Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bear Creek

Day started out a little rough. Went to load my bike and noticed my fork was in two pieces. I got it over it quick, and Amy and I worked together to quickly put my old bike back together. After installing some new grips, fixing some stuck links, and re-indexing the rear dérailleur we were on our way.

Our destination was the Bear creek trail in Ellijay, Ga. We arrived without further incident and quickly geared up and hit the trail. The picture above shows one of the main attractions on this trail the Gennett Poplar. At 100 feet tall and 20 feet around, that tree is a giant among saplings. Check out how it dwarfs my little bike.

After admiring the big tree, we hung a right and headed up the Pinhoti trail to the Bear Creek Loop Trail. The normal route is straight up the singletrack to the overlook. We haven't yet mastered riding with the x2cycle on singletrack so we opted for the forest road instead.

If you can take your eyes off this good looking man, you can get an idea of what the road looks like.

Once we got to the overlook I changed the tube in my rear tire to get rid of an annoying slow leak. It was nice sitting in the sun letting it dry the sweat off my back. The view wasn't bad either.

We blasted down the road back to the car and went to the Mexican place in the square. The food wasn't good, but I was hungry enough to clean my plate.

Can't wait for our next adventure.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Amy and I got back from Asheville yesterday. We spent the week riding our bikes, relaxing in our cabin, and exploring the city and surrounding areas. We had the best time.

I loved being able to look up and see mountains. Everywhere you turn there is another beautiful view. Knowing those mountains are full of bicycle trails made the views even better. You can ride anything from all day long gravel grinder routes to super steep and technical single track trails. We rode mostly forest roads, but I also rode some nice single track like Ingles Field Gap and Spencer Gap.

Another thing I loved was the people. I thought my own redneck, hippie, and outdoor geek combination was unique but there seemed to be thousands of people just like me living in Asheville. I felt like I fit in there, and it felt really good to fit in somewhere.

I need to figure out some way to move there. My one week vacation was way too short.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Photo Credit

My new header was shot by jl from mtbr. I cropped it from one his excellent panorama shots. Check out this thread to see more of his work. Thanks jeff!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Da Bonk

Saturday I went to Bubba's soccer game then we did a ride on the Silver Comet Trail since the SCT is right next to the field he played soccer on. We rode from Floyd Rd to Florence Rd and back. We also explored a little on some of the side trails.

Click to view gallery

Sunday Amy and I rode the Upper Chattahoochee Loop that we have been putting off for the last month. We made it, but it took us a full 5 hours. Most of that was due to my rookie mistakes.

1) First my rohloff shifter cable pulled out of my external gear selector, and I didn't have a Torx T20 wrench to fix it. I need to either get one of those wrenches or switch out the bolts to something more standard. I ended up going back to my car and switching the gears manually with 8 mm wrench to my easiest gear. I was pretty useless on the flats, but most of the trail was straight up or straight down so being able to pull the tandem uphill was the most important thing.

2) Next I totally forgot to stop and get picnic supplies. This led to both of us eating much less than we should.

3) Finally I think I picked one of the busiest weekends for Helen with Octoberfest and hunting season beginning. Cars were everywhere and we were continually having to slow down and move over to let cars pass on the narrow forest service roads.

I am glad we went though. The area is very beautiful and it was nice to spend all day with Amy.

Click to view gallery

Next Saturday we are going to Asheville for the week. Should be fun!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Grocery Rant

Amy and I drank and ate too much on Saturday at my nephew's failed baptism party (priest got sick). So the best we could on Sunday was to ride Gainesville college.

The Gainesville College trail is a pretty easy 5 mile singletrack loop. Awhile ago, I volunteered for Trips for Kids and had ridden maybe a mile of the trail. It was good to get back there and see the whole trail. None of the climbs are too long or too steep. There are couple of tricky places to practice your skills. Parham calls it a good place to introduce a beginner rider to singletrack. I took a couple of pics.

Click to view album

I found a link to Hodge's blog on psychobillycadillac's blog the other day. Hodge's funny rants inspired me to write about my grocery story experience yesterday.

Amy has been really getting into her cooking. She finds these excellent recipes that are healthy but still taste pretty good. I have tried helping her some, but I have not been consistent about it. Saturday we worked out a really good deal that should allow us both to ride more, eat earlier, and spend more time together. Part of the deal involves us working more as a team both in our riding and cooking. Usually Amy goes to the grocery store by herself, but Sunday I decided I wanted to go as well to show my team support.

Usually my grocery shopping is done with ninja like precision. I know everything I want and where everything is. I use only the small baskets and avoid the buggies. I keep my item count low to use the express or self checkout lane. I basically have very little interaction with the other people in the store.

When you are buying food for a weeks worth of fancy recipes, the experience is very different. First you notice the people around you more. Take for example this lady talking on her cellphone. She was talking so loud that the entire produce section could hear her. She was telling someone that she had accidentally put her dress on inside out. Yes I checked and it was on inside out. She noticed me looking and told her friend that now everyone was staring at her because of her dress. Actually I would have never noticed if she wasn't talking so loud. The dress was so ugly and the colors were so bright wearing it inside out was probably an improvement anyway.

After almost getting run over twice by the cellphone lady's shopping cart, I escaped over to the cereal aisle. I was gazing longingly at the sugar cereals of my youth, and I guess I left my cart a little too far over in the aisle. A man and his son walk by and shove my cart out of the way. No warning or eye contact just walked by and pushed it out of the way. I am not really up on grocery store etiquette, but it seemed pretty rude to me. Not knowing the etiquette I was really not sure how to respond. Should I have chunked my box of Captain Crunch at the dude's head? I settled for my best WTF look and got away from this dude as well.

Sunday did not seem like the best day to go shopping. There were carts everywhere. I got several nasty stares for my cart driving skills. Amy was walking very quickly, and I was just doing my best to try to keep up. This one woman in particular seemed to have it in for me. She kept parking her cart in places that left me almost no chance of following Amy. Several times I had to loop around other aisles to catch up.

Finally I beat the cart blocker to the breakfast sausage section. Amy and I were trying to find the plain Jimmy Dean sausage instead of maple or sage flavored sausage. I think we were in mid sentence when the cart blocker parted the 12 inches between us and started trying to pick out her own brand. I made a quick exit over to the milk section and started studying which chocolate milk brand I was not going to buy. Maybe I just have an overly large sense of personal space, but I think I would have waited a couple seconds to let another choose their sausage in peace. If we would have been discussing some other topic other than sausage and were being rude by occupying space we weren't really using I could understand the cart blocker's frustration, but we were both being active and participating in the sausage selection process.

We almost made it out of the store without any further incidents, but this lady tried to dart in front of me to enter the store through the exit. Luckily she saw the weight of my shopping cart and decided it wasn't worth getting knocked on her ass. The way she bobbed her head and shifted directions back and forth reminded me of the squirrels on my morning commute. I laughed at her as I walked by.

I am going to have to work on my cart driving and people avoidance skills next week. I am sure I will eventually figure out to make it through with less confrontations. Who would have known the grocery store could be so dangerous.