Friday, July 29, 2005


An update from the Island of Hatteras where I'm spending some time with my family and Kim's niece & husband, and their 2 young surfer boys.

Surfing for me, is 90% paddling, 9.5% waiting for waves, and .5% riding waves. I've been a novice surfer for about 25 years and the total amount of time I've spent actually riding waves is maybe equivalent in time to one bike lap at Wakefield. But I love it nonetheless and would be quite happy spending time every day trying to get beyond novice.

Jake, the 12-yr old

Surfing also has a "critical moment" similar to golf's (see golf blog below..), but with a more physical penalty for not succeeding. It's the moment of takeoff, after paddling up to speed, and after being lucky enough to be in the right spot to catch the wave. On small waves, the penalty is usually just a harmless fall, but on bigger waves, missing the takeoff can be quite painful.

Yesterday, after catching lots of crappy waves in the morning at Ocracoke, Jake, Ryder, and I wanted another session after we got back to Hatteras, and with a SW wind, we headed to Buxton to the Coast Guard Station north of the lighthouse. When we crested the dunes, we were amazed at the difference in size and quality of the waves here vs. those in Ocracoke where we had onshore winds messing up the surface. Tropical Storm Franklin was sending some weak pulses this way that weren't quite getting around the corner to Frisco and Ocracoke. There were only a handful of guys out, and all of them looked like experienced surfers. Ryder (the 10-year old) said he'd forgotten to bring a waterproof band-aid to cover up his stitches and so he said he'd sit out. I was somewhat relieved since it was a long paddle to get out to the break and I knew I'd have a hard time keeping track of all 3 of us in big-ish surf. Jake (the 12-year old) and I started the paddle out and it was tough. Jake eventually made it out, but I couldn't get through on my longboard. After struggling for a long time, I looked backwards and realized I was still closer to Ryder sitting on the beach than I was to the break. I headed back in and walked south around the groin and then paddled easily out right next to the groin. Should have thought of that the first time.

Anyway, the point of this now rambling post was to pat myself on the back and say that Jake and I each had 3 chances at the "critical moment", and we both made all 3. Good thing, cause it would've hurt if we'd blown the takeoffs, and we more than likely would not have been able to make the paddle back out. I paddled for, and caught 3 waves, all larger than anything I'd ridden in years and I kicked out of all of them before they closed out on me. I don't think I've ever been "3 for 3" before, and since we only had about 30 minutes for that session, that's all we had time for, and we were both quite happy to call it quits.

Da boyz


I spent the morning last Friday playing golf with my lifelong best friend Mike. Mike's a regular golfer, and I'm a "once every couple years" golfer. The idea was mine, mainly just to spend some time with Mike and to give a little money to a VDOT benefit cause.

Golf, for me, is 90% looking for balls. Even on a relatively open course, I lost a lot of balls. Golf has a "critical moment", that millisecond where the club strikes the ball. If everything isn't perfectly aligned at that moment of impact, chances are good that I'll soon be poking through tall weeds looking for my ball. No matter how well I hit the ball on the practice range (and I do), I get nervous and tense up over my real shots. I usually swing too hard, squeeze the club, or yank my head at that critical moment, usually topping the ball. Ironically though, the only two good shots I hit were two iron shots out of the rough. I think it's because I was forced to hold onto the club very tightly to keep it from twisting in the rough before impact. So, for those two shots, I guess I kept a consistent grip and swing all the way through.
If golf is going to be one of the games of my senior years, I hope I get a bit better at it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Single Speed, Multi Gender?

The final Wednesday at Wakefield Single Speed race was a blast as they all were. Nick got a flat midway through the 2nd lap and he dropped off my wheel. SteveD also had problems and dropped his chain 4 times which allowed me a lot of space. Thanks to all of the great competition, the PVC folks for running such a fine series, and The Bike Lane for the great support and prizes. Can't wait till next year.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Weds races

We luckily got the race in last night between storms all around the area.  We Single Speeders were schooled by Mr. Jason Beckley, otherwise known as the "novice who crashed into Pooch".  Jason usually races Expert, but last night dominated our race, then took 5th in the Exp. race.  Then, to further rub insult into us, he rode home to Annandale on one bike, pulling the other alongside him, while we drank beer at the finish area watching him ride across the bridge.

I took 2nd place, a little ways behind Jason. For part of the last lap, I thought I could catch up and make an interesting finish, but I just couldn't get there, and passing was getting more difficult with several lapped riders between us at all times.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A baby step towards Alaska

Kim had prelim phone interviews with 2 different places in Alaska this week.  One in Anchorage, and one in the bush, Kotzebue, which is inside the Arctic Circle.