Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Every day things seem to be inching forward, not really sure where I am heading. I mean you can walk the corridor, you can flag the best line, think it is all there and suddenly the mother throws something new into the path and you are forced to stop and rethink your steps. However, now you are committed to the path you are on. You have done the work and no matter what you find in your way you have to keep moving forward.

I love trail building because of the parallels to what happens in life. You never really know what you are up against until you are face to face with a slab of rock that sat only inches under the fluffy surface of soil you had been across a half dozen times. How did you miss that rock? Maybe you didn't and it is just the toil of going across it everyday on the way to the end of the trail, the leading edge that you have worn it out, you have exposed that issue that you now need to go back and deal with. "I can ignore it" you think. But, you can't you stumble and trip across it worse and worse each day you ignore it until you slip and fall. Now it has your attention.

Only some people might know what I am talking about when it comes to the trail work side of things, but I think everyone can enjoy the metaphor to life that it offers. It is one of the joys I would love to bestow on people in trail work days, but it seems there isn't the time because we have to keep pushing forward so hard. Some terrain and some lives might not have these rocks to deal with as well. It is a lucky few that get the chance to have life present them with a microcosm of the experiences they have day in and day out. Those lucky few become even more scarce as they often do not have the time to reflect on the trials they may be in the midst of. Keep pushing to the front of the trail. I consider myself to indeed be lucky to have a job and a passion that allows me both elegant metaphors and the still time to reflect on them. Thank you who ever you are.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McLeod McLovin'

I have fallen back in love. On the Barntown project I had been struggling a bit and feeling a tad sluggish. I found the cure, the McLeod. I hadn't used a McLeod in a very long time, not doing hand builds and doing so much machine work I found other tools much more resourceful, but today I fell back in love.

The tools wider cutting head made a huge difference in smoothing a larger area as well as moving more soil once the organic layer had been removed. The routine has finally started to show itself out on the hill. I hope to be punching 120-150 feet a day in the next week, and the McLeod will be my partner in this.

Also, yesterday I went for a mountain bike ride with some of the PAS boys and we had a blast in North Mills River, Trace is in choice shape. The trail is great right now. Today will be just work then, after tomorrows ride I am going to take a few days off the bike. It needs to be cleaned and I need a break. Its nice to be in that position.
Enjoy the pictures and your day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dupont on ice...

Well, I headed out to do a ride in Dupont this morning and everything was very snow covered, some of the trails were still untracked and really unrideable. I met up with Mike and Dave M. to do the cruise. We headed over to the kids trail from Buck Shoals parking and had a wonderful time. Cruising and chatting the whole way, we saw a tremendous number of horses and even spotted a horse drawn carriage, yeah in the woods, how crazy is that.

The Kids Trail was pretty cool Trail Dynamics have done a very nice job creating a fun play area for kids. Here are a few pictures.

After the kids area, Mike broke off and Dave and I headed on a little waterfall tour. The first was High Falls, then we cruised over to Triple Falls and Finally down the Galax Trail to Hooker Falls. It was cool seeing people out even with the outdoor freezer in action. Check out the guy fly-fishing with icicles hanging from the rocks. All in all a good day. 1:45 or so on the bike and some good eye candy along the way. Dupont is good for that.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Freezer Burn....

Well, after a week of snow and thaw and freeze and snow...rinse, repeat. WNC has been left a wonderland in the woods.

Friday, I went up to Barntown and had a good time doing a bit of saw work, cool feature - photos to follow, but the ground was frozen solid. (see first photo). I came back into town and did some work in BC. Now I find the saw needs some work. Well, I'll have to get back to that next week.

Today, I spent a chill morning working on things around the house. Then, I went to BC and did a gravel cruiser, even the roads were nasty and muddy. Tomorrow I find myself out at Dupont. People are saying Dupont is covered, so I think it will be a waterfall cruise kinda day. You know motor around and find some cool eye candy. Look for some photos tomorrow night, hope they come out well.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

As I sit and drink my coffee.

Barntown didn't treat me as well yesterday as I had hoped. End product is looking good, but my body has been taking it to the grill. Monday I gave a bit much, I should have held back a bit, I was feeling spent on the mountain today. Friday will be interesting. Lots of saw work in the morning then moving into some super rocky stuff. I need to get a wench of some sort.

Well, that's the life in the woods. I love the fact that this winter I have been able to muster the ability to get stoked and to be active. My winters are usually pretty beat. Last winter was especially gnarly. I usually snowboarded in the winter but for the last few years I have been off the plan. Just something about that industry and the people I found in it that stopped clicking. Some people were cool, but the majority were no bueno. It's funny how the bicycle and its culture can be so in depth. On average bicycle mechanics and bike messengers are pretty darn interesting people. I'm not talking just relating to bikes, most of them find little need to actually even talk about them, it is an implied that you have the love, just talk about life, things you think are interesting, a good watering hole, best rockstar get it. I think there is a rhythm to life on two wheels.

I got an email from Mike S. of Asheville on Bikes. Dude is on it. He knows how to put on fun events that center around being PEOPLE that ride, not riders. That is the secret to me. PEOPLE that ride, not riders.

Enjoy your chosen beverage while reading, peace out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A few steps forward and moonwalking

Well, this week has panned out in the most interesting of ways. A few steps forward, sounds like I may be building a huge public dirtjump park in May. Yeah that will be a fun project to watch unfold, I will keep everyone updated. Things in Barntown are settling in. Ryan Taylor is making a bunch of progress with a new riding area. Santos held a freeride comp and there is a cool video. ENJOY.

A few steps back. Normal stuff, people talk a lot and not so much gets done out of it sometimes. Life and personalities work that way, I had a few things fall through in the last couple weeks as well, but hey I got a fortune cookie that said things are gonna be looking up. Hope that doesn't mean I should always wear a helmet and be on the lookout for a falling piano. ENJOY.

Tomorrow it is back up to Barntown and moving forward with the handbuild, I should have some cool pictures later this week come out of that.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cold and Chillin'

Well the trip to Georgia was canceled due to the fact we would be driving six hours to sit in the cold rain and camp in 20 degree weather. I can be cold and miserable here, there is no need to make a trip to Georgia for that.

So, the weekend has progressed a little differently. I didn't do much on Friday, just hung out and worked on reading the book I am working on now "The Professor and The Madman". It is a good book, however a bit long winded. I have learned a lot of fun little facts while working my way through it, I hope to have it done today.

Saturday was very good. I finally got the rack I wanted for the back of the car. A Saris rack that allows me to fold down the rear door and be able to treat the Rodeo like a pickup truck again. That encompassed my morning. THANK YOU ANDY, for your part. Then, I rode the rollers for a bit and did a bit of stretching, my body is starting to finally come around. It gets hard during this time of year to stay motivated and moving forward. So I figure if I can do it now, then when the weather warms I will be raging to ride.

Along those lines I have been bad about pedaling for the last few years. Working for IMBA was bad because at the end of the day I would be so spent or would have to drive somewhere and just couldn't muster up the ability to turn over the cranks. Then, this past year '07, well I have been a little preoccupied with other life things. But, this winter I could feel the ill effects of not being as active and not having the world pass me at just the right pace. Nothing like a break to motivate. But, after just a few weeks I am already feeling better in my skin. Yeah, its good to ride.

SO, Saturday afternoon found me with Matt Johnson and Mike Sule at the Asheville Beerfest Winter Warmer. I had a great time. Then, that night I went over to a friends for a chill party and now am trying to keep warm on this ten degree morning. Not sure how today will pan out, I was thinking about a road ride but 10!!!!! DEGREES!!!! thats freaking cold. Well, thank you mom for rollers for Christmas.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Handbuild Heaven

Well it's Thursday and things have moved along nicely over the last couple of days. Both Tuesday and Wednesday found me on the side of the mountain in Barnardsville. Tuesday was a finish up design day. I got all of it done except this knarlly sketchy section above a cave that has me scared of big holes, so that will be designed with the machine nipping at my heels. Then yesterday was the first day of handbuilding on the north side. It went well, but I am definatley not in trail building shape right now, I will need to ease into the build. I got about 120 feet of hard stuff knocked out yesterday. Check the photos.

Then last night a great night ride with the crew from Carolina Fatz and Biowheels. It was a really good time, but I was definitely spent. The legs need a break. Today is a computer day and tomorrow I will be in a car for the better half of a day to drive down to Macon for Thomson Fest. Hopefully I can come back with some fun photos from that. Well for now sit back relax and check out what three inches of white looks like, yeah we got snow, Nice.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A day in it.

Blue Ridge Bicycle Club

Today was relatively chill. A bit of business in the A.M. then a bit of a ride in the P.M. Now it is home duties for a bit. Lets see if I can catch up a little on the forth coming week. Drop the hammer in Barntown and get the design finished up. Yeah it's gonna be a pretty good week. Then, head down the hill over the weekend for Thompson Fest. Turns out Ronnie passed away this week, so the festival will be slightly more somber, seems to follow me around a bit lately. Ah, so is life. Right now the outcast has me feeling good and thought I would drop the above link of Blue Ridge Bike Clubs website. On the left click on the "cue sheets" for rides. Today's was the BIltmore forest slightly modified and leaving out of Liberty Bikes. I rode with my boy Greg and things loosened up nicely. Oh props to Andy for the fit, today things hummed. May be out of touch for the coming days but will update about Barntown and maybe have some fun photos.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yeayer....this here was a good few days.

Where oh where to begin. Thursday was pretty chill, just went out to Bent Creek and did the footage survey for the Wolf Branch training. It was raining a bit the whole time I was out there, but now at least I can start getting the work plan together for the FS. Then, I have to just finalize the flyer, which I will post on here and the workday will be ready.

Friday morning I got a fit for my road bike from my buddy Andy G. at Biowheels, man just 5 minutes on the trainer after we moved things around was like getting into a really cozy blanket, feelin' good. I still need to put in a bit on the road. Maybe a Biltmore Forest ride this week. Then, in the afternoon I went out to Barnardsville and worked through some of the problems out there, at least made a few forward steps. I did take some photos of the rocky goodness I am up against. Read the description of the problems a few posts back. But, enjoy the photos.

Saturday was great. Again out to Barntown to ride the stuff with the owner. We had about four other people show and cruise with us. Props to Tim he rolled. The trails felt great. A bit soft still, it is a lot of fill in spots and freeze thaw wasn't kind to it this week. Other than that it felt pretty good. Coming down was Braaap sweetness. Here is a photo of the boys on the backside roads. Check it.

Today is a chill day. Gonna do some house cleaning type stuff. Probably do a bit of the same tomorrow, then up to Barntown Tuesday. Should be a good week.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My camera really doesn't do well at night so I stole a photo off the intranety and figured it would explain what this posting is about. Yesterday was spent on the computer for most of the day with a few errands in between. Then in the afternoon I started a project in patience. More on that later.

This post is all about night riding. I picked up Adam at his house around ten till six and we headed into the woods. When we pulled into Rice Pinnacle we were greeted to Sy and Becky pulling up and shortly there after Don and Jeremy Arnold showed up and we had ourselves something that could only happen in this town. You show up to ride and it can turn into a group.Not like a scattered all over the mountain group, but a damn good time hauling booty group. We spent most of the ride on gravel, as I assumed the woods would still be nasty. We headed down the pavement past Wolf Branch up towards Trails End then left on North Boundry. We followed that around to Ledfrod Branch Rd. to the old Sidehill Rd. Then down to Wash Creek Rd. We climbed that to South Ridge Rd. and finally dropped into some great singletrack, everything was in awesome shape. DOH. I was bummed at that point that we had avoided all the other singletrack. Well, you live and learn. I ran out of light about twenty minutes from the car and was fine. I always used to ride with no light so it was just as enjoyable to finish out the ride "in the dark".

Here is to Asheville and the riders that populate it. This area is really great. Awesome riding and awesome people.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Stuck between a rock and a ....rock

Machu Picchu. It is one of those famous places, nestled high on the perch of a mountain in Peru, it has stood the test of time and stayed precariously footed on a rock bluff. Yesterday, while working out in Barnardsville I couldn't stop thinking about man's fascination with rock. I ran upon the most ominous rock slabs. Everything has been fairly cake to this point, but yesterday design was a beast. I still don't have the solution for most of this one section. The north side of the mountain I expected to be rocky, and it is. But, these sections are both in draws that are nothing but rock. Not that manageable kind, but the kind you come to and your day starts to suck. 200 ft of straight slab. You come around a corner and you know what you are in for. Every tree over 24 inches is laying belly up exposed beneath it is a slab of granite, then as you look around the pulpy battlefield you begin to realize you are on top of a grained behemoth, one that will not be easily tamed. Many of the trails in Pisgah contain these types of rock. But, here on this mountain, they are monsters. I will take pictures and show the progress, but it will be a while coming.

Back to Machu Picchu. My friend Shawn and my cousin Grace have both been there. They each said it was a place that had a spiritual essence nowhere else on Earth has. I think rock was tamed there. I think with determination, maybe mother nature contributed a bit of cooperation, the people of Machu Picchu were able to create something magical. Wikapedia it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'll take a case of the Mondays anytime...

Yesterday was another stellar day. It's amazing what a warm, bright, spring-like day in the middle of January can do for one's spirit. I woke up and headed up the mountain to the Barnardsville project and took a few shots. I loppered the roots after the machine had gone through and now Phase 1 is complete. Phase 2 shouldn't be long in coming after that and I will be doing a hand build in the near future. Photos of that coming for sure. These two photos are of the view from the upper access trail and of a cool rocky turn created by flow and mama nature. Enjoy some trail vision.

Then, last night, I went for a spin in Bent Creek with my new headlight. The headlight rocks, but the soft trails in Bent Creek do not rock. Freeze - Thaw is a Beast. I will have to go out and take a look tomorrow after the rain and get an idea of how much work we have in front of us for the season. I mean some of the stuff on North Boundary was full on rutted. If you can stay out I suggest it, if you can't; well, I had better see you at workdays. I think the light will be getting used for late night road rides for a while until things freeze back up out there. All in all though it was a good quick spin.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Epic, Fun, Addicted....How do you describe it?

Today, Wow, now I remember what I love about our area.

Let's begin with yesterday though. Last night I went out on the town with Andy, Jodi and my little brother. I loved it, we ended up at a birthday party for one of the boys from I9 at the French Broad Brewery, turns out you can rent out the place. It was awesome, all the people I could ever want to hang out with and all in the same place.

Well, today was the "Closed Parkway" ride, first of the season. The Blue Ridge Parkway becomes the world's best green way during the few months of the year they decide the roads are "too dangerous". It will typically close from 191 up to Pisgah and from town mountain to who knows where. This leads to dog walkers, families and cyclists getting the run of the show.

Andy was supposed to meet up with me but came down with something this morning, poor dude, and on his b-day too. So I ran solo and it was awesome. Mixed the tunes on my iriver and up up and away I went. The climb hurts until you get to the second tunnel then, it typically ain't so bad. But, I gotta say it hurt. I climbed from 191 up to Pisgah, and it was a push to keep it turning over. Fenders, a light and a rear flasher for the heck of it. Check out the photos and enjoy. I think this ride will continue to be a regular one for me over the coming weeks and 60 plus degree forecasts.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

On like Flaun

Well 2008 is here and my first day back in town has been productive. Today I registered the business B4 Consulting and Construction with the city and county. I also opened a small business account at Wachovia. So I am now full tilt.

Today has felt really great. I also started using Microsoft Accounting to track things and hope it makes life as easy as it advertises. Also worked on the truck a bit got the rear tire rack off and checked things over. I will be taking it to Bruce Berry to have a look in the near future. Man the mind seems all over the place. I hope to do a road ride this weekend and get the head straight. With the snow, the parkway is closed, which screams of a chill cruise up the mountain.

Happy 2008 and on we go.