Friday, February 27, 2009

I Ti(ed) a few on...

So Ti One On was a grand success! I know I had a great time and really enjoyed sharing my Thurs night with some new people. I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. Lots of SORBA/Moots raffle tickets were sold and many people left with other great swag. Big thanks to Clay and the rest of the DSG group (+Moots), Darryl and all the SORBA MidTN folks and to Yazoo for hosting a fine event!

It turned out to be an awesome evening to ride around Nashville. The temperature was perfect for a short sleeve wool jersey (or sweater as some like to call it). The rain stayed away long enough for me to make it all the way home around midnight. I hit the couch and was out in less than 5 minutes.

Here are some photos of the shenanigans:

Capt. Moots

Please keep it in your pants Thad!

The bacon box gets passed on again...

Troy and Thad rolling home for some of Troy's homebrew


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ti One On at the Yazoo Tap Room with the DSG Crowd

Ti One On happy hour at the Yazoo Tap Room on Thursday February 26 from 6-8. Come hang out with your old friends, meet a few new ones and enjoy a cold Yazoo - The first one is on DSG! This will be your chance to make your donations to SORBA/IMBA and get a crack at taking home a real Ti beauty. You can also register for DSG if you already haven't. We'll have random drawings for cool schwag and darn tootin' good time.

I know I'll be there and will be arriving on some titanium of my own. This is your chance to come and experience the Yazoo Tap Room for yourself and see what all the fuss, mystery and shenanigans are all about that you've been hearing about.

No excuses Reed...Dad's can come too.

Anyone else interested in riding down to also help show Nashville that cyclists like to use our roads too can contact me and meet at my house. Don't worry, I'm only 5 miles from Yazoo.

Don't miss a chance to hang with Clay, heckle Thad and throw back a Project 10 with Jeffy!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'll show you weather!

Another weekend came and went, except this one was full of mtn biking. I got a reprise from work and had Friday off which I took as an invitation to relax and chill at home. I tried to get a home project done but was pushed off course by our so-cool, overly tall windows; anyone know of any inexpensive, cloth roman shades that are 77+" long? I had a nice long conversation with my Dad before he headed out to Afghanistan. He'll just be gone a couple weeks this time and should send back some cool mountain photos.

The weather forecast for Saturday was looking bleak with freeze/thaw conditions at most trails and chance of rain rolling in around noon. Dougie and I took the chance though and drove down to Columbia, TN to ride Chickasaw Trace. We found the trail to be a little slick in some corners but overall in great shape. The temperature was rising during our first lap and had us both wishing we'd not worn so many layers. My legs felt great and the new bike was riding nicely. I've only had the Q out at Monty Bell so far so this was it's maiden voyage at Chickasaw. It took to the terrain quite well and all the reroutes are getting burned in and riding better than my last trip. We shed layers and went back out for a second lap. The trail had dried out considerably but I was feeling the first lap in my legs. Cooler weather was coming in fast and we started to regret our new clothing choices. Mid TN lived up to the adage of "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 min." Doug broke his chain about 2/3rd of the way through the loop and had to bail out to the parking lot but pushed me to finish my lap. This ride was a great reminder of what a great trail Chickasaw is and how much support this trail has. The trail is in great shape for late winter and there were many riders out on Saturday enjoying it. Kudos to everyone who works on that trail!

Beth and I were planning on heading over to Dan's bday/mardi gras party and had a hankering for some Mexican food. We had some amazing Mexican in Philly at El Vez and we were looking to discover (or rediscover) some new, above average, Mexican in Nashville. We hit our new local establishment, La Hacienda with hopes of short wait times, as it was 6:30pm on a Sat. We both strayed from our usual orders and were rewarded with some amazing food. I hadn't been to La Hacienda in years and Beth (a Nashville native) had never been. We'll definitely be back soon and are looking forward to spring when we can walk there from our house.

We made it over to Dan's completely stuffed which was unfortunate since he and Holly had a great spread setup. We enjoyed some beers and catching up with some old friends and making some new ones. Beth was able to finally meet some of my riding friends, many whom have bought jewelry from her but never met her. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, some more than others but Beth and I were fading fast. We headed out around 11:30 after receiving an amazing care package from Katy R. (look for more on that in a later post but think food...) Check out Dan's blog to see how the night ended.

This weekend was the SORBA workday(s) at the Dirt Sweat and Gears trail in Fayetteville, TN. A large group went down Saturday and did a ton of work opening some new trail. They camped (barned to avoid the rain) and enjoyed a keg of Yazoo and some rawdy southern style campfire shenanigans. I'm sure Thad (Johnny5) will have a good account of it all up on this blog soon.

Dougie and I drove down to Fayetteville early Sunday morning to meet the group and get some more work done on the trail. We found them already finishing up a bridge they had started the day before and we joined in and got caught up on all the goings-on the night before. We then re-established some power-line trails that had be covered up with some TVA trimming and then started working on a downhill reroute. We got a bunch of work done on a new route down an eroded fireroad decent into the powerline section of trail. We carved in a sweeping right turn with berm that should set you up better for the bridge at the bottom of the hill and the next rise.

Clay played a great host to us and provided food, laughs and more beer. We hung out for a while at his new barn and had lunch and then suited up to ride a lap before leaving. Some rain had come through over night but the trail had really

photo credit: TWolf
dried out a lot by the time we were riding. I was feeling really great on the bike having fun chasing Thad around. Though fireroad climbs were still stick I was able to make the first two big climbs. 911 hill still got me off the bike but I got the second half. This was a big confidence booster for me. I had to walk these last year on my SS and my geared bike. I'm riding DSG solo this year and I'm sure I'll be walking them for most of my laps, but I know I can make them at least once. We were riding with a younger rider, Ian, who lives in Fayetteville and came out to help work on the trail. He did great and was eager to learn more but had to bail out to head to work.

We rode the rest of trail full of big grins, freeriding over rock gardens and skinnies. We were able to ride the new downhill we'd cut which was fun. I really enjoy riding a trail and going through sections of trail that you helped either cut or berm or maintain. It is very rewarding seeing your work while riding your bike but also you feel a sense of ownership in the trail. You aren't just riding, you're riding a trail that is now special to you. It's a feeling that is hard to explain.

photo credit: TWolf

This trip to Fayetteville also cemented a big excitement in me for the Dirt Sweat and Gears 12hr Race. I don't make it down to this trail very often but I had an amazing weekend last year at DSG. I competed on a 4man team last year and am going to try it solo this year. Clay and Grant organized an awesome event last year and I just know it's going to be even better this year. With Moots coming this year and more events taking place other than just the main race like a pump track, skills course and night time 20" time trail, the weekend is going to be packed full of excitement.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Snake Creek Gap Feb 2009

As we are now entering the back half of the month, the time for a race review is imminent. Life has settled down for little bit and it's time to gather my thoughts and put them somewhere before they blow away.

Well the weekend was finally here after a lot of anticipation. It was time to return to Dalton and push my body beyond it's normal comfort zone for 34 miles and hope to finish with a better time than last year. Though many parts were going to be the same, this trip would be different. I was going to camp in the lot again, enjoy the campfire, catch up with friends, enjoy some frosty beverages and I was going to suffer in the woods and contemplate quitting the race multiple times. This time though it would all happen on a new bike with a new gearing choice. Would it make a big difference? Was my body ready for the Snake? I was about to find out.

After carpooling down to Dalton with Scott M, we setup camp and joined the blossoming group of riders and race organizers at the camp fire. Yazoo was very kind to send a warhead of Dos Perros down with J5. Much stress was made about keeping it iced for the weekend and how we'd all fill the time slots to babysit. It was all for naught as the keg was floated in under 2 hrs. I attempted to keep my consumption in check and keep at least a 2 for 1, beer to water ratio going all night. I woke up sans hangover so apparently I did something right. I didn't get much sleep though and I could tell my body was a bit lethargic. Not a great start to a big day.

We once again managed to avoid the death bus and got a shuttle with MeanJoe to the start. I was excited and still trying to make my clothing choices for the 60 degree forecast. The temps were in the low 40s in the shade at the start so it was the now familiar wool or lycra debate. We all lined up and were sent off, me riding in a group with KRS1, MeanJoe, Scott M and scrapper Dustin. Ok so the memory is already fading. I'm sure there were more in our group. After some rolling fireroads, avoiding huge brown frozen puddles, we filed in for the long climb. KRS1 kept a great pace and I did my best to stick to his wheel. In no time we were making the hard right into the singletrack. This was the best I'd felt at this point in any Snake. My eyes weren't bulging and I actually had a quick thought that I may be able to ride most of the singletrack climb here. I just stared down and kept the pedals spinning and made it a good ways before having to walk. WOW! One accomplishment checked off. I'd officially ridden more and walked less. I did eventually have to dismount and walk some but it's inevitable really. I played leep frog with 6 riders or so the rest of this climb to the gravel decent. I met up with Scraffy and lost sight of KRS1 and MeanJoe.

The rest of the 1st 17 just rolled by. Riding with Mr. Clean Cooper and Scraffy Ricky for the pine needle climb and the rolling sections after. The decent down to the halfway point was a blast. Any pain you've endured in the first 17 is erased during this downhill. Whenever I hit the halfway point I am always energized and all thoughts of quitting are gone. I made a goal to not stop as long at the halfway or 8mile sag so I refilled bottles, talked to the Yazoo riders that were hanging and got right back on the trail to start the long climb to the ridgeline. I rode most of this section with Jeremy N. Again I rode much more of this climb than I have in the past.
Photo Credit: Blue Tree Images

I don't remember much of the next few miles. There are some fun flowing sections and a fun decent with some creek crossings. I was trying my best to stay loose on the bike and not get too beat up with my rigid fork. Some of the decents I felt like I was going just as fast as I did with my suspension and I was really flowing over the rocks. Some of the decents though were torture trying to keep my speed fast but also in check. I tried to pump the brakes more than ride them but I just couldn't stop from going faster than I felt comfortable. In this regard, riding rigid could make me faster only out of the desire not to brake. Overall I was less beat up than I thought I might be. I was apprehensive about attempting Snake on a rigid fork but really it wasn't that bad. I know I was happy to have it on the long climbs, even in the singletrack.

I hit the grassy fireroad climb and rode all the lower section where the grade isn't that steep. I started to feel the beginnings of some cramps in my quads so I took it easy and walked most of the steaper sections, right up to the 8 mile checkpoint. Maybe if and when I can come to a Snake with more training and miles I'll be able to ride this road. I know that lies in the last 8 miles and don't want to waste energy on this climb. And in practice, I generally end up staying with the same folks for the whole climb, even if they are riding and I'm walking.

After a short NMB reunion at the last sag spot, Jeremy and Rick and I started in on the last stretch of rock. I soon found myself off the back and riding alone. The first couple miles of this section aren't that bad, and some parts are fun. If only the entire section were like this! Not so though, it just keeps getting rockier with your frustation level getting ever higher. When I was truly in the land-of-rocks is when the rigid fork started getting the best of me. I was tired, worn out and barely had energy to even walk at a decent pace. Even dismounting was taxing and I was slowing down and barely trugging along. I didn't have my computer on the bike so I didn't know what pace I was on or how I was doing overall. MeanJoe mentioned that he thought I was doing great at the halfway and was atleast 30 min ahead of my usual time. This was a boost then, but was totally forgotten as I walked and slowly plotted my way through the maze of rocks. Every small rock seems to stop my dead in my tracks. My body was tired of moving with the bike and absorbing hits and was now fighting back. I lost faith that I was doing well and just tried to get out of the woods. I didn't care if it took me another hour, I just wanted out. I was so happy when I saw the Tower and rode the last curve of singletrack to the gravel rd decent. A photographer snapped a good picture of me right there with a big smile. A smile of accomplishment that for sure was not on my face during the previous 2 miles.

Photo Credit: Sharpie

I pedaled as fast as I could through the rolling gravel section and then tucked in for the long road decent to the parking lot. I crossed the line and saw all my friends hanging out. Some had great rides and new personal best times and others were feeling ragged and were just happy to be done like me. I, as always, was grinning big time and very happy to be done, to have no quit early and to have thankfully gotten through with out any injuries. I waited a few minutes before going to get my official time. I didn't have high hopes as I walked to go get my time. My only goal was to hopefully get under the 5 hr mark. I felt like I'd ridden more and probably should of averaged a better overall pace, but my morale was so broken during that last 3 miles of trail that I was not expecting a good number. The SUPER organized race timers told me I finished in 4:46. WOW! At first I was telling myself, that can't be right and they may of mixed me up with a different rider. They didn't though! 35 minutes off my best time in 2008.

Now I am looking towards March Snake. I again and battling a busy Feb schedule and trying to fit in some pedaling time whenever I can. I don't predict being any more prepared for March as I was for Feb, but I hope I can have a repeat performance.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking for a Snake Creek Gap race review? Well you'll have to wait a bit longer. I had hopes of sharing my experience before I left town but didn't have a chance. I spent Sunday relaxing at home and helping Beth get organized for our trip to Philly. After a full day of work Monday, I finished our trip prep and we headed out early Tuesday morning for the 13 hr drive. Beth and I are going to be at the Buyers Market of American Craft in Philadelphia for the next week. We're hoping for another successful week of setting up wholesale accounts and visiting some old friends.

I've been enjoying the other Snake race reports and checking out all the photos as they are posted up. Hopefully I'll have one up here in a few days.

Surly carnage from following Dan too close. Lesson learned...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Things have been happening, the weather has been wacky and I've been riding as much as I can. I've been working close to home these past few weeks so I've been trying to commute to work on the bike at least a couple times a week. The weather has cooperated enough on Thurs to get some fun rides in to the tap room. I could get used to working on music row everyday again. Since the slowing of the music business, my work has become more scattered around town with less of it being on music row. Now it's just a treat to work on the row, even just for a day.

We had some great, spring-like weather here last week with temps in the 50s and 60s. We got a big group together again to ride Montgomery Bell. This is the only trail close to Nashville that's still dry enough to ride so the parking lot is quite busy these days. A gravel grinder was talked about but we decided to hit the trail instead. I felt great the entire ride and really enjoyed myself. We ended up splitting into a couple groups as usually happens. J5 wasn't feeling his best which meant that I could keep up easier than usual. We ended up with about 20 miles on the day and of course hit the Mexican joint on the way our of White Bluff, TN.

Nashville's weather being what it is, it is back to highs in the 30s during the day and teens over night. I've chosen to not brave the cold this week with any rides to work but may ride in tomorrow. It's time for the 2nd edition of the 2009 Snake Creek Gap race. I missed the first one so I'm excited to get back to Dalton and try my luck at the Snake. I've got a new bike to ride and a fresh outlook for '09. I haven't been riding as much as I'd would of liked but it's too late now and I'm not gonna dwell on it. I'm looking forward to some campfire fun Friday night and a great ride in the woods on Saturday. I've got many friends racing Snake Creek this year for the first time so I'm excited for them too. This race is such a great experience. You go through so many emotions while out in the woods from pure child-like joy to completely frustration and exhaustion. Once you cross the finish line though it's all fun. All the pain fades from your memory. Speaking of pain, I'll be riding this race rigid for the first time. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Single Beer Ban : support Yazoo!!

There is a bill up for public opinion TOMORROW (2/3/09) that will prohibit the sale of single beers, in containers up to 70 ounces, in downtown Nashville.

This will prohibit the sale of growlers at the Yazoo Brewery.

Please contact your council member and let them know that you would like there to be an excemption to the bill for craft beers such as Yazoo.
Here is a link to find your council member:

Do your part!

This is what Linus, the owner of Yazoo had to say about the bill.

(quote from the Yazoo Blog)

ALERT! EMERGENCY! please contact your council member on
the single beer bill!

To all you Yazooligans!

Please contact your local concilmember and ask them to not ban your favorite way of enjoying our beer! There is a bill up for public comment tomorrow at 6 PM. The bill would prohibit the sale of single beers, in containers up to 70 oz, in downtown Nashville. I had asked the councilwoman who introduced the bill to exempt craft beers from this bill, since many of them are only sold in single bottles, and since it would prohibit us from selling growlers at the brewery.

But I saw tonight that she is planning on dropping the exemption for craft beers at the council meeting tomorrow. Please, if you value being able to get brewery fresh beer straight from our taps in your growlers, contact your council member and ask them to keep the language that exempts craft beers from the single sale ban.

You can find your council member at The bill's sponsors are Mike Jameson and Erica Gilmore. The meeting is tomorrow! We need your support in keeping growler sales from being outlawed in downtown Nashville!

EDIT: 2/3/08

According to Linus, Yazoo will be exempt from this bill, should it pass beca
use of their type of permit.

I still think this bill isn't productive, but that is my personal opinion and not that of Yazoo.

Who links to my website?