Friday, March 17, 2017

The Long Way Home

No Fun Friday today.  I know, Who Gives A Shit. I still haz stuff to talk about from my last Florida trip.  Anyway, after having lunch/dinner with our SC crew we hit the road for Saint Augustine.  We got in town a little later than we wanted to, but it didn't matter.  The little lady wanted to see one of her favorite lighthouses at night and I wanted another beer.

We accomplished our goal...


We also had dinner (not pictured) at the best restaurant in the Nation's Oldest City, Sunset Grille.  If you're ever in town I highly recommend it.  After another long day though, we were beat.  We turned in for the night and I hoped to sleep in a little.

That didn't happen though.  The little lady wanted to get up early and go to the beach.  I somehow got out of bed and within minutes we were there to watch the sun come up.


And the beach was very relaxing...


One more stop by the lighthouse and we decided to go somewhere fun.  We took a tour at the Saint Augustine Distillery.



And the tour included drinks, so that was nice.


Not drunk at all, but we somehow ended up at a nearby farmer's market playing with goats.



That was it for Saint Augustine.  We headed out of town and took the scenic route. The little lady once again requested that we stop at the beach, this time in Jacksonville.  And once again I obliged.  No beer this time, but I did feel welcome.


It was cold but that didn't matter.  The little lady was in heaven just walking around looking for shells and shark teeth.


It was getting late at this point and we needed to get home.  We decided to make one final stop at a local grocery store to stock up on Florida beer.  We really should have grabbed a bigger cart, but Little Miss Sunshine found one in her size.


What an awesome trip.  Part work, part vacation, and all fun.  We always manage to cram in a bunch of fun wherever we go and no matter what we're doing.  I wish I could do that with my "real" job.

Have a good weekend and all that.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Work Hard And Play When I Can

Day one of the Santos Fat Tire Festival was crazy.  I figured that day two would be just as busy, but maybe I would have a little down time here and there.  It wasn't much, but when there was time I grabbed my bike and took a lap on the skills course right across from the DeFeet booth.

I also brought my guitar...


I was actually really busy first thing in the morning.  I didn't think I would be at first since there was a huge ride going on (The Epic 50.)  It seemed like every time I picked up my guitar, someone showed up to look at (and buy) socks.  I didn't mind at all.  Once the riders started coming in though, the booth got busier.  Even some of the Jax crew showed up (and brought me a beer present.)


And that's when Punky took of photo of me actually working.

Or talking to Joe about his Wizard Staff.  Whatever.

Then later on a couple of the Jax boys got a tandem and rode by...


Day two was a blur.  Lots of friends stopped by and socks were flying off the table.  When the day was over, we had some beer and planned our night.  We all decided to head back out to Harry's Juicy Meats for some more steak.  We had a huge group so they had to seat us at two different tables.  We started playing pranks on each other, and somehow a round of non-alcoholic beer was brought to our table.

I drank mine.  It was nasty.  Who gives a shit.

Many real beers were consumed though, and lots of food as well.  I tried to get the crew to visit Ocala's Number One Strip Club (there's only one) but they declined.  Luckily, someone had a better idea.

Twistee Treat.  A Florida tradition.

As we hung out enjoying our ice cream, we were stuck in what seemed like a Fast and Furious movie.  We watched at those little cars (with their people) got kicked out of the parking lot next door.  Since they weren't there anymore to make asses out of themselves, we had to.

I don't even remember who took this photo.  Joel maybe?  Sorry.

Still unable to convince anyone to check out that car wreck of a strip club (I don't normally do such things) I headed off to bed to get ready for day three.  With Daylight Savings in full effect, I had a hard time dragging my ass outta bed (mebbe the beer did that too.)  After a quick breakfast I was ready to go though.  That might be because I avoided the Ocala Horse Sausage.

Yuck.

As soon as I got back to Santos, I setup and socks were going like crazy again.  My favorite part was the couple that stopped by to show off some DeFeet socks that they said were twenty years old.



They last almost forever.  Excellent.

Besides selling (and talking about) socks, I received many more beer presents.  I was happy.


A couple of rides on the skills course and the pump track was all I managed to get in, but I killed it for DeFeet out there.  Day three went by super fast and before I knew it, people were heading out.


We packed up and left too, but not before we had one last dinner in Ocala.


Nope, not there.  But I was intrigued.  I needed real food (and moar beer) so we hit up a good local spot that didn't have the potential of rape.


We said goodbye to our Charleston crew and Little Miss Sunshine and I headed north.  But not to North Carolina.  We had another stop to make first...

Yeah.  Tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fat Tire Florida

Last week, I got the hell outta town and headed down to Florida for the Santos Fat Tire Festival.  No trip to Florida would be complete wihtout some alligators, so I came prepared...


We got into town and checked into our hotel for the weekend and immediately headed out to dinner with a whole mess of people (including indoor mountain bike park legend Ray.  I had one of the best steaks I've ever had in the sleepy little town of Ocala, but I didn't photograph it.  Hell, I didn't take any photos of the restaurant either.  Around the corner though, I found another restaurant that made me smile.

Lunchbox has his own restaurant down there I guess.  He is from the Sunshine State, you know.

Speaking of Lunchbox, I was down there in Florida this time for a reason.  I was working for DeFeet at the festival, selling the best socks in the world.  More important than just selling socks though, I was spreading the good word about them to anyone that would listen (it's called marketing, folks.)  That's right, I went down there to work.  It didn't feel like work though since I love doing it and I am pretty damn passionate about my favorite cycling company from the hills of North Carolina.

Anyway, Friday morning we headed out to the Santos Trail to setup, and I must say that I had my booth looking pretty damn good.


And since we were in Florida (and I already had an alligator with me) I did some "special" marketing specific to my location.


The festival didn't start until noon on Friday, but I was busting my ass selling socks and talking about DeFeet.  My favorite part was seeing the socks I'd sold getting put to good use.



That first day was crazy.  Since I was keeping track, I noticed that my sales on day one far surpassed my totals from day one of last year.  I guess they kind of sell themselves, but I'd like to think that I had something to do with it.  I worked really hard too, even though my friends were making ride plans:

I didn't mind.  I was having fun too.

The first day until ran from twelve until five, but I was worn out.  It's usually the slowest of the three day festival so if that was any indication then I had a long weekend ahead of me.  Once I packed away the merchandise a bunch of us headed out to the middle of nowhere to get some beer and fine Florida cuisine.

We ended up playing with alligators though.

Photo credit:  Punky

Well, somehow I also ended up with a new sippy cup.


I worked hard and um, played hard too.  I was worn out from day one, but I still had more to go.

So do you.  See y'all tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Friday

Yep, today is my Friday.  Why?  Because I'm going on another road trip.

For real?


Yeth.  For realz.  Another trip.  I'm heading out tomorrow morning with the little lady and our destination is the Sunshine State once again.  Just like last year, I'm going down to the Santos Fat Tire Festival...


And once again I'll be working the booth for DeFeet all weekend.  Hopefully I'll be able to ride a little bit, but if not I'm okay with it.  I had a blast last year and I can't wait to do it again.  If you happen to be down there, stop by and say hello (and buy some socks from me.)

If you won't be there, then hopefully you won't be just sitting around clicking on random internet shit.


Stay away from that nonsense.

And just wait for me right here.  Like Paul.


See y'all in the middle of next week sometime.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Adventure Continues

I meant to be here yesterday, but I had to be at work earlier than normal.  When I left off Friday I was still rambling on about the trip I took with the little lady.  We still had one more day of riding left, but as exciting as it was I won't go on and on about it.

I'll just mention the flat tire that I got...

That little fella there in the background didn't help me change it either.  Bastard.

It was an awesome ride but that's all I'll say about it.  I'll move on to another adventure:



I stayed local this weekend.  Other than doing stuff around the house, I actually got out for a ride (as pictured above.)  Obviously this ride was on a mountain bike.  I feel like I've been on the road bike too much lately anyway.  Besides, where I was going there were no roads.

Or at least I was trying to avoid them as much as I could.


I had a destination in mind but no set plan to get there.  I didn't want to stay on those railroad tracks forever though.  Off in the distance I spotted a dirt road so I took it.


Ups and downs and definitely rideable.  And the best part was no people.  Eventually that "road" dipped off into the trees and I rode deeper into the woods.  I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere.

Soon, that was confirmed.

Spent shotgun shells are always a good ride find.

The "trail" split off several times and I randomly took different paths.  In no time I'd reached a creek.


I didn't cross it, but instead stayed on my current path.  I climbed a big hill where I found a view that reminded me of being up in the mountains.  After that climb and corresponding view I got to go down.  That was fun.  More up and down followed, and I exited the "trail" out in the middle of a field.  I had a clear view from there, so I headed towards a road.  


Under the bridge I went, and after some sweet singletrack I'd reached my destination...


That's right.  I road my bike to the Whitewater Center again.  Who gives a shit.  This time though, I only spend a little over a mile on pavement and the rest was off road.  I was excite.  A few short miles from my house without dodging cars and I was at the doorstep of some of the best trail in Charlotte.


The best part about this newest adventure was that there are many more trails I left "undiscovered."  I can't wait to get back out there again to see what else I can ride out in the "middle of nowhere."  A few people have shown interest too, so if you're one of them don't worry.  I'll get at you the next time I go.

Just meet me in my driveway.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Fun Friday (Draggin' It Out Edition)

In lieu of a regular Fun Friday post, I'm just gonna keep dragging out our little getaway.  This is sorta how I keep track of everything and I still have lots of photos anyway.  Who gives a shit.

After doing a weekend's worth of stuff in only one day, the little lady and I needed something relaxing to do on day two.  Instead of riding though, we decided to drive over to Jekyll Island to explore a little bit.  That place is normally full of tourists, but in February that's not the case.

We found a beach with my favorite thing.  No people.


We just wandered around the uprooted tress and looked for shells and other junk.


Before we got there, Little Miss Sunshine looked on The Google and said there was a shipwreck.  I looked it up too, but I was concerned that we wouldn't see anything since it was way out in the water.


But we walked over to that side of the island anyway, and since it was low tide we actually found it.


 That was pretty neat, but I guess the ship is buried under all that sand.

We walked around for quite a while, but I was getting tired.  On the way back to my truck, I found a couple of friendly squirrels.  One of them even climbed up into the tree to get closer to me.  I thought maybe he was hungry or wanted to attack me, but I didn't care.  It made for a great photo.


 After wandering around like bums, we needed food (and beer of course.)  We did what you're supposed to do on an island and had some kick ass seafood.  Local Georgia shrimp (and local GA beer) to be exact.

Yup, I'm one of those assholes that photographs what I eat.

With a little daylight left, we looked for another relaxing spot.  We took a walk through the woods, where the scenery reminded me a lot of my home state.


And as the sun started to set, we watched an alligator try to soak up one last bit of energy before feeding time.


That was a fun little place to spend the day.  I'm sure it's probably a shit show when it's tourist season, so I wouldn't advise visiting then unless that's your thing.  For us, it was nice to have pretty much the whole island to ourselves.  It was a relaxing vacation, but it ain't over yet.

I have one more post to finish dragging this out.

See y'all next week.