Friday, January 31, 2014

Am I About To Snap ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Sometimes I wonder! This week has drawn out for like 12 days now, I dream about sunshine and warm temps. I try to embrace the snow and with that comes cold. If I am getting snow I can tolerate the cold, no snow. Well I am sick of the cold. It's been bone cold long enough.

It's time to get back to the typical Charlotte NC type winters that made like this place to begin with! Right now I am tempted to move. I might need to learn a new language to fit in but the further south the better it sounds right now! I absolutely hate having a worthless day off in the middle of the week. That's what makes for such a long week.

Especially when the day off we get is worthless. If I could have went and played in some snow it would have been worth while. But I didn't and it wasn't.......

Today it's gonna be like 52 degrees, that's a start. Saturday and Sunday will be mid fifties, almost 60. Then Mon. Tue. Wed. it's gonna rain, again! The wife and I are gonna head to Statesville Sunday, we need to hit the camper store. Plus it's gonna be the warmest since she got her new car and she wants to ride with the top down. Whatever makes her happy! That leaves me tomorrow to do what ever I want.

I got a new Bicycling magazine last night. In it I read that the average cyclist can ride 3 times the longest distance he has every ridden without really falling apart. If that's true I should be able to ride at least 180 miles at a pop. If it warms up soon enough I plan to test that out! I have my new road bike and so far it has about a hundred miles on it. I need to bump that up.

Besides the woods are way to wet for the mountain bike, and after the rain for the first half of next week it might be a month before I can get in the woods.......

I need tomorrow, sunshine and ride time. Before I snap!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Still Standing ,,,,,,,,,,

In the corner of the garage, my sleds are "Still Standing". Yes we had the snow storm of 2014, you might have seen the mess Atlanta had. It was enough to make a mess and that was about it. I even stayed home for the day, we weren't doing anything at work so why not. Yet we didn't have enough snow for sledding.

The hill was green! I even went over first thing in the morning to check. The only thing covered was the roads, I ended up taking the wife to work and then we went to Autozone. Messed around there and came home. Then Cody worked on the 4-wheeler while I cleaned the Miata.

We did go up to the trucking company to say hi and borrow a few tools from Bryan, the mechanic. We have narrowed down the problem to something in the electrical system. Tonight he is gonna come over and see if he can trace down the problem. It's always nice to have a full time mechanic living next door! He used to work at the local Honda dealer for several years before he started working on big trucks. He's my ace in the hole!

I tear everything down and do all the tedious work and he comes over and does the fine tuning. Then I put it all back together. Works out well! Plus it's easier on my wallet with me doing all the small stuff. Maybe this will be the last thing we have to fix. I have my fingers crossed!!!

I guess that will be it for the snow this year. It seems like we get one or two snows and that's it. Maybe the next one will be a blizzard!! Got to hope for something......

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

OK, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

They must have left out a page! That's what I told Cody as we were taking the damn throttle body back off the truck. Yes the one we had just changed. The reason for doing twice as much work as necessary, was the fact the directions sucked! First of all the throttle body was just a stock replacement. No problems there.

The problem was the fact we were trying to install the throttle body spacer, an aftermarket product. From the start the directions where a little off but we keep moving. I was letting Cody do most of the work as I stood around and supervised. About the time he had the new throttle body bolted to the top of the spacer and intake I noticed there was no way the air intake was gonna fit back on top.

So a quick check and sure enough, not enough room! What the hell! No where in the directions did it say we would need to use a new air intake system. Guess what! That's the only way it's gonna work! So we undid all the work we had just done and then put it back together. I got the new throttle body installed but we still need to do it again after the new air system comes in. When it's all said and done the truck will have an additional 25-30 horsepower.

Plus the extra torque, and that's why I am doing this. When I pull the camper I need all the extra power I can get! Plus it's paid for and I damn sure don't want a new truck, or payment!

Just for reference, the list is coming down! Now that I am a full fledged mechanic I am on a roll. Brakes are done, oil changed, in both the truck and Blazer. Bike has been serviced and ridden "a little". About the only thing left is the oil leak on the Blazer! Once that's done I can claim victory......

At least until the new air system comes in. Then I will have more shit to do!!!!!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

That's What I Miss ...........

Yep, I miss the warmth and the sunshine! I rode, in the wind. For 2 and a half hours, one of the best rides I have had in a while. As I said the wind sucked but at least it was 50 and sunny. My face is actually sunburned from it. For once I kind of like having a sunburn too. It's been awhile.

I wasn't happy about the wind but I wasn't gonna sit home. I ended up with 35 miles, some times I was flying other times I was barely moving. But at least I was moving! I can't wait for the spring to get here. Right now if you ride you just have to except the wind. That's one of the reasons I don't mind the heat. I can sweat and drink and I am warm!!

I can't wait to be warm again. I was actually coming down the driveway Saturday and was thinking about how I was sweating and mowing the yard. That's pretty bad when you wish it was hot and the yard needed mowing. I guess I can cross living up north of my list.

I did get the brakes done on my Blazer yesterday afternoon. Cody helped me do that, it didn't take to long so that's off my list. I am about 2/3rd's through that list by the way. I now have the parts for the truck so once it gets warm enough I can work on it I will. It's to big to put in the garage and work on it with the door closed, and they are calling for 1-2 inches of snow in the next few days.

I don't want to say anything about that, I am thinking that's why it hasn't snowed yet. I keep talking about it!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sometimes You Win !!!!!!!!!! This Time I Lost...........

This time it just didn't work! So I bundle up and get on my shinny new bike and head for the road. We have a driveway that's about an 1/8th of a mile long. About halfway up I am already thinking this might be a bad ideal.

The wind is blowing about25-35 miles an hour and it's all I can do to stay in a straight line and I haven't even gotten to the road yet. Guess what, I hit the road and sure enough my suspicions where correct. About 3 miles in and about the third time I am blown across the road I decide I would rather live to ride another day than get hit by a car because I couldn't ride a straight line!

Total, 6 miles. 20 minutes getting dressed and 5 getting undressed. But I am still alive!

I change and the wife and I go out for an early dinner. We come home and have a nice evening and now I have today..............

This might be my lucky day, the temps are gonna be nice and I am itching to ride! Now go away wind!!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bundle Up !!!!!!!!!!!

That's what I am about to do! The temps are warming up just enough to make the trails a mess so the woods are out. The wind is blowing about as hard as it can so me being a little on the crazy side, I am fixing to head out the door.

Why not!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chicken ,,,,,,,,,,

I pulled a "Chicken" last night. Cody had a doctors appointment yesterday and I took him. I get back to work and it's time to head to the trail. I Didn't go. Kelly text me that the trail was a mess that's all it took.

                                  I went home!

It looks like I am down to riding twice a week now. With the cold I just can't seem to find my way out the door. This morning I am on the way to work and they are talking about the high being 46 tomorrow and 50 Sunday. I am thinking "wow it's gonna be down right warm", lame I know! But that's how cold it's been.

I know some people who read this are thinking I am a total wuss, but hell I ain't used to this. We never have temps below 35-40 degrees. As I sit here typing this my phone shows 12 degrees! With a high today of only 28. To me that's cold! I have some readers in Russia and I feel for you guys! As I type this I know they are sitting there thinking what a wuss! "WE have cold here."

That leads me to my next question, what does a cyclist do in Siberia! Do they ride, or can they ride? If they do why would they. It's to cold...........

Back to America. This will last a few more weeks and we will be on our way back to the norm. When this happens I will have a new appreciation for what cold really is. Right now I am starting to learn.

This weekend I am gonna ride the road bike and that's it. I have had it for 2 weeks now and only one ride on it. Now I have it set up the way I want it and I am ready to ride. Plus I want to do some climbing. I want to test the gearing out and see how it works on some step hills.

Plus at 46 and 50 degrees it's gonna be warm!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just Knowing ,,,,,,,,,,,

Knowing I have all my stuff and I am going riding, that makes today a good day and I haven't even done anything yet. I like days like this!

It's to cold to ride on the road so I am heading to the woods. I want to tryout the new tires, plus I just haven't been riding enough. The weather just isn't cooperating, damn cold! the farmers almanac said it was gonna be a cold winter and they where dead on! My "old wives tells" of snow predictions didn't come true. Which annoys me!

My sleds are never gonna get used! We had the thunder and then we had the ring around the moon. Between those two we should of had snow! A lot of snow! But not, maybe we will still get something but for now we wait.

I told my buddy last night we might as well suck it up, the cold weather is here to stay. If you want to, play you gotta pay. It could be worse.....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Working My Way Though It...........

My list! That's what i am working through. Oil, done, new tires, done. Half ass lube job, done. I took the mountain bike to the car wash last night and cleaned it up. Then back home and I greased the hubs and changed the tires.

I did grease everything but the bottom bracket. All the cables got some love and it's shifting really smooth now. As far as the tires go they went great. I set them up tubeless and they took the very first time. You can tell the quality of tires really fast when you start changing over to tubeless. I have set up some tires before and sealant was coming through the sidewall as soon as you put air in them. Yes they would seal but it took some work and keeping your eye on them.

I am using Michelin tires this time, I have used them before and had great luck with them so why not try them again. I had Schwalbe tires on it before and I swear I couldn't keep air in them. The Kenda tires before them where just as bad. I had to put air in them every time I wanted to ride. That's not necessarily a bad thing, running tubeless you tend to expect that.

But when you can pump them up the first time and they are the same pressure 12 hours later, that's a good sign!

Now my list is down to car related stuff. My parts have all came in so it looks like that will be the plan this weekend. As long as it's not bone cold. I will be changing parts and doing brakes. That's if a ride doesn't get in the way.

Tonight we have church and tomorrow night will be a night ride! Again, if it's not to cold. I must be a wuss these days. The weather is really starting to dictate what I do......

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wait A Minute !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not a mechanic! Just a wrench turner. There is a difference, big difference. I can get shit done but only because I have too. Not because I want to!

So I had to wrench on my new bike, mainly adjustments and the like nothing major. Plus my mountain bike is needing some love, it's dirty and needs new tires and a good lube job. Not just a chain lube but everything greased type deal.

Last night I decided to do the oil on the truck and blazer. I got the truck done and pulled the blazer in the garage and started on it. I get underneath it and find I have an oil leak some where. OK, I start looking and searching to see what I can find and it seems to be coming from the radiator area. Like where the oil lines or transmission lines come into it.

Do you realize how much stuff is gonna need to be moved to get to where I need to be, a bunch! Plus I need new front brakes. Plus I have the new throttle body coming for the truck and the spacer laying on the work bench.

Total take: Red truck needs the throttle body and spacer installed. Got the oil changed last night.

Blazer needs the oil leak fixed and new brakes. It got the oil changed last night.

Mountain bike needs a full service and new tires installed.

Road bike just needs ridden!

I hate having a list of shit to do..............

Especially when all I want to do is play.......... Damn life gets in the way sometimes.......

Monday, January 20, 2014

Finally ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

After almost a full week I "Finally" got out! The wind was still blowing like crazy but I didn't care. I wanted to ride.I only managed 32 miles but damn I had fun. My ass just couldn't take the new seat.

I even said that the other day, I knew I would try it anyway just because I like the looks of it. It matches the bike. Guess what it doesn't match my ass. I could have ridden a lot farther if not for the comfort factor.

Now for the bike! The gearing is spot on! I couldn't believe how that worked out. I can stay in the top chain ring and roll. I don't think I even went to the lower ring, at least not where I went riding. I only had 700 feet of climbing for a 32 mile ride. I wanted a flatter rolling ride to get used to the gears.

Guess what the shifters work great. I have no complaints! As I said the other day, I like the SRAM products on my mountain bikes so i figured they would work good. I just needed to try them a few rides. I thought the front derailleur was gonna rub, it only has one click available on the front and not two like a Shimano.

Guess what I never even noticed! It never rubbed, not even once.

As far as the bike itself! Cannondale nailed it with this aluminum frame, it's the smoothest riding bike I have ever ridden. We have a lot of secondary roads with the chip seal pavement. It smoothed them right out. I never experienced any numbness in my hands, not even once. The only thing that hurt was my ass.

To cure that I came home and swapped out my seat for the Brooks saddle. Then put my computer on and it's all legit now. Of course I should have done all that before I even did the first ride, but hell I always like to do the first ride with the basics.

Overall, it's gonna be a fun bike. Thanks to Bud at Revolution bike shop and Cannondale i am hooked up..................

Sunday, January 19, 2014

One Day /////////

"One Day" soon I will get to ride my bike! Yesterday I had all intentions of riding and it never happened. I wussed out and headed to the woods. The wind was cranking and it was cold. Not a good combination.

So I ended up loading the mountain bike and heading to the woods, trees block the wind really well! I did an easy ride at Sherman, 1 lap and came home. I just didn't have my heart in the ride. I wanted to do the road but settled for the woods and it was not what I wanted. So I did a lap and came home.

Today, I hope, will be the day! It's supposed to be in the low 50's and low wind. I hope it works out..

Stay tuned.........

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ta, Da,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

OK, it's Saturday and I am good to go! Yes my shop came through with flying colors!!! I called them yesterday as soon as they opened and took my bike back at lunch. Bud was as awesome as he could have been! He had one of the young guys put my bike together the other day and he never checked it.

He changed the rear derailleur and put a longer chain on it. I have my 32 tooth rear big ring for the mountains and everything works perfect! Just like a new bike should. Believe it or not that gives me a final small gear of 34-32 almost 1 to1! For a category 4 type climb I need it!

Now for the shop. I bought my new bike at Revolution Bicycles in Weddington NC. Bud is the owner and a great guy. He opened the shop about a year ago, it's been tough. He is still there but he could always use  more traffic. The Charlotte area has about 10 too many bike shops. So it's been tough.

That was the main reason I bought my bike from his shop. Yesterday I knew he would make it right and I should have given him the benefit of the doubt before I said anything. But I was aggravated. For that I am sorry!

If you live anywhere around this area (Charlotte-Monroe) and you find yourself out his way stop in. Say hi, and buy something! The little guys can always use the help..........

Now next up will be a review of my new ride.... It's gonna be a high of 40 today and windy! What a great day for a ride...........

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hummmmmmmmmmmm ,,,,,,,,,,,,

So I got my bike and I brought it home. Night one I let it set in the living room and just stared at it. Yea that sounds weird but it's not. In my world that's kind of the norm. Night two rolled around and I decided it was time to make my adjustments. Make it where it fits me like I want it too.

So I adjust the stem and move the seat, I am all happy and thinking this is gonna be cool. I put it up in my bike stand and start going through the gears. It has the SRAM double tap shifters, they are new to me. So far I think they suck! But I will get back to them after a few rides. Gotta give them the benefit of doubt. I use SRAM on all my mountain bikes and love there stuff so hopefully I will come to like the road stuff.

Back to the gears..... As I said a few post ago I had them put the big cassette in the back. (it has the easy gears for the mountains) When we discussed this I asked if the stock derailleur would work. I was told it would work with a gear up to 28 tooth. So I start going through the gears and guess what! The shit don't work!

After a little investigating and counting teeth I figure out they put a 32 tooth on the back. I like the 32 and would like to keep it. IF IT WORKED! It don't. So as of this moment I have damn new bike that don't work.... With a ride planned for tomorrow. On my new bike!!!!!

The only way for this setup to work is change the derailleur and put a new chain on it. Or put the original cassette on it and ride it. Guess which I am going to do. After a call to the shop. Stay tuned for that.....

I haven't mentioned where I got it yet and I am glad I haven't. I like this shop and believe they will make it right, but until they do I won't mention them. If they do me right I will brag about them, if they give me a hard time I will never mention them. Or shop there again...........

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Score !!!!!!!!!!

It came in and all the parts where there! I picked up my new bike yesterday on the way home from work. I now am the proud owner of a CAD 10 Cannondale bicycle. With SRAM double tap shifters. Might not mean much to you but I am flat happy!

It's black yellow and shiny! The best part is it's mine. I have wanted a nice road bike for a while now and have been trying to convenience my self I didn't need one. Now I have it and I can't wait to ride. It's gonna be a high of 40 Saturday and I will be out. My new Poogies (fancy ass gloves) fit this bike just right!

Matter of fact it's sitting in the living room right now. Nothing like shiny new furniture, the wife just shakes her head but she even likes it. She likes the colors! Last night I brought it home and brought it in the house and just left it there. Tonight I will start making adjustments so it will fit me just right.

Then I know I will make the mistake of trying the factory seat even though it ain't gonna work. I started using a Brooks seat years ago and I know it's perfect. Yet like a train wreck I will still try the new seat just because it looks good. You never know it might be the perfect seat! Even if I know the results already.

It looks like we are in for another week of cold weather. Next week the highs are only gonna be in the 40's. So bundle up! It's gonna be a long week.

Oh yea, we missed the snow storm last night....... The only reason I am not mad is I have a new bike........

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Holding Out Hope ,,,,,,,,,,,

With the sun shinning and the temps dropping I am holding out hope! They are still calling for a front to move through in a few more days so that's gonna be my chance. Chance for snow.....

                 Yes I know that was my post yesterday so I will try not to dwell on it again but I am hopeful.

I did ride last night, I waited till 6:30 and then headed out. The temp was dropping but I was warm. I had my lights charged and my water bottles full. After a few miles I was out in the no traffic area's and enjoying the ride. The moon was full last night and several times I turned off my lights and just rode along. It's always fun to ride at night, I enjoy being out in the dark and by myself. People give you plenty of room and you know they think your crazy for riding at night.

I put in a solid 25 miles and that put me back at home. I am still waiting on my new bike to come in, that might happen today. I hope! I can't wait to see how the new gearing works out. Plus the new pedals. This will be the first time I have ridden real road bike specific pedals. I have always used mountain bike pedals.

I doubt this weekend will work out but I can't wait to head up to the mountains to try the bike out. We have a family gathering with all my wife's family Sunday so maybe next week. I did go ahead and book our trip for Asheville in April. The kids are on spring break and we never seem to go anywhere then so this year we are going on a trip.

I plan to do a lot of riding that week! Hopefully Cody will want to ride then too. I have my fingers crossed..

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Gonna Happen !!!!!!!!!!

We had sign number two last night! If you where out and about and looked up at the moon you saw it had a ring around it. Sign number two!

                                         1) It was thundering Saturday.

                                         2) Last night the moon had a ring.

All total: snow is on the way! We haven't had a good snow in a few years, I want snow dammit..........

I know I sound like a little kid but it's true we have been on the receiving end of a good snow in forever. I bought new sleds 3 years ago! Three freaking years ago! They are still standing in the corner of the garage with the original shipping wrapper on them. We broke the last two sleds pulling them with a four wheeler and I bought the new ones for the following year.

The following year and snow! Snow that never came.... I am still waiting! My kids are growing up and we haven't had a good sled day in years. Before long Cody and Chase will grown and I won't have any kids to play with!!!!! All the neighbors will think I am some kind of pervert if I show up at the local hill with no kids......

You can bet your ass we are gonna be all over the place if we get snow. With the four wheeler and a rope it's gonna be fun. When I bought the four wheeler I was thinking of snow, that was two years ago. Hell the only reason I have had extra days the last few years at the end of the year is the no snow factor.

Everybody here knows if it snows I ain't even calling out. I am gonna be playing........

Now all I need is snow....... Please, please please let it snow..............

                        Makes you think about being a kid again don't it.............

Monday, January 13, 2014

By Myself ,,,,,,,

Yesterday we had the Panthers playoff game and the Winter Short track Series started. One made a big difference in the traffic count,the other just made a difference in weather or not I had a riding partner. I waited till 12;30 to hit the road and I put down 2:05 in time and a 16.3 average speed.

Nothing fancy but it was a good ride. Good because it rained all day Saturday and I just wanted to be out. The sun felt amazing. The wind was a little stronger than I would have preferred but when you turned the corner and went the right direction, you flew then!

I watched football Saturday and I like the Panthers but they aren't my favorite team. So I figured I could head out and get home in time for the end of the game. Guess what, as I said I left at 12:30 and rode for 2:05. By the time I got home and came in and changed, I sat down and it was still halftime! So I still watched the last half of the game. I would have liked to see them win but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Maybe next year.

Next week will be the good games! I can't wait to see the Patriots and the Broncos go at it again. I will be there for that!

Now back to the bike. Saturday while it rained all day I took a trip. I went to town and toured a few bike shops. The reason I did was because I need a new road bike. Right now I ride a 22 year old frame, a Bridgestone. They stopped making bikes around 91-92. I was riding a Motobecane that I bought back in 2007.

About 2 years ago I cracked the frame on the Motobecane and stripped all the parts off it. I did the same to the Bridgestone and put the two together. Bam, I had a classic steel frame with all new Ultegra parts and Vuelta wheels. It rides like a dream. The only thing is it's kinda heavy. Not that big of deal but a little more than I like to push when I ride with a group. It's 24 pounds. That's a lot for a road bike.

When I am out by myself it doesn't matter, but when I ride with a group I tend to run out of energy a little sooner than everybody else. Most everybody else is riding a bike that weights in around 17 to 18 pounds. Anyway now that I have been riding the road more and plan to do a lot more road riding I decided to get a new bike.

After looking at everything I decided to go with the Cannondale Cad 10. It's an aluminum bike with a carbon fork. I had them change out the rear cassette to make it easier on the climbs and it has the compact crank. With pedals it weighs in at 18 pounds!

It's black and yellow, I can pick it up Wednesday.......

I can't wait, I haven't had a new bike in a few years..... Some people love new cars, I love new bikes.........

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Get Ready ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

That's right! "Get Ready"!

We had thunder yesterday while it was raining! According to old superstitions " if you have thunder in January or February you will have snow with in a week"!

I have my fingers crossed, let's wait and see........

Friday, January 10, 2014

Blind Sided ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Didn't see that coming? I went to let the dog out this morning and noticed the step was wet. So being the top shelf detective I am I flip on the outside lights and notice it's raining. Where the hell did that come from? I swear last time I looked at the weather it didn't show rain.

Yet here we have rain. Again....

After I bitched and moaned about being tired yesterday I woke up and was looking forward to the weekend. Now I just hope to see the end of the day! As I said before, I sell construction material. When it rains nobody works, when nobody works my phone doesn't ring. When nobody works and my phone doesn't ring I get really bored! My 7 and a half hour a day job turns into 24 hours!

You see construction type people don't like to work in the rain. If it rains on a middle of the week day they will bitch about it but most go ahead and try to work at least a little. If It rains on a Friday, forget it the day is over! Nobody is gonna get out of bed early and go work in the rain on Friday. The only calls I get are to hold up loads till the first of the week.

Then Monday comes and everybody wants there shit first. So I get to sit here all day and stare at the big front window, then Monday the phone will ring off the hook with pissed off people! People who where to lazy to get out of bed on Friday! I would rather it rained the first half of the week than the last half. Believe me, I have been in this business for the better part of 25 years. It never changes.....

My favorite saying, that I will use at least twice a week...... Lake of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!!!!!!!!

Get up and go to work........

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Already ,,,,,,,,,,,

You come back to work and before you know it, it's already Friday! I haven't ridden all week. I realized that last night on the way home. As I was thinking that, I thought I could get my stuff together and be in the woods about 6pm. At 6pm the wife came home from work to find me laying on the couch asleep.

So much for a ride! With taking two weeks off going back to work has been an ass kicker. I have been worn out, and last night it caught up to me. I went home and took a nap, then took Chase to church. Came home and laid around till time to pick him up at 8:45. Came home and went to bed.

What a night!

Just getting back into the swing of things at work and the cold weather has taken a toll on me. I got a lot of riding in over the two weeks off so I don't feel so bad about being lazy this week. But next week I have got to get back at it. Of course they are calling for rain this weekend again so we have to work around that, but otherwise the temps are going back up. At least to a range I am used too.

I wasn't kidding about moving to Pasadena, I need heat.....

Overall everybody is tired, just the drain from the holidays. It's not just my family I think everybody needs a break. Speaking of that, I walked into a CVS yesterday and they had Valentines stuff out! I wanted to throw up! I could see putting the stuff out about 2 weeks before the day but a full 6 weeks. That ain't right....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Maybe,,,,, Not !!!!!

OK it's been cold here for 2 days. I grew up in Kentucky so I am used to the cold. I wasn't gonna talk about the cold this week seeing how everybody and there brother are talking about it. But guess what? I can't take it anymore! It's damn cold and I am a wuss now!

I moved here so long ago I forgot how cold is cold. This is cold, really cold. I don't like really cold any longer. I am just gonna go ahead and admit it. I watched the college football championship Monday night and those people where sitting there in short sleeves. That was Pasadena California, I am now envious!

I want heat. I want short sleeves!

Had enough, enough of my whining...........

See ya tomorrow,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

205 !!!!!!!!!!!!

Not the freeway either!!!!!!!! That's my magic number, last year I exercised 205 days out of 365! That includes swimming running and biking. I didn't bother to track which one I did which day so I don't know how many of each.

I know I only ran maybe 10-15 days at the most. That includes the Cooper River Bridge Run and the other hand full of foot races I did. I probably went fifty-fifty on the swimming and riding. Back at the first of last year I went through a spell of swimming just about everyday for a while. Then I got bored staring at the bottom of the pool and I haven't been in months.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the swimming but it just isn't my thing. Swimming is more of a solo type sport than a social type sport. In other words it's hard to talk when your under water! Running, it just sucks period! I tried to get into it a little back in the spring but just couldn't manage it. It's no fun. At least to me anyway. I can always say I ran the Cooper River Run but that's it. Plus I finished 2nd in my age group at a four mile run here in Charlotte.

Biking was recreational except for the Jerredon Mtn Challenge back in July. I managed to finish in the top 100 but that ain't saying much we only had 150 people in the race. The rest of my riding was all for fun.

Now for this year.... If I don't take up swimming again it might be kinda hard to match that number. "205" is a lot! So far out of the first 7 days I have ridden 3. With the weather it might be Saturday before I can get back out. Although a night ride could be in order over the next few days. It would be cold but fun.

I might try to add a few more races in the total this year. That figure kinda needs worked on.....

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fail !!!!!!!!

All dressed up and no place to go! That and "Fail" pretty much sums up my day yesterday. I sat around in the morning and finally decided the rain had to be over. I got a shower and got all my cold weather riding gear on and headed out the door.

I made it to the garage and the bottom fell out of the sky! Just like that it started to rain. No other warning, just boom and it was raining. I guess I could have considered the look of the sky a warning but when I want to ride I tend to ignore the obvious.

So back in the house and check the weather. A normal person might have done that before they started to get ready but I am not normal. All the weather channel did was confirm it was raining and gonna rain for awhile. So I sat around in all my clothes for about thirty minutes whining about the rain before I finally went and changed.

Then I got bored real quick and decided to fix the garage door. The auto open thing quit working about 2 years ago but it didn't really matter till I brought home Karen's new car. Now she wants to park it in the garage, and of course she doesn't want to get out every time and open the door  before pulling in.

Trying to nice and get her a car for Christmas and look what it's caused me! More work, and money! Yea' have you priced a new garage door opener lately! I go to Lowes and I can buy the whole new garage door opener, track chain everything for 180 and then a replacement remote will cost you 40 bucks by it's self!!!!!

So after a little grumbling about the remote I bought one and went home and programmed it and she's good to go.

No ride! A trip to Lowes, and a little beer and football. That pretty much finished my day.......

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Good Ride............

After my post this morning I loaded up and went to Rocky River Trail. It was 28 degrees when I left and 33 when I got home! By far the coldest ride of the year..

The place was packed! When I got there a big group was fixing to start and here it is the coldest riding day of the year.

After yesterday and feeling like I was doing wrong! Here I am pulling in the parking lot and it already feels like it's gonna be a good ride! That's the way it should feel when you get to a trail!

I hit the woods and it was on! I made it in the woods before the group and did the first section then turned around and did the same section a second time. That way I would be coming up behind the group. Kind of like a carrot to chase down!

That's what I did, I caught them right about the time we reached the big climb, "no name". Yep that's the name of it! From there it was kick it to the parking lot! All said and done I spent just shy of 2 hours riding and enjoyed every minute of it!!!!

Now we get another rainy Sunday......

Try Again...........

Yesterday I decided to head out for a ride. Yep it was cold and yep it rained the day before. But it was frozen! The ground was solid as a rock!

So I went to Beatty Park, it's a short trail and it weathers pretty good. Plus it's the closest one to the house. I get there and head out, I have my new Pogies to try out. That was the main reason I went.

They are these hand covers for really cold weather.

So the trail is solid and I am moving along. The Pogies work great! I do one lap and head to the truck. One lap that's it. We used to race the summer series there every year. I used to like this trail, I liked it because I won my class there several times! Plus it was close and it used to be fun.

Now it sucks! It's only like 6 miles long and you need to ride like 3 laps to get a good workout. The only problem is the place is as rough as I have ever seen it. About a year or so ago a new group of people took over the trail maintenance.

For the last year they have done a lot of work there. The only problem is they have only done work on this one little half mile section. I guess that's not true, they have added a few bridges here and there in some low areas but overall the root count is just way to high.

On top of that the new guy is a syco. He thinks he owns the place. A public park, and he is like crazy over it. He has confronted people when they showed up to ride and he thought the trail should be closed, plus he will post videos of people being there when he felt they shouldn't. That's just wrong!

We have a local website where you can go to see if the trails are open or not and we have a general rule of "wait 24 hours after a rain". Not everybody knows about the site, yet he will post you up on there and talk smack about you. I wonder how people would feel if they knew he did that. What a great ambassador for the club.

Now granted I haven't always been the best at respecting the rule but I am really making an effort to be more courteous and respectful of the work the club does. Plus I like one of the guys who really goes above and beyond for the Charlotte trail scene, and he's like the president of the club now.

He writes a blog too. Check it out.

OK back to the new guy. He actually will tell you "he opened the trail" when it's open. Some where along the way I think we have crossed a line as far as trail coordinator and a weirdo! Yesterday all this just seemed to be on my mind as I rode.

The ground was frozen and it was early. The website even said it was open till 2:30pm. He posted that, now we have time limits on when you can ride the trail. So anyhow as I rode every time I meet someone walking or running I wondered if I was gonna get confronted for being there. It was just a weird feeling!

We had other trail coordinators posting up telling people to go ride while it was frozen and that's what I was doing. Yet I felt like I was doing something wrong.

I am gonna miss Beatty, I have a lot of fond memories from the place. It's actually the first trail I rode 6 years ago when I started riding again. I still remember that ride! Every last minute of it!

Yet now it's changed.... I miss gramps! He used to take care of the place and we had no drama, none at all.....

Maybe I will "Try Again" at some point but for now I think I will move along........

The reason for this post is two things. First I work in Matthews and I had a customer come in recently who rides very little and he was confronted one day recently by this individual. My customer had no ideal about the website you can check. He knows I ride and he brought this up. Asking me if I knew the guy. He said he was considering calling the park service and complaining.

That's not good for the club!

Second the forum section of the clubs website is the last place you could bring this up. The attitude on there can be really hateful! It's full of keyboard cowboys! I can post here because it's my blog, if I don't like the comments I get I can delete them................

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Work Sucks !!!!!!!!!!

Going back is really gonna suck!!!! Yep I have been off since the 23rd and I go back on the 6th. That's almost 2 solid weeks, Christmas came and went. New Years came and went. A bunch of days came and went.

I like to think I used every one of them to the best of my ability. I have ridden I have done stuff around the house. Generally it's been a good break! But I still have 3 more to go! Well deserved days by the way!

I rode this morning with Kelly, we did Rocky River Trail. He goes back to work tomorrow so I am on my own. Besides it's gonna be like 10 degrees for the high tomorrow. I will ride though, I want to do a road ride but I will probably be in the woods.

As Kelly said this morning, I would rather ride in the woods at 10 miles an hour for 20 miles than ride on the road at 20 miles an hour for 40 miles! Makes sense, I don't really like being frozen.

Besides I got some new Pogies for Christmas, I am ready to try them. They are these giant covers that cover your hands when you ride. So your hands stay warm. Nothing sucks worse than not being able to feel your hands!

I like my fingers! I only have 10 and plan to keep all of them. Bring on the cold!!!!!!!

So that's the plan for tomorrow, then I have Saturday and Sunday. I plan to go back on Monday worn out. No other option, you don't take time off to rest! If you do you just wasted your time...

Nuff' said................

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year !!!!!!!!!

We last chatted on Sunday, the 29th. Monday came and we loaded up and went to the mountains! Yep we spent New Years Eve in Saluda! A nice quite couple of days in our favorite small mountain town. I know every time we go I come on here and tell everybody you need to check it out sometime.

But you do! It's nothing fancy but it has it's own unique charm. We are lucky enough to have friends who own a house right there in town and we can walk anywhere we want once we get there. My favorite part of the town is the fact it has no "commercialization".

The closest thing they have to that would be Dollar General Store out near the highway. Besides that it's all locally owned stores and business's. You can't beat the charm.

For New Years Eve we went to Asheville and had a good dinner at the Mellow Mushroom. Then spent a little time walking around checking out the street performers and trying to stay warm. Once we were all chilled we headed back to Saluda and watched the ball drop in Times Square. Kind of low key but perfect if you ask me.

We got out of town for a few days and enjoyed the mountains. We spent time with our kids and had no video games to distract them. It's amazing how they can go with us up there and they relax and enjoy the same things we do. The peace and quite! It's like they look at Saluda as a novelty, it being so quite and such a slower pace.

Now for the ride! Bicycling Magazine listed the Green River Cove climb as one of the top ten climbs in the country last year and that just happens to be about a mile and a half from where we always stay. I have been waiting for the chance to do it and it finally came. Sort of....

Well we get there and Paula our friend, had picked up some cycling literature for me. It listed a few really good rides from downtown Saluda. One being a 25 mile loop that included the climb I wanted to do. My plan had been to just do a 10 mile out and back that included the climb. I was going to go down it and then at 10 miles turn around and go back up it.

Well when I got to the 10 mile mark I was enjoying the ride so much I decided to just keep going and do the full loop. Besides I had just descended about a 1000 feet in 2 miles and I wasn't even sure I could ride up it anyway. Plus I knew I was in the valley bottom with the river and I knew I would have to climb back out somewhere!

Damn was I right!!!!! Two different times I had to stop and push my bike up the road! It was that steep!!! No Joke!! Other times I was moving so slow I probably could have walked and made better time. I was literally just trying to keep turning over the pedals. It's amazing how when you tackle a road like that and then hit a "regular climb" how much easier those are.

When it was all said and done I had ridden 25 miles and climbed 2546 feet! Total time was just over 2 hours and I had an average speed of 12.3 miles an hour. According to Strava the bicycle website I had crossed through 3 different timed segments. Of the few people who have done this ride I wasn't last!!!!!!

I sure as hell wasn't at the top of the list but I wasn't at the very bottom...... Close but not all the way...

I did learn a few things. 1) I need to change up my gearing on my bike. My gears are to tall, or to hard for riding in the mountains on a regular basis. 2) They don't call it the mountains for nothing...

I can't wait to do it again! I now have a bench mark, personal time to beat.........