December 2005
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Month December 2005

Christmas Adventures

I headed home to Florida for a few days during Christmas to hang with the fam and was greeted with some great weather. I found some new mountain bike trail literally across the street from our neighborhood that provided a great escape when the hustle & bustle got too much. I didn’t bring down my bike, but it was some nice running – quite flat, with some tight twisty sections and 3 sinkholes to spice things up. The real workouts came in trying to keep up with my 2 nephews: Ethan (5 months) and Evan (27 months). They are both growing up so much! It was a great Christmas, but I’m glad to be back home in the Atl.

me & ethan


me! i learned that monkey bars really aren’t as easy the older you get

BOD holiday party

here are a few pics from this year’s BOD bike group christmas party. since racer x was in town from china, we had the party on sunday night, which kept it a bit tamer for those of us that couldn’t take monday off of work. a great night, esp with the traditional dirty santa gift exchange (40+ bikers fighting over some really great gifts – i walked off with a gorgeous IMBA calendar and shirt.)

jackie and me

rusty, tony, scott

wife of fbs, jackie, fatboyslim, scott, tracey, mark, natalie


nav success

last sunday i joined georgia orienteering for their meet at west palisades. this time i chose to run the green course, hoping it would be a bit easier than the red i chose last time. i didn’t necessarily want something real easy (green is just a step below red, the most advanced at the class-c meets), but wanted to have more success to build my confidence for future navigating attempts. i hit the first 2 points with my friend and future blue ridge ar teammate ken before splitting off and attacking on my own. we met up again near the end and got the last 2 with a big bushwack (to practice.. took slightly longer, but the trails there were just too easy). in general i think i did pretty well and ended up finishing the course with plenty of time to spare.

saturday i went on a long run (that felt great!) at kennesaw mountain, recruiting one friend for the full 16 miles and another for the first 11 miles. it was a chilly day with a good bit of ice on top of the mountain. can’t wait to hit it one day with a bit of snow :)

and a quick note about the previous weekend… dec 10th, jim put on a great nav training event up at stringers ridge in chattanooga (it was nice to get up there again). i carpooled up with a crew from atlanta. jason and i alternated nav duties with ken as our “mentor” of sorts. after the event, we went up to edwards point on signal mountain, where some of us went on a mtn bike ride and those without bikes had a nice run.

lepto at nationals

adventure racers take many risks, although we may not always think of them as such. biking and running with little sleep, traversing steep mountain sides, bouldering through slick creeks and canyons… it’s all part of the adventure. the cuts and scratches that adorn our bodies afterwards are just a testament to where we’ve been. sometimes things happen that aren’t planned for or even really considered. such is the case at this year’s nationals (which i wrote about in nov). racers had their legs slashed up by saw palmetto plants common in florida, then trudged through mucky swamps and rivers. their open wounds were exposed to all that great bacteria hiding out. the result: leptospirosis, confirmed in at least 6 racers (3 of which are friends living here in atlanta). the CDC has been all over this, with the last outbreak in the US coming after a triathlon in illinois. the AJC wrote an article last week that gives a less-than-admirable look at what we do as adventure racing athletes. (It makes us sound a bit stupid for doing what we do I think). Still, worth the read. (mom & dad: you don’t need to worry about me though!)

atl mtb 02 party

yes, a crazy name… this is a yahoo group for mtn bikers in the atl area started back in 2002 with just a handful of people; now there are over 100 of us. besides the great rides and bike maintenance nights (not complete without cold beer & the grill going), the biketoberfest and a very mango christmas parties are not to be missed. here are some pics of us cleaned up and celebrating the season.

BRD, me, Mango

sarah, lorna, me

Team AV Dinner

With our recent winnings, we had a team dinner at Gordon Biersch to celebrate the end of the season (for some! Seems like mine is just kicking up again…) It was good to meet a few new faces and catch up with my ladies from the Beast HIM this fall. We are still sponsored by Amino Vital through the end of March but of course hope we get to represent them again for another year. In comparing our notes from this past season, we all noticed good improvements in our times & finishes… coincidence? or Amino Vital?!! hmmmm! :-)

From left: Bob, me, Natalie, Jocelyn, Taylor & Carrie

the 615 club

despite the cold weather (ok, downright frigid at this wee hour), i’ve managed to escape my cozy bed to join a few other nutty adventure racers for a 6:15am run at the river the last 2 weeks. paul, jon, tony & tim have a great 6 mile course, complete with 3 huge hills, to wake us up. it’s of course completely dark at this hour, so it’s been “fun” getting reaquainted with running w/ headlamps on trails covered with leaves, with a few rock gardens scattered here and there… not to mention the slickness of the morning dew or ice. one of these aforementioned rocks reminded me to not snooze on the trail, as it jumped up, tripped me, and sent me flying. despite the new bruises, i really am enjoying the kick start to my day… being out while the sun rises is refreshing (even if there isn’t a particularly great view of it). hopefully i can keep up this new schedule!

getting beat up by nav

while i know a decent bit about navigation, i am by no means in any position to be self-sufficient with it (although i would like to be). so what i need is practice and lots of it…and not the tagging along sort of stuff i’ve been doing. today’s georgia orienteering meet was a great opportunity for me to go out alone for a few hours and see what i could do. the courses are labeled by color, with red being the most advanced – based on difficulty of location of markers, length and amount of elevation change involved. i chose this because afterall, adventure races are usually more difficult.

i got my map, checked out, and off i went. the first 2 were relatively easy, but of course this precision wouldn’t last. i ended up getting only half the points in the time allowed (so there is a big fat DNF by name on the results page). it was a good reality check that will hopefully get me out there more. it was also a rainy weekend, which made the terrain (piled high with lots of leaves, fallen trees and rocks) quite slick. i ate it several times and am nursing many aches this evening. still, a great day, although i think next time i might try a less difficult course so that i start getting my confidence up.