Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cashing in to be Cashed out

A little late to post on a weekend ride, but here goes it. I cashed in some honey-do credits this past Saturday for a day trip to Pisgah. After a few missed opportunities to hang with some like minded SS freaks, I desperately wanted to climb some mountains with one gear. Early to rise and head North on I-26 all to be the first in the Sycamore Cove parking lot.
A delay start due to a te-kill-a hangover by our ride organizer. At a social pace for the most part heading up Grassy Roads to Sycamore Cove. GR & SC to me brings back some great memories of my first Pisgah experience. If memory serves me right these were the first trails I ever rode in Pisgah. Not 100% on our route for I was high on excitement. It went something like a purge into North Slope (open seasonal) back up Grassy Road then up Black Mountain. The group went from 6 to 4 rider at this point. I believe this dropped us out on Maxwell Cove to Clawhammer. This is were the fuzziness starts. Somehow Buckhorn was involved and another accent up Black Mtn for the North side. Once our rag tag crew of 4 made the Black mtn lookout. It's been a long time since I've seen this view so clear. With the high pressure in the air the views were awesome - ridge after ridge one could see for many miles. Every time I close my eyes I still see that mountain range. Makes for a great soul cleanser. From here to the car all down hill for my first beer in three & half weeks. Then a refuel at the El Banditos in Brevard and drive 2.5 hours back to W. Cola. Gas is getting expensive but time like these makes it worth the price. Cashed out from the ride, what a great time.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Finally got my lazy arse in gear and registered for the Cohutta. Plans were to attempt the 100 miler on the SS. With my innate ability to procrastinate to the highest degree, I let the hundie fill up. Well poop on me!!! Good thing, because I've also just started adding longer rides into my weekly agenda. Luckily there were plenty of spots for the 65 miler SS class. So I'll be competing against LeRoy - sorta. The Zen Mater Guy is in the open 65 class. Racing with the gearies, sounds like a page from the BrouSSard manual. So LeRoy it looks like I'll be hanging with ya'll heckling the hundies racers.

Update 3/23 - LeRoy has upgraded to the Hundie and has an entry to the 65 fo sale.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Harbison 3/15/08

Jason picking his way through the rock garden on Spider Woman.
Monty trying to widen the trail through the rock garden on Spider Woman.
Damon showing how his new Kermit Niner handles the Woman with Spiders.
Clint climbs his way out of Spider Woman.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Friday was the end to a long work week, and I needed to reward myself with a quality ride. So I gave the road bike a once over and headed South. No real plan just a direction in hopes it would just work it's self into a decent ride. So it's 1pm on a Friday and most of the roads are in good shape as traffic goes. Navigating the back roads of Southern Lexington County. About two hours into the wind or cross wind. Turned around in Swansea and doubled back, hoping to the wind would give me a push home. Now with the tailwind the speed picks up a touch. Traffic was picking up but never nerve racking. Made for a pleasant 3:30 hour (57mi) ride and a great start to the weekend.

Saturday, meet up with Monty, Damon and Clint for an 8am ride at Harbison. Plan was to knock out a 4hr ride. First trail was Lost Creek and our group of four split. The World Cup warm-up Monty & Damon put down was not working for Clint & I. A regrouping at the trail head and back on course we go. We all headed down to Stewartship Trail, Gravel Road Loop and Spider Woman.

This for me is were is ride took a abrupt turn for the worst. I managed to get a touch out of control and lost my front wheel. The wheel slid off the shoulder and tossed me like a rag doll. The only thing I really remember is landing on my face. Stunned I try to stand and immediately have sit back down. Dizzy and confused of what actually happened. My chest was hurting and it was painful to breath.

Luckily I had three good friends around to recall what happened. Monty was on point at the time but Damon was following me and saw every. This is a section of the trail that doubles back on itself around a ditch, and Clint was coming up the other side. He also saw the whole thing. With there recounts of the incident I was able to put the pieces together. Front wheel broke off the shoulder OTB for me. An oak tree stopped the bike not sure how I missed this tree. I landed face first about 8-10ft. from the tree, flipped into a seated position and slid to a stop. All I remember of this is the impact and my neck cracking. You know the kind a popping when you crack a stiff neck or back.

A few minutes pass and I collect myself and slowly make our way down the trail. The rest of the ride was slow for me. Tightness in my chest mostly on my right side and a headache. I figured it was just bruising and to solider on. I managed another hour and a half before the end of the ride. Back at the front lot talking to Monty about the ride, I was looking at my helmet and noticed a crack on the front left. This happened to be the side I remember landing on. The helmet showed other signs of impact with dirt and a green scuff.

Now back at home I had to tell my wife that I crashed and landed on my head. This happens to be the second time in less than a week I've crashed and landed head first. Just last Sunday while riding the railroad tracks looking for an old trail system. My front wheel was kicked sideways and I ran into the rail. OTB and head first into the gravel rail bed. Rattled and scrapped but I was OK.

Worried that this might be a worse crash I alerted her to watch me for a while. Nervous moments for me as ate my lunch a splitting headache and blurred vision on my right side. Contemplated go to the ER, went to Web MD instead. Looking for a home remedy for a concussion. Iced the lump on my forehead and laid down. The headache went on for the rest of the night. Sunday I awoke to a very sore right side and clear vision.

Damage report:
Bruised right hip
Bruised and very sore rib cage
Sore Neck and Back
Sore Right Shoulder
Small Knot on forehead
A cracked Giro E2 helmet

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A New Ride

Yes, another attempt at a new group ride. With the time change and the days are getting longer. I called out to a few folks about a weekly ride in the dirt at Harbison. The front lot was swarming with bikers & hikers at around 5:45, a good sign that the trails were in good shape. I knew Monty was already out on the trail and few others were possibly going to show.

Meet up with Monty out on Spider Woman and rolled back up Midlands Mtn to the front lot. All to see Damon and his new Kermit Green Niner. This was the madien voyage. Kermit is the replacement for Tang that blew off the truck on I-20 2 months ago. So the three of us waited till 6:35 and bolted.

Not sure how I always make into the point position leading the way. I think we hit Fire Break > Gravel Loop > Stewardship > Spider Woman > Crooked Pine > Midlands Mtn > Front Lot. Short ride but it's a start to the weekly attempt of getting friend together to ride. Just think in a month this ride will be in the 2hr range.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Another Night

Yet another night ride in Cola town with some HBW folks. With rain in the forecast for Friday, I had to knock out some quality. My usual commuting buddy had other plans so I was going solo. Made it over to the dam in time to meet 4 others (Paul, Dennis, Manny & Tim). The riverwalk was packed with people. That's what happens when it's 70* in early March.
We started out on the normal route up to Elmwood Cemetary, then to the parking garage on Marion St. From here the fellows gave me the lead. I love dragging these folks around town in the dark. Of course I'm going to hit every dirt/gravel road I can find. Random landmarks USC, Sarge Frye Stadium, Olympia, Olympia Mill, Congaree Riverfront, Cayce Riverfront & West Columbia Riverwalk. Split off from the group and headed over toward some hills. Hit up Westover Acres. So not bad for 2:45~35mi. Good thing because there will be no riding today. Crossing my fingers for more riding this weekend.