Archive for December, 2012

Trike rebirth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 27, 2012 by mokelley

This year for Christmas I decided I wanted to give my two-year old a tricycle. But rather than buy one that any other girl might have, I wanted it to be unique. So, I took the red Radio Flyer trike that I gave my oldest daughter five years ago and gave it new life.
I started by stripping off most of the parts and then sanding off the original clearcoat and paint. Then I primed all surfaces with gray Valspar primer. Next up was applying pink and black spray paint. Lastly, I put on new clearcoat and then reassembled everything. A few new parts (such as grips and pedals) rounded out the build.  Unfortunately new grips were only available in red, as I really would have preferred pink.
All in all it cost maybe $20, whereas a new trike would have run around $75 or more. And I rather like the murdered out black on pink.

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Travis on a tear

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 10, 2012 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

Travis Grappo has been on a major running kick lately….trading in his bikes for his running shoes most days and making the most out of it based on some recent results.

First he did the 3-day, 50-mile inaugural Birmingham Stage Race in September, where he took 1st Place Overall with a cumulative time under 8 hours.  Much of this was on some really tough singletrack that featured a lot of ridiculous climbing.  http://birminghamstagerace.homestead.com/Stage_Race_Results.pdf

Then this past weekend he took 1st Place Overall at the Tashka 50K Trail Race near Tuscaloosa.  His average time for the +31-mile race was 7:31/mile.  http://tashka50k.com/

Well done Travis.

EBSCO property explorin’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 4, 2012 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

It had been 4 long weeks since I last hopped on one of my bikes for a real ride (I had done a few early morning indoor trainer rides, but that doesn’t count).  Knowing that the weather could not have possibly gotten much better for December (upper 60s and partly cloudy) I was able to round up a riding partner in Brian.  Due to a little thing called the SEC Championship Game, we decided to make it an abbreviated ride (i.e. back by 2:45) and therefore opted to hit the mountain behind our neighborhood, which is all EBSCO permit controlled land.  Luckily, we both have permits.

We took off from Brian’s house around 1:30, hitting Hwy 41 and then up the Cat 4 climb on Double Oak Way.  Both riding singlespeeds, this climb is a beast.  Definitely not too easy on my 32×16 gearing, though I suspect Brian’s 32×18 didn’t give him much rest either.

We stayed on the pavement all the way to the top of the first long hill, just before the road temporarily plunges before rising back up to the radio/cell tower.  Once at the top, we normally have several options regarding which trails/roads to take….could go to the northernmost power line crossings (which eventually leads to Hwy 25), or the southernmost power line crossings, or down the mountain which leads to Hwy 43 and also to more jeep roads.  Or turn around.  We decided we didn’t have enough time to do many of the less-traveled jeep roads or trails that were closer to Hwy 43, so I made the suggestion to turn around and intersect with a jeep road that I knew would take us to the Forest Parks neighborhood at the crest of Hwy 280.  I had only gone this way once, and Brian had never gone that way, so it made for a nice little adventure.

Oh yeah, the decision to turn around was also a little easier after Brian told me that one of the carpenters in the neighborhood had recently witnessed a black panther in the woods on the outskirts of Mt Laurel.  Those things have been known to take down larger animals and we certainly didn’t want to be a target.

We backtracked on the paved road along the ridge, past where it becomes Double Oak Way, and stayed straight on the descending jeep road.  Then we took the second right turn, which was more of a straightway fork in the road, directly beyond the hard right turn that leads downhill to the Jones Valley Urban Farm.  This jeep road eventually becomes more of a bike trail, and then abruptly stops.  But where it stops there is a small offshoot trail to the right, which links up to a somewhat technical descent into Forest Parks.  We ended up at the uppermost soccer field at the Forest Parks soccer complex, and then hit the road below.

The first time I had discovered this route, I also found the 2-mile trail loop at the Forest Parks neighborhood.  I decided to share this find with Brian and it made for a nice little loop.  At other times of the year (i.e. when not covered in fallen leaves) I imagine this could be a really fast and fun training loop.  Due to the slipperiness of the leaf cover, we were forced to go ahead and walk a few rocky sections where it was hard to either get traction or to find a good line through the rocks.  Once the trail ended, we hopped back on the road, turned left on Essex Drive, and then right on Hwy 280.

We had descended about halfway down 280 when I caught up to Brian to suggest that we turn around and see if there was a trail below the adjacent power lines.  This turned out to be a mistake, as what we found was an extremely overgrown trail leading uphill, only to lead to zero trail heading steeply downhill.  Rather than try to scale rocks with our bikes, we turned around, bushwhacked our way through the 4-foot tall grass, and got back on 280.

By now we had used up most of our allotted time and decided to forego the Dunnavant Valley Greenway Trail in favor of taking Hwy 41 all the way back to Mt Laurel.  While slogging up the long steepish uphill that leads away from Soccer Blast, we only encountered one car driver rude enough to lay on the horn.  Turns out it was my wife!  I’m hoping she knew it was us.

Back to Mt Laurel with a 15-mile ride and 1600 feet of climbing under our belts….great day to be out on the bike with one of my best buds.  I can’t wait until we can start getting more of the team together for some training rides in the spring.

looking back on trail from ridge to forest parks offshoot

looking back on trail from ridge to forest parks offshoot

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entrance to forest parks offshoot trail

entrance to forest parks offshoot trail

looking back up the trail from where it hits the forest parks soccer fields

looking back up the trail from where it hits the forest parks soccer fields

at forest parks soccer field, looking towards trail

at forest parks soccer field, looking towards trail

brian making the best of it

brian making the best of it

nowhere to go but down

nowhere to go but down

that's hwy 280 down there

that’s hwy 280 down there

unbelievably fit and good looking

unbelievably fit and good looking

detail map at forest parks

detail map at forest parks

overall ride map

overall ride map