Monday, September 29, 2014

Getting high

Wow it has been a while since I have posted.  Work has picked up with some new projects.  High school soccer has consumed everything it can.  Brock started preschool.  Ethan and I rode the Buell to the Albany fair to see the tractor pulls.  I am almost done with staining the house, a process of brushing a penetrating oil on every square inch of log/soffit/fascia.  We rescued a couple of kittens.  I did however make it to Davis, WVa for what has become an annual trip to camp, ride mountain bikes, and eat.

John Deere 4030, turbo.  Impressive piece of farm equipment.

I won't say it is impossible to stain every part of the house from a ladder, but I will say it is not safe to do so.  This time around I rented a towable, articulating lift to do the most dangerous parts.

Home for the weekend.

View up the Blackwater river from camp.

Pano view up and down the Balckwater.


Make sure you go to Thomas on Friday night for a fantastic hamburger at the Tip Top coffee bar.

Good morning.

Open area on the climb along the Canaan Wildlife Refuge area.

Pano view down in to the Canaan Wildlife Refuge.

Somewhere along the Plantation trail at Blackwater Falls State Park.

Pizza at Siriani's.

Pano view from Hoodoo Rocks.

On top of Hoodoo Rocks.

Yes, there are snakes in them rocks.

The Redline enjoying a little sun on Moon Rocks.

Did I mention the rocks?

Moon Rocks.

Two lane covered bridge in Philip WVa.  Happens to also be the scene of the first land battle in the Civil War.

My souvenir, a little dirt from Davis WVa.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dual Sportin'

Thanks to the guys at Athens Sport Cycles for fixing my two pinched inner tubes from me replacing my tires on the KTM, I got the bike all ready, packed some camping gear, and loaded the GPS for a 1-1/2 day ride and camp trip planned with some friends.

We (Ryan, Bill, Sam, myself) met at Casa for breakfast before heading south east out of Athens.  Soon we were turning on to a Dry Weather Road.  That turned out to be the easy one.  We wound our way about some townships roads and turned past a farm.  The road quickly turned grass covered and them to mud, rocks, roots.  Oh yeh, and it rained over night and continued throughout the morning.  The mud got slick, quickly filling the less aggressive treads (I was glad to have the large knobs of the T63).  At one point we popped out of the woods into what appeared to be a hay field and were greeted with a stop sign, in the middle of the field.  Evidence that we were in fact on an old, non-maintained township road.

Between the workout of pushing 300+ pound dirt bikes through mud and the constant rain, we called the ride after the morning run.  Instead, we rode uptown Athens, still covered in a bit of mud, for coffee and then a late lunch before heading home for a shower (both me and the bike).  Great fun, would like to try it again in the dry!

Couple of things I learned: when doing such a ride, go with someone that is 6'6".  You never get so stuck that he can't get you out.  Second, I need a MX/DS helmet.  I love the Shoei RF-1100, but you don't get a lot of airflow when riding slow.  I roasted in it.

Just get out there.

Monday, July 14, 2014


He went deeper into black
Deeper into white. 
He could see the stars shine 
Like nails in the night.

Exit - U2

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A month full of randomness

I have said before that I am glad that phones have cameras.  This way I know what I did!

Ethan spent a week camping in WVa with Shelly's folks.  Shelly and I planned to get away for a couple days of kayaking with Brock staying at my folks.  The weather conspired against that plan, but not wanting to disappoint Brock or Grandpa, we headed out for some inside type of fun.  First stop was the Harvest Moon Cafe in Canal Winchester.  This place is worth the stop with good food/drinks and nice atmosphere with brick and black pipe interior.  From there we hit up Iron Pony, REI, Jeni's Ice Cream, Trader Joe's before heading back to Athens for supper (and some World Cup soccer) at Jackie O's.  Fun day to get away.  As an aside, I picked up a pair of TCX Track boots for dual sport riding.  Lot's cheaper than a broken foot.

Speaking of, with a dual sport camping ride planned in a few weeks, I picked up some Michelin T63 tires for the KTM to replace the worn out Sahara's that are on it.  Should make a great dirt road/trail tire.

The following week we decided to pack up a tent and take Brock camping.  The weather forecast for Davis, WVa looked great with highs in the mid 70's and lows in the 50's with fair skies.  We got in to Thomas, WVa and to the Tip Top coffee shop in time for lunch and to watch the USMNT versus Germany cup game. From there we set up camp, checked out Blackwater Falls, the Blackwater River valley views, the Dry Fork River, some pizza from Siriani's, playground time in Canaan Valley and back to camp in time for a fire and marshmallows.  Brock was great and slept like a rock.  We even had a woodcock hanging around in the camp.  Up the next morning around 5am to make coffee while Brock slept in.  We stopped at the Laurel Valley wind turbine installation after breakfast and before having a Hellbender Burrito for lunch.  After that, we headed back home, watching the temperature rise 10 degrees plus humidity as we dropped out of the mountains.

With that, June ended with the passing of a great man, Chad Vanco, a coworker who was fighting cancer.  At only 42 years old with a wife and two kids, it was a tough loss.  I watched the USMNT game versus Belgium at Jackie O's with a few other folks!  We celebrated 21 years since our first date.  Got to take a short trail ride with Ethan.  From there, I have just torn stuff up.  Ethan broke the chain on his TTR.  My MASI road frame is being replaced (under warranty) as the bottom race for the headset bearing came loose from the frame.  The generator quit generating on the old Sportster.  And yesterday my final drive belt broke on my Buell on my way home from work.  Thankfully it wasn't in the construction area I just came out of when it happened and dad was able to pick me up.  Also found a bad rear wheel bearing when I took it apart (most likely related).  And lastly, a good friend lost his job.  I need a bike ride...

Monday, June 9, 2014


Last time I wrote, I was contemplating the Wayne Ultra.  This race seems to happen every year on the same weekend as Brock and Michael's birthday.  I tried to plan around those this year and manage the race.  After a long day getting ready for parties, the party itself, and the cleanup to follow I was completely wasted.  I overslept the following morning (of the race) and decided to let it go again this year.  Sadly it was the best weather I can remember for the event too.  When racing (and the required training) are pushed lower and lower on the priorities list, it is really hard to prepare for an ultra distance event.  It is what it is.  Maybe next year.

Ethan has grown so much much and now is officially moving on to high school. This also means he has outgrown the PW80 dirt bike.  This spring I sold an old youth four wheeler (from my youth kind of old) and his PW80 so we could afford to pick up something more his size.  Enter the Yamaha TTR125L.  Great little trail bike for him to learn on.  A friend at work knew somebody, which was better than the craigslist surfing.  For example, messages about a used DRZ125:

Me: When might be a good time to come look at your DRZ?
Seller: Umm not sure yet I'm fishin right now and I don't know when I'll be back.

Apparently he never got back.

I also am replacing my old Honda XL500S (contact me if you are interested in it), replacing it with a used KTM 640.  That KTM vibrates as much as my old Harley, makes me feel right at home.  And now I can ride-the-world (or at least ride it to work which is about where my world ends most days).  Got to take a road trip with a good friend to pick it up.  Been a long time since I did that and it was a good day.

Other happenings have included the dismantling of our tree house.  I built it for the older boys, before Brock was ever a possibility.  The tree had grown so much it was breaking the deck and mounting support.  I tried to take the house down to keep as a play house for Brock.  Things didn't work out thought when a temporary brace broke, sending the house to the ground.  At least nobody was hurt and the house it rebuild-able.  Bonus: Brock loves where I moved the slide.  Of course the same day I also broke my tractor blade trying to fix the driveway (again) following the down pours from the week before.

I'll make a plug for Shade Winery here.  We sneaked away from my folks while they had the boys to sit on the deck with a glass of wine on a great Sunday afternoon.  Super people, great atmosphere.  You should go.