Monday, October 06, 2008


It was the year 2008. It was The 555. Seven riders mounted their steel ponies and headed for Portland, OR. They completed their task and have risen to demigod status. Their foolish bravery has spawned another two-wheeled movement. The 666. Six states. Six centuries. Six days. Its all happening Spring 2009. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tour A La Bama

The first reaction that most people had was something like, "are you crazy?". I would usually then explain that we would get up super early and ride before it got too hot, and that 70 miles a day isn't that hard on a bike, especially when you've nothing else to do but push the pedals and eat. Cool, clean hotel rooms are a luxury that make the heat of the day all the more tolerable, and we would spend a number of hours basking in the chilled air of someone else's power bill. Was this convincing? Maybe to some, but to others we must have seemed a bit masochistic. But, as you can see from the sequence of photos below, it was clearly the bikes that went crazy...

With a little good fortune and a lot of good food we made our way from Lookout Mountain, TN to Destin FL, in about 6 days. Day 1 was a beautiful ride out Hwy 157. Rolling hills, beuna vistas, and fajitas for two when we arrived at Weiss Lake, AL.

Susanna, Roller Coaster Road, Day 1

Days 2 and 3 we followed Hwy 9 from Centre to Wetumpka. We awoke on our first morning on the road to local news stations warning of poor air quality for this to-be the hottest day of the year. No problem. We made a short jaunt from Centre to Heflin, about 50 miles, and found respite and barbecue near Interstate 20. We went to bed, planning on getting up super early and trying to knock out a bunch of miles before lunch the next day. 6:00 am and some Hardys biscuits got us to Goodwater before lunch, about 50 miles. We found more awesome barbecue and tried to loiter in the A/C as long as possible, but the magnetic pull of the road got us rolling again by 1:00. As we rode into Wetumpka, we were both finishing our first ever centuries and the weather that had been building behind us all day was just beginning to break. We walked to the closest Mexican restaurant between breaks in the rain, and toasted to sore legs and sweat over some more fajitas.

Typical Hwy 9 Scenery

Fed up with chicken trucks and rednecks in mudslingers, I picked up an Alabama Atlas and Gazetteer on the morning of day 4. Now it was time to get lost on some county roads. The weather began building behind us again, and by noon we were hiding from lightning at a dog kennel in Downing. The first storm passed and we found ourselves trying to ride through sand in BFE, AL. By the end of the day, we had waited out another storm at some random church and had been invited in for a Wednesday night Bible study. We graciously declined and headed into Troy in a light drizzle and dwindling light.

Sand Road

Opp was our next destination, and our fifth day on the road would prove to be that of our muscular discontent. We were quite fatigued this day, but only had a quick 50 miles on roads less traveled. Opp was our favorite town, we ate steaks and seafood at a quaint little restaurant and, so that we could drink a beer and play some billiards, became members of the local club "Regis' Four Sons".

Fun with Fatigue

It was in Florida on day 6 that we finally got caught in a giant thunderstorm with no shelter. We found a low spot near a culvert in the road and huddled together hoping the lightning would not see us. It didn't and we made our way to Niceville, having our first and only flat tire on the way. We celebrated with some more seafood on the sound and some redstripe while picking which sail boat we would buy for our next adventure...


Friday, August 29, 2008

You must be joking...

I did my first road race last weekend. CAT 5 road race that ended in a climb. Achieved my goal of being in the top 10 by the skin of my teeth... 10th place.

I didn't think there was much doping going on below the pro level until I was reading the drunkcyclist's blog and stumbled upon this link to a forum all about doping... I don't even know what to say about this.
I've got my own form of doping and plan to do lots of it tonight. Think I'll start things off with a lager and move on to the ales from there.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Keepin' Up with the Joneses

I've noticed that lots of other bloggers have important causes they promote to their vast readership be it conservation of rivers in canada, green practices, research on terminal and chronic diseases, looking at boobs, and last but certainly not least... general self aggrandizement; not being one to be left behind TJ also has its causes. I present to you one cause TJ has deemed worthy enough to champion... Bringing the movie RAD to DVD release.

We will work hard to keep you up to date with the latest progress in this most important endeavor.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em

On Saturday night several other lazy cyclists and myself decided to sign up for the Southeastern Regional Championship pedal-bike race being held at Raccoon Mtn. on Sunday. Despite our lack of preparation we felt the need to defend our home turf. The SERC series is a regional race so it brought out fast men and women from around the southeast, I hoped my home field advantage would garner me a few spots in the standings.

This was the first XC race I have participated in, typically my focus in cycling, if you can call it that, has leaned towards the endurance side of the sport. So going all out for two hours was quite a change from the long duration events done at a more sustainable pace.
Race Recap:
After a series of phone calls between the local lazies to determine when we'd show up at the event, planning to arrive as late as possible to increase our odds of missing the start, we had a brief team meeting before warming up and lining up at the start.

I was off in the single speed class. The first bit was on paved road and I got off the line fast enough to be in first place at the first turn, second place at the second turn and the pattern seemed to continue... I ran out of gear as the road got flat to slightly down hill and lost several more places. When the course turned into the woods and got technical I rounded a corner to a pile up in a technical section. Since I knew the section was there I was commited to a line I thought would be there around the blind corner only to find a bunch of wheels and feet and legs I had no time to slow or change line so I ran into the tire in front of me and had to dismount the bike and subsequently lost a couple of places, I was bummed, had I been in front I may have made up a good gap here.
Back on the bike and chasing back up to the leaders I came off the end of a bridge and my handle bars rotated around in the stem. I rode it like that for a while but finally decided that I'd have to fix it. Lost some more places and started getting swept up by the leaders of the sport class. I was able to bust ass and catch a few more single speeders but the leaders were gone.

TG came across the line bloodied from a botched jump, I wish we had photos of the gore.

So I learned several things that will hopefully help me go faster next time. I was bummed to lose spots due to the pile up and the mechanical but I probably wouldn't have done much better without those mishaps, but maybe less bad.

- make sure your bolts are tight enough on your bike before you race, but not too tight
- if you are really serious, gear accordingly (i.e. if they modify the loop to take out the worst climbing and give you a paved start take off the 20 tooth and put on a 19 tooth freewheel)
- now that you've geared accordingly get out in front of everyone else because most of the racers suck ass at technical riding
- stay out in front because riding a hill behind a geared racer (even if he is the leader in that class) sucks, and despite how much you want to kick him in the forehead off the trail so you can get by it's easier to just pick up your bike run past him and get back on, I think this also helps to demoralize the geared biker as well.
- don't race in the afternoon in the end of June
- preemptive strike against cramps
- plan to have your mechanicals later in the race, in the early parts everyone is amped up, a mechanical failure later in the race seems to create less of a gap to make up

old photo dump: TJIB/ TDUB after Cohutta 100

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Time BBQ

Since it is summer time most of us are riding bicycles (except people who own 4 wheelers)

Looks like its time to put up the mtn bikes and fixed gears put on your sister's jeans, grab a white belt, scarf and get out the push- fix

I've really been into this lately, I started riding the fixed gear with flat pedals and no breaks back in '94 but I just didn't feel the zen like connection to my ride like I do with my fix-push board. The skidding competitions are the best.

This should be cool for a few minutes and then I am going to find some other old forgoten useless object to make cool. I think I'll go back to wooden rims on my bike to get the true zen experience of bicycle riding, all you other fools are just posers.

Homeless man: "Do you know why hipsters are no good at karate?"

Me: Huh?... no.

Homeless man: "Because they can't get past the white belt"

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"To Serve Man"

Well we haven't updated in a while...
Here is a working draft that was written for March:

Gustatus Similis Pullus

March like a lion. I wish I had sat down and blogged some over the course of March it was a busy month. Unfortunately now you'll just get a laundry list of happenings of the month.

On the 5th everyone got together to celebrate the life of Daniel D. with a run from Alum Cave to the Overlook on the West Prong and then a bike ride at Kitsuma. The rest of the week we paddled Suck Creek and Cain/ North Chick. here in Chattanooga. The following Saturday Bear Creek ran.
Lots of biking: rode across GSMNP, paddled the Bear again with Andy D, Nate H and some Asheville boys, rode 65 of the 100mi route for the Cohutta 100 with Turner, paddled Suck Creek, lost a teacher mentor and hero as Ron Stewart passed away. Ran the Bear again. We thought alot about Ron as we paddled that day and it was good to be with several others who had learned alot about boating and a little about mathmatics from Mr. Stewart.

Sometime later Nate Helms, Chris Young, Alex Ransom, Jason Rodwell and I met up at Blake Turner's house to ride the Cohutta 100. It rained the night before. The ride was good. Jason Muirell beat Floyd Landis, TASTE IT!

A couple of weeks of relaxation later Nate Helms, Chris Young, Alex Ransom and I met up in Brevard area to race PMBAR , awesome event and format. Brad Kee won it, TDUB!
I think we'll be back for Double Dare this fall.

A couple days ago we went to the Green River Narrows and had a great group of old friends. As we were relaxing on the rocks below Sunshine Bryce said, " I wish I had this group going to California with me" or something like that. He left for CA yesterday with a couple of squires. They should be fine, they'll just need a few pairs of clean underpants.

they'll probably be more biking than boating and I'll try to update this blog more often for all our dedicated readers. {echo}

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Of Hog's Heads and Misdirection

More Rain!

A band of rain came up from the Gulf of Mexico on Jan. 10th and it brought some warm weather with it. Thursday night and Friday morning the cell towers were buzzing with paddlers speculating on and checking levels. By the time Friday morning rolled around we had a huge group of old friends ready to go kayaking. Bryce Evans was even up and out of bed and called to tell me I was running late.
Bear Creek almost came up to a runnable level. The gauge was at 8" but had been up to 12" early in the AM.

By the time we had everyone rounded up and loaded up we had decided to go check out Henderson Creek. We checked the level at the Richland Creek bridge and it was only at .7' but Richland had some water in it. It seems like some sediment is shifting around at that gauge. Typically we'd look for a level of around 2' for a good run of Henderson.

After some more speculation we headed up to the putin to look at the flow and found an acceptable level. The new gauge at the putin bridge was reading -6". This is the lowest most of us had run Henderson but it was still a very fun level. I would put a minimum on the top gauge around -7"

The run was fairly clean of wood. The only wood in play that I remember was a tree down in the left line of Rattlesnake.

Todd Grafe on the way to the chiropractor- Spinal Adjustment- Henderson Cr.

"Come Together with Your Plan"- Rodwell on Spoonman- Henderson Cr.

Javid Grubbs ducking out the Fire Escape- Henderson Cr.

Bryce Evans, Portrait for the Family

We finished up our run. Picked up our cars at the top and headed home. No one gave much thought to the car at the putin.

I went home and had an excellent dinner:

Turns out the car belonged to a father, daughter team of kayakers that thought they were putting on the Piney. By the reports I have heard they got into the run, past the flat water paddle in and ran a few of the upper slides. They may have even made it down to Spinal Adjustment. At some point they decided to hike out. They did not make it out by nightfall and spent the evening in the wilderness. Thankfully they emerged from the woods unharmed late Saturday morning.

The next day we headed for The Nations.
Raven Fork was at a low but runnable level of .9' We had a huge group again with two first timers.
When we got to the put in at Anaconda a group of three arrived from Lord of the Rings. Rob, Adam and Shane loosely joined our group and we all had a blast watching everyone's lines in the drops. Luckily we ran into Pat and he let us know about a new log in Mike Tyson's Punchout, which Pat ran despite the log but no one else wanted a piece. With that log in combination with Mortal Combat it feels like you're portaging half the river. Here are some photos to enjoy while you are waiting for the logs to disappear to make the trip worth the travel time...

"you can do side-bends or sit-ups..." Bryce


"Tricky-woo" off the couch and boofing at Caveman.

Check out some video on this blog.