Monday, December 19, 2011

Rudolph's Rampage

Finally broke the Harbison Curse. Never had a remotely good day for the last 12-13 years of races there. Had a good one yesterday though. Good ( for December ) legs and luck added up for another win. Final race of the year. Can't complain- think I did 24 or 25 races and won 8 of them. I'll take it! Looking forward to a great holiday seson and next year!

Monday, December 05, 2011

WBL #1 This Sunday

Charleston WBL #1 this Sunday. Same as the last 2 yrs- 19-21mph nice and steady double paceline. 3 to 3 1/2 hrs loop, one store stop. Leaving from the downtown Bicycle Shoppe at 9:30 am. Park there or ride over for more miles. Here we go!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Tires in a hole

Yesterday was the 3rd sick day in a row for me. Didn't sleep Friday night at all. Couldn't breathe and couldn't stop coughing. was movie night. Bad Jean Claude VanDame movie night. I was suppose to show up Sat am at 9 to help the Waccamaw Trail Blazers build new trails but after being sick and awake going on 30 hrs I decided that I would be better off laying on the couch.
After a shower however, I felt a little better and figured that a little movement should loosen things up. Got out to the trail head to meet Marshall and was pleased when we had 10 or so people show up. The new trail area looked promising with a decent amount of elevation change and good dirt ( a surprise on the coast! ). The big problems we were looking to take care of were the multiple huge tractor tires we had to haul out of the swamp up a 30 foot near vertical wall and the tons of buried junk all over the place. Those tires were heavy! Everyone worked hard and we made short work of everything though. Ended up finding 6 x 250lb tractor tires filled with terribly stinky mud, 5 house radiators, a buried chain link fence, a trailer chassis, tons of wood and scrap metal, and bags upon bags of trash.
It was satisfying work and good to get to know some of the other mountain bike riders in the area. We got a nasty area cleaned out and ready to go and I'm looking forward to riding some new trails shortly!
And now I'm back on the couch and can barely move. Time for some sleep.

Friday, December 02, 2011

New Whip

Here's some pictures of the new road bike. I've been on it a week or so and am very happy with it. Super stiff and responsive with a smooth ride. Accelerates like a rocket. D. Lee did a great job on the paint! Exactly what I had in mind. I'll post a full review when I get more miles on it.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Day 2

All I can think about is how bad the soles of my feet are hurting. Every step on the hard pavement sends a shockwave through my feet, around my ankles, and up my shins. I'm tired, my toes and feet hurt from pushing into the front of my boots. I have a stabbing pain in my left shoulder and at the base of my skull when I look to the left. On top of that, it's dark, it's freezing, I left Alex behild a mile ago, and I still have more to walk. However, as I look back over my shoulder I can see the last bit of daylight fading over Pilot Mtn. to the west and feel content with the effort we put out today.
The day dawned crisp and clear. After a surprisingly restful night, I awoke ready to roll. Relaxing in the warmth of my sleeping bag, I wiggled my toes and flexed my legs. Feeling my muscles contract and loosen I could feel no soreness or stiffness in the legs and knew it would be a good day. Quickly we dressed, cooked, pumped water, and rolled out. While it was still pretty cold out, we warmed up quickly and shed layers within 15 minutes. The next few miles from Butter Gap to Gloucester Gap went by quickly as we settled into a good rythm. We both are feeling good and I know we'll cover some decent mileage today.
We are planning on camping on Farlow Gap trail just past the first waterfall. I remember a good campsite there from the times I've ridden past on a bike. We'll make it there for sure. Up next however, is the monster ascent up over Pilot Mtn. A monster climb it proves to be too. The further we go up, the steeper it gets. Switchback after switchback we climb. Looking out over the adjacent ridges I know we are gaining alot of elevation quickly. The view at the top should be great! Finally I pop out of a Rotodendron tunnel and am in the sunlight on the rocky summit of Pilot Mountain. The 360 degree views are indeed incredible. We are higher than anything else that side of the parkway. After a few minutes, Alex makes it up, we eat lunch, and take pictures. Looking at the map we can tell that we are way ahead of schedule and can probably make it back down to the river off of Daniel Ridge trail and a great campsite. That will leave us with a shorter walk tomorrow!
Down we go. Down off of Pilot Mtn, down Farlow Gap. Seems like we were going downhill forever. As rocky as Farlow is and as hard as it is to ride on a bike, I think it's actually harder to walk down! While still making good time, we are starting to get fatigued from sliding around on the heavy leaves and unstable rocks. I am having to wait a little longer for Alex to catch up as well. I know his feet are hurting from the downhill. Soon though, we cross the last creek and I know we'll soon turn onto Daniel Ridge Trail and be at the river in no time.
The sun has dropped behind the high ridges surrounding us as we descend. I can see the golden, warm sunlight above us on the higher ridges but it is starting to get cold in the shadows where we are. Soon, we are at the river. Alex is tired and hurting so we opt for the first campsite we see. Glad to be done for the day, we drop our packs and set to making camp. I get my tent set up quicker than Alex and start clearing out the fire ring and getting firewood ready for the cold night. That's when some problems start to manifest themselves. Apparently, this deep in the valley doesn't get much sunlight and I'm having a hard time finding any organic matter that isn't soaking wet. Looks like a fire will be out of the question. Gonna be a long, cold night. The ground proves to be not as comfortable as it appeared on earlier inspection either. Rocks, rocks, and more rocks under the wet leaves. Not a terrible problem until Alex discovers that his air mattress has a quarter sized hole in it and won't inflate. This will mean that in addition to sleeping on rocks, he will lose valuable warmth as well.
After a short consideration of our situation, I propose a plan. There was a little daylight left so we decided to go for the car back at the Fish Hatchery. I figured that Alex just needed to make it the 1/2 mile to the road, layer up more clothes and wait for me. I'd hike back to the Hatchery, get the van, come get him, go get Mexican food, and drop in on Robert for a place to crash. So, we pack up quickly, racing the nighttime and put the hammer down. We make it back to FS475 as it gets dark. I keep walking and soon leave Alex behind to wait near Cove Creek. Davidson River Trail is my last obstacle and passes quick enough. Fortunately, I didn't start to hurt till I got to the pavement. I got back to the Hatchery, walk unnoticed through a Sheriff's roadblock and get the van. I have to stop and hand over my license and proof of insurance the second time through though. Soon, I make it back to Cove Creek and pick up Alex.
Dinner was great and Robert's house was warm ending a long day and another great trip.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Alex and I went for a backpacking trip during my time off the bike. We wanted a tough hike but something semi-close by. Pisgah it was. The weekend before I had raced the Double Darefor two days up there. It would be kinda cool to see some of the trails I rode by foot. Having hiked everything on the Waynesville side of the parkway on previous trips we decided to change it up and leave from the Fish Hatchery this time. We would be heading up over John Rock to Cat Gap and the Art Loeb trail where we would head toward Butter Gap for the night. We made quick work of John Rock ( wishing I'd done the 2 checkpoint bonus hike up there in the Double Dare!) and were eating a snack on the back side of Cedar Rock in no time. With about an hour of so of good light left we headed up the trail to Butter Gap Shelter for the night. I have been through Butter Gap many times on the bike but never dropped over the ridge to the shelter. What a great campsite! Flattish, close to water, a permanent bear cable with pulleys and haul lines, and a killer view of Cedar Rock. We caught the last rays of the sun high above us on the rock. The shelter is in need of work with over 1/2 of it rotting away, and the cold wind was blowing straight into the open front. The decision was soon made to break out the tents instead of sleeping there. After setting up camp and cooking dinner of Raemen Noodles and Vegetable Beef stew, we set to getting a fire going. I like hiking during the winter as you don't get as sweaty as the summer. However, you need to carry more gear to stay warm and the 12-13 hr long nights are a bummer. During summer you can hike till 9 PM, eat, then go right to bed. Wintertime requires finding something to do for the hrs between dusk and bedtime. Hence, a good fire was necessary tonight! Problem was- it had rained very heavily the night before and all that morning. Everything was still damp. It took awhile and all my skills(and a fortunate wind) but soon we had a rather smoky fire going. An hour later after drying wood near the fire, we had a roaring fire going. Hanging by the fire and burning anything dry that could be found brought us to bedtime surprisingly quick. After letting the fire die out, we headed of to our tents under an extremely bright moon.
Day 2 next time!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preparation for Impending Pain and Suffering

Back in Myrtle Beach for the day. Took the day off the bike to get squared away for the weekend. See...Brad signed us up for a little race called the Double Dare this weekend. No matter how bad things look Brad knows that if he registers us, gets a hotel, and gets the time off then I'm in. All he needs to do is call me up and say we're going. He knows that I'm game for anything ridiculously hard, I won't crack, and that he's the one that has to bring his A game for us to win. It's worked well for us the last two years as we've never lost a race when we've teamed up. This one will be a tall order to pull off though. Yeah, we've got a lot written in the "Pro" category, but there are an equal amount of problems listed in the " con " category. Gonna be freezing cold at night and there's going to be plenty of very strong guys there!
We'll see how the math works out by Sunday night!
If you haven't heard of the Double Dare, I'll explain the gist of it for you: It's smack in the middle of Pisgah National Forest. It is a 2 person team competition- You have to stay together the entire race. It starts at Noon this Saturday. At the start the organiser will announce 10 checkpoints throughout Western North Carolina and say GO. No route/ course, no SAG, no support, and most paved roads are off limits. You have to get back to the start before Midnight after trying to reach all 10 checkpoints. You're 1 second late and they don't count. Hardly any team will get all 10. There is a special test at midnight for time bonuses.
6AM it starts all over until 6 PM Sunday night. The team with the most combined checkpoints in the least amount of time wins. Looks like just under 100 miles a day in Pisgah separated by a 6 hr break. This is going to be particularly awesome Sunday morning when we wake up at 5:30 AM to race off in 32 degree weather in the dark. After riding 12 hrs the day before. And not really sleeping. The only thing I'm wondering is why are we stopping at all? Let's call it a 30 hr. race and let it rip! I'm really looking forward to miles and miles of Pisgah. The singletrack levels in my life have been a little too low lately and I need to restock!
Anyways- I'm all finished up packing the mandatory gear onto my bike and into my bags and ready to roll. Going to a haunted house tonight, rolling back to Charleston to pick up Brad in the morning and we are Pisgah inbound.
Stay tuned for a race report sometime next week. Probably not Monday or Tuesday as I'll be completely destroyed for awhile after this one!

Monday, October 24, 2011


What a great weekend! Got some riding in- road and dirt, watched Liza run the Myrtle Beach 1/2 Marathon and completed my first painting since 06. I've started numerous painings but get distracted easily by things on two wheels. Painted this one from one of the photos I took Monday night. I think I'll call it " Night Ride". Anyways- beautiful weather and I'm feeling very rested. Looking forward to alot of miles of dirt in Pisgah this weekend at the Double Dare! Looks like clear skies, highs in the low 60's, and lows in the mid 30's. Lock and load!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Night Ride

Here's some Charleston scenes from my night ride Monday. I have some clearer shots but like the blurry ones better!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Tools of the trade

You know it's gonna be a beast of a workout when you're looking at all of this to get you through a couple of hours on the rollers. Got me two DVDs too.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hasn't been much to write about lately. All healed up from last September's accident. More than healed up to tell the truth. The time off has done wonders for me. I'm pain free for the 1st time in probably 3 years and the motivation to train and race is higher than ever.I've lost 10lbs. and I'm going on 7 weeks of solid training now. In the last 2 years it's been hard to put together more than 2 consistent weeks. We'll see if it's all going to pan out soon enough with 12 hrs. of Santos this Saturday. For the 1st time I'm racing as a 2 man team instead of solo. Hoping to avoid burying myself early in the year I think this is the way to go. With some big races coming up I want to be strong all year.
I'm on 2 new teams now- Momentum Racing off road and ABRC (Asheville Bicycle Racing Club)on the road. Both of thse teams appear to be very competitive this year.I'm looking forward to road racing more this year. I miss crits and have a schedule full of them.
I will be moving again in a few months as well. Liza was promoted in January to a District Manager...............of the Grand Strand District. Hello Myrtle Beach. It's a huge step up for her so that's good even if I don't know what I'll do there!
Anyways- I'll post again with a write up after Santos. With 75-78 degrees and sunny on the forecast- it can't be bad!
DH Out.