Friday, December 29, 2006

180 degrees

That’s what a ride like yesterday’s can do to you.

Here is part of our group chilling in a place with no views and little visibility.

All pictures are courtesy of Pisgah Productions. Thanks Eric!

Any weekday spent in the woods is a good one, however today was off the charts!

I was up by 6:00, I bid my family adieu as they were headed home to Indianapolis Indiana, dropped my Father off at GSP and headed to the mountains for some fun in the sun.

The morning was crisp and there was a light layer of frost still on the ground when I pulled up at the Horse Stables. Joe was there waiting, punctual as always. I don’t know if that guy has ever been late for a mountain bike ride.

We chatted while our group slowly amassed to be myself, SingleTrack Pig, Eric, Erinna, Dieriden, D-Kuntz, Clellan and Clay leaving from the Stables.

Our route:

Clawhammer, Black Mountain, Buckhorn, Bennet, 477, Clawhammer, Maxwell Cove, Black Mountain, Grassy Road, Sycamore Cove, back to the cars.

I was excited about the route because I had never ridden Bennet or Buckhorn.

Clellan took off on the climb and after the two E’s showed up, we made our way up Clawhammer.

Clawhammer is a four mile climb that pitches up pretty steep in spots. Eric and I chatted it up on the beginning of the climb. We were talking about big bikes and large jumps since we own quite the opposite of the spectrum.

Once we made it to the top of Clawhammer we took a short break before climbing the steeps of Black Mountain to get to Buckhorn. About a minute after we showed up, Scott from Indianapolis rolled up via Buckhorn or formerly known as “the other side” of the mountain. Just yesterday I had left him a note on MTBR that said exactly this:

Rideorsit,I can't guarantee that we will be able to meet up as plans change frequently with this group. If you want to try and meet us at the top of Clawhammer, go for it!We will probably start climbing around 10:00, so however long it takes us to climb the hammer is when we will be there. Good Luck.

Here is a picture that Eric snapped right as we discovered our luck.

Wow my pessimism and a little trail karma goes a long way. Scott owns Indy Bikes in Indianapolis. I will have to check that store out next time I am in town.

Joe mastering the gears, he made some great climbs yesterday.

We continued on, now 9 riders strong headed toward virgin trail in my mind. Buckhorn and Bennet were a ton of fun. There are some creepily techy spots that I both hiked and biked. Eric was doing a great job of cleaning tech sections on his Fully Rigid while others with gears and suspension just gazed by in awe.
Jody and I, pushing up the steeps.

The last section of Bennet really got me smiling as we flew down the hill with numerous drops and speeds fast enough to forget about all else except the flow of your bike across the dirt.

We were spit out onto 477 and we headed up to the car for a quick break. We dropped Jody, Eric, Erinna, and Scott and headed up Maxwell Cove for some Black Mountain fun. The climbs were starting to get tough but with the sun shinning through we just kept grinning and pushed on.

We sped down Black Mountain and continued onto Sycamore Cove. After a short break, I was able to hammer the SS up the climb on Sycamore and then we cruised down.

It was an awesome day. No mechanicals out of 9 people on MTBR group ride. Wow!

We got in about 25 miles in 5 hours. Not bad at all considering it was a leisurely pace.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mommy What's Vacation?

Vacation rocks! One more day of it. We are meeting at the Horse stable tomorrow for some fun.

Otherwise not much to report.

Check out the pictures from last Saturday's ride here.

Thanks for the pictures Mountain Goat.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Coleman Boundary

A photo snapped from a waterfall in Jones Gap State Park.

I got a four hour guided tour of Coleman Boundary from Jeremy this past Saturday. We knew it was going to be wet but Jeremy told me not to worry because it was mostly rock gardens anyway. Sweet, perfect to give the Walt Works a true test.

We started out below the clouds and fog climbing a gravel road. Soon we switched to a short hike a bike up a real steep rocky section. I couldn’t contain myself since Jeremy had the camera out so I hiked up a section and came down for some action shots. As I hiked up, I wondered if I should really be tackling a steep rocky section this early in the day but I nailed it and we continued on.

Soon we were at the top of the first decent of the day. I let Jeremy lead and I came around the first corner and found Jeremy lying on the ground. Whoops, he collected himself and we moved on.

The water from the ground was cold and I was dumb when I got ready so I was getting cold quickly. The rocks were insanely slippery and everywhere. From baby heads to boulders, they rocked my world.

Halfway down the trail I realized I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. The only way I knew how hard I was squeezing on the brake levers, was by how fast I was stopping.

Coleman is definitely a place that I will be visiting again. We hit some great trails and there are some awesome sights as well.

I don’t ask for bike related Christmas gifts. However, I have Ms. Creativity in my life and she “gets it.”

I know for a fact that I am the only living person with a personalized Karate Monkey ornament. Yes, I rock and you all are jealous. Ok, I am kidding about that part.

Hope everyone had a Happy Holiday.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Something Other Than Rain

Merry Christmas!
Don't forget about the ride next Thursday and unfortunately the pre new year's ride is all sold out.
Late Arrival: I was notified that some hot Chicks might want to come on the New Year's ride. There will be an exception to the rule for these circumstances only.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dupont Doe

Lady Slipper picture stolen from

I met up with Jeremy last night for a spin through Dupont. I got there a little early and took off for a pre-warm-up.

I went out to the Airstrip and saw six deer grazing in the field. The little ones stuttered as though they wanted to run but mommy and daddy must have told them to stay put as I was not a threat. You gotta love Single Speed's for their noiseless compliancy.

Going down Airstrip I saw another white tail bouncing in front of me at the bottom of the trail. I saw more deer in fifteen minutes than most hunters have probably seen all year.

I took the quick route back to the lot and found Jeremy getting ready. We took the following route:

Reasonover --> Turkey --> Holly Mountain --> Reasonover --> Airstrip --> Shelter Rock --> New section of Corn Mill Shoals --> Shoals --> Laurel Ridge --> Mine Mountain

We started with a pretty quick clip and kept it that way the entire ride. I was able to keep it under control last night even though at times following Mr. Goat Epics was causing me to push it pretty hard. He has gears after all.

He would cruise ahead of me on the flats and then when the trail kicked back up my bike would float right back up behind him.

I was able to make it up all the steep climbs even though it was my second hard effort in two days. I assembled about 40 hard miles over the past two days. Its surely time for a rest.

Rider out.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Outer Limits

I have a problem, admitting that problem is the first step to recovery. I ride beyond my limits when I acquire new equipment. Last night Dennis, Rick and I rocked all the trails at Paris.

My legs felt really good last night and I think that contributed to my outer-limit experience.

I was riding well but going down the tech section on Sulphur I decided I was a super-hero strung out on adrenaline. I was trying to beat my back wheel through the center of the earth when I realized I was on a roller coaster of disaster with nothing good about to happen. I managed to hold on through the thick of it all but I had a qualified dismount once I slowed to a non-death speed. It was an “exciting” moment to say the least.

Saw this guy rocking it last night. Good to see you are still rocking your mountain thingamajig.

I will be concentrating on riding within my limits tonight.

Dupont tonight!

Dupont can be creepy at night. That goose bump, hair standing on the back of your neck, heart rate zooming for no reason kind of creepy that digs deep into the soul. You don’t believe me? Ride out there by yourself at night and you will see.

We will be riding during a new moon tonight. So if the night is crisp we should get some awesome views of the Milky Way. Otherwise, it will be really really dark. The sort of dark that creeps around when Tim Burton directs a film.

Yikes! I’m thinking a back up light is in order tonight.

My Princess has given me Saturday free from any princessly duties so I can Mountain bike at Coleman Boundary. You rock Princess!

Just a note here, she would still be referred to as a princess even if I wasn’t biking on Saturday. I don’t want anybody in particular thinking that these things are conditional.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rides Rides Rides

The weather is cooperating nicely for a Paris Mountain ride. So leave those fancy road machines at home and bring your mountain bike for some fun.

Check the new Icycle site out. I can’t wait for this race. It is going to be killer. The mysterious free lance web guy has got another sweet logo kicking. I was going to promote it here but there is no way for me to do that without stealing bandwidth from their site. Can a brother get a logo for promoting another brother’s race?

Late Edit: Ask and you shall receive. Thanks Brado!

A couple of rides to note:

Tomorrow night at Dupont! Meet at the Fawn Lake access around 6:15. Come on Dave this one’s for you. I know you still have a bicycle.

December 28th Joe and I are hitting up Pisgah around the Horse Stables.

December 30th Pisgah mountain guide extraordinaire is taking us for a jaunt through Wilson’s Creek. This will be a pre-New Year’s celebratory ride.

Monday, December 18, 2006


That’s about the only way to put it when you are gone from your house for a week in a far away land.

Friday’s conversation at the airport goes a little something like this:

Me: “My flight has been canceled.”
Counter Lady: “You have been re-booked for Sunday at 7:45.”
Counter Lady: “I can put you on Standby for the 7:45 flight to Greenville this evening.”
Me: “Ok, Please check Columbia SC.”
Counter Lady: “You are on the 3:15 flight to Columbia SC.”
Me: “Sweeeeeeeeeeeet.”

So I phoned home to Kristin and let her know the change of plans and after two delays I was in Columbia around 7:00 in the evening.

Last Thursday I received my new Walt Works fork in the mail. I was pretty happy except for the fact that the wrong color was shipped. Saturday morning I went to pick up both my bikes from the LBS (local bike shop and not the local beer store) and low and behold four billion road bikers were getting ready to do “the loop.”

I took the Drunken Monkey donned in it’s new attire out for a “urban assault” to see what I could see about the WW fork. I knew it was lighter than my Surly but man it seemed (there’s about 3 miles of trail DT) as though the WW was really eating the bumps up.

Sunday Morning SingleTrack Pig, Broussard, Andrew and I all went for a ride in the North Mills area of Pisgah. Our Route:

FS 1206 --> FS 5000 --> ??? --> Bear Branch --> FS 5000 --> Spencer ??? or ?????? (that’s either gap or branch) --> Trace Ridge --> Neverending Road --> Fletcher --> Lower Trace --> ??? --> back to the cars.

While we were doing this Meghan, Kristin and two pups went to find Slate Rock. Rendezvous in 3 ½ hours.

It was a sweet loop around 25 miles and we burned it in 3 ½ hours. I can tell you that sitting around doing nothing for a week and a half has really helped my fitness.

I took the lead coming down Bear Branch and it was a blast. The leaves have been battered around/down enough that you can pick some really clean lines out in Pisgah again. We flew over the berms and dips and back out to FS 5000.

I was chatting to Andrew about the fact that I haven’t cleaned the singletrack climb to trace before on the SS. There is a super-steep section that pitches up over some eroded double track and continues to be steep through a field and then slightly tapers off for another good 150 yards. Nobody made it. Not even the geared machine. I did however make it further than I had before.

At the top of the climb, we decided to ride Trace Ridge. I hadn’t ridden it in a long time and I am not quite sure why. It was a BLAST! I forgot how fast that bad boy is. The WW fork was eating it up like a madman hopped up on PCP. Seriously, I looked down a couple times and expected to see moving parts on the Fork. Nope, still rigid. Trace is so fast and long that I wondered if the fun might last forever. It wasn’t a dream world and it eventually ended but the adrenaline rush stayed around for the climb up neverending road.

In a direct blow to it’s name Neverending road actually ends. For us, it ended at the Fletcher Creek trailhead. We blasted down and up Fletcher for a fun ride. I had only ridden Fletcher once long ago and it was a blast too! I really like the section that blasts from the woods into a field for about ¼ mile and then it pops you right back into the woods. Neat effect.

Wow, it was a really beautiful day, temps in the 70’s and beautiful vistas all around on the trails. I am back in the zone now.

We got done with the ride and no girls were to be found. We drank all of our beer and no girls were to be found. We drove to the Slate Rock/Pilot Cove loop and found the car but no girls. Andrew wondered if his dog had eaten the girls. Luckily this was not the case and they had taken some “detours” but were safe and happy so all was well.

A great day in the woods!

Ride at Paris tomorrow, Dupont Wednesday.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Take It To The House.

Hopefully something like this will get me home today.

Have a good weekend and ride ride ride.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mental Exhaustion

I almost had forgotten that trying to crunch through extremely difficult logic for hours on end can become just as exhausting as extreme physical exertion.

I will have some thoughts on this when I can focus thoughts toward pleasure and not work.

If you are looking to have a great ride this Sunday, drop me a line. We are headed to Coleman Boundary which I have never been to before.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy no more work and new trails.

Peace out People.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I sit here at work late this evening with nothing really to do. It is just the way IT works. There is a ton of HUAW (Hurry UP And Wait) work. Plus the fact that I am stuck in the office until all of my co-workers finish their work. We only have one rental Mini-Van. Yah, we are rollin’ like pimps for sure in our Kia. I’ve heard it’s the Cadillac of Minivans.

Anyway, I thought I would take this opportunity to write down some thoughts I had a couple weeks ago while running. I often think about why I love doing the things that I am passionate about. I think coordination plays a key role for me.

As Michael will tell you, I was not a coordinated young man. I pretty much had a hard time with any coordination that went beyond hand-eye coordination. Thank God for Clecovision and Nintendo. I will admit that I was quite awkward while growing up.

Keeping this in mind, I took to snow skiing very quickly. I remember the first time my Pops took me to Paoli Peaks. I took a quick lesson on the bunny slope and then I was on my way to a coordinated addiction.

There is something special about being at harmony with your muscle reflexes. Creating that muscle memory is what it takes to become fluid or consistent at sport.

I am not saying that I am coordinated at Mountain Biking but I am definitely more coordinated skiing or mountain biking than I am at walking or running.

Being away from home makes me remember how much I take for granted.

Did anyone ride for me this week?

What do you want under your tree?

Yah that is really my tree and it is real. My nieces and nephew are going to go crazy when they see their gifts under my tree! It will make my year.
That is a racing machine right there.

Life 2,000 miles away from my bicycles is not a good one.

Please ride some miles for me tonight at Paris.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cool Stuff

Can you tell which ones I like the best?

Basking Ridge is no vacation spot, I can tell you.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Here are my answers from yesterday.

If I could only ride one place the rest of my life, it would be Pisgah. I have left too much of my DNA out there to just write it off for some Western Single track that I have never ridden. Would like to though, and I am glad this is hypothetical.

If I could only have one bike, it would be a custom Titanium Hardtail 29'er that had a derailer hanger so I could throw gears on or a rigid fork and one gear.

I did say if you could only race one race a year what would it be? My choice for next year would be Shenandoah 100. Yes, I really have that much angst for not finishing this year.

Sunday, I have to leave for Basking Ridge New Jersey. This is not my choice mind you. I am being sent for senseless corporate reasons.

I will most likely try to make updates since it will be the only thing that keeps me sane whilst being around my co-workers for a week straight.

Anybody know of anything cool to do in Basking Ridge? Crap, I didn't think so.

If your interested to see where Basking Ridge is, click on me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thought Provoking

If you could only ride one race all year, what would it be?

If you were limited to one bike for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If you were limited to one park to ride in for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I will give my answers tomorrow. Let me hear yours.

Roll Out.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Catastrophic Failure

Ty, Andrew, Matt, Dennis and TC all showed up for a ride at Paris last night. It was cold last night but once we were pedaling up the mountain it wasn’t so bad.

The night was going as it usually would with TC in the lead flying all over the trail. We did our normal route that hits all of the trails. Apparently my favorite downhill has it in for me this winter. Last time we rode this down hill I had to case it out in the weeds to avoid killing Dennis.

This time was a new experience for me. I was cruising down Brissy having a blast when all of the sudded my front brake lever hit my fingers that were wrapped around the grip. I had some old brake pads on the bike, so I figured I had worn them useless. I pulled the lever with all of my fingers out of the way and the lever easily went flush to the grip. Oh $%*&! That can’t be good. I still had a back brake so I continued down the trail. Then I could taste something metallic in my mouth. I had the fleeting thought that something really bad had happened.

Once I made it to the bottom, I pulled out my alternate light and took a look at the brake. The main fastener that connects the hose to the reservoir by the brake lever had come completely off. Therefore my fluid had spilled all over the bike and forest. Not good at all.

I have been running Hayes 9 hydraulic brakes for almost three years now. This is the first time I have had any problem out of the normal realm of problems.

I made my way up the road back with the group and we took it back to the car via Sulphur Springs.

Ty had a fire kicking and had ordered pizza. Whiskey, Beer and pizza is a good way to take your mind off of catastrophic brake failure.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bad Idea Riding

I had to take that one from TeamDicky. That is what I am going to do tonight. Even though my riblet says no to most of my movements, I am still riding tonight. I have to go on a Bidness trip next week, so I can let it heal then and over Christmas.

Come ride Paris Mountain tonight if you live in the area.

Everyone in Bloggerland is talking about 2007. I am not going to open my mouth about too many races this year. When you tell important people in your life about things that you want to do, there is an obligation that runs deep into the soul. I do know what races I will be doing for sure:

The cross country single speed and downhill at the Icycle.

Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race! Nothing else needs to be said.

Shenandoah Mountain 100/75. Hopefully I will be doing the 100 mile option this year.

That is all I am committing to right now. Sure its not a very long list but I don’t even know what bike I will be riding in 2007 yet. I can guarantee that I could take the 2007 endurance bike here though. Do big wheels fit under a Christmas Tree?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Easy Days

I met up with Monty and Joe for a quick ride through Harbison on Saturday. It was a good thing that I got my squishy bike back from the shop as my rib needs some serious healing time. It doesn’t really hurt while I am riding but getting out of bed in the morning seems to be a challenge. Well more so than normal anyway.

Everything that I have researched online says I need about a month to fully recover. We will see.

I made the decision to try a short ride on Sunday at Manchester. I got to do my favorite trail and then it started spitting a wet cold rain. So I decided it was best to head back to the car.

Kristin and I went to see “Casino Royale” this weekend. I think the acting was good but the cheesy lines leave something to be desired.

That’s all today. Busy!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Let It Begin!

I have decided that this race is to kick off my 2007 season. It looks like a ton of fun and there is a night downhill race!

This race goes along well with the comments yesterday. There is a chance this race could be held in the snow. Yeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaww.

It will be my first attempt at a downhill race, I can't wait. I will be doing the downhill fully rigid. They definitely have a "hard ass" category but I am not sure if they have a "Popeye" category.

Thanks for the feedback yesterday!

Hey if you don't do anything else this weekend, ride your bike!