Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WV bound

With the chaos going on and the lack of consistent posting I don't believe I mentioned I wrecked on the Meuse heading back from the April Birthday Pub Crawl Ride - TheMutt talked about it here, so catch up.

So, after I left the group I came upon a car sitting oddly in the middle of a side street.  There were cars parked on both sides of the street, and this car was just sitting there, kinda crooked.  As I approached I could see through the headlights that the rear passenger side door was open - ok, they are dropping someone off.  As I am passing the car on the right I see at the last minute that the individual who had been dropped off was now circling around the back of the car and apparently not looking.  I yelled out, but it was too late - they stepped out right in front of me.  BAM!

I go a tumbling, the Silk Worm gut punches the individual (who drops his briefcase) and my light goes skidding.  I jump up pissed.  Who doesn't look before crossing a street?  I'm greeted with "What the F??"  Oh, we are playing that game?  "What the F, man?  I had a F'n head lamp on.  You didn't see me??"  Some bystander yells out to see if we are ok during our exchange.  I pick up my light and reattach it to my handlebars, he picks up his papers... important papers man.

Bystander yells out again, and we both answer simultaneously that we are ok.  The individual promptly gets into his car as I look over my bike.  Whoever was dropping off the individual had turned around by now and pulls up to see if I'm ok.  "Yeah, I'm ok.  That F'n guy didn't even look before he stepped out in front of me."  The individual pulls off... so I guess we are done here, and I head home.

Other than angry feels, I did get a boo boo.

Poor me.

So now that we are caught up, er almost.  The next time I took the Silk Worm out for a ride I noticed a wobble in the rear wheel... because of the crash.  Damnit!  So back to the present/future.  I brought said wobbly rear wheel with me to work today to get trued as Annie and I head to her homeland (Morgantown, WV) this weekend for her Birthday.  There is a crazy gravel ride up in them there hills, you may have heard about it??  The Hilly Billly Roubaix??    It's all insane and whatnot... but that's what I got the Silk Worm for in the first place, right?  Perhaps I will preview the course... but first I'm thinking I need to address the gearing on that beast before we head out there!

So that was a mess of past/present/future that held some thread of congruence.  Whatever... at least you know there will likely be some entertaining suffer stories when I return from Western Virginia.

Monday, April 28, 2014


After a long week I was looking forward to sleeping on Saturday.  Until plans changed.

Friday evening Annie mentioned that she had to do a new staff hire up at the Lake Norman Y.  I decided to forgo my slumber to offer to drive Annie up there... and to ride Lake Norman.  Annie wasn't sure how long she would take, which was fine with me as Lake Norman offers up around 30 miles of trail, so I could keep myself busy.

It wasn't until I hit the trail that it dawned on me.  This was the first time I'd been out to Lake Norman in 2014... absolutely crazy.  Every year Lake Norman changes direction, so Saturday's ride was like a whole new experience.  I started out on the Laurel side of things (as I normally do) and right from the start the ride experience was different.  In the odd years you seem to get a longer warm up period into the trail, on the evens it's a quicker introduction to climbing.  No matter.  Even though I prefer the odd year direction, I still had a good time out there.

The trails were in amazing shape.  I did stop a couple time to clear a small tree that was hanging over the trail and some branch debris.  Going in the even direction I was able to clear everything, so I guess that's a plus for this direction (there is one steep washout after a creek crossing that I haven't yet cleared in the odd direction).  The temperature was perfect, and life was coming back to the forest as bright green exploded everywhere!  It was great to be outside.

My ride was good overall.  Two things kept it from being an amazing ride.  My damn seatpost kept slipping.  Whenever I'd get it back up to proper height it seemed as if I got a boost of energy as spinning was a more perfect/easy motion.  As it progressively slid down I'd start to feel like I was riding a BMX bike and my knees would eventually let me know about it.  I've really got to get on fixing that...  Step 1 - carbon paste.  If that doesn't work Step 2 is to get a new damn seatpost - maybe white.  The other issue was an issue of neglect - lack of fuel.  I had a pop tart on the drive up.  That was all for the day.  I did have a clif bar and gummy worms with me, but of course I didn't eat anything while out on the trail...

As I was getting close to finishing up the first side of Lake Norman I got a text from Annie.  I pushed on to the parking lot before checking, she was done early.  By that point I was starving and totally on board going to get something to eat so I cut out before hitting the other side of Lake Norman.

Sunday I was consumed with random chores.  It was nice out, but it had me sweating my balls off all day.  By the time I could have skipped out for a quick road ride I was too hot to even think about it.  Instead I got to ride the trainer and sweat a couple more pounds off - yay.

Rain is coming today and tomorrow it seems... the rain has got to stop, but I guess I'll let it slide if the weekends continue to kick ass like it did this weekend.        

Friday, April 25, 2014

Your media

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

Here is your chance to make great bike beer film and win a chance to brew with the big boys.  I've got some ideas rolling around in my head to team up with TheMutt (since he's a beer brewing fellow) and put something together.  Will it happen?  Yo, I don't know.  But it's in idea phase currently.

Since we do focus on bikes around here, and your video prolly should be bike centered (even though the contest is about beer) here are some helpful hints for making a great video. 

Or just go out and ride like you were being filmed and reward yourself with a nice beverage of your choice afterwards... that works as well!!  Personally, I can't WAIT to sleep in tomorrow.  But either way, enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Who has time?

I had every intention of posting yesterday, but I guess my 13 hour day got in the way. Ok, so maybe it was really an 11.25 hour day capped of with a sneak preview of the school musical - keeping me at work for a total of 13 hours.

It was dark out - so I "stole" this
picture from the internerds
Annie did come up for the performance as well, so that was cool. We went out to eat afterwards to a Mexican joint down the road from our house that I have been meaning to go to since we first visited Charlotte, Three Amigos.  Since I was starving I ordered something called yaroa. A Dominican street food, aka loaded cheese fries with ketchup, mayo, and chicken (or beef). 

After stuffing my face, we left with mucho leftovers and headed home, at 10:30ish - waaay after my bedtime!  It looked like it would be my first day in April without riding...

F that!

Before squeezing in our recorded episode of survivor (guilty pleasure) I hoped on the trainer for a quick .5 mile spin. I actually went .52 because I hit the wrong button when I meant to stop, so I guess that's a win?

Today will be a bit less hectic, but only by a smidge. The end of the year is coming and we are dealing with course selections for next year so let the chaos ensue!  Oh, the pterodactyl is going in today - it no longer starts because the clutch won't engage the starter switch.  Funny how I told them this was an issue last time I was at the dealer but since they couldn't replicate the intermittent problem and they had never heard of the starter switch going bad...  nothing was done.  Luckily the pterodactyl is super badass and has the Off Road package so it comes equipped with a clutch start bypass button, you know, for when you stall out climbing the side of a cliff and you just CAN'T risk sliding backwards when you start. I'd never needed this function before but thankfully I have it (if I didn't I don't see how I would have been able to get out of my driveway without calling a tow truck - I think the pterodactyl is just a little too big to push uphill).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


One of the ways that I have been able to ride everyday is by using my bike to run errands.  This has always been the plan - to build up a grocery getter - since there is a Teeter about a mile away from my house, but it hasn't been until now that I've done so.  I haven't really gotten groceries thus far - more so beer runs and a few things here and there.  BUT, it has proven that it is something I should be doing for real.  There is no real reason to drive to the grocery store (provided I have the appropriate gear to carry groceries).

A couple of times during the 30 Days of Biking I have felt like these short rides have been "cheating," but in reality, it isn't.  Riding my bike for fun and as a means of transportation are both equally valid uses of my bike.  I've always wanted to be able to commute by bike, and since that isn't a reality (at this point) then I might as well start riding for other reasons when I can.

With the 4300 gone, I guess that means I need to start looking at getting Old Blue up and running.

Monday, April 21, 2014

not a great start

Last week.  Built some shelves, rode some bikes, pretty decent week off I suppose.  Except for the rain.  Lots o' rain.

Last night.  Crazy anxiety riddled dream where I was trying to survive in a world where undead/vampire/werewolf type people were among us but you couldn't tell who was "good" or "bad" so I was trying to decipher who I could trust, and who I had to try to get away from/kill.  So I woke up from a fitful night not feeling too excited about going to work.  Then again, when am I ever excited about going to work after a break?

I pull the vertical shed I bought over the weekend at Home Depot out of the pterodactyl single handedly.  Push it down the driveway into the backyard.  The pterodactyl won't start.  No matter how I push the clutch in - nothing.  The radio and all that jazz comes on, but it won't turn over.  Almost leave in Annie's go-kart when I realize I don't have my keys for work (always in the pterodactyl do I don't forget them) so I grab then and leave.

Bright side.  I DIDN'T forget my keys and actually got to work early.

Downer.  More rain coming.

I don't have it in me for more.  Tomorrow I will talk about some good experiences and some bad experiences I had riding last week.  For those in Massachusetts, enjoy the day off and watch the marathon, or better yet go ride your bike equal to or greater than the marathon (distance or time, rider's choice).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

vacation sleeping

Wow did I sleep in today!!

Thought about not posting today, but then I saw this!!

How that got to be in the group of rotating mountain bike pictures on the home page for the Tarheel Trailblazers' website I have no idea.  But it was funny enough to share.  So there you have it.

Since I'm here, let's get a quick update on how I'm doing with 30 Days of Biking.  I've ridden everyday.  Most rides are pretty legit.  I have done a few quick around the neighborhood rides, which I'm not super proud of, but hey - I try to get in at least 10 miles on those...  Friday I traveled up to the campsite straight from work.  I had hoped that we would ride our bikes down to The Hub, thus killing two bees with one stone - bikes and beers.  But nope.  As soon as I arrived we hoped in vehicles and drove over.  So it was up to me to do a quick loop around the campsite (not campground) in order to get my 30 seconds of biking in.  

That was by far my worst "riding" this April.  Monday, my first day of April break, I planned on some city riding/greenway riding to just get my legs going after the weekend.  Predicted rain kept me hemming and hawing about route, and crappy movies/shows on TV kept me on the couch.  Eventually Annie came home (early) and knew that I would be not happy with myself if I didn't get out for a decent ride.  She decided for me.  Sherman Branch.  

It wasn't a greenway ride, but Annie made the decision and got the ball rolling for me so I went for it.  I left the 20 on the Glow Worm and went for a ride.  My damn seat post kept sliding down on me after having dropped it when I headed down Black Mountian.  This seat post slippage has been a pain in my ass for way too long.  I stopped 3 times to adjust it on my ride on Monday.  Stopped 3 times and still got my fastest time out there.  So that means a couple things happened on that ride.  

I tried to hard for a ride that was originally going to be an easy greenway ride.

I haven't ridden out there hard enough.

I've gotten stronger/faster.

I'll accept all three of those I suppose.  

Tuesday was supposed to be our social ride, but the rain shut it down.  We were going to do an urban version, but life shut that down for a couple people so I officially shut it down.  That left me building shelves with no ride plan.  Before it got dark I hoped on the Silk Worm (Meuse) and headed over to the CM for some provisions.  

What will I do today, who knows.  It looks nice out, but I know the trails are a mess.  I think it's going to be cooler today than it has been (60s, nope, just checked - 50s) so maybe today will be an aimless city/greenway ride.  But first, I have to be lazy a little bit more - I'm on break!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The riding

Saturday the plan was to hit DuPont.  As we gathered in the practically empty parking lot (which was completely incomprehensible that more people wouldn't be out in such a perfect day) talks about the route started.  One route was mentioned and everyone seemed happy to jump on board with it so we hit the trails as one big group.  We had done the same route on a previous trip, so I was pretty familiar with where we were going.  The trails were great, if not a little dry.  We stopped to check out the water falls and cemetery and whatnot.  But I was bummed that my butterflies - although visiting with us as we rode, were not out en masse to great me like last time.

Perhaps they were frightened the legend of my capture of their king on my last visit?

Thanks to TheMutt for putting his life in danger to capture this epic battle National Geographic style.

While out on that very same rock a singular blue butterfly did come out from the trees and landed on my arm.  Unfortunately I did not have my phone with me to document some actual Butterfly Kingness.  We continued on and finished down Ridgeline - where everyone had a blast!!

The groups broke up here.  Some headed into town to grab some lunch, while others were itching to ride some more.  A bunch of riders headed to the other side of DuPont to get some more riding in, and a small group of us decided Ridgeline needed another go.  We climbed up Jim Branch where Good Guy Greg nearly cleaned the bottom rock section twice.  Ending, again, on Ridgeline is about the best way to cap off a ride out there.

Sunday Tom Tom was headed out to meet some fast guys, I immediately excluded myself from that group as I only brought a 20 out for the weekend - great for DuPont, not so great (depending) on your route in Pisgah.  PLUS I was fully rigid, which can also suck depending on your descent in Pisgah.  Even the route that TheMutt was talking about had me wondering if I would skip the ride and hit up a trail on the way home myself.  I finally just sucked it up and joined the clawhammer/black mountain/thrift cove ride.  I figured I'd be ok on the climbing, it was fast descending over rocky roots goodness that would have my hands and arms screaming.  

I kinda enjoyed the climbing, although I'm sure much of the group did not enjoy the fact that I had to push the pace a little bit in order to stay comfortably on top of my gearing.  We stopped at the crest of every climb (pr at intersections) to regroup anyway.  We weren't out there for speed, but for fun.  But it was a good group of riders so we kept things going pretty well.  We climbed for a long time... over 6 miles by the time we got to the very top.  

Little Miss Sunshine finishing the last bit of climbing before it was all mostly downhill from there.

The first section of Black was filled with rocks, roots, and drops.  So that part actually wasn't too bad on me as speeds weren't excessive.  I did have to walk a couple as this was my first time on this decent and I didn't want to get in over my head on some of the drops without suspension.  But I enjoyed the technical challenge of picking lines and trying to ride as much as I could.  We regrouped briefly and Good Guy Greg asked me how my arms were doing.  I explained that I was feeling good, but when things are fast and rocky/rooty (Like Heartbreak is), that is when the chatter starts getting to me - so thankfully the trail wasn't like.  And... I seemingly spoke to early, the next section of Black was exactly that - fast.  Luckily it wasn't covered with leaved like Heartbreak had been when I rode it, so I could actually see and prepare for the rocks and roots I'd be hitting.  But I was thankful to hit the intersection with Thrift Cove.  Thrift cove would be a wide open and faster decent than continuing on with Black.  We enjoyed the speeds, but had to be mindful to check around blind corners as we had met two groups of riders climbing the trail towards the top.  

TheMutt was leading the way and I heard his bell ringing as we came around a corner.  Good Guy Greg was splitting a couple so I slowed up as much as I could without skidding out (we were flying).  The guy was on the left side of the trail facing the rock wall (peeing I presumed) the woman had left their yellow bag in the very middle of the trail, and she was standing on the right side of the trail eating trail mix it seemed.  A very odd scene indeed.  I said "how are you?" as I passed and let back off the brakes to try to catch back up.  The rest of the trail was uneventful - if you consider nice kickers, berms, and speed uneventful!!  It was a blast.  

Again, a great way to end a ride - and another perfect example of the magic of mountain biking.  Even after climbing for over 6 miles but the time we were back down I had forgotten all about the climbing and was ready for more!!  (clearer heads prevailed and we did not further torture our legs that day)

As we regrouped at the bottom, the rest of the crew informed us by the time they passed the couple the guy was full on squatting... VERY interested spot to choose to poop.  I'd say OFF the trail in some brush might just be a better choice for all involved, but hey, that's just me!

Great day indeed!!  We hit up a local Mexican place to eat and then we disbanded back to Charlotte.  I would also like to mention that breakfast and dinner was provided for us by the Trailblazers on Saturday, and breakfast again on Sunday.  I managed to snake a turkey and cheese sammich from TheMutt at DuPont (I had planned on a gummy worm/clif bar and beer lunch myself) so food wise I was pretty much set all weekend!  

If you are local, I'd strongly recommend that you consider joining us on our next camping trip - it was a great time all around!  


Monday, April 14, 2014

Frantic Friday

Friday I was to head out to the mountains for the Tarheel Trailblazers camping/riding trip right after work.  I also wanted to pick up a few "add ons" to my camping gear before heading out so I found a little time to sneak out to hit up REI during my lunch.  This weekend was going to be my first opportunity for a real testing of my new Hennessy Hammock.  Unfortunately, they didn't have what I was looking for - some climbing rings to make up setting up even faster than it already it.

Friday was extremely busy and I was pushing to get out as fast as I could, but I had a few last minute things to tie up before I could hit the road.  I was passing The Hub on the way to the campsite and wasn't sure if I should stop there first as TheMutt had arranged a special after hours gathering there for us.  I decided to hit up the campground first, maybe get set up and meet up with everyone.  As I pulled into the site people were heading out... so I left my gear and went with the group.

What could be better than bikes and beers under the same roof?

Nothing.  Nothing could be better.

We enjoyed a couple beverage, and we even did a little shopping. I got myself a very nice and light sleeping pad in preparation for some Appalachian Trail hiking.  It will not only help insulate me in the hammock, but will provide comfort if I do sleep in any shelters along the way.

We got back to camp and darkness had fallen, so I got to set up in the dark.  It added a little challenge to the quick and easy set up, but I still managed to get everything in order before joining the group around the fire.  I was greater by a piece of birthday cake as one of our crew was celebrating, well, their birthday!

The weekend had just started but it was already looking really good - bikes, beers, and meeting new people.  At the end of the night I slipped into my hammock, pulled my sleeping bag around me and enjoyed a great night of sleep.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fare Thee Well

Today is the day.

The 4300 will meet it's new owner.

My after school meeting went long yesterday so I wasn't able to participate in a special edition Tuesday Social... so I got in one last spin on the 4300.  I made final adjustments, got the shifting as smooth as I could, and cleaned it up.  Wow does it look different when it's clean!!  Then, I took it out for a spin around the neighborhood to make sure everything was good to go.  Shifting was good for the most part, with a few glitches here and there, so I tinkered a bit more to make some post ride adjustments... hopefully that will have things straightened out (fingers crossed).

It felt kinda strange.  But, at the same time, cruising through the neighborhood shifting my brains out felt kinda nice too.  Going from the Glow Worm to the 4300 put me in a totally different body position (I raised the handlebars back up to be a bit more beginner friendly) and the seat was a bit low (which I left alone since the buyer is shorter than myself) which were obvious differences as I pedaled around.  Overall, it kinda felt like I was on a BMX bike.  Fun, but different.

The 4300 got me hooked.  It was a bike that I could throw anything at without worry.  These days it has been sitting unused, and would have been relegated to paved streets and grocery gathering if it remained in the Bike Haven.  For it's new owner, it will be the key to unlock the amazingness of mountain biking...  So yeah, that sounds like a much better role to me.  Thank you Annie for getting me the 4300 in the first place, I'm sure you had no idea where it would lead!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

up and down

Yesterday was the 7th day of 30 Days of Biking/1st day of rain.  I guess that's not too bad.  But I was NOT looking forward to jumping on the trainer, especially since I still have not taken care of replacing my battery for my speed/cadence so it's kinda lonely just spinning there.  I took it pretty easy, spinning for 30 minutes watching a video from a race at Blankets Creek - looked fun!

I then started tinkering with the 4300 - cleaned the drivetrain, made sure it was shifting (decently enough)... while I was dialing in the derailuer I again realized why I like singlespeed so much!  I'll give it a good cleaning tonight, maybe take one last spin on it (since I doubt the trails will be open for our Tuesday Social today) before sending it off on new adventures Wednesday.

Then it was time for the Uconn game.  What a game (from what I saw)!!  There wasn't a moment of that game where I felt we were comfortable and in control... even when we were up big we still weren't completely solid.  And it's never good when this happens.

The last thing we needed was bickering among teammates...

During halftime I was drowsy.  The second half started and I was struggling to stay awake.  How could that be with such a back and forth game with so many plays and misplays there to keep you on the edge of your seat?  I'm old I guess?  I woke up at 11:44 with no idea what was going on.  It didn't take long to surmise that Uconn had indeed won, and then drag my ass into bed.  Even though I was a tired old man, I'm very proud to be a Husky - the men came through huge last night and shocked more than a few people!!

Now it's up to the women to do it tonight!

Monday, April 7, 2014

6 Days of Biking

So far I've ridden everyday in my quest to get on the bike for 30 straight days.  It has been pretty easy, but this weekend was a bit of a let down in terms of my rides.  Sunday I had some work related stuff that I needed to take care of so I figured I'd build my ride around that since it was scheduled for the middle of the day - so I rode to and from the meeting.  Not bad.

That meant Saturday would be my mountain biking day.  And since I hadn't been hitting the trails lately, I was jonesing for something substantial.    That meant either USNWC or Lake Norman.  At first I was thinking USNWC because I felt like I hadn't ridden there in forever... but then recent reviews on some changes and the fact that I'd have to renew my pass ($40) made my desire to head over there wane a bit.  Lake Norman would surely provide the miles I wanted, and it's free, so a winner was crowned.

Saturday rolled around and Annie informed me that she and Andrew were throwing me a party that evening, so they gave me a deadline for my return.  Part of the party would involve a fire in our outdoor fireplace, which is awesome.  However, that part of the yard needed some post winter attention so I volunteered to give a hand before I went to ride.  I like yard work.  I mean, it's not something I necessarily look forward to, but once I'm getting stuff done I enjoy it... and I tend to find more to do... so naturally my time frame for riding dwindled.  Ok, so change of plans, I'd ride Sherman (much closer, and quicker) so that I could get everything done that needed to get done.  As I'm about to leave Annie tells me that I can't go yet because she has a gift for me in her car that I would see if I left - so I have to wait around until she heads back out before I can take off... I find more work to keep myself busy with.

Once I'm freed to leave I grab everything and pack up the pterodactyl.  I hustle on over to the trail and check the air pressure on the Glow Worm when it dawns on me... I didn't grab my shoes.  Frustration levels explode in my head as I pack up and head back home.  Will I have enough time to turn back around and get back to the trail for a hot lap and then back to the house to shower before people arrive??  It would be super close, and probably not a reality.  So I have to settle for a road ride of sorts.  I grab the Meuse and hit the streets with a bit of anger in my blood.  I wanted dirt!!

My temper tantrum subsides as I roll along, as is the magic of riding a bike.  It was a "make it up as you go" ride, so nothing spectacular.  The weather was great so people were everywhere.  I wanted to avoid the bike path because of that fact, but got suckered into hitting a section of it anyway - SLOW.  It took me through a park where there was a tree climbing championship going on.  Sounds much cooler than it was so I didn't hang around for it.  

Then it was back home to get ready for the party.  Annie's gift to me, some sweet chairs we had seen at an antique store that would go great on the patio I have yet to build outside the Bike Haven.  Food was grilled, beers were drank, the fire was furious, and we played some amazing game for which I forget the name.  Great times.

So although my rides weren't epic, I guess you could say my weekend overall was.

Friday, April 4, 2014

New Beginnings

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

*Media in the sense that there will be a picture, and this will get someone to shred the trails.

So I'm kinda sad.  But, I'm kinda not.

Here's the deal.  A coworker mentioned that she saw me out on our Tuesday Social this week and mentioned that her husband was interested in getting into mountain biking.  We talked a little about what she was looking to get him - something used, and something not expensive (like really cheap).  As we all know, that can be disastrous - especially for someone who doesn't know what they are looking for.  So I offered to check out the local deals to see if there was anything decent out there.  

There were some "deals" on craigslist - but you never know what you are getting there, and half the time the information is incomplete.  Now, I know that you don't need the best bike in order to have a kick ass time out on the trail, but I also fear that if you get the wrong bike you will never really get the chance to totally enjoy riding... so what to do?

I talked to Annie about it... what about selling my 4300?  I don't ride it.  I was going to convert it into a grocery-getter, but I have that old school bike that I could build up for that...  Here is the rub.  Annie bought my that bike.  It's what got this whole crazy thing started.  She thought about it and came to this conclusion - "I'm ok with selling it to a wife who is trying to get her husband into mountain biking."  

I like the idea of having my first bike get someone else into this amazing sport... but I am kinda sad to see it go.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What day is it?

Reebok PUMPS!!
Something about this week has just been crazy.  It's one of those weeks where the days are flying by, but the week seems to be dragging to the point where I have no idea what day it is today.  Maybe it's my age catching up to me??  Yesterday my wife asked how it felt to now be 35 - no different (except now I've entered my Reggie Lewis year).  Today I can't seem to keep things straight.

You know how I talked about pulling out a calendar and sitting down so I can visualize everything I want to do, everything I've committed to doing, and generally just making sure things don't conflict?  Well, I still haven't done that, and things continue to creep up and bite me in the ass.  Events are popping up in the immediate future that haven't been on my radar and thus are causing mass confusion and conflict in my head.

Even as I sit here I'm looking at my work calendar and I'm just feeling sluggish just figuring out when I'm going to catch up on all my paperwork between my scheduled meetings and duties today.  ANYWAY.  The one thing that I HAVE to do today is register for the Tarheel Trailblazer biking/camping weekend next weekend... cause today is the last day of registration and I put off registering because I'm so good at planning.  Once registered then I get to move forward on getting a camping hammock - which will be a first step in making my Appalachian trail journey a reality.  It's a whirlwind I tell you.

Speaking of whirlwinds, I've had a successful (2 day) start to my pledge to ride everyday in April.  Tuesday I hit North Meck for our Tuesday Social.  I got out early and it felt great to be on the trails after being sidelined with illness last week.  As I packed up my bike and was heading to work I realized that I didn't have my multitool and pump.  I was running late and figured everything would be fine so I left without it.... as a cyclist, we always know that on all those rides when you have a tube, pump, CO2, tools, and all the other extra crap we carry - we don't need it.... On my first lap things felt/sounded a little strange.  As I launched off a jump and landed a thought popped in my head - the rear wheel is loose.  The "right" thing to do would be to stop.  But without tools there was nothing I could do to sufficiently tighten my rear axle, so I continued my ride and tried to be a smooth (and grounded) as possible.  I was able to avoid catastrophic failure and finish out my lap.  Then I waited around for TheMutt to show up so I could tighten everything up and join the group safely.

I was definitely feeling like I was still in recovery mode after my first lap so I was glad this would be a social ride.  In the lot we even talked about no matter how small the group we always kept it social.  And then TomTom led off on his new singlespeed and there wasn't much social about our pace.  Of course I wasn't going to let him get away!  It was quicker then social, but we did make two stops so it wasn't an all out race.  But it was fun for sure!  Afterwards, I repaid TomTom in Mexican food for giving up his spot at the Tour de Charlotte since he was "forced" to go down and ride some amazing trails in Anniston, AL.

Yesterday I decided that since the weather was so nice I would grill out on my Birthday rather than go to some fancy restaurant.  But before any grilling could happen I definitely needed to get out for a ride.  I was a little later leaving work, so I knew it would be a neighborhood spin.  For a moment I thought about just making it a ride to the Common Market to pick up some beers, but it was too nice for just a beer run, so I wound my way around the neighborhood for about an hour.

Who knows what I'll do tonight - perhaps ride over to the monthly Trailblazer meeting?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Get it over with already

Ok, I've got to get through this recap already... I'm starting to feel like The Mutt with this slow roll of info.

So where was I?  Ah yes, the promise of beer.  We rolled through NoDa, which probably wasn't too strange of a site for people to see around 100 cyclist passing by, and got to our final destination.  Where there was beer!

We were in an open park with a cyclocross course taped off.  I didn't ride the course, but from watching the riders it was tough!  They came through flying on the first lap, and by the second it looked like EVERYONE was dying.  The park itself is basically the side of a hill, so there was just a little elevation in the course.

Just a reminder of how much riding there is so close to uptown... even if it is a hijacked cyclocross course

And not to be outdone by the other stages - riders still had a little fun through the air on this one.

The "Beer Me" interlude

And the grande finale

Nik was out there doing his thing all day

One last quick meeting before things get really crazy... it's about time to party!

Beer was flowing freely at the party. 

Ties were broken

Underwear shown for drinking speed

Yes, he does have underwear on his hands

And winners were crowned

Like last year, trophies were kickass

3st - Thirst

And I even came out with some schwag

Everyone got a pint glass - SWEET!

I got some Maxxis love for the Meuse

To quickly recap - the Tour de Charlotte was bikes, beer, and fun. 

Why weren't you there?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Running late and had to load up the bike so no time to wrap up the Tour today... my bad.

Today is the first day of April, which brings us the start of 30 Days of Biking.  More than anything else it's a personal challenge to stop making excuses and get on your bike everyday.  There is no requirement as to what type of riding, how far, or how hard... just spin them wheels!!  Luckily for me today coincides with our Tuesday social ride, so that makes the kick off pretty easy.

Being the first day of April also brings pranks - it's April Fools Day.  I haven't pulled an April Fool's prank in a very long time... my 3rd grade prank is the only thing that stands out in my mind right now.  Coming in from recess I grabbed some earthworms and put them on my teacher's desk.  Kinda out of left field for me, but it worked.  Not only did it scare my teacher, but I wasn't even a suspect!  Of course I came clean when others got blamed for it.

Anyway, here is something that isn't a joke - it's going to be in the mid-high 70s today.  We have plenty of sweet riding down here in North Carolina, come on down!!