Wednesday, December 27, 2006

NYD Lake Loop

New Year's Day Lake Loop
Ride Date: 1/01/07
Meeting Time: 9:30 am
Location: Ballentine DMV

Please stay posted for future changes. A reverse route from last year is in the process. Just trying to find an convenient startin point in the Lexington area.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Two More Trails Ready

Two more trails are ready at Lynch's. The longish trail from the top to the last trail and the super-short step trail are all cleared. I'm going back in this morning to try to get one (or maybe two) more miles done before the rains get here and bring all that to a grinding halt.

My goal is to have as much as possible ready in a week to do some sort of kick-off-remember-how-nice-these-woods-used-to-be kind of ride for you all. It's been several years since there was any mountain bike traffic out here, and it'd be nice to see it get some use.

The county council has been debating for a year now about logging and clearing the whole thing in order to meet a short-term deficit problem. There's been a grass-roots group to show council just how much people care about keeping it as it is and available for use by folks. The good news is that the most vocal proponent for closing/clearing/logging was defeated in the last election.

At any rate, it's not all for a selfish (30 seconds out my garage door) reasons that I'm getting the woods back into shape. It's a valuable asset to this town, and I hate to see it get wasted. So when I get it all done, look for some sort of invite to celebrate with me on a couple of laps.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New Years Day Lake Loop

Update - 1/1/07 9:30am Location Ballentine DMV, Try to get rolling by 9:45 at the latest. Toby

My oh my how the time has flown by. It's now closing in on another "New Years Day Lake Loop". The requests are starting to come in daily. This will be something like 5 or so years since I first started to organize it. The mileage has changed every few years, but the cycling folks I call friends keep coming out. I'm not sure if it is to get a last big ride of the year or to ring in the new year on two wheels. What ever your reason I'm sure you have one. So I guess we will start the roll call now t-minus 13 days.

I've been pondering the the thoughts of a reverse loop this year. Another suggestion is mileage. Bare bones minimum 55ish miles to complete the loop. This will include some heavier traffic at times. Hopefully a 55-60 mile loop there would be no need for a sag. It's a winter training ride - so pack your extra bottle of HEED, Accelerade, Gatorade or Jack and haul it around the lake. This will be self supported for the most part. We could hit a store but don't count on it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday Mountain Rides

Two rides to note for the end of December.

Joe and I are headed to the Horse Stables area of Pisgah for a longish ride on Thursday December 28th.

Local trail master Jeremy is leading a ride on December 30th at Wilson's Creek. I have not ridden there but I have heard it is pretty technical. This will be a 30 - 35 mile day. Wilson's is about an hour and a half north of Asheville. So that might be a long day for you midlanders.

If you decide to roll on either of these rides let me know.

Late Edit:
I am going on another ride this Saturday 12/23/2006 in Coleman Boundary. Drop a line.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lynch's Woods Update

I spent this afternoon doing some more trail maintenance at Lynch's. The prologue trail is 100% ready, and when you come out of the prologue trail, and cross the road both forks of the trail are now 100% ready.

If anybody's got a 24" bar or larger chain saw, we could sure use it on a couple of places on the interior trail. This is the best part of the ride, and some of them are in spots that it's just not feasible to re-route around the timber. So if you've got something like that, give me a shout.

Would any of you guys be up for an afternoon of trail work one Saturday soon to finish getting the whole loop back into shape? I could use a hand, and could come up with some refreshing beverages afterwards.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pisgah Rides

Gentlemen (I know that doesn't go for most of you),

Pisgah ride this weekend at Coleman Boundary. I (for once) am not the tour guide, but we have a good one.

If you are down, give me a shout. We are kicking it on Sunday, so you Harrell's peeps can make it if you got the wheels.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Break out the base layers and tights

Y'all better find the wool socks for Saturday: low temperatures are expected to be near 24F. I've been debating about whether to go do the Upstate Winter Bike League training ride or hit Harbison for a couple of laps. The thought of a 20 mph wind ripping through me on the road bike doesn't sound all that appealing, so I'm thinking "woods!"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

2007 Gary Fisher Paragon - Single Track Review

After having a couple of weeks on the new 2007 Gary Fisher Paragon, I've been able to get myself re-trained about how to handle a bike off-road. Some of that is due to my being without a mountain bike for a season, and some of it is due to the changes in the geometry that are just required by a 29er.

I have the Prolouge and Inner Loop cleared up until you hit the deep rock creek. I was out of fuel for the trail-clearing equipment, and had some family coming into to town, so I headed out for home at that point, leaving me with a good trail to get some practice on later. The weather was -- well -- dang hot. It felt more like late-April/early-May temperatures rather than late November. But at least the poison ivy was dead and gone.

The Paragon is still a lot of fun to get on, and pretty addictive. The larger wheels are without a doubt more comfortable for me. I don't feel beat up at all after a good 90 minute workout on it. Certainly nothing like I used to feel after a ride on the Homegrown with the SX-R fork. The Paragon's Reba fork gives off a prounounced "woosh" sound on bumps, and that has taken some getting used to. The SX-R was pretty much silent in comparison. The lockout on the Reba is definitely a nice feature when I'm on the road headed home.

There's no doubt you sit higher off the ground on this bike. Way off the ground! Gary Fisher may be technically correct when he says the center of gravity relative to the center of the wheel is lower than on a 26" wheeled bike, but you're still so high off the ground on this bike that getting on and off on steep, off-camber climbs can be an adventure. This height off the ground, along with the crazy wide handlebars make for some difficult handling situations on the really tight trail we have here. Climbing, provided you stay hooked up with the ground, is improved. The front end doesn't want to lift on you, and the rear wheel stays glued to the turf better than I remembered. For a while, I was upset that my all-time favorite tire -- Panaracer Fire XC-Pro -- wasn't available for 29er bikes, but these Bontrager stock tires are doing nicely, and I don't have any plans to change them right now.

The hydraulic brakes are doing their job. The rear brake has developed a roughness to the feel, though, and I may need to get that checked out. You can feel the cuts in the rotors when you brake on the rear. The front is as smooth as it can be, in comparison.

Toby's tip for turning the new Bontrager Sweep bars down was a big help. Your elbows tend to stay in more, I've noticed, compared to traditional flat bars with little sweep.

Some posts you may have read elsewhere indicate there is a problem with tire clearance on the Paragons. Let me set the record straight: there isn't a problem. There is plenty of clearance with the stop setup. If you want to run some monster 2.8" tire, then you will have a problem. A bigger potential issue is the location of the front derailleur cable. As you can see in the picture below, there isn't much clearance for the derailleur cable at all. So far there has been no problem, however.

I'm getting more and more comfortable with how to handle it with every additional ride. You can corner quicker if a) you've got the room to lean it hard and b) you've got the guts to lay it out like that. In other words, it corners like a road bike, and not like a traditional 26" mountain bike. It just sticks well in the corners.

Hairpins require a little more thought because of the longer wheelbase. It took a few hours of riding to get comfortable with riding into those corners with the front wheel initially way outside, and planning where the rear wheel is going to go. It's second nature now, though, and not a problem at all.

The added comfort of the bike is enough for me to give it a high recommendation. I'm not beat up at the end of the ride like I used to be. I'd like to get in some 4-hour rides over Christmas break on it. And like you read before, the Bontrager saddle that comes stock is super comfortable. Don't replace it without at least trying it out for a couple of rides.

Back in the saddle...I think...

Alright, I've been warned by the cycling gods that I am only to dedicate any real effort to cycling and cycling only. As some of you are aware, I severely paid the price of my MVP performance at my school's Student vs. Faculty flag football championship of the world. I tore my prufundis tendon in my left ring finger and had to undergo surgery last Tuesday, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving(Darn young kids!). Let's just say that it was a very bleak Thanksgiving because of the pain that I was in and I also had to deal with wearing a hard cast that kept my wrist in a very weird position. I went to have the cast taken off; after a couple of fainting spells(yes, cycling has really turned me into a tough man!) I got to take a look at the stitches....not pretty. The finger is not too tender anymore, but I have lost a good bit of flexibility which I will work on in therapy. I had to spend a great deal, at least to me, off the bike...bummer! However, I'm back! I think. I tried out the trainer and everything felt fine. It looks like I will be able to begin riding again on the road bike only. It looks as though I may be off the mtn bike for some time, at least until mid Jan. As far as the road bike is concerned, I can pull the brake levers fine, shift gears fine, and ride on the hoods or drops if need be. I went out on the road yesterday and it felt very good to be back. So, all my training will be on the road bike this December. I know a lot of you guys are into mtn bike mode right now...but if you get the urge to do some slow-med pace road rides, let me know...just don't tell my doctor;) (Brian-don't you dare tell your brother!)

I'll be on the road bike on Saturday. Give me a call or shoot me a note if you want to hook up!

I'd love to ride up to ride with Clint at Lynch's Woods...but that ain't going to happen :(

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lynch's Woods -- Mostly Cleared

I worked in Lynch's Woods most of the day on Friday. I have it about half-way cleared except for some larger trees and brush that I'll need to hit with a chainsaw. It's a lot improved, but I'll have to wait until I get off work in a couple of weeks to finish it out.

I'll be in the woods on the Paragon if anybody's up this way.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Is there any top-secret training going on Sunday?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

2007 Gary Fisher Paragon - Short Review

Hi folks. I've just taken on a 2007 Gary Fisher Paragon to replace my old Schwinn Homegrown. Both bikes were similarly equipped: the Schwinn had a mix of XT/LX and V-brakes, while the new Paragon has Sram X-9, and a mishmash of Bontrager components. The paint on the frame is a bright red with some fine gold metal flake in the deep clearcoat. It's a good-looking frame to replace the bass boat blue Homegrown. I'm so sick of flat black/silver. A bike needs some flash to it and Fisher has been putting good colors with flaked clearcoat on the Paragon for a couple of years now.

I got the bike on Friday night, and except for the cursory ride around the parking lot, had no saddle time until I was warming up on it for the Harrisburg Half Short Track series.

The biggest difference is the wheel size. The Paragon uses the new "29er" size compared to 26" hoops on traditional mountain bikes. This bike seems ideal for me on short track. The bike rolls over stutter bumps with a lot less chain slap and shock to the booty compared to 26" wheel hardtails, thereby allowing you to focus on your 180+ heart rate and wearing your lungs like a backpack.

Shifting with the X-9 shifter is taking some re-learning because of the push-push design compared to Shimano's trigger shifters. There were some shifts missed going to smaller cogs, but I suspect that is due to getting the cables stretched/broken-in.

The bike is easy to lean over for the bermed corners. On the Harrisburg track, I got into a groove of doing the single track descent with only a couple of touches of the brake -- a significant improvement compared to the race I did on the cyclocross bike.

The new Bontrager Sweep bars were hard on my hands: the ends were turned up just slightly, but enough to put excessive pressure on the outside of my palms, resulting in a good bit of pain by the end of the race. Toby P suggested pointing the bar tips down to the rear, and I'll have to report back later to see if that will fix things. I sure would like a good set of comfortable bar ends -- that's the old guy in me, though. Bar ends are just more comfortable for me when I'm standing on the climbs.

If you get a Paragon, at least try the Bontrager saddle that comes with it. Yes, it is made with a vinyl cover and has cromoly steel rails. And yes, it probably does weigh more than 120g, but it is a very comfortable saddle and a good match for the hardtail. I used to ride off-road with a Flite saddle, and it beat me senseless. The stock Bontrager may not be the most expensive saddle around, but it's dang comfortable.

I had my strongest start and best finish of the short track series on the bike, so obviously I'm going to be a fan. The best compliment about the bike that I can give is this: this bike won't be an excuse for how you finish. It's a smooth ride, a great position, and is stocked with dependable and reasonably serviceable components. Unlike my 'cross bike (which held me back on the singletrack descent), the Paragon won't hold you back.

Thumbs up on the Paragon 29er.

The next series for short track starts in January, and I hope to improve my handling on the Paragon in the time that I'll have off from work during December. If I remember correctly, this course will be a little bit more technical than Harrisburg, but will have some extended road sections -- kinda sounds like 'cross but without the barriers.

Winter Training Q&A

Courtesy of

Winter training

I wouldn't pretend to be an expert on winter training methods, but I find validity of both arguments in doing long winter rides and short 20 minute power intervals. I've been riding/training racing for the past 20 years.

I also understand a little about athletic training/physiology/kinesiology as a physical rehab therapist. I've found in the past when I have done mostly the long winter base mile training, I came into the season unable to sustain high energy intervals and my sprinting ability was terrible. It makes sense to perform shorter high power workouts. After all, muscles are keenly activity specific.

When I've gone the other way and engaged in mostly shorter high intensity workouts, I've come into the season fairly competitive, but lacked the endurance to perform high intensity efforts over time. I think the old maxim "Ride your bike" has always been the most obvious and wisest method.

When one looks at resistive weight training to build muscle mass and strength, one can see how repetitive training with a specific muscular activity improves that muscles ability to perform that particular task. I'm certain it's the same for high effort intervals, sprinting and climbing.

Whatever you're looking to improve, constant repetition with an eye to push the envelop is the key. Coaching or experience is important to know how much and how hard and how often and how and when to rest. I find the longer winter ride is also a great time to work on pedal speed and stroke efficiency.

Scott Saifer replies:

You are 100% right that a winter of all base will bring you to the season unprepared for hard effort, and a winter of all harder effort, or of training with hard effort being a large percentage of training time, will bring you to the season without the endurance to survive the races strong enough to take advantage of your ability to make a hard effort. The weak, argumentative answer is that you can get your speed back in a few weeks or a month, but that once you start racing you won't get endurance so if you have to choose all base or all intervals, choose all base. The stronger answer is to note that each component of training has a typical time course, and to commence each component the appropriate time before the important races of the year so that you peak in all aspects of physical and mental fitness at the correct time for your season or for the races you care about most. For most riders, that can be accomplished by having a few months of pure base, followed by a few months in which more intensity is gradually

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Winter Training Camp!

I received this note from Peter pan the man. Let's try to get a group together that can head up to Charlotte!

"I'm trying to get a group of us together for an early winter training camp(of sorts). Hopefully, we can all get together on Sunday, Dec 10th, a Sunday so that "der Kaiser" Paul can join us too. The route is about 55-60 miles, half flat, half hilly. There is a nice, short, steep climb in the middle just for fun(14 percent!) We'll be leaving from my(Peter) house in Charlotte at some point in the morning. I have plenty of room for guest if you want to come up the night before."

Thanks for the invite Peter!

Peter's email is

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Harbison Training Ride--Saturday!

Fellow gear heads: I, along with some of my riding buddies, plan on riding at Harbison on Saturday. We will meet in the parking lot at 8:00a.m. and ride from there. I don't think we plan on doing a whole heck of a lot, maybe 2 hours or so. If you are in town and want to knock out your ride early, grab some coffee and come on out. I'm sure the pace will be a comfortable medium pace?.....maybe. I'm sure the epetome of smooth, Toby-single ring-Porter will be in the house! Once again, we can discuss the awesome team tactics of the past weekend? Toby, please feel free to enlighten us on that....want you?

Clint, can you come down from Newberry?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bank of NC Short Track Series Results

Soon, when I can sit down and find the time, I will update everyone on our results at the Bank of NC short track series. I'm already looking forward to the next short track series set to kick off in Charlotte on Jan 20th. I'll try to post some pics also! We have some great photos of Clint, Toby P, Monty and myself(of course!) A special Thank You goes out to Toby P for the awesome display of team strategy! We sure had those Hincapie boys confused on how to handle the situation!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sumter Trip

Joe and Leroy are riding Manchester this Sunday at noon.
Hop over to his link and drop him a line if you want to carpool. Spread the word!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Swamp Sweat

Swamp Sweat XC race on Saturday in the Charleston area. Who is in for the trip?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Recap of Harrisburg Short Track

The fury of Short Track is in the air. A few memebers of the Harrell's Bicycle World squad made the trip up to Harrisburg NC this past weekend, for the Bank of NC Short Track Series. An excellent way to blow out any ounce of energy one may have left in the legs at the end of a long season. Just short of a mile and chalk full of berm turns, switchbacks, dips, fast sections and one grunt of hill to finsh you off on every lap. Consider it like crit racing on the dirt. This type of racing can really go by quickly and spectator friendly.

Up first was Clint racing a cyclocross bike in the Masters field.

Next was Toby, with a 2nd place in the Single Speed field.

Then Jamie coming in 5th in the Expert field.
(pics to follow soon)

Next race will be the night version of the series. Chime in here if your ready to race this weekend and carpool up to the event.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunday 10/22

Sundy 10/22 we will be hitting pisgah up for a short 4 hour ride.
contact me (extramao) for more info.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Weekend of 10/21

Is anyone interested in some short track fury this coming weekend (10/21)? As of now Jamie and Toby will be in attendence.

Course details nice fireroad climb to start out with. Transition you onto a downhill section with burm turns. Quick course Jaime said he completed 22 laps in an hour.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Post on the Weekend

Congrats to Big Jamie on his 4th place @ the Short Track race up in Charlotte this afternoon. Jamie replyed that "that those guys were killin' it" . With a stout field he says he's going back fro revenge next weekend.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Worlds Round Up

Friends of Harrell's

Just wanted to thank all the Harrell's Bicycle World staff for getting me to the Worlds 24hr Solo Championships this past weekend in Conyers Ga. Bringing home a 2nd place in the 30-34 age group. This was the completion of my 12th Solo 24hr event. Paul and the shop has supplied me with the help for ever single event. Also a special THANK YOU goes out Garmin Navigation Systems for the additional support. I'm hoping to have a full report in the next day or three so skip on over to palmettosolo and check it out.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Few Updates

Just a few updates for the Oct/Nov. months.

There is also a race in Charleston SC called the Swamp Sweat. I have done it 2x now and it is worth attending. Date: Nov. 4, 2006 (Saturday) Time: Expert starts at 10am. Distance: 26 miles.

It is actually 26 miles of tight single track and plenty of competition. A lot of the VW team guys race and Justin Fisher who races the Harbison and Cane Creek Races.
Let me know if you are interested. I will be there. - Joe

The Swank 60K mtb race up in the Pisgah area. Great fall ride. Group Camping avalible - race fee $70 w/ fully stocked rest stops. Anyone interested contact LeRoy for more info. Link to his site is over on toolbar >>>>>>>>>>>>>.

UPDATE to Hobby Park
WOW! The pros / experts 19 -29 class are fast. But I'll Take 7th out of 13 on the 1st try. With hard core winter training maybe I will be competitive.

Lastly the I will be in the World Solo 24hr race down in Ga this weekend. Trying to roll it for the Harrell's/Garmin team. So wish me luck. The plan is to update my blog during the race. This is the plan so check in if your interested, or you have to get up to pee @ 3am.


Friday, September 29, 2006


Well October is quickly coming and the season for most will be over for many, but for those who haven't gotten enought yet. It looks as though Charolette area has some upcoming events.

Sunday, October 1
Hobby Park-Cane Creek MTB Finals
(Good luck Monty)

Saturday, October 7
Uwharrie Mountain Fall 50 in conjunction with the Uwharrie Mountain Festival - FREE event.

October 14-15
Downtown Greenville Cycling Classic
Great races with a big prize purse.

Saturday, October 21
Tree Shaker 12 Hour MTB Challenge
Renaissance Park, Charlotte, NC

Saturday, October 21
Le Tour de Femme is a women's only full and half metric century bicycle ride
scheduled for October 21, 2006
Cary, North Carolina.

Coming this fall, short track mountain bike racing at the brand new Harrisburg
Bank of NC Short Track MTB Series
Harrisburg, NC

Saturday, October 28
Tour de Tots
NE Medical Center-Concord, NC
100k and 50K supported rides and 10 mile family ride
Kids Bicycle Safety Rodeo

October 28 - Lake Norman Adventure Race and Clinic
Lake Norman State Park - Troutman, NC

October 6-7, 24hr Worlds Solo in Conyers GA. Wish me luck in the 30-34 age group.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What's up for the weekend

So what's up for the weekend?

All I know is that Leroy is going up to SM100. Also the state road race is this weekend for our roadie friends. If you have something happening this weekend give us shout.

Good luck to all the Harrell's folks who are racing this weekend.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sarurday am ride

Just caught wind of a possible sunday am ride at Harbison. Does anyone have info on this. Post it.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

New Thread

Howdey Folks
Anyone out there need a new tread?
So it looks like the DuPont trip is set Sept 17 - who is in???????????????????????????
Any other fun rides going on?????????????????


Friday, August 11, 2006

Dupont Trip

Attention riders:
I was talking with Russ and we came to the conclusion that we need to get a trip to Dupont together. If you have not been there, then you need to go. If you have been there, then it should not be hard to talk you into going again. This place has over 100 miles of trails(mostly single track), waterfalls, great climbs and even better views.I am thinking August 27th or Sept. 10th. If you have any preferences let me know.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Harbison Wednesday

Hey folks anyone interested in Harbison XC ride wed. afternoon? Let's say 6:30ish, I'll be on the SS29er. So no crazy big ring riding needed.

Has anyone seen gerthmiser? Who you say - hmmmmmmmmmmmm


Saturday, July 29, 2006


Race Report:Started the day at 3:30 from Cola. Got to the check in area around 6:30 and started the pre-race routine. This was my first attempt at ORAMM, so completing it was the goal and my hopes were to be in the top 100 within 8 hours.

The start of the race was a bit intimidating due to the fact that there were 360 riders started at the same time. I knew I did not want to get stuck behind the slows or over exert and blow up 2 hours into the race. I set my pace and rode on. About 3 miles in I caught Laroy and we hung out for about 1 mile and then I was off. He is a little more gravity challenged than I am and we were climbing for what seemed to be 10 miles. Then I hit Kitsuma for the first time. Holy switchbacks!

The line of riders just went up the trail as far as you could see. I understand now why the other riders (Toby, Russ, Jamie, and Damon) took off so quickly from the start. Finally at the top it was time to have some fun. The single track is tight and fast. Unfortunately, going down is a bad time to pass. Made it the bottom with no problem and cruised past the first check station. From there I knew what to expect, Thanks Toby, from the pre-ride weeks earlier.

After the next 150 switchbacks there is another single track descent with some more tight switchbacks and log crossings. Well on the pre-ride I went over the handle bars on one of the logs, and actually lost my water bottle. That is the reason I brought an extra bottle on by pack for the race. This time I considered walking that same log, but instead tried riding it again. And again I went over the handle bars. This time I checked the bottle and it was there. So down the trail I went. Then I looked at my computer, but it was gone. Obviously it was lost in the crash. Now I had no idea of ride time, mileage, or time for nutrition. This was great!

I waited at the bottom for some riders and asked if they picked it up, after #4 I could wait no longer so I got going. I was feeling great and did a lot of passing at this point. Check point #2 stopped for some caffeine and Gatorade and went on. At the road I was greeted by Kristen and Mr. Laroy (Jonathan’s Dad). I asked about the other Harrell’s riders and she laughed at me. She said they went by over an hour ago. I thought “damn this is going to be a long day”.

To the next check point is up THE 9 MILE CLIMB. I knew what to expect and felt great. I was putting the hammer down. I probably passed 15 racers on this climb. At the top I took a break at some food and started to #3 which was up another long climb. I do not know what happened at this point but about 3 miles from the summit I blew up. As I went around every switchback I was looking for the parkway. This was the longest hardest climb of the day for me. All 15 people I passed on 9 MILE + 10 more passed me in the next 3 miles. When I was passed by the woman, I almost asked for a hug. Everyone that passed was burdened by “how much further to the summit?”, “what is the ride time?”. Then Finally there it was.

Check point #4. Ate some food, made some jokes and headed up the Parkway. Once at the top it was time to have some fun. Bombed down Heartbreak and down to #5 in short time. Took another break then started back to Kitsuma. I knew I had ~12 miles left and ride time was around 6:45. I thought I just might make my goal of 8 hours. Jumped on the bike and up to Kitsuma. The switchbacks this time were very lonely. Got to the top and flew down the other side. It was going good until I fell off the side of the mountain. Luckily I did not hit any trees or boulders, climbed back to the trail and rode on. Hit the pavement and off to the finish.

I made it in 8 hours 3 minutes and 111 of 360. I am fairly happy with the results, but plenty of room for improvement. If Damon would have only had 2 more flats I probably could have caught him.Congrats to all that finished. That is a hard race. Results are up on

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jonathon's ORAMM

On the morning of July 23, 2006, my Father, Kristin and I all jumped in the car at approximately 5:40am. Our destination was Old Fort, NC so I could participate in the ORAMM. On the way, Kristin and I chatted while my dad bounced around in the back seat elated to see his son participate in this wonderful event. This was his first time to see me race.

We arrived in plenty of time until I realized that I had to stand in two lines for quite some time. One line to register and one line to use a port let. This took me right up to 7:45 and the race started at 8:00. Slightly rushed, I packed my camel bak and changed clothes. I found myself huddled close to people I know and surrounded by 369 people at the start of the Assault. This race is HUGE and pulls people as far away as Japan to race.

As we were all talking smack in the group, I realized I had already made my first mistake of the day. I forgot to put tubes in my pack. Ohhhh crappage. I knew I had a ton of air pressure in my tires so I just left it and figured I could make it to rest stop two where more tubes, my Father and Kristin would be waiting.

It was time to start riding. ON YOUR LEFT! People deal with stress and nervous energy in many different ways, or so I have read. Apparently, I deal with these things by utilizing humor. So this is how I always handle the start of a mountain bike race, with humor. So “ON YOUR LEFT” is what I started yelling as soon as the cop car sounded “wup whoop” to signal the beginning of the race. Of course I knew I couldn’t get around those 200 some odd people in front of me but I wanted them to know I meant business. So off we went into the backcountry of the Grandfather district.

Things in the beginning were pretty uneventful. Once we made it to the first single track climb Kitsuma, people were pretty stacked and I walked most of the switchbacks. Once on top we were headed for our first downhill. I was following about thirteen people and had about five or six behind me. After descending for about a minute, I heard “Could I get by, thanks, could I get by thanks. . .” After about five of these, I heard a girl behind me requesting to get by. I said “You can get by when I get by.” I think this made everyone nervous because when the trail opened up for a second everyone in front of me parted as though Moses was commanding them and the rider directly in front of me tried to negotiate the passes and ran into a tree. I buzzed by them all and never heard from behind me again.

I had put a new tire on my back wheel and even at high pressure it was gripping nicely. Just please don’t let it go flat. I passed the first rest stop without stopping headed onto number two. Some more ascending and descending and then a long gravel road to rest stop two where I stopped to fill up on water. I took off up the road and saw Kristin and my Dad waiting. My Father had been diligently working for my cause.Yahooo I can get some tubes. I chatted for a second got some tubes and was on my way into the hardest section of the course, the hellacious climb up Curtis Creek road.

Some folks and myself had all climbed this road two weeks prior. Here are some of the warriors. Joe, Russ, Jamie (in back). The climb was what it was. A looooong climb. I made it to the top and then started the next gravel downhill followed by another four mile climb. Once I made it to the top of this climb I rested a little longer and chatted with Eric Wever (Pisgah Adventure Mountain Bike Race promoter) who was volunteering at rest stop four. As I started to take off I saw my dad walking down toward the rest stop and knew they must be parked further up the parkway. I rode a half mile and saw Kristin chilling by the car awaiting my arrival once more. Nice legs eh?I stopped and got the last of my gels and some cold water then headed on up to Hearbreak.

A long downhill awaited me and I was flying down this trail. I never stopped to let any air out of the tires because you don’t fix somethin’ that ain’t broke. So I passed a few people going down, or I should say they let me by. I had a nice groove going when I spotted a Budweiser about 13 feet off the trail down a STEEP slope. So I did what anyone would do, I planted my front wheel into two fallen trees and did a mid-air cartwheel followed by an ass/back rail slide to see if the beer was cold. Once I had blazed a new cave through some foliage I realized that I was just seeing a mirage. I found a slightly easier path going back up and crawled my way back to the trail. I yanked my bike from the thickets and surveyed for damage and on down down down. Once I made it to the bottom of Heartbreak I failed to see a directional arrow and was greeted by a group of boy scouts that were all pointing back the way I came as though they were “Uncle Sam” himself. The boy scouts want “YOU” to go the right way.

Luckily this year when I went back across the railroad tracks I didn’t encounter a 10 minute wait for one of these steel beasts. So I was back to rest stop five and all I needed to do was a relatively easy fire road climb back to Kitsuma and the finish. As I got back to the single track of Kitsuma, I hopped off my bike to walk it up the switchbacks. The trail starts right next to I-40 and there were two truckers working on their rig as I got off. I made eye contact and the one not working said “How many maaaales is your’all’s trail?” I responded “Sixty-Five miles.” He said “HOLY $#!@.”

The climb up was slow and the ride down was fun. Back out onto the asphalt and headed to the finish. It was great fun and an awesome time. I cut 47 minutes off last year’s time for a whopping 9 hours and 3 minutes finish time. The Assault is great and it hurts. I was so glad to have some of the people I love there and for them to see me finish. So thanks to all who volunteered, came out, hung out, took pictures, yelled and all that jazz.

Super awesome kudos to Kristin and Jack LaRoy, YOU GUYS ROCK! Post Race interview below:So in the post interview conducted by Kristin Jean Elliot:Kristin “So Jonathon how did completing the Assault two years in a row make you feel?”Jonathon “UUUrrrrrrrrrrrrrrppppppppp.” Kristin “Would you like to cleanse your stanky butt before answering any more questions?”

Jonathon “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS goes out to the Harrell's/Garmin team (Jaime, Russ, Damon, Joe, Jonathan & Toby) for their participation in the 7th annual Off-Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell in Old Fort NC this past weekend. Blue Ridge Adventures puts on the 64mi. journey through the hills of Pisgah National Forest. With 11,000+ ft. of mostly off-road climbing, no feat for the weak. On that note Jaime & Russ made it onto the podium in the Vet Men division. The rest of us just survived to tell the stories. So hopefully the team will chime in sometime this week with those stories.

Results are not up yet, but they should appear here soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wednesday Harbison Ride

Anyone up for a mtb ride @ Harbison wednesday afternoon say 6:15pm?


Recon Weekend

This weekends ride was a great trip up to the mountains around Ridgecrest. The fun and climbing seemed to never end. Somewhere in the ball park of 50mi and 8,000' of climbing, just a touch over what you would see at Harbison. So no one took to the dirt and we all kept the rubber side down all day.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Recon On

Okay Folks,

Time is set for Sunday (7/9) 6am @ Harrell's. This should put us at Kitsuma parking lot around 8:30(ish). Plan on a solid 6hr ride, bring food, water, you might even want to bring some type of shell with ya. As far a water source goes - there is a drinkable stream on Curtis creek rd ~ 2hrs in. CCrd will take a solid hour to climb to the BRP. Then we will asses the groups morale and decide what path to take. If we take to longer of the two routes there will be one other water source available. So be prepared to go at least 3hrs between water stops. This will be a loop, so once we leave the car we want be back for a while. We should be able to hit about 3/4 of the loop and we will see most all the big climbs and the hairy descents.

So be ready and bring you s**t talk and lets hit the hill - BIG BOY style.

If you are in for the ride lets go ahead and get a head check. So far Toby, Russ, Joe, LeRoy & Jamie anyone else.


Friday, June 30, 2006

FATS 7/3/06

Hey guys,

I plan to go to FATS on Monday morning to ride about 40-50 miles so if anyone is interested, just let me know. I will be getting there by 8am. This trail system is super sweet so if you have not been, this will be a wonderful opportunity to see the whole thing at least twice.

Later, Russ

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thanks guys for the report. How about some pics from that new camera. It's the only way to really believe this was a reality.


Joe's Report

Joe's Report:
Cowbell 12hr. Challenge

Well it was the first Solo endurance race I had attempted. However, I had great expectations even though I suffered a knee injury 2-3 weeks prior to the race. 1 cortozone shot and a bottle of anti-inflamitories later and I was good to go. The first 4 laps went great. The course was fast, fun, and just my style. There were great jumps, down hills, and plenty of tight single track. I felt like I was getting faster with every passing lap until lap 5. Between the humidity, heat, and lack of proper training I was at a fork in the road. I actually considered quitting. So I went back to the pit, ate, complained and layed down for about 15 minutes. At this point I knew I had 45 minutes on Jonathan, so I wasn't too worried yet. After a small rest I got up and did another lap. This one was just as painful, so I repeated the same thing. I still had 20-30 minutes on Jonathan and I set off again. By this time it was around 5pm and the temp was going down. I think my legs finally got their second wind and I was off. The next two laps felt great. I was enjoying the race again, however due to the long rests I had dropped from 6th to 10th. I figured as long as I get 11 laps I should do reasonably well. So I set out for #10. This was a painful lap full of cramps and climbing. At this point it seemed like the whole trail was up hill. I took one more long rest at the pit knowing I had about 2 hours to finish this last lap. Then set off. At this point I was taking it easy, walking switch backs and crusing through flat single track. THEN I got passed by another solo rider. I asked him what lap he was on and he said 11. He then said he thought he was in 11th place. My original thought was let him go. Who cares about 10th place anyways. But as his light got further away I could not handle it anymore. I turned it on one last time. I caught him and was feeling pretty good. Then he said something that floored me. "If you want to pass, go, I am not racing you for 10th place". My response was, "yes you are". After a few minutes of trailing him I backed off and let him go. After the adrineline wore off I was back to cramps. As I approached the finish line there were 2 minutes until 8:59. I could do another lap or wait until time. I was done. I waited along with about 12 riders for the clock to turn and we all crossed together. Then we returned to the pit for a celebratory beer and time to tell stories. In the end I finished 10th of 33 riders with 11 laps. It was a great race and I will definately do it again next year.

Thank for reading.Joe P.

Jonathans Report:

Jonathans Report:

It was a foggy morning as Kristin and I took off at 6:45am headed for my first solo attempt at a 12 hour endurance race. I was excited to race as Kristin was excited to use her newly purchased Cannon camera. We met up with Joe who was also attempting his first solo, Chris and Barret who were riding in the 2-man division. As we pulled into the venue I noticed that all the wonderful NC red clay had turned to peanut butter from the strong thunderstorms that rolled through on Friday night. Oh boy, a course I have never ridden before and it is going to be slick as snot, sign me up! As Joe and I checked in Barret and Chris set up our pop up tent thanks to Paul and his shop Harrel’s Bicycle World. So we had our electronic timing chips and it was time to race. The race started with a LeMan’s style start. This meant we were running about ¾ of a mile to our bikes and then riding the first lap. Chris who acclaimed to be more of a runner than a biker made a hasty attempt to be the first to the bike since there was a prize for this. He was second, sorry Chris. So off we went on a very crowded first lap. Things were as expected very slick in the beginning. The course was fantastic. Two open fire road climbs and the rest was all beautiful single track through the trees. After passing and being passed quite a few times, I rolled out of the trees with my first lap behind me. I met up with “The Angel” (Kristin has adopted this name from me for providing super-star support) for an extra bottle and off I went. The second lap went by with no problems and I quickly swapped bottles and food out with the Angel again. The third lap brought upon my first mishap of the race. About halfway through my lap, I heard “on your left” and watched as Rich Dillen lapped me. Yes that’s correct I was being lapped in the first 3 hours of the race. Yeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaawww! Shortly after that I made an attempt to “get fancy” bunny hopping a log (haven’t I learned my lesson from the Adventure race?) and pointed my wheel at a willing tree. I pulled of a graceful fall and surveyed my bike for damage. Broke a spoke on the front wheel, oh well, I tucked it into some other spokes and took off watching my front wheel weeble wobble down the trail. The next few laps went off fine and were a ton of fun. The middle of these races is where I have the most fun. The Angel kept me hydrated and cold towels on me as I continued laps. My main goal for this race was to keep a steady pace and not rest in-between laps so my body wouldn’t shut down. Around lap who knows, I started to get a cramp in my inner thigh. It was from throwing my leg over the bike since I was now walking the steep sections. I requested salt from the Angel and on the next lap she and Heather (Joe’s wife) produced a bag of white cheddar popcorn. MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, the Angel shoved popcorn in my mouth and I chewed with all my might. I used my Zen Master skills taught to me by “The Tao of Pooh” to stave off the cramps on the next few laps. It was working and my legs got their second wind. So here I was in the last 3 hours of the race with no idea what place I was in and I didn’t care. I knew I had a respectable amount of mileage for my first attempt and I wanted to do one night lap and have a “victory” beer. So I got my lights from the Angel and headed out for my 10th and final lap. So I thought. . . I passed all the neat trail features I had come to know so well in 10 laps. I paid my respects to the hills bidding them adieu. I said goodbye to the little rock garden that always said clunk-galump as I rode across it. There was a special spot I was waiting to greet on my last lap of happiness. It was a balloon hanging from some caution tape that was marking the trail. I had deemed this the “Elated Balloon of Happiness EBOH” since it was within a half mile of the finish line. The balloon and I had grown very fond of each other throughout the race and I was excited to say goodbye and never see my friend again. There it was! Bye-bye little baaaaaaallooooooooon. I pumped the pedals hard knowing a juicy adult beverage was an Angel’s wing away. Do you remember what your teacher’s in school always said to you before tests? I believe it went something like this. “Make sure you read the ENTIRE question before you start your answer.” Well I apparently was answering the questions without reading the ENTIRE question. I heard the generator from the timing tent and pumped even harder. I crossed the finish line and the timing chip made its beeeeeeep beep noise to confirm my arrival. Woooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooo. I looked up and said “I’m done.” The race director looked at me and said “One more to go!” Maybe this moron didn’t understand “I’m done.” I had the wrong answer, here was the question. If you want to “stop” you have to cross the finish line after 9:00 pm and before 10:00 pm for your lap and race to count. It was 8:45. . . If I would have waited with my friend EBOH for 15 minutes I would have been able to stop and my race would have been over. Since I crossed the line, I had to go again or receive a DNF (Did not *&^%$# finish). I WAS BETRAYED! I cussed I was pissed. Seven more miles sounded like 700 more miles. After getting over my rush of emotion, the Angel and I stood at the first hill. The Angel said “You can cry here, or you can cry on your bike.” (A quote from Tinker Juarez during the RAAM) Then the Angel said something very devilish “Now get your ASS up that hill.” The last lap was full of pain and laughter. I was in pain and the trail was laughing. All the features I had said goodbye too were now looking at me with bewilderment as I rolled by. Gu wrappers looked like frogs, roots were Amazon pythons nipping at my ankles. I thought for sure the Earth’s rotation was causing me to go backwards. I longed for my buddy EBOH. I got round to the last bit of trail and I thought I was going blind. Oh no it was just because my light was losing power. I finally saw it. Was it a mirage? No, IT’S MY FRIEND EBOH!!! The generator sound and beeeep beep. I was done with 11 minutes to spare before my last lap didn’t count. I traveled the course 11 times for 77 miles. 12th out of 33 solo riders. A super special thanks to Kristin! Without her support I might have done one lap. Another thanks to Carolyn for providing the cowbells!JONATHN DID THAT LAST LAP HURT?You bet your ASS it did.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Hi Folks,

Plans are in the works for a recon ride for those interested in this years Off-Road Assualt on Mt. Mitchell. Joe is calling Sunday July 9th as the go date for a day trip up to Back Mountain. Contact Toby P. or Joe P. for details. Or just respond to this blog.

Also I'm guessing that their will be multiple groups going up the Tryon for the 4th metric. Call a friend and carpool.

Congrats go out to Joe & LeRoy for their dou at the Cowbell 12hr. Challenge in Charlotte last weekend. Also Damon & Toby S. for hitting the Blood Sweat & Gears Century last weekend for the Harrell's Team. If you guys could share a taste of your races - hit us with it.

Later, Toby

Friday, May 05, 2006

What do you think

Hey there folks, this blog page will be dedicated to the Harrells Bicycle World riders. This can be a location we all can share. The idea would be to post a ride you want to do and see if you can form a group. Or if you can't think of anywhere to ride, hop on this blog and see if something here fits your schedule.

Sat 5/06 - I'm up for a mtb ride @ harbison, or Sumter if it dumps rain this afternoon. I'll also go for a road ride if I can't find any takers for the mtb.