Monday, March 30, 2009

Springtime brings Warm

The recent downpour brought us a weekend house guest, world traveler Peter Van Glabbeek. Peter is from Holland and has been bike touring South America for the past two and a half years. Before his tour of South America, Peter toured Australia, Asia and parts of Europe. He has been on the road for over four years! Peter found us through Peter mostly camps but occasionally takes a respite from his tent by taking shelter with Warm Showers hosts. We were fortunate to get a break in the weather long enough to take Peter out to ride the Burningtown loop on Sunday. Peter left early Monday morning to cycle the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive on his way to New York City. From there he plans to fly back to Holland and visit family before heading back out to tour Africa.

Peter was a great house guest and he kept us entertained with stories from the road and lessons learned from touring by bike. He was our first Warm Showers guest and the experience was rewarding. We hope to host other riders as they make their way to the Parkway and the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

Here is a link to Peter’s website:

Here is a link to the Warm Showers website:

Jack and Raquel

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Assault on the Carolinas

A pleasurable ride if you overlook the miserable parts. It rained the whole time but the course was very well marked and easy to follow. The rest stops were well spaced and well stocked. The sheriff’s department and course volunteers were at every major intersection to help with traffic. (They must have thought we were crazy to be riding in such weather). The turnout seemed very low (only about a hundred or so), but everyone appeared to be in good spirits.

We didn't see any giraffes, but they definitely cross here in sufficient numbers to warrant a sign.

A good first organized ride of the season!
Jack and Raquel

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Riding Computer-less

Over the past few weeks I’ve been riding without a computer on my bike. Here are a few things I’ve noticed.

-I’m spending more time looking around at things, old barns, cows grazing, wildlife, whatever.

-I’m noticing how demoralizing a bike computer can be sometimes. Lately, I don’t really care how fast I’m going or how far I’ve traveled. I thought this would really bug me, but no. I’m going as fast as I’m going. I’ve traveled as far as I gone.

-I’m no longer measuring myself by my last ride. I’m not trying to beat my best time to the top of Water Rock Knob. I’m just happy to be where I am riding my bike.

-I’m more mindful and in the moment. When I ride with a computer, I’m more focused on numbers and I’m usually scrolling through the data looking for my average speed or total time. Now I’m more focused on how I’m breathing and how my legs feel.

I’m not saying computers are a bad thing to have on a bike, just that lately, I’ve enjoyed not having one.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Training begins! As soon as this damn rain stops.

This year’s rides include:

The Assault on the Carolinas
Burnsville Metric
Tour de Cashiers
**A three day inn to inn tour at the Outerbanks**
Ruby Ride
The Fletcher Flyer
The Cherohala Challenge
The Roan Moan
**Bryson City, NC to Front Royal Virginia via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive**
Tour de Tuck
Tour de Leaves
Tour de Nantahala
Tour de Franklin
Lots of day rides here and there and a few bike camping trips on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Jack & Raquel

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Surly Travelers Check 99% complete!

Just need to have the head tube thingie dressed up and it's done. Took it for a short ride in Burningtown today and it rode great. The Carridace saddle bag is humongous. Thanks Motion Makers!