Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday's Mountain Ride First

Due to some scheduling conflicts I was unable to make the early train to Wilson on Saturday so I did some hasty planning and put together a Pisgah ride for Sunday. I called Aaron Kancamagus who recently bought my first generation I9 wheel set for his SS Misfit project. My wheels were not really for sale but he wanted them and made me a reasonable offer that paid for my new, so the deal was done on a handshake without a contract. More on the wheel deal to follow. Aaron called his buddy Dave "I'm gonna beat Team Dicky in 2010 on 26" wheels" Elliston from the great state of Michigan and they scooped me at 0700hrs in the Corolla. After consulting with the authorities I decided that we would park at 1206 and 5015 in North Mills and ride Laurel to Pilot, Down Pilot, across the inner connector for a push up to Pilot Cove, out Pilot Cove to Slate Rock then down the short steep back to 1206 and the car. We had a great ride, the trail and atmosphere conditions were both in our favor. I know people say that the weather was great but I found it too hot for late November in the Pisgah. Seriously, it was densely hot, heated by an abnormally powerful feeling sun on Sunday. Just 2 days before while driving to Virginia via Boone and Mountain City Tennessee I saw morning day time temps just below freezing with snow falling above 3,500ft. That story to follow tomorrow. The 3 of us pushed up the 2,000$ climb and started down Pilot. The descending was dry and not very leaf covered. Through the quad switch and down to the Humvee section that I cleaned a few weeks ago on the Mt. Zion fixed. Not this time free wheeling. I dabbed just before the exit and could not get back on until I was out of the chunder. Still, the huge boulders everywhere made for an incredible mountain scene. Once down and across the connector we pushed straight up again to the ridge that Slate Rock is on. Across Pilot Cove to the rock itself for a back pack lunch with a huge vista. The wind picked up a bit and the temp seemed to drop by 5 or 7 degrees in minutes. We took some pictures after we ate and then made our way down the steep shorter trail back to 1206 for the fire road descent and climb back to Yellow Gap.

I had a great time riding with these 2 guys that I had never ridden with before. Now on to the images and smart ass commentary. Notice that I am changing the way I identify the image from the words at the top of the picture to the words below the picture. I found out that since I started blogging that I was erroneously and against the blog standard describing the image from above. I have to get in line.

Kancamagus snapped this tiny shot of me up on Slate Rock.
leaning on the Corolla from left to right: My old I9 front, Dave's Dicky killer front and my new I9 front.
Dave taking the Laurel Climb at pace.
Aaron coming up through the woods in the tall trees on Laurel.
Here Aaron is describing how it feels to vomit up the tastes of three previous meals.
Now that his mouth is rinsed out he feels much better.
All smiles coming down into the quad on Pilot.
His boys back in Michigan will wish they were there.
Lunch on Slate.
Say, "Cheese".
Apple and Peanut Butter on Slate Rock
taste better vurping up into your mouth than 2 day old salmon does.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On a Foggy Morn

a colorful Thanksforgiving ride was Born. 7 Mountain bikes, only 1 in cyclocross form. Nate rolls down from Asheville way, looking resplendent in red I do dare say.
Swazy looks on through the fog, as white hooped Zack manages the log. When Swazy tried 4 times, he nearly died, the good thing was he never cried.
Boots' second run on the wooden coaster made for fun. On his very first try he fell with a loud thud thump to the ground from up high, cyclocross style almost causing him to die.
John Danger Evans handles the long ride stunt with a dedicated line.
The Unibiker literally Trials'ed up to the same log ride from the scattered berm logs, blop, blop, blop and up then he swung rear end over straight onto the log ride. The Unibiker has Mad Skillz, sorry I missed the photo.
Mad Skillz, zoomed in.
Nathan and Zack discuss the pros and cons of having black vs. while rims on their mountain bikes. In the conversation they discovered that the were in the same fraternity during their time at Appalachian State. I am not sure that either one of them was actually in a fraternity.
Thanksforgiving forested trail ride success as well as other family commitments met with a long walk and a smile. The bike ride stick includes in no particular order, especially performance: The Unibiker, John Danger Evens, Zack(Which I hope is spelled phonetically), Nathan, Who's this Joey, Boots, Swazy and me). This was all Swazy's idea but he had the right one, the Ron Surprenant approved annual get me out of the house on this Holiday for some time in the woods before going normal/traditional. The call went out and 8 of us total united en masse for a tour of the B-Ranch single track and then the B-loop around a fire road or two for the cyclocross rider to 'cool down'. There were some single speed folks as well and some geared who were formally single speed opening the door and stepping out of the, 'I go both ways' closet. It was densely foggy at the 0945hrs start giving the tree covered landscape trail a mountainous feel. The atmosphere sat low on top of us for the first bit but then the solar center of our galaxy did the trick and we were in the light for the back half. Around the course in fine fashion with some folks that I had never ridden with and some that I most definitely had.
The craziest thing that I witnessed was either Boots falling from the highest point of the first roller coaster stunt to the ground with his knee smash or when I saw Swazy cut the course, perhaps more than once. The UCI has been notified with an official complaint and will have a ruling tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dentist Appointment

Yesterday I rode to my dentist appointment in the afternoon. Tenielle, the dental hygienist that I have been visiting for years at Doc Johnson's office snapped this manual exposure I set up for her of me in the chair right before the work started. Notice the vehicle that I arrived on, my little Lemond hanging from the tree outside the window. At F11 I feel that this image looks exactly like I do. Click on picture for more detail of my bike in the tree. Doc Johnson, a local cyclist and world traveler who has been known to do epic tandem tours with his wife around the globe has been my dentist since shortly after I started my career as a messenger in Charlotte. His office is right off the Stay Alive and altho he does not have a bike rack in front he has always allowed me to keep my cell phone in my pocket to give me the ability to direct courier work if the need should arise.

Along time ago, around the winter of 2001/2002 I was on the Stay Alive home after dark with a long ways ahead of me when I flatted. I pulled off onto the grass just off of the side walk and started the fix. A minute later Doc drove into the lot with a bike on the roof, rolled down the window and asked if I needed help. "Oh, it's you!", he exclaimed when he recognized my face. We chatted for a moment and he realized that I had everything I needed so he left as fast as he showed up.

The last time I rode in the 24hrs of Booty early on I came up to the scene of a solo rider who had just been hit and launched over the hood of a car. That's right an elderly lady auto viper pilot pulled out into the line of over 500 cyclists coming and tagged a rider. Sitting up right on the ground with blood on his legs and face was Doc Johnson. I immediately felt queasy knowing that there was 23 hours and change left to go. That feeling stayed with me all the way until around 0130hrs when I accidentally crossed the wheel of an amateur rider causing her to go down. That is a whole different post entirely. Doc survived the hit but did pack the ride in early to take time to fix his broken bike and tend to the wounds on his human form.

Doc went off on medical leave in early October to have Rotator Cuff Surgery. I have heard the rehabilitation part of this surgery is long so yesterday I was seen for my normal 6 month check up by his temporary replacement Dr. White. She saw me after the cleaning and found 2 cavities that I did not know I had. One on each of my upper back of wisdom teeth. The strange thing is that I have not had a filling since I was a kid. As I sat there with her hands in my mouth and listened to her tell Tenielle about my cavities I wondered why I could not feel them. I will have to go back and by some fillings in early January but thanks to good medical insurance provided by my employer I will only have to pay a little for the purchase. Are my cavities affecting the economy?

Monday, November 23, 2009

NodaVelo-No Duh Fool

Geoff(not Jeff!!)Nau, Like not now fool I am on the phone with your momma. Photo Cred: The newly gone and done come back They Call Him Boots dot Blog Spot dot Com. Yo, Yo, Yo-all couriers in the House say, "Yo."

It's all about R E S P E C T, find out what that means to me, give it to me. NodaVelo's own Geoff Nau, like Apocalypse Now, not later called me out in the blog-o-sphere the other day. Altho we have never formally hung out or ridden together we have passed by each other with I(eye) contact and the rolling reciprocating nod. Bike geek talk for, "I'm bad, you are too, wassup?" I think he was a messenger for a few days over a couple of weeks here in the Jar which is like 4 years according to the people person's interpretation of the Unibiker's scale for measuring time with street cred carrying jobs. So, this roughly 4 year former ex-QC messenger, slash fix geared riding fanatic said about his perceptions of me in his post, and I quote, "He seems like the kind of dude that walks softly yet carries a big stick." At first I thought he was talking about something else, however after slight and narrow cursory research I discovered that his art cannibalized Theodore Roosevelt's often mis-quoted, "Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far." That confirms his earlier statement, "Although, Bill may not know me personally and likewise", because if he did he would have known that I am loud, real loud. I mean for such a short fellow I am dramatically loud often being hushed by those around me. Almost like damage deaf done from some loudness in the form of individual thermo dynamic entropy at the rate of 250 beats per minute going down range. Imagine 250 beats per minute in pedal cadence. That would be flying. On a long flat road with the wind pushing your back and in your face at the same time. Anyways those of us getting paid to ride in the Jar enjoy checking in with NodaVelo at least once a week to learn what is happening in our community, this site is the straight source for the real urban scene. You should too, this guy is my peeps. Like my boyz from Brooklyn, Connecticut(pop. 7,347) that is...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Late Lately

Yesterday afternoon at 1535hrs the sun broke through on the square. 2 Foster puppies were up screaming in a real life nightmare this morning between 0200hrs and 0400hrs. My beautiful beauty sleep ruined and in place I feel like I am dragging around. They are five weeks old or so and miss their momma. Sarci and Swanee are black, very black and they have strong lungs. I had a plan for this morning, a funny dedicated to RESPECT but now I am late and will have to work on that program for Monday.

In about 20 minutes I will be rolling west for the Jar 10.3 miles away towards my first two jobs of this fine foggy Friday. The below tune not toon will be in my head the whole way! Just watch, maybe it will be in your head too!!


Thursday, November 19, 2009


What happens when it rains? Boy, I sure wouldn't wanna have your job today. Well Mister I would not want your job any day. No, it's not really that bad out there. I hate it for my bike and the parts it wears. The auto viper pilots act different in the rain and low visibility of fog. They are still in the same hurry with in the way back of their mind consideration for the change in surface conditions. That transfers to slower reactions at similar speeds. Foggy damp mornings. Constant urban ick watery black grit from the waist down. The bag is starting to smell funny. The atmosphere seems dense, the roll quiet or more absorbed by the low hanging gray molecules. I sought out a death certificate at the ROD yesterday, public record is an amazing discovery. Why would any one's death certificate be entered twice as was the only one I was looking for? Most all are just entered once. There is more. It is all connected, no way to ignore what I am standing next to. How do people do that unnatural and difficult act. Not a question but a statement.

All the decorations are coming out. The Big Balls and colored lights, reindeer joyfully hanging on the poles and huge over sized stars being bolted together by the guy with the light over his head in the Horry County Courthouse 3 years ago. Dude, Pass me the 5/8ths. The stars' points look like daggers above my headed that I have seen 10 straight years in a row.

I cannot contain it anymore, it is over the top. May I be the first to tell you all:


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Black Cat, broken mirror, spilled salt, carrying an acorn in your pocket for good luck, found a four leaf clover or avoiding stepping on a crack? Well to top it off on Friday the 13th a non-believing dog turd found itself under the ladder of a professional light hanger. Frank, Soup's brother left his mark on the back patio of the Cool and Cool but they all disappeared before his handler could remove the brown pile. As the only friend present of Frank and his handler I was designated responsible by Cool and Cool Management for the removal of the non-superstitious poop. Bastard. Thanks a lot(not alot) Frank and Yurgen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

5th Grade Lock-Down

Ms. Arcen is pointing towards the BB&T branch that was held up Thursday afternoon. Upon closer inspection of the Cupola on the bank's roof, the wind appears to be blowing out of the south and west.
Ms. Arcen leads me through the Hallowed Halls of her school en route to her location when the entire student body went to lock-down on Thursday.
Here she is demonstrating where she and her lunch mates sought shelter per the instructions of several staff members when the alarm was sounded. This is the exact table that she spent 8-10 minutes under on Thursday.
My kid, the best one I have ever had. The attempted armed robbery details are sketchy to say the least but on Thursday afternoon at approximately 1300hrs the BB&T across from her school's campus was held up by a gunman seeking free In God We Trust Unit transfer. As the alarm was sounded her school's administrators made the decision for the safety of the students to lock-down the entire campus until the CMPD had the situation across the street secure. Lock-down is something that I had never experienced growing up in the late 70s and awesome 80s but so far through the start of her 5th grade year Ms. Arcen has dealt with it twice. Last year her first LD came while she was in class when a commoner held up a check cashing place in a nearby strip mall. The perpetrator had been seen running towards the school buildings when the alarm was sounded.
Her and I went on a neighborhood father and daughter ride last night which gave me the chance to interview her about the latest set of circumstances around being locked down as a kid in elementary school.
Dad: So Ms. Arcen you were locked down on Thursday, can you tell me what happened?
Kid: Well, we had just got to lunch when the teachers started shutting the blinds and telling us that the school was being locked down. They told us to get under the tables.
Dad: Where were you?
Kid: In the cafeteria, dad.
Dad: What happened next?
Kid: My friends and I got under the table like the rest of the lunch room and kept quiet like we were asked to do.
Dad: Were you scared?
Kid: Not really, I did not feel like anything bad was going to happen.
Dad: Did you know at the time that there was an armed robbery happening at the bank?
Kid: No, they did not tell us that. They only said that there was an emergency and that we needed to be very quiet until they told us the lock-down was over.
Dad: Was any other kid around you scared?
Kid: Maybe one or two but none under my table.
Dad: This is your second lock down in about a year, how did it compare to the first one?
Kid: Well last year I was in Ms. B's classroom upstairs and that one was scary because I saw the helicopter outside not far above the trees making circles for over 10 minutes. And, there were many police officers running around that day.
Dad: Did you see police officers during this latest lock-down?
Kid: Yes, like 12 or maybe more were all around as lock-down ended.
Dad: How long did this LD last?
Kid: Maybe like 10 or 13 minutes.
Dad: I am truly glad that you are okay and in future lock-downs please listen to you teachers and pay attention to what is going on around you.
Kid: Thanks Dad, I will.
This whole lock-down thing is bizarre. Since she was small we have had her in various private learning settings which I am convinced is internally safer than the public system or I would not have her there. I have always felt that she is surrounded by some very intelligent teachers and caring folks. The external forces around those institutions is something that I cannot control, all I have is faith in her intuition, strength and awareness which will be supported by the school's staff and the local authorities that are there to protect the students.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday Urban Cross Ride-South End is Near

Yesterday I rolled out of the house at noon in search of this older colorfully dressed Mongolian lady in a huge black wool top hat. In passing I met her briefly last week and missed the chance to take her picture. I rode from the east around the southern flanks of the Jar and never found her but I did find a group of friends making good use of their time by riding around an urban cyclocross course in the South End not for from the Cool and Cool. The course was interesting with enough steep ups and downs to get the riders on and off their bikes a few times. I only recognized one of the competitors and one of the spectators other than myself.

Before the thing started there was a big air comp and red shirt won. Here comes Zac(I am guessing on the spelling) on lap 1 for the pass,
he made it clean with a whistle.
Keith the former ex messenger in fine form.
Him and purple shirt tie it up a bit but neither hit the floor.
Resplendent in the L'Orange Jaune.
Purple shirt just before his ride ending flat.
Lead rider on descent.
2nd place reaching deep.
Approaching the gap and over.
After leaving his flat tired machine and helmet purple shirt decided to run for it.
A positive effort indeed.
2nd place in fine form.
Text book gap jump.
About to remount.
The short steep is just ahead.
A Mootsless Team Dicky points out the line down the short steep that he wants to ride.