Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Vis Wall

I had the opportunity to visit with NEMAC on Friday at their Visualization Wall at the Enka AB Tech campus. The wall is about 8 feet tall and 20 feet wide. I have been doing some work with Greg using ERDAS IMAGINE VirtualGIS (the screen capture of the Washington Mall at this link is one that I created when I worked for Leica-ERDAS...they're still using my work in the marketing materials) and learning new 3D Visualization tools. Since my time here in Asheville I have been out of the 3D Visualization loop. But, there are some very cool activities going on here that I hope I can be a part of.

Here is a 3D visualization of the Swannanoa River flooding Biltmore Village area in Asheville, NC. This actually happened in 2004 with Hurricanes Frances and Ivan. For scale, a human standing would be fully included in this picture.

We were fortunate that the live weather RADAR link was showing a tropical depression Homberto coming on shore. Great timing! We got to participate in the upcoming 10 promotional video Climate Alive that will cover Asheville, NC as the climate hub of the country.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Finally some racing results

So, Wednesday night was the final Rumble on the River points race for the season. The race is on a converted 1/3 mile race track here in Asheville. I've been racing this race since May and doing all I could do stay with the B race to not get dropped. Last year I was having a lot of success at this race. This year has been a different story. For the first time, I raced the black and white Orbea Orca. I had been racing my Orbea XL8R up until now. There is usually a crash in just about every race I am in, and I was not ready to race the Orca just yet. But, this night I decided to race it. Immediately I felt a difference. There was less effort to stay with the group and I spent more time towards the front of the pack. There were a few close calls, but I stayed safe. The B race is about 30 laps and every 5th lap is a bell lap where you sprint for points. We had about 20 to 30 racers.

I sat in the group for most of the race and by lap 20 I felt I could do something. What I tried early this season was just to stay with the group and contest the last sprint. The last sprint was worth double points. I sat in and with 3 laps to go I shot hard off the front and got a huge gap on the field. I kept looking back but could not see anyone. Slowly they brought me back, but I held them off barely to get the final sprint. I just about got nipped at the line. But, I did it. I put in a hard effort and held onto it. My legs were dead. But, it was rewarding to get some results finally after an unplanned year. So, I came in 2nd overall and 7th for the season omnium for the B race. Not so bad for where I was earlier in the year.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Spottin Johnny: Do Turkey's Need Night Time Flashers & WHAT HECK IS IN YOUR NECK!?!

It has been kind of hard to keep up with bloggnig my day to day activities, I've been taking pictures, going on bike rides, going to work, and planning out some possible new life adventures. But, for now until there is any news to report, I'll leave you with a compilation of stuff.
There are turkeys in them there hills of western North Carolina....and a lot of them. Some days you'll be coming around a corner on your bike the the roadways will be filled with them....they stroll across the road into the wooded brush hunting and pecking at the ground. They don't act to afraid in close proximity to humans. Gobble Bobble!

I'm telling ya, Johnny on the Spot is a regular stopping point on my rides.

The night comes sooner each evening. I got caught out in the dark. I had the bar-end flashers going. These are cool nifty items for when the sunsets earlier than your ride finishes.

WHAT THE HECK IS IN MY NECK!?!!?! Well, if you can make out the picture you can see some points of reference. This X-ray was taken from my left side with my head tilted back. At the bottom of the pict is the top of my shoulders. The top of the pict truncates most of my skull. As you recall in March I had cervical disc surgery. They took a bone graft from my left hip and pulled out the slipped disc, then formed the bone so that it could fit where the disc was. Then, they bolted on a titanium plate to keep it all together. Notice other discs in the X-ray, they are black, you can't really see them. Where you see the side view of the Titanium plate with the screws, well there used to be a black disc in there. But, now the bone that replaced the slipped disc is just about totally fused with my two vertebrae above and below. Once fused, it will be solid white bone. The cringing thing for me is that the titanium and the screws will remain in there in my neck. Up until now, they are there to mainly stabilize my neck and head until the bone fuses. Amazingly, I have healed well and my doctor says that things look great. I'm not feeling too much restriction or limited range of motion. But, to think that I have a titanium plate in my neck is just bizarre. How did I let this happed. I've been working with my physical therapist to build my flexibility and strength in my mid-lower back so that THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN AGAIN. It could, and I know some people who has had this happen twice.

Well, this picture does not do this view justice. Finally got a clear day without haze and the picture did not turn out as well as the vista was at the time I took the picture. But, you can maybe sense that I am about 500 feet above the city of Asheville riding my bike up near Town Mountain Road. I have a route that I do repeatedly. Doing it over and over and over and over allows me to track my progress. I'm climbing faster and managing my intensity better, breathing deeper. Hopefully I will have been working for something once I think I'm at a point where I can use my fitness to race. About the only thing that is left is the Greenville Cycling Classic in October and a ton of cyclocross events in October through February.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Yesterday I called my Dad to wish him a Happy Birthday. He said, "you're a day early". I called a day early. Oh well. Happy Birthday Dad.

With the InTouch sermon "Landmine of Fear" on in the background, this morning I am drinking Rift Valley Blend coffee and taking advantage of my morning motivation to clean up a bit. My kitchen table has been a disaster for the last several months. So, it can be quite overwhelming, taking an entire day, to clean it up. There are not enough days in the weekend to keep up with the amount of mail, papers, articles, magazines, periodicals, etc. that my home ingests from the rest of the world.

I'm bailing on a bike race today, a criterium in Knoxville, TN. Last weekend I bailed on the Carolina Cup weekend in Greensboro, NC since I had not been finishing any races in previous weeks. My form is coming around though. I hope that I can maintain motivation for Cyclocross this fall. It should be good timing.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Are you a Super Hero?

Searching for new interval music, I can simply go back to my long hair days in the late 80s and early 90s. These guys are still shredding today. Listen to Paul Gilbert shred! I love this is both comical and amazing. I can't believe I sold my amps.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Labor Johnny Flags and The Logo Gel Cream

Here is a little catching up. I had pictures and video from the US Pro Championships in Greenville, SC a couple weekends ago, but I have not had a good chance to post it. So, that will have to wait. My Labor Day ride included a nice long solo ride with a lot of climbing. It was very satisfying. I had decided to take a little break from racing until I can get some form back so I don't continue to get dropped. But, most of my friends tell me that I am lucky to be back on the bike. And, that is enough for me.

How about a little Johnny On The SPOT. This has become a regular stop for me on my rides. There is a little slant when you are inside, but the Grove Park Inn provides nice scenery.

Turn 180 degrees from Johnny On The SPOT and they lined the road with American Flags. I realized that I can hold out an effort much longer when the streets are lined with the Flag.

Remember this logo? I designed it when I was recovering from my surgery. Well here is it on Debi's butt. This logo is the Hearns Junior Development Team's official kit. The logo turned out well, didn't it?

Okay, here is a new product review.....Veet hair removal and gel cream. Just put it on your legs and wait 3 to 6 minutes and use the little scraper thingy and all your little hairs come off. This took much longer than just using a razor and shaving cream. Unless there is some lengthy duration before the hair grows back, I think I'll finish off the tube and go back to using a razor.

I am about due for a nice camping crit trip. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Are you bigfoot?

The Answer Lies Within

(To me.....From me)

Look around
Where do you belong
Don't be afraid
You're not the only one

Don't let the day go by
Don't let it end
Don't let a day go by in doubt
The answer lies within

Life is short
So learn from your mistakes
And stand behind
The choices that you make

Face each day
With both eyes open wide
And try to give
Don't keep it all inside

Don't let the day go by
Don't let it end
Don't let a day go by in doubt
The answer lies within

You've got the future on your side
You're gonna be fine now
I know whatever you decide
You're gonna shine

Don't let the day go by
Don't let it end
Don't let a day go by in doubt
You're ready to begin
Don't let a day go by in doubt
The answer lies within.

Music: Dream Theater, Lyrics: John Petrucci

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

NC/SC State Road Race Championships

Saturday AM, I packed up the CRV, picked up Andre and headed for Fork Shoals, SC to race in the State Championships. My biggest question for myself for this race is "would I finish?". Andre's biggest question for him "would he win?". Big difference there. Given my crazy year off the bike, I'd just be happy to finish and/or see Andre race well.

I raced Cat 4 and the course was nice. Andre handed me a water bottle at the feed zone, but I was already in trouble. On the next set of rollers, I lost the group and that was it. I rode the 2nd lap by myself. I still don't have the endurance and recovery that I need to race at a level where I was last year. More motivation needed.....please help.

After 3PM Andre's race finally started. He was racing in the 15-18 year old category. He had a junior teammate already racing on the road in the 13-14 Junior category, Evan. Evan is the strongest 14 year old cyclist that I've ever known.

Evan's race was one lap, 15 miles. At 200 meters he realized that they were approaching the finish. He sprinted around the field for a 1st place win and the title of NC State Champion for the 13-14 year old category. Andre and I knew he would win this race.

Andre's race saw a break of 2 go up the road. Andre attempted to initiate a few chases off the front of his group but no one would go with him. So, he sat in and contested 3rd place. He took 3rd overall by a 1/2 a bike length and got 2nd place in the NC Champ title. One the first two finishers were from SC.

1st place NC State Champion for Evan in the 13-14 category. 2nd place NC for Andre in the 15-18 category. Great job guys!