Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bring In The New

Usually I try to do some sort of “Year in Review” type post on the last day of each year.  This year, I’m not really feeling it. My year was fun in some ways, and eye-opening in others.  I went from being totally burned out on the bike to being ready to go all in again.  I’ve started “training” a little bit, and there’s been a new focus on the things I want to do next season.

 It’s something like that.

Also, I’m no longer gonna worry about what I do and whether or not anyone has a better (or worse) opinion about me.  You haz feelings?  Who gives a shit.

I borrowed that book from Dicky

If you really wanna read about what I did (or didn’t) do this year, you can click on the links to each and every post I’ve made.  Lazy for me, easy for you.  Again, who gives a shit.

In other news, a few new things have happened around here at the B-43 Worldwide Headquarters.  The best one is that Little Miss Sunshine is now in the drooper club:

She will test ride her new setup tomorrow, and hopefully she digs it.  I know having one has been a difference maker for me on the bike, so much that I’m considering getting another one.  She seems pretty excited to be one of the cool kids now, and I’m pretty happy for her too.

A ride report is coming soon.

Hopefully this is a short day for you.  Go get drunk and stupid tonight, so you’ll forget about all the bad shit you did all year.  Just don’t get in a car and drive yourself home.  I’ll need someone to read all my crap and nonsense next year.

Happy New Year and all that.  I’ll see y’all back here on Monday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Moar Riding

Rain all week until Christmas Day.  I was busy that day (duh), but the next day of nice (yet cold) weather meant that I had to get out and ride.  Luckily I have plenty of DeFeet stuff to keep me warm, like my Thermeator socks:

Plenty warm on my foots.

Anyway, I set out for an easy twenty miles, but with no other plans for the day I ended up on a little adventure.  With the NCDOT dragging their collective asses getting the local Interstate loop completed, I decided to check it out before (if ever) it opens.

Road riding can be boring, but more importantly it can be very dangerous.  I thought that traffic would be quite shitty on the day after Christmas, but I was wrong.  Still, I almost got hit once on the regular road, so getting to pedal on a five mile stretch of traffic-free highway seemed very appealing.  I’m glad I did, since I had the whole place to myself.

I rode from one end to the other, avoiding the “real” interstate (and “real” traffic.)  It was nice and peaceful, except for those few spots that were unfinished.

Luckily I was paying attention.

I got in a nice ride, and even enjoyed being out on the road.  I was out for almost three hours, and managed not to become roadkill.  I’d call that successful “training.”

More of this stuff in the New Year?  Perhaps.  I like riding bikes again, and I plan to do a whole lot more of it.

All kinds of bikes too.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Time Well Spent

I’ve been gone from this blog thing a long time.  I’ve missed it, but that’s not why I took last week off.  Being away from work was pretty awesome, especially since the stress level there has been pretty high lately.  With the Christmas holiday going on last week, I thought a week of vacation would be just what I needed.  I had the great idea that I would ride every day (probably skipping Christmas), but it rained almost the whole time I was away.  It finally cleared up for the weekend, and instead of riding the same old boring stuff I decided that an adventure was in order.  After coordinating with the Dirty Party Cycle, we decided to head out from my house (on mountain bikes) to see what we could get into.

We met up with TomTom (who lives nearby) at our local “home made” trail, RTS.  We had a great ride out there, and for only three miles it was pretty tough.  It was also fun as hell, but it wasn’t enough for us.  We all decided to check out the next phase of our little trail, which is in a section just up from the current exit.

Some of it has been flagged, but we still had to bushwhack a little bit.  The terrain looked fun as hell, and it’s been untouched for so long that we found some neat stuff.

Like an old x-ray machine?

And a bitchin’ homeless camp.

Plans have been made to get to work out there really soon.  I can’t wait.

Our adventure didn’t stop there though.  Since we were in an adventuresome mood, we took a stroll up the road a little way to see the third phase of our little trail system.  It will be quite a while until we even get to start on that, but it was nice to check it out.  We found an old road that cut through the heart of the property, and it was fun flying down the hill. 

Until it dead ended at a creek.

It was cool, since we were just out for fun.  The DPC and I went down to the creek to find a way across, while TomTom stayed up top to keep watch.

It wasn’t a deep creek, but it was nice because we felt like we were out in the wilderness somewhere.

All this stuff in a city.  It wasn’t The Pisgah, but it was a great adventure nonetheless.  After being rained out for most of the week and not seeing my friends, I enjoyed getting out on the bike and getting a little dirty.

And it was nice to have something to talk about on here.

I’m (sorta) glad to be back.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fun Friday (Christmas Edition)

It’s been a busy week.  I’ve been putting in extra hours at work, which has left no extra time for blogging.  It’s barely left any extra time for anything else either, but hey…

Now it’s Friday, so the weekend has begun.

Regular blogging will resume sometime after the holidays, since I’ve taken a good amount of time off from work.  There hasn’t been much to talk about anyway, but I anticipate things picking up soon.

So anyway, here are some Fun Friday Christmas-y type photos.

And I’m probably going to Hell for this one:

Definitely for this one:

Merry Christmas and all that.  See y’all sometime...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I’m Really (Not) Lazy

But Carl is.

I wanted to be here yesterday.  I just couldn’t.  I was out for jury duty on Monday, remember?

After waiting around in a courtroom all day, I never got picked.  No big deal, but it was a wasted day.

I came back to work yesterday and things were hopping.  My day actually started at TotalCyclist, but things went downhill from there.  I’m really busy today too, but I thought I should at least make an appearance so y’all don’t forget about me.

Nothing real excited has happened around here.  Our Tuesday Night Social Ride was cancelled due to shitty weather.  I was tired, but it would have been nice to hang out with the locals and ride at a nice and easy pace.  I haven’t been around many of my mountain biking pals in a while, and honestly, I miss it.  I have been around a few people though, which has a little to do with my “other” hobby.

The little lady and I went out to Hickory last Saturday night to see some friends play some live music.  It was a nice evening, and it left me wanting to get my ass up on a stage and perform.  I’m not sure if I’m ready for all that, but I do have an invite when I am.  I discussed this opportunity with my guitar teacher on Monday and he was all for it. 


I’m nervous just thinking about it.

I think I’ll sneak out somewhere to play at first without telling anyone.  Once I get that out of the way, maybe I’ll let some people know.  I’m not that great at playing guitar, but I would probably do okay.  Pressure of that magnitude is probably the last thing I need right now though.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it for today.  Tomorrow’s post may or may not be better, but I’m pretty sure I will be here at least.  With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, all I’m trying to do right now is get through the week.  Well, that and make final plans for a trip to Arizona.  More on that another time I guess.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fun Friday

Yes my friends, it’s Friday again.  Since I’ve been home for a little while I’m finally in the Christmas spirit.  We finished decorating the inside of the house and I only have a few more things to do on the outside.  I like putting up lights and all that, because it does a lot to help me feel all Christmas-y.  I guess that stuff is “fun.”

So, today’s Fun Friday post will be all about Christmas. 

In addition to the house, we also decorated one of the cats.

Grumpy Cat does not like your Christmas.

And speaking of cats, I found this little gem out on The Internets:

While I was down in Georgia, I visited a friend of mine from way back in the day.  He (and his family) just relocated to the Atlanta area so it made sense to stop by.  We go way back, and one of the main things we have in common is our love for Star Wars.  So I snapped a picture at his house that made me happy.

 Yeah, I dig that. 

That’s it for today.  No reason to go all out on Fun Friday.  You’re already thinking about the weekend so I don’t want to hold you up.  Get the hell out of here and I’ll see you next week.

Not Monday though.  I won’t be here.  I’ve been summoned to Jury Duty, which does nothing for my Christmas Spirit.

See y’all Tuesday unless I end up at the courthouse all week.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Glad To Be Back

To normal, or whatever “normal” is supposed to be anyway.  I was gone for a week, and the temptation to stop blogging was so great that I almost didn’t resume this crap and nonsense.  I’m sure only a select few would miss the stuff I post (almost) every day, but I’m not doing it for them.  I do this for me.  You know, so I can remember what the hell I’ve been doing (or like to pretend I’ve been doing.)

I like posting this stuff.  I also like having a break.  The break from work was the biggest benefit of my trip to Georgia, but not having to spew out shit on The Internets was a close second.  I guess that’s all I have about my trip out of town, with the exception of some “new” beer I found while I was away.

Hoplanta, by Red Brick Brewery, was a beer I “discovered” when I popped into a local grocery store upon my arrival to The Peach State.  I had some in my hotel room all week and thoroughly enjoyed it.  After my ride at Blankets Creek on Friday, I went to visit an old friend of mine who recently relocated to GA, and when I told him about this fine brew he promptly bought me more to take back home.  I’ve had some every night since my return, and once I run out hopefully I can get some more soon. 

I don’t know if they sell it here locally, but I need to find out soon.  Or else there will another trip down I-85 in the near future.  It’s good stuff.

In other news (while I was away), I received something in the mail from my pal D-Wayne.  He’d been working on a jersey design for our little scattered band of single speed misfits, and they shipped out while I was gone.  I are excite, because now I am an official Single Speed AssAssin.

The jersey is awesome.  I know Eastwood talked about his da udda day, but I just got mine so I thought I should talk about it too.  There are a few of us here in the Charlotte area that have them, so look for it on a trail, a local brewery, or maybe even a race.  Are we a “real” team?  No, but we play one on The Internets.

Lastly, it’s the Christmas season.  It was hard for me to get  into the “spirit” since I was away in another state, but now that I’m back it’s full bore.  If you like to decorate and all that, hit me up and I’ll put you in touch with Little Miss Sunshine so she can get you some one of a kind, handmade decorations made from recycled bicycle parts.

Like this wreath on our front door:

That’s definitely the largest of the stuff she makes, but she has much, much more.  You know you want some, and I know I want you to buy some.  If she makes some extra money off of this stuff, I get extra presents. 

I kid.  I don’t need anything.

Srsly, you know you want some handmade cycling decorations to impress you cycling friends.

And…I’m out.  Tomorrow it’s back to Fun Friday.  I’m glad to be back.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

All Road And No Dirt?

Did I ride on the road every day after my class in Georgia?  Just about.  It was sorta like Groundhog Day.  Wake up, eat breakfast, go to class, get out with just enough daylight to put in road miles, search for food, play my guitars, drink beer(s), and fall asleep (sorta.) 


Every day was the same, so I won’t bore you with the details.  Well, except for Friday.  We got out of class early, so I drove across the northern part of the state over to Blankets Creek, a trail I’d heard good things about from many different people.

Sure, I thought it would be a great place to ride, but it didn't matter.  After spending four days in a row on the road all I cared about was riding in some dirt.  One look at the map though, I knew I’d be in for a fun day.

Brace yourselves, there are a lot of photos of my bike leaning against stuff.

Some of the trails there are directional depending on the day of the week.  Luckily, they made it idiot proof (they must’ve known I’d be there.)

And they like making signs.

While I was riding, I was pleasantly surprised.  The trails had a familiar feel, almost like some of our local stuff, with a little bit of Warrior Creek thrown in.

The climbs weren’t bad, but there was some elevation.

And it wasn’t all smooth.  There were rocks.

I had the place mostly to myself.

There were lots of “alternate” lines along the way.  Being that I was unfamiliar with this new (to me) trail, I made sure to take the most difficult ones when faced with a choice.

I was rewarded with fun (and neat signs.)

I tried to get a photo of me riding off of one of the drops, but it didn’t work out so well.

Did I mention that there were neat signs everywhere?  Yes, I did.

That one I took because my cousin was in the 10th Mountain Division (and a veteran of this current conflict.)

The trail was rad.  Worth the drive down there all the way from Charlotte?  Probably.  I was in the area so it was convenient.  I’d definitely go back, and hopefully bring a crew of locals with me.  The folks at SORBA Woodstock did a great job.  I mean, a real good job.  Nice facilities at the trail head, tons of good trail work, and of course (I almost forgot to mention) FEATURES!

I also need to mention the skills area I guess.  It was pretty cool.

I will definitely go back to Blankets Creek.  Even if it’s not while I’m on a “business trip.”  Although I’m down to mix business with pleasure.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Didn’t Want To Come Back Here

I spent seven days in the Atlanta area for a training class (for work.)  In a way, it was like a vacation.  I didn’t have to work all week, I didn’t have to deal with the commute to/from work, and so on…

It was nice to be away from that, in that respect I didn’t want to come back.  I missed my family though (including the pets), and I missed my daily routine.  When I was down there in a hotel for the week I had tons of free time (other than being in class), but having no schedule made me feel all weird.  I don’t do well with idle time usually, but I think I made the most of it.  I brought two guitars, and in the evenings I disturbed my neighbors with songs and countless “practice.”  I also brought two bikes, hoping that I would get a chance to ride while I was in a different state. 

We got out of class with almost two hours of daylight left each day.  With the shitty Atlanta-area traffic, I didn’t have time to drive to a trail to ride in the dirt.  So I opted to take my road bike out, starting in the city of Norcross.

My hotel was on some sort of main drag, but back roads were easily accessible.  Although I didn’t do much pre-route planning, I knew there was a business park close by that was sure to be free of heavy traffic.  I was right.  I rode a few miles in there, hitting the hills and actually enjoying being on the road.  It didn’t take long to get bored though, since I was kinda going in circles.  I cut out and hit a bike path, which eventually led to more back roads.  I got to ride in little to no traffic…in around Atlanta no less.

Even though I had lights on my bike, I did my best to be back to the hotel each evening before it got really dark.  I didn’t want to be on foreign roads in the dark (road riding is dangerous enough in the daylight), and riding for 1 ½ to 2 hours seemed sufficient.  Since I was traveling for work, every evening ended with me searching for a place to eat.  That first night it was overpriced seafood and good (yet still overpriced) beer.

That was the plan while I was away.  I checked into the hotel late Sunday night, and I hoped to ride every night after class.  I wanted to take advantage of the free time I had, but could I last the entire week?  Even a road ride and the quest for food didn’t take up that entire first night.  I still had plenty of idle time before I had to go to bed.  I don’t know how people travel for work.  You know, the ones that do it frequently.

Would I do the same the next day?  Come back tomorrow and find out. 

I haven’t done this blogging thing for over a week.  Time to start dragging shit out again.