Sunday, December 16, 2012


Decide to give mountain bike some TLC expecting to be riding again soon. Take off wheels. Remove tires to find giant Stan's boogers. Clean Stan's off of tires and wheels. Mount new front tire. Fill with Stan's. Hit with compressor. Success. Mount older rear tire. Fill with Stan's. Hit with compressor. Fail. Again. Fail. Try CO2 cartridge. Fail. Try compressor again. Fail. Compressor dies. Try remaining CO2 cartridges. Fail. Try floor pump as fast as I can. Fail. Again. Fail. Curse loudly. Debate throwing floor pump into neighbor's yard. Remove tire. Clean Stan's off of tire and wheel. Mount tire with tube. Inflate with floor pump. Hear hissing. Watch tire deflate. Search for another tube. Fail. Make animalistic grunting noises. Close eyes. Deep breath. Count to ten. Walk upstairs. Crack open beer.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Hike

Heather and I both finally felt physically ready for a hike after the summer of surgeries. I wanted something that would test my knee a bit, but not too long. We had been wanting to check out Sam Knob for a while, so why not now?

We headed up to the BRP on a gorgeous afternoon, with the temp around 60*. The trail started off pretty flat, and like any other trail in the grassy meadow areas up in the high country.


When we hit the base of Sam Knob, however, the terrain changed drastically. It became fairly steep, but not too steep, with a lot of roots and good-sized rocks to maneuver. I brought my hiking staff with me for extra support, and it ended up helping a lot.


It didn't take too long to make it to the top, and the views were everywhere.


We paused at the overlook and took some photos and had a snack. This is now one of our favorite overlooks. Amazing views of the Shining Rock Wilderness.


Sam Knob 2

Sam Knob 3

I was mostly concerned with how my knee would do coming back down that steep terrain, but it really felt great. We were both extremely happy to get out in "the Forest" again, and can't wait until next weekend for another hike.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Beer Run

The folks at the Hub posted on facebook that they had Highlands Cold Mountain on draft, so I planned a short cross ride to have one.  Kind of a chilly ride, but my knee felt great, even standing.  Rode on a little gravel, enjoyed my favorite seasonal brew, and cruised on home.

cross ride

Monday, November 12, 2012

Downtime Update

This is supposed to primarily be a blog about mountain biking. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do any of that since the beginning of June, but I'm definitely getting closer. I've finished PT, and have started going to Crossfit Brevard instead. The owner is a great guy, who also very recently had an ACL reconstruction, so he's very understanding with scaling the workouts down for me. My knee is getting much stronger, though. I had isokinetic testing done last week, and I am at about 90% now. Not bad for 5 months post-surgery.

I have been able to ride a bit, though. I got Heather and I used cross bikes, and we've been riding around town and on the bike path quite a bit. It feels great to be pedaling again, even if it is just on the bike path. The knee feels really good while riding, with the exception of some weakness while pedaling standing up.

I've been trying to find ways to keep myself busy on the weekends. For some reason, we can never find a harness that fits Kenda right, so I just made one.


I also decided that because of what I do and where I do it, that I'd get my concealed carry permit. So a couple of days ago, I took my class.


It was a beautiful day, so I took the long way home via BRP.


Things are really looking up, and hopefully I'll be posting ride reports again in the very near future. Cheers!


Sunday, July 22, 2012


On June 14, I had an ACL reconstruction, as well as some smoothing out of the cartilage behind my knee cap, so needless to say, I haven't been in the Forest for quite a while.  I miss it dearly.  The reason behind the surgery was a 7-year-old injury that felt like it was getting worse and worse.  I'd go hiking, or sometimes even just walking around, and I'd feel my knee shift on itself and "give out."  I finally got sick of it and decided to bite the bullet and get it fixed.

The surgery apparently went well, and my knee is feeling better every day.  Heather was a great nurse, and was willing to take care of incisions that I refused to even look at.  I wouldn't even look at this picture until 4 weeks after my surgery, when I finally got my staples out.

1 day post-surgery

That was one day after the surgery. It was nasty. I had to keep my sweet knee brace locked out at all times, and I had an ice machine thing pumping ice water on it 24/7.


Well now I'm five plus weeks out, going to PT, and walking. My range of motion is pretty good, but I still have to wear the brace, unlocked, for another week.

5 weeks post-surgery

It's amazing how quickly your body can heal. It's actually looking like a normal knee again. I'm allowed to ride a bike on a trainer with absolutely no resistance a bit now, and it feels great just to sit on a bike. The particular bike I've been sitting on is new to my fleet, and is a cyclocross bike. I'm not a fan of riding the roads, so I sold my road bike to buy the cross bike, and one for Heather as well. This bike will help a lot with my recovery. I'll be able to take it from trainer, to short rides around the hood, commuting, the bike path, gravel roads, double track, easy single track, and then finally back to mountain biking again. I'll post more about the new ride later.

In more exciting news, the grand opening for the Bracken Mountain Trail is this Friday. I will be home that day, so hopefully I'll be able to hobble up there and snap some photos.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Did not 111

...but I did help mark the course, which turned out to be a 30'ish-mile ride on a Friday afternoon/evening, and a lot of fun.

Tools of the Trade

As you can see, I wasn't given a ton of tape, but I did what I could with what I had.  I was happy to hear that Clay and Chris rode ahead of the racers the next morning and marked the intersections a little better.  From what I've heard, it was a great race, and only a couple of people missed a turn.

I got out for a short ride the day after the race, and just played around a bit.  Below is a pic of a creek crossing on Buckhorn Gap Trail.

Self Timer 1

That evening, my old college roommate and his wife rolled through town on their way home from Charleston.  We headed out for some good food and dessert, and had a nice time catching up.  The next day, we headed into Pisgah after a big breakfast at Gatekeeper's.  I decided to take them up to Looking Glass Rock, for one of the best views in the Forest.

Looking Glass Pano2

While up there, I was able to catch a decent photo of one of our local, blue-tailed Skinks, which you may
recognize from Cane Creek's logo.


Monday, May 7, 2012

PMBAR 2012

Team "weregoingtofinishthisyear" did not finish this year. Last year we got 3 CPs over a 63-mile route, and DNF'd. This year we got 0 CPs over a 6.3-mile route, and DNF'd. There wasn't much we could do about it though.

There was nothing silly or adventurous about the start this year; no wooden nickels. It was a bit different, however, in that Eric announced that we would not be getting our passports until we hit Pressley Gap. This meant one giant clusterfuckingly slow climb up Black. Once we got up there, we decided to hit the most western, mandatory CP at the gate on 225, so we headed down Maxwell and Clawhammer. Upon hitting the stables, Mike somehow crashed while going around the gate and banged his knees up pretty bad. He popped right up, thankfully, but quickly realized that his front wheel had somehow taco'd, and our race was over.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed, but this stuff happens. We slowly made our way down 477 to 276, and decided to make a stop in the river for Mike to "ice" his knees a bit in the cold water. We got back to the start/finish at Smoker's Cove, and concluded after little debate that 10am was as good a time as any to start drinking. After a beer there, we headed up to Stephen Janes' grilled cheese and Coke oasis to take him a beer and hang out a bit. After being entertained by the riders for a while, we headed to the Hub to see if they could save Mike's wheel, and have a couple more beers and our first Daggie's burgers, which were pretty damn good.

 So, definitely not a good PMBAR, but Mike wasn't hurt too badly, the wheel is fairly fixed, and it was still a fun day. I doubt I'll be able to do next year's PMBAR because of my pending knee surgery and long recovery time, but I'll be back for 2014, and team "weregoingtogetatleastonecheckpointthisyear" will get at least one CP, for real.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Housework, Trailwork, Riding, Blah Blah Blah

Another action-packed weekend. Saturday morning was another Bracken Mtn workday. We're getting closer and closer to the Forest property. Hopefully we'll get a good turnout for the next workday or two and finish up with the corridor clearing. After that, it was time to paint the bathroom after taking forever to strip the wallpaper and prep the walls. I HATE wallpaper. Especially the wallpaper in this house. Only three more rooms to strip and paint. Woohooo!!

Today was a perfect day for a ride (as was yesterday, oh well), so I headed to the Forest. I had no agenda really, so I just started making my way up Clawhammer. Up at the gap I took a moment to notice how the trees have all sprouted leaves in the past few days.

Buckhorn Gap Sky

I still had no idea what route I wanted to take, so I headed down Buckhorn Gap, and took a left on S. Mills. I really like this section of S. Mills. It has a fun, rocky downhill, and some technical, rocky riding along the river. Once I got to the parking lot, I decided that I would hit a couple of seasonal trails before they're closed, so I headed to Pink Beds.

Pink Beds Sign

Today is Easter, so why wouldn't I find this along the trail?

Pink Beds Bible

I left it for someone who might actually appreciate it, and continued my leisurely spin along Pink Beds loop. I made it to the parking lot and it was mayhem. The lot was full, and there were obese people everywhere. It was like I was in Gatlinburg, except there were no t-shirt or fudge shops. I sat in the shade and had a GU before heading down 276 to 477.

Pink Beds Picnic Area

Obviously, once on 477 I headed up for a run down Bennett. It was lovely.

Bennett Gap

Bennett Gap

MRI tomorrow morning. Can't wait to have that giant dye-injection needle shoved under my knee cap. Fun stuff.

Monday, April 2, 2012


What a great weekend! Saturday, I made it to another volunteer day at the Bracken Mountain Trail. We're getting close to having the entire corridor cleared for Long Cane Trails to do their thing. We just need to finish the connector trail into the Forest, and touch up a few places on the main loop. Long Cane has already starting cutting the trail in the area that is cleared, and from the short section I was able to see, it's going to be a ton of fun.

Sunday found me in the Forest on my bike. I decided to do the PMBAR start for some damn reason, and from the Black Mtn trailhead I headed up Thrift, Black, Maxwell, Clawhammer, Black, Avery, Buckhorn, Clawhammer, Maxwell, Black. Twas a fun ride, and I felt decent. I took some photos, but there was something on my lens (it's actually still there), and that's kind of annoying, but anyway...


Black is such a buff trail.


Today, I took the day off to go to the doctor (more on that in a minute), and to take some Ohioans on a hike up to Slate Rock. We met a little after noon, and rally car'ed it down 1206 to the trailhead. The Suby is much more fun on gravel roads than the Grand was. The hike up wore them out a bit, but they made it and decided it was worth it when we popped out on the rock.


My doctor's visit this morning was at an orthopedic office. Seven years ago I messed my knee up playing soccer. I was told it would heal and I'd be fine, because my ACL wasn't totally torn, just partially. Well that was apparently BS. Basically my ACL is "stretched," which means it's not doing its job, so my knee is unstable and shifts sometimes when I'm walking, hiking, riding, running, standing, etc. It sucks and I'm pretty tired of it. I'm planning on getting another MRI done soon, and possibly having surgery to fix it. Unfortunately, that would mean up to a year of recovery, and a pretty long hiatus from riding and hiking. That really sucks, but I'd rather have a healthy knee so I can be as active as I want. I guess we'll see after the MRI.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Terrible Week, Good Weekend

Had a pretty rough week with a friend and colleague passing away unexpectedly. I was also fighting a cold, and the stress of the situation made that a losing battle. I needed some forest time in a bad way, and luckily I was feeling well enough to ride by the weekend.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and I was able to spend about 3.5 hours of ride time in Dupont. I started on Reasonover, and did Turkey Gap and the Poplar Loop as a lollipop out and back, then made my way over to the Corn Mill Shoals area via Airstrip, Shelter Rock, Conservation Road, Buck Forest, Pine Tree, Sheep Mtn, and Cascade. Rode Rock Quarry, Micajah, Wilkie, Burnt Mtn., Cedar/Big Rock, and then started back the way I came back to Buck Forest, Conservation, Pitch Pine, 3 Lakes, Conservation, Bridal Veil, Corn Mill, Shoals, Laurel Ridge, Mine Mtn, Car. I was happy to be able to last that long considering the week I had. It was a great ride.

Some Scenery Pics:

Lake Julia Gulia

Does two make a gaggle?

Break Time

Top of High Falls

Lake Alford

Today was a lazy Sunday with a short ride to work the funk out of my legs. I started late and just beat the sun. Not a very exciting loop, but really enjoyable. Hatchery, 475B, 225, Connector, Cove Creek, Davidson River, Hatchery. It was a perfect evening for a ride.


Hopefully this will be a better week.

Friday, March 2, 2012



March 2, 2012

Forest Service Seeks Suspects for Questioning

PISGAH FOREST, N.C. - U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officials are encouraging people to stay away from the Bradley Creek and Turkey Pen areas of the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest. People should avoid Turkey Pen Road near NC Hwy 280.

The Forest Service is seeking two men for questioning involving alleged threats made to another group of forest visitors. The alleged incident occurred last evening in the Bradley Creek/Turkey Pen areas. The two men may be armed. No injuries were reported.

The Forest Service is seeking two white males. One is said to be in his late 20s to early 30s and wearing dark clothing. The other male is said to be in his late 40s to early 50s and wearing a red and gray plaid shirt. The men may be on horseback and have large bags.

The two individuals should not be approached. Anyone with information should call the Pisgah Ranger Station at 828-877-3265.

The case is still under investigation.

Hopefully I'll see these two idiots in court soon.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rough Weekend

Honestly, I don't know how we do it sometimes. Life here can be rough. Yesterday, Heather and I took Kenda and ourselves for a short hike up in the Graveyard Fields area. We had been meaning to check it out for a while, but it's always so crowded. Well, yesterday was a beautiful day, but pretty cold and windy, so there were only a few cars in the lot when we got there. We headed down to Lower Falls first, and played around.

I'm in this photo somewhere.

Lower Falls

Kenda enjoyed the view.


We then started making our way up to the aptly named, Upper Falls. Kenda hiked with dad...

Father/Daughter Hike

Graveyard Fields

...but took breaks with mom.

Taking a Break in Graveyard Fields

Upper Falls

It was a little sloppy on the trails, but was a nice hike that we all needed.

Today, I wanted to see how the new bike was for longer rides, so I went for a 30'ish mile jaunt in Pisgah. Starting at the Ranger Station, I headed up 477, up Clawhammer, down Buckhorn Gap, left on S. Mills...

S. Mills River

S. Mills River

...up the FS road, right on Funneltop Mtn. Road...

Funneltop Mtn. Rd. Overlook

...right on Horse Cove to Squirrel Gap...

Break at Squirrel Gap

...right on Squirrel Gap to Wolf Ford...

Wolf Ford

...up S. Mills, up Buckhorn, down Clawhammer, 477, 276, and back to the Ranger Station. It was an awesome ride, and the bike felt great. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good, too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

First Ride

I finally finished building up my new ride. Well almost. It's going to share wheels with the Lazer Cat until I can afford some new ones, but other than that, it is independently finished. It's a used 2011 Rocky Mountain Altitude 29 SE frame, with a few nicks here and there, but everything else is new. I built it up with an X9 2x10 (26-39) drivetrain. It also has a RockShox Revelation 29 fork with 140mm of travel. It is obviously quite a bit different than the Lazer Cat, and that was the idea.

I decided that the Big M would be a good shake-down ride for it. I expected it to be pretty sluggish on the climbs, and I noticed a slight sluggishness as compared to the Lazer Cat, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought, and I left the suspension fully active the entire time. I made it up Clawhammer and Maxwell in no time.

New Ride

At the top of the short hike-a-bike up Black, I figured I'd take it easy since I wasn't used to the bike yet, and still walk the couple of spots I've always walked, but then I started actually riding this bike downhill. I felt instantly comfortable and confident, and flew down all of Black to Thrift with no problems, no stopping, and no dabbing for the first time ever. Woot!

At the bottom of Thrift I decided to hit lower Sycamore instead of my usual upper route. Despite being much shorter than the upper side, lower Sycamore is a bit more challenging with a couple of crazy root sections.

Starens Branch looked cold.
Starens Branch

After crossing the creek, I hit the aforementioned root sections and made it through without issue. Normally, I'll at least dab here and there, or my back tire will slide completely out on the greasy roots.

For a first ride, I was really impressed with this bike. There will still be a little tweaking, but it felt good from the get go.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

[Not a] Lull

Haven't posted in a bit, but I have been pretty busy.  There is a lot going on around here.  First of all, I am in the process of building up a full suspension 29er. All of the parts should be here in the next couple of days, and hopefully, I'll be riding it next weekend. Really looking forward to having more suspension for a change of pace.

Secondly, there is a lot of good mountain biking news happening around Brevard. If you haven't read Bike Magazine's "The Bible of Bike Tests," you really should. They tested all of the 2012 bikes around Brevard (Pisgah and Dupont), and there is a nice article about the town. It should bring some national attention to the area's riding scene, and hopefully boost our economy some.

And speaking of boosting our economy, Sierra Nevada has decided to open a brewery in Mills River. Why Mills River you ask? The water is great, the recreational opportunities are great, and the fact that Henderson County is pretty much giving them everything they need is also great. Plans are for brewery tours, a gift shop, a restaurant, and possibly a music venue. Next time I sit my sweaty, dirty butt in the river below, It'll be fun to think about how that water could become my beer later on. I'll certainly be more careful about where I pee now.


Finally, one day of our weekends for the past three weeks has been dedicated to clearing trail corridor for the Bracken Mountain Trail. This is the trail that is going to start right behind our house, and connect to 475C in Pisgah. It won't just be a connecter, though, it'll have about a 4.5 mile lollipop loop in there, too. We've made amazing progress, with a ton of response from volunteers. There have been at least 20 people there every week, and the grand opening is expected early this summer.

Here is the progress after last weekend, and we cleared about another mile today.

Trail Progress 1.28.12

I've really never been so excited about anywhere I've lived before.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

For Sale

I'm saving $$ to buy some squish, so I'm willing to part with my beloved Karate Monkey. It's six or so years old, but in great shape, and in the hard-to-find poo poo brown. Size Medium. $450+shipping takes it. SOLD!!!








I also found this Pike 426 U-Turn coil fork in my basement. It probably needs a servicing, but is a solid fork. It has a coil for heavier weight in it, but I also have a lighter one I can include. Make an offer.



Thanks for looking!