Monday, December 28, 2009

New TVB kits

The new TVB kits look so good we even wear them to pump gas in. Doesn't Jaques look fine?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Busy Fall

Here is a little taste.


I love Big South Fork. The Grand Gap/John Muir trails are as good as it gets.



Walden Ridge




School kept me busy for much of the fall. Good news is 3 courses and 3 A's. I learned how to make maps with ARCGIS software. It is a very powerful software and kind of reminds me of Windows in that it does so much I can't imagine anyone knowing all of it. As you might expect, all my projects involved mapping trails for MTB. !st project was Hastie trails. Anyway, I'm having fun with it and hope to develop map making into an occupation.

Some Dirty South trail work and some snow on Rich Mtn.

It has been a busy fall.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Really...it's been 6 weeks since I put stuff on here?

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Micah, Russ and I went to DoPont yesterday. We rode about 25 miles and left feeling satisfied. Ridgeline may be the funnest trail around.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

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This past weekend I raced at Bike Butler in Carrolton, KY. It was the 16 th(?) annual International Clydesdale Championship. I managed to get a win on a hilly, curvy, tight and technical course. It was fitting that I rode at Concord last week. The Bike Butler course reminded me a lot of Concord. The hills are a little bigger and the course is not quite as tight as Concord but Concord was definately good race prep.

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This is me with Troy Hearn. Troy won last year and finished 2nd this year. Troy has a nice shop in Frankfort, Ky, Capitol City Cycles.

The win was worth $.50 per pound. That netted me $110.00 for the win. If you look at the bottom of the top picture you can spot the scales and no I didn't ride that bike next to me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Last night Ginger and I rode up to upper Campbell Co. to Hatfield Knob. It was our first trip to the elk viewing tower. There are 2 or 3 large information boards telling about the elk release program and about other local fauna.
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There were two very large bulls but they never got close enough to get a really good shot of.


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It's a pretty cool place. I think it ended up being about 40 miles from the house. The last 7 or 8 miles are gravel and a little rough although the Element did just fine.
clipper

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Does TBRA care about MTB?

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This picture is from 2 1/2 weeks ago. The Raccoon Mtn. race results are still not up. SERC who promoted the race posted their results the day after the race. Just for kicks, I checked the road race held Sunday. The results are up already. That just tells me TBRA really doesn't care about MTB racing.

Another example is that all state champions are listed on the club sites. However, only road race champions are listed, no MTB state champions are mentioned. Maybe it's time to consider something other than TBRA for MTB races...

On another subject, still no work. I have several resumes out there but everyone seems to be waiting to do any hiring. If you have had the opportunity to deal with unemployment you know what a fiasco that is. You can't get a person on the phone. When you get a recording it might tell you to call another recording. I understand there are a lot of people out of work but hell...I made the mistake of mis-entering my pin # to report in for benefits. Now I can't get it reset. Run around city.

I have done a lot of riding since I have not been working. I calculated that I rode 160 miles all off froad in a 2 week span. Rides include Big South Fork (twice), Raccoon Mtn. (twice) Dupont, Dirty South, Haw Ridge...
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lu Lu the wonder dog

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We just got thru burying Lu Lu this afternoon. She was 13 years old and I think her body just gave out on her. She had been laying around for the last week or two and not much interested in going outside or food.

She lived a good life. When she first became a member of the family she was a tiny, mangy ugly puppy. We nursed to back to health and cured her mange. I really think she led a charmed life. She turned into the least aggressive dog I've ever seen. All the kids came over and we had a good cry but I know she doesn't hurt anymore.

Monday, June 15, 2009

R I F

R I F...Reading is fundamental? No, R I F in this case means "reduction in force". Last Thursday I got notice that I was being laid off. I can't say that was completely unexpected but I wasn't looking for it now.

For those that don't know, I am a salesman. I sold building supplies to the manufactured housing industry, primarily to Clayton Homes. Since Clayton is the 800 lb. gorilla of the MH industry I thought I might be safe. The big problem is that when I started in the MH industry 10 years ago, there were 430,000 houses built. This year predictions are for around 50,000 houses. No matter how much you increase what you are selling it's hard to make up that volumn.

Maybe I have learned my lesson as far as MH is concerned. This is the 4th layoff in 10 years. Fortunately my customers have been very active in finding me work in the MH industry every time I've been looking.

After getting word Thursday, I set up an interview Friday morning. I think it went well. They don't intend to fill the position until after the 4th of July. When I got home I got another lead on a job out of Tazewell, TN.

At this point I intend to work on fitness and get lots of riding in. There are many big rides I want to do. A big loop at Big South Fork, road ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, explore Pisgah, Tanasi and Chilhowee and Cherokee national Forest are some places I want to know more about and explore.

On a different note, I raced at Defeated Creek Sunday. If you have never been, it is a great track. A loop is about 9.25 miles. You gradually climb a big ridge and then have a big time fun 2 mile downhill to the finish. I won but by only 6 seconds. A close race makes it much more fun. The guy who finished 2nd is the same guy I've been beating by 5 or 10 minutes on other races. He said he had lost some weight and has been training pretty hard. Nobody drug checked him though. Anyway, I was happy for him and happy to have someone else to push me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

061009 misc

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Sunday Ginger and I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee to Pisgah Mtn. It was the first time I have driven that section in a long time. I really want to do a bike ride on it now!

More Dirty South...Last night we did our regular Dirty South. There were around 20 or so people riding. About 1/2 way around Hastie we split into two groups. I didn't realize it but both groups had the same idea. We did a GA Marble tour including the hole in the wall.

Here we are behind the wall.
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Here is Jon checking out the 80 vertical drop from the top of the wall.
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I've been to Big South Fork twice in the last couple of weeks. Saturday 4 of us went up and helped the park service and Joe Cross haul lumber into the trail to build a new bridge with. Rob, Kyle, Carelton and I worked about 5 hours until we were too sore to do it any more. So then we went riding.
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Friday night we rode grand Gap and Sat evening we rode Collier Ridge and W Bandy.
This is a sign from Collier Ridge Advanced Trail. It will be part of the XC race course July 12.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Photo Dump...catching up

I've got a lot of catching up to do...

Tuesday night Dirty South ride is growing in popularity. 28 people leaving the lot at the same time.
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Here I am on a vampire hunt. No, I was just putting up directional arrows at Hastie.
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The AMBC has a booth at Sundown sponsored by New Belgium (thanks, Jeremy). We are raffling off a Fat Tire Flyer. This bike is guarenteed to make you 10% better looking and at least 5% faster. You probably will not look as good as our handsome models but at least you will look better. Come by our booth and buy a couple of tickets.
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A couple of weeks ago I did the Dirt, Sweat and Gears 12 hour race as a 4 man team with JTall, MtnBkrPhil and Smeasley. In 20+ years of off road riding, I have never seen worse conditions.
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It was so bad that out of a 10 mile loop only about a mile of the course was rideable. Jerimiah Bishop won and his comment was "I was able to walk faster than anyone else."

This hard man did two laps on his uni.
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JTall after a quick 4 hour mud bath/hike/swim.
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Smeasley trolling the crowd for a night time companion.
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Here Jeremy is trying to explain to Abby why his speech is slurred while she is killing herself in the mud.
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MtnBkrPhil...He's the one in the background, wallowing in the mud.
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In case you are wondering why there are no muddy pictures of me, our 4 man rotation never got to me. A 12 hour race with a 10 mile lap and we didn't get 3 laps completed. And we did better than many.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Humble Pie



I raced the Knobscorcher this weekend. I had been killing it in the TBRA series and I guess I was getting a little cocky. The was a guy from Greeneville, SC that absolutely kicked my ass. He finished 5 minutes in front of me. Turns out it was his 1st mountain bike race. He is a Cat III road racer though. I introduced myself after the race. Steve Baker was his name and he was a great guy. I hope he keeps racing some. A little humble pie is good for the soul every once in a while.

2nd place felt pretty good. I felt good the whole race. That usually means I didn't go quite hard enough. Pretty much everyone was good about passing. I had one 13-29 pass me that almost took me down. I think it was my fault as much as his. Another 19=29 passed me and when I got on his wheel on the long downhill and told him to pick it up that I was trying to catch the 2nd place guy, he pulled over in the next switchback and let me by. I passed into 2nd soon after. Pretty cool. The 19-29 guy even rode the rest of the race with me and kept telling to ride my race and encouraged me to not let 3rd catch me.

A quick AMBC update is in order. This morning BHann and I met with the IJAMs folks and City Parks and Rec folks about the trail thru GA Marble. We got approval and will start flagging as soon as this week. We hope to have at least one work day before the summer foilage pops out.

Jereme Walker with Eagle Distributing has come up with another New Belgium Fat Tire Flyer for us to raffle off. He also got us permission to set up a booth at Sundown to sell raffle tickets, tshirts and memberships for AMBC. Yea Jereme!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Snake '09 Grand Finale

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The last Snake Creek Gap time trial of the year was this past Saturday. The conditions were the best I have seen in the 7 or 8 times I have ridden there. It started off a little cool and misty from the fog and we finished in sunny 75*. The trail was dry and the tackiest I have ever seen. There was a nice cool breeze on top of the ridges and the course was staffed with lots of encouraging, smiling volunteers. Most of the volunteers even had cameras.
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I told myself that I would pace myself and not go into race mode...but I just can't do it. When I'm lined up for a race and they say go, I have to go. The first half of the race went pretty well. I cramped pretty bad in Feb. and I tried to stay below "cramp stage". I rode a lot of the first half with Jaques.
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Somewhere around the last big downhill I lost contact with Jaques and I raced down the water barred/jump laden downhill just trying to hold on and having big fun. At the midpoint aid station I filled my camelback and ate a banana and a couple of fig newtons. Jaques came in as I was getting my chain lubed by one of the nice volunteers and he said I race-faced him. He spoke to me but I must have been trying to choke down fig newtons and couldn't talk.

Immediately after leaving the midpoint there is on of the biggest climbs on the course. I made the top and only got off once on a switchback. When I dismounted I saw another clydesdale coming behind me. I recognized him as the person just behind me in time. He goes by Big Chris on the SORBA forum. We ended up riding together for 45 minutes or an hour. I should have know I was in trouble when he told me he was starting to cramp. He dropped me right after that. While riding along drafting each other on the grassy fireroad Chris ask "what do you weigh?' I told him 227. He said " that's exactly what I weigh." Then I ask him how old he was. He told me 40. When I told him I was 53 he made my day by telling me "you're a bad muther f*cker!".
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If you are looking for a reason to get or stay in shape next year, sign up for the Snake. For $75 or $85 you get a long sleev tee, a head badge, misc goodie and food at the end of all three stages. It might be the biggest bargain in mountain bike racing. Plus, the race is staffed by some of the nicest, most competent volunteers I've ever seen.
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As I've said before, the folks at Northwest Georgia SORBA get it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pickett, Snake, Hastie Etc.

I am amazed the whole interweb thing was able to still be operable after a month without Clipper putting a virtual pen to virtual paper in the form of Clipperona bicycle!

Ginger and I spent a nice, really quiet weekend in a cabin at Pickett State Park.
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This picture (if you look real close) shows four otters in the lake behind our cabin.

Friday night was cold as hell. Most of the heat for the very drafty cabin was in the form of a fireplace.
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The lake was really pretty and had a couple of nice short hikes around it. There was even a natural bridge about a hundred yards from the cabin that the lake went under.

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When the icycles falling into the lake spooked the otters, this is where they went to hide.
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I raced the second leg of the Snake Creek Gap race last Sat. After my Jan. race I felt pretty good about putting up a good time for Feb. The conditions were dryer than I have ever ridden at the Snake. They were as "perfect" as I could imagine they could be.
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I rode strong for about 20 of the 34 miles. The leg cramps started on the long downhill leading to all the creek crossings. I walked places that I would never thought anyone would have to walk. I had the worst leg cramps I have ever experienced. I guess the temperature going to 72* when I was used to 35* was part of it. Then again ot could have been that I had only ridden once in the last 2 weeks and was sick the week before the race. Now, 5 days later, my right calf still feels like it is cramping and I have these two marks that look mysteriously like a snake bite...
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Finally, Brian and I took advantage of 4 days of dry, warm weather to try out the new Hard Labor Trail at Hastie last night. Hard Labor is really nice coming down from the Post Oak end. Going the other way will be a pretty good climb until we get some more tires on the trail to pack it in. We rode everything at Hastie with a minimun of mud and I think the Yellow Jacket trail may be my favorite. If you have been out there but don't know the trail names it is the one with the two bridges.

This is a shot of BHann running the new bermmed corner on Hard Labor.
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Followers

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.