Edge of the woods.
Edge of the sunlight.
Edge of the time.
I can't really explain it. There's just something special to me about the edge of day and night and the edge of the woods. Colours beyond description. Bats. Owls. Stars. Clouds. Sun. Moon. Temperatures mixing. Everything mixing. My heartbeat slowing. My breathing, deep.
15 minutes of edgy mix..
at the trail-head.
not just bliss from mountain bike flow.
a moment in time... fortifying my soul.
Bedford Mountain Cross Race Series: Held every February, usually at Bedford Trails Falling Creek Park, lies an early chance to test your fitness and / or just get out and ride your bicycle. Entry fees are low, sandwiches are guaranteed, and conditions are Anything Goes Postal! Why weren't you there?!
Race #01 - Restless for Spring, over 20 of us gathered to re-acquaint and toe the line... 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall is the series format for Fortune and Glory; only time delay handicaps separate the advantages of experts to first time juniors. -- Placing 2nd for the day was my wake-up call to 'game-on.' Would this be my year for first in the series?! -- Although some of 'the usual riding suspects' were notably absent, sunshine and a nudge into warmer temps were quite present for the day.
Race #02 - Jumping into action and establishing the series lead. -- The almost spring-like warm temps & sunshine brought me once again to second place for the day but gaining first place in the series overall. Jake B. (Men's Expert <35) who placed first from race #01 was out of town and did not race today. While Ritche V. (Women's Expert <35) placing first for the day by an extra lap on everyone, was absent from the first race. Consistency pays off; you've got to show to win. Still, there were others, hungry and fast on my 'six'!
- on a side note...Davey & Kelly rocked it home on the mountain tandem that day! Seriously, they should have gotten a lap per person. What a team!
Race #03 - the Night Race! - Going fast in the dark! Did I forget there is a lights-required night race in this series? Seriously, what other series has a night race? But honestly, this is still beginner friendly racing! -- Bruce M. (Men's Vet Sport) dug deep with his new bike and the time bonus head-start system to hold off the field for first place for the day, all while maneuvering into 2nd place for the series.
"The 'Forest Leprechaun' is in his element with night riding"
"And, yes, the Mountain Tandem was rockin' the night riding, too!"
Race #04 - Because Mountain Cross is 'any conditions go'... This year's Going Postal brought Torrential Rains, Wind Gusts, Wintry Cold, Flooding Creeks, and Sloppy Mud.... and we turned it up to Eleven. Eleven of us braved the elements.. Some were fighting for Fortune & Glory. Others were defending their sanity. Still others were there just for the sandwich & cheetoes and a chance to ride their bicycle with friends.
Bruce fought hard with grit in his eye, fire in his engine, and perhaps a little swagger in his helmet.
The Leprechaun dug deep against the day and the head-start time-bonuses.
Some rode with smiles..
Some rode with Postal Crazed Looks..
But I had the agony of defeat.
While Bruce had the elation of an extra lap.. just 30 seconds before I could get there.
Meanwhile, this fitness packed runner and Masters rider, slipped in for 2nd for the day.
Series Results - Lots of fun, good people, mountain bike riding, and racing, all while getting that much closer to Spring! -- Stuck on my gears & suspension, my single speed was missed, but I was glad to be riding... and riding fast and well enough to capture second place for the series. -- Being an expert level racer is tougher than one might think in this series; competing not just against the other experts, but also competing against lost ground from the head-start time-bonus handicap system. Whew. Now that's some hard racing! -- Good Job, Kenny Palmer & Bedford County Parks, for another great year of the Bedford Mountain Cross Series.
Left to right: 3rd place-Kevin Painchaud(Masters), 2nd place-David Tompkins(Vet Expert), 2011 Series Champion-Bruce Meyer(Vet Sport)
So I've been riding my Superfly Single Speed... a lot... regularly...
At the 3rd Disco Race, though, folks noticed I looked a little different. I tried to distract them by dressing in theme... seems I was the only Funkadelic / Expert to do so this night, too.... bonus points for me :-)
Well.. the plan didn't quite work. Most immediately noticed that not only did my hair look like Wake's previous Disco, but my bike also looked like Wake's bike. Its true. I was on my Superfly 100... yup, my own Superfly 100 since about December of 2009. Full Suspension and gears all the way baby. An awesome bike in all its rights that I really enjoy riding! Not my first choice for my only chance at the Disco Series, though.... I am a little 'single speed meshugana'...
Sigh... Alas, all this aforementioned riding on the Superfly Single Speed left my drive-train feeling like some torturous work-out machine at the RAC. Now as much as I'd like to improve my leg strength... I had to draw the line somewhere. Without gears, the resistance was limited to the rear hub, Chris King B'lingle Speed specific, yeah right, or the crank-set / BB, Shimano XTR, not likely, but more likely than the hub. I like this simple stuff.
So I figured... since I was prepared to change my BB... why not pull a Beyonce Upgrade and replace the bearings in my cups w/ ceramic bearings?!
Well... thanks to the Enduro BB ceramic upgrade kit, Enduro removal / press tool, some paper instructions, and expert mechanic advice & experience... well lets just say my cranks never spun so smoothly!! - that's right.. 2 exclamation points!
Come on... you know you want it... yes you do... it will increase your speed and bling factor almost as much as this vintage, orange, superfly, 'Luxurious Matte Jersey.' Say it with me now.. 'Ceramic Bearing Beyonce Upgrade.' That's good.... yeah... real good.
I mean.. for real.. you can trust a 'Disco Forest Leprechaun' can't you?! I'm betting you can ;-) After all, the Leprechaun is now friends with Churchhill Charlie Horse of Churchhill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.
Good riders know to shift before the stress hits the drive-train. For single speed'ers... that means more than just pushing a shift lever! Preparation & knowing one's self is key to at least just finishing... and possibly finishing with honorable mentions.
This is NOT an April Fools Day Joke.
Please speak your bicycling oriented mind regarding a potential Conservation Easement on Mill Mountain.
It should take no more than 5-10 minutes of your day but may impact generations to come.
Deadline is Friday April 02, 2010
Roanoke City is considering a Conservation Easement with regards to Mill Mountain and is seeking public input via survey.
Link to details and survey are below, but first please consider these points.
'Preservation' as a resource management term can imply keeping things 'as is' with no more human intervention... only changes by Mother Nature. This type of resource management can severely impact the ability to maintain, improve, or expand outdoor / natural-recreation opportunities, such as trails available for bicycling.
'Conservation' as a resource management term implies 'wise goal-base-use' land management with appropriate techniques / tools. Using Recreation-oriented Conservation Management can greatly ease managers and maintainers ability to maintain, improve, and expand as-appropriate natural-recreation opportunities.
Requests: I urge you to support bicycling on Mill Mountain by expressing your concern in the survey's 'Comments Box' that "Any Conservation Easement on Mill Mountain allow for the ability to easily maintain, improve, and expand as appropriate the natural-recreation opportunities of Mill Mountain, in particular, single-track mountain biking and road bicycling opportunities." And yes, you may choose to cut and paste the above quoted sentence if it speaks what is on your mind :-)
Not to toot my own horn or anything... but two different customers at work today said they were impressed with my knowledge and ability to help them with their cycling needs. Particularly the Trek PDX and the Gary Fisher Monona.
Now that just gives me a warm fuzzy... 'cause that's my main goal.. to get the best for my customers' cycling needs.
It is especially warm & fuzzy as I felt a little like I was 'running in circles' near the end of a 'very productive' week that included a POS software changeover, store remodeling, and major one day sale.
Props to my co-workers... we all help everything happen for each other!
Rumor is my bikes are always so clean cause I hardly ride them.
Hmmm. let's see..
- Dirt all over the Single Speed.. been there since the ride last Sunday, added some more wednesday nite, then sprinkled a bit more thursday nite.
- Hmmm. still dirt on the tires of the Superfly 100 from the Bedford MTX Race #03.
besides... gives that cat some new scents to sniff around ;-)
This is Dave Tompkins. Dave is our resident forester at East Coasters in Roanoke.
Dave's a trail work guru and has done much for the Roanoke trail community in the time he's been here. If you want to know what's going on with trail work in the Roanoke Valley....Dave's your man.
Dave's a mountain, road, and cyclocross (and townie!) bike rider, too.