Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Travel Update

It's been a long time since March 8th...

Since my last update, I've been on the road getting used to my new schedule and the details of the RockShox Ride Experience experience. I've been in Austin, Houston, Lakeland (FL), Athens, Brevard and Greenville. I've ridden at Rock Hill Ranch, Memorial Park, Comite River, Loyce Harp/Carter Rd, Santos, Heritage Trails, Stokesville, DuPont, Pisgah, Issaqueena, Paris Mtn and Douthat.

I've driven about 7,000 miles and flown 5,000.

Some highlights:

I pulled in to Austin after driving 15 hours from Colorado Springs to find John C. Riley in the hotel lobby.

Tony was told that you cannot put catsup on a Rocky Burger. And then Timmy got us crayfish.

Houston is dripping with money. I've never seen so many expensive cars in one place in one day.

After riding Comite, I dropped in on Bicycle Michael in the French Quarter, which was rad.

Austin fills up with people during SXSW. And there is much merriment.

The Tone likes fish. A lot. And I don't think it is healthy. He may need counseling.

In Florida, climbing is called 'turns'.

Wild Dr Bill is living the good life in Athens with his tin foil hat and some good trails.

Brevard Brewing Company is open, makes really good beer and is available on tap at a bike shop next to an entrance to Pisgah.

You can climb under Hooker Falls in DuPont, there are no hookers there and don't slip or you will die.
Frank is alive and well in San Antonio and he will not die from excitement.

People in South Carolina must be low on men's underwear, or so the ladies of downtown Greenville would have you believe.

Mint julep's taste better when people are happy to see you.

George Hincapie can be made to crash on a mountain bike if you forget to properly install the rear wheel. No, it didn't happen when I was there, nor was it my fault.

There is a larger-than-expected DH scene in South Carolina with many fast riders doing big gaps and drops before they hit puberty.

And finally, while different, bike riders are all the same.

I've managed to stop in Harrisonburg a few times on my

drives south. I've driven I81 six times out and back this spring already. I managed to catch the boys coming back from Douthat after SDS and got to ride down Hankey with them. It was a tough, wet ride for everyone on SDS this year. I enjoyed spending the evening hanging out with Evan and Matty and catching up with Chris, Misty, Bishop and the SBC crew for breakfast.

This past weekend, the DCMTB crew rode from Stokesville to Douthat and many of them raced in Douthat on Sunday. I showed up to the lodge late Sunday and we got in a wet ride on Middle Mtn with some really fun hairball descents. It was great catching up with Wheaton and Mr Biggs.

Pics, from the top: the brother's Hincapie and friends at Paris Mtn, SC; blurry me and John C. Riley in Austin; Lakeland mtn bike tour guide Mike; Santos mtn bike tour guide Danny; Issaqueena DH trail set-up; The Tone and The Fish in Lockhart, post Black's BBQ.

It has been great meeting so many people who really appreciate RockShox taking the time to pay some attention to them and where they ride. I have received so much good feedback from people. We've had shop employee, vendor sales reps, downhillers, xc racers, average riders,

endurance crazies stop by and chat. I don't know if it's the product, the company or me, but we've had no bad interactions of any sort from anybody. Happy hikers, excited land managers, eager advocates and inquisitive industry folks. It is certainly a lot of hard work but people have been very appreciative and helpful. Everywhere I go, people are excited to show me around and bury me in stories of crashes, trail history and detailed descriptions of what the next section of trail will bring.

And every time I come home from a trip, there are three smiling, happy faces waiting to greet me. The kids are always super-excited when I pick them up after school in the RockShox truck. You'd think it was Santa's sleigh!

I have taken a chunk out of this task but there is quite a lot more to come. I have two more trips this month then local events for June. July sees me traveling throughout New England. I depart for Colorado in August and will enjoy Denver, Winterpark and Fruita before Utah, Vegas, ABQ, Salt Lake, Moab and St George in September and October.

If I'm lucky, my first weekend back will be DCCX in October, another fun, difficult day but one I'll be able to enjoy with all my local friends...


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