Friday, January 31, 2014

Fun Friday

Is it Friday already? Well Friday, it's nice to meet you.

Yes.  Yes I am.

So other than getting ready for another big party in the woods this weekend, there's not much else going on.

So I must entertain you.

Lunchbox is taking a week off from providing me with funny shit, so I had to dig up my own.  At least it has something to do with bikes.

And because I'm generous, enjoy this video that may or may not make you feel all tingly.

Video cred:  Stolen from Single Speed Steeds of Steel Facepage

Not that you're paying attention to anything else I'm writing after posting that, but that's all I have for today. Tune in next week for a recap of Woods Party Part Three, as well as me asking you to help me decide on a race I kinda want to do.

Ooooohhh, exciting.

And holy shit, George is blogging again.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Was Snowed In

Or iced in, whatever. That's why I wasn't here yesterday. Since I'm traveling out of town every day for work, I had to take some extra time in the morning to make sure I could get out of my neighborhood.  The snow plows/salt trucks don't get back where we live, and being on a hill made things interesting.  So yeah, that cut into my blogging time.

Anyway, since it's been shitty again and there's not been much in the way of bike riding, I can talk about how I put new Maxxis tires on one of my bikes, or how I changed a tube in another bike.

Never mind. That shit is boring, so I'm using the "nonsensical crap" category you see up there in the header.  Here goes.

Last Saturday night, Little Miss Sunshine and I went to a "rock" show.  It was supposed to be 80s hair metal cover bands, so I knew it would at least be funny. The headliner was Appetite for Destruction, with opening acts of Red, White, and Crüe, and Poison'd.  I'll let you figure out the bands they cover, mmmmkay?

First up was Poison'd, which was pretty good.  You know, for being a knock off of a band that wasn't really that good to begin with.  They even looked the part.

The music was spot on, and was quite entertaining.  Not as entertaining as some of the people in the crowd still holding on to the 80s, but I don't have time to get into that.  Anyway, they played for about an hour and disappeared backstage.  While we patiently waited for the "next" band to come out, the Little Lady and I joked about how it would be funny if the same guys came back out in new costumes.

I'll be damned. When "Mick Mars" came out, I noticed that he looked an awful lot like "C.C. Deville", with different hair (and a hat.)  And "Vince Neil" looked exactly like "Bret Michaels" with a different shirt.  While it was indeed the same guys, they sounded different than when they were "Poison."  I've seen Mötley Crüe live, and these guys were right on the money.  Again, they played and hour, rocked the house, and retreated backstage.

We briefly wondered if the same guys would come out for the next set as "Guns n Roses." Nah, there's no way.  I mean, this was the main attraction, and they most certainly would be an entirely different band.  The "two" opening bands were just filler, right?  We were convinced that we would see some different people for the next set.

And then "Duff McKagan" came out.

Oh look, it's "Vince Neil/Bret Michaels" on the bass guitar.  As we watched the rest of the band roll out, we realized that it was the same guys as before, minus the lead singer that had yet to appear.  At least "Slash" looked the part.

And he could really play that shit too.

And then...

"Axl Rose" came out.  The crowd went nuts, like it really was him.

Finally, a fresh face.  "Axl" was the only guy not recycled from the previous lineups, and he was pretty good.  Then I started thinking that maybe it really was him.  I mean, have you seen what he looks like these days?

While the whole, "same lineup, diferent costumes" thing was funny, these guys could actually play music.  In fact, I'd be willing to bet that they sound better than if the real bands played a show together right now.  The tickets were cheap, the place was close to our house, and we were thoroughly entertained.  These guys played over three hours, and they did a helluva job.  I didn't leave there wishing I was backin the 80s, but I did leave there thankful that I didn't have to hear some washed up glam rock band struggle through an attempt to relive their glory days.

That was worth the price of admission right there.    

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yes I Do

It’s not like I just hang out in the woods and heckle all the time.  Sure, it’s fun, but it’s even more fun to actually ride my bike.  On Saturday I had the day to myself, which means that I get off my ass and ride.  It was brutally cold, but I didn’t give a shit.  I hurried out of the house and headed up to Statesville to ride Signal Hill, which I knew would be pretty damn fun.

I changed my clothes in the truck to stay warm, and when I got out all I had to do was grab my helmet and shoes.  There was only one problem though.  I hurried out of the house so fast that I forgot something really important…

My damn mountain bike shoes.

Instead of calling off the ride, I decided to keep going.  Sure, it was cold (and I was all by myself), but I wanted to ride so bad that it didn’t matter.  I figured that my skate shoes would be a little okay on my clipless pedals, since the alternative was not riding at all.  Turns out I would need all the help I could get, because the trail was frozen.

I mean, everything was frozen.

It wasn’t so bad.  Aside from freezing my ass off, I did okay.  I slipped off the bike quite a few times on jumps and corners.  I never really “crashed”, although I had quite a few “oh shit” moments.  Good thing there were on-trail facilities.

When the ride was over, I was happy.  Happy I actually got on my bike, and happy that I could learn a lesson from this.  Maybe next time, I’ll remember all my shit.

I cleaned myself up, grabbed a six pack of good beer, and headed over to First Flight Bikes to hang out for a while.

Photo cred:  Jonathan Finch

It was a good day, even though I’m a dumbass and can’t remember to bring everything I need to have a good ride.  Next time I’ll probably forget my bike.

Monday, January 27, 2014


And, we're back.  Instead of competing against a bunch of dirt roadies that can barely handle their bikes in the woods, I decided once again to have a party during race number two of the Winter Short Track Series.  Of course it wasn't just me again though. 

We invited a few more of our rowdy friends to the party.

As usual, some “racers” loved our antics and some complained.  The ones that complained got special treatment of course, and lucky for them they kept on riding.  The crowd had fun, and in turn those that had a sense of humor had a great time. I mean shit, we even gave them an incentive to stop and hang out with us.

Yes, that is a crisp, one dollar bill.

And before you even have to ask, the Southeast DrunkCyclist crew was on hand providing refreshments.

There's something about a party in the woods that brings out the best (or worst) in people. 

Like my little buddy Dicky trying his luck with the “pro” line at the rock garden.

Or sorta-new-in-town racer and all around good guy Paul Wood getting all sexy in his pink tutu:

We turned it up a notch this week, adding glitter showers and other shit to our shit show.  Our party crowd grew by leaps and bounds, no doubt a testament to how much fun can be had at a bike event.  A few people just didn't get it, but that's what happens when you get all serious riding a bike in the woods.  They acted like it was a mountain bike race or something.  I sure didn't see any mountains, and I barely saw any mountain bikers.

Just wait until next week, when we try to pour more syrup on this shit to make pancakes.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fun Friday

Is is Friday already?

Yes.  Yes it is.

And as usual, here's another gem from Lunchbox:

Fuck yeah.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go get ready for our big party in the woods again this weekend.  I hear some people will be riding bikes really fast.

We'd like to make sure they're having a good time and not being so serious.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

After After After

Three days about one day’s worth of shit?

Well, sorta.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but my Enduro bike actually has a name.

Being a Star Wars fan (nerd), of course I came up with something related to the greatest movie series of all time.  I’ve decided to name my bike after Lord Vader’s Star Destroyer, The Executor.  And just like his ship, it’s presence alone is enough to frighten an entire star system into submission.  Or a trail, whatever.

Riding that thing in the “real” mountains was a treat, and totally validates my reason for building such a fine machine.  Sure, Vader’s ship met it’s end at the hands of the Rebel fleet (and subsequently crashed into the Death Star before it too was destroyed), but no worries there.  Mine was just built a few months ago, and like it’s namesake, it will be around to cause terror for quite sometime.

Big, cushy suspension, drooper post, and one fucking gear makes for a great ride pretty much anywhere I take it.  It ate up the bumps, rocks, and partially frozen trail with ease, and going downhill made me feel like I could beat Han Solo’s Kessel Run record by at least three or four parsecs.  The drooper post was a bonus (I probably didn’t need it as much as I thought), but I did have one small issue.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I put the control for the drooper post too far away to reach.  On some of the descents where I wanted to lower my seat, I had to remove my hand from the grip just to activate it.  I didn’t notice it before because I had been riding locally (where I didn’t need it so I didn’t think it was a problem.)  However, riding fast down the mountain you kinda want to keep your hands on the grips at all times.

Luckily it was an easy fix.

Now I can reach it with no issues, and I’m almost ready to go back.  Almost?  Well, the Executor (Enduro version) was mighty dirty from my trip to the frozen hills, but luckily I had plenty of stuff from ProGold to get everything ship shape again.

Together with this bike, I’m ready to rule the galaxy, er hills.

May the Enduro be with you.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

After The Hills

We were cold, tired, and thirsty after our (cut-short) cold mountain adventure.  Luckily, The Dirty Party Cycle had the lowdown on the beer spot, so after we changed our clothes and warmed up the truck, off we went.  Next stop, Lookout Brewing in nearby Black Mountain, NC

Beer makes up happy.

While you wouldn’t think that cold beer would’ve warmed us up, it did.  That was my first time there, and it definitely won’t be my last.  Small, friendly, and full of great beer, this will probably be the go to spot from now on whenever I’m riding that part of Pisgah.  Not only is the beer good, but you can take some “to go” in one of them there fancy mason jars.

That’s some fine Southern hospitality right there.

And to top it off, they even made some hot chocolate for TomTom (who doesn’t partake in the evils of alcohol.)

Ever had a pint glass full of hot chocolate?  Neither have I.  I heard it was pretty damn good (or at least pretty damn warm.)

What an awesome day.  Sure we were cold, but at least we weren't sitting on our asses all day inside bitching about the weather.  We were out in while we bitched about it, but whatever.  And before you say anything, I know I took two days to write about a one day trip to the mountains. 

Who gives a shit. 

Tomorrow you get to hear about whatever I did or didn’t do the second day of the weekend.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Picked The Wrong Day

I’ve been trying like hell to get up to the hills ever since I finished building my Enduro bike.  Even though it was really cold, plans had been set in motion.  I was hoping that someone would back out and we would stay local, but I learned that my friends are just as dumb as I am.  We left Charlotte late Saturday morning hoping it would be a little warmer, but when we arrived in Old Fort it was still below freezing.

We all got dressed in pretty much every thing we had, which for me included three DeFeet base layers, arm warmers, and some new socks I was testing for the first time.

The wind was kicking like Bruce Lee, and we reluctantly rolled out of town to climb up to the top of Kitusma,  It was me (of course), The Dirty Party Cycle, Good Guy Greg, and TomTom.  Old Fort was like a ghost town, with no other cyclists in sight.  Yup, we were the only people dumb enough to be out there.

We kept a steady pace on the road, trying not to go too fast for fear of the wind freezing us on the spot.  About halfway up, we got to at least enjoy some scenery.

We weren’t really any warmer though, and we still had more climbing to go.  Once we navigated some of the steep switchbacks up Kitsuma Peak, we found a clearing and stopped for a spell.  It was mostly to warm up, and luckily Good Guy Greg had something to warm us up from the inside out.  The DPC was eager to partake.

And TomTom was happy just to be out of the wind for a few minutes.

After a long bout of shitty weather around here, none of us had really been riding much.  We were all definitely out of shape and hurting.  I’d like to blame it all on the cold, but even on a warm sunny day it would have been tough.  It was on that rest stop that we started having second thoughts about doing Heartbreak Ridge and Star Gap.  It was getting late, we were suffering from not riding, and most of us couldn't really feel our fingers.  While we usually look forward to the descent down Kitsuma after that long climb, I think we were worried that it wouldn’t be as fun as it usually is.

The trail was still frozen in some spots, and in others it was mushy.  Leaves covered the trail in many places making it difficult to see where we were supposed to go, and the cold wind blowing on us at high speeds made the ride kinda sucky.  It was fun though, but not being able to feel your hands enough to know if you’re applying the brakes made things interesting/dangerous.  My "new" bike was pretty awesome (I’ll get into that probably tomorrow) even though I had a couple of “Oh shit” moments, but for the most part it was still fun.  Before we knew it, we had reached the bottom at the picnic area.

When we all stopped to warm our hands, we all knew that was it.  Instead of continuing over to Heartbreak, we made the decision to ride back to town.  I wasn’t looking forward to riding back on the road (and in the wind), so we tried to keep in interesting.

The DPC enjoyed looking at the icicles, but I wanted to play with them.

What, you don’t pretend everything is a lightsaber?

The ride back was painfully cold, but we eventually made it safe and sound.  Next stop, beer.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Fun Friday

And just like that, Friday is here like a punch in the dick.

My Friday started early. Last night I got together with some locals for a pub crawl/ride.

We stopped at one pub and stayed there. I also drank mucho beer.

And yeah, it's cold again. I'm off to the hills tomorrow to freeze my balls off.

See y'all Monday.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Should Take A Day Off

I’ve been working like a mad man at my real job lately. Putting in long hours, which includes a really long commute each day. I’ve been working down in the nether regions of South Carolina, and driving back and forth each day is wearing me the hell out. I’ve actually dozed off at the wheel a couple of times the last few days. That’s not good, I know.

You know the worst part of it? My commute is halfway to the NC mountains (I usually take I85 south to I26.) Once I cross into SC, I can see those mountains and it pisses me off. It’s like they’re teasing me. I really need to get my ass back out there but every day I have to stop and do work. It pays the bills and all that, but I need to have a little free time.

Extra hours, long drives, and shitty weather has kept me off the bike for a while, and that shit needs to change before something bad happens. Right now, the only stress relief I have is the few minutes every once in a while that I get to play my guitar.

I forgot to mention that on Saturday, Good Guy Greg came over and put new strings on my guitar. I've never done it before, and he offered (he is a good guy, you know.) It was a pretty simple process, and it sounds so much better. Even though I can barely play the damn thing, I am getting better at it. I’ll be starting real lessons soon too. That outta be fun and/or stressful.

Back to riding. I talked to The Dirty Party Cycle da udda day, and we started trying to make some plans for this weekend. For the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to take my “new” Enduro for a ride in Pisgah. For some reason or another, the plans keep falling through. This weekend looks promising, but it might be cold as shit. Will I wuss out and stay inside all day Saturday to stay warm? Damn, I hope not. I can only strum the guitar so much.

Bikes are what keeps me sane. Well, riding them anyway. We’ll see if I actually do the next few days.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Some days when I sit here to write (or type, whatever), my mind draws a blank.  If I stare at the screen long enough, I can usually come up with something.  Today took longer than usual though.  When you write a blog that’s supposed to be about riding bicycles and you don’t get to ride your bicycle, I guess it makes sense. 

It’s been over a week since I’ve ridden.  I had high hopes to ride last Saturday, but it starting raining again (which closes everything here locally.)  I briefly though about Uwharrie, but after looking at the radar I saw that the worst was yet to come.  I decided to run a few errands instead.

Just in time for the shit storm.

Oh look.  Rain.  We sure need some of that around here.

I was heading up to my local shop to see if he could help me with some parts for a project.  Before I say anything else, I’ll show you what I mean.

This is a 1950’s era Schwinn Typhoon.  I picked it up last year when the little lady and I went to Buffalo to see her parents. It had been sitting in the barn for decades, and surprisingly was in decent shape.  Sure, it had some rust on it, but the internal stuff seemed pretty good.

It was missing a seat and seatpost, and the wheels need a ton of TLC.  Rather than tear apart, sandblast, repaint, and rebuild the wheels, I was hoping that I could find some replacement wheels.  The plan is to have my very own Klunker, which may see a little local trail time.  I’m sure it will be used mostly as a pub crawl bike though.

Let me be clear.  I don’t want to restore this thing back to it’s “like new” state.  I’m just gonna get it rolling again, and right now the wheels are the big hold up.  Even if I did restore the wheels, my tire choices are limited.  The rims are a weird size, and they only take one type of tire (unfortunately not a knobby one either.)  It was brought up that I could lace the old hubs to new rims, but I’m not sure it that would be worth it.  New wheels might be cheaper.

My shop couldn’t help me that day.  I knew it was a long shot, but we checked with his distributors and couldn’t find anything with such a narrow hub profile.  I guess my next step is to pay a visit to First Flight Bicycles, since they are known for their vast collection of vintage mountain bikes.

How the hell did those guys back in the day do this shit without The Internets and lots of bike shops to choose from?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Kinda Missed It

I'll admit it. I actually like racing my bike.  Not because I'm some competitive douchebag or anything like that.  I enjoy pushing myself to the limit, whether or not I've actually “trained.”  With a two month “offseason” every year, I'm usually fatter and out of shapier than I should be, and I always dread that first race of the season.  For the past five years that first race has been the  Winter Short Track Series.  This year, thanks to Death Virus 2013, I lost all my “offseason” flab.  I've been riding enough too which means I should be more than ready to race in fast circles with a bunch of dirt roadies.

For some reason, I just didn't feel like it.  I had other things to do.

Photo cred:  Noelle F.

You know me. I'm a DrunkCyclist.  I love beer, a good party, and riding all kinds of bikes.  Sometimes I'm an asshole, and sometimes I can be the nicest guy you've ever met.  Partying in the woods a couple of days ago seemed like a better way to spend my time than actually racing,  and looking back I don't really regret it.  Aside from heckling, drinking beer, and watching people pee in the woods, we also helped the kids have a fun race.

That made my decision the right one.  That and all the positive feedback I got from the racers that we heckled.  We provided a public service out there, so to speak.  Fun was had, beers were consumed, kids were helped, and dirt roadies were heckled. 

Will I suit up and race the next one?

Not sure.  The people in the woods might need our ”services.”