Pelton Chronicles

Enjoy the Experience.

Monday, October 01, 2012


This weekend was the final for the CYMBL cycling series.  Logan has been racing up an age group 11-12 instead of 9-10 because he won that age group last year.  To recap, he won the first race by about a minute and the second race by a little under a minute.  This gave him a pretty good lead in the points series.  The race was held at Falling Creek Camp on some pretty tough, but well built trails.  It has a lot of elevation change, some rooty sections and quit a few tight switch backs.  I really thought the trail would fit Logan's strengths with all the climbing.  Little did we know that Cedric Clyburn came to race.  He had been closing in on Logan over the last two races.  He got third place in the first race and second place in the second race.  Saturday he showed up on his mom's Specialized Carbon Epic 29er.  That's right a 29er in the 11-12 race.  But the crazy thing is that he was not the only 11-12 year old on a 29er.  There was another kid on a Niner SS with carbon fork.  Cedric really took it to Logan on this race.  He won by 3 minutes and 3rd was another 3 minutes behind Logan.  Not taking anything from Cedric, but there is a big difference between a 24" Scott and a carbon FS 29er.  And if there are any doubters still out there about 29ers, just go watch one of these kids races.  You will forget what you think about size of rider, power, turning radius, or handling.  Bottom line is ride the biggest wheel you are comfortable with because it makes life better.  
Logan was a good loser...  He did not get upset, raced a hard race, and hung out with Cedric after the race. As a matter of fact they will be racing the Burn 24 next year with some other kids.  Name of the team "Are you faster than a 5th Grader?".  
He did win the Series and got a nice CamelPak, some medals, and good swag!  I am very proud of him and can't wait for the next season to start.  Thanks to all the volunteers, camps, and promoters.  This race atmosphere is really fun for the kids and they have a great time.  I think we may do more of the SERC series starting in the Spring.  BTW I started working on his new ride yesterday.  I am in the process of converting his mom's 26" Trek into a race machine.  Watch out!
Picture and video of race below.  You can see Cedric enter the woods in 4th and the Niner in 3rd.  

My B-Day was yesterday.  37!!! Creeping towards 40 real fast.  Hannah made me the picture below.  Short story is that I like to play Risk on the XBox.  Cute picture though and Eli thinks it is so cool that he is a Robot!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 CYMBL #1

CYMBL racing started back this past weekend.
Due to the fact that Logan won the 9-10 category last season when he was 9, I decided that he was moving up an age group this season.  He was not happy about this decision, but since I pay, drive, sponsor, and support it really did not matter.  Bottom line is that he will get more miles in the 11-12 category, it will make him race harder, and it is a opportunity for growth.  
Nonetheless, we got there and did a quick warm up lap.  Found out that Shrimper was the architect of these trails and it is some very nice single track.  Laps came out to about 1.3 miles.  
Logan lined up at the front of the pack, got the hole shot, and then he was in the woods.  Our warm up lap took about 9 minutes, so I was figuring 7-8 minute laps.  That first lap seemed to take forever as I am always nervous for him.  Sure enough, he comes out the woods about 8 minutes from the start and he is in 1st place.    Less than 1 minute later 2nd and 3rd place come through.  
It pretty much stayed that way all the way through the race.  Results below.

I am very proud of his accomplishments and he is becoming a much better winner.  Nice to see him go around to second and third place congratulating them.  

Afterwards, he stuck road around the course the heckle the 15-16s.  I could hear him up in the woods yelling PEDAL in P111 fashion.  

 Spider Man showed up for the Under 6 race.  You got to love kids.  He apparently wears these so much that his bottoms were wore out.  I can imagine the conversation earlier in the morning and it looks like his Mom lost.

 Podium shot.  Logan is considerably smaller than his competition.
I was not sure what the bow and arrow pose was all about.  Then he tells me about the Olympics.  Apparently he is a Usain Bolt fan.  Fastest Man on the Planet.
Now that is pretty funny.

Next Race 9/8.  Stay tuned.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome to Pisgah!!!!

I have been waiting for this weekend for a few years now and it did not disappoint.  Not literally this weekend  per say, but the weekend that I could bring my boy to Pisgah to ride.  And if the weekend had a theme, it would be, "Welcome to Pisgah"
We got to N.Mills River campground area around 7:15 to meet up with some local trouble makers, Jonathan, J, and Shrimper.  We were all volunteering to help at the P111 this weekend and they were running around marking the course when we got to camp.  By the time they showed up, camp was set and I was enjoying a Dog Fish Head 60min IPA while Logan gulped down a IBC Root Beer.  (Camping Tradition).
Knowing that we needed to be at the Start/Finish around 5:30, we got to bed fairly early.  Saturday 4:30AM rolled around pretty quickly.  We packed up everything except the tent and headed out for our first MTB adventure in Pisgah.
Logan was excited by the race environment and the thought of riding later.  At 6am, race starts at 8, he requested that the bike be removed from the car so he could ride around.  I initially thought this is a bad idea with cars and riders everywhere, but what the heck, we are here to ride.  Go enjoy.  Well shortly after the start of the race we got our things together for our first ride.  I decided we should head up Thrift Cove and ride the bottom of Black Mountain.  This would be the first test.  He did really well and kept a good pace the whole way up the two mile climb.  We paused at the trail intersection for some safety advice and then proceeded to drop in.  For the most part he kept the speed in check and totally enjoyed the ride.  About 100 yards before the bottom he hits a football size rock, it pops up and smacks his big ring and bends it all up.  Welcome to Pisgah!  We walk the bike back to the car, perform some delicate surgery with a pair of pliers, and we head out for round 2.  This time I drive us to the top of 225 and park at the campsite right before the connector trail.  I explained to him the whole way up 475 and 225 that we were going to ride back up this, so be prepared.  The only reason we are doing it this way is because I want you fresh for the technical downhill section.  We drop into Cove Creek and he quickly realized this is much more technical than Black.  There are 2' drops, large rocks, and mud holes everywhere.  He only slipped out one time and hit the ground pretty quickly on a slimy rocky rooty section.  Welcome to Pisgah!  Then we get to one of the many stream crossing that are bridged by a few logs.  He slips, barely holds on to his bike, I grab his hoodie, and we recover.  That was a close one!  It was about a 6' drop to a rocky wet stream bed.  A little more caution was shown at the remaining 5 crossings.  He also got to experience some technical hike a bike after one of the bridges.  It was a really good introduction to what is out there.  We press on, hit the Davidson River Trail and then start our climb up 475.  My expectations of the climbing pace where quickly changed.    Surprisingly, he was holding a pace typical of an all day ride with the guys, ~6mph.  Then the next thing I know he starts turning the screws a little and pulling away.  This makes me chuckle because I know we still have about 3 miles of this left, but I follow and don't say anything.  This pace starts to become a little uncomfortable.  I pass him at a switch back to see what he has and then I turn around and he has stopped for a drink.  Looking back, I should have attacked, but I did not know it was that kind of ride.  Instead I turn around and talk to him about being half way there.  I remind him that once you see Looking Glass on your Right it is a left hand turn and you are almost there.  We start up again and the pace is even faster, ~8mph.  This is the kind of pace you might carry on a long endurance race day, sustainable yet painful.  He has about a 30' gap on me and he keeps checking to see if I am still back there.  It occurs to me that we are now racing.  So I turn it up enough that I think I can catch him at the end, because he has to blow up at this rate.  I turn the left hand corner after looking at the big rock to the right and holly crap, he has a 70 yrd gap.  This is not good.  First, was he listening about the left hand turn up 225 or is he going to go down the back side of 475B?  I start yelling take the left because I realize that I will not catch him by the turn.  I get to the intersection and I can not see him, luckily another rider is coming up at the same time and responds that a 10 year old did not pass him a few seconds ago.  Cool, now I just have to catch him.  So at this point I am in full attack mode.  There is no way he is going to beat me to the car on his first real Pisgah Climb.  I pulled to within about 20yrds of him, but could not make close the gap.  He beat me back!  "Wow" is all I could say.  That was unexpected and emotions of pride and defeat overwhelmed me.  He explained that he thought he was going to throw up and how bad it hurt.  He could not believe he just climbed for 4 miles.   "Welcome to Pisgah!"  I love the fact that he is willing to go that far into the pain cave for a win.  You can not teach that.
We loaded up the car again.  At this point we had about 13 miles under our belts and it was 11AM.  If we hurry, we can see the leaders coming down Pilot Rock in time to make it back to the start/finish.  This time we hike, and I continually explain to him that this is one of the hardest downhills in the forest.  I really wanted him to see first hand how dangerous this area can be.  We stopped a few of the scenic areas for drinks and lunch, then press on.  We met up with Shrimper at the top where Logan learned the valuable skill of heckling the racers as only Shrimper can teach.  Shrimper would blow his horn and yell "PEDAL" at the top of his lungs.  Logan apparently thought this was really cool, because on the way down the mountain he yelled PEDAL as loud as he could at everyone that passed no matter how technical the section was.  We made our way down slowly getting passed every few minutes and jumping into the woods.  We got back to the car around 2pm and I quickly realized that I do not have my keys.  Oh Crap!  So I tell Logan that I remember having them at the Pilot rock garden and I be back.  I make it back up there and look around, no keys.  This is not good.  I get back to the car, starting to panic, borrow a cell phone, and call the Wife.  She calls the Ranger station and Jonathan.  Since I don't know what is going on, I start thinking about my options.  1.  I can break the car window.  2.  walk up to the check point and get a ride to the start finish.  3. go back up Pilot again.  Since it was about 3PM at this point, I figure I have about 5-6 hours of day light.  I might as well keep looking.  So I start up Pilot for the 3rd time after telling Logan to hang tight at the car.  On the way up I say a little prayer and request a small miracle.  I don't need any seas parted or talking bushes, just a ray of light shining on my lost keys.  My way up this time is much more methodical.  I am trying to remember every spot I jumped off the trail to let a racer by, or where I may have stopped to adjust the back pack that the keys were in.  Then about a mile up I see the blue shine of my bottle opener and the keys are just sitting on a rock that we had stopped and took a break on.  Oh Yeah!  I grab them up and hold them tight as I run back towards the car.  On the way down I pass Logan while laughing and and dangling the keys from my hand.  What a relief to open the car and start it up.
And in typical Pisgah fashion there is always an adventure.  "Welcome to Pisgah!"
Once I got a signal on my phone, I called Heather to let her know everything is okay, and I send a text to Jonathan letting him know that we will not be going back to the start finish.  We are spent and just going to the camp since it is now 5:30PM.
We resolve to the fact that we are just going to get some dogs and roast them over the camp fire and relax the rest of the day.  On the way out to Food Lion we pass a P111 racer.  He is walking up N. Mills Road towards 280.  I pull over and ask him if he is okay.  His response is that he wrecked bad around Trace, his knee and helmet was busted up, and was just going to ride the road back to the start finish.  Dude that is like 25 miles back.  Let me pull over, arrange some things, and take you back.  We drive him back and I can't help but think that maybe losing my keys was not so bad after all.  It gave me the opportunity to help a racer that may not have been helped otherwise.  We drop him off and because we are so tired we just head to the store for food and straight back to the campsite.  I was in bed by 8:30 completely toasted from a day that I thought would be fairly easy.
Before I laid my head on the Thermarest, I had to tell Logan how great the day was and "Welcome to Pisgah!"
Now that is a weekend to remember.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

PMBAR and Final CYCL

This past weekend was a good one!  You know its good when you are slap worn out on Sunday Night before the sun goes down.  
It started with a Friday morning trip to the Pisgah National Forest for some relaxation before the big day.  Jonathon had selected a fine camp site at the end of 225 and all we had to do was slowly prepare for tomorrow and enjoy some brew.  
Saturday came around and the normal preparation began, we arrived at the start/finish around 7:20, got our stuff together and then started the climb up Black.
The next 12 hours was just an excellent ride in the Mountains!  We went counter clockwise this year.  Avery, 225, Trace, Laurel, and Bradley.  Even though we ended with the hike up Turkey Pen, I would not have changed a thing.  The wonderful volunteers at Bradley had a keg and bean burritos.  If we would have went the other direction that would have meant we hit them first instead of last, when we needed it most.  
The hike up Turkey was forever and painful, but we rallied and railed down Black to the finish for a 27th place finish.  This is the first year of 7 that we got all 5 check points.
That is my favorite event of the year and I am already looking forward to the next one.  
Thank you Eric, Errina, and all the volunteers!
See link to garmin data below.

The next morning Logan had his final race in Charlotte for the CYCL.  This meant that I needed to get up, pack up the tent, and hit the road by 6:30am in order to meet them there.  
Logan won the race and the series.  It was his best time by over a minute.  He performed his signature disco dance finish while crossing the line and on the podium.  Quite funny.

Logan at the start (pic by Heather)

 On the trail
 Looking Good and fast.

Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Race to the River

It was time to throw down with the locals again...
Since my plans for the weekend fell apart due to marital requests, it left the weekend open for other things like racing.
So Logan and I show up at the race venue around 9am for a 10am start.  As we are starting to warm up I see his Nemesis, Ty Gibbs, rolling around the gazebo.  I let Logan know and I can immediately tell he has some fear in his eyes.  A few words of encouragements like, "this is your house", "you know where to attack, and where to rest", "your a bad ass".  Then they start getting lined up at the start.  There are 9 kids in his group and a couple of them are pretty big.  My guess is that there were 2-3 kids around 13 and everyone else was 11 or under.  BTW it is hilarious to hear the trash talk going on at the start of a race with a bunch of kids.  One kid was talking about climbing this mountain last weekend that was almost straight up.  Another one was said he hiked this whole 9 mile course earlier in the week.
They say go and Logan is 3rd or 4th in the woods.  I know he will not be back for about an hour, so now do I race or just support?  I decide to go ahead and put the kit on, pay my dues, and start the warm up.  I was feeling pretty crappy because I drank way too many beers the night before, but who really cares.  It is just a 17 mile race.  Just before the start, I see Logan finish and Heather is celebrating with him.  I can not tell what they are celebrating, but it looks good.  They say go and the 8 SSers are off.  I can tell in the first part of the fire road climb that I should have warmed up better, and this could be a painful day.  I was last going into the woods.  That has never happened before.  No big deal, still on their wheel.  First big turn and 7th place goes over his handle bars.  Luckily missed that one.  At the quick rocky / rooty climb, 5th crashes and takes out 6th.  Just like that I am now in 4th place.  1st place is really putting the gap on, so I just stick with the 3 man pack.  Comfortably in 4th place we come out of the connector and hit the first little climb after the bridge and I decide to attack before we get to the switchbacks or spider woman.  The attack sticks and now I am in 2nd.  The rest of the race was pretty uneventful.  Felt pretty good the whole time.  Never saw 1st place or 3rd place after spider woman.  Bart won with a time of 1:28.  I came in second with a time of 1:32.  Yeah, that is 4 minutes.  Everyone else was within a minute of each other.
So the first thing I want to know is how Logan did.  Turns out that he got 4th place with a time of 54:20.  First place was 51:31 and Ty Gibbs got 5th with a time of 58:50.  4 minutes and 30 seconds.  Nice job!  It was nice to see that he has some confidence restored and Ty is not some unbeatable force in his head.  From what I understand, they chatted up a bit.  We are going to have to get those boys up to Dupont for some riding.  
Results posted here:

Monday, April 09, 2012

My 2nd 6 hours of Warrior Creek

It has been a few months since my last race and almost a year since my last endurance event. Not knowing what to expect with competition, course conditions, and how my body is going to perform, I just went out there with a good attitude. I did not change tires, basically ran my Pisgah setup, Nevegal front and Ikon back. It is more tire than I need, but I am too lazy to switch things up. Last year I ran a 48" gear on my rigid 69er. This year I rode the Rig with a 46" gear, 33x21. Last year the course was muddy at the start, and this year it was just about perfect. Last year I finished 65 miles in 6:42 for an 11th place finish of 38. This year I finished 65 miles in 6:07 for an 11th place finish of 37. There are too many variables to determine why I was faster this year. Bike, Gear, Conditions, Fitness Level (probably not), but the result was the same. I was a little disappointed, because I really wanted to finish in the top ten and I got passed by 3 SS's on the final lap. As for the positives; I am very happy with the gear choice. I never walked any part of the trail and only started feeling signs of cramping towards the end. The spread between 7-12 place was only a few minutes. The weather was absolutely perfect. The race organization was spot on. All in all, it was a good day!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Logan Has A Nemesis

CYCL (Charlotte Youth Cycling League) had it's second race yesterday and it was a good showing.

To get to the point, Logan suffered his first second place finish at Youth Cycling yesterday. All other losses have been in races that include children 13 and under in lieu specific age group racing. Well yesterday that all changed... Logan got beat, by about a minute, by a Ty Gibbs. This kid raced some of the Renaissance Park races over the winter. In race #1 he lost to Logan by like 5 minutes. Every race after that he consistently got better and his final race was right in the same lap times as Logan. According to one of the parents at the race, Ty has been working with a trainer and really taking his racing seriously. His improvements show it and it is nice to now have some legitimate competition for Logan. BTW I am pretty sure that Ty is the Grandson of Joe Gibbs, NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs. I can say that Ty's FS Giant is nicer than any mtb that I have ever owned. Not that bikes are ever an excuse.
So, I spoke to Logan about taking it to the next level. My plan has been to allow Logan to just enjoy riding. He has solely relied on his talent thus far in races and no training has been involved. He wants me to start coaching him and see what happens. Today we are going to start a 3 day a week training program. This is going to consist of running, road riding, intervals, and pedal technique. I think his technical skills are pretty good and that he could really benefit from some fitness work. This is only an experiment because ultimately I just want him to enjoy the sport, but he is 10 and this is about the age that I started taking sports seriously.

I hope that Ty decides to show up at all the remaining races. I have been searching for this nemesis and it is good to finally have someone to restore balance to Logan's racing. All in all I think that they both will grow more knowing the other one is not slowing down.


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