Friday, October 31, 2014

It's Already Started !!!!!!

My worrying over weather or not I want to do any races next year! The reason for this is every year I hear about how great the 6hr Warrior Creek is and this weekend is the sign ups. You have about 15 minutes to sign up and then it's sold out! No kidding it sells out that fast!

It's November and I don't even know which bike I want to ride tomorrow, much less if I want to race a race in April! Tomorrow morning will come and go and then I will walk around feeling like I missed out for a few days and then I will move on. Every year I go through this and then every spring I wish I had signed up.

Maybe tomorrow will be different, doubtful but maybe.

Anyhow I rode Monday with the kid right after work and I haven't touched the bike sense. I have everything ready to go I just haven't made a trip. Maybe today I will go out but if I don't no worries. They claim we are gonna have crappy weather tomorrow but I just don't see that happening.

Tomorrow I plan to do a road ride, the first one of fall! Hopefully the sun will be shining, but if it isn't no sweat I will be out anyway. If we have rain I will be heading to Cheraw to ride the sandy single track! Raining is the best time to ride there so either way I am gonna have a great day!

                                     Now do I want to race or not!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

8'oclock,,,,,,,,,, and Over Dressed,,,,,,,,,,

Let's start with the "8'oclock". The other day I was talking to my buddy and he was about to mow his yard, nothing special about that except it was 7pm. I asked if he had lights on his mower, he said no. He was gonna wear his bicycle helmet with his light attached! Made since to me!

So last night I got home and it being a rest day I did a few things around the house. I ran a few errands and then came home. We stood outside and waited for the rocket to launch also. If you don't know what I am talking about NASA was launching a rocket last night and if you stood outside and looked to the northeast you were gonna be able to see it. Well it blew up and we didn't get to see it!

                  The only good thing about that story is that it was an unmanned rocket so no one was hurt...

By the time I got around to mowing my yard it was well past dark. I came in the house wearing my bicycle helmet with the light strapped on and the wife thought I was crazy! It worked out perfect! Why hadn't I thought of that! Those lights are good for many things, just because it's dark outside doesn't mean the day is done! Hell I was having so much fun being outside with the weather being so nice and mild I went ahead and washed one of the cars and rinsed off the other one.

I stirred up a bunch of dust mowing! I was having fun! The neighbors where probably wondering what I was doing but hell it's my world....

Now for the "Over Dressed" part. After a good nights sleep, I was worn out from being outside so late. I got up this morning and decided to ride the motorcycle to work. They are predicting a 55 percent chance of rain today but what the hell I still have a 45 percent chance it doesn't rain at all. I rolled the dice, I like the odds. I like to use the baseball batting average comparison.

If I played baseball and I had a life time batting average of 45 percent they would rename the hall of fame after me! So those odds make sense to me! Ride Baby!! BUT,,,, this morning I "Overdressed". It was 60 degrees out and I still dressed like it was 40. Why, I don't know but I was toasty warm. On the really cold mornings and I am cold I always think back to the "Over Dressed" days.

                                         It makes me feel warm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Still Rollin ''''''''''

In the woods! Yep, I haven't been on a road bike in almost a month. Not even once in the month of October! It's been the woods and trails the whole time. I am pretty much on my 4 days a week ride schedule and today will be the 3rd day in a row. I haven't done a 3 in a row in a long time.

Cody is meeting me today after work and we are gonna ride Sherman. Of course I am looking for a break! After my weekend of riding with a couple of my buddies I am pretty much beat! Plus I managed to go over the bars pretty hard Saturday and booth of my legs are kinda sore.

Anyhow, it's been crazy here at work today and believe it or not I started writing this at 9o'clock this morning...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Schedule ,,,,,,,,,

As I said, I seem to be on a 4 ride a week schedule. Last night was the 4 night, It all starts over on Saturday. My life my rules, even though it could start any day of the week and end at the same time and count the same. Saturday is the day!

OK, I had a point when I started talking so back to my point. I rode with my buddy last night and we had a ball. First ride of the year that required arm warmers. Anyhow we were rolling! It made for a great ride and I look forward to more night rides. Only one problem..

I don't trust my lights! Out of 3 night rides I have done so far this year twice I have had my "head" light stop working. That's not what I want to happen when were flying down the trail and I need to see. The first ride I did it burned out and I limped back to the truck with only a bar light. The next ride it did good again.

Last night I made it to the very end of my ride when it went out again. Luckily Kelly was in front so I just used his lights to see further up the trail. BUT, when we started our ride last night I didn't trust them. So I took an extra battery for both lights! That sucks, I had 5 pounds of batteries in my back pocket and they rode along for the whole trip. That's way to much weight to carry just for backup.

I guess I am gonna have to ask for lights for Christmas. I don't plan to carry extra batteries all winter long. Some guys get hours out of there lights. So far all I get are minutes.......

Thursday, October 23, 2014


It came first the last few days. Windows doors, interior exterior, patio screened in porch you name it I have been involved in it the last few days. Not all to my liking but I do get paid to like it so I guess I like it. Makes sense right! Maybe, maybe not.

Point is I still have a job and for that I am grateful. Besides, it's a whole lot easier than driving a damn truck. I have plenty of play time so that's cool. Plus I am now on what I would call my fall riding schedule. The road bike has found it's way back on a hook in the garage and the mountain bike has worked it's way back to the front of the garage.

I am on a 4 ride a week plan and I am enjoying it. Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. A few miles each ride and I am happy! I haven't turned on Strava in over a month and I am enjoying that. No record no track no trace! If I don't talk about it nobody even knows I rode. Every fall I kinda revert back to my old "I just want to ride" self. For fun!

I only did one race all year and a whole bunch of riding. I pushed myself hard for the sake of pushing I guess. I thought about racing a few different things but never committed. Now that fall has arrived I don't see anything that calls my name. Just riding for the hell of it!

The other night I took a friend to ride Steve's trail (aka Rocky River Trail) for his first time. His pace was about a half an hour slower than my usual pace and I honestly had a good time and felt great when I was done. No worries! Tonight will be the same......

Monday, October 20, 2014

A New Habit ????????????

Yes "A New Habit" that I don't really like! So I got my bike back Friday and had grand plans in my head for the weekend. Saturday AM came and I did a few things around the house and then out the door I went. Uhwarrie was gonna get my attention. One hour later and I was there!

I unloaded and hit the woods, I haven't been over there in several months and was looking forward to it. Uhwarrie is the closest thing to the mountains we have around here. It has quit a bit of climbing and it really is remote. Two things I was looking forward too. Plus last time I was there I walked out from about the farthest point you could get from the truck. As I pedaled by the spot that I snapped the chain last time I thought about it.

After walking out of the woods twice the other evening I was glad I wasn't walking this time. I ended up riding everything and heading to the truck. I originally planned to ride 2 laps but I knew I didn't have the energy to do it Saturday morning.  I already had a good ride in and I didn't want to ruin it by wearing myself completely out.

Then yesterday I had a small window available and I headed to Sherman. Guess what? I get to the lake loop and boom, I snap the chain! Back to walking again! That makes the 3rd walk in the last 3 rides. Granted I walked twice in one ride but that's not a good average. I am glad it didn't happen while I was at Uhwarrie the day before. That's a long walk!

I haven't walked 3 times in the last 2 years but now I have walked 3 times in 3 rides. I don't need a new "Habit"..... I need a new chain! Maybe I will get back to riding the road bike. I never have snapped a chain on that bike. Only on a mountain bike have I done that...

Friday, October 17, 2014

I Went For A Ride and Had A Nice Walk !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twice I got to walk! First time that's ever happened. I turned my 26in bike back over to a tubeless tire set up the other day. I had to put a new tire on and for some reason I decided it would be a good ideal to go back tubeless. I guess since my Cannondale has been in the shop it seemed like a good ideal.

Anyhow I had to change a broken spoke and then changed the tire. I knew the first ride would be a "bug detector type session" Although it's been holding air just fine in the garage I knew once I hit the trail it could lose a little air the first ride or two.

Sure enough, I went to Steve's last night right after work and by the time I had done the lower river section my tire was going flat! 2 miles in and I was walking. No big deal I knew how far the truck was. BUT I ran into another rider and he wanted to help. I appreciate that for sure and all riders should do that. But I told him it's ok and he kinda insisted. He was pulling his pack off and already digging for his pump.

When I am in the mountains and a long way from the truck that's one thing. But when I am local and not to far from a good pump I would just as soon walk! Well I didn't want to be mean so I stopped and excepted his help. Guess what, his pump was a first class piece of junk! After about 980 strokes I still had hardly any pressure! I tried to play it off and said I believe I have enough air to ride out.

That's when it went to hell really quick! As I was trying to remove his pump from my valve stem it was stuck and then it pulled the core out of my valve! Just like that I had no air at all and no way to pump it up! He was like "damn it did that to me the other day", I looked at him like your "kidding right". If it wasn't working correctly why would you even give it to me to try!

Anyhow I went back to walking and went to the truck. I fixed it and took off again. This time I made it to the finish of the Valley Loop and it was low again! To low to climb the big hill out of the valley so back to walking I went. By now it's after 5 and I decided to pack it in and head to the truck.

                      Total for the day, one hour and a half of combined walking and riding! Total mileage 6......

                         I did come home and fix it so now were good............ Plus I get my 29er back today....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Closer Than Yesterday !!!!!!!!!

Closer to having a full garage again! The phone rang and bike number 1 is fixed, now I have to go pick it up and then wait for the phone to ring again. I am still riding my old 26in bike for now, not my first choice but it damn sure beats riding nothing at all. Plus Cody's bike is fixed so I will at least have a riding partner this weekend.

I still plan to hit Cheraw again, it might be a drive but it's my car and my time! I can waste both in whatever way I feel is necessary. The place was kickin and I plan to kick around it again. The only thing they need is camping or a cheap motel close by. Preferably a cheap motel with a continental breakfast! I like free breakfast!

I plan to slip out today if the rain holds off. I think it's gone for now but we'll see. So far the rain has messed me up this week. I came to work ready to ride twice already and then things fell apart. Some days are like that, but today will be different!

Besides, I bought new tires for the 26!!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Hate Bike Shops !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really don't, that would be like my dream job. What I really hate is all the fancy stuff that I drool over every time I go in one! As I mentioned yesterday we hit Bike Source Saturday to drop off Cody's bike, we checked out clothes and that was about it. I didn't really look around at all the new bikes and I didn't for a reason.

Of course the old golden rule "snowball effect" or "when it rains it pours". Both of those statements can apply. We drop of his bike Saturday and then Sunday the fork fails on my Cannondale. Back to the shop again yesterday to drop it off. A different shop! I went at lunch to drop it off and of course I forget to get a few things so I went to another shop after work yesterday. Total of 3 different shops in 3 days.

I finally gave in at the last shop last night and started looking around! That's not good! I fought the urge for 2 shops and then I started looking. Damnit! The last new bike I bought was in 2010, 4 years ago. Almost 5 but not for another few months, it's my story so now I say it's been 5 years! Well truthfully I did get a new road bike a little over a year ago. If I give it enough thought I could probably say it's been almost 2 years.

But I haven't had a mountain bike in awhile! Plus the last one I got was not a top of the line bike, it was a low end. The way that breaks down is as follows: top end bike 4000 plus, middle of the road 2500, low end 1500 or less. That was when I decided to try a 29er, I didn't want to spend to much and not like it so I bought a low end bike. Most people don't understand how the price of a bike can be so high but then again they don't ride bikes like we do!

Anyhow right now with the kid in school I don't see a low end bike in the near future but damn I like to dream! I know I am only 46 and it's way to soon to talk about buying my very last high end bike but I sure would like to have one!!!! Life is short!!!

Plus I don't want to wait till I am 60 to finally buy a high end bike and then I can't even ride it to it's full potential. I know I will still be kicking ass and riding bikes at 60 but I am smart enough to know I probably won't be as fast as I am now.. Maybe if I sell a kidney or something.........

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Like That !!!!!!!!!!!

Or all like that! The weekend, it worked out to be one of the best I can remember in awhile. The reason of course was the kid decided to come out and play. As I mentioned last week he has ridden a few times lately and we had plans for Saturday. We took his bike to Bike Source to get the rear end rebuilt and then we headed to the infamous Backyard Trails!

He hung in there for the first 5-6 miles and then he started to fall off a little bit but he had fun. I know I did! We chatted and talked and over all had a great ride. We even stopped in some outdoor provisions company that was over near the bike store. We hung out there for awhile.

We even talked about doing a kayak trip together. We only have one kayak so another will need to be purchased but it can happen! Now I need to get Chase out and about with us! I know he would like the kayak trips so now I need to start watching Craigslist, somebody has got to have 2 kayaks for sale!

Overall we had a good day, it was hot and we rode. Plus hung out together, I'll take that anytime. Sunday he got up early and went and rode with one of his buddies, I of course didn't want to go so early so I stayed home, I stayed home just long enough it started to rain! That cancelled any rides close to the house so I had to rethink my ride.

After a little thought I decided to go and see what they had done down in Cheraw SC. They finally opened the trails back up and I had been looking for a reason to go that way. I just hadn't made it a priority. Now that I finally went I can't wait to go again! Someone spent a ton of time redoing the trails! They were in awesome shape!

Smooth sweet sandy single track! Plus with the rain all day the trail was firm and fast! That's the best part about the trails down south the rain just soaks right in, with sand a light steady rain is the best you could get! I now have my winter riding trail selected!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Again and Again ,,,,,,,,,

I looked at my ride chart last might and damn if all my rides here of late have all been in the woods! I haven't been on the road bike in over a week. What am I thinking! I even looked forward to driving to a trail last night. I went home and loaded up and out the door I went.

I drove to Sherman and rode a lap, a lap on the 26in full suspension no less! We are taking Cody's bike to the shop tomorrow to get all new bushings in the rear triangle and we plan to ride after we drop it off. To make that plan work he will be riding then 29er so that will put me on the 26. All that info explains why I decided to take it last night.

It was nice to have the squish under my butt, but the wheels sucked! I used to say I couldn't make the 29er roll and now I make the same claim about the 26. It just seems to take to much effort to ride the 26. I finally got used to the 29er and now I can't go back. I crossed over to the dark side!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That Was A Little Weird ,,,,,,,

OK, I finally made a night ride last night. Nobody went along just me. I didn't really even try to find a partner, I usually like to go by myself the first time of the year. Kinda shake things down in a sense. Plus I went to Beatty Park and your never to far from the parking lot if things don't workout the first time.

Guess what! I had problems! I didn't make it a half a lap when boom the lights went out. So I turned my handlebar light down to low so I could make it back to the parking lot and then I waited. I waited for a weird experience!

Here's how my ride went. I get there and I am getting my stuff together, right beside me another guy is doing the same. I speak to him and he's seems nice. I don't ask him to ride or anything, we have never met before anyway. I just make casual conversation. Plus he's about ready to go and I am not. He takes off and I wonder if I will catch him.

I may be 46 years old but I can still crank out a pretty decent pace. It's not very often I get caught and I seem to catch a lot of people so I know where I stand in the local food chain. Believe me, I seem to ride with several people who I know when I get out of the truck I am in over my head. I just hang on and deal with it. I have been dropped before and I have blown up just trying to stay where I had no business being to begin with.

Back to my ride! The dude leaves and I get ready and head out. I catch him within in the first mile. My first thought was "hell he looked faster than that". Well now the games begin! He takes off, I figure good I have someone to ride with. I try to say hi but he never responds. We are now rolling along at a clip I know I can maintain for a couple of laps if need be. Even though he seems to not be interested in talking.

I also give thought to the fact that he might not be able to talk at this speed. He might be going so hard he can't. I soon get my answer, he pulls over and doesn't say a thing he just lets me go by. Again I try to talk to him with no response. Oh well, I am now on my own. So I think, next thing I know he's dead on my wheel! Like so close and not talking that I wonder if I made him mad.

Now I figure if he doesn't want to talk and I some how made him mad by catching him I might as well push it and see what he's got! Race is on! For a few anyway, I leave him sitting and I get on with my stroll through the woods. I get near the end of the black diamond section and damn if he ain't trying to catch up! I can see him through the woods and he's getting closer. I stand on it again and it's over.

I am way out in front of him and enjoying my ride when all of a sudden my lights go out. I lost my head lamp, I still have my handlebar light but no head lamp. It's hard to go fast when you don't have a head lamp to shine around the corners and such. I slow down and then I decide to stop and wait on the guy, that's right I need a new friend!

Well he catches me and does ask if I am alright. Of course I am and then I ask if he minds I follow him since I only have the one light. He says sure, and then proceeds to try and drop me for the next several miles! I am riding with one weak ass handlebar light and trying to look ahead through him with his light and now he decides to hammer it!

I am like what the hell! But I be damn if he's gonna drop me! So I stay on his back wheel so close if he even so much as makes a bobble I am gonna run over him! He try's to drop me but it ain't happening. We finally come out of the woods right at the one road section and then he just pulls over and stops. I stop to and say good ride and he tells me I don't need his light to go ahead. I thought he was kinda joking or something so I just chuckle and am waiting for him to go again when he turns and says.

"NO" I meant it! He then goes up the road and doesn't say a word. I am standing there in the middle of the road thinking what the hell! I was nice to him, I tried several times to talk to him. I don't know what I did wrong. I guess he just didn't want to ride with anyone! I turned and took my weak ass light and went back in the woods. Lap 2 I did all by myself, I never passed or saw anyone else......

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Things Change ,,,,,,

So my sidekick was running a little late, way late actually and for some reason I just made a right off hwy 485 and went to the house. A short nap later and the dog and I headed to the country club. Walked till dark and then came home. Day over!

                                                        "Things Change"

Enough said, try again today. I wasn't to upset I was kinda tired anyway. Hence the reason I took the nap. This time of year seems to kick my ass every year. Once we get through October and time changes I seem to snap out of it. Every year is like this. Why? I have no ideal..

It is what it is,,,,,, I hung out with the kid for awhile and called it a night. He seems to be interested in riding again and not just talking about it. We worked on his bike last night and he is out riding mine right now! Hard to believe but he called and wanted to borrow my bike. Of course I said yes.

Maybe I'll have a partner soon.........

Monday, October 6, 2014

Again and Again ,,,,,,,,,,,

Yep I rode Steve's last week on Thursday and then again on Saturday. I am loaded ready to go again today! I spent the summer on the road bike and now I am right back to my roots. I even went to Cane Creek and rode a lap yesterday. That makes 3 mountain bike rides in the last 5 days.

Now my road bike feels lonely! I have been enough times now that even Cody has noticed, he hasn't even thought about riding for about a year and now he wants me to get his bike back in shape. That makes me smile! I need a riding partner and I can't think of any better option. I told him if he would get back to riding we would start planning a few mountain trips.

DuPont and Pisgah, are calling our name! I like road trips and I like traveling and spending time with my kids. Maybe we are gonna be back in business. If he starts riding hopefully his brother will take an interest in it again too! All I can do is hope!

Anyway I hit Steve's Saturday and it was empty once again! The first full most beautiful fall day we have had yet and nobody was there. For me, it tickles the shit out of me! I hate it for Steve though, that man has put in more time than I can even imagine! He has built an awesome play ground it's just a tough trail. I guess Charlotte area riders would rather ride easy trails than the hard ones.

For me though I love going and having the whole place to myself. Maybe today will be the same.... I got all my stuff and that is my destination!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I Remember ,,,,,,,,,

My mountain biking has been limited to my trips to the mountains this year. I have been on the road bike all year, except for 1 or 2 trips I just haven't ridden it. Last night was the first in a long time! But! I had a great time! I went and road Steve's trail, aka Rocky River Trail.

The number one hardest trail in the Charlotte area! White Water Center ain't got nothing on Steve's! For proof of that statement all you need to go do is go ride it. Lets just say I went straight from work to the trail and rode right by Sherman Branch, Sherman happens to be the most popular trail in Charlotte. The parking lot was packed! I get to Steve's and have the place to myself.

Not a soul there! People go there one time and you either love it or shake your head and go once in awhile. The hard core crowd goes there all the time but not the average rider doesn't. I got out of the car with a smile on my face, I wanted the challenge! Hour and a half later I was back at the car and done. I rode everything, all the options. You end up with right at 12 miles, that's a 7.9 average speed.

I go to Sherman and it's 12 miles and I can do it in 50 minutes. That's how much harder it is! I rode the new sections, all of it and had a ball. I will be going back, it's been way to long. The woods are calling my name.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It Could Have Been Further ,,,,,,,,,,

But it wasn't! I talked it up yesterday and I had the plans but somehow lost the motivation! Kelly was gonna be a while and I didn't really want to wait or do anything to be honest. Not sure what changed my attitude but I guess it happens. I ended up going to the car wash and washing the mtn. bike.

Then I came home and got it ready to ride. After dinner I ended up turning on the lights and riding the 2 miles to the local store. That was my night! The only thing accomplished, a clean bike and the car loaded. Loaded for today! It might be a slow ride or I might try to kick it. I won't know till I get there.

Karen has been sick and I think I might have caught a touch of what she has, what ever it is I just haven't been myself!