Monday, February 29, 2016

Awesome !!!!!

Yesterday afternoon I set out for an adventure! With the world's greatest ever, we had to have this no matter what, Monroe by-pass going in a mile behind me. I have had it on my radar. On my I want to ride it and check it out radar. Yesterday was the day.

No they don't have it cut all the way through yet, they are still buying up and moving houses on the west end. but they do have it cut in from the other side of Wingate to a few miles past my house. I had Karen drive me and the mountain bike over to that point and from there I rode. I crossed creeks I had to hike down really steep hills and hike right back up the other sides.

I even got to one creek that was totally impassable and was turning around to find a way around when I ran into a few kids who where on four wheelers. No they weren't supposed to be there but to me I could care less. I was glad they where because they knew the way around! Worked out perfect for me. If they hadn't been there I am not sure I would have found my way around.

Plus with the detour they showed me I got to ride some four wheeler trails I never would have seen. I had to carry the bike up some really steep hills and then I had to make my way down some of the same. I had to use the make shift bridges they have installed for the heavy equipment and had to push a few really rough sections.

Sometimes I would be back in the middle of nowhere and then others I would be right next to neighborhoods. I even came across a few old abandoned houses that no longer have access. One was really creepy. I went of the trail and rode up to it the whole time it felt like someone was watching me. I was even scared to walk up on the porch. It was creepy! I walked around the house and left.

It won't be on my list for return visit. Call me a wuss, I don't care. It just had that vibe about it. In a way it looked like it was just moved out of but in a way it looked like it had been empty for years. Then On the front porch where 2 boxes from Direct TV, They looked like they had just been dropped off. The hadn't been rained on yet and would have been if they had been there 3 days before.

But how the delivery truck got down there I don't have a clue. Why they where there is still kinda weird. The address was correct as far as the road. But again this house looked old, really old. I threw them up under the overhang so they wouldn't get wet then left.

Anyway I made my way all the way to Wingate and then rode in the ditch down the side of 74 for a few hundred yards and took a side ride back to Wingate. Ate lunch at Mcdonalds and then found my way back to the by-pass. Took it back to 200 and rode the road back to the house. I was gone a little over 3 hours and had a good ride.

I will give it a few months and then do it again. Sooner or later I will be able to ride the whole thing. It's kinda neat to see the progress.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

One Hurts, One Don't .........

Go figure! So I ran Thursday and did my four miles and felt great. Then the next day my shins were killing me. Actually they still are! Last night we went skiing and that didn't even bother my legs. I figured I would wake up this morning and would be in pain. Nope! None at all!

Yes my shins are still sore but my legs feel great. We had a great time last night and it was fun. The weather has been a little off this year, kinda warm and a lot of rain in the mountains. Where last year we skied several times this year that was the first.

Last year my youngest Chase was just learning to snowboard and he kinda had a tough time. This year the kid was doing it like an old pro! I was so proud of him last night! He went up the mountain the first time and came down with only one fall. Every trip was like that. It was like he had been practicing all summer or something.

I just knew he was gonna have a hard time but I was way wrong! I was wrong enough I think I am gonna take a day off work this week and take him back up for the day. That way we won't have to deal with all the people. We can go to the top and won't have all the traffic to deal with. Last night there was a lot of folks.

A lot of them who seemed to have no ideal how to ski. You tend to have that on a weekend with all the groups who come up. During the week it's not like that. Chase was even talking about the need for us to go out west and ski. He wants the three of us to go. Somehow or another we are gonna have to make that happen. Cody would love it and of course I would.

What a difference a year makes. Plus last night of all places we ran into a friend of Chases from church camp. The kid now goes to Appalachian State and works at Sugar Mountain part time. Now Chase has decided he wants to go to App..

                                                 Funny how things work.....

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Got My Shoes !!!!!

It's been a few days sense I went running. My shins where really bothering me so I decided to give them a break for a week. As much as I enjoy running I don't enjoy running in pain! It's taken a week but my shins are feeling  great.

So today is a trail run. Not sure how far I plan to go but I have a nice 4 mile route that I really want to do. So I plan to run today and then ski Saturday night. My legs are gonna be killing me! But what the hell, Ya got'a play when ya have the chance...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Worth The Trip ,,,,,

That was the thought going through my head about the time I made it in the woods. I went up the first climb and got my blood flowing. Made a few turns and I was happy. Lake Norman State Park is the best trail system we have in the whole Charlotte area. It's fast fun rolls great and pretty much can be ridden by any level of rider.

They have harder trails and they have easy trails. Even the easy trails are fun, you can go as fast as you want. Like I said it's a little to far for me to make during the week but when I have the time on the weekend it's at the top of the list. I always tend to get in a rut and ride the same places all the time. I like change.

So far 2016 has been a great year for me. We are only 8 weeks into it and it's going great. Work my sales are up, we have already been to the mountain 3 times and are planning to go again. the kids are happy. The wife is happy! Sometimes you just need to stop and smell the roses.

I actually did that, valentines day we had the flowers in the house. I smelled them! Yep, they did smell good! I like the candy better though. It goes great with a beer! Chocolate, beer and bicycles, I am hooked up.

                                                  Simple things make me happy.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Short Long Trip,,,,,,

I don't make the trip very often because it's on the verge of being to far away. I decided to do Lake Norman yesterday instead of the mountains. I usually only do it a couple of times a year. From my house it's 65 miles to get there. It used to be 85 but now that 485 is open it's a little closer.

When it was 85 miles it was just to far. I can be in Asheville in a 150 miles so if I am gonna ride that far I might as well do the other 60 and be in the hills. But now it's a little closer , still a little far but now it's all freeway.

Anyway I went and rode everything, 30 miles later and I was headed home. Guess what it's now 8am Sunday and I am about to head right back up. I had so much fun and enjoy the place so much I am going back. It will never make the list for a ride during the week but it's moving up the weekend list!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Somewhere Somehow ..........

I will ride a bike this weekend. I had planned to head to DuPont for the day, but now that the day is here I don't know if I want to spend that much time in the car.

Speaking of the car, I went out and started it this morning to warm up. Came back out 10 minutes later and it had ran out of gas! I guess when the computer says I have 24 miles of gas left it really means I am out! So I drove the truck..

Once I have it running again I can go do something. Last night I went to Sherman, one of our local trails and rode. I took off and found that I just wasn't really enjoying the ride. My head wasn't into it. About the time I came out of the "Roller Coaster Loop" I almost went to the car but decided it was only about 8 more miles I might as well ride. It would be over in less than an hour so why not.

I was glad I did, not long after that I found I was enjoying myself. The trail was in really good shape considering the rain we had a few nights before. I was sticking the turns and rolling pretty quick even though I wasn't pushing it. Sure enough I was done before I knew it and was ready for more. I came out the end and made a right and went right back in.

No water be damned! Yea, once again I had no water. I can manage to load everything but a damn water bottle for some reason. Anyhow I went straight to the back and redid the "Lake Loop" and the finish one more time. Then called it a night.

A few good beers and a good Kentucky game and now it's Friday. Now where to ride!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Motor or other wise ..........

I touched on this yesterday, my motorcycle trip. I don't really ride as much as I would like (the motorcycle) with the bicycle and running and everyday life there is just not enough time. So when I get the chance to do a big ride like this one coming up I jump at it. It's always neat to see other parts of the country.

I wish I could do long trips on my bicycle but obviously that requires a longer time period. To do 1400 miles on a bicycle I would need at least 21 days. That would be an average of around 70 a day not counting any rest days. One day when I retire I will do a big tour but not now.

With the motorcycle it's like I can cheat a little bit and still see more than most people. Plus most people think I am crazy to take off and ride so many miles in a 3 day period but the same people would really look at you like you were crazy if you where gonna ride a bicycle that far. No matter how long you planned on taking.

I just happen to be fortunate enough to have a motorcycle capable of such trips. Honda Gold Wing! The worlds greatest touring motorcycle/sport bike. Yes I said sport bike, you would have to ride one to understand what I mean by that. Most people can't ride a true sport bike as well as a seasoned Gold Wing rider can make a Wing go. Believe me I have ridden with crowds or came up on sport bike riders who thought they where gonna leave me to know this.

It's always fun to hurt there feelings! Plus I am usually pulling a trailer when this happens. Makes it even funnier! Point is I love to do long rides and can't wait for this one. It's not a nationally advertised ride. It's kinda of low key! Usually they only have about 400 people show up. This year there is one guy registered coming from Oregon! Yep, I am riding 700 one way he has 2600 to go!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mid Week Blues ,,,,,,,,

Also known as a hangover! Yep I went with the wife last night to Chili's and the Blue Moon beer was flowing. Then not having good sense I drank 2 more when I got home. (:note to self) Do not drink during the week.

On to other things. I have a big weekend coming up before long. One I've been planning for a while now. The second weekend of April I am riding my motorcycle to Illinois to get a hamburger. Yep, 700 miles to eat lunch. They say the burgers are that good!

Actually it's a charity event, people come from all over the country to eat on Saturday at lunch. Then they have a banquet Saturday night. Sunday everybody heads home. Simple as that, I will end up with about 1400 miles in 3 days and get to see a whole lot of country.

I haven't been in Illinois in about 15 years. I plan to head up through Ohio and cut across Indiana to get there. Coming home I will go south across Kentucky and cut across Tennessee. Right now I have one friend who is going and another who might go. Either way I am going.

I usually like to do trips like this by myself. So traveling with someone will be kinda different for me. I like traveling with the wife but other people tend to get on my nerves. After 5 years driving a truck and doing it like I wanted it's tough to travel with people.

Hopefully the weather will be good, at that time of year it's always questionable....

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Of Course !!!!!

Yep, I ran! I went to my favorite hideout, Monroe Country Club. Right now with the cold they are closed. All the greens are covered and they are just waiting on the weather to come through. Yep once again we are getting some type of winter weather. They have been putting down brine on the roads for two days now.

It's supposed to start around midnight but not get to bad till sometime tomorrow afternoon. Remember, all it takes for Charlotte to shut down is one inch! I have my fingers crossed. Plus today is Valentines Day and today will be the day everybody is out and about. Believe it or not there will be people who will stay home from work tomorrow just because they are calling for it. Welcome to the south!

Back to the running. I love going there when the place is closed It's like my own private playground. Yesterday I ran the cart path on the back nine and that gives me 2-1/2 miles. Not my longest run but it sure felt good to be out in the cold. It's not often I have to wear gloves the whole time I run. Yesterday I did!

Today will be another run! As I have said before I enjoy running the same trails I have been riding all these years. Going backwards against the bikes make the trails totally different. Run Forest run..

Saturday, February 13, 2016


OK, so no the Panthers didn't win the Superbowl. Not really sure they even realized they where supposed to start playing when the coin dropped! You probably watched it, they sucked! Now we move on.

Before the game though I went for a trail run. My longest yet! I went to our local park Francis Beatty with the intent of just doing a short 3 mile run. One hour and 15 minutes later I had ran the whole mountain bike race loop including the new double black diamond section. 7 miles total! The funniest thing is I enjoyed it. It was awesome, I just found a rhythm and kept going. Never was I hurting or ready to quit.

Then I decided I miss my mountain bike and took it to work twice this week. Not sure if the running is making it harder to ride or what effect it has on my riding but I swear I think I am a little slower than I want. I am not worried about a long ride, I can ride all day. But trying to knock out a quick hard lap seems to kill my legs right now. My times are just a little off but it just seems to hurt more than usual.

Not that I am gonna change anything. I enjoy running to much. Although I don't think it's changing anything when I step on the scales. I can tell it's helping my core muscle group but that's about it. I am just in it for the fun. It's just another reason to spend time in the woods. 

So that's about it for my week. Now I sit here waiting for the weather to warm up just a little bit to do something outside. We don't get cold like this very often. It sucks.... 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thank Goodness ,,,,,,,,,

So if you live in the Charlotte area you might be aware they are finally putting in the Monroe By-pass. You know the road that will take traffic off of Hwy7 74 and around Monroe and the 20 plus stoplights that slow progress for all the beach traffic.

Yes Monroe needs a by-pass but not the one they are building. The one the state is building does'nt even start from 485 and only goes to Wingate. Really lame! Any and all the locals know we have Hwy 218, the real by-pass. If you can't tell I do not support the by-pass.

It was voted on and the land east of Monroe sold to the state more than 20 years ago. By some very wealthy people in Union county. They made a lot of money off this and have been pushing this through for years. they never took into consideration the projected growth of the area and still refuse to account for the growth.

Enough of my ranting, I can't change it and it's coming. About two months ago they finally started construction and they are moving at a really fast rate. All this affects me because it goes within a mile of my house. We are on the outside of it and that's a good thing.

My only problem with the construction has been the fact that right after it was started we received a letter stating that they had decided to close the road behind me. A road that was originally planned to go over the by-pass. I wrote e-mails and made phone calls to the numbers and e-mails provided, and found out that I and everybody else was doing the same.

After about 3 weeks and no response beyond the one person I talked to. I just assumed that it was going to be that way. Then Friday we got another letter stating that after re-consideration they where gonna go ahead and build the bridge! For once it actually feels like we won something. I even talked to my buddy who owns the store at the other end of the closed road and he said it's been killing his business. He was calling like every other day.

Why did this matter to me so much? Because for me that was and is my main route to get to Monroe on my bike. Without that road I am forced to ride my very busy and hilly road to get to hwy 601 and then ride it for several miles. When I used to be able to head out the back road with hardly any traffic and then only be on 601 for less than a mile.

So "Thank Goodness" plans changed! It just feels like we won something. For once the people were listened too. The only thing that sucks, they are behind on building the bridge now. Where they have already started building all the other bridges all over the county they still haven't even brought in any equipment to start this one. They had decided long before that they had no plans to build it so they never even had it on the schedule. Now they are behind and it's gonna be at least a year before it's done. But at least it's gonna get done.....  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Super Time !!!!!!!!!!!!

We had plans, Plans change! Sometimes ya' got'a do what ya' got'a do. We where headed to the mountains again but a friend of ours mother passed away. She was 96 and pretty much healthy her whole life. I can only hope my story plays out the same. So we are now going to Charleston for a funeral tomorrow.

I like Charleston, I just wish we where going for a different reason. But we are not going for us, we are going for our friend. Enough said...

This week has been run and walk. I have stayed active every night this week but no bike. The weather has made sure that wasn't gonna happen. Every time the trails start to dry out we get more rain. Like I said the other day, I don't like to clean bikes any longer. I thought about going to Atlanta and seeing the kid and stay for the superbowl. I have Monday off, but that's a long way from Charleston.

I do want to ride but it will be the road bike this week. South Carolina has been calling my name! I like the wide and empty roads. Plus I have a friend who wants to try out the area. Southbound skinny wheels down.....

By the way the Panthers are gonna win the Superbowl.........

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Doing Loops.........

We came home and I took the dog straight to the golf course for a good walk. My legs where tired from the mountains but I still wanted to be outside. A man can only take so much family, just kidding,,,

Yesterday we had way above normal temps and I wanted to take advantage of it. It was like 70 degrees. I came home and changed into my running clothes and headed back to the golf course. Did my stretches and took off.

The hardest part for me is the first half mile! Once I get beyond that I am good. Last night it was a little tough! As I already said, it was 70 degrees. No that's not hot at all. But when you have that right behind a whole string of 50 or less days. It can seem really hot! Makes me give thought to the 90 plus days we will have before long.

Once I excepted the fact that heat will suck I kept putting one foot in front of the other and did my 2 laps, 5k. Every time I do this I smile from ear to ear when I get done. It just feels good to know I just ran 3.1 miles. Time is now down to 27 minutes!

Sometime over the last few weeks I have managed to knock a minute a mile out of my time. Now if I can just get rid of 15 more pounds I could probably drop a few more minutes. No particular goals just having fun! Now if the weather will get right I can get the bike out.

By the way going to the mountains over the weekend I was a little worried about my lack of riding and all my running. Lately there has been more running than riding. Turns out it must be a help. I did a lot of climbing and felt great!