Monday, June 23, 2008

Dirty Urban South Ride

Saturday, Mudgobbler, None, BurritoBeau, Phil and I did a dirty urban south ride. We started at the old BiLo with everyone on mountain bikes but most had more road worthy tires than knobbies. The plan was to go towards town on the greenway. Go across the new Alcoa Hwy Bridge and ride up Cherokee Bluff. Then the plan changed when Beau blew a tire. When he inflated it he tore the stem out. New plan...swing by TN Valley Bikes for a couple of tubes.
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While we were there we enjoyed the services of the bar next door while Beau worked on his tire. This picture was shot on the back patio of TVB.

We decided it would be a good idea to go up Sharp's Ridge before we turned south again.
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On top of the ridge we found a shady spot on an access road.
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It was pretty cool to look out at Knoxville below and see where we were headed across town to Hastie.
We made Hastie (after another flat and loseing None and Phil to time). To get to Hastie we rode up Redbud at entered at Post Oak. We did all the new trail and then swung out by IJAMs and back down the greenway. A post ride meal at the new Mexican resturant with some cold cervesas hit the spot.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Got a New Neighbor Who Rides

Jaques and his wife Fran moved in next door a couple of weeks ago. It didn't take long to figure out we both rode mountain bikes regularly. After a couple of hectic weeks for me we finally got to plan a ride together.

Jaques has a beautiful Titus Racer Carbon. We decided to do a Wed. ride at Haw Ridge. We got on the trail a little before 6:00. We took off on a spirited loop around the west end along the lake. We buzzed thru Twister, barrelled down Red Shore, across the concrete bags and made our way to the Briar Loop. On the big dip on Briar there is a new rut I think. It seems that Jaques edged off the trail at the rut onto a soft shoulder. Then he picked up a stick in his front spokes. Then he tried to dig a tater patch with his face!
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He must have planted very hard. All I heard was an oomph and then it was quiet. I stopped and ran back. Jaques was still on the ground. When he looked up there was a big hole on the bridge of his nose. He looked pretty stunned and out of it. We tried to clean him up a little and stop the bleeding. The blood was pouring off his nose like a faucet.

After a few minutes we got him together enough to try to get him out of the woods. We rode very slowly. After a couple hundred yards he stopped. His vision was not just right. We went on. He asked me what happened about 6 or 7 times before we got back. At that point even this dumb ole country boy knew he banged his head pretty good.

I loaded my stuff up in my car and drove him to St. Mary's in his. We walked in and as soon as we said head trauma they whisked him back to ckeck him out. Turns out he broke his nose, has a mild concussion (I'm sure he doesn't think it's mild) and some torn up lips both inside and outside his mouth.

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Other than felling pretty bruised and battered and somewhat skinned and scrapped I think he is going to be fine. I'm just not sure if his wife is going to let him go riding with me again.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ramblings

I raced the Bump and Grind in Birmingham last weekend. 500 racers turned out for a pretty cool race. Sport class did one big 17 mile loop. Highlights included some swoopy single track, a two mile climb and a descent of about 2 miles including the famous "Blood Rock!".

Blood rock was a section about 75 feet long that dropped 25 or 30 feet. It was like riding off a desk and landing on another, then off it to another and so on, all the while dodging the cracks in the rocks, baby heads and the creek running through the middle of the trail.

I met Kevin who is now living in Mobile and we camped in my tent affectionately known as "the condo. I swear it is as big as a house. The weather was hot and dry the whole weekend until we were breaking camp and the sky opened up. All we could do was pack up wet stuff. Since I have been on the road all week, I just spread the tent out on the back deck to dry a few minutes ago.

The race went OK. I started off 4th in the largest Clydesdale class I've seen in a long time. On the first little descent 200 yards in I dropped my chain. I let out a loud F bomb only to look up and see about 25 people lining the sides of the trail. After engaging my chain and apologizing to the mostly women watching, I chased. I moved from last to about 10th by sprinting through the mile or so before we hit the single track. I lost all contact with the leaders. I hate that because I always think I can ride with them at least for a while. I kept moving through traffic all day and had no idea where I stood until they posted results showing a 5th place finish.

One thing that helped me some was turning the Salsa into a 1 X 9 on Sat night. I prerode the course Sat in SS mode and saw 4 or 5 long fast sections where the SS would be spun out and slow. The course was not a particularly good track to ride rigid. My arms got pretty pumped up and towards the end I had to really concentrate on holding on to the bars. Roots and rocks, roots and rocks and more roots and rocks...ouch.

Kudos to the staff for a VERY smooth event. Lots of staff, water station on course, marshalls at almost all turns and road crossings and a couple of women at the top of the climb with a cowbell beating out a climbing rhythm!

Next week the Mouse Tail Challenge in Linden, TN. then Haw Ridge the week after.

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Grand Master Clydesdale

Riding my bike makes me feel like I'm 10 years old again. I'm 54 years old and a clydesdale. I'm happily married to Ginger and I've got a son and two daughters, Zach, Hannah and Molly.