Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cold Turkey

With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, it's turned cold and rainy here again.  With some time off of work to ride my bike, it’s kind of like a kick in the nuts.

Or a peck to the nuts…with a beak…on a former President.  Whatever.

I’m not gonna be here tomorrow.  You won’t either.  Hell, most of you probably won’t be here today (or any other day.)  So, today is kinda like my Fun Friday.  Although I don’t get caught up in the shopping melee that is Black Friday, I won’t be here then either. 

I’m definitely thankful for that, which is the type of feels we are supposed to have for Thanksgiving.

I don’t really get into this particular holiday, so I’m sorta going with the flow here.  Even if you’re not into it either, you’re probably still gonna eat until you pop.  Sounds lovely.  Make sure you get off your ass and do something after.

And, I’m outta here.  I’ll see y’all sometime later I guess.  And by the way, bloggage will be spotty at best (if at all) next week.  I’m heading out of town for the week for some work-related stuff.  I may or may not blog while I’m gone, or I may or may not have things to talk about when I get back.

Enjoy your time away…and stuffing your fat face.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wet And Sloppy

After a late night at The Spoke Easy 3rd Anniversary Party I found it difficult to get out of bed Saturday morning.  It was a beautiful day and I wanted to ride, but I just couldn’t get motivated.  I didn’t feel hungover (surprisingly), so maybe it was the stress of a rough (short) week at work.  Eventually I got up and at ‘em, but I wasn’t worth a shit.

So I did pretty much nothing for a while.

Eventually I got out of the house, but not to ride (I went to the guitar store.)  Some of my friends were out in The Pisgah doing a little riding, but I didn’t want to be gone all day.  I mildly regretted the fact that I didn’t join them.  Next time.  Once the day whittled away to nothing, the little lady and I ended up outside with a fire.

It was cold, but the fire was warm.  SCIENCE!  It was a nice way to spend an evening, but I felt like I accomplished nothing without riding.  We ended up outside pretty late hanging out with the neighbors, and I wondered if I would actually get my ass up the next morning to ride.  With the weather people calling for shitty conditions later in the morning I had to get up extra early if I wanted to do anything.

That didn’t happen.

I mean, the getting up extra early or the “later morning” shitty conditions.  It was raining when I got up, so I decided to take my newest shit bike out for a ride.

This is my “new” “cyclocross” bike.  The quotes are because it’s neither new nor cyclocross, but it is somewhat of a bike.  I took an old mountain bike I had that was already equipped with CX tires, added some drop bars, brake levers, and bar tape, and made it kind of a bike that could be used for cyclocrossing (or gravel grinding.) 

It looks like shit, but it rides just fine.  Since it’s nothing special, I really didn’t mind taking it out in the rain.  I did some road riding, hit some gravel, and eventually ended up on my local greenway.  Well, until I hit a dead end due to construction.

Since I can haz cyclocross now, I “jumped” over the barrier and kept going.

It was very uneventful and I got pretty muddy.  Luckily it was raining and there were plenty of puddles to wash me off.  I made my way back across the construction zone and took the real detour this time.

It was much less dirty.

I got in a pretty good ride in shitty conditions and it was actually fun.  This was the maiden voyage of the yet to be named shit bike and it performed pretty well.  Maybe now I can see what all this cyclocross stuff is about now without buying another bike.

Or maybe I will buy another bike.

Damn it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Convenient Party

Friday night was the Spoke Easy 3rd Anniversary Party.  I was there.  Mostly because I like the crowd that hangs out there, but a good reason is that it’s walking distance from work.  So, I walked over there after I left my office, and started the party a few hours early.

Eventually the little lady showed up, also walking there from work.

We were way early, but it didn’t matter.  It’s a cool place to spend time after a long day slaving away for The Man.  As the party start time inched closer, more people started showing up, including the man of the hour, Dicky.

Shown here for size comparison with Dread.

Even Mike Pierce and his wicked chops showed up again this year.

And rumor has it he made it home safe and sound this year.  I’m not sure if he drank enough.

Beer, music, shenanigans.  As the night went on there were bike games of some sort, but most of us stayed inside and watched Dicky take photos.

And then a giant chicken showed up for some reason.

And shit got really weird.

Not my best work.  Meh.

We partied.  Late.  Later than I would have liked to, considering I was really close to where I work.  Normally I get the hell out of town in a hurry and head home, but this was pretty fun.  I’m not sure when I actually left outta there, but I know it was sometime after people started getting punched in the balls.

Much fun.  I can see more after work visits in my future.  If you haven’t checked out The Spoke Easy, do it.  The new location is really awesome, and you might even have a good time.

Yeah, that’s how my weekend started. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun Friday

It was a short week for me.  It seemed really long for some reason though.  I’m kinda feeling run down.

That doesn’t matter, because today is Friday which means I have two whole days to do whatever the hell I want.  At least the weather here is a little bit nicer than up north.

I know you’ve seen all the weather reports from up there in Buffalo.  The little lady is from up there, so we’re hearing about it first hand.  They are used to snow, but damn.  I’m glad we just get a little bit of that stuff down here in the South.

You know, enough to make it fun.

Nah, we don’t have any yet, but it’s coming soon I bet. 

For now, I’ll just enjoy the “nice” weather we’re having here (until Sunday when it’s supposed to rain.)  Maybe there will be rides to talk about, or maybe there will be some new beer to drink.

Who gives a shit.  At least I won’t be working.

See y’all Monday.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Group Effort

 So yeah it was meeting day.  A few of us volunteers arrived at the venue early in the morning to setup, and like the saying goes, many hands make light work.  Before we knew it, people were registered and the meeting was underway.

 While the meeting went on, some of us participated, and the rest made sure everyone had plenty of food to eat and coffee/other stuff to drink.  It wasn’t bad work, and I was happy to see all of our volunteers come together to make sure the attendees had a good time.  It was all standard “meeting stuff”, but at one point we all headed outside to get the obligatory group shot to prove that we were there.

Photo credit:  Leslie from MTBProject

While we did “meeting stuff” a whole host of locals were down the road at Backyard Trail to get ready for the big group ride.  We had folks from our club and even the Faster Mustache guys helping out.  Once the meeting broke out, everyone started to head over to the trail to get their ride on.  A few of us stayed behind to make sure we cleaned and locked up the building, which meant that I missed the groups rolling out.  Good Guy Greg was with me, so when we finally hit the trail we decided to just ride with the first group we caught.

It didn’t take long, and we settled in.  We hit the Poo Tracks as one big group and it was interesting.  The out of towners had never seen such a thing, and they were laughing and having a great time.

It was difficult to maintain a steady pace with all those people trying to navigate the tricky tracks, so I just stood there and took photos.  In addition to the photo above, I found an old poo cart off in the bushes.

When our ride leader got a flat, I was suddenly in charge of our group.  I tried to hold us together, and being up front gave me moar opportunities to photograph the riders.

Dicky had lots of big air and gnar photos from his ride, but we had a little fun too.

We were losing daylight though, so we eventually started making our way out of there.  It was an awesome ride, and luckily I was able to see most of the other people out there on different parts of the trail.  Every single person had a big smile, even the ones that crashed (there were just a few.)  Our little hidden gem here in the sewer was well-liked by all, and I was proud that we got a chance to show it off.  Everyone had a great time it seemed, but the night wasn’t over yet. 

Once we got off the trail, I had to find beer for the after party.  Luckily, Big n' Buttery was unable to kick two kegs all by his lonesome…

Bicycle Sport was actually kind enough to donate those to us for the party.  We cannot haz party if we do not haz beer.  So thanks to them (and Big n' Buttery.)  The party was a success and everyone walked away with full bellies (courtesy of Lola’s.)  I did not take photos because I was busy making sure everyone had fun. 

They did.

Man, I was really nervous about our club hosting the SORBA Board of Directors meeting here in Charlotte.  I attended in Jacksonville last year and thought, “Hey, we should do that.”  We talked about it for a while, and before I knew it we’d been chosen to have everyone here in our town for this annual event.  Lots of folks came together from our area, including our board members, ride leaders, and local establishments, to make this a pretty fun time.

I are proud.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Host With The Most

I had quite a few days off (from here and from work.)  Honestly, I didn’t want to come back to either one.  I pretty much had to go back to work (since I’m not independently wealthy) and coming back here, well, I sorta missed it.  I guess I can tell you what I did while I was gone.

Our local mountain biking club, the Tarheel Trailblazers played host to other clubs from all over the Southeast for the SORBA Board of Directors meeting.  I took last Friday off to take care of any last minute items.  Since there wasn’t much else to do (thanks to a ton of volunteers), I had the day to ride.  The plan was for TomTom and I to meet my Florida homie Dan Z. and ride at the whitewater park.  It was the start of a few days of chilly weather up here, but a few miles in it looked like he was having a great time (and staying warm.)

I’m sure it was because he came prepared to ride here in North Carolina.

Dan is a good dude.  I rode with him last year in Jacksonville, and he’s been to NC quite bit.  In fact, he took a few days prior to our ride to hit some other stuff in the area, like Rocky Knob Park, Warrior Creek, and even Sherman Branch.  He has this strange way of ranking trails, which he calls his “Top 5.”  The funny thing is, there are over twenty trails in his “Top 5.”  I’m pretty sure that everything he rides ends up in his Top 5, since there is no official ranking system.  He rides it, it makes the list.  The whitewater park was no exception, because it didn’t take long before he announced that it had also made the cut. 

I guess he has fun wherever he goes.

Anyway, after an abbreviated tour of the trails out there, we took a lunch break.  Two other guys from Jacksonville rolled in (Pete and J-Pow), and we hit the restaurant out there for some grub (and beer for me and Dan.)  The food was good, but our new guests were looking to ride.  Before our burgers had a chance to digest, we hit the trail again.

The new Tower 93 line is pretty awesome, and these guys too a few turns hitting the downhill, bermy, jumpy action.  I bowed out of the last run to get photos, and TomTom waited for the Florida boys to do something spectacular.

I think they really enjoyed it.

It was nice to hang with the Jax crew.  Being from my old home state, it was nice to play host to them in my new home state.  I think they had a lot of fun out there.  Hopefully they will come back soon and ride with us (when it’s a little warmer of course.)

It was a long day though.  Two rides with lunch (and beer) in between made for a great day off, but the “meeting” stuff was about to kick off.  I got cleaned up and headed over to host the rest of the out of towners at a new local brewery here in CLT.

We had beer, met some new (and old) friends, and closed the place down with our shenanigans.  The next morning, the “real” meeting would start.  I had to get up at the crack of dark and I wasn’t looking forward to that part of it.

The rest of the weekend, well, I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Huge thanks to the Jax crew for riding with us.  They are good people, and if you are ever down that way hit them up at SORBAJax.  It’s a helluva lot warmer down there and they have fun shit to ride too.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Short Week

It’s my Friday.  I shall celebrate.

Blogging has been easy this week (not like it’s that difficult to begin with.)  I was off Tuesday, and now I’m off tomorrow and a few days next week.  I need a break from work, and some alone time in the woods seems to be the right course of action.  I have a few rides planned while I’m gone, and I hope that each one of them is more fun than the next. 

I found that picture yesterday.  It’s from almost two years ago, but it’s one of my favorites.  It reminds me of how much fun I can have riding my bike, and that one in particular reminds me of how much fun racing used to be.  Maybe I can capture that again soon.

And I almost forgot, next Tuesday is my birthday.  That’s part of the reason I won’t be here.

That about sums it up.

Man, I can’t wait to get out in the woods.  It’s gonna be really cold here due to some Canadian Arctic Blast, but who gives a shit. 

Maybe blogging will resume to “normal” levels when I get back sometime next week.

I’m going into an Internet Hole.