Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Wolfman - Rousing the Gravel

The 2014 edition of the famed Gravel Rouser is in the books.  I missed most of this last year since it was the same weekend as the Team Athens OSRS road race at Lake Hope, but not this year.  To make up for my absences in the past, I committed to attempt the wolfman and do all four events.

Event #1: Moto Enduro
Not the new, MTB fad, downhill enduro, this one was a motorcycle style.  A good warm up to the weekend with almost 8 miles of trail.  It was fun and I did not burn any checkpoints.

Event #2: Jim's TT
Jim has a very nice set of private trails at his home on the hill.  This evening event was a timed TT over about 2.2 miles.  To make it better, Ethan came along and was the youngest competitor.  After pre-riding so he could get a good feel for the trails, we were off, in 2 minute increments.  Again, I did well, not on the podium well, but fun time none the less.  Ethan was happy too exclaiming "that was fun" after finishing.

Event #3: the Classic
Huge turnout for the classic (I heard 96 riders, about double what was expected), a 54 mile loop of back roads and trails out and back to Lake Hope.  We took a short detour this year and went down a section of a rail trail and through a tunnel.  At the lake we did a short trail "race" during which I dropped the chain on my Redline d440 four times!  Must be why I usually ride singlespeed on trails.  A quick lunch of whatever snack foods your stomach could handle, and back on the roads, past Moonville and to Eclipse where Kiser's had some good BBQ waiting for us. By the end, I can say my legs were roasted.

not my bike BTW

Event #4: City Grab-n-Git
I was honestly a little tired of pushing fat tires and steel frames around so I brought my Masi road bike for this one.  A little scavenger hunt in the city of Athens.  One of the more entertaining stops was a shopping trip in Walmart.  Good beat to the checkout by an older man with a cart full and an um-amused checkout worker.  Dashed around town to the other 4 stops and finished with coffee and donuts.  Again, not on the podium but I did get my Wolfman award.  Only 361 days until next year.

Four days and 73+ miles, I am eating everything I see.  Was this close to fixing breakfast at 3am Monday.

More information and photos are available from Athens Bicycle here:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Eric would have been 42 yesterday.  I had planned to ride out to St. Johns Cemetery at lunch, but we had another winter storm over the weekend and temps were still only 19 degrees.  Hopefully I will still make the ride out but later in the week when temperatures moderate a bit.

Backing up a bit, I made stuffed cinnamon french toast for us on Valentine's day.  We don't get into the whole "holiday", maybe because our anniversary is so close, or maybe not.

The following week we had some excitement at work as a helicopter outfitted to trim power line right of ways was using the vacant parking lot next door as a staging area.  Well, they had to leave behind the saw a couple days so I had to check it out.  Impressive but also insane to think about dragging it around under a helicopter while flying within feet of a high voltage line.  Interesting that it has its own power system, a twin Kohler, and a belt drive to the blades.

I mentioned that we had another winter storm.  This was the lion of March (hopefully).  While it was forecast to bring up to a quarter inch of ice and then top it with seven inches of snow, the storm track took a slightly more southern track.  We only had around a tenth of an inch of ice as it started as mostly rain for several hours before turning into about 3 inches of snow.  I had picked up a Generac inverter generator (iX2000) earlier in the week. Been toying with the idea ever since my old Tecumseh powered Sears hand-me-down, loud, and heavy one threw a rod several years ago.  I didn't want a big unit, just enough to run a fridge and our propane water heater.  This one is quiet and light weight.  Figure I can use it as backup power, "farm" use and for camping trips.  (If you are looking, Athens Sport Cycles is now a Generac dealer, one of the compelling reasons for me to pick this unit up).  We however did not loose power.  While I did not get to use the generator, I did get to clear the driveway, by hand, again.

Slow progress is being made on the basement finishing.  Part of the ceiling is up and a few light fixtures.

Riding?  Oh, that is what I have been doing in the basement on rollers.  Smashed last two years numbers on trainer time.

Ready for the Gravel Rouser!