Sunday, July 28, 2013

Firefighter 50 and Fun with Friends

Skidz in all his morning glory
First off, thanks to Skidz Shanley for fronting the registration so I could do this ride. My funds were a bit miscalculated from vacation. Anyway, this was the first charity ride I had ridden since 1997 at The Chesapeake Bay Bike Tour. I was really looking forward to doing this because there was a bunch of us from the Aviation Velo Club going and it was all good and funny people; the kind of people that your just like to call your friends. Trace, Bob, Daniel, Jim, Matt, Paul and John are great guys to ride with. We have all gotten faster as a group so we stay relatively close. We have being doing hills on...oh wait-Guess what day it is, guess what Dayyyy Yeahhha! ok, sorry for that. Anyway, it has really helped everyone get a wee bit stronger and perfect for this type of ride.

How much climbing?
I had never ridden any of the roads out in the Westminister area. It was drizzly and a bit on the chilly side, but it didnt last long and it became almost perfect conditions. Originally, we had discussed doing a 15-16mph casual pace; that quickly went the way side. This was a 53 mile course with nothing but rollers-a few of them of the steepish sort (hmmmmhhhaaa-evil laugh). The first 5 miles saw 600 feet of elevation; wake up call! The course was backroads and two lane highway type stuff. There was minimal traffic. The rest stop was plentiful and a much needed stop. I was pleasantly surprised with the course. It was full of climbs, fast descents and again, very little traffic. 

We were together at various parts of the ride, but branched off as well. I think we may have ridden faster than we really wanted, eh maybe not. I averaged 19.1 for the ride with a KOM and 2 top 5's to boot. We managed 3,254 feet of elevation;the hardest coming at the end...whew I say. 

Bob "radar" Novotny rode with us and is just getting into the road deal-poor chap. This was his longest ride on a road bike by about 30 miles. He did really well and finished about 15 minutes behind us-not too bad. 

The ride ended with a great pit beef and all thesweet tea you could drink! This was Big Jim's rather macabre looking sandwich (I think it was still breathing). We got a chance to sit and talk a bit while we ate and just really had a good time. I (who never wins anything) won a nice Bontrager floor pump; no Daniel, I did not switch tickets! 

All in all it was a super great time and is definitely on
Yep, this good
the to do list for next year. I hear they are adding the Cotoctins to extend the loop (hmmmmhhhaaa-evil laugh) again. Hopefully we can get together and do some more rides together and do some of that weird male bounding, thing.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Jersey's are Coming...The Jersey's are Coming...

Well, we finally got the green light on the shop jersey and bib design. I finalized the artwork and it is a go. I really like the way they turned out. We are having them done through Hill Killer Apparel. They are a Maryland based company that does great work. I am officially sponsored by them so this is not a shameless plug, but rather a well deserved advertising plug. We are looking to get them by september. This will make us official; kinda like gold bracelets. It will finally be good to have some guys wearin' this stuff. We have a Strava based club that has 16 members and growing. It will be nice to see 16+ riders lookin like the soul train mminus the soul anyway.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The ultimate convertible...the only way to see the Smokies

I am not much of a photographer. I dont claim to take a picture because of its relationship to the negative and positive space. I dont make something out of an image that doesnt exist. I take pictures as just a simple memento of any time spent in a given place at a moment in time.

When I am on my bike, I normally dont carry a camera, but on very rare
occasions (you would have a better chance of catching me walking around my house nude while vacuuming and cleaning while listening to The Cars Greatest Hits...wait, something sounds vaguely familiar about that) I do break one out.

I found a new "playground" for my Ferrous this year. I nice little fireroad that just happens to be the longest and steepest off road section in the Carolinas-lucky me, eh? Words cant describe it, so here is the elevation chart.
As you can see, you get tall real quick. Now, since this blog is about my misadventures on the ss, it must be noted that 90% of the time, I was standing; Which isnt bad until you realize that 90% of the time you are standing.

These climbs had an average grade of 8.3%...bleek! Thats right fun indeed. I did manage to get my first HC climb out of this mess, though. The great thing about climbing these mountains is the view you get from the top. Ahhh yes, it is indeed worth it. It managed to rain the first time I went up, but I got lucky the second time around, yes as if once wasnt enough. The gravel grinder takes you to the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway were you see some amazing views.

Of course, a 14 miles climb means only one thing...a 14 miles decent. Now, normally this would be a blast, but this is a forest access road which means there is the occasional truck or car coming up the mountain, so you have to be super careful around the multiple 180° turns. I think I even unclipped and did a few little classic MT Tam drifts on the corners.

I will leave you with one last pic from Mingo Falls. I took this standing right underneath it. These are amazing falls. We hikes up to the top on what could be best described as unclimbable trails that were near vertical.

This is my home away from home. I cant imagine going anywhere else, nor do I need to. One day, this will BE home.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Better Late than...Later

Just some nice pics (Swim, Bike, Run Photography) from our 2nd place finish at the 12 hours of Cranky Monkey. I even made my Facebook debut on SBR's Facebook page...The SS Moron does not engage in such Tom Foolery as Facebook.