Tuesday, June 29, 2010



Tours/Races that I am following:


The Tour Divide While a number of riders remain on the course, Matthew Lee has finished the race in a time of 17 days, 15 hours and 13 minutes in which he covered 2745 miles. He is the winner of the 2010 Tour Divide. Our “Mountain Turtle” is safely home again after experiencing equipment failure such that the wisest decision was to pack it in and head back to Issaquah. He is posting numerous images of his experience on his blog at KentsBikeBlog.

Kent's Bike Meets Fence Post(Photo credit: Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson

Click the image to see the story!)

My cycling experiences on tour, with Fargo.

Fargo Logo Also coming to a close is Jim Artis’s field testing, as it turns out, of Fargo. After several days in Ashford, CT and consultation with Fargo builder Ashley, it was agreed that there was nothing else to be gained from further field testing. Information has been gathered for the necessary modifications to enhance Fargo as a touring HPV supreme. Jim has procured a rental truck this morning and is awaiting delivery of a couple of packages at his “home away from home”, the Ashford Motel, on Ashford Motel Rd., in Ashford, CT. I’ll bet UPS won’t have any trouble finding him.

Jim has an approximate 12 hour drive to get home. We’ll be looking forward to his many stories of his adventure in the northeast as he has settles back in at home. He will be shipping out parts of Fargo back to Utah Trikes for in-house review and modification. We’ll look forward to more Fargo adventures down the road!

Some thoughts on local matters…

Over the course of this blog, I’ve written numerous times about the Pigeon River Valley and my rides around it. I’ve posted images of the fields ready for planting, planted, and harvested. To a large degree, my stories have been based upon sitting above the fields on either NC 110 or NC 215 as I looked down on the field. The two roads are the boundaries of an incredibly fertile valley.

Last night, I had the opportunity to get more in-depth knowledge about local efforts to protect the water tables and the land from pollution in this area. I visited 3 spots: Bethel Middle School, Bethel Elementary School, and Cold Mountain Nursery. Each of these are doing some outstanding work at handling run-off water from storms in ways that recycle the water reducing demand upon the areas water table, actually treating the run-off before it enters the streams, and reusing the water in irrigation efforts to reduce overall water use in the nursery business.

By now you may be saying, “Hey, this is a cycling blog. What’s up with water talk?” For me, cycling and reducing our carbon footprint goes hand-in-hand with treating the land better and being better stewards of our natural resources. It was very impressive to me when I saw the work done by David Curtis at Bethel Elementary in developing a rain barrel system with his students. He spoke of how this had brought science and math together to solve common issues in environmental issues. Or to have seen the massive work done at the new elementary school were water gardens and a massive water catch basin have been installed to collect storm runoff and actually TREAT THE WATER before it ever leaves the property making it’s way to the nearby Pigeon River. Finally, to see the integrated network of ditches and ponds used by Cold Mountain Nursery to reuse their non-heribicdal infused water, was outstanding.

Oh yeah, at least two of the guys presenting and responsible for lots of this work are cyclists…

Until later,

- Zeke

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Rides/Tours I am following:


Riding with a Gator…

I’ve never ridden with a Gator before today. It was a very pleasurable experience! This particular Gator is coming off of a significant bike injury that required surgery, which was then followed up with a blood clot. No fun! Everyone knows Gator skin is tough and this particular Gator is no exception!

Gator John Bryan (Gator John Bryan following our spin up to Sunburst!)

Yep, John is a University of Florida Gator and has sent two of his children to that esteemed institution of higher learning. John and his spouse are here enjoying a couple of weeks at their home in the Bethel Community. We’ve corresponded via email from time to time through this blog and have agreed in the past to get together for a ride when John was in the area. Unfortunately, his bike accident resulting in injury requiring surgery slowed that ride opportunity down. John has jumped back on his back after getting physician clearance and has been putting on some miles at home.

Today was our day to connect. We met at Bethel Middle School and spun our way up to Sunburst, which is a NC Forest campground/picnic area about 8 or 9 miles up the Pigeon River from Bethel Grocery Store.  After some initial greetings and getting acquainted, we started up the mostly river grade road running along the West Fork of the Pigeon. Road traffic was heavier than usual today but everyone had apparently taken a “nice pill” as folks waiting patiently behind us until safe to pass and then waved as they went by us. We crossed the West Fork twice before getting to the bottom of the only real climb we would face today.

Just past the Lake Logan Volunteer Fired Department, the road takes a significant increase in grade as you climb above Lake Logan. The climb can be deceiving because just as you think you’re through, you come upon a little reprieve in grade only to find that the grade increases again to the top of the climb. John’s Garmin was reporting a 13% grade and my VDO-Z1 showed 11%. Somewhere between the two is actual grade we were climbing.

Following a very pleasant, cool descent under heavy pine canopy, we come out of a right hand turn and cross over the bridge at the upper end of Lake Logan. A big peal of thunder occurred just as we hit this straight stretch and you could see the day’s late afternoon thunderstorm beginning to roll in over the mountain. It didn’t look like imminent rain though so we kept the cranks moving.

We passed a number of folks enjoying some swimming in the watering holes of the Pigeon and went by an open house for today’s Family Farm Tour sponsored by the Bethel Community Action Group. I recognized George Ivey, a friend, fellow Rotarian, and serious cyclist, sitting on the porch. George is also a published author in addition to his other many talents.

We made our way to Sunburst and pulled into the picnic area just as the first rain drops began to fall. We didn’t tarry long as neither of us wanted to get caught in a thunderstorm without jackets. The rain turned out to be just enough to be cool and pleasant. We had run out of it by the time we reached Lake Logan on the return loop.

From there, we had one more climb and then pleasant pedaling back to Bethel Middle School and sunshine. This was a very pleasant interlude in a hot day and I’ll look forward to riding with this Gator again!

The Tour Divide

Mountain Turtle LogoKent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson had a mechanical that has brought his participation in the 2010 edition of the Great Divide Ride to a halt. The freehub on his Monocog bit the dirt and being in the Great Basin moving at bike/hiking speed isn’t a good plan. Kent had supplies to last at biking pace but not walking pace so he has made the correct decision and withdrawn. I would imagine he is hastening somewhat more swiftly back to the arms of the lovely Christine! It was an outstanding effort that included one heck of a prologue just to get to the start. Thanks Kent for supplying us all with some great inspiration! I know that there will be stories to come with lots of images! Enjoy your embrace with Christine, recharge the batteries, and then give us some great stories that we all know you absorbed on the trail! Well done, my friend!

My cycling experiences on tour, with Fargo.

Fargo logoGearing issues seem to be the tale of the day as Jim Artis finds himself in a “no go” condition in Ashford, CT. He has written recently of difficulties with getting over climbs due to slippage and the reason has become much clearer in the last 36 hours. He has posted clear images of the problem gearing on his blog.  It currently appears that Jim and Fargo will be at the Ashford Motel in Ashford CT until at least Tuesday morning as he consults with Ashley on repairs and receives a needed replacement part. The Lithium Ion batteries required to power his SPOT died yesterday and there was no where on his route to find any replacements. I am in the process of shipping some to him by Tuesday morning in the hopes that he will be on the road again. We’ll see how Staples and UPS keep their promises of overnight delivery. I’ve been assured that the batteries will make it to Ashford by the Tuesday 8:00 or 10:00 a.m. delivery. Jim told me this morning that the only place to get food is by delivery from a Sports Bar!

Jim had another interesting encounter with local Law Enforcement, who once again took his safety to heart and assisted him in getting to his lodging. Jim remains in good spirits and is doing well. As he so clearly points out himself, he enjoys the design and evaluation phases of building new cycles. This is certainly one heck of a shake down cruise! Check it all out by visiting Cycling Experiences! 

Until later… I gotta go put another shrimp on the barbie…

- Zeke

Friday, June 25, 2010


Races/Tours I am following:


It was hot – muggy hot. Almost, but not quite, New Orleans sultry hot. Not Oklahoma City “slam your butt back in the car” hot… I can’t go that far. How hot was it? It was SOOO hot I broke a sweat putting my hat on to walk to lunch. It was so humid I thought I saw a 20” Rainbow Trout swimming up Main Street. If Tennessee Williams were here yesterday, I’m confident he would have written a new award winning novel on the spot that featured heat and humidity. I had visions of William Hurt and Kathleen Turner comingling in Body Heat as I made my way up to the cafe. You get the picture.

When it’s that hot and humid in our mountains, you just know it’s gonna rain and it did… The skies turned a deep dark black in a pitchfork pattern just as we were hoping for new riders to appear for our first BicycleHaywoodNC sponsored New Riders Group ride. It was a tricky rain pattern.The pitchfork “look” meant that it was raining to our north and east, sunshine to our west holding out promise of a short rain event, and rain to our south. Our riders were beginning to gather and questioning “are we going to get to ride?” “What should we do?” “How long is this rain going to fall?”

Our start time came and went as we watched the rain fall. We were prepped for our pre-ride bike checks, waivers of liability, and a short safety chat as we got the initial ride of this 6 week effort under way. Articles were in the newspaper leading up to the ride and we were on other printed news calendars. We built it but they did not come. The rain let up and the 5 of us – all experienced riders did what cyclists do… we rode!

BicycleHaywoodNC  Ride Leaders(BicycleHaywoodNC ride leaders and Newest member prior to ride) 

Given the lack of beginning riders, we decided to ride the route I had suggested for first timers. I should say that we did have a New rider. In the image above, she is on the far right and her last name is- wait for it – New! Still, she is an experienced rider.

The chosen route was about 9.4 miles and as flat as is possible here in the mountains. Other than a short climb out of the LBS parking lot, we were pretty much running river grade from North Main Street in Waynesville all the way to Wal-Mart on the other end of town. The loop utilized our partially completed greenway, went by the town’s recreation department, took in different business sections of Waynesville, and went by schools. It traversed the Village of Hazelwood, a small former town now completely encircled by Waynesville. We rode through some nice residential areas and even enjoyed some newly paved road on Brown Avenue.

As I expressed to our riders, this route is hopefully easy enough for those riders beginning to get back in shape, showcases some of our town’s prettiest spots, and begins to plant the seed “Hey, maybe I could ride to the store instead of driving.” We want to attack that “last mile” that transportation engineers are always talking about. Another goal of our group rides is to get more cyclists on the roads to increase our visibility. The more auto/truck drivers see cyclists on the roads, the more awareness they will develop of cyclists making the roads safer.

One key part of our education effort is to make sure that new riders develop good riding skills. So, yesterday with 3 future ride leaders and our “Newbie”, we practiced good ridership. We stopped at stop signs, we used hand signals, we communicated from back to front and vice versa. All good practice for when our new group rides develop some new group riders!

Was yesterday’s ride a success? Well, I’d have to say yes. We weren’t overrun with exuberant new riders but we did accomplish some goals of increased visibility, gaining additional support/ideas for a recommended “backbone” of a bike route through Waynesville, and got our future ride leaders all on the same page. So, we’ll keep publicizing and be ready for next Thursday evening’s New Riders Group!

Some Tour/Race updates:

My cycling experiences on tour, with Fargo.

Fargo logo

After his big day on Wednesday, Jim Artis rode a shorter run yesterday to Sturbridge, MA. In fact, he did some unexpected multi-modal transiting yesterday. He has added yet another interesting tale to this adventure with Fargo. Check it out at Cycling Experiences. If he had been in K-Mart, he might have called it a “blue light special.” ‘nuff said…

The Tour Divide

Mountain Turtle Logo

Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson was headed into the Great Divide Basin yesterday after having stocked up on critical supplies, i.e., Snicker bars, Slim Jim, and Chocolate Chip cookies. Anyone who has followed KentsBikeBlog for awhile knows that Kent quite frequently denies being a “nutritional role model”. Christine, Kent’s “better half” and “Keeper of the Blog” during his Divide Ride, reported that he has some lingering soreness from his encounter with the cattle guard and barbed wire fence but other wise remains in good spirit and is having a great time!

Sadly, Tour Divide rider David Blumenthal has died from injuries he received when he collided with a truck on a narrow mountain road in Colorado.

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic

Ride for the Republic

As best I could tell from following SPOT tracks yesterday, Raphael Giraldo was remaining in the greater Boston area for the day. If I recall correctly, he had some Tour commitments that would keep him in the city. Giraldo has a number of short videos that he posts daily on the TOD: Ride for the Republic. They are available, along with lots of still imagery, on his website.


In its just released issue, Outside magazine has an article on the upcoming Tour De France – well, really it is more about the rivalry between Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador. I didn’t see the image of Armstrong that prompted his tweat about Outside having photoshopped some text on a blank T-shirt worn by Armstrong. To get a better understanding of the dust up over the image, check out Fatty’s in-depth explanation of the situation. In true Fatty style, Eldon gets to the crux of the matter and clearly shows why he too joins Lance in being angry with Outside magazine!

There is still plenty of time to register for the inaugural Blue Ridge Breakaway! This ride will include Century, Metric Century, and shorter rides on August 21st. Initial response has been good according to event organizers. Why don’t you come join us and climb in our mountains!

Until later,

- Zeke

Wednesday, June 23, 2010



Tours/Races I am following:



Fargo Logo

Jim Artis of Cycling Experiences got a major shot in the arm saving, in all likelihood, the remainder of his tour yesterday when Ashley Guy of Utah Trikes in Payson, UT contacted him via email and let him know that he would sponsor Jim and Fargo for the rest of their tour to Fayetteville if Jim so desired. Of course, JIM SO DESIRED! You can get Jim’s take on this at his blog post of yesterday.

I spoke with Jim last night and this morning and he is in great spirits and body. Jim is a veteran of many century rides and there was never a question that his spirit or body would call a halt to the morphed Tour with Fargo. Finances, however, can bring a man to ground and Ashley’s great offer came just before Jim was going to have to make some tough decisions. So, thanks to Ashley and to Jim’s indomitable spirit and belief in Fargo, we get to keep virtually riding along. I also know that Jim is forever grateful to the great support he has received from his readership/friends in the blogs and on BROL. So, thanks to everyone who helped keep this tour going!

Today, Jim has put in over 11 hours on the road as he approaches his next city, Worcester, MA. According to my calculations using Google Earth, he has travelled 37.8 miles thus far today. For those keeping track of such trivia, he is now further south than his initial riding partner Raphael Giraldo, as Raphael has headed into Boston for TOD: Ride for the Republic commitments.

The Tour Divide

Mountain Turtle Logo The “Mountain Turtle”, Kent Peterson, keeps “hastening slowly” as he rides the Tour Divide. Kent is passing/has passed through the Grand Tetons and is headed for the Great Basin. In contrast to the weather that Jim Artis and Raphael Giraldo experience on the east coast, Kent is daily in and out of snow and mud. He reports that he had a great sleep last night on Cat Creek near the Ashton Flag Ranch Road. Today’s post at KentsBikeBlog gives more overall race details (now 3 basic groups of riders with 60% of the race starters having abandoned) and the sad news that a racer from the front group was involved in a head-on collision resulting in serious injury. The rider, Dave Blumenthal,  has been taken to a hospital in Denver. Kent, being the cagey, veteran rider that he is, rides in the back of the 3rd group biding his time, hastening slowly always.

…and now for some LOCAL NEWS!

BicycleHaywoodNC, which is our local advisory council formed in 2009, will be sponsoring the first of 6 Thursday evening group rides for less experienced riders. This effort is part of the Council’s attempt to increase the number of cyclists in our area, help develop good riding behavior, and increase the presence of cyclists on our local roads in the hopes that other vehicle operators will learn increased awareness of us. We will be rolling out from the LBS in the neighborhood of 6:00 p.m. Prior to leaving the shop, each bike will be reviewed by the shop staff for notable safety issues and a short safety “chat” will be held with the group. In addition,  local Chief of Police Bill Hollingsed, has committed to providing a Bicycle mounted officer to accompany us unless emergent matters dictate their need elsewhere. At a minimum, the patrol units will be aware of our presence in advance and keep an eye out for us. We will also be accompanied by members of BicycleHaywoodNC and a wrench from the LBS.

As the ride leader tomorrow evening, I intend to keep the group within the town limits and hopefully demonstrate that cycling through our town can be done safely without making major climbs. (Note: Waynesville is the eastern gateway to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park so we have significant mountainous terrain.) I’m hoping that a seed will be planted about riding that last mile to the store and leaving the car at home!

Obviously, we’re hoping for a significant turnout. An article appeared in the local papers this week advertising the ride. Time will tell how successful we are. I’m pleased that we have commitments for a minimum of 6 weeks from our Council membership to lead the rides.

Until later,

- Zeke

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Races/Tours that I am following:


My cycling experiences on tour, with Fargo.

Fargo Logo Jim Artis of Cycling Experiences has just begun moving on Day 10 of what started out as part of the Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic but has now morphed into “My Cycling Experiences on Tour with Fargo.”  Jim appears to have just started moving this morning have 5.7 miles under his belt following an overnight stay in a Fairfield Inn at Exeter, NH. His goal for today is to reach Lowell, MA.

I spoke with Jim last evening after he arrived in Exeter and before he had secured food for an evening meal. At this point, he is in a balancing act between remaining financial resources and his desire to continue the tour toward home. Each day represents another opportunity to do real field testing of Fargo and to develop plans for modifications to this unique touring vehicle.

Jim has received some donations that have helped extend his stay. As he is no longer part of the Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic, financial assistance from that resource is no longer available and much of Jim’s budget has been spent on unexpected expenses in getting Fargo to Bar Harbor, along with the repair costs along the way. Jim reported to me that he has been largely subsisting on bagels and food from McDonalds in order to keep himself fueled up but he has sorely missed getting enough protein in his diet. His spirit was still remarkably good and he indicated to me that his legs are holding up well at this point.

One interim goal he had set was to get to Richmond, VA where he could do some additional load removal and perhaps some modification to Fargo to further reduce the rubbing issues, which are causing friction/drag and overtime will surely cause additional mechanical issues. Based upon his post of last night, it would appear that Jim is contemplating how much longer he can make it between having enough money to stay on the road and ride versus having enough money to rent a 10’ truck to get home to Fayetteville.

If you wish to contribute to this on-going tour, please send Jim a note at jalexartis@aol.com.


The Tour Divide

Mountain Turtle LogoKent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson has now been moving for a little over an hour in Wyoming. He crossed over state lines yesterday. He is now approaching Jackson Lake in the Grand Teton National Park, one of the most beautiful places on the face of this earth! Christine posted an interesting story about the “Mountain Turtle” catching air when he, his bike, a cattle guard, and barbed wire all intersected in time and place. Kent has also posted numerous comments about the wet conditions and the toll that the mud is taking on man and equipment. You may visit Kent’s SPOT page HERE!

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic

Ride for the Republic logoRaphael Giraldo appears to have spent the night in Nashua, NH and does not appear to have started moving as yet today. He has posted a number of daily videos and LOTS of images of his trip thus far. You can access those at the Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic.

Until later,

- Zeke

Sunday, June 20, 2010



Races/Tours I am following:


The Tour Divide

Mountain Turtle LogoMark has a new post up this afternoon following a conversation with Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson. Kent is 900 miles into the race now. Remember that he rode 845 miles just to get to the start line! Kent is reporting on the mud conditions and how bad it is this year from that perspective. He apparently remains in good humor and upbeat and is enjoying this epic ride. Check out the posts at KentsBikeBlog and the pod casts at MTBCast. 


My cycling experiences on tour, with Fargo

Fargo logo Jim Artis and Fargo are now in Kennebunk, ME for the evening staying at the EconoLodge after a 34 mile day. Jim was able to mitigate the rubbing issue somewhat although it still remains. He is now reporting that it is likely to take a redesign of the rear platform to resolve the issue. Still, this is his longest day today for riding on what has become an interesting field test of the quad. If you’ve been following this story, you know that Jim has experienced considerable unanticipated expenses while on the road and is no longer a part of the TOD: Ride for the Republic. Anyone wishing to assist in whatever manner or amount possible to offset expenses may make a donation to his ongoing development of Fargo via PayPal. If you would like to make a donation, post Jim a note on his blog. I’m sure he would appreciate your assistance!

The Tour of Switzerland

Congratulations to Frank Schleck for his victory in taking the overall GC title in the Tour de Swisse. Team Saxo Bank also had the third place finisher on the podium along with Shleck. Team Radio Shack rider Lance Armstrong placed second overall. HTC-Columbia rider Tony Martin took the stage victory today. Former GC leader finished in 40th place at 2:19 back of the leader dropping him to 5th place in the final GC. Team Radio Shack riders Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden finished 5th and 6th respectively in the final stage. The Tour of Switzerland has certainly  set the tone for much debate going into the Tour du France.

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic

A day of rest for Raphael Giraldo and Manifest Destiny. Check his site for updated reports, images, and videos!

I hope your weekend was great!

Until later,


Saturday, June 19, 2010





Fargo Logo

(Saturday, June 18th, 09:10 EDT update) Our friend and touring aficionado, Jim Artis of Cycling Experiences, got an early start this morning. He began moving around 5:00 a.m.this morning and appears to have covered 13.6 miles to his latest SPOT track. Note that SPOT tracks are not immediately updated so he is likely further along than this as I write. We’re all hoping the mechanical issues with the misaligned axle and friction from rubbing on the metal brake caliper have been resolved. It will be good to know if Fargo is moving along more smoothly today.

Using Google Earth to calculate the difference in mileage from Jim to Raphael Giraldo and the TOD: Ride for the Republic, it would appear that there are about 56 miles difference between the two. (I am NOT writing this to indicate or insinuate that Jim is attempting to reconnect with the TOD. I note this only as a point of reference between two riders that started at the same time and place 5 days ago.)

(Saturday, June 18th, 6:50 p.m. EDT update) Jim’s last SPOT track was at 4:26 p.m. at GPS coordinates 43.79051, -70.39734. Utilizing Google Earth Street View, I note this appears to be a motel. I’m guessing he has called it a day for travel. His metrics indicate he moved 22 miles today even though he continues to experience a “rubbing of the lexan”. His last post indicates he thinks he has isolated the issue and is working on a resolution. Check out his latest posts at Cycling Experiences.

Mountain Turtle LogoKent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson’s images from his prologue to the beginning of the Tour Divide have been received and posted on KentsBikeBlog. These are images he took on the way to the race during his 500+ mile ride to start the race! Click on over to see the images and to also get the latest updates from Mark and Christine on his progress south while “hastening slowly!”

(Saturday, June 18th, 7:00 p.m. Update) Mark has a new post up about the trials and tribulations facing this year’s riders. He notes that “Mountain Turtle” reports being in better physical condition than 5 years ago but reports that the trail is in much worse condition this year due to wet conditions. Check out Mark’s post for some excellent points on the race.

Tour of Switzerland:

Rui da Costa of Caisse d’Epargne took stage 8 of the Tour de Swisse today. His teammate Jose Rojas Gil crossed the finish line second. GC leader Robert Gesink holds the leader’s jersey again as he finished one minute back of the stage winner. Team Radio Shack members Lance Armstrong (7th overall) and Levi Leipheimer (13th overall) finished 14th and 18th respectively at the same time of 1:16.

Pro rider Kim Kirchen was placed in an artificial coma after experiencing a heart attack while competing at the Tour de Swisse. He was hospitalized overnight Friday after reporting that he did not feel well. VeloNews is reporting that he is in stable condition.

Race Across America:

Team Bent Up Cycles appears to have finished the Race Across America in 3rd place in the Mens, under 50, 4 man team category. The 3 top teams crossed the finish line in Annapolis within hours of each other. Jure Robic captures his 5th RAAM title in the Mens, solo, under 50 category completing the race in 9 days 1 hour and 1 minute with an average speed of 13.85 mph. Women’s solo under 50 leader, Barbara Buatois, is still on the course and has what appears to be a very comfortable lead on her nearest competitor.

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic Raphael Giraldo appears to be in Portsmouth, NH. He seems to have covered 22 miles today according to calculations based upon GPS coordinates in Google Earth. His last SPOT track was reported at 6:45 p.m. so he may have stopped for the day. Check out his daily updates at the TOD: Ride for the Republic.

More updates later.. I have to go “ride” my John Deere tractor for awhile…

My own update (Saturday, June 18th, 7:26 p.m.) I’m tired… 3 yards, 1 field, 2 additional hours of running the weed-eater and more poison ivy than I care to recall. I didn’t travel anywhere near 22 miles today!

Best wishes to all of our ongoing riders and congrats to the winners of the various RAAM categories.

Until later,

- Zeke

Friday, June 18, 2010



Races/Tours that I am following:


It has been a long work week with lots of end of fiscal year stuff going on and planning for a new work site for our company. Our hot temperatures over the last several days with late afternoon thunderstorms have been followed by a nice cooling spell with much clearer skies so the decision yesterday was “to weed-eat or to ride?”

Given the growth from the warm temps and heavy rains, our backyard grass, particularly the area where our dogs are confined, is now butt-high on the Labs Zeke and Orla and their Golden Retriever “cousin” Mattie Ann. It really needs weed-eating, chopping down, lowering in some manner. They hesitate to go out at night to do their “bizness”. I should stay home and do some weed-eating…


Yesterday was a gorgeous late afternoon and my plans to ride from Bethel Middle School as far up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Parkway as possible got changed last weekend. I needed to test myself. One of my summer 2010 goals is to continue improving my climbing skills. Hmm, weed-eat or ride?

Well, sorry dogs but riding won out! It is 18 miles from Bethel Grocery Store on NC 215 to the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I’ve ridden only part of it before even though it is in my backyard. I knew that I was getting a late start (5:30 p.m. EDT) but wanted to see how far up the mountain I could go.

The climb up to the BRP starts at 2862’ elevation and peaks at 5327’ where NC 215 and the BRP intersect. My planned ride for the day would not go that far. I wanted to make it at least as far as a beautiful waterfall where the West Fork of the Pigeon crosses under NC 215. This should be around the 16 mile point at an elevation of around 4448’ feet above sea level.

The initial several miles up NC 215 is at very slight grade until you get just below Lake Logan dam. Then there is a moderate to hard climb above the lake and followed by a descent back to lake level. The late afternoon sun and skies with pretty white clouds made for some very attractive scenery on this section of the ride.

W. Fork Pigeon feeding Lake Logan

(West Fork of the Pigeon River feeding Lake Logan) 

June17_Lake Logan02

(Looking north toward dam of Lake Logan)

From Lake Logan, a water impoundment built by Champion Papers to maintain sufficient water flow for making paper, I continued with a nice easy spin up to Sunburst Campground, which is a small campground at a former logging community. There is a decent swimming hole in the Pigeon here and it is always busy. Even late in the day yesterday, there was plenty of splashing and swimming going on. There was also numerous fly fisherman around although I don’t see how they could possibly catch any trout with all the ruckus from the swimmers.

The more serious climb starts at this point of the ride  I was on the eastern side of the mountain with forests of rhododendron and mountain laurel above me. The sun had long since gone behind the mountain. Traffic was almost non-existent from this point on. Only one or two vehicles passed me as they were coming down the mountain.

Along the way, I noticed the dead bodies of several small rodents that must have tried to cross at busier times. There were also more than a couple of snakes that had been run over. Unfortunately, I did not see any live animals at all on this ride. I kept a steady pace and was approaching one hour of having been climbing. I still had not reached my goal of climbing to the waterfall. I extended my self-imposed one hour deadline to get there because I was sure it was just around the next curve, then the next curve, and well, yeah this next upcoming curve…

Finally, at the 1:15 minute mark, I came around a curve and spotted a vehicle on the side of the road at a turnout and I saw guard rails. I also knew that the creek was very close to me as I was climbing along. I had passed numerous small creeks feeding off the mountain into the Pigeon. One good consequence of our rainy season has been lots of running water!

I had arrived at my destination and met a father and son, who were enjoying the serenity of the rushing water as it crossed under the road. It turned out the gentleman worked at the local Hardees as a shift supervisor. He and his son were out enjoying the outdoors. I asked him to take a picture of me and his son with the waterfall in the background. He did so graciously but, unfortunately, didn’t get the images in focus so I can’t show you how much Jeremy (his son) and I were enjoying the moment. In reality, I think I enjoyed it more than his young teen son. I don’t think he knew what to do with this old bald headed man riding a bicycle up the mountain!

I snapped a few images of the scene after they departed for home. By the way, Jeremy’s dad highly recommends the Red Burrito now being served at Hardees! I’ll have to get by there this weekend and give it a shot…

West Fork Pigeon River Waterfall




(Water pooling below waterfall on West Fork of Pigeon River off NC 215)



Water Fall NC 215




(Water cascade along NC 215 near Blue Ridge Parkway)


Close up of waterfall




(Close-up of small waterfall)

Time was short and the sunlight was even shorter. I had managed to stay hydrated and fueled on PowerBars on my ride up. My climb of 1586’ in elevation had worn my legs out and I stayed too long at the falls. My legs and back stiffened up as I started the descent back to my starting point. I failed to have a light jacket with me and paid for that mistake as I tried to loosen back up.

All in all, I came away quiet pleased with the ride on this gorgeous day. I answered one of my own questions as to whether I could reach the BRP or not. I’m confident that I could have made the summit had there been more time and daylight. I’ll save the final climb for another day when I can start earlier.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

Race/Tour updates below:

The Tour Divide

Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson has been dealing with brake pads sullied by the muddy conditions and colder than normal temperatures. He reports falling asleep to the sound of rain hitting the tarp at the Old Empire mine site where he spent the night. According to his latest SPOT track at 4:55 p.m. EDT, he is in Butte-Silver Bow County in Montana. His most recent tweat indicated he was enjoying a pork chop sandwich at Johns in Butte after having loaded up on groceries at the local Safeway.

My cycling experiences on tour, with Fargo.

Jim Artis of Cycling Experiences has continued to resolve mechanical issues on Fargo. Today has been declared a rest and maintenance day and he hopes to hit the road tomorrow morning. Check out his most recent post at Cycling Experiences.

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic

Raphael Giraldo has made progress getting on down the road today. He has been riding a little over 7 hours now and appears to be in Kennebunk, ME. If I recall the schedule correctly, he has a TV appearance planned for tomorrow a.m. Raphael’s postings of day-to-day experiences are available at the TOD: Ride for the Republic site.

The Tour of Switzerland

BMC rider Marcus Burghardt, winner of stage 5 of the Tour de Swisse, took today’s stage 7 as he crossed the finish line 55 seconds in front of the nearest group of riders. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) held the overall GC leader spot. Team Radio Shack rider Lance Armstrong is currently in 7th place overall at 55 seconds back.

The Race Across America (RAAM)

Team Bent Up Cycles was in West Virginia and tweating about the beauty of the roads. Having just been there, I can whole heartedly agree with their sentiments. I hope they are finding less rain than we just experienced near Greenbrier. The team is still in 3rd place behind Doc2doc. The teams should have already checked in at TS # 49 in Hancock, MD where they will have only 179.94 miles to race to the finish. Male, under 50 solo leader Jure Robic is closing in on the finish line. He has passed TS #52 and appears to be less than 50 miles from the finish. His next closest competitor has not reached TS #50 as yet. Robic would appear to be the winner of this category barring any unforeseen accidents in the last few miles to Annapolis.

That’s it for today’s wrap up and ride reports! Thanks to all those who have been following along this week! Please keep coming back for more! Stay safe and “keep the rubber side down!”

Until later,

- Zeke

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Races/Tours that I am following:


(TOD: Ride for the Republic/Touring with Fargo: (updated 06/17/10 @ 11:30 EDT)

This brief update is to inform that Jim Artis of Cycling Experiences is now on his way to Bath Bicycle & Ski via the courtesy of yet “another angel on his trip”. He is being transported to Woolwitch, ME to get repairs on the Rohloff drive completed. Preliminary thoughts are that some pins sheared to protect the drive itself.

Given that Jim has retitled his tour effort separately from the TOD: Ride for the Republic, I believe that his intent is now to tour his way home at his pace and continue testing the limits of Fargo and himself. He is going to have a story rich in detail between the various cycle specific content and the human connection stories. I think we’re in for some good reading based upon both the TOD: Ride for the Republic and Cycling Experiences: On tour with Fargo. Most of Jim’s daily posts will be on a BROL thread so you can check there for more immediate details.

(Update 14:10 p.m. EDT) Jim is on the move again after having found out that mechanical #2 was really an extension of mechanical #1. The LBS got him assessed and fixed quickly. He was also able to ship some more weight home. It is raining at his locale as he started out again.

(Update 16:10 p.m. EDT) I just ended a phone call with Jim Artis and he updates the scenario as follows: The Rohlff did not have sheared pins and was not part of the mechanical problem. As it turns out, a snap ring was not in place for some unknonw reason and it had allowed the axle to shift. It shifted in a way that it was rubbing against a metal brake caliper and wearing it down. This was not discovered until Jim was ready to ride again. He is still at the LBS in Woolwitch affecting change to Fargo. Part of his weight reduction was the removal of a generator and chain, which will further reduce drag once he is rolling again. His hopes and plans are that Fargo will be healthy again shortly with no drag issues and he will ride briefly to lodging for the night. He does not anticipate significant mileage today. The LBS staff have been excellent and have connected with Ashely in Utah several times today to work out repairs. Jim remains upbeat and is very pleased with certain aspects of how Fargo has performed. He will post more details tonight at Cycling Experiences and on BROL.

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic

Tour of Discovery

Raphael Giraldo is on the move for the past 3 hours. He is currently, according to his SPOT track, in Brunswick, ME. He is in what looks to be a very busy section of town (utilizing Google Street View for this info) and is either on or headed to Old Portland Rd.


The Tour Divide

Mountain Turtle LogoOur “Mountain Turtle” continues his southward trek through Montana. According to his latest SPOT track, he is just intersecting with Priest Pass Rd. and Highway 12 west of Helena, Montana.  Visit KentsBikeBlog to get last night’s update from his wife Christine! Now for an unsolicited suggestion that if you like the Mountain Turtle logo, BUY YOURSELF A SHIRT EMBLAZONED WITH IT! All proceeds go to Kent to finance these treks. Visit Bike There Online Store to purchase any of several Mountain Turtle inspired shirts, caps, and other products. (Full disclosure: Kent did not ask me to solicit this, probably doesn’t know that I did it, and I get no renumeration in any form other than enjoying his fine writing and riding!)


The Tour of Switzerland

The 213 km 6th stage of the Tour de Swisse was won by Robert Gesink of Rabobank. He topped the final summit alone and then raced the final 10k alone. the next group of riders came in 42 seconds later and included American Lance Armstrong. Former Tour leader Tony Martin could not maintain the pace today and came in 2 minutes after the winning time. Gesink holds a 29 second advantage on the field going into tomorrow’s hilly stage. In a tweat following the race, Armstrong indicated that the ride was “tough” but that he felt strong. He also indicated that Levi Leipheimer and Andy Kloedin had goo days as well. Armstrong has moved into 7th place overall at 55 secs. down.

VeloNews is reporting that Mark Cavendish has withdrawn from the tour after the crash in which he was penalized 30 secs and experienced minor injuries.



Until later today,

- Zeke

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Rides that I’m following:


Today has been involved with tracking the TOD: Ride for the Republic and the involved participants. Heavy thunder storms and a late afternoon appointment kept my Fuji safely ensconced at home so my “riding” as been of the vicarious nature today. That said, it has been interesting to say the least!

The Race Across America (RAAM)

Team Bent Up Cycles is now in Missouri, remaining in 3rd place in their category and averaging 20.15 mph. Solo Women’s leader, Barbara Buatois, will have covered 2211 miles when she pulls into time station #38. Her closest competitor has yet to reach time station #34. (Time stations appear to be numbered incrementing higher as you move east.) Men’s Under 50 solo leader, Jure Robic should be just arriving at time station #42 having covered 2441 miles.

The Tour Divide

Mountain Turtle Logo

Kent ”Mountain Turtle” Peterson continues to baffle and bewilder the race leaders with his strategy of “I’ll start slow… and then slow down.” (credit: kentsbikeblog.com). Reports indicate that the heavier than usual snow in the upper elevations has slowed many riders and is causing much bike-hiking. 10 riders are reported to have dropped from the race at this time. “Mountain Turtle” continues his time proven pace and is in good spirits and, apparently, rich in canned spam… 

The Tour of Switzerland

Tony Martin retained the overall lead in a rain soaked stage 5 of the Tour de Swisse today. Marcus Burghardt (BMC) took the stage as part of a breakaway that started early and was allowed to go the distance by the peloton. Team Radio Shack members Levi Leipheimer (13th overall) and Lance Armstrong  (21st overall) finished in the main pack 47 seconds back. Leipheimer is listed at 19th in the stage and Armstrong at 29th. Joining Armstrong were George Hincapie (27th) and Andy Schleck (28th).  Three friends out for a wet ride perhaps?

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic


Tour of Discovery 2010

This has been an “up and down” day for the TOD: Ride for the Republic viewers as it first appeared that Cycling Experiences Jim Artis would be withdrawing from the TOD due to distance, weight, and lack of communication with his touring partner Raphael Giraldo. However, as the day progressed, communications were re-established between the two and an agreement to re-evaluate the situation this evening in a phone call was made. Additionally, Artis has been able to jettison his trailer (see post from earlier in day) and therefore, reduced his total weight, which should enable him to make better time assuming no more mechanicals. For most of the afternoon, Jim and Raphael have maintained about a 28 to 29 mile difference in location, which tells me that they are riding at pretty comparable speeds now. I anticipate posting by Jim this evening at Cycling Experiences. I am reminded of the old saying “It ain’t over ‘til the Fat Lady sings.” Well, she may have been warming up but I think she has returned to her seat for now!

Until later,

- Zeke



Fargo Logo

Word has just reached me that Jim Artis of Cycling Experiences and a participant in the Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic has abandoned the TOD.

On Day 1, Jim had a mechanical that cost significant time. He also found that the load he was pulling with Fargo and the Powerbox trailer was simply too much. He lightened his load on Day 2 by shipping home 11.5 lbs of material but came to the conclusion late last night or early this morning that he is still pulling too much weight to maintain contact with Rafael Giraldo. There also appears to have been some form of communication breakdown with the two riders as there has been no contact between them since Monday’s notice of the mechanical issue.

Given the tight time frame of the construction and delivery of Fargo plus final setup in Fayetteville, Jim was unable to perform sufficient road testing under load, which might have assisted in some significant fine tuning and avoided this outcome. I know that Jim is sorely disappointed in this outcome as he has invested much time and money in this project.

He has decided to continue his ride but not as part of the TOD: Ride for the Republic. His route calls for continuing to Richmond, VA and then home to Fayetteville at this point.

There are images posted of the start of the TOD and along the way of Day1 posted by Raphael Giraldo at the TOD site.  (Day 1 images)

More on this sad turn of events later,


Update as of approximately 3:00 p.m. EDT:

I have been in phone contact with Jim this afternoon as he pedals his way through Maine. We have found a resolution to the weight of the trailer issue. Thanks to the internet and technology available to us, we located Darcy at Bath Cycle and Ski in Woolwitch, ME. Darcy was very helpful in getting word to Jim about dropping off his trailer and shipping it home for him. At that time, Jim was traveling southeast of Waldoboro and turned out to be only 3 miles or so from Darcy’s father-in-law. As I write, Jim should be connecting with him to drop the trailer. Darcy will then get the trailer and ship it to Fayetteville for Jim. This will allow Jim to drop considerable weight and, unfortunately, some camping supplies. His plans remain flexible as they must.

While on the phone with Jim, a woman stopped and offered him water and had a short chat about what he was doing. Turns out her husband had passed Jim and gone home and told his wife she should go see this cyclist on the road! I’m sure Jim will cover all of this in his updates later. According to my calculations using Google Earth, Jim is approximately 30 miles behind Raphael Giraldo.

Take a moment to drop a short note of thanks to Darcy for her assistance to a fellow cyclist!

Much more later as this story unfolds!

- Zeke

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Races I am following:


I couldn’t be with my friend Jim Artis as he set off on his tour from Cadillac Mountain on Monday morning so I had to settle with a commute home after work. I had a late afternoon appointment that ran me a little later getting started than usual but I thought this would be a good thing as the work crowd in cars would have thinned out.

As I left my office at 6:00 p.m., the temperature was 94 degrees with about 80% humidity. It was hot and sticky! Still, I had hopes of enjoying the ride home at a leisurely but productive pace. As I was cruising along Howell Mill Rd., I looked down and was amazed to see that I was pulling nearly 45 mph! Whew! This was on flat ground too. I was somewhat wary of the data as I’ve never ridden 45 mph downhill much less on flat ground under my own power. Sure enough, I was kicking it! By the time I got to Lowes, which is about 2.5 miles from my office, I was informed by my computer that I had ridden 5.8 miles. I mean I was really having a great ride…

Unfortunately, I had to accept that my bike computer was malfunctioning. I stopped and tried to reset it properly. After getting restarted on the road, I had my first of two events involving A$$Hole Appleton. In the first, an old pickup with 3 passengers found it necessary to wait until they were right on top of me before hammering down on their horn. I imagine the bike and I  jumped 3’ straight up in the air as it scared me. Through their mirrors, I could see them laughing as they pulled away. I proudly held back and did not give them the one finger salute.

My ride continued on at an accelerated pace thanks to the still malfunctioning computer. My cadence and heart bpm seemed appropriate to the exertion level but the speed and mileage was still off. I made it across Lee Road and down to Old Clyde Road without further appearances of A$$Hole Harry. In fact, I even stopped at the end of Lee Road and took this picture of the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway from down below.

Great Smoky Mountains Expressway (Old Clyde Highway passing under GSM Expressway)

Just past the bridge, the road widens out nicely into a boulevard that runs through Clyde. I had just picked up a good cruising speed of around 20 mph (55 on my computer!) and had a nice vibe going. I noted a large high dollar pickup coming to an intersection on my left. I had the right of way as I was on the through street. I had eye contact with the passenger and, I thought, the driver. He did appear to be looking right at me. I proceeded on – He pulled out. Yep, I apparently didn’t exist even though his passenger was looking dead on at me and I was about to smash into her door. Didn’t seem to bother any of them though and I was fortunate in having the room to maneuver right and get out their lane of travel. Once he passed me, I noted his out of state license plates and then it made more sense. He was from the most dangerous state in the union for cyclists. You know, that one down south of me. The one with the long, long narrow landmass and the panhandle. He was just driving like he was at home. Silly me…

Oh well, alls well that ends well. From there it was a nice uneventful run to Canton via Business 23 and then to Bethel via NC 110. A little shorter than usual ride but, gosh, at an incredible pace – according to my bike computer! Once home, the temperatures cooled down thanks to a cloud burst at our house. The Navigator and I were lucky to enjoy a pretty scene over the valley!

 Bethel Rainbow(Pretty rainbow following a thunder storm that cooled us down nicely!) 

Race/Tour updates:

Tour of Discovery Logo

Jim has made good progress today after his initial start yesterday in which he had a mechanical and had to get used to pulling a bunch of weight. As I write this update today, he has just finished crossing Belfast Bay in Maine. His current GPS coordinates are 44.42523, -69.00764. Check in at Cycling Experiences to get his post on yesterday’s eventful start!


Mountain Turtle Logo

Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson continues his movement southward while contemplating the cosmos. For his most recent thoughts on Butterflies and Cyclists, visit his blog at KentsBikeBlog where updates are regularly posted. Kent’s current GPS location is 47.44192 , -113.61743 as he continues to ride through the Flathead National Forest.

The Race Across America (RAAM)

My favorite 4 man under 50 team Bent Up Cycles had regained 3rd position in their category and were sailing through Kansas. They have now covered 1380 miles and are averaging 19.59 mph. Whew!

Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) retained the overall lead today. A bad crash within 100 meters of the final took down Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, and others allowing Alessandro Petacchi to take the stage win as he avoided the crashed riders. Team Radio Shack riders Levi Leipheimer (19 seconds out) and Lance Armstrong (30 seconds out) are in 13th and 22nd places respectively in the overall standings.

It’s time to go to our BicycleHaywoodNC Advisory Council meeting!

Until later,

- Zeke

Monday, June 14, 2010


Day one of Jim Artis’s Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic is now history and he has posted his first report. He has experienced the weight of the matter (Fargo and trailer), had a mechanical, and met 4 angels – all in the first day!

Check out his report at Cycling Experiences!

Until later,

- Zeke



Links to the races/tours that I’m following:



TOD: Ride for the Republic:

TOD: Ride for the Republic

As I write, Rafael Giraldo and Jim Artis are closing in on Ellsworth Maine after having departed Cadillac Mountain at sunrise this morning. Their route out of Bar Harbor took them along Eagle Lake Road and across Thompson Island. At 1:20 p.m., they were located at GPS coordinates 44.48757, -68.36987. Check in with Jim at Cycling Experiences this evening when we can anticipate his initial report on the road worthiness of Fargo.


Team Bent Up Cycles remains in 3rd place in the 4 man team category. They have travelled 858 miles at an average of 19.52 mph. The team tweats indicate that all is well and team members are maintaining positive attitudes. In the solo female, under 50 category, Barbara Buatois maintains her lead with a 111 mile lead over her nearest competitor. Jure Robic also maintains his lead in the solo male, under 50 category although only 64 miles separate him from his nearest competitor. He is averaging 14.45 mph and Buatois is averaging 11.3 mph. Check out the RAAM Leader Board to see current standings of all of the categories!

The Tour Divide:

Mountain Turtle Logo

Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson continues his trek along the Rockies. He is currently riding through the Flathead National Forest and was located at GPS coordinates 48.73535 , -114.57599 at 1:19 p.m. EDT. Check out “Mountain Turtle’s” SPOT tracks to see the circuitous route he is riding through the Rockies. Hint: It isn’t straight! You can hear the riders’ own reports on MTBCast.com as they call in to report how things are going from their perspective. Their reports include everything from sleeping in outhouses to avoid bears to dugouts at local ball fields. In day 2, there has also been quite a bit of “snow hiking” as the upper passes are snow covered.

Tour of Switzerland:

Congratulations to HTC-Columbia rider Tony Martin as he grabbed the overall lead from Fabian Cancellera in the Tour de Swisse. Frank Schleck grabbed the stage 3 win. Martin finished 10th in the stage but Cancellera was gapped at the end giving Martin a 1 second lead. Lance Armstrong finished in a group of riders 4 seconds back.

More reports later!

- Zeke

Sunday, June 13, 2010



Links to current races/tours I  am following:


That crunching sound run to ground… maybe!

I guess better late than never applies to this inspection or lack of timely inspection. I now realize I’d better add to my normal scheduled inspection, check those cleats! On the left you can see the condition of my cleats after hitting the deep pothole last week and beginning to hear a crunching sound. On the right, is my shoes with newly replaced cleats. Hmm, there is a difference!

Cleats01 Cleats03

Note sharp point on shoe on right.

Newly replaced cleats.

I now think that bottoming out the pothole broke off a remaining portion of the thin cleat on my left shoe (shown on right in left image above) and that resulted in the crunching sound that I was getting. I sure hope so because the next option is my knee! I hope to test my theory later today.

Artis arrives in Bar Harbor…

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise(Jim Artis image of sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor. Click on the image to see more Artis imagery.) 

The final stages of preparation for tomorrow’s Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic are underway. Cycling Experiences Jim Artis arrived in Bar Harbor, ME after having driven straight through from Fayetteville, NC. If I am correctly interpreting his SPOT markers, Jim arrived in Bar Harbor around 9:30 p.m. last night (Saturday). According to email I received from him this morning, he spent the night in his van. He now appears to have ridden to the top of Cadillac Mountain and reconnoitered tomorrow's starting location. As of this writing, I do not know if his touring partner, Rafael Giraldo, has arrived in Bar Harbor. The tour begins tomorrow morning when the first rays of sun hit Cadillac Mountain.

“Mountain Turtle” continues “hastening slowly”…

Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson has reentered the good old USA approximately one hour ago, which would be around 2:00 p.m. EDT. A quick look at the Tour Divide Leader Board shows “Mountain Turtle” near a number of racers as they approach Eureka, Montana. Matthew Lee and Erik Lobeck appear to be in the over-all lead. Keep in mind that “Mountain Turtle” is racing a single speed bike!

Team Bent Up Cycles moves into 3rd place…

In the 4 man team category, Bent Up Cycles has captured 3rd place behind second place team Doc2doc and first place team Bandwidth.com, Inc. Teams in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place are only separated by seconds at this point. They have travelled 441 miles and are maintaining an average speed of 20.77 mph. You may find current standings for all categories at the RAAM Leader Board.

The Tour of Switzerland, Stage 2…

Heinrich Haussler took the stage victory and Fabrian Cancellara retained the yellow jersey following the sprint finish. In a tweet to his followers, Lance Armstrong indicated “I felt o.k. Not great, not terrible”. Armstrong is in 46th place after stage 2. Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer, also of Team Radio Shack, are in 28th and 42nd positions respectively. Congratulations to Janez Brajkovic for his win in the Critérium du Dauphiné 2010.

The coming week…

Be sure to “tune in” tomorrow for the start of the Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic. Tomorrow will be our first chance to see the technological goodies planned by Jim Artis. Jim will have posts at Cycling Experiences and I’ll do my best to keep updates fresh here as well. Also, check out the interactive site for the Tour of Discovery setup by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

I hope to hear that Bro Dave got confirmation on the sale of his crankforward in Los Angeles yesterday. If so, there may be a Fargo Salsa in his near future! As in all things, time will tell…

Until later,

- Zeke

Friday, June 11, 2010


I’m currently tracking participants or those in preparation for 3 races and 1 great tour. At the moment, enthusiastic readers can follow:

Now, if that doesn’t keep you busy, I’m sure there are some other races out there to add to this list. These are the events that have captured my attention for the time being.

RAAM: I’m following Team Bent Up Cycles. I’ve done business with and know (virtually) Dana Lieberman, owner of Bent Up Cycles in Los Angeles. Dana has always been very friendly and honest when dealing with me even though we’ve never met and live on opposite ends of the country. The Bent Up Cycle blog will carry updates on the team’s progress as RAAM gets underway. Best of luck to Dana and crew as they make their way to the east coast into Annapolis!


Mountain Turtle Logo

The Tour Divide: Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson is underway on his trek to regain his title for swiftest completion of a single speed bike on this ultra endurance race. The race kicked off this morning in Banff, AB, Canada. As of this writing “Mountain Turtle” has just finished transiting the Spray Lakes Reservoir in the Spray Valley Provincial Park. According to my calculations, “Mountain Turtle” has travelled 46.046 miles or 74 km since the beginning of the race this morning. This is less than 1/2 the distance “Mountain Turtle” rode each day on his prologue just to get to the starting line. You can follow his progress on his shared SPOT page and get race summaries at his blog and eventually at MTBCast.com.

The Tour of Switzerland: The 74th running of this 9 day stage race is loaded with lots of top performers in the Pro cycling world as they work toward bringing themselves to peak form for the Tour De France. I’m pulling for Team Radio Shack but, who knows how this one will go. The top finishers of the Amgen Tour of California are all there. We’ll see how hard the teams want to ride as they round into shape.


Tour of Discovery Badge

The Tour of Discovery: Ride for the Republic: Rafael Giraldo is already on the road making his way north with his ride, Manifest Destiny, toward Bar Harbor, ME for the beginning of this educational tour that will touch upon all 13 of the original colonies. He will be joined tomorrow by fellow touring aficionado, Jim Artis. As I write, Jim is securing his rental van to carry the magnificent Fargo to Bar Harbor. Jim is now less than 12 hours before his departure to connect with Rafael in Virginia and complete the trip to Bar Harbor in convoy fashion. This ride begins as the sun rests its rays upon American soil on Cadillac Mountain on Flag Day, Monday, June 14th. You may follow this amazing trip via Cycling Experiences or through my own efforts here to stay abreast of the TOD. Please join me for this exciting summer trip!

All this racing and touring makes me want to ride! The current lightening storm outside my home is tending to keep me safely sitting in front of my computer, dubbed the Mean Green Machine by the local computer wonks that help keep me on-line. I picked up my Fuji from my LBS yesterday. The good news is that the crunching sound I dealt with on Monday after hitting bottom in a nasty pothole could not be replicated at the shop and an in-depth review of my cranks, pedals, drive train, and bottom bracket showed no damage and no explanation for the constant crunching that I heard. That leaves the possibility that something is wrong with the cleat on my left shoe. Failing that, it must have been my left knee! Oh well, time will tell. I hope tomorrow to put it all to the test as I climb my way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway from beautiful Bethel, NC.

Until later,

- Zeke