Marathon Mileage Bump

Started looking at the calendar and noticed that the Asheville (Citizen-Times) Marathon is coming up in just a few weeks. Although I’m not training up to the same distances for this marathon as I did for the one at Biltmore last March, I figured it’s time to start pushing up the mileage a bit.

I figure I’ll be really well prepared for a half marathon, and then I’ll just have to wing the rest of it.

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Bikebackin’ Kit – Phase II: Complete Touring

In a previous post, Bikebackin’ Kit – Phase I: Light Touring, I described my bikepacking setup for light touring, which included an oversized saddlebag and frame bag from Revelate designs. Since then, I have added almost everything I need to do complete self-supported bikepacking trip which includes camping, but excludes meals/cook kit.

Yeah… I’m not messin’ with that. I’ll eat cold food or get meals at restaurants.

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A Hard(tail) Return to Bent Creek

For the better part of the month of July, I stayed off of the mountain bikes. I discovered pretty quickly that bruised ribs can heal while riding on smooth roads, but they don’t get better when you’re knocking them around on rougher terrain. I suppose they would recover anyway, given enough time, but the discomfort wasn’t worth it. Yet another reason why it’s good that I enjoy a variety of types of riding.

Finally, at the end of the month, I decided I was feeling close to 100% and decided to venture back out onto the trails.

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Bikebackin’ Kit – Phase I: Light Touring

In previous posts I mentioned purchasing some bags from Revelate Designs so I could do some overnight bikepacking trips, in particular, a two day out and back trip on the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah NP in September. The previous weekend, I put the bags on the Roubaix and used them for a couple single day trips just to get a feel for the ride quality and also an idea of the performance and capacity of the bags. The initial rides, other than being scorchers with temps up near 100 degrees, turned out well. This is a first step, allowing enough storage for 2-4 day trips without camping gear.

Here’s a bit more information on the bags and setup so far.

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Epic Ride Week

So how much do I like my new mountain bike? Well, when I got home from riding one day last week I was so happy with it I gushed a totally ridiculous, adolescent sounding post on Facebook, “O M G the new bike is A W E S O M E ! ! !” This was was met with some derision from a couple of my cycling friends who apparently have little tolerance for totally ridculous, adolescent sounding posts.

Well too bad. I’ll gush about my awesome new bike if I wanna gush about my awesome new bike.

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Eight Is (probably not) Enough

On Saturday evening, when I brought the Rockhopper into Motion Makers for an overhaul and replacement of the front derailleur, I was standing at the service counter talking to Sara, one of the employees, and I said, “It seems silly to be dropping this bike off and not have a bike to ride for a few days when there’s a brand new bike on layaway in the back room.”

Sara replied, “Yeah, that is a bit silly, and it’s a sweet bike you’ve got back there”.

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Stumpjumper FSR 29er Test Rides

On the first day of December I went over to Motion Makers just before they closed and picked up a Stumpjumper full suspension test bike. I had been trying to get it ever since I rode the Epic, but this is one popular bike and it was always out being ridden. I had just enough time to throw on some pedals, thrown on some clothes, adjust everything and get over to R-P parking lot to meet Chris and Patrick for a late ride.

On the way there I discovered quickly that I’m not a big fan of the Stumpjumper FSR.

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A Ride of ‘Epic’ Proportions

I’ve been going on and on about full suspension bikes after riding in Pisgah two weekends ago. Comparing the ones my friends are riding to my hardtail, hearing about all the benefits, watching them ride more easily down rougher terrain, but I still had absolutely no idea what it was like to ride one. Quite honestly, I was wondering if they were all making a big deal out of nothing. Sure, there would be a difference, but is it all that much? Am I going to enjoy riding on that rough terrain or am I maybe not cut out for that type of riding?

I figured the best thing to was borrow a bike and find out.

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Bent Creek/Pisgah: “Casual” Epic

One of the criteria Chris used to decide what route to choose for Saturday’s Pisgah ride was that he knew I was signed up for a MTB Meetup hosted by our mutual friend Patrick, that was titled: “Casual Sunday Route All Welcome”. The description of the ride was: “Casual pace 4-6hrs. Rice Pinnacle parking lot>North Boundary>5 points>Greens Lick>Lower Side Hill>479>5000>Spencer Connector 140>Spencer 140>352>FS5097>Fletcher Creek 350>Gravel Rd>Trace Ridge Parking>5000>Back to Bent Creek>Side Hill then whatever time allows. I have come to understand that “casual” means, “We’ll wait for everyone at each trail intersection and maybe a time or two on the longer climbs”. Nobody gets left behind (except by choice).

Casual does NOT mean that the ride will be easy, either in length, amount of climbing or technical difficulty of the trails.

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Take Flyte Take Two

The day after the Viper my hamstrings were feeling quite fried and the easiest option I have is to ride to Wedge Brewing, along the French Broad River. This is a ride I’ve made dozens of times, but this time it had special significance. Yes, it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but that wasn’t the special significance. This was the second anniversary of my first ride on the Specialized Roubaix at the 2009 Hancock Horizontal Hundred in Findlay, Ohio, but that wasn’t (quite) the special significance.

Instead of riding the Roubaix on her birthday, instead I made the second maiden voyage of my Flyte Arsenal.

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Holy Crap! It’s August Already? Switching Gears

The other day I was talking to some friends about upcoming events. I mentioned that I’m doing the Asheville Half Marathon in September and the Rev3 Anderson (South Carolina) Half Iron (Distance) “later in October”. For most of the year, these events have been looming far in the distance, and at some point I would switch my focus from road biking (multiple visits from roadie friends/Hot Doggett) and mountain biking (ORAMM), and get back to running and sure… even some swimming… to prepare for these events. As I was explaining all this to said friends, it suddenly occurred to me that the Half Mary the Half Iron are no longer “looming on the distant horizon”…

… the horizon is staring me right in the face.

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