Monday, June 29, 2009

Inspiration "True Icon"

If this doesn't give you goose bumps, you must be dead!

Racing Against Cancer -- powered by
Sphere: Related Content

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tough Choices

Life come at us in many different ways. Sometimes it challenges us with family trials, sometimes with work stress and sometimes it is as simple as swimming.

I can not figure this sport out. I have been training for about 8-9- months and still feel like an 1500m swim without my wet suit is not survivable. Maybe because at these little sprint tris I exit the water about ready to drown. heart rate at the max and my times are just slightly about ave for the local 500 or so beginner triathletes in Knoxville. Oh so stressful!

Nothing compared to my friend Big B. Many of you know Big B as the engine of our cycling team. He is always there to ride and he always wants to be at the front of the pace line. I do not complain.
A couple of weeks back, our cycling group was riding in the annual Tour De Cure here in Knoxville. Pilot, the company we work for is the main sponsor and we have raised over 100k in the last 5 years for the event. We have a team of over 40 individuals who rode. Big B's wife, Brother, cousin and nephew all rode.
Big B's wife had a spill and she had to be life flighted off the course. She went head first over the handlebars. She sustained a (TBI) traumatic brain injury. In addition, broken clavicle, collapsed lung, two broken ribs and many other bumps. Bib B has been a pillar of strength throughout this whole ordeal. The family still ha s a long road to recovery.

I am happy to announce today Big B's wife A.K.A. The Big K, and that doesn't stand for Krash, are headed home for the first time since June 6th.
I also want to thank the Raisin Hope Foundation for the support and information. The responses in the forum helped Big B in the preparation phase of this trail.
Before this happened I had contacted the Raisin Hope Foundation about putting on a ride in Knoxville. Next year, I hope, with many of you to ride in a benefit ride for Raisin Hope "Big K" Challenge in Knoxville. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ultra Endurance Cycling

For over a year now, I have followed the adventures of Jill Homer AKA "Up In Alaska". She is a remarkable young woman who races in crazy sub zero weather and trains in conditions almost anyone would say suck! She has rode two Iditarods and other ultra races. This year she is competing in the Tour Divide race 2,745 miles.

Here is a description of this race, sound fun? Tour Divide is a solo, self-supported mountain bike race on all 2,745 miles of ACA's epic Great Divide MTB Route. With an average time-to-completion of three weeks in the saddle, this grand tour is the longest, most challenging MTB race on the planet. It's a contest for the ultra-fit but only if ultra-prepared for myriad contingencies of backcountry biking.

You can follow her progress through this link. She is attempting to go from Canada to Mexico, over the rocky mtns as fast as possible. Oh by the way, this is a self supported Race! if you take help, your out.

This week, I have been researching an event here in the states called RAAM OR RACE ACROSS AMERICA 3,000 miles
Don't get all worked up, I do not even believe I would be able to attempt this race. Yes, 3000 miles in 9-12 days. Do that math 292 miles per day average. You would have to average 14.6 mph to get to sleep 4 hrs a night. Any slower means less sleep. the winner completes the race in 9 days or 390mi day and rides about 22hrs a day. YES, I SAID 22HRS PER DAY!
Holy shit, that is a lot of pain.
Here is there definition of the race. This is a Race. Unlike other famous races, like the Tour de France, RAAM is not a stage race. The race is one stage, live to the very end. In RAAM, once the clock starts on the west coast, the clock doesn't stop until each racer reaches the finish line on the east coast. RAAM is 30% longer than the Tour de France and solo racers finish in half the time with no rest days. The race format is essentially a time trial, commonly called racing against the clock or the race of truth. Unlike the Tour de France, there is no drafting or taking shelter from the wind. It's an all out solo challenge.

Last night I cracked open a bottle of seasonal Skinny Dip! from one of my favorite breweries New Belgium. I have been lucky enough to visit this brewery in Fort Collins, Co. if you are ever through that area, it is a must stop. So many great things to say about this company!

New Belgium Brewing Purpose Statement:
To operate a profitable brewery which makes our love and talent manifest.
Company Core Values and Beliefs
1. Remembering that we are incredibly lucky to create something fine that enhances people's lives while surpassing our consumers' expectations.
2. Producing world-class beers.
3. Promoting beer culture and the responsible enjoyment of beer.
4. Kindling social, environmental and cultural change as a business role model.
5. Environmental stewardship: Honoring nature at every turn of the business.
6. Cultivating potential through learning, high involvement culture, and the pursuit of opportunities.
7. Balancing the myriad needs of the company, our coworkers and their families.
8. Trusting each other and committing to authentic relationships and communications.
9. Continuous, innovative quality and efficiency improvements.
10. Having Fun.

All I can tell you, is the beer is Oh so good. So last night I treated myself to a little bonus coverage of RAAM. I was given a present this pat week, the documentary "Bicycle Dreams"
If you cycle, this is a must see.
I think it did its job and I am officially pumped for the Cherohala challenge this weekend. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cherohoala 09'

It is that time of year again, your legs are feeling strong and we normally have a couple century rides under our belts. Then it is Cherohala time.

Yes, 9,000ft of climbing. and over 12 miles at 10-14% grade. This is epic by all standards! Did I mention it is 173.32 km long. Holy shit , that's a lot of kilometers. I am not sure how many miles that is but wow that seems long.

Ok It is 116 miles, you can check it out at the Smokey Mountain Wheelmen web page. Why don't you sign up today and come join us for some pain.
One of the really cool sections of this ride is well before you even get to the real climb, it is the Ride on the Tail of the Dragon. 318 wild ass turns in 11 miles of pure heart pounding fun. I will do my best not to pull a Liz hatch.

Here are some pictures from last year. These are on the Dragon, there are always photogs hanging around taking pics of all the motorcycles.
Notice all the water I am carrying, I was told we were only going to stop 2 times.

This picture is from the Fall reverse Chelohala. We do this as a group ride. It is real cold at the top, but the views getting up there are spectacular

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, June 8, 2009

Prayers and Praise

Last weekend over 400 riders came together to ride in the Tour de Cure in Knoxville, Tn.

Great weather sunny but not too warm. Unfortunately one of the riders had a horrible accident. She apparently hit another rider and went over her bars. She suffered a skull fracture, broken clavicle, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. She is a member of our team and a friend. She needs every ones prayers.

Now I have praise for the reaction of the medical response team who helped her get to the Ut med center. A doctor, who was riding the ride, stopped and was johnny on the spot. He also made the call as to where she went for attention. I do not know who you are, but want to give you a hug.

Without a helmet, she would not be with us today.

Last week completed an evening ride without a helmet, this really shines a light on how stuiped of a decision that was. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First timer on the parkway

I forgot to bring a camera, so no group picture
These are pictures from another night

Last night was a special night for the Pilot group. Not only did we get to ride the Parkway, well everyone except Kenny, but we also got the chance to introduce a fairly new rider to the best ride in Tn.All afternoon the weather looked great, I swear the radar was clear!

But as we started to turn the cranks, a black cloud moved in over us. I know everyone was thinking oh shit!

Wait, I also forgot to mention Phillis once again disappeared around lunch time. I think he was under the impression we were going swimming at lunch.
We just rolled off like there was no rain. That is what Micheal, our radar man in Townsend, reported. (Clearing skies, no rain) if I remember right. The first 2 miles the rain gods just spit at us. the next 5 miles they pissed on us. So hard, Kenny lost his balls and didn't ride. He was sure that in any second hail the size of golf balls would be pelting us. Ha, we laugh at hail Lacey said as we continued climbing. Lacey couldn't understand why so many body parts were beginning to hurt. I told her, this is a night of many firsts. How true that turned out to be. Good news, as we crested the first climb about 4.5 miles in, the rain stopped and amazingly enough, we were riding on dry pavement. The rain had not even touched over half of the parkway. We decided to descend easy to help with the leg recovery. As we began to climb the next section, strange noises began to come from Lacey. At first I was worried there was a wounded animal in the weeds. Then I realized It was out former D1 athlete putting some strength in her legs. I wasn't sure at that point if she would make it to the top. I told her not to give up or I would be forced to call her old teammates and tell them she quit while riding a bicycle. She growled at me and began a nice even cadence. Well that was until a car coming down slowed and politely told us a bear was walking around up ahead and we should be careful. At this point, Lacey, who has lived in Knox since August and not yet visited the GSMNP looked at me and said, "Are you shitting me, did they say a bear?" I have rode this route 30 or so times and have never seen a bear. A couple times a year the camp ground at the top get visits. I tried to calm her nerves and explain the park is full of bears and I had seen many on rides and hikes. Leave the bear alone, and he will leave you alone. That is the rule, and that means do not eat where there are bear. Anyway, we began climbing the last 2 mi section and she forgot all about the bear.
Not the best night for views of the Smokies, but on the way down we had spectacular views of why they are called the Smokies.
This ride was special, I remember just a few short years ago, I had those same butterflies in my gut I know our new friend Lacey had last night. She set two PR last night with as the Garmin recorded 27.50 miles and a time from Coulters bridge to Look rock of 1:21:03
PS: Lacey already beats 3 out of 4 of us in the pool. I am not sure it is a good idea to get her legs strong, she just might beat a couple of us in the next Tri.
Sphere: Related Content