Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Now I've Done It

Yep, I've done it alright. I went and got my hunting license today and I bought a box of 00 buck shot for the Mossberg. I guess that means I will have to spend some time in the woods. Mom has a few acres of wooded property that will work nicely.

Things have changed since the last time I bought a license. Now everything is computerized and done on line. Before it was a matter of filling out the form and you get the white copy, the store gets the green, and DNR gets the yellow. It took thirty minutes or more due to the change and the store owner not really knowing what she was doing, not because she's incompetent, just didn't go to the training class.

I'm going to try for Friday after work and see if I get lucky, it could happen.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beautiful Things

On the blogs of note recently has been, Three Beautiful Things, a blog about three beautiful things the author encounters during her day. So, my three beautiful things for Friday: 1) It's Friday. 2) the mother-in-law is home from a stay in the hospital, this is the most beautiful by far. 3) Scifi night, yes, I'm a scifi geek.

For Saturday: 1) A 38 mile paved/ dirt road bike ride. 2) The BBQ lunch at Lee's. 3) Snoozing on the couch with Tiny, the not so tiny cat.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Different Type of Road Hazard

Today I did my lunch time ride around Lander University. As I was riding down Wilson St. a student was crossing infront of me. I gauged how fast she was walking and began to make adjustment to my direction. It would be safer to pass her on the left, so I look over my shoulder to check for cars and started to swerve to the left to miss the pedestrian. I turn around and I am completely shocked at what I see. She stopped at the yellow line to let me pass before she finished crossing the road. I made a quick course correction to keep from ploughing in to her and as I passed she made that nervous laugh like she wasn't sure what I was doing. I should have apologized for startling her and let her know I wasn't used to pedestrians seeing me much less stopping and giving me the right of way like that, but I was too shocked to say anything. So if by some chance you end up reading this, the crazy guy on the bike was not trying to run you down, play chicken, or trying to do something funny to get your attention.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

5 Points 2

It was roughly this time last Tuesday evening when I was sitting around a table talking to K.K., Cheryl(?), and Gerhardt over some BBQ.

The day started out quite nice if a little chilly. Nick, Chip, and I made it to Marietta and were awaiting the arrival of the group. They rolled in a little behind schedule and introductions were made, Gerhardt was the first over to us soon followed by Drier, then Bob(?)or was it Bill? He stood out due to they yellow jersey, everyone else had on white and blue. We chit chatted for a while as others made their stops at the Burger King. Gerhardt eyed my bike, I was the only there on a steel frame. Soon we were off with Greg getting his cycling legs under him and Bob or Bill taking off like a shot. I fought the urge to give chase.

We climb up Car Wash Hill and continue down 276 to traveler's Rest. I take an over the shoulder shot of Nick in orange, Gerhardt to the right of Nick, Drier behind Gerhardt, and another Bill or Bob, or maybe his name is Jim( I really need to work on that). As we ride passed Sunrift Adventures a camera crew slowly passes with the cameraman hanging out of the window.

We make it though town and as we are leaving TR Bob/Bill takes a left as the road goes from 4 to 2 lanes. It's a dead end and we decide to regroup.

I practice my trackstand for the cameras and then take a photo of the cameraman filming me, they hate it when you do that. I move out of the way so he can take his shot of the riders, but for some reason he wants to film my legs, by far the hairyest there, and the rear wheel of my bike. I knew I should have washed it. Seriously though, I'm not the important one here, he should be filming the others. "We take a left here and at the bottom of the hill is the BP station", I say as we are all back together. The BP station is where we pick up another rider from the local Blood Connection( I know, sounds like a singles bar for vampires) and meet our escort to Furman U. In short order we are at the BP and getting orders from the State Trooper. He pulls out to block traffic and at least one motorist is not happy, Greenville drivers, we all pull out in a gnarly stretch of road as we are escorted by flashing blue lights. The camera crew is also back. Our latest rider from the Blood Connection seemed a little apprehensive about this, but was a good sport.

We stopped just before the main entrance to Furman while we waited for the other group that was caught by a stop light, caught up. We rode in to the campus to where the morning culminated.

I was surprised by the number of bikes on campus. I guess it's just the right size for bikes to be a better option than a car. When we got to the area where the riders would be formally introduced and the press conference would be held chip took off to get some work done and Nick and I decided to stick around to see what would happen. We went inside and were treated to a very nice brunch of fruit, yogurt, and various pastries. All of the riders were introduced, both of the Bill/Bobs were kidney recipients, with the yellow jersey having competed in the triathlon in Greenwood the weekend prior to the ride. Drier is a long time blood donor whose mother died of cancer. His brother was diagnosed with cancer and is currently in remission partially due to blood product from donors in South Africa. Gerhardt is a hart transplant recipient, and let me tell you, you would never know it if you rode with him. The previous day he missed his turn and climbed Mt Pisgah and ended up with over 100 miles for the day. "It was a hard day", he said it like it was nothing. The other people who wrapped up the riders where medical people who have a connection to the organ donors and recipients, there was Rodney, the only person to have ridden in all of the 5 points rides, K.K., a cardiac PA, Cheryl, a nurse, and Connie Koch, who's son died at 17 and donated his organs so someone may have a chance to live. It was a full day and still an hour before lunch. All of the riders were assigned to someone to take them to where they would be speaking. Gerhardt was to go to Lander. And it was done for now, we were to meet back at the Blood Connection's HQ off of Bracken RD across 25 from the Donaldson Center at 6:00 or so. Nick and I rode around the campus for a while and when we got back to out respective vehicles, we talked about local rides and bevets for a while. Nick as it turns out has done Mt Mitchell every year since it started. He is also a prostate cancer survivor, and an randonnuer. We said our goodbyes and I was out to find lunch, the oriental Buffet was calling my name.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

5 Points Ride

Yesterday I got up at 5 to meet Chip Radford of the Greenville Spinners at Furman University. We were to meet the 5 Points riders in Marietta at around 0830 or so. I hate getting up that early. I had enough sense to pack up most of my stuff the night before so I wouldn't have to worry about it in the wee hours when my thought processes haven't fully kicked in. I'm out the door a little after 6 and head up 385 for Greenville. At 6:42 the traffic was heavy, but moving and I thought how glad I am I don't have to do that commute anymore. I made it to the meeting place with time to spare and met Nick, another of the Greenville Spinners and the final member of our trio. We met Chip on the other side of the Chapel and after a quick trip into the woods we headed out. Chip knows the area and picked a route with very little traffic. It was a little chilly as we started and I was glad I put on my arm warmers.
Chip was a little cold at first, but then warmed up. Notice the mountains in the background. We hit a decent climb and I was told this was Tub's mountain. It was a good climb, but not too bad. As we topped another hill I could see Table Rock in the distance(just to the right of the white structures).

We had to take a short cut to make the meeting spot on time. I thought to myself that these things are never on time, but kept the thought to myself as voicing it aloud may jinx things. We pull into the Burger King in Marietta at 8:50 with no riders in sight. Greg Hart of the Blood Connection was there (yeah, isn't irony great)to ride into Furman with the group. We waited and chatted with Greg and his wife, and some guy from the Great Escape, I don't remember his name. Yeah, I was right about the timing. One of the support vehicles roles up with the trailer for the gear.

We wait some more and another support vehicle shows up. Greg makes some calls on his blackberry and gets an idea where the riders are. About ten minutes later they roll in.

Introductions are made and it became very obvious who the South Africans are by the accents. More later, I'm beat.