Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Night Ride ,,,,,,,,,,,,

Last night, no! Tonight yes! Of course it rained all day yesterday and the trails where wet, Rocky River was open but that was about it. I just couldn't get my shit together for that so I worked on the road bike. I now have it lite up like a Christmas tree!

Tonight will be my first annual fall night road ride! By myself! Kelly is out of town and I can't seem to find anyone else. Tonight I ride!! It's always a sign of fall when you have to break out the lights. I like that, plus it was nice and cool on the motorcycle coming in this morning. Yep, we are back on the bike again!

                                      As long as the weather holds the bike will roll!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

12 Weeks-5 Days ,,,,,,,,,,,,

Yep I checked this morning! That's how long we have till Christmas. I like to be ready and prepared, I started my shopping all ready. So far I have one gift bought and hidden! By the time everybody else starts going nuts with their shopping I will so be done!

Now for the here and now. The weekend came and I got out Saturday for a couple of hours then the same Sunday. The wife went to Kinston to see her brother and she came home yesterday afternoon. It was the kids and I all weekend so not much happened. A lot of house work and a little yard work. I knew she didn't want to come home to a disaster Sunday so I tried to stay on top of things.

Saturday I did my usual lap out toward Pageland and back, except I did it backwards. Nothing special just different, I came through Wingate while they were having a football game and that got me to thinking. I live 8 miles from the campus but I never even think of the entertainment value it could provide. We need to go to a game and check things out.

One funny thing happened while I was out, I was about 3 miles from the house when I came up to a stop sign. I just happened to look up and I saw a rider coming toward me. Where I live in Unionville you hardly ever see anyone riding, and when you do it's usually someone you know. So I waited! Well the came came up to sign across from me and never even acknowledged me!

He turned and took off. I said hi and he just looked at me and kept going! At first I just stood there and thought what a jerk! He was on one of those high end time trail bikes, the ones you are all hunched over on. I guess I was about to "ruin" his training ride. So I just shook my head and started pedaling. So as I pedaled along I could see him just up the road and he was in his "training" position.

I was just gonna let him go when I had a change of heart! He was killing it trying to go as fast as he could on the downhill and I was just cruising along. I knew I only had about 3 miles to go and who knows where he was heading. I put my head down and started riding as hard as I could! We had one climb on that road and it was coming quick. At the stop sign about a mile ahead he had two option as far as which way to go. I liked both ways!

I almost had him by the time we got to the sign and he turned left. I was hoping for that! We now had the wind to our backs and a long straight road ahead! It was on! I caught him about a half mile later, I went by at 28 miles an hour. He was probably cruising at 20! I knew he would be turning on the next road to the right so I did too. I stood up and crushed the first climb and over the second I finally let up and looked back. He was just coming over the first one at that point so I let up and went on home.

I did say hi went I went by him but I didn't say bye, I got a kick out it the whole scenario. Usually about this time of year I tend to kick back a little and try to enjoy the rides more for the time of year than just for the shear benefit of "training". Since I don't really have anything to train for anyway it's nice to slow down and see the signs of fall.

I doubt he even thought he was being rude but I took it that way. It doesn't hurt to say hi once in awhile, especially out in the middle of nowhere.........

Friday, September 26, 2014

I Guess I Needed A Break .............

I must have needed one because that's what I got! The weather has been shitty all week so no riding at all. I had plans and the weatherman kept saying tomorrow, tomorrow, but he's been wrong all week. Plus I may have talked it up but when it's time to suit up and head out of the garage. I just can't seem to make myself do it.

It's one thing to get caught in the rain or be at work and need to suit up to get home, but to suit up and head to work! That's a little harder to do. Especially when you have a perfectly good car sitting 10 feet away. This week has turned out to be a bust!

Plus I had plans to head south to ride some really sweet trails I have never been to and then that fell apart. My brother in law is sick and the wife is going to see him. How dare him! Although I do hope he gets better soon, he's had a rough week!

So life moves on..............

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Other 2 Wheels,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

With the arrival of the cooler weather and the first official day of fall I started riding the motorcycle this week. I like this time of year just because. If you own a motorcycle you always look forward to fall. Plus it's always an adventure! Even though I have a stereo system I tend to ride without ever turning it on. About the only time the radio gets used is when the wife rides along. I like to hear and see all the sights and sounds. The radio is a distraction, but it's nice to have when the wife is along.

Well today is only Wednesday and the adventure has started already! Keep in mind I have pretty much ridden all summer long but it's been hit or miss. If the weather has been hot I haven't ridden, if they where calling for afternoon showers I didn't ride. But with fall I kinda start my daily riding. So Monday I rolled out the bike and got ready to head out the door.

As I stood there closing the garage door the right head light burned out! Literally, it burned out as I was looking at it. What are the odds of that happening. The bike is 10 years old and has 23000 miles on it and I just happened to be looking at it when the light quit working. So I hit up the local Honda dealer on the way home, $21 bucks later and I had a new light. I changed it and was ready to roll with full lights again.

Then yesterday I rode to work and the weather was calling for cool and clear. Guess what it started raining about noon and it was really raining when I left work at 4! I had to break out the rain suit! I haven't ridden in the rain in years. Yes I have gotten caught a few times here and there but that's the first time I needed a rain suit in years. As I stood under the side building getting ready to leave work I had to chuckle.

Then as I was rolling along at 70 miles an hour on 485 I was smiling, I was snug as the old bug in a rug! I had forgotten how comfortable the suit was. I was warm and dry and it was raining, I was riding my motorcycle in the rain! I wasn't stuck in a car and I wasn't worried about my hair! The rain was coming down and people where looking at me like they felt sorry for me.

Truth is, I felt sorry for them! I was warm and dry and in my own little world. It might have been raining and I might have looked like I was getting wet and the truth is my rain suit was getting wet but I wasn't! I got home and pulled in the garage, I took off my suit and was as dry as I had been all day. The only reason I didn't ride in today (in the rain) was the fact I went ahead and re-treated my rain suit with Scotch Guard last night. It has to hang dry for at least 24 hours to get the full effects.

                                             It's gonna be a fun fall....................

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Now What ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I need a plan! Over the last 2 months we have been to the beach for a week and then 3 different weekends. Followed by my mountain trip. Now we have nothing to do for the next few weeks. Last Friday I was kinda dreading going to the beach, I thought I wanted a break!

Now this weekend is here and I have nothing to do and now I want something to do. I just thought I wanted a break! The thought of going nowhere this weekend scares me! I might half to hit Uhwarrie, I haven't been over there in several months.

Besides it's only 45 miles away and the mountains are like 150......... Plus Uhwarrie has a lot of climbing so I might as well head east.......... I want to ride the mountain bike for some reason.......

Monday, September 22, 2014

Go Figure ,,,,,,,,,,

That was the exact words out of my mouth yesterday afternoon. We went down to the beach for the weekend and knew we needed to come back early Sunday. Just so we could get the kids and everything ready for the first of the week. It was a quick trip, nothing fancy.

It didn't really even go as planned. We had planned to enjoy a day on the beach Saturday and then get up and come home. We got down there Friday night at 9pm and hit the bed shortly after. Saturday morning we got up to an overcast and grey day with a lot of wind. The weather forecast called for the clouds to break so we got ready and headed for the beach.

After a nice stroll we returned to our spot in the sand and proceeded to wrap up in towels and try to stay warm! It was on the chilly side! I took a good nap and Karen read for awhile, after about an hour and a half we decided to call it a day and head to the pier. The pier has a bar/restaurant!

A few drinks and an early dinner, we called it a day. Back to the room fairly early and that was the day. We got up early yesterday and where home by noon. Funny thing is it was beautiful when we left! But it is what it is, we struck out this time. But at least I got to spend the weekend at the beach.

Since we got home so early I had time for a bike ride. The only problem was the wind was kicking! I mean it was really blowing! But I wanted to ride and I didn't feel like loading the mountain bike up and going anywhere so I decided to tough it out.

Now for the "Go Figure" part, I knew it was gonna be a slow ride and I just really wanted to put in a few miles. So I left the house planning to ride in the little front ring and just enjoy it for what it was. Of course I didn't make it a mile and the battery died on my computer. Usually that would have mad me made but I figured it didn't really matter since I wasn't planning to worry about my speed or time. I didn't even plan on a long ride just a lap around the Unionville area.

Well I did my lap and I did have the clock on the computer, it was working so I knew how long I had been gone. I got home and I had almost one hour. I checked my phone to see what my stats on Strava where and low and behold I had my usual 16.5 miles an hour! I did a 16 mile loop and averaged the same thing I seem to always average! I spun the whole time and never really even tried to work hard.

I never attacked any of the hills and didn't even try to kick it on the down hills. I even coasted on several of the down hills, and still had my usual pace. Lesson learned.......

                                                  "Go Figure"

Saturday, September 20, 2014


So this is a first . I am posting this from my phone...... Not to easy...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

On The Money !!!!!!!!!!!!

Without killing myself I can go out and my hourly pace will be a tad over 15 miles an hour. I get in 2 hours and I will have 33 or 34 miles. "On The Money", every time! The only problem I am running into now is the daylight. The fading! Last night it was damn near dark when I was the last 4 miles.

Granted I got a late start, I needed a break before I headed out. AKA I took a nap! So I hit the road at a little after 5, I got in 34 miles and it was about dark. I guess I need lights! To me that's a sign of fall, I like that. Every year I get a little giddy when the weather starts to cool down and you see a pumpkin or two at the store.

Yep, I saw my first pumpkin over the weekend! Halloween is right around the corner, followed by the holidays. Of course I will be just like everybody else when spring comes, ready for winter to be over. But when the seasons change it's always neat. It reminds me of growing up, I always liked fall. With school starting and football, everything in general is just cool about fall.

I look forward to the cool nights and getting to use a fire pit! Cody even came home with a trailer full of wood last might. He dropped a dead tree over at my mother in laws and split it, loaded it and brought it back to the house. We have a pile ready for the pit!

                                                                     Change is cool.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Looking Ahead ,,,,,,,,,,

That's what I am doing today! I didn't ride Sunday, with getting home and all the unpacking. Then Monday rolled around and I got the yard caught up. We have friends in town and that covered last night. We also have the weather that's been a mess the last few days so riding has been out! Although I am ready and willing to hit the road!

After the weekend and how strong I felt I am ready to get back out! It kinda renews your interest when you put in a good ride, you want to get back at it. Heck I am already looking into when I can get back up to the mountains for a few days. I have never been to DuPont State Forest and I want change that.

They have like a hundred miles of trails up there but a lot of them are short. In other words there are a lot of intersections, and trail names. That will make it kinda confusing the first few rides but I will figure it out. Usually after a few rides I can get around a trail system rather well. I just need a few rides.

                                            It's time to start figuring it out! I like new challenges!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Now I Need New Mountain Friends ,,,,,,,,,,,,

Maybe I should start trolling on Craigslist, that might be a good place to find new "mountain friends". Or at least I know I will find weird people! All B-S aside I do need to make friends up in the Asheville area, preferably friends with a house and a shower. Or at least a yard to sleep in, that would work half the year.

Point is I want to do more riding in the mountains and I don't want to pay for a hotel every time I go. Plus camping can kinda be a pain. I don't mind camping but it sucks when the rain comes down. Plus as I said it's gonna get cold before long and I am not and never have been a fan of the cold.

                                           But for 22.00 dollars it's the best deal. I like deals!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oops '''''''''''''

Sorry, that's the longest between posts I have ever gone. Even when I am on vacation I do a better job! Last week was busy here at work and I was off on Friday so before I even realized we are on a new week. My bad I will get back on track!

So to catch up, I spent the majority of my week last week getting ready for my mountain bike trip. The annual fall guys trip. Probably the last one I will make! We'll get back to that shortly though. I only got one ride in all last week and then I had to tend to the yard. Not much to talk about. Regular life stuff!

Now for the trip, the good part was all the riding I have been doing really paid off! I was strong all weekend, I got in 5 hours of riding on Friday and then about the same on Saturday. We had 2 guys who came up for the day Saturday who where really strong so I had someone to ride with all day. Friday I was on my own but still managed to get about 30 miles in.

             All the fire road climbing and straight up trails, I was killing it! That made me want to go back.

Now for the bad part! As I said this is and was our "annual" fall trip. In other words I have been before. No I am not the ring leader or the organizer, nor am I one of the originals. I have even taken my oldest son Cody along before and we had a great time. Last year I missed the trip because of inventory at work and some how the dynamics changed.

Yes things change and people change but for the most part this group has stayed pretty much the same. When I started going there where 5 of us and they were really good guys. Now It has changed. One guy doesn't ride anymore and one moved away. Some how there 2 spots got filled with 3 other guys who must not get to come out and play very often.

The mellow group that I enjoyed and even brought my son along with has changed! I wouldn't want my kid around the group that came this weekend for anything. Even the mellow guys who still came seemed to get a little noisy and rowdy. I have always gotten a separate camp site anyway just because I was the last to join the group and all the sleeping arrangements where already squared away.

This year I was REALLY glad I did. Before it's always been ride during the day and then have a few beers around the fire at night. With good conversation and fun times. This year was way to much loud music and the conversations where on the college frat house level. I disappeared about 8 Friday night and it wasn't much later than that Saturday night.

I woke up ready to ride and feeling great on Saturday morning and then had to wait on a bunch of dumb ass's who drank to much. I would have enjoyed it more if I had just taken the wife and went up for a quite weekend with a few rides thrown in. Thank goodness the other 2 guys came or I wouldn't have had anyone to ride with.

The rest of the crowd would ride for 30 minutes then stand around for 20 talking about how bad they felt. Not my style....

                    To sum things up and leave you with a laugh, take a minute to think about this.....

One guy stood around all weekend talking about how he was a vegetarian and how he quit smoking 3 years ago! He smoked 3 packs of cigarettes in 2 days and ate hamburgers and hot dogs all weekend......

                                 I bet when he got home he told the wife a different story............

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Damascus Va.,,,,, Trail Town USA ..............

As I said, I could hang out there about every weekend! Sunday I only spent about 30 minutes there and meet 2 very interesting people. I could only imagine who you would run into if you hung out for any amount of time. Everybody that walked by said hi and seemed to be in a good mood. It seemed to be a very relaxed place to be.

First person: The Appalachian Trail comes right down main street and as I stood there at the intersection of main and Hwy 58, they have a nice information kiosk there, a lady in her seventies came walking up. She had a backpack on that was damn near as tall as she was! That's right she was walking the Appalachian Trail!! At seventy two years old!

She was headed to a hostel there in town and planned to take a few days rest. We chatted for about 10 minutes and she was a delight to talk to. Of course she was retired and decided she wanted a challenge. She had been sick back in the spring and had gotten a late start this year, she knew she wouldn't be able to walk it all in one year anyway so she went ahead and started late.

She planned to hike as far as the weather would allow this year and then spend the winter at her sisters house in Maryland. Then in the spring she was gonna start again and hopefully finish next year! That's one BAS-ASS grandma!!! I hope and pray I have her motivation at 72 years old. She was A hoot to talk too..

Then as I went to head back to Abington I had a fellow biker flag me down. I had already pedaled about 4 miles back up the trail, I had seen him taking a nap on a bench on my way down so I didn't bother him then. But he was awake and had been following about an hour behind me when we meet. He wanted to know how far it was to Damascus.

He was riding a fully loaded Surly touring bike and had a heavy accent. He was from England and had been on the road for a full 5 years! He was on a full world tour, the final leg! He planned to be in Nova Scotia Canada in about 3 more months and then he was going home. Said his mom missed him and was ready to go. It had been a wonderful adventure and he loved every minute of it.

He had been in the states for 7 months came from South America. He had been through the Middle East, Southeast Asia the African Continent, New Zealand, Australia Mexico everywhere!!!! We chatted for about 30 minutes.

Again, I was envious!! That man had done more and seen more than probably anyone I have ever met! I can only imagine the memories he has.

                                                      Damascus is the bomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's A Myth !!!!!!!!!!!

I found out yesterday the Virginia Department of Tourism is kinda telling a story! My wife had something she needed to tend to yesterday (a funeral) and I tagged along. It just happened to be in Marion Virginia and that's about 27 miles north of Abington Virginia.

The start or finish of the Virginia Creeper Trail. I have heard about this trail for years and always wanted to check it out. From what I understood it's supposed to be all down hill. It ain't! Now I didn't do that much checking before I went except for finding which exit she could dump me off at and where the trail started in Abington. Turns out it starts only about a mile off the interstate so that worked out great. We stopped at a gas station at exit 17 on I81 and I pedaled from there to the start.

The plan was to pedal up to Damascus and back to Abington. I knew I would be going uphill to Damascus but I didn't plan to be going uphill halfway back to Abington. Guess what, that's what you do! I hung out in Damascus for awhile killing time and then headed back to meet the wife. While I was there I learned that the half of trail I was doing is in deed kinda of bowl shaped. If you really want to do the all down hill section you take a shuttle from Damascus up to the top and then that 17 mile section is all down hill back to Damascus.

Even though it's slightly uphill it's still not hard, you only have about a 1% grade so it's easy. I ended up with a 34 mile trail ride and a couple of town miles. It was really neat to see all the old railroad trestles and to be back in the woods. I was kinda surprised at the amount of people I passed. All shapes and sizes, people where out in full force enjoying the day.

Every trail head parking lot was pretty much full! If you have never been it's worth the trip at least once. It can be ridden on pretty much any type bike. A road bike with skinny tires would suck but any thing else will work. there are sections you are literally riding through some ones backyard or a field full of cows. They have gates that you open and close on those sections but it's really cool that so many land owners have allowed the trail to come across their property.

I doubt you could ever make that happen in the Charlotte area. People around here just wouldn't do it. It works there though. I even passed a couple of properties you could actually see in the house! They are that close to the trail. There where even a few properties for sale. That would be pretty neat to own a house with that in your backyard!

Plus when you go through the little community of Alvarado there is a store and restaurant that sells beer and wine. That was neat, you could stop and have lunch and enjoy a beer if you like. Then you have the town of Damascus, Trail Town USA. That is the nickname for it, the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Creeper Trail plus the Trans-America bicycle route come through town. Hence the nickname!

Tomorrow I will tell ya about it!!!!! I could hang out there every weekend people watching.....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Got It !!!!!!!!

With the weather here lately I try to get a ride in when I have the opportunity. Night before last it didn't workout, last night it did. I could see a storm back toward the west and it was even sprinkling when I left work. When I got home 18 miles from here and to the east. It was sunny and no rain.

You could still see the storms the other direction but it looked safe. I figured what's the worst that could happen, I get caught in the rain. So out the door I went! I ended the evening with 37 miles and a good ride, I even found a few wet roads from rain but I never found the rain.

That was a good ride. Now I have the weekend and a few rides planned. I might even tackle the Morrow mountain ride out of Locust tomorrow. My buddy Sonny called last night and asked if I wanted to try it tomorrow. He has done it a few times and this is the last scheduled ride of the summer. I have wanted to do it for a while so I am running out of excuses. Round trip it's 55 miles so I know I can do it, I just don't want embarrass myself.

If they have 60 people show up I sure don't want to finish last! Sonny seems to think I would be fine so it looks like that will start my day. Then a recovery ride Sunday and I will be back at 170 miles a week. Right now I have 73.8 so far this week.

                                                                      I'm on a roll.......

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hate That !!!!!!!!

Yesterday just went down as a day that just sucked! Work was a zoo all day and I skipped riding the motorcycle to work because they where calling for rain. Then it never came, I could have riden but didn't. I washed the bike and then it sat in the garage.

I came home and figured at least I will be able to ride. I then went in the house and got ready to ride. When I came out guess what it was raining! I was already suited up and ready to ride, shoes and all. So then I hit the couch and figured it would quit shortly and I would be able to ride. Almost 2 hours later I gave up and went to the bedroom to change again!

Plus I now needed a shower, I didn't ride but I still needed a shower. That sucked too, the reason was because of course I put on chamois cream! So after sitting there for 2 hours and watching it rain I had to take a shower. What a great ride!!

Oh well, Karen fixed dinner and I got in a good nap. Maybe things where meant to be, you never know. On the plus side, I have all my stuff ready for today. If the rain will hold off!

I did ride the motorcycle though, and I brought the rain suit..................

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let's Do It Again !!!!!!!!!!!

Do what you say? Well last Friday evening the wife and I where sitting on the couch and she said: "why not go to the beach tomorrow". My reply, "why not"! So we got up at 5am and were out the door by 6am. On the beach at 9 and there we stayed the rest of the day.

About 6 we headed to a public parking area, one with a shower and got cleaned up. 7pm we where on the road and heading home, 10pm we arrived and that was the day. I can't even remember the last time we did a day beach trip but we will be doing it again! We had a ball, I don't mind driving back and forth in the same day. We had lunch and dinner and spent the day playing in the sand.

Then I spent the rest of the weekend riding my bike and that was about it. Now we are heading for the holidays! Yep I said it! It won't be long before Thanksgiving is here..........