Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day Two

After riding on trails the day before, our gracious hosts wanted to give us a tour of Charleston...

on bikes.


The little lady and I had been there before on bikes, but we didn't get very far.  Plus, it was a few years ago and we really didn't remember much about riding in this historic area.  As you can see in the photo above, we rode up the Cooper River Bridge.  Once we got to the top, we took the opportunity to enjoy the view.

We also lined up our fleet of Niners for a photo op:


Of course, riding down the bridge was pretty rad.  Once we got into the city, some things started to look familiar to me.  However, our hosts took us through some areas that I don't recall ever seeing.


Like, really deep in the city...


Of course we stopped for lunch (and beer) along the way, but the day was about riding and exploring.  We rode through lots of history, saw some dolphins, checked out The Citadel, and generally had a good time.  I think the best part was finding stuff that the little lady and I missed on our first trip down there years ago.


Of course there were some cut-thrus though, some a little shady.


It was all good though, since that particular one led to a brewery.  And I got to see another one of my favorite critters.


After some more good local beer, our next stop to us to a local bike shop, Affordabike.  We stopped in and shot the shit for a while.  In addition to be Charleston's Niner dealer, I really thought the place was neat.  We eventually hit the road again, rolling out in our train down towards the waterfront.


That's where we caught a glimpse of that big bride we crossed earlier.


We had to cross it again to get back, but not without stopping to watch one of those big ass cargo ship pass below us.


It was absolutely an awesome day.  I say it all the time, but riding a bike is really the best way to see any city.  I really appreciate our friends Ed and Alice for putting up with us and showing us around.

I can't wait to go back.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lowcountry Getaway

I've been gone.  Who gives a shit.  We took off for the weekend to Charleston and didn't get back in until about 1:30 a.m. yesterday.  I was too tired to come up with anything so I skipped another day of blogging.  I know, it's becoming a pattern.

Anyway, I'm back again.  Here's a little recap of the fun that was had down in the Lowcountry...

We left the B-43 Worldwide Headquarters Saturday morning and took the scenic route down towards Charles Town.  Sure, it took us a little longer to get down there, but it was a nice, relaxing drive.  Eventually we made it to see our friends Ed and Alice (who were kind enough to put us up for the weekend.)  After settling in we hit up a brewery and had some good local beer.  Later on, we went out for dinner, where I had some more local brew.


After dinner, we headed over to another local brewery...


Things got a little fuzzy after that, but we eventually called it a night so we could ride the next day.  While there are no mountains down there, we did ride mountain bikes.  We headed over to Marrington Plantation, which is a place I "raced" a few years ago (click this link.)


It was much more fun this time around and it really reminded me of riding back in Florida.


Just because it's flat down there doesn't mean that I didn't get all rad and shit...

Photo cred:  Little Miss Sunshine

And yeah, I did get to see one of my favorite critters.


It was a really fun ride.  Of course we were hungry, so it was time to eat again.  Since Ed is local, he took us to a place for grub that had some uh, "character."


You know what?  It was pretty damn awesome too.


The rest of the day was spent down in the harbor, starting with a ferry ride out to Fort Sumter.


It was pretty cool.  You  know, because we got to see some neat stuff...


And I'm pretty sure we witness a mob hit in the planning stages.


The night ended with more food and drinking, which saw us at a local watering hole that had just seen the wrath of some spring break type partying...


What a day.  And there's more to come tomorrow...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fun Friday

Yeah, I know.  It's been a while.  I've had a lot of things happening and blogging hasn't been much of a priority.  A couple of times I've wanted to escape.  Not in a bad way, like those runaway truck ramps you see all over the interstate.


 No, everything is good.  In fact, things are looking most excellent.  I just bought a new guitar because, well, I wanted one.


It's pretty rad.  Maybe I deserved it.  Maybe not.  Who gives a shit.

Clearly someone does.
 
Okay, it's Friday.  The weekend and all that.  A three day weekend too.  With no racing for a little bit, I'm heading away for some R&R down near Charles Town.  Gonna hang out with some cool Lowcountry folks and have a great time. 

Speaking of time...


Yeah.  Go have some fun and all that.  See y'all Tuesday.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Over The Hills


Sure, yesterday was race day for me.  It was also driving day since I headed over the mountains to the state of Tennessee.


Kingsport, TN to be exact.  I’d never heard of it, but I knew it was far.  Almost four hours away far.  I really didn’t know anything about the trails out there and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to race in the mountains. 

 
I warmed up a little and lined up at the start.  We took off up a gravel road and the sprint was on.  As usual, I took off as fast as I could and got out front.  I hit the trail in first and picked up the pace.  We were really moving and I felt pretty good.  The train was right behind me though.  I kept pushing but my stomach hurt like hell which made me back off a bit and let two guys by me.  There I was again, sitting in third place and fading fast.

Third place is a shitty place to be.  Still on the box, but far enough back that one wrong move could jeopardize the whole thing.  I was worried, especially since fourth place guy was gaining fast.  That pissed me off, which in turn made me forget about my stomach pain (or perhaps it just went away.)  I put the hammer down and sped off.  We hit a climbing section and I spotted the leaders up ahead.  That kept me motivated and in great spirits. 

We hit the gravel road and I gave it all I had.  The leaders must have too, because they were out of sight.  I took a moment to look back though, and fourth place guy was nowhere to be found.  Awesome.  I hit lap two and rode like hell.  The trail was familiar since I was just there but I don’t really remember much of it.  I was pushing hard trying to catch the leaders and keep anyone else from knocking me off the box.  I hit the fire road again and I was almost  there. 

I flew down the fire road as fast as I could and crossed the finish line, still in third place.  Because of the setup there though, I still wasn’t on the box.

Photo Credit:  Robert Marion

I really had fun.  The trail was fast and flowy, with a few rocks thrown in here and there to keep the dirt roadies in check.  I’m not sure if it’s worth the drive from here just to ride there, but if you’re ever in the area…

You know how that saying goes.

Anyway, Tennessee was good to me.  Except when I stopped for refreshments at a local watering hole.


They were closed.  No liquor sales on Sunday.  Bastards.

Still, I had a pretty cool day.  Lots of driving with a little racing thrown in. 

This season ain’t too bad so far.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fun Friday

We made it again.  That’s good, because I really thought that I’d have to visit a doctor soon to get a prescription…

It’s been a really long week too.  Well, I guess it would be more accurate to describe it as “moving slow.”  You see, some changes are coming (nothing to do with bikes) and these things can’t get here fast enough.  I have a bunch of stuff to accomplish in the next week or so. 

I should probably make a list so I won’t forget.

Wow, so corny today.  Srsly doe, I’m really happy that it’s Friday.  Also, I’m really happy with what’s going on behind the scenes around here (to be revealed later of course.)  I feel like a cross between a wookie and a dog.

That’s enough I guess.  I have a race this weekend over there across them hills.  I am getting ready the best way I know how.

Most likely a race report on Monday.  Have a great weekend y’all.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

One Last Time


I’ve missed a few days.  I had some things going on.  Some good stuff too.  Who gives a shit.

Anyway, I’ve mentioned several times before about riding on the local unfinished interstate near my house.  The latest news on it is that it’s currently “on schedule” to be finished by the end of this month.  I really enjoy riding on it because I don’t have to worry about getting run off the road by drivers and I can take up as much of whichever lane I choose.  I figured that I better get in one last ride.

Closed to cars, yes.  Who gives a shit.

The ride there is relatively short, but when I got on the wide open interstate I let it go.  It was nice as usual.  I went all the way from one end to the other as far as the barricades would let me (and traffic from the “finished” road.)  If you do it twice it’s almost fourteen miles. 

Fourteen miles of solitude.


While I don’t normally believe the reports of being “on time”  for projects like this, looking around I could tell that they might be right this time.  The road is complete, and the only thing left was to paint a few lines here and there. 

Most of them were done though.


Check out those clouds.  It started to turn shitty after I got back on regular roads, but riding in the rain didn’t bother me too much.  What did bother me is the fact that I’m losing my private training road to “real” traffic.  At least I did get to enjoy the shit out of it for the last few years though.

Training kinda sucks, but things like this can make it a little bit better.

Aren’t you glad I took a few days off from here?


Monday, May 11, 2015

The Big Celebrity

It was such a nice day on Saturday that I had to get out of the house.  The only problem was the fact that I felt a little guilty about leaving my little buddy at home.  He gave me the sad eye treatment, so I decided to give Carl a day of fun.

He was excite.


Our first stop was at The Cycle Path, which was having a little sales event.  Carl is always welcome there and he makes himself at home.


Carl greeted everyone that came in the door and made lots of new friends.  It's a hard life for a dog and it wore him out.


Having a shop that lets dogs (and lame ass customers like myself) hang around is pretty cool.  It's nice to do business locally with a shop that has "character."  


Good times.

While it seems like my doggie was totally exhausted, our day wasn't done.  Since there was a six hour race held nearby at Lake Norman State Park I figured that we should go up there to heckle/cheer on our cycling friends.  

Carl was tired, but seemed excited to get out and see more new people.  And the people were excited to see him too.  While I have lots of cycling friends, they were all happy to see my dog instead of me (I don't blame them.)  Apparently he's pretty famous and getting to meet him was a big deal.  He loved the attention and everyone loved him.  He showed some signs of being tired again, so after our meet and greet we headed back to my truck to get him some water and a few treats.  We walked out into the woods and he forgot about being tired.

As soon as we got on the trail he perked right up.


He enjoyed being on the trail and was happy to see the racers roll by.


The race ended soon after and we went back to socializing. He got some more petting, belly rubs, and even some chips.  He had an awesome time and so did I.

I wasn't on my bike, but taking Carl out felt like a much better way to spend the day.

I mean, it wasn't like I was eating gummy bears out of my sweaty jersey pocket like Eastwood.


Ewwwwwww.