First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who came out to my On Dirt clinics (2 in Charlotte and 1 in Chapel Hill) a little over a week ago. It was really nice to meet all of you, and I loved hearing all of your stories! I was so flattered that so many people came out to ride and hear me talk! Wow!
The plan was to go to Charlotte and Chapel Hill to do some shop visits, meetings, and product videos for my gig with Ergon. I started my On Dirt series this year where I tack on clinics/rides with my work trips. I was flattered with the requests I got in NC and packed my schedule!
First stop was Charlotte:
Monday night was originally supposed to be a Backyard Trails ride with Bike Source. My Charlie Brown cloud followed me to Charlotte, so the trails were rained out. Instead, the crew at Bike Source showed us their “urban” style riding. It was very entertaining watching the guys rally through town and using stairs, ramps, and rocks to do tricks…and trying to outsprint a train! I was definitely cracked from the Pisgah race the day before, but I enjoyed sitting back and watching! I almost got dropped on the first climb out of town! I also got to meet some online friends who were extremely nice and gracious! Chris Muddiman (awesome last name, isn’t it?) and Mike both wrote extremely nice reports from our ride. Thanks guys, super flattered! I was also thankful they were on SS meaning they couldn’t rip at mach 5 on the pavement because I didn’t have it in me!
We stopped by the Pain Cave at Total Cyclist. PAIN is temporary!
Afterwards, the beer gravity turned on full blast and pulled us into Sir Ed’s where we threw back some brews and jokes. I had a local IPA…Triple C something and the best veggie burger I’ve ever had! We were joined by some more of the local crew. Everyone was laughing it up before I came to Charlotte how Dicky is my #1 stalker, but I have to say… he is now demoted. I didn’t see his face once. Chris and Mike however are tied for 1st in Charlotte. 🙂
I also met Danger FTW and Darin(who ironically is from Iowa and used to work with Jeff Kerkove and Guitar Ted at Europa way back in the day, love the cycling world, especially throwbacks!) who are both tattooed and both sport the inner lip “birthmark.” I have never seen a tattoo inside a lip before. There must be something in the sweet tea! Both Matt and Donald from Bike Source AND Darin from Carolina Bike Shop helped me get my bike in working order both before and after Pisgah, so thanks to them!
Tuesday, I was back in action for another night of fun. I was still totally cracked after shop visits all day and from the race. I was glad to find my way into Sunflour Bakery and inhaled a salted caramel cupcake for a mad sugar rush before the Dirt Divas ride and meeting. I was extremely impressed with the women that showed up to ride. It was really nice to see such a solid group of fun women!! We did another urban ride and I tried to be a little braver with some of the “urban tricks.” A few of the guys (thanks Dirt Dudes) came along to stop traffic for us since our group was so large. I was a little shy (which is unlike me) to get up in front of the group at the Kickstand to talk- I think it was probably from the over-complimentary introduction from Laura Gleason!! Once I started talking, I really enjoyed telling stories and being a motivational speaker, so thanks for having me! I loved hearing everyone’s answer to the opening question of the meeting “What’s the name of your bike” and delighted to see a lot of first timers. I was looking forward to our road trip in The Hub sprinter van to the Transylvania Epic with some of the badass Divas. Jana Morris did BOTH the 111k and the 55k over the weekend in Pisgah. 20 hours of riding in 2 days, simply amazing and inspiring! The Drunk Cyclist Chris&Chris made sure I had another IPA in hand that night. My coach actually recommended I have IPAs this week, yes!
Charlotte Dirt Divas that came out to ride!
Next, I got in the car and drove east to Chapel Hill to meet with Performance. We did a group ride at the Briar Chapel Trails and about 50 people showed up! The trails are fun and tight in the woods. The community center at Briar Chapel had a huge pool and a large comfortable setting for me to do a slideshow presentation. Everyone piled in after the ride and enjoyed sub sandwiches, chips, and soda thanks to Briar Chapel and Performance. I loved sharing about my life and all the stuff I’ve learned about cycling. The crowd wasn’t shy asking some great questions and had a good balance of both men and women. I had a drawing at the end for some great schwag provided both by me and some from Performance. Happy campers walked away with Ergon grips, some tires, some of my On Dirt Sock Guy Socks, and some Michael David wine.
The next day I headed back to Charlotte and tried to get my act together before heading to the Transylvania Epic. I was still feeling very tired from the Pisgah race and was concerned. I met up with the Muddimans for a quick ride Friday at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Chris actually helped design them 15 years ago! The trails were really fun and the entire area was really interesting with different outdoor activities. They also have live music Thurs nights!
Local wildlife… Chris AND the turtles!
I organized and packed it up. I went to bed early getting my first moments of downtime in over a week.
The next morning, 7 of us loaded into The Hub sprinter van and drove 10 hours to Seven Mountains Scout Camp outside State College, PA.