Sunday, January 31, 2016

Plans Change,,,,,,

So we came up Friday night and I went to bed with all kinds of riding plans dancing through my head. Although I noticed a lot of snow still on the ground I just assumed the trails would be immune to the snow. As I slept my mind decided to give me a few things to think about.

I woke up yesterday morning and the first thing I did was go to the state park website for Dupont and sure enough the trails were closed! So me trying to be better about respecting the trails, and the hard work that people have put into the trails. I decided to head to Bent Creek, those trails drain so well you can usually ride them right after a rain storm and they are still good.

The only problem is they didn't get rain last week they got snow! A lot of snow to be exact! So then I was reduced to riding the gravel roads through the park. At least the roads that where clear enough to ride. I ended up riding a little bit of single track but the majority of it was in terrible shape. One side of the mountain would be clear already and the other still had a foot of snow on it.

Several times I ended up riding a road for a few miles only to turn the corner and meet another snow bank that was unrideable. Although the woods where full of people the gravel roads where the only option. I ended up riding for 3 hours and ended up with a road ride back to the car.

It turned out to be a great day and the temps were perfect. I guess everybody had cabin fever, like I said the woods where full. I had never seen that many people at Bent Creek before. It sure beat doing nothing, that's for sure!

One thing that was kinda funny. Yesterday as I came out of the woods from one of the only ride able trails I pulled out and turned the corner and coming up the gravel road all by himself in the middle of nowhere, was a kid about 10 years old. A talkative little fellow too! He came up and wanted to know if I had found any ride able trails. From there we talked about the trails and it was really clear he definitely knew his way around. We chatted and I finally asked if he was riding by himself?

He was with his mom who was running the single track trail, She went through the woods and he had came around the mountain on the gravel road. She was about to come out of the trail right where we were at. He was a really smart little dude and I enjoyed the conversation. He had a Trek 24in mountain bike and it fit him perfect. You could tell it had been ridden too!

He said he came over to Bent Creek with his mom all the time and road everything while she ran. They tried to come at least 3 times a week and sometimes they would do Dupont. He was proud off his bike and loved to ride. I ended up talking to him for about 10 minutes before his mom finally came out of the woods. we said goodbye he was off up the road again. Mom running beside him.

Yes the runners definitely had a better go of it yesterday. They could run on top of the packed snow where I was cutting through it. Made me wish I brought my running shoes! Next time I will that's for sure.

Friday, January 29, 2016

I'll Figure It out ,,,,,,,,,,

Back to Dupont tomorrow, I know one route and think I have another. I figure after I make about 3-4 trips up there I will have a pretty good Ideal of how to get around. I don't know exactly how I plan to do it but I do know about a few different roads that run from side to side through the whole park.

With that little bit of knowledge I plan to hit certain things on both sides of the place tomorrow. Then end with the world's greatest downhill, "Ridgeline" at least right now it seems to be the best downhill. Plus it's the only downhill I know right now. Next week I might have a new favorite trail.

The wife and her friends are doing the Biltmore House and a wine tour tomorrow, so I have all day to play. No time limit just time. My plan is to stay in the low ring and just pedal. No race pace just a fun exploratory type pace. I even have my backpack ready and the temps are gonna be perfect.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Running !!!!!!!

So I have been kinda running now for a few weeks. Actually I started the run thing back before Thanksgiving. For a reminder that was November, back when we were getting extra rain. Now we are just getting regular rain. Plus the snow!

Anyway it's been a slow, really slow progress! To be honest I have thought about just stopping the whole process several times. Just chalking it up too the fact I am getting older. BUT,,, every time I want to throw in the towel I realize that "If" I give up now the next time I want to do something different it will be hard too.

If I quit now the next project will be even easier to quit. I don't want to be a quitter! That make any sense to you? To me it's clear as clear can be! I might be getting older but I can handle it. A few years ago Chase did a few foot races and I managed to make it through them but I got shin splints really bad. Then school started and the running fell off.

I did manage to run the Cooper River Bridge Run and I did really well. But after that I quit! 5 years ago! Fast forward to this year in the Charlotte area, and all the rain! Plus I am finally old enough that I really don't like to clean bicycles after a mud ride that I could've just skipped. I needed something else to do.

Usher in the "Running"! I have had shine splints several times and I finally figured out how to deal with them. Maybe later, after I get several more miles in my legs I won't have to worry about it. But right now I am staying off pavement! As long as I run the unpaved nature trails and the mountain bike trails when they are dry I am fine.

Ten minute miles are where I am and I don't really want to go any harder than that right now. I like being able to get a rhythm going and just kinda being in the moment! I like it when I am just shuffling along and thinking about everything going on. I don't want to be running and have to think about my breathing or my heart rate. I just want to run! Being able to trail run is an even bigger plus!

The hardest part for me to deal with has been learning to suffer through the hard part. Believe me, 20 years ago I didn't have any problem running or running hard. My personal best for a 5k was 18:10, that's moving! I even got a medal for that. Wrong age group, but that's another story.

Point is, it's been hard!! I started and a mile was tough. Then I started doing 2 miles out and then walk back the same 2 miles. Now I have done a 4 mile trail run, that was an accident by the way, and am doing at least 3 miles every time I run now. I still love my bike and plan on riding Dupont State Forest this weekend. But I look forward to the dry trails this year.

                    It really gives you a new perspective of the local trails, running them...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Heading Out ...........

Yep today will be a mountain bike ride. 40 miles south of me we have my favorite hardly ever ridden trails in Cheraw State Park. Sweet sandy single track! The more rain the better, the colder the better. It's a 7 mile loop and it really is an all weather trail.

The location kills it as far as traffic goes, But for the lucky people of the area who choose to use it, they are hooked up! If it was any closer to the Charlotte area it would probably get way more traffic but that's the way it goes. I am just thankful I am as close to it as I am. When the rest of Charlotte is sitting at home crying about the wet trails I head south.

Like I have said before, it's in the middle of nowhere, awesome! The locals probably wish I would quit talking about it, you know. Keep the secret! Last week when I went down I counted the entries in the logbook. Since November there had been 34 sign-ins. That's it! Two and a half months and 34 people had used the trails.

The craziest part is the condition of the trail. The 34 who use it must be really dedicated because it's in top shape right now. The whole loop is clear and raked. Yep raked, it's the sand hill region and it's sand. The pine trees are the problem down that way. The needles cover the trail and pine cones.

They are not a problem to ride on, but they make the trail hard to follow sometimes. I have been there enough times I know how to go but a new user would have a problem in some sections. I know that sounds weird but you really need to see the trail and the area to understand. The forest are totally different than the Charlotte area. I like change and always look forward to going south every time I go.

Have a good day.... Go out and play..  

Friday, January 22, 2016

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

The southern regions of NC are officially shut down! It started sometime after midnight and we now have about an inch on the ground with more coming. It's awesome, freezing rain and sleet! All to continue through out the day.

                                                                Life is good!

The best part of these southern storms, they come and go as fast as a rain storm. We will have snow and sleet today and tonight followed by the same tomorrow. Sunday the sun will be back and the temps right back above freezing with everything gone by Monday. Monday it will be right back to normal. Like nothing ever happened.

The only bad part will be for the people who end up loosing power for a few days. That always sucks, hopefully we don't make that list. But if we did I did my part and went out last night and filled the kerosene tank. If we lost power we still have heat. Plus I have the camper and it has heat so we would be hooked up!

Have a good day and stay safe, wherever you are...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sliding ,,,,,,,,,,

Right along! Yep just "Sliding" right along. With the weather forecast we might really be "Sliding" tomorrow evening. Charlotte-Monroe area is projected to get 1-3 inches of snow. For all my loyal readers from the northern regions, if I have any such readers. That amount will completely shut down the entire region. Not just slow down, shut down.

Every thing will close the grocery stores will be swamped tonight and milk will be scarce! As I am typing this the guy in the desk beside me is talking about his wife already freaking out about going to the store after work today! No I am not making this up! It's Thursday morning and I am in the building supply business, we are slow so I am doing my blog.

We are slow because people are already slowing down. Being from Kentucky and remembering the 3rd grade. When we had a wall of windows in my class. We used to go to school when it snowed and then we would have to watch out the windows all day as it would snow! It was torcher!! I still get a kick out of the way the south handles snow.

If we get any amount of snow I will be out and about! Hell I am looking forward to it! The truck has plenty of gas and four wheel drive. Plus both cars are front wheel drive. Bring it! Yesterday I even got the rare treat of riding in the snow and sleet. I brought my bike and hit the local trail on the way home. It was a little more muddy than I would have preferred but with the freeze thaw deal, all trails are like that right now.

It was neat, I had snow one minute hitting me in the face and the nest sleet. Doesn't happen often in this area. If we do get any accumulation I will be headed back to Cheraw. Looking forward to it, plus if it started tonight I know I would have to take tomorrow off. I might have the truck and cars capable of getting out. But getting to work is another story.....

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Typical, For Monroe.....

Yesterday all the Charlotte trails were too wet to ride so I loaded the car and headed to Cheraw SC and hit sweet sandy single track! After all the rain the trails were perfect, and as an added bonus they had been recently cleared. The whole loop was a white ribbon of sand clear of pine needles and pine cones.

The Hartsville Polar Bear cycling Club, who keep the place up, apparently had a recent work day. Plus they had a new sign in book where you can enter your email. The book said it was for upcoming events in the park. Hopefully I will get contacted and can help with the trail. I have tried to checkout their site before but they are only on Facebook and like I said yesterday, I don't do the face thing.

Anyway it was awesome! Now, has anyone looked out the window this morning! Here in Monroe NC it's snowing! Like really heavy! Yesterday I rode and it was 60 degrees today we have snow. No it's not gonna stick and yes it will be over in about an hour but right now I am staring out the window and it's snowing.....

Saturday, January 16, 2016


"Why", I still do this blog. For a long time it was for the "hits", how many times someone would take the time to read it. At one point I was up to a hundred a day. Yes my high was almost 2000 a month! Believe me I have no ideal why other than my only other blog buddy, has me listed on his side bar and because I post everyday and stay at the top of the bar people click over.

For that I say thank you Chris. I always wondered how many hits he must get. Mainly because he does such a better job of posting with picks than I do. I for one like the blogs with pictures, and I quit posting pictures like 2 years ago. I quit when I used up all my free space and was gonna have to start paying. Every once in a while I think about doing pics again but just haven't gotten around to it.

Anyway I still do this for the sole reason I enjoy it. I like to write and this is my place to voice what I have to say. It may not be much but it's me and I like looking back and reading what I was up too at some point in the past. It try to keep politics and general bitching out of here just because I don't want to read that in other people's blogs so I know no one wants to read it in mine.

Over the last few months I kinda slacked off on writing and just really got back to it. My "hit" count dropped a lot but surprisingly it picked right back up when I started posting again. Thanks for stopping in. I guess people like to see that their everyday life isn't the only boring thing going on! Mine is just as slow as theirs!

Anyway thanks for reading and maybe one day I will start putting pictures back up again. I finally have a home computer again and really like it. Thanks wife she got it for me for Christmas. Now that I have it I am getting the urge to start shooting pics again. Believe it or not I stare at a computer everyday all day at work and when my old laptop quit working I just really didn't care to get a new one. I haven't had a home computer in several years.

I don't do the "face" time waste thing so it's really easy to go without the home computer. But now with this little notebook I am back in business. Plus I got a new camera the other day! Things are looking up! I am glad to be back... Although I really never stopped I just took a break..

Friday, January 15, 2016

Go When Ya Can,,,,,,,,,,

So as I stated the other day, not much going on this week. Just the normal everyday things. I ran twice and walked the golf course twice. Yesterday I found out the weather was gonna going back to rain so I made a point to hit the woods.

On the bike! After riding in the mountains so many times lately I find it hard to head out to the local trails sometimes. But when the rain is coming it changes my state of mind. As I unloaded I really did kinda have to make myself go. I just wasn't feeling it. After the first mile though my state of mind changed and got things going.

I actually ended up riding one of my fastest times I have posted in awhile. In other words I enjoyed it. Now the weekend is here and I don't have any hill trips planned so I think I might head south. Cheraw is calling my name. The next mountain trip isn't till the end of the month and I want to be able to enjoy the ride so I better stay in some type of riding shape.

Weather I want to ride locally or not I need to stay in shape. Plus I got a new pair of running shoes this week and I need to try them. Should be a good weekend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Routine.........

So the week came and of course we where tired. Monday night I tried to stay up and watch the College National Championship. Failed! I made it through the first quarter and was out. Halftime went to bed. The only thing I did that would have been considered productive for Monday was walk the dog at the golf course.

Yesterday came and I ran 3 miles. Today I have the bike loaded and am heading to the woods after work. The shortest day of the year has already came and went so now we are back to gaining extra light everyday. I am taking advantage of it!

Just an average week, throw in a trip to the grocery store last night and I am rocking! The excitement is just over the top! Have a good day.....

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Yep, That Worked,,,,,,,,,

So we left Friday after work and headed up. We stayed up late having a few beers, and wine. Went to bed and slept'ed in. I got up and headed to Dupont! That place is the bomb! The first time of many times to come!

I got there and meet a guy in the parking lot who had a route planned. Dupont has a lot of trails and a lot of intersections. I had heard if you didn't have a guide you would spend a lot of time looking at a map. So hooking up with someone would be a big help.

We took off and headed in the woods. After the first two climbs it became clear we were in two different places as far as our riding ability. For once it was me being the stronger rider. That was weird.

So anyway he went ahead and forwarded the route to my phone so I would'nt have to wait for him. That was pretty cool. I did end up stopping quite a bit to make sure I was heading the right way but it was a blast! I now have found my new favorite place to ride.

Just by shear luck and the fact that I parked in the very first lot I found. I got to end my ride with one of the best downhill sections I have ever ridden! Ridgeline!! It was a blast! Totally the smoothest fastest trail I think I have ever ridden. I ended up with an hour and half ride and can't wait to go back.

Then to top it off we went down to a local restaurant and had a great evening! They had a really cool group playing music and the food was great. Saluda is awesome! We stay 2 blocks from main st and can walk anywhere, that works out great. Nobody has to drive and the whole town is full of cool people.

The best part of the weekend! Cody came up from Atlanta and spent the weekend with us! Plus he and I did the Cyclocross National Championships today. We got to see a few friends we haven't seen since we where racing all the time and got to see the best of the best race cyclocross. It was cool.    

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Unplanned,,,,,

Those are usually the best times. We decided to head to the mountains and stay in Saluda at the last moment yesterday. I had planned to come up Sunday and see the races at Biltmore by myself. I was gonna meet a few friends who came up earlier. At the last moment we found out we could make it a weekend and here we are.

Best part is, I brought my bike and Saturday I am gonna hit Dupont state forest for a ride and see what it's all about. I have ridden Bent Creek and Pisgah proper but never Dupont! Tune in later for a full report. I plan to see at least one waterfall and find the "runway". From what I understand there used to be a small airport there and from it there is a fantastic downhill.

I have a map and a water bottle so i should be pretty good.... Plus if ya get lost it just adds to the story at a later date........

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

So It's Now Cold ...............

Last week we had 75 plus, this week we are down to 18 this morning. I like the 70 plus myself! Last night I did a ride right after work. When I got to the parking lot the car said it was 38, when I came out of the woods the car said 30. I believe the car!

I wore my wool socks and had my arm warmers and 3/4 length bibs and thought that would be good. Overall it was but it if it got any colder, or I was gonna ride any longer I would need more. In my mind I kept thinking it's OK, your only riding for 2 hours. Well 2 hours is a long time! I was pretty much frozen when I was done.

I went home and by the time I came out of the shower I was red as a lobster! It seemed like I couldn't get warm. After I suffer through this a few more times I will get adjusted. Yes, "adjusted" I never get used to it. I miss last week.

Then this morning a buddy of mine wants to know if I want to do the Polar Bear Metric winter road ride. It's Saturday and supposed to be high of 57 degree's, with a chance of showers. I like the temp but not the chance of showers.

I need to give this some thought.........

Sunday, January 3, 2016

By The Way,,,,,,,,,

I finally got my mountain bike out New Year's Day and headed to Uhwarrie, one of the only place to ride that day with the rain. I put new tires on my bike a few weeks ago when Price Point was having a sell. I went with the larger 2.2 Kenda Slant Six tires. The exact ones that came on the bike originally.

What a difference tires can make! Last time I put tires on I put a no-name brand el-cheapo tire on and thought it was fine. It wasn't! Now I want to kick myself in the ass for taking the cheap way out to begin with.

                                          Lesson learned....

Friday, January 1, 2016

I'll Be There..............

Just like the song! I knew this was coming but haven't really given much thought to it. Didn't really care to be honest! But then I found out they are gonna have a beer garden! Plus I now have a year pass to get in for free. I like free stuff and I like beer so it's a no brainer.

Next weekend is the cyclocross nationals and they are being held on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. That's about all I know at this point, it's a bike race and it's in Asheville at one of our favorite places to be. 

From what I am reading it's a really big deal, a big race in other words. I have only been to one cyclocross race and it was a local one and I wasn't that impressed. But they didn't have beer either! This one is supposed to have a lot of top pro's there. Maybe they will make it a lot more fun to watch.

Plus I have seen a few pictures of the course and it looks like a nightmare. A nightmare someone else has to deal with! Should be fun....