanted to ensure it was a success (and figured any facility that was labeling trails with the green circle, blue square, black diamond system would be the place).  And as always, Annie took it down like a champ.  Well, she did want to vomit and that was my fault.  In my excitement for some southern hospitality I chose a breakfast place that loaded us up heavier than we needed to be for a bike ride... it was good, but too much.

Back to the "rooty" dilemma.  After getting around the loop Annie asked me if that was rooty, to which I applied no.  She looked at me like I was crazy and stated it was rooty.  I explained my position in that, yes there were roots, but there were not sustained fields of substantial roots that would land a trail in the rooty category - from my humble experiences.  Annie was amazing and let me tear off on my own to see what else the area had to offer before heading out.  I took out on the Blue Square trail and enjoyed the hell out of it.  Not having a map I just toured the blues but am cursing myself for not jumping on the Black Diamonds now that I see a map AFTER the ride.  Anyway it was super buff, super fast, super fun!!  After watching the race the evening before, and racing in my first race the weekend before, I could only imagine how fun it would be to race these trails....  ahhh the race bug

Due to the sketchy weather forecasts prior to our trip I left the HiFi at home and picked up the 4300 in WV.  It was strange being off a 29er.  Everything was different.

The handlebars shorter, the shifters had me baffled for half the first loop, and mechanical disc brakes... different world.  By the Blue Square lap I was back home on the bike, but it was a strange adjustment period.  I'm thinking I have to switch shifters as I've come to love the SRAM thumb jobbies.

And now for the random.  Beer.  I've been a Bud Light in a bottle/Coors Light in a can type of guy for the most part.  Beer was an adventure from college where quantity counted over quality.  Slowly I've begun enjoying beer.  Recently we had a beer pairing dinner with Sierra Nevada.  Had never had Sierra Nevada before that night, and it was good... made me want to get a jersey good.  Last week I grabbed a 6er of Smuttynose and it was... meh.  Wasn't bad, but wasn't what I was looking for exactly.  While in The Web - yeah I just gave Charlotte a new nickname - I had another first in the line of beers... Fat Tire
YUMMY!!  New jersey time.  So good.  As I write this blog (don't worry, it is actually a respectable time to be drinking beer(s)) I have come to the conclusion that Smuttynose is now crap.  After Smuttynose not hitting the spot in the first place, and then enjoying the wonder that is Fat Tire, this beer tastes like crap.  Of course I'm going to finish it - and no not because I'm Irish!!  It's because that's who I am.  If I were to make the horrible mistake of buying strawberry milk instead of my delicious chocolate milk I would suffer and drink it, cause it's there and I can't waste it.  So I will drink this crap beer dreaming of Fat Tire instead.

North Carolina Staties... do you call them Staties?  or Troopers?  Whatever.  Those guys are polite!!  Don't get the ticketing system though... $30 for the ticket and $140 some-odd for court fees!!  Craziness I tell you.  I guess I was a little too excited to finally get to The Web.  A small price to pay for a wonderful (short) trip with the wife.

Oh, and I guess the last randomness for this entry... with our tax return monies from the government ( let's not forget the amazing $13 from the state of Massachusetts) I am going to get myself a GPS for the HiFi.  I believe I will be going with the Garmin Edge 500.  I'm excited!  More data to play with, and maps to boot!!

- so for those keeping track... the 3rd ride was going to be at Sherman Branch.

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