New Year, New Goals!

Mountain Biking, TNGA, Tour Divide, Trans North Georgia

Reflections on a Great Year!

This past year has been amazing!  So many great biking adventures, both with friends and without!  I have really gone out and tested the waters in a short period of time and maybe its a little early to determine whether I will be successful or not but self supported endurance racing is definitely at the forefront of my biking priorities at the moment!
The Pisgah 111k (www.pisgahproductions.com) was definitely my first long distance race.  Not even really that long at only 70 miles but it did pack in 11,000 feet of climbing through some of the best trails the Pisgah Ranger District has to offer.  It was great experience and had me instantly hooked!
Somewhere between that race and mid summer I decided that the Trans North Georgia would be a good idea to attempt next.  I think I really had my sights set on the Tour Divide however how can you just decide that you want to ride a 2,745 mile self supported mountain bike race when you haven’t even done any over night bikepacking!?  So the TNGA was set as the “test ride” to see what it was all about.  I trained pretty hard having done a lot of normal (shortish) riding and a lot of road riding over the summer.  I managed to pull off a couple 60-70 miles days on the mountain bike and did one overnight trip, covering about 40-50 miles each day.  I documented my first overnight trip for the Salsa Cycles Video Contest and ended up winning a Fargo Frame!
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/47652727 w=500&h=281]
TNGA Start – I’m Psyched!
The TNGA ended up going really well.  Especially since I had no idea what to expect!  2 days, 20 hours and some minutes was my finishing time.  Less than I had thought!  I learned a ton during the trip and most of my setup worked out pretty well.  I definitely learned that on shorter races like this you can certainly go light and fast!  Maybe another year I will attempt to beat my old time!  One day I will try and post up a trip report.  I have one started somewhere but it got put on the back burner.  I think the best part about the Tour Divide was when I finished at 4 am and thought I was going to be camping out behind the gas station waiting for the shuttle to arrive the next morning.  Come to find out my wife, Andi and my mother-in-law, Judy were there waiting along with Andi’s Uncle Mike!  Did I mention it was 4 am?!  I have some great family and a great wife!
So… after the TNGA I figured, what the heck!  This is the year!
TOUR DIVIDE 2013!
I talked it over with Andi and we decided that this was the best time for this to happen!  Kiddies will be on their way soon enough and this needs to happen before that!  I had a talk with Tuxbury, my boss and he said we could make it work as well…..sooooo…..
Here we go!!
My Dad and I – Iceman 2012
After the TNGA, I definitely took some time off to let my body recover.  Quite a bit of time actually.  I managed to train a little for the Iceman Race in Michigan.  Although I didn’t train enough to best my time from last year!  It was actually about a minute slower this year!  Dangit!  Oh well.  It was fun and there was snow this year so that made it pretty fun!  What a beautiful place I was raised in.  Being up there, on my bike, with family made me want to stay.  
Since being home I have just been enjoying the bike and exploring new areas.  18 Mile Road, Sand Mountain and various other places.  My Fargo frame is set to arrive tomorrow and I can’t wait to get it built up and start exploring some old logging roads in the area.  I have about 2 or 3 ideas in mind right now and endless other opportunities!  It will make training all the more exciting when I can mix in exploration!  That is what its all about!  On my ride last Sunday with Matthew Lee I heard him say “Don’t ride unless you want to, it’s supposed to be fun!”  I agree with that statement 100%!
Exploring 18 Mile Road