Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's the crap, crappiest season of all!

Happy Christmas jingles notwithstanding, I've really had a hard time with winter this year. There has been snow on the ground pretty much non-stop for the past 6 weeks, and it's been pretty cold too (although not quite as cold as it was last year). Anyway, here is a little update regarding my thoughts on the season...

First, as a disclaimer, I HATE WINTER. Pretty much everything that I have to say in this post is tainted by that fact.

Second, I am well aware that people in other parts of the country have it much worse than me (even my friends in the Boone area). While I feel bad for them, they really don't have much relevance to my situation. It's their own faults for living there. I just don't expect Brevard to be one of those places.

Sliding around on snow isn't normal, but on meth (winter) it is.

Anyway, like I said, there has been snow on the ground for the past 6 weeks. There has been a little bit of mountain biking during that time, but not at all for the past 2.5 weeks. For the first week the most recent snow was on the ground, Julia and I tried our hands (or leg/feet areas) at XC skiing. Fun stuff. Kinda threw me off coming off of DH skis, since turning and stopping is pretty much impossible on them. Still, it's a good workout.

Julia demonstrating proper technique

Today, I had the idea to go out early in the AM to ride my MTB before the ground thawed and got all slickery. Good plan. Except for this stuff...

The slippery, icy result of hundreds of hikers making tracks

It was really slow going on North Slope, which I suppose is my own fault for riding a trail that I knew would be bad. Thrift and Sycamore were both totally ridable, and despite a bit of sleet starting to come down, remained grippy.

Finally, I want to review a couple of products. First, my new gloves. Julia got these for me for my birthday, and I have to say, they are AWESOME. If anyone has hands that get cold, these are worth the money, I'm sure. Way warmer than the Specialized gloves, the only fault I have found with them is that they are too warm for most riding (25 degrees this morning, and my hands were still sweating). Good stuff.

Descente something-or-other gloves

And finally, my bike. I've never owned a stumpy before, and I have to say, it's baller. I'm gonna do a bit of a more detailed review sometime in the future, but for now, suffice it to say, I've got it dialed, and it just keeps asking for more speed. Every time I got off the snow today, I got to remember how much fun Pisgah is. I'm looking forward to a riding filled spring and summer...

Also, I had a video for you of Michael and I building a bridge, but I can't seem to get it off of my Lucifer-possessed phone (Droid Incredible stupidphone). I'm gonna keep working it, cause it was an epic day. It's not often that you get to cut down trees in the rain when it's below freezing to build a bridge with your bare hands. Man things.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I'm working at the Hendersonville Sycamore Cycles today, all by myself, and so far am having a blast. (As a side note, if you haven't been down here, it's definitely worth coming to visit; the shop is awesome.) Anyway, I don't have any repairs to do, have no bikes to build, and no one else working to keep me company. Don't let that make you think that I'm bored though. Not in the least. So far today, I have learned many, many things. Such as:

I'm pretty sure the people in Hendersonville are crazier and/or more country than the people in Brevard. Granted, I'm basing this on the 3 people who have come in today so far, but I feel like a 100% incidence of Lady Gaga levels of crazy is a pretty good predictor.

The first guy to come in was a crazy, homeless-looking dude, who talked to me for an hour about being hit by a car, his awesome giant comfort bike with all kinds of racks and finders, and visiting his 380lb estranged wife and kicking her current boyfriend out of the house while leaving his girlfriend at home. This man had no teeth, and was swearing up and down that he would be getting $40,000 in a settlement for getting hit by a car. He also wanted 2.5in DH tires on his townie bike.

He looked shockingly like this, sans amphibian hell-bent on death

The next awesome customer interaction was when a pair ofguys (who in fairness, I've seen in the Brevard store before) came in looking for some bikes. From them, I found out that, if you have an automatic defibrillator implanted in your chest, you aren't supposed to rock climb or mountain bike for fear that landing on your chest would cause lethal loads of electricity to accidentally go coursing through your body, killing you instantly. This gentlemen's theory (mind you, completely untested except in the recesses of his mind) was that, by wearing some form of chest protection, this risk could be greatly reduced and mountain biking would be OK.

An additional bit of information gathered from these two fine customers included the fact that a "gravity" bike is apparently a normal bike that you buy off the floor, take home, cut in half with a hacksaw before riding it, and then "stretch," making it at least 2 feet longer. I'm not sure what is gravity related about this, but I'm definitely trying it with my DH bike.

Finally, at least 7 times during the 30 minutes they were in here, one of them would look at a road bike, cross bike, or anything with the bars lower than the saddle, and say, "I would ride this, but, the belly" while patting the belly affectionately.

I'll also mention that neither of these two had teeth either.

Finally, Old Man Marshal came in for a visit. He stormed in the door, hair brushed and going crazy, talking before he even had the door open. He was also eating a handful of nuts, talking with his mouth wide open, and doing his best food sprinkler impression. Not to be graphic or anything, but the nuts seriously made him look like he had a mouthful of powdered doughnuts. I had to wipe the counter off when he left.

Off for more fun in Hendo.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


The picture in the header of my blog is annoying me...I like the picture itself, but I can't figure out how to make it smaller. At the moment, it's kinda like, "BAM! I'M IN YOUR FACE WITH A HUGE FACE." Also, I feel that the title represents the lifestyle that most amature athletes lead...no real reason for putting massive numbers of hours in on the bike, just kinda doing it because there's something not quite right in the head.

Anyhoo, riding is good, gym time is good, and even though I haven't done it much recently, running is good. I've pushed myself harder than ever in the gym, and ended up with about an extra 10lb of muscle. We'll have to see if that's a good thing or not...hopefully I'll avoid hurting my shoulder so much.

There is a threat of snow on Monday, so I'm gonna get out on the MTB as much as possible this weekend to store up some awesome.