Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Old Habit's ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Are hard to break! So the last time I went mountain biking last week I did a little timing to see where I am on my own personal fitness scale. Last night I hit the woods for a ride and once again I timed it.

I must be turning into a racer boy again! NOT.... I just want to make some type of effort to improve my fitness. Why you ask, I know your just sitting on the edge of your seat wanting to know!

Because it looks like I am gonna sign up for the Swank 65 and that will be my first 65 miler. In the mountains of course! I guess I am gonna turn into some kind of endurance racer. Or at least some kind of endurance race attendee.

How much racing I end up doing is any one's guess. These events are more of a personal challenge and that's what I am looking for at this point in my so called racing career.

OK, back to last night. I was headed into the woods at 4:30, thank goodness Sherman is only 10 minutes from my work. I look at my phone and it says 4:32. I have no computer on my bike so I just went by the seat of my pants. I can't tell you how many times during that 11 miles I thought "why the hell do I do this".

I could just slow down and enjoy the ride, but hear I am going all out just to see where I am compared to my time from 3 years ago! But I didn't slow down I kept kicking it! When I came out of the woods the time was 5:26.

Not bad! 54 minutes... My personal best ever time would be 50 minutes so I am happy.

Well I take a break and meet a friend of mine and we go back out for a second lap. 1 hour later I am done again, and I felt like I could have done another lap. That's gonna be my goal for my next ride there, 3 laps.

Point is now that I am interested in some type of competition again I am back to timing and looking for improvement. It's been a long time since I have had this level of interest in my mountain bike.

It's all about the "Old Habit's".... It seems like all my life, no matter how far I have gotten away from bike's they always draw me back.....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Should've Checked........

So I was already to get my wheel fixed and I drove to the shop only to figure out they don't they open on Monday! Damn! I was ready to ride. So home I went and nothing was accomplished.

I cleaned the pool and loaded up the bike for today. Mountain bike that is! It looks as though I am gonna hit the trails after work for a few laps. I did call the shop and he can fix the wheel while I wait but I guess I'll wait till tomorrow when it's gonna be raining "again".

It looks like we are gonna have rain the rest of the week. If that's the case I will take the time to drive down to Cheraw S.C. and hit the sand trails.

It's been awhile since I have been there.........

Monday, July 29, 2013

This Is Weird !!!!!!!!!

Saturday I meet Glen at Rock Rest elementary school south of Monroe for a road ride. He hasn't been down this way in awhile so I was kinda looking forward to having the company. Hell I even got up and was there ready to ride at 7am! That doesn't happen often.

So anyhow we headed south and even rode a few gravel roads. I made a wrong turn once or twice but we were never very far of course. We made a pit stop in Pageland and then headed back north toward the cars. About five miles into the return trip I had a spoke pop.

First time I ever had a spoke pop on the road bike. It was on the back wheel and as soon as it popped the wheel warped so bad it wouldn't even fit through the brake caliper! I had to stop and loosen the caliper where I had no brakes on the back. No big deal, I just took it a little easier and made it back to the truck.

That was Saturday.

Then Sunday came and after I got home from church I was a little bummed out. All the whining this summer about the road bike and how I am not a big fan of it, I found I was missing it! I have it all taken apart and can't ride it, now I want to!

We had a big rain storm Saturday afternoon so all the trails around here where closed. I didn't feel like driving for 45 minutes to get to either Cheraw or Uhwarrie so I ended up pouting all afternoon and doing nothing. I cleaned the pool and the wife's car but that was about it.

Funny how things change, I used to hate the road bike and now it seems to be my go to bike for a quick ride. I have ridden the local trails for so long I would rather ride the road than load up and head to the trails. Especially if I have to drive for an hour and a half round trip.

Now if we are going to the mountains..... That's a different story.............

Friday, July 26, 2013

Maybe I Need To Commit !!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yesterday I brought my 29er' hard tail mountain bike with me to work and headed to the trails as soon as I was off. As I started this week my first post was about how bad I think I suck. That thought has been bugging me all week. So I decided I would test myself.

Three years ago when I was racing the local summer series and winning the sport class I knew I was pretty fast. I also knew what  times we were turning at various trails we raced on so I went to the one closest to my office. The winning time for my class was 1 hour and 2 to 3 minutes.

So I went and did the race loop. Guess what? I was pretty much right on pace! I did the first lap at race speed and then said this sucks! Second lap was a little slower, as in I didn't go near as hard. I ended up 4 minutes slower than the winning time would be, and I swear I went really easy the second lap.

So maybe I am not as bad as I thought! I just need to learn how to pace myself for the long races.

Now for the commit part!

I either need to ride the 29er' or ride the 26in. I swear it takes me forever to get used to either one of them every time I ride. Switching between the 2 just ain't working out!

See ya Monday............

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Moving Along.................

I love it when the week fly's by, and this one has. I have slept good all week and snuck in a few rides. Now I am ready for the weekend and something new. I have the car loaded and gonna hit the woods tonight for a good ride.

Saturday I am going out on a long road ride. I haven't been out toward Ansonville lately and that will make about an 80 mile route. Then Sunday, not sure what I am going to do after church. Should be a good weekend, they are calling for highs in the 70's. That will be a welcome change!

I like to sweat, don't get me wrong but I sure don't want to if I don't have to.

Yesterday I made the comment about I need a new bike. I meant that! I have been going back through all my old mountain bike magazines. Checking out all the reviews on the longer travel all mountain type bikes. Not that I can afford one right now but at least I know where I will need to be when I am ready.

The best thing about waiting to buy a new mountain bike is the fact that the longer you wait the better they get. One year makes a big difference! Things change fast in the world of bicycles, a five thousand dollar bike now can be had at the three thousand point next year.

We'll see...... Right now I am kinda partial to the Specialized products.....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Plans Change ,,,,,,,,,,,,

So I milked the kid for some free labor just for the sole purpose of freeing up my time. It worked! It worked so well I had time for a mountain bike ride! So after I took the wife to pick-up her car from the tire store I loaded the car and headed to Sherman Branch.

The last time I was there I broke my hand and ribs. Then we had all the rain and I have been sticking to the road bike. So I loaded up the 29er and headed that way.

First off, all the people who feel Sherman is the sweetest trail here in Charlotte must not ride it that much. Because now that we have had like 2 years worth of rain in the last month and it has been closed so much. The trails are as rough as any trail in Charlotte! They are terrible!

Put it this way, I just rode 35 miles in the Pisgah National Forest and my hand did not hurt! At all! I rode 2 laps at Sherman last night and my hand is killing my today!

So now I know I will be back on the road bike tonight. I have no choice.

Yesterday I said all I need now was to find another race. I think I have, I want to do the Swank 65 in November. It's another big race in the NC mountains. "Pisgah Proper" as the locals call it. There might be a local race of some sort I can do between now and then but that is gonna be my big goal. I want to ride a full ORAMM style event.

So far I have only done the 30 miler, I want to get up to the 65 mile mark! Then next year I want to do all the events in the mountains I can handle. So we'll see. Because of my new ambition I think I might need a new bike.

I am starting to look at the all mountain stuff..... 5 inches of travel baby. I want to take advantage of the down hills..........

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back To The Road ...............

I have the kid mowing the yard today and if the weather stays right I will be back on the road bike after work. Time to start training! For what? No ideal at this point, but something has to come up.

Now that I am a seasoned pro at the endurance racing stuff I need to start getting ready for the first thing I come across, just kidding! Total novice at this stuff! Packing drop bags for the check point's was a first for me.

I know I have done one stupid race and that's it. But it made me stop and think. It hadn't even raced in almost 6 months and prior to the 2 races I did over the winter it had been about 2 years! As I sit here I honestly don't remember when prior to last December.

Yes I had a string of bad luck and then Cody started playing soccer and had his knee problem. When he tore his knee apart that was kinda of the end of racing. As I have said before "if the kids weren't racing, I wasn't going".

Well now that we are into Cody's senior year of high school and he is back at soccer and Chase has no interest in bike racing maybe I need to look at it a little different.

I miss racing.

I just think I need to do a different type of racing! I think I am just tired of cross country racing. Looking back I have done the 24 Hr Burn on a team and the Tree Shaker race as a team, both of which I had a blast at. The point is all of the endurance races, I really enjoyed.

The last few cross country races, not so much!

I just need to find my next race.............

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Official !!!!!!!!!!!!

I Suck!!!!!!!       "It's Official"

Saturday morning over the course of 3 hours I figured that out. I did the Jerdon Mtn Challenge in Old Fort NC. It's the warm up race the day before ORAMM. We only had to do 31 miles compared to 65 miles. Honestly I don't think I could do that many miles at this point.

The 31 miles liked to killed me! I had a mechanical issue that started about 10 miles in that set the tone for the rest of my day. My tire went flat on Kitsuma trail and I should have stopped and changed over to a tube right then and there, of course I didn't and that was my mistake.

I am used to doing the shorter cross country races and not the endurance type stuff. In a cross country race if you stop and change a flat you will get passed by the whole field. In a longer race you have the time to make up for lost time. Well when it went flat I stopped and filled it back up with a Co2 canister. That worked for a while and I thought all was well.

Then it started going flat every few miles! So I would stop and refill it. I wasted about 30 to 40 extra minutes on that. I ended up going through 6 CO2 bottles! I had 2 with me and I found 2 on the trail and a friend gave me 2. I should have just fixed it and been done with it!

Lesson learned!!!!

Now for the rest of the race. I honestly hated it so bad at the time I was doing it I had decided I would never race a bike again!

Never ever ever!!

Now on Monday morning I am trying to figure out how I can improve next year! All the pain and suffering is just a distant memory. That was the most fun I have had in a long time. Even riding a bike with a flat tire, that was fun as hell. I got to let it hang out damn near sideways on the fire roads. Flat and all!

I walked I cussed and swore I would never do it again! Now I can't wait to do it again!!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Boom Weeks over...........

That was quick! The week is over, now we leave. I did finish the bike for the most part last night. All I have left to do is wash it. I plan on that tonight, then oil the chain and we will be ready. As soon as practice is over we are on the road.

I even got the road bike working like a champ last night. Cody did anyway, the kid amazes me. I got mad and was ready to take a hammer to it and he stepped in and had it adjusted in about 5 minutes! Made me laugh. The kid's pretty smart when it comes to mechanical stuff.

Makes me proud. Chase can do more on a computer than most people I know, Cody can hold his own on mechanics. That's my boys...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Going Quick !!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday I was slammed here at work, I never even got around to updating this as you know. But hey, I need the job to support my play time, not to mention those kids we have sure seem to like to eat! Speaking of them, have you priced groceries lately! We spent 400 and some change on groceries the Monday night! That hurt....

I did ride Monday night, last night I mowed the yard and worked on the pool. Well I just stood at the end of the deck and turned the pump on and off while Karen did all the vacuuming. I was drinking away my sorrows!

My damn lawn mower blew up! As in there is a hole in the side of the block! Not exactly a good night. Now I need to figure out what my next move will be with that.

Yes I have started getting things ready for the weekend. Although it doesn't require much for me and the kid. I will be out the door quick Friday am. I just have to wait for Cody to get done with soccer practice. Then we are out the door!!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Now We Get Ready !!!!!!!!!

OK, first off. Yes my kid came home! I was glad to see him. It was a weird week last week with only Cody around, Even he missed having his brother there. I was waiting when the bus pulled up, he got off and I embarrassed him with a big hug. He got over it though and then we got his bags and headed home.

It's funny though because as soon as we got home he went straight to his room and played on his computer and took a nap. I guess he needed some space himself. After his nap he came down and we had a great evening. He's already talking about next year.

Then Saturday am came around and I went for a good ride, from the house to Wingate to Pageland and back to Monroe. Total of 55 miles! With a lot of climbing. I was on the bike for 3 hours and 16 minutes. Now I just have to get used to doing that consistently. I can go like that one day and then the next day I can't do it. I just can't recover fast enough.

I got up yesterday and went out before church, 18 miles later I was home and it was a slow ride! My legs are still a little sore today. I plan to ride this evening after I mow the yard. If I have enough time. Or I might wait and just get out tomorrow night.

Either way we will be heading out Friday morning for the race Saturday. I am already starting to get things together........

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Friday !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes we have a Friday every week, this one is special though! My kid comes home from church camp. Yes I have missed him! We all have, it seems like he's been gone forever!

I will be sitting there waiting on the bus when it comes! It's gonna be a great day! So tonight we are gonna have a cookout.

Then tomorrow I am gonna ride the road. I got in a good ride on Tuesday and then rain hit everyday after that. So the week has been a wash, get it. A wash! Ha,Ha,Ha......

Anyhow I plan to put in a good one, I want to get at least 60 tomorrow and then about 40 Sunday and that will be good. Then if I can slip in a few rides next week I will be as ready as I can. It's gonna be fun! I love riding the mountains and that's what I plan to do.

A full weekend in the hills........

Thursday, July 11, 2013

$40 Bucks !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Worth every dime!

We are gonna change gears today and talk about something totally different than my sorry state of cycling. Today we are gonna talk about an experience the kid and I had!

You see I bought him a four wheeler a few months ago, he thought at the time he couldn't live without it. Well he has ridden it and played and had a good time riding it. But not as much fun as he thought he would. So now we are thinking about selling it and finding an old truck of some sort to restore.

A project that he and I and his brother could play on. So he managed to put it on craigslist and somehow he hooked up with a guy who had a 1976 Ford F100 short bed truck he wanted to trade. Cody being 17 years old was all for it! Me being the dad and 45 had my doubts!

So we spent "$40 Bucks" to drive to Gastonia and look at the truck. As I expected it was not gonna happen! I looked it over from top to bottom and found my four wheeler is a whole lot nicer than a 1700 dollar truck! I opened the passenger door and the first thing I saw was a funnel and a oil can.

Not a good thing to leave in the floor if you want to sell a vehicle! I laughed out loud on that one. Basically everything he had said in his add was a little skewed to the exaggeration side of things. I pointed out all the items that where in total fail mode and he understood. I honestly don't think the poor old truck would have made it back to Monroe!

I know we are not gonna find a totally restored truck for the price range we are in but I know we can find one at least road worthy. The kid learned a lot last night and it was well worth the 40 in gas we spent to go back and forth.

I am proud of the kid for showing an interest in trying to do something different and I can't think of a better way to spend the evening than riding around and chatting with my kid.

We did make an offer on the truck but sure didn't like it. I offered him 500 cash, I figured I could have sold it for scrap and at least made a few hundred dollars. We shook hands and went home.

Speaking of home and kids, Chase my youngest one will be home from church camp tomorrow afternoon. I am getting excited, we miss him! Even Cody has made the comment more than once that it doesn't seem right without Chase around.............

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Too Late,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I hope not! Two weeks before a race is not the time to change up your riding habits, but what the hell... I am not the normal....

Since I am gonna go and climb 4000' ft before lunch next Saturday, I thought maybe I should go climb some hills. I don't know if two weeks is when you should try a new plan but I am.

Last night I hit the climbs hard! I went straight over to Lawyers rd and did the hardest climb in our area. FOUR times! My legs where on fire, by the time I did the fourth one my legs where trembling. From there I headed out and ended up with 35 miles.

Not bad for a Tuesday ride. Now tonight I am gonna go out and ride easy then hit the hills again tomorrow. Who knows if I will benefit from this by the time I get to Old Fort but at least I can say I am trying. I want to start riding a little more often in the mountains so eventually it will pay off.

It was fun, to be honest. I look forward to heading back to the hills. It's gonna make me stronger. Now I want to ride over to Norwood. There's a ton of climbs that way. Suffering is what it's all about. You have to be a cyclist to understand......

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why Not.............

So I haven't been to or ridden in a race since we went to Sumter SC back in January. As I have already been over a few times Cody just doesn't seem all that interested this year and I sure ain't going by myself!

So that changed last night! I signed up for the Jerdon Mtn. Challenge. That's the race 30 miles long the day before ORAMM. Or Off-road Assault on MT. Mitchell... Last year I went with Kelly and Chris and rode part of the course for ORAMM, I wanted to do it this year but I messed around and didn't get signed up.

So they talked me into the next best thing. At least for me it's the next best thing. 30 miles and  4000 feet of climbing is better than 65 miles and 11000 feet of climbing.

We are gonna go up Friday and spend the weekend. I will get my race on Saturday and then Sunday I will  get to do some premo riding! It's gonna be fun!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Good Rides !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, so I had plans for my ride when I wrote my blog Friday. Then Kelly texts me and my plans changed. He wanted to ride early Saturday and I have ridden so much lately by myself I figured what the hell.

So went home and enjoyed the half day off and did nothing, I figured I would need all my legs Saturday. I was right! We meet at 8am in Unionville and headed off. He wanted to show  me a new 50 mile loop he has been doing lately.

By the time we parted ways we had 53 miles and a 17.9 avg. spd. 3 hours on the bike and 3000 ft of climbing! Not bad! My legs where a little tired but overall I felt good. We had went from Unionville around through the country and popped out in Stanfield. From there we did an extra 10 mile loop out there and then back to Unionville.

That was a good ride. Then to back it up I did a short 30 mile ride on the flat side of hwy.74 yesterday. That gave me a total of 120 plus road miles since Thursday. Not a bad total....

Friday, July 5, 2013

4TH And Done.....

It came, It went,,,,,,,, One more 4th of July in the books. I made the most of it like any other good o'll American. Rode the road bike for about 37 miles came home drank beer took a nap, took some Advil and then did the cookout thing.

Didn't want anymore beer so I was in bed early, about 9:30 the lights where out. Now I sit at work for the first half of the day and then I am headed out on the road bike. Yesterday I spent the ride doing an old route. I used to spend all my time riding around the New Salem area. Between the house New Salem and Oakboro.

Then I started riding all down around Pageland and Jefferson. I enjoy the roads down that way, there is hardly any traffic and the roads are actually really nice. Believe it or not, there are a ton of hills down south too.

So yesterday at 8am I was out the door and headed toward New Salem. I got to climb hills I had forgot all about. Once I was there I went east on Hwy 218 for 3 miles and turned up Holly School Rd. Now I know not many people who read this know where I am talking about but most people from Charlotte know Hwy 218 anyway.

Holly School Rd is right outside Olive Branch, and when you turn on it the first thing you do is switch to the easiest gear you have. Straight up is what you are doing. It is one of the longer steep hills in my area. It cuts over to Olive Branch Rd and then you turn right and head back to Monroe.

I ended up with 35 miles and I was happy. I for got how much fun it is to ride out that way. Again it was back to riding by myself. I didn't see a single cyclist! So today I am going to do a short ride here at the house and then this weekend I am gonna do a ride I haven't done in several years.

Saturday AM I want to ride over to Ansonville again. That ride has a few monster hills and by the time I get home I will be knocking on 80 miles. That will be a fun day, I am already looking forward to it.......

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Maybe One Day ,,,,,,,,

As I feel better I am dying to get out on the mountain bike. We just have two problems with that.

1- I am supposed to wait another two weeks before I can. Doctors orders!

2- I don't think it's ever gonna quit raining!

I wish I could go but if I could I couldn't go anyway! Sometimes I might push the 24 hour rule and go a little earlier than I should. But right now there is no way anybody could ride without doing trail damage!

Plus it's raining as I type this! I can't even get out on the road bike. We had plans to ride yesterday and when I got off work it was pouring rain. Plus I ran out of gas on the way home and had to wait for Cody to come get me so I was running late anyway.

I got to get that gas gauge fixed! That's the 3rd time I ran out in the last 6 months. Oh well, it happens.

Then we have the fact that my road bike is still spotless! I don't want to get it dirty. How lame is that..................

Monday, July 1, 2013

What The Hell !!!!!!!!!!

OK, time for a little rant!

Why the hell does everybody think you are to old to play and have fun. Yes I have had a little bad luck. I busted my ass twice within the last few months and yea it hurts. First I did my shoulder and had to take a few weeks off from that.

It healed and I promptly crashed again! This time I cracked my hand and a few ribs.

Guess what?

It will heal!!

Just so you can keep up, I will go head and warn you.

It will happen again!!!!!!

But because it happens doesn't mean I should just quit riding. I have had so many people tell me "I am to old for this" that I am about to slap someone.

It must really suck to be you! That's what I want to start telling people!

Even with my busted up ass I still rode 55 miles Saturday and 25 yesterday. Mowed the yard and even did the weed eating. Played with the dog and hung out with the kids. This week I plan to go hiking and more road riding.

As soon as I can hold on to the handlebars I will be back in the woods on my mountain bike! Guaranteed...

I don't know what people think you are supposed to do when you get older but I am gonna be doing the same thing I am now!

Playing as hard as I can....................

Knock'em Out !!!!!!!!!!

Mile after mile after mile! I keep "Knock'em Out", yep I rode the roads all weekend. Saturday I went out for a really long ride, I wanted to see what was going on down in Waxhaw.

All I hear about is the fact that there are like a thousand bikes riding the roads every weekend in the Waxhaw area. So out the driveway I went and south was the destination.

Guess what! It's true, I saw or passed at least 200 bike riders. I couldn't believe it, everywhere I went I kept meeting them. I went straight down hwy 75 to Waxhaw and then worked my way back toward Cane Creek.

From there I came back to Mineral Springs and Stonebridge Golf Course. Then back to Monroe, for a total of 55 miles. One of my longest rides of the year.

It's funny, I spend most of my time riding the area around my house, Unionville and south of Monroe down toward Pageland. I hardly ever see any bikes and then I go down toward Waxhaw and I find a thousand people riding. That was really neat! You get lost in your own little world and you just don't realize just how many people do ride.

I might try to find a group and ride with them this coming Saturday. One of the guys I met at the store said they all meet at some school down there and ride at 8am every week. I might try to be more social.....

That would definitely be different for me....