Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekly Re-cap

The work week is nearly over and it has been balls to the wall all week long. I have been meaning to sit down and bang out some banter, but all I have been able to do is start a collection of draft files that start out similar, but all trail off into nowhere within a few sentences. Well today I am going to commit and regardless of how poorly this comes out, I am going to finish this post. To start it all off, last Saturday, Sharpie came into town like a bat out of hell. He dropped the wife and kid off on the mountain, grabbed a longtime friend of his and hauled ass to my place. We hung out for a spell and then made our way to Raccoon Mountain for a ride...insert photos here...oh yeah, I cannot figure out where I put them. We rode all the inner and outer loops at Raccoon since Sharpie had never been there and Britt was only familiar with the perimeter loop and some of the inner stuff. We were snowed on most of the time and the trail was frozen was surreal but so sweet. After our ride we hit a new local Mexican joint and spent the evening laughing so hard that I cried at least three times. Sharpie just does that to me...every time.

Sunday morning, I woke up and tried to gorge myself on as much food as I could with out getting sick. Knocked back a couple of cups of coffee and then rode down to St. Elmo to pick up Mike V. for our ride to Raccoon Mountain. We left his place and worked our way up and through Lookout Mountain before making our way over to Raccoon. It started out really cold and cloudy and about the time we made it to the visitor center the sun came out and offered a nice change to the latter few hours. Strangely enough I felt really warm the rest of the day despite the deceivingly cold temps. We rolled back towards the house after meeting back at the east overlook and just kicked around on our way back. We split ways with plans to meet up for some serious post ride chow at the local pizza joint. After 5 hours on the single speed, all I can say is hell yes...that was the answer...fresh pie rocks!.

Not much happened other than the daily grind until Thursday night when I met my friend Matt at Booker T for a few laps in the dark. It has been a long time since I have been there and it was pretty much what I expected. The trails are decent, but so short that by the time you get into a rhythm you are back where you started. I think that I have been spoiled by Raccoon Mountain.
Friday I finished up my SSWC09 entry form and mailed that baby off to Durango. I hope the Durango boys get a kick out of my project...I know I had some fun making it. Later on I met up with Sam and Micha for some pints and socializing. Looks like there are some new trails that Sam found and we are going to work those into our loop to Raccoon Mtn. on Sunday. That should extend the ride by about an hour for around a solid 6 hours on the mountain bike. We have opted for a long road ride today instead of back to back days on the for me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Straight from the Hood

This weekend has come and gone so quickly, it hardly seems fair. As I sit in the office this morning looking out the window, we have sunshine and chilly temps which is crazy considering the cold, rainy wet weather we had all weekend. I met up with my new neighbors, the Simril's, for an early morning ride on Saturday. We planned on riding from North Chatt to Raccoon Mountain and back via downtown, Lookout Mountain and Elder Mountain. The weather looked bleak from the start. I was sitting on my front porch all bundled up putting on my shoes and it started to rain. That was really hard on the motivation factor. I rolled up the street to meet my morning accomplices and the rain just kept coming. By the time we made it through downtown, the rain had stopped and we we all shedding our jackets in preparation for the climb up Lookout. We cut off the road to pick up the Guild Trail to avoid car traffic. We hit the road again and bombed down into Tiftonia and worked our way through the backroads to get to Elder Mtn. Road. Then the nice climb up the road to the top of Raccoon Mountain.

We hit the singletrack and found the trails to be in way better shape than expected. While it was difficult to find the right amount of clothes to wear, the ride was spectacular. Slightly wet and slippery, but lots of fun because everything was hooking up really well. After a modified lap around the perimeter with some re-routing for fun factor, we made it back to the East Overlook. Then the rain came again. This time it poured as we bombed back down the montain. Totally soaked by the time we hit the base, it made me all the more focused to get up and over Lookout again to haul ass back to the house. As we were crossing the Walnut Street Bridge, we ran into Jim and he followed us back up Forrest to squeeze one more climb in before we called it a day. This new route is going to be very useful for training purposes, several long climbs, some road sections to warm up on and lots of technical singletrack to mix things up, all from the front door. Once the time changes, this route will be doable after work, so look out Tuesday night crew, this one is getting added to the list.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No Excuses for 2009

We rang in the New Year in classic college fashion starting with a short track urban race, followed by a well funded keg party (thanks SORBA) and wrapped it up with a full on dance party. I like how this is beginning already. The first Snake Creek Gap has come and gone and I missed out this time. With some work obligations and a lingering cold, there was no way I could convince myself that was a good idea, but the great thing is there are 2 more. The rain and cold temps would have crushed me for sure, or at least take the last bit that the trail did not squeeze out. I checked out the times and all I can say is damn, ya'll. Even with the weather there were some amazing times laid down, especially in January. Looks like this is going to be a hard core year...again. I look forward to giving it a go and kicking it with all of great people that somehow think that racing uphill for 34 miles in the wet and cold in early winter is a good idea. What can we say right?

My riding has been pretty sad over the last few weeks to say the least. The holidays and a wicked bad virus set me back big time. I wound up losing about 6 pounds in a couple of days...probably not a bad thing, but that was not how I wanted to go about it. I am not much for the supermodel diet of vomiting and not eating for several days at a time. But I am finally feeling good enough to start riding with intention again and that feels really good. Now if I can get the weather to work with me. Pouring rain has kept me indoors for several days. It should only take a couple of weeks to be ready to rock. I hope to see you out on the bike.