Thursday, January 29, 2009

He's here!

Surprisingly Flat Stanley arrived ahead of schedule today. I really wasn't expecting to see him until this weekend but he said he wanted to get a jump start on the fun and be here for the weekend. I was reluctant to tell him that this weekend we will be concentrating our efforts on building a retaining wall. After he threw a bit of a temper tantrum I promised him we would go ride somewhere at least one day and he was cool after that.

Flat was still a little nervous about coming inside after seeing the dogs through the backdoor. He said they're alot bigger in person than the photos he saw on my blog.

We all sat down and discussed that Flat Stanley was not a toy and he was to be respected. Moonshine and Jackson agreed as long as he didn't throw anymore temper tantrums. Flat apologized and now we're all cool.
I told Flat I was planning on going for a run but he said he was tired and wanted to catch a few Zs. I said that was cool and I took the dogs with me so they would not disturb his sleep. They're bad about playing tag while I'm trying to sleep after graveyards.
Alan uploaded a new video from the Buffalo ride Monday. No need to mute the sound this time he swapped out the rap for a little Metallica. That's me in the black in case your wondering.
16 days until the NASCAR season starts

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Famous Flat Stanley

Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? I had not until recently. You see Flat Stanley is quite an adventurous kind of guy. He's traveled all over the world and seen things most of us only dream of. He's met alot of famous people and had his picture taken in some very unique places.

I recently found out Flat is a good friend of my sister, Bug. They been to quite a few places together. Flat called me up the other day, said he'd read my blog and was really impressed. He told me he has always wanted to do some bicycling and wanted to know if he could come to N. East Tennessee for a visit. I said "sure Flat come on up". He did have one concern, you see Flat Stanley is kind of a small guy and well, he's made out of paper so he was kind of worried about our dog situation. I assured Flat that my dogs have never been a fan of paper. I nor Melinda have ever had to use the excuse, "The dog ate my homework". He still seemed a little anxious after he read about what happened to Santa on Christmas.
I told him if he came down we would all sit down together and explain to Moonshine and Jackson that under no circumstances was Flat Stanley a chew toy. Flat said okay and started making arrangements to head our way.
When Melinda found out about our surprise visitor she immediately started cleaning up the guest bedroom and bathroom. She asked me how long Flat was planning on staying. Not sure I told her but I assured her he wouldn't be any trouble. He doesn't eat much or take up any space. She said he could stay as long as he wanted as long as he didn't walk around in his underwear and always knocks on closed doors before entering.
I called Flat back, told him the good news and said I would immediately start drawing a bicycle for him to ride while he was in town. He said he was pumped and should be in town soon. I can only imagine what kind of adventures Flat Stanley and I will get into.
17 more days until the 2009 NASCAR season begins

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Post for when yer bored

Take the following list and bold the items you have completed or experienced.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (don't tell my Mom)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (who doesn't?)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (the only ball I hit all year)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (this one should have the word sober at the end)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been on television
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (I've flown in the GoodYear blimp which is way cooler)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (several times)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own (does this count?)

I got 48 not too bad, let's see what you've done.

18 days until the 2009 NASCAR season begins

icy Buffalo

If you've been here before you've probably heard me talk about my work schedule. Some may say it's crazy but I don't mind it a bit except for the warm sunny weekends that I'm working and all my friends are out riding. That's what sick days are for, right? This part of the month is the hard part, work Fri - Sun days, off Mon, work Tues - Thurs nights.
I always try to make the most out of this Monday and yesterday was no exception, especially since the rain rolled in last night and has plans to stay till Thurs. Anyway I got up early yesterday, fixed Melinda breakfast packed her a lunch and saw her off to work. I got an early start and took the dogs on a hike to the nearby State Park. We hiked up to the top of a gnarly trail, "Devils Backbone". It's a tough climb but offers some impressive views over the lake.

As we cruised around the bottom by the lake Moonshine went into the water after what she thought was a stick but was a 40oz. beer bottle. She had it by the mouth of the bottle as if she was taking a big swig. I yelled at her to drop it before I realized the very funny photo moment I just missed.

After the hike I headed home and got to work putting the Mamasita back together. Switching the Reba over to the KM proved to be just fine but it's left the Mamasita in pieces and it's just not right. I don't need to have any squish on the Karate Monkey I just need to suck it up and ride it rigid more. I hit the road soon after the transformation to meet up with Alan over in JC to ride Buffalo mtn. Buffalo mtn is a place that you can ride when all else fails, rain, snow, shine you can ride. It's a good workout with several miles of climbing and a screaming decent that makes the climb well worth it. On the climb up we ran into several ice covered spots that really took it's toll on us. I really had to watch my line and weave all over the place to avoid some very slick ice. All the snow we got a week or so ago got packed down on the fire road by 4x4s then started to melt, refreeze. There was several times when I lost traction and my bike slipped out from under me.
Alan recently purchased a Hero cam like mine so we planned to both film some footage and then compare videos. I soon realized that my SD card was full and there was going to be no filming on my part. When he gets around to uploading his video I'll link it up here for your view pleasure.

Today I heard on the news that they are trying to push back the digital cable switch because not everyone understands what's going to happen to their TV. I hope this doesn't pass because I'm sick of hearing about it. If the hillbillies who are still using rabbit ears don't get it now they're not going to in 3 more months. I say go ahead and switch it and they figure it out real quick. How hard is it, if you're still using an antenna your going to loose your signal it's simple.

Buffalo 1-26-09 from Alan Sparks on Vimeo.

Alan is still working on his editing skills so after the credits you can turn it off, it's just bad rap for 2 more minutes. Thanks for sharing Alan!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

working hard but not really

It sucks sitting here at work thinking about all things bicycle and not being able to do anything about it. Big work day going on at Bays Mtn as I type I would rather be there sweating, back hurting than just sitting here doing nothing. I'm off tomorrow and I plan to take advantage of the warmer weather and dry skies. I'd like to get out early and get a good hike in with Moonshine and Jackson. They haven't seen a whole lot of action lately, a little hiking and running but no bike rides lately. I've been hesitant to run them too hard lately, Moonshine seems to have a limp later in the day every time we go out hard. We've got her on an anti-inflammatory for a few days and hopefully that will heal things up.
Tomorrow afternoon may bring another ride up on Buffalo, it's been nice to get out and ride different trails besides the one in my backyard. Alan finally scored himself a Hero cam so maybe I'll actually get to see myself in the footage instead of someone else or just the top of my helmet and the trail.
Melinda and I have been talking about heading to Wilksboro the first weekend in April to do a little camping/riding /racing at the 12 Hours of Warriors Creek. We originally tossed around the idea of going to Santos but Wilksboro is so much closer and the trails are just as nice. We might try to sneak in a beach trip once she's out for the summer.
It's looking like the Icycle may be out but not sure just yet. We have several yard projects on tap for this spring and they're big ones. I may just get started on the retaining wall we have been talking about building. That has to be done before we can begin building the fence for the dogs. It will be so nice to let them out the back door un-attended to do their thing or just get some exercise.
Time to go hit the elliptical trainer, it's better than nothing. My work actually pays us to work out and they encourage it so I plan to take full advantage of it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The old days

Recently after much prodding by my family I decided to join Facebook. I never really was into that kinda of thing and I never did have a Myspace page either. Keeping up with a blog was enough for me. I'll admit Facebook is pretty cool as long as you don't try to do too much with it. You can easily get lost adding different little features and junk to your profile page and waste a ton of time. The thing I have enjoyed about it has been the amount of old friends I have reconnected with. There are old high school friends on there that I haven't seen in years and would never have known how to connect with had I not joined. I recently saw a few photos that I was "tagged" in from my wild college days. You could say my priorities back then were much different as are most folks.

I'm guessing my the twinkle lights and garland that this photos was from a Christmas party at my fraternity house. Yeah I was in a fraternity, it was good times and my buddy with the cowboy hat "Bill" was the one who introduced me to mtn biking.

I was always trying to do something different back then whether it was dye my hair a funny color or wear something outrageous to a party when all the other guys were trying to look cool. I had the idea to go down to the Goodwill and buy $4 three piece suits to wear. The uglier the better, I had several, light blue, corduroy, polyester. Some people thought we were idiots and looked stupid but I enjoyed getting under their skin.

My introduction to NASCAR, I couldn't pass up a free ticket to the big race at Bristol. After my first live race I was hooked. I've been watching ever since.
Enough about the old days I'm looking forward to this year. Melinda and I just realized her Spring Break and my monthly 7 days off are on the same week! We have already started tossing around ideas for places to go. Santos Fla and Dark Mtn have been discussed so far. There is a new race, the 6 Hours of Warriors Creek is that first weekend. The folks down at the BMCC have been hard at work build some new trails and the rumor is they have over 10 miles of new single track. It's amazing what a club can accomplish with a trail machine vs hand tools. With the nice weather we've had in the last couple of days it's hard not to think about summer. I know it's still January but I'm pumped about riding this year.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Celebrity makeover

Yesterday I spoke of a project that I was entertaining. I've seen alot of people run the squish on their SS 29er's and very few seem to complain except for a select hardcore few that have reasons I cannot always comprehend. I guess the main reason I have yet to put any squish on the Karate Monkey is because of the lack of funds. It's hard to justify throwing down $400+ on a fork "just to see if I like it". I also have been telling Melinda I'm going to upgrade her fork for a while so it just didn't seem like a good idea. I've always enjoyed running the KM fully rigid, it's a great bike and it handles great. It does get a bit sketchy coming down a long decent full of roots and rocks but I don't see a whole lot of that here in East TN. I've always told my self I just need to work on my skills a little bit which is true. It's a rigid bike, what else should I expect.
Anyhow with my recent vacation off the KM and the purchase of the Haro/Mamasita I now have a fancy Reba w/lockout to play with. Instead of fine tuning my technical skills on the KM they got worse with my lack of riding it. I've been playing around with the idea of swapping the Reba over to the KM for just an experiment. I have been kinda hesitant on this because in the event that I do like the squish on the KM I don't have the $$ to be throwing down on another fork. With not a whole lot going on yesterday and the possibility of an SS race in a week I decided to give it a go just for a week or so.

Both KM and the Mamasita were muddy so I made quite a mess during the transition. I had a trail of dried mud from the bike room through the kitchen and out the back door. I did manage to clean up the Mamasita some what because it would have been alot worse. It had about 7 extra lbs. of nastiness caked to it's frame and wheels.

The Karate Monkey's rigid fork, looking good.

The Reba awaiting it's new duty.
The Mamasita broken lying in the floor, Moonshine wasn't too happy about it being on her bed either.
After the damage was done I have to say it wasn't bad looking.
I took her out for a spin later that night with a few of the guys. The trails were pretty slick and nasty but the Reba Karate Monkey combo performed better than expected.
My plan yesterday was to go up to Bays mtn and get some fire road miles in and check out the new "C" trail we're building. I can't remember the correct name, it's named after some species of tree abundant to the area that starts with a "C" but I'll get it soon enough. I had a few errands to run that took a little longer than planed before I hit Bays. As I was on my way to the Mtn I realized there were a few things I forgot to do before my ride with the guys tonight. I didn't charge my lights and I need to experiment with my new camera mount. I decided to scratch the Bays ride and head back home to get some stuff done. I was planning to try out the Hero cam with my new handlebar mount and filming at night as well. The dogs haven't been out all day so we all gathered in the yard strapped on the cam and did a few test runs around the yard trying out different mounting locations on the frame of my bike. The dogs had a good time and I came up with some interesting mounting positions.
The ride last night was slow but good, the trail was just too slick to get much speed without piling it up off the trail. I filmed all kinds of good footage but when I got home to review it, I was not surprised to find out that it was too dark to see anything. Night riding with the Hero cam is out. Not all was lost I discovered a mounting flaw that needs to be addressed and we had a good ride.
The Icycle is coming up next weekend and my debut for 2009 is still up in the air but the Karate Monkey is ready for action if it's called to duty at Fontana Village. I just hope I have it in me to push that gear all over the course for back to back laps. It could possibly be the first Hero cam race footage.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2nd post for the day????????

What 2 posts in a day no way! Well I tried to redo the Haw Ridge video. I made it shorter and simpler. It still looked bad, was choppy, and it slowed everything down to look like I'm riding at Grandpa speed. I realize now that it's Windows Movie Maker, it sucks. So for now I'll just submit short single clips uploaded straight from my camera, no fancy editing or music overlay. Just straight, hardcore, raw and uncut footage. This is a section called "Rachael's Landing" It was REALLY nasty during the HOT race. Alot of folks took a swim that day (see here) including my teammate Brad. His blog photo is from right after his night swim. from Greg Carr on Vimeo.


now back to our regular scheduled program

There hasn't been much blogging going on here lately. Melinda's been out of school all week for Martin Luther and snow and we've been spending quality time together and too much money. It's not like I really had much to say lately but I might have more to say over the next couple of days. I might just have a project in the works and a race to attend but it's all up in the air so we'll see. Anyway, when I'm off and at home Melinda says I spend too much time on the computer and I probably do. Blogging about bikes, reading blogs about bikes, editing bike videos that I've made with my new Hero cam, reading about potential races I'd like to attend or surfing my local club forum it does tend to take up some quality time.
Anyway, speaking of videos, if you read this blog or at least halfway pay attention to what goes on here you might have noticed I deleted my Haw Ridge video a few days ago. I spent alot of time editing, trying to make a sweet video and all that clipping, chopping and repasting here and there made what was good footage, bad footage. The end result sucked and slowed down the video to what looked like a series of photos in some sections. I'm not sure what happened but it seems the more I edit the worse the resolution and action gets. So I plan to go back and start from the beginning. I still have the original footage stored away on my hard drive.
There is a ride going on tonight at my local trailhead so I may go out and try out the new handlebar/seatpost mount for the Hero cam on a night ride. I'm not too sure how well it will turn out since it will be a night ride and the footage will be rough being mounted to my bike but I plan to give it a try.
Last weekend I made it out to another workday at Bays mtn to construct a little singletrack and I took the camera along to snap a few pics.

The trail after the tiller has been through and chewed things up.

The trail after we come along with a series of hand tools and sculpt it into sweet singletrack.

Moonshine made her first appearance at a workday.

Alan actually came to a FREE LABOR workday. I didn't actually get a pic of him working but he did, I'm his witness.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

random stuff

I 've got a few bike maintenance jobs that are starting to pile up I finally picked up a couple of sets of brake pads that I've been needing for some time. Those things are hard to come by.
My really old Jandd seatbag that has been a real jewel finally crapped out on me back in Oct. and I just now got around to purchasing a new one. The velcro started losing it's grip and I've had to resort to using duct tape or shoving it in a water bottle cage. On local rides that don't take me too far from the car I usually don't carry a seatbag. I hate the extra weight of random stuff that I "might" need. I've had pretty good luck, knock on wood, with no flat tires. I hate to wear a camelbak or have much more than my keys and phone in my jersey pocket. In fact I hate winter riding with all the bulk of heavier clothing but I freeze if I don't wear it.

I was afraid I wouldn't find another seatbag as small as the Jandd but I was able to get Mark at Larry's to order this sweet little Topeak bag. I carry only the bare minimum, tube, tire levers CO2 and a small multi-tool.

I did get this little jewel in the mail Fri, another mount for the Hero cam. This one will mount to basically any tube up to 1.4" in diameter which will make for some interesting angles on the trail. I'm not sure how it will do on the rough stuff but it's will definitely be cool on the road this summer.

I'm kinda of scared to touch the Mamsita right now, with all the dried mud caked on her frame it could be a real big mess in the house if I'm not careful. Two days of riding in the muck, Buffalo & Haw Ridge has added about 5 lbs.

The temps are supposed to be rising later this week so a few rides may be in store. This single digit stuff is about to drive me crazy. I could never make it up north, I hate riding the trainer.
I did spring for a pair of Pearl Izumi running pants which are pretty sweet but still not warm enough for 11 degrees.
I hope to make it out for another work day at Bays mtn tomorrow. I'm working nights but the workday doesn't start till 1pm so I should be good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Haw Ridge

edit: After watching the Haw Ridge video a few times I've decided I'm not happy with the turnout. I think I did too much editing and it ended up making the video choppy and hard to follow. I plan to go back and do it over again. Sorry folks I'm new to this video business. I hope to get it down before the summer hits.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Grandma's apple butter

Earlier this summer as I was trying to make a comeback from being on the injured list, I entered the annual "Tour De Possum Creek" ride with Melinda and a slew of friends. It's a friendly ride through the scenic town of Yuma that winds through the countryside and farmland. As we we're cruising along Alan mentioned that Angie's Grandmother's house was coming up on the right and they were going to stop in and say hello. No need to wait up he said, they would catch back up. As we passed her house I hollered at Alan in a joking manner "Get me some homemade apple butter". I didn't realize it until it was too late but Angie's Grandmother was standing outside and heard what I said. It just so happens that she makes some fine homemade apple butter and sent Alan and Angie home with a jar just for me. Since then every few months Alan brings me another jar from Angie's Grandma.

It's good stuff, homemade apple butter is hard to beat. Two things we always have in our fridge just in case we have company from up north, homemade apple butter and moonshine. For some reason folks up north love both but it seems they can't find either up there. I guess they're too busy making perogies and drinking fu fu drinks, who knows. It's not that we have alot of company from people up north but we do occasionally have some family in that live in PA & OH. My parents who are southern by birth have lost alot of their southern heritage since they moved to OH. Listening to my Mom talk you would think she was born in OH. I told her she needs to move back south before her southern accent is permanently lost.
Melinda and I have really stepped up our running this year and a few days ago we headed to one of our favorite running spots near the lake to get some mileage in. When we pulled into the parking lot I noticed two trees full of giant black birds. I knew they weren't crows because I've seen them before. Vultures are pretty common in this park but I've never seen this many up close. As I approached them they started to fly away which made for a pretty cool picture. All I had with me was my camera phone so sorry the pics are not better quality. With all the crazy technology they have you think phones would come with a better camera.

Melinda is in Knoxville today taking some classes to keep her certifications current so I plan to head down in a few hours to meet up with her and ride the trails at Haw Ridge. Naturally the Hero cam is going with me as well so stay tuned for some new footage.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

shoot, edit, repeat

Yesterday Alan and I headed up to Buffalo Mtn for a little ride action in the mud and slop. Sloppy it was indeed, the Mamasita is making all kinds of interesting noises and looks like a disaster. I actually took some time to edit the video and lay down some tunes to it as well. Stay tuned as my skillz improve the videos should get better. The only problem was I think all the editing may have dropped the resolution a little. Enjoy and crank up the volume.

Untitled from Greg Carr on Vimeo.

I had a hard time sleeping last night with all the ideas I had running around in my head. Like all the weird places I can strap this little camera, songs I can sync to the video and new stuff to shoot. I just hope I can remember it all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

2009, new challenges, hair styles, and trails

A couple of weeks ago I challenged a few of my fellow riding buddies to a mileage contest. It's very simple, at the end of 2009 look at the odometer on all of your bikes add up the total and the one with the most miles wins a six pack from all the losers. Most accepted, well all except for Alan who likes to protest EVERYTHING good or bad.
I told Melinda about my little challenge and at first she wasn't excited saying I would be too busy trying to win to hang with her. Then she went out and bought me 2 new cycle computers. I assured her that wouldn't be the case, I have a feeling I won't win it's just a good challenge for me to keep in mind when I'm feeling lazy. Now I have computers on all of my bikes except my cruiser which I don't think will push me over the edge anyway. Speaking of my cruiser I think it's deserving of a cool name.
Anybody got any good ideas for a cool name? All bikes deserve a good name. I recently named Melinda's cruiser the "Sugar Mama".
One the fashion front, I have taken Brad Pitt's challenge to the next level. He seems to think he's bringing the moustache back. Here in East Tenn I know guys with moustaches older than me. Anyway I have been playing around with the idea of getting a mohawk to go with my FuManchu. I've gone through phases where I've shaved the sides of my head a little higher and sculpted the rest of my hair into a fauxhawk but this time I decided to go ahead a shave it all the way up to just a stripe down the middle. I was kind of nervous about it but I figured it's something I've wanted to do for a while and it probably won't be too much longer before I don't have enough hair to do so. My hair wasn't really that long to begin with so my hawk is not that impressive especially in the back where it was shorter than on top but I'm letting it play catch up. I'm having a hard time trying to get used to fixing my hair. I'm used to just drying it with a towel and calling it done. Now I have to actually work at making it stand up. Not sure how long I can keep this up.
I totally had plans to shoot new trail riding footage at Warriors on Fri but when I went to strap the cam on my helmet I noticed I forgot the SD card. No big deal the videos would have sucked. It was muddy and Mother Nature has thrown trees down all over the trails. I was constantly having to stop and lift my bike over trees or clear debris off the trail. I plan to get out there this week with the dogs, hike the trails and clear out some of the debris.
Speaking of trail work, the workday at Bays mtn was a success, we had a good crew despite the threat of rain. Our usual workday lasts about 4 hrs but most tire out after 3, myself included. We got in just a little over 2.5 hrs before the rain set in on us. We benched cut a pretty good sized section and things are looking good for having this thing completed before spring. Thanks to all you folks who have worked so hard on this trail, your efforts are really appreciated.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The mustashe is back!

I saw it in a magazine the other day and then in the news today. That's right the moustache is back. I'll be honest I was never a fan of the stache until a couple of years ago. I grew my first stashe back in 06' for a race with the rest of my team and I've had them off and on several times since then. I'm currently growing one now, well actually it grown but I may let it go a little thicker. I personally like the Fu-Manchu for myself. I guess Hollywood has noticed my blog and realized that I brought it back in style.

I heard that Brad Pitt has said he's bringing them back but I say I did it first but I'm not in the news so I guess he'll get the recognition. Quit trying to steal my thunder Brad. Even though these guys may be cooler or better looking than me my stashe is way cooler.

The trend has really caught on, another group of guys are trying to copy me as well. I found a group, Faster Moustache online but when I saw they're pic only 2 guys were sporting a stache and they looked as if they were drawn on with a Sharpie.

Come on guys that's pretty weak.
In other news the sun is out and I'm off work so I guess a ride in the woods in on my agenda. I should get some new footage on the Hero cam so stay tuned to your favorite blog.
Don't forget tomorrow is a work day at Bays Mtn. Check here for updates.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

video hosting testing

Untitled from Greg Carr on Vimeo.

I'm playing around with some different sites to upload my videos to. Uploading my videos to my blog uses up space, takes a bit longer and the resolution isn't great. Right now I'm using Vimeo, we'll see how it works out but for now I hope you enjoy the video. It is a new video but from the same ride last weekend at Bent Creek so nothing too exciting. I'm off for the next 7 days and if the weather plays nice maybe I'll get out and shoot some more new interesting footage. I'm trying to think of a way to put the camera on Moonshine while she's out running the trails with me. The fact that I think the camera can take that kind of abuse shows my confidence in it's quality. I hope I'm not being too confident. Let me know what you think.

edit: I noticed that you can blow the video up full screen if you click on the 4 little arrows at the bottom of the video.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This week of the month is always the toughest for me, as far as my nutrition and exercise goes. I work 12 hour days all this week and there always seems to be good food lying around the breakroom. My job for the most part is fairly quiet and the plants run smoothly 95% of the time. That leaves us with alot of downtime to sit around and be tempted to eat. My boss and his wife have a cake decorating business so we see alot of homemade cakes. Yesterday there was a strawberry cake and today a vanilla almond cake. Yes I sampled both and immediately felt bad about it. I told myself I am going to drop a few pounds by the spring and I'm determined to do so.
Getting off work at 6pm also makes it hard to get any decent amount of exercise in when you go to bed at 9:30 (4:15 comes early). Melinda has also decided she plans to amp up her workouts and has been running with me on her days off and working out on a consistent basis at night. She has turned our living room into a workout center. We currently have both the elliptical trainer and the exercise bike in front of the TV as well as a yoga mats and one of those big bouncy workout balls in the floor. Jackson and Moonshine are having a hard time adjusting to this because they haven't had a place to chew bones with all this exercise going on.
Both our dogs are feeling the cabin fever set in and last night even though it was raining Melinda took them outside in the dark to toss the ball. Two throws and Moonshine called it a night, even she is sick of all the rain we've gotten lately. If this keeps up and the temps drop we may just have some snow on our hands.
This weekend I had planned to get out and do a big ride on Sat and then I realized there is a workday planned at Bays mtn. Our club has been working very hard lately building a new trail there with more opportunity looming in the future. I have missed the last few days due to work conflicts but I've decided to put my own interests aside and go out and do my duty at Bays. The trail from what I've heard is coming along nicely but the volunteers have steadily dropped off. With such a great opportunity in our own backyard I feel we need all the help we can get. If your reading this and you live in the tri-cities come out and lend a helping hand. Mountain bike trails aren't built over night by teams of professionals paid by the government. They are built by volunteers who love to ride just like you and me. While the rest of us are out riding or at home enjoying time with our families they're our sweating and carving a new trail just like the ones we enjoy riding every weekend. So the next time your out riding/hiking on your favorite trail, think about how it got there and who worked hard to see it completed. Nothing is more gratifying than riding a new trail that you have help to build. I'll be out there this Sat burning off all that cake I ate and sticking to my New Years resolution. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Veterinarian Circus

Yesterday I left work a little early to take the big chicken (Jackson) to the vet to have his stitches taken out. The spot we had removed turned out to be benign. A word of advice, never walk in the grass especially after a rain when your at the vet. No matter how hard you try not to, your going to step in poo. I did twice before going in and once after the visit while trying to clean off the first two. When we arrived, the waiting area was packed and the longer we waited the more people filed in. I don't know what it is about our vet's office but it's like going to a small town carnival, the weirdest people come off the mtn and outta the woods to bring in their 15 pets and their all dressed in sweatpants (no matter the weather) but carrying pimped out cell phones that cost more than my first car.
As we waited a rather large family filed out of one of the examination rooms with one very small dog, they looked like a bunch of clowns getting out of a small car at the circus. I'm not sure how they all fit in there. The youngest of the crew a small boy who was very excited to be there and see all the DOGGIES! He yelled with excitement at everyone he saw wanting to pet them all. I don't know why but I'm not a fan of kids I don't know running up to my dogs and grabbing them, especially Moonshine. I just never know what's going to happen. When the kid saw Jackson he really got excited and yelled BLACK DOGGIE! The he started saying "What's he do?" over and over. I didn't answer at first thinking, what's this kid expect a backflip or some other trick? After he repeated the question 4 or 5 times I finally answered him with a "He bites". That got a laugh from all the other people watching the circus. I need to start bringing my camera with me to the vet, it's always entertaining.
This weekend while we were at Bent Creek we were talking to a couple of ladies who were out riding and I couldn't help but notice the fork one of them was sporting.

I've seen these in magazines when they're talking about "the old days" but I've yet to see one in person. I guess that shows I'm not that old. I'm sure Scooby can tell us all about them or laugh at me.
I swapped around the handlebars on my Karate Monkey and the Mamasita. I really like the flat Salsa bar on the Monkey and the Race Face riser seemed to be a better fit on the Mama but I still would rather have another flat bar but this will have to do until I can afford another flat bar. Anyone wanna buy a Race Face Next carbon riser?
I really need to bite the bullet and spring for another seatbag this is getting ridiculous. If I don't have it duct taped under my seat I have it shoved in a bottle cage.
Anthony and Amanda rocking my living room this weekend.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Go Pro Hero does the job

As stated in an earlier post My folks got me a Go Pro Helmet Hero video camera for Christmas. For those of you who not know what this is, it's a water/shock proof video camera that designed to strap to your helmet for shooting cool action sequences. We recently went over to Bent Creek in western NC this weekend and I shot a ton of footage. The trails were slick in spots and some were new to me so I was a bit timid during the ride but it still turned out great for my first run. As I shoot more video and learn how to edit and add music they should get better. It's still a learning experience for me but I was surprised at how easy this camera was to use and how well the footage turned out. Even on rough terrain the footage was surprisingly smooth. This video may not be as cool as some you've seen online but I'm no pro and I'm not on a downhill bike.

Look for more videos coming this week. Its takes a while to upload them to the blog. If your thinking about getting a video cam for action sequences look em up.

Late edit: After watching the video on my blog I noticed that the resolution dropped off after uploading it. It does look alot sharper and nicer at home on my computer and suprisingly better on facebook.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

one more night

One more night of work and I'm off for the weekend. Melinda and I had plans to ride in NC this Sun but today she told me she didn't think it was going to work out. She said she wanted to ride both Sat and Sun, I can't argue with that. Bring on the trails!
Today we took all the Christmas decorations down and I threw the tree in to the woods. Never fear it was real so no harm done. Some little critter with find refuge in it's branches and eventually it will return to the earth. I did find a nice little moldy patch on the hardwood floor underneath the tree stand, not good. Evidently I added a little too much water at some point during the holiday season. I guess I'm off to Lowes for mold remover stuff.
I was cruising through a Men's Health magazine today and I ran across a couple of interesting stats.

By the year 2010 - 71% of Americans will be overweight
2020 - 79%
2030 - 86%
2048 - 100%! Not good

I find the last one a little hard to believe that we will all be overweight but I think it will be very close.
As I read on I saw an interesting study that I do believe. All the hype behind the Wii fitness is turning out to be total crap. For example Wii Tennis burns only 1 calorie per minute more than a regular game. Playing the real deal burns 688 calories. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a video game that simulates a fairly inexpensive game that anyone can play if they really want to. You don't have to be a member of a country club to access a tennis court, those things are everywhere. I can see the fun people have in playing video games but why not do the real thing if you can, save the video games for racing exotic cars across the desert or slaying vampires, you know the stuff most folks can't do everyday. Get out and explore what's in your backyard, save the indoors for when your using a walker to get around.

Happy New Year!