Monday, August 27, 2007

fueling my own stoke

Not that I'm looking past Shenandoah 100 or Teaberry, but these shots from the weekend on the Outer Banks (copped from Surfline) have me thinking about getting this lucky next month in Hatteras.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wilderness Jam

Kim's old roommate and friends have been putting on this show for 8 years. It's conveniently, always, the weekend after Labor Day, when I'm usually ready for a party weekend that doesn't necessarily involve double-digit hours on the bike. Wilderness Jam 2007.

It's roots are in the Grateful Dead, and for a few years even included Vince Welnick, the Dead's last keyboard player. It's also attracted lots of jam, hippy, funky, bluegrass, folk and others of a kind variety. This year, looks like the Jefferson Starship veterans are the headliners. These shows are 2-day, 2-night events that are a lot like a mini-Dead show. If you missed, or miss, those Dead style shows, here's one of the places where it's still happening.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wild 100

Saturday was the annual Wild 100 at Elk River Touring Center. Kim likes the laid-back vibe and gourmet style of Elk River, and has always come along for the fun. I hope she has as much fun as I do there.

The checkpoints were all in mostly familiar places, including the pain-in-the-ass bushwhack/hike-a-bike/shred your skin through the thorns and cowshit to Gay Sharp Knob. This was CP-1 this year, and I had my worst time ever trying to find it. I was following a piece of advice I gathered on the MORE forum, which was "head for the gap between the two knobs". Well, I tried exactly that, but maybe there are more than two knobs in view, and maybe I went up a drainage between the wrong two knobs. It didn't take too long for me to notice on the map that I shouldn't be headed due east at that point, and I doubled back to the barn area to start again. I was kind enough to let Tiffany Kenny and several others who followed me know I was changing my mind and going back down (they were about to keep going up without seeing me turn around). It then, still, took me way too long to get over that knob and onto the forest road. I was much much higher on the road than I needed to be, and wasted a lot of time gaining elevation pushing and dragging my bike, that I didn't need to gain. Tiffany, and many other folks that I'd been far ahead of on the opening climb easily got in and out of CP-1 before I did.

Luckily, that was all the excitement I had for the day, and the rest was pretty uneventful and was spent coming from behind from the mid-20s-30s after CP-1 to top-10 (I think). Buchness made the move of the day being the first to use Gauley Mountain Trail from 3 to 4, passing everyone ahead of him except for Benji. Most people took Tea Creek Mountain to Bannock Shoals. A few took Tea Creek Mountain to Turkey Point and got destroyed by that mile-long steep-ass hike-a-bike direct shot to CP-4. I took Bannock Shoals, even though I briefly considered walking up Turkey Point. Even though Bannock Shoals is a boring 4.5 mile climb, I always seem to fly up it and even recover some on my single-speed. I knew that hike-a-bikes like that one are about 1 MPH, and I figured I could spin up Bannock at around 8 MPH, so I went with my old favorite fireroad climb, and passed three guys going up. I saw Andy coming out of 4 on Boundary Trail, and I decided then to also come back out on Boundary rather than add in any more unnecessary singletrack climbing.

After that, it was off to the road races out to Props Run for CP-5, and then back to the Bear Pen shelter for 6, then home. A highlight was catching up to Jonathon Martin chilling with the guy working CP-6. I chilled for a while as well, then cruised out with Jon, who actually told me to lead as he was scorched from hiking up Turkey Point earlier on. I dropped Jon right away on the first hill out of 6, so I knew he was dying. I figured he'd surely scream by me on the gravel descent to home since he's one of the craziest descenders in West Virginia. But I never saw him until at the kegs, hurtin'.

the way to CP-1

While I was messing around here for 10-plus hours, the Michaux local crew were doing this biggy thingy.
Bummer to miss that. Next year, either Tomi & Jake need to come back to defend at the Wild, or pick a different weekend for this one. Shantytown was rockin' late into the night...

Pics courtesy of Bike Lane teamie Joe P

Friday, August 17, 2007

shorty beach trip

I took Oliver and his cousin Tiffany to visit other cousins who live at the beach. Jake and Ryder have lived at a beach for more than half their young lives. They surf year-round, can ride shortboards, longboards, bodyboards, skateboards, and snowboards. They pretty much spend every day on the beach.

The surf was pretty small and choppy on our sessions, barely even ridable, but still actually fun, and Tiffany tried surfing for her first time and even stood up on a few. No pics of the surf, though trust me, that it was nothing to look at anyways. But, like I said, it was still kinda fun and the few decent waves I got somehow made the hours of driving worth it.

How can a 5-second ride be worth so much? It's hard to grasp. As much as I totally love mountain biking and skiing, I think I'd give up both those sports completely for the chance to surf every day. A 5-second ride compares to a 5-hour mountain bike ride or a 5-minute run down a powder field. Yeah right, how the hell is that possible? It just is. But, length of time riding is not the only indicator of fun in surfing. I mean, even classic waves like Pipeline only last for about 10 seconds. And surfing is like 50% paddling, 49% sitting, and 1% riding. It just doesn't add up to much fun. Except that it does.

Did I mention that I totally suck at surfing too? Yes, I'm a beginner, and I've been a beginner since 1980. In 27 years you'd think I'd either become an intermediate, drown, or give it up. Well, you can see how easily rigid SSers give things up...

Can't wait for the Hatteras trip the week after Teaberry, when the boys will be competing in the Eastern Surfing Championships at the Light.

Monday, August 06, 2007

non-Wilderness ride

Spent the weekend down at Bryce visiting my father and old family friends and sneaked out at 0630 yesterday for a shorty dawn patrol on one of the newest trails built in the Lee District of the GWNF. It's the extension of the North Mountain Trail south of Barb Gap (which is south of Wolf Gap). I believe this trail can (or eventually will) link up with the Second Mtn network north of Rt 30 near Harrisonburg.

Sweet ridgetop pine needle surface, This was an unusually buffed section. Most of the trail was typical bony North Mountain terrain.