Archives › Southeast Cycling
The secret of discipline is motivation. When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself. -Alexander Paterson
Every race you do, you must take away something from it. Learn, develop and strive to be that much better the next time. Often the fight you are picking is with yourself. To be a better rider, a better person.
Last Friday I went up and setup our camp with the help of pit boss, Kimberlee. She graciously drove an extra hour each direction so that I had an extra set of hands to setup three tents and carry everything I would need over the next 2.5 days.
Once everything large was in place and I helped a bit with registration I pre-rode the course very slowly. I have learned the course pretty well over the past year but making notes of sections to take slow at night, pull off’s incase I needed to stop for food, etc etc.
The biggest thing I was debating was if I wanted to wear a Camelbak or not. The temperatures would be hot which means I should drink more water, but it also means the Camelbak would be adding a ton of heat to my bag during the day. I finally decided I would start with the Camelbak and see where it took me.
Last Minute Prep
After pre-riding and seeing how slick the roots were going to be at night I swapped my front Michelin Wild Race’r for the Maxxis Ardent. My new Powertap rear wheel had the Wild Race’r on it, which I would run during the day, swapping to the Fulcrum Red Metal XL wheel with Ardent as I entered my night laps.
I putzed around camp the morning of, moving things around, preparing some bottles, and keeping my brain occupied.
My goal was to look at the 24 hours in 4 blocks of 6 hours. My lap times stayed consistent but my pit times were getting longer. My wrist were killing me as I was taking the downhills pretty darn fast (it really is the only thing I’m good at) and I kept forgetting to take out some PSI everytime I came through the pit. In the first lap I also quickly realized my normal staple drink of Perpetuam wasn’t sitting well in the heat. Even though I have used it for hundreds of miles this year in training, my stomach wasn’t liking it. Around lap 3 I left my Camelbak at the bit and switched to only carrying one bottle of water, a packet of gu chomps and a gel flask. At the halfway point I would stop and down some gel, drink half my bottle and fill it back up.
I needed to switch shorts, my wrist were causing my hands to lose grip on the bars, I probably wasn’t getting enough food, I needed to find my groove.
Lap 7 is when I put lights on. The Seca 1400 was absolutely freaking awesome. I should have had it on my head, not my handlebars. I always use my main light on my helmet, almost never running it on the handlebar. For the first lap I figured I had enough day light to get through and could just run it on my handlebar.
3/4 through the lap, just as you start pointing downhill for the last section, I caught something on a tree. Feet before the rock garden. As I was thrown hard to the ground, my head hit hard, followed by my shoulder and hip. I knew I had to get out of the way, I was in a blind turn and it was dark. If I didn’t move I would get run over. I pulled myself and the bike off the trail to take an assesment of damages. My arm was killing me, my left ankle was killing me from being stuck in the bike as it turned around, my shoulder and collar bone didn’t seem broken which was my initial thought. I started talking to my bike, willing it to simply get me down the mountain and back to my pit. It did just that. I don’t remember much about getting down the mountain. I pulled into my pit and never would leave it again.
My race was over.
The medics checked me over. My shorts and possibly jersey were ruined. I still haven’t checked over my bike. I remember sitting, shivering, in shock. Trying to make light of it all. Faces of my pit crew, the race director and my family all staring at me in the candlelight. Everything hurt. Looking back now I’m glad I didn’t get it in my head to get back on the bike. As it is now 3 days after the race, it still hurts to walk and my body is super banged up. My biggest fear would have been in the slippery night I would have gone down again, or jerked something the wrong way and been left sitting out on the side of the trail waiting for the 4 wheeler to come get me.
One of the guys on the crew, Ben, was keeping my moving lap times. He didn’t show them to me when I was riding but I looked at them the next morning. I was consistently turning hour lap riding times. This isn’t pit times, as those got longer and longer, but the moving time. That made me happy to see. That motivates me to strive onas on Saturday night as I sat there, I never wanted to ride that trail again.
Last year I did 8 laps over 24 hours, sleeping about 7 of those 24. This year I did 7 laps in the first 9 hours. That’s improvement in my eyes.
I need to continue to work on climbing, dial in exactly what I need as the hours go by from food, to chamois selection and motivation.
Thank You Notes..
Though I was only on the bike for 9 hours I owe a great amount of thank you’s.
Kimberlee – Next year she will have a shirt that says pit boss. The only person I trusted as my brain went mush. From food, to entertaining and grounding as the hours went by.
Ben – pure entertainment, time keeper and comedian. He is also really good at putting away a tent!
George – drove up to help and ride with me in the middle of the night. Unfortunately I wrecked out just as that was supposed to happen. He also checked on our dogs and fed them.
Family – It was great to see my parents, they had never to been to an event like this so it was stellar that they could drive down and see what I do for fun.
Wes – The mechanic of the hour came at the exact moment I needed my rear wheel changed and cranks checked over. Next year I need him there the whole time!
Hampton Inn Wilkesboro - The clean sheets and shower were much needed after the abuse I put myself through.
Jason Bum – Race director and stand up guy. He puts on a great event and does it with a smile.
Chris Strout & Family – Chris was a stellar motivator as he hit lap after lap with his solo efforts. His wife Kim and kids were motivating just for being there, smiling and encouraging.
I’ve been keeping something hot under my cycling lid.
An event August 10-12th in NC. The goal is to focus on Southern Cycling Culture. Open houses, bike rides, skills clinics, family friendly, cycling vendors from all over the south. Now I need help naming this event. So far I have…
Grits ‘n Gears
Dirty South Bike Fest
Which do you like? Which appeals to you? Or do you have something creative that kicks butt??
I’m a big fan of Starbucks and Apple. If you were to ask me two brands that I relate to in the most upwards of ways, it would be these two. I’m sure someone will hop on the comments and blast me about child labor or over priced coffee, but I like what I like.
Why does all this matter to bikes? Service matters.
I visit and pay full retail to the above places for the experience, customer service and reliability. I can walk into any Starbucks across the country and receive the same tasting green tea. I can walk into any Apple store and receive the same great shopping experience. I have used Apple products pretty strictly since 2002, they work, they last and they come loaded with many things I need. They are more expensive but the experience and product is worth it for me.
As I travel through my territory of the Southeast the question of online price wars comes up and I always bring up the examples of Apple and Starbucks. These two hold true to their core mission, and have well trained staff. When was the last time you went into look at Apple products and you saw a huge SALE sign? They actually go out of their way on their website to put discounted or refurbished product out of the main view of the consumer. (It is all the way on the bottom of the navigation bar on the left.)
When was the last time you asked the person making your coffee if you can give them less than their asking price?
Discounting product does not win customers for life.
Experienced staff, a pleasant shopping experience, reliability and amazing service is what wins customers for life. There is a reason that the Gap owns Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic. Different shopping experiences, different quality of product and different prices. All of them have well trained staff, thoughtfully laid out merchandise and HAPPY staff.
I shop at all three depending what I need, and each location I walk away with a good experience.
Consumers, I encourage you to give feedback to your local shops.
Did you stop shopping there because they kept messing up your bike when you brought it in for a tuneup? Did they sell you the wrong tube size 3 times? Did someone rub you wrong because they were grouchy and lacked customer service? Was your experience one that left you shaking your head and heading straight to google to find what you needed online?
I still try local coffee shops when I’m traveling, I buy clothes from other places as well, but when in a pinch I know who I can rely on and in todays times when we are all running around like crazy, this matters more to me than saving 5%.
For some reason Jason over at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek likes me… Regardless he has allowed me to slip you folks a secret discount code.
April 7, 2012 in Wilkesboro, NC
Registration opens October 31, 2011 at 12:01am here…Click me (but look at the code below)
The first 100 spots that use the below coupon code… get 20% off applicable registration fees!
Secret Code for Registration: HEADWATERS1
When I am riding locally in Charlotte NC I have roughly 4 trails I visit, either due to distance from my house, work or time restraints. One of my favorite trails,that is also one of the closer ones to my house, recently had a trail addition that opened earlier this fall.
Lake Norman State Park which is about 25 minutes north of center city Charlotte is a great trail for all levels. 20 or so miles can now be found wrapping around the lake. Well maintained with a decent amount of length it will give you a reason to make the drive. The words I would use to describe the whole circuit of trails is flowing, moderate, and scenic. The Tarheel Trailblazers have done a great job building and keeping up with the trails, the State Park Rangers keep an eye on the trail, encourage use but also make sure it isn’t abused when the weather is foul.
The recently finished addition, the Laurel loop added 8 miles to the other two loops that have been staples at Lake Norman. The loop is a bit more technical, adding fun switchbacks, little kicker climbs, man built log rollers and will give you a work out no matter your experience. Those in shape will hit the trail harder, those looking to step up their game the trail is completely rideable, you may need to walk a couple hills but there is not shame in it!
The trail reminds me of a tamed Warrior Creek in Wilkesboro. Not as much elevation change, not as many berms, but fun. 20 miles of mountain biking, with 10 more planned will make this a destination spot. I’m lucky to live relatively close to the trail (10 minute drive)!
If you are a local to me (Charlotte/Lake Norman, NC) then you should know about the dedication event of the Lake Norman Bicycle Route. The route is planned to circle Lake Norman on marked roads, greenways, and showing points of interest. The route is 3/4 of the way marked and mapped! Read more about it or view the map here.
This Saturday is the event to kick things off, including a bike ride!
Saturday, October 15, 2011 at the Troutman Depot
137 South Main Street, Troutman, NC
Starts at 10am
Description of the Troutman Loop to be ridden after the ceremony Saturday
Begin at Downtown Troutman’s landmark Old Depot at US 21/NC 115 (Main St.) and Wagner Rd. Careful crossing US 21 to start your ride south on Wagner. After 1.5 miles, veer right onto State Park Rd. The scenery becomes more rural and wooded approaching Lake Norman State Park. Past the first bridge, see a parking area at Park Lake. Boats can be rented here during summer. The building provides restrooms and drinking fountain (mid-March to November). A Porta-John is located at the north entrance of the parking lot by the Itusi Mountain Bike Trail entrance. A mile further on State Park Rd., turn right after the Park’s west gate. St. John’s Rd. ends at E. Monbo Rd. Turn right, and in a ¼-mile, veer right to stay on E. Monbo and the Loop. E. Monbo stretches another 4 miles through hilly, rural horse country before reaching Old Mountain Rd. (To visit Daveste’ Vineyards, divert right onto Talley St., past Hicks Creek Rd., and another right onto Lytton Farm.) Continue to Troutman, turning right on Old Mountain Rd. to reach US 21/NC 115. At the light, turn right. After a ¼ mile, turn left at Old Murdock, then right onto Eastway. Notice the “Richardson Greenway” path across from Town Hall. In ¾-mile return to the Depot. If you’re hungry, enjoy one of the several restaurants you just passed along Main St.
Peeling myself out from the warm covers early Sunday morning, the light wasn’t out yet and as I stumbled my way through getting dressed. It was going to be a long day as my knee and body screamed in pain due to the prior days 5k race efforts.
Record time into the car, hitting up McDonalds for a Muffin, sausage, egg and cheese breakfast. 25 minutes later I am sitting in a Super Walmart parking long waiting for my friends and fellow EM:PWR teammates to arrive for our car pooling. Many good topics, a couple moments of daydreaming and we arrive in Spartanburg, SC finding the Va Du Mar park quickly. Chatting, dressing and registering. I probably should have warmed up more than the 30 minutes on the road that I did. During my pre-race course preview lap I dismounted tweaking my knee even further. This would sum up the next 45 minutes if you want to finish reading now.
On the start line there was 4 women and maybe 8 men. A very sad showing for the cyclocross community in South Carolina. The women’s field even had cash payouts! As I stumbled around the course, carefully getting off the bike, somewhere on the backside of the first lap I was questioning what I was doing and how much pain in every down stroke I was feeling. I finished though, slow and at least 8 minutes behind the person in front of me.
The course was fun other than the lack of pavement, and a good amount of grass riding. There is a jaunt through the woods that stumbled up some of the roadies. As the course was worked over the dirt became more and more loose. The park was gorgeous, tons of parking, and new bathrooms that were heated!
Finishing Thoughts and Goals
I need to ride my bike more. Too often I get done races and simply realize I need to ride my bike and I would be better. It isn’t the nutrition, mental, or bike, I just need time in the saddle for progress.
Questioning to continue to pay $20 a race to realize this. Maybe go to simply photograph and ride the course before I have to pay!
What is the BIG STAMPEDE?
How about the biggest bicycle expo and swap to hit the Southeast! Big Stampede features 25,000 square feet of manufacturers, retailers, clubs/teams, and individuals buying, selling, and swapping new and used cycling and triathlon equipment. A place for YOU to sell your old gear, and buy or swap for new gear, plus a whole lot more!
November 6, 2011
WHEN: The expo/swap is from 9AM until 3PM.
WHERE: Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, will host the 2011 Big Stampede Southeast Bike Expo & Swap in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Garage located in the infield of the Speedway.
Admission = $5.00
12 and under = FREE
Parking = FREE
There is an ATM on site and there will be concessions.
The Official beneficiary for the Big Stampede is Trips for Kids. They will be there to accept any donations of used cycling equipment. Please bring something to give to them.
Cyclocross Practice in Lake Norman, NC from Arleigh Jenkins on Vimeo.
A clip of our Wednesday night practices for NC Cyclocross in Bradford Park in Huntersville North Carolina. Come play with us!