Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Looking towards 2008

No pictures with this one, just a word on where things seem to be heading.

2007 has been one hell of a year, those of you who know me, know of some of the trials and tribulations that have been thrown my direction. Those that do not know me, well, you will get to know me and those questions will probably be answered.

For now I am in preparation mode, getting packed for my trip to California. I will be hanging out in the Bay Area with my family and hopefully finishing the business plan for B4 Consulting and Construction. This trip will be one to get the head straight and come back to Asheville refreshed and ready to blast into 2008. Things I am anticipating going into the new year:

1. Having my own business, which will center around getting people on two wheels with a smile on their face.

2. Traveling a little more, I didn't think it was for me, but turns out I do like meeting new people. I want a home and to travel. CAKE + EAT = SURE WHY NOT BOTH

3. Seeing a few friends get hitched and have kids, you know the whole "growing up thing".

4. Owning a car, a computer and a cellphone. WEIRD.

5. Building fun stuff for people to ride all over the country.

6. Putting on a huge National Trails Day project.

7. Putting together a trail work series, more chances to get down and dirty.

8. RIDING MY BIKE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. This is one I have let slide over the last few years. I find myself ready to put in some serious miles next year.

9. Being involved in my local advocacy scene, hopefully helping it blow up.

10. SMILING...something else that I have let slip.

Life is a funny thing, how it can be a series of waves. You catch some and ride them through beautiful, carving turns and sweeping vistas. Other times, they can throw you into the rocks with a power only understood by those who have survived it. But, for all the bad hits, isn't it funny how we keep paddling out to meet the next set coming ashore.

I have always believed the world works in a series of sine waves we have ups and downs, but the thing that makes some people stand out in life is how they perform in the face of those breaks. Whether a great, easy-to-ride 10 footer or a monster 40 foot torrent. Enough of the Surfing analogies, sorry.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a Happy New Year. I doubt I will update again until into the new year. I want to focus on the business plan and relaxing. Keep your head up paddling into the next set and remember, it might just be the best ride you have had yet.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Busy Weekend.

This was a wonderfully busy weekend. I went and looked at a spot of land in south Asheville a few people are wanting to put some trails on and I also did a spot of trail work on Laurel Mountain with Mike Brown, Valerie Naylor, and Mark Almond with the club. We spent our day bob-ing in some tools and straightening up a few trees. I included a few photos.

Good day all in all. This first shot is of the new vehicle and how cool it is to have a place to throw all my crap.

Next is a photo of the bob behind Mike in action. These little things are a blast.

On to the major log rework of the day. We had a plan for this section, but ended up coming up on it already cut by a local hiking club. So, we turned it into an alternate line that is super fun and doable.

Mike and Mark looking over the hiking club handy work.

The complete product.

This is one of my all time favorite trails and one I hope to always be able to help with.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Meet my brother BOB

Well with a trail maintenance day coming up on Laurel Mountain I thought I needed to get myself organized and get the B.O.B. in gear. I spent most of the night working with it and it is still incredibly primitive, but there will be more added on. I am seeing a full blown Humvee of bike trailers, Disbeast gonna bee baaedd. And the pictures. Two MSR fuel bottles, one for Petro, the other for Bar oil. Oh, yeah. I used a chain length to hold them with bungees. Then the raw chassis and finally one of the finished product sans one more bungee. Here we go, pictures from Sunday for sure.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BC what? Creek...Ohhhhh.

How do I start? Been a little bit since the last update. The last few days have been spent in school. Also, got a new vehicle, pictures to come soon. Things have been a bit nuts. The photos will be from Bent Creek, went out on Tuesday and scoped a bit.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty straight forward. Tavis and I went down to Pisgah and got our first aid and CPR certs. Pisgah Ranger District ROOOOOCCCKKKKSSSSSS. We had two days of work and in between we got the new vehicle hooked up. Then, today we had our Chainsaw cert. Now I am ready to go to work.

The photos, okay here goes. A few from Wolf Branch doing a bit of research for the training and workday at the end of March. First one is of a soggy area next to a bridge. An awesome spot for a rock armor section. This is a prime classroom for the workday.

Next are two photos of the flowy upper part of the trail. The Berm at the top needs a bit of love, as some of the lower section is sluffing a bit. Then the next shot is of the section of s's just past that right now they are more s then braaaaapppp. So we will yip'em up really nicely. Like the phrases? Well they are registered trade marks, just kidding. Seriously, I want people to not have phrases for these things, I finished with an art degree and it really got me how people were able to destroy soul with certain words, so I want to try and avoid that. Oh yeah photo, here you go.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Viagra ain't the only drug in the woods....

Been bad this week about updating, but sometimes a break is needed in order to straighten out the head.

Yesterday, I went with Ryan Taylor up to work on the project in Barnardsville and had to get a picture of this poor tree's flaccid member. It is amazing the things you see in the woods and the interpretation they can have.

Today though reminded me what fun and a bike can have in common, ME. I have had a fairly deboturous week, with my little brother's b-day and then hanging out with friends until all hours this weekend. But today I went for a great ride with a few folks in Bent Creek. It started out with a rainy wet morning and people backing out of the ride we had planned, but Van, Adam, Merle and his wife...sorry, all came out to play. We rolled out of the parking lot into a sublime mist around 11:30 and started the climb up to Five Points. The route went N. Boundry - Ingles Field Gap - Little Hickory Top - Lower Sidehill - Explorer - turn - turn- look the lake - pavement - car... Papa's and beer. It was one of those days that makes you happy god smacked you with the bike addiction. The mind clears, the body feels like an intimate capsule, and all is right in the world.

Van and I spent much of the ride working through some of the great ideas he had in his road ride the other day. I am very excited about the things that will be happening in the Asheville advocacy scene in the next year. Remember no matter how life can bring you down sometimes, all it takes is stopping and enjoying the ride.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Great Buisness Crosstraining....

Yesterday I helped Tavis do some tree work. That guy is amazing. Climbing and descending roping in swinging from tree to tree. He is a regular George of the Jungle.

The day started with me dropping a few of the smaller trees under the large leaners we would be taking down. Next Tavis ascended a big oak and we started dropping limbs by pulling them to the side to avoid the shed we were next to. Once that was down we moved on tho the mish-mash of leaner and nasty caught up bundle. This was all great to watch now when dealing with blow downs and snags I will know a few more tricks. Chainsaw work is an integral part of trail building in this area, there is no bypassing being a good sawyer. Here are two pictures from the day. One is Tavis taking off some pressure on the snag, the next is of some of the equipment and carnage on the ground.

Tonight I will be heading up to Blacksburg to hang out with my little brother for his birthday. Then, Friday maybe go do design on one of the new pumtracks in town.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My neck, my neck and my back!!

Yowza, man I took a beating this weekend and loved every minute of it.

Friday was my Birthday and a few friends took me to sushi and then to see Superbad. It was just that, but it was a great time. Friday night however, I was feeling, shall we saw swampy.

Saturday morning there was a Yack sighting then things looked up. Tavis and I went up to mom's and did some heavy duty woodworking. Cut down seven sizable trees and split it all into about two cords of wood. It was a beautiful day and the cutting was fine. Saturday night it was time o lay down and start a new book. One i read about on Kent Peterson's blog. The Werewolf Principle, classic nineties sci-fi paperback. Should be an enjoyable quick read.

Finally, today was awesome, I woke up to fifty degrees with all the clouds this morning and went out to Dupont for a hammer-fest ride. I showed up to a gaggle of folks in the parking lot but then went for a ride just with my friends Tavis and Ryan. We butched each other. Tavis took a serious digger on the new section of Burnt Mountain trail, I took it to the face on Big Rock and I think Ryan may have had a Yack sighting. But he was awful stealth about it. All in all just blowing the carbon out of the legs. Here is a map of the ride. 2:00 and BBBRRRAAAAAPPPPP......

Thursday, November 29, 2007


This morning I went up to the project North of town and looked over where the excavator has gotten to and took a few photos. I also ended up on the ridge looking at a bit of alignment there. Next time up it will be time to flag the upper loop.

Tomorrow I think it is time to just get in some riding and work up at mom's this Saturday. I will do some tree work with Tavis, then go for another ride with PAS on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Videos for NTD...

Yesterday was spent mostly in the office and running errands around a beautifully dreary Asheville, I believe the technical term is "sublime". But, in process of doing some hunting on the web I came across two videos from Allout Productions. Check them out.

Stars and Bars:


I hope Nate and Jimi come through on the sponsorship for showing these at the National Trails Day Festival. I also have been working on the flyers for a few different things and have been really spending way too much time in front of the computer. But, it is all stuff I want to get ahead on.

For now it's back to it and look for updates on the Barntown trails and the new pumptrack and jumps.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A nice warmup into the grind.

It's been very nice being able to just step back from things the last few days and enjoy seeing my little brother and my friends over Thanksgiving. A nice relaxing Thursday. Then a REALLY chill Friday. Finally worked outside around the house on Saturday.

Today, however, was a day back in the working mindset. I went up to Green's Lick and walked up and down it looking at what sections it can be split into for planning. So if you are on the trail and notice a few pink ribbons it will be my "section" delineations. Things seem like they will work out fairly well. I included a recent video off of YOUTUBE to show some of the chunder and flow death that has been morphing on that hill. Keep an eye on the site as I will be using this as an update area for what will be happening.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Project begins anew...

Today was the first day of a new pumptrack and jumps design. The time was relatively quick. I had most of the design in my head already.

It will feature a beginner line that hips into an intermediate line that feeds through a berm in to the 50 x 80 pumptrack which will have a full circle incorporated into it. Also it will have two teardrop direction reversals, curious how well these will work out.

Here are the photos of the site, I will try to keep up to date with progress photos. For now, I will be hanging out for the holidays. Sunday it is up to Green's Lick to look that over and start a plan there. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You just can't stop yourself sometimes.

I don't usually like to ride during hunting season, out of both respect for the hunters and for self preservation. But, today was different. I had a preplanned ride with Andy and Tavis out in Bent Creek. However, yesterday, I found out from Nate and Jimi that hunting season had started....DOH!

But, we still went out. I mean, how do you say no to a day like this.

It lead me to think alot about the concept of hunting as a recreational activity. I really don't know the answer to some of the issues inherent in rifle hunting in crowded woods. I think this is something I want to address with public recreationalists being more informed and being able to be better members of the outdoor community as a whole. Wildlife management is a real issue that needs to be handled in urbanized woods. Hunters are a great, free, way to handle this. I hope the discussion becomes more regular among my peers.

The ride was great. We cruised up North Boundary to "Five Points" and out Little Hickory Top to Sidehill. Then, dropped down the road to Lower Sidehill...Man I love that tree....Across the lake then up to Deerfield and popped out on Pine Tree. Back to the car and happy day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Philpott Two ... Electric Bugaloo....

Philpott, Virginia again?

Yes. Last weekend Rich and I worked with the local club and the Army Corps of Engineers, at Philpott Lake, teaching an introduction to trail building and design. This week, it was all about the horsepower. The Army Corps., as well as a local contractor, Jim Frith, have both purchased Ditch Witch SK500s to be used on the trail project around Philpott. It was another great weekend working with all the fantastic individuals around southern Virginia.

Saturday was spent in the classroom, in the morning, then we moved to a borrow pit at the base of the dam to do some hands-on work. Everyone got a little "stick-time" and really seemed to be picking it up.

Then, Sunday, we all headed back up to the Jamison Mill area to put some trail on the ground. All-in-all another great event.

Everyone in the area seems to be coming together to create a plan to build Philpott into a destination with around 40 miles of multi-use trail. This will be a huge asset to those mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts in the Greensboro and Winston-Salem area. A destination for the triangle of North Carolina.

Some of the contributors.

The Philpott Page

The Mountain Bike Club

The Friends

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New compruuuter.....

Yay! I own a new computer. It's sweet. A Toshiba that is crazy fast with loads of storage. Here's to loads of photos.

Well, tomorrow I am back off to VA. Today, I went back up to Barnardsville and checked on my trail project up there. George has been punching through some crazy stuff. He also built a pretty nice little bridge across one of the stream crossings we are dealing with. When I head back up there after the Virgina trip I will be finishing the micro design on the second section of the access trail and starting the macro design on the upper most loop. I hope to have some new pictures of the project next time I go up as well. For now here are a few more of the project.

Next week will be the start of a new pumptrack as well. Look for photos of the before coming up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ever see a perfect canvas?

Philpott Lake, Virgina is going to make someone a trail artist for sure. The place was great with deep coves, beautiful woods, a great lake, and lots of potential.

I went up to Philpott to help Rich of IMBA Trail Solutions teach a basic trailbuilding school for the Army Corps of Engineers, Southern VA Mountain Bike Association, County personnel, and the Friends of Philpott. The weekend was great.

Friday, Rich and I met Mary, the manager from the Corps, she spoke to us a bit on the ins and outs of their particular project. Then we went to the site. We scoped a sweet workshop spot and then rolled to the hotel.

Saturday, we woke up to the sweetest morning breakfast buffet ever. Full on Shoney's style, FREE with your room, oh yeah! We headed to the classroom session and cranked out a few hours of info. Then, it was to the job site, where my mind was blown. Constructing trail to these people is like water to a duck.

Sunday, a little more classroom, then Rich and I did some design with them watching. This enabled them to understand the design principles. We got along into these crazy little deep coves and rocky noses, the place was made for east coast flow. We ended the day in a damp cove crawling across rusty barrels, if you don't know, you ain't Appalachian.

Drove home happy and tired and then I will do it again next weekend......AHHHHH. This is The ... that's right capital

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Just the calm before the storm

Whew, crazy few days. Let's see where to begin.

I've been feverishly working on the proposal for National Trails Day at Bent Creek. Things are coming along and hopefully I will have most of the event sponsorship stuff wrapped up by first of the year. I also have been working on a tool wish list for the PAS. So far about $8500 worth of toys. I also went and checked out some cool rock today. Hooper's Creek stone. Which is crazy because I grew up in Edneyville right off of Hooper's Creek Road. Beatiful rock, reminds me of being a kid and crashing around in the deep woods.

Now it is time to pack and get ready to head to Philpott Lake in south central Virginia. I will be working with Rich from IMBA doing a basic trailbuilding school this weekend and I am psyched to be back in Virginia. For now here is a pretty little picture of the lake. No real mountains to speak of, but looks like it will be some fun flowy lakeside terrain.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday, get much more boring?

Today as well as yesterday have been fairly low key. Yesterday I was up in Barnardsville working on finishing the handwork behind the excavator and had a very successful day. Did 1000 feet of finish in about three hours. I am finishing this trail at about a level three of ten, I am doing it for budget as well as to see just what happens at that level. Will the backslope fail? Will cascading water eat the trail? So far it is breaking in rather nice. I have actually been suprised as to how well it is coming along. We have gotten just enough rain at the right times. We shall see.

Today I went back up to Barntown in the morning then stopped by to see the boys at the shop. I have been working on a few things for PAS and have spent most of the afternoon on that. We have a huge National Trails Day project I am heading up trying to figure out how to coordinate. We also need to figure out our tools for next year so I have been working on a spreadsheet for that. But, for now I just wanted to add a nice little update to my day.

Tommorrow it is I9 to look at building some dirt jumps and a pumptrack for those boys. In the afternoon I may try and get the bikes in tip top shape and spin around a bit.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dupont kinda weekend....

Well, what a great weekend. I went down to Dupont to work with Woody Keen and P.A.S. on the Big Rock trail. It was an outstanding workday. We had probably 30 people show up and we knocked out a really nice reroute, as well as a bit of basin and rise road-to-trail conversion. I led a crew with Valerie Naylor on the reroute; while Woody led a crew on the upper road-to-trail. Everyone did an awesome job. I was really impressed with how our group worked together and I met a few people with an amazing eye for trail work. We had a tricky turn on a rock slab that was not really wanting to come together. However, working as a team we all were able to come up with what I think was the best solution. The pictures are of the rock turn, the closed and reclaimed trail, and a berm with a drain in it. These features all added up to an extra fun section on an already ripping section of trail.

Today was a lot of fun as well I worked my way over to the barn in Dupont today to meet up with everyone from yesterdays workday and we all hit up a great ride in Dupont. We stayed out for about four and a half hours of pedalin' heaven. This is the only chance I have had to ride in Dupont all year and I always forget just how fun it is to ride. Berm, jump, berm, pump, Braaaaappppp, berm, hip, rail.....yikes tree....snap, berm, GO GO......oh so much fun.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shovel Love....

Just a quicky for today but I wanted to plug something while I was hunting around for tools on the internet. Fiskars, they make a shovel that I swear by and I have been looking for the transfer shovel to go with it. But, not only that, they have a wide array of cool stuff from shovels and rakes to crazy looking loppers and bags. Anyway, here is a picture of the dream team. Notice the full steel handles and welded heads, OH YEAH!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween and more....

Halloween, quite possibly one of my favorite holidays going. You get to dress up and get away with debauchery and law breaking that any other night of the year would be harshly forbade.

The night started at Adam and Lela's working on the costume and getting "Wilbur" up to snuff. I had made a quick stop off at SUPER K...duh duh did a duhhhh!!! Where I procured a few of Taiwan's best noisemakers...a stuffed horse and a rifle. Armed with boots, jeans, and a button down super sweet western shirt, I began amassing the outfit. I was a cowboy, "on a steel horse I ride. And I'm Wanted, WANTED! Dead or alllliiiaaiiiive.", Lela was a 60's go go queen, and Adam ,the SOB; he definitely took the cake. Dude was Friggin' Vader man. I mean he nailed it to the nines. No photo yet, but hopefully Lela can hook it up.

Anyway, we all mounted up and pedaled down to the Asheville on Bikes: Pumpkin Peddlar. Where we sprinted up Alexander....OUCH! Then, cruised along to Helen's Bridge. After that, was the bomb back out to Montford to check out the cemetery. Things got a little crazy with 50 or so costumed bikers descending on the streets of Asheville, but a good time was had. Then, down to the Wedge Gallery where the best costumes in town were sure to be spotted. But, that will have to be another story.

Then, today has been relatively chill. But, while online I found two sweet pictures I wanted to share. These guys from Recycles Bike Shop in Greensboro came up and rode at Bent Creek this past weekend and a few choice photos were shot of one of the bridges I worked on along Wolf Branch on National Trails Day last year. I had hoped the bridges would see a little "freeride" use with just how burly and stout they felt. Add a little lip at the beginning and end and you have yourself a miniature trail side "funbox." Don't know what a fun box is? They exist in skate parks, why not in the woods. Well, Merritt White, rode the first bridge the way god a manual, both nose and standard, mind you and the photos of it were just too good to pass on. So I present the fun you can have on a "lame" trail bridge.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Eve

No real updates for today, I guess or yesterday. Just trying to re-establish myself into the daily grind.

I went up to the Barnardsville project both yesterday and today and finished flagging Phase 2. That is going to be one nutty build. Lots of crazy rock outcroppings and some HUGE oaks. For now I will be doing some finish work and trying to catch up to the machine. The score goes like this. Machine is run by a local guy, old loggin dude. It's a five foot, nine inch wide excavator that has been laying down some good looking trail. But, most of it is only half bench so it will be interesting to see how it seasons. I want to just deroot the tread and leave the backslope a little more rustic. It is for the most part properly sloped, just want to see if the backslope pushes everyone to the outside. If not it should naturalize more quickly still allowing a solid two and a half to three foot sustainable tread. We will see how it goes. I was a bit aprehensive to the size of the excavator at first, but seeing the rock in the next section the extra horse power will be welcome. Friday I will head back up to do finish and get some more photos.

Tommorrow I will be doing mostly office stuff and picking up the key to the Forest Service gates to start looking at the budget for the Green's Lick bulletproofing. I think it is going to be crazy expensive but I hope to get some serious help from SORBA main.

The Photo shows the "hardening" technique on jump landers. I am also thinking some sweet chokes with huge rocks and armoring a few new berms. I think a group of 150 people descending on Bent Creek for a Saturday workday would be AWESOME! Get involved and you can play too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

South Dakota...WOW!!

Having traveled the country I have been to what are considered some of the "coolest towns" in the country. I even live in one of them. But, Rapid City showed me a better time than I ever could have imagined. The place had great riding, great sites, and great people. Thank you South Dakota.

I was there to look at a site for a potential dirt jump park in downtown. It was perfect. There was great emergency management access the location was easy to access for users and the terrain and dirt were ideal. Everyone from FMG Engineering was amazing; super nice and very helpful with regards to creating a professional looking conceptual drawing. The people with the local club, Dirk and Tim especially, were fantastic. After creating a concept for the park and looking at some additional sites early in the week, it was on to a mechanized training in the Black Hills National Forest. The views from Buzzards Roost were outstanding and I think it could potentially be one of the best riding areas in the region.

Now for pictures. I was at Mount Rushmore so there is a shot from there. One of the boys building some sweet machine cut trail. One that lends itself to a great joke: "howmany mnt. bikers does it take to change a Ditch Witch track?" And what ever other great photos I could cram on here. There will be a lot more about Rapid City in the future as I hope to go back there and be the contractor on the dirt jump build.

Again, Rapid City is amazing......if you go look up Acme bikes, Tim is an awesome guy and the shop has that real bike shop vibe.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Any Given Sunday

Wow, last night I went camping down along Yellow Gap with some friends. Then woke up this morning and went to Bent Creek to ride the pumptrack that the neighborhood made a few tweeks on. They removed the berm-roller roller-berm and replaced it with one long berm. Feels pretty good but could use a few tweeks to the bottom berm to make it feel long and tight, bit of a dead spot in it right now. But, while I was there three little girls came rolling up and one of them was PINNING IT! I shot this picture of her charging the berm at the bottom.

Then, went to Kennilworth and finished up the pumptrack in the private backyard. We BBQ'd and it got broken in really nice. As always a few tweeks will be perfect. I am learning these things take an eye and patience to understand it is a dynamic network for the first month or so. I hope to get some more of these on the ground thanks to this track.

Well First thing tommorrow A.M. I am off to Rapid City South Dakota. Gonna hopefully help the local club figure out how to design and get permission for a legal jump park. Wish me the best...I really don't enjoy flying. This also means I will be out of touch for a while....soo maybe have a great story for ya'll when I get back.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another Day In Paradise.

Today was GREAT. Woke up with Skye and had a wonderful morning. Her and Kate had a bunch of great stuff to do so I made my way out to Barnardsville to Chip's and looked over some of the best trail I have honestly ever seen. This is not just because I designed it this is because you can't mess up the palate you are given there.

Also, I just downloaded a few images from two of the pumptracks I recently did. One is in Bent Creek the other is in a backyard in Kennilworth. These things really are becoming sooo fun to build and it is coming together so quickly with the great people I have been privileged to work with.

Today I guess is more of a visual day. I also just went and rode Green's Lick, Wolf Branch and Sidehill. Three of the trails I will be helping S.O.R.B.A. maintain this year. I am psyched on what is possible in Bent Creek. The ride? Well, eight got munched on the climb...I love knowing how to ride a mountain bike; and six got munched on the descent....Oh life is good AT SPEED...BRRAAAPPPPP!

Hope your day was bright, clear and fall-like too..