Sunday, February 7, 2010

I'm Back...

So, I forgot I even had a blog. Then, I was part drunk last night and stumbled across my own blog. So a lot has happened in the last year. I've done a few races, got some new bikes and drank an unknown amount of beer.

So speaking of things that have happened since my last post. Last night, I got my first win in a race. Macon held its first alley cat last night ("Cold Cat"). The race started at the Shamrock Irish Bar and finished at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom in downtown Macon. There were a lot of out of towners who showed up in their hipster glory. There were more girl jeans on the streets of Macon then you could find in your mom's wardrobe.

The race course was pretty short (4-5 miles) and covered 3 checkpoints before finishing downtown. I puked between checkpoint 2 and 3. That's a good thing. If I don't puke in a ride, I'm not pushing myself hard enough. I got to the last checkpoint and there were 3 other guys there. I got back on my bike and sprinted as hard as a could down Cherry St. and finished the race like 2 minutes ahead of the next guy. I got a pretty cool bobble head trophy and some cool swag for the win. Overall, it was a good time. It was really awesome to see stuff like this go on in Macon. The 11th Hour recently published an editorial about "Sharing the Road". Hopefully the local cyclists in town will continue to band together for bike advocacy and get some safer roads around here. From the local chatter, there seems to be some serious progress in the works.

Well, hopefully I'll keep the blog updated more frequently. So stop back by and see whats going on in my life.

Monday, March 30, 2009

One for the wife..

My wife loves Bon Jovi and I have to disagree with her choice of music but loved this video.

No Posts in a While...

So its been a while since I last posted. A lot has gone on as well. There has been a lot of singletrack riding. Lets see. Where did I leave off in my life before not posting for a while. Oh yeah, I've done a couple of races lately. Some good, some not so impressive.

For starters, I did the 6 Hours of Heritage race that was put on by Dirty Spokes Productions. The course was pretty rad. The race was hosted at the Oconee Heritage Park which is located outside of Athens. That weekend consisted of pretty dreary conditions. When we showed up to the event, it was in the mid-30's with light mist rain. It stayed this way throughout the entire day and never got any better. If you've ever rode these trails, you know that Heritage Park is full of roots. This made for some fun climbs and decents. Overall, I enjoyed it. I'm still suffering after the 3 hour mark during these 6 hour races. I wouldn't call my level quite racing though. Its more or less about going out and riding as long as I can. I was able to turn 3 laps and then called it a day. Good times though.

So the following week consisted of as much riding as I could fit in my schedule. I had to get my mind and body ready for the kick off of the Georgia Series Championship at East Macon Park. This was the first race of an 8 race series throughout the state of Georgia. Luckily the first race is in my backyard and I had the convienance of riding the course everday for over a week. By race day, I was ready. But come race day, I wasn't the only one ready. Turns out a buddy of mine from one of the shops here in town showed up to race and entered the base class with me. Now this guy has been riding strong for a while now. I think base class qualified him as a sandbagger but hey, it was his first race. Once the horn blew, he was gone and I didn't see him for the rest of the race.

The East Macon race started out by hitting a lap on the BMX track and then we entered the woods for 6 miles of sandy singletrack racing. The BMX track threw in a pretty cool mix. I about went over the bars on the first jump but gathered my bearings and cranked out a strong lap. Once we hit the woods I was about 5th place. The guy infront of me was laying it down pretty good but he wasnt pushing as hard as I wanted to go. There was one point where the course came out of the woods and into a short field that allowed for some passing opportunities. So I took advantage of this spot and passed the 4th place guy. After that, he stuck right onto my wheel and held with me. We were pushing pretty hard when we came up to the steepest hill on the course. This hill is about 200 ft long and pretty steep. There is only one good line up the hill which zigs and zags back and forth up to the top. About half way up, the guy behind me shouts that he is going to pass right. I replied that there is only one line and at that point I'm heading towards the right side of the trail so I don't quit pedaling due to the steep grade. The other guy then runs off the trail and into some thick leaves. Next thing I hear are some explicit words. Obviously he's pissed. About a mile later, he catches me on a flat section where my single speed gearing spins out. I decide to hold back for a bit and to let him wear down a little. At this point, I still can't find 1st and 2nd or 3rd. I'm sitting back in 5th getting some recovery back into my legs. Once we finish our first lap, I get a brief glimpse of the 2nd place guy and see that I've gained on 3rd and 4th. About halfway through the 2nd lap, I pass a the 4th place guy and catch up to the previous rider who is mad at me. I'm trailing right on his rear wheel for about 5 minutes trying to pass him. I shout out my intentions and he just isn't letting me around. I try to the left, he blocks. I try to the right, he blocks again. So I start rubbing his rear tire. Then I start grunting to get on his nerves. I can hear him grumbling something but can't make out any words. I then realize we are approaching a really sandy turn and prepare to make my move. He hits the turn and his bike drifts to the right. At that point, I make my move and hit it to the left. Now I've passed him with about a 1/4 lap to go. I'm gone. There was no letting up for me. I knew I'd pissed the other guy off and I had to ride hard to seperate us in order to hold my 3rd place position. I also was trying to focus on possibly catching 2nd. The last 1 1/2 mile is the toughest at this course. It includes 2 sustained climbs and one short sprint climb. There was nothing holding me back. On the last climb, I exited the woods and into the field. Right before the finish line, the course directs you through a volleyball pit. I plowed right through and finished in 3rd. I was about 45 seconds behind 2nd. What a great race. It was actually eventful. I got to pass a couple of guys and raced hard.

So after the race, I just rode the commuter bike casually for about a week. This was last week. Also, last week, I was offered a part time gig at Bike Tech. I'm working as needed a little here and there. Its a pretty good gig. I'm still working at Geico as my full time deal. So if you get a chance, come in and visit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First Tuesday Night Road Bike Group Ride of The Year..

Tonight was the first Tuesday night road bike group ride of the year and man did everyone who owns a bike show up. We all started out as one huge group of 30-40 + riders and headed out at a moderate pace. After about 8-10 miles, we hit the hills and dropped quite a few people. By the time we were done with the hills, I was starting to bonk out. I lost sight of the "A" group but was never caught by the "B" group. Since this was the first time I rode on the weekly group ride, I didn't really know the route. With that said, I decided to head back to the car when I lost sight of everyone at an intersection. Logged in 26 miles for the evening and felt great! There is also a ride on Thursday nights that I'll ride but I think I'm gonna find out the route this time.

Keep the Rubber Side Down!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

3 Day Weekends Are Great!!

I love when I can take a 3 day weekend. Lately, it seems like its becoming the norm. I have been using some vacation to take the occasional Friday off. This makes for a longer weekend so I can take a cool trip somewhere. I've been bitten by the travel bug lately. I am constantly thinking about what my next trip is going to be. My A.D.D. just kicks in and I get all these cool ideas of places to go visit. Lately, I've tried to plan trips that aren't too far away so I can stay within my 3 day weekend.

The most recent trip I took was this previous weekend. The wife and I packed out packs and headed Southeast to Cumberland Island for some backpacking. We've heard pretty good things about the island and figured we'd take some time to check it out.

Around 5am on Friday morning, we put the packs in the car and headed off for the 4 1/2 hour car ride to St. Mary's, GA. When we arrived, sat along the river bank waiting for the ferry to arrive to take us across the Cumberland Sound to the island. This is one of the cool things about this place. To get on the island you have to take a ferry. The public isn't allowed to bring cars on the island. There are a few residents that live on the island and have access to vehicles but its nice to not have to worry about traffic and RV's tearing apart the integrity of this coastal haven.

After a 45 minute ferry ride, we were at the steps of the Cumberland Island National Seashore ranger station. We got our backcountry permits and filled our water bottles for our tropical adventure. While hanging around the ranger station, it was quite entertaining seeing the people who were heading to Sea Camp for the weekend. You see, at Sea Camp, the Park Service provides wheel barrows to transport as much camping gear as you'd like to your designated camp site. These aren't backcountry campsites. These sites have bathrooms and showers. Its funny seeing people transport 100 pound of gear for an overnight camping trip. Then they bring the coolers, steaks and kitchen sink. You begin to loose the whole experience of the natural solitude when you bring all the comforts of home into the woods.

After our brief entertainment, we hit the trails for our backcountry experience. This place was truly beautiful. Like I said before, there were no cars roaring around and it was nice to have this solitude. Along the trail I saw some armadillos for the first time. These little creatures are intriguing. Did you know that humans and armadillos are the only mammals who have the capability of carrying leprosy? The armadillos were everywhere. They would run across the trail with their noses deep into the ground rutting around for some dinner. Along the trail we also saw some wild horses. These horses were truly wild animals. The Park Service warns you about the horses on the island. Apparently many people have been hurt by them in the past. The horses were in no way scared to approach you and show who's boss. We tried to keep our distance.

After our afternoon's worth of hiking, we arrived at our campsite. We setup the tent and decided to head to the Plum Orchard Mansion for water. This historic mansion was about 1 mile from our campsite but it had fresh water that didn't need to be treated. When we got to the mansion, it was quite an eerie feeling being out in the middle of nowhere and seeing this huge plantation home surrounded by live oaks and Spanish moss. It was an experience you'd think was in some kind of thriller film. Once back in camp, we cooked our gourmet meal of chicken pasta Parmesan. Anything you eat in the woods tastes amazing. After our delicious meal, we got in the tent for some evening reading and to avoid the evening bugs. Unfortunately the park doesn't allow backcountry campfires so we chilled out in the tent to avoid the bugs. Soon thereafter, the sun was set and we decided to get some shut eye.

Friday night had to be the longest night I have ever slept in the woods. Without the experience of a campfire, its hard to keep yourself awake in the dark woods with nothing to really do. Camping with the wife definitely warrants sleeping in a bit as well. After debating getting out of the sleeping bag, we packed our gear and began our trek back towards the ferry docks. Saturday's hike was along some of the same trails until we had a run in with some horses that didn't want us crossing their path. After this run in, we backtracked a little to a dirt road that headed towards the beach. Once at the beach, we had some lunch and just enjoyed our time together. Its nice to have this kind of quality time with my wife. Its these experience that we'll remember for the ages.

Instead of hiking back on the trails, we made our trek back on the beach. We hiked about 5 miles along the shore. The Cumberland Island shores are so pristine. There was hardly anyone out there and better yet, no trash. This island certainly has kept its natural beauty by not allowing developments and controlling the number of people on the island at one time.

The overall experience was great. When we got back to the ferry docks, we sat on the ranger station porch rocking in the rocking chairs. We again got another dose of entertainment by watching the folks unload off the ferry with tons of gear for their overnight camping experience. Another 4 1/2 hour car ride back and we were home, tired and sore.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Rock (Muddy) Road Rash Hash....

The weekend was wet. That sentence can pretty well summarize anything I type about in this post. Well, then you have the added bonus of the fact that the weekend included booze. Plus there was snow, in Georgia. Then there's the fact that it was cold. Ok, so there was a lot of interesting facts that made up my weekend.

Saturday was warm and wet. I woke up later than usual on Saturday. That was a nice bonus to the start of the weekend. For the past few weeks, I've been getting up earlier on Saturdays than I do during the work week. So catching some extra z's played out nicely. I just lounged around the house all morning with the wife and watched a few movies. The whole time it there was a nice downpour outside. A couple of tornado watches later, I was on the bike. I mean, how can I contain myself. I'm not gonna let any rain keep me off the bike.

I haven't hopped on the commuter in a while. Recently I decked it out with some full rain fenders and a rack with panniers for some light touring/commuting. With those fenders on the bike, I figured this was the chance to finally test them. The roads were soaked and there was hardly anyone on the roads. What a perfect setting for a mid day ride. I stopped by the bike shop for a brief chat and decided to get a cup of joe down at Jittery Joes. After the coffee, I strolled around downtown for a little while then hit the liquor store and a buddy's house for dinner. So my saturated Saturday turned out pretty good.

Sunday was pretty awesome too. I didn't sleep too well Saturday night because I left the bedroom window cracked and heard rain all night. Normally rain is pretty soothing but it was the thoughts that went into my half asleep mind. I kept thinking that the Rocky Road Rash Hash was gonna either get canceled or the conditions would be too rough for me to even want to ride. So after a few cat naps, I woke up, got my gear together and headed out in the truck for an epic ride.

When I got to Juliette, GA (set of "Fried Green Tomatos") the rain was getting harder and the temps were dropping faster. How is it normal for the high temp of the day to be at 6:30am? Along the edge of the gravel parking area, the Ocmulgee River was breaching its banks and overflowing into the parking lot. There were a couple of guys in the parking area and Monte had a fire pit out with a few logs burning. Will showed up shortly after with a pop up canopy to keep us dry for a short time. Mike and Maria showed up with some warm coffee and donuts. Then Tim showed up with some off the shoulder jokes. By 9am we had a bigger group than I ever imagined would show up for an event in these conditions. Not only that, everyone was pretty pumped about riding.

The rain continued to pound harder and the waters continued to rise on the edge of the river while we all stood around the fire. Collectively, we decided to ditch the idea of a 50 mile hash. Instead, we opted for a 15 mile mud ride. This was the shortest of the loops we could ride but turned out to be harder than we ever expected. As we started out on River Road, we were soon to hit some sticky mud. The road is normally hard packed clay but the rain has turned it into a muddy swamp. There were a couple times that the mud just sucked my tires deeper and just about sucked the life out of my calfs. Normally I would consider quiting in these conditions. But that thought never crossed my mind. This was actually fun.

The hills actually felt shorter than normal because that was not where my focus was. I was focused on keeping my bike moving forward through these conditions. I finally breached the steepest climb and met up with the faster riders. As a group we all headed out for the next intersection. After we got off River Rd., the forest roads were a bit better. The temperatures continued to drop though.

About 10 miles into the ride, we stopped at the favorite creek crossing and took a short break. We all celebrated our ride with some cold beers and PB&J. The creek is normally low enough to ride/walk across. This time it was about a class 2/3 rapids. Right as we downed our beers, the rain started turning into sleet/snow. This was what we all wanted. We were experiencing the worst conditions that we could possibly face in Middle Georgia. The only thing that could have made the weather worse would have been a torndo. But we were still stoked.

Another 4 miles later we all made it back to the cars soaked from head to toe. The fire was still smouldering and we got it going again. Everyone got changed into some dry clothes and we continued to hang out in the now drizzling rain/sleet and drank a few more beers. The day couldn't have been more memorable. This ride proved to the select few of us that nasty weather doesn't alway mean you can't ride. Its what you make out of it that makes the experience.

So I'm glad I didn't bail on this one. I'm looking forward to the next event that can build memories like the Rocky Road Rash Hash did.

Keep the Rubber Side Down!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

There is a reason I like Lance Armstrong so much...

"I Don't Drink During the Season." ???????

What a lazy week its been. I got a ride in on Monday but that's about it. Its been nice to rest some. I've got everything planned out for the month of March. It looks like I'll be racing a lot. Coming up this Sunday, I'll be sweeping the back of the field in the Rocky Road Rash Hash. This isn't really a race (at least not for me). The following weekend will be an off weekend as far as the bike is concerned and I'll be backpacking with the wife on Cumberland Island. The 2nd weekend in March I'll be riding in the 6 hours of Heritage race. The 3rd weekend I'll race in the opening race of the Georgia Championship Series in Macon, Ga. Then the last weekend is going to be dedicated to a benefit ride in Pisgah National Forest for the Sorba chapter in that area. So March is gonna be a fun filled month. And to top it all off, the Tuesday/Thursday road group rides are starting back up. I've gotta figure out some time to spend with the wife.

Now, on to discussing the topic of this post. I was in the local bike shop this afternoon when one of the local riders came in. I don't want to name any names but he's a pretty cool guy. From what I know of him, he's a fast road rider as well. He is on the premier local road cycling team. So we were discussing the Rocky Road Rash Hash that's going on this Sunday. I asked him if he had a mountain bike or a cross bike and he stated he did. I told him that he should come out and ride with us. His return comment was that he had to get a 4 hour training ride in on Sunday. I said, "Take 4 hours to complete the 50 mile hash ride." He replied, "I don't know." I then opened the invitation and said, "It would be lots of fun. Bring your bike and bring some beer." That's when I got this look. He looked at me and was like, "Beer, during the season? You mountain bikers are something else. I don't drink during the season." I left it at that. Even if I quit drinking completely, I honestly don't think I'd ever notice a difference in my performance. Its just like shaving my legs, its ain't gonna happen. Like I said, this guy is actually a pretty cool guy but I just found it funny the way he responded to our event. The day cycling becomes a chore is the day I quit.

And if for some reason "you" are reading this post, here's an e-beer just for "you".

Keep the rubber side down!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rides for this weekend...

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my weekend. Sunday, I'll be riding in the 2009 Rocky Road Rash Hash in the Piedmont Wildlife Refuge. This is a 50 mile forest service road ride. Apparently there will be several rabbits that the pack will have to chase. If you catch the rabbit, you get some kind of prize (knowing the guys who are hosting the event, there's no telling what the prize will be). I've rode these routes a couple of times and there is quite a bit of extended climbing out there. So this ride is on my calendar.

As for Saturday, I'm still up in the air as to whether or not to go to the Biking Bleckley Metric Century in Cochran, GA. The weather looks pretty shitty and scattered T-Storms are on the forecast. From what I've heard, the past few years have always had rain. I'm not the biggest fan of riding the road bike in the rain. I've got till Friday night to decide. If the weather clears up, I'll go. If not, I'll thrash around town on the fixed gear. I need to ride that bike more anyhow.

On other news, the wife and I are planning a pretty stellar trip to Cumberland Island next weekend. The tentative plan is to go backpacking for two nights and three days. This trip is tentative as well because we will only go if the weather is nice. We both have thrown the idea around for the past few years and never got around to going. We figured we should go soon before the bugs start coming out. I'll post more about this trip as we get closer to that weekend.

Keep the rubber side down!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm back from Santos...

So as I've raved about for the past few weeks, I went to Santos, FL over the past weekend for some mountain bike racing. All in all, this was a great trip. I was able to take Friday off from work and loaded up my gear. Monte and I hit the road for a five hour trip to Florida. We stopped about 45 minutes out of Santos in Gainesville, FL where we met up with Monte's brother-in-law Mike as well as two other guys from Macon, GA., Chad and Jeff Clayton. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and said our last goodbyes to the bustling civilization.
Once we arrived at the Santos Mountain Biking Trails, we unpacked the gear and setup camp. Our good friend Dean Thorton was already there and had his camp setup when we arrived. Thanks to Dean, we were able to get a spot right next to the race course. This made pit stops easy during the race. After shooting the shit and changing into our riding gear, we hit the trails for a quick pre-ride before sundown. This was the first time I had been to the Santos Trails. It was definitely tougher than I expected. To start off the lap, the trail takes you on a series of sharp ups and downs with tight twists and turns that follow the banks of what was supposed to once be the Florida Canal. Of course the canal was hardly started so all that was left is a big hole in the middle of Florida. After figuring out some good lines along the technical trails, we were then on some flat twisty trail. For about another 3-4 miles, the trail winds in and out with hardly any elevation gain. This area was a good spot to unleash the speed and make up some time. Unfortunately, during the pre-ride, I took a pretty good spill. As the sun was setting, a blinding ray of light was shining right in my eyes and I came across a set of roots. I cleared the 1st and 2nd set but did not see the 3rd. It was the 3rd set that stopped my front wheel and over the bars I went. From what my riding buddies stated, I claimed I was ok while still flying in the air. After dusting off my body, I got back on the bike and we finished our pre-ride lap. This lap was a good awakening for what was before us on Saturday.
On Friday night, we cleaned up a bit from our pre-ride and were hungry for some carbs. Monte's brother-in-law, Mike, cooked up some baked ziti. We heated it up on the grill and ate like kings. Word was spreading around the camp that fires were banned due to a county wide drought. This was upsetting to us since the temps were dropping fast as soon as the sun went down. Word has it that the temps reached in the 20's. I wouldn't doubt it. On Friday night, we huddled around a propane heater that Monte brought along. After some beers and a little whiskey, we hit the sack for some rest.

Saturday morning I woke up to someone blasting "Smoke on the Water." That was before 7am. Waking up was hard to do since it was soooo cold. We all eventually climbed out of our warm sleeping bags and got ourselves ready for the race ahead. I made my way down to the staging area around 9:30am. I got my bike placed in a good spot for the Lemond start. Shortly after 10am, the horn sounded and hundreds of gutless mountain bikers were in an all out sprint to their bikes. This was a problem. When you have hundreds of people riding their bikes towards a narrow single track trail, you are bound to have a traffic jam. By the time I reached the actual trail, everyone was in a near standstill. I got off the bike and shouldered it around all the stopped riders. This worked to my advantage to get around all those who couldn't figure out how to pedal forward.Now I'm on the trail racing at the beginning moments of a 6 hour race. Everything was going pretty well till lap 2. You remember I mentioned the beer and whiskey from Friday night? What a stupid move. The temps were beginning to rise and my body was feeling it. Not only was the bad descisions from the night before hitting me, I was feeling pretty sore from the fall I took during the pre-ride. In the pits, Mike caught up with me and I decided to slow my pace a little and ride with him for a while. We rode out our third lap together but I just wasn't feeling it. My mind wasn't right, the body wasn't right and the fun had stopped. After the 3rd lap, I started coughing pretty hard from all the dust in the air. I coughed so hard that I ended up blowing some chunks. This created another problem for me. After throwing up, my throat became raw and it felt like I had something stuck in it. This affected my breathing. With all the problems I was facing, I decided to call it a day and to just sit back and root my buddies on in their efforts to compete in the race. This was a decision I'm not ashamed of. It just wasn't my day. I made some bad choices and it affected my race. I have learned from those decisions and will think twice about what I do the night before a race. I still had a good time getting a few laps in and watching my friends race their race.

After the 6 hour race was over, we all just rested around the camp for a while and watched the 12 hour guys run their laps. We fixed some good food and shot the shit with each other. It was good times. On Sunday, we woke up and packed up the camp. We all were tired but didn't feel like leaving without getting one more ride in. We got on the bikes and rode out for a 20 mile ride out to the land bridge and back. This ride was over some really easy trails. The land bridge is a pretty cool bridge that crosses I-75. It is designed specifically for bikes, hikers and horses. After a couple of pictures, we headed back to the Santos trailhead and got in the truck and hit the road back home. Good times were had. I'm already looking forward to getting back to Santos for more rides.

Keep the rubber side down!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Headin' To Santos...

The bike is greased and lubed, the bags are packed and I'm ready to go. I'm headin' out the door right now. Time to head to Florida for 12 Hours of Santos at which I will only be racing the 6 hours of Santos. Have a good weekend everybody!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trainer Training....

After work I headed over to Bike Tech to figure out what size kit I needed to order. After acting like a teenage girl in American Eagle, I figured out what size to order. I'm really impressed with how good of a job Matt and the crew are doing with Bike Tech. Business has been looking pretty good over the past few months with more and more people getting into riding. Its great to still have Nate working the wrench. This is a shop I'm thankful to have in my local community.

By the time I finished sizing up my kit, I headed home for some dinner and relaxing. Since it still gets dark fairly early, I decided to hit the trainer tonight. The trainer can become my biggest enemy at times. I ride the trainer for the workout but sometimes it just bores the shit out of me. Tonight I did high paced intervals to get my heart rate high. I've gotta get this body weight down so I'll look smooth in my new kit. The entire time on the trainer, I couldn't keep enough water in me. I think I sweated more water than I took in. As for my training, my goal is to at least get on a bike everyday whether it be the trainer or actually riding outside.

Keep the rubber side down!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rode To Work Today...

So today I decided to get some base miles by riding the bike to work. Normally I would ride the commuter bike that is decked out with fenders, rear rack, comfy Brooks B17 saddle and panniers. But today I decided I was gonna ride the road bike. I'm am really addicted to my Madone. The bike just rides so smooth and has great response. I packed up my messenger bag and hit the road for a 12 mile ride to work. The ride there wasn't too bad. I did have to stop half way there to take off a layer since there was quite a temperature increase once the sun came up. The route that I have to take can be a bit sketchy in sections. There are a couple of bad neighborhoods I have to ride through and there is about a three mile stretch of road which scares the shit out of me. This stretch of rode is where I just clutch tight to my handlebars and pedal as hard as I can praying that I don't get struck by a car.

By the time I made it to work, I had just enough time to take a rinsing shower and get dressed. Around two o'clock, I was getting pretty ansy to get away from the desk and get back on the bike. Once five o'clock rolled around, I was out of the office so quick. The ride home, the wind had really picked up and was presenting quite the challenge. Not only that, one of my supervisor's drove by and beeped her horn which scared the shit out of me. Also, my messenger bag seemed to be more full on the ride home. I guess it was cause I didn't pack it as efficiently and had a few extra layers in the bag instead of wearing them. After getting home, I realized I am not going to ride my road bike to work anymore. The commuter bike is much more comfortable for navigating the downtown traffic and potholes. It sucks to dodge every crack and pothole on the road bike. Its also nice to carry everything in some panniers instead on my back. The load dispersment isn't as good on the back.

Overall it wasn't a bad day. I'm just thankful to get a nice ride in while we have such beautiful weather. Another positive note is that the club sizing kits are going to be in tomorrow. As soon as I get off work, I'll be heading down to the Bike Tech to figure out how fat I am and to order the appropriate size. The kit design looks awesome. Much applause goes to Brett Baron and Kristie Andrews for getting this stuff rolling. Brett has really put a lot of time into organizing the club. Its nice to have an open invitation club that is about riding. The Macon Chain Gang isn't only about racing or becoming the next Lance Armstrong. This club is for whoever likes to ride their bike. Its a diverse group of riders from all levels of experience. I'm really looking forward to the group rides that are going to start up soon.

Till next time,
Keep the rubber side down!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weekend Adventures.....

So this weekend wasn't too bad. I wasn't as focused on riding as I have been the past couple of weekends. The weather was kind of shitty which called for more relaxing than anything else. Of course Saturday morning was Valentine's Day which is nothing more than Hallmark's way of getting more business. Aside from that last comment, the wife and I traditionally go to IHOP for a VDay meal. So Saturday morning we got up pretty early and headed for some pancakes. After stuffing ourselves with some awesome pancakes, we headed over to the local bike shop where one my buddies hooked me up with some awesome red and black Vredistein tires. They look great on my white/black/red Madone.

So by mid day, I'm just itching to get a ride in. All day long there was a light drizzle. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to ride. So I did what I haven't done before and I actually took my road bike out for a wet ride after putting the new tires on. The tires looked and performed great. I was pretty impressed with how little rolling resistance they had compared to my stock Bontrager tires. The only bad part about it was I think I pinched the front tire while I put it on which caused a tube blowout on the ride home. This sucked as I was left on the side of the road during the hardest part of the rain. Luckily, it didn't take long to change out the tube and I was back on the road.

By Saturday night, I was ready for some beers. I headed over to Jake Corwine's house to catch the Prologue stage of the Tour of California. The tour roster is pretty impressive this year. There is a lot of American talent in the cycling arena now. There is actually so much talent, its hard for me to choose a favorite. Of course Lance is one of my favorites but Levi, Zabriskie and Floyd Landis are on my list as well. Levi and Dave Zabrikie had impressive finishes in the Prologue TT. Lance wasn't too off either with his 10th place finish. Too bad he got the TT bike stolen from the team trailer the next day. Hopefully the jackass that took the bike will get whats coming to him. Unfortunately, Floyd Landis didn't have the best TT results. But I'm not really the one to critique a guy as good as Floyd and who has come back from such an extensive hip surgury. I'm glad he's back into the cycling community again and I look forward to seeing what kind of performance he is going to have this year.

So as Sunday rolled along, the wife and I decided to make an impromptu trip to the coast. So we got into the Jetta and hit I-16 for the two hour trip. The weather wasn't the greatest but it wasn't horrible either. Once in Savannah, we decided to try out a restaurant we hadn't been to before. We went to the Pirate House Restaurant. This place wasn't too bad. Its basically a southern style buffet in an old pirate lounge. The was a lot of cool history to the place. After a hearty lunch, we headed to the coast of Tybee Island (where we got married). The wind was unreal on the beach. We spent about 20 minutes just walking around and taking a few camera phone pictures before heading back to the car. We hadn't been to the beach since we got married over a year and a half ago. It was nice to have this quality time with the wife. This was especially nice for her as my weekends are going to be filled for the next few weeks with bike events.So once we were back in Savannah, we hit up Broughton Street. This place has really boomed in the past year and a half. There are a lot of new retail places that have opened up. This is great to see considering the state of the economy. After a few shops and a cup of coffee, we decided to head back home. The day was great! I was glad to spend the quality time with my wife and visit the beautiful low country.

Not as much riding was done this weekend but I can't complain. This week I'm gonna work on getting some base miles in when I can. I think I'll use the road bike a couple of days to ride to work. That will put about 25 miles per trip on the books. Then on Friday, its off to Florida for the 12 Hours of Santos. I think I'm gonna be ready.

Till next time, keep the rubber side down!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

22 Mile Night Ride

Today was a long boring day in the office. If any of my superiors are ready this, I apologize for my public rant. Its not that I dislike my job. Considering the economy, I love my job. Its just everyone wanted to call me today and bitch. So when 5 o'clock finally rolled around, I was fast to hit the door. I brought the bike to work today with plans of heading up to Juliette, GA (set of the movie "Fried Green Tomatos") for a long night ride with some friends

We all met up at the Monroe County Fire Station which is on the same street as the movie set. Around 6pm we geared up and hit the road. As you may have read in some previous posts, these roads are nothing more than a bit of dirt and some gravel here and there. For the first 30-45 minutes, it was just beautiful evening skies with the open road below the rubber.

Once the sun set, our lights turned on and the fun began. I was riding my single speed mountain bike while everyone else is spinning the gears. It can be tough at times to maintain the same pace as the geared guys because I will just spin myself to death. The climbs feel great on the single speed. I just hop out of the saddle and climb. As stated in the past, the Piedmont area is great for climbing.

This was the first time I've rode out here at night. Night riding is pretty stellar because you don't really notice the climbs nearly as much as during the day. We also did a different route than what I've been on before. At around 7pm, the temps really started to drop. It was around 70 degrees when we started and about 50 degrees by 7pm. These temps didn't help very much when we had to cross about four streams. That is another cool aspect of this area. Its pretty much wilderness. It is a true escape from the city.

So all in all, we road pretty hard and kept the heart rate up. Once we got back to the trucks, he had covered 22.24 miles in under two hours. That includes a few stops. I'm really starting to feel the difference in my riding strength. One week from tomorrow, I'll be heading to the Sunshine State for my first race of 2009. I'm so stoked, its hard to contain myself.

Till next time,
Keep the rubber side down!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekend Over and Weekdays Begin....

So you really could not have asked for a more beautiful weekend. The weather was just amazing. Got a lot of riding in over the weekend. I am now 337.58 miles worth of riding for the year. I am a little behind schedule but we have had some cold days in January that I just couldn't stand to go outside for a ride. I'm hoping to start riding between 400-500 miles a month once Spring starts. More daylight means more riding. I'm just thankful the wife is on board with my riding schedules. I thought she was going to be a bit annoyed with the amount of riding and racing I plan on doing this year.

So today I decided to start incorporating weight training into my regular training regimen. I went to the apartment complex gym and did some leg workouts on the weight machines. It actually felt pretty good trying something new. I'm hoping this will work some different muscles and helps build my core strength. I'm also concentrating pretty hard on my nutrition. I'm watching the foods I eat with the intentions of dropping some weight. Its time to be in complete control of my body.

So tomorrow, I plan on doing some good base miles on the Piedmont forest roads. I think 30 miles on a single speed mountain bike on these roads beats just about any other workout I can do. There are some awesome sustained climbs that work the legs just right. I plan on getting a couple of these rides under my belt before the Santos race next weekend.

Till later,
Keep the rubber side down!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Gotta love Saturdays. You really gotta love those Saturdays when the temps hit in the 70's for the first time of the year. I lot of riding was done on Saturday and I'm thankful for every mile that I rode.

At 6am, I briefly woke up, hit the snooze button and rolled back over in the bed (Who wakes up at 6am on a Saturday). The thought of my warm bed made me want to sleep longer but the thought of hitting the trails only to see a gorgeous sunrise was an even stronger temptation. So I packed up my gear and headed for the trail. The weatherman talked about how warm the day would be. I checked the temperature outside before leaving and it didn't feel too cold. But once I got to the trails, I realized I was not dressed properly for an early morning ride in February. We hit the trail around 7am and not even a mile in, I went through a creek bed with water in it only to get my feet wet. This sucked! Temps in the 30's and miles of riding left with wet feet. So the ride was a lot of fun. It was just three of us battling out on the single speeds. When I got back to the truck, I literally couldn't feel my big toes. When I took my shoes off, they were swollen pretty bad. I wasn't till noon that I actually started to regain feeling.

Around 11:30am, I suited up in my road gear and took Madame Madone out for a road ride. I decided to ride to the group ride meeting location instead of getting into the steel coffin. Most guys seem to always drive 5 miles to then ride 40-50 miles. I don't really understand it. But once I got to our meeting spot, the parking lot was full. Temps were getting into the upper 60's and everybody was out on the bikes. This was a huge motivation/inspiration. I didn't know there were that many cyclists in the Macon area. So I met up with some of the guys I normally ride with and come to find out that Brett Baron, a local rider, I starting up a new social cycling club. Everytime he introduced the idea to everyone, he would make it known that it is for us guys who just like to ride and socialize with beer. This sounded like my kind of club. He invited me to join up. Hopefully we'll get some pretty cool kits soon. So after the pre-ride socializing, we hit the road, rubber side down. My buddy Jake and I stayed with the group for about 18 miles then we branched off to do some hill repeats for about 6-7 miles. I can't emphasize how beautiful the day was. It wasn't too hot and certainly wasn't too cold (while on the road bike). We got about 30 miles in on the road bike.

The body is starting to feel pretty strong again. The hills aren't as tough and I still have a large reserve of energy at the end of the rides. I am slowly increasing my mileage as I go. Hopefully, I'll be ready for the Santos race in two weeks. From what I hear, there aren't any hills but there are some pretty tight technical sections throughout the course. I like these kind of trails because it challenges your riding skills, not just your endurance.

Till next time,
Keep the rubber side down!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another Great Training Ride

I was fortunate enough to be able to get away from the desk early today. I was sitting in my office around 3pm and took a glance outside to see the clear skies. That was it. I had to put my foot down to Mr. Corporate and take some personal time for myself. I left the office and headed for the trails.

I hit up a local trail on the East side of town with a buddy and we did fun fast lap. This trail doesn't really have too many sustained climbs but its just up and down the entire way. This place is a great training ground for me as I'm working on getting those race legs ready for the Georgia Championship Series as well as a few endurance races.

It is official as of today. I will be racing at Santos on the 21st. We'll be heading down on the 20th for some course preriding and camping. I'm pretty stoked about this race. This is going to be my first race of the season. February and March are gonna be busy.

See you guys on the trails!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Weekday MTB Ride

So work has been flying by so fast this week. Monday sucked so bad!! I was so busy with customer's calling me expecting me to snap my fingers and wallah!! I've been itching to ride so much this week. Its just been too damn cold. So today I packed my gear up and threw the bike in the back of the truck and headed off to work. After work, I met up with some friends at a local trail and hit a lap. It was pretty nice to stretch the legs out. I really miss the long warm days when you actually have time to ride the bike after work. Its finally starting to get dark later. Soon enough the time will change and more riding will occur.

So now I'm thinking of heading downtown to do a few hill repeats and finish the evening with a good beer. Its just getting pretty cold now that the sun has gone down. I'm hesitant to get on the trainer but that may be what I gotta do.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Training Starts...But I Will Have Fun Doing It!

So its time to get serious on the bike. There are several rad mountain bike races coming up soon. This year I plan on hitting more endurance races. I am planning on adding a few 12 hour races to my calendar. I've been bitten by the road bike bug as well. To add to the fun of the year, I plan on doing at least one century a month on the road bike.

The road bike has been a great way to knock out those base miles lately. I mean, I really enjoy riding the mountain bike but it can be rewarding to knock out 60-70 miles in one day. Although, this past weekend I hit the mountain bike for a 30 mile ride in the Oconee National Forest. There is a group that meets once or twice a week for some long mountain bike rides on some killer forest service roads. Living in Middle Georgia, its hard to find any good climbing but these forest service roads offer several sustained climbs. This is good for training as it keeps the heart rate up.

So speaking of the ride plans, I am going to start February off with the Biking Bleckley Metric Century. This will be a good road ride to add some miles to the log. Once March rolls around, its going to be all about the mountain bike. March hosts the kickoff of the Georgia State Championship Series. I am glad the first race kicks off in my hometown of Macon, GA. The race is going to be held at East Macon Park. This trail is short (5 miles) but it offers some fast singletrack with plenty of room for passing. I still haven't decided what class I'm going to race this year. The Singlespeed class is always tempting but that is a pretty hardcore group of guys that race that class.

The next race on the list looks like its going to be the 12 hours of Santos in Florida. This has sounded like a pretty cool event. Its hosted by the folks at Gone Ridin' which always host some pretty cool events and do an awesome job keeping times.

Hopefully I'll add some more rides/races to the calendar soon.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Back!! Happy New Year!

So its the new year. Hope everyone's holiday was great. Its been pretty busy for the end of the year. I changed positions at work which has changed my schedule to days. I'm now M-F 8:30-5. This schedule is great once the time change is back. It will allow more riding. So over New Years, the wife and I headed up to Knoxville, TN to visit family and friends. I got to get an awesome road ride in on the 1st. My goal for 09 is to ride at least 2009 miles. I seriously hope to ride more than that but 2009 miles would be pretty rad. I should have some more posts going on again soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Too Funny Not to Share

So I know its been a while since I have posted anything. Life has been so busy with my new position at work. Well, today I was reading up on some E-News when I came across this video of President Bush's trip to Iraq. I felt this was too funny to keep to myself.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Life Should Be...

Its been nice to have the day off and relax, ride the bikes, watch a movie and listen to music. I haven't really taken the time lately to just to what I want to do. Well, today I did. Thats one of the things I'm thankful for.

This morning a got up and met up with a buddy at LH Thomson Trails for a mountain bike ride. As I heading to the trails, I passed a sign that said it was 30 degrees outside. I soon found out how true that was. We hit the trail about 8:30 and by 9 I was back in the car and heading home. My fingers, toes and ears were going numb. I under dressed for this ride. It was still cool to get a few miles in.

When I got home, the wife was already awake. We turned on the tube to enjoy a little Thanksgiving Parade action. I always love watching the parades. I don't know why but they seem pretty neat. Its one of the few traditional things that I appreciate. Towards the end of the parade, we started cooking up our mini feast for the two of us. This year we said screw the turkey. We're going to eat beef!! I fixed up some homemade mac n' cheese, sweet potato casserole, flaky biscuits and beef pot roast. Man was it good. As every American does on Thanksgiving, we ate too much. But we are thankful to have what we had.

The wife and I then watched a pretty cool movie. Its called "The Man Who Sued God". The movie is about a former lawyer who became a fisherman and his fishing boat got struck by lightning. The lightning destroyed his boat. When he went to claim it on his insurance, the claim was denied because of an act of God. Well, the fisherman thought this was pretty much bullshit and he knew he couldn't win a law suit against the big insurance company. So he decides to sue God. You need to watch the movie from here to understand what I mean by him suing God. Good movie though. It relates to my wife and I pretty was as she is about to be an attorney and I currently work for a big insurance company (we handle claims fairly though).

So now its about mid day and I am itching for a ride. I haven't got to ride much lately due to how early it gets dark. By the time I get home, it is almost dark. With everyone either out of town or celebrating Thanksgiving with family, I had no one to ride with. So I got on my road bike and headed out for a solo ride. I pretty much had the road all to myself. There were very few cars. I didn't really have any particular route in mind when I left the house. I just decided to take a left here, take a right there, go straight one way and turn left another. I just got out and rode. Riding solo gave me the opportunity to just relax and sort through all my thoughts. By the time I got home, I had rode the bike nearly 40 miles. It was a great ride with awesome weather.

So now I'm back home unwinding with nothing in particular planned. Its so nice to have a day without any kind of schedule. While sitting here, I am shuffling through some great music I haven't listened to in a while. My current Thanksgiving soundtrack includes the likes of Richard Thompson, Daniel Johnston, Nirvana and Ryan Adams. I am really digging the Daniel Johnston. His stuff can be hard to listen to for most but if you listen beyond the sound and interpret the lyrics, its amazing. Richard Thomson is amazing as well. As for Nirvana and Ryan Adams, their great. They don't need any explanation.

Daniel Johnston: True Love Will Find You In The End

So my Thanksgiving has been great. Life is good. Tomorrow I am going to work refreshed and will be glad not to be getting involved with the Black Friday shopping. I personally am choosing not to buy anything tomorrow because I feel that our constant consumer desires are part of our economic problems. Yes, there are many things that are too blame but Americans have the constant desire to spend money. This is a problem for myself as well. Its hard to get over. When these times are hard, we need to use this time to focus on controlling our overspending and put money away. If you do go out to shop tomorrow, I stress that you try to buy from locally owned businesses as it will help strengthen your local economy. So there's my $.02. Take it for what its worth. Hope everyone has had a great holiday!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm the Mother Flippin'!!

You watch and you will understand

Doc Watson

So I'm just sitting here bored to death. I hate that it is dark so soon. It feels like shackles around my ankles. I feel like I can't go anywhere or do anything just because its dark. I know this isn't true but that is the feeling that is instilled inside of me. Maybe I will get on a bike and ride down to a coffee shop for some coffee tomorrow night. I need to get out of the house. I am going stir crazy.

In my boredom, I was surfing the world wide interwebs. While surfing, I was listening to some bluegrass and folk tunes on Pandora Radio (great site that you can type any artist's name and the site forms a radio station for you that is similar to that artist). So while listening to Pandora Radio, some Doc Watson tunes came on. I really enjoy listening to Doc Watson. He has that old mountain sound. Its more than just bluegrass or folk. Its straight mountain music. His voice ain't the smoothest, his guitar pickin' ain't the sharpest but he is real. This is simply a guy who wrote some songs about everyday life and decided to sing about it. I respect that. I find Dylan, Neil Young and many others to have done the same thing. They found larger fame than Doc Watson. Doc Watson definitely rests in my book of great artists. And he was blind.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mississippi Mud

Its like the bottle says; Black and Tan. It drinks like a your average black and tan. For $2.75 a jug, its not a bad price either. The bottle is worth the price itself. If you have it at your local brew shop, pick one up.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family Was in Town...

So this weekend I had my family down to see my wife and I. We haven't seen my folks since the end of August. It was nice getting to spend some time with them.

So on Saturday morning, we all got into the car and headed to Atlanta via back roads. It was nice to stay off the interstate for once and just enjoy the rural country side as we headed to the big city. In Middle Georgia, we still have a few leftover leaves hanging on the trees. That was nice to see. I know I will genuinely miss when all the leaves are gone.

So once we got to Atlanta, it was time for lunch. We headed to my favorite restaurant called Ali Baba's Turkish Cuisine. I love this place. My wife and I almost always head here when we go to Atlanta. As always I had the lamb plate. It's so good.

After lunch, we drove up to Performance Bike for a little browsing. You know, I am never really impressed with this place. Every time I go here, it always seems like their deals that they advertise aren't really that great. I think I would rather spend my money at a locally owned bike shop. It seems that this mega retailers are so sterile looking. I like to go into a shop that has personal character.

Ok, so back to how I spent the day with family. After leaving Performance Bike, we headed to REI. Atlanta doesn't have many good local outfitter shops so REI is pretty much the only option. I do like REI. They seem to have a lot of stuff that you can't find anywhere else.

After our little trip to the "Mega" retailers, we drove back towards Macon. On the way home, we got the strange craving for ice cream. I say this is strange because it happened to be the coldest day we've had yet for autumn. So we traveled about 30 miles South of Macon and went to the Lane Packing. Lane Packing is a huge peach orchard in Peach County, GA. This place represents what Georgia is known for. They have the best peach soft serve ice cream around.

By the time we left Lane Packing, we were tired from our day. It was great to spend the day with my folks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

If you know Mike Brown.....

So if you know Mike Brown and have been to his house and seen his cats, this might make you laugh. Even if you don't know Mike Brown and/or haven't been to his house and seen his cats, this might still make you laugh.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back When MTV Was Cool....

This video is from when MTV actually played some cool stuff. This clip is from a tv show called Sifl and Olly. The show didn't last long. Occasionally you can find a pirated dvd on eBay.

Knoxville, TN

So this week I have felt a bit homesick. Well, its not really homesick. I just have been reflecting on my childhood growing up in the greater Knoxville area. Its such a great place to grow up. Within one hour of the city you have a wide selection of natural wonders. There is the Smokies, the Cumberland Plateau, Norris Lake, the Tennessee River, the Ocoee (where the 1996 Olympic Whitewater event was held) and the Big South Fork. The mountains and streams were such a large part of my youth. I have skipped rocks, jumped into the lake from an overhead bridge, hiked up a mountain, rafted or tubed the river and rode the trails on the bike.

Not only is Knoxville surrounded by cool places, there is a wealth of cool things within the city. Knoxville has one of my all time favorite music stores. The Disk Exchange is full of new, old, shitty, great and even mediocre music. I used to walk into this store and spend hours (just ask my wife). Most of the guys here are pretty helpful.

Knoxville also has a great palate. There are great restaurants everywhere. My favorite in particular is this an Indian Cuisine called "The Sitar". This place offers some great chickpea curry.

Since Knoxville is the home of the University of Tennessee, of course there is a plentiful supply of watering holes. There are really way too many for me to list. I don't even really have a favorite because I left before I was legally able to drink. I have since been to a few but hope to explore more when I return.

So in conclusion, I do miss Knoxville. Why wouldn't I? Its a peaceful little spot on the earth. If you ever are passing through, which is quite possible thanks to I-75 and I-40, stop for a moment and explore the town. You may find yourself in the same frame of mind as myself.

Flavor of the Week

So its been quite a while since I have posted the flavor of the week. My primary excuse is that I have been broke for the past few weeks due to buying so much bike stuff. Last weekend, I did get the opportunity to enjoy some bourbon. I mostly drank all that I had while I was at the Middle Georgia Mountain Bike Festival. I did discover tonight that I had a little left over. So as I am sitting here blogging away, I am also enjoying some Maker's Mark Bourbon.

ILL Communication

I'm really on a Beastie Boys kick lately. Who would've thought that this kick was stimulated by my job. Last Friday, I was sitting in a seminar about insurance fraud investigations when the guy giving the presentation played "Sabotage" as background music for his presentation. Its kind of funny seeing a bunch of middle aged guys who are slightly overweight and wearing ties all bobbing their heads to a presentation about insurance fraud. I guess it was catchy though. It sure has grabbed my attention. Ever since, I have played the Ill Communication album non-stop. This album has way surpassed my thoughts of how great the Beastie Boys really are. So for your entertainment, I have attached a video.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Middle Georgia Mountain Bike Festival

This past weekend I attended the Middle Georgia Mountain Bike Festival. It was a fun packed weekend. There was a Duathalon on Saturday morning that went over pretty well considering all the rain we had the night before. After the Duathalon, we all divided up for group rides. I can only give positive statements about Dauset Nature Trails. This place is great. Middle Georgia is so very fortunate to have a place like this.
After the group rides, we all gathered for some bike games which included the huffy toss, tube popping contest (which I placed second in), the bike limbo (video attached below), bunny hop, tire toss, and the slow race. These games of course were accompanied by some adult beverages. Its always interesting gathering a bunch of adults and playing like we're 10 year old kids.After all the children were put to bed, we the adults really got to have their fun. This was for the start of the chariot races. The rules of the chariot race is that you are on a 2 person team. You have a bike that pulls a chariot (child carrier). Once the clock begins, the rider of the bike has to either shoot a shot or jug a beer then get on the bike, ride down the dirt road and back to the finish line in which the person in the chariot must switch and repeat. This of course adds for some crazy fun.After the chariot races, everyone just relaxed and soaked up the day around the fire. In all, this event went amazing. As I was getting into the truck on Sunday, I looked over to a buddy of mine and told him how much I hate when these events end. This weekend really showed how the bike community is like a family. We raised money for multiple causes (Arrowhead Park Restoration and the Scott Hodge Get Well Fund). As always, I look forward to the future events where our bike community can gather again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This Is Pretty Impressive....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jittery Joe's Coffee Shop is Open In Macon....

So Jittery Joe's is finally open in Macon, GA near the Mercer University Campus. They are located next to Ingleside Village Pizza on Montpeliar. If your in the area, stop by and support these guys. They are supporters of the cycling community.

You Interpret......

So as usual, I sat down to watch the evening news. The evening news is pretty predictable as I am able to retrieve most of my current news before it hits the airwaves. This is in part is with thanks to the Internet. Although, there are times that the evening news is able to capture my eye with personal stories from around the world.

This evening, CBS aired a special on what the Obama presidency is about to inherit. This piece went into discussion about the terror in Afghanistan. In particular, the piece portrayed the extremist youth of this region of the middle east. I was quite shocked by what I saw next. On this day, Veteran's Day, the evening news showed real life footage of a young Islamic Extremist blowing up an American Humvee as it traveled through a rural tribal region of Afghanistan. I found this footage to be one of the most vivid and graphic displays that I have seen on public broadcasting.

My mind is still attempting to comprehend whether this should have been aired on the evening news. Reporters are always quick to discuss these events but rarely do we see the actual footage of an ambush on American troops. The memories of Uday and Qusay Hussein's deaths comes back to my mind after watching this. Do you remember when the broadcasting companies and newspapers all over the world showed the images of the two sons dead bodies?

Part of me thinks that we should never hide from reality. Another part of me ponders about whether we should view the dead (or the acts of causing death) on public broadcasting. My conclusion is not balanced. So I have attached the news piece for your viewing if you wish to see what exactly I was talking about. I do wish to make a warning about this footage as it is real and shows the act of taking another person's life. This warning was not given by the broadcast. Unfortunately I cannot edit the advertisement at the beginning of this video.

Remember those who have lost their lives.

I have recently became a Spike Jonze fan.....

So I have been watching a few Spike Jonze films lately. I am sucked into the strange humor that his characters are able to portray. The films have this odd ball eclectic sense to them. Check out this short film by Spike Jonze:

Save Tin Pan Alley!!

New York City should not raze it's cultural history for more condo high rises. Tin Pan Alley was songwriting capital of the world for many years.

W28th between Broadway and 6th should be a national landmark. It's importance to our culture is extremely significant. Icons such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Fats Waller, Scott Joplin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan & The Band as well as Ragtime artists gave their heart and soul for us within these walls from the 1880s to the 1960s.
According to the New York Post "The buildings, at 47, 49, 51, 53 and 55 West 28th Street, are being sold as a group for - hold on to your hat in these cacophonous economic times - a mere $44 million."

Visit and sign the petition to help save this historical musical treasure.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Never Gets Old....

This vocal track never gets old. A buddy of mine shared this with me. So I'm going to share it with you. Careful, it may get stuck in your head.

A Poem I Wrote in 2005

So I was digging in some old papers of mine and found a poem that I wrote before departing on my hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

The Shelter
"A day has come when to seek shelter. A shelter of where to escape. Not a shelter of wood or stone. Not a shelter of roofs nor walls. It is a shelter of assurance, reflection and peace. The man must remove himself from all society and become who he really is. In the woods is my shelter. In the woods I am free. In those woods which I have walked a day, I feel the presence of God. Yet in the woods I am aware of the darkness. To whom I write this is but myself. To whom I write this is for those who seek something different. So I am taking my day to be away from the scoffers. This day I am honored to be the guest of myself."

-James C. Deane IV
February 12, 2005

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Awesome Weekend!!

This has been an awesome weekend. Sometimes in life, you just need stand back and appreciate what you have and realize that it can be taken from you without notice. On Saturday morning, some friends and I loaded up the bikes and headed North to Fort Yargo State Park to do some mountain biking. This ride was meant to be a benefit for a fellow biker, Scott Hodge. As posted in a previous entry, Scott Hodge got injured pretty bad in a recent motorcycle crash. The local mountain biking community got together and held a benefit ride to help Hodge out with his medical bills (no insurance). It was a beautiful day for the ride. The leaves are changing and the temperatures are getting cooler. This was the first time I have got to ride at Fort Yargo. The trails are awesome for a single speed. It was also amazing to see all the people that turned out for the ride. I left yesterday evening inspired by all the people in the local biking community. I was even more inspired by Hodge's attitude. This guy was in a brace and walking with a cane but he was all smiles. He has the attitude that nothing is going to keep him down.

So today (Sunday), the wife and I started the morning with a nice brunch at some friend's house and then left for a short drive over to Sprewell Bluff State Park. I can't mention enough about how beautiful the leaves are this time of year. I must say that autumn is my favorite season. Sprewell Bluff is a pretty cool park. There is a few miles of trails that wind up and down and all around the ridges that follow the Flint River. I didn't realize there was actually mountains in middle Georgia. The Flint River was really pretty too. It was a great feeling to be in the middle of nowhere and listen to the sounds of nature. Lately, I haven't had the opportunity to spend much time with my wife due to her school and all the riding I have been doing. So it was really nice to escape from our busy lives and cherish our time together. I am really thankful to have a wife as wonderful as she is. So this weekend has certainly been awesome!!