Friday, March 30, 2012

On The Assault

Yep, it’s time once again for the New Belgium Urban Assault Ride. What, already? Yeah, that’s the same thing I said. The date was moved up this year, so that makes it seem like I was just there (it was only six months ago.) This year, I’m in once again. I have a new partner this time around though (sorry Dirty Party Cycle.)

After photographing the shenanigans and watching everyone act like fools last year, Lunchbox told me he wanted in. Actually, he told me that on the way home from the event. When it came time to sign up, I couldn’t say no to him. He’s pretty excited too.

The checkpoints have been revealed, along with the roads we’re not allowed to use. It’s pretty much the same thing as last year. You know, ride to checkpoints all over the city, do silly challenges at said checkpoints, and make it back in time to drink beer (none for the youngin’ of course.)

There are five “named” checkpoints, which I used to create a route for us, plus two “mystery” checkpoints. The clue for the first one came out yesterday, which was a crossword puzzle and a word scramble that reveals the name of the place we have to find. I figured it out lickety split, so at least I can incorporate it into our route. The second mystery checkpoint will be revealed when we get to the first, so that puts us in a little bind.

Do we ride the route as planned and hope the second mystery checkpoint is somewhere along the way, or do we go there first and figure out the rest of the ride? I’m still not sure what we’ll do, but if I did know, I sure as hell wouldn’t say it here. Too many of my “competitors” read this shit.

Also, we had to take a quiz to determine which wave we start in (there are three if I remember correctly.) Our quiz score was pretty high (better than last year), so I’m pretty confident that we’ll start in the first wave again. At least we have a little advantage.

In all, we’ll probably end up with around twenty miles or so again, depending on where they throw in mystery checkpoint number two. I’m not worried about it though, because we can’t possibly win it. The team that won it last year had a super fast time. In fact, it was so fast I don’t know how it was even possible. I don’t think I could’ve done it that fast if I had a motorcycle and skipped all the challenges.


We do have to hurry though. I’m hoping to be done in under two hours again this year, so the pressure is on. Plus, Lunchbox is heading off to Florida for Spring Break that evening, so there’s no time to dilly dally.

If you want a refresher, here’s the video I made from last year’s ride with me and the Dirty Party Cycle.

I’m probably bringing the GoPro again, so be on the lookout for more video next week or whenever the hell I feel like editing it.

I guess that’s it for today. I should be back on Monday with a report and such. Oh yeah, sorry about not being here yesterday, but I told you I needed a break. My doggie is hanging in there, so we’re good for now.

The whole situation is still weighing heavily on my mind though.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Up The Old Dirt Road

Yeah, get your mind out of the gutter. I saw that sign on the way back from the race on Sunday, which was fitting since I felt like my race was in the shitter. Even though I ended up on the podium, I know I could’ve performed better out there. I dwelled on that yesterday, so I won’t talk about it any more. I really think I just wanted an excuse to use that photo, anyway. Thanks to Lunchbox for hanging out of the window to take it.

In other news, more upgrades have been applied to Little Miss Sunshine’s single speed bike. She has a name for it, but I can’t remember what it was. I usually don’t remember much of anything these days.

Anyway, I stopped by one of our local shops to pick up a few parts she ordered.

New pedals, handlebars, and a stem. I built the bike with a lot of leftover (i.e. sub par) shit, so she’s slowly picking up new stuff. There was an old stem and really (really) short handlebars on there, and they had to go.

As for the pedals, she had to order some of the new crankbrothers Candy pedals, and of course they had to be in red.

These types of upgrades are pretty simple, and everything went on with the help of only one beer. I didn’t even break the stem by tightening it down too much. I are smart.

How about I cut it short today? I just don’t have a good post in me anyway. I’m kind of feeling “blah” today. I think the stress of taking care of my sick dog is wearing on me. She’s not really getting much better, and since she’s way up there in age it may be time to make a decision soon.

I hate to even have to think about it.

I should be back tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll feel a little more chipper. If I’m not back, then it’s probably because I needed a little break.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How To Have A Great Race

I thought about a few things regarding yesterday’s race and how I could’ve done things differently. Since I don’t really have anything else to talk about, I figured that I would go over them.

First, you should always show up to a race well-rested and ready to ride. That may sound self-explanatory, but I just didn’t do it. After a few weeks of lugging my big ol’ Rottweiler up and down the stairs and single speed death marches during the week, I was tired. Also, I managed to do a little trail work the day before the race.

Well, in this photo I was obviously watching, but how do you think those heavy-ass rocks for armoring got there?

I did do a few things right though. I made sure that my bike was fully functional, including a wash and lubing of all the important parts.

I use nothing but ProGold products now, of course.

Also there was the installation of my new stem (to replace the one I broke.)

I managed to get rid of some annoying creaking by doing just a wee bit of bike maintenance, but the stem was a bit of a concern. It was a slightly different size than the one I had, and that may have attributed to my piss poor handling skills (aside from the shit-laden trail.) It took some getting used too, and I will be okay from now on.

Nutrition is next on the list. This is not a bad thing. For once, I made an effort to show up hydrated, and also to eat a good breakfast. During the race, I used some of these:

Honey Stinger is on board with me this season, so from now on their stuff will be my food of choice on the trail. The gels are freaking awesome, and I found them pretty easy to digest while I was on the bike. I had a little trouble with the waffles, because I was so damn clumsy out there. There are damn good too though.

The last thing is to always have help. In my case, Lord Vader was with me, using the Dark Side of The Force to power me through the pain of multiple crashes.

Since I’m busy pimping cycling companies, I have to mention that in my girly swag bag was a nice pair of DeFeet socks.

I have tons of DeFeet socks, but I can always use one more pair. It’s nice to see them having representation in the series.

Last in the pimping, I have to give a shout out to George for my wheels (that I’ve had for a year now.) Riding over 20 miles watching my wheels banging around on rocks and roots, I was surprised to find that they took a beating and showed no signs of giving up. Bike29 wheels are the shit, and I had total confidence in them. Unfortunately I didn’t have that kind of confidence in my own ability out there.

In other news, I’m supposed to go for a ride tonight. I’m not sure how I’ll do on the trail, since I’m still sore as shit from my crashes. My shoulder hurts like hell from landing on it, but I can’t let up now. I have to ride. I have events coming up for the next two weekends.

It’s about to get crazy around here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Almost The Same As Last Year

After leaving the house before the crack of dark yesterday morning, Lunchbox and I headed east towards Sanford, NC for another day of racing. Once the sun came up, it pretty much rained the rest of the way there. That made me think that the trail conditions would be the same as last year.

Was I ready? I dunno, but I had no choice.

I got there with plenty of time to warm up. When the time was near, we all lined up at the bottom of a hill. My group was one of the last to go, so I had time to think about my strategy. It was pretty much, “Don’t take off too fast up that stupid climb and wear yourself out for the rest of the race.” When the race started, it didn’t take me long to forget that.

Photo Credit: Lunchbox

As I was powering up the climb, I looked back and saw that I was in first place. I didn’t mean to go that fast, so I backed off a bit and let two guys go by at the top. It was too late though. I had put out too much effort and my lungs knew it.

When I hit the singletrack, I was all over the place. The trail was slicker than fresh dog shit, but I don’t think that was the problem (at least at first.) Since I couldn’t seem to get any momentum, I saw 4th place catching up to me. I saw that it was my pal Todd, so I decided to let him by. I kept him (and the other two guys in front of me) in sight for a while, and planned to make my move later. It was a twenty mile race, so I had plenty of time.

Just then, I passed the first place guy like he was standing still (okay, he actually was standing still for some reason.) That meant that I was in third place, and I could still see the two guys ahead of me. But, shit was about to change in a hurry.

Not even three miles in, and I had the first of what would be many crashes. It happened when I rode over a rock structure/garden thingy, and got all excited about my rad rock-clearing ability. Suddenly, a slippery log came out of nowhere and threw me violently to the ground. All 230 pounds of me hit the ground like a sack of potatoes, and I was stunned. I kept waiting to get passed while I slowly regained my composure, but for some reason I didn’t. I got going again, but things would never be the same.

I crashed a lot more after that, but none of them were as bad (but they still hurt.) After one lap though, I think my wreck total was around six or so. Nevertheless, I was glad to see Lunchbox waiting near the trail exit.

One lap down, and my legs felt good. The left side of my body was aching from the crash, but I had to suffer through one more lap. I took it a little easier this time, but that was probably because my technical skills were almost non-existent. I slipped on the littlest of roots and rocks, and clipped trees that were nowhere near me. I felt like a complete mountain biking newbie.

Even though I was taking it easy, it still didn’t stop me from crashing. I fell on the dumbest shit, and I wasn’t really gaining any ground on the two guys ahead of me. After a ton of crashes (and a really long second lap), I saw Lunchbox waiting for me again.

The photo is blurry because he had to jump out of the way. I was out of control and ready to be finished (and I almost ran over him.)

After over twenty miles, and about a dozen crashes later, I was finished. No one caught up to me, so I finished in third place. Just like last year, except that this time I made it in time for the podium ceremony.

It was a long day on a very tough trail. I enjoyed it for some reason, but I haven’t figured out what that is just yet. The trail wasn’t in the greatest shape, but it wasn’t too bad, either. I was pretty much dead at the end, and I still hurt as I write this. I really enjoy pushing the limits though.

Oh yeah, I got another rock.

The season is here for sure, and I’ve reached my goal of “one podium trip per season” already. Now I can take it easy.

Bullshit. It’s time to get to work.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ready To Rock

This weekend, it’s time to get my race on once again. I’ll be traveling over to Sanford, NC to “compete” in Bouldergeist, which is race number three in the Southern Classic Series. The venue is San Lee Park, and this will be my second year racing there.

I honestly don’t remember much about the course, other than the fact that it seemed to have a shitload of rocks somewhere in the middle. It was cold outside and the trail was wet, so I had a difficult time out there. I even crashed once and slammed my hand into a tree, resulting in painful swelling and difficulty holding on to my handlebars. It didn’t matter though, because it was my first podium finish for the year.

I seem to remember that it started out kinda fast and flowy, with a few punchy climbs thrown in for good measure. As usual, I took off from the start a little too fast, and ended up burning out pretty quickly. I spent the rest of the race trying to catch up, but that never happened. I think I only finished a minute or so out of second place, with first not far ahead.

Since my memory of the trail isn’t too great, I took to the YouTube to see if I can find some kind of trail footage. And wouldn’t you know it, I did.

The Internets are amazing.

Anyway, check out this video from the trail at San Lee Park.

Hmmm, not as bad as I remembered. I guess I should be okay, especially since it should be much drier and warmer out there. I’ll try not to take off so fast from the start, and I’ll sure as hell try not to break my pedal again.

Speaking of breaking stuff, I made a little boo boo when I was adjusting my handlebars da udda day. I over-tightened on of my stem bolts, and stripped the stem. Shit. A new stem had to be ordered, and I’m hoping like hell that it will be at the B-43 Worldwide Headquarters by the time I get there this evening. I’ll get it installed (hopefully without breaking it), and probably get out for a shakedown ride sometime on Saturday. Maybe it's time to invest in a torque wrench.

If I can’t get the shit right (or if the stem doesn’t show up), then I may end up riding the single speed for the race. That should be torture, I mean fun. Hell, maybe I can just borrow the stem from the SS as a temporary fix. Decisions, decisions.

Yeah, that’s about it. I’ll be back Monday with a full race report.

In the meantime, I’ll be getting ready to rock.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Couldn’t Wait

So I bought some new pedals. Despite the fact that I broke a pedal at my last race, I’m still sticking with crankbrothers. I’ve been riding them for years, so I can’t change now.

But, why did I buy new pedals? Well, I sent my broken ones out for warranty service, and I heard back from the folks at crankbrothers and they will indeed honor the warranty. The problem is, the pedals won’t be back in time for this weekend’s race. So, I picked up another set to use in the meantime. I guess it won’t hurt to have an extra set hanging around just in case.

Installing new pedals is pretty easy, so I won’t waste your time showing you how I did it. They are the same style I’ve been riding (eggbeaters), so there won’t be an adjustment period at all. I’ve said it before, I don’t like change.

In other news, I guess you can say I’ve been training. Lugging a 65 pound Rottweiler up and down the stairs every day is helping me with my strength training, but it’s also wearing me out. Yes, my dog is getting better, but I still don’t trust her walking up and down the stairs. She may never be able to walk those stairs again, so I don’t mind carrying her around. She walks pretty well now around the rest of the house and the yard, but I don’t want her to get injured any further.

I’ve been riding a little bit too. The single speed has been my weapon of choice when I’m not racing, and I think it may be helping out. I’m able to sprint up steep climbs, and my recovery time from hard efforts is getting shorter. I’m nowhere near “in-season” shape yet, but I’m getting there. I’m guessing that by the time summer gets here, I’ll be good to go.

I think I’ll cut it off here for the day. With the race season in full swing I should have more to talk about, but I guess that isn’t the case. You really shouldn’t expect that much outta me anyway.

What the hell do you want, a picture of Dicky dressed as a unicorn?

Yeah, you can’t unsee that shit either.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Race, But Not Mine

Sunday, I got a chance to go out and support the brand new Charlotte Youth Cycling League. It’s a four race kids only series, held at Fisher Farm Park in Davidson, NC. They had races for all ages, especially the youngest ones.

This is a really a great series to have in our area. There were somewhere around 90 kids out there, and they all seemed to be having a blast. Two of our local shops, Queen City Bicycles and The Cycle Path, supported the events with food and mechanical services. They support a ton of events here in our area, so make sure that if you are local you support them too.

I didn’t take a many photos because I was busy helping with the races, but you can see more here:

Charlotte Youth Cycling League Photos

There are three races left in the series, so if you want to help out (or even better bring your kids out to race), then check out the Charlotte Youth Cycling League web page.

They also have a Facebook page that you can "like."

Check them out and see what you can do to get involved. Come on out to help, bring a kid to race, or even bring a neighbor's kid out to race. It's really a lot of fun. The next race is April 1st, by the way.

After we helped tear down everything form the event, the little lady and I took a ride on the trail with our single speeds. It was Little Miss Sunshine’s first time there on her new Misfit, and she did a great job out there. Once again though, I brought the camera along and didn’t take any photos.

I did get a photo from our post ride recovery meal:

Yeah, I drink a lot of beer. So what, I’m old enough.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

These Ladies Have Skills

Yes, it’s back to bicycling. My doggie is doing okay, so hopefully I can stop worrying about her so much. Thanks to those of you that sent e-mails and left comments.

Anyway, Saturday I hung out at one of our local trails, Poplar Tent with a whole bunch of mountain biking women.

It's not like they showed up there because I’m some kind of ladies man though.

It was a Dirt Divas Skills Clinic, which is one of my favorite rides to attend. I somehow got assigned to ride in the advanced group, which really should make me feel good. Instead, I felt all funny that I got to help the ladies with trail features, especially since most of them can probably out ride any man around here.

Our group took off, and I liked the pace (especially since I was on the single speed.) The point of the advanced group was to ride all of the options, and to stop at the features to help the ladies master them.

And master them they did.

Cathi (top photo) and Emily (bottom photo) showed off their rock riding skills.

Every once in a while, the different groups would merge when we stopped at certain features. That was the only way was I able to capture Dirt Diva Melissa showing off her mad skills.

We also rode the teeter totter (not pictured because I had to be a spotter), and that was by far my favorite stopping point. It was fun to hear the ladies giggle when the teeter dropped them down gently. I giggle the same way every time I ride it too.

We worked on everything until they all felt comfortable, and I didn’t mind spending extra time out there to help.

Every rock, root, and drop was tackled.

Doc blindly dropped off of this rooty section, and made it look way too easy.

That gave the rest of the ladies some confidence (because watching guys do this stuff just sucks.)

Here is Emily again showing us how it’s done.

I wish I would’ve taken more photos, but like I said before I was doing a lot of standing around, I mean spotting. There isn’t even one photo of me, mostly because I feel like an ass asking someone to take my picture. I did have a great time though.

The Dirt Divas really put on great rides, and it’s cool the way they encourage women of all abilities to come out and try to improve their skills. I’m very thankful that they allow a few of us smelly boys to come out and play too.

Interested in riding with the Divas? Check out their website and look for the next time they hit the trail.

I’ll be there for sure, as long as they don’t mind.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Don’t Even Know Where To Start

Although it was only two days, the weekend seemed like it lasted forever. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does make things a little difficult for me to keep up with.

I was on call for work over the weekend, but I did find the time to ride my bike. I really don’t know how I found time to do anything, since I had yet another thing going on…

This is my Rottweiler, Roxie. She will be thirteen in June, which is really old for any dog, let alone this breed. Lately, she’s been a little sick. She injured herself walking down the stairs in the house, and also somehow ended up with a bacterial infection in her stomach that left me cleaning up after her the past few days.

After a visit to the vet, her stomach is much better. However, she is still having trouble walking, getting up and down from her bed, and pretty much anything else that requires her to move around. She’s getting a little better, but you can imagine how difficult it might be to take care of her and still have time for other things.

We got her when she was a puppy, and she’s been around a long time. Lunchbox and Roxie pretty much grew up with each other. She means a lot to me, so I really don’t mind that I have to take time away from my bike stuff to help take care of her. I hope she gets better soon, but I do realize that she may not be with us much longer.

At least she's feeling a little better now.

I know today’s post isn’t all bicycle-y, but I really don’t care. I pretty much always tell y’all what’s going on with me, so I don’t see the reason to stop now. Besides, I guess I needed to get this out. I didn’t start blogging to become famous or anything like that, instead it was so I would have an outlet for my thoughts and junk.

I’ll get into the weekend bike stuff soon enough.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Like A New Pair Of Shoes

Who gives a shit, remember?

It’s time to stomp my way through the season, but this isn’t really about shoes. I recently acquired some new support for my racing efforts, in the form of a long-awaited nutritional sponsor. Being a big boy, I like to eat. Riding a bike like a big boy, I need to eat. It just so happens that my favorite nutritional company decided to help me out.

That’s right, the folks at Honey Stinger have jumped on the bandwagon of world domination here at B-43. Over the years I’ve tried pretty much every kind of cycling nutrition product, and I kept coming back to Honey Stinger. I never thought I would have a shot at their support, but I guess what I did kinda worked.

Here’s probably what happened:

I wrote them a letter about how awesome I am, they laughed their asses off, and probably decided to throw me some support because they felt sorry for me.

Maybe it had something to do with the “contest” I won a while back.

Whatever the case may be, I’m in.

After a welcome e-mail and some product selection, a package showed up on my doorstep.

It was chock full of Honey Stinger goodness of course.

That should last me about two days at the rate I consume stuff, although I don’t plan to eat the t-shirt. Maybe I can use it as a napkin to wipe the waffle crumbs off my face.

Big thanks to the folks at Honey Stinger for taking a chance with me. I bet they have no idea what they’re in for, though.

In other supporter news, I was checking out the Backcountry Research website, and I see that they have a shitload of deals going on right now.

You can get a three pack of the mount-anywhere Clutch straps for $22.


Three of the Tülbags for $24.


Three Awesome Strap Race for $24.


The Whammer Deal Deluxe, which includes a Back Forty Revival, a Tülbag, and an Awesome Strap Race for $24.

and lastly,

You can get the Back Forty Whammer deal which is three for $24.

Why am I telling you this? Because you should be riding with an Awesome Strap. If you don’t, then well, you just plain suck.

Don’t make me out to be some kind of product whore. I actually use the things I talk about. You should too.

Did I forget to tell you about the weekend? Yeah. I don’t really have any plans. No race this weekend, so hopefully I can get on the trail and wear out my legs.

That’s something else you should be doing.

In the meantime, click on on those links up there to keep yourself busy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Good Ride And This Is All I Have To Show For It

Beer…and it was well worth it.

I’m sure the fact that I had beer after a good ride doesn’t shock you. I drink beer after good rides, bad rides, and hell, pretty much anytime. I’m a little shocked at the fact that I rode and didn’t take any photos. The Dirty Party Cycle and I hit up the Whitewater Center da udda night, and I brought along a picture-taking device (actually two.) We stopped a few times here and there, but for some reason I never really felt like taking photos.

Sure, I thought about it, but I think I was caught up in the actual ride. I took my single speed out there, and the plan was pain. I mashed up climbs and took descents at breakneck speeds, and I guess stopping for a photo shoot would’ve cheapened the moment.

I ride bikes. I talk about riding bikes. Sometimes I post photos of me riding bikes. Not this time. That doesn’t make it any less of a ride. In fact, I think it may have made it that much better. When we finished, my legs were tired. The lungs and heart felt good, but my quads were toast. Riding a single speed will do that to you, especially if you’re still getting used to only having one gear.

I talked to the MadSS yesterday, and he told me that my legs should be tired after every ride. He said that’s how you get stronger. I’ve been tired after rides before, but being on a single speed bike just makes the effort a little more worth it (plus I’m really tired afterwards.) Good advice from my pal, I suppose.

I did do a little bit of work on the SS bike before the ride though. After running a stock SS crankset the way it showed up at my house way back when, I sorta got tired of looking at that hideous bash guard.

So I took that bitch off of there.

The result is a cleaner, more single speedy-looking crankset.

After spending most of my time prior to single speeding riding a 1X9 setup on the geared bike, the thought of riding without a bash guard kinda worried me. With a straight chainline (and the lack of shifting), there’s not any reason to be worried.

Now my simple, non-geared bike just became even simpler.

I like simple things.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Music Soothes Me

I used to listen to music just about every time I rode my bike, went running, skateboarding, etc. For some reason though, I starting doing it less and less. I gave up running quite some time ago to save my knees for cycling and the skateboarding hasn't been very frequent, so that may have had an effect on my music listening habits. On the bike, I had scaled it back to just endurance races, choosing to ride shorter, cross country distances just listening to the sound of my heavy breathing.

I started think about the last time I actually rode with music, and I had to go all the way back to last year’s 6 Hours of Warrior Creek. Having music for six hours definitely kept me going, but for some reason I put down the MP3 player after that.

Maybe because the one I had was a little bulky, and had to be strapped to my arm.

I’ve been using MP3 players for a long time. While I was digging around in the drawers of the computer desk da udda day, I found my very first one.

The Rio 500

This thing was the shit back in its day, holding about two hours of music with an extra memory card. I listened to it pretty much everywhere I went, and loved the fact that I could listen to music from my cd collection without having to carry around one of those bulky Sony Walkman thingys.

Yeah, I had one of those too.

While I still have two perfectly good (albeit old) MP3 players, I found myself wanting to get something a little smaller that wouldn’t have to be strapped onto a body part somewhere. I tried using my phone a few weeks ago, but the case I have for it also has an armband. Plus, the battery life sucks too much. There’s no way it would last for six hours or more.

I finally broke down and got one of these:

Yeah, I bought an iPod Shuffle. I’m not the trendy Apple type, so it just about killed me to give money for this. In fact, when I told Lunchbox what I had done, he said, “Why?”

I wondered that myself.

With the Shuffle, I could put a shitload of songs in it, clip it somewhere on my bib shorts, and not worry about it. At only around fifty bucks, I wouldn’t cry too much if I lost it on the trail somewhere. It’s light, small, and it stays outta the way.

Did I mention that it’s small?

I’m not exactly jumping onto the technology bandwagon with a measly little Shuffle, but I couldn’t see myself spending big money on something that may get broken or lost. I used it at my race last Sunday, and if it wasn’t for the music going into my ear I wouldn’t have known it was there. In fact, the whole broken pedal fiasco would’ve been a lot worse if I didn’t have something to listen to whilst I suffered.

I dig it.

I guess I can “race” for six hours at Warrior Creek in a few weeks while I listen to various artists performing my favorite tunes.

Metal, hip hop, showtunes…whatever the hell will keep me going.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It Wasn’t Just About Racing

On Friday, I had to figure out what I was doing for the weekend. With a Sunday full of racing action, I really only had to worry about Saturday. I wanted a nice, easy ride, so I planned on taking the road bike out for a little while. I don’t care much for road riding, but it was the easiest riding I could do. That all changed when Little Miss Sunshine told me about a ride she was doing.

Saturday morning, we met up with Trips For Kids for one of their regularly-scheduled rides. This one was a little different though, since it was sponsored by our local ladies-only club, the Dirt Divas. Little Miss Sunshine asked Lunchbox and me to come along, and we are always happy to help out the youngins.

There were tons of kids there, ready to ride.

We split up into two groups, and Lunchbox and I rode sweep in the first one. We had a great time encouraging the kids when they rode, and everyone (including the adults) was having a great time. We even had time to hang back and enjoy a few of the “features.”

One of the highlights of the rides was hearing the kids giggle as they rode fast down the hills. That really put a smile on my face. These kids were having fun, which is what you’re supposed to do on a bike.

Even the wildlife wanted to get in on the action.

I’m glad that the Divas didn’t mind a couple of Trailblazers hanging around and helping out. We love helping to get kids hooked on this sport we all love.

Oh yeah, Little Miss Sunshine rode her single speed bike again. I think she digs it.

Trips for Kids is a great organization here in Charlotte (and all across the country), and I always enjoy the chance to help them out. They do a lot for our local riding community, and we cherish the chance to give back to them.

Don’t know about Trips For Kids?

Well, here’s some information I got form their web page.

Trips for Kids Charlotte was founded by individuals living in the Southern Piedmont of North and South Carolina with a fundamental belief that cycling is an empowering sport that can help kids achieve “breakthrough” results in their lives. We are public officials, corporate and private citizens. When all is said and done, we are individuals that want to make a difference in the lives of kids and believe that cycling is a perfect medium for making that difference.

Trips for Kids Charlotte Purpose/Vision Statement

TFKC is a non-profit organization that provides mentoring through bicycling experiences. In alliance with other organizations, TFKC targets 10-15 year old children of need within the Charlotte area.

The TFKC vision is to use bicycling as the tool to prepare kids for success. TFKC experiences focus kids on:

1. Respect
2. Honesty
3. Teamwork
4. Overcoming challenges
5. Healthy and safe lifestyles
6. Service

These experiences equip kids with tools for building positive accomplishments and relationships in their communities and in their lives.

Go check out the website and see what you can do to help. If you're not local to Charlotte, I'm sure there is a chapter near you.

See y’all tomorrow.