Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday adventure!

Well, yesterday my friends Gary and Jeremy from Cane Creek Cycling Components picked me up around noon to go ride Squirrel Gap. Another awesome adventure Sunday! On the way up the long ass gravel Turkey Pen road, we hit a rock with the oil pan of the BMW. Often folks will park at the bottom and just ride up but since we had Tsunami, Gary's dog, we decided to drive up. "She hates the gravel road after riding Squirrel Gap." Was Gary's reasoning so off we went. Well, like I said we hit a rock with the oil pan. We didn't notice it in the parking lot so along with our friend Steve-o we embarked on an awesome day of Squirrel Gap out and back riding.

We rode all the way to Horse Cove then turned around and came back. That trail is absolutely the awesomeness! When we arrived back at the parking lot we realized that somewhere in the last few miles, after all that riding, we were missing Steve-o's dog Gia. While he was cruising back down the hill to find her we changed and loaded up the Beemer. When Steve-o and Gia return, Funny thing Gary says, "I'm going to look and see if we dented the oil pan. hehehe. FUCK!" He had dented the oil pan alright and there was now 1/2 of a liter of oil underneath the car.

Gary was awesome. He kept his cool...drove carefully down the rutted dirt road of oil pan ruin and to the BP where he calmly called AAA and Elliot to come pick us up. Since none of us were going to be driving home, Jeremy cruised into the BP and grabbed some tallboys while we waited. We even had a nice sunny spot on a beautiful upper 60 degree day!

Elliot arrived and loaded all of the bikes onto his Mercedes wagon (I think it was a Mercedes wagon) and we threw all of our gear inside. The tow truck guy arrived and to my beautiful surprise he didn't flaunt his overly large ass crack as he surely could have. What can I say? I noticed it and needed to mention it. We all headed to German Motor Werks of Asheville (Elliott works here), dropped the car and picked up Gary. All this and we were still home by 8! Sweet! I was a little sick from all the crap I couldn't help but consume at the gas station but that was my fault.

Sorry about your car Gary, but thanks for keeping a good attitude about it. Thanks to Jeremy for the beers. Thanks to Elliott for driving 40 minutes both ways to pick us up. Thanks to Fate's (not fat's) towing for keeping the crack concealed, being timely and getting the BMW to the shop. Overall, not a bad day at all. Until next time... Happy riding!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

PMBAR 2010 Route and Profile

Well, I wanted to give ya'll some idea of what our PMBAR route looked like on paper. For you all, as well as Laura and I, I have created a blog compatible file of my National Geographic Mapping program file. Blah that was a jumble. It took me about 8 tries to not click at the wrong time but I did it! Very frustrating. Much more so than the event itself. Then I couldn't get the file to be small enough for wordpress. I'm learning so much! Yahooo! Here it is folks...

Well Laura is at LEAF, so tomorrow I'll ride with someone else... I hope. You think I can hitch hike to the trails with a bicycle? Just kidding. I'll try to have a trip report tomorrow night or Monday. Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

PMBAR trip report

Well Laura and I got up bright and early Saturday morning and were on the road by 6am. We both tried really hard to convince the belly's that it was time to eat breakfast which was not an easy task that early. We both managed to throw some food of sorts and some Mtn. Air coffee in the tank before the race. This day was going to be sooooo good.

We had spent the last few months since the snow melted, on the trails hitting major confusing intersections in Pisgah and making them not so confusing in our minds. We also spent a day in the pouring rain climbing and descending Black Mountain trail. PMBAR was going to be Laura's second race after she began riding bikes in March of 2009.

I had been checking the weather for the whole week now and it was looking like cloudy until 3pm then chances of thunder storms in Pisgah Forest. Well, it was raining in Mills River when we passed through... not raining at Turkey Pen road...sprinkling at the start... wow, a whole day of rain ahead of us? You never know in Pisgah...

PMBAR training day. Up and down black mountain 50 degrees and rain.

The buzz started as soon as Laura and I got dressed. It's amazing the things you can see in Pisgah...

We went to gear check, checked in and finished getting our shit together for the day. So many things we could take... so many things...

When the rider meeting started we were just finishing up and I think we missed the first 30 seconds of Eric's instructions... I hate that... we hustled on over and I threw the bag of Mtn. Air coffee and Endless Cogcertificates under the prize tent and pulled Laura to the front-ish of the group of racers. I like to start in the front. Then I can talk to everyone who passes us and see more buddies.

When Eric said "GO" we hustled up Black Mountain trail. So far PMBAR has started and ended on Black Mountain trail as 276 is usually off limits... I like that... I HATE riding on 276, it's terrifying. So I saved the map reading till after the first hike a bike. We hustled it on up to Pressley Gap and we decided to keep going up and cruise down Turkey Pen. We took a little pee break at Turkey Pen Gap and I watched a team head down Turkey Pen and right back up... that's it... we're going over Black Mountain! After thinking about Turkey Pen trail several times during the day, I realized it wouldn't have been the ideal route anyway for the chosen checkpoints. I discussed the route options with Jeremy... it was nice to have someone very knowledgeable to discuss the route options with. I was stoked that he and Katie Miller (her first race) had chosen the same route that we did as we leap frogged with them and their great attitudes for most of the day. We also leaped frogged with Karlos and Luis a bunch. Karlos was rockin' out to some neat tunes. Up and over Black Mountain we all went. Black Mountain trail had no view today but Laura and I stopped for a photo shoot anyway cause that's how we do. Racing for fun and the best photos?

Black Mountain overlook

After the descent from Black Mountain to Buckhorn gap, I was stoked! That shit is soooo fun. Someone even commented on how that must have been so much better than Clawhammer Rd. That early in the day he was so right. Down Buckhorn Trail to S Mills river to the first checkpoint at Squirrel Gap and Cantrell Creek. Laura was so relieved to get Squirrel out of the way early in the day but she also noticed how much her skills are improving and how much more of Squirrel she rode this time than the last time she was on it. YES! WIN!

Intersection of Squirrel Gap and Cantrell Creek Mandatory Checkpoint 1

From here we headed on out Squirrel and down Laurel Creek. I love that... we got to go down Laurel Creek and not push up it! We hit the next checkpoint at the intersection of Bradley Creek and Laurel Creek where volunteer Allan Atkinson stamped our passport and posed for a photo in the SUN! We reapplied and shared sunscreen. Thanks again for being out there Allan and posing for our Shannanigans.

Checkpoint 2 Laurel Creek/Bradley Creek with Allan

From here we headed on up 5015 which is Bradley Creek Road. We cruised along chatting for a while and then we just kept our own pace. We saw Jeremy and Katie again, we saw Karlos and Luis again, we saw some other folks just grinding it on up to Yellow Gap.

Jeremy and I chatted away about bringing new racers into Pisgah through PMBAR and how important it is to show them a good time. Through this one day each year, none of us will ever be the same again. The new racers will solidly become just that if our attitudes remain positive. For these two teams, they did and Laura and Katie can't wait until next year!

From Yellow Gap we had a ripping gravel descent into Mills River woo hooing to every team that went passed in the opposite direction. What can I say? I love being everyone's personal cheerleader whether I know them or not. Who doesn't need a little extra cheering sometimes?

We stopped at the campground to fill waters from the pump (no iodine needed here) and I got to use a real toilet! Score! Then we headed on up 5000/wash creek road to checkpoint 3. With a group of about 4 teams with us we approached a group of horses heading up 5000. We asked them what we should do... got off our bikes... walked around... then back to the gravel grind. Not such a good day to have a horse adventure with all of those bikes out there.

I thought a lot about geared bikes riding up this ascent with some and realized that if I had a granny... i'd be in it too! Glad I didn't and never once did I wish I had gears. NEVER! More woo hoo's to the teams coming down. When we got to the checkpoint that Kris Kjellquist was manning at Spencer Gap Trail we decided that since we had reached 3 checkpoints we were going to have a good break with good snacks. We even forgot to take a picture. I ate some turkey sandwich and chips. We reapplied sunscreen. We saw Jeremy and Katie again, Rich Dillen and Thad Hoffman, Emily Brock and Amanda Wisell.

The Bee's Knees, Bitches!

We goofed off most of the way back down 5000 while woo hooing to folks climbing on up. That's just how we roll. Nothing but comedy. We stopped and got another refill on water at the campground and I got to see my good friend Buffy. My friends Kelly and Joel were playing in the campground that day and gave us a good shout out as we rolled on out 1206. I love that!

5000 Goofiness!

1206 had the potential to break us, but we did it right with sandwiches at checkpoint 3 and a little goofiness. We just kept moving forward and telling ourselves "we got this." When we came around a bend and saw 2 folks dressed exactly alike, looking huge, on dirtbikes, rolling side by side, for a minute my brain couldn't compute and I thought I might be losing it. I really did! It was freakin' wierd. At yellow gap (the top) we came up on Mandy and Emily then they were gone. We filled water on 1206 before Pilot cause it was hot and we were afraid the sun would scorch and shrivel us all the way up Pilot. That fear would slowly dissolve and in it's place came the fear that we might be stuck on Pilot as the storm clouds were rolling in. We passed Emily and Amanda as well as a few other teams as we slowly pushed our bikes up Pilot Rock trail.

The Majesty of Pisgah!

This 2.5 mile push is brutal but it's not so bad if you remember to look out at the amazing views that we would miss on the ripping descent back down. At least that's my story. We killed that hike a bike! We made it to the top. Karlos and Luis would be just leaving as we arrived. Emily and Amanda would be arriving just as we left-ish. We took the opportunity to get another photo with Shane? our lovely Mandatory checkpoint #2 final checkpoint #4 of the day volunteer. I also ate the rest of my turkey sandwich and some chips.

That's right! #4. Now we can quit and ride back to the car, I mean finish! HA!

Back down Pilot we went. I loved riding back down Pilot! I got to take the time to turn around and watch Laura ride more of this trail than she had ever ridden in the past and this was almost 45 miles and 9 hours into the race. The time is now 5:20. The first time we checked it all day. We knew where we were so we didn't need to stop and check the map. We bombed back down Pilot, right on 1206, left on 476 which basically becomes South Mills River trail, right onto Buckhorn Gap trail to Buckhorn Gap. I ate a nutty bar.

We saw Paul and Kip, wondering if they should take Clawhammer/Maxwell or push up Black Mountain... Nate H. and his partner convinced them Clawhammer/Maxwell. Nate also announced that he was not going to be beaten in the race by a tutu! Funny!

We saw Curtis and Rob (my partner from last year) they opted to hit the hike a bike of Black Mountain rather than the climb up Maxwell. Guess it depends at this point whether the gravel grind or the hike a bike is more likely to crush your soul 11 hours into the race. I guess that depends on the previous events of the day.

Laura and I opted to descend Clawhammer and climb Maxwell. When we reached Pressley Gap, there were lots of folks setting up camp there and one fellow was nice enough to point us in the right direction. I hope it didn't sound mean when I said, "yeah, we know. Thanks."

We knew we were on the home stretch so we put our heads down and pushed up the hike-a-bike section. No energy left to even try riding. When we hit the top Woooo Hoooooooo! Down we went. It had begun to sprinkle and was beginning to get very dark like. You know the dark I mean... it's almost time to turn the lights on but the daylight is just bright enough that it would just be harder to see with them. We made it back to the parking lot at 8:20 with still a few moments of light to spare (from the photo you can't tell) and 1hour and 40 minutes before the cutoff. YES!!!! SUCCESS!!!

Lady bug and Killer bee still smiling at the finish. Photo credit Namrita Kumar O'Dea

As usual, it was really great riding with all of you especially Laura and I can't wait to do it again soon. Until then. Don't forget to smile!

Monday, May 3, 2010

We made Urban Velo!

Cover of Urban Velo #19

That's me riding my cute little Sally Jean. She looks good riding the city. Awesome article about riding in Asheville with a photo of Marshall on his Endless Shortcut frame riding a wall too! Thanks again Jeff Z. for hooking me up with those awesome photos and getting them out there. Asheville and EndlessBikeCo. love you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just rolling along

Hey ya'll thanks for reading. The blog has rolled over to here. It's now on the website. Check it out and let me know what you think. Photo by Justin Mitchell

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finally thawing

Well, it's been two weeks now and I'm finally thawed from Snake Creek Gap. Why was I frozen?
The temperature never made it over 30 maybe 25 and as you can see from the photo I chose to walk the creek.
"Yes, Shanna" you say "but it looks like you have trash bags on your feet." I did. As soon as the bottom of my shoes hit the bottom of the river, the bags had holes and my feet were wet. I stopped about 30 minutes later to take care of my feet. I changed my socks which consisted of removing three frozen pair of socks (the socks next to my skin were even frozen), putting a dry pair of socks on and a handwarmer between that pair and the outer frozen sock. My right toes warmed right up and the left ones remained frozen the entire race.

I have had friends ask, "you stopped in the middle of a race to change your socks?" I sure did. I was a whitewater kayaker in a past lifetime and have had lots of frozen toes. I try not to mess around with frozen extremities as I enjoy keeping them all. Call me greedy if you will. I realized in the beginning that this race was going to be really fucking cold but I was there so I might as well make the most of it. That being said, my goal for Snake Creek Gap #1 became to have the most fun (that's always the goal even when I'm suffering) and be safe. Mission mostly accomplished as I still have some issues with my left big toe being numbish. Next time I'll wear booties and ride it like Marshall did. My hands, thanks to that prior whitewater life, were so sweaty it was almost unbearable. Notice the pogies in the photo. 1 more plus for single speed and no cold hands here.
Fun though, I had a lot of it! I mean, look what I'm wearing, it's 2010 bitches and I brought that first 2010 bike race in with Endless single speed style! I chatted away with lots of the riders that either passed me or I passed. I met some new folks. I saw friends that I only see at this event. I cleaned a lot of the technical ridgeline and thought to myself a lot "wow! I raced this rigid last year?" I spent some energy cheering on the single speeds too. Sorry geary fellas (Marshall included), I cheer for the ladies (I only saw 1 other on the trail) and the single speeds.

Thanks to Mike Tiano for giving Marshall and I a ride in the Pope Mobile, all of the volunteers who ventured out on that really freaking cold day to put on one of my favorite events, the photographers for taking photos, and the racers for being out there getting it. I posted my slowest time yet and I'm registered money class. Right now I'm sitting in dead last by over 40 minutes. I guess I set that bar really, really low.

Hope to see you at the Icycle on January 31! Oh yeah, I'm also looking for a ride to SSUSA in February if you know of anyone who has an extra seat and rack. If not, I'll be back at Snake #2. Either way, it's gonna be fun and EndlessBikeCo is a sponsor of both!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Swanky, fryparty, holidaze, snowstorm wrap up!

Hey blog fans, the year is almost over so here's a catch-up of what's been going on.

I finished Swank this year with the time in the photo! Youngblood beat me by 5minutes and 5seconds. I placed 3rd on my single speed and my time placed me 38th overall! EndlessBikeCo. sponsored athlete and all around good guy Thom Parsons came down from
Massachusetts to placed 3rd overall on his single
speed! I'm so proud of Thom. Photo by Laura Goetz

The Pisgah Brew Crew was out in full force cheering racers on at the bottom of Farlow Gap and my number 1 fan Laura Goetz was there as well. Check out these photos!

As I expected, I was the only person in a tutu and only one person asked me "What's up with the tutu? Don't you know Halloween's over? He doesn't know shit and I'm pretty sure I beat him. With the Brew Crew on Farlow though, I was not the only person with an awesome outfit! Photos by Laura Goetz, The Living Pixel and an unknown Brew Crew member.

In November Marshall put on a "Fuck It, Fry It" party. What is that you ask? Well we fried whatever anyone brought. Here's a photo of some of the things that went into the turkey fryer. Bacon wrapped chicken wings, bacon coated bacon, turkey, oreo cookies, flour tortillas, mini snickers, wontons... lots of things. It was a good party, but the grease hangover lasted far longer than, well... I would have liked. The guy at the Red Cross Platelet Donation center the next day was not to happy with me either, but I donated the platelets successfully nonetheless. We did have one casualty when Otto crashed a bike on the way back from a cream cheese run! The cream cheese arrived at the party safely and Otto made it back for dinner with a broken collar bone after the ER visit too! What a trooper. Photo by Phil Shaw

Laura and I had an impromptu pie party! Rode Black Mountain Trail in great outfits on a Sunday! She was wearing a home made bear suit and a nice
dress cause it was Sunday and there is no hunting on Sundays. Sorry we didn't get a photo with the bear ears and armies! Good lookin' photo nonetheless.

We had Thanksgiving with friends! I'm thankful for all of them. Photo by Laura Goetz

In December we experienced a snowstorm which is rare for Asheville. Laura, myself and the crew spent a lot of time riding bikes in the snow and enjoying each others company in this rare (for Asheville) winter splendor, we also helped Justin put on the Holidaze Alleycat! We had reindeer games in the back yard. I always wanted to be a reindeer with wings and look, Laura really can fly! Photos by myself and Justin Mitchell
Well, that's all for now. Getting ready for the Snake Creek Gap Time Trial Series in Dalton, GA
which will be Saturday January 2, Saturday February 6, and Saturday March 6.

Please support NW GA SORBA and come on out!

The weather man (whomever that is) calls for 36degrees on Saturday as of today with rain and snow showers on Friday.

Good thing I have a "HOT" outfit for the race! It's gonna be so much FUN! Report soon. Ciao!