Monday, September 19, 2016

I Made It !!!!!!!!!

For the last few years I have been riding a loop around the Saluda NC area. A road bike ride. It's got a crazy downhill around a valley and a crazy long climb back to Saluda. It's really pretty fun and I enjoy riding it. The only problem?

On the climb side of the valley there is one section that I had never been able to pedal up! Yep that's right, with a 34x32 road bike gear, my smallest! I couldn't make it! I had to stop and walk about 50 yards of it. No shit the paved road is that steep! I had tried and had failed. It's been a goal for a while now and Saturday, I made it!!!

I was about 18 miles into a 35 mile route and knew it was coming. I tried to think positive and give my self the pep-talk. I rounded a turn crossed the one lane bridge and dropped to my lowest gear. I still had a good 1/2 mile to the really steep section but I wanted to pace myself. I finally turned the corner and there it was!

The steepest section of paved road I have found yet. You see most of the time you have switchbacks in the mountains. on really steep roads you just go back and forth up the hill. When that is the case the really steep spots are really short and on half of them you are on the outside and that is the flattest way around anyway.

This section goes straight up! Not a single turn, it goes straight up the hill. No relief! So I got there and just looked down and stood up. All I concentrated on was turning over the next pedal stroke! Finally I looked up and I was close, so close I couldn't stop! I knew if I didn't make it over this time I was missing my chance.

I hurt and it was slow but when I came over the rise and the road was only about half as steep. I knew I had done it. From that point it's still a climb and you only up shift maybe a gear or two but I still turned around just to take a look. I finally made it. I almost stopped just to stare, it felt that good.

I might be getting stronger or maybe I just did it. Not sure, but I own that hill now. I know exactly what I need to do to make it up every time from this point. I just need to pace myself better, before I just did the usual same thing. Starting at the bottom I would just stand and crank and downshift till I ran out of gears. Then try to just hang on, this time I started slow and stayed slow.

Never changing my out put until the steepest part. I got this!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Some More Words.......

When you where a kid did you ever get up on a Saturday morning and say "I can't wait to go to the gym".

No. You bolted out the front door and did your cardio and strength training running through the neighborhood, climbing trees, hurdling fences, making rock dams in the local creek and doing a host of other things you probably didn’t tell your parents about. And that night, you slept 12 hours straight.
That’s what exercise should be like today, as a grown-up: maybe not climbing trees and hurdling fences, but doing things that don’t feel like exercise. Things that are fun!

I found that statement in an article somewhere. I Love bicycles! and Hiking! and Canoeing! and being outside.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Not my words, but I like them. I copied this from another blog.

"One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”


                                                                            By: Edward Abbey

Monday, September 12, 2016

Things Workout,,,,

So I went to the mountains Friday and spent the weekend. Two friends of mine where doing a 70 mile gravel ride that I drug my feet on entering. I had plans and then they fell apart, by the time I tried to enter it was sold out. I tried Saturday morning to get in but the permit was full. When they have a race in the national forest they can only have so many entries. You snooze you lose!

Since I couldn't race I loaded up and headed to DuPont State Forest. I get there and gather all my stuff up and head to the woods. I am starting to know my way around but with a 100 miles of trails I still have a long way to go. I take off and do my own navigation until I finally come to a point I need to consult the map.

Guess what! I forgot the map! So now I have no ideal where to go and I sure don't want to ride the same trails all day. So me being me I decide the heck with it and just start riding. At first I start taking all rights and then I start doing lefts. Of course I am lost and don't really care. I knew sooner or later I would find someone with a map.

Sure enough I did. I guy from right here in the Charlotte area. We seemed to hit it off pretty good and I spent the next 2 hours riding with him. He finally had enough and we parted ways. From there I had a small ideal where I was and where I was going. Before long I meet up with another couple who seemed to move along at the same pace I did and we rode for another 3 hours.

He is the president of the South Carolina S.O.R.B.A. chapter. Southern Off Road Bicycle Association. He and the wife both where really strong riders and we had great time. He even took me on a few trails that haven't even been added to the trail maps yet. They are brand new!

At the end of the day I had 7 hours of riding and 3 new friends. I got to see new trails and I had enough climbing to get me over Mt. Everest! I was beat! We finished the evening off with a low country boil for dinned and it was a good day.

Sunday came and after loading up I headed over to Bent Creek and spent 3 hours before I headed home. I got home at 4 and the weekend was done. They don't get much better than that..

Friday, September 2, 2016

I Am Still Around...........

I've just been lazy for the last few weeks. I meant to sit down and write something but just haven't done it. Yes we had a great week at the coast! It was hot but we enjoyed it. No rail so that was really nice. Plus the wife found a ton of full conk shells. You would be shocked at the size of the sea shells you can find out there.

Then I went to see the kid in Atlanta a few times. He has the Jeep fixed now and we got to use it. He's happy and drives it every where now. I prefer air-condition, but he's the one driving it. Also Chase is now driving! We got home him a Jeep Liberty. Somehow or another it just worked out where I got both my kids a Jeep product for their first car. Weird!

Obviously I am leaving out a lot of the "happenings" as of late but at least I am back. It's Labor Day weekend and we have an extra day to play so I look forward to that. Fall is right around the corner and the temps will be dropping before long. I look forward to the change.