Diadora X-Vortex Pro

Diadora X-Vortex Pro

As we opened our bike shop at the first of the year I was still searching for a line of cycling shoes to sell. Luckily a longtime industry pal of mine suggested I have a look at Diadora. I have owned many cycling shoes over the years and could even be thought of as a little OCD over the fit, weight, and stiffness of my footwear. Several years ago I even had custom shoes made in Germany and while they were super light and super comfortable they durability was abysmal. Somehow in nearly 25 years of wearing cycling shoes, I had zero first hand experience with Diadora so I contacted the “local” rep and arranged a meeting to see the shoe line while we were down in Oregon for a visit. Read more »

New talent emerges while old guard counts laps!

New talent emerges while old guard counts laps!

Day five at the 2014 Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race was bittersweet for sure. While I was stoked to see my friend James battle back from a rough ride on day four to finish second on the stage, I was missing Farlow Gap in a bad way. My knee was swollen up like a mellon and I have been hobbling around like some old geezer for days on end now.

The folks a Blue Ridge Adventures put on a great show and the last day was no exception. Whether it was watching the kids races, the pie eating contest or the riders victoriously crossing the finish line after five days of some of the toughest trail in the world, my spirits were as high as I could imagine given the circumstances! Read more »

The Big 'un!

The Big ‘un!

Where the trail ended early–for me.

Pisgah day four was the big momma. The stage I have been waiting for all week. While I would like to say I was saving energy for it earlier in the week that would wouldn’t be true. Sure, I didn’t completely empty myself on the earlier stages but there were many times I was at my limit so I wasn’t sure how well I would respond to the longest hardest stage.

We took off with the usual manic gusto but this time I was hanging in at the front. Even after climbing most of Club Gap I could still see most of the leading group ahead and was comfortable so I let off a little and took my time knowing it would be easy to catch back on once the grade flattened. Soon I was riding back through a few of the early chargers as we traced the ridge line before the descent down to Clawhammer.  Read more »

Hump Day!

Hump Day!

No miracles… instead the NEW status quo!

After the awards ceremony and stage briefing last night the skies opened and a gentle rain set in. I didn’t stay up to see how much it carried on since I have endured enough rain in my life to not lose sleep over it. I was a little relieved though because the bluebird weather we have had all week here in NC had me thinking the “streak” was over. When I say “streak” I refer to every race I’ve ever done east of the Mississippi River has involved rain and mud in some capacity. Oddly the Pacific NW has this reputation for being rainy when in fact in rarely if ever rains during the summer. This is apparently never the case out east! Read more »

White Squirrel Loop

White Squirrel Loop

Go deep–pay the piper…

Regardless of how hard I tried to stay in the green zone yesterday, I knew there were too many times that the rugged Pisgah trails demanded more. In a single day event or on the first day of a stage race it is easy to go deep–sometimes without knowing it. Over the last five years of battling CFS I have gotten really good a managing my pace and maximizing my recovery so I knew that it was going to take a miracle to feel good today. Read more »

Pisgah 1, Riders 0

Pisgah 1, Riders 0

A re-introduction to rocks, roots, and Pisgah gnarly-ness!

We began the day under mostly clear skies and temps in the low 50s. Surprisingly I wasn’t shivering too badly despite a fast highway transfer to Turkey Pen. There we began a gravel road climb but it is important to note the most of the “roads” accessing the Forest are primitive and rough. The “gravel could be sand or 3″ minus or a lot of both. There are ruts and larger in-bedded rocks too just to make it impossible to ride a smooth rhythm.  Read more »

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