Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Hincapie Training Series

It was 6:30am in the morning when Stephen Sisk came rolling down my driveway with his bike mounted in the bed of his truck. It's a familiar sight. Stephen has been coming to my house to meet me and ride for years. We greeted each other with a smile that said all it needed to. This weekend had been planned for a year. Last year at this time we spent a Saturday and Sunday in Greenville, South Carolina at the Hincapie Training Series. It was so much fun. It was the perfect mix of friends and racing and food. We decided then that we had to do it again next year. And this was it.
We loaded up my minivan with bikes and coffee, programmed the GPS, and headed North to Pelzer, South Carolina to meet David Shabat for a road race to start things off. On the way up we covered the usual subjects; family, work, and biking. As I started explaining my "plan" for the race I had the strange sensation I was being watched. It was David who somehow met us on I-85 driving like the speed demon he is. He was already resplendent in our team colors and raring to go. His excitement is so contagious. Stephen and I knew then that our weekend was going to be a guaranteed success.
Stephen Sisk and David Shabat, CAT5 35+, 30 Mile Road Race
This was the second weekend of the series and the day's road race was on a course familiar to the local S.C. racing regulars. Not only is it the same course for this series every year but it's also the South Carolina State Championship course. We had never been here before. If you look at the race list you'll see that we were definitely strangers in a strange land. The only familiar people I saw there were my Stephen, David, and crazy Eddie Hsu. Under normal circumstances I'd have been nervous, but not this time. There didn't seem to be any pressure. It wasn't what the weekend was about.

Lining up for the the start.
All is well after the race.
Stephen and David's race was first. I helped them get ready and watched them start. Then I went to the van to get myself ready. The CAT5 35+ race would be two laps of 30 miles. I saw the lead police car coming and ran over to get a picture. There was David...on the front. A perfect "Money Shot". I like to call it that when you get a great picture taken of you in a race. David was having fun.
David's "Money Shot" #1
During their final lap I rode the course backwards to get a feel for the finishing miles and waited to see them come by. It turns out I basically rode the easiest part of the course. Once their race was over it was time for mine. We talked for awhile about how it went. I took a quick pic and gave my phone to Stephen so I could warm up. When I finished warming up there were a lot of riders getting ready to start. The CAT4's (my race) would be on course at the same time as the PRO1/2's.

Ready to roll, CAT4, 45 Miles
I couldn't tell who was who so I just rolled up and stopped until it was announced. I'd been sitting there for 5 minutes before I realized that right in front of me was George Hincapie! He had one foot clipped in and was just leaning on his handle bars talking to everyone. I had no camera, no ink pen, not even a stitch of Hincapie clothing on. And I have a ton of the stuff. I even had some Hincapie jeans in the car! So I introduced myself, thanked him for donating a jersey to the Lt. Governor's ride, and watched him start the PRO race. He was very casual and soft spoken. I hope he destroys them all this year.

My race started with 98 riders. That's NINETY EIGHT RIDERS! Biggest field I've ever been in. And it sucked! We raced for 45 miles and it sucked for one reason...the yellow line rule. Imagine 98 riders who all want to be in the top 15. Constantly trying to move up. But you can't do it easily because your not allowed to cross the center line. Stupid safety regulations. Who do those officials think they are?  Protecting us like that?
Lap#1, 98 Riders in the field.
Anyway, I pack finished, which is to say that despite my failed breakaway attempt on the last lap I finished with the field. But I'll count my blessings... no crashes.
Happy Cow Creamery, Pelzer, SC
We left the race and visited the Happy Cow Creamery. Stephen new about it because his wife and kids visited there one time. He wanted to treat us to some pure, 100% natural recovery fluid (a.k.a., chocolate milk).

I was feeling particularly energetic when we got there and had to be reminded more than once to call it a creamery NOT a crematory. I bought my beautiful wife some blueberry pancake mix and we headed for Greenville.

Reedy Bridge, Downtown Greenville, S.C.
Downtown Greenville was great, as usual. After checking in at the hotel and getting a shower we rolled into town hungry. The BI-LO Center was attracting large crowds so we looked at the sign to find out what was going on. After several minutes of debating the virtues of a band named BASSNECTAR we discovered that they wouldn't be there until April and the throngs of people lining up outside were there to see  Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best LIVE Tour Ever!
French Toast and Angus Steak Salad

We parked and found a nice place on Main Street called The Green Room. It was great. I had French Toast, Stephen had Angus Steak Salad, and David had a Gyro. How's that for diverse? The waitress even told us the secret marinade for the steak...wait for it... Worcestershire Sauce and Dr. Pepper. Oh yeah, Be a Pepper. We told fish stories and I showed David all his "money shots" I took from my phone.

A prayer before racing.
After 9 hours of sleep we were ready for the final day of racing at the BMW Test Track. What a great venue! During each race, in the middle of the track, the pro drivers would give people a thrill ride. Imagine racing around the track while cars are drifting and spinning beside you. Pretty cool. I even took a ride after my race was over. When I got in I told the driver something he'd never heard before..."this looked lame but I thought I'd try it anyway". He did two donuts in a row.
My first foray in the Masters Category would be here. The Masters 40+ Category seems to have a reputation for having in it ex-pros who don't mind hammering and attacking at every opportunity. The 25+ MPH average for 45 minutes will attest to that. Usually in CAT4 races there are periods of max efforts and then relaxing times after a break is caught or something. Not so in the Master's. If there's the slightest bit of slowing in the peloton then someone always attacks off the front and we're back on the gas. I forgot my Garmin today or I'd tell you my watts. I'll try and update it later. My skinny legs did all they could to stay with those guys. It's been a long time since I thought about quitting and I thought about it twice during this race. That is why I'm very proud of my 18th place finish. A breakaway of 7 riders got away. It had the 2011 Masters National Champion and the 2010 National Track Champion in it. I can't imagine the watts they were putting out.
Warming up.
Then it was time for Stephen and David to lay it all out there in the CAT5 35+ race. I have to tell you I was worried about Stephen. He's got two titanium vertebrae in his back. I had already watched the CAT5 34- guys crash so it put me in worry mode.

All during the race I would jog back and forth in the in field like some worried parent. But Stephen stayed mid pack or at the front the whole race. He was totally focused on fighting for his position and not tailing off the back.

Stephen and David CAT5 35+ BMW Test Track
I wasn't worried about David. He went nuts...as usual. If he wasn't on the outside, in the wind, he was on the front driving the pace. He chased breakaway attempts. He elbowed people who got in his way. I think I even saw him spit on a guys brand new carbon bike and yell, "Titanium Rules!" It was embarrassing.
David Shabat - Money Shot #2
They both pack finished in fine fashion. I was so excited for them. What great fun!
CAT5 35+ Field
We checked our standings and packed up for the drive home. Another great weekend of racing and then some. Because we couldn't stay I missed the season debut of our team mate Robert Loomis in the 2:30pm CAT4 race. His finish was almost ruined by a crash at the finish but thankfully he was not in it. Great job Robert!
Robert is on the left (Blue with white arms). Look carefully and see the crash.

Daddy/Daughter Night

Our church put on a special event for those of us fortunate enough to have daughters. And I have two of the greatest ones ever. Molly and Ellie got all dressed up in their best "Ball Gowns" and I put on a suit and tie. I took them out to eat at O'Charley's (they love the bread) and then we went to event. Blackshear Place Baptist Church had a ton of deserts and punch for everyone. There was a Photo Booth, you know like where you pull the curtain and it takes several pictures of you making faces or whatever? Then we went in the sanctuary where they had a slide show and played the newly wed game accept with Daddy's and Daughters. Funny stuff.

We sang and heard a good message from the Pastor. On the way out they gave every dad a Snickers cup cake and every daughter...some other kind of cup cake. A magical night for us all. And another great weekend in the life of me.

The Southern Cross

I had planned to race this one but Ritchey decided not to sell me the cyclocross frame I want until June so we headed to the Greenville Training Series. But my good friends Stan White and Melinda Seamans did it. Stan sent me a quick note to tell me how it went for him.
While some of you raced in Greenville this last weekend, Melinda Seamans and I did the Southern Cross “Ultra Cross” race near Dahlonega starting at the Montaluce Winery.   The course started with a traditional cyclocross mix of grass, pavement, dirt, and run-ups then left the winery and headed north into the mountains, at first on pavement then forest service roads.  This began the first climb up Springer Mountain that was about 9 miles looong, after which we did rolling terrain for several miles and decended Springer off the northwest side of the mountain where I reached 38 mph on dirt, on a mountain bike, wheeeeee, big fun. 
After a couple miles of pavement it was back to the forest service roads and another monster climb back up Springer that I believe was about 7 miles (I was not thinking clearly by now as the odometer had become painful to look at) to the sage stop, yep a sag stop in a race.   After changing bottles and replenishing my food supplies it was time for more climbing, where did they find so much climbing, I thought I was supposed to be in Georgia, not Nepal. 
Finally we reached the highest point and began rolling terrain for a while, then came the big descent towards Dahlonega and the winery.  This time the max speed was 39 mph but I might be a wuss in old age as last years terminal velocity was 40.  After getting back to civilization we had several miles of pavement back to the winery and started the traditional cyclocross stuff again with a crawl up, not to be confused with a run up.   By now I just wanted to be done with this beast of a race but there were a couple of racers within sight, so no time for slacker riding to the finish line.   I did pass them but it was like 3 drunks staggering towards the last bar of the night.   Melinda proclaimed this race harder than Assault on Mt Mitchell she did a couple of years ago that finished in rain and sleet, and Melinda hates cold wet conditions.   She also let me know NOT to invite her back to the Southern Cross, that it was off her “bucket list”.   We hope the rest of you had a good weekend in Greenville.
Stan White
Thanks for reading!

Chad Hayes

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Chainbuster 6/9 Hour MTB at Tribble Mill

Holy uphill all the way Batman! Tribble Mill trail raced backwards is a tough one! I'm sitting here on the couch after eating a really bad for me Philly Cheeseburger at Cheeseburger Bobby's and thinking about those poor 9 hour riders who ended up finishing in the rain. It was a hurtful race for me so I can't imagine racing that long and then having to deal with being cold and wet. Blah!

For the Chainbuster 6 Hour racers it was however a great weather day. When I arrived at the park it was 8:00am and 49 degrees. No wind. No rain. Even the clouds gave way to some morning sun for a while. During the race it warmed up to 58 degrees which is a perfect racing temperature. For me anyway. Not long after I got my canopy tent set up Bill, Jill and Parker (age 7) Mashburn arrived. Parker was all set for the Kids Race. He was decked out in his BPBC Cycling Jersey and even had a name for his team of one... "Team Make It Happen". Cool.
Kid's Race
The Kids Race (sponsored by Hayes Automotive) started promptly at 8:30am with 9 kids. They gathered at the starting line and quickly began making friends... OK not really. They all looked very nervous. Accept Parker who was trying to decide how he should interact with a little blond girl on a Barbie bike talking to him like they were best friends.

Here the Kid's Race Video!

I lead the kids race which is the highlight of my day. They are making memories and it's fun to watch. The course we selected had some tough little hills in it. I was pretty sure the single gear WalMart bikes would not last past the first hill but I underestimated a child's ability to adapt. Right away on the first hill one of them jumped off the bike and started running and pushing it. The rest followed her lead. Since I only knew Parker, I always kept an eye on how he was doing. He never got off his bike. He just kept a steady pace and after the hills were done and all the other kids began wondering why their parents thought this was fun, he passed everyone and finished first. Team Make It Happen brings it home!

Parker Mashburn displays his winnings.
Every kid got a cool water bottle filled with stuff and a memory. Whether good or bad. But I'm sure the memories were all good for their parents.
And then it was time to race. I went out to pre-ride the first few miles and learned a little about how bad I would be feeling this evening. The trail itself was in great shape. It had rained two days earlier so the dirt was packed and fast. The morning dew was heavy on the pine straw which made it good and sticky. But what good is all that if you're climbing and hopping roots the whole time? Trust me...it isn't.

I got back for the pre-race meeting and learned we'd be starting at the bottom of a hill just down from the Start/Finish line. Great.
The Start at Tribble Mill
 So I immediately rode down and placed my bike at the front. As the start got closer I have to tell you I was nervous. First race of the season jitters. I looked around and saw only super fast riders talking smack. Even though I know you can't tell a thing about a guys fitness by the way he looks I started feeling like I was starting my first race ever.
But the nervous energy helped me get a good start. As Kenny counted down 10 seconds to start, the guy next to me actually clipped both feet in and started bouncing. Now that won't distract you at all! But he did it. The gun went off and he started. But he must have been in the wrong gear because I thankfully clipped right in and took off. I went into the woods in second. With the world on my tail. I let one rider past me only to watch him catch his handle bar on a tree and wipe out just before we dipped down into the famous "Taco Stand". It wasn't long after the first set of hills that my body said "You must slow down!" I knew if I kept up the pace I was on I'd be useless in six hours so I slowed down just a little. I was soon caught and passed by three or more riders. I was at my limit so I couldn't do a thing about it. They were flying and out of sight in no time.

About half way around the course there was a turn to the left where we were met immediately by a creek crossing. At the speed I was going it was impossible to "Go Left" as instructed by the volunteers standing near the crossing. The reason they didn't want me to Go Right is because there's a deep hole under the water on that side. It took me out. An under water endo. A first for me.
Once I got my chain back on I angrily began the climb that follows the creek crossing. Nothing like zig zagging up a mountain to get your focus back. I didn't count how many riders passed me while I worked on my bike but I only passed two of them back before the finish. I thought I'd lost us some serious places in the standings.

In the transition area I told Trace what happened and he just said, "Don't worry, it's a long race." He was right because three laps later we were in 3rd Place but only by around 1 minute to Team# 177. On my third lap I dropped my chain. It bounced off on a downhill and I pedaled through so it got twisted. I had to dismount and lay the bike down to fix it. Once I got going again I had a rider on my wheel. You guessed it...# 177.

I finished the lap with him so basically his partner and mine started the sixth lap together. Just to be clear, 3rd and 4rd places were racing head to head. (Sorry, Trace)
I loaded up with a double caffeine gel, 3 Endurolytes, drank some Hammer Perpetuem and waited for Trace. I started my usual mental pep talk and told myself that the only reason #177 caught me was because I had a mechanical. If Trace could give me a lead...I could hold it. So I waited.
The first place team of Hammond/Chen came through. I new it wouldn't be long.
Then I saw #177 come riding up and make the exchange. The rider then came over to me and told me that Trace was three miles back with a busted rear derailleur. He had dropped the guy on the first climb and was putting together his best lap of the day when it happened. I consulted with the timing folks and then headed down the trail to help him.
The Damage
We made it back and he gave me the timing chip for what would be our last lap because of time. We fell from 2nd to who knows where after loosing 18 mins. So I went as hard as I could to make up as much of it as I could.

Trace Nabors and Chad Hayes
We managed a respectable 5th Place on the day. It was a great result considering all the trouble we had. Trace and I smiled at each other. We've been pretty successful the past few years and were due for some trouble. When you combine my successes with team mate David Shabat last year...well...I'm just hoping we got all our misfortune out of the way early this season.
Bill Mashburn and Trent Smith
Bill Mashburn and Trent Smith had a great day and finished 8th Place out of 20 teams in our category. The old man and the young punk deliver for the Habersham Bicycles Team. Nicely done gentlemen!

Also noteworthy is the effort put out by Team Engine. That would be the unbeatable team of Matt Hammond and Dave Chin. It's hard to tell if they even like each other much but boy do they make a great team. Lite and fast. I like them because I think Matt is as old as I am. They took 2nd Place on the day. Beaten by youth. Great job guys!
Dave Chin
So we packed up and headed home. Trace morned the loss of his derailleur. Bill and Trent took the families to eat at Cracker Barrel. And I took the road home. Where my family waited for me to take them to dinner.

Now I'm here watching The Bodyguard and blogging. How millennial of me. And thinking of next weekend and the Hincapie Training Series. My brain can't wait but my legs are not so sure about it.
I'm driving up on Saturday morning to race the Master's 9:00AM race. Weather says it'll be in the 30's. But they said it would rain today too. I'll be hanging out with good friends Stephen Sisk, David Shabat, Star Bridges, Robert Loomis and many others. If you want to race or even just hang out give me a call. We've got rooms in Greenville for Saturday night and will be racing again Sunday morning. I need to hurry back on Sunday for the best part of my weekend and that's Daddy/Daughter Night at Blackshear Place. They are so excited about it. And so am I.

That's all for this episode folks! Have a blessed week!

Chad Hayes

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ride to Helen 'n Back

Was there snow on top of Hog Pen Gap this Saturday? Yep. And what was the temperature you ask? That would be 28 degrees. And was the wind blowing hard up there? Not really. Just 35 MPH!

So why did we do it? Why, knowing that a winter blast was going to blow in on top of us, did we go ahead and meet in Helen, Georgia at 8:30AM for a 40 mile ride over the toughest climbs North Georgia? Well there's only one reason...because I wouldn't cancel the it. That and the fact that the riders who showed up are as crazy as I am.

The Gaps, Saturday February 11th, 2012 - Snowing!
When we left out it was 38 degrees. The wind was blowing but not too bad. David Latty left about 10 mins early because he said he needed a head start. Something about being slow. The remaining riders with me were Stephen Sisk, Joe Elam, and David Shabat. Our lovely driver Mrs. Latty kept an eye on us and so we began to climb the 7 mile monster that is Hog Pen Gap.

As we climbed I made comments to justify our journey. "The mountains will block the wind." "It will stay 38 degrees all day because of the front coming in." "This is great training." Things like that.

The first curve ball God decided to send our way was the wind. I've climbed Hog Pen many times. It's really hard. But it's even harder with a HEAD WIND! I couldn't believe I was climbing against a head wind. And neither could Joe Elam who, after reaching the top, decided to let me know that when he calls the day before to say the weather looks bad for the ride I should consider his wisdom. Bah...wisdom, common sense, caution... these words don't make sense to guys with unrelenting enthusiasm for riding. Bad weather is easily ignored when you have the right apparel. Right?

So we left Helen without a care in the world and without the knowledge that mother nature doesn't care about our world.

It took us the entire climb to catch David Latty. He was giving a fantastic effort.

Then it began to snow. Nothing sticky. Just flakes of snow blowing all around us. It was really great! Unfortunatly it was just about the only thing great about the climb. We pushed through the wind until we could finally see David in the distance. We caught him just as he made the top. As we gathered around the van there was a look on everyone's face that seemed to say...What the crap are we doing up here?

The temperature was now 26 degrees. I was wearing shoe covers, winter wind front tights, a Gortex mid layer, a Habersham jersey and matching vest, a baclava, and some LG thermal gloves. Oh and for the first time in my life I tried out a helmet cover. Before decending the scariest mountain in North Georgia I pulled on my Hincapie coat and switched gloves. It was the best decision I made. The guys were long gone. I left the van and headed down against the wind and with snow pelting my glasses.

David Shabat tries everything to stay warm.
David Shabat is usually a bit kamakazi. I remember him flying past me during the Six Gap Century on this very mountain. But on this day the wind and possible frozen water turned David into a big fat wimp. He could hear his wife's voice whispering on the wind. It said something like, "Why do you listen to that fool Chad Hayes!" "If he told you to jump off a building would you do it?"...Answer: Probably.

We pushed on through the wind and made the top of Jack's Gap. It was harder to get across the flat sections in the wind than to climb Jack's. Almost as hard as peeing once I got there. I don't want to be gross but it's the first time I've ever had to turn into a Cirque du Soleil performer to keep my pee off of me. The wind was violently swirling through the trees. I'll leave it at that.

We made our way to the final climb of the day, Unicoi Gap. It's a nice slow winding climb of about 4 miles. I settled into a rythum with David and Stephen. The wind wasn't blowing on that side of the mountain so we took our time and used the effort to keep warm. We made the top and once more David started listening to the voices. "Don't be a fool." "It's really warm in the van." This time...he got in the van...with Joe Elam.

Stephen Sisk and I braced for the unknown and headed down the mountain toward Helen, GA. David Latty hadn't made the top yet but we considered his massive decending prowess would catch him up in no time. We sliced through the corners and cut through the cold knowing that a warm house and warm spouse were waiting. The van arrived soon after we dismounted and the "fish stories" began to formulate. This ride was another great one. Epic in its physical demands as well as it's struggle over natures frosty blast.

To celebrate, David Shabat suggested we stop at Common Grounds coffee shop in Helen and have the most common cycling recovery drink... JAVA! Oh...it was good. Walking back to the car I couldn't help but feel a connection with Helen. The fresh mountain air, the warm inviting buildings, even the signs seemed to reflect the way I was feeling there with my friends...

Nuts: Stephen Sisk and David Shabat
The ride back was the usual banter between survivors. I took Stephen back to his truck in Lula and headed home for more fun. Our Bible Fellowship Class was having a social at our house. So my goals = build a fire, eat some food, RELAX. And that's just what I did.

Next weekend it's the first race in the Chainbuster 6/9 Hour MTB Series at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville. I'm racing with Trace Nabors. Then on March 17th at the Ga. Intl. Horse Park I'll be racing with David Shabat and an as yet un-named 3rd team mate. Anyone interested? 3 Person "Just Having Fun" Category. On the granite. Anyone?

February 25th-26th I'll be in Greenville for the Hincapie Training Series with David and Stephen. Anyone want to room with us?

Happy Valentine's Day!
"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) 

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weight Weenies Unite! ...and the Super Bowl

I guess I had better describe what a weight weenie is before I declare my allegiance. After all there may be newbies reading this and I don't want to...wait...should I define "newbie"? Forget it. A weight weenie is a roadie or mountain biker who obsesses over the weight of their bike. More specifically they obsess over the individual parts that make up the bike. Like the frame, fork, components, saddle, wheels, etc. I myself have never obsessed over the weight of anything accept myself so that means I am not by definition a weight weenie. However I have many friends who are and my wife has an opinion I shall not share.

GIANT Anthem 29er with American Classic wheelset
Back in the old days before carbon fiber and even before titanium a weight weenie would do crazy things like drill holes in their stems to shave weight. Now-a-days it only takes one thing to reduce the weight of your ride...money. Trust me folks, it takes a lot of money to play the weight weenie game today. That's because so many components are made from titanium and carbon and those two materials are expensive. But it's not always hard to reduce weight. You could do something as simple as replacing the bolts on your handlebar stem with titanium ones for around $20.00. That's good for about 8 grams. But the big payoff in weight savings comes by replacing larger items like the wheelset or frameset. You can cut 2 pounds off a mountain bike with the right wheels.

GIANT Advanced SL Carbon with Ksyrium SL w/ Ceramic Bearings
Which brings me to my latest purchase and it's consequence. I bought a brand new Park Tool Scale so that I might better understand if certain choices I make are worth while. I soon began to realize that knowing how much everything in my shop weighs, weighs on me. I'd weigh my bike with one set of wheels and the other. Then I'd weigh the wheels. Then I weighed the cassette. It was getting out of hand. So to put things in a little better perspective I started weighing things in pounds. The differences don't seem as drastic that way and then I don't stress as much.

GIANT Advanced SL with Zipp 404 Tubulars
This picture helps me illustrate the disease of weight weeniedom. A weight weenie would desperately try to find the item he needs to replace that will save him that 5 ounces. He'll barter his way to replacing the aluminum stem for a carbon one so he can see that 15 change to a 14. Me...I'd just take the pedals off the bike. It was interesting to note that there's almost a pound difference between my Ksyriums and my Zipp tubulars. And the Ksyriums have ceramic bearings with a SRAM Red 11/28 one piece cassette compared to the Zipps with steel bearings and standard SRAM 11/25. Mind blowing!

OK. Not really.

Here's the thing. I could have the lightest bike on planet earth but without the legs to push it...I'm just another roadie. It's like having a $4,000 rifle and being cross-eyed. Obviously you don't own the gun to shoot it, you just like owning a really nice gun. It's great to show off to your friends. It's fun to tinker around with. You can add a scope or maybe a nice camouflage finish. And I think that's quite alright. It's just not me. If I'm going to spend money on something then by golly I'm going to use it. Heck, I'm going to use it up. That's probably why, unlike a typical roadie, I don't have a basement full of bikes. I mean I've had a lot of bikes but never at one time. When asked "How many bikes do you need?", the typical roadie will say "One more than what I have right now!" But I'm not that way. Not really.

OK maybe just a little. But not nearly as bad as some people.

Embacher Bike Collection
So I'm glad I bought the scale. It's fun to play with. After racing on the all the different bikes and wheels in my possession I know whether or not a pound makes any difference. And in most cases it doesn't. It's all about the legs and lungs and heart. The scale just confirms it.

So to my weight weenie friends I say...keep it up if it makes you happy...and I'll buy your old stuff. :)


When I was a freshman in high school I invited all my friends over to my house on Super Bowl Sunday to play Two Hand Tackle and then watch the game. The only rules: No girls and no booze. That was 24 years ago. Since that time we've moved the game to the Jackson County High School football field and just in the past two years started bringing the kids. My Dad can't believe it! We never know who will show up. But whoever does is treated to some great fun.

For three hours we played this year. No score is kept. No penalties are called. Just trash talking, laugh till you cry, out of breath hands on your knees type of football. When we finally thought to take a group picture some had already gone. It was a great day with great people. I can't wait to do it again next year.

This weekend it's the Ride to Helen 'n Back! Join us for a NO DROP RIDE as we tackle the mountains again. Pun intended.

Thanks for reading!

Chad Hayes