Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Newspaper and Updates

My letter to the editor appeared today in The Greenville News. If you read it, you may recognize it as an earlier entry on You can check it out at the following link: Greenville needs to be more bike-friendly.

More importantly, I want to give you an update on my friend Mike. He had an MRI last week and the final report was that the tumor was slightly smaller. This is good news in that it isn't bad, however the doctor would have liked to have seen it shrink more. There is also no bleeds from the tumor and it does not appear to be growing.

There are complications. Mike is having trouble swallowing. He hasn't been talking, but does nod or smile to conversation. Of more concern is that he has started having seizures earlier this week. They had to take him to Duke Hospital where he had two more seizures in the ER and then two more later in the day. They were pretty bad.

He is currently under sedation and is being feed through a tube. The doctors seem to be stumped why the seizure medicine is not working. This prayer request comes from Mike's church family, "Please pray that the seizures would be controlled, if they do not get better, they may have to induce a coma like state again. Last time they did that it took months for Mike to come out of it. Please pray for strength and God’s sustaining grace for all."


My Ride for Mike 2007 seems so insignificant right now. Still, I am glad that I can be an encouragement in this very small way. The donations have reached $1090. Things have slowed down somewhat, but I hope to find other ways to increase the amount. Would you consider giving?


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bye, bye, triple

I no longer have a triple crank on my Allez. I'm now going to try to make it with two front rings. I'll let you know what I think about it whenever I get a chance to try it out.

So, why did I do it? It was because ever since I got the bike the bottom bracket has made a racket. Whenever I would climb under load, it sounded like the crank was going to pop off the bike. Besides the physical stresses that most have been going on in there, I'll add the mental annoyance of hearing that over and over again.

Turns out the problem was a documented issue with that crank set. So, the answer was to replace it. The deed is done, but I won't get to test it out until tomorrow evening.

Hope my upgrade to a Shimano comp will cut out the racket!

I'm told that I really will have the same range at the triple with the added value of a solid bottom and smoother shifting. Somehow I am a little skeptical that the lower range of the gears will spin quite like the triple. I'll let you know...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Monster

The saga of my past cycling stories is nearing an end. Today's installment is about the eventful purchase of my Proflex 555. The bike is still around. I sold it to a friend just before upgrading to a new mountain bike.

The only thing negative about the bike are the elastomers that are used to dampen the shock. These things get very hard over time. However, it is still possible to find them on the Internet and you can upgrade the suspension with coil replacements.

Can't believe I don't have any pictures of the bike around. However, I can't find any. The picture you see below is a Proflex 455. It's close enough to give you an idea how that frame was shaped, etc.
I’m not an expert rider. I have only been riding mountain bikes for three years. One of those years was with The Huffy, so it doesn’t really count. The Diamondback Traverse (affectionately known as "The Tank") allowed me to see what riding could be. However, the more comfortable I became with the trails around Greenville the more I realized that I needed something with a little more finesse.

After finding someone tall enough to buy the Traverse, I headed back over to Sunshine to get my new ride. I had noticed the bike of choice that Mike had used on some of the rides. It was a ProFlex 757. I couldn’t afford that, but there was a nice ProFlex 555 on the rack. There was also a light and sharp looking Diamondback Vortex.

Hmmmm, what to do, what to do. I decided to take both bikes out for a test ride. My plan was to take the two bikes on the same trails to see how they compared. The Vortex was first. I was impressed. The aluminum frame was light, but the hard-tail was stable and at the same time nimble. In all honesty, I didn’t give the ProFlex much of a chance at that time.

Proflex 455 - close enough...

I had never ridden a full suspension bike before. As I wheeled out of the parking lot and down the road toward a small park nearby, I noticed the smoothness of the ride. Then I entered the park. The first test was a small three foot hump. Earlier the Vortex had hit the hump hard and I got air like I never experienced with the heavier Traverse. Even disconnected from the ground the Vortex seemed easy to control.

Remembering the experience with the Vortex, I put a little more into the approach with the ProFlex. Everything went fine until the rear elastermers decompressed. It was my first experience with recoil underneath my posterior. You guessed it. The rear wheel launched me over the handlebars. The toe clips didn’t let go and I did a superman into the packed clay. I broke my fake Oakley shades, cut my nose, strained my shoulder, bent the right bar end, and crushed my pride.

Shaking I picked the bike up and continued my ride. I headed to my most frequent trail. Timmons Park is a technical (full of roots) trail near downtown Greenville. The nearly two mile single track winds through woods and along a small creek. There are some climbs and a fun little downhill that has a five foot launch-pad at the bottom.

Here the ProFlex was a joy. The roots seemed to fade away and the climbs were a breeze as the rear suspension dug the tire knobs into the dirt. I was feeling pretty good when I came to the downhill. Instead of following the traditional line down the hill, I decided to follow the road that ran along the right side of the single-track.

As the single-track went down the road dipped momentarily and then ascended again on a man made ramp. This allowed for a rider to get speed down the hill and then go almost horizontal into the bank. It is quite a rush as you pick up extra speed coming off the bank.

Everything was going great. I was watching the suspension eat up the bumps as I descended. Too late I noticed that the park custodian had dumped a pile of mulch right in the middle of the bank. Knowing I couldn’t miss it, I decided to hit the edge of the pile. I thought the bike would enter a shallow jump that I could control. However, the mulch ate my front tire. It didn’t let go.

Once again I started over the handlebars. This time the jolt was so quick I was pitching forward before I could let go of the hand grips. The ProFlex and myself did a somersault. As I was on the bottom and the bike on the top, I finally let go. The bike went flying nearly fifteen feet away. Thankfully, I landed in some soft grass. Outside of grass stains I was fine. The ProFlex looked to be okay except the seat was crushed.

Well, I ended up buying the ProFlex. It was more from guilt than anything else. I could have replaced the damaged parts and bought the Vortex. There was just something about the green 555. Perhaps it was the same desire cowboys have to get on the bronco until they conquer that drove me to choose the "green monster." I have loved every minute since.
The bicycle company was bought out by K2 some time ago. Word on the street was that the Proflex brand might be coming back -- at least in Europe. The bikes showed up at some professional races back in 2006.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Praying on Paris

Today I rode Paris Mountain for my daily ride. Mike was on my mind as I made my way toward the top. Didn't see any other cyclists, though I did smell a lot of Memorial Day cookouts! The time was around 5:30 and I was trying to get a quick ride in before going to my son's soccer game.

As I thought about Mike, it hit me, "Why don't you pray for him while you are just sitting here spinning your legs?" Turns out that not only was I interceeding for Mike, I was also taking my mind off of the coversation my body was trying to have with me.

How to pray for someone with cancer like this? I just pray that God will get the glory from this circumstance that Mike is in. My heart asks that God will get glory through Mike's victory over this and his use of the experience to help others. Still, I understand that God might have something greater for His son. Either way, God is good and God is great. Eternity will show the answer.

The fund for my Ride for Mike 2007 is now up to $1080. $420 to meet my minimum goal, but I trust it will be more. I know it doesn't change Mike's circumstance, but it is just like as I was riding today. I kept thinking, "If I could just transfer some of this health over to him." You can't. Then the pain sets in and you think, "This is nothing. Think of what Mike is going through. Share with him in a small way by pushing it just a little harder."

I still have a lot of pushing to do. I left my house, passed over Paris, and then came up to the top in one hour. In another 19 minutes I was back home (20 miles at a 15.4 average). My first goal is to shave off 5 minutes from that ride.

Ride for Mike 2007

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

That was close!

I was starting to think that Kyle Petty was going to beat me all by himself! Not that I would mind that much. I like Kyle. On the other hand, since he didn't beat me, I was happy to see Mr. Mears get his first NASCAR win. He is one of my fantasy team members, but he spends most races on the bench. I'm starting to think he will take Shrub's place next week!

Super_D 178 vs. 257 DraftingWithYates
thewildcard 250 vs. 261 paitracing
A_Junior_Fan 421 vs. 378 BBuck

At least I am maintaining my lead on the field. Thank you Hendrick Motorsports!

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Like lice on Caesars Head

This morning Chris, John, and I loaded up our bikes on top of Chris' truck and headed to Marietta for a short ride up to Caesars Head. From our starting point, it was 18 miles up to the park entrance.

Did I mention that this was my first trip on a bike along the route?

We rode up from somewhere down there...

The ride along 288 was pretty easy. It was basically like any other Saturday morning ride. Marked Beech road was more of the same only the scenery was much better (except for the dead dear that some carrion birds were having for breakfast). Moody Bridge road was even better. I was feeling pretty good. The McDonald's steak biscuit was sitting just right.

Once we got on Pleasant Grove road, the ridge on which Caesars Head is located loomed ahead of us. I was going to climb that? Well, first we had to get on Hwy. 11 and keep our eyes open for speeding cars. I was thinking how great the road would be for riding if the traffic was light when it was time to turn onto Hwy. 8 to start the climb. Here we go...

The blue line shows the route for Slater-Marietta to Caesars Head route. Click here to expand the map. Once you have expanded the map, click on it to be able to view more detail.

The climb started out not to be so bad. It reminded up of some of the climbing on the Bakery Ride. We just kept going and stopped at Bald Head to allow John to catch his breath. I'm not sure, but I think he may have gone behind some bushes to puke - though it could have been something less severe. Turns out he was really hurting himself because his seat was adjusted wrong.

We found that out because as we started out again - maybe five miles from the top - he just stopped and said he just had to do something with the seat because his back was killing him. We pulled over once again to make the adjustments. About six riders passed us as we worked.

The next thing we came to was the 4 mile marker. At that point the climbing set in in earnest. I put it in the middle ring and just started trying to maintain a 8 to 10 mph average. Before long I caught one of the riders that had passed us. Now it was just me and road. John and Chris were still out of sight behind me.

"Okay, so this has to end at some point," I thought. Finally, there it was, a sign letting me know I only had to go 1000 more feet. I had pretty much made it. I had avoided the third ring of my triple until just here at the end. Now, I slipped back up before pulling into the park.

John and Chris soon followed. I was proud of John. He had been off the bike some and I was wondering if he would make it. He did just fine. Then it was time to turn around and retrace our route. Ahhh, wasn't that downhill great!

Stats: Distance = 36 miles, Time = 2:21 hours, Max. = 40 mph, Average = 15.3 mph. Unfortunately, my HRM got thrown off when I inadvertantly pushed a button. As I climbed, the max bpm I noticed was 184. Best I can tell, I averaged around 153 bpm.

Great fun! Can't wait to do it again. The only really annoying this is that my bottom bracket keeps creaking. It drives me nuts!

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Idol thoughts

Well, I guess American Idol is over. It reminds me of my few seconds of involvement with the show when I was quoted by the media regarding Chris Sligh. Somehow, what I said got twisted into the idea that I was "questioning his faith." It shows how little the media understands the nuances of Christianity. They take a disagreement over a method or interpertation and turn it into a "questioning his faith."

I guess it reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, "Disagreement does not equal hatred" or in this case it doesn't equal condemnation.

I would like to clarify that I did record the show and skim through it to see Chris perform. The fact that the media was going to one day call me and ask questions was obvious, so I didn't want to be ignorant. However, I would point out that I had never watched the show before then and have not since.

Chris lives in my neighborhood and I stopped by once when he was in his front yard and told him I wasn't questioning his faith. He understood and expressed a greater understanding of how the media can take things and turn them.

Check out the picture. It is my Specialized Allez Elite with my new Kysrium wheel set. I am lovin' life. It is as smooth as butt'r!

2006 Specialized Allez Elite Triple

Last night I dressed out to ride before going to my son's soccer game. I was sitting watching them chase the ball around and I looked down at my HRM. 53 bpm. Wow, that made me happy. This riding seems to be doing good things for the old ticker!

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Take a moment to reflect

Today is the last day of displaying the 82nd Airborne tribute patch within my blog posts. I have tried to display it for thirty days by thinking to add it to the posts each day. At that time I could pause and consider the sacrifices that were made by the nine soldiers who died.

Tomorrow I will cease to add the patch to my posts. However, I will be moving the patch to the right column as a permanent display. While specifically added for the nine soldiers who died in April, it is also a reminder of all those who have died in the current conflict regardless of branch or division.

82 Airborne

Thank you to all those who are in harms way.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Bryant Young - You may recall I mentioned Bryants trip across South Carolina. The man is still not back in the saddle because of the saddle rot he acquired during the ride. I saw him last night and he said we was going to try to start easing back this weekend. Wow, I hope that never happens to me!

Ride for Mike - I got an update on Mike yesterday. He is extremely week. They have continued to give him Avastin and CPT-11. With the last MRI, it appeared that the tumor might be shrinking somewhat. They are waiting for confirmation from the primary doctor. Right now are taking off the chemo in order to allow him to gather strength for another round.

Please, pray for Mike. I'll keep giving updates as I receive them. Please consider supporting my Ride for Mike 2007.

Cycling - I've started a group in Facebook called, "I love cycling in Upstate SC." If you have a Facebook account and you really do love cycling in Upstate SC, come and join us!

Here is my favorite sight in Greenville when it comes to cycling. Can you guess where this is?

Know where this is? Leave a comment.

Last night I did a ride of Paris Mountain to judge my time there and back. I made the ride in 1:20. I'm not sure what my goal will be. Probably would be best to do several rides to get an average and then set a goal for gaining on that time.

82 Airborne

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Goals are made to be reached

Thirty minutes into my ride last night at Cleveland Park, I looked down at my cyclometer and saw 20.4. This was significant because I set as my goal to average 20 mph for one hour around the established riding circuit in the park. Maybe today was the day!

Yesterday I went to Sunshine Cycle Shop and upgraded my wheel set to some Mavic Kysrium Elites. Now, in the back of my mind I wondered if it was all hype - that lighter wheels could help you go faster and climb better. My ride in the park would give me some indication because I have LOADS of data from past rides.

Once I was past the 30 minute mark, I just told myself to try to hang onto the 20 average until the 45 minute mark. I did it! I was now averaging 20.2.

Then it became a lap-by-lap goal. I kept telling myself, "Hey, it is okay if you go below 20, just don't do it this lap." Once I got into the next lap, I would tell myself the same thing. I also eased up a little to spin for my muscles. This brought me down to 20 even. However, over the last laps I pulled it up once more to finish at 20.2.

First, I realize for a lot of riders an average of 20 mph for an hour in Cleveland Park is no big deal. However, I've stopped comparing myself to other riders (yeah, right) and have tried to focus on my own goals and bettering myself against myself. It was exciting to reach this goal!

Second, was it the wheels? I don't know. When I pick the bike up, I do not notice a large difference in weight, but as soon as I climbed on and started rolling, I sensed a major difference in the way the wheels rolled. The bearings were smoooooth and I felt like I was gliding.

In the end, I averaged 170 on my heart rate with a max during the ride around 180. I spent a lot less time in the upper range of my heart rate (based on a max heart rate of 196) than before. So, I tend to think that it was a combination of things: 1. The wheels did make a difference. 2. I was psychologically up for it. 3. My recent Paris Mountain rides have increased my strength and stamina.

Let's see... what is my next goal? It will have something to do with Paris Mountain.

82 Airborne


Monday, May 21, 2007

The Tank

Here is the next story giving the history of my bike purchases over the years. I had actually forgotten about this bike until I dug up this story to put on the blog this morning. Perhaps it is because I didn't have it for too long. Still, finding this story brought back some memories!
The death of the Huffy left a void in my evening hours. Finally I found my way to Sunshine Cycle Shop to purchase a new set of fat tires. I had convinced my wife that a better bike would help me avoid the blood bath I experienced earlier.

I had learned some wise lessons during my relationship with the Huffy. Number one: if you want to do any serious mountain bike riding, you had best get a bike that can take the beating!

With that in mind I looked over the selection. Since I had limited funds, I didn't linger long around the full-suspension jobs. Then I explained my problem to Mike. "Look, I want a bike for under $300 I can ride off road without fear of impaling myself on a cracked frame." He led me over to a Diamondback Traverse.

This is not the actual bike, but it is the same type.

Ahhhhh, a machine with strength! It was a hardtail with decent beginning components. The only questions were its height and weight. The 22 inch frame was one of the larger ones in the shop. However, with my 34 inch inseam, it didn't seem so bad at all. Weighing in at around 35 pounds, the Traverse was heavy. Yet, at only 155 pounds, I wasn't carrying around a lot of extra weight myself.

I made up my mind. I wanted it. So after adding last year's model Specialized Future Shock front fork (there went my $300 spending limit), I wheeled my new treasure out the door. I hit the trails that same day and realized what I had missed banging around on a Huffy!

The fateful day did come. I don't live far from my job and I would occasionally ride the Traverse to the office at Bob Jones University. I dutifully locked it to the bike rack and went about my day. At least, I did until the day I was late for work and wasn't as careful. When I came out from work that day—the Diamondback wasn't there.

Of course, I went into a state of denial. Surely, I parked it somewhere else. Certainly no one on the campus of a well-known Christian school would steal the bike (besides being a sin—it would be really stupid because it would be hard to hide). No, it was gone.

I went to Sunshine to look at the possibilities of getting yet another bike. Mike told me to wait and call around to the bike shops in the area. Perhaps it would show.
The next day I received a call at work. "Hi, Jonathan?" "Yes," I replied thinking it was just another call on a busy day. "Yeah, this is Mike. Come on over and pick up your bike. We have it at the shop." It didn't take me long to let my assistant know I was going to gone for a bit and head out the door.

"Yeah, some junior high age kids came in with your bike." Mike began telling the story. "I asked them where they got the bike. They said some guy had sold it to them on the street. Since it was to big for any of them to ride, they decided they would see if they could sell it to the shop for more money. I told them that it looked like a bike reported missing and I needed to check on it. Before I could get any further they were up and out the door!"

Well, that 22 inch frame did come in handy! Best we can figure, these kids came onto the campus looking for some new rides. Seeing a couple of nice bikes they simply walked them off the campus as if they were their own. Once off campus they started riding the bikes. Problem was, the Traverse was simply to big for them. We could tell this had to be the reason because of the scratches on the paint due to numerous spills.

I never rode my bike to work again. I also enjoyed my first full MB season. However, it didn't take long before my skill level increased and the weight of the bike placed me at the back of the pack on long climbs. I knew it was time to move on to a new level.
The next story will feature one of my favorite bikes that I nicnamed "The Monster."

82 Airborne


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ride for Mike Update

Last night was the NASCAR All Star Race in Charlotte. A year ago I was sitting just before turn one with Mike. I also played in a golf tournament yesterday on a course where I last played a round of golf with Mike. My mind went to him several times yesterday.

God is great. God is good. We don't always understand how that goodness plays out in our lives. He knows that there is something more important than just our physical happiness -- even this temporal life is not as important as our eternal existence. I simply have to trust that He has a GOOD plan in the suffering that Mike must face at this time.

God is also GREAT and He can heal Mike. It is one of those things where you just have to pray for what your heart desires having a willingness to accept the answer which ever way it goes. So, my prayer for Mike is that he will be healed, but above all that he will have grace to continue to be a testimony in his trial and even in the suffering grow into a greater relationship with his God.

Anyway, the update is that the fund has reached $935! I imagine it will slow down a tad now, but I still have until September to reach the minimum goal of $1500. Thanks againt to all who have participated.

82 Airborne


Saturday, May 19, 2007

More thoughts on Bike2Work day

The scene was a contrast. Here were 50 to 60 riders all decked out in racing gear and recreational riding wear. I don't think there was a bike in the group that cost less than $600. Several probably were hitting the $3000+ range.

So where was the contrast? As we stood there talking, a man rode by the parking area where we were meeting to take our ride with the mayor to celebrate National Bike2Work Day. The man was on a bike probably purchased at Wal-Mart. He wore jeans, flannel shirt, and work boots. Perched on his head was a construction workers' helmet. The look on his face as he rode by seemed to say, "Who are all these people dressed up like this at 7:30 in the morning?"

I said to the guys standing beside me, "Now, THERE is a guy who is riding his bike to work!" We were all there as "activists" making a point about riding to work, though I doubt very many of us make it a regular part of our commute. Here was a man who actually used the bike as his transportation.

Perhaps it was out of necessity. He could have simply been trying to save gas or get some exercise. However, it was obvious this wasn't the first time he had made this trip.

It is for that man that Greenville should work to become a more bicycle friendly city - not just for my Lycra clad buddies and me.

82 Airborne

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Bike2Work Day

I just realized yesterday that I passed the 2000 mile mark on my bike since August 2006. I'm sure by August of this year, I'll be at 3000.

I also realized yesterday as I rode over Paris Mountain that I am never going to the guy who is always at the front of the pack. Maybe 10 years ago I could have been a hammerhead, but at almost 40, I just don't think I'll ever be a fast rider -- or a machine of a climber. Of course, that doesn't mean I won't try!

This morning I got up and joined Mayor Knox White for the Bike2Work ride. More than 60 riders joined up (some I recognized, some I didn't) at Hincapie Sportswear to take a ride along some of the new features added to Greenville to help make it more bike friendly.

The Rail to Trail project is one of the most interesting. The idea is to create an 18 mile plus trail system build on an old railroad right of way. It will allow people to run, walk or ride from Greenville Tech all the way to Travelers Rest. Of course, I would be interested in seeing how many riders actually would use it. Personally, I think many of them would still ride the roads.

Over 60 riders met at Hincapie Sportswear around 7:30.

Mayor White talked about adding bike friendly features to the city such as this bike lane.

We ended up at the Piazza Bergamo.

The city is also seeking the designation of Bicycle Friendly Community (.pdf). This only makes sense for a city that hosts the USA Pro Cycling Championship and is setting itself up as the bicycle capitol east of the Mississippi. Hope it happens soon.

82 Airborne

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ride for Mike update

It is exciting to see people come together to help support my Ride for Mike 2007. As of yesterday evening, the amount raised is $885.00. Thank you so much everyone! I want to say a thank you here to those anonymous donors since I won't be able to thank you directly.

As for other cycling issues... I have for the first time had to battle with being saddle sore -- not just uncomfortable in the nether regions, but an actual blister like sore. I must have had my shorts arranged differently or something.

Anyway, I'm going to stay at it and use some Chamois Butt'r. I've never used anything like this before. I'm sure it will help on long rides. I'll let you know how it goes. Of course, my kids had fun with the name of the product.

In still more cycling news... Team Road Rash (that is what I call our small informal group of recreational cyclists) will be heading up to Caesars Head on May 26. That is the soonest opportunity we have. Right now it is just Chris, John and myself. It will be my first time up there on a bike.

82 Airborne

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

End of an era

The canopies that covered the Welcome Center as well as the small office space there have come down at the entrance of Bob Jones University. It took sometime for the backhoe to weaken one of the pillars so that the structure would fall, but shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, the pillar gave up and the canopy quickly followed.

Here you can see the first successful strike.

There she blows!

The deed is done. Now on to bigger and better things.

I'm sure there are some who are sad to see it go. However, most people I know are excited to see a new entrance come. Some have viewed the old entrance as "Checkpoint Charlie." As I stood by the intersection taking these pictures a resident stopped and expressed how glad they were that the entrance was being updated.

Already, before the new entrance is built, the change is having a positive effect.

82 Airborne


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


No riding since Thursday. I took my Allez into the shop for a tune-up knowing that I was going to be out of town for the weekend. It should be all fixed up today. Hope to get back in the saddle tonight.

Speaking of saddles. I talked with Bryant Young last night (he is the guy who rode across SC last week) and he was telling me that he ended up with "saddle rot" -- no not just saddle sores, but saddle rot. Frankly, I don't even want to think about it.

He made the mistake of trying some new shorts just for trip. I guess it is true what I have heard, when you go to do a long ride don't change anything. The smallest change in routine can throw you off mentally. The smallest change in equipment can lead to a break down -- or in this case -- saddle rot.

Great job, Bryant! Check out this recent story about his ride. Now on to the next challenge...

82 Airborne


Monday, May 14, 2007

Remembering the Fallen

82 Airborne


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fantasy league update

Now I'm really wishing I had gone to the race today! What an ending! I was driving down the road right by the 164 exit to Darlington when the race ended. I just knew Gordon was going to blow that engine. But no, spewing steam, he claimed his 7th Darlington win and increased his lead on the field.

paitracing 422 vs. 397 Super_D
thewildcard 167 vs. 433 A_Junior_Fan
DraftingWithYates 403 vs. 422 BBuck

Today was also good for my fantasy league team. Getting Hamlin was one of the best things I've done. Don't talk to me about Shrub!

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Hope they have fun in Darlington...

I was SO excited about the race last night. It took me just around an hour and a half to get near the track and then another thirty minutes of waiting in traffic to find a parking place. The weather had been just fine all the way down. However, as soon as I started to drive by the track, the rain started.

The rain didn't stop. The view you see in the picture below is the view I saw the most at the "race." It rained and rained. I was at the track by 4:30 P.M. and left at 8:30 P.M. It rained the whole time.

The most interesting thing that happened was watching all the cars get stuck in the mud of the "parking lot" (a grass covered field). There were guys in 4x4's pulling people through the slick mud and in some cases I saw guys pushing cars out. They were covered with mud from the spinning tires.

Oh, well, I'll get another chance sometime. Today is Mothers' Day and I plan to spend it with my mother. I won't be going to the race. I'll catch some of it on TV. Some things are more important than NASCAR.

82 Airborne

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bicycles and racecars

Today I am in North Carolina with my parents. I'm here for Mothers' Day as well as to attend the race in Darlington tonight. The place were I grew up is just a little over the SC/NC border, so it is a short drive down I-95 to the Track to Tough to Tame -- or The Lady in Black. I'm pretty excited about going.

I'm also excited because I am already up to $780 in pledges for the Ride for Mike 2007! I'll update the number on the site once I get back to highspeed access. This dial up business is for the birds!

Well, I'm going off line to enjoy the time here with my family and then I'll be heading to Darlington for a COT race under the lights!

82 Airborne

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Speaking of riding for a cause

I want to take a moment to mention a neighbor of mine. Bryant Young should be rolling into Charleston tomorrow after biking 325 miles from his home in Greenville. He has made it in five days. What would that be? 65 miles a day?

Oh, I forgot, he only has one leg.

You can read more about his trek here, or you can visit his Web site I was supposed to have trained with him a little before he set out, but the last time I talked with him was the day before I ended up off the bike for more than two weeks due to sickness and schedule.

I'm glad to see he is making it!

82 Airborne


Thursday, May 10, 2007

My ride for Mike

Hey, would you join me on my Ride for Mike? No, you don't have to get on a bike and pedal, but you can go with me in spirit. It's for a good cause and a great guy!

Mike is a friend that I met while working at BJU. He's a young guy - about 15 years my junior - but has a great sense of humor and is a big NASCAR fan. He is a youth pastor in North Carolina. He's married and has a beautiful little girl.

Oh, he also has a brain tumor.

To make a long story short, while Mike and I worked together, he would have frequent headaches. It never seemed to dampen his spirits, but you could tell something was bothering him. After leaving to go to his position as a youth pastor, things got worse and he went to the doctor.

That is when the discovered the tumor and attacked it aggressively. After surgery (that lead to some major complications) and chemo treatment, it really was a miracle that Mike was recovering. We were SO excited! However, just a few weeks ago, we learned the tumor had returned to about the same size as before.

Mike is a fighter. He will continue to battle this. It is just so helpless to not be able to do anything to change his circumstance. I just have the need to do something!

That is where the Ride for Mike 2007 comes in.

I rode in the Palmetto Peloton Project last year. At the time I was participating just because it was my first opportunity at a metric century. I wasn't thinking about the cause that the ride supported.

This year is different. I want to raise as much money as I can to go to the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. In the process I want it to represent Mike. In my dreams, I would raise the most money for the project and it would stand along with my ride as a tribute a great guy who I miss.

Will you consider helping me? You can go to the Ride for Mike 2007 Web site or go directly to the Palmetto Peloton Project site. Click on the donate option and be sure to designate me, Jonathan Pait, as the rider to which you are contributing.

Thank you very much!

82 Airborne

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Giraffe Update

Here is an update on the destruction of the BJU "giraffe." I had a friend capture the frame from the Web cam that is trained on the front entrance at BJU. It is a moment in history! There are already people asking for small pieces of the pylon.

The Greenville News and WYFF interviewed Dr. Bob Jones III. I thought he had some neat things to say. WYFF will probably be limited to a few seconds of the interview, but The Greenville News captured the interview on video and will be putting it up on


A landmark is coming down

If you happen to drive by the campus at Bob Jones University today at 10 AM, you will get to see the construction workers start taking down the "pylon" (affectionately known as the "giraffe") in preparation for a new sign and welcome center. If you watch WYFF tonight, you may also see my bald head as I explain what is going to be going in its place. It really is going to majorly change the front view of campus - in a good way!

82 Airborne


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Golf at the Cliffs

Yesterday I spent the day at the course at the Cliffs at Glassy. I'd like to say that I was there playing golf, but I only touched a golf ball once - to take a picture of it. Hold it, come to think of it, I didn't even touch that one. It was a ball that one of the golfers hit to the edge of the green.

My job was to go around and take pictures of all the foursomes that played in the Bob Jones University Demonstrative Needs Fund golf tournament. There were 25 teams playing and I had to drive all off the course to find them all! Not that I minded because the course it beautiful.

Who knows, maybe next year I'll be able to play. If not, I think I'll do this again and make sure my battery is charged a little better. Because I started losing juice, I had to stick to just taking pictures of the foursomes and didn't get a lot of scenic shots - which were many!

Also, I made it back home in time to watch my son play his soccer game. As soon as that was over I jumped on my bike and put in 20 miles. I learned a valuable lesson not to go backward on the Cleveland Park loop. The wind was bad so I thought I would reverse direction so that I could ride with the wind. Unfortunately, the left turns and traffic lights made up for the the wind.
82 Airborne

Monday, May 07, 2007

PaitRacing domination continues

Well, the Hendrick strangle-hold on the COT races continues. Jimmie Johnson pulled off the win with Kyle Busch right behind. One more place back was Jeff Gordon.

All in all, it was a good day for me in my fantasy league. I've moved to 9 and 1 putting space between me and Mike. With next weeks' race being a COT race, things might even get better.

#1 paitracing 515 vs. 431 #5 A_Junior_Fan
#3 BBuck 425 vs. 397 #2 Super_D
#4 thewildcard 210 vs. 279 #6 DraftingWithYates

Here are the league standings this morning:

#1 paitracing 9 1 0 W6
#5 A_Junior_Fan 6 4 0 L2
#6 DraftingWithYates 6 4 0 W1
#3 BBuck 6 4 0 W2
#2 Super_D 2 8 0 L1
#4 thewildcard 1 9 0 L2

Next Saturday night, I'll be at Darlington!
82 Airborne


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Rain, rain, go away.

Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for the rain. However, the in-laws are having an open house today. Looking for a house? Swing on by between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. today!

37 Sunset Drive, Greenville SC

Charming home in the beautiful Augusta Road area. Just minutes from downtown Greenville. Located in the coveted Augusta Circle School district. Fabulous level corner lot with stately oaks. Open floor plan, large dining room and updated kitchen with custom cabinets that opens to den. Large laundry room. Master plus one bedroom and bath on main level. Lovely master bath. Hardwoods under carpet. Upstairs features one child's bedroom and separate office.
82 Airborne

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Richmond race postponed

The race in Richmond was postponed because of rain. It will run tomorrow at 1 p.m.
82 Airborne

Friday, May 04, 2007

Assault on Marion


That is my rider number for the Assault on Marion. It represents my first step in plans to ride the Assault on Mount Mitchell next year to celebrate my 40th birthday.

In order to ride the Assault on Mount Mitchell, you must receive a participation number. These numbers are not easy to come by. However, two ways of getting a number are to ride the AOMM or ride the Assault on Marion. Since there isn't a limit on the number of riders who can participate in the AOM, it can be used as an entry into the longer ride -- you just have to plan a year in advance.

The AOM is a 73 mile ride that leaves from Spartanburg, SC and ends near the town of Marion, NC. The riders start off with those who are going to continue on with the 102 mile ride to the top of Mount Mitchell.

So, at 6:30 a.m. on June 11, I will push off from the front of the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium and join thousands of other riders who have designs on making it to the top. I won't be able to realize the goal this year, but I'll have taken the first step -- or turn of the pedal, as the case may be.
82 Airborne

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Thursday, May 03, 2007


What a difference a day makes! Monday night I rode and tanked. It was my first night back on the bike after an extended break. Last night was a different story!

I rushed home from work so that I could get in an hour of riding before heading off to my church. This time I determined to pace myself. I slowly worked my way up from a warm up lap until 45 minutes into my ride I was averaging 19.8 mph. At that point, I realized I would definitely finish over 19 mph.

A couple of times I came up on other riders. We began to yoyo and I was tempted to pick up so that I would stay ahead. I fought the desire because that would break my tempo and wear me down. Toward the end I still felt good enough to come out of the saddle and crank it up the climbs. Sure, I felt like puking when I got to the top, but that went away and I finished with a 19.7 mph average! My best time yet!

Three points away from my goal. I'll tell you though, it is going to be tough. The only places for me to pick up speed are on the climbs and the flat sections. I'm going as fast as I can down the hills.
82 Airborne

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Remembering those who were lost

82 Airborne

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I checked my training file and noticed I had not riden my bike since April 17th! It isn't that I haven't wanted to. I simply have not had the time. Every evening has been taken by something. Every Saturday has been cram packed.

Tonight I was able to hop on and do an hour ride before cooling down a little and going to watch my daughter's soccer game. I rode Cleveland Park and right away jumped on the wheel of another rider there. I stayed with him for two laps -- actually one lap I was feeling so good I pulled away (BAD IDEA). On the climb of the third lap he caught me and dropped me. I had jumped out too early.

From there is it was rough. My legs started tightening and about 8 miles in I had to start spinning to try to get some of the lactic buildup out of my muscles. By mile 10 I was feeling a little better in my legs but my gas was gone. I soldiered on for another 12 miles and then called it a night.

Before the unsought for break in riding, I was consistently averaging over 19 mph on my Cleveland Park ride. I dropped down to 18.5. I've got LOTS of work to do before trying a century ride!


Remember the Fallen

82 Airborne

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