Monday, March 31, 2008

My Cup Runeth Over

Kicking back in Pisgah for three days with no cell reception, 4 kegs, tons of food and 40 people on mtn bikes does the soul right. On Thursday I headed to Pisgah thinking I was hooking up with the Tomato, Pisgah Bruce and Ohio Rob for some early season camping and a ride in Dupont on Friday. When I pulled up and was questioned by Big Jay at the entrance to the Cove I was lucky enough to be able to drop names "the tomato sent me" and get into the party with the cool kids for what turned out to be a stellar couple of days. Nothing beats the feeling of having nothing to do but whatever you felt like doing (I did a lot) for a few days with a ton of new people with similar likes. I arrived and party commenced. Welcomed by Tomato and Purple Rain then started in on the Porter. As the numbers around the fire wained my buzz only gained strength. Figuring Bruce and Rob were going to be no shows I was almost ready to call it as it looked Team Yazoo had the party win in the bag. Just as I was thinking it was over, what is that I see on the horizon but the white subaru with Bruce and Rob at the helm. Oh well sleeping is overrated anyways, so I give the porter a few more pumps and it' on to stories of N. GA and TN trail exploits, bananas roasting over an open fire and tent hunting.

The morning fog was lifted with the help of waffles and ten cups of coffee at the Huddle House and it was off to Dupont sans the Tomato. While the Tomato was off destroying another bike Bruce, Rob and I rode the silky smooth and sometimes rock filled trails of Dupont. Amazing trails and big props to the crews that keep them so luscious. Bruce and Rob rode at an enjoyable pace at they had just finished riding at Ducktown and N. GA the previous two days so the tempo stayed friendly. Numerous waterfalls, a thousand little jumps, some good log riding (thanks for the documentation Rob). We headed back to Asheville for showers and beers and skewers and a few supplies for the rest of the weekend at the cove. I hit the road and got the cove around 11 as things around the fire were starting to get started. Once again good times were had as the bottle of shine warmed things up from the inside out. There must be a vortex at the cove because next thing I know it was past one and once again yazoo was taking home the prize along with a hearty band of locals.

Saturday morning came and the foggy morning fit my disposition perfectly. It also allowed time to properly prepare for a ride with beers and breakfast. While the rain fell the dogs Buddy, Shade, and Judah played frisbee with the Tomato, Dicky practiced his vertical endurance skills, and I watched the rain fall. Then from up the road Jody walks up sans car that happens to be stuck in the middle of the creek. A posse was gathered and with Jays truck and chain ready to assist some one made the better call to push it out rather than just rip the front end off. Dogs played in the creek as shoes were removed and 10 mtn bikers braved the cold water and jumped in to creek to push out the car. When the car came out water flowed from the tail pipe for a good 10 minutes as we looked on wondering how much water can a mazda exhaust system possibly hold. (apparently a LOT) With Jody's car back on dry land and the clock hitting noon the ride finally happened. Two group rides were called and I opted for the more enjoyable route at a leisure pace. A few nights of winning the party and the treat of more cold rain had cast doughs on thoughts of keeping up with Dicky for a monster tour of pisgah so I kept it on the fun side with a short muddy adventure. More of the same but better as pig and pints flowed.

Sunday was a day of rest and an open house. By Monday I was as good as new and ready for action. I hope someone out there was lucky enough to see the Dirtbombs when they just came through Nashville. They played the Orange Peel last night and hot damn was it good. Way too short but good while it lasted. Drinks kicked off at the Crow's Nest early and I found a new poison of my liking Black Cherry Vodka and Red Bull. Benet, Bruce, Ty and I hit the purple sack and through back a few of my new concoctions and it was off to the show with the crew. We got our rock on and kept it rolling till the early morning at the Yacht Club and Bruce managed to talk his way out of a BUI, woooooo. That's all for now I am tired of typing and need a nap. Sweet Dreams and stay out jail boys...


Thursday, March 27, 2008


Check out this new video from the Raconteurs. I am off for a bike ride to the store to pick up the new album. While your listening check out the new post update below. Adios. Jut Rut

Pisgah Worked...

Bruce with Pisgah Works lead us out on quite an adventure on Monday. Ohio Rob, Benet and I got in some miles in Pisgah Natty Forest and were lucky enough to not loose any toes. Ohio Rob spent some time doing a quality write up of the adventure so I will save some time sitting in front of the computer and just let him tell the story and I will give you the visual. Yes, crotch deep in cold water. Say word.

Yesterday Benet and I headed to Bent Creek. Quite a different story from the snow, mud and river crossings just 48 hours prior. Gorgeous day, 70 degrees and the trails were in perfect shape. Spent about 2 hours on the trail and with Benet giving the tour de bent I discovered at least 15 miles of new trail that I had not yet seen. NC just keeps amazing me and the more I ride the more I learn how much there is out there. This place should keep me busy for say, a few years... The slow real estate market is also helping me to focus on my main priority of getting to know the trails of western nc to the best of my ability.

Here are a few more pics from the modeling party on Friday night. Where the hell was Brock Landers is all I have to say about that night. Bruce and I had to step it up in his absence and we were working the camera like the fools we are. Here is the link for a few more from the night, the rest (and there are lots of good ones) will be hitting in the coming days. Heather with Vintage Vantage is awesome and her tshirts are too! Just in time for spring she is offering up a very special offer to the crew and my associates. Just plug in the name of yours truly (jutrut) as a coupon code at her site and you will receive a 40% on your rad new tshirt and everything else they sell. Wow, first a sock named after me and now a coupon code, I must be doing something right... While your at it check out her super spiffy stash containers. These rock and I am the proud owner a some spaghettiOs or ghetto loops at Ty refers to them, I prefer the term ghett"O"s. Anyways these things come in real handy when you're traveling or just chilling at your pad and word on the street is that all the top riders in this years tour will be keeping their EPO and Cows blood in these as they travel the back roads of France. Be like the cool guys and get you a sweet stash can as you know by now the shoe box thing has been done.

Tomorrow it's back to Pisgah for some early season camping and to hook up with Ohio Rob, Bruce, and the Extreme Zen Froless Tao. Tomorrow we are going to hit either Dupont or Pisgah for a ride. On my way out of town it's time to grab some new music for the trip. The Raconteurs new album hit yesterday and keep an eye out for the new Black Keys album hitting the shelves next week, put these on your ipod and rip up the trails this weekend. That's all for now folks. Rock on...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bring it, kick it.

What a weekend... I know my bitching about the need for warmer weather had any didn't have any affect on the temps this week but spring has hit right on cue. The past few days I have felt the energy and clarity that comes with the arrival of spring. Everyone and everything seems to be coming alive again. Bring on the good long rides, ladies in less clothing, afternoons in the hammock and the punch drunk feeling I get when good weather and living the good life collide. The bump on my back is now a delightful eggplant color but feeling much better and I am back to riding as usual. (note to self, get ass pads before going back to the skate park)

The past few days have been filled with low key rides up and down long hills, hikes and disc golf with the pup. The past few nights have been filled with parties, music and good beer. I put in a good number of miles on the Parkway over the weekend, the pic above was from a late afternoon cruise up to the parkway where I found a little quiet spot to enjoy a beverage in sun with a killer view. Got in a good hike with the pup on the land to sea trail on Friday and hit the disc golf course with Ty and Judah on Saturday. The nightlife wasn't too bad this weekend either with a great party on Friday night that involved a few of my favorite things, classic tshirts, good people and bike riding. Ty, Tim and I picked a bike from the fleet and met up with Bruce for a unique experience at my friend Heathers pad. First let me tell you that if any of you need need a new tshirt let me tell you that you must check out my friend Heather's website. She has some of the coolest tshirts you will ever find and they are so good in so many ways.

A. it saves you from hitting the thrift stores when you could be out riding or parting with your crew.
B. you know your three r's. reuse, recycle, and reduce. Why buy some crap made by ten year old Chinese girls.
C. nothing beats the feel of an old tshirt and they have a style that you just can not recreate.

Well, Heather was cool enough to put up with Ty, Bruce, Tim and I as we showed up and got our "model on". Beers, turkey bags and Bourbon were on the menu and we feasted. Heather gets in tons of vintage t's from San Francisco and then invites her crew over and we dig thru 100's of killer t's add props and get our picture taken. I let you know when we hit the interweb for some laughs until then I will only tease you with this one from Ty. Post modeling party at Stella Blue for some reggae rock from Tim's brother's band. Good times, cute girls and beer what more do you want? Saturday night kicked off early with pints and pie in the sun at mellow mushroom, pints at Sculley's and last call at the crow's nest with Bruce and Ohio Rob who just hit town.

With Spring here I am now getting excited for some good bike racing. Plans are coming together for "tour de ocho" in August. Got a couple of days off in August-September (acutally all of Aug & Sept) and the plans just keep getting better. All I can say is I love that the promoters of sswc08 were kind enough schedule the race weekend in conguction of the start of Burning Man so I don't have the same feeling of despair that I felt leaving sswc05 (play where's Jut Rut). It's sucks when you have the time of your life then the party ends and you have to go back to work. I've done that one and it won't happen this time. The "ocho" is upon us and who know's how much longer this crazy train is going to stay on the tracks. The plan is to rock it like it hasn't been rocked before and that certainly calls for a sswc post party in the black rock desert with 40,000 other people avoiding the bummer life. They say you're only young once but I'm out to prove them wrong. New experiences and riding crazy rigs on la playa and it will be confirmed. I will have plenty of time to unwind and regroup on the way up to Seattle, B.C. then dropping into Montana for some quality time. Word up West Coaster's Jut Rut's on the way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Going back to Ducktown...

It's official, I am ready for Spring to get here. My mental state has already transcended to flip flops and rum drinks. However, it is still that time of year in the South where we get teased by warm temps then it drops the next day. I am over filling the wingnut with every piece of cold weather gear I have to make the descents tolerable. However, even if it's not 65 and sunny outside I must keep the wheels turning cause the the Cohutta Challenge is just a few weeks away and I have committed to the 65 miler. I will leave the extra 35 miles of gravel alone and opt to have a cold beer and a buzz by the time the boys and girls doing the hundie roll across the line. Guess it goes back to my philosophy that a mtb race should have a higher ratio of singletrack to fire roads and that I enjoy keeping it on the fun side. Speaking of keeping it on the fun side, the trails at the White Water Center is where my racing attitude changed a bit. The single track at the White Water is amazing and I have only ridden the trails once since my epic race a few years ago where I proved once and for all that I am insane.

For those that don't know the story, I raced at Ducktown in a TBRA race at the Whitewater center a few years back when I was going for the TBRA jersey. After doing a practice lap in the cold rain the night before the race Jamie P and I camped out in cold rain, and I woke up feeling like someone hit me in the chest with a baseball bat. I knew I probably should not sign up for the race that morning but hell I traveled all that way and the jersey was on the line. I put down my money and got on the line only to fall to pieces as soon as I hit the first climb. I could not catch my breath and for the next hour I took short breaths trying to catch the other single speeders that passed me on the climb. I had never suffered like that and was thinking about pulling out after one lap. However, once I came back through the crowd I was encouraged to keep going as the leaders were "just up ahead" as a few of my crew said. So I put my head down and suffered through another lap and finished third feeling like total ass. I figured I must have phenomena or the flu because I was in pain and could not breath. Turns out I was racing with a fully collapsed lung (Spontaneous Pneumothorax) and from the doctors said when I went to the hospital the next day I was pretty lucky I didn't kill myself going for TBRA points. A few days later and I was out of the hospital with a different attitude about how far I should push myself. I love the trill of racing but I have finally learned that I don't need to push myself "that hard" ever again. After pushing my limits at the 24 hours of snowshoe for a few years in a row it was my thought and an ongoing joke that hopefully if you are pushing your limits in a bike race you would hopefully "puke before you died" but I guess I was wrong to think that way.

However, enough about that, I made it and haven't looked back. I still love the feeling of suffering on a long ride or while racing but I now know where to draw the line. As for what up with jut rut, I rode twice in the last few days and the back is finally getting better. I can put on socks without much pain and I don't need advil to make it through the day. I think I have paid my dues for livin' the good life here in Asheville considering I have torn a muscle, had the flu and busted my ass skateboarding all in the first 45 days in town. Bring on the warm temps, long rides and healthy living, it's time to get outside and play.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Beaten Up but not Broken

No news is good news and I now know for sure my ass is still in one piece. No signs of breaks but the hump is still there. After four days of gimpin' I was starting to get a little concerned and with a cousin who is an ER nurse there was no reason not to get it checked. I cruised in to the er and was immediately escorted through the side door like I was VIP, to make my visit even sweeter I got checked out by a cute little blond doctor. A few x-rays and and an hour later I was on my way. I have been off the bikes and boards but a with a prescription for a lidoderm patches I'll be back as soon as I can hit walgreens. Better living though chemistry.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Riding High and Crashing Hard...

Damn, I was just starting to feel good again... It been a while so this one is rather long...

By Wednesday I had made it over the hump with the flu and the hangover from Chattanooga. A call from Matt J on Thursday morning and we were off on the road bikes and up Bear Wallow Mtn. It was a great ride and just getting outside of Asheville made for a relaxing and beautiful day. I felt a little rough and was still coughing up the funk but as we rode up the steep climb I was able to sweat out what I couldn't cough up and by the end of the ride I was starting to remember what it felt like to be healthy again.

Friday Bruce and I rode over to French Broad Brewing Company for a hit of some good bluegrass from The High Windy Band. Sipped a few brews while enjoying some great Bluegrass with the crew. If you have a minute check them out and vote High Windy Band in 08' here, you can actually make a difference in this kind of election. Everything goes to a good cause and you could help out an often overlooked segment of society, the starving musicians of asheville. Take a second and vote, a good party will likely follow the earth day concert at the Crow's Nest the following weekend so help make it happen. Bruce, Chris B and I then hit up some La Paz for some good Mexican with a few ladies and then headed back to the Crow's Nest for the after party. A small crew turned out for some more bluegrass and growlers of French Broads finest and we called it a night. Saturday morning was spent putting the Planet X back together. It has seen better days since Tuesday night polo and being robbed of a few parts here and there. Lately the mtn bike has been the go to urban assault vehicle but after breaking one of the tubes on the Sycip, it's urban adventures should be kept to minimum. So the Planet X got a new handlebar and pedals and I can say has never felt better between my legs. I called up Calaum and we were off exploring North Asheville. He showed me a few of the local spots, a good hip jump and a few gaps. I in turn turned him on to hopping stair gaps on Merimon Ave, a rock wall, and a stair rail gap on UNCA campus. We had a blast jumping everything in sight and finished out the night with beers, Chinese food and then got RAD. Yes! Bruce's roommate Ian has the original VCR copy of RAD and much like thinking back to my pink kuwahara the movie brought back some wonderful memories of my childhood. It pretty amazing how a movie can impact your life when you watch it 200 times. I am 33 years old and still out there doing the same things I was doing when I was 13 only I am much better and faster than I was back then. Guess I am improving at least... There were a few scenes that brought to mind my early mtn biking roots for me. I wish they had more bike races like this one or dances like this one. Even with getting all pumped up with a great movie and beer I called it a fairly early night as Sunday was going to be a long day.

After a few beers on Friday night the ride was called out for Sunday. We were going to ride cyclocross bikes up Town Mtn-Ox Creek-Barnardsville-To the Climb From Hell up the backside of Craggy Gardens via Forest Service Road then back home via the Blueridge Parkway. I was thinking hard about the crew back home on their own gravel grinder as Bruce, Chris B and I headed up towards Town Mtn Road on what would be the first gravel road climb of the day. We quickly hit Town Mtn. and took a first trail opportunity we had that wrapped around the hillside via overgrown jeep roads overlooking North Asheville and the Pisgah Range. We came out at the Town Mtn/Blue Ridge intersection and pressed on towards Ox Creek. After a good climb came an incredible decent that had me pushing the limits of what speed the ole surly should handle. Another good climb came our way that had me struggling to turn over the 32x18 but it was nothing the legs couldn't handle but were they were glad to see the top. Another sweet decent and the major climb of the day grew closer. As we rolled through Barnardsville (?) finally came to base of the money maker, a forest road climb up from the valley that would take us to the Craggy Gardens Lookout. Now, imagine the Curtis Creek climb covered in wet sand but steeper with a frozen sections at the top and a bald rear cyclocross tire. If you know what I am talking about you have a faint idea of the suffering that took place. Way to steep to sit and climb but standing on the 32x18 just pushed my tires that much deeper into peanut buttery fine gravel-dirt combo made that much worse by lots of rain and a month of the freeze thaw effect. The next hour or so was a combination of questioning my choice of rides for the day and enjoying the incredible view to the valley below. Once at the top it was pure satisfaction and some sore legs but we put every article of clothing on that we had with us and started the 10 mile decent back home via the Blue Ridge Parkway that is currently closed to cars. A beautiful day had brought all sorts out and as we got closer to the gate we rode past a pack of long boarders, bmx bikes, and even a dude on roller skates enjoying a gorgeous day on a mountain road with no cars. Ended up riding for 5 hours and covering some serious ground and no telling the elevation. I didn't feel the least bit guilty by picking up some fried chicken and having a few pints and calling it an early night.

I had a great weekend and a bunch of good rides. I woke up Monday feeling refreshed and purified, got some work done in the morning and went to check the mail. At last, my real estate license has arrived. Not that I was too worried but there comes a time when you need to feel somewhat productive in society and I have spent the last few months on quasi vacation. It's beautiful outside so I figure I will milk one more afternoon and play at the skate park. I call up Chris B who is not only a badass on a bike but happens to know his way around a giant concrete bowl as well. We grab our boards and hook up at the Asheville Skate Park. A lot of you know that I lost my sense of smell skate boarding a few years ago, you may not know that there are 5 other bones I have snapped over the years in addition to the major fracture of my skull that caused me to never be able to smell the roses (only literally). However, I just can't seem to get over the trill of what a skateboard and giant concrete bowl can provide. We hit the park and start in the advanced bowl. Of course it all starts coming back, 50x50 grinds on the metal coping riding high in the deep end and starting to carry some serious speed through the bowl. That's when it happened. A bottom turn out of the deep end pushed the limits of my wheels and within a split second I found myself on my ass laying in the bottom of the pool on my back. A few minutes later I was able to climb out of the pool and keep from throwing up from the pain. It's now been well over 24 hours and my lower back and coccyx(?) are still in agony. Don't know if I cracked something but would defiantly not be surprised if I did. If any of you medical types are checking in on this blog send me any suggestions. I have a new hump (not that I have had one prior) just above my ass crack and guess I will get it checked out if the hump doesn't go away soon. Until then it back to pints and pills for ole' Jut Rut. Living the life sometimes has it cruel paybacks. Just glad I didn't loose another one of my senses, I don't have many left. Keep it real.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Chattanooga Good Times.

Wow, where do I begin... the past weekend was almost too much to handle. To sum it up and to protect the names of the innocent (well mostly innocent) I am going to keep this one short and sweet.

Since I couldn't race the Snake Creek Gap this weekend I thought I would make sure I still had my fun. Allow me to wrap up the race report; the Yazoo Boys Rocked. We had more racers on the line then any other team. This has been the case since we starting hitting it in January 07 but now we have become true party pros at this thing. Now, I never will probably never break the sub 3 hour mark but I sure know how to have a good time at that race. As usual I met several new guys and girls and there is defiantly something special about that gravel lot in Dalton GA that just brings out good people. Let me say thanks to all that throw this great event and next time the next time the Yazoo Crew will bring more beer. From what I heard the race conditions made this one were tough so I was not too let down that I didn't get to suffer and instead got to hang out, drink beer and cheer on the troops. It was a gorgeous day with mild temps, lots of beer and bicycles so things were already looking up from the start. You can check out the other boys blogs about what actually happened at the bike race because thanks to the flu I saw it from the sidelines. It says a lot about how cool of an event the SCG is and the people it attracts when I don't ride my bike and wind up having such a good time. My only regret is that I didn't get to hang out with a few of my new friends longer. I think there must have been something in the air this weekend because the good times just kept coming. Post race we headed back into town and I have a new respect for little ole' Chattanooga. That town is kinda like your office co-workers at a Christmas Cocktail party, you don't really know how much fun they can be until you get about a dozen drinks in them. This weekend I got to see a different side of Chattanooga and I think I like it. I got to hang with lots of good friends and made some new ones. I want to thank all that had a hand in some good times. Brock, you freakin' rule dude. Sharpie, know someone out there loves ya. Thad, thanks for always getting to know the good ones, you never cease to help a man make some good new friends. Bruce, mom has grounded me and I can't play with you until Friday. To all the crew that I won't address individually, You Make a Papa Proud. Good times in deed and since this blog has a pg 13 rating I will just have to leave it at that and enjoy the memories.

I love my life.