Friday, December 08, 2006

08 December 2006 - Recording cancelled

Well the PC called and cancelled on me just as I was preparing to leave Tues night! Apparently they waited until then to review what I sent them for my counter-suit last Fri. They then decided it was too much for them to handle. I guess they can't handle dealing with an actual case with real issues that need resolved that have a detailed list with facts! I imagine, as in most of the reality shows, they are just looking for the rediculous, throw-out cases strictly for entertainment!Oh well, I guess I'll wait and see if I get served. Apparently they find these things in public records in area courts. So, he must've filed with his court in NJ. They sent me a copy of his filing, but it did not have any dates or case numbers. They stated all that they heard was late December.

Friday, December 01, 2006

01 December 2006 - Duuh-da-da…da^-dunt….

SIT DOWN!!! You are about to get a big laugh!

I received a letter in the mail from People’s Court! Yes, seriously, the TV show! Apparently it is claiming that Mr. PJ Vinch III, the person who sold us our Vette, has filed a small claims suit against me. I have no idea what this guy is thinking! This is absurd! I paid him every dollar as per our agreement, and have it all documented. If anyone was to sue someone it would be me against him for failure to supply all the goods promised with the sale, and for the false advertisement in his add about the condition of the vehicle and parts! I actually threatened to take him to court a couple of months ago because of his failure to follow through as promised. My cousin, the officer, was even there to witness his continued promises. I chose not to mainly due to time and hassle since it was the same time I was traveling the world for work. We were also dealing with the house situation. I have all of our email correspondence and the receipts from buying all the parts and work on the engine just to get it to start. He has no legs to stand on!

Anyhow, this letter is a 1 page write-up asking me to call-in and discuss my side of the case. I would definitely do it if they were to pay me up-front and put in writing they would not make me look ridiculous unless of course it was a large amount of money! Last thing I want is to be on world TV and made a fool of like the American Idol contestants. But then maybe this would open up my movie career I always wanted!? Hahaha

The letter claims there is a suit filed. I have yet to be served by a real court. It states that if we do this the People’s Court pays all of the court fees and judgments. Basically if some ridiculous reason if he were to win I would not pay a dime, but if he lost, as he should, I would be given the amount claimed. Julie and mom both think this is ridiculous that I shouldn’t do it…What are your comments?! I have called-in but I had to leave a voicemail. My first question will be “What suit has been filed against me?”, as there is no explanation for his suit on this letter. Then I will ask why he doesn’t do it in a real court. Most-likely because the court would throw it out!!

Anyhow, send me your comments! I’ve not stopped laughing since last night!!! hahahahahahahahaha

Monday, November 13, 2006

13 November 2006 - It was a cold ride

It was a cold ride, but a good one! Yes, I finished the brakes with another late night on Sat at 3AM Sun. All that was left was hooking up the throttle cable. This was no easy task. The only easy part was buying a ball stud, but then I had to attach the cable. The original cable did not have the plastic fitting on the end for a bracket, instead it was clamped. So, I bought a universal bracket, the only one I could find, and found a small bracket to clamp the cable housing onto it. It worked!

The brakes still need some work. I had to go back a few times to re-tighten some fittings that had some small leaks. I also need to have a 2nd helper to help me make sure all air is out of the system, as it is pretty soft still. It was pretty difficult doing it solo, and at 2AM!

I also spent a few hours at the office in the model shop Sat morning to weld the radiator support. I had to manufacture some brackets to be able to mount the correct radiator in the car. The radiator and support that were in the car were for an automatic big block engine. I then painted it up and it actually looks like it belongs!

Anyhow, I took the 1st drive yesterday afternoon. Deffinitely need to get some new shocks as it is like sitting on a board it is so stiff! However, I can tell already that it has a ton of power! This is gonna be one fun ride when it's done!

Friday, November 10, 2006

10 November 2006 - Easy day, Hard night

Last night was spent working on the car again. I'm getting frustrated with getting this thing driving! I was up until 2AM. I did get a lot accomplished. I reinstalled the shifter assembly and mounting plate, the mounting bracket for the transmission, attached the transmission to the bracket, tightened down all the bolts in the drivetrain (new u-joints installed), installed the rear differential mounting bracket, did a lot of cleaning of the underside (as we'll be getting a lift to park Julie's car under it), re-attached the front cable for the parking brake (started installing the rear and the new shoes), installed the clutch assembly, and to top it off I put in about 8 gallons of premium gas which was only $1.47 per gallon!!!! Yup...$1.47 per gallon!!! I filled up the Tahoe and the gas cans. Too bad I was limited to 30 gallons.

Today a co-worker is planning to help me with modifying the radiator support. It is not the correct one (it is for a big block) so the radiator is too small for it. We have 2 mounts welded on already but need 2 more and a clasp. Then I'll need to rig-up the hoses until I get the correct ones. It'll be hard to keep them from interferring with the fan and belts. However, I will not continue using the blocks of wood as we no longer live in WV...Hahaha!

Tonight I'll be doing the rear brake line blocks, parking brakes, installing the new rotors and pads, and filling the brake system with brake fluid. I also need to figure out how to connect the accelerator cable. I bought a universal bracket, but it won't work on its own. I just hope to get it all done. I really want to be able to drive it by the end of the weekend, as I'll be gone for training Tues to Thurs and upon returning we'll be heading to Disney World not returning until after Thanksgiving.

I've been posting things on ebay again, hoping to make some more money to help offset some of the car costs. Selling a lot of bike stuff and other misc things from around the house.

I also need to find time to squeeze in oil changes for our Tahoe and GP. I figured once the Vette is drivable I can remove it from the ramps to use for the changes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

06 November 2006 - Iceman results are in!

A good friend of mine deserves major KUDOS!!! Congrats to Mike "SiMonster" Simonson on winning the Iceman as well as the proclaimed Midwest Triple Crown! Link to the article on VeloNews: Way to go, Mike!!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

05 November 2006 - Apples or Pumkins?

Thane can't decide which he likes best.

Here he decided to have an apple, or two! We saw the fridge door open, then when we walked over there he was on the floor having a snack! hahaha The 2nd picture is him showing off his new pumkin that he carved with his daddy.

Friday, November 03, 2006

03 November 2006 - No snow here.

I received a call yesterday from my good friend Doc D. Apparently they were having yet another snow storm back home in Michigan. HA! Too bad I had to move. The only thing I miss living in Virginia is the lack of good quality mountain bike trails. Although I can't complain lately because I haven't touch a bike since I traveled to China for work over Labor Day. That is except to move them to the new house.

Everone in the midwest should currently be heading up to the Iceman Cometh Challenge race going down tomorrow morning. That was always a great weekend of fun. Another thing about the Michigan racing scene that will be missed. If we weren't heading off to Disney World for Thanksgiving I would've taken a long weekend to drive up for the event. I'll be trying to plan for it for next year.

Anyhow, I finally got moving on the car again. Night before last I pulled the half shafts back out of the car and removed the u-joints. The 1st was pretty easy, but then Murphy decided to help out... I had to bring the 2nd into work for some access to bigger tools! I was able to remove one using a hand press. The other I first tried the hand press, then tried a hydrolic press, finally I had some help from a toolmaker in beating it out! What a job! I was sure glad when I reassembled them that they went together with only some light tapping. Tonight I need to take another look at the main driveshaft as I ned to replace those 2 joints as well.

I was also able to order the needed parts for the clutch assembly yesterday also. I needed everything from the pedal push rod to the fork. I'll also need to drop the trans back out of the car to remove the bell housing to install the fork. Initially it was thought that it could be installed after, but that was discovered to be wrong. Oh well, practice makes it perfect, eh! So, hopefully I will be able to drive it for the 1st time next week!

I'll post more on happenings and photos soon!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

26 October 2006 - Painters' touch

We've fully moved into our new home and it is nice to once again have room...too much room! After not opening boxes for 10 months we should just sell everything that is in them! Afterall, we haven't used whatever is in them, right!? Anyhow, mom is still here and is helping us paint the rooms which we'll post photos of soon. So far mom and I have painted the kitchen, sun room, master bedroom, and some ceilings.

I'll be getting back to working on the car this weekend. I plan to replace the U-joints as well as paint the garage walls with primer after touching-up the rough mud job by the builder. I will then paint the walls in a "sky-blue" color to make it bright and look like a showroom for the Vette! I also have 2 of 4 cool-white flourescent lights mounted, with plans to mount the remaining 2 this weekend as well. I had to run additional wiring and a switch with an outlet for them.

Nathaniel continuously runs around the house, and has enjoyed his new found freedom! He has his own HUGE bedroom as well as a toy room! I still need to mount his baseball ceiling fan, and the ceiling fan in the great room. I'm lucky to not have had to return to China, as my co-worker has been there since the beginning of the month and is not cleared to come home anytime soon!

My nephew, Brenden, is making a return trip to the NFL Youth Flag Football National Championships at Disney World again this year! His team easilly handled all the opponents last weekend nearby in Regional competition in Randalstown, MD, boy was it a long day. His team mercied all others until he met his younger sister's all girl team who took them to the full time of play, but they only scored 1x against the boys who won by 3 touches. Taylor's team also won all their games until that play-off game with her brother's, upsetting (litterally) all the boys teams! We'll be going this year to watch as they play at the Wide World of Sports Complex on-site at Disney on my birthday Nov. 18th. We'll also be staying for an additional 3 days to take Thane to the theme parks, we just need to find a place to board the 2 dogs.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

19 October 2006 - The move-in.

We’re finally moved in, but not quite settled yet. We have a lot of boxes still left to unpack. We also need to paint, as the entire house was sprayed in light beige from floor to ceiling. All of the ceilings will need to be painted white, to help brighten it up a bit, and the many rooms will get their own colors to help break them up a bit. The garage is being fitted with fluorescent ceiling lights and will also be painted, floor to ceiling. We will also be looking to have a 3 bay built-on to the current 2-bay garage so all 3 vehicles can be indoors.

Nathaniel is now rolling out of bed at night, as we are transitioning him to a standard bed. Prior to the move he was climbing out of his crib in the mornings if he woke up before us.

I need to acquire a few more parts for the car to have it drivable. Then I will be able to take it in for exhaust. I need to get parts for the clutch and the transmission linkages then I can drive it to get the exhaust put on since it only has headers. It is now registered in VA with an antique plate customized as “68 SHRK”. For the truck I got the plate as “1FG SS”. I am also officially a Virginian, as I also picked-up my VA driver’s license. Julie still needs to get hers. Not sure if she will customize her plate.

The yard is growing in pretty good. I’m continuing to put down grass seed and we have also bought trees to plant as privacy barriers. I’ll look to place them tomorrow as I am taking the day off from work for more organization of the house, and mounting the garage door openers. My mom has been with us since the move started last Wed, and has been an awesome help with Thane. Without her here it would’ve been almost impossible to move as quickly as we did. Plus we were able to hold Thane’s 2nd b-day party last Saturday following the move-in. He was a load of fun opening his gifts…can’t wait for x-mas!

We have plenty of room now so we’re hoping our friends and family will come to visit us! Please let us know if you can make it for a visit! The road riding is great, and there are also many historic locations for sight seeing. We are also just a short drive from the Baltimore/DC area which is loaded with tourist sights!

Not sure what our plans will be for the holidays yet…we hope to be able to visit the family and some friends!

Friday, September 29, 2006

29 September 2006 - Distributing my time

Tonight I'll be putting in a new distributor. After buying a new HEI unit and getting it installed and the engine timed I discovered that my tachometer is mechanical. It ended up being cheaper to buy a new modified HEI distributor, which was 3x's the cost of the 1st, rather than to send in the tachometer to have it converted to electronic. The bonus is I am only out on the shipping! Just a couple of hours after posting my situation on the Corvette Forums board I had a buyer for the one I had originally bought and installed. I had only ran it for about a total of 1hr during the tuning of the engine.

I also finally trimmed-up the gas line, so the line you saw sticking up above where the hood would be during the video I shot is now where it should be. I have just a small amount of hose, a lentgh of about 3", between the carburator and the hard line coming up from the fuel pump. However, I still need to pull-off the carburator lines to fix a leak. It seams to be leaking at the seal where the filter is placed into the line. One thing not yet in-place is the new radiator, so I still have the large old one propped-up in the front end with wood blocks and duct tape holding the hoses away from the fan! I'm definitely fitting in with the rednecks here! HAHA

Thursday, September 21, 2006

21 September 2006 - Can you hear me now?

Well, I'm back from China, but I can't seem to stop eating with chopsticks and eyeing the dogs longingly? I'm missing the orient so much that I'm already planning to go back. Yup, I will be heading back again in a few weeks. However, this time the supplier must show me that they have completed all tools and addressed all of the open issues I pointed out during the 1st trip prior to my arrival for this next trip. This is critical as Julz and I are scheduled to close on our new house the 18th of October! Yup, you read that right, we will finally be getting out of this crappy rental. Not sure how we will sleep at night not hearing the semi's rolling down the highway 24/7! Maybe I should record the noise to be played on the stereo while we sleep at night?!

Also, we'll get away from our white-trash redneck neighbors! These people are rediculous! I think I mentioned it before, but my original goal was to have the car drivable by Sept. Well, when the China trip was scheduled it changed to having it running. I made it with a week to spare. My parents arrived a day before I left, on Labor Day weekend, and I started the car for my dad. The couple next door came storming outside yelling and cussing at me saying I shouldn't be restoring a car. This coming from a typical redneck who does daily grinding on his daily-driver 80's Ford pick-up and keeps touching up the primer orange paint with his spray cans! HAHAHA They also threatened to call the po-po. Well, last night I called his bluff and was looking forward to having the police show up. Why? Because my cousin, a cop, was there as well! Best part was the guy flew into his driveway nearly hitting my cousin and coming just inches from some items I had sitting in the shared driveway, on my side. My cousin just shook his head and stated, "boy, the cops would be here in a minute if he would've touched me, because there would definitely be a problem!"

Yes, I only have headers on the car right now, but it is not even loud enough to drown-out the highway noise. Also, it is only a small block just lightly modified. It actually has a nice sound to it, especially when it is idled-up a bit. It is by no means necessarry to wear earplugs, which I originally did. This was also only the 4th time I have started it. The 1st 3 times were a max of 15mins. This 4th time was a bit longer totalling about 30 minutes due to the many tweeks for tuning the timing in on the engine and carb.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

06 September 2006 - Getting homesick

Well, I'd like to start digging a hole so I can come home, but contrary to belief digging a hole through the Earth would not take me home, insstead I'd come out in the northern tip of Argentina! That would be interesting... (

Anyhow, work has taken me to China again for the launch of a new product. If you want to know the lottery numbers just drop me an email...but you'll have to share your winnings! I'm 12hrs ahead here as it is currently 7:35AM on Thursday where at home in the Virginias it is 7:35PM on Wednesday.

I'm still not fully onto the new time schedule. Hopefully I will not have too much difficulty switching back! I'm currently scheduled to return next Friday, 15 September. I was initially scheduled to return this Saturday, 9 September, but I knew that would not happen. However, at the same time I was hoping that things would not be as scewed up as they are here at the supplier! What a mess!

Julie and Thane are trying to keep busy, but they are missing me alot, as I am missing them! Hopefully I will be able to get the supplier back on track so I will not have any further delays or trip extensions. here are a couple photos of a typical dinner location. The supplier has been treating us to lunch and dinner every day. The locations are amazing, we are always in a special secluded room which has a sitting area, dinning area, restroom, and a side door to its own kitchen. Awesome food and my chopstick skills are pretty good once again.

Well, I must get ready for breakfast just a couple of minutes away. Then it's off to the plant again for another full day, as we've been averaging a work day of about 12-14hrs.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

31 August 2006 - Late night

Yup, figured I'd work on the car while the wife and kid sleep. This will help me get onto China time...I hope. As the last trip I had difficulty sleeping on the plane. Although that was probably due to flying in coach while my then previous boss was in business!! This time it is looking good as I'm on a stand-by list for business and there are currently 8 open seats...keeping my fingers crossed.

So, I took out the half shafts, the main drive shaft will require a bit more work. However, I'm taking 1 half of the pair in to Autozone tomorrow to order the u-joints and any other items needed to rebuild these. I know I need atleast 6 u-joints.

I also learned via the Corvette Forum that vinegar is a strong enough acid to remove rust! So I'll also be buying the largest container, or many of them, to soak my rusty parts in from now on. So far I've been cleaning the parts with brake cleaner before and after scrubbing the rust away with wire brushes and steel wool. What a knuckle buster! This process is to just melt the rust away, I'll just need to rinse it off then lightly go over it with some steel wool and rinse it again and dry it.

I'll be posting pics soon...also I'm looking into how to get the video links to work!

Mom and dad are coming to visit tomorrow (tonight, as i see it is after midnight). They will spend the holiday weekend here with Julie and Thane while I'm out of town. They all plan to go to the C&O canal rail trail for a ride if the weather is nice. As of now there is a chance of rain all weekend.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

29 August 2006 - It's ALIVE!!!

Not a single backfire! This thing is all but dialed-in. Not having mufflers on would make it hard to fine-tune the rockers. But try as I might, I could not hear much knocking of the rockers. Although they should be darn close as we went through the rockers a couple of times prior to starting it up. The distributor will ground out and stall the engine if we connect the tach, so I'll need to trace back the wire to see if it is grounded somewhere.

THANKS FOR THE HELP, MATT, SCOTT, and the crew on the Corvette Forums!

Enjoy this video clip! (If I can get the link to work.)

Engine's 1st start

Monday, August 28, 2006

28 August 2006 - A hint of ...

smoke rolled out of the engine bay as the engine tried to fire! Yup, it seems I have a weak ground, but it fired 2 cylinders!! Tomorrow I'll mount new grounds for the block and the battery then fire it up! It seems the so-called new distributor I bought was faulty. A co-worker, Scott from our model shop, lent me an old HEI distributor and it produced the spark that I've been longing for. So I placed the plugs on and turned it over. After bumping it a few times to prime the fuel pump I turned the key and heard the sweet sound of it trying to fire. WOW, so close! Tomorrow may be the day! Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

25 August 2006 - "Short" delay.

Well, tried to start the car tonight but there seems to be a problem. It seems that the "new" distributor does not work. I just bought a new assembly. I am not getting any spark at the plug, however the wireing is showing power to the distributor and the starter is turning the engine over fine while also pumping gas. On the upside, most of the wiring seems in good order, as the lights (that are not dead or missing) are lighing up. Tomorrow I will once again try to get the passenger rear brake caliper off (the last one) as it has 2 bolts bad, 1 broke off and 1 stripped. I plan to grind off the head to get it off, hopefully without damage. We also attended Corvettes @ Carlisle today. If you're into Vettes you have to go! It is huge! We only saw a portion, but I still managed to drop $500 or so in parts like new SS brake lines, gas sending unit, door sills, and other small items.

Friday, August 25, 2006

24 August 2006 - Slight delay

Well, I think I know what all parts are missing to get this thing started...I need a short list of things then I can start it up! We went through and set the distributor in it's location, discovered Summit sent me the wrong plug wires. Double checked all the rockers as being snug. The starter is kicking over good, and from the key! Need to get a new fitting for the tach and battery for the HEI distributor. Need to get a fuel line from the pump to the carb. And finally get a couple of plugs for the intake and water pump along with a slightly longer belt and it will be ready to fire! I hope to post pics and a video of it tomorrow, while it's running!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

23 August 2006 - Ready...set...FIRE! FIRE!!

Well, tomorrow just might be the day! I hooked-up the battery tonight along with the starter and dropped in the distributor. Matt will be coming over again after work to help me fire it up! Hopefully all goes well and I can get power to everything I need, mainly the starter and distributor. The old radiator is hooked-up and just sitting in the front end. I almost didn't have a car to restore. Yup, as the title of this post hinted, I had a start of a fire! When I hooked up the battery the main power cable for the starter was grounded causing the wire to throw sparks and begin to smoke!!! Whew! That was a close one! But situation resolved, and I was able to engage the starter. Tomorrow I'll post some pics and possibly a video!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

15 August 2006 - Special thanks!

A special thank you for my co-worker, Matt, and my cousin, Keith, for coming over tonight to help get the engine mounted in the car. Now I just need to get things hooked up! The engine and transmission is mounted. I need to connect the trans to the drive shaft, the engine needs to be hooked to the gas lines and the tank needs cleaned, it needs hooked to the battery, and the radiator needs to be installed and hooked to the engine and heater. Then I will be ready for the start-up! Julie made an excellent vegi-lasagna that was devoured at abour 8:30PM when we finally finished hooking-up the engine. Here are a couple pics...slight issue might need to be seems there is a possible clearance issue with the hood to the air cleaner. It also looks like a challenge to get the headers installed. Although it was mentioned that the Hooker comp headers are a good fit...we'll soon find out!

14 August 2006 - It's been a while

It's been busy as usual here with work and home. We'll be headin' home to MI this Thurs after work. Our friend Bernie is gettin' hitched! We'll also be visiting my grandparents. Next weekend we'll be attending a nearby Vette weekend in Carlisle, PA just a few miles to the north. We hope to find some needed car parts and advice from other C3 owners. Then the following weekend, 9/2 I'll be gettin' on a plane for my 2nd trip to China for the launch of one of my new products. I'll be there, missing the holiday, for a minimum of 1 week, but prob actually 2 weeks. Yup, as long as it doesn't rain...20% cousin and friend from work will be helping me put the engine back into its place in the car! I'll also try to get the trans hooked up. Then I'll just need to hook everything up engine wise, and get the brakes complete for the start-up and Julie's 1st "easy" test drive to check it all out. But 1st I'll have to finish re-doing the seats. I have 1 seat frame re-assembled after cleaning it and rust-proofing it, but I have not yet purchased new foam and trim. The bonus pic attached is of Julz and Thane. He wanted to say goodnight after his bath. When he saw me with the camera he blurted-out "cheeeeez" and did his best smile, so I just had to turn and click!

Monday, July 24, 2006

24 July 2006 - Julz in her Vette

Finally got Julz in her new-old Vette tonight. We took Thane to my cousin's church to ride horses and pet some animals, then I went for a short ride. Over the weekend I spent a lot of time finishing up the engine on the car. I'm ready to fire it up for the first time! I just need to get it mounted into the car. I'll be buying a new alternator, distributor, and water pump tomorrow. Below are a few new pics. The engine is actually complete with all the dress-up items on it now, but didn't get a pic. I also replaced the old orange bolts you see with new raw bolts (silver in color). The dress-up kit is all matte black with Chevy Orange script, which looks sweet!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

09 July 2006 - Busy, busy, busy!

Well, that’s all that can be said about the last couple of weeks. The 24Hrs of Summer Solstice did not go as planned, and I was pretty disappointed to say the least. I was initially going to fill-in for a team that was short a few riders in the corporate class, then it was changed to riding with my close friends in the 5-man, but when I arrived I was placed back on the other team. I was actually going to cancel and stay home to work on the car until I was told I was riding on the 5-man team! Well, the start of the race was going great until just about 2 miles in when my chain somehow wedged in-between the granny and middle ring! It took loosening the ring bolts to get it out! I went from sitting comfortably in 2nd on the leader’s wheel to find myself having to pass what seemed to be the entire field! I still somehow managed to keep the team in 14th place after the opening lap…I guess it was the anger from the chain issue, not once but twice during that lap! Returning to camp I removed the granny ring and adjusted the set-screws, but when I placed my cranks back on the retaining bolt of the Shimano cranks failed. No one had a replacement, and the on-site Shimano mechanics stated to borrow one to draw the cranks tight before removing the bolt and tightening the crank arm. They said ride it and it will be fine. Well, my warm-up was great but on the first climb just 3 mins into lap #2 the crank arm came off sending my Achilles into the splined shaft! Man it hurt! I had to pedal back to camp to find the next rider pedaling with 1 leg. We ended up losing about 11mins, with the total from my mechanicals now close to 15mins! I was getting pissed!!! I then borrowed a teammate’s part and went out for another lap burning up the course. My anger must’ve been pretty obvious as not many from this point forward delayed at my warnings to pass, some even dove off the trail into the trees to get out of my way, and I only had to physically run over 1 guy who tried to speed up to keep me from passing until he went over the bars on a tricky downhill. Being within about 2 feet of his rear wheel my only option was to run him over! Ha! It was great! When the darkness set-in my dominance of the trail became even more prevalent as I blasted through the trees calling out passes left and right while some yelled at me “you’re crazy”…yes, I was! By dawn I had pulled time out of all of the leaders jumping the team up to 5th place, while passing by some of my fellow CMR team members’, Bernie and Mark, team “Moe’s Smokin’ Tires.” Then on my last “planned” double lap to finish the race I again suffered a mechanical. The 1st of the 2 laps was going great until about the ½ way mark when my chain started to skip. I went through each gear on the cassette to where eventually each of them was slipping. I had to bail after moving the team into 4th place and taking almost another 2mins out of 3rd. Coming into the timing tent I yelled for a team mate hoping someone was prepared for the chance of a mechanical…they were…so I handed off the racing chip and ended my strike. I was easily set on overtaking 3rd to place the team on the podium, but in the end I had to concede. If it weren’t for my mechanicals I could’ve most likely had the team vying for 1st, but it wasn’t meant to be. 4th place was the final standing for the team, Unruly Racing. This was the 1st time being on a team that I have not come out of the event with a winner’s jersey…I was upset. Oh, well. On the home front, my car has not been touched in 2 weeks! That will now change. For the Independence holiday Julz, Thane, and I traveled to my parents’ new home in SC for some R&R on the lake, but I also put in a lot of hard work! They needed a dock built for the boat, so I constructed the frame for the fixed portion of the dock. The heat was horrible, although the temp was only in the low 90’s the humidity was high. The Gatorade was, but wasn’t “in me” as it was exiting my skin as fast as I could drink it…kinda like their commercial as it shows it going in in the various colored flavors and sweating out in those colors…Haha! Julz and I still found time to get in wakeboarding and slalom skiing each day, along with a cruise at night to enjoy the cool clear evenings while the parents watched Thane. Now back home I need to hook up with some friends to acquire an engine stand to borrow to assemble my car’s engine. Hopefully I’ll have it started this weekend! My goal is to have it running within a couple of months. I’ll be calling a favor of a few friends to help me get it ready to be cranked over the first time after it is assembled. I’ll also have to get caught up on the Tour ‘de France, as I’ve not had a chance to read or watch any of it yet!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

17 June 2006 - Cycling slump

I had acquired a fever Wed from Thane. He got over his pretty quick, but mine lasted until yesterday morning. With not being on the bike for over 3 days I went out last night. The legs felt like cement blocks, but the ride pace and time was pretty avg. Tonight I plan to go hit the road hard to put out some power and to simulate a race scenario. Yup, I'll be racing with my good friends back home on the A-bikes team for the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice in Bolton, Ontario Canada at Albion Hills. I can't recall the last time we raced together and didn't take 1st in our class, or 1st overall for that matter! This is going to be a blast! Julie, Thane, and I along with the dogs, will be leaving after work Friday to drive up. We'll get a hotel in Buffalo, NY or just over into Ontario, then drive the remainder Saturday morning. We will be racing as an Expert 5 Man team under for Robert Parent (friend/owner).

17 June 2004 - Family and car update

Today I woke early as Nathaniel got an early start. Yesterday he had a reaction to some antibiotics he was given for an ear infection. Julz took him in again and I then went and got the new scripts. Today he is getting better and had a nice long afternoon nap. So upon waking I went outside to get a headstart prior to the flaming sun in the forecast, estimated to be knocking on 100 degrees today! I started with washing the car and truck. Then I pulled out the heads and intake for the Vette to finish the painting. They turned out pretty good despite my improvised setting and minimal cleaning elements. I'm still trying to get the front bumper brace out of the car. I have 1 bolt loose, but it is still difficult to move. I need to find a nice long cheater bar. I need to get it out to scrub it down to remove any rust and re-paint it before re-installing it. Once I get an engine stand from a new friend to borrow I will be able to assemble the engine and paint the block as well. I have a lead on a slightly used 650 carb and my bell housing is being repaired by a co-worker (had a small hole that he is welding up). I've recently joined a forum site for C3 Vettes. The people there are awesome, especially "jackson"! He's supplying me with some awesome information on what I have as well as some important resources. Here's what I know as of now: Given the info I have, it's a near certainty the 4 bolt main motor is based on a 350 build and will have 360 cubic inches. The engine is numbered 3970010 which is a 350 4-bolt 1969-1980 Corvette/Camaro engine. It has double hump 461 heads with an Edelbrock TorquerII Intake and a 4spd manual trans. L2304 060 Forged TRW 350 pistons were assembled as a "typical" 350 build, it should have about 11.5:1 static compression ratio. I upgraded the cam to a Speed-Pro CS179R specs: 0.050" dur 222*I/222*E, SAE dur 290*I/290*E, valve lift .447"I/.447"E, overlap 78*, has a published power range 2200-5200rpm with "good" idle. I will most likely have to run premium gas in this thing.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

11 June 2006 - Shanghai, WV that is...

This morning I rode over the 2 mountain passes to the west of Martinsburg looking for some killer climbs. Well, I found some! Leaving Martinsburg I rode over North Mountain then over the Shenandoah to Shanghai Pass. The climbing was brutal with grades of over 14%! I was literally standing on the pedals and moving at speeds as slow as 5mph on a few occasions! It was a great ride and it is definitely helping to improve my climbing. The 2-1/2hr ride covered about 40 miles and ascended 4,600 feet! I thought I had made the top earlier this week, but I was wrong by a few hundred feet! Returning home I downed a huge glass of chocolate milk, then it was off to my cousin's son's birthday party where I fueled up on a bunch of food.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

10 June 2006 - Hard day's work

Plans changed today. I was going to leave for a ride by 8:30AM, but found myself sleeping until 9 when I got a call from a co-worker about a current program. I then got up and had breakfast with Julz and Thane. Julz made some good french toast and the boy and I packed'em down. I then decided that I would work on the car while Julz cleaned the apartment, and Thane ran around thinking he was helping. However, you can see here he was more intersted in naps today. I decided to pull off the front bumpers and grill, along with all the steel parts I could from the front end. The lower left front bumper had a stripped bolt head that I had to use vice-grips on. Other than that most of the bolts were not too difficult to get off. I used a wire brush and steel wool on the bumpers and steel parts to remove rust. I then painted the parts with a black Rustoleum paint to prevent further rust and to provide a clean underbody appearance. I will also be re-doing the frame with a paint on rust stopper that actually reacts with the rust creating a coated black finish. 1st pick is with the grills removed. 2nd pic are the removed parts, all except the 1 problem bumper.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

04 June 2006 - C&O Canal

Today was threatening rain, but it only sprinkled as we drove to Harpers Ferry. Julie and I took Thane for his 3rd ride in his Burley on the C&O Canal Pathway. We parked in the small town of Bolivar which is just up a hill from Harpers Ferry. We rode southeast towards DC to a small park area in Brunswick. Thane had fallen asleep just a couple of miles from there and slept while we took a short break for lunch. He then woke up about a mile after we headed back. We rode 14 miles in 1hr 37mins. Julie had a tip-over trying to climb up "that hill" from Harpers Ferry to Bolivar. Whe was going so slow that she lost he balance and just fell over...Too bad Thane and I were already up the hill waiting and weren't able to get a picture of it! :) haha

Saturday, June 03, 2006

03 June 2006 - Wind, mountains, but luckilly no rain

Today started early with a co-worker arriving at 8AM for a road ride. The roads were still a bit damp due to heavy rains last night. Pete is training for a triathlon this fall and plans to compete in the Olympic distance. He's road with me at Skyline drive and today I took his legs to the point they were about to snap! I planned out a nice route that took us over North Mountain 4 times. I really wanted to put him to the test and drive him into the ground, but as you know you can't make someone go harder than they want to. I gapped him on each climb with over a 3 minute gap at the top of the 4th and final climb of the morning. Our ride time was 3hrs 15mins with 4501 vertical feet of climbing over a distance of 52 miles. Below is some of the data from my Polar for each of the 4 main climbs. Climb#1: Duration 0:23:10 Energy Expenditure 387 kcal MinHR 135 bpm, AvgHR 160 bpm, MaxHR 176 bpm Min Spd 5.3 mph, Avg Spd 12.2 mph, Max Spd 26.3 mph Distance 4.7 miles Min Cad 41 rpm, Avg Cad 73 rpm, Max Cad 102 rpm Ascent 970 ft, Avg Grade 6.3% Climb#2 Duration 0:11:35 Energy Expenditure 200 kcal MinHR 117 bpm, AvgHR 163 bpm, MaxHR 172 bpm Min Spd 4.9 mph, Avg Spd 8.4 mph, Max Spd 19.2 mph Distance 1.6 miles Min Cad 40 rpm, Avg Cad 60 rpm, Max Cad 86 rpm Ascent 665 ft, Avg Grade 8.0% Climb#3 Duration 0:09:05 Energy Expenditure 152 kcal MinHR 125 bpm, AvgHR 159 bpm, MaxHR 174 bpm Min Spd 5.4 mph, Avg Spd 7.0 mph, Max Spd 13.6 mph Distance 1.1 miles Min Cad 40 rpm, Avg Cad 49 rpm, Max Cad 68 rpm Ascent 470 ft, Avg Grade 8.4% Climb#4 Duration 0:23:45 Energy Expenditure 387 kcal MinHR 123 bpm, AvgHR 157 bpm, MaxHR 170 bpm Minimum Speed 3.3 mph Average Speed 10.3 mph Maximum Speed 26.3 mph Distance 4.1 miles Min Cad 31 rpm, Avg Cad 65 rpm, Max Cad 100 rpm Ascent 1010 ft, Avg Grade 4.7% Returning home I fueled up and tinkered with the car a bit. Placed the front end on jacks and removed the wheels. Took steel wool to the rims and I plan to check the numbers for authenticity as they look to be the original rally wheels. I also scrubbed on the convertible frame some more and used some Rustoleum paint on it. I also re-mounted one of the drawers to its track on the tool case that came with the car.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

31 May 2006 - Restore started

Today was the day that I decided to drop off the engine for our Corvette to be overhauled. By suggestion, I took it to a local CarQuest location. It is a distribution center as well as a store and machine shop. A co-worker has used them in the past for 2 Corvette engines and 1 Chevelle engine with great results. They will be contacting me once they clean all of the parts and get them measured. We will then go through what I will have done to it. I’d like to have it built for 350-400hp, hopefully they can make it happen. Below are a couple of pics of the engine, in pieces, when I dropped it off. I’ll be taking photos of the entire restoration process. Last night I also stripped the convertible top frame. The next step is to pull it out of the car and grind off the surface rust and prime and paint it. Julie and I took Thane for another ride tonight in his Burly trailer. He’s lovin’ it! Whenever he sees the trailer he grabs his helmet and puts it on, he just needs to understand which way is the front of the helmet! :)

Monday, May 29, 2006

29 May 2006 - Long weekend

It was nice to be home after the long hours, not in the saddle, of driving! Julie and I left Nathaniel for the first time on Thursday morning to drive up to Boyne, MI for the 24Hr race this weekend. Without Thane or the dogs we were able to fit everything into the car. This would make the gas prices a little easier to deal with. We managed a total round trip avg of 27mpg. Our trip started at 5AM with an arrival time at our 1st destination, Dexter Bike shop, at 11:30AM. Arriving it was discovered that my parts for the new 1FG, Cannondale Single Speed bike, were not yet in. The frame arrived over a month ago, and I immediately requested to have the needed parts ordered to build the bike. Well, they weren't ordered until last Tuesday! Murphy was glad to help as well, as the wrong single speed cogs were ordered and the frame was never checked and it came without the eccentric bottom bracket shell!!! Luckilly I took along my Scalpel to be used as the 2ndary bike, but now it was the main and only bike! Friday night we stayed with our friends Robin and Shari, along with John, at their cottage on Higgins Lake. It was then just a short 1hr drive to Boyne Sat morning. The set-up of camp went smooth with Julie's help, and I was able to get everything assembled on the Scalpel and eat a sandwich before the start. Everything went great at the start. I was leading the Solo Single Speed class, as well as all of the Solo classes while riding easy and walking about 4 of the climbs! After completing lap 3 I had a very comfortable lead. Even though I was walking portions of the trail I knew my legs would burn-out if I did not down-gear a little. So, Robin was nice enough to help me change gears while Julie helped find tools/parts and prepare some food for me. Then all heck broke loose! The smaller gears did not work out with the chain lengths. We tried every combination possible! As 2nd place rolled into the pits it had been 30 minutes. He rolled out and we discovered that we would need a 1/2 link, I didn't even know that such a thing existed! We finally found a match of 44/24 but the chain was as tight as a piano wire. I got rolling again to later have to stop just a couple miles in to tighten the chain ring bolts as they were working loose due to the chain being so tight. I somehow managed to make it through the lap without anything breaking, and Julie had actually acquired a half link! But the damage was done...for me the race was over and now it was just for fun. It took almost 1-1/2hrs to get out on that last lap with the gearing issue. So, I took another break and decided to eat and associate with friends that we haven't seen since before Christmas due to our relocation for work. Upon darkness setting in I began setting up the bike again using the 1/2 link and re-installing the singulator on the Scalpel. I ended up running a 32/17 on a lap departing at about 11PM. I had a blast powering out a 50 minute lap flying by the other riders out on the course. It was a lot of fun. Darkness is my favorite time to ride, and I'll claim to be the best in the dark with the results to back it. By 3AM the leader of my class packed it in, but I was takin a nice long nap. I was then awakened by thunder and lightning with a downpour of rain at dawn. Then everyone racing began packing it in, except for just 2 riders who chose to continue. My sister also came up with her kids, Brenden and Taylor. We met with them for breakfast and then I went into the waterpark with them for about 2hrs before Julz and I headed home. It is a nice waterpark, but at $40 per person it is a rip-off! Hopefully the kids got their mom's money's worth. Then it was on the road again back home. We left around 11:30AM and made it home with a couple of stops by 9:30PM. Today we took Thane on his first bike ride in his new Burley trailer. I bought it from a guy in MI off the MMBA BB for just $150. It has been used very little and is in great shape. We rode to Wally-world and bought a flag for it and I mounted it when we got home.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

13 May 2006 - A Happy 10 Years!

Well, today is nearing our 10 year anniversarry! Yup, Julie and I have been married for 10 years, on May 18! Time flies when your having fun, eh! Today was a great day. First thing this morning I headed out to meet 2 friends for a short ride on Skyline Drive. We only rode 50 miles, 25 in and 25 back, from the north end at Front Royal. Today it was good that the weathermen are not always accurate. They've been predicting rain all week for Thursday through the weekend, but so far it has just been Thursday, and did it pour!!! Today's ride was great weather ride but mostly cloudy. Returning home Julz and I got on ebay. We've been looking again at sportscars. Well, we came accross a guy selling a 1968 Corvette. It has been partially restored but needs re-assembled. Well, about 30 minutes later we became Vette owners as Julz said, "Happy anniversary, hon!" I can't wait to get started on this thing! The guy is actually heading by to TN soon to pick a car up so we'll use him for delivery. Now we just need to empty out our 1 car garage here at the apartment, which is currently our storage, to store the car. This will be no easy task! Below is a link to the ebay auction. He ended it early as we dealt over the phone this afternoon. I will be returning it to close to original as possible. 1968 "Shark" Here's what it will hopefully look like soon! 1968 "Shark" complete

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

09 May 2006 - House, work, and "running" around

Yup, today was a busy day. Between work, which I chose to bring home rather than stay after hours at the office, and the house building process. They finally called me back with part of the quotes they owe us. They expect the buyers to choose all options within 14 days of signing, yet they seem to take their time. I'll be calling their main office starting tomorrow to get the wheel squeeking, and loudly! Nahaniel is getting good at the ABC's. He's made it to G. He's pointing and calling out animals and objects all the time, and he loves to say "Bye-bye" and go places always wanting to be on the go. It's probably born in him with all the travelling Julie and I have done. It was either travelling to bike races or to see our families, since we couldn't get anyone to come visit us but once in a while. I'm finally getting over the stomach flu I must have had over the weekend, but I've had a few "runs" to the throne tonight. At least the nauseous feeling has past and I can eat and drink normally again. I was actually getting a slight itch to take a short spin tonight since the weather cleared. This morning it was chilly and sprinkling, but it ended up in the 70's and sunny. But with work and things to do here I couldn't take the time. This weekend is looking great for another ride on Skyline Drive this Saturday, can't wait.

Monday, May 08, 2006

08 May 2006 - Battle of the Gut

Today commences the Battle of the Gut! I'm still not feeling all that well with a continued nauseous feeling. So, I went out during lunch and bought a bunch of live organic yogurt to see if it can help me get over whatever this is. I also found some Gatorade on sale, and that was good since I am out of water here at the office. A few others have tried getting bottled water but have had no luck. I will not give in to drinking city water from the tap so I continue to bring my own. Weather is actually poor today. It is barely 55 degrees, cloudy, and breezy. It's giving me a horible reminder of Michigan spring weather! :P They're calling for rain, but that's been the case all weekend, and the weekend days were beautiful summer days! Hopefully it should return by mid week when I plan to be done with this gut issue! This weekend I'll be riding Skyline Drive again. However, this time I'll be riding with a co-worker and another friend and we'll just be riding the north 25 miles, in then out, from Front Royal for a 50 mile trip. My last ride Julie supported me and 1 other new friend for the entire park meeting me at 40 mile marks. The entire trip from Waynesboro to Front Royal to the north is 105 miles. I'll be sure to not forget the sunscreen this time...ouch!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

07 May 2006 - disappointment

Well, the stomach never really got better. It seemed it was doing fine at first. Julz drove to the venue while I rested and handled Thane (which entails supplying crackers, juice, and movies to watch...kinda like his own 1st class plane ticket!). Arriving around 3PM we set-up camp. I then rolled out on a warm-up lap with the hardtail. I started out in a 44/19, but discovered it was a touch too big of a gear. It was also dropping the chain a bit too easily. At about the half way mark I moved the singulator to the 21 cog. This was a better gear and the chain held fine. With about 1 mile to go on the warm-up lap I hit a tree stump that was conveniently in the middle of the trail on a sweeping curve...BAM!...It sent my left knee right into the Lefty! I yelled-out a few times as I staggered to keep my balance and to walk it off. I thought for sure I probably cracked the knee cap. Blood immediately began oozing down the front of my leg from 2 impact slices on the knee. Returning to camp I immediately took some Ibuprophin for the pain and swelling. On the Scalpel I had a 44/20 and chose to ride it at the start for 2 reasons: 1st I've never had any issues with the singulator on the Scalpel, 2nd It would allow me more room and confidence for the night start helping to soak up the unseen rocks, roots, bumps. Waking from a nap at 10PM, after 3hrs of rest, I dressed and ate prior to the 12AM start. I felt pretty good and lined up for the Lemans run. Taking the run easy I made it to the bike in about 10th position. I eventually passed a few other SS riders and a geared rider to move up to 5th overall, but by the end of lap 1 I was in 8th overall and had the SS lead firmly in hand. Lap 2 I continued the easy pace and actually started choosing what climbs I would walk to save the legs. By the end of Lap 2 I was up to 7th overall and still controlling SS. On the 3rd lap I began feeling nauseous again. Trying to drink more fluids wasn't helping, so I planned to stop for pasta or a sandwich and to change my battery. Hitting the pits at the end of 3 I was up to 6th overall, still maintaining the easy pace and walking the more aggressive climbs. For my friends in Michigan they could compare this course to TK Lawless with the climbing of PLRA. The lap was about 8.6 miles long with about 720ft of climbing. My avg lap times were about 45minutes. Getting food the first instant I placed a fork full of pasta into my mouth, prior to even chomping down with my teeth, I felt like I was going to hurl!!! I eventually got it down with some water and tried eating a powerbar, no luck there either. So, as Julz was rubbing my legs while I sat in the chair I decided with my better judgment that I should not continue. I make it a point to take in food every 60 minutes along with 16-20 oz of water. The drinking wasn't becoming an issue, but the food obviously was. This decision was somewhat easy as last year at mid-season I had a couple of months of tests due to blood in my urine after a 6hr race. Everything went just fine before and during the event, but arriving home I noticed the issue immediately while using the bathroom. Needless to say I was a little freeked and pretty worried. That issue thankfully has passed and has not returned. So, what's my plan...I guess I'll keep riding and re-think my race schedule whenever I feel unhealthy. Hindsight, I should've stayed home from this event, but I put in a good showing and enjoyed the practice and confidence I built for myself with my riding especially knowing I was sick. If I coulda just got the food to go down I know I would've continued on to win he race! A special thanks for my wife Julie, and my little boy, for going along in support on a nice weekend!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

06 May 2006 - Gut Wrenching Night

Well, this race may be a bit interesting. At about 8PM last night my gut got all weird. It felt like the stomach flu. I was up about every 2 hours all night feeling like I needed to throw-up or run to the throne. I'm feeling a little better now, but still have an achey feeling in the midsection. We're finishing up packing now, and as soon as Thane wakes up and has breakfast we should be on the road. I'm hoping to get a campsite on the trail to make it easy for Julz.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

04 May 2006 - Loosen-up!

Tonight I planned to take a short ride to loosen-up as last night was not possible. Upon returning home from Julie's office banquet I had developed my own "natural gas"! It was horrible! Needless to say, after just 10 minutes on the rollers, at about 9:45PM, I had to pull a cyclocross maneuver and jump from the bike to make a run to the throne! Yah, the food was that bad! What was worse was that a co-worker kindly warned me about the food before hand, but I didn't listen and went with an empty stomach. So, after work tonight I set out to loosen-up the legs to prep for this weekend's 12hr. Julie is still undecided as to if she will go. Well, after fixing my front deraileur cable I remembered that there is a group that rides on Tues/Thurs from a place just 10mins away starting at 6PM. Getting home early I was able to get there in time for the start. At first I was just planning to sit-in as the legs were feeling iffy and I didn't want to push it. After the first few miles they began to feel good, and by the first big climb I realized they were great. Sitting in an easy cadence of about 80-100rpm I was able to ride along the front of the pack. Before others began pealing off the back they said we'd re-group in the valley on the west side of North Mountain. Cresting the top I figured I'd stretch the legs on the downhill pushing into the wind to a speed of 48.6mph. I've hit 56mph in the past without a headwind. Re-grouping we headed north the Boyd's Gap to climb back over North Mountain. I quickly found myself spinning away from the group opening a huge gap, enough to take a nature break and still reach the top about a minute ahead of the next rider. Again I stretched the legs on the downhill, this time hitting 49.8mph. This road was a bit bumpy and curvy, and having flat resistant tires (hard compound) at a high pressure I didn't think it would be wise to push any harder than I was for fear of a crash. In all my legs are feeling great and I have a good deal of confidence after this "easy" ride of 35+ miles at an avg pace of 18mph and 2,200 vertical feet of climbing. (Below is a clip of the printout for the ride.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

03 May 2006 - "Back" in 1 piece, well almost...

Last night I was able to get into see my new chiropractic doctor for some physical therapy (using electro-stimulation and ultrasound) and a re-alignment. Boy do I miss the tuned-touch of Davis (Dr. Brockenshire)! Dr. Curry nearly twisted my neck off trying to get it re-aligned. He was only 90% successful as the 4th vertebrae is still slightly out. He chose to stop so as not to hurt me any further. Everything else moved fairly easy for him and I was feeling like new as I left. I haven't been on the bike since the race! I need to get back on the saddle soon, but I may have to resort to the rollers tonight since I have an important dinner to attend for Julie's work. We'll be having a formal dinner at the Wayside Inn ( It is the oldest functioning B&B and Restaurant in the country (I think), and has been showcased on the History channel and others due to its claims of being haunted by Civil War beings. I suggested to her that we stay the night! I did manage to get the Scalpel cleaned last night after taking a couple mile walk with Julie, Thane, and the dogs. Then I hit the sack, as I was very tired due to the weekend's race and the day's adjustment. This morning my neck is slightly stiff and aches if I cough, but it feels OK. Thane was pretty upset when I left him at daycare so I checked-in on him on the webcam and he seems to be just fine now. My uncle Edward will be picking him up tonight as we will be getting home late. This Friday the town of Winchester all but shuts-down due to the Apple Blossom Festival. Apparently it has the 3rd and 4th largest parades in the country! My office is closed, but Julie has to work. I will probably check it out with Thane, and my uncle may join us. Well, that's it for now. I'll hopefully post again before the race, but if not I will soon after with good results!

Monday, May 01, 2006

01 May 2006 - Lost Vertebrae in Maryland!

Well, it's been a while since my 1st post. I'll have to do better. Things have been very busy! We purchased our "dream home" house plans at a price of nearly $1K, to later have the builder call us at the 25th hour to say they were withdrawing...WHAT THE HECK?! So, with tempers flaring Julie and I desperately began the search again from ground zero. We looked high and low for land or a current house on the market. We ended up signing with another semi-custom home builder (Dan Ryan Homes). Our new home will now be in Bunker Hill, WV. On the racing side...A good friend, Mike Simonson, came down for a local AMBC event in Boonsboro, MD, just 20 mins from our apartment. Him and his wife arrived Saturday afternoon for yesterday's race at the Greenbriar State Park. Mike is on his way to receiving his Pro license, as he is racking up the wins in the Semi-Pro class, and actually took 4th overall this weekend. Well, he talked me into participating in the race. Honestly I was not planning to race until the morning of. I had pre-ridden the course once the week before, then again with Mike on Saturday. I felt this would be too close to my 1st 12hr which is this weekend. The course was brutal! It is a 5.5 mile course with 760 ft of climbing for 1 lap. I had to complete 3 laps. Investigations during registration was showing that others were running bigger gears. I thought I might even need to go 1 smaller! 3 climbs on the course with the 2nd being un-rideable on the SS. Yup, for those who didn't know, I am riding all Single Speed again this year, but this time in Endurance. It's been over a year since my last standard XC race and immediately 2 miles in I was again questioning my entry into the race. Again I was wondering how long I would last at this fast pace with my heart rate pegged nearly at Max! Yes, my max HR is 203 and I averaged 170 for the race and was as high as 199! I know where this was, it was the 2nd lap as I dismounted my bike to climb the 2nd half of the 2nd hill (very loose rocky steep grade). As I glanced back there were 2 riders gaining from the rear and I had just caught another ahead of me. I thought I was sitting 5th, and the pay was to the top 5! I immediately took my walk to a run, almost carrying the bike over the rocks while trying not to twist an ankle. Getting to the top I jumped on the bike and began cranking. I passed the rider in-front and dropped him. My next glance showed me a great effort rewarded as no one was behind me. I continued bomming the downhills making some extreme passes. One got a few yells from a geared rider who started 4 waves ahead of the SS class. It was a muddy section at the bottom of a downhill where I kept almost all my speed. I caught the rider very fast and yelled "LEFT!" As I did so there was a tree across the trail which I cleared without pause or worry, but the rider went bezerk yelling at me. My thought is I was able and he must yield to the faster leading riders. I kept pushing and found myself crying for the finish line on the 3rd and final lap. Crossing the line thinking 4th, they announced 3rd! The Scalpel rode great and soaked up the huge rocks and jumps better than any. I feel this gave me an advantage over most of the field as they were either with only front suspension or fully rigid. The trail is so rocky it will knock your glasses right off your face! So, now I sit at lunch at work wishing my doctors appointment was today, but instead I have to wait until tomorrow! Julie has been a great help, rubbing muscle cream into my upper back and neck as I think I left some vertebrae on the trail! My next race is the one I've been training for. 12 Hours of Lodi Farms is this Sunday. Start time is 12AM with a finish time of 12PM. Yup, starting in the dark!!! This should give me an advantage, as I have yet to be out-ridden in the dark! I'm hoping to get my 2nd win in a 12hr leading into the 24hr schedule in a few weeks. I'll be ready with 2 bikes, the Scalpel and the Optimo. Below are some photos from race day:

Monday, February 06, 2006

02 February 2006 - My first "blog"

Well, I've jumped on the bandwagon! I've created a blog. After a few years of helping run my team's web-site ( I've decided to create my own blog. This is mainly due to the fact that I'm now seperate from the team, not in spirit but in location. I'm still the acting team manager, but I have recently accepted a new job which has relocated me to Virginia. Getting out of the automotive industry has served me well. It has also apparently served my wife well, as she has also aquired a new, and hopefully, better job. We moved in to our rental home the weekend of 14 Jan 2006. This was due to my start date at my new employer, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, on 16 Jan 2006. I obtained a position as a Sr. Product Development Engineer reporting to the VP of Engineering. I apparently got out of Detroit, and automotive, while the getting out was good. Just 1 week later Ford announced a huge lay-off and a list of plant closings. GM and DCX have also been in deep waters making cutbacks and all 3 of the OEMs have been re-sourcing their suppliers to try to increase profits. Back to the home-front...My family and I (wife Julie, and son Nathaniel "Thane") are currently trying our best to get somewhat settled into a rental home. We are working hard to get a piece of land and builder to build our custom home on the only all-sports lake in the surrounding areas. We currently have 1 option in the works, but we have only received a verbal on the cost of the land so far. So, we are still investigating the available lots that are waterfront to hopefully get a decent deal and private/direct access to the lake. The lake is just 20 minutes NW of my employers location in Winchester, VA off of state route 522. It is a nice private/gated community that will hopefully keep most of the riff-raff out. It will also keep the locall hill-people from moving in next door and planting flowers and weeds in the rusted our car and old fridge in the front yard! haha Anyhow...Be sure to check back once in a while. I will do my best to keep you posted with new updates for my family and my racing.