Tuesday, November 24, 2015

For What Are You Thankful?

So for what are you thankful for this holiday season? When life gets hectic and it seems like you just want to give up, stop and take a minute to reflect on just how lucky you are, in some form or another, to be able to do the things you can in this world.

Here is my top (5) 'What I am Thankful For' List 2015:

5. Team Mates - Together Everyone Achieves More

4. A Great Workplace/Profession - 11 Years This Year

3. Health And Prosperity -  Need It...Want It

2. Friends And Family - Life's Initial Building Blocks


1. Just Living - Take A Look Around, We're Small In Comparison To The Big Picture

I know that there are a lot of things I could have chosen for my list, but when it all boils down to it, the simplest things in life tend to be the most dear and precious to us all.  I hope that ya'll have a great holiday season and truly do appreciate all that you have in your life.  Believe it or not, life is short, so enjoy it!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015


Well here it is almost end of the season and near the end of 2015. More importantly Thanksgiving and the holiday season are upon us! This time of year we should be thankful for our family and friends but as part of Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team powered by Pathfinder I’m thankful to all of our sponsors for their support. We would not be able to do what we do without the support that you give us.
 I hope all of my teammates are thankful for the year that they have had. Here is to a bigger and better year ahead! I am thankful for this past season but I’m dreaming of what next season can bring. Lots of hard work will start very soon for my new goals. Well I guess I better go dust of my trainer and rollers to puts those goals into motion.

Friday, November 6, 2015


I thought this season would finish up with 3 or 4 Cross races but it didn't quite work out that way. I found myself sick at the end of road season in August and it lingered for a month. 2 rounds of antibiotic and 2 months later I am feeling better and am able to get out and enjoy easy rides. It is nice to get out and enjoy riding bikes without expectation or intervals. The roads in my neck of the woods have little traffic and the fall colors are inspiring.

I find comfort in the roads less traveled. Fall is the perfect time to explore new routes.

If your not on the cross course then get yourself out on the road and soak up the fall colors. You won't regret the time you spend with friends before cold winter days roll in. 

Enjoy the Ride! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Time to cool things a little....

After many years being away from the game, I finally laced up the skates and started playing a little hockey again. It started this summer with a pickup game a couple times a week and eventually lead to playing in an adult "Jurassic" league in Indiana PA.  I'd forgotten just how much I love to play this game and look forward to Sunday afternoons for more than just sitting in front of the TV watching NFL football.  

I have been blessed to have amber and Mackenzie travel with me on a few occassions, and I love seeing Mack's eyes light up when we talk about the sport.  On one occassion, I told her I had a surprise for her and her response was "a hockey stick??".  That wasn't what her surprise was, but it warmed my heart to hear her get so excited that maybe it was.  Truth be told, she already has 3 hockey sticks of various descriptions. 

I'll add a few more photos but we are experiencing technical difficulties at work, so this will have to hold you over.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Life is Awesome

Recently in English class we watched a TED Talk on how life can be awesome if you let it be; it talked about the three As of awesome: Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity. It was done by a man named Neil Pasricha, who has a blog and has published a book called "The Book of Awesome". I'm not going to go very in depth into it because the video is everywhere and it would serve you better to watch it than to read my description of it. The basic idea, though, is that with these three things, you can see awesomeness in everything. This has got me thinking about everything that I think is awesome in the world, from simpler things like cold fall afternoons and snowy nights to more obvious things like cycling and physics. In this blog post I'm simply going to list a few things that I find to be exceptionally awesome, each followed by a brief explanation.
(Here is a link to the TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/neil_pasricha_the_3_a_s_of_awesome?language=en)

Going out of your way while walking to step on the crunchy leaves
I love walking home from school and taking very wide, awkward strides just so I can crunch as many leaves as possible. When I see a leaf ahead and plan to step on it, only to find, when I do, that it is very soft and damp, a pure sense of disappointment runs though my mind. However, that disappointment is countered many times over by the amount of satisfaction that I get when I step on a leaf and hear that wonderful 'ckrunch' sound, like biting down on a kettle-cooked potato chip. This is even better when my feet are cradled in my wonderful Swiftwick socks.
Image result for crunchy leaves

Walking down the road at night after a fresh snow
Snow on its own is incredibly awesome, as is night time, and peaceful walks. The combination of all three is really too good for words, but I'm going to try it here. Walking down the road at night after a fresh snow when my footsteps are the only disturbance on the pristine white surface is definitely on my list of "Top 10 Things that I Live For".

Mountain biking in the fall
I love mountain biking, of course, and something about doing it in the cool fall air with the leaves on the ground makes it that much better. There are all kinds of reasons but I'll try to mention the less obvious ones. The leaves crunch when you ride over them - as you can tell I love the sound of crunching leaves. You don't sweat as much; sweating isn't that bad, but it's definitely more comfortable to be slightly cool than boiling hot. It's also awesome that my Kenda Slant-Six Pros work all the way until the first snow-fall.

This one is pretty simple to explain: physics is everything. Snow is physics, biking is physics, driving is physics, living is physics. That's all for this one.
Image result for physics

Music is awesome. I'm always amazed by how music can relate to so many people on so many different levels. I'm also amazed by the fact that music being so relateable means that somebody else knows pretty much exactly how you feel, happy sad or otherwise. I love music and recently went to a concert for my favorite band, The Front Bottoms. At this concert I had a great time with people who I've never seen before and may never see again. Music brought us all together regardless of how different we might be, apart from our music tastes. Music is incredibly awesome.

The idea for this blog popped into my head late in the night. Being dark, I couldn't really get a good picture of leaves. Being not winter, I couldn't get a picture of snow. I didn't really know what to do for the picture of physics or music. For these reasons, all these images came from a simple Google search, which is actually awesome as well - that I can find some beautiful images(and so many more amazing things) with a simple key word search. I Wish I could have made this post longer but I was feeling pretty enthusiastic about the idea and wanted to write it down before I forgot about it! I also have to get up early for the ABRA Franklin Cyclo-Cross race tomorrow morning!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Duo Racing 2015 Recap, Part 2: The Big Bear 2x12 Mountain Bike Relay

Just two weeks after a win at the Mountain State Dirty Double, Derek and I thought we would test our skills on a little fatter tires over considerably rougher terrain, The Big Bear 2x12 Mountain Bike Relay.  Two days before the race we headed up to Big Bear Lake campgrounds in Hazelton, WV for a pre-ride of the course.  The course was in excellent condition...dry and fast...just the conditions that I prefer to race.  However, the weather for race day would be a different story.   After rains set in all day Friday and Saturday morning, the course was going to be less than desirable.   While checking in at the venue, we recognized only one of the fifteen teams that we would compete with in the Men's Veterans category--Scott Benson and Gerry Pflug.   My initial though was "Oh, Craaaap".   These two gentleman are fast and have a strong resume of wins on mountain bikes.  Although they showed up with fat bikes, anyone would be foolish to think that they would be slow.

Derek lined up at the starting line for our first lap.    After a long gravel climb to thin the pack, Scott entered the woods ahead of us.    It was clear that the course was going to be muddy as the lead racers crossed the far end of the airstrip race venue 1-2 miles into the race with team uniforms that were barely recognizable.  At the end of that first lap, Derek had a lead on Scott and all other veteran teams.   However, Scott was not far behind, rolling up the cross-over bridge as Derek was exchanging the baton to me.

In the first few miles after I began my lap, I was surprised at how muddy the course was--worse than I had ever ridden it over the past 10 years.  But, I was more concerned that Pflug would be effortless rolling by me any minute.  In fact, I probably had as much difficulty staying on course due to continuously looking over my shoulder for him as I did with the mud.  As luck would have it, I held on to that lead and finished the first lap ahead of him.

So, Derek was off again for another amazingly fast lap in the worsening muddy conditions, finishing in the lead, and leaving me once again for a lap of muddy paranoia.  Fear of being chased down kept me moving on the first lap.  But, would fear be enough to keep me moving as fast while considerably more tired on the second lap?  As I motored on, slipping and sliding, I began to forget that I was being chased down.  The racers were more spread out.  I didn't see anyone behind me, or in front, for miles.    Then, all of a sudden I heard the sandy, grinding sound of a drivetrain closing in fast.  Adrenaline kicked in... but only for a moment as I soon realized the passerby was one of the pro/ex leaders.  A couple of miles later, I managed to roll through the finish in the lead, giving Derek and I a nice 2nd win for 2015.

Monday, October 26, 2015

So,What Have You Been Up To Since We Last Spoke? (Part Deux)

Well guys and gals, it's my favorite time of year again!!! (well, except for Oktoberfest month) It's FALL of course. That is when we can relax a bit since road season is over, enjoy a nice long ride through the Western Pennsyl-ginia countryside with our friends and soak in the scenery...

Ah, this is what i'm talking about!! Early in September, Mr. Jim and I ventured down to his old stomping grounds in Charlottesville, VA to do some relaxing, riding, and of course spectate at UCI Worlds. This is the first time in 33 years that the UCI races have been in the United States, so Jim and I planned this trip back in March when we were in Crozet, VA getting in some long distance, early season rides. The city of Richmond played host to the races and they did a fantastic job. The crowds were large each day for the races and the city looked great and the atmosphere was electric, especially on Sunday for the UCI Men's Elite race.  While we were in town one day, we ran into the Swiftwick rep, so we stopped and chatted with him for a bit and, of course, picked up some swag!!! #dowhatmovesyou

I think the most exciting part of the weekend for me was just spending some quality time with Jim and our friends in Virginia. The riding in that part of the world is amazing, and if you ever get the chance to take a ride there, DO IT!!

Well, back to reality and Pittsburgh where the leaves are changing and CX season is just starting for me. The first race of the year was Kickoff CX in Point Marion where the team had a great showing and snagged a few podiums!!!
(in amongst the raindrops that is) I think JR. appealed to the higher powers for rain on that weekend so I would actually get dirty, but I guess we'll never know.........Hmmmm

A lot of folks take their CX racing very seriously, but I just enjoy being out there on my bike, riding, and enjoying the company of my friends!!! For me personally, a bad day on the bike is better that a good day at the office. So, the second CX race was The Mason-Dixon CX race in Mount Morris where I had my very first DNS (Did Not Start) ever, since I had a nasty fall in warm ups. I'm still feeling the aches and pains today, but will be back out there for The Franklin CX race on October 30th.

Well kids, that's it for now, but I'll leave you with one of my favorite moments from the past few months......