Friday, May 30, 2008

Linus is the most Doughiest person eva!

No, really, I mean it: the boy cleaned up at the Doughman last week, so much so that he's even gaining some notoriety in the local press.

What is the Doughman, you ask? Is it like the Ironman, you ask? Is Linus our hero, you ask?

First things first: the Doughman, as described in the Raleigh News and Observer:


Here's what Saturday's 14 teams had to do to earn the coveted marshmallow-and-pasta lei awarded finishers:

EAT: Egg, ham and cheese biscuit; side of potatoes and fruit at Foster's.

BIKE: 5.7 miles.

EAT: Paula Rocks Wrap (chicken, vegetables, sauce), kettle chips at Nosh.

RUN: 1.8 miles.

EAT: Chili dog and five hush puppies at Luther's

RUN: 2.2 miles.


RUN: 2.8 miles.

EAT: Bacon cheese fries at Dains, lemon apple mint Loco Pop

RUN: 0.7 miles to finish at Farmers Market.

For more on The Doughman, visit

So basically yes, it's exactly like the Ironman, with competitors undergoing rigorous training, extensive endurance tests, and general all-purpose self-flagellation in order to make him or herself the most doughy of the men (and women). Needless to say, as Linus excels at all of the above, it's not surprising that his team "Dain's Team" (OK, so maybe it's Dain's team in name, but it's also Linus's, dammit!) rocked it out. There's also little doubt that there sponsor, namesake, and moral anchor Dain was instrumental in their win.

And yes, Virginia, Linus is Santa Claus. Er, I mean, our hero.

The coverage is pretty amazing actually, with write-ups in several local blogs: Bull City Rising, Carpe Durham, the Grinder, and MyMagicBean, just to name a few. Probably most impressive, though, is the story by Joe Miller in the News and Observer, complete with a photos by Chris Seward. (Be sure to check out this photostream on flickr, as well.)

It sure looks like a good time, and it's definitely worth flipping through some of the pictures to see our hero in action, not to mention the general shenanigans. The question that the rest of us have to be asking ourselves right now: where the hell were we? And how could it possibly been as cool as this event? There's always next year, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Bike Demon Says Ride Yer Bike.....NOW!

Sorry I think I was bitten by a rabid tick.

Dropping Science: Part 1

There is a lot of scientific research that goes into cycling, including materials, technique, and physiology. And while some of this research is motivated by trying to make a new product to make the heirs of the Trek fortune slightly wealthier, lots of it addresses how our bodies respond to cycling and what we can do to keep them working as effectively as possible. So when I read that cyclists need to intake X amount of Y for every hour of exercise, I've been curious to find out where these numbers come from and how they apply to me. So to add some insight to this, I've been participating in a couple of clinical research studies. Yes, I've been playing human guinea pig. 

When I explain this to people (particularly people who do not write on cycling-related blogs), the following conversation typically ensues:
Me: "So I'm participating in this exercise science experiment."
Friend: "Huh, really? How much do you get paid to do that?"
Me: "Um, nothing."
Friend: "Nothing? Why are you doing it?"
Me: "For SCIENCE."
Friend: "You're an idiot."

Yes, so, as the first part of this series, I'll try to explain why I thought this would be a good idea.
1) For the benefit of Science. 
I work in the sciences, so I realize the importance of collaboration. So when I can help out a fellow scientist, well, how can I refuse?
2) For the benefit of cyclists.
When I watch those Gatorade commercials about how they tested it on University of Florida football players, I kinda feel bad for those players. I mean, regular, old school flavors taste like sweat, watered-down with generic orange drink, so I can only imagine that the prototype was even worse. Think of the poor dudes who had the formulation with too much salt. Or the dudes who had the formulation with not enough carbs. Or the dudes who had the formulation that contained natural alligator colors and flavors. We should salute these athletes. We should salute the persons who tested Heinz formulas 1-56. We should salute the unknown souls who tested Preparations A through G. We should salute the choosy mothers who didn't choose Jif. We should salute the people who tried, but were not satisfied with Pabst's red ribbon-winning brew and told those master brewers what they needed to do to improve it.
3) For my own motivation.
Some folks feel inspired by wearing the team kit of their favorite rider. Some folks feel inspired riding a pro-level race bike. Some folks have posters of their favorite rider winning a race or a grand tour stage. But the image I always conjure up in my mind is a rider in some lab somewhere, with a bunch of electrodes hooked up to them, maybe a tube in their mouth, suffering terribly, with a bunch of white-coated scientists looking on. This is hardcore. This, for some sick reason, is motivational.
4) For my own training.
An hour on the trainer at high intensity is an hour well spent. Which is to say, an hour on the trainer is a stupid and miserable experience. We ride bikes to get outside and have fun. And riding a trainer indoors satisfies neither of these virtues. However, it is an investment in making that time spent outdoors more enjoyable. Fitter. Faster. Feistier. Well, that's the theory, at least.
5) For my own science.
Knowledge is power. And I need to increase my power output. I figure, if I can figure out in all of this little factors like when, specifically, I need to eat and what I need to eat during a race, it could make a big difference. I don't really care what the sample population does. I want to figure out how I tick. 

And so we begin. In the next episode, The Experiment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

ah, wilderness

To our loyal readers worldwide, we aim to make this blog chock-full of content. Like a multi-vitamin or the blood of a mid-1990s professional cyclist. So, I give you, a long rant about stuff:

It's that time of year when the weather is nice and cyclists everywhere start to speak, with renewed vigor, about the danger of cars on the roadways. There are indeed many lousy drivers out there. Full of a lousiness of skill or lousiness of humanity. Possibly both. And since the sun is hot and makes the streets hot and tempers hot, many of us take this as a sign to retreat to the forest. Retreat back to nature.

It's safe in the forest, right? Sure mountain biking has the dangers of taking a somersault through a rock garden or performing a human piledriver off of a rickety teeter-totter, but other than a self-inflicted crash, the forest is safe.

But here's the rub: nature wants to take your fluids and leave you for dead.
It is the truth. And no, I'm not talking about bears or rabid weasels or sasquatches [North American yeti] or arboreal Buicks. Little things are much more dangerous.

1) Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will suck your blood. This is okay. I can spare a little blood, as I have done with various medical experiments and crashes. But why, oh why, must they make me itch? I suppose that they can transmit malaria and West Nile virus, as well, but these aren't really a problem here just yet. Instead, they are just a minor nuisance.

2) Ticks. Ticks, like mosquitoes, also want your blood. And, like mosquitoes, can infect you with nasty stuff like Lyme disease or Rock Mountain spotted fever. These things are bad, particularly Lyme disease which may not show up for a long time and will mess with your central nervous system. Unlike mosquitoes, ticks are crawly guys who are very difficult to crush and like to go to warm places on your body where you frequently don't spend a lot of time looking (well, maybe not you, but me). I've found ticks in bad places. Places that should get them registered as sex-offenders. They are evil and difficult to crush, but it's ultimately very satisfying when you do destroy one.

3) Chiggers. Contrary to popular belief, chiggers don't bore under your skin. They insert this tube into your skin, spit in some acidy crap to dissolve your tissue, then try to suck it back out. This is not cool. Further adding to their general uncoolness is the fact that, like ticks, they like to find warm places and/or places where your clothes constrict, like socklines or waistbands. Like mosquitoes, they will make you itch, but usually not for about 48 hours (so you don't know you've been attacked until much too late) and since they add a lot of poison to your body, they itch for days or weeks. Itching around your sockline is annoying, but itching in your bikini-zone sucks. The real kick in the pants, however, is that they don't really want your fluids (or your fluidized flesh). They are looking for some other type of mammal, so after they mess you up, the leave, ultimately unfulfilled.

4) Poison Ivy. Poison ivy actually doesn't want anything from you. It is just a bastard. It is often hard to spot and will make you itch. Itch for weeks. Plus, it makes your skin look gross. And we mean the ivy no harm. We don't want to eat it, or any of its products. Creatures that do eat it, like goats, are immune to the poison anyway. It's like a bad driver who doesn't even realize that it's run you off the road into a ditch.

5) Spiders. Spiders are smart enough to realize that they cannot eat you, so they are generally cool. Unless they feel threatened and may bite you, causing itching, swelling, and possible necrosis. Ask Pirate about these guys.

The bottom line is that it's a jungle out there. Be careful.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

To Douthat or not to Douthat.......Douthat is the Question

Yes. You should Douthat. At least that is what JD, Dave and myself decided on Saturday. Douthat State Park is in such a remote area of western Virginia that even Googlemaps can't accurately or consistently tell you how to get there! We departed from Durham on Friday evening for a 1/3 Memorial Day weekend adventure. Our adventure started with a 5 hour journey to Douthat from Durham via every single scenic byway in Virginia or at least it seemed that way. Around 9pm we rolled into Buchanan, VA and devoured some spaghetti from a local mom and pop pizza joint in town. Carboloaded and ready to escape from the Tacoma-lodge we quickly set up camp just outside of Douthat State Park at a private campground. The state park campgrounds were full and in the future I would highly recommend staying in the park on the lake. See forthcoming photos.

JD and Dave trying to figure out how this little cabin ended up way up here in the woods.

Dave was riding so fast that his skin started to melt on the screaming fast singletrack descents.

A nice section of bench-cut trail on the Mountainside Trail.

Dave and myself on Mountainside Trail. Notice the nice inviting lake below.

Dave telling JD we are not taking another photo in this spot.

Trust me this is the sketchiest bridge ever. I think it was constructed of chicken wire and wood from an old rotten barn.

So in the end our adventure leaned more towards a comedy of errors and not so much a Shakespearian tragedy, with only minor bloodshed and three mountain bikers pondering why oh why hath we not haveth larger mountains closer to the Bull City. Alas, Douthat you bringeth merry times.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dirt times two

Fueled by a little NaS and talk of other old school hip-hop, Chris and I headed out of town to find a trail neither of us had ridden for some time. As we were unloading our bikes we ran across someone we'd ridden with a couple of years ago: Chris (aka sennaster) was rocking out a big-wheeled Redline, and we eventually figured out that we knew each other from a ride at New Light. He was joined by his friend Josh, who scoffed at all of us on our overly trendy 29ers. (Not really, or at least not audibly.)

The four of us shoved off together at a nice easy pace meant to match the holiday weekend, as well as the good Professor's tired legs. (Uh, and mine too, but I blame it all on Chris.) Quickly confused on the winding trail, Oishi and I got separated from Chris and Josh, but not before we passed we got a pic of his blue bike in action.

Thoroughly turned around by this time, Chris and I continued plod along through the woods, all the while discussing an elaborate taxonomic system that could accurately categorize the various sub-populations of 20- and 30-somethings. Engendered by the question "what is a hipster?" and quickly digressing into attempts to quantify ironic distance as measured by the polo's popped collar, it's amazing that neither of us wrecked while pondering the difference between the hipster and the scenester. Clearly, the world will be a better place once we can resolve some of these weighty issues.

In honor of the philosophical nature of our ride, I present a photo with the effects all screwed with for no good reason other than I like playing around on iPhoto:

Needless to say this was more of a social ride than a training ride (something the meaning of which I've forgotten), but it was just enough to wash away any aftertaste of used car shopping. (If only I could find a '62 Ford Ranchero that got good gas mileage and had anti-lock brakes and airbags that whole search would be over, by the way. Anyone? Edit: Or this!)

We all wait with bated breath for the tales of woe and wonder that will accompany JD, Dave, and Brian back from the VA.

Friday, May 23, 2008

RX: Dirt

After spending the last couple of weeks in the relentless pursuit of a decent used car, by Friday afternoon I was ready to pull out my hair and dance in the streets. (Or something like that.) Frustrated enough to spit, I decided to head down to the Morrisville trail complex to get in some good fat tire therapy. I haven't ridden since Sunday, and the tomato sauce on my frozen pizza for dinner is currently counting as a square meal, but I knew that I'd feel better if I could just summon the energy to turn the pedals for an hour or so.

My little Ferrous didn't disappoint. I hit the newer bandit trail near Crabtree, then hopped across the road to do a fast lap of the Crab. I rolled a few times around my ol' favorite the pump track, but after a couple of bumps I was purty wore out: I would never have thought that such a short loop could slap me around so much. As I spun my way toward evening it was just me and the (rather angry) squirrels in the woods. The trees are in full leaf now, so I lost track of the trail around the time the sun went down, but when I hung up ol' faithful I was ninety minutes closer to sanity.

Not only should bike shops have a test loop, I've now decided that used car dealerships would be doing everyone (or at least me) a great service if they had someplace you could go sweat between decisions about option packages and annual percentage rates. I don't know whether or not it would help them sell any more cars, but I might not feel so icky at the end of the day.

Still, my quick outing meant that the ol' Pathfinder got to carry around her two-wheeled accomplice one more time, which was good for all involved. And now I'll be able to go to sleep a little less crazy over overhead cams and miles per gallon. Thanks dirt!

Adam "53x12" Haile

The recently-returned and much-improved Adam Haile and I met this morning for a quick jaunt. Quick was the operative word. Adam showed off his midwest crit-honed pedal-through-corner-skills, ramping up the the tempo immediately and unforgivingly to make sure than he spent an hour at 300 watts. He spends more time in the his biggest gear than anyone I have ridden with in recent memory. Welcome back, Adam.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Light rap

Since Chris and Ben were spent after having broken legs on Saturday's P-ride, Brian and Ali were no-goes following their quixotic adventure through central NC, and JD had somehow thrown his back out getting ready for his son's second birthday party (I'm curious too), it was just Daniel and I on the traditional Sunday ride at New Light. Well, Daniel, me, and a host of others all roaming around the trail on long-travel full suspension rigs. I'm assuming that the two-wheeled couches must be fun, because all the cool kids seem to be riding them these days.

For what it's worth, whenever I see someone riding a 6"+ travel bike on our rather tame Triangle trails I always start singing:

I like big bounce and I cannot lie.
You other riders can't deny:
When some dude rolls by on a 6'n'6 bike
And throws his long-travel in your face
You get SPRUNG...

(Sung, of course, to the tune of the Sir Mix-a-Lot classic "Baby Got Back.")

It's possible that this says more about me than either than anything about either the other bikes or their riders. Maybe even likely.

No matter, we weren't prevented from getting in a good ride, and while it was neither epic nor extreme I think we were both pleased at the pace. More importantly, I was able to finish a ride without having an attack of the tube-snake, meaning that we were able to ride mechanical-free. There was a moment as we skirted the lake when the wind started picking up and I thought we were in for another mid-ride shower, but the threatening clouds blew over and we were able to finish with a cool breeze at our backs. All-n-all not a bad Sunday.

In other news, Adam Haile has officially touched down in the Bull City and is already talking some smack about crushin' 'em on the Tuesday ride. Consider yourself forewarned: Ad-Rock suffers no fools.

**Actually, it's more like me talking smack for him: I'd hate to give the guy a bad name before he's able to even unload his bikes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bull City Cycling's New Threads......

Coming soon to a peloton, mountain bike trail, group ride and coffee shop near you.....



Thank you to our sponsors.

And a big thank you to Linus for such a killer design.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sometimes yer a playa, sometimes ya get played

Today's ride was definitely one of those rides on which everything seems to go wrong. Mostly I blame Chris, since Dr. Oishi hit me up this morning for a mid-afternoon ride, and as I haven't done any riding lately (other than the couch), I succumbed to his peer pressure. (He really had to twist my arm, I promise.) Excited to hit the trail, we loaded up our matching big-wheeled bikes and headed to Beaverdam.

Not two minutes into the ride my tube came popping out of my back tire like the top button after Thanksgiving turkey. Unlike last time, this time the tube got caught up in the chain and punctured. We stopped for a quick tube swap only for the valve stem of the spare to pull out. Since I wasn't carrying a spare tube we were forced to patch tube number one, by which time the mosquitoes had located us and were enjoying a stationary meal.

Eventually we got things back together and headed out to finish (or really start) the ride. Undaunted by my earlier mishap I threw myself off the high side of a log ride, and then somehow sustained yet another flat toward the end of the loop. Not wanting to stop and patch the tube again I yelled at Chris to punch it and I rode out an ever-flattening tube. By weighting the front of the bike and thinking light thoughts I limped back to the parking lot.

Like I said, it was just one of those rides. Luckily Chris was a good sport about it, so there are no hard feelings. (I don't think.)

Actually, the high point of the ride was probably our discussion of some upcoming tomfoolery, as well as the possibility of getting a team vehicle. Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Little River Recap - Updated + Pics!!

Easy B, Chris, Daniel and I showed up at Little River yesterday excited to get the first race of the 2008 Triangle Mountain Bike series out of the way. Ben showed up with his cruiser and flirted with entering himself into the race's most populated category: singlespeed. That's where Chris and I lined up for the day, with Chris posting a 2nd place finish.

He was clown posse all the way in his performance, with big grins and hellos for all the folks at start/finish line. That's him on the school-bus yellow Vassago.

I was happy for my mid-pack performance after a week of fever, body ache, and unsuccessful efforts at bed rest. I found myself unable to get my legs moving on the course's tight and twisty trails. I wasn't alone, Brian reported hitting eight trees and sustained three weird crashes enroute to his 5th place Expert finish. I was lucky to avoid the same, but I wasn't moving quite as fast on the day.

Daniel took a big a 5th in the sport men's category after working a 18 hours the previous day. Huzzah!

See you at the next race in Chapel Hill at Carolina North Forest.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Little River (Undercover)

Well tomorrow is the first race of the inaugural Triangle Mountain Bike Series. Should be good fun. Bull City Cycling will be out in disguise kits still are not in hand. Alas.......but one day soon we will roll in orange.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Crabtree Fundraiser

The work on Crabtree continues, but now they need a little love from the community:

You can find a little more info here.

Wednesday = Pump Day

Yesterday Brian, JD, and I saddled up and headed to the Crabtree trails for a quick mid-week, post-work spin. We were clearly not alone in this plan: as we pulled into the Old Reedy Creek parking area we were met with more fat-tired freaks than I think have ever been assembled in the Triangle. Undaunted by the numbers and excited about the chance to show off our big guns in our sleeveless jerseys Team Dicky-style, we hit the trail on a beautiful spring day.

Crabtree was doing its best to pose as I-40 at rush hour: you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting any manner of mountain biker, from old-school canti-braked cruisers, to full-bounce weekend warriors, to even a cameo appearance by Willie B living large on a jump bike. Even so, we were happy to find the skills area and the pump track relatively free of users, if occasionally surrounded by a silently heckling group of observers.

This was Brian and JD's first time on the pump track, so I took some time to show them how it's done. It took me almost a full minute to teach them what little I knew about how to attack this bad boy, and soon they were rolling around to figure things out for themselves.

I think this was my third or fourth trip to the pump track, and as hesitant as I was about this thing at the beginning, and as clearly as it does not represent my best skill set, I am really starting to love the little circle in the dirt. I'm not exactly showing people how it's done out there, but I think I'm starting to understand the appeal. As an added bonus, the more body english that you use, the fewer laps you can do without getting exhausted. (Admittedly, that might just be me.)

We didn't take many pictures, and those that we did get aren't great, but here they are for your pump-viewing enjoyment.

Finished giving our love to the pump, we hemmed and hawed about what to do next long enough that the setting sun sent us home. All things told, though, it wasn't a bad little mid-week ride.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Some Great Helmet information.....

This is just an exert. For more info, follow the link at the end.

  • Bicycle helmets restrict vision and hearing, endangering the user.
    Response: We have never found this to be the case. Bike helmets do not affect vision. If the helmet intrudes on upward vision it will be evident to the user, who can adjust the tilt of the helmet to raise the front lip. Bike helmets also do not affect hearing, since normally they do not cover the ears. That question is easily settled by riding with and without a helmet, or by standing beside a road with helmet on and off. The US DOT has conducted a study on this question using motorcycle helmets and found that even these larger helmets with additional coverage do not affect hearing, and have little effect on vision.

  • Helmets are heavy, hot and uncomfortable.
    Response: This is a subjective judgment for each individual, and is easily tested by the user. Most riders find today's helmets light, comfortable and cool enough.

  • Helmets are inconvenient when getting off the bike to shop or go to class.
    Response: Putting a helmet on takes less time than putting on bike gloves, but it does add another step every time you get on the bike, and we agree that it can be a nuisance on very short trips from one store to another. So is fastening your seat belt in a car, but you do it for safety. The helmet can be left with the bike, locked if the bike needs to be locked in that location.

  • Helmets are not effective except in minor crashes.
    Response: We have ample evidence from medical studies that helmets are indeed highly effective, and you will find references on our statistics page. Although bicycle helmets are tested in labs in impacts at 14 miles per hour, they usually do a fine job of protecting the rider in a crash where the initial forward speed is higher, because the severity of the impact is normally determined by the closing speed of the head and pavement, not by the rider's forward motion. Research on crashed helmets shows that most people hit the ground at a relative speed of about 10 MPH. If a rider is hit by a car or hits a brick wall at 30 mph and the head takes a direct blow at that speed, no helmet will prevent injury or death. But that type of crash is rare, and helmets are designed for the severity of the most frequent crash types.

    As a reality check, ask any club cyclist about helmet effectiveness. They have shared experience that gives them more perspective on crashes. Club cyclists were the first to adopt helmets in the U.S., and the first to see the results. You will see helmets on all or most of the riders on virtually any club ride in the US. Among racers, the United States Cycling Federation (now USA Cycling--our road racing organization) adopted a mandatory helmet rule in 1986, because every year two or three riders were being killed in their races and more were suffering head injuries. In the years since it has been rare for a racer to die in a US race, even though their crashes occur at racing speeds. We have a page up on helmet protection limits.


    Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    Voting Our Way to Fake Racin' Today

    Just a friendly reminder to not forget to bike on over to your designated polling place today, do your civic duty and cast your vote.  

    Some of the candidates even like bikes!!!

    Then hydrate up for a 5:30pm start to Tuesday Fake Racin' leaving from here.

    It is sure to be spectacular.

    Monday, May 5, 2008


    Second race in two weeks for me but a totally different kind of ride. The Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race takes place in the Pisgah Ranger District, just east of Brevard down 276. Geared and fully suspended this time which is a good choice for the rough terrain that you spend most of the day on. Lots of options in the race because you have seven checkpoints and only four are required to finish. The race starts out at 8AM with a passport revealed to each team of two that describes your checkpoints. I partnered with advracer who is a veteran of this race and even did Double Dare last year (two days of checkpoint collection in the same general area of Pisgah). We mapped out our route pretty quickly thanks to advracer's experience and some educated guessing the day before. We got out of the start about midpack and the only way to start was to go UP Black Mountain trail. You can ride the first third but it's slow granny gear climbing. The rest of the way up to the Turkey Pen intersection is lots of hike a bike. We passed quite a few teams just hiking and that was how we gained ground all day. The first CP was near the Turkey Pen trailhead just past where Mullinax trail starts. We grabbed that one and headed up Mullinax to the second one on Laurel Creek trail. You pretty much have to ride out and back on Laurel to get to it. Next we rode down Squirrel Gap and picked up the third CP along the way. This was some of the best riding of the day. Everything is generally rideable and the trail follows a ridge with awesome bench cut and great technical sections to test your abilities. The fourth CP was at Club Gap so we climbed our way up to Buckhorn Gap and then headed for more hike a bike on Black Mountain Trail. We decided the payoff for getting a fifth checkpoint was not worth the effort since the three remaining were very far from us and the finish line + keg seemed closer. We worked our way back to pick up 23rd place and were within 30minutes of 16th through 22nd place finishing. Great day and we were extremely lucky that heavy rain held off despite a gloomy forecast.

    Sunday, May 4, 2008

    Easy B's new ride- part 2

    Brian's thinking about getting new wheels for his mountain bike. He says there are a ton of options. I ask really? Could Easy B roll on anything but Reynolds' Carbon Hoops? Here's a pic to help y'all spot B's new ride.

    Shining a light

    Our rag-tag crew reconvened at New Light this morning, with memories of our last outing here still fresh in our minds. Today Easy B substituted in for Chris and we hoped to make this another memorable ride. Was it? Well, there was thankfully neither hail nor tornado-warning worthy winds but we marked the ride down as the first of the incipient summer. Warm but not humid weather and a several days' fatigue in our legs made this ride hard, the smile-through-a-face-covered-in-sweat kind of hard. Looking ahead to Little River, we're riding smooth and smiling as B demonstrates here:

    How's that for a look of intense concentration? This man's a machine.

    The camera was low on juice, so there weren't any more pics until the end, where the shutter once again caught Brian not smiling, and Daniel cheezing enough to make up for his dour-faced riding partner.

    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    "Bringing love to my peeps"- Pirate

    James Baldwin once wrote that America and the world, needed to realize a "better kind of love" to solve its problems. With those wise words in mind, today Pirate and I set off for the promise of Crabtree's trails under a benevolent late spring sky to set straight our own modest problems. For me, a long week of school short of riding and long on work melted away with the passage of those miles. The dozens of exams I had to grade this weekend could wait, our time on those trails could not.

    Crabtree has become a more frequent mistress this spring, as has more time on my single speed; I am happy for both. Pirate is a single speed rider par excellence and studying his lines has resulted in an improvement in my own skills. My bike, a cream-colored Bridgestone Mb-1, is dear to me. My first mountain bike, the MB-1 has been appointed to single speed duty and the recent addition of a rigid Kocmo titanium fork helps it shine at this task. I earned the fork in exchange for completing the English-language translation of the Kocmo site and it is the perfect compliment to the Mb-1's smooth steel ride. I know y'all read because we're all about the ride, but I hope you'll forgive me for becoming sentimental. I heart my bike.

    But back to the ride. I'd given my love to Crabtree during my last couple of visits in the form of falls and mishaps. As a result, I'd been shy at riding the skills section. I happily changed that today and reacquainted myself with the skinny and teeter-totter.

    With my love no longer in doubt, Crabtree asked Pirate for his and he generously obliged at the pump track.

    With his affections confirmed, he picked up where he left off last week and I was able to document him in full flight.

    We're off to the first Triangle Mountain Bike series race at Little River next week. See you there.

    May day, may day!

    BCCers were a hard lot to track down yesterday afternoon: between weddings, the PMBAR, allergies, broken bikes, and general lameness, Dave and I were the only ones willing to brave the Carolina North trails on a beautiful Friday afternoon. (Or everyone else had something better and more productive to do with their time, as the case may be.)

    We hit Dave's old stomping ground and wound our way through the tight and ever-evolving CHHS/Carolina North Trails. I still don't know my way around those trails at all, but we rolled around for a couple of hours of fat-tired fun. As we were on our way home Dave decided to show off his mad skillz on a pipe/skinny, with the penalty for failure being a rather
    unwholesome bath in a creek that smelled like nothing other than pig poo, swine offal, or sow stuff.

    The obstacle:

    And Dave putting on the clinic:

    Not bad, methinks. Nowhere near the pain that JD is throwing down in Pisgah this weekend, but still a good Friday afternoon.

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    National Bicycle Safety Month

    NCDOT Reminds Motorists and Bicyclists to Safely Share the RoadThe month of May is traditionally recognized as National Bicycle Safety Month and with more than 900 bicycle-motor vehicle crashes reported to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles each year, the N.C. Department of Transportation reminds bicyclists and motorists to safely share the roads and be more alert during the spring and summer months. Click links for more information on the NCDOT, Bicycle Safety Press Release, Safety, and Crash Data Tool.