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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Riding, Riding and riding some more!

This post is going to be for guys like me. When I was a younger man I hated reading. Give me a nice magazine with pictures on every page and I was happy just reading the captions. So in order to catch up with the riding and events I've been doing I will resort to the creation of the blogless blog. No long stories. No witty recounts of the events. Just photos and captions.

Let us begin.

2013 Dirty Spokes Duathlon at Heritage Park in Watkinsville, Georgia

Kelley Edwards ran 2.8 miles, I rode 8 mile mtb, then he ran another 2.8 mile. It must be said that Kelley ate like a killer whale within 1 hour of the race. It must have been delicious. Both times.

Molly did the Duathlon Novice as a solo which is a run and ride only. She did great. Finished the first run before Puke boy.

Molly on the run.

Kelley Edwards suffering greatly.

Molly finishes the last climb.

Molly had a great race.
Kelley learned a lot and gave everything.
Kelley and I got 4th, Molly 1st in her age group.
And now we'll move on to the Gainesville Promise to Ride... Ride. This charity ride was for the Family Promise of Hall County. A non-profit organization that provides temporary housing for homeless children and their families. A great cause. I really enjoy riding with the ISI Cycling guys too. David Shabat and his son Ben showed up as well as many other local cyclists.

I talked Stephen Sisk into it.
Craig Tinsley rode in the ride t-shirt.
It was a beautiful day. But windy.
We rode hard with the ISI Cycling guys.
Craig won the door prize for being the first rider back from the metric ride. He made a dangerous move and cut in front of a pickup truck with 500 meters to go. The rest of us were too scared to try it. So tactics won that one for you Craig! But I'm going to whip out a movie quote and say, "The encounter was a victory, but we show it as an example of what not to do."

First guy to tell me the name of the movie wins a water bottle.

Next is a story from my good friend Sean Philyaw who took some team mates with him to the Sonny King races in Alabama. His crit didn't go so good but the next day he raced in the Foothills Road Race and that... well I'll let him tell you.

Sean Philyaw
Foothills Road Race, Alabama

A beautiful day dawned in Northeast Alabama.  If you have never done this road race, it is a great one and I highly recommend it.  The Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association did a great job organizing the Foothills Road Race, while providing a great breakfast and excellent recovery lunch, which were all inclusive in the registration cost.  Job well done and I will be back.

The topography there is identical to what we have here in Northeast Georgia, with rolling hills and a few nice climbs thrown in to make it painful.  The previous days Sunny King Criterium was less than successful, but my legs were now open and ready for adventure. The roll out of Piedmont, AL, was neutral, but it didn't matter anyway.  The fireworks would not start until 15 miles into the race.

Attacks began going off the front, but this early in the race, everyone has fresh legs, so the attacks are reeled back in no time. After the initial flurry of attacks, a rest lull hit the peleton, so the guys from NGCA / Mission Source decided it was time to hit it again.  Good call!  I tried to hold wheels while the breaks were being brought back, just to conserve energy.  However, racing and not attacking a few times yourself is not very rewarding.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXGPp15P9U4

By 30 miles into the 48 mile race, we had attacked enough to thin out the herd, so we had a good strong group of riders together to close the deal.

At mile 40, the impending doom of the final climb sets in and the group slows down to eat one last time before releasing the fury of the climb on our bodies.

I am not a climber and I can hold my own, but one must realize that a climber will beat you to the top of a long climb every time.  The best you can hope for is to maintain contact and catch them on the way down the other side.  Having more mass does have its benefits at times.  Before the climb, I mentioned to a few of the other guys that are of similar physical makeup as myself, that we would have to crest the climb with the lead group in sight and then we could bomb down the descent in hopes of once again making contact with said group.

A group of four dangling carrots crested the hill ahead of us. We set out to catch them and catch them we did.  In fact, we blew right by them and I am not sure how many of them were able to maintain contact as we flew through the flat valley toward the finish.  Climb video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP3pEXt-h_k

All this time, I tried to stay in a good position without having to do too much work.  When we got to the final corner, I was in great position and my legs felt great.  One fellow did a sneaky roll away in the last corner and with 500 meters to go, I thought he would never have enough gas to make it the the finish.  Boy was I wrong.  He made it, but just barely.  In hindsight, I should have jumped on his wheel at the corner and made my move with 100 meters to go.  Live an learn, but I was happy with the 2nd place result and for having raced a smart race.


My new mantra is........I don't have to be the strongest, just the smartest.  You can attack and inflict pain all you want, but it's the first one who crosses the line that counts.

I personally have found that the training is the easy part.  Learning tactics and then trying to make good tactical decisions when your heartrate is pegged is the hard part.  Either way, you cannot have any more fun in this world than riding or racing with good friends.  


Thanks Sean! I can't wait to race this weekend at Twilight in Athens with these guys!

That's all for this blog post. Have fun out there!

Chad Hayes 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brain Surgery

I'm sitting in the waiting room at Duke University Hospital feeling surreal. I've felt this way on several occasions in my 41 years. I can count on two hands the number of times and I can remember each one. Times like the birth of my children or my Dad's triple bypass or the loss of my friend TJ Pattillo.
When my Dad was "opened up" it all happened really quickly. One minute he's doing a stress test and the next they are doing heart surgery. The surreal feeling hit me when I visited him immediately after the surgery. It's like a sick feeling coupled with the inability to concentrate. It's was my first real scared and helpless feeling as an adult. He was still on a ventilator and all hooked up to everything. Like in the Matrix.
I don't think Dad likes that movie so I won't tell him.
It was months later when he called my brother and I into his office and said, "Boys, you're going to do two things; get a lot of life insurance while it's cheap and get yourselves in shape." So began my biking obsession. Anyway, that was the first time I realized how fragile I am... we all are. It was obvious at that time that the only thing keeping him alive were those machines. And by the same token those doctors had saved him. In other words his life was in someone else's hands. He wasn't in control. And neither was I.

Lisa is back there under anesthesia and a surgeon is cutting her head open to remove a tumor on her optic nerve. It's as simple as that. Yet unbelievably complex. The battery of people charged with making this whole thing happen are precise and methodical. They have a lot of confidence that somehow never becomes arrogance. Accept for some of the people at the reception desks. They obviously allow ignorant people to frustrate them which must make common courtesies from the rest of us seem trite. Here at Duke there are patients from all over the world, including up North where love don't grow, that can be a little demanding. So I understand why they are the way they are. But the doctors and nurses are great.

This whole thing started a few weeks ago with a routine eye exam. That led to MRI's and referrals which ultimately led us to Dr. Allen Friedman, somewhat of a celebrity around here. My brother-n-law Joe Hicks did some research that led him to tell us Dr. Friedman was the Michael Jordan of neurosurgery. So here we are in Durham, North Carolina at arguably the best place in the world to have your brain worked on by evidently the best surgeon to do it.

Somehow all that doesn't help. I'm still not in control. But as I learned with TJ's accident... there's really only one person in control... a Holy God. So let's call what I'm feeling... nervousness and not worry.

We did managed to eat out the night before our pre-op. We lucked up and stopped at Metro 8 Steakhouse. Lisa was loving it because the chefs were from Argentina and prepared things like Empanata's and lots of Spanish flavored dishes. Everything was delicious and the servers were fun. It was perfect before the days to come.

After pre-op we checked in at the hospital and waited. We were visited by 20 different people from residents to nurses to "experience coordinators". My favorite was the doctor who glued sensors on her head and shaved little spots to put some of them. He even traced them with a blue sharpie. And with that sharpie he made notes on her head for the surgery. It was very funny.

I just watched her rolled back for surgery. They had her so jacked up on steroids she was talking a million miles an hour. To anyone. She was particularly happy with the "Georgia" red cap they put on her head. I love my Georgia Girl!

So... now I'm sitting here in the waiting room. People are snoring. It reminds me of some airport terminals. There are wide eyed newbies who pay attention to every sound and movement. Then there's the waiting room veterans who have their bags of magazines and pillows and one lady brought her own coffee creamer. Ma (Lisa's Mom) and her sister Emily will be here soon. My parents are on the way. And I feel ok. 

Before I left Georgia I asked my friends to share any surgery stories or cycling stories with us for encouragement and laughs. They came through so greatly that I knew I had to publish them. So here you have a series of short stories that may or may not amuse you. Thanks guys!

Stories for Lisa

Ralph Atkinson
I was sitting with a family in pre-op. The wife was ready for surgery, and had already had the dose of twilight meds to calm the fears. Surgery was then delayed for a while and her buzz had lost its joy. We were then told time was short and more twilight meds were given. It did not take her long before she was feeling no pain.
The surgical nurse walked in and the wife got very vocal. She was convinced that Chick fil A was in charge of her surgery. We could not change her perspective. The surgical nurse smiled and excused herself from the room. She returned a couple seconds later and reintroduced herself to everyone as the surgical nurse. We were puzzled. The wife asked what happened to the last nurse. The reply was she was from downstairs and not part of the surgical team. The wife calmed down and was ready for her procedure. The husband and I were confused by the events. We were then asked to see the nurse in the hallway. We met outside the door. We had not noticed on the first visit the nurse was wearing a cow print head covering. She left and had replaced it with a standard blue paper cap and all was fine.
The husband and I still laugh about it.

Michel van Musschenbroek 
In 1974, my father introduced me to cycling.  Living in Ottawa, we made the trek to Montreal for the World Cycling Championships.  Back then, the Road and Track events were held at the same time.  Pursuit, Sprint, Team Pursuit, Derny Racing all on an open air wooden track.  I remember having to wait over a couple hours for the track to dry, because of the day's rain, until the officials said it was safe.  To help it dry up, they put a half dozen of the large derny motorcycles on the track...I know that it was a cycling event, but at 12 years old, watching 6 of these motor beasts drive around at 50kph...well, I thought that was pretty cool.  Coming from Holland, cheering for the Orange jerseys became a quick learn.  Roy Schuiten won the men's pursuit much to the delight of my Father and I.  When I think back, I guess the memory which sticks out the most, was watching the men's sprint.  During one of the matches, one of the men fell hard. 30 minutes(I am guessing) he showed up for the next round all bandaged up, but ready to ride.  That is when I realized, cycling is not for the light hearted, but in fact a very tough sport. 
Four years later, we are on a family vacation in Europe.  My father is going to represent Canada at the World Masters Cycling Championships - St Johan in Tirol, Austria.  In our preparation to leave for Europe, I was fortunate enough to be able to bring my bike along also.  A nice little Reynolds 531 frame with CLB Brakes, Stronglight Crank, Campy Chorus derailleur/downtube shifters and paired up to High Flanged Campy Wheels - tubular of course.  (side note - the frame is gone, but the components now sit on my father’s 1974 Motobecane that he rode at the world Masters). 
Landing in Holland, we stayed with my grandparents.  I was able to ride around with my father on some of the local roads and experienced "pave" for the first time.  If the roads are well used and maintained they were quite nice...not smooth, but comfortable.  Older roads, where the bricks have loosened, provide a bit of music.  As you ride the bricks will hit against each other, and since they are not all the same, there will be a tune coming from the road.  Then again, there are other roads, which have heaved because of the loads of trucks and ground frost; these will down right knock you off if you are not paying attention.  My shoulders and forearms ache after the ride, but somehow there is always a smile on my face because I am on my bike. 
We had been there about 3 weeks, when we heard about a local race which takes place on flat roads between farmer's fields.  The town was Weesp, not too far from where we were staying.  The riders had told us it was a fast race, and very safe, as the road is quiet and there is little or no traffic.  There were four groups racing that night on the loop around the farmer's field.  Each lap was about 10 kilometers long.  Groups 1 and 2 did four laps, 3 and 4 did three laps with the hope of finishing everything within about an hour.  All four groups line up with the first group on the line.  "Go".  Thirty seconds for the second group to line up on the line, a couple quick reminders about safety, then "go", group 3, then group 4, my group.  I was just 16 at the time, not a very strong rider, but I could hang on to a wheel as long as the pace was steady......"GO".  
My heart is pounding, the group is attacking hard.  The riders had told us that the first 5km are super fast, because each group is fearful of being caught, and are trying to catch the group in front.  Being ready for this I made sure to push through the pain so I could prevent being dropped.  After about 10 minutes the pace slows down to a comfortable race pace and I exchange a couple "hello's".  They knew I was a Canadian and were all very friendly to me.  Going into the corners the pace would slow slightly and the sprint out was hard, but the long straights were like a massive team time trial.  About 25 guys working well and pushing hard, peeling off the front and sliding back for shelter from the crosswind.  Something you should know about Holland, it is always windy. 
One lap to go.  We turn the corner and begin heading down this long road, if the previous two laps showed anything it would be a nice long group of riders.  What is going on?  Everyone is sprinting like crazy, or at least the pace is about 10-15% faster.  I am breathing like crazy, my legs are burning.  Did I miss something about a "prime"?  Was there a sprint coming up?  Soon I was about to find out why.  Strung out and pushing hard the road begins to spit up grass in little clumps about 2-3 inches round...."smack".  This didn't happen the two laps before, what was going on?  Smack...another chunk of grass....Smack, another, only this time...it hits me in the face.  Immediately, the smell fills my sinuses.  This isn't just grass, but grass with fresh cow patties mixed into it.  You see, what happened differently between lap two and three, was the farmer transferring his cattle from one field to the next.  As the cattle cross the road they carry with them, some of the grass, which of course...has ...well...droppings.  So that is what caused the uncalled for acceleration.  Those near the front finished clean, while those in the back, such as an inexperienced Canadian, finished not so clean.   
There was much laughter and hand shakes at the end of the race.  Interestingly...my father had the same experience.  It may be my favorite memory.

Trace Nabors
Two reasons it's good to get away from North Georgia for surgery:

  1.  Crazy nurses:  The first time I went in to have my ankle scoped, I ran into a crazy nurse.  I was in the pre-op room and they were getting me ready.  This lady came in with a razor and asked which knee they were operating on.  Remember, this was ankle surgery.  I said neither and she was seriously bummed.  The reason was that she said she just loved shaving knees.  Mine were still hairy at the time.  They proceeded to right the word NO on both knees and my left ankle.  My right ankle got a YES and the disappointed nurse went to go find a hairy knee somewhere
  2.  Overzealous orderlies:  Aimee was in the hospital a couple of years ago with some kidney issues.  Good thing I stayed up there with her most of the time.  After being there a day or so, a guy with an empty wheelchair came in to the room and announced that he was taking my wife down for dialysis!  I said WHAT?!  First of all, she doesn’t even have the required surgically implanted port you need to do that.  Second of all, no doctor had said anything to us about dialysis, thank the Lord.  We told him to go get a second opinion on that and we never saw him again.  Made me wonder what happens to people in the hospital by themselves.

I hope everything goes well and these two stories can be a short distraction.  😊   Later

Alex Fuentes

Some time back I was laid off from United Airlines and took a job working at the 
Longstreet Clinic. Once they found out I spoke fluent Spanish I was quickly put into service as the resident translator. I had one patient in the oncology department who was undergoing chemo. During one of the appointments, I had to translate to the doctor that he was experiencing nausea.  The doctor prescribed a suppository to help with that and scheduled another appointment in two weeks. During the follow up the doctor asked how the medicine was helping with the nausea. I had to translate,"Well doc, I might as well put it where the sun don't shine because it is not doing a thing for me!"  The doctor really did not miss a beat. He said,"That is exactly what you need to do with it."  Moral of the story, never assume people understand how to take medicine!
The second; my brother oversees a wheelchair basketball league (no limits sports) in which some of the kids are truly amazing. Two of athletes due to cancer had up to half of their brain removed. Incredibly, their personalities are intact but half of their bodies have significantly reduced capability or paralyzed altogether. When my brother coaches, he will get on to the players just like anyone else. When one of these special players missed a play during practice my brother went to him and said, "What were you thinking Ryan!"  Ryan said, "What do I know coach, I only have half a brain."  Moral of the story, you can never take yourself too seriously!
But, in all seriousness, we are here for you and your family.  Let us know if you need anything!

Brian Oliver
Funny story – My wife was diagnosed with a cancerous carcinoid tumor in 2010.  To make a long story short, she had to have 3 surgeries that summer (May, June, and July).  One of them was to remove 15 inches of her colon.  Being the funny guy that I am I told her she could go as a semi colon for Halloween.  It was not funny then, but it is funny now.  Safe travels.

Sal Badalamente
I don't have any funny jokes for this occasion but can tell something you surely already know...Duke is an outstanding facility and Lisa is in capable hands.
Most surgeons I have met are athletes or former athletes ... They can stand on their feet and operate for hours without moving anything other than their arms, hands and fingers. They are dedicated and precise individuals.
Brain surgeons in particular are a special breed and they see the world very differently. They will only accept perfection and I was once told by one that he spoke personally with God regarding each of his patients.
If there is anything you need done, i.e.: lawn mowed, car moved or any life related issue please do not hesitate to call or email.
Regarding prayers... I am certain God hears me. Friends always appear when I need them most, and my path always seems to present itself. 
This week I will pray for Lisa's way to be clear. My best to Lisa...
Your friend,


Surgery is complete

The surgeon came out to tell us he was happy. He got all but some small bits of the tumor and believes she could gain all of her eyesight back in a few weeks. The tumor was benign which means "not cancer". It's the best possible news! Obviously it changed the mood and we started rejoicing.

After a couple of hours we were allowed to visit her in two's. Which really meant I could come out and trade partners because I wanted as much time as I could with her.

Lisa was the perfect patient. That's what everyone told me each time we transfered into another wing of the hospital. Over the next 2 days we moved as Lisa got better. She flew through ICU levels until we got to one that forced her to walk around. She did great... and then took a long nap.

We'll be here another three days so I'm sure there will be plenty of milestones to come. For now I'm satisfied that we are well on our way to a full recovery. She's a real fighter. My wife. I'm so proud of her.

Before I go I suppose since this is actually a cycling blog I'll share my one time getting to ride during the 6 days we stayed in Durham. It was on Saturday afternoon and Lisa had been sleeping all morning with the promise of more napping to come. I was tired of being in that room, in that chair, and there's only so much daily television that's worth watching so I made the decision to leave her in the care of the nurses and explore Duke University.

I'd spent the morning memorizing the roads and finding things I wanted to see. There are beautiful gardens and a famous chapel and other pretty things. There are also lots of bike lanes because in a college town there are a ton of people on bikes. So I headed to the car to change and have at it.

I rode around town and to the chapel. I visited a track meet and watched the races for a while. I found a really old cemetery but the oldest year on any stone I saw was 1946. I even found a cool path that traveled along beside a golf course next to a swamp. Weird. But nicely done.

 After that I had to get out my trusty smart phone to find my way back to the car. The ride was a great distraction that wore me out so I could sleep in that stupid chair. I felt a little guilty for doing it but in the end I think I've shown how my bike ride was the right thing to do.

I'm sure you all agree. :)

Thanks for reading!

Chad Hayes