Sunday, July 15, 2012


Man, are my dogs tired. The Navigator and I are out of here to try and recharge…
our house selling/house remodeling/loan arranging/work-for-pay batteries. As I’ve written previously, we’re selling attempting to sell our home of 18 years in order to move into the Navigator’s family home in nearby Canton, NC. It has been a battery draining, minimal riding experience thus far.
So, my Salsa Fargo, the Navigator, and I will be joining the Wood-man and Sherry Shazam for a day at the lake and hopefully some much needed riding time before my Brooks B17 saddle loses its memory of my, well, you know what…
The Exciting News!
Matters continue to come together for the 3rd Annual Blue Ridge Breakaway. Early registration is encouraging of yet another record crowd for the 4 courses of the BRB. We continue to work on the logistics of improving the experience and safety for our guests. We’ve had much conversation on how to better encourage the less experienced riders that 10,000’ of climbing might not be the best way to get your first century under your belt, especially if you haven’t done any training in the mountains. With three other courses of shorter duration and less total climb, there are still plenty of options for those “first timers” to have a great experience. History has taught us that riders not making it to the Burnette Siding rest stop by High Noon will not likely make the final climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway and over two of the highest points on the BRP in order to be off the road by our permit mandated 5:00 p.m. We’ll be encouraging those folks to amend their ride and do the Metric Century instead.
I’m very pleased to say that our guests Russ Roca and Laura Crawford of The Path Less Pedaled are finalizing their plans to come east for our event. They are now promoting the Blue Ridge Breakaway on their home page and we’re seeing an increase in readership at the BRB’s home website. We’re very excited to have these two internationally known cyclists coming back to beautiful Western North Carolina. I’m also looking forward to their surprise announcement about a deal they are working on that should be finalized before they get here. Shh! Can’t say anymore on that one…
And Finally…
For those so interested, here is my latest bi-weekly cycling column post that appears in The Waynesville Mountaineer.
No, I’m not referencing the time of the year to be sweating in the heat of summer, although it clearly is that time of the year. I also don’t mean it is the time of year to be out tubing down the Pigeon, which of course, it clearly is time to be doing. I also don’t mean it is time to stand around with your neighbor making “rocket scientist” observations about your grass turning brown although, again, you could be doing that.
No, I mean it is that time of the year when cyclists world-wide begin to turn their attention fully to France and Le Tour de France. It is that time when the blood of Chris Horner, Tejay Van Garderen, and nearby neighbor George Hincapie miraculously begins to flow through the bodies of local road riders urging them to new personal bests. It is again that time of year when the outstanding commentary team of Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin, and Bob “Bobke” Roll take to the airways educating, elucidating, and entertaining us sometimes 4 and 5 hours a day. It is that time of the year when the phrase “he finally turned the pedal in anger” actually makes sense.
Just as the first Robin seen locally used to be a harbinger of spring to come, certain signs that Le Tour is on the horizon or actually happening abound. Sign #1: someone or some organization “leaks” the news and old incriminations of the latest investigation of Lance Armstrong just in time to take the news cycle away from today’s riders and waste yet more taxpayer money. Sign #2: People start trying to figure out the channel numbers for Versus and then remember that NBC Sports inhaled Versus; yet you still have to find the channel number because you NEVER watch that channel any other time. Sign #3: Local bicycle shops see an increase in the number of older, stored bikes being brought in for rehab. (This sign normally happens during week 2 of Le Tour.
For you non-cyclist fans out there, Le Tour offers up some compelling action. With apologies to Dave Letterman, here are my top 5 reasons for watching Le Tour:
#5 – the race within the race within the race that makes up Le Tour is exciting and great drama when you realize how many different strategies are in play at any given time.
#4 – Young and not so young American riders are now kicking butt on a consistent basis year in and year out at Le Tour. This hasn’t always been the case.
#3 – Something stupid always happens making you shake your head. Week 1 of Le Tour is always comprised of a “nervous peloton”, i.e., a bunch of anxious riders trying to be physically located where every other rider is located. Mayhem ensues.
#2 – The TV coverage, especially in high definition, shows spectacular scenery of Europe.
The NUMBER ONE reason to watch Le Tour this year…. There are NO POLITICAL ads spouting lies every 30 seconds during the coverage! Can I get an AMEN?
For more information, visit and . You may also link to Zeke’s Great Smoky Mountain 2 Wheeled Adventures under Opinion on the Mountaineer’s website.

No Really, Finally…
The Springfield Cyclist poses an interesting question.
The Velo Hobo appears to have a different mind altogether these days…
and, sadly, BikingInLa continues to document the deaths of way too many cyclists in sunny southern California! Be careful out there Bro Dave!
Until battery recharge is complete…
- Zeke

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