Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A night at the track

Okay. I haven't been on my bike in 10 days. So, I figured before I start computrainer class I should get in some riding. So, I went to the track and ended up shooting some video of Kurt's track workout on the fixed gear bikes. I hung off the back on my road bike with my camera recording the paceline.

Fixed Gear Pyramid Workout @ Mellowdrome Asheville

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hello Ohio

Hello Ohio, The back roads. I know Ohio, Like the back of my hand. Alone Ohio, Where the river bends. And it's strange to see your story end. -Lyrics by OTR

I took a road trip to Ohio to pick up Em and visit family over Halloween weekend. Approximately 1300 miles and 20 hours driving. Paul Potts was the new music selection for this trip.

I live for Starbucks on the road. They are popping up at about every exit I stop on I-75. SBX and good music make for a great drive. This SBX in Kentucky (Exit 87) gave me a Cafe Estima on the house since they couldn't get their cash register open. Thanks. I stopped back a couple days later on the way back to NC.

Can you say "Pancake Day"? Yes. Pancake Day is held on the last weekend in October in my home town. Em and I have made the last two years for this event. Before that, I can't remember the last Pancake Day I attended. Em and her cousins enjoying pancakes and sausage. I usually run into high school class mates that I haven't seen for 20 years.

Some car fun with the cousins and the camera. We took about 7 of these pictures before we finally got it right. Sometimes kids are too cool to have their picture taken, but not this time. Em is holding the camera.

The Amish population increased in my hometown shortly after I left for college. They are everywhere. Their horse drawn carriages make for nice pictures. I snapped this picture out my passenger window near the old train depot. Check out the brick road too.

When I was a kid there used to be rail road tracks where this road is today. It is amazing how things change. I'm starting to sound like an old fart now. I spent a ton of time walking the tracks with my friends. Now it is a nice road grade.....would be good for a bike ride. There are parts of this grade that are just gravel and dirt. I hope to get my cross bike on it one day.

Amish and car traffic occupy the roads here. Notice the hill. This was one of the biggest hills around when we road our bicycles up it as kids.

David and his costume for the Halloween parade. Notice the sign in the background.

This is one of the coolest buildings I've seen in all my years. Nice red rock and sweet design. This picture only captures one corner of it. The entire church building is really cool.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I bet I can make you cry....or at least tear up.

From a forwarded email:

Watch the faces of the judges as this guy walks out on the stage. You can almost see what they're thinking as they pre-judge him based on his looks and the fact that he's a cell phone salesman. Pay attention to the audience as well.

Maybe this guy stopped believing in what people told him for so many years and ultimately started listening to his passion. If one takes but one thing away from his appearance, it should be to never judge a book by its cover. Absolutely fantastic

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bush, Douglas, & Meyer

Debi scored tickets to see Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Edgar Meyer and invited me to join her for the show at the Brevard College Porter Center for Performing Arts. We had previously seen Jerry Douglas with Allison Kraus in Tuscon last November. It was a great show.

This show in Brevard, NC was much more intimate and showcased Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer, two musicians that I knew nothing about. And since I am in the process of discovering new musicians, I was amazed by the "shredding" mandolin prowess of Sam Bush and Edgar's "all over the base neck" style of throwing down the bluegrass licks. Great performance and now I have some more music to pick up for my road trip to Ohio this weekend.

I am not good at all at being star-struck.....I don't like being star-struck....and I didn't have any words after the show when I met Jerry Douglas for an autograph and picture. There was a lot to say and all I got out was "Hi Jerry, My name is Frank and I've been listening to your music for a long time". Debi tried to help me with "Frank is from where you are from in Ohio". Jerry is from Warren, OH....and my hometown is in Warren Township.....uh, is there a connection? Our home towns are actually 125 miles apart. WOW, WE HAVE A LOT IN COMMON! I don't know, but what else am I going to say to a talented musician that I absolutely enjoy listening to and watch play the dobro. Thanks Jerry!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Won't you be my stoker?

On October 20th, as the leaves began to fall, Debi and I completed the Tour de Leaves metric century on a tandem bicycle in 4 hours flat. It was my first metric century on a tandem and one of my most enjoyable rides ever. I hurt like hell, however, because I did not have my seat adjusted correctly, nose down and seat too high.....ouch! But, through the pain of leg strain in my right leg and a tender groin, we did it and I was proud of our team work together. It was a special ride for me. The ride included the climb up Green River Cove's 17 switchbacks and steep grades, in addition to Mine Gap and a few other climbs. The ride had about 4500' of climbing.

It was fun to drop riders on the descents and have them come up to us afterwards (uh, on the climbs) and indulge in sharing their experiences with us about getting dropped by the tandem. "I thought a car was passing me....but, it was you guys on a tandem." I'm sure we hit 50 mph a few times. Debi kept insisting that she wanted to be the first woman across the line....and I think we accomplished that. But, I kept reminding her of her own words that "it is a ride, not a race" she has reminded me so many times in the past.

If you are my stoker, then this is the view you will have. In the way that Mr. Rogers (God rest his soul.) sang "Won't you be my neighbor?", I sing to you, "Won't you be my stoker?"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Over the Rhine Show

I don't want to waste your time with music you don't need. I don't want to waste good wine if you don't want to stick around.

On October 17th we went to see Over the Rhine here in Asheville. This was by far the most engaging show that I've ever experienced. Just days before I familiarized myself with OTRs music so that I knew every song they performed at the show. As you recall, I went to High School with Karin Bergquist. She is an incredible singer, musician, and performer. The entire band is awesome for the style of music they write! I was not able to meet Karin afterwards, but it was a great time and I can't wait to see them again. My favorite song was the Trumpet Child. The powerful, engaging, soul-felt delivery of the live performance does not do the studio version justice. Totally amazing!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oh Happy Tandem

Debi and I borrowed a tandem for a few days to try it out. The actual bike itself has a National Championship under it's aluminum by the "McApplegates". We rode on Thursday, Saturday and today. All were great experiences.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the tandem and having the extra gas to help get me up the hills. Not too shabby!

Moose and Elka riding with me in the back of the CRV. Notice the tandem through the back window.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tour de Nantahala 3D Fly

Here is something that I made 2 years ago for the cycling touring event the Tour de Nantahala managed by the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). This is a skeletal version of a 3D fly-through of the 100 mile bike ride. Two climbs, Stecoah and Wayah Bald, are featured on the ride and the fly through.

Click here for the 3D Fly. This is not using Flash media, so it takes a while to download. I'm thinking that I will convert it to Flash and resend it to NOC so it does not take forever to download.

At one time my Southern Appalachians Road Climbs (SARC) site was going to feature a number of these 3D fly throughs of bike events. But, life got in the way and I was not able to spend the time to create more of these. But, there are a few of them on my 3D Fly page at SARC.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Over the Rhine

One of my latest and coolest discoveries is that I went to high school with Karen Bergquist.....the singer/guitarist of Over the Rhine (website). I didn't know a thing about Over the Rhine (MySpace). After doing some searching, I realize that I really like the music. Karen (now Karin) and I overlapped only one year at Barnesville High School. I was a freshman and she was a senior. But, knowing how small Barnesville is and knowing that not much celebrity-ism comes from Barnesville, it is a pretty cool thing that Over the Rhine is a great success. I'm loving the music and I feel like I can identify with the lyrics and mellow-music because it has a lot of "Ohio" in it. Hard to explain, but I feel a connection.

Give OTR's "Born" a listen.....and then check YouTube for more, Drunkard's Prayer, Ohio, etc. Over the Rhine is playing in Asheville next Wednesday. What a coinky dink!

OTR Born:
Pour me a glass of wine
Talk deep into the night
Who knows what we'll find

Intuition, deja vu
The Holy Ghost haunting you
Whatever you got
I don't mind

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I'm gonna learn to love without fear

Put your elbows on the table
I'll listen long as I am able
There's nowhere I'd rather be

Secret fears, the supernatural
Thank God for this new laughter
Thank God the joke's on me

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I'm gonna learn to love without fear

We've seen the landfill rainbow
We've seen the junkyard of love
Baby it's no place for you and me

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I'm gonna learn to love without fear

OTR: Long Lost Brother.
Over the Rhine "Long Lost Brother"

I have to say that some of OTR's songs move me like the days when I used to absorb myself into Pink Floyd The Wall and The Final Cut. Once I get my iTunes tranferred to my new computer (yes....I got a beast of a machine)....I'm going to pick up a few of OTR's CDs. Love it!

Monday, October 8, 2007

View from the deck

Looking southeast from 4400' ASL. A morning here with a warm mug of going to be sweet!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

October Fire

Hmmmmmm, where to start? How about some fan-mail.

It seems that maybe you have blog-faded. What is up? Please be Frank.


"Blog-faded" means that I have let my blog go without my regular updates. Well, life has been busy and I have many updates, but not the time to post lately. A few key things to mention.

Regarding bicycle racing, I have put that off for the time being. I've lost motivation and I am riding about twice a week simply to stay fit and enjoy the company of others. There are a few more important things in life to focus on right now.

Regarding work: Work is work is work. There are things taking place with my career that I cannot disclose right now. "Oink!"

I am taking a Dreamweaver and Flash class this fall at AB Tech. Just a few more skill-sets for the future.

Took a Saturday off the bike to clear some trees for a cabin at Andy's property in the mountains of western NC. There is going to be a nice long view from the back porch.

Picked up a watercolor piece of Em art from the Art Museum summer camp display. Ain't this sweet piece of work?!? I miss her.

Chasing the moon on road bikes.

"If not you, then who? If not now, the when?"