Monday, July 31, 2017

Urban Fun

I actually got out on the bike again over the weekend.  If I keep this up I might be able to call myself a cyclist again.  This ride was sort of a special occasion.  Some of our friends just moved to the Queen City from the Lowcountry, so we decided that an urban ride would the best way to get them familiar with their new surroundings.

We met up near the Sugar Creek Greenway and shot the shit while we got our bikes (and ourselves) ready.  There were a few flat tire issues that eventually got resolved, but not before the parking lot was splattered with sealant.

Yes, that's the only photo I took of the fiasco.

I didn't mind waiting around, because it was nice that for once I wasn't the one everyone was waiting on.  About forty five minutes after we met in the parking lot, we finally hit the greenway.  It was just a fun ride, so we cruised around with no particular destination in mind.  We eventually ended up on a bridge in Freedom Park.

Photo cred:  Punky

Our friends were having a blast, enjoying our awesome network of greenways around town.  We decided to give them the full tour, so we stopped by one of the coolest bike shops in town, BikeSource.

I spy DeFeet socks in the background...

We shot the shit with some folks that I hadn't seen in a while (because I'm a recluse these days) and eventually got on our way.  We shot across town and caught the next greenway by the light rail.

Even though I haven't told much of a story up to this point, we'd actually been out for quite a while.  It was time for food and beer.  We turned around and headed back toward the city, looking for a place to take a break and get some grub.  We found such a place and parked our bikes.

We decided to try a new place (new to me anyway) that showed a little promise...

They had good beer, and the food was excellent.  The service though?  Shitty.  I mean, really bad.  We waited forever to get our order (it wasn't very busy either) and our server had less personality than this thing:

I won't be going back.  Ever.

We were there for what seemed like hours, which cut into our ride time.  We got back to it, enjoying some cool water on a hot day.

After that it was time to go into the concrete jungle...

And I rode through the Disco Chicken:

We even did some gravel grinding...

I still don't get it.  Maybe I'm not doing it right.

We'd been out for hours.  Our city's newest residents were having a blast, but it was time to head back towards our vehicles.  We made one more stop at the Government Center, where they have some fun shit to play with.

That stuff was for kids.  Probably.

What an awesome day.  I hadn't been on an urban ride in a long time so it was extra special for me.  It was also nice that when our friends left us they didn't have to drive all the way back to Charleston.  

I can't wait to do it again.  Hell, I can't wait to get back on my bike again.  

Which will be sooner rather than later I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Almost Too Late

Since I haven't been around here much, I just about missed a prime blogging opportunity.  I've been slacking, to say the least.  Anyway, it involves my favorite cycling company...

DeFeet International

Despite the lack of blogging, I'm still riding and repping their awesome socks but sometimes it feels like I'm the only one doing it on the mountain biking side (except for Sonya of course.)  Anyway, I digress.  What was the almost missed opportunity?

It has something to do with this guy:

And the fact that he has his own sock design....

Because he's so popular around our local bike scene (and down on the coast too), the folks out there in the hills that pay attention decided to let him come out with his own socks.  The description on the page pretty much says it all...

If you’re looking at this sock then you know who the talented young man is already. For everyone else we will share a little of the back story. As a long time DeFeet family friend, we’ve watched this kid become a man and are lucky to call him one of our own. He’s a local Charlotte artist and mountain biker. A big “kid” known for racing in crazy costumes, eating tons of food and bringing fun to local trails.
The Lunchbox sock embodies the spirit of the Charlotte cycling scene – well, the not so serious part anyway.

Does that sound kinda familiar?  Probably because I had to come up with most of it.  Wait, don't they have a marketing person?  Um, yeah. *

Anyway, Lunchbox and I (plus all of our friends) have been doing all the legwork to get these produced.  With no promotion whatsoever from the company's crack marketing team (save a FB share or two from the Chief Sockologist who shouldn't be the only one there doing such things), we've managed to get these over one hundred percent funded.  I guess that's a pretty big accomplishment, but I wish we'd had a little more help.  It's crowdfunding, so they have to know they will be able to sell a certain amount before they produce them.  And these made the cut because we all worked hard to make it happen (yes, you too.)

Why am I still talking about it then?  Because I want to give everyone one more chance to grab a pair of these limited addition socks.  If you're a local, then you know Lunchbox.  You've cheered for his races.  He might have taught your kids to ride the local trails.  Hell, you probably made it through more than a few local races because he was cheering for you in a crazy costume or some shit like that.  He's helped build a lot of the trails you ride, and yes, he still rides too.  He doesn't care about making connections with people in the industry just to look fancy or seem important, because he's as real as it gets.  He's grown up around cycling, and now he designs the best socks in the world.

These in particular are just that much better because they have his face on them (even if it is a funny one.)

They are limited edition so once these are made, that's it.

You have one day left, so click the link below to order yours today:

And HUGE thanks to those of you that helped make this successful.  You're not only supporting a local artist and a great young man, but a great cycling company that's based right here in North Carolina.

*I'm not bashing anyone.  Just calling it like it is.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Some Like It Hot


I'm talking about me (surprise.)

I've been in North Carolina for a little over ten years.  I love it here.  I had a little trouble getting acclimated to the cold temps in the winter, but summer was always easy.  I mean, Florida and all that.

So yeah, I'm back to riding (and talking about it) again.  The funny thing is, I had to force myself to do both of them.  I had some things to do over the weekend, but I promised myself I would get out for a ride.  And just some roadie shit, either (I've done plenty of that.)  I needed something...

An adventure!

I didn't have time (nor do I have the fitness right now) to head for the hills, so luckily there are lots of unexplored trails by me that I can hit from the house.  I grabbed The Executor and headed down the street.  It has become customary on all of my rides now to stop and talk with my friends, so I did.

My horse friends always love to shoot the shit with me.

Then I stopped to check out a little ass, but the little ass was checking me out...

After that, it was a little bit of pavement (~1 mile) until I hit the woods.  It's not normally so bad except that it was getting close to one hundred degrees out there.  Did I mention that I waited until almost high noon to depart for this ride?


Anyway, I found my super-secret trail (I'll tell you if you ask) and hit the fun shit.  Words cannot express how good it felt to be out in the woods on an actual mountain bike. 

Mostly because I sucks at words.  So, here's a photo...

I've been through here before, but there are tons of unexplored (to me) trails that I'd been meaning to check out.  It's mostly four-wheeler type stuff, but fun just the same.  I took off in a different direction this time to see what I could get myself into.

Most of that was a vegetable tunnel, but still very much rideable.  The fact that I wasn't riding on well-groomed cookie cutter singletrack made it worth the cuts and scrapes the bushes gave me.

Mucho exploration.  I had nowhere to be for a while, and even though it was hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock outside I felt pretty good.  My goal was to ride stuff I hadn't been on before, so I did.  I just rode.  

 Eventually I popped out of the woods and into familiar-ish territory.

In the past, I'd always popped out way over yonder.

Out in the sun now and it was getting hotter.  I was digging it so I kept going.

It was a damn fine day.  I took the road back home and noticed that my Garmin said it was 105 degrees outside. 

That was perfect for an old Florida boy like me.

Plus, my friends out in the desert would probably be happy to have temps that low.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, done for today.  That was rad.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Guess Who's Back?

This guy:

I brought the beer too.

In an effort to resurrect this already dead blog back from the dead (again) I plan to start small.

So, that's it for today.  I'll get back to bullshit stories and other nonsense pretty soon I'm sure.