Friday, November 30, 2007


a crowd gathers at the trailhead
lights grow bright
pedals click like thunder
positioning riders fight

the pace is risen
the line is blown
quick speed reduction
the flock has flown

click goes the gears
pedal with all your might
bring back the rider
escaping into the night

slam into a rock
slide across a root
skid through a corner
heart rate through the roof

saved by the climb
where my skills are their best
rider's light dead ahead
stringing out the rest

the climb has leveled out
the lead riders have been caught
better get a handle on your breathing
or your effort will be for naught

the trail points back down the hill
the flock again pulls away
stop staring at your front wheel stupid
it is here to stay

now i can see much better
i'm starting to get the feel
a few hard pedals
now i am on your wheel

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Turkey Turkey

Went to Virginia for a week but didn't ride much. Did a fun ride at O-Hill and a quick road ride but mostly sat around on my butt. Had a delicious Thanksgiving meal at the Boar's Head Inn. Finally fixed the driver side mirror on my Subaru. Taking the door panel off was tricky. Glad I don't have to use duct tape or hold it on with my hand any more. My nephew is getting possessed this weekend. Hopefully I will get to sneak in a ride some time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Riding Buddies

I went on three rides (other than my daily commute) last week and the best part of all three rides was getting to ride with other people.

Wednesday was the first Big Creek Night Ride. 24 guys (unfortunately no women) showed up for a couple of laps around the Big Creek trails. All kinds of riders showed up including first time night riders, a pair of 9 year olds, pro roadies, and plain ole weekend warriors like me.

Once we rolled out of the parking lot, I tried to settle in to what I thought was the social pack. I still ended up riding pretty much at my limit all night though. Even at my limit I was the last one in line. I tried to tell myself that I was doing everyone a favor by making sure no one got lost. I stopped several times to give people moral support while they fixed their chain or shed some clothes. :)

Saturday Amy and I rode our tandem link around Bull Mountain. We started in the Jake mountain parking lot and rode the connector trail to 28, went up 83, stayed straight on the forest road past the turn off to Bull Mountain and Jones Ridge. We took the single track connector to the end of the Whoop-De-Doo trail. Then rode 77-A to 77 back to 28. From 28 we took the pavement back to the Jake Mountain Lot. Our loop was around 11.5 miles.

The leaves were really colorful on Saturday. I wished I would have remembered to bring my camera. We saw also lots of beautiful horses. We were careful to get off our bikes and let them pass, however one of them got a little spooked when the rider stopped and asked me for directions. Maybe the horse was just itchin to get riding again. Amy rode strong all day. I barely got to do any pulling.

Sunday I rode with Amy and Bubba. We went to a new park the city of Kennesaw is building right across from Bubba's house. I think the name of the park is Swift-Cantrell. Right now there is a 1 mile paved loop with a couple of connector paths as well. We rode the loop in a bunch of different variations.

While Bubba was taking a nature break, he found an old basketball in a ditch in the woods. We ended up using the basketball to play hide and seek. One person would go off on their bicycle with the basketball and hide the ball somewhere. Then the other people would ride their bikes around and try to find it. It was a lot of fun.

This week I thought a lot about my training last year and how I would ride 6 hours at a time by myself on trails I have ridden a hundred times. I think I have decided for me it is so much better to ride with other people. Even being the slowest guy in the pack is still much better than riding every ride by myself. I was very lucky to share those rides last week with other people.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Amy and I decided to go camping at Tanasi last weekend. We spent most of the day Saturday driving around doing the tourist thing. We checked out the overlook and civil war historic site at the Chilhowee Recreation Area. We watched some boaters playing around in the Ocoee River. Then we drove down a long forest service road to our campsite.

We wanted to stay at the Thunder Rock Campground since you can ride your bicycle from your campsite to the trails. Unfortunately the campground was closed while the TVA makes repairs to the power lines.

Instead we stayed at the Tumbling Creek campground which was nice. There are probably 10 campsites there. Each campsite offers a picnic table, a fire ring, a lantern post, and access to a vault toilet. Here is a picture from our picnic table.

Sunday we headed to the Ocoee Whitewater Center. The center is beautiful. I think anyone that lives anywhere near this place should drive over and check it out. You can sit on the back porch and watch the boaters play in the water.

Or you can walk around on some of the concrete paths and get a closer look at the river.

Amy and I rode our bikes along Old Copper Road. This trail is relatively flat and wide, and it runs a long the river for almost it's entire length. We found some rocks and roots to play with on our ride.

After we rode together, I did a solo ride called Thunder Rock Express in the Parham Eastern Tennessee book. This may be my new favorite ride. Lots of tight fast single track descents. There was definitely some climbing involved, but it felt like you got back twice as much as you put in.