Saturday, September 27, 2008

6 Gap 2008

The fact that I haven't trained, or even really ridden much over the past few months makes this year's ride a little different than others. I am pretty much going to go out and have some fun taking pictures and suffering on a bike for several hours. Honestly, it's going to be great...for the first 70 miles, but after that we will have to see...

During the week, I had heard of a few cases of gas stations being out of gas around the Atlanta area. I didn't realize that there was NO gas in town, and when word would get out that there was a delivery in the area, the vultures would swoop in and clean out the station in the space of an hour.

This was the line at one of the stations when I headed up to Dahlonega to check in at the expo.

And as an added bonus, this is what I saw when I got in the truck this morning...

Of course, I was informed that the gas gauge only worked intermittently, so we figured I had 250 miles to go until I was out...maybe. Good thing I have a bike with me, eh?

Look carefully at the check in picture... I thought it was funny. (Hint: click on it to see the blown up version)

Here is the expo where I wandered through and saw some fabulous bikes...I am afraid that I may have even drooled on an Ibis Silk, but hopefully the dealer didn't notice. I took this picture after making a loop through the tents full of goodies and felt my wallet would be in better shape if I just left...quickly. I beat a path to the truck and headed back to the house to lay around and watch football.

We used to go spin for 30 miles the day before 6 gap, but this year, my plan is to just sit and conserve energy...I will let you know how that plan works tomorrow. Not that I will be able to communicate the result of this plan through the haze of pain that the ride will produce in my sadly unused muscles.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Myrtle Beach Water Park

Yep, life is good, but apparently not filled with quite as much "fun" stuff to write about, so I will dig back through the photo archives to give you these fantastic shots. Ok, fantastic may be debatable by some, but did I ask?

We took the older two kids to a water park on a very hot day during our Myrtle Beach trip this summer. I must say I looked like a geek with the camera, but hey, when don't I have that "look" about me. I embrace my geeky-ness and it works for me. Underwater cameras are cool. Period.

Here is Ansley on the lazy river. This was still a thrilling ride with the throngs of kids in tubes making it more like a bumper car ride...

This was just great fun. Bryce was a riot and did a great job of being a 6 year old waiting patiently in the queues for the slides. riiiiiight...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Birthday

Holy smokes... I turned 36. That's exactly 6 years longer than I had foreseen my life lasting when I was back in my teens.

I had a great time with some of my best friends out at a local eating establishment that happened to have the Alabama game on. Just to be clear. I didn't really care about the Bama game being an ACC not ADD you dorks. Its just that college football is tough to watch because its hard to find a game that matters.

Take FSU for example. They are playing the powerhouse of Chattanooga this weekend, and Clemson my undergrad alma mater is playing The Citadel. Games like that are fine, but lack the drama somehow. It's like watching a continuous loop of last year's almost unbeaten New England Patriots playing the 1976 Tampa Buccaneers over and over. (The Buc's achieved a stellar 0-14 season that year for those of you that don't pay attention to that stuff.) These weak college games are fine, but the result is somewhat predictable.

Ah, I digress...

When it comes to the birthday, I am pretty happy to have achieved this advanced age without weighing 200lbs or being forced to eat Ramen Noodles anymore... Hmmm...those two things may be related somehow.

I plan on making this year better than the last and I am already off to a good start. Thanks everyone!

Aiden Likes cake. There were other pictures that showed his true enthusiasm, but I felt they were waaaay to messy to actually publish. Just imagine this image with 1000 times more icing on his face, arms, chest, and hair...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Helpful Cycling Tips

Ok, I was out riding for a couple of hours. I know what a shock...

The day started out well, but about 5 miles out, it started raining. Being the eternal optimist, I thought that it would stop, and I checked to see if I had my sunglasses ready just to spite the low clouds and water flinging in my face.

At mile 20, I flatted. And it started to rain harder...

At mile 30, I flatted again. This time it was the other tire, and I called it quits. Unfortunately, I was forced to quit as I didn't have any more tubes or patience. As I sat in the rain waiting for the SAG wagon to come and fetch me, I thought of some important tips for cyclists.

Rules for Roadkill:

I put the roadkill wikipedia link in there mainly because I couldn't believe they had an entry on the subject!
  • Close your mouth preferably before you get too close to it.
  • If you have a chance to inhale prior to the cloud of stink reaching your nostrils, do so.
  • Exhale slowly through your nose for at least 30 yards once you pass the unfortunate traffic casualty.
  • Try not to pass out from not breathing during a hard effort to get away from the stink.
  • If you didn't spot the nasty item before the waves of nausea inducing smell reach you, close your mouth so you don't taste it, and pedal as hard as you can to get by it fast. Again, don't pass out from the effort coupled with not breathing. Otherwise you may be the next thing that cyclists have to hold their breaths to avoid.

Mountain Bike Tips:

  • When bombing downhill. Be ready to stop at any moment. (A tree was down across the trail at Oak Mtn last weekend for me. Not good.)
  • Close your mouth when you ride through water. Mud doesn't taste good. (I seem to be on a recurring theme here.)
  • ALWAYS ask if someone needs help. You are a total tool if you roll by someone that seems to be in a mechanically induced rest stop. This includes times when you may not have the right tools for the apparent issues. I know that never happens. There may be a real problem where a cell phone and a medevac chopper could be somewhat important.
  • Carry more tubes and CO2's than you could ever need. This is mainly for others. (like me) There will invariably be some poor guy that is stuck miles from the trail-head with no tubes. Give them to the person, and ask them to do the same for the next person they see hiking their bike. It's a good pay it forward type of thing. Everyone benefits from this and you will get loads of good Karma for it...

Tips for me on a road bike:

  • After another crummy ride loaded with flat tires, I need to carry a minimum of 3 tubes at any time. My team the Steel City Cyclists know this after they all had to pitch in during one of my rides where I flatted over and over.
  • I am buying some new tires as these might be a little thin after 6-7,000 miles on them.
  • Try to ride more than once every month... I'm sure that today's unfortunate ride was a result of a bike that was royally P.O.'d at me for leaving it alone for weeks.

Ah, the sun's out now...