Friday, December 19, 2008

New bike again?

I'm getting a new bike soon. It's gonna be nice. Super pimped out white with a powertap. Sram Red. A whole lot of carbon. In fact, it is going to look almost exactly like the last bike that I had for about 2 weeks that a clever thief is now riding around. Good stuff.

Yeah, I had my bike stolen from outside the shop. It sucked, but my insurance was cool about it and got a check in the mail really quickly. I was impressed. So I should end up with a new bike early next week.

Since I've not had a road bike, I've been mountain biking a lot more than usual. And while most of my rides have been pretty short and in the wet, its been nice to get back in the woods after such a long time out. Julia and I went up to Dupont to ride yesterday, and that was a blast. A little wet, but still, a whole lot of fun.

I've been riding my old hardtail (it's now a 2x national champion, thanks to T Cowie), and that thing hooks up. It is so fast coming out of corners it's crazy. I'm a little slower going downhill, but still, it's a kick ass training bike. Hopefully my new bike will be available soon.

And school is done. Which is awesome since it pretty much coincides perfectly with my needing to get out on the bike more. It's time to get back on the training and get fast again. Yeah. Gotta make that 12 hours of Tsali team.

I also have gotten my Christmas shopping done in record time this year. Which is surprising since I haven't had any money in months. So yeah, go get your shopping done and support the struggling economy. America will thank you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Well, I'm back to riding. I'm happy. My knee just kinda quickly got better and stopped being painful and stiff. I'll probably start doing workouts on the bike starting here soon. I guess I'm gonna have to be in pretty good form for road season starting in FEBUARY! I've never started racing quite that early. It's gonna be good though, I'm looking forward to it.

The BC team started our gym workouts this week (well, actually, we started last week, I started this week). It's cool. We're almost like a real team now.

And I'm super pumped... Today is the last day of classes. I'm actually writing this during my last class of the semester. It's good too, because I only have like 2 real exams, so I'm pretty much just finishing up homework stuff. This break is going to be great, pretty much just riding and hanging out. I need to be strong coming into the next semester. yeah, do work.

Also, Bracken Mountain Bakery is awesome. I highly recommend stopping in there to get a delicious treat to brighten up your day. Not to mention that they sponsor my cycling team, so that's pretty cool too.


Go Gators!!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I'm sitting here at the shop watching the rain with nothing to do but blog and ponder my life, and I've realized that I'm glad I'm not in the rain racing at the Gobbler. It would be way too muddy and gross and cold for me to do that, although I could probably win some good money. Good times. I feel sorry for Wes and Chris and all of the other volunteers who are out there making it happen but having to suffer through some really crappy conditions. Good job guys.

I watched Hancock last night... It was good. I like. Now I have to go see bond.

And oh yeah, apparently I am waaaay tougher than I thought I was. I tore my ACL playing youth football about 10 years ago, didn't realize what was up, and kept on practicing. I guess that has finally caught up with me, and I think it is what allowed my crash a couple of weeks ago turn nasty. It looks like I am going to inevitably have to have surgery to repair it, it's just a matter of when. I'm crossing my fingers that I can put it off until the end of next season so that I miss the least amount of time riding as possible. I've already missed almost a month of riding, and if I have the surgery now, it will be another 6 weeks before I can hope to get back on the bike. That would suck.

Anyway, I've got an appointment on Monday to see if I'll be able to start riding again, and hopefully I can get back on before too long.

Also, let me tell you a story... It is a story of karma or sowing and reaping or something like that. Or maybe just bad luck. Either way, Julia has been giving me a hard time for being a cripple over the past couple of weeks. She sprained her LEFT ankle on Thursday at the beginning of a group ride and now can't walk on it. So yeah, watch out y'all, your words will come back to bite you.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Riding? What's that?

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything, which is mostly because I haven't had anything to post in quite a while. But, here is a summary of the past few weeks for me.

In my last post I mentioned that I'd hurt my knee in a crash at my first cross race of the year. Well, that swelling never did really go down, and I ended up hobbling around for a week before I went to the doctor to get it checked out. He put me in a "knee immobilizer" and some crutches and then scheduled a MRI to get it checked out. That was a week ago, meaning that I haven't ridden in 2 weeks now. This is the longest that I have gone without riding in years, and I am already starting to freak out. I'm not someone who can sit around for very long at all. The worst part is, I still don't really know what is wrong with my knee. I have an appointment to find out what is up tomorrow, and I'm really hoping that I'm not out of the game for much more time. There is only so much that you can do in the gym with only one leg.
Here is the x-ray...

You can see the tibia is clearly jacked up. Now granted, this isn't MY x-ray... It is a broken bone though, and I feel for the person who had to deal with it. Mine isn't quite as severe. I'm not even sure yet if it is broken. It may just be a bruised bone. I'll let you know.

Anyway, I am getting my leg checked out today to find out what is wrong with it... I'm really hoping that I can get back on my bike soon.

I also think that I sold my mountain bike. Which means that I can get a new one as soon as Specialized gets their act together and gets them on the market. Although I did just get a bad ass new road bike that has yet to be ridden (thanks to a certain leg injury), but is, like I said, totally bad ass.

And I have to give a big shout out to Julia, who won her second cross race this weekend. She claims that this is the first big win that she has had, but I would say that Tsali was slightly bigger. Anyway, whatever, good job girlfriend. I feel like I report more about your life on here than you ever do, making this blog almost as much about you as it is me. Yeah.

Until next time, have fun riding. There are people out there who can't.

Monday, November 10, 2008


So I completed my second cross race yesterday... That gives me a 50% completion rate, which is really exceptionally low for an event as short as cross. This was my first Pro 1/2 race, and yeah, it sucked.

I crashed hard on the second lap after leaning my bike a little too far into a corner and clipping a pedal. I wasn't at the front or anything, but that pretty much ended my race, mostly because when I crashed, I hit my right shifter pretty hard on the ground and ended up with a whole lot of dirt jammed in there. I finished the race with a barely functioning rear shifter and a not really functioning at all rear brake. Good times.

When I upgraded, I expected to be able to ride with at least some of those guys, and I think that earlier in the year, I would have been able to. But I think that my snap is gone for the year, so I don't expect to be able to do a whole lot more racing this year. It's cool though... I am really excited about being able to just go and ride my bike. I want to get out in the woods before all of the leaves fall and it starts getting too bitterly cold.

And apparently when I crashed, I hurt my knee pretty badly. Bear in mind that this isn't the same knee that I was nursing before the race and trying to decide if I wanted to race on it. No no, this is my other, previously totally healthy knee. I didn't really notice it yesterday while I was racing, but sometime on the way home, my knee developed a baseball sized amount of swelling over the patella, making it pretty hard to bend it a lot at all. It's still just as swollen this morning. I need to stop crashing and just start riding.

Oh, so yeah. Julia did awesome in her first real 1/2/3 race with the chicks. She got a solid 8th after a bit of confusion about the number of laps caused her to misjudge how long she had still to race. But still, she killed it representing for SYCR. Jenna Bales Walker also held it down in the women's 4's, getting a solid 3rd place finish. Baker Bill went for the double on the day, killing it in both the masters and the men's 4's. Good stuff.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I just got screwed over by UPS. Make sure you actually give an inflated figure for your package's weight, length, height, and width. Otherwise they are likely to tag you with an enormous fee in addition to the original shipping price that was actually more than what it would have cost to ship a box significantly over the large package threshold. Yeah.

I voted today, and I didn't know who most of the people on the ballot were.

I also went titleless.

Monday, November 3, 2008


So, I'm wondering what happens if you don't give your blog post a title... Would it work, or would it just be doomed to be forever in title-less existence, not really sure what it is, stuck online without an identity. Whatever the case, I'm kinda scared to find out. But I'm also tired of having to come up with a meaningless title that is, well, meaningless. Yep. Next time, I'm going title less. I wonder if people will be excited...

I've realized that I have been really really bad about posting blogs. First I ditch out on my Clemson report, then I pass on doing a post about our national championship bid. LAME! Well, lets just say that I got owned in both of my races at nationals. I totally fell apart after a really bad start in the XC, finishing 25th I think. The short track was slightly better with a 13th place finish. I just wasn't as fit as I should have been. Next year it's on though.

I've only ridden once since nats, and have pretty much been enjoying the time off. I've spent a lot of time with Julia and bike people, and we had a killer Halloween party at the Tellman/Cowie house. It was awesome... everybody on the team dressed up as someone else on the team, that's how lame and inbred we are. Good stuff.

I've pretty much not done much for quite a while. School. Not much work. I did go on a run. That was fun. And slow. And painful. I don't think that I am all that suited for running. I think I know how it feels to be totally owned by someone though... Julia destroyed me on the downhill, and I was powerless to stop it. I don't think that I like that feeling.

I'm kinda pumped about racing cross this next weekend. Even if it is going to hurt waaay too much. We've got a good group going down though, and hopefully I can hold it down in the 3's. Maybe I'll even let you know how it goes... or maybe not.

Julia... you need a blog. You could make all kinds of witty comments on life in general and the state of the world at the moment, kinda like bikesnob without quite as much fixed gear snobbery. I would read it with great interest. Get on it.

I am so glad that the election is going to be over tomorrow. I am totally sick of hearing about political crap and people bashing. We're all Americans you idiots!!! Stop hating!

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is this?

I'm in a very not good mood. I don't know why.

At the risk of sounding angst filled and emo, I really just want to go to bed and have this day end.

I don't know what's going on, I had a pretty good day, I just got bummed out when I got home. But this is a sucky way to spend fall break...

Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I get to ride and hang out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'm sitting here in the bakery talking to Julia, and they are all out of food. I'm super bummed. Although I did get part of a special edition treat...

I think that I've got a lot of homework to do, but I can't for the life of me think of what it is.

I'm also trying to decide if I want to go for a ride. I really want to, but then I kinda don't. I'm also trying to figure out the whole, monday is saturday thing since I'm racing on friday of next week. Good stuff. Tristan would be proud.

I want to ride North Slope. And eat candy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nationals. Round 2.

BC is going to nationals. Awesome.

Yep, that about sums it up. Not much more to say.

Thanks to everyone on the team for giving it a killer effort. I can't wait to rock out with all of you at Banner Elk. Home of the Bobcat. And colllegiate nationals.

Also, Dan P Ennis has a cool sign off (Dano out). I think I need one of these. I'll think about it for a bit while I go write a set of poems for class tomorrow. One of them is about my death. Sweet.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Dude. BC Cycling is cleaning up this year...
We're 1st in the D2 overall, leading W. Wilson by a narrow 12 points. Awesome.
I'm sitting in a lackluster tie for 18th place with Wells, but big shout outs to:

Julia "Girlfriend" Tellman for leading the entire conference in the endurance omnium (D1 & D2) and holding second in the gravity omnium despite not being a gravity racer;

Jo "I like beating guys when I'm going downhill" Tuttle for leading the gravity omnium and being 2nd in the endurance one;

Tristan "Captain America" for leading the endurance omnium over all of the Less McRae train;

and to Dan "P" Ennis and Danny "real tall" Cesare for killing it in the gravity stuff.

Go team.
I think this is why we race bikes.
Aren't you happy now to be at this little tiny college in the middle of nowhere, Julia???

Monday, October 6, 2008


Well, apparently this week (and next I think) is the time for midterms. I wasn't really aware of this until earlier today, and I was shocked by the amount of studying that I have to do. It pretty much all came up later in the day today. I really think that school would be a whole lot more fun if you didn't have to study for tests. I don't even mind going to classes (when I want to), it's just the forced learning and required conformist behavior that gets to me. Anyway, the biggest reason that I am at Brevard for my collegiate career is to race bikes, and getting to travel over the weekend and have some serious non-academic pressure put on me makes it all worth it.

We traveled to Conyers, GA this past weekend to race at the Horse Park where the 1996 Olympic Mountain Bike race was held. It was pretty cool to be racing on the same course as that race, and even though we didn't get to do the granite section, it was a blast. The weekend started out with a TT fairly early in the morning. I'm usually not a fan of starting stuff out like this, since I'm usually not firing on all cylinders for the first event and it is a whole lot easier to get it opened up when you are pushing to keep up with other people rather than a solo effort. It turned out OK in this case though, as I felt pretty good and had decent legs. For once the biggest problem didn't lie with me, but rather in the course marking. The people from GT had to figure out how to put on an event with fairly short notice, so I kinda understand some of the organizational issues, but course marking is really something that needs to be taken care of. I missed a turn in the race, and ended up losing about 2 minutes because of it. I finished out 10th, which was OK, but not really good for the amount of effort that I put out.

After the TT we had a short track race over a pretty fun course. It had a grass flat to DH followed by a very fast sweeping turn onto a single track climb with some fun sections and then finished out with a fast twisty descent. I got a pretty good start, and managed to get onto the lead group of 4 for the first part of the race. I held on for about 15 minutes, and then the attacks started coming. I knew that I wouldn't be able to hang on to the finish by about minute 2, so I was pretty prepared to fight to keep the leaders in sight. After I got dropped off the lead, I pushed it to keep away from any chasers. Unfortunately there was a Cumberland rider that came on strong and managed to get a gap on me on the final lap. I felt really good for the whole race though, and 5th place is a whole lot better than I have been doing.

The XC was pretty insane. We were informed that the course was significantly shorter than we were expecting, and so the race went from 2:30 to about 1:30. This was fine with me since I like the shorter style stuff anyway. I once again got a good start and ended up on the front group with little difficulty. There were about 5 of us including Tristan and myself with a very early gap when suddenly Tristan pulled off of the front and started messing with his bike. I figured that he would be back on shortly so I kept on the pace without a second thought. The front group ended up staying together for the first lap and a half despite constant attacks from Cumberland and LMC. The LMC guy finally got clear, and everyone else spent the rest of the race chasing hard. I could see 2nd place right ahead of me for the rest of the race, but never could quite bring him back. Tristan stormed back onto the front with a lap to go, and brought a chasing 4th back with him. I eventually got passed for 5th place and was good for the finish, or so I thought. I had about a mile of easy, very fast road left, when the one rock on the trail somehow caught my tire. I heard the leak, but was really hoping that my sealant would fix it up before I lost all my air, but apparently the tear was a little too big. I ended up having to run the final mile to the finish, allowing 2 other guys to pass me, placing me in 7th. Kinda disappointing, but still, not bad and I felt great.

Next week is conference championships, so I'm trying my best to rest up for that. Hopefully the team will have a strong race, and we will get that nationals spot that we have been chasing all year.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Late as usual

Dude, I'm sitting here, watching Tristan update his blog, and I figured that I would go ahead and do the same. I'm only a week late for updating about the last race, so its all good. This week has been crazy, I've been pretty much pinned the entire time. Last saturday and sunday we raced at the home of the Cowies in north Georga, which was totally awesome. We stayed with the Cowie parents, and let me tell you, they were straight pinned. Saturday we had the short track and TT. I had a really good start in the ST and ended up moving up to 3rd, passing Tristan and yelling a little bit of friendly encouragement at him when I passed. I think that I put out a little too much effort trying that stunt, and ended up fading back to finish 12th. I was super bummed about that since I know I should have finished better than that, and a lot of the other guys who beat me I'm usually ahead of. The TT was interesting. There was a horse incident that put the Brevard team back about 30 seconds, but didn't affect anyone else. That sucked. I crashed near the end of my otherwise clean run, putting me back about another 30 seconds. The XC was interesting to say the least. I started warming up on what was supposed to be about a 10 minute loop, but it ended up being a whole lot longer than that. Because of this, I missed my start, which was a first for me. I got to the start line 16 minutes late and pretty much had no pressure except to just finish. I ended up getting 13th out of close to 30, so I was pretty pumped. I've just got to figure out how to get on the gas and stop going slow. Yeah.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


It seems to me that my life, and school in particular, has a definite pattern. I always seem to have a period of time when I don't have anything to do, and I feel bad about not doing anything. This is inevitably followed by a sudden overload of work that has to be done, and often it doesn't seem that I will be able to fulfill my obligations. This is then followed by another period of rest. These cycles can be fairly short or rather extended, but rarely more than a week. Both are stressful in their own way, but when you add a collegiate cycling race weekend to the mix, it gets really hectic. Can you guess what period of time I happen to be in right now??? (I'll give you a hint... I'm not worrying about not doing anything)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brevard Race

I've noticed something about school... It pretty much takes away all of your free time, and then what free time you do have, you really don't want to spend it typing something up. Hopefully this somewhat explains the week long gap between my event and my blog post, but unlike Fat Cyclist or BikeSnob, I have way too much to do to post everyday. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Anyway, after an enormous amount of work on the Adventure Village race course, we finally got it done to the point that we were able to have a race of our own. It was pretty good times, long days out on the trails in the heat, and often in the rain, struggling to get done so that we could put on a top level event. We got Wes D and Chris H to come and help the organization, which I really don't think that we could have happened without them. Thad did an amazing amount of work, and really made the entire event come together.

Race day came, and despite the rain from the weeks prior, the course was mostly dry, and faster and harder packed than I was expecting. I hadn't actually ridden the course before saturday, so it was just as new to me as it was to everyone else. I just knew what had gone into it better than our guests. The downhill was first on the agenda, and after dragging a large generator up an impossibly steep dirt road (really, Chris's big-ass truck couldn't make it up it was so steep) with Chaput and Julia, I walked down the course with the aforementioned female. This was the first time that I had seen the course, and I hadn't even come close to imagining how steep it was. It dropped straight down the mountain, and I really was somewhat scared for everyone riding it. Apparently it was steep and slick enough that very few people made it down without crashing, and those that did pretty much won their events. It was intense.

Next up was the short track. Usually this is my event, but after a very poor performance last week, I wasn't sure how today would go. The course pretty much just headed up an impossibly steep climb, followed by a slick and steep descent, followed by a flat through the finish. I got a pretty bad start, as one of the slow idiots from one of the not really competitive schools elbowed and shoved his way to the front to take advantage of the "one rider from every school on the front line rule" and then somehow managed to get a quick first pedal stroke in, then cut hard into my line, and then stop accelerating all together forcing me to the back. That was a long sentence, but I feel that my frustration is justified and now well spelled out. Anyway, I moved up quickly, was close to the top 5, and was riding strong. I was pushing it a little to hard coming through a downhill corner, and lost my front wheel on a root. I didn't go down hard, but it was enough to lose about 10 spots before I knew what was happening. I got back on, started pushing again, picking off riders one by one, but it wasn't long before I lost it again. I was making a hard pass on the climb, when someone came over on me, pushing me into the bushes, knocking me off my bike. After that, I pretty much just gave up and got pulled the next time through. I think I ended up in 17th or something.

The final event of the day was the Dual Slalom. Since I didn't race in this, I will keep my account brief. Dan and Danny had to race each other in the round of 8, and Danny knocked Dan out before going on to advance to the finals. In the finals, he lost the maximum differential to Ben from LMC, but then managed to win the next run by more than that, breaking a tie and winning the race. Nice. While all of this was going on, I was nervously watching Julia racing her second DS race. Jo was pretty much destroying her competitors, and I was hoping that Julia would be able to do the same. She ended up walking all over everyone, including a WW chick in full DH gear, which was pretty sweet. They ended up in the finals together, and gave BC a very solid 1 2 finish.

The XC was on perhaps the hardest course I have ever been on. It was a very short lap, but had some climbs that no one should have ever put into a course. It was insane. I started out chasing a WW guy and Dan, suffering up all of the steep climbs, and then making up time on the flats and DH's. I finally was able to pass them, and then fought to keep the two Cumberland guys off my wheel. I had a strong series of middle laps, but then totally blew up on my 6th lap, when both of them caught me. I think that I ended up 11th, which was pretty disappointing. Overall though, the school did really well. We were able to earn enough points to (virtually) be leading the conference. Good times. We have an off week, and then 3 race weekends in a row, which is totally going to suck.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Well, collegiate racing has begun, and I'll go ahead and say, it wasn't the best opening week for me. The rest of the team did pretty well, and we got a lot of good points towards nationals. Dan and Joh did some amazing riding, and held it down better than anyone expected. In spite of being primarily gravity riders, they both were the high finishers for the team in the XC event, with a 3rd for Joh and an 8th for Dan. Julia had her first race for Brevard, and held up her end of the bargain pretty well too. She worked over most of the competition in the short track, and then killed it in the XC too. Good job guys. Tristan did his usual battle with the LMC hordes of death, and ended up not being able to defeat all of them in the short track, but was on track to win the XC when he lost quite a bit of the air in his front tire leading to a spectacular crash. I ended up beating him, which is probably the only time that will happen all season.

So yeah, moving on to my races, neither of them went as well as I wanted them to. I ended up getting worked over in the short track, which is usually my event. It was the first time that I had been lapped in a regular season ST, and it sucked big time. I got a terrible start, and ended up trying to chase Jockey down for most of the race, and ended up right behind him at the end. We beat all of the D2 guys though, so that was something good, and I think that I ended up in 10th place. The XC wasn’t much better, I think that I got 9th, which I suppose wasn’t bad for a terrible race. After a pretty good start, I quickly lost all of the power that I thought that I had, and spent the rest of the race struggling up every little hill on the course. It felt like someone was dragging my brakes the whole time. I finished behind 3 D2 guys not counting Dan, and am pretty bummed out that I haven’t been feeling better on the bike. I’m hoping that my form and legs will come back around soon since I haven’t felt good since Greenbrier. More to come about our course later…

Friday, September 5, 2008


Dear Matt St Marie,
The following request to change your NORBA category has been approved and processed by USA Cycling: 2008-09-02 11:19
Member: Matt St Marie
License: Cross Country Racer
Request to change category from Expert to Semipro

All I can say is AWESOME! Yep.

And I'm racing this weekend. Which is also awesome. Granted, I'm not racing Semi-Pro, but still, I'm ready to (hopefully) go fast. Collegiate racing and the SECCC had better be ready to handle the domination that BC is going to be handing out this season...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The calm before the storm

Well, I have started school. I started a while ago actually. And in spite of what I was expecting, I think that it is going to be OK. I am going to have a whole lot of work to do, particularly in Anatomy and Physiology, but hey, that's what I'm going to school for. Regardless of my workload, I am looking forward to having some form of routine in my day. This summer was a lot of fun, but I pretty much just floated around not doing much. As a result, I didn't ride as much as I wanted to, didn't work all that much, and pretty much just wasted time. Once school starts, things change though. I'm sitting at work at the moment, watching cars with bikes attached to them in a wide variety of ways driving by, wishing that I could be out riding. I probably should go work on my bike, but I don't think that I have all the stuff that I need to do so, and I just don't feel like it. I've been riding a lot for the past few days, trying to get the spider webs out of my legs so that I don't die in the short track that opens the collegiate season. Doing a lot of rides has made me realize how much I haven't ridden... I'm not sure what I was doing. Bikes are fun though, so I'm happy to be hurting getting back on the horse. (That was my required equine insert... you're welcome). Sorry that this was boring post that was reaching for something to say, but I promise that once collegiate starts up, I will have much more to write about...

Saturday, August 23, 2008


So. School starts soon. Really soon. Really too soon. I hardly noticed that summer was going by at all, and now, before I even realized it, it has reached it's end. I mean sure, there are still a lot of warm days left, and a lot of good times to be had before the cold weather sets in, but there is one thing that always and without fail signals the end of the freedom of summer. Any boy or girl can tell you, once school starts, fall is on its way.
This isn't all bad. I mean, I am very excited about collegiate race season, and then cross season after that, and then some rest, and then hitting the base miles again. There are some good qualities about winter itself, none that I enjoy as much as summer, but I kinda like having to bundle up to fight off the cold. That usually lasts for about 3 weeks of cold.
Collegiate season is going to be awesome though. We've got a really solid team this year, some new freshmen and some transfers, including an addition to our women's team that I am VERY excited about. Our goal is to first qualify for nationals and then to possibly end up on the nationals podium. That would be good times.
My final thought for the night is this... You can really tell how much you love something by a couple of indicating factors. First, if you find yourself wanting to spend an exorbitant amount of time in close contact with this love interest. Second, if after doing so, you find yourself wanting more and never getting tired of that contact. Finally, if your thoughts have an unbalanced proportion of time spent directed towards this interest. - Those are my criterion. Do with them as you will. Peace.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bike anyone?

I have a dilemma...

I have a cross bike that isn't really mine, doesn't fit me at all, and has really crap components on it. Almost ride-able, but definitely not race-able.

I need a cross bike.

I have no money. At all.

So either I need a large sum of cash or a free bike.

On the bright side, I've got a really nice mountain bike, really nice road bike, and I'm about to build up a fully queered out short track bike. Life isn't all bad.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I've got a question for all 3 of you who read this blog...

Does drinking or not drinking coffee have any bearing on one's sexual orientation or tendencies?

I’ve heard different things from different people, but no real answers. Let me know what you think and perhaps I will come back with some well thought out arguments.

Notice that they are both gay AND drinking coffee...

On a different note, I am about to go on the Sycamore Cycles mountain bike group ride, and it is now thundering. I hope it doesn’t rain…

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stupid long Mount Snow

So, I pretty much slacked off a whole lot on the whole blogging thing, and I’m sorry about that. I missed the last like, 4 days of the trip, and unfortunately, that was pretty much when all of the action happened. I guess that also explains why I didn’t keep up with my stuff though… And now I've got nothing to do, so you get a very very long report of the last few days.
So yeah, Friday. I tried to chill as much as possible, and other than pre-riding the course once again, I accomplished this nicely. The course was just as hard as I remembered from the day before, only this time I felt a whole lot better on the downhills. I was hitting my lines really well, and felt smooth and fast. I wasn’t all that happy with my climbing, but I felt like I could keep it together. I’m honestly having a hard time remembering what happened on Friday, so I’m just going to skip over this day and move onto Saturday.
I was supposed to wake up at 5 to get my breakfast, but my phone died in the middle of the night. Yeah, we didn’t really have a whole lot of cell phone service and I kept having to keep my phone plugged in cause it died so fast. But whatever. The end result of this was my not getting woken up on time, and having to eat a smaller breakfast so that I didn’t hurl on the day’s first climb. So after we all got ready to go, we headed over to the course for a nice warm up and preparation session. Good times. I felt pretty good during warm ups, and got to the line nice and hot. I was standing on the line, listening to the announcer drone on about some unimportant details of the race, when I heard a slightly frustrated voice calling my name. It kinda sounded like “St. Marie” with an, uhh, slightly frustrated tone to it. I looked around to find Julia standing at the fence trying to wish me good luck. I was in the process of getting called up to the line, managed a hurried good luck back at her, and rolled up to the start. (Julia, sorry about almost missing that). I had a really good start, and ended up at the front of the race. I got passed by a couple of people, and rolled off the prologue loop in 3rd. I got passed by some more people on the next climb, but was still riding where I needed to be when my derailleur hanger suddenly and inexplicably ripped off. I stood there for a minute trying to grasp what had happened, and for a second couldn’t figure out what to do. I guess lactic acid poisoning of the brain can screw up anyone in a flash. Once I decided that there wasn’t anything I could do to fix my problem and that my race was over, I had to figure out how to get back down the mountain. I briefly considered riding straight back down, but I figured, “hey, I worked to get up here, I’m almost to the top, I’m in no rush to get anywhere, I think that I’ll walk the rest of the climb and hit the downhill.” So, that’s what I did. It was a lot farther to climb than I thought, and the fun part wasn’t as fun as I was hoping, but hey, I eventually got back and that’s what matters. I watched Julia and Pinnitt and Wells during their races, was impressed with a few results, and then watched Tasha during hers. Good stuff. The pro women were faster than the winners of my category. Let’s just leave it at that.
The next day was Sunday. Obviously. I was racing short track today along with Julia and Pinnett. Julia’s race was in the morning, and we drove over to support her in her efforts. She was doing super, riding strongly in a podium spot, when she had a massive catastrophic mechanical that knocked her out of the race. I guess that’s what she gets for riding a clapped out pro’s, ex Jockey, ex Old Man Balls bike. We went back to the house and I had to rebuild my bike from the day before. I got it done, had to lower my standards on perfection a little, and hoped that everything would work out for me during the race. After all, it’s only a 20 minute race, what could go wrong? Well, I started, felt really really really good, was on the second wheel and starting to settle in when something did. I was coming around for what I think was my 4th lap, sitting in, not even trying hard (that’s what I get for dropping out of my earlier race. Fresh legs.) when my chain dropped off and got tangled up somehow in the derailleur. I got it fixed, but by the time I got everything straightened out, I was so far off the back that it really didn’t matter any more. So, yet another DNF in that race. I’m pretty sure I could have won too. But hey, live and learn, eh? Monday was pretty much just driving. It is now a suppressed memory for me, so I am going to not talk about it. Yeah. My next race is this weekend at Fontana. I’m going to race short track, and I’m trying to decide if I want to race XC, SS, or nothing at all for the longer race. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’ve got pictures from the weekend on my facebook…

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mount Snow, Day 3

Mount Snow. You’d think that someplace with SNOW in the name would be pretty cool, but no, it’s actually rather toasty. After waiting around through the morning for the hottest part of the day, we went over to the race venue to help Tristan with his racing. Coach was responsible for the feed, and my bike was being parted out for the tech zone. I ended up watching the race from the feed/tech zone, and let me tell you, there are some intense people there. Much to the consternation of the racers, the people handing out the free small cups of water couldn’t throw their water on people, but rather taunted them with the promise of the impossible. Anyway, since my job was only required if something really bad happened for Tristan, I spent my time taking pictures. I got a lot of good ones, but can’t really upload them because our internet sucks. Pretty much entirely. But yeah, the race was exciting, I’ll let Tristan tell you about his race, but the winners had some good attacks and counter attacks going on. Good stuff. After the race, I came back to the house to get some rest and put my feet up. Lame. I’m amazed at how much laziness is required to be a bike racer. I mean, as a whole, the cycling community is pretty fit, but as you get higher up in the ranks, life has to slow down to the pace equivalent of someone fat and out of shape. So yeah, hanging out. Good times. I get to ride tomorrow…

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mount Snow, Day 2

Last year, the Mount Snow course was really hard. This year, it’s even harder. There were a lot of sections that were really hard when muddy, actually pretty unridable, and so the USA Cycling course designers were kind enough to replace them with even harder sections. Instead of riding on single track climbs, we now get to go straight up some insane walls. Good times. The descent is still really fun, although they cut out some good stuff on that too. It’s a 5 mile loop; with an amazing 1500 feet of vertical climb each lap. And half of that mileage is going down…
Anyway, I slept in to the amazing hour of 8:30, got some Lucky Charms, and proceeded to veg out in front of the TV. In spite of not having any good channels, I have a feeling that there will be a lot of vegging going on this week. Once we were done frying our brain cells, we went out to ride for a bit. We are supposed to be 3 miles from the course, but really are closer to 8, meaning that riding to the course is pretty much not going to happen. So yeah, not much to say about the pre ride other than describing the course, which I’ve already done, so I’ll just go ahead and stop talking about it. So yeah, at the moment, I’m watching some more TV, while Julia, Tasha (Jessica?), and Wells are at the store, Squirrel is out working on the computer, and Capitan America is getting ready for his race tomorrow. I’ve already sticked myself and stretched today, so I really have nothing to do until tomorrow. Good times.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mount Snow, Day 1

Well, I wasted about 3 hours of my life today, even more so than if I had just ridden in the car for the 7 hours that I was supposed to. But no, the wasted 3 hours came in the form of it taking us 10 hours to make it the 7 hours from start to finish. But yeah, in any case, we spent a long time in the car. I think that we hit about 4 hardcore traffic jams, and that slowed us down a lot. During one of these, we tried to make a detour around the section of road that was jammed, but ended up just hitting another traffic jam one road over. That sucked. We ended up meeting up with the other car about 2 hours up the road in this airport-esque travel center after getting dropped big time for the second time on the trip.
After a very long time in the car, we finally made it to Mount Snow. It is pretty much just as cool as I remember it. We drove up to the course, but didn’t really see anything since we had to meet the other car at the store. After doing our shopping at the local Shaw’s grocery super center, we went up to the house… not bad. It’s a little out of the way, but it’s nice, and apparently there is a shortcut over to the course. Anyway, I made dinner while everyone was out riding, and now we are watching “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” after seeing a rousing episode of “Wipeout.” I highly recommend the Wipeout show, but the verdict is still out on the game show. So yeah, there obviously wasn’t much to write about today. We are going to ride the course tomorrow, and I’m pretty much looking forward to getting on the bike on some super fun stuff. Later.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Pretty much my entire training year has been leading up to this week. National Championships in West Dover, VT. I went last year totally unprepared, and without a clue. This year, I know what to expect (mostly), and I have been preparing all year. That being said, I have very little confidence in my fitness level, and am pretty much hoping to pull off something unexpected.

Today was my final day of preparation, and I still feel like I have a lot to do. I worked on Julia's and my bikes for a couple of hours today, trying to dial everything in. I even put a granny gear on, just in case. Julia is running some awesome ADvantages, and I'm on Monorails. I do have my trusty Medusa's in case it's muddy, but I'm hoping that they won't be necessary. I've got all of my stuff packed up, and even got a custom kit done... let's just say that my non-physical self is ready.

I still have to ride tomorrow morning after breakfast with the fam, and hopefully I won't forget anything that I need. I'm stretching now, thinking through all that I've packed and what I still need to.

Anyway, It's time to stop rambling and start sleeping. I'm pumped, and totally ready to end the speculation. Let's get it started...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What my life is made of...

My life has a few things that I consider essential to the definition of it. These being (in no order other than as I thought of them...
Female company
Dr. Pepper
Battle between the sweet and the healthy
Knowing the plan
Looking forward to the next great thing

That pretty much sums up my life at the moment. What also sums up my life at the moment is my extreme excitement about going to nationals. And although I am not overly confident in my current fitness level, I am looking forward to being able to get to travel and have fun with some racing thrown on top of it all. It is going to be a great trip. We are leaving on Monday, and I am going to try to write a blog about every day that I am gone, but I guess that will depend on my Internet connection capabilities.

What defines your life?

Sunday, July 6, 2008


So. I'm at work. And bored. No one has really come in today, and with the exception of Wes being here for a little bit earlier, I have been alone.
It was raining earlier, but it has turned into a really nice day, so I'm looking forward to getting out on a ride after work. That being said, I have a long time to wait. I'm hoping someone will come and hang out with me at the coolest shop on earth...

Anyone? Hello?

I guess I will go work on my bike some more, then get around to Punky Brewster's clapped out fork.

Wait, a stupid tourist is coming in. Great. Not who I was looking for, but I guess I should go help them...


Monday, June 16, 2008

Hey! Back at Clemson!

For once, I am actually going to blog about a race right after the race itself. Pretty amazing, huh? Julia and I went down to Clemson to do the SERC race there. I seem to race this course a whole lot during the year, and I get kinda tired of it. However, since it is only an hour from my house, it is hard to miss out on doing any of these races. So, once again, we packed up for the day, and drove down to the heat.
I was glad that our races were early in the day so as to avoid much of the heat, but even starting at 9:30, it still was already 80 degrees. I just about missed the start, lined up against about 15 other riders, and set off into the woods. I didn’t get the best start in the world, and ended up going into the singletrack 8th or 9th wheel. “No problem,” I thought, “my goal is to start slow and be consistent today, so I’ll just work my way up through the field.” Yeah, I was still pushing pretty hard, and lost sight of the leaders WAY too quickly. After passing 2 of the riders directly in front of me, I didn’t see anybody else until the end of the lap.
I finally caught up to the rider directly in front of me, and after playing tag for a little while, I was finally able to drop him. After that, it was just about surviving. My legs weren’t responding the way that I wanted them to, and I was suffering up the climbs. I had just installed a granny gear on my bike, and I actually was pretty glad that I had it on the steeper climbs. My descending was OK, but I still was lacking the smoothness and flow that I had the last time I raced here. By the final lap, I was suffering pretty good, and had a hint of cramping in both legs.
I ended up getting 5th, only 15 seconds of the guy in front of me. I was pushing on the last lap trying to catch him, but he just had too big of a gap, and I couldn’t pull it off. The winner was something like 13 minutes ahead of me, but since he beat 2nd by almost 9, and has been dominating all year, I feel pretty good about my race for the condition that I was in. I’m hoping that I am on track for nationals, and should be able to get in some good training between now and then. I don’t actually have any more races to do before Nats, so I’ll have to find something else to write about until then.
The rest of the Sycamore Team had some good results and good times. Julia got 7th in her first real expert race, which is a really good result considering her approach and general disdain for “training.” Tasha, the newest addition to our team, won the Women’s Pro/Expert race, beating out second by about a minute. Capitan America came and gave everyone a killer feed and photo shoot. I’m pretty sure that it takes a experienced racer to give a good feed, and the one we had was straight PRO. After we were done with awards, we headed over to Ruby Tuesday’s for some post-race burgers. Yeah, we seem to do that a lot. Not that I’m complaining at all. I realized that one of the very nice things about racing Clemson is that it is only an hour away. Pretty much every other race is over 2, so when you can be back home, relaxing on the couch within an hour, that is something pretty cool. So yeah, I’m pretty much chilling today, so I’m gonna go get back to that. Until next time, keep the rubber side down.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Boredom anyone???

So, uhh, it's been a while since I've posted anything. Yeah. Not a whole lot has happened since my last post, and in all honesty, I just haven't really had the time or desire to write anything at all. I went to Alabama to race at the Bump and Grind, and in spite of some good results from teammates, my race was far from enjoyable, and I ended up pulling out before the finish. It was God awful hot down there, and I can't understand why people (myself included) would ever live down there. Unless you have a morbid fascination with fire ants, there really isn't all that much worth the heat.
Anyway, life outside of racing has been pretty good. I've either been training hard, working, or hanging out with my totally-pumped-about-cycling girlfriend. Yeah. Actually, it's been unusually hot up here in the mountains too. I guess that is what generally happens in summer, but still, you don't expect it to get that hot up here this early in the hot season.
I pretty much don't have much to write about right now... I'm going to Clemson this weekend, and I promise a race report from that. Yeah. Right.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A late 12 hour report.

Well, it's been more than a week since this race, but I've been kinda preoccupied, so my apologies for not getting the post up sooner. Enjoy...
At some point in your life (specifically related to cycling in this case), you have to be able to separate your performance from the quality of your day. It’s a good thing that I have already been able to do that, since I’ve had 2 not so good races in a row now. Along with what was possibly the largest Sycamore Cycles contingent ever assembled in one place, I went to Tsali to be on a 12 hour team. I always look forward to this race because of how much fun it is, and this year was no exception. We had 16 people racing for us, on a total of 4 teams. If you want to hear about those races, go check out the Sycamore race page for all the gory details. (
I had gotten talked into doing the running start on the first lap, which I thought was OK at the time, but in retrospect, probably wasn’t all that good of an idea. I warmed up on the bike, and then went to the line about a quarter mile from where my bike was laying on the side of the trail. I’m not sure who came up with the idea to start a bike race out with running, but I’m sure that it had something to do with the hilarity of watching a bunch of people in lycra and uber stiff soled shoes doing something completely out of their element and suffering immensely. I’m sure that watching that spectacle was the reason. Anyway, I got to my bike with the leaders, and then tried to recover as we sped up the gravel road climb. I passed the guy I knew to be the fastest in the race as he was fixing a low tire, and proceeded to lead for about half a lap until he caught back on. I was riding in the lead group of 3 and feeling pretty good about myself when I hit a root wrong and burped all the air out of my tire. Being the super mechanic that I am, I managed to get it inflated again with my trusty CO2 inflate and got back to riding. I held the gap fairly close, and came in for the hand off to Tristan. After cooling down and having my first of many post-lap Dr. Peppers, I settled in for some good, old fashioned heckling. The problem with this race is the extremely short amount of time that you have between your laps. You never get enough time to just chill. Anyway, I got back on the trail and was feeling pretty good, and having a great time on the fast sections of the course. The good times quickly ended when I came back to the transition area and saw that my lap had gotten about 2 minutes slower. I rode cooling down, utterly dejected and crushed that my efforts were to no avail in maintaining speed. Just as I was feeling my lowest, the Skeletor galloped by on his Steed of Pestilence, clutching a scythe in one rotting hand, and shot a wretched grimace over his shoulder at me. I felt all my remaining traces of happiness and speed leach away into the dusty ground and I trembled, my skin suddenly cold as a sepulcher. I was hoping that my soul wasn’t about to be taken by the devil, when I realized that the cold skin was probably just from the person emptying their water bottle on me, and that my sudden fatigue was from the efforts of the previous 45 minutes. Time for another DP. The next two laps were similar… My legs got weaker and weaker, and my thoughts drifted more and more to the good points on the trail, rather than on the suffering that I was enduring for the team. I greatly enjoyed the day, and the first Sycamore team ended up in 2nd place… Not bad for 2 mechanicals and a horse that blew out his engine. I was super happy to have this girl with some crazy shoes there to support... She always makes races more fun. One of my favorite parts of the race experience is when we stop at the Huddle House for our traditional post-race dinner/breakfast, and I get to relive the day with the people who were there to experience it with me. By the time that we get done with eating, we ususally don't get back until around 2 or 3. By that time, I am suffering hardcore, and rarely can stay awake for more than 10 minutes out of the HH. Having Punky Brewster in the car with me really helped me out in that respect. Inspite of having raced super strong all day long, and having layed it down way better than I did (really, only a couple of minutes behind me every lap... and she didn't fade towards the end), she was strong enough to stay awake and keep me company so that we didn't die in the middle of the night. Thanks.
I am looking forward to getting in some really hard training this next month, and hopefully my next race will be better than my last two have been.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A dead Duck. Town.

So, I forgot to update my blog after this past weekend, but it was fairly uneventful anyway, so whatever. Julia and I went over to Ducktown Tennessee for the SERC race that they were holding at the Olympic whitewater center. This was Julia’s first race after she had gotten back, and was forced (without much effort) to race a rental bike since hers was out of commission. We were driving over to meet Tristan and his sister at the course and then planned to drive over to the house where we were staying. We ended up getting a later start than we had anticipated, and a mid-trip Subway stop ensured that we would miss riding with everyone else. After driving for what seemed like forever on narrow curvy roads, and then on larger straight roads that didn’t seem to go anywhere and took forever, we finally got to the race. It was being held at the Olympic Whitewater Center, where, I presume, they held the Whitewater Olympic events. The flags and rings and torch helped my reach that conclusion, but it’s still just a guess.
The course was one that was super fun to ride, but not so much fun to race. It had a steep and long climb right out of the gate, and then eventually headed downhill on a tight, twisty, smooth singletrack trail. After rolling up and down for several miles, you got dumped out onto a false flat road about a mile from the finish. It was fun, but not really my style of racecourse. We rode on Saturday, had a great time, got some dinner, and went to bed for our pre-race beauty sleep.
Race day dawned, and I was not feeling my best. My stomach was all not happy, and I had a whole lot of trouble keeping food down at all. Needless to say, I wasn’t really looking forward to the race at all. We got there and started warm up, and went to the line. There were 9 riders in my field, and I was pretty confident that I would be able to beat all but 2 of them. I got about 1.2 hard pedal strokes in off the line, and realized that this was not going to be a good day. I quickly had a 10ft gap open up in the first 10 yards, and was giving it all that my legs had to latch back on. We hit the climb, and I was able to get the last wheel, but didn’t have the legs to move up. I managed to keep the leaders in sight for the first climb, and I was hoping that everything would magically start working after the descent. No such luck. I quickly lost sight of everyone, and couldn’t seem to keep my bike going in the direction that I was pointing it. This was definitely one of those days that NOTHING was working even remotely right for me, and I couldn’t seem to pull it together. I figured that since I was entirely sucking, I would work on mental toughness in the face of utter breakdown. That worked for a little while… until I hit a little climb that I normally wouldn’t have had any trouble making in the big dog, but today had to shift down to my granny and had a lot of trouble turning the pedals over. At that point, mental toughness went out the window, and I started laughing at how bad I was sucking.
I rolled up to the start/finish, and saw Tristan moving at a walking pace. He had totally flatted, and had already dropped out. We stopped and talked to his parents for a while, watched everyone come by, and then went out for a slow person’s lap. My only goal was to be back before Julia finished, and I was pretty sure that she was moving faster than we were. We ended up seeing her on the road section before the finish, and I decided to ride with her to the line. I struggled to keep her wheel as she was easily putting down more power than I could match. She ended up dominating the competition (no surprise there), and having a great time in the process. I guess her result made it worth the trip, but it sucks to go that far and, well, suck.
I’m just about done with exams, which means that summer is about here, and I can devote myself to riding my bike and getting ready for nationals.
12 Hours of Tsali is up next, and I am really excited to get to race with the super Sycamore team. I’m pretty sure that the shop is sending 4 teams out to do the event, and we should come up with at least one win. Stay posted!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gotta love the mud

You know what I hate the most about racing in the mud? The clean up. I mean really, the racing isn’t all that bad, you just kinda get used to it. But the clean up is never easy. Even after you scrub yourself clean, you keep finding mud hidden on your body for days. And mud is almost impossible to get completely out of your shoes. Yeah, it’s stupid.
We rode the course yesterday, and it was muddy, but not all that bad. However, it rained over an inch and a half last night, and yeah, that doesn’t really do good things to race courses.
I started warming up, and my legs were feeling pretty good. There were a lot of people there though, and I started freaking out because of all the competition. I got to the line, and there were about 30 people in my class alone. The pro, semi-pro, pro women, jr expert men AND women, all started in front of us on a very short course. I got a pretty good start, and ended up going into the woods in 3rd position. I passed two guys, got passed by another, noticed that he was sketchy on pretty much everything, and then passed him right before a gnarly rock downhill section. I put about 10 seconds on the field on that one section alone, and knew that it was going to be a good day. One guy, who I had been talking to on the line, came around me, and straight took off up a stupid steep climb. I tried to keep him in sight while also keeping my heart rate down, but that didn’t work out so well. The 3rd place rider ended up catching me on the second lap, and we rode together for the next lap. I could just barely see the leader every once in a while, and the two of us were working together to bring him back. There was a moment that I was straight struggling to keep up with him, and almost dropped off, but decided to put in a little more effort to keep on his wheel. I ended up dropping the guy I was riding with on the third lap without any effort, which made my job a whole lot easier. I rode that lap chasing the leader, and pulling him ever closer as we hit some serious lap traffic. I finally caught up to 1st on the first climb of the final lap, and settled in behind him to recover from the chase.
I noticed that I was riding the descents a little faster than him, so I figured that I would use that to my advantage on the final downhill. I attacked with 3k to go (usually I would measure in miles, but there was a sign right there that said 3k, so that’s all I know), right at the top of the mountain. I pushed the descent for all it was worth, passed a whole bunch of riders, and had a clean run down the rooted out downhill just before the flat to the finish. The final section of the course ran around a lake, which was fine yesterday, but today was covered in water from the rain. It was run on a little walking path, and there were people fishing and picnicking right in the middle of the course. It was awesome. Anyway, I pretty much sprinted for the final mile, and ended up winning my first expert race by around 10 seconds. I was pretty stoked. We were driving back to Brevard that night, and as it was, we weren’t going to get back to town until around 2 Monday morning. To add to the insult of the late night, it started pouring about an hour into the trip. We ended up stopping at a hotel for the night, which, when coupled with pizza and Family Guy, was a really good call. So yeah, back to class tomorrow for the final week of classes. I am really really really really looking forward to this next weekend, and then the end of classes after that. Stay tuned! Oh, you should go look at my Facebook to see the pictures from this weekend…

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Riders with an eating problem

So guys, I am up in Maryland with the BC team with the intent of racing at Greenbrier State Park. It’s my first UCI race, and so far, it’s been pretty sick. We got up here late last night, and hung out a bit before going to bed. We are staying at Tim’s house, about an hour from the course, and his parents have been really cool, feeding us and putting us up and all. The one issue that we had with the house was the jungle that they apparently have growing outside their house at night. I mean, during the day, everything seems cool. Other than some slightly longer-than-usual grass in the backyard, nothing was really out of the ordinary. But man, once the sun goes down, something crazy happens. First, the house doesn’t get any cooler, and it starts out really hot to begin with. Second, there are some massively noisy birds that start going off. There was a woodpecker (not really a jungle type bird, but still, it was there. It must have been a mutant or something) who insisted on banging on the window, and a chorus of his friends screaming at the top of their lungs. And if that wasn’t enough, there was a wild fire truck that decided to start his mating calls at around 4. Man, when those guys start sounding off, it gets crazy loud.
Anyway, Wells, Tristan, and myself ended up waking really early, which after going to bed late, kinda defeated the idea of getting a long night of sleep on the most important night to get a good night of sleep. We headed to the grocery store for some Luck Charms and Doughnuts, and then came back to the house to get ready to go ride. Some people may be under the impression that as serious athletes, cyclists are good about their diet. Let me assure you, THIS IS NOT TRUE. Tristan is addicted to candy, Wells eats more than a horse, Ethan eats pretty much anything you put in front of him, edible or not, and I pretty much eat way too much sugar. It’s a good thing that we ride bikes a whole lot, because if we didn’t, we would be some fat bastards.
Moving on to this actual riding, we got to the course, and it was about 900 degrees out. We got into our superhero kits, and headed out for some pre-race laps. The course is really intense, and pretty much the most full suspension friendly thing that I have ever ridden. There is not a single section that isn’t covered by rocks, climb or descent. You have to pick your lines really well going uphill, or you aren’t going to make it up these super steep climbs. The descents are fast and rocky, and there is one fairly substantial rock garden that will mix things up right at the start of the race. All in all, it is just over a 5 mile lap, and I’m hoping to end up with about 25 minute laps.
After we rode, I went to the amazingly convenient lake that the race goes around, and cleaned myself off. I talked bikes with this chick while I was cleaning up, which slowed the process down a little, but hey, it’s cool. I got to go to a Chipotle Burrito place for the first time ever, and let me tell you, it was amazing. Although I don’t think that it was as good as Moe’s or Pescado’s, so I’m not too beat up about us not having one near our house. It’s pouring right now, so I’m not sure what the course will be like tomorrow. It will certainly be interesting, and I’m hoping to do pretty well. So yeah. I’ll let you know. Looking back over this post, I can’t help but notice that it has been really long. Sorry about that, but hey, I had to make sure that you know all the details of my life. So yeah, now you know. Peace!

Tiger Rad

So, I started this blog earlier in the week, and I was almost done with it, and then it got deleted, and I was mad, and so I haven’t started it again. Until now. So anyway, Tiger Rag. It's rad. It’s a bike race. That I went to. And raced.
I wasn’t all that excited about racing, cause I didn’t really think that my legs would be all that good, but hey, I went anyway. I was kinda happy about some changes that they had made to the course, taking out the long climb and sketchy sections by the lake. I’ve never like those parts, and was glad not to have to race them. The course ended up being about a 25 minute 5 mile loop that was super spectator friendly and fun to race. Anyway, after having a super fun drive down the mountain, I got registered, got a timing chip, and found some ear muffs on the ground. Since it was about 80 degrees outside, I decided that I didn’t want them, but since I didn’t want to put them to waste, I gave them to Tim instead. He didn’t want them either. Bummer. I then noticed that I had a new voicemail, and being the phone junkie that I am, I had to listen to it, despite being ready to start warming up. Sometimes all it takes is just a tiny little thing to push you over the edge of wanting to race, and this voicemail did it for me. I got some encouragement, a couple of laughs, and then was ready to get it on.
The start was going to be super important, but since I was trying to start slower, I didn’t really care. I gave Tristan the front spot on the line that I had been saving, mostly because I knew that I couldn’t run with those guys anyway, and started in the middle of the pack. I ended up going into the woods somewhere around 10th position, and settled in behind a sketchy guy that I know from back in Brevard. I was feeling pretty good, so I passed a bunch of guys on the first climb, and then didn’t see anyone else from my class for the rest of the race. The leader of the older age group caught up to me on the third lap, and I rode with him for most of the rest of the race, so I at least had some company, even if it was an old dude. I tried to keep it slow and consistant, and managed to keep my lap times to within 30 seconds of each other for all 5 laps. I managed a 5th place finish on the day, about 2 minutes off of 2nd. Of course, Tristan destroyed the field by like 4 minutes, so I wasn’t super close to him, but still, for a combined Pro/Expert field, I’m pretty happy.
I’m up in Maryland this weekend writing this now, and we are about to go ride the course. I’ll tell you all about my day later on…

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Sooo, I just got done riding the seasonal trails for the final time this year, and I had an interesting experience while doing so... I felt as though I was saying goodbye to someone that I love, as to a girlfriend, knowing that I wouldn't see them again for a long time. This kind of goodbye sucks, and it is impossible to savor it in the way it deserves. I rode much slower than I usually would, taking time to study every curve and every line and every feature. Looking deep into the heart of the trail, the eyes of the girl, trying to burn the image into my waking mind, hoping that I will be able to remember every detail until our next meeting. The only solace that can be taken is the knowledge that, at some point, you will be reunited. Every time that we see each other, there is an understanding that, eventually, this piece of bliss must end, and life must go back to the mundane. All that is left to do is to count down to the time when we get to say hello again, and try to enjoy life in the present.


PS. I am not high, nor do I smoke weed; and, as a rule, I don't associate with people who do. I just felt like getting a little deep and into "the soul" of our sport. Don't hate.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bikes are like a drug.

This has been an, uhh, interesting week. I was really really really tired after this past weekend's race, and so Monday was spent lethargically going around campus. Tuesday we went and rode with a new roadie recruit. Good times except for the whole climbing to the Parkway with no legs thing. Actually, it wasn't all that bad. I mean, we did get to do the Parkway ride, and I know from first hand experience that there are people out there who would give anything to ride in our mountains. (To all of you out there like that, just hold on, you will get to really soon, I'm sure). So anyway, we did that, and it was longer than I wanted to ride. My next ride was on Thursday on the group mountain ride with my new Epic. Let me tell you... it was SICK. Trust me, if you ever get a chance, buy a carbon Epic. It rides better than just about anything, and it looks good to boot.
Anyway, leading up to today, I really haven't wanted to ride my bike. I worked on Friday and Saturday, and have been really tired and on the verge of being close to being almost kinda depressed. Today was so nice though that I just had to ride. So I got on my road bike for the second time since the Assault, and went up towards the Parkway (considering my other ride this week was going the same way, maybe not the most original thing to do, but whatever). In spite of my saddle being too low, my shifting not working right (my bike fell over in the parking lot and I'm pretty sure that I bent the hanger. So don't start doubting my wrenching skills), and my tire having a little hop in it, I had an amazing ride. I was so happy to be out riding my bike, and I realized that just going for an hour long ride made my entire outlook on the day better. I guess there is a reason that I ride bikes for a living. Or maybe not a living. But still, there is a reason.
What I want to convey to everyone is this. GO RIDE YOUR BIKE. You will love yourself and your life that much more. Even better if you can go ride with someone else fun.

Monday, April 7, 2008


So, the Sycamore Cycles Race Team (henceforth known as SYC Racing or just SYCR) went to Tsali this past weekend for some intense racing action. Tsali is always super fast with way too many people taking it way too seriously, mostly because it is a locally legendary course that everyone comes to in order to show off their fitness for the season. This means that anyone who comes to race and isn't ready to bring it is pretty much setting themselves up for disappointment. Anyway, for the entire week leading up to the race, I was watching the weather forecast hoping that it would be a dry race and not a repeat of last year. The good folks at made some good promises at the beginning of the week, but then the forecast started and continued to deteriorate throughout the week. By the time that we got there, it had been raining for 5 days straight, and the course promised to be a water soaked ordeal.

SYCR had a large contingent going to the race, so we decided to get a couple of cabins at nearby Fontana Village. This turned out to be a much better idea than our original idea of camping, since everyone knows that camping in the rain both sucks and is not conducive to good racing. We left the shop about an hour behind schedule, but ended up having more than enough wonderful bakery products from our super sponsor Braken Mountain Bakery. We started out following Ray in the big Moose Racing van, until Captain America decided that the pace was too slow and got on the gas some. After about 5 minutes of this, he looked over at me and was like, "hey is that our exit?" And I was like, yeah, that's it. And he was like, ooh, we just missed it. And Gattis was like, ooh, that sucks. And we kept driving. After we turned around and started heading back to the correct exit, Tristan looks over at me and was like, "hey is that our exit?" Yeah, the rest of the back and forth was very similar to the previous exchange, except that Gattis was a little more animated than the last time. So yeah, apparently Captain America is good at racing bikes, not so good at navigating.

After we finally got on the right road, we met the rest of the crew (who hadn't taken the wrong turn) at some crap-ass, hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant that Thad insisted we eat at. The only thing that needs to be said about that place is that they gave Bennett bleach water. Twice. After the restaurant, we went to the store, picked up some groceries and another teammate (hey we can find good racers anywhere. Even the local supermarket.) We finally got to the Cabin, and decided that we wanted to go ride a bit on the course. It was muddy. Very muddy.

It took way too long to clean up after our short little ride, making it probably not quite worth the riding that we got. Everyone came over to our cabin for some dinner and Stars and Bars action. We also watched the Carolina "game", which would more accurately be described as a Kansas beat down of the boys in blue.

So, moving on to the main point of this blog, we get to race day. After a not very restful night's sleep, I woke up to sunny skies and warm air. We got to the race site in time for Julia's race, set up our race pit, and started having some fun. I got lots of pictures, and most of them can be viewed on my Facebook. Julia got a great start, and was first into the woods. She held onto her lead through the whole race, and ended up destroying the field in her first real mountain bike race. Stupid Strong.

Moving on to the men's racing, we had Wes Dickson and Tristan Cowie in the Pro/Semi-Pro field, Gattis Tyler and Chris Bennett and myself in the 19-29 field, and Jimy Fink and Donnie Kirkwood in the old men's category. My race was interesting. The goal for my race was to get into the woods second wheel and follow whoever that was for as long as possible. The start was amazingly easy, and I ended up right where I needed to be. Three of us got a good gap on the rest of the field pretty quickly, and with the crazy roadie that we were following, it was easy to see why. I felt really good, but noticed that my heart rate was pretty high, but still, I was rolling without much trouble. The first lap went by without incident, and I felt good rolling through the feed-zone. As soon as I started up the first climb, I felt like someone sucked all of the juice out of my body, and I suddenly stopped moving.

The rest of the race went downhill from there (figuratively. It felt like it was actually all uphill from there). I started that lap in 4th, got passed by two other people, and caught the crazy roadie which put me in 5th place. I kept hoping that someone would catch me and knock me off the podium so that I could go easier, but since I was still in 5th, I figured that I had to keep going as best I could. I was cramping for the last hour and a half of the race, which, by the way, pretty much totally sucked, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Every time I heard someone coming up behind me, I thought that I was losing my place, but every time, I escaped what seemed inevitable.

I finally finished out in 5th, barely holding on, and finishing with only one operational and none cramping leg. I rolled up to the finish, stoked with my first podium finish in Expert. Wes got 5th and Tristan got 2nd with a broken rear brake in the pro race, making 4 podium appearances for SYCR on an extremely hard day. Good job everybody! This was definitely one of the best race weekends that I've had in a long time for a myriad of reasons... thanks to everyone who contributed to that good time.

So yeah, this was a very long and somewhat uninspired blog, but I pretty much had nothing else to do tonight, so uhh, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Events and Assault

Well, believe it or not, my life has been continuing on since my first post. I really didn't have much to write about up until the Assault on the Carolinas, which was interesting to me, and yet very well written about by Tristan, Wes, and Pinnett (look on the side there for their links). I don't have much else to say about the "race" itself, since it pretty much boiled down to climbing and rain. We started out on the flats, hit a stupid steep climb that broke up the main field, got on some rollers, went way too fast, then started going downhill. This is when it got interesting... We pretty much rode straight into the belly of a massive thunderstorm, replete with hail, massive raindrops, an inch of standing water, lightning, and of course, thunder.
There is nothing quite like trying to descend a steep, twisty section of road not being able to see a thing without brakes surrounded by 40 other guys hell-bent on getting down the mountain first so that they can, uhh, get there first. No, there really is no reason that anyone would need to get down the mountain first, but there also isn't a whole lot of reason for 40 spandex clad riders to be riding in such weather to begin with.
Anyway, it rained, it kept on raining, it rained some more, I saw a guy building an ark in preparation for what was surely the end of the world, and then it kept raining. In fact, it only let up in the rain department once we hit the bottom of the main climb, which is its own beast to deal with. Suffice it to say, my legs hurt a whole lot, and I couldn't keep up with people who were faster than me (funny how that works out), and I kept riding anyway. After the climb, our team had 4 guys working together back into Brevard where we set up Wes D for the finish. I managed to snake a 6th place finish from Pinnett. Not bad for a race that wasn't really a race.
Sorry I don't have pictures from that... I'm kinda poor in the camera/money department.

Hey, I'm planning to write about my adventures since then tomorrow, so be sure to check back with me for the continuing saga!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008


So, I have decided to give an account of my bike racing season, and anything related to it. Pretty much just my life in general, actually... I mean, I enjoy doing all of this stuff, why shouldn't I force the rest of humanity to be aware of every detail of my existence, as if that knowledge was something that they couldn't live without and that I somehow had the innate responsibility to share??? I mean, everyone else apparently feels this way, so I think that I might give it a shot as well.
So yeah, I'm going to be racing a lot this year. I'll be riding even more. You have about 8 months of warm weather to look forward to hearing about, as well as a full Mountain bike season and then a Collegiate season. It is going to be awesome. I might even try to get a camera so that I can post my own pictures rather than stealing all of them.
The biggest thing that you need to know about me is that I hate winter, and I have never been happier to come out of it and into warm weather in my life. This has been an impetus for my writings... To share my joy. Sweet, huh? I'm not planning at the moment to have this be a daily blog, but hey, if I get something good to write about everyday, then who knows, right? So yeah, welcome to my life online!