Friday, October 24, 2008

Heading home Sept 16

Woke up this morning to a rough day weather wise, both here and at home. Hurricane Ike swung around and hit Cincinnati with high winds that did a lot of damage and our neighborhood got hit hard. Ann is without electric and has been for several days so I decided to call it quits and head for home to rescue the love of my life. Kent and Sloan dropped me off in Asheville and on the way back to Little Switzerland I stopped at Lowe's and bought a generator as there were none in Cincinnati to buy.

Kent had pretty much gotten over his cold, but Bruce was not getting better so with the rain and all I thought it better that he didn't need to ride in more rain. So I picked him up and loaded the bikes and headed home.

It seems like every time I leave on a trip something happens at home. On my cross country trip we were going through a drought that caused Ann to work her butt off trying to keep things alive and I owed her big time on that one, which I thought I was caught up on, and now this so I'm back to square one. Not really, as I was a hero who brought electricity with me! The neighbors also appreciated it as I ran the generator around so everyone could get a hot shower once in a while as we were without electricity for exactly a week.

So that was the end of yet another great trip and am looking forward to the next one. So the totals were 415.52 miles with 34,652 feet of climbing! Woohoo!

Mt Mitchell Sept 15

What a day! We all rode Mt Mitchell and had a nice time under beautiful weather. That is until we got to the top of Mt Mitchell which was socked in fog, but just while we were on top. It was a hard ride and I felt good, but tired. We made it back to the Lodge just in time to shower and hit dinner. We were afraid we might be late and possibly miss dinner and life would not have been pretty as I might have had to eat the lodge dog! Everyone did well and we tried to talk Sloan in to riding tomorrow, but she informed us that her season was over and she would not be riding.

So the next morning they are heading to Ohio and Bruce and I are heading to Asheville. So today was 55.5 miles with 6628 feet of climbing, great day!

Little Switzerland, NC Sept 14

We were close to Asheville where we had started so Kent and Sloan decided to ride back to the car and drive to Little Switzerland and meet us there. I think Sloan was getting tired as we had doing a lot of climbing and Kent really wanted to ride Mt. Mitchell. So we spit up and they headed to Asheville and Bruce and I headed to Little Switzerland. Kent is thinking about renting a road bike and ride Mt Mitchell with Bruce and I.

Bruce and I had a beautiful day to ride a hard ride, but at least we had a tail wind! Tailwinds are great, but if it's as hot as it was today you don't get the breeze to cool you off so it was hot. We came to a closed section of the road and took a 5 mile detour on a gravel road. We stopped a MBer and he said the road wasn't too bad so off we went and it wasn't too bad as I just took it easy and didn't have any trouble. Then after we rejoined the road a couple said that the closed section was going to become a bike trail as they weren't going to reopen the road, and that we could have rode that section. Oh well. So we arrived at Big Lynn Lodge and had a nice two days there. They had a list of rules that was extensive and one of the rules was that they don't allow bikes in the rooms. This worked out okay as we just locked them up outside and they were basically out of site and it wasn't a place that I was worried about anything happening to them. Dinner and breakfast were included in the price and we even had set times to eat and assigned tables. The people with seniority get the tables closest to the windows, which offered a nice view. We got a window table. Woohoo!

And then to our surprise Sloan said that she would ride Mt Mitchell with us! Life is good and I was glad to hear it. So tomorrow is the big ride! Today was 43 miles with 3391 feet of climbing.

Black Mountain, NC Sept 13

After another rest day we rode to Black Mountain. The rest day was rainy and miserable so I spent the day resting, after all, it was a rest day, and cleaned and lubed the bike. I was tempted to ride back up the descent that we flew down yesterday just so I could do it again, but this time stop and take a lot of pictures. But after looking at the bent all nice and clean I just couldn't bring myself to get it all dirty again, so it was kind of a boring day with not much to do. We went to two bike shops so all was not lost. :>))

We got a little late start under cloudy skies, but it soon turned in to blue skies and a nice day. I thought today was the easiest day so far and the next two are going to be two of the hardest, bring 'em on! It got very hot today. Bruce and Kent both have colds and I'm doing my best to keep from getting it. So bruce is napping after a stop at Wendy's, Taco Bell, and McDonald's. Makes you wonder how we manage to stay so slim! ;>)

So we rode 55 miles and climbed 3439 fet.

Brevard, NC Sept 11

Today was seven years after the ^%T*($^ destroyed the towers. We're staying at the Holiday Inn where we will stay another day as tomorrow is another rest day. We left Waynesville under cloudy skies and a threat of rain and climbed a long 19 miles to the highest point on the BRP. What a beautiful ride this is! Steep, long, foggy, and raining, but enjoyable (relative term) none the less. After the hard climb we enjoyed a great descent to a waterfall that Kent had told us about.

The descent was along a fast running stream and I was torn between wanting to stop and take pictures and not wanting to ruin the descent as it was so sweet, but I did bite the bullet and stopped once.

After a great day of good riding and fast descents we arrived at the Holiday Inn and after getting cleaned up we devoured everything at the salad bar! And then called Ann and Mom and let them know we were all safe and sound. I was thinking about the bike trips and the advantages of solo or group trips. It's nice to have people along to talk to and share the experience with, but then it is also nice to go solo and not be on a schedule. So there are advantages to both sides and I enjoy them both. I like to camp, which no one else is in to, but I enjoy both.
Good ride.....Sloaner bonked! We rode 58 miles with 4810 feet of climbing.

Waynesville, NC Sept. 10

Yesterday was a rest day, but we rode to the bike shop so we were on the bikes for a short distance. We rode to Waynesville today and stayed at the Best Western. Kent and Sloan made all the reservations, which was nice since I didn't have to. The roads were nice and we were paralleling a very nice stream so we took our time. Everyone is playing well together and life is good.

Bruce was a little concerned because Kent and Sloan didn't stop very often for food. Kent has lost some weight since riding more after not working and needs to eat more often, reminiscent of Jerry on the tandem. Today's ride was only 47 miles with 3724 feet of climbing. They were calling for rain, but we managed to stay dry for yet another day.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Franklin, North Carolina Sept. 8 2008

We're staying at the Hampton Inn tonight after riding the long route. Kent and Sloan had a hilly and scenic ride as did Bruce and I. We had a 25 mile climb which was hard, but was well worth the effort. Bruce climbs faster than I do on the recumbent, but when we hit the down hills I smoke him so it evens out in the wash.

We rode along the Nantahala River and it was beautiful as was the forest, stopping at the Nantahala center to see if anyone was kayaking at the moment. We didn't see anyone and after unsuccessfully trying to get a sandwich we headed on out towards Franklin. We got to the Hampton about 3:30 and after a shower we headed to KFC for their buffet, which turned out to be pretty good, but everything tastes pretty good after 63 miles and 4433 feet of climbing!
They are predicting rain tomorrow and tomorrow is a rest day so it might be good to be sitting in a motel room, but I don't do well on rest days, which I found out on my XC trip.

Bryson City, NC BRP

We survived another beautiful day on the Blue Ridge Parkway and we're at the Relaxation Inn drinking a beer and relaxing after another hard day of riding. It was hard, but the scenery is spectacular and the descents are some of the best I've ridden, and I do love the descents! It's the main reason I go up hill so much.

The day started out foggy so we got a late start and today we reached the end of the BRP and continued on back roads for a figure eight ride.
The scenery is just superb! The views from the BRP are awesome! We had ridden the northern portion of the BRP on previous trips so this will finish the BRP. I would go back down there and ride again as it was that nice.
Tomorrow is a short day and Bruce and I may ride the longer option as 28 miles is pretty short, but in these mountains with long climbs it's a lot different than a 28 ride in Ohio.
We all went to Anthony's Italian Restaurant for dinner and had a nice meal and we discussed tomorrow's route. Kent and Sloan will do the 28 mile route and Bruce and I will ride the longer route.
The descents on this trip are some of the best, if not the best, that I've done and I do like my descents. I like climbing, but mainly because they lead to great descents. So I rode 46 miles with 3735 feet of climbing. It was a good day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blue Ridge Parkway

Greetings once again

September 6, 2008. Bruce, Kent, Sloan and I went to Asheville, NC to finish off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had ridden the northern portion on two previous trips and now it's time to finish this bad boy. Bruce came to Ohio and to our place and he and I drove to Asheville to meet up with Kent and Sloan.

We got to Asheville and after a wrong turn we found the motel and K&S, but discovered that we had a mile climb to the Blueridge the next morning, but knowing that there was much climbing to do the next week and a half this was no big deal. We were able to leave the cars at the motel for the 11 days so that was good.

The next morning we headed to the BRP and enjoyed a very scenic ride and shared the road with quite a few bikes as they were also enjoying the Parkway along with quite a few cars. There are no commercial vehicles allowed and the speed limit is 45 mph so this helps the enjoyment as we ride. Rode about eleven miles and then started climbing in earnest for thirteen miles to the top of Pisgah Mountain. Had beautiful views of the valleys and surrounding mountains. The kudzu was growing everywhere! If something didn't move rapidly the kudzu would completely engulf it. I'm not sure why they don't attack this plant more aggressively as it's taking over the South! Agent Orange worked in Nam! Okay, that may be a little drastic, but it makes one wonder.

There were a lot of tunnels and most were short, but a rear flasher came in handy to keep from getting run down in the middle. One tunnel was long enough to be completely black at one point and for this we had headlights. The tunnels, as was the road, was mostly built by hand which is pretty impressive. We survived the tunnels, but it was a little disorienting when it was really dark.

We rode 53 miles today with 4491 feet of climbing, some of which were 21 percent grades, which is really fun on a bent. Sure glad I changed the cranks and used a lower gearing in front as the grinds were long and hard, but worth every pedal crank. Did I mention the downhills? They were fantastic.

Bruce programmed my GPS for the entire route and it worked great. Now I just have to learn how to do that and I'll be able to go anywhere. So we rode to Waynesville and the first day is complete.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Next adventure!

Greetings from south western Ohio. I don't know if anyone is still looking here, but in September Kent & Sloaner, Bruce, and myself are headed to Asheville, NC to ride for 9 out of 11 days and should be a great trip.

Kent planned this trip and then he and Bruce tweaked the route a little. Me, I'm just along for the ride. And quite a ride it will be as it looks like there is going to be a ton of hard climbing every day! The final day will be an assault on Mount Mitchell which should be interesting. Bruce has been doing a lot of serious climbs in preparation as he says it's not the miles on this trip, but the climbing. He is ready for it more so than I. I've started doing some serious climbing and will be ready.....or at least able to do the ride. I'm changing the gearing on the bent to a mountain bike crank to get the lower gearing that I think I'll need.

So it should be a beautiful and hard ride and hope maybe someone is still out there looking. We start riding September 6, 2008. Peace Paul God Bless

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Howdy, well the bent is on the road again! Woohoo! We've had 2.3 inches of rain in the last 15 hours so it's pretty wet out there so no riding today......unless the sun comes out strong and dries everything. I'm headed to Athens this weekend for the Tour of the Hocking.

TotH is a two day ride over Memorial Day that has an overnight on the Ohio River where we camp and enjoy the scenery and a gourmet dinner. A very good time had by all! The Athens Bicycle Club does a nice job on their rides. I'll be staying at Tom's house on Saturday night and cousin John's house on Monday night returning home on Tuesday so it will be a good weekend. The weather even seems to be cooperating as the long range forecast looks promising, but then reality will set in about Saturday, so here's hoping.

As I get older I think, why should I ride in the rain, but after my XC trip, riding in the rain doesn't really bother me. But I have to admit that it's hard to start out in the rain. Back in the old days when I was riding with the Peckerheads it didn't matter what the weather was, we rode every Sunday morning unless the snow was too deep! Later.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bents back!

After much procrastination I have finally got the bent built back up and have taken three rides on it and it's working great. I did have to break down and take it to Jim's Bike Shop where Patrick did the final touches on the chain and rear derailleur.

By not building it right away it forced me to ride the Merlin, which made my arm tire rapidly and then I got out the mountain bike and put smooth tires on and it went pretty darn well. Makes me wonder which to take to North Carolina, the MB or the bent, as there is going to be a lot of climbing.

I have determined that I might do a little suffering on The Tour of the Hocking on Memorial Day weekend, which by the way is next weekend! I need more hill miles! It will be a great ride regardless, but I will suffer slightly. Wish me fun!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wow, here it is April 24 and I haven't put anything on the blog for quite awhile. So thought I'd drop a blog. I found a new bike comic at and it's pretty decent and has a new one daily. Tim Creamer sent it to me so thought I'd share.

Tom Wolf came over from Athens and he and I rode pretty much every direction from home to about Caesar Creek and then Tom continued on to Xenia where he spent the night and I headed south to home. Tom got 108 miles and I got 70. The trillium were just getting a start, but today they were a lot better and in a week they will be glorious.

I took off north to meet Tom and we met up and we rode south and I turned off for home and Tom continued on south to do another century. He's completed 60 consecutive months of centuries and over 120 total centuries in that time frame. Pretty impressive.

I've been riding the MB lately, but the bent will be back on the road shortly, but I'm putting mountain bike gearing on it if I end up taking it on the Blue Ridge Prkwy ride. The bent is just plain more comfortable. It's slower, but I'm slower, and I still enjoy it. I just can't ride as fast as I used to and that's the bottom line. But with close to 1000 miles so far this year I'm not too concerned. That's all for now. Possum