Friday, July 31, 2015

Fun Friday

I feel better.  You know, not in a haze from meds anymore.  That’s good because I was starting to feel pretty dumb.

 Plus, no more weird side effects that were making me, um, uncomfortable and in need of help.

So anyway, this weekend is gonna be awesome.  In just a few short hours a few of us Charlotte folks are heading down to Mulberry Gap for a weekend of riding, beers, and socializing.  The best part is that we’re meeting up with a bunch of other Niner Ambassadors, Niner Mike, and even a special guest.

I has much excite.

I hope you’re gonna go out and have some fun this weekend too.  Don’t do anything lame that will come back to haunt you.

Um, yeah.

See y’all on Monday…maybe.

Probably Tuesday.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Get My Head Right

I’ve been on some pretty good pain meds since my visit to the doctor last Friday.  It’s helping me heal for sure, but I still feel all wonky.  Things just look different lately. 

I made a decision last night to stop with the muscle relaxers to see if I could sleep.  It actually worked, which probably means that I’m feeling better.  That’s awesome because even though I don’t take any in the morning, I still feel woozy for the first part of the day after taking one the night before.  I’m trying to get my head right so I can get back on the bike (I know, I just raced a few days ago.)  I have a big weekend coming up and I want to be able to ride without feeling dizzy, thus increasing my chances of crashing and risking further injury. 

Related to this weekend’s activities (which I’ll get into tomorrow), I took a little time to get the Executor ready…

It’s all clean and shiny, ready to get dirty up in some hills.  Since it doesn’t have any of those stupid gears I didn’t really have to adjust anything.  Still, I went over all the moving parts to make sure they uh, moved.  This bike is ready to go.

Me too.  See y’all tomorrow for what?  Fun Friday of course.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hold On

You thought I was gonna skip the rest of the week until Friday again?  Who gives a shit.

I actually got some new stuff I wanted to mention.  While I don’t care much for the road bike, I do care when stuff wears out.  I ride it quite a bit unfortunately, which means that I will eventually exceed the useful life of some items.  Stupid stuff that you really don’t think about…

Like bar tape.

Luckily, I haz solution.

 Touch it.  Feel it.  Love it.  I lol’d.

Lizard Skins 3.2mm Bar Tape.  It’s thicker than the last stuff I used (also from Lizard Skins of course), and extra white so I can get it extra dirty. 

The tape goes on easy, and it feels softer than a mess of hot buttered biscuits.  I can’t wait to ride on the road test it out.

Up next, I needed new grips for The Executor, my Niner ROS9.  They’ve redesigned my usual “big bike” grips and I was full of excite. 

And yes, even you can get custom text on your bar clamps.  You don’t have to be famous or some shit like that.

My first test ride on these were up in the hills of The “Other” Pisgah, and hot damn they are comfy.  Since I’ve been all racey lately I haven’t been riding the big bike that much.  That will change soon, in fact as soon as this weekend.

Anyway, just a few new things from the fine folks at Lizard Skins.  I’ve been riding with their stuff for quite a while now, and they never disappoint. 

You go buy now.

I go ride now.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Almost Finished

With two races to go in the Southern Classic Series, I’m sorta relived that it’s almost over.  I’m still having fun though, so in a weird way I don’t want it to end. Good people, good race venues, and pushing myself to get good results.  It’s been rewarding for sure.

This race almost didn’t happen for me.  I haven’t slept worth a damn in over a week.  I forgot to mention it earlier, but I was in a car accident about a week and a half ago while I was driving at work (in their vehicle.)  I was rear ended while I was at a red light, and while I didn’t think it was too serious at the time I’ve had a sore neck and a headache since it happened.  I finally went to the doctor on Friday, and after a quick visit I walked away with some meds and a note to take plenty of breaks at work and no heavy lifting.  Cycling is okay as long as I “take it easy.”

I’m not sure how to do that during a race.

I arrived early at Dark Mountain, shot the shit with some fellow racers, and got myself warmed up. I was as ready as I could be.

We took off, and as usual I sprinted to the front.  It wasn’t part of any strategy though.  I just wanted to hit the first little rock garden thingy without being behind anyone.  I did, and after that I let one guy get by me.  A short while later, I let another by.  I was taking it easy.  I climbed, descended, and kept the rest of the field behind me as best I could.  I felt okay I guess, but the roots were beating the shit out of me and making my head throb.  I just told myself, “Just hang in there for the final downhill.” 

Before I knew it, I was flying down the last section of the course.  I rounded one blind corner and suddenly spotted a racer from a later class climbing UP the downhill.  He jumped out of the way at the last minute, likely sparing himself certain death if my 230 pound ass had hit him.  He was lucky.  I was spooked.

I breezed through the start finish line and hit the climbs again.  I felt stronger this lap, and climbed a lot better because of it. About halfway in though, the muggy air in the woods was starting to get to me and I hit the wall.  I thought for sure I was making good time to catch the leaders, but my pace was slowing.  I felt like shit and wondered if I had enough left to make it out of there.

I hit a short downhill and cooled off a little.  I suddenly felt better and put the hammer back down.  I momentarily forgot about my head hurting and gave it all I had to finish the race.  When I hit the final downhill I let it go again.  This time though, I kept a lookout for rouge climbers going the wrong way.  I made it out without incident and rolled through the finish line in 3rd place.

Good enough for a spot on the box.

Photo cred: Jack Hobby

And more importantly, I’m pretty sure I secured my 1st overall in the series with one race to go.  I guess we’ll find out for sure in two weeks.

In the meantime, I spent the rest of the day sitting around enjoying a beer or two to make the pain go away.

It was a pretty good day.  Racing is fun.  Even if it hurts.

Now I just gotta get my head right if that's possible.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fun Friday

I know, I just skipped right to Friday again.  I wish the week really worked like that.  Anyway, it looks like I’m down to just three days a week of blogging now.  Who gives a shit.

I have two days off from work, so I’m gonna chill.

Maybe.  Tomorrow I don’t really have any plans set in stone.  I really need a break from everything, and a day to do nothing.  I just want to have fun somehow and maybe even get in a little laugh or two.

Other than looking at photos on The Internets, you know.

Sunday is race day.  It’s been a while since I’ve raced since I took the last one off.  I guess I’m ready, although honestly I feel like I’m a bit over trained.  My legs still hurt, and work has been pretty rough.  Maybe I can call in for some help.

Yeah.  Maybe I can do it.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be back here Monday with a race report from Dark Mountain.  I’m still somehow in first place for the series, but that’s probably because I’m the “featured racer."

Trust me.  I’m not that rad in real life.

See y’all next week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dog Tired

Carl knows what I’m talking about.

Two days in the weekend and two rides.  Yup, I managed to pedal twice in a row.  Who gives a shit.  After a nice day in the hills on Saturday, I tried to ruin it by taking a road ride on Sunday.  I had stuff to do around the house and didn’t want to be gone all day so a road ride made sense.

I took off out of my neighborhood headed for parts unknown.  Heading north towards quieter roads, I was looking for the least amount of vehicular traffic.  I passed what used to be my favorite road route, but now I’m denied access because of stupid cars traveling at 70+ m.p.h.

I didn’t really have a destination in mind, but I ended up near Huntersville.  After stopping for a second and looking at The Facebook, I saw that Dicky was nearby and heading my way.  So, I waited.

He no show up.  I am disappoint.

Without a suitable bike to ride the pump track (yes, I tried), I decided to head back south to see where I could end up.  A local craft beer store caught my attention so I stopped.  Surely Dicky was riding up this very road and would stop to have a beer with me.

I waited again. 

He never showed up.  I figured that since he was riding on the road on a single speed mountain bike that I must have been moving along at a much faster pace on my geared made for the road bike.  I continued south, thinking maybe I would see him spinning up the road. 

Still nothing.  Fuck it.  I’m heading back home.

Almost thirty miles for the day, sunburned, hot as hell, and no sign of a little old man on a single speed.  I made it home without getting killed too, which is always a plus.  I’d call it a good day.

Since I was out of my usual post ride beer choice, I settled for something else.

It was good.  It didn’t taste like it had any alcohol at all so I drank two just to be sure.

Yeah.  A good day.  Even with a road ride.

Monday, July 20, 2015

I Thought It Would Be Bad

Pretty much last minute I decided to head over to the “other” Pisgah on Saturday morning.  I kinda thought about going by myself, until Mike and his daughter planned to ride out there.  I planned to tag along, so I had to get my shit together in the form of bike maintenance.  With a slow leak in my rear tire I knew that I needed some Stan’s in it.

Simple enough.

Oops.  I took that as a bad sign and went to bed early expecting to have a not so good ride the next morning.  I woke up, got dressed, and made the customary stop at Bojangles for pre ride grub.  Then I saw another bad sign…

Dicky dropped his jorts.

Anyway, I eventually got out to Old Fort where the Longs were waiting for me.  We suited up and rode outta town…

On the road.

Which turned into fire road…

Which turned into an obstacle course.

It was cool though.  We climbed for a while and it was okay.  Since we were out there to have fun, we stopped often.  At one particular point when we stopped for a longer break, I busted out my leftover biscuit from earlier.

It was awesome, especially when I got to have wild berries for dessert.

The beginning of our route is full of climbing, but you are rewarded with a nice view when the trees open up.

Ah yeah, it wasn’t all road. We had some cool singletrack too.

And some gnar.

And railroad (not poo) tracks.

And I got to be a choo choo.

Photo cred:  Mike L.

The highlight of the day had to be when we stopped at the creek crossing though.

We hung out there for a while, using the cold mountain water to cool ourselves off after a hot day.  It turned out to be an awesome time, despite the bad luck I had the night before.

And then my tire sprung a leak.

It really was a great day. Thanks to Mike and Laurel for letting me hang out with them up in the hills.

And of course I got some beer when it was all over.

I'd call it a good day.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fun Friday

It’s been another rough week.  Hence why I skipped a couple of blogging days.  On a positive note, it’s the end of the week and I have a couple of free days.  Time to do something fun.

Well, maybe not that although it does indeed look fun.  Most likely I’ll be on my bike somewhere, and after the week I’ve had I sure need it. 

As usual, there will be some guitar playing too.  Especially since I just got this last night:

This is actually one that I’ve wanted for quite sometime.  There’s something about a white Fender Stratocaster that makes me have good feelz.  That probably stems from a certain movie that was popular a long long time ago.

 Or, it could be because someone really talented played one too:

It’s not like I’m gonna be able to play it like that, but…

Who gives a shit.

I’m looking forward to getting to know this fine instrument a little better, even though I needed a new guitar like I need a new bike.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Skills Without The Hills

Aside from watching cover bands and attending pump track opening ceremonies, I wanted to get out on my bike.  Slightly bored of cross country stuff due to all the “racing” I’ve been doing, I wanted to hit something different.  Since the Dirt Divas were having one of their skills clinics at Backyard Trail I thought, “I should go there and help.”

I like riding with the Divas, especially when they need us Dirt Dudes to help out.  There was a really good turnout of Divas (and sweaty dudes.)  We broke up into two groups and hit the trail.

Hubbs is not a Diva.

BYT is definitely my favorite place to ride here in Charlotte.  It’s different than most other trails in the area, and getting to spend time with the ladies to help with their skills is a bonus.  Everyone loves BYT it seems, like those Faster Mustache guys.

We actually saw lots of people out there for fun, but it wasn’t about them.  It was about helping the ladies and showing them a good time out on the trail.

My man Evan took the time to teach the ladies proper jumping techniques…

And they did their best to catch some big air too.

The best thing about BYT is the features, so having a skills clinic there makes sense.  That place is a difficult as you want to make it, and everyone can learn something.

Sandy shows us how to ride the big tree skinny.

It was a fun day, and I felt like it was the best way to spend time on the bike on a warm Saturday morning.  The ladies had fun, no one was (seriously) hurt, and there were smiles all day.

It’s not always about racing.  Sometimes you have to give back.  Yeah, even a selfish sumbitch like me.

Monday, July 13, 2015


My alarm went off at 6 a.m. yesterday morning.  I got up to use the bathroom and thought about that long drive up to Woolwine, VA to race. 

“Nope”, I said to myself.  Then I crawled my tired ass back into bed.

About forty five minutes later, the little lady woke me up and said, “You better go race.”

“Nope” I said once again. 

I slept in until almost 10 a.m. I was really worn out from the day before, and driving two and a half hours to race didn’t sound very appealing.  Looking back, I probably had a good shot of winning that one, but who gives a shit.  I can drop a couple of races in the series, and this would be one of them. 

So, Saturday was a long, long day.  I was out late watching tribute bands here at a local music venue.

Lunchbox, TomTom, and Eastwood were there too and we had a good time.  The Alice in Chains tribute was pretty good, and the Pearl Jam one was freaking awesome.  It was definitely worth the few bucks I paid to get in, if only for the drunk people in attendance.

Just before that, I headed up to one of our local trails (North Meck Park) to attend the grand opening of the new an improved pump track that our club has been working on. 

It’s rad.

I didn’t stay for the whole event, but I did get to see lots of kids big and small enjoy the crap outta that thing.  That made my day.

Did I actually ride a bike over the weekend?  Yes.  Other than the pump track, I had some trail time with some ladies from the Dirt Divas.

I’ll get into that tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fun Friday

This week went by quickly I guess.  It’s been a little tough here and there.  I’m at the point now where I don’t wanna see any people for a while.

Srsly.  I just wanna crawl in a hole and do my own thing for a few days.

Both of those make me laugh every time I see them.  And that my friends, is the point of Fun Friday.

I actually have some plans I guess.  A mountain bicycle ride might be on tap for tomorrow, or maybe I’ll just play the shit outta my guitars.  Either one would be fine actually, because I don’t have solid plans until later in the evening.  You see, I’m going to check out another show with cover (ahem, “tribute”) bands, and unlike the past ones that mimicked the 80s hair metal stuff this one is a little better.  First up is an Alice in Chains tribute band (based outta Charlotte I hear) and the main attraction is a Pearl Jam tribute band.  I’ve seen some TubeYou (you read that right) videos from both of them and it seems like a good way to spend the evening.  Plus, unlike the 80s stuff, this is the kind of music I’ve been playing anyway.

For only ten bucks, I’ll be entertained either way.

Sunday may or may not be race day.  There’s a Southern Classic race up in Woolwine, VA, and if I don’t stay out too late the night before I may head up there.  I’m currently first overall in the series, but they let you drop a few races so I have a little wiggle room.  I guess if I can drag my ass outta bed bright and early Sunday morning, you’ll have a race report on Monday.

Or maybe you'll just have a bunch of photos of people pretending to be grunge band members.

Who gives a shit.