Thursday, January 31, 2013

making it official

So, today the plan is to finally get our asses down to the DMV and get our NC licenses.  I have to take the written test for sure, and possibly the road test.  I've heard varying accounts of having to take the road test, and it seems that it is at the discretion of the tester whether or not they make you take it... so we shall see.  Once we have our licenses, then we have to go back to our insurance agent, get some form, then we can go register our cars and get license plates.  A whole process that we've been putting off for too long.

Last night I hit the trainer and my legs were feeling it before I started.  But I pushed through even though something was going wonky with my heart rate monitor... I'm guessing the battery in the strap is dying - unless somehow the laptop I was watching video on while riding was interfering with the readings??  With the impending rain/wind storms the air had me sweating like a maniac... I think I lost a couple pounds.

Depending on the weather today I may go for an easy spin on the roads and check out if the heart rate monitor works any better... if not - battery it is.

Saturday and Sunday are shaping up to bike (related) filled days, so that is cool.  But I'll save that for later, cause I need something to talk about tomorrow.

Wish us luck at the DMV!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two in One

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous.  I already had plans to hit up a night ride sponsored by the Trailblazers, and led by Chris, but I couldn't pass up the day.... I figured something "easy" would be nice, so I hit up Sherman Branch.

My garmins told me that the average temp for my ride was 75.4.  75.4 in January.  Yeah, I don't miss the northeast.  Sherman Branch is a fun trail.  It has three sections, that I guess you can pick and choose from to string together your ride, but I look at it as one giant loop - so nothing gets left out.  I wanted an "easy" ride, but that isn't to say that Sherman is a boring easy trail.  It is a fun trail for sure.  But it is a super singlespeed friendly trail - so no big climbs or super technical sections.  It's a fun, fast, bermy, flowy trail. 

Somehow, on my "easy" ride I managed to get my PR - even with a stop to clear a fallen tree across the trail.  (Maybe my fitness is getting better) It wasn't a big tree, but the angle it lay across the trail (on a fast section) made it more difficult to cross... and seeing how people tend to complain about challenges on the trail I figured I'd just get it off to the side.  But that was ok by me, made the ride feel a little more like a January ride up north.... without the snow, and bitter coldness, and constant stopping to repeat similar trail clearings this time of year.  

After the ride I had to run to the grocery store, get back home, eat something and hustle over to North Meck for the night ride.  I wasn't sure how bad traffic would be to get out there, but it ended up not being too bad.  There was a pretty good group for the ride, probably close to ten riders.  This was my first night ride in a long time, and my first group ride in a long time, and my very first group night ride... wow, that was a hand full (you know, cause I was typing and not actually telling you).  Anyway, the pace on the first lap was just about right.  Chris called it a social ride, and it was.  Good pace - you were able to chat while you rode, stops to regroup, chat some more.  At the end of the loop there was again time for some chatting and then planning on what next.  Who wanted more, and to what degree?  For the second lap we hit the trail in reverse and broke up into two groups.  A fast group and a more social paced group.  I went off with the fast group, which was fun, but interesting - since that was my first time hitting it in reverse.  

It was a great ride, and something I'm going to try to make a regular in the rotation.  It was also great to hang out with Chris a bit more out there, and talk with his wife - who offered up the Diva's services to help get Annie back out on the trails.  Oh yeah, the temp for the night ride?  66.  Yup.  

Today though... a big rainy, windy mess.  I guess that's ok since it's time to kick my own ass on the trainer.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

lost transmission

Due to internetal issues, no post yesterday - I didn't forget about you.

You want to talk about greasy trails?  Well, then you want to talk about this weekend's Winter Short Track race.  Thawing trails were the culprit, add a bunch of riders tearing off hot laps and you get a messy, snotty trail.  After the ripping up of the grass section in race 2, there was a reroute in the grass to avoid the muddied uphill switchback.

Was that a positive or negative?  I guess it all depends on who you asked.  I saw one post somewhere on the internets calling for it's removal from the course because (paraphrased slightly to protect the originator) too many ate shit on it during the race, it influenced the outcome of the race.

Mountain bike race.  That is about all the response needed for a comment like that.  Techincal/difficult sections SHOULD influence the outcome of a race... that is why they are there.  Otherwise we could all jump on our trainers and compare efforts to determine a winner.  Side note, I didn't see one crash in my beginner race on that particular section.

Ok, on to this week's race.  Due to the travel to CT I didn't get to ride as much as I'd like last week.  I have been torn between wanting to get on the bike and wanting to follow my training schedule.  I've come to a conclusion about that one, which I'll get to in a bit.

So, race day was cold(ish).  We are talking high 30s/low 40s.  I've been spoiled with the weather down here so far so that felt real cold.  I wasn't exactly sure how to dress as I was getting ready to head over to the course.  Wear shorts?  I figured my long sleeve merino jersey with my team jersey over would be fine, winter gloves, and layered socks (need to get some cold weather socks I suppose).  I went back and forth on it, but ended up deciding to go a little warmer and wear tights.  The issue being is that I don't have full length bibs, so I have to get creative to keep my legs warm.  The solution: bibs, tights, baggy shorts.  I also ended up throwing on my balaclava during warmups.  I contemplated taking it off for the race because I wasn't sure if I'd overheat with it.  I left it on, and I think that was smart - the air was crisp.

Down to the nitty gritty.  Like the first race, I started off the front and entered the singletrack in about 6th.  The first lap showed that the course had already deteriorated from my pre ride about an hour and half earlier.  This would prove to be the trend, each lap progressively getting slicker.  I held with the group through the first lap.  On lap two I learned that following a rider too closely on the singletrack produced a nice mud shower.  On the gravel climb to the grass I lost a spot or two but kept the riders within striking distance.  Lap three I started feeling in on the gravel/grass section and was already looking forward to the end of the race.

On the last lap I entered the singletrack with another racer from my class on my wheel.  I tried to do my best to recover on the singletrack as I knew it would be a race for the finish.  As I hit the gravel it felt like I had nothing left in my legs.  I looked down, dropped some gears to keep my cadence up and told myself to just push it.  I kept it going and I put a little distance in on him.  Once we hit the grass he stepped it up and I heard him coming up beside me.  I decided to let him take me there in hopes I could jump back on his wheel until I could hit it hard on the final section of gravel road.  He jumped up and I couldn't grab his wheel right away.  Once we hit the gravel road I wasn't sure if I could get him so I put it all out there.  I shifted harder and harder and hammered my way up.  By the time we hit the parking lot I was on him, and I hoped he had used up his reserves trying to get to the lot.  He hadn't.  He was able to hold on.  Knowing I didn't have the speed or distance to over take him I let up and cruised across the finish.

In the previous two races I had always finished hard, no matter what.  This weekend I just couldn't.  I didn't catch him - and it just left me disappointed.

If you asked me how my race went before I looked at the results I would have said pretty good.  I could have sworn that I only gave up spots to maybe 6 riders... which I figured would put me in at 12/13.  But, with timing chips I can't argue with the results... and they were not friendly.  17th out of 18.

Back to the drawing boards.  I'm wondering if I'm hitting it too hard off the start and not leaving myself the ability to recover enough to keep up decent laps.  Or, if this is just a glaring wake up call that I am no where near race shape.  And really, this has been a wake up call that if I really want to be racing I need to take a more focused approach to riding, training, and eating.  Ultimately, I'm disappointed that I've wasted my time and the opportunity that I had to train ahead of the series.  That I haven't been focused.

But, I'm not going to dwell on that.  I'm making the decision now that I will be more focused. I won't take the short cuts, or take it easy when I don't need to.  After all, there really is no better feeling than being drained after a great ride, workout, or training session.  Yeah it might suck in the moment (the suffering or pain) but the payoff is sooo worth it.

So what will I be doing differently?  I'm going to do my time on the trainer - hitting intervals as hard as I can.  One thing that I realized while on the trainer this past week is that I can push a lot farther then I might think.  You start feeling it in your legs, or you don't think your lungs will hold out - but a glance at the time left and I'm able to push it and go.  I need to carry that over in races.  To ignore that first voice asking me to back off.  To acknowledge that voice, but to trust in my body and spirit and the feats that I may be capable of.  I'm going to get back on eating better (more frequently, smaller portions, better food), working out to get the rest of my body back up, and riding.  This is where I'm jumping off my "training plan" because I can't see being off the bike so much is helpful.  I'm not talking about long hard rides, but I need to get my tires in the dirt.  I need to stay sharp, continue working on my handling, keeping my eyes up the trail and working on getting the hell out of my own head out there on the trail.

So 17th out of 18.  That is fine.  It's the motivation I needed to make the real choice - no excuses, time to do this for real.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I'm back.  Had a quick impromptu trip back up to CT with my brother.  He's been staying with us here in Charlotte and has decided to extend his stay (which we are excited about) so we flew up to get his car.

When did they start serving peanuts on planes again??  Maybe it's just some airlines, but for the past few years I haven't seen peanuts as an option.  We flew Delta, and the peanuts were back!!  All I was missing was a pair of plastic wings!!

We had a layover in Cincinnati and man was it cold as we exited the plane!!  I haven't felt that kinda cold in a long ass time!!  We got into CT, slept, packed up the car and headed out the next day.  I drove the whole way, but it was a quick drive as traffic was just amazingly awesome.

Yesterday was a bit of a recoup day from the travels, so today I'll be back on the trainer hammering away.

Last week's race was a bit of a suck-fest for me.  I wasn't feeling the greatest when I got up in the morning, but the race format and proximity of the course made it an impossibility for me to skip, so I raced.  The course stood up fine to all the rain we had had... but the grass section was a different story.  It was a soggy mess that just sucked all energy from your wheels.  But, I can't complain, all riders faced the same conditions.  My physical condition was just shot and my performance showed it for sure.

In the first race Annie had mentioned how good I looked throughout the race... this past week she noted that you could definitely tell I was suffering.  Yeah....

Well, for all the suffering got some good pictures to show for it.

These first three are from a photographer that I saw posted up on the course.  I saw he had picked some pretty neat spots so I was curious as to what the outcome would be.  Luckily, he posted his pictures up on the local forum.

And then I was lucky enough to have a little extra cheering out there from the Mutt.  It helps to hear some positives (or even some friendly heckling) while you are out there "enjoying" the race.

Already feeling the hurt

coming back to the start/finish - time to pick it up!
courtesy of team B-43
Annie's shot - looks like I have a Ray Allen snarl going on.

This week I only hit the jump twice, as opposed to hitting it every lap but one the first week.  The first jump was when I saw Chris (Mutt) out there taking pictures.  And the next lap (or the lap after that) Annie was there to capture it.

So, we'll see how this week goes... I suppose it can't get any worse (fingers crossed).

Friday, January 18, 2013


Media Fridays
We'll post videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

Last night we were out in Hickory at a German restaurant for a birthday dinner and our waiter informed us that the local schools had already called a 3 hour delay because of the impending storm.  When I had checked the weather it called for snow, but temps wouldn't dip below 32... so that means no accumulation.  

Sure it snowed on the drive back to Charlotte, but by the time we got back there was no signs of snow... ah, "winter" in the south.  All the rain and wetness we've been having makes me kinda miss the snow - at least you can ride in it!!

Foxboro, how I miss thee.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Riding the trainer is pretty boring... but at least I'm in a garage now so I can have the door open - so it's kinda like riding outside.  Even though interval training is brutal, it kinda gives me hope that if I can push and make it through the intervals of my program then I can find it in me to keep pushing in this week's race.

Although, the weather has been bogus, and looks like more rain tomorrow, so who knows when I'll actually get to ride outside.  The weekend looks great though.  See you out on the course.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Riding the trainer is hard enough when it is nasty, cold, and dark out.  (Actually, I have to admit that I didn't really mind riding the trainer and following along with my DVD)  But, in a place where the weather (and light) has been so nice it's hard to imagine climbing on a trainer at all!!

Of course, a trainer allows for interval training that isn't always easy to replicate in the wild.  But, I find myself with rainy weather, the HiFi getting a little extra love at the LBS, and the need to inject some more power into these legs and lungs... so I guess it's the "perfect" time to jump back into a training/trainer regimen.

This year Sean has hooked me up with his workout, sketched from a workout a coach had drawn up for him a few years back.  Normally I would just follow along with one of my Carmichael training videos, but I have no problem trying out Sean's program.  Plus, with the garmins I'll be able to program in the time intervals and have the little bastard beep at me to let me know what I should be doing (I hope?).  As it's Wednesday already, it's time to get up on the trainer for some nice suffering.  Fun times indeed.  Although I'll be hating my life on the trainer, I will just have to stay focused that this will pay off on the trial.

I had planned on hitting big road rides on Wednesdays anyway, so I guess this will be a perfect substitute, although... nothing is a perfect substitute when it comes to the benefits that actually riding has on your soul.  I have to admit though, so far this week I feel like I'm behind the ball in terms of riding.  The plan called for an easy spin Monday (recovery from the race) and then no riding (workout instead) on Tuesday...  I'll follow the plan and see how things go, but I am jonesing for a real ride... maybe if I get my workout today in early enough I can get some real riding in as well... although I think it might have to be asphalt and not dirt - boo.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One Down (late edition)

The first in the winter short track series is in the books... the virtual books.  Results were posted up yesterday.  I already knew my results of course, but now they are up for public consumption.  One VERY cool feature of the results is that they are posted in three ways.  Broken down by laps, team names, and lap times.  Very fun to look through/anguish over.

So how did my race go?  Good and not so good.

"posing" for a picture on the first lap

The good...  I started off the front and went into the single track toward the front (probably about 6th or so) in a field of 25.  Coming through the start/finish after lap one I was in 4th.  It was a slow slide/yo-yo from there.  The singletrack was tight and didn't allow for much passing, so it was mostly coasting behind a rider (and enjoying the time to rest), and then climbing out and onto the gravel road.  There was a grass section added that totally sapped whatever "speed" you might have had on the front end of the gravel grind... through the grass, a short up with a sharp switchback before meeting back up with some gravel.  This section at least provided some respite as it was a slight downhill back to the original gravel road.  As this was a "surprise" addition, the transition back to the original gravel road was loose as all hell with no defined lines.  So speed had to be checked and lines experimented with.  I determined a wider approach was best to allow for the most speed carried and put me in a pretty decent position to drop the hammer back up to the parking lot.

And drop the hammer I did.  I actually felt guilty by my performance in this section of the course.  Each lap it seemed that I was able to repass most anyone who passed me in the grass section once we got back to the gravel road.  I felt like I was riding like a roadie... slower on the first section of climb and grass, and super fast on the second half of the gravel.... but such is the design of the course.

I felt pretty strong for the first half of the race.  A group squeaked by on the third lap (I think) and the field ahead of us started becoming a bigger factor as we were working out way through.  Getting stuck behind the "wrong" rider through the singletrack could prove fatal.

The not so good...  With two laps left I was losing gas when it came to the first section of the gravel road, and I had to pull to the side to let faster riders go.  Luckily, by now there weren't that many behind me and I was in a group that I was able to let go in the grass, and catch again in the climb to the parking lot.  So I still had hope to at least take the lead of my little group.  As the call came out that it would be our last lap I was wondering if I could pull it out after the singletrack.

As I hit the boulder before the gravel I knew I didn't have it in my legs.  I slowly worked up to the grass.  A rider passed me heading into the grass and I noticed he was spinning out in his granny ring.  I looked down and I was nowhere near granny and wondered if my downfall had been in not effectively using my gears....  it was too late to really examine that aspect of the race now... I did drop a gear or two to hang on him through the grass and as soon as tires hit gravel I got on it.  There were two riders a few seconds ahead and now strategy flooded my head....

I knew I could hit it and catch them before the parking lot, but would that leave me nothing for the final sprint??  Did they have anything left for a final sprint??  Would catching them now give me a better chance??  All this thinking left my body in limbo.  I didn't put it all out there on the gravel and I halved the gap before hitting the parking lot.

As they cleared the final turn they hit it in an all out drag race with each other.  I put my head down and gave it all I had.  I knew at this point I wasn't catching them but I wanted to put in my best to hold onto them at the finish.

I ended up 1.5 seconds behind the two in front of me.

After the race I rode up to one of the riders finishing in front of me and congratulated him on a good race and thanked him for keeping me going.  We had been going back and forth through most of the race.  For whatever reason I had picked him as the rider to not let get away.  So anytime I saw him get by I made sure he didn't get far.  He also had a cheering section out on the course.  They were camped in the grass for the most part and it was a great indicator for myself as to how far I was ahead of him, the times I was leading him, as they would rattle the cowbell and yell for him when he entered the grass.

Overall, I'm feeling good about the series.  My fitness will (hopefully) only improve throughout the series and I won't fade as early or as hard.  I can rely more on bike handling skills and speed/finesse through the singletrack to recover and really work the climb and gravel/grass.  And now with the results of the first race I can start looking at who I should pick next to battle to the finish... hopefully I can find myself climbing through the ranks before the end of the series.

I think I mentioned it before, but I don't know if I made a formal announcement... but I am racing for a team(which you can see over there in the left column), which has already paid off.  I'm racing on team Velo 16 Blood Sweat Gears - based out for Blood Sweat Gears Cycle & Skate shop in Denver, NC.  While warming up for my race I noticed a bit of brake drag on my front wheel... having a team (tent, bike stand, and all) there made the necessary adjustment an easy one.  I'm still getting to know the guys as I was only officially added just last week.  I had to wear a jersey from last year for the race, and let's just say it was a tad snug.  Hopefully I'll get this years kit sooner then later.

crossing the finish
What else is new for this years racing... I got a "new haircut" for the series.  Sorry for the late post, but I wanted to wait to get the pictures from my brother before posting.

Less facial hair equals faster rider??

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's always something

On Thursday, with the first race of the winter short track series coming up, I switched out my tires for a sleeker "race tire."  Prior to upgrading to the Stan's Arch EX I had, for a short period, run these tires on the Bontrager rims that came stock on the HiFi.  For some reason, they were SUPER tight on the Archs.  Like, so tight you need to use a tire lever to GET THEM ON tight.  Pain in the ass.

As a result I gouged my finger with the tire lever as I was trying to muscle the tire on.

It's one of those small annoying injuries that you constantly knock against this and that causing unnecessary pain.  Bleh.  But, on the positive, I found out that Annie's new wireless speaker works all the way out in the Bike Haven.  (So, that means the wifi reaches at least that far...)

Look ma, no wires!  And music from all the way in the house out here!!

Annie was happy to hear about the performance, but "suggested" that maybe I get my own.

While we are talking about tinkering on the bike... check out what I MacGyvered for my cue sheet on Georgia.

I repurposed a reflector bracket to hold a clip, which will then holds cue sheets.  Works decent enough and it was "free."  (brackets coming from purchased bikes of course, and the clip... well maybe that was "borrowed" from work or something...)

Oh, and what about the tires??  With such a tight fit they set right up on the rims lickity split.  I drove over to the short track to make sure that I was making the right choice... and they were fine indeed.  I will have to play with air pressure though as I think I can get lower than what I'm currently riding (about 27psi) which will only add to traction on the berms and whatnot.

I'll get into race details tomorrow though.

Side note, I washed my bike on Saturday in preparation for the race and I used Pedros Green Fizz... stuff is AMAZING!!!

For someone who is pretty lazy with washing my bike (main focus usually stays with the drivetrain) this made cleaning a pleasure!!  It's kinda nice to have a sparkly bike!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

go speed racer

Media Fridays
We'll post videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

Well, I thought I'd give all you out there in cyberland an idea of what the short track looks like.  Of course, conditions will be much nicer this weekend then in the video.  

I'm psyched.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013


This year I've adopted a new mantra.

In the past my mantra had been much more vulgar and used in a variety of riding situations... whether it was directed at myself for sandbagging or trail features for besting me... and that was a classic "F U."

This year I'm focusing my energy to be a bit more constructive towards myself.  And my mantra is "stay on top."  That is in no reference to the podium (although that would be nice...) but instead staying on top of my pedaling, cadence, effort, etc.

It has become quite apparent that it is MUCH easier to conquer trail features and inclines if you just stay on top of your ride, keep up your momentum, and keep the damn cranks going!!  Push a little harder, feel that burn rather than sit back and drop a bunch of gears until you are spinning your brains out up a hill.

The moment you let doubt creep in your cranks slow, you grab too much brakes, and things just get harder.

I'm going to "stay on top" of the trail, eye scanning ahead, pedals moving (when applicable) and confidence high.  So, when it feels like I'm pulling my feet out of mud I remind myself to "stay on top" and instantly the focus of my pedaling shifts.  I'm quickly invigorated and my pedal strokes smooth out as I work circularly and efficiently.

This weekend I imagine I'll be reminding myself to "stay on top" lap after lap on the gravel road grind that ends each lap.  And, I will do so with a smile.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

THE build(up)

Ok... so it's not there, but it's getting there.

Over the holidays I was able to acquire some more stuff for the One9.  Due to snow storms, and orders after Christmas it took a bit for everything (so far) to come in... it's in.  And I'm more excited than ever.

So, without further ado, enjoy the part show.

The first to come in:

Maggie was psyched to see what it was

32t stainless steel crank and ss bolts
Kermit green Reynolds rigid steel Niner fork

Yup, it's a match!

Next to arrive:

Fresh white grips and a carbon seatpost

with ridges - for her your pleasure

And then the wait......  

While I waited I did a little tinkering... and now that I just took a picture I might have to make an adjustment.

The "Surly" is at the top of the picture... with SRAM being upside down.  The anal perfectionist (which comes out at odd times) wants to take it off and put it back on so the Surly and SRAM can be read at the same time...  ugh!

And finally, Ritchey got it's ass in gear and I got:

The cockpit

4-axis comp stem (100)

Carbon WCS... insanely light (620mm)

And then this happened...

pretty snazzy

 So what's left?

Plan is:
Cane Creek 110 headset (black likely).
Avid Elixir 5 in white (although I've seen some great deals on the 7 in carbon...) (180 up front/160 in the rear)
Wheels...  I'm looking and thinking and weighing options, but likely will end up with Stan's Arch EX (white) with Stan's singlespeed hub.
Tires will be likely Ardent up front and Ignitor in the rear.
Then we got chain and cog (still have to figure out what size to start out with around here) and we should be good to go!

Saddle, I'll either grab the Selle Italia off the HiFi or use (for the time being) the take off from the HiFi.
Pedals will be off the 4300 - Shimano M540s
(Both os these items will be upgraded later as/if needed)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

balls to business

Yesterday I noticed my post was getting a ridiculous (for me) number of hits.  Apparently I was getting huge traffic from  Must have been the sack tear label I threw on the post... cause, nothing markets a new product better then a sack tear, right?

It's January and a race series starts this weekend... any other New Englanders wanna move to Charlotte yet?  I can't believe it... and the predicted weather for the weekend?

January suckers

I know, I know.  It's way to far away for any sort of accuracy, but DAMN!

I rode over to the short track today and did a few laps since there had been some maintenance done on the track this weekend.  They added two berms, smoothed out the creek crossing, and reinstituted a jump that had been downgraded to a speed hump.

I definitely appreciate the berms.  I hadn't noticed a need to do anything to the creek crossing, but then again, I'm riding a full suspension 29er.  So I'll take it with a smile.  The new jump... I actually liked the dilapidated state it was previously in as it didn't shoot you skyward but allowed for a full speed rollover and pump down the back side.  Now, it's either hit the go around to the left or grab air.  For such a short and fast race, I'm not sure hitting air is the way to go... but maybe, just maybe for the spectators I'll hit it during (at least) one of the laps.

I'm feeling ok about the race.  Certainly not in race condition at this point, but this will be what I need to get back on it.  Looking at my garmin data my lap times are respectable when compared to last years results.  Although, I didn't run a full 8 laps in a row... but still.  I feel ok out there.  I just hope I can contain the adrenaline off the start and not blow up, or kill myself, early on in the race.

I also enjoyed riding out to the trail.  Gave me a ton more miles than I could have gotten riding there - without loosing my mind on repeat cycle to gain miles.  So I think this will be a permanent commutable trail for me.  On the ride over and back the sound of my knobbies humming on the pavement really brought me back to being a kid again, it was kinda neat.

Now for the big question... will sack tear bring on a repeat performance of site visits?  Sack tear, sack tear, sack tear.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Impressions of Uwharrie:

When it's singletrack, it's SWEET!

When it's not... why can't there be more singletrack here??

Could certainly use (and easily provide) more miles.  Sure you can just do multiple laps, but that's the point of driving away from Charlotte, get to forests that will allow for longer rides without riding in circles again and again.

Funny/awesome thing is that a survey was just posted up (after my ride) on the local forums regarding Uwharrie's trail use.  It appears plans are in the works to add more mountain bike accessible trails there.  It's like someone read my mind!!  My vote?  Yes, of course!

Crazy thing about Uwharrie is the trails were so packed it was like riding on slick rock the whole time.

Break down of my ride/route.  I basically followed the suggested (via many intranet sites) that one should ride Keyauwee counterclockwise and Supertree clockwise.

So, from the parking area at the Wood Run trailhead I rode the forest road a short bit until you come up on the singletrack connector.  Great little intro to the area.  Some fast singletrack with the occassional rock groupings thrown in and an optional big rock section.  This is where the "fun" happened on the way back to the pterodactyl, but I'll get into that later.  The connector dumps out into the Wood Run Camp area, which consists of primitive sites and a glorified port-a-potty.  From here you can access Keyauwee, Supertree, or continue on Wood Run (which is a gravel fire road).

In order to ride Keyauwee counterclockwise and Supertree clockwise I had to first ride up Wood Run to start each trail at the "top."  So up Wood Run I went, and busted a left onto Keyauwee.  Apparently the tread here had recently been plowed (as in plowing a field, plowed) and you could tell.  It wasn't as bad as the complaints when it first happened, but there were certainly grooves in the trail.  But over time it was packed enough to not be soft or super annoying.  Once I got through that section the singletrack came around and boy was it fun!!  After the entire run I wasn't 100% sold that it was best to ride the trail in a counterclockwise fashion.  Sure, there may have been slightly more downhill in this way, it seemed to me like anything I had to climb would be just as fun in the opposite direction.  So, plan for next time is to ride Keyauwee clockwise from Wood Run Camp, take Supertree clockwise back to camp, and then up Wood Run to hit Keyauwee counterclockwise.  Basically, I'm thinking that whichever way you hit Keyauwee will be a blast.

So, back up Wood Run I rode to hit up Supertree clockwise.  Supertree was MUCH less exciting.  Very short stint of quality singletrack.  Mostly fire road that had been pared down to one visible trail, but in the clockwise direction it was fast and mostly pointing down.  In all reality, it may be part of the system out there that eventually gets ignored on future visits.

After both loops I wanted more miles and my sense of adventure was back.  I LOVE being able to "choose your own adventure" on mountain bike rides, something I get little of on the local trails here.  So it was time to continue the ride up Wood Run and see where it went.  Oh, I forgot to mention, I passed a section that was apparently set aside for Vampires.

If you watch True Blood, you'd know.
Well, anyway, Wood Run goes nowhere special really.  Eventually it peters out into old forest roads that had been reclaimed by the forest.  I did come across the oddest thing towards the end of the trail... plowed fields...

So, remember the "fun" I promised in the beginning?  Well, I was on the way back to the trailhead zipping along on the connector singletrack and I was coming up on the optional rock section, of course I was hitting it again.  I aptly tackled the first section but poor line selection had me running directly into the tallest, steepest section of the next rock... I didn't feel I was going to clear it cleanly so I stopped.  Here comes the fun!

What I MEANT to do was lean to my right, the uphill side of things.  Instead, gravity won and pulled me to the left, downhill... so my unclipped foot had nothing to do except hangout as my brain understood what was coming next.  I was falling over at a complete stop.  Next is a blur of trying to deny this was happening, stopping the inevitable fall, acceptance of the fall, and engagement of catlike reflexes in an attempt to diminish the injuries to follow.  In the thick cover of leaves it was hard to see exactly how rocky the ground would be, except on giant jutting rock headed towards my hip/thigh region.  

There was nothing I could do except shift focus to ensure no head injuries would follow... so BLAM I took a rock to my meaty ass.  Pain coursed through but all I could do was to thank my lucky stars that it wasn't my hip making contact with the rock (and appreciating the fact that I do have one meaty ass to absorb such a blow).  I forgot to mention that it was colder than I had expected on my ride (and little creek crossings and puddle hopping left me a bit colder than I would have liked....  the cold also left me wondering if I had torn my sack on the spill.  I know, crude and odd, but I swear it felt like I had torn my sack.  I was too scared to check on the trail - what would I do at that point anyway??  I figured my bibs were holding (fingers crossed) everything together.  So I waited until I got to the trailhead to peek.  SIGH - the boys were fine.

In the long run, I came out pretty good; just one, very large, very nasty, bruise in a place I will not share here.  Although, as I was loading up my gear I noticed I was missing my trail pump.  I walked/ran back up the connector to the site of the "crash" but couldn't find my pump anywhere.  No idea where I lost it, and I'm kinda bummed because it was a good little pump (although I never had to use it out on the trail, so who knows, maybe it sucked?)

Friday, January 4, 2013


Media Fridays
We'll post videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

This video solidified resolve to get in a trip to Uwharrie last week.  I'll let you enjoy the video today and share my experiences next week.  

Oh, and you'll even learn some factoids thanks to Sir Bikes A Lot.  Enjoy, and have a ride filled weekend! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It's a new year.

A lot of people have/are doing year in review deals.

I'm not.
I've also noticed that a lot of people on the facebook have done "2012 had it's ups and downs but looking forward to 2013" type updates.

What's up with that?

2012 was a big year in a lot of ways - not necessarily in the bike realm for me.

But, there is no time to look back, considering my first race of 2013 is in two weeks A WEEK!!  See, it's already sneaking up on me!  Having a winter series to race also means that this will be my biggest year racing yet (as determined by number of races... hopefully in performance as well, but we shall see).  So I'm "excited."  Not thrilled with where I am physically for the races, but hey, it will be a kick in the pants to get my training on I suppose.

I'm excited to race this year.  I'm also excited because the One9 is slowly coming together.  That's right, I've acquired some bits for the build.  I'm still waiting on one more package, so details will likely be leaked next week.  I won't have it running for the winter series probably, at least the start... and thus, won't likely race it even if it is up and running during the series.

Anyway, new year, odometer is reset, time to start grinding away those miles!