Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Moar Fun Side

Well then.  After that necessary interruption yesterday, I'm back to my adventure.  You know, the one I was talking about on Monday.  Exploring the other side of Uwharrie, I was having a blast.  It's been well over five years since the last time I'd been there, and although some of the scenery and trail names were slightly familiar, I couldn't remember which parts were the most fun.  I knew there were some fun downhills coming up, but couldn't remember where.  Luckily, I found out pretty quick when I spotted the familiar Death Star trenches.

 Red Five, I'm going in.

Wow.  That shit was just as fun as I remembered.  The trench was just wide enough to accommodate my big ass and my big ass bike,  I was flying down the trail with a giant smile on my face the whole time.  It was a long downhill, and it just kept getting better.



Eventually, the downhill ended at a creek crossing.  It had those signature ancient Uwharrie rocks and with very little maintenance, it was technically challenging.  I rode it a few times.


I remembered that there was a brutal climb after this creek crossing.  There was a climb alright, but I was wrong about its brutality.


Ha.  Easy climb.  Anyway, after coming out on a road, I checked (and double checked) my map and thought I was going in the right direction.  I ended up doing an extra loop, but it really wasn't a big deal.  I made my way back to my planned route with ease, hit another downhill, and ended up along a creek.  And then...

I found the most horrifying climb I'd ever ridden on a mountain bike.  

I'm pretty sure that once upon a time this trail was named "Bruce."

I crossed the creek and prepared to climb.  I told myself that I'm a much better cyclist now, and that climb wasn't as bad as I remembered.  Wrong again.  It was fucking brutal.  I've never seen anyone ride it all the way, and with me on a steel single speed, I ended up pushing up most of it.  I huffed and puffed, and watched as my heart rate soared to nearly 200.  I was gonna die!

Finally, I saw the top.  That little bit of motivation carried me the rest of the way.  As difficult as it was, the climb was worth it.  The view was a rare one for this small mountain range.


And then I took the opportunity to do some shameless product advertising:


Yes, Nuun and Honey Stinger carried me to the top.

I don't know if it was my rising heart rate, lack of oxygen, or momentary lapse of judgement reading my map, but I couldn't figure out how to get own from that mountain top.  I thought I was supposed to take a sharp left to head back down, but with all the leaf cover and lack of maintenance I couldn't find the trail.  I took another trail that was easier to follow and figured I'd find my way back to my route eventually.  I wasn't technically lost, but a few checks of the map showed no existing trail.  I could find my location on said map, but not any trail close by.

Shit.

I pushed on.  Screw it.  One more check of the map and I saw that I was approaching my intended route again.  Moments later, I spotted a sign that was very familiar.

The Short trail was anything but.  Mud, steep climbs, rocks, and lots of hike a bike.  At least I was going in the right direction though.  One climb later, I approached another intersection and knew I was on the right path.  

This is not the Good Guy Greg Trail.  I'm not sure he's even been on it.

That loop turned into another loop, and I knew I had one final downhill to go.  It was rough, untamed, and full of leaves and baby heads.  It was so rad.


Yeah, I nearly busted my ass a few times, got my legs cut up by flying rocks, and bogged down in the mud a few times, but I was smiling.  It was one of the best rides I'd had in quite some time.  I popped out onto the fire road, and after a short ride on the gravel again I was back in the parking lot...

Three and a half hours later.  

I don't care for the term "epic ride", but you know...

I can't wait to go back.

Wanna try it out for yourself? Start here:


Need a guide?  I work for beer.  Hit me up before I get too fat to ride anymore.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cheering Section

Sorry, I kinda had to talk about it...

Week two of the short track races and our party is in full swing.  Eastwood was out of town, but we ended up with a pretty decent crowd at the “rock garden” to cheer, heckle, and party for the race participants.

We rocked… 



As far as the heckling goes, it’s par for the course out there.  Back when I raced in the series, I appreciated everyone at the rocks (and jumps) cheering and giving me a whole lotta shit.  That race is all about suffering, and having people yelling at you is a great motivator.  When I decided to stop racing it to focus on other events, we inherited the party in the woods and ran with it.

Once upon a time it was a little less tame...

Photo cred: A.H.

People still love it.  In fact, most people heckle us for not heckling them enough.  It’s all friendly, except that we give extra shit to our near and dear friends.  When they finish their respective races, they join us to continue the fun.  We’ve never had any issues, until this past weekend…

When some douchebag got butt hurt.

I’m not gonna name names (because he’s a little piece of shit and doesn’t deserve any recognition), but one particular individual had an issue with our cheering.  We were actually quite encouraging to him, but after a few laps he started yelling back at us.  A few people went at him with more heckling, and at one point he said he’d be back. 

Awesome. 

By that time, the party had dwindled down to only a few of us.  We were packing up to go watch “the big game” when he returned.  He hopped off of his bike and immediately started lecturing me.  Not sure why I became his target.  Maybe because the rest of the crew had split.  I dunno.  Anyway, I didn’t want to hear it.  I stepped over the tape, got in his face, but restrained myself from doing anything stupid.* 

He started hurling some insults (and I gave it back at that point), but he wasn’t about to do anything else.  It was actually quite funny, especially knowing that I could have shut him up immediately if I wanted.

Some highlights:

“YOU DON’T RACE.”

“NO ONE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE!”

“YOU’RE FAT.  YOU’RE OBESE”

And my favorite…

“YOU'RE WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS SPORT.”

He finally wised up and got back his bike, but still kept running his mouth as he rode away.  I "honored his achievements" one more time, and he was gone.  He was obviously suffering from extreme hurt feelz. 

Our small group chatted about it for a minute, and we actually got a good laugh out of the whole thing.  He’s a nobody that maybe was once a somebody, and clearly doesn’t get it.  Or maybe I don’t get it, since I’m really what’s wrong with this sport.  Still though, I didn’t insult him until he came back and started shit with me, and he turned some friendly cheering (yes, everyone was nice to him at first) into a big deal.  All because he thinks he’s so awesome and no one should be able to talk about him. 

He’s so bitter that he probably pisses pure lemon juice.   

Really, I think he’s just mad because he finished his race behind this guy:

That’s an All-American right there, and everything that’s RIGHT with this sport.

I’m not bitter though.  I’m just gonna keep getting fatter and try my best to ruin everything.

Who gives a shit.

I took one for the team, and now the team is getting ready for our own "big game."

Stay tuned.

*Dicky was over my shoulder like a guardian angel.  I didn’t want to resort to violence in front of him, which would have made him uncomfortable.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Other Side

So...

I went on an adventure over the weekend.  Yeah, it was back to Uwharrie, but this time it was different.  The Uwharrie that everyone knows and rides is fun and all that, but secretly I was thinking of it's lesser known "other side."  You see, when I first moved to Charlotte from Central Florida almost nine years ago, the very first time I rode a bike in the mountains was at Uwharrie.  I spent a lot of time out there in those ancient hills, and along the way befriended the local bike shop (and ended up riding for them), and even did my first triathlon out there.  While I spent some time riding the "normal trails", most of my time was spent on the rough and rugged trails where they held the Xterra events.

It was time to go back.

I've been wanting to visit for a while to see if the trails were as great as I remember.  The Dirty Party Cycle was supposed to go with me, but we agreed that the trails needed time to dry out.  We decided to hit them another day.  However, I woke up the next morning and couldn't resist.  I got myself ready and drove out to the place where I fell in love with riding in the mountains.


Smaller, older mountains, but the views are still good.  I hit the forest service road (which looks like every other forest service road) and made my way back to the lake.  It was the place where I did my first open water swim.


It was quite chilly, but I dressed warm.  Not remembering how difficult the trails were, I grabbed my map (and a cue sheet from Marcus) and took off on the gravel road wondering what I had gotten myself into.


I rode almost two miles back to the intersection, made a right, and saw the first trail marker.


It looked familiar, despite the fact that it had been over five years since I'd been there.  I was greeted with a steep climb (typical on this side of the forest), and before I knew it I was on some flat(ish) singletrack.


Years had passed and memories faded, but I was in familiar territory.  I kept the map handy and referenced it frequently, but trail markers kept popping up that I had seen before.


Other than a few steep (yet short) climbs, it was typical singletrack for North Carolina for a while.  The climbs got a little longer as the ride went on though.


It was familiar, yet different.  The climb above came with a nice reward though.


I was pretty high up in those small mountains, and the views were awesome in all directions.  I walked around for a while, double checked my map,and figured out where I was supposed to go next.
Then another familiar trail marker caught my eye...


A quick glance up ahead and I knew that I was in for some fun.

Stay tuned...


Friday, February 5, 2016

Fun Friday

Sorry. I skipped one more day than I wanted.  I know, who gives a shit.  You see, I haven't been feeling well.  I had this stupid sinus thingy a few weeks ago, thought I had it beat, and then it came back with a vengeance.  It was actually pretty shitty for a while.


I tried to sit here and write something, but I just couldn't.  I kept making mistakes that I couldn't seem to fix no matter how hard I tried.


I broke down and went to the doctor, and after a shitload of antibiotics I'm feeling better.  Not that I have anything against biotics.  Whatever.  I was in a haze, so it's nice to be back in real life.


This weekend, I haz plans (what else is new, I know.)  Sunday, we'll be back at the Short Track races again.  And no, I'm not racing.  That would be disastrous at this point.


I guess that's still a win.  Anyway, we're planning to party (and heckle) again, so if you're gonna be out there then you'd better get your feelz ready.  We'll be ready.

And yeah, I'm planning to ride this weekend to (if I feel up to it.)  I'm going on another hunt for Bigfoot.


Hopefully he doesn't find me first. See y'all Monday.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Not Just Beer

So on Saturday, I spent almost a whole day at a brewery...


Yes.  I drank a lot of beer.  That's what happens.  However, that's not why I was there.  You see, the folks at The Unknown Brewing Company hosted this really rad fundraising event called Shred for Gabe and Luke.  The brainchild of the Chili Man, it's a skateboard deck art auction to raise money for two really cool kids, Gabe and Luke, who were born with Spina Bifida.

They are really awesome, by the way.



There were lots of boards painted by many local artists...


The one up there next to my beer was painted by Lunchbox.  The guy that won that auction was really stoked to get it.  I was proud.

Anyway, aside from cool kids, good food, some of my favorite beer,and art for auction, local vendors were on site selling their wares.  One cool thing of note was the peeps from Soul Ride Skatepark selling skateboard guitars.


And how can I forget the little lady?


She had an awesome booth with her cool artwork for sale, but the highlight for me was the coolgift she made for the folks at the brewery (for hosting such a great event.)  With The Chili Man on the mic, a brewery representative unwrapped a custom piece of artwork...


Pretty rad.  The little lady is proud.  I was too.

I can't remember how many beers I had that day, but I do remember that I had an awesome time.  I met some really cool people and helped (a little bit anyway) to raise some money,  I didn't ride bikes, but it's not always about that anyway.

Srsly.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Preseason

It's almost time for the (my) mountain bike racing season, as evidenced by the first race in the Winter Short Track Series kicking off.  It was a gorgeous day with sun and warm temps.  A perfect day for a ride in the woods.

I didn't ride though.  It's not time for me to do that just yet.

Instead, we headed out there to do what has become our duty, to host a party in the woods to um, "encourage" the racers.   You know, all festive-like.


Yes, the pinata is back, along with costumes and other assorted nonsense.



And my man Carl even made an appearance.  He really digs the Creepy Baby Foot.


The turnout was a little small but we really tried to make the most of it.  We heckled our friends, made new friends, and even hurt some feels.  Some people are way too serious, but whatever.  Wait until we turn it up a notch or two as the series goes on.  We have fun, most of the racers enjoy it, and we're really not out there to hurt anyone.

Yesterday was just the warm up.  It will get mo betta.  Hell, I might even get out there and mix it up on the bike too.

Stay tuned.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Fun Friday

It's been a long week for me.  Although I love my job now, I've been working on a project that's taking a lot of my time.  I should be finished with it today.  Hooray.  That means that I don't have to get up early tomorrow and worry about anything.


It also means that I need some time alone.  I have plans as usual, but what I'd really like is to be somewhere quiet and away from people.


It is Fun Friday, which as the start of the weekend means that I can do whatever the hell I want.  I post funny(ish) pictures, I laugh, and maybe you laugh too.

And to wrap up this crap and nonsense, I'll post another photo that my man D-Wayne will probably get a kick out of.


He may think it's funny, but maybe you are offended.  Who gives a shit.


There you go.

See y'all Monday I suppose.