Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 wrap-up

Yeah I know there is still a whole month left in this year but I felt compelled to write a 2010 wrap-up for some odd ball reason and hey it's my blog. There's not much else going on in the way of blogging around here anyway, I must rely on celebrity bloggers these days for more consistant reading entertainment. So with that said here I go, oh and I also will state now that this may or may not be in order that the actual events happened.

Last winter we actually had a cold snowy winter, nothing compared to the peeps up north but for me and my southern roots I saw enough snow last year to last me another 10 years. One particular snowfall took out our entire trail system at Warriors. Luckily we have a dedicated bunch of volunteers in our local mtn bike clubs who for 6 or 7 days straight cut through massive piles of downed trees so that we wouldn't have to wait long before riding again.

Speaking of the mountain bike club, we made some huge strides this past year with a few new events & trail opportunities. The 2nd annual Bike at Bays was again a huge success thanks to all our volunteers, local bike shops and of course Texas Roadhouse.

Melinda and I hit the road with the ECO & dogs alot this year riding at some new places and some old favorites. Our first trip of the year was up to Ohio where we visited Rays Indoor Mtn Bike Park. A must do if your ever up north, yes it is worth the drive. We totally plan to go back again this next year.

Check my video section down on the right for some action footage from Ray's.

Another new destination we hit this year was Raystown Lake in Pee-Yay. The Allegrippis Trail system was a fantastic place to spend 5 glorious days in the heat of the summer. The trails are super fast, rolling and left me grinning ear to ear at the end of everyday.

While in Raystown we hit one of the few resturants in town, they might have some sweet trails but when it comes to food, bring plenty of your own because you can hit all the food joints in one day. It was at the fancier joint, the local all you can eat buffet that I discovered and ate my first purple egg. I've never gotten such a funny look from a waitress until that day when I asked if the chicken that layed that egg was purple too.

Of course what summer would be complete without a trip to Dupont, or at least three. We love Dupont and the Black Forest Campground and it will probably continue to be one of our summer camping/riding destinations.

In a 2 week vacation binge we camped at Dupont for 5 days, drove home, unpacked, I worked one day and then we loaded up the dogs and headed to Savanah GA for my youngest sister, Bug's wedding. Of course we took bikes but this trip it was the cruisers that got called into action. I'm not sure how many miles I put on my cruiser but it was alot, we rode them to more destinations than we drove. Savanah is a town that is much easier accessed via bicycle than car.

This summer was alot of firsts for us and a flat tire on the ECO coming back from a trip @ Raccoon Mtn was when it all went down. Luckily for us it was dark and raining when it happened. There was no good place to change it on the side of the road so we were forced to drive to the nearest exit before we couldreally even get a good look at it. By the time we stopped we were on the rim. Thankfully we only suffered minor damage.

Speaking of firsts, I was able to sneak a ride in at Rocky Fork. Not really the best place to ride when it comes to sweet singletrack but it is truly a back country experience. The ride was full of creek and stream crossings, grueling climbs and spectacular views that make me want to go back soon.

If you do try this ride, take someone who's been there, plenty of water, food a change of socks, oh and a camera.

One of the more anticipated camping trips we attended was the club camping trip to Wilksboro NC, home of the Dark Mtn, OVT and Warrior Creek mtn bike trails.

Unfortunatly Mother Nature snuck up on us and doused us with rain for a majority of the trip but we still had a great time and got in plenty of riding in half way decent conditions. We also found a sweet rope swing into the lake the last day that many in our crew missed out on due to early departures. That trip made me very thankful for the ECO and a dry bed.

Yes Alan did ride his bike in the rain but once it did start raining he put up his bike and went home early.

Where would we be without singletrack trails? I'm scared to think about what kind of shape or mischief I would be into without mountain bikes and singletrack. Thankfully there are small mtn bike clubs like ours, NTMBA that are backed by a much larger organization like IMBA who work together to make sure that the trails we have no continue to exist and see that new one continue to be built.

We had the great opportunity to have the IMBA trail care crew visit us and assist us with a trail project at a local city park who's trail system while fun to ride has struggled for years but the future of this place is looking brighter and one day may become a favorite in the tri-cities.

This year was a bit different for me than in the past, I really didn't focus on racing as much as I would have liked to but racing is not what it's really all about for me. Racing is something I really enjoy but do purely for fun and Melinda and I only go if we're rolling with our whole crew of like minded friends. This spring we skipped the 12 Hours of Tsali in favor of a local small fry race just getting started at Hungry Mother State Park. The race was called the "Night Owl", a short, super fast xc race that was held in the dark. I think we all redlined it right out of the starting gate with a pace that was ridiculously off the hook. I never thought I was going to hold on until the finish but somehow I managed and pulled out my first podium of the year.

I'm glad we picked this one over Tsali, our crew took up half the campground and were probably 50% of the entire field of racers.

Will I visit this one again next year? I hope so.

My one black mark on my racing season was of course the 6 Hours of Warriors Creek, yes I've complained enough about my sorry performance there, but it happens to everyone so I won't waste your time with my whining about it anymore. I'm already registered for the 2011 race which sold out to 300 racers in just under 36 hrs. I will take next year up a notch and redeem myself, me and my two buddies Zyrtek & Singular to help me fight of the dead people and flying pink elephants.

Probably the bright spot on my 2010 racing season was the 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth. This was my 5th year in attendance to this race and while it wasn't our best performance we still managed a podium spot and had an absolute blast doing so.

Sadly we didn't get to take a group photo at the closing ceremony because Anthony had to leave early because his brother Keith hit a tree during the race and had to be taken to the hospital for stitches but he rejoined us by the campfire later for some celebrating, break dancing and adult beverages.

Since I didn't make it out to alot of races this year I focus on doing alot more road trips and just having fun riding which can be cheaper and well, more fun.

For instance take the sunset ride on Holston Mtn that a big group of us did earlier this year.

Normally we ride to the top of mountains and then ride down but this one was a bit different. We drove to the top cruised along the ridge and the dropped in on some short but sweet singletrack that led us to a sweet overlook that had views of South Holston Lake. This ride was really more about the pit stop mid ride to watch the sunset. A friend of ours brought his BOB trailer with a fully stocked cooler that really put the icing on the cake.

Being a fan of tattoos I've gotten a few over the years but it had been at least 2 since my last sitting and I was anxious to get back in and get some new work done. It took me a while to decide what exactly I wanted. I've been working on covering my entire upper arm simular to a t-shirt sleeve and all I lacked was the inside of my bicep.

Since I got this one I've already been thinking about what I'm getting next, I've still not decided on anything but I've got a few ideas.

The Rides

Earlier in the spring I finally sold the Masi CXR bike, I really liked the bike but it was the bike that saw the least amount of action and since my work schedule makes racing CX difficult. I decided to go ahead and let it go to help fund another bike that would be useful to me. For a while I have had my eye on a Niner but I couldn't justify buying one especially since I already had 2 mountain bikes.

With the CXR sold I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a Niner AIR9 and not too long after that I broke the Mamasita. Once I got a hold of the Niner I quickly fell in love with everything about it. It wasn't long before I began jonesing for a full squish Niner. Soon the urge became too strong and with a deal I couldn't pass up I sold the Karate Monkey ordered the JET9 and never looked back.

With all the buying and selling going on I almost started to feel like Alan for a minute but I think I'll hold on to these bikes for a while.

There was one other bike I managed to aquire over the year, "Brownie", my Dad's old Schwinn 5 spd. A very unusual bike for me, one that really could use some attention but still sits as is in my bike room. With the purchase of 2 Niners I put the restoration of Brownie on the back burner until sometime next year. I've got a couple of ideas for Brownie and if I follow through the name Brownie will probably be dropped.

I did enjoy using the CXR for some light commuting so Brownie may be converted into a more speedy looking cruiser/commuter.

Last month my sister Becky had her second child, Josephine. A beautuful little baby girl and we were able to make it in town for her birth.

Sorry for such a sucky post, it took me almost two weeks to write this mostly because I got bored with it. I almost trashed it a couple times but couldn't bring myself to do so since I spent so much time organizing photos and trying to make my year sound interesting.
I'm done with it now because I finally just got some inspiration to write something new.
Thanks Aaron Casey


khswes said...

No dude, that was excellent. Nice year in review!

Riding with dogs said...

ok, well thanks

Johnny T said...

sounds like a good mention of the middle sister though...ah well.