Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2015 Breakaway to the Beach MS society charity ride in Sunset Beach NC

It has been a while since I last made a post so here goes one now.

On October 17th, I did a 50-mile bike ride for the MS Society to help raise money for Multiple Sclerosis Society so it can fund research for MS.

This is the first time that I have done the Breakaway to the Beach ride since 2007. That was when I had to quit doing them because of my handicap. So now it been 10 years since my leg injury back in 2005. In that charity ride, I rode my bike hard to get from Columbian to Darlington Motor Speedway a distance of 75 miles. in approx 4 hours averaging about 18 MPH. That was my best and fastest MS bike ride back then.

Fast forward to October 17th, 2015 I once again did another MS bike ride. It wasn't the same route but never the less it was a flat ride as it was then. For the first time since then I felt really good so I expected to do well for the ride this year. Conditions were not nearly as favorable for me as it was in 2005 so I knew that I probably could not go as fast. The weather was very cold and windy. The first 30 miles I had to fight and head the wind which slow me down but I was still going faster than a lot of other cyclists was going. Once we made the turn going downwind I really pick up speed going at 20 to 24 MPH. My average speed was getting faster and faster. However, I came to the finish before I was able to get my average speed as high I was hoping for.

The good news was my ability to ride fast was better than at any time since my injury and I think it was as good as it was in 2005. That makes me feel good.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My first full year of doing steep climbs on a bicycle in the Mountains of NC. From August of 2012 to August of 2013

Crossing finish line at the Blue Ridge Breakaway
On August the 17th I participated in the Blue Ridge Breakaway riding my bicycle in the mountains of NC. This represents one full year of   bicycling in the Mountains. In the past year I have done 10 bike rides in the mountains climbing steep mountain roads. I deliberately choose difficult rides to built up my endurance level in anticipation of doing some bike touring. 

While I have done 10  bicycle rides in the mountains I have done a lot more in and around my home in Lancaster and Charleston.

I have never been good at climbing and did not know if I could even climb up a steep mountain especially when the climbs were several miles long some as long as 15 miles with category 1 climbs along with 2's. 3's. 4's and 5's.  1 being the hardest and 5 being the easiest. I have to say that after doing some cat 1 climbs I got so tired that even the 5 Cat climbs was not easy and they are supposed to be the easiest.

To do these kinds of ride was not easy for me. I have a handicap and can not walk good and to even walking is very painful due to a damaging injuries to my left leg.  However I am fortunate that I can ride a bike  pretty darn good. Especially for  70's something old man.  

After a year of riding bikes in the mountains my leg muscles have gotten much stronger but I do need to build up my endurance more. I no longer get muscle burning while cycling up hills. 

My goal for another year is to lose more weight so I can climb faster. I also hope to get a bike setup especially for hill climbing and to use for touring. Oh! and do more steep climbs. Hopefully tour the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Speaking of touring I had hope to do a cross country tour with someone that ask me if I wanted to join them but they change their mind on this, probably never meant it anyway.  I wish people would not say things they do not mean. It was my dream to cycle coast to coast and that meant a lot to me.

I am much stronger now on a bike than I have ever been so doing a cross country is possible as for cycling goes but for now  it will remain on my bucket list of things to do for another time. It sort of a let down but that is life.

For now I am focusing more on doing the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway on my bike. The logistic of doing that is much easier for me to arrange. I don't need a cycling partner but will see if I can find one first. I like to try and ride it this year but it most likely will have to wait until next Spring.

I am really in good shape now and just have to keep in shape  and improve on it over the winter months.

Half Way up Highway to 276 to the Blue Ridge Parkway 

      in the Pisgah National Forest. Just stop to take this picture.

Lake Junaluska
Looking at the clouds from the Blue Ridge Parkway near
Mt. Pisgah

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

West Michigan MS Bike Ride in Holland Mi.

On June the 8th and 9th I did my first MS bicycle charity ride since 2007. I travel to Holland Michigan to do this ride. I first stop and stayed several days with my daughter who lives in Westland Michigan.
While staying with her I did some bike riding. The many times I been there I always wondered where in the heck could one ride a bike in a sea of city blocks  and 4 and 6 lanes highways. All the cities in and around Westland connect with each other you cannot tell when you go from one city to another, they all look alike. However most all the blocks are surrounded by sidewalks so I rode the sidewalks to roads that were relative safe for cycling, in all I rode about a hundred miles in and around Westland on sidewalks, bike paths along the interstates highway, and parks to as for as Dearborn MI. As I found out one can ride a bike for hundreds of miles in places that at firsts I did not think you could ride 50 feet in safety.

June 7th I left my daughter’s home and travel to Holland Mi. by myself leaving Leila and my two four legged friends to stay with her. Holland is on the other side of Michigan beside Lake Michigan, 170 miles away.  Since my injury I never felt confident to go anywhere by myself so this was a first since my accident. That accident has ruled my life ever since it happened.

The morning of June the 8th I was full of apprehension wondering if I was up to doing the longest ride I have done since 2005. I had a riding partner that my daughter connected me with and only just met the morning of the bike ride. We planned or I planned to do the 75 mile route not being too sure I would be able to do that.  But as things turnout my performance was good and we did 80 miles and would have done the hundred mile but we took too much time sampling wines at three different wineries along the route plus having to fix one flat tire, not mine. The century route was closed by the time we got to the turn off for it. The next day I did only the 30 mile route because I did not want to wear myself out for the long drive back to my daughter’s home. In addition to the 80 and 30 miles I rode on the MS bike ride I did another 10 to 15 miles riding around Hope College and the town of Holland to see the sites so about 120 plus miles for the two days I was in Holland.

I am glad I had a riding partner as that gave me the confidence to do this ride in a place that where I knew no one. I have to thank my wonderful daughter as she provided all the money I was required to raise just so I could do this MS charity bike ride as a surprise gift for my birthday.
The video is a little long but I decided I did not want to edit it down more as I want to remember this ride. It meant a lot to me just to be able to do it.
I am planning on doing another MS charity ride this September provided that I can raise enough money so that I can. This time I will start right from my home in Lancaster and ride to Sunset Beach NC.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bicycle time trials

Last week I went to the Uptown Bicycle Shop in Charlotte NC for a party.  Now that I am able to ride a bicycle much better I wanted to meet more cyclist in hopes of finding some cyclist friends to ride with once in a while. While I like riding by myself I do not like riding by myself all the time. I like meeting people who love cycling like I do.

I think going there to meet other cyclist was a success and met several potential cyclist that I  could ride with on organized bike rides. I live to far away to expect anyone to travel to my home to  ride. I met one very interesting cyclist that got me interested in doing bicycle time trials. I done almost everything else on a bicycle but time trailing is not one of them.

The time trials are held once a month during the cycling season at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. After reading the web site about this I think I am going to try doing this. Even though I am somewhat handicap I still like to see how I can performed against other cyclist, not the young lions though,  I seem some cyclist that are so strong that they could ride the entire 4 laps on the speedway faster than I can get on my bike. I will be mostly competing against myself. I may be the only one that I can beat. Four laps on the speedway is the distance of the time trail.

I am looking forward to trying this out and letting it be my new cycling  adventure.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ride Mickey Ride Bicycle Ride.

The Ride Mickey Ride began in downtown Charlotte NC at 9:30 am saturday November 16th. I was a fun raiser  for a bicyclist name Mickey that had been injured and was just beginning to be able to ride again. It was for a good cause and since it was only about 45 miles from home I decided to do it.

When I got there and saw some of the cyclist I knew I had brought the wrong bike. I had brought my 1994  converted Cannodale touring bike and should have brought my Cannodale road bike.  The road bikes is faster but in this case I guess it would not have made much difference. I would not have been able to stay with those powerhouse cyclist anyway. I just would not have been as far behind them.

The ride I chose to do was 30 miles long which is not that long of a ride but I wanted to be back home at least around 2:00 PM to go out  for dinner. In hind sight I guess it was good that I brought my touring bike as I met some very nice cyclist that I may not have met otherwise. However I did not get to chat with them much at the finish because I was in a state of panic.

You see when I  arrived back to the car I thought I had lost my wallet. My keys was in the car locked up but fortunately the I did write down the code that I needed to get in the car and had it in my cycling pants. I spent so much time searching for my wallet that I miss some of the cyclist I wanted to meet and get to know.  Meeting new people that loves  cycling like I do  is one of the joys of cycling.

I did meet a couple of cyclist and as I was talking with them I felt a lump in my pants leg. That lump was my wallet. I somehow miss putting in my pants pocket and instead must have put it inside my pants. It eventually worked it way down to just below my knee before I felt it. I was tremendously relieved in finding it. However by that time I was running late and had to leave to get back home. So some of the cyclist I had hope to chat with I miss and do not have away now to contact them. Maybe we will meet again on another bike ride.

Otherwise I had a great time and rode harder than I would have done riding by myself but that always makes me feel good to push myself. HadI taken my road bike I probably would have done the 50 mile route. Not because it would have made it easier just faster but the big boys still would have left me in their dust.

Ride Mickey Ride

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Looking Glass Falls like you never seem it beore

Not much I can say about the video, It speaks for itself

Friday, October 5, 2012

More cycling in Charleston SC

Last week I went to Charleston for a few days. While there I wanted to make some videos of my favorite places to ride my bicycle. Charleston has to be one of my favorite places for bicycling. I also like to see the historical sites where battles took place during the civil war and Charleston had it share of that. My house is located on James Island and this is where all my bike usually start from. I have been doing this since 1991 and average riding my bike at two to   three times a week up until the year 2005. After 2005 having a serious injury plus moving back to my homtown I probably have ridden only about 50 times in Charleston up to the present time. I not sure how many miles that adds up to but it is a lot.

Well here is some videos I made where my favorite places  in Charleston I have ridden.

Sit back relax and enjoy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Riding my bike around home

Some times I think posting a video I made can say more than what I can put into words. So I am post a video and let it say what I can not say.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Riding around my hometown.

I try to ride my bike several days a week. Once in a while I ride to the city of Lancaster which is about 8 or 10 miles from home. I don't ride there  very often as the route I take goes through what is now a pretty rough  neighborhood.  It was not always that way but time has change things.. there. I also was borned in this  neighbor and live there for the first 4 years of m life I have been very forunate in that no one has ever bother me or even attempted to bother me. I guess the th reputation it has now that worries me the most. A few weeks ago a cyclist was attacked and beat up while riding through this neigborhood.

I mention that in my last post that I had acquired a camera to record my bike rides that I do. On September 14th I did a 25 mile bike ride to town and did a video of this ride. Well it takes about two and half hours to ride the 25 miles plus the time I mess around. Two and half hours of video is a long time so I have edited it down to just a little over 4 minutes. I am finally getting more familiar with editing and think i did a pretty good job on this video but I am going to get better at as I learned.

I hope that my readers of my blog will enjoy the video I have made and posted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New technology at least it is for me.

After doing the Blue Ridge Breakaway bicycle ride I regretted not being able to take more photographs of the ride. I didn't stop to take any photo pictures because I was riding as hard as I could.
I saw on Facebook about a camera that could be  mounted on a bicycle to take videos and photographs. I had to have one and so off to REI to buy one. It is a  very small camera that almost looks more like a spy camera but it it a awesome camera.  It can be mounted almost anywhere on a bicycle being it has a wide angle lens it gets a lot of the surrounding it the pictures. 

The camera is a GoPro hero 2 and now I can video my rides. I also have wanted away to photograph cars that cuts me off or nearly hitting me so I could get there tag number to report them. Now I can and that is good. Last summer when I was hit by a truck I wish I could have had the camera then to record the incident. Thank to the Lord I was not hurt but only stunned.

I will try and post a video on my blog of my fist bicycle ride. It is a short video of me climbing a steep hill leading to my house. Hope it works.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Blue Ridge Breakaway Bike ride August 18,2012

Here I am at the finish line just after I completed doing the bicycle  ride.

The big day arrived to do the Blue Ridge  Breakaway Bicycle ride in the mountains of NC.  I don't have the  official total of cyclist that had enter to ride in this event but at last count it was over 500 cyclist and if I heard right they expected about 200 more.  The event feature 4 different routes with different lengths of the ride ranging from 24 to 105 miles in Length.  Not knowing what to expect I elected to do the 24 mile Rabbit ride route.

Rabbit Don't let the name fool you; this is not a warm and fuzzy beginner level ride. An intermediate level ride with several challenging mountain climbs. The Rabbit rolls through the farm lands of Jonathan Creek and Crabtree. The ride is marked by two moderate hill climbs over Coleman and Hyder Mountain before finishing with a scenic tour around Lake Junaluska.

The above description my route is pretty accurate. It was not a warm and fuzzy ride. I was really pump up and though I would be among the front cyclist at the finish line but the mountains climbs was much steeper and long than I expected.

At 7:30 AM Saturday morning August the 18th the race was started. Well it was not suppose to be a race but for me it was. A race to be sure I did not finish in last place. 

As the ride started I did not feel my energy level was all that good. I was probably in the middle of the 500 plus cyclist. The first 2.6 miles before we turn  on highway 276 was not good. My heart rate got up to 148 beats a minute and before I got to the end of the first 2.6 miles almost everyone had past me by. I felt terrible and thought to myself this was not going to be a good day for me. My max heart rate is 148 beats minute so I was on my max heart rate on a road which only had a slight uphill climb. My average  speed was only about 10 MPH.

At the turn of Highway 276 I was all alone not a sold in site. After I got on highway 276 it ran slightly downhill for the next 7.7 miles. That was  good for me, my average speed went from 10 mph to as high as 25 plus mph. It wasn't long before I started to passing everyone, I mean I was flying by the other cyclist by the end of that 7.7 mile run I had pass most of the cyclist except for a small group. I thought to  myself now today wasn't going to be bad after all. However my heart rate was now at 152 beats a minute has had been for all the 7.7 mile run.

At the end  of the 7.7 mile run we had make a right hand turn onto Coleman Mountain road. This was the beginning of some serious mountain climbs. It wasn't long until my heart rate was  up to 155 BPM and I had just only begun climbing. That was not good, I didn't see how I was going to keep on going with my heart rate that high with the worse climbs to come. I haven't had a heart rate that high since 2005. 

The climbs was very hard. the roads was very twisty probably as more than any roads I ever been on. One girl did wipe out on one of the turns but I not sure how bad she was hurt. For the next 9 miles it seemed to be all uphill. There was some downhills but going downhill was 10 faster than going uphill so the downhills took only few seconds to do, uphill took forever.

At mile 16 there was a sag stop with food and drinks to get fuel up with. I debated about stopping there and losing time to the leaders. I thought we were over the worse of the hills and it was going to mostly downhill the rest of the way. I felt going  downhill I would make up the time I would lose at the sag stop. I happen to mention to one of the girls helping at the rest stop that I was glad that it was mostly downhill for the rest of the way. She corrected me and said, well she said I had to cross Hyder Mountain which was extremely steep and twisty.  I told her she just broke my heart as I did not see how I could do another steep climb. She tried to soothe me by saying well it wasn't that bad.  It was worse than bad. Again climbing that mountains sent my heart rate to 155 beats. For all of the 16 miles I had already done my heart rate never got below 145 beats. However I was never stress by the high heart rate but my  legs was really getting to feel the pain. Well I made it up Hyder Mountain  and though there wast no more hills to climb.

Now I was getting close to the finish line, my heart rate had finally got down to 140 beats. As I turn on the road around Lake Junaluska I could smell the finish line. But the  Rabbit Ride had one last attempt to break me. The ride around the Lake has some pretty good climbs on it. Probably made worse by the fact my legs was turning to jelly. Then there was only a mile left to the finish. At least that was flat. By that time I felt my GPS was lying to me and maybe there was still al long way to go before getting to the finish line.

Suddenly there it was the finish line. I had made it never stopping once except to the sag stop and stop signs. I always stop for them.

My stats: Ride time 2 hours  25 min. 20 seconds .9 tenth of second. Has I not stopped a the sag stop like  many did not do I probably would have finish around 13th or 14th place. So I got to be happy with my time but wish it had been better.

In 2005 before my accident that left me with a cripple left leg I my hear rate rarely ever got as high as it did on this ride and never for as long it it was. So comparing my performance with 205 I say I think I am in as good cycling condition maybe even better than I was then. It has been a long 7 and half years to get back to this level.

The next day after the event I had to go back over the route in my RV to see the countryside where I had ridden. On the bicycle I had to ride so hard that seeing the scenery was a little hard to do.  The route was extremely scenic so much that I want to go back and take some landscapes with my camera.

I am sort of in the middle at the start line getting ready for the big show.
One of the curves on the Rabbit Trail. This curve was easy to take compared to the many others on the routed.
I am stopped here scratching my head trying to figure whether to turn left or right.
At the finish line the finish order was posted so the riders could see where they finish at in relation to the other participants. At the point I was in 29th place among 36 riders that had finish at the time this was posted. They could have been more that finish later but the final order of finishing will be publish later,

Monday, August 13, 2012

What to do when dogs chases you on a bicycle.

I was out riding one day last week when I saw a person in front of me riding a bicycle. I hardly ever see anyone riding a bike anywhere close to my home. I overtook him going up a hilll as he was  going much slower than I was.  At the top of the hill I stop and waited on him to say hello and to chit chat. Boy was that a big mistake.

At first  the conversation started out rather nice but the conversation turn about dogs chasing cyclist. He said he was always being chase by dogs that nipped at his feet. I suggested that he carry some pepper spray as that has worked very well for me. None of the dogs that I use it on has ever chase me again but I don't use the peper spray except as a last resort.  Well he answer that by saying he has used peper spray but that it didn't do any good. The dogs just stop wipe there eyes with feet and take off chase him again with the intentions of biting him.

I then told him about the Lease Law in our county. Dogs must either be on a least or inside of a fence in area.  Well he said he has tried calling animal control and they supposely has said that there was nothing they can do dogs chasing him and it was waste of time to call animal control.  I told him that I have had several dogs to chase me and I reported  them to animal control and now the owners keep there  dogs either in there house or in a fence area  and are no longer a problem. 

That started to making our conversation more confrontational.  He said there was no such thing as a lease law in our county. I tried to tell him there was and that all he needed to do was look it up on the internet and see. That didn't make and difference to him as he was still adament that there was no lease law for dogs. I ask him politely to drop the subject as it did not make any difference to me whether he believe me or not. I was only trying to be helpful and didn't need or want to argue about it.

Well that was enough and I told him I only stopped to say hello to fellow bicycler rider and not to argue.  I was getting mad at myself for even stopping and trying to be nice.  

It was time to say "Have a nice day" and for me get on with my morning ride and I left quickly. He shouted out while I was leaving that there was still no lease law. I think he would have argue that all day long and if I had given him the chance.

Some days it don't pay to stop and talk with strangers who may be cooky.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

 I didn’t have a specific route in mind so I just went on some roads to see where they went. Well I sort of had in mind to ride towards Health Springs the long way. After a while I came to the conclusion I was lost. So I switch my iphone to mapping to see where I was. To my dismay I was actually going in opposite direction that I thought I was going. So much for my sense of direction.
I finally recognized a dirt road that road last year and wrote a story about it in my blog. It was a shortcut back to home but it was not a road to be riding a road bike on. So I decided to turn around and go back the way I came.  Unfortunely turning around proved to be a little disastrous for me.  I got into some loose rocks and down I went. I remember thinking this was going to hurt. I laid down for a few minutes while I examined my body to see what damage I had done to it. Thank goodness that all I had is some skin rash on my elbow and knee, nothing bad. My big worry was did I damage my bike and the good news is that I didn’t.
Well I finish riding28.24miles and ascended 799 feet which is about half what I will have to do in the 

The link provided below will open up Google Earth and show you my bike ride I did today.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Blue Ridge Breakaway or Bust

I have not done a organized bicycle ride since 2007 and only three since 2005. It was in December of 2005 that I had a accident that left me handicapped. Although I  kept on riding after I was able to get on a bike again I was so slow that I usually ended up one  the last people to finish the rides so in 2007 I stop trying to do long distance bicycle rides. For about the first three years after my injury I could not even get on the bicycle without help. Once on it I had to stay on it until I finish riding as I needed help getting off it.

Here it is 2012 and I am now schedule to do my first organized bike ride since 2007. I have gradually got a little better at riding and better at hill climbing on a bike. I will need to climb hills a lot better than I was even back before my injury. I hope I am able to do this ride finish closer to the front of the cyclist like I used to be able to do.  The hills is still my concern. If they are long and steep I may not do all that well but I will find out the hard way.

Old Red
My trusty Road Bicycle

In signing up for this ride I had to decide on which route that I would take. Having not done a lot of cycling in  the mountains I decided to be cautious and selected the shorter route but once I get there and see the roads I may elect to do a longer ride. The mileage does not bother me so much it just how long and steep the hill climbing will be. Now all I need to do is  to figure what bicycle I a going to use while doing the Bicycle tour in the mountains.

These is the two routes that I am considering and I have to chose which one to do.. Both are not long rides but as I said I am being cautious. If I do well in then maybe I can start doing longer distance bike ride. The description of the routes are below.

Panther - A gorgeous ride through Panther Creek, Fines Creek and over Hyder Mountain. Riders will enjoy miles of river views and farmlands. Intermediate 40 mile Ride.
Rabbit Don't let the name fool you; this is not a warm and fuzzy beginner level ride. An intermediate level ride with several challenging mountain climbs. The Rabbit rolls through the farm lands of Jonathan Creek and Crabtree. The ride is marked by two moderate hill climbs over Coleman and Hyder Mountain before finishing with a scenic tour around Lake Junaluska.

Added: August14th 2012
The time is getting close now. Temperatures is expected to be around 54/55 degrees at the start  time 7:30AM. Thunder storms are forecast but hope I that I will have completed my ride before it starts. Due to the fact The sponsors will not let me changed the route from the one I signed up for so  I will be doing the Rabbit Route.  I  ought to be excited about doing my first organized bicycle ride but I am  not.

OH YES the bicycle ride is being held on August the 18th and will start at Lake Junaluska North Carolina and finish there.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Boykin SC

Swift Creek Baptist Church in Boykins
Establish in 1787

When we were on our way to Charleston  last week we stopped by the small Town of Boykin SC which is only about 5 miles or so south of Camden SC.  This isn't all that far from Lancaster were I was born and now lived.  Why I never heard of this place before I don't know but it has one event that happen a long time ago that is very significant. He happens to be where the last battle of the civil war is though to have been. It took place 9 days after the surrender of general Lee army in virginia. Wether it was the last battle or not it was at least one of the last battles.
 Inside of Swift Creek Baptish chruch. The building is in very good shape for a church that is that old. We were able to see the inside of the church and I took a few pictures of it.
 Some fo the buldings in Boykin. Boykin has a old timey grits mill, A broom maker which sells old timey brooms, but be prepare to wait if youi want one. There is waiting list of a year or more to get one. Two restaurants I didn't get to eat there but the food did look so good I plan one returning there to eat. A few other business as well.
 A cover bridge, didn't know there was one in South Carolina.
This one of the restaurants in Boykins.,arbecue is there  specialty. It has only been open about a month but I got there to early to eat. However it is a unique place and I want to go back soon to eat there.

Boykins is out in the boondocks but it a wonderul place to vist. I plan on going again soon. I also plan on riding my bicycle on the road is it located on. It looks like it would be a great senic road to ride on.