Thursday, April 30, 2009

WNR #3




Weather: Sunny and breezy, about 62 degrees.

Trail Conditions: Good to excellent from the field to the back end of Bishop's trail. Beyond that, conditions are marginal at best.

Attendance: Sarah, Sherry, Doug, Matt, Benson, Seth, and I.

Next two WNR's will be at the HQ. Have a happy wednesday.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Long Cold Sunday

I had a long cold ride yesterday. By the end, I couldn't feel my feet. But the legs felt pretty good, so I should be able to go quite a bit longer next sunday providing we get some decent weather. Yesterday was 36 degrees with a vicious wind out of the southeast. Check it out:



WNR @ Boyne this week. See you there.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

SBYC In April

Got up to the SBYC for dinner last night a little earlier in the year than usual. But temps. were in the 70's so we went for it. I got in a good hour road ride when I got home from work in the afternoon. I packed up the car while Sarah got ready to bike up. The weather held up great, and it was really nice to be back on the beach after the long winter. Over and out.




Friday, April 24, 2009

WN...I mean TNR Report

It didn't turn out to be as warm as we expected last night, but we got out for the ride just the same. Only Sarah and Benson joined me for the second official group ride of the season, and we all had a good spin on the NCT off of Larks Lake Road. There were still a couple patches of snow to wade through and a couple of downed trees to climb over; but I'd say overall, the trail conditions are pretty good. Benson was giving his new steed the first shakedown on the singletrack, and I think he's pretty happy so far. This is Benson's first mountain bike with the big wheels. Welcome to the club.



Next weeks WNR @ Boyne (and it really will be on wednesday). Roll out will be at 6:30. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

C.S.I. Team Terpening

Shortly after noticing the missing money last week I found a pristine pack of cigarettes behind the house next to the woodpile. We're pretty sure that they had only been there a short amount of time since the cigarettes were dry, the pack had no dirt on it, and the dogs hadn't chewed them up yet. It is an obscure type of cigarette, but that really didn't get us any closer to figuring out the crime. We only have a small number of friends that smoke, and those that do certainly don't smoke ultra light menthols. We were still scratching our heads up until a couple of days ago when Sarah and I found some butts out by the shop below a recently melted pile of snow. They were a perfect match. Since I blew all the leaves (or cigarette butts) off the driveway this fall, and two of the butts were found in a discarded orange pop can that I would have picked up in the fall as well, I've narrowed down the likely ultra light menthol smoker to one of three individuals that did some work on my shop a couple of months ago. I called the deputy handling the case this morning to pass along the information; and while I'm still not real optimistic about anything happening to the person who robbed us, it's nice to be fairly certain it's not someone we know and hang out with.

In more happy bike related news: Matt and Jess came out on sunday to help Sarah and I start getting the trail ready behind the house. We worked for about an hour and got about 80% of the singletrack raked and cleared. I rode the Loop on my singlespeed yesterday, and it was wonderful. Thanks for helping out guys.

WNR is TNR this week. See you there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WNR REVISED


Hey Riders:
This is Sarah and I would love to mt bike this week, but Wednesday just looks crappy. So how about this week, since MOST of us are just starting to ride, we go for a nice day and ride Thursday the 23rd at 6:30 at Larks Lake.
I am pretty sure that if you still want to ride on Wed, Pete will be up for it.
Sarah

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ride Reports

Friday: No ride. I finished the interior of the new shop with Hugh before work, and then I moved some bikes in after work.

Saturday: I felt cold all day at work, and everyone was commenting on how warm it was. I took off from home after work on my road bike, and I felt cold immediately. I ended up with just over an hour in the saddle.

Sunday: I have my long rides of this four week build period scheduled for Sunday (yesterday was the end of week one). I was hoping to get in four hours; but considering the miserable weather, I was happy to roll in with 3:42. There was a steady drizzle most of the ride, and the temperature hovered right around the 40 degree mark. However, there was a vicious wind out of the south east that made it feel more like 34 degrees. At least that's what the weather people were saying, and I concur. Check out the ride below:



I'm shooting for five hours next Sunday if anyone wants to join me. WNR @ Lark's Lk. NCT Trailhead 6:30. Be there or be square. That is all.

P.S. Stay tuned for another installment of C.S.I. Terpening Station wednesday. We's got some clues.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WNR Report

Hugh, Sarah, and I hit up a variation on the Loop last night in wonderful, balmy temperatures. My first ride up north with shorts and short sleeves. We rode up to the top of the 95 acres before heading over to Hugh's domicile where we sampled some of his new singletrack. He's put in a really fun loop of just under a mile, and he's been talking about hosting a little time trial/party sometime later in the spring. Next weeks WNR is still up in the air. I'm going to wait and see what trails are open and rideable after the weekend. Here's a little Paris/Roubaix goodness in case you missed the coverage on Versus over the weekend.




P.S. Today is our first official day of "operation lockdown" at HQ. It sucks, but at least the sh** bag thieves of the world will now have to physically break into our home to rob us.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ride 2 Work Monday

Today marked my first bike ride into the office this year. I only had to put some air in the tires, and the old LeMond was ready to roll. Temps. were a bit on the chilly side, but it still felt great to leave the car behind for a day. Last year I put just shy of 1,000 miles on the commuter, and I didn't start up until early June. Starting this early in the spring, I'm hoping to maybe double that number this season. In other riding news: I'll be ready to go for the first WNR of the season this week @ Headquarters. I'll plan on starting at 6:00 (unless someone is firmly committed to coming and can't make it until 6:30, in which case let me know and we'll wait for you). I'm not sure if all the singletrack will be rideable, but I'm sure we'll be able to piece together a good hour loop in the neighborhood. Speaking of the neighborhood, ours is apparently going to heck a hand basket. To make a long story short, Sarah and I are going to have to start locking our doors. While I was gone on my trip, some a**hole entered our home without permission and stole a rather substantial amount of money from us. I've lived in this house for over ten years now, and I've never once felt that I had to lock the doors. All that changes today when I get home from work and install a new doorknob with a lock. It is my sincere hope that whomever robbed us suffers severe misery and pain for the rest of their days on earth. That is all. Over and out.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Goodbye Mulberry Gap

I'm on the way back to Michigan after another stay at the wonderful Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Lodge and Bunkhouse. In case you missed it the last time, click on the link and check it out. If you're too busy right now to do so, rest assured it's been added to my permanent list of links over there on the right. They moved right to the top because they're just that good. I'm still having a hard time putting into words what a wonderful thing these fine folks have been able to put together in such a short amount of time (two or three years I think), so bear with me. It is without a doubt, one of the top vacation/lodging experiences I've ever had. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to have my wife there to experience it with me. Needless to say, she'll be experiencing it soon enough. I can't wait to go back. So go check out their website with this in mind: It will all be ten times better in person. The food was unbelievable. The cabins were cozy and snug; and while I only scratched the surface of the mountain bike trails in the area, the ones I rode are among the best I've ever ridden. But the best part of it all was the warm and friendly hospitality extended by Ginnie, Andrew, and Diane. Everything about my stay exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. I'll see you again soon.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Riding Pisgah

I've been in Brevard, N.C. for the weekend. This little town is located right on the edge of Pisgah National Forest, and I was able to get in a couple of good rides. The weather when I got in on Friday was less than stellar (raining off and on in the mid 40's), but my legs needed a little rest anyway. The weekend forecast was excellent, and for once the weather people were right on the mark. Sunny and 70 degree temps. saturday and yesterday. Saturday I did a ride from the book Angie got for Sarah and I when we were down this way for our honeymoon a couple of years ago. I believe the name of the ride was The Mountain Town Loop. It consisted of an hour climb on old FS roads to the tune of about 2,200 ft. From there it was a straight drop down a really technical, somewhat sketchy singletrack. My hands were cramping up by the time I got to the bottom from squeezing the grips really hard and braking, but I made it back to the truck without crashing.

Yesterday I wanted to do a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway with my road bike. From looking at the maps I had on hand, I was guessing the ride up to the parkway from the hotel would be a moderate five to ten mile climb. I was a little off the mark there. It turned out to be a sixteen mile uber difficult climb with a maximum gradient of 21%. By the time I got up to the parkway after about an hour and a half in the saddle, my legs were pretty well toasted and twitching. I wolfed down a banana, and turned around for the descent. That was worth all the climbing and then some. I got passed by countless cars, trucks, and motorcycles on the way up. On the way down, I got passed by two cars and three motorcycles. There was even a brief stretch where the two cars that passed me were holding me up in the corners. That was fun. After doing all my rides so far on the dirt with my hydration pack, getting on the road bike yesterday with nothing but a banana, some gels, and a vest in my pockets felt awesome. Below is the data from yesterdays adventure:



I'm heading back over to Georgia today hoping to get in two or three more rides before I have to head back north. I was planning on heading north to visit friends in NYC this week, but the weather up and down the east coast for the next couple of days sounds pretty awful (especially for driving ten or twelve hours). I'm also really having a good time on the bike(s). Sorry boys, we'll have to catch up with you another time. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Southern Observations

One: If you enjoy drinking sparkling H2O, bring your own. I brought a case of water from home; but it ran out, and I was forced to buy lemon flavored Perrier. If you're ever in a pinch, and that's all you can find, don't buy it. It tastes like lemon pledge in the worst possible way. I actually saved the receipt, and intend to return two of the three bottles tomorrow.

Two: People down this way are really into NASCAR. That is the only reason I know to give a shout out to Kevin. Jeff Gordon won today, whatever that means. I just know that's Kevin's favorite driver.

Three: While people tend to be really polite and friendly down here, they also tend to blatantly disregard the signs along the road about littering. As far as I can tell, it may as well read "$1000 reward for littering" as opposed the supposed fine against it. To be fair about this, some amount of it is probably directly attributable to the lack of bottle deposits.

Four: The food is different. Case in point, I had sausage and gravy with biscuits for breakfast the other morning at Mulberry Gap (Along with eggs, jam, coffee and such). Ginny was genuinely surprised that I had never had that particular dish before, and to be honest it was really pretty tasty.

My hands are sore from two hard days of riding here in Pisgah, so that's all I have to report for. I'll post in the morning about my two nice rides here in Brevard, NC before I head back to Mulberry tomorrow afternoon. Over and out.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Putting the M back in Mountain Biking.

I logged four solid days of training at Mulberry Gap. Here's the lowdown on tuesday's adventure. Check out that first climb. Three out of the four days that was my "warm up".





Have a good weekend. I'll be riding in Pisgah.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mulberry Gap Check In

The internet connection here is not quite as fast as I'd like, but that is about the only thing I can think of to complain about. Aside from that, everything about this place is like a little slice of mountain bike heaven (if there is such a thing, let's hope so) here on earth. The cabin is wonderful and cozy. The food has been great. The lodge is perfect for relaxing and hanging out with other like minded folks. Oh yeah, the riding has been top notch. For my first ride on monday I did a good 40 minute climb up FS Road 68 in order to ride down Pinhoti # 2, and it was a blast. The climb was a bit of a b**ch, but it was well worth it for the sweet singletrack downhill. Yesterday morning, despite a steady drizzle, I set off for a longer adventure. My first climb on FS road 68 clocked in at just under an hour with 1462 ft. of elevation gain. From there I rode the Bear Creek trail to Pinhoti # 1 and then onto Pinhoti # 2. I got in almost three hours of fun in the saddle, complete with great singletrack, creek crossings, and wildlife sightings (I saw my first wild hogs yesterday). There was a steady rain all night, and it's still raining now so today's ride might be confined to FS roads. The connection is too slow to upload GPS data to MotionBased, so that's all I have to report for now. I leave you with a couple of parting shots. Thanks for reading.





Big a** tree.



Bear Creek Falls Overlook.