4/29 WVMBA #3 Chief Logan State Park

Still sidelined from racing, out being a spectator roving around in the woods to catch some of the racing action.  Wished I was in the mix, but it was a big picture lookin' day.  Just have to give it a little time. 

The rest of the photos from the day ...

facebook photo album

 

 

4/24 SDS 2 Day

Ten years.  Has this tour really been going on for ten years?  It doesn't seem that long ago we were out there in route finding mode and bush-whacking our way through the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley that lay in between Stokeville campground and Douthat State Park.  Eighty miles and around 12 hours on day one and another 80 miles and around 10 hours on another leg the next day.I have had the masochistic pleasure of getting all but a year and half of those. 

So with all my experience and being the ultra-endurance riding that it think I am, I thought that a 100 mile single speed ride in the New River Gorge 2 days prior was really a good idea.  That could be an easy(ish)10 hour ride on a nice day, but that day turn out to be an all day rainy day.  Built some character, hanging my head low, that day for sure.  A day and a half turn around time and I was in the Gun Show caravan with Pete, Jim, and Black and heading for Stokesville.  

 

A quick but solid 4 hours of sleep and we are heading out and up in the dark to start the day.  No race pace here in a solid pac of talented ridings, 80 miles in one day of rough terrain would be your only opponent that you would have to deal with.  Then to turn it around and head back the next day on even more.  

 

 Dowells kicks off the dowhillin'  with Mike Carpenter

 

From Dowells to Shenandoah Mountain Trail.  w/Athens Bicycle

 

 

 

What started off as a nice day turned around on Little Mare with Chris Scott

 

 

Douthat Lodge was our resting point for the night  Shenandoah Mountain Touring's staff had an awesome buffet laid out for us.  They provide all the support for the trip (except a ride in the support vehicle), no need to worry about all the little things to make it through this journey.  They've got you covered.  It was like a one beer party that night, as everyone was a little shell-shock from the first days adventures.  I will never forget that feeling I had on my first SDS ten years ago, that feeling that I had just done the biggest ride of my life, put everything into it on one day, and a creepy-scary feeling when thinking that I had to do the same thing the next day.  It will make you, if it don't break you. 

 

 Day two departure above Douthat Lodge  with Jim Shulz

 

 

Rolling on the beauty of Beards Mounatin with Nate Shearer

 

 

Somewhere along the way my left shin started to irritate me a bit.  I have never had shin splints, but that is what I thought they felt like.  It was so much of a bother that upon entering Douthat State Park I veered off course and rolled gravel and pavement to the lodge.  The next morning it was a little better and did not have any problem standing on the pedals, the  first road section sitting and spinning, the little irritation turned to be quiet a pain.  Thankfully, mostly due to the wet and cold conditions, the massive Elliots-Crawford leg was opted out by the tour committee, because there was no way my lame ass was making it up there.  I soldiered on to finish the ride in the main pac.  Got the leg checked out at the doctor when I got home and shin splints was the diagnosis.  Doc (and everybody else) thought that it was a little unusual to get this particular injury riding a bicycle, to which I replied, " this was not your usual ride".  Healing is progressing and I am hoping ten days of therapy will put me back in the game. 

 

The last climb w/Joey Boyle

 

Full photos right here --> facebook photo album

 

 

4/15 WVMBA #1 Challenge at Mountwood

photo; Phillip Poff

Master Class Action

New look, same ol' me.  Flying the full kit for the first time for Athens Bicycle.  Being a two time, back to back Series champion, has its perks.  Then after proving my skills at this years Gravel Rouser, owner Pete Kostes took notice and offered up some opportunities too sweet to pass up.  Some new and exciting things are in the works for this year, but for now I will do what I like to do best, and that is go out fast and win some races.

Sunday's race was the first race in the WVMBA series, and I like to come out swinging.  It was a  "no excuse" beautiful day for racing and the huge crowd that I rolled up behind to the start, was an awesome sight.  It was good to see a 200+ field out for a day of racing.  In that crowd was spotted two Dirty Harry's riders that would be part of my competition, the ever competitive Scott Root and new to the DH team Brocc Kaylor.  A quick gear check at the back of the pac of experts revealed we three on single speeds with the same gear ratio, it was a level playing field. 

There was no trace of the previous day of soaking rains as I suspect that no tires were on the course for a pre-ride, and all the moisture was sucked by the Spring foliage coming to life in the woods. 

I will spare you the blow by blow lowdown, basically got out fast enough on the wide uphill start to put me in second place Master, and then picked off Root less than half way through the race.  One banana, one bottle of go-juice, lots of just pedaling and breathing, and less than a couple of hours and oh, it was over.

photo: Bob Morris Jr

 

 Crazy fast results

 

 

4/8 Pony Rides

Weekend scenes, riding with friends, promoting trail advocacy, getting out in the fresh spring air in a booming abundance of spring wildflowers, feeling good to be human.  

 

Trying to take it all in, on my journey back to single speediness.  Riding grears at The Dragons Tail race, was an experiment failure that was a great success, in the fact that it brought a renewed appreciation of the single speed.  And now that the trails have turned over to hard-pac it's a good time to lighten up the bike and roll fresh big round rubber, with a new drive-train to hook it up with.  Some easy spinning rides during the week to start the transition. 

 

 

Then the Saturday beat up on Ron & myself by Andy.  I ride a lot with Andy, I usually count on him to boost my own confidence level in regard to my biking capabilities.  Don't get me wrong, I used to think highly of his skill set in the  'round here East coast gnar, when he had a 29er and I didn't, Then I got a 29" wheeled bike. and I realized how much the bike helped.  Now, I used to think I was a real good climber, but not so much after Andy goes tubeless, with there better traction, and loses some pounds by swapping out to rigid fork.  Get some carbon under that boy and the playing field will flatten some more. I don't need that.

So part of the beat down, other than failing to hold on to a climbing animal, was some soreness in my right knee that one might blame going back to pushing one gear, but I have never related single-speeding to knee pain.  I blamed a poor fit, and checked my saddle height when I got back in and found a 14/16th inch difference from the bike I had been riding most of the winter.  I adjusting the seat post up on Saturday and riding a complete KT on Sunday I will say that took care of that problem with the knee pain.

Saturday on some trail Out There and the KT 1-5

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday on crossing the KT from mile 0 to 31 working 9-5 guiding on the bike for the book Hiking West Virginia.

 

 

 

 

 

4/2  Something is going on,

things like racing riding and wrenching on bicycles.  So much in fact that I can see here that its has been a month since I have posted at bikebFAT.  Late hours and long rides, getting in to sit down to a pc sometimes so physically and mentally tired that it is hard to put together tangible thoughts into sentences and have it all make sense.  Then off to the next big thing before it even appears here.  And I blame facebook, for making it so easy to post pictures in a manner that lets me know that some people out there likes this or that.  So, I have added the fb badge you see here on your left.  Not exactly want I want (and as I click on it now it really does not go anywhere) but that is what I get here at this low level old school blog, but at least if you tune in here to bikebFAT.com maybe you will have something different to look at and dream about.

And I promise to keep posting here, giving the people what they want...

North Mountain Trail photo; Andy Cremeans

...big pictures of me, keeping on keeping on. 

 

4/1 Dragon Tale

What happens when you take a beater bike racing?   You get beat. 

Maybe that is what I wanted.  This race, which mostly is a Spring training race is going to do that.  Raced it single speed last year and slummed it around the 36 mile course  in 5:05.   With a various issues of flat and flatting tires, once in the tubeless rear tire, and twice in the tube front (leaky spare).  Shifting was shit, especially after bolts started flying off my rear shifter.  With those issues I clocked it in this year with 18 speeds at 5:20.  That is some hard raw data that I will let stew, before I draw any conclusions.  You can make yours now, if you like. 

Not going to blame the little longer than projected pre-ride on North Mountain for any time gaps - always like play around on the mountain the day before, especially when it is as nice as this;

 

and as gnarly as this, 

 

 Andy's ride data from the "2hr" pre-race ride:  
 

And  here is more stolen data from race day, from somebody way faster than me.

 

A big thanks to Shenandoah Mountain Touring who puts on the Dragons Tale race and many other fine events.

 

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Barboursville FAT Tire Brethren

Beech Fork Association of Trails

 

bFAT is an informal group of riders who appreciate the land and ride for a healthy well being.

Beech Fork is mostly a single track trail that follows around the lake leading into a combination of creek bed, hill climb, and fast downhill back to the lake.  Barboursville's Park has some nice runs from the top with  numerous scenic overlooks from the  sheer  cliffs and steep drops. The flat single track that follows the river and comes out behind the lake - is where the real fun can begin or end. Click on the link at top of page - above left to see a map!    The  Kanawha Trace and Adahi Trails are 32 mile and  17 mile multi user trails crossing over private land.  Check with the Tri-State Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America for trail information and registration.

      

bFAT email groupo<----click here  Become a part of an e-group forum that will let all subscribers communicate (free!). Send an e-mail with the word "join" in the subject or body and you'll get hooked up with other riders, to do fun group rides, get trail info and conditions, technical advice, etc.

 

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