Thursday, March 31, 2011

Path Less Pedaled...

Last year, I followed a couple as they made a bike touring trip all over the United States.  They kept a blog on their journey which can be read at PathLessPedaled.Com.  This year, they are embarking on a new journey with bikes that have a bit smaller wheels.  Check it out!

Tour of Flanders Promo

The Tour of Flanders is coming up! This is one of my favorite bike races of all time. Here's the promo for this year's race!

A Little Rant/Wisdom Of The Day...

"Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise.  Give lifting that person your best shot, but don't hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down.  Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people."  -Zig Ziglar
Sometimes people suck.  Enough said.


Rule #9...The Dude Abides...

Yesterday we discussed how I hate the weather we've been having.  Rain, rain, rain.  Despite the rain, I made it out for a ride.  I rode to and from campus in this shitty weather.  The ride into campus wasn't too bad.  It was raining the entire trip.  Many cars passed and would slow down to stare as they passed.  It was as though I was some kind of circus animal.  Well, scratch that last comment.  If I'm out there riding in this weather, I probably am a circus animal.  When it rains, sometimes people actually turn into to kind souls.  Two people stopped and asked if I needed a ride.  I kindly declined as I had a goal to abide by Rule #9.  As I hopped onto the greenway, I pass the local golf course and saw several golfers out.  I figured, if these dudes can golf in the rain, I certainly can ride a bike in the rain.  The only difference was I didn't have a beer in hand.

Proof of the rain ride
Local golf course during the rain
Hell of the South is slowly approaching.  I still haven't done enough to train for this race.  I was talking it over with a buddy of mine yesterday and came up with the excuse that any races I do right now are just for shits and giggles.  My focus is cyclocross.  Until CX season starts, everything else is just to maintain some kind of fitness.  Regardless, I need to get back on it so I don't get dropped.

With all the time on my hands yesterday, I did some change ups to a few of my bikes.  Pretty much, I just switched out some wheels and handlebars on two of my singlespeeds.  One of the bikes has some mustache bars and I'm still not completely convinced that I like the mustache bars.  This bike is used mostly around town and when I'm wearing a backpack, riding with Burt Reynolds bars just doesn't quite feel right.  I'll give it a few more rides and make the decision later.
Added a freewheel, mustache bars and brakes to what was the fixed gear bike
Not much else going on.  I mean, the blog is called the "Uneventful Life of Jimmy Deane".  If you want to read something with merit, read Dicky's blog.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Good Day To Listen To Jerry Sing...

And considering it has been raining here all day, a boat may be a better option for my commute than a bike. Row, Jimmy, Row...

Restlessly Ranting...

I'm feeling a bit restless.  Riding in the rain is cool but today it sucks!  I'm tired of shitty weather!  I want it to be warm and dry!  I'm just sitting here listening to some of my music and wish I could be in Nashville this evening to hear Langhorne Slim play at Grimey's Record Shop.

I Love Coffee and I Love Bikes...

I caught this video on Prolly's blog earlier.  This looks like a pretty cool cause to get behind.  So many people drink coffee but never really think about where it comes from and the communities that produce that great morning cup.  This guy, owner of Bald Guy Brew in Boone, NC, is going to give all proceeds raised to Project Rwanda.  Check out the video for more info!

Beans for Bikes- Pedaling for Change from Matt Powell on Vimeo.

Down That Road...

This week, I have truly been living the uneventful life. Aside from exams at school, not much has been going on. I've also had limited motivation to ride the bike lately. Not sure what has got into me. I still love cycling and all. Something has got to give soon. Now the weather has turned to crap. Looks like rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week. Most people would pull out the trainer. However, I'm not too fond of riding on trainers. They're boring and you sweat way too much. Yesterday afternoon, I was reading over the "Rules of Cycling" and came across Rule #9: "If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period."  So if I want to be a badass, I need to get out and go for a ride today!  I guess you'll find out where I stand tomorrow.  Regardless, I've got to do something since I have a race coming up this weekend and I just need a way to stretch these old Lincoln Logs.

Registration closes at 7pm EST on March 31st
On the topic of the race this weekend, I'll be racing at the Hell of the South in Berlin, Tennessee. The race has a couple of dirt road sections that kind of make it like a Paris-Roubaix style race. Since this is my first road race, I'll be racing in the Cat 5's. The Cat 5 race route is only 28 miles.  With the course so short, endurance shouldn't be much of a problem for me.  I've got a few other teammates who are also racing in the 5's.  Hopefully we'll get a good rhythm going and can pull out some podium spots for the team.

Also on the agenda is my summer plans.  I'm really debating pretty hard about doing a summer semester in school.  I'd really like to get some more classes knocked out in hopes of graduating as soon as possible.  The only problem is that I was wanting to do some kind of bike touring trip this summer.  I've got my Surly Cross Check all built up to be a perfect touring bike for pulling a BOB Trailer.  One of my plans is to do a tour back home to East Tennessee and stop in the Smokies for a few days.  This would be about a 500 mile round trip with a significant amount of riding in the mountains.  Another plan is to do the Natchez Trace Parkway from Mississippi back to Tennessee.  That trip is around 450 miles but it's all flat and not as nice of scenery.  Anyhow, registration for classes is coming up in the next few weeks.  I'll take a look at what is being offered and make a decision then.

My last thought for this post comes from a blog entry on Brickhouse's blog.  This entry has been on my mind for a few days and thought I'd share it with all my virtual friends.  The post is about how to treat your local bike mechanics.  We're coming up on that time of year when a lot of cyclists start dusting off their rigs and take them into the shop for a tune-up.  Sometimes are rigs get pretty filthy.  When you take your bike into the shop, at least clean it up a little bit.  It may make the turnaround time a lot faster for you.  Also, be mindful that bike shops are super busy this time of year.  Give yourself plenty of time to get your bike back.  Don't wait till the day before the race.  Anyhow, I'm going to let you read the blog post if you wish.  I certainly recommend it to all my cycling friends.  Check it out right **HERE**

Cheers and beers with a lot of bike riding for the years!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Packway Handle Band

This Is What's Happening In My Community...

Again, I'll try not to get too political on the blogisphere but this is an issue that has been close to my heart in my community. CNN did a segment on the issue of a mosque being built in my town. Over the last year, there has been a lot of turmoil over this issue. I stand on the side of religious freedom for all and think the Muslims have the constitutional right to build their mosque. I wanted to share this video because it outlines a clear view of the issue from both sides. I hope that tolerance will prevail in this matter and our community can go back to living in peace with each other regardless of our faiths.

This is the entire CNN segment.

Bicycle Rights!

Yeah, we can watch videos like this all day long and laugh.  As far fetched as this video is, there is some truth to it.  Yesterday, I had a run in with a car on my commute home.  No crash or anything but just a really close call.  I was being predictable and riding in my lane when a car failed to see me and ran a stop sign.  I swerved to avoid the collision and then the vehicle honked at me like it was my fault!  The sad thing is, this happens to me nearly everyday!  You could call this a rant because I really don't have a followup to it.  If you're not a cyclist, just try to remain mindful of us two-wheelers out there.  If you are a cyclist, I hope you know better!

And on to other news.  I made the announcement yesterday that the goateous chin beard is gone!  Yep, I decided I'm in for a change.  You know, I'm running for office now.  I gotta look good!  Over the weekend, I bought a new suit, shined the shoes and shaved the chin.  In fact, as much as I embrace the whole dirt bag jeans and t-shirt look, I kinda like being all spiffy looking!

Hey, what?!


And I'm going to include yet another Portlandia video because it pertains to my shaving the chin beard thing.  For all you hipsters (DicKy), you can keep your chin beards, cause chin beards are OVER!

And don't forget about this weekend's race, Hell of the South!  Weather looks pretty crappy all week but looks perfect for the weekend!  I'm feeling pretty stoked!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I've been seeing this video on a few blogs over the past few days.  This Tennessee weather has been fluctuating from warm to cold over and over again!  I could only wish our weather was as nice as it is in this video.  Hopefully soon enough we will be able to enjoy the warm temps!

Study Session with Alice....

I'm currently sitting in an enclosed cubicle of the library doing a little studying on Government and American Politics.  Don't get me wrong, I love the subject.  However, I have a test coming up in less than an hour.  What do I do?  I'm listening to Alice and Chains and writing a blog entry.  I'm the man in the box.  Buried in my...

Gent – Wevelgem Finish...

I may not have been on the bike over the weekend but I did catch a little bike action on the interwebs.  Here's the finish of the Gent-Wevelgem.  Fun race to watch!

No Bike Weekend...

I got home from class pretty early on Friday and called the wife just to check in. As soon as she answered the phone, she told me we were heading to Memphis. Apparently, her best friend was going into labor. So I grabbed the suitcase and got a few changes of close packed and patiently waited for my wife to get home from work. On the way to Memphis, I started seeing all these dirt roads that paralleled the interstate. From Dickson County till the Tennessee River, most of these dirt roads were pretty rolling. Of course, I'm driving on the interstate and the only thing I can think of is new places to check out on the bike. I'm definitely going to have to make the trip to this area to do a little exploring on the CX bike.

Anyhow, we made it to Memphis. Our friend had a beautiful baby boy. I'm not much of a baby person but this trip was a little different. I really enjoyed seeing their baby and sharing this experience with them. However, I still think my wife and I are pretty convinced that we aren't having kids anytime soon. Since the majority of our friends are having their first children and I have two nieces, I think there are plenty of kids that we can spoil and return to their parents.

Cute kid
 While in Memphis, unfortunately we didn't get to go sight seeing or check out any good BBQ joints. Instead, I had a killer fried catfish and hushpuppies plate at the hospital cafeteria and found some BBQ ribs flavored potato chips!! Score!! You can't visit Memphis and not leave feeling the least bit unhealthy!

We made it back to the Boro late Saturday and did a little bumming around town. The weather was pretty shitty all weekend and I really didn't feel like getting out in it. Most of Sunday was spent in the kitchen. One of my other hobbies that I haven't been able to practice lately is cooking. After spending some time searching for new recipes, I started working on a homemade Red Beans and Rice dish. It took nearly 4 hours to cook but turned out awesome!! There was enough made to last us several days as well!

I'm sorry if you came to the blog today to read about a race or one of my rides. Needless to say, I just didn't get out. Sometimes its nice to sit back and relax. No rhyme or reason to the weekend, just good friends, good fun and good food. Maybe I'll get into something a little more interesting later this week and can post up on it. Next weekend is the Hell of the South race. As long as the weather holds out, I'm planning on being there!  Oh yeah, the goateous chin beard is now gone.  That's right.  Shaved off!

Friday, March 25, 2011

More Ride For Reading Coverage

Ride for Reading just reached a monumental mile stone!  This week, the organization reached the 50,000 books donated mark!!  This is a huge success for an awesome program that benefits underprivileged school kids!  If you are looking for a way to support the cycling community while at the same time helping to promote literacy, please consider donating to Ride for Reading!


How is it that I can write pages of material for this blog but when it comes to writing a paper for school, I get writer's block?!  I've got a paper due this morning that is about defining "Bicycling".  The requirement is four pages.  I ended up getting the requirement but I'd say three of those pages are actually worth reading. 

On another note, I attended the local Murfreesboro Bicycle Club road ride last night.  When I arrived, I was freezing!  I think Mother Mom went on vacation and left the fridge open.  This gave me the opportunity to test out my new cycling vest.  It worked great!  We had a nice sized group for it being early in the season.  Most of the hammer heads stayed home last night.  It must have been the temps (shaved legs don't insulate as well).  Mark B brought out the tandem.  He and Janet F saddled up and set a good pace to start out to.  It felt great riding behind a tandem for several miles.  At the first hill, I was feeling geared up and I took off.  My buddy Reid held on to my wheel till the next intersection.  I then started to crank it out a little harder.  At the mid way point, I was averaging 23.5 mph.  After that, the route opened up through corn and cotton fields.  The headwind was ridiculous!  When out in these fields, there is nowhere to hide.  Anyhow, I finished the ride off the front and away from the group with a 22.6mph average over 25 miles.  This was an awesome route with a few fun hills and some beautiful scenery.  In the coming months, the routes will get longer as the days get longer.
You never should get tired of seeing my beautiful face

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is Ride for Reading...

I have mentioned Ride for Reading several times in the past.  Here is an awesome video that was shot a few weeks ago at the last book delivery.  This really explains the concept of Ride for Reading.  Help support their future and visit their website at

My Daily Commute...

A guy can only ride their road bike or mountain bike so often. When that's not happening, I am commuting. Back in August, my truck broke down on me. From that point, I decided I was going to living car-free or at least car-lite. Since then, I have fixed my truck but still embracing the car-lite lifestyle. This is given me the opportunity to save some money and maintain a base fitness.

I am really fortunate to have a quality commute route. Each morning I get up and head out the door for the 10 miles into town. My commute mostly consists of a few residential bike lanes in my neighborhood, to the greenway and then cutting through the historic district of town. Once I get to school, I am also fortunate to have covered bike parking. Commuting by bike really gives me the chance to get my mind focused about the day ahead. You wouldn't believe how often I will be riding and thinking about something to incorporate into an essay for class. Some of my best ideas come while on the bike. There are limited distractions while riding, especially while on the greenway in the early mornings. On the way home each day, I have the opportunity to debrief my thoughts. This is normally when I will add a few extra miles to my commute just to get a little extra time on the bike. All in all, I'm typically able to get about 20-25 miles of riding per day just with my commute.

I have definitely noticed the benefit of commuting by bike. Over the winter, commuting has allowed my to stay in shape without getting on the trainer. I really hate trainers. You sweat more than you should and you don't go anywhere. I'd rather ride in 5 degree weather than hop on the trainer. Being dedicated to commuting also hardens you to the different weather conditions. I could care less about what kind of weather I have to face each day. Over the past few months, I have been updating a lot of my clothing in order to accommodate the weather conditions I ride in. This is really important if you plan on riding in the extreme cold or in wet weather. The best piece of clothing I've been using has been my Cutter Knickers. They pants are cut to be comfortable on and off the bike. They are made of softshell material which sheds water pretty well during a light rain and dries pretty quickly after a heavy downpour. Any commuter should also have a good set of rain gear. My primary rain jacket has been a Marmot Aegis rain jacket and the Marmot Precip rain pants. As for shoes, I've really enjoyed my Chrome Kursks. These shoes look like Converse Chuck Taylors but have been designed for the urban cyclist. The sole is a bit stiffer and the shoes is made of nylon and rubber.  These shoes are great even when it's wet outside.  The nylon repels water pretty well except in the worst downpours.  Another key part of my gear is my pack.  I've been riding with a Chrome Kirov packpack since December.  This pack is designed for bike messengers so it has a lot of volume.  The pack has enough room to stash all my books, my laptop and a spare change of clothes if needed.  The inside of the pack is lined with a truck tarp material which keeps it pretty weatherproof.  The pack rides well on my back while on the bike but it does cause some serious back sweat when the temps are warmer.  During the warmer months, I'll probably switch over to some panniers or a messenger bag.  

Chrome Kirov
Another key aspect to commuting is, of course, the bike. I've got two bikes that are committed to being my primary commuter rigs. The first is my Surly Cross Check. This used to be my CX bike but has since been replaced by the All City Nature Boy as my race bike, I have turned the Cross Check into a commuter rig. The bike has full coverage fenders, 32c tires with semi knobby tread, triple crank and an 8 speed mountain bike cassette.  I really like the 8 speed setup for commuting.  The cassettes are cheap and the shifting works well indexed or on a friction setup.  This bike is mostly used when it's wet outside. I'm rocking the Velo Orange 48mm Fluted Fenders.  These have been great!  They are full coverage and look good on the bike.  My other commuter rig is a no-name hybrid bike that I've had.  This bike is surprisingly fun to ride.  I have an 8 speed drivetrain setup with a triple in the front on this bike.  I'm running 28c Pasela tires front and back.  The frame is completely covered with stickers.  This is the bike that I don't mind getting beat up a little bit on the bike racks.
My Surly Cross Check

My Sticker Bike

Commuting by bike isn't really that difficult.  It just takes a little more planning and some quality gear.  The fitness to complete your commute just simply comes with time.  As the weather starts to warm up a little bit, give it a shot sometime! 

Here are a few pictures from my commute:

Morning sunrise on the greenway

Happy commuter

Along the greenway

Approaching the town square

Downtown Historic District

Peck Hall on Campus

My Bike Parking Option

Heading Downtown

Approaching Train Tracks on the Greenway

Alternate route when train is passing

Old Fort Park on the greenway

Our greenway has some really cool bridges

Bike lanes in my neighborhood

Need I say more?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Hammer Time...

Last night was the first of many Tuesday Night World Championship rides.  Now that the time change has occurred, we've got enough daylight to bust out 40+ miles in the evening.  Well, last night felt like we've been riding all season.  We had a super strong group of about 10 or so guys, several of which this was my first time riding with.  The group left out around 4:45pm and a little less than 2 hours later, we were back.  The first half of the ride had a pretty intense headwind and several good climbs.  The second half of the ride, we were able to organize a steady rotating paceline that helped us make up the pace.  Several sprints were thrown in along with a nice breakaway led by Kurt P. and Matthew R.  These two guys were beasts last night!  Kurt has always been fast but this year he is nearly untouchable!  Anyhow, our group covered 42 miles with a 21.3 mph average.  I was quite impressed by the improvements that a lot of the guys have made over the last year.  I definitely look forward to the upcoming Tuesday Night rides in the future.

Today looks like some rain is coming in.  I'll load up my pack and hit my routine commuter route regardless.  With the weather we've been having lately, I think a nice rain ride is in order.  Unfortunately, I don't think my classmates are going to enjoy sitting next to a dripping wet Jimmy.  Anytime I ride in the rain, I just try to imagine that I'm racing in the 1994 Paris-Roubaix.  That was one hell of a race!
Sean Yates - 1994 Paris-Roubaix

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pedal Music

Pedal power music.  Time to go for a ride.

Been Way Way Way Too Long

I know it's been a week since any activity has taken place on the blog.  I've had things to do.  Unlike many of my other blog friends, I got a...Well, actually, I don't have a job either.  So what's my excuse?  Truthfully, I don't have one.  The past week, I've been getting back into the groove of school.  I don't understand why the University put Spring Break the week before the time change.  That meant we all had to get up an hour earlier than what we had been used to in order to make it to class on time.  That issue, paired with all this beautiful weather, made it pretty tough to stay focused in class.  Luckily, none of my professors scheduled any tests during the first week back. 

Last week was full of many new adventures and activities.  While on Spring Break, I made the decision to take my political involvement one step further.  I try to keep politics out of this blog simply because a lot of my bike friends have some pretty diverse opinions.  Therefore, I'll try to keep it brief.  I've been active in the Democratic Party for several years now.  I have worked on various campaigns from the local to the national level.  Currently, the Tennessee Democratic Party is approaching the "Reorganization" process in which the local county parties select their officers.  This year, I have decided to run for Chairman of the Rutherford County Democratic Party.  We have had some great leaders in our county party.  I want to embrace a lot of what has worked previously and also look towards some new ideas to progress our party.  So, April 9th, I will stand before my county party as a nominee for the position. 
My politickin' outfit
Now back to the bike stuff.  Last week was pretty uneventful on the bike.  Most of my miles consisted of commuting.  Friday, I did get in a nice road ride with a friend.  I also got my new Harpeth Bicycles Team kit last week.  It felt great on Friday's ride.  Considering I've put on a few pounds over the winter, the new kit looks quite slimming!  As for races, I think I'll be racing this weekend in Columbia, Tennessee at the Chickasaw Trace Classic Mountain Bike Race.  Considering I haven't been on the mountain bike since January, I'm not sure how I'll do.  Also, I haven't raced against any of the locals yet since I've moved up to Tennessee.  We'll see how it goes.

Rockin' the new kit
As for the blog, I'll update it periodically.  Things are getting a little busier now that the weather is getting nicer and I can get out and ride.  I'll try to keep y'all posted with at least some pictures.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yet Another Look Into the Mind of Jesco White...

Jeff Buckley - So Real

I caught this on Urban Velo and thought I'd like to share it.  I've always been a fan of Jeff Buckley and the fact that he uses some bikes in this video is pretty cool as well.  BTW, not much happened over the weekend that is really worth blogging about so most of today will be posts of videos and/or cool pictures that I've come across.  Hopefully I'll have something to write about tomorrow.

So Real - Jeff Buckley

Senior Gonzales | Myspace Video

Spring Break is Over...Happy Pi Day!

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651.....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cocaine is one hell of a drug...

In case you haven't seen this, you have been missing out!  This guy makes your grandma's spin class look like a stroll in the park.

The Future of my Future...

Well, Spring Break is almost over. It's been a good run this week seeing friends and family. I'm glad I made the trip over to East Tennessee. I wish I could have squeezed in the same amount of time with my buddies back in Macon but sometimes family calls and that is the most important thing. Anyhow, I'm a little bit fatter and a whole lot happier with my experience!

Next on my agenda is figuring out what I'm going to do this season. I really haven't had much of an off season. Instead, I've been riding my ass off in preparation for the Snake Creek Gap and Southern Cross. Unfortunately, I was only able to make it to one of the Snake Creek races. I felt pretty satisfied with my finishes at both races I've done this year. Now on to looking at what's ahead. I believe I'm pretty committed to doing the American UltraCross Endurance Series. Some of that is going to be dependent on whether I can get the guys from my team to join in with me. If we can all chip in together, we can make the trip a lot more affordable. The first race is on June 25th in Morgantown, WV. I have never ridden up in that area but from the course description, it sounds to be pretty insane! One thing I like about this series is that they are going to divide up the mountain bikes from the CX bikes. If that would have been done at Southern Cross, I would have finished 1st in the Singlespeed category. After the Morgantown race, the next race is the Three Peaks USA event in Beech Mountain, NC. This race is labeled as the hardest CX race in America. I've been to the Beech Mountain area and it's some rough terrain. After that, the series goes back up North to Pine Grove Furnace State Park for Iron Cross. This race has a history of having a huge turnout. After that, we'll have Southern Cross again in February. Between these races, I plan on committing to a standard CX race series in Tennessee and probably do the USGP race in Louisville, KY. Between now and then, I may enter a road race or two and possibly a few mountain bike events. We'll see as time comes but any of those events will be decided upon at the spur of the moment.

I know that's not much of a concrete calendar for right now but the amount of travel that these races will take is going to drain my budget significantly. If I'm only able to complete the UltraCross series and a local series, I'll be happy with my year. I love Cyclocross and I'm feeling bummed that there aren't anymore races in the near future. The CX bike is now hanging up in the bike room with no intent to be ridden for a while. Oh well. Time to get back to commuting Tues/Thur training rides.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Too cool not to share...

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

More Reflection on Breakin' the Spring...

Yesterday, the weather broke loose. It rained on and off for most of the day and needless to say, I didn't ride the bike. I miss being around my bike stable where I can pick out whatever bike I want to ride based on the weather outside (Rain, Sun or Snow). Being at my parent's house, I didn't bring many with me. Also, my parents live on a really busy four lane highway. It is almost a death wish to ride out from their house. Anyhow, I still had a good day none the less. Mom and I did some work around the house and up in the attic. Browsing around the attic, I came across a really rad pair of Uvex sunglasses that I know were from the late 80's or early 90's! Since I lost my favorite pair of sunglasses somewhere during the Southern Cross race weekend, these Uvex glasses will now take over as my primary pair.

Later in the day, yesterday, I met up with an old friend that I grew up with. HB and her husband joined me over at El Sazon Mexican Restaurant for a few beers. We chatted it up quite a bit and reminisced on old times. It was really great to catch up with the two of them. They were also so kind as to bring a jar of some East Tennessee sippin' whiskey! This makes me quite excited and I look forward to breaking into it in the near future!

Last night, I rolled in early to get a little rest. I hope to meet up with a few more friends tonight and tomorrow. As of right now, I'm looking at rolling back to the Boro on Saturday morning. I'd like to get in one more good road ride before heading out. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More from the Defibulators...

Here's another great song from that band last night.

Mardi Gras...Well Sort Of...

The Three Stooges
Last night was Fat Tuesday.  In the bars, you could say it was amateur night.  All the people that never visit bars except during big 5 drinking holidays: New Years, Mardi Gras, St. Patty's Day, Cinco de Mayo and Halloween.  This of course leads to a lot of the crowd being quite obnoxious.  My buddy Adam was working the door and I met up with another old friend, Philip, to catch up a bit on old times.  As we were trying to sit back and talk over some beers, there was a group of redneck kids who must have been celebrating the success of their new film, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.  They were yelling at each other, scrapping with each other and just acting like a bunch of dicks for the most part.  Aside from those yaywhos, the place was pretty chill.  I think all the Mardi Gras festivities were going on at the bar two doors down, Two Doors Down.  Anyhow, turns out there was a pretty cool band playing, The Defibulators.  I think they were out of Brooklyn.  These guys weren't what you'd typically expect to come out of Brooklyn.  They fit in perfectly in Maryville, Tennessee with a sort of bluegrassy, americana, old time jug band sound.  They are definitely worth a listen if you get a chance.  We hung around for their first set and had a few more beers before splitting.

It's been pretty awesome to catch up with my friends back home.  I think this trip back to East Tennessee has been the most productive that I've had yet!  No real agenda, just going with the flow of things.  I hope to return home with that same mindset and see how I can better my future that way!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Break Part 1...

I have to confess, I've not been living up to the "Thong Song" as my anthem for my Spring Break but it has been nothing close to boring.  I have found myself hiding out in the Knoxville, Tennessee area, kicking it with friends.  It's been really good to catch up with some of my old homies!  Good food and beer abounds!  I also made my first trip to the observation deck of the 1982 World's Fair Sunsphere.  Also as you would suspect, I've been riding the bike quite a bit as well.  Sunday, I went out for a spin on the fixed gear and got the realization that it's not very smart to ride a brakeless fixie in an area with a lot of hills.  To top off the scenario, the road was pretty wet as well.  Needless to say, I'm going to throw a front brake on when I get back to the Boro for general purposes.  I mean, I'm a married man and need to think about protecting my future claim on society.
Beneath the Sunsphere
Earlier this morning, I was able to roll out of bed just in time to meet up with the owner and manager of one of the local bike shops, Cycology Bicycles.  The three of us got in a nice 30 mile ride that climbed up and around the various hills/mountains in the area.  One climb in particular was up Butterfly Gap Road.  In some parts, the grade was around 18%.  I'm not sure the exact length but I assume it was around 4 or 5 miles.  At the top, we made a nice 6 mile descent on the Foothills Parkway back down to Highway 321.  I've been wanting to ride this route for sometime now and was glad to have these guys around to show me the best route.  Friday, I plan on joining them for another climb up what the locals call "The Wall".  I've done this one a couple times before but I'm excited to see how I handle it now that I'm in better shape.
At the base of the climb up Butterfly Gap Road
This is what most of the climb looked like
Picture from the top
A view from the top looking into the valley
From the looks of the current weather forecast, it looks like rain is in the mix for the next two days.  I brought my "whale tail" fender to throw on the bike.  Hopefully I can squeeze in a few rides as long as it doesn't get too nasty.  The area has a really nice greenway system that is hardly used by pedestrians during the day.  Maybe this will make for a nice leisurely ride.

Oh yeah!  I forgot to mention!  I acquired two more bikes this week!  My mom has some clients who had two late 70's Takara road bikes that they were looking to get rid of.  My mom spoke up and was able to take these two bikes off their hands and gave them to me.  The bikes are in near perfect condition except for the need for new tubes and tires.  That shouldn't be much of a problem.  Yesterday, I washed them off and lubed everything up.  When I get back home, I'll change out the cables and housing as well.  The bikes aren't anything too fancy, probably from the Bike Boom of the late 70's.  Regardless, they'll make great additions to the stable.  I've got plans to use one as a grocery getter with baskets and racks and the other will go to my wife to use as a city ride.

I'll keep y'all posted on the Uneventful Life as the week progresses!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday's Ride for Reading Book Delivery...

Wednesday afternoon's book delivery went great!  The Ride for Reading crew met up at Two Rivers Park Greenway parking area to load up the books.  Mathew Portell, Ride For Reading's head-honcho, arrived on the organization's new Trek Transporter.  I have to say, this is an awesome bike!  It's a lot like the Surly Big Dummy.  As much as I like the Big Dummy and hate Trek, this bike is lighter but appears to be better built.  There are a lot of neat little features on the bike that just don't come with a stock big dummy.  And lastly, the price of the Trek Transporter is only $1300 in comparison to the Big Dummy's $2500 price tag.  This will definitely be a bike to keep my eyes on once my wife and I move from an apartment and into a house where we can store the thing.

The book delivery consisted of about 21 riders and we made the 8 mile ride mostly on the greenway over to Bailey Middle School.  At the school, the children were all outside waiting.  As we rolled up, their excitement filled the air and was even taken to the next level by a group of trials riders who did a stunt demo for the kids.  We ended up delivering over 600 books to the kids at Bailey Middle School.  This is a really inspiring opportunity to be a part of and I look forward to the many other deliveries in the future!

As for my life, I'm not going to Georgia for the Snake Creek Gap this weekend nor will I be making the trip to Macon.  Instead, I'm going to use my Spring Break to visit my family in Knoxville.  I will of course be taking the bikes and get some riding done!  I'll try to keep the blog updated during this excursion but no guarantees.  Oh, one more thing!  A poll was taken on my Facebook page and it was agreed upon for me to go ahead and shave the legs.  Well, the legs are now silky smooth!