Friday, December 4, 2009


Well, if the fine, fine forecasters haven’t jinxed us, we may get to see some of the white stuff over the next 24 hours. The National Weather Service has now issued a Winter Storm Warning (upgraded from a Watch earlier today) and are calling for 3” to 5” of the fluffy stuff. They’ve also dropped their references to only the higher elevations above 3500’. Who knows, maybe we’ll awaken to a snowscape tomorrow. It would be nice for a change and a good excuse to stay inside. I made the obligatory run to the grocery store and laid in some provisions. I developed a taste for eggs, Jimmy Dean HOT sausage, and Belgian waffles in the morning that forced me back into town and the store…


My blogging friend and fellow cyclist down in Fayetteville, NC has done me a fine honor of mentioning some of my pursuits in his posting today. If you’d like to check it out, CLICK HERE! Many thanks, Jim!


DY_ASUJersey(Appalachian State Alum Bro Dave with his snazzy ASU Cycling Jersey birthday present from ASU Alum Bro Zeke! GO APPS! Beat Richmond!)

My younger brother David, who lives in the L.A. area, gets to celebrate his 47th birthday today. At least I think it is his 47th. There is one short month where he is ONLY 9 years younger than me and then it reverts back to 10 years when I roll over another year on this orb. He still has more hair (although not much) than I do and has combated our familial high cholesterol to the point where I now outweigh him by about 20 lbs. I hope he gets to ride his crank forward bike today or tomorrow and start another year on 2 wheels!


My Tuesday lunch ride comprised the entirety of my riding this week. We were still under the influence of a high pressure system at that point so we had some clear skies with temps getting into the mid-50’s on Tuesday. I took the opportunity to revisit an earlier ride from this season and one I wrote about HERE!

I left my office at High Noon and headed east and north toward NC 209 with the intent of riding to the entrance to WeKirk Farms at Rush Fork. The entrance to the farm is at the crest of the first of two climbs to top Rush Fork. Once I reached Lake Junaluska from Business 19/23, it was a straight out and back ride on NC 209 to accomplish my workout.

The mid-50’s temps were quite pleasant. I simply added my Under Armour long sleeve top and was quite comfortable. I warmed up to the point of needing to unzip my wind breaker. The heavier gloves I was wearing felt quite good, particular on the descent from Rush Fork. A couple of differences I noted in this ride and the earlier ride this year was 1) my significantly improved condition and 2) the increased traffic.

I was pleased with the former and quite careful of the latter. I recall the frustration of not getting to the top of this climb back in the late spring. This time I spun right on up without concern about not making the climb. It is a nice feeling to sense the improvement in my overall conditioning.

The increased traffic is a direct result of the closing of I-40. Travelers now try to save time by climbing over Rush Fork, Betsy’s Gap, and down through Trust and Luck, NC (No, I am NOT making up those names) to Hot Springs where they can scoot back over to I-40 in eastern Tennessee. Unfortunately for way too many of them, all they accomplish is getting lost and having to backtrack. These folks are easy to spot. They are pulled over to the side of the road looking at maps!

Some folks in the Fines Creek section of Haywood, have posted signs along the road that say “Your GPS is WRONG!” Unfortunately, the NC Highway Patrol hasn’t increased their presence on this road so the traffic is moving way, way over the speed limit most of the time. I may well restrict my riding down there for awhile as it really doesn’t feel safe.

However, on this past Tuesday, it was pretty! I took some images of the mountains around Rush Fork and of the property owned by WeKirk Farms.



(WeKirk Farms…)






(WeKirk is a Land Grant to the Kirkpatrick family dating back to King James)


(My Fuji CCR3)

Dec0109_Cecil01 (6)








(Hmm, my blue outfit seems to match the sky on this date!)

The ride back to the office was equally as nice as the ride out and got me several miles closer to my goal for this year of 1000 miles. I’m easily within striking distance of my goal now and that feels pretty darned good!

I think I’ll go check the weather and pop in the frozen pizza!

Until later,

- Zeke

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