Skip to main content

Trail time

Took a day trip to the W. Scott Kerr Dam and Reservoir trail system, about 30 miles east of Boone. The cycle shop mechanics at Magic Cycles told me this Army Corps of Engineers designed area was one of the finest riding areas in the east. That said, I loaded up and drove over to Overmountain Victory Trail, which was designated the "easy" ride.

Faced a bit of a setback when I arrived at the area. A major triathlon was underway and law enforcement was turning non-participants in the opposite direction. It made me wonder how many folks I have inconvenienced over the years, while I was competing (with little regard for others who might have wanted to use the same recreational areas).

A few miles of backtracking took me to the west end of the trail. The six mile length seemed appropriate for the day.

The trail was well manicured. My hardtail Gary Fisher 29er was fine, nothing too rough to send shock waves through my bikes rear end - and my rear end. The unique feature of this trail was a banking on most every major turn. I didn't have the low hanging units to maintain speed, but above average riders charge into the turns and rail their was around.

I've been on mountain bikes since the mid-80's. I know how to negotiate the terrain, but at the last moment my brain yells "slow down!" It's not easy making time when you're slamming on the stoppers. But that's who I am and where I'm at in life.

Glad that I made this ride alone. Took it slow and easy, made the turnaround and then back to the start. I was tired but satisfied. The nature God provides looks good at any speed. So master competitor concluded his first off-road adventure outing. I'll be back for more.


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …