Friday, September 28, 2012

The Devil Went Down To Georgia

I know, it’s not the Charlie Daniels version, but the Devil is riding a bicycle in that video…which is what I plan to do.

Even though my race season is pretty much over, I’ve got a few left on the calendar.  This Sunday, I’m driving down to Georgia to ride my single speed around in the woods for…

Yes, for some reason I’m going to the Georgia State Single Speed Championships.  While I probably have no business “racing” in any event that has the word “Championships” in it, I thought it would be fun to take a road trip to roll through the woods with some other folks with only one gear.

Usually I would get my ass handed to me by those tiny, yet strong single speeder types, but it won’t happen this time.  Instead, I’ll get my ass handed to me by large and in charge types, since there is a Clydesdale category.  That’s right, big boys on one big ass gear.  Will a class of people my own weight help me?  Probably not.  That’s not why I’m going, but it’s a nice thought.

With the guest list showing famous types like Eddie and Namrita O’Dea down for some single speed action, I noticed one famous name was missing from the list…

I’m not sure why he would miss such a race, but he probably has better things to do.  You know, like drinking lots of beer, devouring countless bags of M&Ms, and bidding on parts to build up a new 650b bike.  Being home unsupervised can get him into trouble.

Everyone's gonna miss the little fella down there.

Speaking of missing things, this is the last weekend to ride Poplar Tent.  As of Monday October 1st, it will close.  It looks like I’ll get in one final ride tonight after work to say my goodbyes.  Come on out if you’re around here, and bring beer.

I like beer, remember? 

Oh yeah, I won’t be here Monday, so look for some kind of race report on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Little History

Since there’s not really much going on around here at the moment, I really started to wonder how I can keep posting things on here until something exciting happens.  Sure, I could skip a day and no one would notice, but I didn’t want to take the easy way out.  I thought that I could go back in time a little bit. 

As y’all may have noticed, bicycles and beer are my main interests these days.  I’ve only really gotten into good beer over the last few years, but bicycles have been a part of my life as long as I can remember.  In the small town where I lived growing up, there wasn’t much going on.  When I was a kid we rode bicycles all over the place from dawn until dusk, and car rides were reserved for trips into “the city.”  Sure, most of the kids I knew had bicycles, but most of them probably had shiny new ones that came fresh from the bike shop (there were no big box stores nearby back then.)  I didn’t have a shiny new bike, but I always had something to ride thanks to someone very important in my life.

That is a photo (obviously taken long ago) of my Granddaddy, Aubrey Muddiman.  He worked on bicycles since way back in his youth, and thanks to him I learned to work on them too.  When I needed a bike, we put one together out of spare parts he had.  They were usually spray painted to make them look a little better, but that didn't mean they were always pleasing to the eye.  They always worked though, and if I broke something we could head right out to the shed for repairs.  I learned a lot back then, most notably that you didn’t need a fancy bike to have a good time riding.

It was back then that I had my first encounter with a local bike shop.  Even though my bikes were always in perfect working order (for the most part), I always longed to have something fancy like a lot of my friends had.  We didn’t have much money growing up, but that didn’t stop me from hanging around and window shopping. 

There were two bike shops in my small town, and my Granddaddy knew the owner of one of them pretty well.  He was in the aluminum business, and the bike shop was a side gig.  The bike side of his store didn’t last long for reasons I can’t recall, but it may have been due to lack of interest on his part.  The inventory wasn’t particularly large, but the customer service was good.  I remember that he was a nice man, and we bought stuff from him on the rare occasion that we didn’t have it in our stockpile of used parts.  One day he just quit the bike business. 

The second shop was around for a long time, and he had a huge selection of bikes and accessories.  The only problem was, he was an asshole.  He would yell at his customers all the time (kids and adults), and didn’t really seem to give a crap if you were there to buy something or not.  He sold bikes (and lots of them) somehow, even though he needed a lot of work on his customer service skills.  When the other shop closed down, he was pretty much the only choice if you needed anything bike-related (unless you took a trip into “the city.”)  I guess that’s how he managed to make his money. 

I remember the shop being there when I was a little kid up through the time I graduated from high school.  I left for the Army after I graduated, and a few years later when I came home I eventually noticed that it was gone.  Even though a lot of people felt the same way as I did about him, he somehow managed to stay in business all that time.  I guess you can say that because of him, I had a lot of disdain for bike shops for a long, long time.         

In my adult life, I’ve found plenty of local bike shops that are really good.  I’ve forged some good relationships with ones here in Charlotte, and even some in other states.  However, I can’t help but notice that there are still a few that operate just like the one from my childhood that I mentioned before.  What a shame.  You figure that they would learn something after all of these years.  I will never forget the way that jerk in my hometown made me feel when I tried to spend what little bit of money I had in his store, and it really sucks that I get that very same feeling to this day in some shops.

I guess that’s part of the reason I still work on my own bikes.  Well, that and I actually enjoy it. 

You know what they say, those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

Oh yeah, I mentioned beer didn’t I?  Well, here’s one I just recently tried:

Boatswain American IPA, picked up from Trader Joes by my house.  It’s pretty cheap, which doesn’t normally make a good IPA.  However, this one is really good.  Just the right amount of hops, and a nice, smooth finish.  I think even those of you that don’t like IPAs would find it delightful.

You do like IPAs though, right?

And on that note, I’m out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Temporary Fix

Remember when my crank arm fell off and I thought everything was all good in tha hood?  Well shit, would you know I’m still having issues.  Besides the fact that the crankset is pretty old, I most likely damaged it by riding without the bolt just to get the hell of the trail.  After Phil at Chain Reaction Bicycles torqued the bolt down to the proper specs, I didn’t have an issue when we finished the trail at FATS.  I thought I was good to go, but luck just isn’t on my side it seems.

After riding Poplar Tent Saturday morning, the bolt had worked itself loose again a little bit.  I tightened it down, but when I rode at the Cackalacky 500 it came loose a coupe of times then too.  Knowing that it’s probably gonna happen again when I couldn’t afford to let it happen again, I decided that I should do something about it.

Luckily, I had a slightly better than just kinda average crankset that I could use.

This was hanging around the shop after I parted out my squishy bike, and it saves me from having to buy another crankset right now.  It’s in pretty decent shape, except that the bottom bracket is a little wonky.  It will have to do for now until I get can get something else.  I rode it last night and everything seems to be fine.  Knowing how things usually go around here though, that won’t last long.

In other news, I decided to do a little work on our bikes.  First up, I had to replace the bottle cap on Little Miss Sunshine’s geared bike (I know, difficult work.)  She obtained a fancy bottle cap that matched her bike a while back, and I finally remembered to put it on.

Mmmmm.  Beer.

Next up, I had to re-Stans all our tires.  We have quite a few bikes, so it took a little while.  Luckily though, I don’t have to break the bead when pouring in that vile fluid.

No, that isn’t one of those stupid Honey Badger Tires.    

Since I had to air up a bunch of tires after filling them with stuff other than air, I finally got off my ass and did something about my less than stellar inflator on my air compressor.  I bought an inflator (with gauge) at a local hardware store and modified it to meet my needs.

I used the valve head off of an old floor pump to make it bike-specific.

If I recall correctly, Dicky did something like this some time ago.  I was too lazy to call him up and ask about, so I fell quite lucky that I got it right on the first try.  After a successful test run (and subsequent airing up of all the tires I re-Stans’ed), I went around looking for all kinds of shit to air up. 

New toys are fun.

Broken shit is not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do It In The Dark

Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Annual Cackalacky 500 at Lake Norman State Park.  It was eight hours and twenty minutes of racing starting at 10:00 p.m., and I was there to help out.  Since I wasn’t racing, I brought my pal Tom along for a little volunteering.

It was also his very first night ride.

Little Miss Sunshine was kind enough to hook us up with some glowy goodness or our bikes, so we setup our shit to look like a rolling party while we rode out in the woods all night.

Without the camera flash…

We stood at one of the intersections when the race started to guide the participants along the race course, and we planned to ride a sweeper lap when they all went by.  However, things changed when someone came out of the first loop and told us that there was a guy out on the course with no lights.  Tom and I rode in to look for him, and after about three quarters of a mile we found current Tarheel Trailblazers Ed sitting in the dark. 

He told us that his light quit working and that he also somehow lost his flashlight.  Tom and I escorted him out of the woods and back to safety, and he was able to grab a spare light and get going again.  I hoped that this would be my only rescue of the night.

We eventually hit the trail, stopping every once in a while to camp out in random spots along the course.  We scoped out dangerous areas, and provided encouragement when each racer rode by.  It was a good time out there, and we only had to help one guy adjust his helmet light. 

We heard about an oasis setup on the course by some of the volunteers, so onward we rode, looking for the halfway point.  We eventually found it.

It was an aid station stocked with water, snacks and cheering volunteers out in the middle of nowhere.  They had music playing, and they were even grilling some brats to pass the time.  It was just like a camping trip minus the sleeping part, so we stopped to hang out a while.  We had a blast heckling the participants, and even watched as nearly all of them narrowly avoided a stump poking out in a blind turn.  It was really fun, but eventually we had to get the hell out of there and patrol the course.

Even though we were “working”, we had a blast night riding.  Tom got used to being out there with just the lights on his bike and helmet to guide him, and found navigating the corners in the dark to be quite exhilarating.  Near the end of the trail though, the temperature had dropped considerably, so we hurried back to the star finish line to warm up a bit.  We hung out with the promoter for a while, ate some soup, and talked about all kinds of bike stuff.  I couldn’t really get warmed up though, so I decided that I would head back to my truck (parked along the course) and bundle up in a chair with my sleeping bag.  We rode enough out the course anyway, and if someone needed help they would know where to find me.

I eventually dozed off at around five o’clock, and woke up just before the race ended.  We all headed over to get some breakfast, and I’m glad to say no one needed any first aid.  I was glad to be out there helping, and any race where I don’t need to bandage anyone up is a good one.  Up next was the podium presentation.

In the duo category, Big Ben and his teammate took the top spot.

I tried to get a shot of the women’s podium, but Bike Shop Girl walked in front of my shot.

The men’s podium doesn’t tell the tale of how exciting the race was.  My main man the MadSS was rocking the steady pace, gaining on the leaders throughout the night.  He eventually made it up to 2nd place, and he was closing in on Chris Strout.  During the final laps though, Chris turned in on and set a blazing fast pace and got the win.

Congrats to Chris and the MadSS for a hard fought race.

It was a fun night, but I’m still feeling the effects of it.  Hopefully I can recover and get out on my bike real soon…

Like tonight after work.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Closing Time

Even though I should’ve been resting on Saturday so I could stay up all night for the Cackalacky 500, I couldn’t resist the urge to say one more goodbye to an old friend.

Last call...

Yes, I returned to Poplar Tent once again for a private farewell ride.  The plan was to ride everything, take lots of pictures, and take my time enjoying the trail for what could be my last time.  When I got there though, I was reminded of what this trail can do to you if you’re not careful.

The guy inside got hauled off to the hospital, and he will live to ride another day.

I hit the trail at a steady pace, which gave me time to reflect on every root, rock, turn, feature, and even critters.  I thought about how much I’ve enjoyed these things over the years.

Like Devil’s Drop.

The teeter totter.

Ladder bridges.

That place is like a playground for bikes.

With plenty of danger.

And lots of my favorite critters.

And probably everyone’s favorite feature, Gravity Cavity.

It was never optional for me.

I would stop there and play longer than I probably should have, and Saturday morning’s ride was no different.

The scenery out there was always great.

The signs out there remind you how simple life can be.

When I finished my ride, I sat at the picnic table and thought about how much that place really means to me as a mountain biker.  The ride made me happy and sad at the same time, and I realized that riding around Charlotte will never be the same.  Although there’s no stopping the closure of this fine trail, no one can ever take away my memories of it.  I’ve ridden every mountain bike I’ve ever owned there, and each ride was a unique experience.

I’ll miss the shitt outta Poplar Tent.

Maybe I can get in one more ride before it’s gone forever.  If you live anywhere near here, you should too.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sleepless In Charlotte

Things just keep on getting busier, even though I’m supposed to be enjoying all this free time.  Although I’m not racing this weekend, there is a race.  The 2nd Annual Cackalacky 500 starts tomorrow night, and I’ll be there.

I thought about entering this one, but since I volunteered last year as a Bike Patroller the promoter contacted me about doing it again.  So instead of suffering for eight hours and twenty minutes in the dark at Lake Norman State Park, I’ll get to ride the trails at a leisurely pace, provide first aid assistance (hopefully not), and heckle the participants.  While it does sound fun and all, I’m not really looking forward to staying up all night like I did last year.  I’m getting too old for that shit.

I have a plan though.

I'll take a lap when the racers go out, and if everything is quiet then I’ll sneak off somewhere and take a nap.  I’ll make sure everyone can get in touch with me in case of an emergency, but I don’t plan on making my whereabouts known.  The locals there like to mess with the sleeping folks, and I’m not about to become a victim.  I don’t plan on sleeping all night though, instead having a short nap to maintain my freshness.  Yeah, I said freshness.

As long as I’m not busy patching people up all night, I’ll try to get in a bunch of miles along with some beauty rest.  When the race ends at sunrise, I’ll eat some breakfast and make the hour long drive home.  Hopefully when I arrive at my domicile in the wee hours of the morning I won’t need another nap.

With two “free” days coming up, I really thought that I would get in a few good rides.  It looks like I’ll cram that all in overnight on Saturday, but it’s all the same I guess.  It’s for a good cause (the race is a fundraiser for the Tarheel Trailblazers), and it will be a lot of fun to get in a night ride for the first time this season.  It’s been a while, so I hope that I don’t have any problems (especially with all the issues I’ve been having lately.)

It’s not that bad, is it?

Night riding ain't like dusting crops, farm boy. Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?

I have a bad feeling about this.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I’m Not In Sin City

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Interbike is going down right now in Fabulous Las Vegas.  Although I wanted to go out there to see all the shit that needs to be seen, I didn’t make it.  I passed up a chance to go last year because of work obligations, but I figured I’d get there eventually.  This year I didn’t really put in the effort, so now I’m on the outside looking in.  I’m not really disappointed, other than the fact that I wanted to visit my long lost brother out there.  I haven’t seen him since we were in Elementary school, and I planned to use that silly trade show as an excuse to travel out there.  I’ll get out there one day I imagine, but not necessarily for Interbike.  Besides, between Twitter and Facebook I’m getting all the coverage I need.

That means I don’t need to spend any more time talking about it here, except for this e-mail I received yesterday:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the story. It's too bad that your crank arm failed but at the 
end of the day you we're still able to finish the trail. the post was
awesome. Anyway I'm a weekend MTB rider too and also love the trails. In
connection to that, Could we feature here some of the upcoming bikes and
parts of the upcoming Interbike in LV? I know most of your readers are also
excited with the new released bikes and components. Are you interested?

Looking forward to your response.

Elle Anderson

Now the odd thing about this e-mail (other than the fact that she said my post was awesome) is that both Chris Strout and Peter received ones a lot like it.  Although “Elle” referenced one of my posts like she actually read it, the whole thing seemed kinda off.  I checked my stats and saw that “Elle” read my blog from the Philippines, and she got there from Dicky’s blog.  Apparently, he has connections over there and he's not telling us about it.

Strange things are afoot on The Internets.

So anyway, since I’m still here in good ol’ Charlotte, NC and not in the great state of Nevada, I did a little video editing from my FATS trip.  Sadly, I wasn’t running the camera when I crashed.  That would’ve made for a good video for sure.  For now, you’ll have to deal with my usual shit, with a little extra speed thrown in.

Check it.

Yeah, it’s about average…or below that.

Better than nothing I guess.  I try not to set my standards so high.  You should try that too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pleased With The Service

With my broken bike loaded on the back of my truck on Saturday, I left the Forks Area Trail System and headed into town.  After the conversation with Mr. Shepherd, I remembered that the shop I was traveling to was the same exact one we went to when he was up here last Fall.  I remembered that the service was good last time, so I expected more of the same.

Boy, was I wrong.

I rolled up in the parking lot of Chain Reaction Bicycles in nearby Martinez, GA, and the place was packed.  I walked in and looked around, hoping that I could find a bolt for my crank arm, or even a new crankset.  I didn’t see anything after a trip around the store, so I walked over to the service counter.

The guy who helped us last time, Phil, was on the phone.  He acknowledged me right away, and you could tell he was trying to get off the phone to assist me.  When he finished the call, he asked what I needed.  I tried not to sound too desperate. 

“I drove all the way down here from Charlotte to ride FATS and I broke my crank arm bolt on the first loop.  I was hoping that you had one so I could get back on the trail.”

He looked around, but came up with nothing.  I told him I would take any crankset he had instead, and since I was riding a single speed it didn’t need to be fancy.  He dug around all over the shop, and had nothing I could use.

“We’re in the process of moving, so I don’t have a lot of spare parts right now.”

Seeing how disappointed I was, he asked what I was riding.  I told him it was a Niner One9, and he asked if I wanted to use his bike.  

“We’re about the same size”, he said, “and you’re welcome to take it out.”

Wow.  Even though he remembered me from our last visit down there, I thought it was exceptional that he offered to give a (pretty much) complete stranger his bike to ride on a local trail.  I politely declined, not wanting to take a chance at breaking his stuff too.  At that point, one of the other mechanics walked in and heard what was going on.  He told me to wait a bit, and he would see if he could find something for me.

After a short wait, he came back and told me he found the bolt I needed.  He took it off a bike they took in on a trade, and installed it for me.  Phil tightened it down with the proper torque setting and told me I was all set.  After a nominal charge, I would be on my way.  I thanked him a bunch and told him how pleased I was with the awesome service, and he said that’s just the way they do things.  Even though my minor repair need wouldn’t make him a ton of money, he went out of his way to make sure I was happy and able to ride again.

I spent a little more money while I was there just because I thought I should, and walked out with a few items.

Like a water bottle from their shop:

And a new bike computer:

And I even bought a FATS sticker (which helps support the trails):

This was the second time I’ve been to Chain Reaction Bicycles looking for an instant fix to a mechanical issue, and those guys shined for sure.  If I lived down there, it would be my go to shop.  If you live near there, then it should be yours.  One thing’s for sure, next time I ride down there I’ll go spend some money. 

Even if I don’t break anything during my ride.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If It Ain’t One Thing…

It’s another.

And another.

My string of bad luck continues, but at least I wasn’t in a race this time.  After driving all the way down to Augusta, GA for the FATS trip on Saturday, I thought it would be a good day.  About thirty minutes into the first loop though, it turned to shit.  I told you yesterday that I had to stop to tighten my left crank arm, and everything seemed fine.  After a little more riding though, I noticed that  it came loose again.  I busted out my trusty tool to tighten it again, and just as I was gently getting the bolt snug, I heard a crack.


I broke the head off the bolt, and I was pretty much screwed at that point.  There was no way the crank arm would stay on after that.

Rather than walk out though, I decided that I would put it back on there, and try my best to keep it on there by pressing my foot against the bottom bracket when I rode downhill.  I wouldn’t be able to climb very well, but at least I wouldn’t have to walk out.  It worked okay at first, but Tom and Lunchbox had to stop every so often to let me catch up.  At one point I told then to keep going and wait for me at the end of the loop.  They took off while I limped my bike along the trail. 

I walked my bike up the climbs for the most part, but I stayed on for the downhills.  My luck didn’t last forever though, because at one point my crank arm fell of while I was navigating a rooty and twisty descent.  My right crank arm immediately dropped downward, and my pedal struck a root.  It sent me over the bars, and I landed on my (already hurt a few days ago) elbow.  As I writhed on the ground for a bit in pain, I thought about how dumb that shit was.  I got back on my bike and I eventually made it out of there.

My next challenge would be to get my bike fixed.

Since we drove all the way down there and the ride had just started, I wanted to get back out there to get some miles in.  I took off for a local shop, leaving Lunchbox and Tom to ride without me.  I didn’t see the need for them to give up their ride time for me, and I figured I’d be back soon anyway.  I took off with my broken bike, heading to the closest shop.

On the way, I gave Mr. Shepherd a call.  The the last time he was here we went through the same shit. 

I didn’t wait for him to answer the phone before I started talking.

Me:  “Fuck you Lance, answer!”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Hello?”

Me:  “Lance, it’s me Vincent.  I’m in big fucking trouble, man.  I’m coming to your house.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Whoa. Whoa.  Hold your horses, man.  What’s the problem?”

Me:  “I’ve got this chick, she’s fuckin’’ on me.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Well, don’t bring her here!  I’m not even fuckin’ joking with you, man!  Do not be bringing some fucked-up pooh-bah to my house.”

Me. “No choice.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “She’s’?”

Me.  “She’s fuckin’ dying on me, man!”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Okay, then you bite the bullet, take her to a hospital and call a lawyer.”

Me:  “Negative.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “This is not my fuckin’ problem, man!  You fucked her up, you deal with this!”

Okay, that was obviously a Pulp Fiction reference and not what really happened.  I just called to give him shit about passing on his bad juju to me from our last trip.  He did help me remember the name of the bike shop we went to when he was here, and I made it there with no issues.  Long story short, they got me back on the bike pronto, and I hauled ass back to the trail to see if I could finish my ride.

I got back to the parking lot just as the boys were finishing up their ride.  Lunchbox was worn out (and even had a small bout with leg cramps), but Tom volunteered to go out there again with me.  I had to get in some more riding, and I was glad to have the company.  We hit the trail at a breakneck pace, determined to finish up before the ladies did.  We succeeded, which meant that I didn’t waste my time driving down there.

We had fun (despite another mechanical issue), and I’m very thankful I got back on the trail.  I’ll talk about my bike shop experience soon.  In the meantime, I have some work to do.  I ran my GoPro out there again, so I have to see if any of the video is worth editing.

Even if it isn’t, I’ll probably still put something together for the blog.

Good or bad, you’ll have to watch it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

FATS Invasion

Of course I’m talking about Saturday’s trip to one of my favorite places to ride, the Forks Area Trail System.  Although it was a Dirt Diva trip, a couple of us fellas hit the road to ride down there too. 

Before I left the house, I made sure to grab the cooler.  The little lady made sure to pack us some food before she left (she didn’t ride down there with us), and she let me know what was inside.

I had to add a few items to the cooler, so I made sure to modify her note to accurately reflect the inventory.

Three of us hit the road, hoping to make good time down to Augusta.  We flew down the interstates, eventually passing the all-girl convoy on the highway somewhere in South Carolina.

We beat them to the trail head, which was a good thing because there were a ton of them out there.

Photo cred: Little Miss Sunshine

With all those ladies hitting the trail, we made sure to get out there ahead of them so they wouldn’t school us on the proper way to ride.  We paused for a moment to look at the map before we started our ride.

Tom and Lunchbox were ready.

We hit the trail in a hurry, flying down the trail with way too much speed.  It was hella fun, and I couldn’t stop smiling.  It was Tom’s first time out there, and he was having a blast too.  After a few miles in though, I noticed something wrong with my bike.  I pulled over to check it out, and found the left crank arm was a little loose.  I pulled out my multi tool from my Tülbag and tightened it down, and we rolled out again.

We were having fun again, but my problems weren’t over I would later find out.  I’ll get into that tomorrow though.  For now, I’ll get into another issue…

Bike problems, but not mine.

One of the Divas in Little Miss Sunshine’s group had a flat, and I heard they had a helluva time changing it.  She didn’t have a tube, so my little lady got hers out of her Awesome Strap and they tried to install it. 

It had been tucked away behind her saddle for almost a year, and when they tried to install it in the tire it was leaking air.  After patching one hole, they found several more.  I guess that was a fail on my part, since I’m supposed to check these things before she goes out for a ride.  They eventually got one from someone else.


From what I heard they actually had a great time changing that tube.  They all seemed to learn something, and had a great time doing it.  Also, no one had to walk out of there.  They got to continue the ride, and that’s the important thing.  I wasn’t really that lucky, but like I said I’ll get into that tomorrow.

After the ride, most of us hung out there in Augusta.  One of the local Diva’s has family there, and they were kind enough to host a bunch of stinky, tired, and hungry mountain bikers.  Big thanks to Melissa and Shelley for that end of day festivities, and a huge thanks to the Divas for another fun out of town adventure.

Now I’ll have to talk about my ride I guess, but not right now. 

You love it when I drag stuff out, don’t ya?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Not Ready To Ride

But I tried to anyway.  I have no desire to stay off of my bike, so I’m not letting some stupid crash get in the way of that.  My head is fine I guess (or as good as it will ever be), but that pesky gash on my elbow (with the accompanying bone bruise) still hurts like hell.

I probably should’ve had stitches put in that.  Yuck.

Despite the bruises and pain all over, I decided to take a ride last night after work.  I took it slow, since I didn’t want to crash again and mess myself up even worse.  My elbow really bothered me, and it almost made me call the ride off before I even got a mile into it.  Every bump, root, and rock jarred my elbow, and the pain was almost unbearable.  I kept going though, figuring I need to tough it out so I’ll be ready for tomorrow’s ride…

The Forks Area Trail System (FATS) down near Augusta, Georgia.

It’s been quite a while since I was there last.  In fact, it’s been almost a year.  You might remember that Mr. Shepherd came up here from the Sunshine State to ride it for the first time last Thanksgiving, and we had some issues.  We had to cut our ride short to make repairs on his bike, so I never really got a good feel for the place on my single speed.  I plan on bringing it again this time, and tearing up that big ass pump track.

I can’t wait.

Never been to FATS?  Have no idea what I’m talking about?  Well then, check out the video from our last adventure out there.

Trail Wars.  Coming soon to some single track near you.

Hopefully I feel good enough to ride it all, and I really hope I don’t bust my ass.  If I manage to hit my head again, I may have to take a lot of time off the bike.  If I start racking up concussions, I’ll start to look like Troy Aikman.

And no one wants that shit.

I’ll see y’all Monday with a full report I’m sure.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Ain’t In This For Your Revolution

And I’m not in it for you, princess.

You might have noticed that I’ve been throwing out a lot of love for Niner lately.  It’s not because I’ve fallen under the spell of their “Big Revolution”, rather I’ve noticed how much more I like riding my single speed now that I’ve switched over to one of their bikes.  I hesitated for a long time, since I figured that my "converted from gears to single speed 29er" was just fine, and also because everywhere I looked I saw someone on a Niner.  I didn’t want to be like everyone else, but when I finally rode one I understood. 

Now I get it, and I’m glad I do.

This is just me talking about what I like, and when I like something I tend to spout off about it.  Now I guess I’ll start spreading the love.

You know how much I love stickers, right?

And I may be taking it a bit too far with this, but it was given to me da udda day so I’m sure it will be put to use.

I love goodies.

Speaking of goodies (and my never ending Star Wars references), I got one more accessory for my bike:

It will go on my single speed in place of this:

Since Ultraman was part of my “old” bike, I had to switch it up.  Besides, any excuse to use something Star Wars related is a good one.  My bike is faster now, so it deserves to be adorned with a fast ship.  She’ll do .5 past lightspeed, but it’s not always about the bike.  She's got it where it counts, but you still need someone to operate it.

I wouldn’t go around calling myself Han Solo, but I’m not such a bad pilot myself.

I’ll see you at Docking Bay 94 with my new bike, The Falcon.

Or here on the Internets tomorrow.