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.
OK, this is getting ridiculous.. now two and a half months behind on writing. Makes me wonder if maybe I’m just fooling myself. Almost nobody reads these blogs and I apparently don’t even care that much about writing them. Life moves on, things are changing. June disappeared in a hurry and time continued to get away from me. First it was the move to a new house and living with Julienne for the first time. Not to mention doing it with the beginnings of what would become a wicked cold. And not to mention having my backpack stolen, along with my work laptop, two Kindles and my camera, among other things.
Yeah, that fucking sucked.
Before the trip to San Jose and New York, I wrote about two lengthy mountain bike races in which I endured many hours of mud-soaked trails and torrential rains. Not to mention the resulting damage to both of my mountain bikes, totaling nearly $600 in parts and service. Following the New York trip, I resolved not to enter any more races or organized rides for quite some time. The string of rainy events extends all the way back to last fall at Shenandoah 100 in Virginia, and they’re getting to be a pain in the ass.
What I didn’t anticipate is that following the first ride upon returning from New York, I would endure yet another deluge, albeit of an entirely different sort.
Day three of our New York trip was scheduled to be Julienne and Kevin’s excellent adventure. We didn’t have any concrete plans, but did have a couple destinations in mind. Unfortunately, the weather from the previous day continued, in fact worsened. It was a chilly, wind driven drizzling that didn’t look like it was going to let up all day. First thing in the morning I rode the bike back to the bike shop and then ran back to the hotel, getting covered in rain and city grit the whole way. I reported the conditions to Julienne and asked her what she maybe wanted to do for the day.
One of the great thing about Julienne (and there are many) is that she doesn’t mind getting a little wet any more than I do. So we didn’t let the weather change our plans to wander the city. We grabbed some bagels at a deli along the way and wandered down 32nd street, heading for our first destination, the High Line. The High Line is an elevated green space/park build on an abandoned rail line. About a mile of the park is finished, a unique blend of aluminum, steel, wood and flora, running in between apartment and commercial buildings. The rain made it a challenge to keep my camera lens clear enough to take photos, so I did the best I could.
For the second day in NY with a rented bike, I had questionable weather forecast. Starting out was just overcast and then got progressively worse, first with light sprinkles and then some harder rain. It didn’t dampen my fun any though. Bad weather makes for good photos, right?
Well.. that’s somewhat true.
After picking up the rental bike I pedaled my way back to the hotel, once again going down Broadway, right through the center of Times Square. That was fun, dodging my way through cabs and busses and pedestrians and tourists – all the Manhattan traffic that normally exists in the middle of a weekday.
Yeah, that’s right… it was FUN.
The day after my ride up to Mt. Mitchell, I wanted to do another Parkway ride, but I didn’t want to go near as far. By this time I had suspected that the General Store up at Pisgah Inn might be open, so I thought it would be a good ride up as far as 276… a 40 mile out and back. The weather was similar to the previous day, but gray and cloudy. I didn’t take the camera with me.
So… no photos for you!
… you get a ride in a car both before and after the commute? I guess since I make up all my own rules, I can make up this rule… yes, it does. I covered 30 miles by bike on a Sunday; that’s a commute. It just a commute that didn’t start or end at home. Then again, the riding I was doing wasn’t really “commuting’, no matter where I started from.
I just did it on my “commuter” bike.
After back to back Parkway metrics on Easter and the Monday after, I took it easy the rest of the week. Did a short 4 mile run on Tuesday, rode with friends on Wednesday, took Thursday off, and did an even easier 10 mile ride on Friday evening.
Then took off for 6 Hours of Warrior Creek… which was anything but easy.
I didn’t mention it in the previous post, but my rainy, fog-obscured, snow-blocked ride up to Craggy Gardens as a second attempt to ride up to Mt. Mitchell was on Easter Sunday. Easter being a week earlier than the previous year, and with winter hanging on longer than usual, made for a very different ride than the one I had done the year before. The weather also kept me from doing a much bigger ride, something I cooked up in my head quite some time ago but haven’t had the guts to do yet:
The Devil’s Gardens Double Metric, aka “The Saints & Sinners Parkway Tour”