24 October 2012

Sometimes you eat Pisgah ...

... and sometimes Pisgah eats you.
Double Dare start, 2012. Eric Wever photo.
This was the weekend that wasn't. Dealing with mechanicals, a route that was more fun this year despite taking us to the same places (and getting us there more slowly), and much better weather made Double Dare 2012 a sort-of event for Greg and I. We decided to bail halfway up Pilot Mountain Road on Sunday morning, when, as Greg put it, we realized that we "stopped having fun yesterday sometime." And that was that.

I made up for it, though, sending my friends from Minnesota on a true Pisgah experience on Monday: Laurel > Pilot > SMR > abandoned logging road > Squirrel > Bradley Creek > 1206. Yes, you read that correctly. They missed a couple of turns in there. Let's just say that if DD was forgettable for us, Joshua and Scott's first-ever Pisgah ride will be one for the ages.

DuPont yesterday with them, Bearwallow today and probably a night ride tomorrow. Despite all the black clouds swirling around, this week may not be so bad after all ...

18 October 2012

For effect

So do you think Patrick Dempsey will show? Do you think the "untold story" will really be told?

The past week has been very ... strange ... in the world of cycling. I was sitting in a hotel room in Santa Fe, NM, trying to contort my body enough to get a clear internet signal on my micro laptop, when I read the news. Oh, boy. And now here we are a week later.

This isn't the first time cycling has been "brought to its knees." But I would say it's certainly the worst. The scale is bigger -- when l'affaire Festina happened 14 years ago, French housewives, Swiss milk cows and Belgian handymen were really the only ones deeply affected, and everyone got to come back and play on their bikes; this time around, the hypocrisy of the sport's governing bodies; the very, very deep rabbit hole; and indeed the "true heart of a champion" are all being revealed, in a very public way.

You wanna know why I care? Why I've spent hours reading through the decision and the accompanying affidavits? 'Cause of this: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/aug06/USPROcrit06/?id=results/USPROcrit064 As it turns out, Kayle may have been the micro-sized safety pin linking everything together, and when he confessed to a team staffer he could trust, then said "meh" to his landlady who found a box of drugs -- who then called the FDA, gawd bless her! -- Lance Armstrong's world began to crumble. I read through the results list of riders at the bottom of the page and they're not just anonymous names -- they're rivals, ex-teammates, friends. No, I'm not naive enough to think everyone on that list is clean. But I believe at least some of them are, and they were getting screwed.

I'd really like to be smug right now, but the truth is, I hate it that I'm so far into this. If I've learned anything in the past week, I've learned that for the past 14 years, since I quit smoking and got healthy, since I started competing in running and then cycling, I've absorbed a catalog of scientific and corroborative puzzle pieces that are now fitting together. What really went on Inside the Postal Bus? Was it really all just about old wive's tales and spilled salt shakers? When Sheryl Crow sneezed, was that really the signal that "the vampires," the drug testers, were closing in?

The ball of twine continues to unravel, and we're far from seeing the end. The effects will be far-reaching, though I doubt even Levi has a good sense for where it will stop ...

01 October 2012

Was it something I said?

Well, yes. Yes it was.

It's been a while since I posted here; a combination of learning to be president, chasing around a climber of a kid and just generally being focused on other areas of life have made it a tad more difficult to find blog time.

This is what happened this weekend. My son turns 1 year old next Friday; though you can see Kim enabling his desire to get vertical here, I assure he did this himself the first time, and most times after that. We just want to make sure he won't hurt himself on the way down!


In the meantime, this is what I did on Saturday:

No, that's not me. That's Jeremiah Bishop of the Cannondale Factory Racing team, during the recent Pisgah Stage Race. But that descent is the "Humvee Section" of Pilot Rock, and that's where I went on Saturday, before watching my son monkey crawl up a slide.

And on Sunday, there was this:

That's me on the right, helping to begin a project that will bring about some of the first new trail to be built in Pisgah in a very, very long time. It was a fantastic day to be bushwacking through the woods, made even sweeter by a run up Laurel Mtn. Trail afterward to knock out some deadfall!

Might have been good to have Kim there to help me, though -- on the way down, a pedal strike left me a bleeding mess in the middle of the trail. Next time she'll have to grab me before I get too crazy!