Thursday, July 31, 2008
I had originally planned to use our Thule box on top but I realized the furniture we were hauling could hold our luggage and help us even more with the gas mileage by eliminating the roof drag of the Thule Box. I decided I was going to try and drive the speed limit the whole way there to see if we could make it on just one tank of gas. I ended up driving about 5mph over and had to stop to refuel before we made it. Driving that far at the speed limit was hard for me to do, I hate long drives.
I'm not used to having the dogs in such close quarters for an 8 hour drive so we stopped at the Cracker Barrel to get a book on CD to block out the fact that we almost always had one dog panting in our face the whole trip.
Saturday morning we all got up and headed to Akron to board a train that runs along a bike path. You can get on the train in Akron for $2 with your bike and ride as far as you want then get off and ride the bike path back. The path is an old tow path used by mule or oxen to pull boats up a canal. It's pretty tame compared to the VA Creeper trail.
Before we left I had planned to go check out Ray's indoor mtn bike park in Cleveland but I found out that they are closed for the summer. I looked around online to try and find some trails in Canton but I didn't have much luck. Everything in the area would have been at least an hour and a half drive to the trailhead. I did visit a couple of cool bike shops around town but they all seemed to carry the same thing, roadies, cruisers and commuters. Most of the shops only had a couple of mtn bikes.
One of the highlights of our trip is this little ice cream shop in my parents neighborhood that's a family owned business. We usually make one or two stops there every time we visit. Since it's so close to my folks house we always walk and take the dogs. One night as we were walking down the street Moonshine decided she was going to take a crap right in some one's front yard. She did it so fast that I didn't even realize it until a lady yelled at us about cleaning it up. I was kinda confused at first but once I figured it out I realized I didn't have anything to pick it up with. I assured the lady who we never saw (she was hiding on a dark porch somewhere) that I would be back. I ended up having to walk 2 blocks back home to get a bag to clean it up and then carry it all the way to the ice cream shop to throw it away. It never fails when we're at home Moonshine never needs to go but get her out in public and she'll drop one at the most inconvenient time. I've really trained her well.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Saturday night a bunch of friends got together to cruise around downtown. I had a hard decision to make, take the cruiser or take Mary. Since I've been wanting to do a little urban assault action I decided on Mary but we ended up just cruising.
Melinda on her newly restored cruiser.
Brad broke out his new ride, a Surly Crosscheck sporting the fatest slicks I've ever seen. I'm jealous.
Bob brought out the tandem.
We saw this toilet sitting outside an empty house and I had to stop for a picture.
This weekend we're heading up to Ohio to see my folks for the weekend. My Dad has been talking for some time about a train ride that you can take, I'm not sure of the route or destination, but you take your bikes and ride back. We may get to do that so it could be interesting.
Friday, July 18, 2008
After we cleaned up the canning mess we headed over to the trailhead to do a little hiking with the dogs before going to work. I've said for a long time now that Melinda can smell things before they begin to smell. As we were hiking along she kept telling me that the dogs stink. I could smell something but we were out in the woods and I wasn't sure if it was one of the dogs. We let them swim in the creek as much as possible just in case it was them. After we got home I entered the kitchen and whew, it hit me. Moonshine smelled like she'd rolled on a decaying carcass. She didn't smell bad before we left the house so there's a good chance she did. We immediately took them both outside for a water hose bath in the yard. I've heard dogs will do that to cover up their scent but holy crap why would you want to smell that bad. After their bath they both got sprayed down with pina colada dog spray that they both hate. They went from smelling like death to smelling like something out of a Jimmy Buffet video.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Saturday should a fun one, maybe we'll get to ride somewhere before we head to JC for the unofficial ride that we can no longer speak of. That's going to have to change.
Sunday we have a trail workday on the schedule for Bay's mtn. It will be really cool if we have a ton of people show up and get the trail finished.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I didn't run last night at the Crazy 8's either, but I really wanted to. Me, Joe , Josh and Scooby and a couple other guys I didn't know led the HUGE pack of runners through the dark, screaming fan lined course late last night. It was alot of fun but I'm not sure we were really needed. Our job was to make sure none of the fans got in the way. I gathered up all my blinky lights, 5 total, and arranged them all over my bike. I think I looked a little like an emergency vehicle without the sirens. It was fun none the less but next year I totally plan on being back in the pack of runners. Melinda and I took a bunch of pictures yesterday but I haven't had a chance to download them from my camera yet. I'll try to get them uploaded soon. Today there is a Crit. downtown Kingsport which I may go try to watch after I get off work. It supposed to rain so that could be interesting.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Here comes the rain and man did we need it. It's really been a dry summer. My yard looks like crap and we been trying to water all the new plants and flowers we planted this spring. I'd hate to see all the money we invested on the landscaping go to waste.
There is one thing that's growing like crazy in our garden. Check out those cucumbers! They're huge and I've barely paid any attention to them. We originally planted two but one of the plants mysteriously disappeared one day roots and all. I thinks is was a good thing because the one that's left is taking over the entire garden and moving into the yard. I think next year we might expand our garden to 2 more and start growing even more vegetables.
Poor Moonshine and Jackson, between the T-storms that have hit this weekend and the fireworks surrounding the 4th, they are a nervous wreck. We were outside mowing a few minutes ago when one blew in and now they're trying to hid under the computer desk as I type. I figured this would be a good time to blog a little since I can't do anything outside.
I have decided that I'm going to ride in the Tour De Possum Creek this year. I had thought about backing out since my back decided to flare up this weekend but I think I'm going to be okay. The TDPC is a ride that's put on by Larry's Bike Shop here in Kingsport as part of Fun Fest and the Pedal, Paddle, Skedaddle. I usually compete in the TDPC and the Crazy 8's road race which both occur on the same day and I also manage to go to work for 6 hrs. in between. This year I'm just shooting for the TDPC and I plan to help out at the Crazy 8's. I don't think I'm going to shoot for the 2 hr cut off time either. I plan to just cruise and enjoy the ride stopping at all the checkpoints for free grub.
I'm off for the next few days so I may try and get out to the trails some before this weekend. In other cycling news our local mountain bike club meeting was last night which I missed due to work but I found out later that night that my name was thrown into the hat as a nominee for club president. Very interesting. Have a good one and get out and ride your bike.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Somehow we managed to get it home and packed up in time to leave just before noon Sat morning. I was beginning to wonder if we'd even make it. I even took our tent as a backup just in case. Once we got there we only had 1 issue with it, a small wiring problem but my genius bro-n-law remedied that problem and everything was smooth sailing from then on.
Here's my girl all set up and ready to camp in her Pancake Shack.
I got the truck loaded down with bikes, looks pretty good I do say. I think I could easily manage 2 or 3 more up there.
We started the week off right with a pancake breakfast on the porch of the main house at our campground. The fine folks at the Black Forest campground con their Mom into cooking homemade pancakes every Sat and Sun morning and man they were good.
We got about 5 good days straight of riding and I thought before we left that we might get tired of riding Dupont everyday but we didn't, in fact Melinda wanted to stay an extra 2 or 3 days to ride some more. We hit trails we'd never been on in previous trips. There are a lot of really great trails out there that go unnoticed.
We had to hit Bridal Veil falls of course but I decided against trying to ride across the river this year. It just wasn't warm enough to risk going for a swim that day. Last year I tried to cross and the river bed is a solid piece of granite covered in the slickest moss on top of a pretty swift current. Needless to say I made it only about half way across. Here's a link to the video from last year if you haven't seen it. picasaweb.google.com/b...3117522610
Olga was the only one to crash that day and luckily Dustin manage to catch the carnage.
We did go for a swim a couple days later in the nearby lake which was crystal clear. Dustin tried to talk me into recreating the "Dirty Dancing" lake dance scene with him, me being Baby and him being Patrick Swayze but I wasn't having any of it.
Amazingly the only mechanical we had all week was a broken chain on the Monkey. Yeah I took both.
We only ate out once at this cool little Mexican joint in Brevard that sold Margaritas by the pitcher.
My mother-in-law won't let you take a picture of her unless she poises so I had to have a little fun with her and accessorize her ensemble a little with a tortilla chip on her shoulder. She had no idea it was there. And of course we didn't want Olga to feel left out.
One day Melinda and I decided to leave the bikes at camp and go out for a hike with the dogs.
We saw this really cool water snake but I don't think he was as excited about seeing us as we were about him.
On the last day Dustin and I decided to get up early and climb up the Big Rock Trail just after sunrise.
Dustin battle scar from that nasty downhill run off the top of Burnt Mountain.
I swear I could go back this weekend and ride 5 more days. I just can't get enough of that place. Black Forest campground is a great place to stay, they really cater to mountain bikers. I have only one complaint about Dupont, having to share the trails with horses, I get tired of having to get off my bike and off the trail because an animal that's 4 times my size is scared of my bike. Why would you bring a horse that's scared of bikes to a trail head that is a very popular mtn bike destination. I don't understand it, my bike isn't scared of them and it sure doesn't leave turds on the trail. I'll try and get some videos posted up but the quality seems to get cut in half when viewing them online so I need to try and remedy that. Hope you enjoy!