May 2007
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Month May 2007

memorial weekend….

since the whole car clutch fiasco last week, my weekend plans went topsy turvy. instead of hitting a wedding down in hot, smoky florida, i was able to hang local and indulge in a few days of fun. i couldn’t justify spending money on a race saturday, so instead i helped out and ran sweep for the first 16 miles of the inaugural scenic city trail marathon here in chatt. (mostly on the jones gap segment of the cumberland trail we’ve run a few times.) while the pace was slow, i got in a good run on a hot day…. however, i have a few mysterious welts on my legs that are a bit annoying and i see a huge patch of poison ivy surfacing on my forearm. big props to joey and the boonies for putting on a great event!

on sunday, i joined jeramie, jim & star for a long mtn bike ride out at the ocoee. after a delish pancake breakfast at cracker barrel, we headed to thunderrock campground, where we ran into fellow adventure racer kim moore from georgia. she joined us on a killer 4.5hr tour of some great forest service roads. we did see a black bear cub bounce off the road at one point, but luckily no momma was in sight. i swear we did more ascending than descending. my legs were sore from the previous day’s run so i struggled a bit and bowed out of the single track finale (the snickers marathon bar i had towards the end wasn’t sitting well either). after refueling at subway, we headed back to our cars at the cracker barrel… where jim’s clutch decided not to work all of a sudden! (eek! i swear i had nothing to do with it!) luckily i had just renewed my AAA membership and used it to get a tow back to town. afterwards, the tow dude checked the clutch fluid levels, which happened to be low. topping it off with some brake fluid proved to solve the problem and jim lucked out. (unfortunately my problem was not that simple… or cheap!)

today i recovered and worked.. yes, worked, even though it was a holiday. my colorado cousin amanda arrives in the morning so i’m taking a few days off to show her what the east coast mtns are like!

update on the commuting last week: while it only equated to 2 full days, it was great. only some minor close calls with idiot drivers (nothing too close). i was definitely in super casual mode at work, but luckily i can do that. and i love being able to get stuff done around my house with my computer not being there! i’ll definitely be making more of an effort in the future to do this more.

commuterized

i knew it was going to happen soon but of all weeks, this was not the one for my clutch to decide to all but die. but it did, so you just gotta roll with it. i dropped it off today and after a ride back to my office, i am embarking on a few days of self-imposed bike commuting. sure, i’ve had many generous offers to drive me around, but i’m actually looking forward to this. i have a few friends that bike to work 3-5 times per week, and they have further to ride than i do (approx 5 miles, mostly downhill from home… which means coming home is quite a workout). sure, i’ve biked to work a few times, but honestly not as much as i want to or should. mostly, it is my beloved laptop that prevents me from doing so – i usually work at home a few hours (ok, work/goof off, etc) at night, so i always take it home from the studio. and yes, 95% of the time i use it. but i am not about to put that laptop in a bag on my back to bike in – it’s just too expensive and invaluable to take that risk. so, i drive.

not having my work computer at home for a few nights has been refreshing. (ok yeah, i am on one now, but this old laptop doesn’t have all my work stuff on it to keep me busy)… last night, i worked in the yard, cleaned the house, started reading a new book, and went to bed at a reasonable hour. tonight has been relaxing as well. tomorrow night i may start going thru withdrawal, but i’ll manage.

i hope i can really make this more of a habit… start with maybe 2 days a week where i can leave the computer at work and make sure i don’t schedule any client appts out of the studio (that gets tricky). i have a bit to learn though; tips are appreciated!
- how to stash what i need into 1 bag (clothes to change into, lunch + my running clothes & shoes)
- how to keep fresh when your office doesn’t have a shower (a stash of Wet Ones are helpful I’ve heard… and i think a baseball cap may be mandatory)
- do i always change into cycling clothes, or do go more commuter casual? (certainly not as comfy so i’m not planningon testing this one yet….)

The Birthday Ride…

The weekend may not have gone as “planned”, but today was a great day. I finally was able to hook up with SORBA-Chattanooga to help with some trail building up at Raccoon Mountain. It was a small group since it was Mother’s Day, but we got a good section on the new trail from East Overlook to Laurel Point looking great. After 3.5 hrs of manual labor, we worked up an appetite and ate lunch. Then I set out for my first trip on the new sections, which now allowed 1 complete loop around the reservoir. I rode it clockwise- which worked out well for many areas (EO to LP was nearly all downhill, and I got to go down Grindstone), but this turned the expert section even harder…. and this isn’t my forte to begin with. Yeah, it was slow going and some walking, but I had a fab ride, even if it was a solo endeavor. (I’m starting to like doing this, esp somewhere that is close, gets good cell coverage, and usually has other riders around just in case).

Animal count: 1 wild turkey (that surprised me as much as i surprised him), 1 4-5 foot black snake slithering away, and 1 tick.

Here are some pics I took of the rock path on the side of the dam… pretty amazing! (taken with my phone – didn’t bring the camera unfortunately).


Happy Birthday to Me!

OK, so the timing is merely coincidental… I’ve been doing some design work for Lynskey Performance (hopefully one day their site will go live!)… in the meantime, here are the fruits of my labor: their 310M, an absolutely stunning handcrafted titanium frame! Hopefully I’ll be headed down to the Mango Bike Shop soon to help out with the build… I’ll move some parts over from the Kona & Trek, then sell those to finance some shiny new parts.

Quote from the Tues Night Ride

“You were pulling like a freight train…”
- Ted

uhh, Ted, is that supposed to flatter the ladies?

Montana.


Big Sky Country.
The Treasure State.
State Fossil: Maiasaur
State Animal: Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis -> did they really have to name it this??)

and….
host of the 2007 Mountain Adventure Race… 300 miles (aka 4-5 days) of navigating through pristine wilderness, traversing 10,000′ high peaks, killer singletrack and what’s certain to a ropes section of epic proportions.

and, just why am I mentioning this race?
because I’LL BE THERE!!!
My team just got word that we’ll be racing as team CheckpointZero/MyTopo.com. That’s right, a sponsored spot!! (we just need to figure out how to get there, and make sure we have all our gear/food/clothing… if you want to help us get there, do drop me a line!)
Daniel, Hunter and I are stoked… now, on the hunt for a 4th teammate.

The next few months will be interesting; lots of training and organizing. And learning about bears… Montana has the largest population of grizzlies in the lower 48!