Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Stayed Busy

Sure, I was tired from working nearly twenty four hours straight over the weekend.  Who wouldn’t be?  When I finally got home Saturday evening I was a zombie.  I took a shower and tried to stay awake.  I played my guitar, folded some laundry, picked my nose…

Pretty much anything that would keep me from sleeping.

Eventually I was out for the night.  The plan was to get up early Sunday morning for the last race in the 2014 Charlotte Youth Cycling League.  I woke up on time, but couldn’t drag my ass outta bed.  I was disappoint, because I really like being out there to help the kids.  It’s the only race I missed in the series, so I guess it wasn’t so bad.

I got up a little later in the morning, thinking I would go for a bike ride.  I just didn’t have the energy.  Instead, I decided to start crossing off some items on the “shit that needs to be done to the bikes” list.  I started with the little lady’s geared bike.

Nothing to see here.  Just a little chain cleaning.  Well, it was a little more than that.  Seems the last time she rode she broke one of the parts on her rear shifty thingy.

Luckily I bought some last weekend at The Cycle Path and installed them pretty quick.  After that it was time to lube the chain with a little ProGold.

I know, this is so exciting.  You want more?  I washed Darth Maul, my “race” bike.

 All shiny.  Like a mountain bike should never be.  I should get it dirty again soon.

I also washed The Executor (no photos, sorry), and by that time I felt like having a beer (or two.)  Did I feel like riding too?


Tomorrow I can get into that.  It’s been a long week at work so far and I need to ease back into this shit.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don’t You…

Forget about me.

Sorry if you missed me while I was gone.  I know, you didn’t.  But if you did, I didn’t mean to be gone so long.  I had to spend the weekend in a hospital.

It’s not what you think though.  Remember that big project at work that’s been kicking my ass?  Well, it’s almost over.  We switched over to a new phone system at one of our hospitals, and I spent all night Friday and all day Saturday getting things to work.  I was back on site first thing yesterday morning, which gave me no time to blog.  So anyway, I’m back.

What did you miss?

Well, I went on The Ride Formally Known as The Mayor’s Ride on Friday morning.  Different name, same great ride, same great breakfast.

The weather was a little iffy, so the turnout was a bit low.

That didn’t stop Lunchbox from showing up as usual, and this time he got to ride with some other fixie types, namely Dicky and Kurt from Faster Mustache.

The destination was a little different this year though.  Instead of rolling right into the middle of the city, we ended up at the Government Center.

They have some weird shit up there.

As usual, Neal Boyd did all the announcing, and introduced us to many people of importance here in Charlotte that dig us cycling folks.  It was a great way to spend the morning, and I’m always happy to skip out of work to attend.  Lunchbox usually likes to go back to school afterwards, but this time he opted to stay home.  Since I had to work that night for my project, I told him I was gonna take a short nap.  We planned to hang out later, but I ended up sleeping for almost six hours.

Damn, I guess I was tired.  To be honest, I was still recovering from being sick.  I didn’t think I’d get a chance to sleep so much, but I’m glad I did.  Things are finally getting back to normal around here. 

Maybe that means I’ll get back to riding my bike soon.

See you tomorrow.  For sure this time.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fun Friday (Thursday Edition)


Well, I'm busy tomorrow. I'll be up early for the kickoff of BIKE! Charlotte.

We're rolling out of Total Cyclist bright and early tomorrow morning, meeting tons of other cyclists from all over Charlotte for the Bike to Work Breakfast.  This was previously called the Mayor's Ride, but since our mayor got in a little bit of trouble a while back...

Anyway, I won't be here tomorrow. I'll be there.  Having fun and riding my bike.  If your're local, then you should be there too.  It really is a good ride, and very important for us here in the Queen City.  I can't wait.

And yeah, since today is the Thursday Edition of Fun Friday, I shall try not to disappoint.


Okay, one more.


Neither am I.

See y'all next week.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Things Are Sketchy

Nope, I'm not talking about the wild moped gang that appeared out of nowhere yesterday. I mean, here on the blog. All this ass-busting I've been doing on a project at work lately has been getting worse, but the end is near.  It's cutting into my free time, which also happens to be my bike riding, guitar playing, and blogging time.  

Oh yeah, I also had to drop off one of the cats at the vet yesterday.

Anyway, things have been slow in the bike world too, other than an urban ride we all did last night in honor of Little Miss Sunshine’s birthday.  

It was fun, but I haven't done much else.  I was sick over the weekend, so I watched her clean parts to prepare them for her welding projects.

And I watched Lunchbox play with an umbrella for some reason.

See? It's not real exciting around here.  I blame all the rain we've had.  I haven't been on a trail in far too long.  I hope that changes soon or I'm gonna go bat shit crazy.

And just for poops and hahas, here's a random picture of me riding a skateboard (which I ave been known to do from time to time.)

What an odd blog post.  I promise it will get better soon.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cold And Wet

I was looking forward to Friday all week.  Even though I had a ton of work to do, I escaped early enough to get to Good Guy Greg's house so we could ride from there to the April Birthday Pub Crawl.  Eastwood showed up and we rolled out, hoping that the forecast-ed rain would hold off until later.

It didn't.  It sprinkled at first, but eventually it started coming down pretty good.  We arrived at the first stop (Triple C Brewery) soaking wet. We joined the rest of the crew and had some beer.

Soon, it was time to roll to the next destination.  It was raining harder, but being with a group of friends made it suck much less than normal.  We had a great time riding, and eventually made it to our second stop.  More beer, and even some food this time. 

We were pretty wet though.

Photo credit:  Doc

At least we got to watch the Butterfly King (Eastwood) get crowned.

And I crashed a photo of a bachelorette party crashing.

Photo cred:  Eastwood

We were behind schedule, and some folks took off quick to get to the next destination before they closed.  The rest of us tried to figured out where we were going, since it was raining harder and there were more stops on the way.  Some folks made arrangements to get a ride to the next few stops, and some just decided to call it a night.

When I saw Eastwood riding away in the rain, I realized that I didn't feel like being in the cold rain anymore.  The little lady had the same idea, so we started to ride back to where she parked.  It wasn't far, but along the way I decided that I wanted to get it over with and kept going all the way back to Good Guy Greg's house (he was at one of the other stops.)

It was a long ride (on a Klunker no less), but eventually I made it.  I wasn't drunk enough (or at all) to make riding in the cold rain at night fun, so my evening ended there.  I loaded up my truck, cranked up the heat, and drove home.

It was fun while it lasted, and actually it was a pretty good way to spend a Friday night.  I just didn't feel like spending all night out in the cold rain.  Especially since I was already coming down with a cold.

Yeah, I'm friggin sick again.  Lovely.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fun Friday

Here we are again.  You should be happy.

I'm supposed to go on a pub crawl tonight. I say “supposed to” because it looks like it's might rain.  I guess it's still on, and if it's still on I'll be there.  They would miss me otherwise.

That's pretty much it as far as plans go for the weekend. I'll ride one way or the other, but I'm not sure if it will be on any trails around here.

I have plenty of options.

Yeah.  See y'all Monday.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Supporting My Supporters

Sorry about yesterday.  I had an early meeting for work.  I've been busting my ass on a project, and the end is near.  I can't wait for it to be over.

Anyway, I mentioned that last Friday I stopped by DeFeet on the way up to our camping trip.  I got some new stuff to try out, but I haven't had the time to get anything together to talk about it here.  DeFeet has been good to me over the years (although I'm pretty much a nobody in the cycling world), and other than trying to get everyone to wear their stuff I don't feel like I'm doing enough to thank them.  Well, that changed when I was shopping a while back and found something to send over that would be just a small token of my appreciation.

You see, the band CroMoly is comprised mostly of DeFeet folks, and being a big fan (of the band and the awesome company) I decided to send lead singer/bass player Shane a new guitar strap I found.  I thought it fit right in with the attitude of the band.  I got a photo sent back to me with a thank you, and I saw that it was being put to good use.


I once saw a CroMoly show that brought out the fire departmet.  Figured this was next.

You might recognize that wall of guitars from the time that Sonya visited the studio:

Anyway, I liked that guitar strap so much that I bought one for myself too.

I am not worthy of playing with them yet, but that's my goal.  Small steps.

So yeah, getting support from cycling folks isn't just about receiving product or stuff like that.  It's about relationships, and I have a great one with the folks in Hildebran, NC.  I know a measly guitar strap is no way to repay the love I get from DeFeet, but it was the least I could do. I do stuff like that all the time, because despite what you might think, I'm not such a bad guy (most of the time.)

Hell, I even sent George a little something for all he's done for me over the years.

A Star Wars sun shade? That makes me cool, right?


See y'all tomorrow for Fun Friday or some shit like that. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rise And Shine

I slept a little better Saturday night, no doubt from spending hours on the trail and drinking moar beer.  We ate like kings too, so the flatulence orchestra continued.  The day started off with a good breakfast, and with someone from a neighboring campsite towing a trailer to the dump station.

Shitter's full! 

Once we packed up our camp, plans started to take shape.  With no organized rides scheduled, everyone was on their own.  Some folks went over to ride Bracken Mountain, some went on an epic Pisgah journey with some Charlotte day trippers, and I planned to take a group on a social tour of Pisgah.

Yes, it can be done.

At first I thought it would just be me and Lunchbox, but others started joining in.  Good Guy Greg, Danielle, Craig W., Little Miss Sunshine, and Eastwood (who only had a full rigid single speed with a 32X20.)

Lovely. Now I would be responsible for multiple deaths...I mean fun.
We stopped by The Hub again (this was my fifth trip there that weekend if you're counting) because I needed a new mount for my Garmin. Once I got it installed, we headed to the Pisgah Ranger Station to start the ride.  I explained that this would be a “fun” ride, with a lot of climbing at first.  There would be lots of downhill at the end though.  Everyone seemed good with that, so we took off. 

Down the road, turn into the horse stable area, and up Clawhammer.  And I mean up.  I felt bad for Eastwood pushing such a big gear, and also for Lunchbox pushing 240 pounds plus gear up that stupid climb.  It felt easier for me this time, but since I was”leading” this group, I kept dropping back to make sure everyone was okay.  That wore me out, especially since I kept pushing to get back up towards the front.  Most times I didn't make it all the way up front, and had to yell ahead to let G3 and Eastwood know which direction to go.  Since it was social though, we stopped a lot.  The climb hurt a little, but they were killing it.

Once we got to Black Mountain, we did a little hike a bike up to the top.  I advised everyone to drop their seatposts and to get ready for a good time on the gnar.  Once again, I felt bad for Eastwood since he was on a rigid and I had 140mm of plush travel. 

We took off one by one, with me in the lead.  Riding The Executor made it really fun, and even if I took a bad line (which I did often) I didn't have a problem.  I got really far ahead and pulled over to make sure everyone was coming down, and a little while later G3 and Eastwood came by.  I heard the others too, so I jumped back in line.  We were screaming down the mountain, and I'm pretty sure everyone enjoyed it.  I hurried to the bottom to get a few photos.

Lunchbox has been here before, and he rode it even better this time.

And the little lady had some fun too.

We stopped to regroup and raise our seatposts (except me since I have a drooper), and made the short climb across to get to the downhill on Thrift Cove.  It was wide open, and we hauled ass.  I was leading again, and I almost hit a lady standing in the middle of the trail watching a guy do “something.”  I rang my bell and she jumped out of the way, but she left a bag of some sort in the way.  Turns out “something” involved the guy baring his shiny white ass to uh, relive himself I guess.  Luckily I didn't see it, but some others in the group did.


Just as before, I hurried to the end to grab a few photos.

There were lots of smiles since that section was so fun, and probably because we didn't have to climb anymore.  We rolled back down to the ranger station and cleaned up.  We got some local Mexican grub, and a few of use went back to The Hub to hang out.  People from other Pisgah rides started rolling in, including Irish Luke.

He's moving out to the Great Northwest soon, so it was good to see him.

More people started rolling in, so I figured I'd hang out a while to wait for Dicky who was also out in the hills.  He never showed up, so just sat out on the back porch trapped in some sort of swing.

Eventually I got out and headed home. I didn't want that day to end, but it did.  It was a great weekend of riding, socializing, and beer drinking.  This was our first camping trip as a club, and I'm pretty sure it won't be our last.

Damn, I love the hills.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Camping Fun

This weekend was the first ever camping trip for our local mountain bike club, the Tarheel Trailblazers. The plan was to camp out in the Davidson River Campground in Pisgah, ride DuPont and Pisgah and drink a lot of beer in between. After scooping up Lunchbox from school early Friday, we headed for the hills.

We took a slight detour along the way though.

We stopped by DeFeet to pay a visit (and to keep my insider douchebag status.) We hung out for quite a while, shot the shit, and even saw some new products that I may or may not talk about in the future. Stay tuned.

We hit the road headed for Pisgah Forest, and since we were running late I decided to stop into The Hub to see if any of our camp-goers were there (this would be my first of many visits there over the weekend.) They weren't, but I warned the proprietors that we would be back in full force. We took a short drive up to the campsite and setup our stuff.

That didn't take long, so we rolled back to The Hub, where they were waiting to host us for the evening. Beers were consumed, stories were told, and fun was had.

Photo credit: Mike Long

We stayed long enough to kill a couple of kegs, and wandered back to the campsite. So much thanks to Sam and Jordan for being the coolest hosts evarrrr. We really appreciated it.

We sat around the campfire telling more stories and drinking more beer, and trying to come up with a plan for the next day. Once it was time to get some sleep, I hit the sleeping bag thinking I would pass right out. I didn't. Instead, I was kept away by my own tossing and turning, and by the wonderful chorus of snoring and flatulence. It was quite amusing, but it wasn't helping me get my beauty rest.

That's camping I guess.

The next morning, we met back up at The Hub, and the plan was to roll over to Dupont State Forest. Instead of breaking up into several groups, we rolled out on the trail as one big one. We had some day trippers from Charlotte and even some flatlanders from South Carolina join us for a while.

We did an easy-ish route, with lots of climbing an plenty of waterfalls.

We played around on the skills area:

And even bombed down Ridgeline:

Photo cred: Little Miss Sunshine

After that the group broke up to get in some more mileage (or get a head start on drinking beer), so a few up us climbed back up another trail just so we could bomb Ridgeline again. Good Guy Greg took the pro line up.

We headed back to The Hub (again), and then it was off to the campsite for some grub.

We had a good time on our first full day up in the hills.

The next day would be even better.