|The Mohican 100 mile singlespeed podium|
Monday, May 22, 2023
Mohican 100 plus more Ohio domination
Monday, May 15, 2023
|One of the first rides I did with Will, photo courtesy of Simon|
Thursday, May 11, 2023
PMBAR '23: Part 2, the first place loser
|At Buckhorn Gap (I think)|
Monday, May 8, 2023
PMBAR '23: Part One
"You've never been there?", in an incredulous voice, is the usual response I get from people when the topic of Pisgah comes up. It's true. I've been fortunate enough to have ridden in well over 20 states, bikepacked the Great Divide, but still, I've never been to Pisgah. So, when Cinderbloch texted me back in February about being his partner for the PMBAR race, it was the perfect opportunity. In case you're wondering, Pisgah is a National Forest in western North Carolina, and it's the home of a huge network of trails.
I finished my last final exam at Penn State on Wednesday, and it went well, which means I unofficially graduated from Penn State. I guess they'll mail me my diploma? I dunno. I now have a B.S. (which mebbe stands for bullshit) degree in general science, and a minor in mathematics. I still have to get a teaching certification if I want to teach high school math, so that'll be one more year of school, but at least I'm one big-ish step closer.
But anyways, I drove home from Penn State Wednesday evening, hurriedly packed up everything I needed for a weekend of camping and bicycle racing, and went to bed as early as I could. Cinderbloch and I left around 7:30am on Thursday, bound for Pisgah, and got there just before dinner time. It's actually a pretty cool drive; the mountains on I-26 between Johnson City, TN and Asheville, NC are really something,
Once there, we set up camp (which for me consisted of my teeny tiny bikepacking tent), and then pedaled into town for dinner. We went to a BBQ place called "Hawg Wild", and before long, I got a text from Dahn Pahrs with a picture of him in the same restaurant when he did PMBAR a few years ago. He was bragging to us about how much food he ate. I guess you need a lot of food when you're Dahn Pahrs.
Monday, May 1, 2023
Crushed by the Commonwealth 2023, i.e. a DNF
I rolled over on the cot in Cinderblochner's spare room and looked at my phone. It was 3:30 A.M., and time to wake up. I went downstairs and drank my morning Mountain Dew and ate my morning Nutella-covered bagels. Combined with a bunch of pizza and late-night chocolate the night before, I was feeling quite stuffed. But in a good way. Well, I guess not in a good way, but in a good-for-a-long-ride kind of way.
Monday, March 13, 2023
A Very Yinzer Spring Break
Friday, March 3, 2023
Opinion: No Backhoes in the Backcountry
Monday, February 13, 2023
Flat bars are the new drop bars
I knew exactly what I was doing taking apart my Raceface crankset on my singlespeed gravel bike, but in another very real sense, I had no idea what I was doing. I broke it, and I'm waiting on a new bolt. I swear I'm usually a good mechanic, so I don't know what happened there.
That meant instead of using my Salsa Stormchaser gravel bike with 38x19 gearing, I blasted pavement and gravel all weekend with my 31-pound Karate Monkey mountain bike with 32x16 gearing, and a 140mm fork. Stick calls it "enduro gravel". At least the gear ratio is the same, because maths. You'll see later on there was one road where I was glad I had a mountain bike, and I felt bad for my drop bar frands.
Everything above probably isn't very interesting, but if you keep reading, you can at least see some neat ride pictures and maybe another couple funny bits.
|Picture by professional photographer Rob Cinderblochner|
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Being on the Dark Side
|Ironic that a post about Pittsburgh has a photo from Colorado. But, this is the most inclusive photo I could find, and even this only has a fraction of the people I call friends.|
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Texas actually has some really neat places
I guess it's sort of becoming a tradition of mine to spend the New Years holiday in the desert. Last year, it was Arizbrona bikepacking with Will, and this year, I drove down to Big Bend Texas with my brother to explore some new terrain.
I'll start off by saying that the Big Bend area of southwest Texas is awesome. When I was in Texas back in May, it wasn't exactly my favorite state. Eastern Texas is pretty flat and there really isn't much public land. Plus, driving around Dallas to pick Will up from the airport sort of left a sour taste in my mouth because of all the sprawling suburbs and traffic.
|Looking through an old truck in the desert|
Friday, January 6, 2023
Looking Back and Looking Forward
Monday, December 19, 2022
Friends and bikes and snow
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Great Divide Chapter 8: The End
Sometimes it takes being at the end of something to truly appreciate it. When you're in the moment, it's pretty hard to see the forest for the trees. I think the first time we actually looked back at the trip was in the community center in Hachita, because even though we were still 45 miles from the finish, we knew we had made it. I always sort of hesitated to imagine being done, because I thought if I did, a bike would break or something would happen that would prevent us from finishing. But like I said, in Hachita, I let myself think about the finish. I couldn't possibly be more grateful to have Will as a friend to do this with. I'll save the rest of my ramblings for another post, but even just writing about this really makes me appreciate how fortunate I am. Bikes are fun, y'all.
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Great Divide Chapter 7: Cuba to Silver City New Mexico
The Great Divide threw us a few curveballs in this stretch. For one, I got giardia. We also hit tremendously terrible mud just south of Cuba, New Mexico. But, looking back at it, those are the things that add color to the trip. Nothing that takes over six weeks - like our trip did - is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. And I wouldn't want it to be. Anyways, here's a recap of how our trip went. There's gonna be one last chapter and then I'll make a more general, broader overview post. I'll include one of my favorite pictures of the stretch here before I dive into the daily recaps, partly because it's a cool picture and partly because it'll be a good thumbnail picture for Blogger.
|The flash flood creek that we couldn't cross|