Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Monday. It's Business Time.

A quick weekend wrap up then it's time for some business. Well, the weekend once again rocked in Asheville. Bruce and I made our trip with M.J. to Black Mtn for some Old Toll action on Thursday followed by brews at Pisgah Brewing. Saturday was the annual Bike Love Event and once again I came, partied, and somehow made it home alive. Asheville on Bikes is in the business of showing bike people of all sorts a good time and they definatly know how to do it right. While having fun they also manage to lead the way in improving the bike scene here in town and keeping a very watchful eye on issues we should all take note of as cyclists. This years Bike Love was even better than last as I realized how many wonderful people I have had the chance to get to know over the past year. The music was great, people danced, the beer flowed all night, and there were bikes and love all round. Sule and Rachel, you rock and thanks for all your hard work..

Now, I know people check this blog to find out what crazy stuff I have been doing lately but let me take just a minute to make an announcement or two that will help me Avoid the Bummer Life for another year. So here it goes, I'm going to talk business..

I mentioned my ride on Thursday but didn't talk about how freaking cold it was. Old Toll took a toll on my face, hands, and any exposed skin. With temps in the 20's and after a taste of 60 degree weather the week before 20 degrees felt COLD. However, thanks to the new sponsor at least my feet stayed warm. I have been wearing the Swiftwick talls all winter long and so far I have yet to go for the winter shoes. I like the feeling of my regular Sidis and with the Swiftwicks on the feet I tend to be just fine.

Now, Swiftwick and my feet go way back to the early days when the company was created and run from the living room of one of my finest friends, Sharp Emmons. I personally witnessed hundreds of socks laying around the living room and Sharp sending out socks in recycled cereal boxes for the first year of it's existence. Well, things do change but fortunately some things do stay the same. The change is that has occurred is Swiftwicks growth. No more boxes of socks in the living room, kitchen, and dining room and no more sock art work sitting on Sharps computer screen. No the company has grown in to a real deal company and packaging is now done by someone other than the owner. But the cool thing is that they still make the best socks and they make them just a few hours south of here. The Yazoo Crew were one of the first teams to run swiftwicks and I still have the Yazoo Swiftwick Prototype. It says a lot about a sock to still have them holding up three years later after countless miles and nights on the dance floor. Well, a few years later and Swiftwick and the Pisgah Brew Crew are now working together to bring you some sweet custom socks to keep your feet feeling fine. They will be available at Pisgah Brewing Company or direct from the Brew Crew so keep your eyes open and I will post up once we wrap up our design. Thanks Swiftwick and now I can join the ranks of Team Dicky and Thad in shameless promotion of a great sock. My one special request as an official Swiftwick sponsored team is getting the Pisgah Brew Crew Grape Cape into production for next winter. Sharp and the boys know what I am talking about and I am still waiting for that prototype..

In other business. Our sponsor that keeps us rolling with style and precession has a new website. Check it out and buy a few sets of wheels. I have been riding their enduro rims laced up to the Mountain hubs for over a month now and I can say my rides have never been better. These wheels go where you point them and never falter. Another very redeemable quality is the fact they they are made down the street from my house. Buying local is big these days and it is comforting to know that your money goes to support people who ride bikes just like you. I have spent some quality time hanging with the I-9 crew and they are a great bunch of core riders. Every piece that goes into one of their amazing hubs is made in good ole' Asheville and they even turn them into a rainbow of colors in-house these days. If you want to go fast and do it in style just click here.

One more item of business then I am done. Drum roll please...

Gearheads-Asheville is up and running. I have finished the planning, the website, the marketing and the date is set (April 24th-26th). With things still slow in the Real Estate world it was time to think of something new to do with my time. Since it has been 10 years since I punched a clock the idea of working for someone just wasn't an option. The Gearheads concept came to me after a few brainstorming lunches with my neighbor Cheryl and we have been running with it since the Fall. I am the kind of person that doesn't like to present something till it looks it's best so I have been working on in secret till I was ready to make the announcement. Well, the day is here and I couldn't be more excited to say that on April 24th-26th Asheville is going to see the largest Outdoor Adventure Gear Sale and Expo the Southeast has ever witnessed. I have rented the Ag Center for a weekend and will be host to individuals, outdoor retailer and outdoor gear manufactures all while pro dirt jump demos, kid mountain bike races, bunny hop contest and so much more takes place. I have a 100,000 sq ft of space to play with so get ready for some fun. It will be kid friendly and we will offer clinics, lectures, and various contest and give aways all weekend long.
The Western NC Scene is just too awesome not to have more exposure for the companies and people who are making a living doing what they love. It is my hope that this type of event will emphasize the fact that we can all help each other by recycling our gear and supporting the businesses that call our region home. More information will of course be mentioned here over the next few months leading up to the event as I wrap up more sponsors and add more events to the schedule. For those that have taken part in the events I have thrown thus far you know how I do it, and Gearheads is going to be the biggest and best event this guy has ever conceived.

Thanks for listening now it's back to business till Ride:30.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heartbreaker no, Toothbreaker almost..

The Heartbreaker was a success! As far as I know nobody got divorced over attending, three ego's were saved and no one was seriously injured. When I woke up to rain all I could think of was the carnage that would follow. Slick rocks and roots for 6 miles of downhill mayhem can take a toll on someone. However, by the 9:30 rendezvous the rain was gone and the trail was already starting to dry out. Twenty two friends and friends of friends came out for one kick ass group ride. We casually made our way to the top of Heartbreak Ridge with a few stops along the way to take in the view and just hang out. After getting to the top there was some more hanging out then we kicked off the festivities around 2:00.

There are not too many experiences in life beat the thrill of a long pisgah single track descent with near perfect trail and weather conditions. With that said, people were hanging it out there. I myself pushed far past the comfort zone into an area that provided a rush that bordered on the limits of what one can legally achieve. A few minutes into my ride an off camber root called me out as I came into one of the first hard switchbacks at mach speed. Everything turned out ok and I have a new appreciation for full face helmets as my teeth would have been the first thing to connect with the ground rather than my helmet. Got back up, found the bike and continued only sightly less determined to go for a fast time. I was happy to see everyone make it down in one piece with smiles on their faces. Several lovely ladies/volunteers made it off the mountain with photos of some fast lines and a few good crashes that only resulted in buried egos and nut sacks.

In the end we had a great time hanging in the woods for a day pushing the limits of what our bikes and bodies could handle. I think we all learned that it doesn't take as much time as you think to make it down Heartbreak Ridge and that everyone that participated has some skills as the times were amazing close.

We finished of the ride with some coldies at a little private party over at our headquarters Pisgah Brewing Company. Chris Craig hooked everyone on up with food and Suspension Experts took care of some peoples suspension needs and bought everyone a round. The Brew Crew brought some beats and Pisgah Works pimped some wears. It was truly a unique event and one that will most likely happen again next year since Valentines once again falls on a weekend. A big thanks goes out to all that came out to play and add to the good times.

The After-After Party was nothing short of more good times. With a keg of Pisgah Pale Ale and a wood fired hot tub in a remote area of Black Mountain how could you go wrong?

On Sunday the crew and I made our way to Kitsuma with our new friend Craig and got in one more good ride to top the weekend off. The trail felt pretty mellow after pushing the limits the day before but it was the perfect ride with my favorite crew of people.

Heartbreaker Pictures here.

Jut Rut

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let's take the scenic route today..

With a little snow falling on the Asheville the past few days I decided it was time to earn my beer and ride to the brewery (the fun way). I rode up Sunset to Patton Mountain Rd (?) where the ride turned to snow. From there the snow didn't leave my tires. I don't know most of the names of the roads I took or how to explain how I got there but I will say along this particular ride I see a long gravel road climb (when it's not covered in snow) then a water tower, then town mtn rd, then hang a left off T.M. From this point I would only get you lost so I am not even going to try to explain how I get to Shope Creek. Here is a breakdown of the route in a format people around here often use to decribe their ride.

Roads below Town Mountain Rd > a 2 mile(?) gravel road to Town Mountain>Town Mountain >Wildcat Ridge gap ?> Sweet 3 or 4 miles of Doubletrack > Craven Gap > Unnamed Trails and Pugsly Freeriding > Shope Creek > Matt J's House > Warren Wilson Trails > Old 70 > Pisgah Brewing Company Driveway > Brewery > Barstool.

I left my house at 2:30 and got to the brewery at 7:30 just in time to rendezvous with Beth and Bruce who were nice enough to come and pick up Matt and I (big thanks Beth, the bike ride back would have SUCKED). The Pusgly is not the fastest way to get there unless your racing in Alaska but 99% of the time it's not who wins but how you play the game. Enjoy the pics.

Jut Rut

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I-cycle, I-drink.

Sorry in advance for the rambling post but I am still a little fuzzy from the events of the past few days. The brew crew and I cruised down to Fontana Village for the annual Icycle party/bike race. We got there early on Friday afternoon tapped a keg of some tasty Pisgah Brown Ale and after a pint or two we hit the woods for some bike riding. We rode the short cross country loop then proceeded to make some runs on the downhill course. Greg Dunn, made an appearance and the party was on. More beer and shuttle runs on the DH course, partied at the round house with the Greenville Crew and hooked up with Marshal and Adam then hit the DH course for a few more around 1:30 am just to test the course with the buzz I would mostly have come race time Saturday night.

Saturday. The crew stumbled around till 11:00 eating prerace banana, chocolate chip, marshmallow pancakes from Pisgah Works and drinking 20 cups of coffee. The single speed race started at 1:05 and was by far the best race start time that I have been apart of. Before the start of the race a few of the "top contenders" agreed to stash some beers at the top of the hill by the finish line so as to hydrate before starting our second lap. The course this year was made even faster by having clean lines created by Wes and Crew leaf blowing the whole 5 miles of single track. I went out and red lined from the start. Adam and I were rolling along for the first few miles near the front of the pack. He pulled away about half way through but I figured I would see him at the beer stop. By the time I reached my cold High Life I was breathing so hard I could hardly drink my beer. I stood there trying to down a beer like some little girl in middle school as I watched two single speeds cruise past. I got on the bike beer in hand and proceeded to ride to the first climb and finish most of my beer as I walked up hill. I sat the beer down at the top of the climb and went right back to redlining and holding back the vomit feeling that I had. The second lap was fun and I was proud of myself for not puking or loosing any more places. I got back and learned that Adam Winton (the guy that suggested the beer lap) forgot to stop and drink his, Eric C was taken out while trying to pass Bruce and thought he broke his hand. Bruce (the destroyer) not only drank his beer but finished the last of mine that was still sitting trail side while he did a third lap for fun. So contrary to what the results might say. I figure Bruce won, I took second and Adam (i forgot my beer) was bumped by to third, and we will give Eric C a fourth place just for his troubles.

Now for the fun part... the night time downhill. I signed up for the hardass class meaning no suspension, fully rigid. I took the squishy fork of the Soul Cycle and installed the fat ass aluminum fork that came with the frame. With the addition of the new pimp wheel set from I9 my bike is now 98% aluminum so I took a beating but just considered it penance for any of the bad deeds I have done lately (sure beats the cat o' nine tails I have been doing). The course was smooth for the most part and the lack of suspension made a few sections a little more sketch but it was still a playful course. I noticed that Ryan of 26 West Bike Park fame was on a rigid vintage bike and saw another harsh defeat coming just like last year when my ego was bruised when Kip destroyed me on a vintage fat chance with cantilever brakes. Well luck would go my way this time and Ryan's choice to go with a vintage front derailler derailled him enough to slow him down and allow me to take home the win.

Good times, more beer, dance party, karaoke, then kicking it with some of the fastest dudes who go downhill till 2:30 in the am and I called it..

We woke up slow and were the last ones to roll out of Fontana Village. First ones there, last ones to leave. That's how we do it..

The keg is still flowing on Flint street after two more consecutive nights of partying. I think I am getting a cold so I am done trying to kill that thing. If you need a beer today, stop by the porch on Flint Street and pour yourself a coldie.

Snake Creek Part Dos is this weekend. Look out Dalton GA, this time we're bringing beer.

Jut Rut