My buddy Jon had been hounding me for months. “Are you signed up for Save the Trails?” “Are you signed up for Save the Trails?” “Are you signed up for Save the Trails?” The answer each time was “No”. I didn’t do it last year, when most of my mountain biker friends were. And I really wasn’t that interested in doing it this year. Jon is the ride organizer for what is a worthy cause.. funds raised go towards supporting the trail system at DuPont State Recreational Forest, which I have mentioned numerous times over the years and which does indeed have an excellent trail system. But I still wasn’t that interested. Why?
DuPont makes me tired.
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.
A little over a year ago, I got a message from a “Facebook friend”. You know, the kind of Facebook friend you haven’t actually seen or talked to in 25 years, but are still connected to thru the modern day wonders of social networking websites. Now, there may be a lot of downsides and criticisms of social networking, and for all I know it will eventually be the downfall of the human race.
I kinda doubt it, and in this case it turned out to be a really cool thing.
For a couple months now I’ve been hopping on the mountain bike and riding over to Bent Creek and back in order to do a trail/gravel road ride. This is somewhat silly but at least the ration of paved miles to non-paved was about 2:1 or 3:1.
I was about to push that ration out to 10:1.
I had planned on riding up to Craggy Gardens one last time before the Parkway was completely closed at Tanbark Ridge Tunnel, not just to motor vehicles but to bikes and hikers as well. Unfortunately, I missed my chance by just a few hours. As an alternate plan, I headed up through Biltmore Forest and did then rode the Hendersonville Rd. to Folk Art Center section and then headed up as far as the tunnel to check out just how “closed” the closure was.
It was pretty freakin’ closed.
August blew in quite a bit differently than July blew out… although there was still rain in the forecast more days than not, and we did get showers, they were a lot shorter in duration and lessened in intensity. It was continuously gray and overcast, but for the first time in longer than I can remember we managed to score a pretty damned nice first weekend of August. It wouldn’t last, but for a few days things were more like a normal summer in the North Carolina mountains.
Except for the temperatures.
For some reason I want to think we got a break in the rain somewhere in July, but it can’t have been much. I know we never went more than a single day without some amount of precipitation so maybe the fourth week was a case where I just got lucky with a couple hours of breaks in the clouds a few days in a row.
Or maybe I just stopped thinking about it and accepted it as part of daily life.
When living in Bent Creek Neighborhood, directly adjacent to trails, it becomes very easy to fall into a pattern of simply going out the door every day and hopping on said trails, either by bike or on foot. That’s a great asset to have, but does tend to become rather limiting over time. For the first few weeks in the new place I looked around for alternatives, explored my new surrounding areas, and did a lot more road riding than mountain biking.
So if you haven’t been around Asheville for the past three months, or if you have been around Asheville, but never go outside, you may not have noticed that it has rained just a little bit this summer. And by “a little bit”, I mean we’ve had a shit ton of rain.
Or is it a pant load? I can never keep that straight, how many pant loads in a shit ton?
Over the first couple weeks of living in East Asheville, I started to get the feel for my new surroundings, ride distances, traffic patterns optimal routes for riding and a little bit for running. In the last week of June I did more of the same. I had feared that I would really hate not being next to Bent Creek, but discovered that my fears were unfounded.
OK, gonna try something new here. Like thousands of other users, I’ve grown tired of the way Yahoo has screwed up what used to be the awesome Flickr photo sharing website. In the past I have looked at and tried various gallery photo solutions to integrate directly into WordPress, but didn’t have much success with them. However, the most popular one in recent years, NextGen Gallery, has recently undergone a major overhaul and debuted their version 2.0. So I’ve decided to give it a go. I really have no idea what I’m doing here but will start out slow.. basically just getting a single gallery of photos uploaded and displayed in a single post. These photos are also on Flickr but with any luck I won’t need to resort to that.
And with any luck, I will completely redo the entire dobovedo website to look more like a photojournalism blog, with a completely new theme and photos more prominantly displayed.