Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Reincarnation of Wheeling Around with Jack and Raquel

Okay, obviously I’m a neglectful parent of this little blog. I’ve completely abandoned it for The Velo Hobo. Raquel (the Raquel in Jack and Raquel) has agreed to take custody. Who knows, it may take on a bicycle belly dancer tone.

Thanks for putting up with us, Jack

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I'm officially ending over twenty years of skydiving. I know, many of you are reading this slacked jawed shaking your head saying “I’d never jump out of a perfectly good airplane” but if you saw the planes we jump from you’d be saying “I’ll never land in this piece of junk and I’m sure I smell liquor on the pilot’s breath. Let me the hell out!”

Perhaps the more sensible thing to say is, “I’d never get in that crate to begin with”.

Well anyway, it’s over. Just as soon as someone buys my rig on ebay, I’m calling it quits. Not that it hasn’t been fun. I’ve made over 1400 jumps with only 1 reserve ride. No injuries. No regrets.

So, if there are any aspiring skydivers out there with a loose 1,500 bucks check out my rig here: My Rig


Sunday, November 29, 2009

(A)typical Day Ride on the Parkway

Mountains have moods. Ignore this anthropocentric faux fact at your own peril. I’ve made the mistake of ignoring the mood of the mountains a few times backpacking, too light and ill-equipped while peak-bagging, and found myself in dangerous and uncomfortable situations. And I’ve done it biking a few times as well.

Today Richland Balsam enticed me to play on her steep slopes with sunny skies, moderate temperature and the solitude of a closed and gated Parkway. Just above 5,000 feet, the mood turned gloomy as a half frozen rain began pelting me. Turning back, I found the weather had closed in from behind as well. Sneaky mountain.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Warm Showers Continue...

The past two weeks has brought us three WarmShowers guest. Andy Lievertz spent a few days with us as he passed through on his way to the Blue Ridge Parkway on a bike of his own creation. A tandem turned touring rig. Andy stayed with us long enough to meet a few of our friends and to join us on the gem mine ride.

About a week later Debbie and Max Thompson spent a night with us as they did a loop around our area. Starting in Cleveland Tennessee, passing through Gatlinburg, up and over Newfound Gap (impressive!), Bryson City, North Carolina (gateway to the Smokies), and on to Murphy before returning home to Cleveland. Debbie and Max are missionaries who run an orphanage in Brazil. They were a fascinating couple and we enjoyed meeting them very much.

Read more about Andy, Debbie and Max on VeloHobo
Thanks for reading, Jack and Raquel

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bicycle Prospecting

Always willing to push the extremes of bicycling, we ventured out Sunday to do some ‘bicycle prospecting’. Gone are the days where prospectors loaded Molly the mule with pick-axe and shovel to stake a claim in the wild outback. Our very good friend (bicycle diva and belly dancer extraordinaire) Paige, organized a ride to a gem mine to sluice for treasure. Rubies, sapphires, moonstone, garnets and other gems pollute our local soil and we did our part to correct things by sifting through buckets of mud and removing them. Too much fun made even funner with a bike ride.


Paige's 20 carat Sapphire!!!!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Screamed for Ice Cream!

Friends Cindy and Sue joined us for the 44-mile Brasstown Loop Sunday. We started in Andrews, rode to the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown where we stopped for a picnic lunch, and then rode through Murphy. We did the mandatory ice cream stop at the Sweet Tooth in Murphy then headed back via the Valley River road.

This is one of our favorite rides and is one of the most beautiful in our area. You’ll ride by rolling pastures surrounded by mountains and two quaint small towns. The folk school makes an interesting rest stop and a great place to have a picnic.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lighten Your Load with Free Gear!

Here are a few tips to lighten your, panniers, from a great blog I've stumbled across.

"If you don't mind some borderline petty theft, here are a few things you can snag for free to lighten up your pack on the cheap."
from Gear Talk with Jason Klass