Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Done

After much bitching and moaning about my inability to singlespeed my way up these mountains, I have converted the Lazer Cat to 1x9. Do I feel like a quitter? Yes. Will I be able to ride up hill better and not spin out in the flats? Hopefully.


Notice the nice new Park workstand that Heather got me for xmas. It really makes working on my bikes a lot easier. Also notice the psychotic tuxedo cat, all worn out from driving me crazy by attacking my shifter cable while I was setting it up.

I hope to be back to SS someday.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cabin Fever

This has been a pretty rough winter for riding.  We have had a lot of snow for this area, and it has stuck around.  That means that I have not been riding much at all, and my fitness level shows it.  I got out to DuPont with some folks on Saturday, and it was the worst ride I've had in a long time.  The cold air, sore/tired legs from squats, chunky, icy snow, and my inhaler giving its final puff, all joined together like the perfect storm of excuses for my abysmal performance on the bike.  The people I was riding with are definitely faster than me, and I started too hard and just burned out early.  They had a training agenda, so I just told them all to go ahead and I would continue on a winter, Rick-paced ride.  Well that didn't work out all that well either.  I tried to hit a couple of my usual trails, but Joanna Rd. was either the aforementioned chunky, icy snow, or a solid sheet of ice.  I just cut my losses and turned around, riding a whopping 10 miles for the day.  No ride is a waste, though, and at least I did get out and pedal a bit.  I need to get out and ride more for sure, but unfortunately, more snow is on the way tonight.


I mentioned in a previous post that I had some new fitness plans, so I thought I'd just mention them here.  I know my core strength is lacking, so I thought I'd give some kettlebell workouts a try.  I'm on my third week, and I love them.  I just bought a 30lb and a 50lb off of, and they are plenty for me so far.  The workouts I found online have been fun.  You basically just do five-exercise circuits, and do as many circuits as you can in 30 minutes, so there is a pretty good cardio aspect to them.  I'm feeling stronger, and my pants are fitting looser, so I'm headed in the right direction.  I also got some Vibram FiveFinger KSOs, aka, "monkey feet."  These "shoes" are pretty cool.  I work out in them, and I have just started trying to run in them.  It will definitely take some time to get used to running in them, because you use different muscles and they can be a bit hard on your feet at first.  My first attempt was a short, 1-mile run, and my calves were sore for 2 days.  I think that's a good sign.

Hopefully I'll be able to start riding again soon, and this blog can get back to what I intended it to be.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Hike Before the Storm

We apparently have a big winter storm heading our way tonight, so we made a point of getting out in the forest today. We had always wondered about that trailhead along the side of 276 by the bridge, aka Moore Cove, so that's where we went. It was a pretty easy little hike, and surprisingly busy considering the cold, but the falls at the end were cool. It was basically a tall, but low-flow, waterfall, falling over the front of an overhanging rock, or what I have always called an Indian Cave. The falls were much bigger than I expected, because they really don't look very big in pictures, unless there's a person for scale. We followed the trail a bit past the falls and came across a smaller version of them, but then turned around.

We had also heard that if you follow the trail that branches off of Moore Cove close to the trailhead, that it will take you to Jack's Cove falls. We decided to go for it. If you want to follow this trail, you want to take the left at the top of the wooden stairs from the trailhead. The marker will just say "Closed Road" on it, but it's open to hiking. We followed this for quite a ways, and made it to Jack's Cove, but turned around before we made it to the falls. It was getting late, the temps were dropping, blisters were forming, and I had Chicken 'n Dumplins to make, dammit.









Sunday, January 2, 2011

Unfortunately, a Road Ride

We had six inches of snow last weekend, which has subsequently melted [mostly], and it rained all day yesterday, so the trails were not rideable today. I needed to spin the pedals, so I dusted off the road bike for the first time since moving here. It's a very nice road bike, a Bianchi Vigorelli, a graduation present to myself over the summer. I rode it quite a bit in northern KY, but I just haven't had any desire to ride anything with skinny tires since moving to mtb Mecca.

I left the townhouse and it was dark and dreary here in Brevard. It looked a bit brighter to the south, so I headed down Rt. 64, and up Rt. 215 to the BRP. The gate was closed, but the road looked clear, and the sun was shining bright at this point, so I hopped on the Vig and headed south. Everything was going smoothly for the first 3.5 miles, but then my first ever roadie wreck happened. It was a downhill section, so I had some speed, came around a corner and.......nothing but black ice. I slammed to the pavement and slid about 20-30 yards on my left hip and ankle. Burned a few nice holes in my shorts and left me a real nice road rash. Ouch. That's also the side I sleep on and I'm out of bourbon. Tylenol PM maybe?

Sorry for the crappy iPhone pics:

I tried to ride a little further, but there was even more ice, so I just quit while I was only slightly behind. On my way home, going down 215, I came across a little Beagle mix trotting down the middle of the road. I stopped to get him off the road, but he kept coming back to hang out with me, so I picked him up and placed him shotgun. I had no cell reception, so I had to drive all the way down the mountain to call the number on his collar. On the other end of the call was, of course, a total redneck that told me the dog was just fine walking along the road, because they live right there. I'll help animals out whenever I can, but I won't just take someone's pet unless they're treating it pretty bad, so back up the mountain I went. I dropped him off back at his home, and headed back down the mountain. I didn't feel great about it, but at least I got him off the road.

Stay safe, buddy.

I also have some fun and different fitness plans in the works. Plans, not resolutions. I hope to do some endurance races this year, but right now I'm a fat bastard, so I'm pretty excited to start doing something about it. Maybe I'll be able to avoid transitioning the Lazer Cat to 1x9.