Oh, the dreaded time change, when it seems like it gets dark around noon and the mileage log slowly dwindles down to one or two rides around twenty to forty miles per ride max (if you’re lucky!!). But, it doesn’t mean all fitness has to stop. Now is the time of year to rest, relax, and reflect somewhat on the past season, while addressing the future and setting some goals for where you want the road to take you next. As I reflect, I know what an importance it is to have a mentor, and even more importantly, the drive inside of knowing you are a mentor to another! A mentor is one who inspires others through actions and words with a lead by example attitude, and who is always there as a push or pull when you want or need it.
Some other thoughts on my mind are what a grand season I have had and how far my fitness level has been elevated this year. As 2012 wound down and the new year was rolling in, I was ready to step off the edge. What edge …?! Well, I’ve always owned a strong will and great sense of self discipline when I allowed it to shine through, but as of recently, I had only been going through the motions. On more than one occasion last year, I found myself asking myself “when I think of what a cyclist looks like, do I come to mind?” Unfortunately, the answer was no. Always NO! But I knew I was the only one that could change that answer, and all I had to do was get off the edge. I was ready.
First, let me go back in time a little … back in 2008, after bringing my cycling experience to an all time high as far as my fitness is concerned, I found myself off the bike near the end of the summer. Many things were going on personally that affected my riding, things that I don’t need to relive, but things that I refer to as “life.” At that time I was riding more than I ever had, but it wasn’t for the miles or speed or any of the statistical reasons, it was to get away from stress. A lot of self inflicted stress, and the bike was the perfect get away! Back then I had no mentor, nor was it any concern of mine. When it all crashed late in 2008, that’s exactly the moment I could have truly benefited from a cycling mentor.
Then in the summer of 2010, a good friend from church mentioned he was getting into bicycling to me at a Knights of Columbus meeting and immediately I was intrigued. Of coarse, I told him I’d like to join him some time and only days later he showed up on his bike at my house … just like that, I was back on the bike. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had just become a cycling mentor myself, and it was exactly what we both needed. I conned him into riding across the state on GABRAKY, a very challenging ride that had once been the ride that got me hooked on cycling, and instantly we were seeing results. Since that first ride, that first GABRAKY, the first century together, the first out of state ride together, and so on, we have become best friends and started this cycling awareness website.
Somewhere between the end of last season and the beginning of this season, we found ourselves on different schedules with different goals, not riding together as much, but one thing stays the same: our passion for cycling grows stronger by being mentored. I set a lot of goals for myself this year that seemed impossible to some, because they only knew the masher that was going through the motions, but when I stepped off the edge and took the plunge, I was transformed into the real me. The KP that is mentally and physically fit, with a good level of self discipline and confidence. The KP that once again enjoys cycling and thrives in competing to improve myself. Part of that is my inner peace, and the other part is the sense of satisfaction I get in leading by example, knowing I am mentoring my best friend, Timmy the Renaissance Man. And now I have a different answer to that question about do I look like what I imagine a cyclist looks like. And an even better feeling, is knowing I’m inspiring another to raise their level of fitness and cycling confidence and also being a yes to that same question.
Sure he is way more technical than I will ever be, and sometimes I ask him questions about data or statistics, but it’s mostly because I know what drives him and I feel that need to push him even when we don’t ride together as often as previously. I’m very driven from within, and take great pride in helping to push others to get the most out of themselves, give their best effort. Sometimes it’s better than mine, sometimes mine is better than theirs, but as long as we are inspired and mentored, we will feel the need to drive harder. As for me, why’d I finally take the plunge I so desperately needed? Well, mostly because I just couldn’t walk the edge anymore. It was time to step away or jump … and jump is exactly what I wanted to do! It also helps me along the way knowing that I now have a mentor too. We don’t always get to ride together either, but I strive hard to be ready to not hold him back when we do, and he knows I’m constantly on his heels, and works hard to stay ahead of me, just as I do for the one I mentor, because leading by example is a sign of a true mentor and friend. Huge thanks Tim for choosing and allowing me to mentor you. Keep pushing hard, before you know it, you’ll be past Renaissance 2.0 and it’ll be time to work towards the 2.22! And a special thanks to my mentor, Schmidty … I constantly strive to reach your elevation. Another mark of a great mentor.
Cheers & Safe Cycling! . . .
Earlier this year, I completed what some call “the toughest ride in the southeast’ when I rode Assault On Mt. Mitchell. I was first inspired to attempt it by friend Jim Simes who has ridden it multiple times and told me what a challenge it was, then I made the decision to do it after a trip to the Blue Ridge foothills last October to ride in Gran Fondo Hincapie. That ride had epic climbs and world class descents. Sounds crazy but I enjoyed the climbing much more than the descending, and have since, found my new passion in cycling: endurance climbs.
My first thoughts about riding up Black Mountain, the highest elevation in my home bluegrass state of Kentucky, came after another friend, Aaron West, told me about his quest to cycle to the highest point in each of the 48 continental states, and asked if I’d be interested in joining him in my state. I very vaguely remember visiting Black Mountain in rural southeastern “coal country” KY as a youngster when my family traveled to see my sister play a basketball tournament in Harlan, KY. All I could recall, was that the view at the top was in the clouds and stunningly beautiful. Those recollections proved accurate.
I recently became more serious about doing this ride myself when I made the decision with the current season winding down and I’ve already decided I’m going back to Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, and attempting my second Assault in 2014. I want to be better prepared for such a grueling climb next time, and going up Black Mtn seemed like good training to me. I have invited numerous friends to join me at AOMM next year and I hope to offer them tips and help prep them for the toughest ride I’ve ever completed.
Initially, I thought I would first ride Black Mountain alone, as a recon mission, before taking my friends back on a training ride, but at the recommendation from my wife, I decided not to go it alone first time. Pretty smart idea actually, considering I would be 2-3 hours from home, maybe no phone service, and on roads I’ve never ridden. So I asked the first person that had mentioned interest in riding up Mt. Mitchell next year, my friend and local strava nemesis, Chuck Allran. It worked out good because we are pretty evenly matched in skill level and climbing ability. So we decided a Sunday would be our best chance of wasting a day on the bike and hoped there would be less traffic and no coal trucks to deal with. The weather could have been an issue, considering the mountain experienced it’s first snow of the season last Friday, but it proved not to be, other than becoming numb from the freezing cold descent after breaking a good sweat on the way up.
Our plan was to depart from Harlan towards Cumberland, then through the base town of Lynch on our way to the top. Upon reaching the summit, we hoped to ride a challenging road across the ridge and then back down into Harlan on a state highway. The road to Lynch was awesome! It was basically the old road that ran along side a railroad track, a river, and on the side of a hill, just above the newer, more busy highway. Lined along both sides about every five miles were freshly placed high visibility yellow “Share The Road” signs with bicycles. We instantly knew we weren’t the first crazies to have this idea. We were only passed on few occasions by vehicles, and when we were, they did so in a very safe manner, moving their vehicle completely to the other side of the double yellow line and never speeding or passing in a blind spot. Southern hospitality at it’s best!
We cruised through Cumberland, crossed the river twice, then rolled through the streets of Lynch, where we were greeted by a pleasant gentleman as the climbing began: “don’t get a speeding ticket,” he said laughing as he smoked a cigarette on his front porch. About two miles up, I was gaining some separation from Chuck when he called out he was getting hot. We both stopped for a moment to open our jackets and shed our head covers, to keep from overheating. Then we continued the grind. I felt strong at this point and quickly found myself in a good rhythm, as I would occasionally come out of the saddle briefly, and kept on mashing at a comfortable pace. The road wound around the side and turned back against itself sometimes, giving us that spectacular view of the portion we had already conquered. The colors of the reds, oranges, and tons of yellow maples out over the edge of the mountain were simply prettier than I could have imagined possible. I was passed only twice by vehicles going up and four times by drivers coming down. I continued to look over the edge and up the road, sitting and standing, feeling the challenge of the climb, but never a thought of stopping due to suffering. I noticed a large road sign up ahead that was pointed the wrong way and as I pulled up to it and looked back, it was a “Welcome To Kentucky” sign, and immediately I reached the summit crossing and pulled up along side the “Welcome To Virginia” sign and stopped to enjoy the view, and wait on Chuck. He arrived moments later and we took a few minutes to rest and snap some pictures.
The Black Mtn Ridge Rd. turned out to be a rugged path, mostly of broken pavement, dirt and gravel. After about a mile of slipping and sliding at a snail’s pace in anticipation of any form of solid pavement, we changed to plan from a loop to an out & back ride. Still holding moisture from the work we did to get to the top, we buttoned back up, and headed back down. Cautious of loose leaves and twigs, and losing feeling in our extremities and face, we barreled down the mountain, at speeds from 20 to 35 mph, navigating the twists and turns all the way to the bottom. It felt good to be able to spin freely again and attempt to regain some warmth in our frozen bodies as we headed back into Lynch and then Cumberland. Stopped briefly at a gas station, in hopes of a cup of coffee, but found none, so continued back down the road that brought us there.
Nearly 70 miles and five hours after departing Harlan, in search of the highest peak in the state of Kentucky, we arrived back at our vehicle parked outside at Huff Park youth league baseball complex. The sun shone brightly as we transformed from our cycling gear and loaded up to head back home. All the way back, conversation was about how blown away we were by the beauty and bike friendliness of the area we had just visited, plans to bring others back with us again soon, more prep plans for AOMM 2014, and how we wished Black Mountain was a lot closer to home. It was a twelve hour trip, that was well worth the time!
Cheers & Safe Cycling! . . .
Georgetown, KY - I don’t have a lot of experience with bicycling clubs. As a matter of fact, I have been a member of only one. Last year was my first year in the Bluegrass Cycling Club. But in all reality, 2013 was my real first year. And it was an incredible experience. What made it incredible? That is a simple answer: the cyclists. For my first 1-1/2 years as a cyclist, riding consisted of the Masher and me meeting on Pocahontas and catching as many miles as we could fit into our schedules. Throw in an organized ride somewhere in the Eastern US and we were having a blast. We caught rides in Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and all over Kentucky. If this was cycling, I loved it. (The picture above is of me and the Masher: at a much larger weight. This is the official before picture. You must stay tuned to future posts to see the after picture.)
But something happened last year. Our life schedules changed and catching rides together became harder. And I started a bad habit: excuse making. If it was cold – cancel the ride. If it was too hot – cancel the ride. If the wind was blowing – no way. Threat of rain – not me. So in 2012, after riding 2500 miles in 2011 (my first full cycling season) I managed only 1600 miles. And that was on a goal of 4000 miles. In addition, I had begun a 5-year spiritual/educational program that took me back to my college days of studying and writing papers, away from the bike. So while I was happy in life, I was miserable in my cycling/health quest. i was not progressing.
2013 did not start any better. January, February and March brought more excuses and only 8 rides and 85 miles. I had hoped to ride the Kentucky Century Challenge – Redbud, Horsey, Preservation and OKHT. Redbud and Preservation were out due to conflicts with class. Horsey was out due to my youngest son’s high school graduation. Motivation to ride the bike = unplugged . No big ride meant no sense in riding. Then something happened: the Masher was killing the bike and getting into the best shape I had ever witnessed. Redbud, Horsey, AOMM, and hundreds of miles of distance and thousands of feet of climbing. That’s what I wanted. But how can I get it when my ride partner and I were on vastly different schedules and training levels? Easy answer – club rides.
I decided in May that things had to change. So I started what I called Renaissance 2.0. I was going to focus not just on riding the bike but riding it with a purpose. I was going to get faster and stronger and lose weight to get to 222 lbs. I wanted to be able to ride 20 mph over 20 miles.
I had been riding the Tuesday Georgetown Club ride regularly. But that was not going to be enough. So on May 2, I took a chance and drove 13 miles to Russell Cave Elementary and experienced my second club ride venue. It became a regular ride for me the rest of the year. And it was a great place to ride and continue to build on the friendships I made at Gtown. AS I started to build my miles in May (240) and June (260), I needed to add some more venues. But I needed to add a trick to my bag.
I am not a boy scout, but I love the motto of always be prepared. So I started something that has proven invaluable: take your bike with you everywhere you go. In June I started to do just that by keeping my bike in the back of my car with my riding bag (clothes and gear) everyday. And that is what opened the door to more venues. I went on a Nonesuch ride where I did not know a soul. Great ride. Versailles Sunday club ride: check. July brought 350 miles. Bluegrass Bike Partners ride also took me out of my comfort zone but now I was meeting and riding with some great people. Add in some non-club rides in Louisville (Ironman test ride) with club members and continuing as many Tuesday and Thursday night club rides as schedule and weather allowed. August (403) went by in a blur.
Then it all came together. Sept started with one of the hardest rides I have ever done: OKHT. But what made it special is starting with the Masher and some other great friends and finishing to see two other club members there to cheer me across the line. More club rides and another club -sponsored century on the Little Miami Trail and September led to a PR on monthly miles: 490.
When October started, I noticed I was moving up the club miles chart. I set a goal: Top 50. And I kept riding: Tues, Thurs and Sat. At the end of the month I even threw in a Masterson Station ride for the first time. October also gave me two “A” rides – a first. All I can say is WOW. Riding fast in a group is a simple thrill that I want. Its like a drug. So I am hooked. Not just on cycling. But on the one thing that can push you beyond your limits to be a better cyclist: the Club Ride.
(As of this writing I have 2414.23 miles of which 1634 were BCC miles. Two months left in the year and I have set a year end goal of 3000 total miles. I believe if the BCC website is correct I have achieved top 50 in club miles. My weight is 232, 10 lbs from my goal. I am inching closer to averaging 20 mph on a 20 mile ride. So there is still work to do.)
Special thanks to Kevin ” KP the Masher” Pearl for getting me into cycling and pushing me to achieve more than I thought was possible and introducing me to the BCC. Also thanks to all the BCC members who have helped me towards my personal goals especially Linn L , Mark B and Tim M who have ridden more miles with me than anyone this year. Thanks to all of the ride leaders who give freely of their time, especially Fran B – who in my opinion is “the most awesomeness” of ride leaders! Thanks to Bena H. for that ride in Sept where you pulled me to a speed that I didn’t think was possible. I call that the Ricky Bobby ride because after that all I want to do is go fast. And to my newest cycling friends Rusty A and Gene F: your cycling futures are unlimited. Thanks to my Ironman friends (who are also club members): Stephanie A, Courtney G and Mark R for inspiring me to aim high, achieve beyond perceived limits and to never give up. And to all the other un-named club members I have encountered this year. Thank you for your wheel at times, an encouraging word or a simple smile.
BCC Club Members: your actions move people forward in life. Keep spinning and keep rolling.
In early October, Renaissance And Masher completed another organized cycling event together, GABRAKY! This was the 10th anniversary of the ride, and over the years the G’s and A’s have stood for multiple meanings, including: Grand, Autumn, Governor’s, Annual, Across, Around … while the BRKY remains the constant: Bicycle Ride Kentucky! The event was started as a fundraiser ride for the Grand Theater in Frankfort, KY that took cyclist across the bluegrass state from the Ohio River in Carrollton to Dale Hollow Lake in Burkesville, a trek that started on the border with Ohio and ventured southwest to the Tennessee line covering around 225 miles over three days. It has evolved to a four day trip nearly 240 miles, and now passes through multiple state parks.
This was my first time riding the new four day route, and I was unable to ride day 1 because of work/vacation time, but it was mainly the same route it has been. The biggest changes happen as day 2 begins and heads a different direction than my previous GABRAKY trips. Though the route may have changed, one thing remains the same. This is a great event for cyclist bonding time. The majority of the participants camp at the various state parks along the way, but being somewhat soft, I prefer to rough it in a hotel. I served my time in the field in the Marines, now I’m content to sleep in the air conditioning)
The average daily mileage on the ride is 60 +/-. But don’t be fooled by the distance, there are plenty of hills along the way to give even the seasoned cyclists a feeling of accomplishment at the finish. Some of the hills along the route find steep gradients in the 15-20% range for short spurts, while some of the longer pulls range 5-10% over a mile or two. Add in the nearly constant head wind, it is a recipe for a true cycling challenge for four consecutive days. As some of the cyclists not familiar with riding in Kentucky found out first hand, not everyone can just get on a bike and complete this ride. I even heard a couple comments that this ride was tougher than a multi-day ride some had completed in Colorado in the Rockies, and tougher than a trek some had completed that was a border to border ride in North Carolina with the exception of one day.
The weather this time of the year in Kentucky is generally beautiful with the changing of colors on mother nature’s landscape and typically dry but cool air. This weekend actually turned out to be much warmer than average, but we did manage to find some moisture as the fourth and final day began. As we departed Green River Lake State Park, it was already raining and picked up over the first 15 miles before breaking up as we pulled into our brunch stop at Lindsey Wilson College (the primary partner/sponsor for the event all ten years). As usual, we were treated with wonderful hospitality by the LWC family, and had our choice of way too much to eat. Knowing the rain was only gone temporarily, most cyclists ate lightly and hit the road pedaling. The next 20 miles is my favorite stretch over the whole ride as we found the tough rollers leaving LWC, then a very steep, technical descent into the Cumberland valley where the road and scenery is just beautiful winding along the river bed. I managed to get an extra 2 miles on a side road where I was told I could find one of the toughest climbs in the county (and I just couldn’t resist).
The final rest stop is located in the town of Burkesville, and is always the best place to take a break and fuel up for the final climbing challenge which is probably the longest, toughest climb on the entire GABRAKY route, especially since it’s strategically placed in the last 10 miles of the ride. Reach the top of it without any stopping or walking, and you have achieved a true accomplishment. I finished with my good friend, Chris Schmidt, whom I had ridden all the days with and shortly after we completed the rain was back. I felt sorry for the ones who got caught up in it again, because it was driving. The wind was fierce all day on the final day, and that rain was tough to see in, let alone pedal a bike in. But I know everyone was proud of their finish, regardless of the weather that brought them home.
I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy this ride, and what an awesome job all the volunteers do. If this is any indication of how well this ride impressions people, multiple years I’ve seen the volunteers from previous years back as cyclists the following year! Lindsey Wilson College and their entire crew has done an exceptional job helping to keep this grand ride moving and the support they always provide is top notch. Hats off to the committee that puts the event together each year and especially the ones that volunteer to be chair persons and take charge! Since I’ve now ridden this event five times, and spent some time in the front, middle, and rear of the pack, I’ve seen it from all angles. I think that qualifies me to also critique the ride some, and I recognize my opinions may be in the minority. I enjoy the the changing of the route from time to time, but I wish it could stay in the three day format. I like the challenge of a long day in the ride and I truly enjoyed the stop at Camp Acton retreat in past years (it was like camping, but in a bed with heat or air, and gave everyone an great evening/morning of bonding). As one who finished near the front of the pack this year, I’d like to see a ride representative at the end of each day to greet riders and direct them where to go as they finish. It may sound crazy, but if the ride is to be called the “Governor’s,” I think it would be nice representation for the Governor to greet us at the Capitol. It would also be helpful for the luggage vehicle to be at each day’s finish waiting on the cyclists, so that everyone can shower up as they come in without waiting for direction.
All in all, this ride is still one of my favorites, and I look forward to doing it again next year. My recommendations are only my opinion on a few things I think could be improved, but the majority of this event is golden already. It was so nice to spend some genuine cycling time with some of my family and friends! So glad I got to ride with Charles II (Pops) Pearl, Jamie Garrett, Angela Mitchell, Nathan Rome, Linn Laborda, Ed Stodola, Chris Schmidt, and Tim Stout! Also glad my sis Charlsie was able to be there with great SAG service. She’ll probably join those in the past that decided to ride after volunteering. (I hope.) I also enjoyed meeting and riding with many new faces, some from here locally, and some from as far away as Colorado and New Mexico. Thank you GABRAKY for another memorable cycling event. I don’t attend events at the Grand Theater as often as I should, but it has come a long way since my first visit there to watch a movie. Kudos to the “Save The Grand” folks for staying committed to restoring a facility that my generation and my children’s generation could use a lot more of. Hope to see all of you and more on the road soon. Cheers and Safe Cycling …
As the temps become cooler, the days and rides slowly become shorter, and this is what we cyclists refer to as the off season. It’s not all that bad, if you’ve trained hard enough through the season, your body actually needs some rest. Last year, I found a slump in the middle of the summer and rekindled my passion with a challenging organized ride “Hincapie Gran Fondo” in the Blue Ridge foothills. That ride sent me into a proper training mode for the off season and now here we are again. But I’m not ready to just let go of this season without some reflection first, I think the rides have earned that due respect this year. So this will be my annual awards ceremony post. First time I’ve done this, and I have a feeling the bar is set high! Here goes.
TOUGHEST RIDE (Physical): Assault On Mt. Mitchell
This was a runaway, no contest winner. The Assault is without a doubt the toughest ride I’ve ever attempted, and I earned a real sense of increased fitness by training for and completing it, not to mention, the sense of accomplishment!
TOUGHEST RIDE (Mental): Solo Century
This ride was actually a narrow winner by edging out Redbud and Old KY Home Tour. Redbud was mentally tough for me because it was my first century this year and the guys I rode with set a blazing pace (my fastest century ever) and I was hanging on by a thread the last fifteen miles. It has some serious steep climbs. The OKHT was also a very challenging climbing ride but I failed to fuel and hydrate properly before and during the ride, and this caused my mental toughness to be tested on finishing strong. My solo century was my first and immediately upon completion, I hoped my last. It was supposed to just be a ride to find some tough climbs, but 60 miles in, I received a message from my wife that I had more time to ride and instantly I was determined to make it another 100. The solo climbing and heat of the day left me talking to myself the last twenty miles and it was not fun.
MOST ORGANIZED RIDE: Bluegrass Cycling Club Rides (in particular, Georgetown)
In full disclosure, I only rode club rides out of a few other locations on occasion, but I never showed up for a ride out of the Georgetown location on a Tuesday evening or Saturday morning that wasn’t ideal. Maps, cue sheets, water, cookies, ride leaders, rest stops on longer rides, bicycle friendly routes, ever changing routes, timely starts, all in all, it was just an awesome display of organized cycling hosted by the club and huge props to the location organizer Fran Bevins!
BEST SCENERY: Horsey Hundred
So I may be a little biased, and this was tough to pick just one, because the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains are beautiful at AOMM but they only make up a portion of the ride. All the rides I completed had their own signature beauty, but the Horsey Hundred boasts miles of river views, creeks, rock cliffs, rolling horse pastures, and miles and miles of plank fence farms with amazing thoroughbreds racing the cyclists!
BEST REST STOPS: Redbud
Again, another close call narrow win, because all the rides I did had excellent support and great stops. The two rides that I recall the most friendly volunteers were Redbud and Preservation Pedal, but I have to give the edge to Redbud because of the contest they host and the “prom queens” stop put them out in front!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY INDIVIDUAL: Renaissance Man
I’ve gotta give this one to my man Timmy (Tim Stout) on his riding accomplishments in the month of September! He rode over 480 miles while completing his first century of the year, then a second two weeks later just for good measure. Awesome job bro!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A GROUP: All our Ironman Friends
Some finished pretty darn close to each other after 140.6 miles, so that’s good enough to be a group by my standard. Hats off to Chris “Schmidty” Schmidt, Toby Young, Stephanie Allen, Mark Rucker, and Courtney Greenlee! I’m amazed at your level of endurance fitness.
BEST POST RIDE MEAL: Bloomin’ Onion from Outback
At the summitt of Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in America east of the Mississippi, they serve tomato soup and bread to the finishers. I was not ready to eat until several hours later and when I was ready, I can’t imagine anything hitting the spot quite like that deep fried flavorful goodness. It was devoured so quick, I think the waitress was still at our table after sitting it down when the plate was empty!
COUNTY LINE CHAMPION: Chris “Schmidty” Schmidt
Well we all had our moments to shine. Toby Young and I did our best to steal a few sprints, but in the end it was the Big Dog who overtook the season on county line wins. He earned it for sure, winning the last four of the season coming off walking pneumonia and operating on a half a lung, what a gamer!
CLIMBING CHAMPION: Jim Simes
This is the RAMMY I would love to receive and I have made great strides in climbing this year, but until I can overtake the climbing phenom from Carolina, I’ll have to settle for back seat driver. Jim has nearly 6000 miles logged and almost 350000 feet in elevation climbed this year via Strava stats!
BEST SAG SERVICE: Charlsie Garrett
This was a dead heat finish from our last ride of the season at GABRAKY, between Mike Staten and Charlsie, but she won the tie breaker because she’s my big sis. Both of them did an awesome job, as did all of the volunteers at every event I attended, and it makes a huge difference having great support on a ride. Thanks.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: Quotes From GABRAKY
Crossing the finish line at the summit at Mt. Mitchell will be my most memorable moment of 2013, but for RAM Cycling as a unit, there was such a great bonding experience on the ride across KY and it was enhanced by all the things we saw and said along the way. Just to name a few: “Do you have any ice cold water in the van?” … “No but we have van temp water.” // Having our scooper at Baskin Robbins remove her shoes and socks to show us her feet tattoos // Hearing “Hey, nice ass!!!” yelled by a very manly voice out of a rolled down window on a beat up pick up truck on the town square in Bardstown // Slowing the van down as we passed a newly wed bride having her picture taken in front of the church and saying out the window “beautiful, just beautiful” then having her reply in a sweet country voice “well thank ya” and the look on her face said she’d rather be in the van with us. This is only a few, I could go on all day with the hilarious, very unforgettable memories on this route.
HONORABLE MENTION: All our new and old Cycling Friends
This is the shout out to all those that are dear to our cycling heart. I am proud to welcome brand new cyclists this year Charlsie and Jamie “Jarrett” Garrett (my sis and brother-in-law). Also a shout out to my pops Charlie Pearl and his girlfriend Angela Mitchell. What a great year it was meeting and riding with new cycling friends: Chuck Allran, Toby Young, Lyn Laborda, Chuck Ellinger, Fran Bevins, Char Golding, Curt, Fred, Courtney Greenlee, Tim Melton, Gene Fowler, Stephanie Allen, Bryan Williams, Jon Wiesner, Adam Crowe, Aaron West, “Wisconsin” John St. Onge, Nathan Rome, Tommy Johnson, oh and of coarse, Bena! Also enjoyed cycling with some old school bike buds: Chris Schmidt, Steve Hughes, Ed Stodola, and Jim Simes! Hope I didn’t forget anybody, although I probably did. If so, sorry! Thanks for making the 2013 cycling season one that Renaissance And Masher will never forget! By the way, I was told multiple times on GABRAKY that I deserve a RAMMY for best dressed!