Monday, August 31, 2009

Dirty Kanza gravel road race Video

Garrett Seacat posted up a video from the Dirty Kanza 2009 race in Emporia Kansas.

Dirty Kanza 200 - 2009 from Garret Seacat on Vimeo.

This was the 200 mile gravel road race/ride that I competed (attempted) in this year. The video does a great job showing the awesome scenery and bovine interaction. Unfortunately it doesn't convey the headwind or 100 degree temperatures. Watching it makes me wanna go back again next year! (oh gosh, did I just type that?)

My other Dirty Kanza postings:

Friday, August 28, 2009

New times call for new skills

When opportunity knocks what do you do? I hope that I can recognize it and open the door.

Beth has come up with a great idea for a Freshie & Zero promotion but it involves a little bit of sewing. Not hand sewing but some simple sewing on a machine. First thought: Can we send this to my Mom? (she's a great seamstress!) Logistics are hard though since she lives 12 hrs away in Virginia. So what's a budding entrepreneur like Beth to do? Buy a sewing machine.

With time on my hands and a sewing machine on the dining room table, I jumped right in to the instruction manual. Started off easy enough, put thread here, pull through here and put on a spool. Wait where does this spool go. Ok, Read some more.... got it, I think. After a bunch of back and forth between the machine and the manual I had some scraps to practice on and I was off.

We've had some table skirts for our show display that unfortunately shrank in the wash a while back & have needed to be re-hemmed really bad. Like many to-dos, we've always managed to put it on the back burner each month. Well, this was my first project Beth gave me. Thankfully it was a simple task and after a little practicing I was ready to tackle it.

Fast forward a few hours to Beth posting up a photo of me on her Facebook sewing and the comments from women start coming in. Turns out I'm quite sexy for running a sewing machine. Who knew. Guess I can stop showing my chest hair and put the gold chains away. I've found the new way to impress the ladies. heh

We're in Atlanta now for the Summer Shade Festival and got all of our stuff setup in our booth this afternoon. It was a proud moment when I got to put the table skirts on and they fit great and all the velcro matched up perfectly. Sewing, not the manliest thing for a guy to know how to do, but it seems quite useful and the ladies love it. I've already fixed a bathing suit that I have where the velcro fly was coming unsewn.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Come on out Coon!

You don't ride your bike for a month and it leaves you for someone else!

Got out with the guys this week for a road trip to Chattanooga to hit Raccoon Mtn. I have a had a love/hate relationship with this trail for years. Ridden it about 3-4 times and never really enjoyed the entire trail. 2 of those trips were on my old Ventana full suspension bike and I distinctly remember having major shifting troubles both rides. I actually think my last ever ride on a geared bike was at Raccoon Mtn. I somehow lost 1 of the 2 bolts that held on my derailleur hanger and had to limp around the trail converting my burly 4" travel full suspension bike to a singlespeed. When I got back to Nashville I swore off that bike and put it up for sale that week.

Well this trip was 100% different. Cory led us around the trail in the opposite direction I'd previously ridden it. This makes the first 8 miles or so feel like a roller coaster with no real climbs and tons and tons of flow!! We were all grins ear to ear, even though we kept hearing about the "hills" we were gonna hit later. There were 8 of us total so there was a fair amount of stopping to regroup which was pleasant to me since I've been off the bike for so long. Some of the guys were getting antsy with all the stops so we split into 2 groups from the "hills" section. There are a couple good gut busters and a few really technical sections but nothing ridiculous. I feel like Monty Bell has more steep climbs but it doesn't have the flow this trail has. One big hill I ended up just walking. No shame here. I was pretty spent when I rolled up to it and I was starting to feel the start of a calf cramp so I just hoofed it up. It's a steep climb even walking though, but doable as I know Cory, Adam and Keith all made it. Of course they have all been riding a ton lately and are in great shape.

After finishing one full lap which ended up at 17 miles, we rested for a while then headed back in to play on the rocks and boulders. Even with a group almost solely on singlespeeds, we managed to enjoy ourselves on the rocks and even get some air under the bikes on some of the jumps. I played photographer so there are no photos of me riding, which is fine as out of shape as I am. There are so many lines through this rock garden section that it's really fun to just pedal around and see what you can get up.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dirt Reunion

Just got back home from a great ride out at Montgomery Bell. I've not been riding on dirt for at least a month and a half. Life has been a little strange these past few months. Studio work slowed down to less than a crawl and I was having to really reconsider my future ideas. I am so fortunate that Beth's business is doing well and continuing to grow and that I can offer her some help with my free time. It was still a time of soul searching without many answers surfacing. I was laying low mainly as a way to conserve money but also as a way to avoid having to face some of the decisions I was trying to make. Being out of town so much helped to keep me busy but also made the whole thing frustrating since I didn't always feel like I could dedicate a lot of time to my thoughts.

I have started working for a studio out in Bellevue this past week and it's been going great so far! I've worked 3 sessions for them already and everyone has been really happy with my work and we all get along well. Between those sessions and filling in for a buddy on some jingle work, I've worked in the studio the past 9 days straight! Talk about a 180 from the past few months. That about equals my past few months of work. We always say the music business can either be feast or famine and no in between and man is that so true. It's strange to be so close to quitting the only career I've really wanted to do since highschool and then have work pick back up again. I know I have some friends who've gone through this same thing with audio engineering, but this was the closest I've come to be totally unemployed since I started.

In all the time I wasn't working I have decided to start a new business. I have taken over the social media department of Beth's company of 1, I mean 2. In doing so, and after lots of research which is on going, I've decided to try and offer my services and knowledge to other small businesses that either don't understand the great benefits of social media for their business or just don't have any desire to learn and take part in it. I'm not sure what this will turn into in the coming months but I've worked out a couple packages to offer and am slowly putting the word out. If it's meant to work out and turn into something I'm sure it will...and if not, I'll be that much better at the job for Freshie & Zero.

Sooo back to the riding part, this is a blog mainly about cycling right? Well atleast for now. I have some ideas on that too for another time. (Anyone with some Wordpress knowledge or tips, feel free to pass them on).

I finally felt like I was ready to dedicate some time back to riding in the woods. I think I was avoiding it a lot too out of guilt of not working much. Sure I had free time, but what should I do with it? Should I be out riding around enjoying myself or should I be hunkered down trying to work out what to do next, professionally? Well, I felt a weight had been lifted this week, even if just for a short time, and I took the opportunity to get back out and ride. The old crew was ready and willing to let me tag along again and join them for some Montgomery Bell dirt.

Thad, Hilary, Hannah, Jeffy and Wendy all came out to ride. It was such a fine morning that the parking lot was packed with people. The trail was in great shape, a little dusty but I'm not complaining. We varied our normal route some and added some new sections in reverse order. I was feeling awesome for the first 3/4 of the ride. I was actually surprised as how well I felt. Thankfully Jeff and Thad kept a very reasonable pace and didn't kill me. I was able to stick close and chat and catch up on life with them as we winded our way through the woods.

I hit the wall after about 11-12 miles and was ready to be done. I'd had enough and didn't want to stay out so long that it stopped being fun. We all decided it was time to call it and got cleaned up and headed in for some El Monte and 2 for 1 Dos Equis. At lunch, I started following the Leadville 100 race on Twitter after getting a text message from Doug that Lance Armstrong was in the lead by 15 min. It was another great example to me about how cool Twitter can be. I was able to just search "Leadville" and then follow all the spectators who were posting updates about the race in real time. Sure people make fun of Twitter... but there are some cool things with it. (by the way, I just wrote a blog, I'll probably mention that on Twitter.) Lance ended up winning the race, setting a new course record of something like 6hrs 28min and rode the last 5 miles on a flat tire. Wow!

Ok so, until I feel inspired for more blogging....sayonara. Time for some pool action and maybe some wordpress research.

Who links to my website?