Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Talk Me Out Of It

Saturday was a long day and I felt like I accomplished very little.  I ate, drank beer, and worked on a few bikes.  Okay, good enough.  I still wanted more though.  On Sunday, I really wanted to ride my bike (a bike, any damn bike) somewhere.  No trails were open yet, but at least the rain wasn’t pissing all over us.  It was more like an old man dribble down the leg rain. 

At first I thought about a road ride.  Then I remembered that road riding sucks when it’s windy outside (and most all other times.)  Then I declared to the little lady, 

“I’m gonna ride my mountain bike somewhere around here.”


“You’re supposed to talk me out of dumb shit.”

“Nope.  Can I go?”

And just like that, we were off.  While I was happy to be out pedaling, I was not happy to be flopping around in a strong wind. 

New rain coat is not fancy.  But it works.

Just like any ride where we don’t load bikes on to vehicles, this one started out in our neighborhood and ended up going through other neighborhoods.  If we were “training”, I’d call these hills fun.

We weren’t training.  But, they were still fun for some strange reason.  Maybe because we were out on bikes.  I dunno.  Or maybe because that if you ride around neighborhoods long enough, you’ll find something fun for mountain bicycles.

Notice how Little Miss Sunshine gets all rad with the drooper post.  So Enduro™.

I don’t think we really rode very far.  We were gone a little under an hour, but it made of for a week’s worth of not riding due to the shitty weather we’ve had.  Instead of bitching about how the trails are too sloppy to ride, we made the best of it by doing a little neighborhood exploring.  I know, it’s not the same. 

But it helped to keep me sane.

I’m just taking baby steps right now.  Baby steps towards what?

Who gives a shit.  All I had to do was get off my ass and onto a bicycle seat.  It turns out that there’s always enough time for that.

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Had Plans

Although we didn’t get as much rain as originally predicted (sorry to the folks down there in SC), I still wasn’t able to get out and ride anywhere awesome over the weekend.  Free weekends usually mean a trip to the hills, but I don’t own a kayak so that was out.  Instead, the little lady and I took off in search of a rain jacket for me (I’ve never owned one despite living in Florida for thirty four years.)

Shopping for things really stress me out.  On our way back, we rolled through the city and I had the bright idea to stop at a brewery.

That made me full of happy.

We stopped at The Unknown Brewing Company here in Charlotte.  They haz awesome beerz.   And they let assholes like me sit out there where they make it.

All while I use their d├ęcor to shamelessly plug DeFeet socks…

It wasn’t all beer though.  Once we got back home I spent some time alone working on bikes.  I got one bike finished that I’m building for a friend (sorry, no photos) and I worked on Darth Maul, my Niner One9 rigid single speed that I’ve been neglecting for a while now.

It’s not like I had that much to do.  Typical stuff, you know.  Stan’s in da tires…

Adjusting chain tension…

And admiring my my new Endless chain ring that hasn’t seen a whole lot of use yet.

So exciting, I know.  However, now this bike will be ready to ride instead of hanging up being all useless.  Little maintenance items that prevented me from taking it on my trip to Kentucky, where instead I had to opt for gears.  Who gives a shit.

Now if everything around here would just dry up so I can ride in some dirt (and have moar exciting things to write about.)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fun Friday

It’s looking like it's gonna be a shitty weekend…

While there has been much talk around North Carolina about drought conditions, it seems like we won’t have to worry about that anymore.  It’s been raining like crazy for quite a while now, and there’s a new storm out there that’s gonna pile more of it on us.

This is bullshit.  Just when I started feeling like riding bikes again, I don’t see an opportunity to do so.  Last weekend I was lucky enough to escape to Kentucky (and stumble upon a dry trail), but that ain’t happening this weekend.  This is almost as bad as being stuck in a clown hotel for the weekend, cause I’m gonna go batshit crazy.

Meh.  Just when I decided to quit bitching about work, I’ve found something else to bitch about.

Good idea.  Wet trees at that.

I’ll get into something over the weekend.  And it will involve bikes and beer.  Maybe the bike part will just be catching up on neglected maintenance, but at least the beer will be something quite special.

Yup, smuggled back from Kentucky last weekend.  I kinda felt like Han Solo when I brought that back here.

That’s enough funny for today.  I’m gonna go be wet and miserable now.

See y’all next week.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bikes, Beer, and Bluegrass

Although my trip to Kentucky was for a family reunion, I brought a bike “just in case.”  If anything, I figured I’d just ride it around town or something like that.  However, after a few searches on The Internets I found that there was a trail nearby (and on the way back home) that I could ride and not spend all day doing so. 

Just a few miles south in Lexington, I rolled up to Veterans Park.

With only around five miles of trail, I knew it would be a decent ride and I would be able to have fun.  Honestly I didn’t care though, since all I wanted to do was pedal in the dirt.  I found a bluegrass station on my phone and hit the trail.

The trail was pretty fast and smooth with very little climbing (but somehow with a lot of downhills.)  Since it was so short, I stopped often to take photos. 

And I even used the timer on my camera to get an “action shot.”

It was pretty fun.  But with little to no roots I was starting to get bored.  Luckily, I quickly realized that I’d been riding the “easiest” section and that there was another part with moar difficulty.

This part had lots of rocks.

And some features…

There were still lots of smooth sections though, but it was really fun this time around.

The way it opened up sometimes sorta reminded me of FATS down in South Carolina.

That was a good thing as it breaks up the monotony.  Just like the rocks.

In all, it was a good ride.  The trail was fun, and prefect for someone like me just passing through.  It’s pretty easy to get around and not get lost, as long as you study the map at the beginning.  There were a lot of rules on it though.

Rules that would not keep me from having a post ride beer, however.

I’m so glad I got away for the weekend.  Family, bikes, beer, and lots of scenery.  I just might start feeling “normal” again if I keep this up.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Over It

It’s been no secret that I’ve been pretty stressed out lately.  And as usual, I was looking forward to the weekend.  The plan was to grab Little Miss Sunshine and head to the hills for some rad mountain biking, beer drinking, and early leaf peeping.  However, the weather had other plans.  It was raining, and that would continue throughout the weekend (and this week too.)

I suddenly found myself without plans.

Sitting around Friday evening I briefly considered heading to the hills anyway.  Figuring that I wouldn’t have a good time in the cold rain, I quickly realized that the alternative would be to sit around and work on bikes all weekend.  This did not please me.  And no, I never even considered traveling to Richmond, VA to drink and watch a bunch of roadies race around town.  Then suddenly I remembered there was something I wanted to do.

There was a family reunion scheduled for this past Saturday, and never planned to go because my old employer had me scheduled to be on call that weekend.  That wasn’t the case anymore, so when I brought it up to the little lady she was all for it.

“You should go.”

“But it’s almost a seven hour drive to Kentucky.”

“So what?  You like to drive.  Besides, you need to go meet the other side of your family.”

I’ve mentioned it before, but I really dig my family history.  Back in the mid 1800s, my Great (times four) Grandfather came to this country from England and settled in Manassas, VA.  That’s why I still have so much family up there and also why we still visit every year.  However, some of the famly split off and went to Kentucky and I’d never met any of their descendants.  We’re all related (which is the case with my last name), and my cousin Terry put together a reunion to try to get us all together.  So with points from previous hotel stays, I booked a free room in Georgetown, KY late Friday night and prepared to hit the road early Saturday morning.

Of course I put a bike on my truck.

It was shitty outside when I left.  I hadn’t bothered to check the weather at my destination before I left so I was hoping that I was leaving this crap behind.

I took the usual route towards Asheville, hit Interstae 40 and prepared to ccross the mountains in the rain.  This included two tunnels.

Yeah, I kinda felt like Luke Skywalker attacking the Death Star.

A few minutes later, I hit the Tennessee line.

And the skies were beautiful.

I didn’t stop too much, and less than seven hours later I was in Georgetown hanging out with family I’d never met before.

It was pretty awesome.  Two of my cousins made the trip from Manassass (yes, I know them), some from Cincinnati, OH, and some even made the trip over from England.  It was really nice to fill in the gaps on our family tree, talk about our history, and see lots of new faces.  Most of all, it was good to get away from my usual routine to do something different. 

Sure, I brought my bike.  No, I didn’t get to ride that day.

I did on the way home though…

See y’all tomorrow.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fun Friday

Is it safe to come out now?

Well, I’m making the best of it.  Working my ass off and such, but in the meantime trying to do anything I can to keep this shit show going.  It’s Friday after all, so I figured I could at least come up with some funny stuff to share before the weekend.

Well, that and I’m trying to to be in a bad mood and all that.

I don’t really need that book.  Not because I’m not a dick (I am sometimes), but mostly because in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter.

So yeah, enough with the pity party.  I’m here to make laughs and all that happy horseshit.

So here, have a laugh:

Enough?  Nope?  Okay, one more.

There you go.  Have a great weekend.

Hopefully I’ll see y’all Monday, and maybe I'll get to talk about some rad shit that went on.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Blogging has come to a screeching halt around here.  I started out missing a day or two; next thing you know it was a little better than sporadic.  Now I’m barely even here.  Some of you have asked me about it, and some could not care less.  Who gives a shit.

I’ve said it before, but this new job is ruining my fun.  I have very little free time, and when I do I’m too tired (or frustrated, unmotivated, etc.) to do anything.  I barely ride my bike anymore, and as each day passes I wonder if I’ll want to again.

I hardly even play guitar either.

I took that photo last week, on the 45th anniversary of the death of Jimi Hendrix.  As tired and worn out as I was from work, I still managed to play a few licks.  It’s the little things I guess.

Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of time to drink beer.  And lucky for me, Little Miss Sunshine is taking care of me in that department.  She brings me the good shit.


I can’t enjoy bikes or guitars lately, but beer is always there to soothe me.  The little lady recently returned from a trip to damn near Canada, and in a land of shitty beer she managed to grab some good stuff while no one was looking.

Quite honestly, no one there had no idea what it was.  But I do.

Beer is good, but it’s not the answer to my problems.  And before you ask, no, I don’t have a problem with the beer.  I always drink it (and enjoy the good stuff ), but right now it seems to be the only hobby I have time to partake in.  Things will get better, so I’ll try not to bitch about it too much.  I took a step backwards career-wise, and right now I have to deal with it until something else comes along. 

As for now, I don’t know what to do.  I feel like writing some shit here every day is like therapy, and without it I’m turning more and more anti-social.  I’ve been invited to hang out in social settings and rides and I keep saying no.  Eventually, people will stop asking.  Maybe that’s what I want.

And maybe that’s why my better half brought this new doormat home a few days ago.

As much as I want to pull the plug on this blog, I won’t.  When I started writing, I did it like no one was reading it.  Since then, lots of people are reading it but I have no idea why.  If you enjoy it, thanks.  If you don’t, thanks for that too. 

Where am I going with this?  Nowhere as usual.  I’ll be here when I can, and hopefully when things get better it will be a little more on the regular.  By that time though, all blogs will be dead.

Like they pretty much are anyway.