Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One year AMBC Anniversary

Monday we had our one year anniversary party/ride/meeting for AMBC. I can't believe it's been a year already. We were able to achieve some of our goals and not some others. One goal was to get membership up to 50. I think we have surpassed that. Thanks to Jimi and SORBA for securring us grants to be able to buy tools and still have a little money in our account. We were able to secure permission and construct just under 2 miles of trail at Hastie Natural area. This winter I think we can ad 2 1/2 or 3 miles to that total.


We were not very good at supporting the Windrock project. I applaud the downhill guys for taking the iniative to build XC trails there. I hope to get some shovel time in soon and help with the connector trail for the 100 mile race.

From towards the top at Windrock
Looking the other way up the mountain at Keith
One disappointing thing for me is that the same 10 or 12 people seem to be at the meetings and doing the work. I've not been doing a good job getting the word out I guess. I am proud of what we have accomplished and feel good about the future of mountain biking in the Knoxville area.

If you missed the meeting Monday you missed the fireworks. On our ride we got bombarded with thunder, lightning and very heavy rain. I told Smap on the way back in the storm that there is nothing in the world that will make you feel more alive than being out when the weather is breaking like that. I believe that was the fastest run I ever made from one end of the park to the other.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Defeated Creek Ride

Last week I was in West Tennessee. My racing buddy Stanley Wills had been telling me about Tuesday evening rides at the new trails they had built at Defeated Creek. Since I was passing by Carthage, TN at the right time, I stopped to hook up with them.
There are about 8 miles of trail with more in the works.

Stanley leading the ride. I never get to see him from the front at a race!





Andy the giant

Andy was nice enough to send me a GPS file overlaid on a map but I had trouble with the file. I'll try to get him to resend.

As you can see, Stanley had been refining the trails some just before we rode.

The trail winds back and forth acroos a ridge gradually climbing until it dumps you onto the ridgecrest. Once it hits the ridgecrest the real climb starts. There is a great reward though, a 2 mile downhill at the end. These guys have built a great trail and it is getting better.

I'm not sure this is a destination ride yet with only 8 miles of trail but, if you are heading to Nashville it would make a nice stop. If you do a couple of laps you'll get all you want.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

No racin happening

I have missed a couple of races in the last couple of weeks. I missed the Hamilton Creek Race with a bad back. The Raccoon Mountain Race happened on a weekend that I spent with Ginger at her Aunt's birthday party in Greensboro, NC. Ham Creek was somewhat planned. It is a TBRA race and I have been chasing points all year. So far I am ahead in the clydesdale class and Daniel Spann is a close 2nd. I had enough of a lead that I could miss one race and keep a slim lead over Daniel so I thought it would be prudent to rest the back rather than ride the rocky trails at Hammy.

The AMBC Summer Time Trial Series is at it's midpoint. Racer turnout was very slim the 1st week but really picked up for the 2nd race. So far we have signed up 5 new members who have shown up to race. Hastie is in great shape and the limited amount of trail lends itself to the time trial format. Times so far have been as fast as 10 and 1/2 minutes. most times are in the 11 to 12 1/2 minute time. I would like to see more women show up. So far we have had only 2.

Finally, I got to spend some time with my ole buddy Joe Cross this week. He invited us up to ride at Big South Fork. We rode and cleared trail on the Grand Gap Loop. My neighbor Jaques rode with his hand in a cast and did just fine. Also along was Margo Carrol. Margo is a former expert level racer and currently works as a sales rep for Jamis Bicycles. It rained the night before and quit just in time for us to ride. The trail surface was perfect and the few sandy spots were packed down from the rain. As we pulled up to the first overlook, I stopped to have a look. I soon discovered neither Jaques or Margo care for heights. Margo fought looking over the bluffs the whole ride. She did tough it out and we had a great ride. I really felt for Joe. He was pulling a Bob Trailer with several tools including a big Stihl chainsaw. By the finish the trailer was taking it's toll on Joe and he was feeling it.


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.