Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Bakery Ride and Sloppy Buffalo Joe

About 20 or so cyclist showed up this morning for the Bakery Ride. I was looking forward to this ride today. The group rides this winter have been absolutely awesome....the best I can remember since I started riding a road bike.

Here we are heading out towards Turkey Creek and Earlies Gap. We had one climb on the ride. We all stayed together in the fog and no one went sprinting for KOM points today.

Along the way there were some roadside inflatable shenanigans going on. Marc is seen here pumping up Victor's tire. This scene must look disturbing to the locals driving by and standing on their porches....grown men in tights playing with each others bicycle equipment. A local was standing on his porch of his trailer offering advice to these two gentlemen on how to inflate the tire.

A coffee stop at Zuma's Coffee in Marshall, NC. Don't like to stand around for too long after riding because you start to get cold. Time to start rolling!

Take a close look at this picture (you can click on it to make it bigger). How many bicyclist can you count both in the store and in the window reflection?

Well, since I had the camera it is usually difficult to get a picture of myself. But today there was no way that I was going to blog without a picture of me....I's gots to satisfy my terrestrial admirers. So here are the instructions in case you can't figure them out yourself: extend arm, pretend to act normal, and snap the picture. It isn't that simple really. I've done this a few times now....and honestly, you have to try several attempts before you get a good shot. I went through 4 or 5 pictures before this one came out (thank God for digital cameras, huh). AND in addition to the complexity of this rather simple procedure, there is something just weird about taking a picture of yourself when nobody is watching that starts to spin your mojo into a fuss. This shot was snapped after the group ride when I ventured off for another hour and 1000-ish feet of climbing.

Here is ride profile downloaded from my cyclocomputer. You can see towards the end of the profile my extra hour and 1000-ish feet of extra climbing (the yellow data peak). Total ride was 4 hours and 65 miles and 4478 feet of climbing. Good for me this time of year. I could probably have used another 1 hour of base riding. But, I got other things to write stupid blogs about my bike rides and after-ride meals.

Minus the red top on my water bottle this came out quite contrasty. I was going to make up a story about a flash of bright light from a meteor impact or maybe a hovering alien space craft (yes, I have extra-terrestrial admirers too) or something else. But actually, I took the picture and used PSP to "enhance" the contrast to make the shot look more interesting so that I can increase my blog ratings and viewership in an effort to increase sponsorship so that I can take more pictures and post more blogs in the future. So, this picture is admittedly doped up man....but I assure you, in an effort to keep my PSP/anti-PSP ratios down, that the other picts only have flash or no flash applied to them, which is within the limit and entirely legal in the world of blogging.

BONUS BLOG: Here is the after-ride meal. Usually during the last couple hours of my rides I start thinking about what I can eat when I get home. After a stop at my friends coffee shop, I came home and threw together ground buffalo, diced fresh mushrooms, and 3-grain tempe.

Then I popped open a can of DelMonte Sloppy Joe and added it to the meaty mix.

Hey, I'm not a vegetarian, but my meat has heart! Can you see the heart? This is a result of glycogen deficiency in the blood stream from long rides where you only have one clif bar. Light headedness causes me to do things like this. No actually, this is a special heart-felt sentiment meant for someone off on a distant island in the middle of the Pacific. :-)

BONUS BLOG BONUS QUESTION: Okay, guess what I do with the gatorade that I did not drink during my ride......I pour it into a glass and drink it with my special sloppy buffalo joe sandwich......notice the bed of spinach underneath. This was yummy. I'm trying to meet my red meat quota for the year. Buffalo is the way to go.....very tasty, better for you and a nice link in the circle of life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mud Snow and Mtn bikes

So here is the little perfect egg and sesame bagel pre-ride breakfast sandwich....with melted Parmesan cheese inside the egg. yummy!

My camera wanted to take a picture of itself....and I guess I had to be in it also.

A mountain biking we go at Dupont State Forest near Etowah, NC. I hadn't been to Dupont in years and could not pass up this opportunities with the Wednesday un-usual suspects ride. We got muddy and there was snow on the ground. About 1/2 way through the 3 hour ride I was experiencing chain-suck and could not use my small chainring. By the end of the ride I had so much mud and crud in my gears and I was down to a 2-speed....rear derailleur was locked up and I only had the granny gear cog in the back and my big and middle chain rings up front. It was nice to get back to the car.

Rockin down the forest roads together in Dupont. There were about 10 of us riding. We rode forest roads, single track, slick rock and paved roads. I'm not sure how far we rode but we were out for about 3 hours.

I was covered with mud after the ride. I was wet on the outside but pretty dry on the inside. It was a great ride.

Velosports Performance Center

More to come later.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Day to Ride the Mountain Bike

It has been since December 2004 that I last rode a mountain bike. I've received several invites to ride lately, so I figured that I was meant to ride when I got another invite today.....especially since I didn't know exactly what I was going to do today when I woke up. The weather was windy and a road ride was out of the question.
This (the bike) is where it all started for me, the mountain bike. I used to visit Pisgah regularly to ride and camp. See the mud on my mountain bike. It is from December 2004. Still caked on there. The shifting is still quick after 3 years of hanging on the bike rack. Everything worked well.

There were four of us on today's ride in Pisgah. Dan, Laura, me and Ehrin are pictured here. Zona, the dog, is not pictured. She was great trooper and ran with us the entire way, even on the fast descents. It got a little cold on a forest road descent, but we quickly warmed up on the climbs. The single track downhills were a little tricky for me since I had not been riding for a while. I forgot how much I loved mountain biking. Can't wait to do it again.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Attack of MRGAC

We (NC Center for Geographic Information & Analysis) hosted the MRGAC (Mountain Regional GIS AllianCe) meeting today. I was on the agenda to give a presentation on a project I did titled Upper French Broad Landcover Project.....or something like that. This was the first time in a while that I got to get up in front of a group and give a talk. It went well and I had a great time with everyone.

As you can see I'm enjoying myself. I have a good time giving presentations when I can make the audience laugh a few times. I won't bore you with the technical details of the presentation, but it dealt with using moderate resolution satellite imagery, in addition to other geospatial data, to generate landcover data for a Streams Statistics model created by the United States Geologic Survey and NC Department of Transportation. You can learn more about the technology at my inactive geospatial imaging blog.

Right now at work I am working on another landcover project using Landsat imagery to generate landcover data for the High Rock Lake area in NC. This project is testing some new technologies to generate landcover data.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Early Santa Visit

My Santa visit happened a little early this year. Bianchi track bike, Ibanez acoustic guitar and Crate acoustic amp.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Road Trip Part II: 16 hours and 1016 miles

I figured that driving on the Sunday after Thanksgiving would be incredibly difficult and congested. But, the drive was better than the road trip on the previous Tuesday. We left Asheville at 6:30 AM and made it to Ohio by 2 PM. That left me plenty of time to return home.

The night before our road trip we went to the Mellow Mushroom and Em took some picts. I broke out the leather jacket for the cold weather. Mellow Mushroom has become a tradition for us to visit and eat their pretzel bread sticks and pizza.

Yes. We laugh and goof around as much as possible.....but, it is never enough.

Dusk and the early-morning moon near the Smoky Mountain National Park along the I-40 corridor in the gorge.

It takes great concentration to repeat this 1000 mile road trip. I'm just goofing around here, but by the time we get to Kentucky you try to come up with ways to make the trip exciting as possible.

Road Trip 2007 November 25th

Cranking up the tunes late at night on the return home. Have to stay awake!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Here is the perfect movie to watch with your 11 year-old child. The movie HairSpray pokes fun at and breaks down the cultural/societal barriers of the 1960's. You can dance and sing along. I can't count the number of times we have watched this movie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Road Trip Part I: 17 hours: 20 minutes: 1045 miles

Road trip to Ohio and back to Asheville in one day. The drive up north was fine. The return trip was an hour longer than expected. The interstate became a parking lot in Cincinnati. I get to do this again on Sunday....when most people will be returning home after their Thanksgiving holiday.

An early morning departure on I-40 west from the mountains of Western North Carolina. The color of the leaves have about disappeared. Here we are just on the eastern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Cincinnati, Ohio skyline is actually pretty cool. But, the traffic can really suck! This is about the only place on this trip where I get caught up in bumper to bumper traffic.

Northwestern Ohio. Flat. Cornfields. Overcast.

Squiggly lights from traffic on the return at night on I-40. Man.....this trip was getting very long at this point. Tired eyes. We got home around midnight. We were so tired we couldn't fall asleep.....finally fell asleep around 2 AM.

He we are, Dad and Daughter, going to dinner the day after the road trip. We took care of some shopping and just hung out together. It was a great first day. Here comes the turkey!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Climate Alive

Do you remember my post about the Vis Wall? Well, the side of my face made in this movie clip called Climate Alive by AmericanGreen.TV. Check out minute marker 3:26. I'm standing there watching my buddy, and colleague, Greg in front of the Vis Wall.

Earlier in the year, I had spent some time working with Greg to help him create some of the geospatial data that goes into these visualizations. This was a fun day as we have to pretend we were asking interesting questions and stuff.

Here is the link to the movie:

Hmmmm? How do I embed this movie?

3D Visualization is my baby and I hope to get more involved with the local scene at some point. You can' t beat a professional background that includes earth science, geospatial information systems, and 3D Visualization with experience as a musician, artist and web developer. The opportunity is here in Asheville unfolding before my eyes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I am grateful to not be raking leaves.

I woke up this Sunday morning grateful that my faith seemingly survived the Todd Snider show the night before. Today's activities were going to be at my leisure and accountable to no schedule. I tidied up my little home for my daughter's arrival on Tuesday. We are going to be together this Thanksgiving. Going over to a friends house to have Turkey and the rest.

Shortly after the noon hour, I went over to a little bicycle gear sale and purchased some pedals, base layer, knee warmers, and long-fingered gloves. I had been so restless throughout the day working inside that I once I returned home, I decided that I must go on a little ride. I put on the new pedals and was off.

I rode by a house that I was looking at a few years ago when it was for sale. There was a man in the front yard blowing leaves with his leaf blower. I was thinking to myself that could be me, but instead I am on my bike on what was becoming a somewhat soul-searching solo ride up the Blue Ridge Parkway on my very familiar first leg of my favorite training route. I was pedaling up the climb and thinking to myself what I was going to post on my (this) blog next. And then, I started to think about what I was going to eat and my mind was wandering off into the orange, red, and brown colors of the fallen leaves and long views through the woods. There were several cyclist out there on the road and it was just nice to be out there by my lonesome riding and enjoying the late fall colors and fresh mountain air. It seemed that I had not done this in a while and I thought back as to why(?). Well, I didn't come up with an answer but I know I really enjoyed just being out there.

My ride was short. But, when I came back past that house with the guy and the leaves, he was STILL there raking leaves. Man oh man.....I'm glad that I did not buy that home, I'd probably be raking leaves and would have not got out on this mini soul-searching bicycle ride, but I wouldn't have ever known or realized it unless I was exactly where I was at the time, right now. There, riding by, grateful that I wasn't raking leaves.

"Life's Too Short" & "Todd Snider Rules"

Now, life isn't easy getting through. Everybody is going to make things tough on you. But, I can tell you right now that if you dig what you do, they'll never get you down. Because, life is to short to worry and life is too long to wait. It is too short not to love every body and life is too long to hate. I mean, a lot of men haggle, finagle all the time, trying to save a nickel to make a dime. But no, not, I ain't got the time. Some lyrics by Todd Snider.

So, I went to see Todd Snider at the Grey Eagle tonight . If you haven't seen him, he is funny and a good singer and a great story teller. I highly recommend going to see him. Too bad I did not take my camera with me tonight. But here is a video of Todd Snider "The Ballad Of The Kingsmen".

Here is the link to the clip.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Sushi-side of Raleighwood

Business trips to Raleigh, NC are not something that I get thoroughly excited about. But, I do get a chance to clear out my mind. The routine on the last several solo trips has included a visit to the Fresh Market for sushi, bagels, and bottled water.

Here is dinner in the hotel while sitting on the bed watching TV. TV? What is that? Something I don't hardly get a chance to do. So, I caught two episodes of South Park and slept a lot. Back to back 11 hour days, tired on Friday. So, excited to be home!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I am on-season for the off-season winter group rides

I have been looking forward to the winter group rides this year. Nice low-key winter pace conversational social rides are just a lot of fun. It is a great time to reconnect with everyone and learn who is racing for which team next year. The kits are a changing.

The local talent attend the Saturday Bakery Ride. If you know a few things about bicycle racing, you may recognize one of the nations top cyclist in this picture, who races for the US National team. In addition, a 2008 domestic pro team Director was on board for this ride.

How about a shot over the shoulder with the double paceline in tow. It is the Saturday ride on on the road somewheres....who knows where....does it really matter? Everybody is in a good mood, especially the guy with the healing broken collar bone.

Sunday ride climbing up Early's Gap. It doesn't matter what season it is, the pace picks up on the climbs. I only sat back here for a few attempts to capture a few pictures of the group. Then I was off chasing zone 4 up the climb. I soon thereafter had that metallic taste in my mouth.

Steve drove out to this site in the early AM before the ride to stash a cooler of goodies to celebrate Nicole's Birthday. What a nice guy! Chocolate Chip cookies and Fig Newtons for everyone.

Nothing warms my heart like my daughter and her art

I just had to get this piece framed. She did this over the summer when she was here. I miss her and will be eating Turkey with her soon!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Angus and the Triplets

My old college friend, Loren, and his wife Lesa have been capturing their wonderful life experience with Angus and the Triplets. I haven't really kept up with them other than checking out the website and receiving an occasional email from Lesa. But, when I do check in on them, it is a lot of fun to watch. It makes you reconsider the important things in life. After watching this clip, check out the other clips on YouTube, especially the Nuttin for Christmas and the Visit to the Zoo. They are truly hilarious! Way to go Loren and Lesa. I do need to visit one day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Big Dig

There is nothing like the destruction and dismantling of nice pristine forest land. All you gotta do is just bring in a backhoe and it is amazing what can be accomplished in one weekend. Andy's brothers and I started the Big Dig last weekend in the remote mountain setting at 4400 feet above see level.

We dug the trenches for the footers in the first steps to getting the cabin up. Luckily no one was killed or hurt, but we did have a few close calls. We all came out alive and unscathed except for the hatchback in one of our vehicles that was mistakenly backed into a tree.

We'll take the winter off and resume next spring with the project. Next is pouring the concrete and laying the brick foundation. How to get all the materials into this remote land?

A couple hunting dogs, chasing bear and boar, visited our camp on Saturday AM. They were hungry and we had a bag of powdered donuts that none of us were going to eat. So, why waste them. The male dog about ate the entire bag. Nice dogs. They didn't want to leave until the neighbors showed up and put them in the back of their truck.

Ahhhhhh, yes. There is nothing like a long view with a backhoe in the scene. But just wait until the cabin is up. We'll be sipping hot coffee off the back deck this time next year. That is the plan anyway.
And if you keep your eyes open, you'll be surprised at what you may find. I found this nice flint arrow head just after I found another one of quartz that had its tip missing. So, to date we've found 3 in the same place. After some initial research of Bill Oliver's web site and some people who say they know some things about arrowheads, it is believe that this is from the archaic period of human history 6000 to 7000 years ago. I figured at first is was maybe 1000 years old at most.

So, the funny thing about this weekend was that most of us were wearing sweaters to do the big dig. When the locals show up to check in on us, they must think "those city boys" all dapper are going to dig a big hole in the ground. I think we all had steel toe boots on though. I have those from my off-shore seismic days. Hey....looky here, a picture of me! Valdi snapped this shot.