Friday, July 30, 2010


Well I didn't get my pics uploaded BUT I did get the video done! It's definetly one of my longer videos but not really the best I've every made. The trails were like riding a roller coaster all day but they were just about all the same which didn't really make for a super exciting video. You see some of the feel you get does not translate over to film very well but I'm sure in another couple of years that won't be the case. I tried my best to keep things interesting by changing up camera angles and throwing in different stuff other than just footage of the trail as I fly down it. If your half way trough and getting bored hang tight as there is a little interesting surprise thrown in close to the end, something I've never done before and there are no bikes involved. So go ahead and check it out and see what you think.

Enjoy! from Greg Carr on Vimeo.

Now that you've seen it first hand here's the low down on the trip.

We hit the road early Wed. morning and in true Mother-In-Law style mine brought everything and the kitchen sink, I didn't actually see the kitchen sink but I swear it was in there with as much stuff as she loaded into the camper. I had to add more air to the ECO's tires once she was loaded down and I won't even get into how sorry the gas milage was. Who buys 7 bags of chips for a 5 day trip? Once we got there she bought another full size cooler to add to the pile.

Our destination, Raystown Lake and the Allegrippis trail system built by IMBA and the Army Corps of Engineers. From what I can tell the entire trail system was machine built which meant it was wide fast and made to feel like a roller coaster. The weeks leading up to our trip I read something describing the trails as "buttery smooth". While they were pretty smooth I don't think buttery is the correct word, maybe compared to the rest of the Pee-Yay trails. The soil has alot of small flat rocks mixed in, some loose some dug in. I've ridden alot smoother but I've also ridden alot rougher. Don't get me wrong the trails were not boring especially with 30+ miles of fast flowing singletrack. I think if I lived there I might get bored after exhuasting every loop, combination and route of travel but for a long weekend it was definetly worth the trip. The only problem I could find with the trails was they all seemed to mirror each other. No real long climbs, TTF's, creek crossings, or spectacular views, just mile after mile of roller coaster style dips that if they weren't loose and situated on curves in the hillside would be a never ending air session. The high rate of speed and endless possibility for air could easily see anyone taking a ride in an ambulance. I was forwarned ahead of time so I kept my tires on the ground for the most part.

Since my new frame was delayed yet again I took the Karate Monkey on this trip and she performed flawlessly and only made my legs feel shakey on the longest day but that was a good thing.

I spent most of my free time working on the video so I still have not uploaded any pics but hopefully I'll get around to that tomorrow.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

am I still alive?

Wow I need a break, it's been go go go all summer. We've done a ton of traveling and ridden something at every destination. I think all the riding and physical exertion coupled with extremely hot weather finally got to me yesterday.
I got a text message from AKS that there was a good sized crew heading over to Warriors for a bit of riding. My original plan was to head over to the weekly short track showdown @ ETSU. I've yet to race short track this summer and yesterday I stayed consistant and picked a ride in the woods over a race in the hay field.
I showed @ Warriors Path trailhead thinking it was going to be an easy ride with The Local Cult Hero and AKS but instead I ended up trying to keep up with a few rather faster than me riders. I was already sore from a previous P90X workout but I couldn't turn down a chance to ride with a big group. Most of my rides tend to be solo so I usually jump at any chance I get to ride with others. I need the interaction with other riders, not just because sometimes I start talking to trees or try to start up conversations with the deer who don't immediately run off when I come through, but to push me harder.
The ride started out a bit on the rough side with a flat and a spectacular wreck within the first 1.5 miles. I had a feeling I wasn't going to make it home as early as Melinda wanted me to.
As riders started dropping like flies, taking short cuts or just heading to the house all together I found myself pacing folks I had no business pacing. Needless to say by the time I got back to my truck I was so spent I didn't even have the energy to put the Karate Monkey on the roof rack so in the truck bed she went and she wasn't happy about it either. I've yet to take the trailer hitch off and put my hitch rack back on.
Later that night my semi sore legs were now really sore legs, arms and core. Before the night was over I had a temperature of 100. I'm not sure what caused that but after some thought I think I had just really run myself ragged. We spent 6 days camping and riding in PA @ Raystown Lake. I racked up alot of miles on the Monkey lately and upon returning home I really didn't allow myself to rest. Now I'm paying for that.
Yes I will be sharing my experiences from Pee-Ya soon, I've got to upload my pics and work on my trail footage.
I know my blog has been suffering lately but hey I need good experiences in order to share good stories. The Local Cult Hero actually had the nerve to tell me that I've been slacking lately on the blogger front. Hey man, I write more in a week than you do in a year and at least I use somewhat complete sentences not something like this mumbo jumbo

Rode new trails in PA
Dogs were there
Gave my brother in law a singletrack beat down
Melinda rode too
Camping is fun
Greg rides a singlespeed
Ride one too

No pics, no videos, just random sentences that really only make sense to the fools that were there with him. Visit his blog for the monthly post you'll see what I'm talking about. But hey, he is the Local Cult Hero and he's always danced to a different tune and while sometimes his clothes and dance leave you wondering if it's safe to stand near him he can always make you laugh and stick around to see whats coming up next.

Monday, July 19, 2010

cruising savannah

I don't know what it is with this year but there is definitely something in the air and it's killing me. My allergies have been on full attack off and on for the past couple of weeks and some days it really keeps me from accomplishing much. All day Saturday I felt terrible and was unsure whether I wanted to run the Crazy 8's 8k or not. I was already paid up but as bad as I felt I went ahead and just pulled the plug and stayed home.

I have been meaning to post up a few pics from our trip to Savannah for over a week but I keep putting them off so I guess I'll throw a few up today.

The trip down was a pretty special occasion, my little sister Katie, Bug as we call her was getting married. My folks rented a ridiculously huge house and for the first time ever they rented a dog friendly house so Moonshine & Jackson enjoyed they're first full fledged Carr family vacation. I think by the end of the week they were more than ready to get home.

Bug being escorted down the isle by Pops. I was up front standing in as one of Ben's groomsman so I didn't get many pics from the wedding.

Bug and I in the van on the way to the wedding.

Melinda and I in the park where the wedding was held.

Mom and Pops breakin it down on the dance floor at the reception. The reception was held at some foo foo organic restaurant which had some really weird food some of which was good and some of which was well, weird.

Of course it wouldn't have been a proper vacation without taking our bikes but this trip we left the mountain bikes at home and opted for the cruisers instead. We don't really get to ride our cruisers as much as I would like to but we really put the miles on them that week. Our rental house was situated in the downtown historic district which is really much easier to get around via bike rather than walk or drive. There are a ton of one way streets and very little parking so we rode to almost every destination and left the truck parked at the house.

Savannah is mostly flat and the hipster fixie scene is really huge there. Everywhere we went we saw a lot of cool tattoos and cool bikes, two of my favorite things. While we were there were there we visited almost every bike shop we came across and the majority of them stocked road, urban, cruiser and the occasional mountain bike, very different from the bike shop scene here in East TN. I really dig the environment of Savannah, a fixie would definitely be a must if I lived there but I don't think I would trade it for the mountains. Even though this is not a commuter friendly town I love being just 5 - 10 minutes from two different trail systems and a state park.

The only problem we encountered while in Savannah was my springer fork. Somehow on the drive down the main bolt that holds everything together on my fork came loose and fell out. The rubber bushing and a couple of spacers went with it as well but luckily everything else stayed in place until I took the bike off the rack. Right off the bat I began calling around trying to find parts for my fork but parts for springer forks aren't something any of the bike shops stocked. After a bit of research and three trips to Lowes & Home Depot in search of parts I finally came up with a solution. I was able to make everything work but I could find a substitute bushing until Melinda had the bright idea of using a door stop which worked perfectly once I drilled a hole through the center of it. I have to hand it to her she really came through with that one. The door stop work flawlessly and was almost a perfect match with the exception of the color.

Today is the Bay's Mountain race and right now I'm still not 100% on whether I'll race or not. In order to make the race I'll have to burn at least 2 hours of vacation and the rain that is currently dumping on us will have to stop soon. I did pick up the loaner bike this weekend and a few hot laps around the yard this weekend is all I've gotten on it to get it dialed in for my likings. Hopefully this rain will let up soon and my allergies will stay at bay and allow me to race but I'll be playing that by ear as the day wears on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

porta john vision

After a brief conversation today with the fellers at the LBS it's official my new ride will not be here by next Monday for the Bays Mtn. race. Instead of spinning wildly down the gravel roads while watching half the field pass me I have decided to go ahead and take the loaner and race it. I hope to get out on it this weekend so that I don't feel like a fish out of water riding the tiny wheels with full squish. It's been a while since I rode a 26" wheeled bike but I don't see it being a hindrance.
Hopefully my entering the Crazy 8's 8k run Sat night won't hurt me but I have a feeling my legs will be toast afterward. I've not been running like I should have but that's nothing new and I know with the party like atmosphere and huge crowd I'll end up pushing myself past my limit. I'll be prepared though, hitting the recovery drink as soon as I'm done with the run.
I did manage to get the video footage edited and uploaded from our trip to Dupont. I know I've already got some footage from Dupont but I filmed a couple different trails with my new chest harness and the footage turned out great. Unfortunately somewhere along the editing process the music got screwed up and two songs ended up over lapping each other at one point but once I realized it, it was too late and I am not about to go back and redo it.

I hope you enjoy

Dupont Summer trip 2010 from Greg Carr on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

what do I do now?

So I've got something on my mind and rather than write about and show pretty pictures from trip to Savannah I decided to just go ahead and discuss my predicament and save the trip details for later. Katie won't mind she's still out in South Africa trying desperately to find a lion to look at.

So anyway if you follow my blog you know that I cracked the old Mamasita broke it down got a new one and put it up for sale. Now before you jump to conclusions I'm not selling the new Mama because I have lost faith in Salsa's ability to build quality frames, no I have had a new frame on order from a different manufacturer before I cracked the old Mama (same material) but lighter, faster and just plain cooler. I refuse to reveal the bike on order until I have it on my hands, yeah I'm afraid I might jinx it.

With the Bays Mountain race coming up this year and the addition of some actual singletrack to the course, FINALLY, I was hoping to do really well and maybe show the roadies who come out how a mountain bike race is really run. With the Karate Monkey being the only mtn bike in my stable right now that may not be the case for me this coming Monday now. Normally if the race were 100% singletrack say at a place like Warrior's Path I wouldn't worry a bit. The Monkey would be unstoppable, the only folks I would worry about would be the truly good mountain bikers not a bunch of roadies on gravel roads. While the Bays Mtn course does have some singletrack thrown in to keep me semi satisfied there are a few sections that are not singlespeed friendly at all. There are a couple of hills in particular that are long, tough and will probably have me off the bike doing a hike a bike. Not really a huge deal because I can almost walk as fast as some folks in their granny gear. What sucks is, I roll a 1x9 on my geared bike and I worked my way up to climbing those hills in the middle ring which would have made me faster up those hills. I can deal with this and probably make that time back up without too much of a loss but there is one stretch of gravel that will cause me great difficulty and that would be the long stretch of semi flat gravel road that takes us to the finish line. I will loose a ton of time there spinning wildly as everyone flies past me in their big chain ring. Even in a full roadie tuck I'll loose serious time and mutiple spots to anyone remotely close to me. The road is long enough that I will stand no chance of catching anyone before the end of the race. Singlespeed class? Hahahaha I wish, the organizers probably still think singlespeeds are a fad if they even know what a singlespeed is.
Earlier this month I had pondered on not registering for the Crazy 8's 8k run that is held 2 days prior in an effort to save my legs for the Bays race. Now that I'm lacking a bike with gears I might as well go ahead and waste some energy on the 8k run since I'll probably just get my a$$ stomped all over Bays Mountain on Monday afternoon.
There is one other option that I am entertaining, a certian 26" wheeled full suspension bike was offered to me as a loaner a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure if it's still available and I'm not sure if I want to take them up on the offer if it is. I haven't ridden something with such small wheels in a long time it will probably feel so awkward I'd be better off racing the Monkey. I've got a week to make my decision so be prepared to hear about it all week unless I think of something else to talk about.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Captain H. Gregory Dingo III

Our rides at Dupont weren't what I would call rides of epic proportions but they were a ton of fun. If I recall correctly none of our rides amounted to over 15 miles. Like I said before we did get run off the trail everyday by some nasty T-storms that hit every afternoon by 3:30 or 4. I won't say the trip was a bust or a waste of time. Most of our rides included a large group of riders, all my friends and they're significant others. We did alot of photo taking, creek crossing, blueberry eating and alot of good ole fashion nature enjoying. Not one day did I wake up sore or finish the ride with a recovery drink but I did finish every ride with a smile and that's what matters after all.

B-Rad was flexing his mad trials skills at every turn as we crossed Cedar Rock but this rock in particular got the best of him and I just happened to snap the pic right after he fell. I wished I had gotten him in free fall.

I've crossed Cedar rock many times in the past, stopped and taken many pictures and I've done it during all the seasons but that weekend I noticed something I've never noticed in all my trips up there, blueberries. I stopped once I reached the top to wait for the rest of the group and I found a small tree to sit under because it was so dang hot and I realized the amount of blueberries on the bush surrounding the tree was amazing. As I sat and ate more than my fair share I realized there were blueberry everywhere. I walked around in amazement picking the fattest and juiciest berries I could find and it wasn't until I remembered the sweet little berry's true potential and my distance from the nearest bathroom that I decided to stop before I made my self sick. Now I wished I had filled up a couple of water bottles with them and made a blueberry pie.
Earlier this morning I was catching up on my local blogger favs here in the Tri and I ran across a buddy that seemed a bit miffed at me for a statement I made in an earlier blog post about some of the other blogs in my sidebar. He seemed to think that I am of the opinion that my blog is the only blog around these here parts that has any entertainment value. He did refer to this certain person as Captain H. Gregory Dingo III so I could be mistaken as to who he is referring to which would make me full of myself even more. I have been referred to Captain Dingo by Scooby but I'm not sure where the "H." or the III come from. Gregory is my full first name but I never use it and only my mother calls me by it when she's angry with me. I guess the "H." could stand for a number of things like hellion, (been called that before) or hillbilly, (been called that too) or maybe hound. The "III" I'm not sure of maybe there are three of us and I'm just unaware of the other two. Maybe he's just referring to another blogger and I'm just digging myself into a bigger hole every minute. No matter what the case may be I did not mean to ensue that my blog is superior to any other blogs around here by any means. I simply meant that not many in my sidebar are writing anything at all and I like to read just the same as everyone else. AC, I apologize if I offended you, your writing is muy bueno.

Captain H. Gregory Dingo III???

Is anybody out there?

Wow! What a busy couple of weeks it's been. I apologize for the lack of blogging but I've only been home a couple of days in the past couple of weeks. I'm not really sure where to begin. I've got a ton of pics to upload, sort through and share online. I've also got a ton of new Hero cam footage from our trip to Dupont some which was filmed with my new Chest harness. I did get a chance to take a look at some of it and it looks good but finding the time to edit it all and put a video together before we take off on another trip will be a feat in itself.

Two weekends ago we hooked up the ECO for a long weekend trip with friends to Dupont. We make this trip every year just before July 4th and camp at the Black Forest Campground just up the road from the trail head. If you go and decide to camp that place is a must stay with a pool to chill at after the ride.

It was a great trip with great friends and the trails were it good shape as usual. Unfortunately we had T-storms hit every afternoon that ran us off the trail and under the EZ-UP early every afternoon cutting all of our rides short.

I was hoping to get more photos posted up today but I seemed to have missed a couple, I used more than 1 SD card the past 2 weeks so I'll get those uploaded tomorrow.

Until then here is a little something to keep you entertained.

How to open a beer using your back wheel from FBM_Fixed on Vimeo.