Skip to main content

Two wheel adventure

Finally ponied up and had enough courage to attend the Bistra Roca group ride last night.  Did that ride one year ago and it crushed me.  Serious group of cyclists who climb out of Blowing Rock and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Thirty miles of pain.  I left about 90 minutes early for the 5:30 pm ride.  Garmin took me to a very wrong place, was reading a "drive" instead of a "trail."  Called the restaurant and got bad directions, so drove around aimlessly in frustration.

It was 5:15 and I thought all bets were off.  Said to myself, "God if I'm going on this ride, you have to get me there."

A Mini Cooper with a Kestrel on top drove by.  I spun a U and chased after him, and  a few turns later turned into the restaurant parking lot with four minutes to spare (I hate to be rushed and flustered).  Got out, got ready, and hit the road.

The ride was good. I was good.  Climbed well and hung with some of the bigger dogs.  We reconfigured and went onto the Blue Ridge Parkway as a peloton.  All good, once again I was tucked into the pack and drafting when:


I know the sound of a puncture flat, and this wasn't that...I had completely blown the sidewall out of my rear tire.  Riders rolled by shouting "all OK?" and I waved them past. I had two tubes and didn't think they'd fix the problem, so I stood on the parkway wondering how to get home.

Part two of miracle story:  A large SUV pulled up.  It was a couple on vacation from Little Rock, Arkansas.  They were headed in the opposite direction to Boone, but offered to load my bike on the carrier and transport me back to Blowing Rock.  I offered to buy dinner for the favor, but they declined.  Just nice people  doing a nice thing.

So from then until now, it's all been a bustle of activity. I need to get new tires on for the ride tonight, another group that will head out on the east side of town.  Run and ride.  The best parts of life in one.


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…

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 …

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…