Monday, January 28, 2008

Back on the Road

Hit the road yesterday for a three hour ride with Bob Wooding of MVC and he thankfully took it easy on me. We rode over to his backyard on a few roads that I usually do not make it out to. The weather turned nice as the sun came out and temps hit the low 40's. I have neglected my road bike since fall so it was nice to get out on it and know what three hours felt like on the road again.

I did have a dog run out from a house to the road to say hello to me and Bob during the ride. At first he seemed to be friendly and ran up beside me in a way that looked liked he was just interested in us and wanted to say hello. He did not bark or seem aggressive, but then he ran up beside me and bit me. Usually aggressive dogs go for you ankles on the bike and you can just kick them away and you pedal by. This dog though was a great dane and bit me up on my hip. As I realized he had hold of my tights I realized a kick wasn't going to help, so I sped up the pace a little and rode away from him. I was more shocked that he bit me because I thought he looked friendly than the fact that I had been bitten by an unknown dog. I love dogs and usually can tell when they just want to say hello and be friendly vs. aggressive behavior that indicates they want to do you harm, but I may need to rethink my feelings on the subject as I thought he was going to be friendly.

If I ever have dogs be aggressive with me I feel no sympathy for the dog or owner and call animal control. Especially after I got back to Staunton and found out that he slightly broke skin on my leg though three layers of fabric. And DAMN! I have a hole in a pair of shorts, insulated tights, and a pair of thin tights that was not there before. I called and had animal control head out to where the incident was and to talk to the owner of the dog. i would expect the same if my dogs ever got agressive with someone, but they are sweet lovable creatures.

I also learned from the county animal control that here in Augusta County any citizen can go to the animal control office and report animals that are loose if you have the exact address and location and they will be ticketed based on your complaint. An animal control officer does not have to see the animal loose or aggressive. They only need your complaint to write a ticket. Good info for future animal harassment while out on the road.

Monday, January 14, 2008


In this area, just the mention of the word "SWITCHBACK" brings certain pictures to the minds of people. If they are local mountain bikers than almost certainly they will think immediately of the top of Turkey Pin in the Sherando Recreation Area. The almost seemingly never-ending steep section of that trail is feared and hated at the same time being loved respected by the people who look at the switchbacks as a challenge.

Also numerous roads in area have switchbacks that Roadies love to hate. Whether you’re climbing Rt. 56 from Vesuvius or Reeds Gap you know a switchback when you see on. Of course on the road switchbacks cause a mental dilemma to most road riders. They are faced with the difficult decision of whether to hammer the steep line up the inside of the switchback or spin around the gentler slope of the outside of the corner. Usually for me this is more of a survival decision. Usually I will take to outside to keep forward motion. The opposite of forward motion sometimes happens if I decide to take the inside lines. Also as in the case of the Blue Ridge Extreme Century Ride two years ago when I had overeaten at each rest stop the inside vs. outside choice changed to a vomit vs. no-vomit choice.

Switchbacks, whether you love them or hate them, they will always be out there in the world waiting for you to let your guard down. I found this beauty on Hite Hollow Rd. outside Craigsville, VA yesturday.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I came across these beauties in the catalog yesterday and have to say that I think I know the bike they absolutely need to be rockin out on. And....... it is.....
I mentioned them to Sara and surprisingly her exact words were "I'm happy with my Magura's" Well I tried........

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Whetstone Ridge

Mark R and myself Joined up with a crew of guys from CAMBC to ride Whetstone Ridge Sunday. I had a sore throat and felt like my sinuses were bothering me the morning of the ride, but I could not complain that I wasn't 100% because Mark must of came down with a stomach flu that morning and really suffered on the ride. It is a real difficult ride without felling bad, and poor Mr. Russell looked like death was coming. Usually he is up front leading the pace and smashing the climbs, so I could tell something was wrong when he dropped back a little. Unfortunately he either had to finish the ride or camp out deep in GWNF. He finished the ride and I must give him props for it b/c I think I would have laid down and died after the abuse of all the hike-a-bikes combined with a debilitating stomach problem that prevented him from taking in calories on a long ride.

We'll have to do this trail again when Mark is 100% so he can enjoy the ups and downs.

link to info on ride:

Photo's were taken by Ted Gayle. Thanks Ted

Friday, January 04, 2008

More Darkness Please!!

That's right!! Lights, ghetto wind proofing via packing tape, and a far superior hydration bag.(bonus points from big Jon hopefully)

Night riding in the SSOS (Staunton Secret Stash of Singletrack)(That's right SECRET) was very cold last night. Only took a couple of minutes to warm up though and fun was had by the parties involved. I am already very ready for the days to get longer. Come on DST. Looking forward to March 9th, but for now night riding is a lot of fun.

Share the Road

Good things are happening in Augusta County to help the awareness of bicyclist rights to the road. The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission's Bike-Ped committee has helped get "Share-the-Road" signs up on Rte. 250 bewtween Afton Mtn. and the City of Wayensboro, and also has helped in the process of paving shoulders on certain roads that are more traveled by cyclist. An article was in todays News Leader highlighting the progess mad by the committee and has a great quote by yours truly.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

I am back in the valley after a nice well needed vacation to South Carolina for a week. I always am scared to close the shop for a week do do trips like that because I know it only takes one bad experience for a customer to decide he or she doesn't like a store or business. I am sometimes afraid that that one bad expierience will be when someone drives to see the shop and I am out of town and have the shop closed. I always put a sign up weeks in advance to let people know I will be closed for awhile, but it never fails that there are rude and patrinising messages on my aswering machine that someone is calling during the regular business hours and I haven't awsered in three days! I understand some poeples frustrations but being most of the time a one man operation here at Black Dog Bikes, I have to get away to see family and to relax for a few weeks out of the year. I was able to visit with the folks and my Sister and Nephew down in SC, and enjoyed riding at Paris Mountain State Park on the days it wasn't raining.

I got a years membership to the YMCA here in Staunton for X-mas so the membership to Golds will have to disappear as the YMCA has loads of extra stuff that Golds does not offer. I saw on their schedule that they do a race day spin class. This sounds cool. Maybe a distance or wattage measureing computer tells the instructors who has gone further and harder during the class. I will to ask around about this and maybe get my race on this winter. I also know Mr Russell has a membership to the YMCA so we will have to get our race on if this is a cool class.

Happy New Year