Sunday, December 20, 2009

Update on Route



0 mi Start
0.01 mi Stop
0.29 mi Turn right at Burma Rd
1.74 mi Turn left at Triangle Rd
5.02 mi Turn right at Southland Rd/State Rd S-32-1102
6.04 mi Turn right at Spring Hill Rd/State Rd S-32-113
6.43 mi Sharp right at Redhaven Rd
6.63 mi Slight left to stay on Redhaven Rd
7.39 mi Turn left at Jumper Leaphart Rd
9.21 mi Turn left to stay on Cactus Rd
9.98 mi Turn right at Hyler Rd View
10.22 mi Turn right at Clay Amick Rd
11.52 mi Turn right at Oren Adams Rd
12.04 mi Turn right at Devils Backbone Rd/State Rd S-32-59
13.6 mi Sharp left at Ridge Rd
14.39 mi Slight right at Jimmie Long Rd
15.48 mi Continue onto US-378 W
17.04 mi Turn right at Lake Village Dr/State Rd S-32-1189
17.26 mi Turn left at Rock N' Creek Rd
19.31 mi Turn right at Nathaniel Oxner Rd
23.3 mi Turn right at Ansel Caughman Rd/State Rd S-32-54
29.1 mi Turn right at Lewie Rd/State Rd S-32-277
29.61 mi Turn right at Harley Taylor Rd
29.73 mi Turn left at Craps-Weeks Rd
30.71 mi Turn right
31.38 mi Turn right at Spring Hill Rd/State Rd S-32-113
33.84 mi Turn right at Long Branch Rd
35.23 mi Turn left at Calks Ferry Rd/State Rd S-32-278
35.68 mi Turn left at Lost Branch Rd
37.55 mi Continue onto Calks Ferry Rd/State Rd S-32-278
38.72 mi Turn right at Burma Rd
39.01 mi Stop

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Years Day After Ride

Ian Foyster Memorial Ride – New Years Day After Ride (10th Anniversary)

The 2010 New Years Lake Loop will take on a different meaning this coming January. I am inviting all my local cycling friends to come and join me to honor Ian’s memory. The route this year, due to increasing traffic and safety concerns in the Lexington and surrounding areas, will have more dirt road sections and less bridge crossings/lake views.

When: Saturday January 2, 2010 10 a.m.

Where: Lex High School. (N33*58’43.3” W81*18’35.9”) 0.4 mi West of intersection of US1 & Pisgah Church Rd (3rd Left after intersection on Olde Farm Road, 1st Parking lot on left)

Why: To honor the memory of our friend Ian Foyster who was all too suddenly and tragically taken this past year. For the folks who did not get a chance to meet Ian, you missed the opportunity to meet one heck of a fella. Ian was a constant figure in the cycling and enduro-moto community for many years. A regular trickster and all around funny man, he loved humor and a good bike ride. This is the chance to celebrate with a group of likeminded folks, which can come together and give back as a group to a worthy cause. A donation is encouraged and will be greatly appreciated. All donations will be presented to Ian’s daughter from the midlands cycling community.

This route will be a 40 mile multi surface loop. There will be various sections of Lexington County’s finest dirt, clay, sandy and gravel to ride. The rural rolling terrain will be very low on traffic. You be will be chased by a dog or two but don’t worry, a squirt of water will do the trick. This loop will be a character builder and a great winter day ride.

The biggest question will be what bike do I bring? Well this route will be most enjoyed on a cross bike. Set up with tires ranging from 28-42c. tires. A mtb will be equally as nice. Slap on some semi slicks or be a bad ass and show up with full knobbies. If you see yourself as THE diehard classics specialist by all means bring out that road bike. However be warned I would not ride it with anything less than 28c. tires. That’s that!


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Rudolph's Rampage

Trail 1/2 Marathon held in Harbison State Forrest on a chilly and damp Saturday morning. A much anticipated event promoted by Friends of Harbison, Cycle Center & Fleet Feet. As a spin off from the April 10k event. A longer event was a test to see the response. So the trail 1/2 marathon has evolved. Nearly 50 local runners came together to kick off the inaugural Rudolph's Rampage Trail 1/2 Marathon.

An easy to follow and straight forward loop.
Start Gazebo area
R > Forrest Road to parking area 4
L > Fire Break Trail
R > Stewardship Trail
R > Harder - Easier Spur
L > Midlands Mtn up the switch backs
R > @ trail junction above Spider Woman
R > Fire Break
L > Eagle Trail
L > Kids Trial
F > Field around Gazebo, then repeat


So my plan for the day was no plan at all. To start fueled on coffee alone. I arrived at HSF with about 30 min till the start. Register, meet and say hello to everyone I laid eyes on. A short warm up later (3 min). All started to line up so I followed suit. Line up at the front - of course.

In a blast all runners were hauling it up the gravel road. Quick head count (top 10) a good start. Trying to hold back at the same time and stay close to the front. How quick the gaps form and the front runners disappear. No worries here, just staying patient is something I've been working on. Tagged up with Anthony from Fleet Feet and kept pace for pace. We just ticked off the miles. All the same from here till the second time up the switchbacks. I decided to see if the pace could be picked up.

Well what-a you know. Picking up my pace slowly waiting till the crest of the hill, then turned it up a bit more. Steady on the flat section then attacked the decent across the road and another surge. It's now or never. A quick breather. Then another surge on the fire break to the last section of single track. As fast as I could go. Tricky single at top speed. Two near miss steps but manged to stay upright. Taking it to the finish in 6th place overall. Good times.

Overall happy with the effort and glad I took the time and competed. Hopefully this will become an annual event. A bonus was the regional Montrail rep showing up with some 2010 goodies to look at. Soup and massages for all runners plus a long sleeve tech shirt.

13+ miles 1:42ish
6th overall
1st in age group (even departed with a tub of Endurox)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shut In Trail Race




Finally something worth blogging about. The 30th annual Shut In trail race. Held the first Saturday in November. An 18 mile route from the NC Arboretum to the Mt Pisgah parking area located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Traversing the Shut In Ridge trail all along the way. Revered as one the most exciting trail races in the area.

What would be a perfect day to be in the beautiful Pisgah National Forrest. Its been way too long since my last visit to the area. Not much has changed especially the desire to stay every time I visit. This would be the longest trail race to date for me. With ample amounts of climbing this would be a true test of an ability to climb some hills.

Patience was something I was constantly reminding myself of. A reoccurring problem is to go out too hard and suffer the consequences towards the end. Today would be different. With a vague memory of the trail I was very content to just follow. Harder than it seems.

Many folks were wearing road shoes. This was not the appropriate choice for rugged singletrack with a heavy covering of fall foliage. Lots of slips and blunders were to be had by many. Amazing how ones MTB handling skills can come in handy. Handling the treacherous downhills better while out in front. Funny how that works.

To recall the hardest part of the race was the final climb. I came through the final rest stop at 3 hours with a faint smile on my face. The final climb winch I was amply warned was brutal, but somewhere in the past three hours I had totally forgotten the warning. A climb that brought most all to a slow hike and some to a squat. With the throbbing pulse pounding in my eardrums. A slow hike to the top was all I could muster. It would take at least 30 minutes to ascend. Now with thrashed quads a short decent to the finish. I was finally done.

I would like to give a more detailed step by tricky step. However it seems to be more difficult to dissect all the near misses and elated excitement of just making it from ridge to ridge. Any way this race would be my first time to surpass three hours in a run. So possibly a good confidence booster for future races.

In total 3:36 for 18 miles, 67th of 196 overall. Rolled my right ankle twice. Managed to stay upright the entire time. Also another new goal of mine. So to say this race had a great vibe to it. Water stations at every 2-3 miles with plenty of screaming spectators. It was truly a great race to be a part of. Hope to return next November for the chance to better 3:36.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Battle Royale

In the blue corner a scary bowl of sweet goodness

And in the red corner another sweet mess of goodness.


And the Battle Royale begins

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Something Old > Something New

This is mainly proof that I still do own bikes and yet still do on occasions ride them.
So Jaime here you go I made it out for a pleasant hour on Sunday. Made it out to Old State Rd. to see if it was under water or if the reds have destroyed it. The rain water has receded but the reds are working on destroying the only kickin' dirt road in the metro area.




In other news, a first attempt at a new hobby. Flying R/C planes. Bro-in-law has gotten me all fired up on the hobby. He introduced me to the world of cheap builds. PDF file + Blue Core Insulation + hand me down parts + time = a steep learning curve. Picture below is the direct effect of nose first to the ground. Good thing it's easy to cut the parts off and build another.



Now the new fleet has been built. First test flight on Friday and it made it home in one piece. This would be only the second time this has happened.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tangled Web

So my quest to run some greater distances has over taken me. The weekly group runs out at Harbison have started to take it's toll on me mentally. The same loop every week and now I've jumped up to the two lap group. So now it's 17mi of the same ol same ol bumps and humps. So I had a great idea of making the trip to Lynch's for a Friday afternoon run.

Inspired by the Ultra Run at Lynch's over the Memorial Day weekend. The trails had to be in decent shape after 50+ runners made three trip through the forest. This would help with navigating the trail. With the exception on the many limbs and trees that has fallen along the way. The trails was in really good shape. The hidden nemesis of the trail were the spider webs. I've never been through more in my life. It seemed if every 30-50 step you were pulling another mask of web from your face.



First lap went by with a lot to think about. Do I have a spider on me? Between that and what would I order at Wendy's after this run was over. No real problems at all. Stopped by the car to rehydrate then off on another lap. About 10 min into lap two I began to wonder about the frosty that would meet my tummy later when I tripped on a root and tumbled into a patch of Poison Ivy . Son-of-bee-i, luckily the creek was close to go and make an attempt to wash it off. Back to the trail another 40 minutes pass then another lapse in concentration I stumble into yet another patch of p.i. Off to another creek I go to wash up.



This was probably the down slide of my enthusiasm for the remainder of the run. Between the waves of intense itching and the though of a spider somewhere on my person was really freaking me out. Exit strategy would soon play out. A quick exit to the road and then a slow jog back to the car. It was a good time alone in the woods, and soon I will return. It's hard to pass up something different within a convenient drive. Ended with 13mi in 2:30

Sunday, August 16, 2009

081609 build up

Finally a week of fitness worth blogging about. Some of you folks know I've been running a good bit instead of cycling. If you didn't now you know. This May marked a full year of running for me. This month will mark my six month sabbatical from cycling. Something I really needed to miss the sport. Slowly I've been filling the void of cycling with a few rides here and there. Mostly to keep from the overuse of running through out the week. Finally it feels right. So now that I've fine tuned a proper run to cycle amount that will fit my needs and schedule.


So now what. Keep up the weekend trail runs. Yesterday, I knocked out a steady 11 mile run out at Harbison. Today a leisurely stroll around the Cayce/S.Congaree area. Three good dirt road sections to open up on. You gotta love the multi-surface approach to riding. Anywho just wanted to let all my old riding buddies know I'm not dead. Till next time.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

080609 Urban Treasures

Another hot few days in the urban jungle this week so far. Friday is that much closer. Often while out I stumble across some interesting finds. Exciting to top the usual condom wrapper and hair extensions. What some throw out often baffle me, or just what little fella you might run across.
Kenny this is for you! Perhaps you need some Usher's Confessions added to your ORAMM mix tape. Location: Fire Hydrant on the corner of Martel & E. Main St. (N33*58'40", W81*13'49"), Town of Lexington. You could totally swing by and pick it up on your commute home.
As for this little fella. Well he's probably hiding out by now. Shocked to see a possum in the middle of the day. E wanted this little fella for a pet. After he hissed at me several times I let him roll on.
Happy trail little fella.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

072909 Dodging Traffic


N33*55'47", W81*02'35"

Monday, July 27, 2009

072709


Warm and muggy five miler with my running buddies. Next best thing to a cool pool is a cold tile floor. As Hoo Bears executes perfect form. Looked refreshing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Going Stir Crazy

A step out of the usual urban environment. Above is the equipment needed on yesterdays survey outing. A nice change of pace. No cars just one curious alligator.

Following up on the urushiol attack. The blisters have began to really dry up. Top that off with an outrageous itching sensation on my arm. Wonder why? Now the rash has spread to my hand and mainly in between my fingers. This has made for a long few days at work. Amazing how frustrating. Try brushing your teeth with your left hand.
At least I'm not the worst!!!!! (***WARNING***)


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Attack of the Urushiol

attacked once again even had to bail on a ride because of this.

*late edit - went to doc in the box. 2.5 hours later a shot of steroid in the ass. now I cross my swollen fingers for this shit to dry quick!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Big Mig

A birthday shout out to Big Mig. A true hero to Le Tour and cycling in general. Soft spoken Spaniard who crushed the sprint of the weak. He was one of my favorite tour riders of my generation.

Monday, July 06, 2009

070609

A month has past since my last post. So just in case one may think I've given into Summer's wrath of oppressive heat. Ha believe it. The posts have been low but the activities have been on the increase. Only two bike rides in the past 30 days.

Run
Count: 13 activities
Distance: 65.46 mi
Time: 09:54:28 hh:mm:ss
Avg Distance: 5.04 mi
Avg Heart Rate: 145 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 186 bpm
Elevation Gain: 12,922 ft

Bike
Count: 2 activities
Distance: 36.19 mi
Time: 02:30:34 hh:mm:ss
Avg Distance: 18.09 mi
Avg Heart Rate: 135 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 182 bpm
Elevation Gain: 2,138 ft

till next time

Friday, June 12, 2009

Living It Up


Summer is here. So what to do know? Well start with the High Life then repeat. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

060409

Wow it's hard to believe it's been a month since my last post. Where has the time gone. Believe me when I say it's been a productive month. The Captain & I have been pondering the thoughts of selling our house and moving into town for a change. To date we have walked through around 15 houses in the last 2 months. That's a lot of pros & cons to shuffle through. It's been fun to a certain extent.

So now we have been working on our house to fix up the little projects I've neglected over the past winter. It's amazing how a handful of small fixes can snowball into a large project.


Notice the safety procedure displayed while balancing on a handrail. Luckily it's just bushes below. So to date the project list has dwindled down. The completion is near and soon we might put the "For Sale" sign in the yard. So if anyone is interested.

As for the riding of a bicycle, it's been almost 3 weeks. That was not a great day on the bike. Hooked up with Big J and his early am Saturday ride in Dutch Fork. It was the 4th road ride of the season for me. To say the least I was not prepared for the time spent chasing. The group was kind to wait for me at many intersections as to wish me good luck on catching up on the next surge. Think I rolled back to the truck with 70 miles. That would be 20 more than my idea of a good ride for the day.

Ever sense the NYDR beat down, my road time has been limited to occasionally. It probably would not be so bad if I were to get fitted to the road bike. Plus it seems every time I go solo on the road some unforeseen misfortune rears it's nasty head. From the frequent babbling of some jackass ordering me "get off the road". My patience is gone for this form of southern hospitality. This is my running excuse for not having the road legs to keep up.

In good fashion I would like to end this post on a positive note. I'm back running again. The sport of running seems to better fit my schedule and mindset for now. The time involved and the convenience of the exercise. Plus the fact that my dogs get super pumped when the shoes go on, puts a smile on my face.

Monday, May 04, 2009

PMBAR 09

PMBAR - Wow yet another great ride (race) in Pisgah.


To the best of my memory we rolled into Sycamore Cove about 7am. Plenty of time to calmly check in and catch up with some local folks. No lines, walked right up to gear check then over to pick up number and the PMBAR official souvenir tumbler. Dropped a 10 spot into the Humane Society raffle. Up for grabs a set of I9 wheels. The area was starting to buzz with excitement.


This would be my third go at PMBAR. Teamed up with Clay again. After a good run at Double Dare last fall we had a strong chance at finishing well here. Besides after last year’s fiasco with navigation, I had high hopes for a redemption ride of sorts. Clay had the lead on navigation just as in DD. A safe bet that the route would be challenging yet doable on a SS. Now Eric runs through the rules and wishes everyone a safe return. Some teams go, some stay and plan their route. As for team #21 we hauled ass up Black Mtn. Clay checked out the map while we pushed a few sections of Black.


Top of the hike-a-bike on Black. Clay already had the map out with two options for the day. We popped out at Pressley Gap, dodged the teams cruising their maps and hung a left on Maxwell Cove. That would be the last time we saw any racers for about four hours. Plan was to head west snag CP1 at the end of 225. Then come back over to the east side of 276 to navigate the other check points.

Headed down 1206 to pilot rock connector CP2. Rocked it down Laurel Mtn. The lead teams started to emerge. The best was seeing the zombie like souls pondering their next move at Yellow Gap & FS5015. Descend 1206 to North Mills River campground. Along the way the teams were all over the road. Some looking good and some not so good. Headed north up FS 5000 to CP3. The best CP of the day in my book. A cold PBR was downed and we are headed back up to Yellow Gap.

Amazed at how the body reacts to certain things. From the CP down on FS5000 all the way up 1206 i began to feel the power I'd been looking for. The engine was really turning. Made great time up to Yellow Gap. From here it was on like Donkey Kong. Down FS 5015 heading to the swinging bridge on S. Mills river & Bradley Creek (CP4). This part was uneventful just plenty of good smooth singletrack. The creek crossings started to come and my hot feet were very happy for the cold cold water.


Some of the best Singletrack was coming up with Squirrel Gap & Mullinax. On the way to Cantrell Creek for the final CP of the day at Squirrel Gap & Cantrell Creek. Filtered some water then a few sips a whiskey. Off on the rest of Squirrel heading out to Buckhorn Gap. By now I was rally feeling good. Riding most all the trails. Now back out at Buckhorn Gap then down Clawhammer. The long descent down Clawhammer rocking out to Master of Puppets. Hang the left on Maxwell Cove. One more climb for the day. Up to Pressley Gap hike-a-bike Black. Then let it rip Black was blast as always. Popping out of the woods to a heard of like-minded folks hoot hollern'. Please pass the beer.

Route:

Black Mtn Trail > Maxwell Cove Rd > Claw Hammer > FS 477 > 276 > 475B > 225 (CP1) > FS 225 > FS 475B > 276 > FS 1206 > Pilot Rock Connector > (CP2) > Laurel Mtn > FS 1206 > FS 5000 (CP3) > FS 5000 > FS 1206 > FS5015 > Bradley Creek > S. Millls River > CP4 > Mullinax > Squirrel Gap (CP5) > S. Mills River > Buckhorn Gap > Clawhammer > Maxwell Cove > Black Mtn


Survived On:
29" of Fury rolling 32x21
150oz. H2O/HEED mix
16oz Red Bull

12oz. PBR

2 shots of cheap Whiskey
11 - Clif Bars
3 - Hammer Gels
0 - Mechanicals
3 - Map Checks
1 - Compass
1/2 - Small Navigational Errors
0 - Major Navigational Error

5 of 5 check points


The plan from the start was to go for all 5 check points. By the end of the day we had all 5 in 11:20. My guess would be between 75-80 miles in the hills.



Thursday, April 30, 2009

043009

It's now the eve of the eve to PMBAR. With not much time to spare.
It's now time to prepare my ride for the date with pain.

The chores were mounting.
- Clean the mold from the hydration bladder.
- Clean out creaky EBB
- Change over to a gear more suitable for the hills.
- Install front suspension, dial it in a touch.
- Work out some nutrition issues.
- Ride with a hydration pack loaded to the top.

A new trick to simulate suffering in the hills with a loaded pack.
- A full clean bladder
- All the mandatory tools on checklist
- A grocery bag with 4 pounds of rocks from the back yard.
- Load the pack and ride

It's more mental than physical - let's hope.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Grinded @ The Grind

Now on my third cup of coffee I set off to try and convey how much fun I had yesterday racing my bike. This post will be a race report of my experience at the 6 hr. Grind on the Greenway
It was my fist visit to Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill SC. Yeah I had no idea how fun these trails were going to be. Bonus only an 1:30 drive to the race venue.

Racing the Grind would be a great tune up for PMBAR, now only 3 weeks away. I figured it would be one of the only ways to fully commit to riding my bike for more than 3 hours at one time. Then throw in a training ride at race pace. Plus an overgeared SS to simulated the pain that awaits me at PMBAR. There you have it my plan, now lets see what happens.

The start was a mass start at the bottom of a grass climb. Zapper, will be my name for this dang hill. So - GO climb the Zapper to the S/F line hair pin turn with 60+ jacked riders. Down a gravel Forest road. Funnelling into a fast section of singletrack. Then down along a river trail. Then a bunch of turns. Followed by some mud, roots, rocks and some bridges. As always the first lap is nerve racking. Do you go out hard and above your threshold just for position? Or do you use patience and ride into race pace and pick your way through the blown riders? These are the million dollar questions one would ask ones self.

Caught up in the excitement and go to my LT and try the patience thing. It never fails to get caught up behind a rider who believes they can start up front then slow to a claw in the woods. Yeah every race I see it. No worries about it. It's my pre-ride after all.

Somewhere during lap 1 a rattle starts to gain my attention. Figures I just passed about 6 or so riders now I'm assessing the situation. Um looks like a broken bottle cage. No problem rip it off and keep on chugging along. At the completion of lap 1 climbing the Zapper at a snails pace. Holy crap this is going to be a long 6 hours. About 20 minutes into my 2nd lap my gear selection is really starting to drain me. Then I hear someone behind me yelling with excitement "hey man these trails rule and this On-One Inbred SS I'm riding is kicking ass" or something to that nature. That's right Joe caught me on lap 2 and dropped me like dirty wet wipe. Shnikes this is really going to be a long day. Joe I'm not taking anything away from you, but you dropped me quickly. Good job on your ride.


After another pass up the Zapper still at at snails pass. I stop for some pb&j sandwich and my hydration pack. Now out on 3rd lap the trail is looking better with every passing lap. There was no traffic. With the trail to myself I tend to zone out on occasions. Crossing this well constructed bridge. The one that was guide wires on both ends for extra support. A very tight squeeze. Too tight on this pass. As my barend snags the guide wire slinging me to the ground. Fiddle Sticks! I saw that coming sometime today. Ok now were did may bar end go. Uhh it's no longer attached to my bar.

As I start looking through the ground cover for my missing bar end, six or seven riders go cruising by. This would be the cut that really stings. Motivation has taken a nose dive for sure now. Found the missing bar end reinstalled it. Everyone who uses Ergon grips knows it takes some time to adjust the rotation on them. Well that doesn't happen on the trail with a gazillion turns and dips.

Another turn up the Zapper then to the pits. Grab another pb&j and off I go. Laps to this point have be somewhat consistent at around 57-61 minutes. By this time into lap 4 I was in survival mode. Just trying to keep it together and maintain an upright riding position. Then another craw up the Zapper I would check yet another laps off. With still 2+ hours to go till the end. The cramps were coming in waves. Mostly in my hands and neck. Struggling on every climb now, walking more than I wanted, it was just necessary to maintain forward momentum.

Completed lap 5 and I was beat. A headache had started about two laps earlier and it was all I could handle at the time. I pulled into the pits sat down and contemplated what to do. Man this camp chair sure is comfy. After about 10 minutes I decided to turn in my chip. Made it 5 hours of the 6. One lap short of my goal. Still 40+ miles of SSS (suffering single speed) bliss. All in all a good ride at a great place to ride and a top notch event.

I'll finish this post with saying thanks to Neil and the folks in Charlotte for put on another great race experience. The event had a convenient location, ample services, instant timing, great course, competition in all classes and food at all times during the day. Every cyclist should give a try.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

041109

Fully committing to this thing

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pique the Soul

So I've tossed my hat into the fire so to speak. Yes, the endurance season is in full swing. It seems that there is an event most every weekend in the months of April & May. PMBAR is in one month. Damn that dose not seem right but it is very true.

This piqued my soul for riding and decided to hit it hard this weekend. A three day block of turning the legs over in hopes of some good fitness. So with the rain this past week I was in running mode early. Able to knock out two quality runs. Totaled 12.5 mi in 1:43, and felt good on both runs.

The rain as fully saturated Harbison for sure. So Friday was a multi surface ride. Headed down south of town, mostly Lexington and Calhoun counties. A flat route but with the wind the flats grew harder and harder. It figures, I would pick a route that headed into the wind for the first half. Then at the turn around. The wind becomes a cross wind. Guess this is the way the Midwest folks hill train. Route has potential and worth exploring later.

Saturday, I headed down to Sumter to get in some single track. This place is great after the rains. The trail drains like no other in the Midlands. Surprise to not see many people out. One loop of single track. Then the exploring starts. After heading to the Palmetto Trail section, I dropped down to the abandoned rail bed and headed North. In exploring mode. The route heads out onto a network of red clay county roads. Mostly unmaintained and frequented by the local reds. Surprised to see the elevation ripples on these roads. Headed North for an hour then turned around. Trying to make a loop instead of an out and back. Totally lost the only hope I had was a vague memory of the map and the sun needs to be on my right. Some how ended up on the topside of the Campbell Pond Loop. So there is a loop option to CP. Give er a shot sometime.

Sunday, the body was not responding to the third day of riding. Luckily Mr. had promised he would ride with me at Mudison. The trails were still soupy in places. A fairly chill ride. Back to the front lot for a meeting of Team Hoffenchard. A big group turnned out to a big surprise. Locals and not so local alike. The vice was good and still totaly chill. Unfortantly I was runnin short on time. see it was my 6th wedding anniversery and I was already an hour after my promised arrival time. Factor in Toby time I was still to be very late.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It was the 1st day of Spring

If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?
Some sights and sounds from last weeks surveying adventure, or just another day at work. Lots of stuff going on at this site. Many busy bees buzzing about. As the Queen bees drive around to inspect progress on their hive. Speaking of bees or lets say yellow jackets.

While occupying this point on site, just on the edge of a pine grove. I began to look around the area. Noticed one lone stake stuck in the pines. Funny that looks out of place. A closer inspection would reveal "WARNING YELLOW JACKETS". Then a some Spanish jibberish.
Fiddle Sticks the first day of Spring and I may have to bust out the Epipen. Yes, I walked in close enough to snap this shot. My last anaphylaxis episode was about 400' to the South from this very point. Talk about dejavu. So I kept a close eye on the action and luckily they kept to themselves.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

032409


The first real tan lines of 2009. Work related not fun related. Surveying waterlines in Sumter County on beautiful day.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Rollin Down Shakedown

Out on the trail today with an old friend. Back out of retirement my trusty Independent Fabrication Steel Deluxe. This has to be one of the best riding bikes I've every ridden. It's hard to top the ride of Reynold 853 steel. This frame has been in my possession since 1996. Many epic rides on this bike. It has gone through many fads and trends of mountain biking history for the past 13 years. Since 2000 it has found a home hanging in my garage. About the time the 29er revolution hit me right in the head. Since then it's morphed into several garage projects, but nothing I've been completely happy with.
So for now the build up has been one of patience. Looking for deals to get the project up and running. Scored a nice deal on '07 Rock Shox Sid Team. HBW had a stripped down Bontrager Race GXP crankset with no rings sitting at the shop. Took some old wheels and set them up with Stans. The single best thing for 26" wheel bikes. Also trying to keep with the simplicity of this ride. I decided to set up a 1x9 drivetrain. Since I've been riding a SS for the past two seasons. The whole front derailleur thingy distracts me. Mostly wondering what gear to be in. Now with this 1x9 setup it's much more straight forward. As for the rest of the bike Bontrager, Avid and King parts make the bike complete.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wind vs Cyclist

Great opportunity to roll some pavement with like minded friends for a group road ride. A chance for me to explore an old favorite route. One which I haven't hit in a few years. Perfect that some friends wanted to go out for the adventure also.

Original plans were to attempt a Lake Loop. A committed route, one in which has zero bail out options. Alternate plans were to hit up Parr Reservoir Loop. One with an ample amount of route bail outs. A loop of pleasant roads and very low traffic. As the wind ripped through the DMV parking lot, blowing bikes over and whipping up sand storms. The decision for the a shorter route was a no brainier. An option welcomed by all.

Slow and steady would be the mantra of the day. As the wind constantly changed directions speed would not be the focus on the day. Staying upright on two wheels trumped that. The route would take us up Broad River road towards Hwy 34 . A rolling route that maybe had 3-4 cars pass in the 10 mile stretch. From here we doubled back on Graham rd heading South back towards Pomaria.

The stop in Pomaria was the decision making time. So the whole route or something modified? A round of hell yeahs on the modified loop it was. The wind was taking it's toll on half the group. From here we headed towards Little Mountain where some climbed the Tower and some choose not. Regrouped around Wash Lever still at a steady pace everyone was patient and stayed together. It's been a long time since I've ridden with folks who didn't have to compete with each other.

This ride made for my third ride in a row. Something that has not happened in over 6 months. I've kinda missed it. Kinda? I hope to keep this trend rolling. Verbally committing to the 6hr Grinding of the Greenway in April. Then PMBAR in May will be the big test of the Spring.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pass the

Confidence please. My first ride back in the woods. Thanks to Monty for sparking the interest to hit the woods on Friday afternoon. The ride needed to be a chill as possible. Focusing on base and form on the bike. Take all the turns nice and slow and build that confidence back up.

Funny thing running through my thoughts as riding. The concept of rounding turns instead of cutting them close to the apex. A bit more aggressive style I'm use to. Something I'm going to have to work back to. Positive notes are the knee was feeling great. Standing or sitting my knee responded well. From here the focus will be on steady base miles. More rides planned for this weekend. Weather looks good should be fun. It sure is nice to be back on the bike.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

>70%

Finally I'm back at my normal routine. After my doc told me to go "you're free to do what ever". That was Tuesday, so now unlike normal I've decided to slowly work myself back into a routine. First to get the knee back moving. So I dusted off the rollers for a few easy spins this past week. Every ride felt better than the last. Moving along to the weekend. Some iffy weather rolled into town on Saturday. Not quite up to the need to suffer, and especially not suffering in the rain. Finding the opportunity to head out. Made up a really fun loop through two neighborhoods. throw in four dirt road sections. Very low traffic and quite streets. As the Metallica pumped through the headphones, a smile smeared on my face and the legs were pumping through the hood. This was a great ride to start back with. All capped off with a slow flat tire pulling into my driveway. Oh well I guess it can't be the perfect ride to start back.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Life in the Slow Lane

Things are moving a touch slow at this time. Still down from my crash last Sunday. My knee is feeling better after a week. Fearing unseen damage I took a precautionary step and made an appointment with an Sports Med Orthopedic Doctor. Doc examined x-rays of my knee and further assured me that there was no damage that would require any extensive medical procedure.
So the outcome was a bruised tibia tuberosity (the bony knot just below the knee) & patella tendon. Treatment is a leg immobilizer for a week. This will keep the tendon from stretching during normal movement during the day. So I've been walking like a peg leg pirate for a week. Plus the on and off ice treatment. The swelling has strarted to settle and the area is that yellowish tint. So for now I have to rest and wait another week to go back to the doc. From there hopefully he'll release me to start back with some activities.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wipe Out

Race #2 of the Charlotte Short Track was greeted with pleasant weather and swelling numbers of racers ready to start 2009 early. The weather was cool with no chance of rain. After reevaluating my performance of last weeks race. I decided to chill out this week. By keeping the workouts low, only ran twice and zero riding. The zero riding was more procrastination than planned.

Feeling well rested from my easy week, the excitement of a strong race was filling. In my mind excitement for an event is one of the key ingredients for success in an event. The SS field was a healthy 22 strong. Playing off the excitement, I managed to hit the single track in the top 6. This was step one of the plan. Lap one down and still in contention. All is well flowing single track, following the lines of the racers ahead. Looked up to spot the trail ahead when my front wheel broke loose off the edge of the trail. Slammed to the ground. So fast I had no time to brace myself. Knee first into some roots. As the adrenalin surged and I clawed off the trail not able to stand. Managed to catch my breath and try to stand. Stretched my left leg out then my foot went numb. Unable to bear weight on the leg. Well shit this is not a good sign.

Now the entire SS group has passed then the ladies group passed. Struggling to make it out the woods. Somehow the pain eased when moving the leg in circles. I soft pedaled through the s/f area. Then back down towards the car. Weighing my options and trying to forget the swelling pain going on. Should I continue or the more intelligent thing would have been to stop. Whether pride or stupidity - one of them took over and I continued on. Managed to pick off 6 riders as I limped around the course for the remaining 30 minutes.

Shoulda coulda woulda if I had not wiped out on lap 2 of the race. Feeling better than last week momentum was on my side. Just goes to show shit happens. Did manage to finish the race in 16th of 22.

Monday, January 19, 2009

High Hopes

Sipping on my first cup of joe for the day, I begin to reflect on the 2009 season opener. Sunday was Race #1 of the Winter Short Track Series in Charlotte NC. This series has become a staple in my yearly start to a season of cycling. As usual the Renaissance Park was buzzing with pumped folks ready to rail some fresh new single track. The weather was the big ? for the day. The skies were filled with gray clouds and strong possibility of precipitation. It could come down as rain, sleet or snow.

The local trail crews have been hard at work with a new section of single track. The new section was alot of fun and really made the trail more like a XC trail. The new trail is probably a week old. So it's edges were still a little soft. Stay on the ilne or wash out off the side of the trail. (Note to self)

Goal for the series is to compete for the overall in the Single Speed class. In other words just stay out of trouble and keep the leaders close. Well the start was fast and super sketchy. First race of the season is always hairy. Everyone is amped and ready to rail. The race quickly bottlenecked going into the woods and we (Toby S., Eric & I) were stuck around 10th place. Traffic for the entire length of single track.

The laps were ticking by at a steady clip. Luckily the body was holding up well. Maybe the running has really helped. My heart never felt as if it were to explode. Nor did my lungs burn in pain. The only problem I was having was the fact that my gear was wearing me down. This 60" gear choice would have been spot on for the old trail. However this new section had some sharp turns that put a serious strain on the momentum. Peppered with lap traffic the track stands were killing me.

Gaps had formed early. From my view point I could see 1st & 2nd together killing it. Then Toby Selix, Ross D. & Noel battling for 3rd just a mere 5 seconds in front of me. I'd pull close to them recover then get gapped by lap traffic every other lap. Frustrating but it's the way this game is played out. More aggressive at the start and the gaps to the front wouldn't be as bad. Lesson #1 for the 2009 season. With a steady pace finishing in 6th place. Not bad considering I haven't really been on the bike in a while. I have high hopes of my fitness coming into riding form soon.

Also congrtas to Toby Selix on his 3rd place in the SS class. He mentioned that was the most exciting mtb race he's ever competed in. Also Eric new to the whole mtb racing thing. He won his first race in the Sport 40+ then jumped into the SS class for a top ten finish.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New SCXC Championship

Southern Classic Mountain Bike Race Series

Below is a listing of the 2009 race schedule. There will be 11 locations this year and we will be taking the best 8 or the 11 for the overall championships.

UPDATE: January 12, 2009 - Only 69 days left until the season begins.

2009 Schedule of Events

March 22 Hobby Park, Winston Salem, NC
March 29 Uwharrie, Troy, NC
April 5 Tsali, Bryson City, NC
April 18 & 19 Harbison State Forest Mountain Bike Trail Columbia, SC
April 26 Caraway Hills MTB Race, Sophia, NC
May 10 Stump Jump, Spartanburg, SC
May 31 Angler's Ridge, Danville, VA
June 7 Riverfront Classic, Charlotte, NC
July 19 Sizzler, Greensboro, NC
August 1 & 2 Fontana Village, NC
August 23 Dark Mountain, North Wilkesboro, NC



The combination of these 2 races will constitute the SC State Mountain Bike Championships


This is good news to all SC XC racers. Now the combo of two different races will be tallied for a SC State Championship title. In years past NC riders have traveled South of the border to nab the SC title. So now it will take some extra effort the NC folks to hate on the SC folks.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Road Juice 09

Yeah "The Sunday After New Years Day Lake Loop" went down in the books this past weekend. Not the most pleasant of conditions. Unless you were of Belgium descent. Everyone claimed to have had a good time. Not sure I 100% believe that. Plan was to loop Lake Murray with a low traffic route as always, and that's exactly what we did. 10 riders departed from the DMV at 10 a.m.
The route would take the group across the recently finished dam. Though the view of Lake Murray was covered in fog. As the group navigated the wet back roads of Lexington County on the way to Saluda County. A near miss from a disgruntle driver in a black SUV. Passing the group on a two lane bridge with oncoming traffic. All this 100' from our turn.

One scheduled stop at the traffic circle on Hwy 391. One sleeve of Crunch Gem Doughnuts & a Coke later the group saddles up and hit the road again. Pushing on down Hwy 391, heading into Newberry County. Another view of the lake from the West end. Hwy 391 was a bit busy at times. Mixed with rain and fog this was the perfect settings for a terrifying ride. Along 391 was the very spot were I began to self implode. My hammy decided to go on lock down. How unfortunate. Dropped on my own ride. As I watched the group head on down the road.

No worries just ride a manageable pace. Pushed on past the group waiting. To keep moving was the key to not giving up. Jamie pulls up beside me and kept my pace, as to inspire. The dirt (or mud) section was coming up soon. The excitement slowly crept into my veins. All of a sudden the pain was gone. Dodging the puddles and picking the best lines through the gravel section. It was over quickly. Probably only a 1/2 mile or so.

Soon after the pain was back. Dangling from the group once again. My own pace took back over. Luckily for me Gabe was running a Safety Sag at the rear of the group. For the entire ride Gabe just hung off the back with his hazards on. Offering up a motor paced assist. I tried several attempts to salvage the morale; but it was not happening. I motioned for Gabe to stop. I loaded up my soaking ass self and finished the remaining 10 miles in sag vehicle.

It has been a long time since I've bailed on a ride. That is what I get for not riding as of late. The best thing is this. The FIRE has been lit.

(photos courtesy of Gabe & more @ HBW blog)
(title courtesy of Nick)