Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SSWCO8 Photos

Looks like Steve had a rough day in Napa Valley

But still managed to capture the moment on film
Get well soon Steve! Safe travels back east!

Other SSWC08 moments on film courtesy of Carson Blume

Friday, August 22, 2008

Free Bike!


Good luck to Icon O. Classt!!!
Show 'em how it's done in the mid-atlantic!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pro Ho

Ever find yourself running Google image searches on random things such as mullets, sebaceous cysts, excessive ear wax, stupid bikes or dumb inventions? I know I do. Today's random search of the day produced good results. It is a term some of you may or may not be familiar with.....

Random Google Image Search of the Day:

Click below for full story. Definitely worth the read.
Pro Ho: A Casual Observer's Field Guide

brought to you by: rememberdelewareblog.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fool's Gold

Packing up Jeff’s Tacoma (we have the same awesome truck) on Thursday morning, we set off on our Fools Gold journey. Driving south for roughly 6 hours, the first leg of our road trip brought us to Hendersonville, NC where we stayed with my family. (photo: Jeff riding in the Pisgahs)

The following morning we pressed deeper into the backwoods of Appalachia and made our way to Camp Wahsega where the Fools Gold 50/100 miler was to begin. After picking up our numbers, pre-riding a bit of the course, and wolfing down a tray full of cafeteria style spaghetti (the rolls were really good) we made our way to the Hiker Hostel. (BTW – The Hike Hostel is absolutely the BEST PLACE to stay for all your cycling and hiking needs. Thanks again Josh and Leigh!)

Saturday morning we awoke at the ridiculous hour of 4:30am (this is the other slightly obnoxious thing about the stupid long races) and sat down to a beautiful breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal made by the Hiker Hostel folks. Thanks again for getting up stupid early to make breakfast! (photo: cyclingnews.com)

Race day:

I’ve never really been all that interested in the psycho long distance stuff. The 100 milers sound like a lot of unnecessary chafing. However, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to road trip with Jeff through the southern Appalachians and the Fools Gold happened to be offering a 50 mile option (small price to pay for a southern odyssey).

So that is how I found myself at the starting line on Saturday morning. I really was not in a racing mindset and didn’t really feel like venturing much into the red zone.

The race started with a fairly long gradual climb. Maria set the pace and I sat on her wheel ….until she started to peel away from me ….and I really felt no desire to make it hurt enough to stay with her. It would not be until the third aid station that we would reunite. Upon our reunion I learned that Maria won Queen of the Mountain!!!! Yay Maria!!!! (photo: Maria is Queen of the Mountainn for the 50miler!!!!)

Maria and I rode together for the remainder of the race at something of a tempo pace ….not killing it ….periodically chatting in between the short steep climbs and the fast descents. At the last aid station (just 6 miles from the finish), Norma snuck past us. Had I realized we were vying for second place I think I would have probably been more willing to log in some time in the pain locker. Yeah, I really had no idea that we were doing as well as we were. Within the last couple miles I peeled away from Maria in the single track section and rolled in at 3rd place …which was actually a bit of a surprise. (photo: Jeff is King of the Mountain for the 100miler!!!!)

The next day I checked out results on line to find that we all finished pretty close to one another. Hmmmmm …..what the hell was I thinking? Why was it that my head wasn’t in-it-to-win-it? In retrospect, that could have been a fairly attainable win. What is it that goes on in the tangled jungle that is my head?

All in all, with the right about of chamois cream, 50 miles really wasn’t so bad. I think I might try out the Shenandoah 100. Who knows, maybe I’ll even try to race for real. Oh, speaking of which, the SM 100 happens to fall on my 29th birthday. Ahhhhh!!!!! That means I’m 30 in racing years!!!!

As for Jeff’s race …it’s always awkward trying to recount someone else’s race, but I will try my best. Jeff started out feeling pretty strong …evidence of which was apparent when he easily claimed King of the mountain early in the race. It wasn’t long before he and Jeremiah had successfully broken away from the field and set to work putting a sizeable gap on third place (Local hero Thomas Turner). (photo: new Spooky team kit = awesome)

I believe it was somewhere around mile 63 that Jeff had his catastrophic flat …a slash to the sidewall. After fixing the flat Jeff was back on the bike and chasing for just 10 short minutes before he flatted again, resulting in a 30 minute hike back to the parking lot. A sad sequence of events, he took it surprisingly well. I think I would have done a lot more pouting. (photo: Jeff in the Pisgahs)

Race Results >>>> HERE

Side note: Turns out Spooky is back in business! They’re definitely getting off to a good start. Check out their new team kits! Best design I’ve seen all year!

Sunday morning we headed back to the family homestead in Hendersonville.

Yesterday we rode some of the most beautiful, technical trails the Pisgahs have to offer. Many thanks to Mr. Vanderbuilt for so generously giving this land to the state of North Carolina! Jeff seemed to like the climb up Black Mountain a good bit.

What could be better than a day riding in the Pisgahs? Hmmmm ....birthday cake might come in at a close second.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Nature Disturbancy

While I'm on the subject of sad stories in forest management ...Jeff and I will be heading down to Georgia for the Fools Gold in the next couple days which reminds me of the dreaded kudzu (Pueraria montana ) that continues to advance north thanks to global warming. At a growth rate of 1 foot/day, kudzu may have more luck taking over the Union than the rebels. (photo: advancing kudzu)

Speaking of hostile takeovers ...the red maple (acer rubrum) continues to dominate the eastern deciduous forest largely due to decades of fire supression. Much like Wal-Mart, red maple is very adaptable, allowing it to out-compete other species for scarce resources ....particularly oak and hickory.

On the bright side, it looks like the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) might be making a comeback after almost being completely wiped out by a blight in the early 1900s. For over 20 years, the American Chestnut Foundation has been working on a blight resistant species by cross breeding the American Chestnut with it's Chinese counterpart, unfortunately this resulted in a significantly smaller tree. It was not until recently that researchers were able to retain the superior size of the American Chestnut by backcross breeding the American/Chinese hybrid. Reintroduction is now a reality! Yay!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gas Line

Rather than racing this weekend, I decided to spend some time up in State College at the Chateau Keveau. I was mostly there on business, selling my old road bike to one of the Penn State kids. It went to a good home. Funny how selling an old bike marks a new chapter in one's life. (photo credit: Kevin's facebook)

Eric, may you see many happy miles with your new bike!

I also spent some quality time in Rothrock which is always good for the soul. I've wrestled so many of life's big questions while bashing through the endless miles of rock gardens and mountain laurel.
....which is why nothing could have prepared me for the atrocity of the new gas line. A terrible scar left on the face of Rothrock stretching to the horizon. And in its wake, leaving a humiliated strip of exposed soil where once stood an endless supply of blueberries in late summer. Hopefully they will lay the pipe soon and the forest will be left to recover from this horrendous laceration.

Keveau's Chateau:

Rothrock's beauty:

The ghastly gas line:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lo-C's Birthday!!!

Thanks to everyone who came out for Lorena’s 28th Birthday Bash!!! It was a fabulous evening of all things 80s.

Happy 28th on 8/08/08!!!

You’re only young once! May the wind always be at your back and may the rubber side always be down!!! As you travel to California remember these sweet words of wisdom:

It's the eye of the tiger , its the cream of the fight, risin up to the challenge of our rivals and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night and he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger

Lorena was truly a vision of the 80s. Too bad I didn't manage to get her leg warmers in the photo:

Jeff tapped into his endless reserve of talent and created this birthday cake masterpiece inspired by Simon. Whether it's on the bike or in the kitchen, Jeff always goes the extra mile:

Rob has a knack for the 80s Pictionary; however, the Muppets proved to be too difficult.

The 80s trivia podium. 1st: Christina, 2nd: Amanda, 3rd Lesley. Yay!!!

Good Luck Bear also made an appearance. Care Bear Stare!!!

PS - Iambic Pentameter Thursday will resume next week

PSS - Send me your photos and I'll combine them in a photo album for all to share!