Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Awesome Weekend

I got back sorta late on Sunday and didn’t feel like getting my shit together early to write ye old blog post yesterday.  So here I am today. 

Anyway, I took off Friday for Mulberry Gap ready to have a fun weekend.  I had such a shitty day leading up to my departure that I couldn’t get there fast enough.  I rolled in just before dark, got checked in, and settled into my cozy little home for the weekend.

A lot of the folks were already there and winding down for the night, but TomTom and Emily hadn’t arrived yet.  Eastwood (yeah I linked to the blog that he never updates anymore) walked up and we decided to wait.  We grabbed some beer and I made a new friend.

They eventually rolled in and got situated for the night, and it was lights out.  I tossed and turned all night, unable to sleep for some reason.  At a little before six a.m. I was wide awake, and a few minutes later I decided to get out of bed and get myself ready for the day.

And my new friend was waiting for me.

He followed me up to the bathroom and back, and had a disappointed look when I took off up the hill to get breakfast later in the morning.  Our whole group gathered for breakfast and got to know each other a little better and discussed our ride plans for the day.  We got changed and met back up on the hill, where our special guest spoke to us and thanked everyone for coming out.

Yes, that’s Chris Sugai, the man in charge at Niner.  He flew out there just to ride and hang out with our crew of Niner Ambassadors, Ninerds, and friends.  It was a pretty big group.

We had a nice route planned and we took off as one big group.  People were there from all over the Southeast (and beyond I guess), and it was like a group of old friends getting together for a reunion. 

Then, we started climbing.

The rest of the story will be told tomorrow…

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fun Friday

I feel better.  You know, not in a haze from meds anymore.  That’s good because I was starting to feel pretty dumb.

 Plus, no more weird side effects that were making me, um, uncomfortable and in need of help.

So anyway, this weekend is gonna be awesome.  In just a few short hours a few of us Charlotte folks are heading down to Mulberry Gap for a weekend of riding, beers, and socializing.  The best part is that we’re meeting up with a bunch of other Niner Ambassadors, Niner Mike, and even a special guest.

I has much excite.

I hope you’re gonna go out and have some fun this weekend too.  Don’t do anything lame that will come back to haunt you.

Um, yeah.

See y’all on Monday…maybe.

Probably Tuesday.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Get My Head Right

I’ve been on some pretty good pain meds since my visit to the doctor last Friday.  It’s helping me heal for sure, but I still feel all wonky.  Things just look different lately. 

I made a decision last night to stop with the muscle relaxers to see if I could sleep.  It actually worked, which probably means that I’m feeling better.  That’s awesome because even though I don’t take any in the morning, I still feel woozy for the first part of the day after taking one the night before.  I’m trying to get my head right so I can get back on the bike (I know, I just raced a few days ago.)  I have a big weekend coming up and I want to be able to ride without feeling dizzy, thus increasing my chances of crashing and risking further injury. 

Related to this weekend’s activities (which I’ll get into tomorrow), I took a little time to get the Executor ready…

It’s all clean and shiny, ready to get dirty up in some hills.  Since it doesn’t have any of those stupid gears I didn’t really have to adjust anything.  Still, I went over all the moving parts to make sure they uh, moved.  This bike is ready to go.

Me too.  See y’all tomorrow for what?  Fun Friday of course.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hold On

You thought I was gonna skip the rest of the week until Friday again?  Who gives a shit.

I actually got some new stuff I wanted to mention.  While I don’t care much for the road bike, I do care when stuff wears out.  I ride it quite a bit unfortunately, which means that I will eventually exceed the useful life of some items.  Stupid stuff that you really don’t think about…

Like bar tape.

Luckily, I haz solution.

 Touch it.  Feel it.  Love it.  I lol’d.

Lizard Skins 3.2mm Bar Tape.  It’s thicker than the last stuff I used (also from Lizard Skins of course), and extra white so I can get it extra dirty. 

The tape goes on easy, and it feels softer than a mess of hot buttered biscuits.  I can’t wait to ride on the road test it out.

Up next, I needed new grips for The Executor, my Niner ROS9.  They’ve redesigned my usual “big bike” grips and I was full of excite. 

And yes, even you can get custom text on your bar clamps.  You don’t have to be famous or some shit like that.

My first test ride on these were up in the hills of The “Other” Pisgah, and hot damn they are comfy.  Since I’ve been all racey lately I haven’t been riding the big bike that much.  That will change soon, in fact as soon as this weekend.

Anyway, just a few new things from the fine folks at Lizard Skins.  I’ve been riding with their stuff for quite a while now, and they never disappoint. 

You go buy now.

I go ride now.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Almost Finished

With two races to go in the Southern Classic Series, I’m sorta relived that it’s almost over.  I’m still having fun though, so in a weird way I don’t want it to end. Good people, good race venues, and pushing myself to get good results.  It’s been rewarding for sure.

This race almost didn’t happen for me.  I haven’t slept worth a damn in over a week.  I forgot to mention it earlier, but I was in a car accident about a week and a half ago while I was driving at work (in their vehicle.)  I was rear ended while I was at a red light, and while I didn’t think it was too serious at the time I’ve had a sore neck and a headache since it happened.  I finally went to the doctor on Friday, and after a quick visit I walked away with some meds and a note to take plenty of breaks at work and no heavy lifting.  Cycling is okay as long as I “take it easy.”

I’m not sure how to do that during a race.

I arrived early at Dark Mountain, shot the shit with some fellow racers, and got myself warmed up. I was as ready as I could be.

We took off, and as usual I sprinted to the front.  It wasn’t part of any strategy though.  I just wanted to hit the first little rock garden thingy without being behind anyone.  I did, and after that I let one guy get by me.  A short while later, I let another by.  I was taking it easy.  I climbed, descended, and kept the rest of the field behind me as best I could.  I felt okay I guess, but the roots were beating the shit out of me and making my head throb.  I just told myself, “Just hang in there for the final downhill.” 

Before I knew it, I was flying down the last section of the course.  I rounded one blind corner and suddenly spotted a racer from a later class climbing UP the downhill.  He jumped out of the way at the last minute, likely sparing himself certain death if my 230 pound ass had hit him.  He was lucky.  I was spooked.

I breezed through the start finish line and hit the climbs again.  I felt stronger this lap, and climbed a lot better because of it. About halfway in though, the muggy air in the woods was starting to get to me and I hit the wall.  I thought for sure I was making good time to catch the leaders, but my pace was slowing.  I felt like shit and wondered if I had enough left to make it out of there.

I hit a short downhill and cooled off a little.  I suddenly felt better and put the hammer back down.  I momentarily forgot about my head hurting and gave it all I had to finish the race.  When I hit the final downhill I let it go again.  This time though, I kept a lookout for rouge climbers going the wrong way.  I made it out without incident and rolled through the finish line in 3rd place.

Good enough for a spot on the box.

Photo cred: Jack Hobby

And more importantly, I’m pretty sure I secured my 1st overall in the series with one race to go.  I guess we’ll find out for sure in two weeks.

In the meantime, I spent the rest of the day sitting around enjoying a beer or two to make the pain go away.

It was a pretty good day.  Racing is fun.  Even if it hurts.

Now I just gotta get my head right if that's possible.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fun Friday

I know, I just skipped right to Friday again.  I wish the week really worked like that.  Anyway, it looks like I’m down to just three days a week of blogging now.  Who gives a shit.

I have two days off from work, so I’m gonna chill.

Maybe.  Tomorrow I don’t really have any plans set in stone.  I really need a break from everything, and a day to do nothing.  I just want to have fun somehow and maybe even get in a little laugh or two.

Other than looking at photos on The Internets, you know.

Sunday is race day.  It’s been a while since I’ve raced since I took the last one off.  I guess I’m ready, although honestly I feel like I’m a bit over trained.  My legs still hurt, and work has been pretty rough.  Maybe I can call in for some help.

Yeah.  Maybe I can do it.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be back here Monday with a race report from Dark Mountain.  I’m still somehow in first place for the series, but that’s probably because I’m the “featured racer."

Trust me.  I’m not that rad in real life.

See y’all next week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dog Tired

Carl knows what I’m talking about.

Two days in the weekend and two rides.  Yup, I managed to pedal twice in a row.  Who gives a shit.  After a nice day in the hills on Saturday, I tried to ruin it by taking a road ride on Sunday.  I had stuff to do around the house and didn’t want to be gone all day so a road ride made sense.

I took off out of my neighborhood headed for parts unknown.  Heading north towards quieter roads, I was looking for the least amount of vehicular traffic.  I passed what used to be my favorite road route, but now I’m denied access because of stupid cars traveling at 70+ m.p.h.

I didn’t really have a destination in mind, but I ended up near Huntersville.  After stopping for a second and looking at The Facebook, I saw that Dicky was nearby and heading my way.  So, I waited.

He no show up.  I am disappoint.

Without a suitable bike to ride the pump track (yes, I tried), I decided to head back south to see where I could end up.  A local craft beer store caught my attention so I stopped.  Surely Dicky was riding up this very road and would stop to have a beer with me.

I waited again. 

He never showed up.  I figured that since he was riding on the road on a single speed mountain bike that I must have been moving along at a much faster pace on my geared made for the road bike.  I continued south, thinking maybe I would see him spinning up the road. 

Still nothing.  Fuck it.  I’m heading back home.

Almost thirty miles for the day, sunburned, hot as hell, and no sign of a little old man on a single speed.  I made it home without getting killed too, which is always a plus.  I’d call it a good day.

Since I was out of my usual post ride beer choice, I settled for something else.

It was good.  It didn’t taste like it had any alcohol at all so I drank two just to be sure.

Yeah.  A good day.  Even with a road ride.