28 April 2009


My buddy Burchy came up to visit this weekend from the good town of Harrisonburg, VA. I managed to pull him from the mountains of Shenandoah for a weekend of being outside in West Virginia.

Friday night Lemma, Burchy, and I met some friends we went to the Morgantown Film festival and caught a good show. My movie seemed to go over quite well, there was much applause and I think a lot of people liked it. I didn't win however, that went to Dan Fowler's whitewater film "endless" which was a very well done documentary on paddling in West Virginia.

Saturday we spent the day at Cooper's rocking climbing with Bala and Amber. A full day of climbing in the heat in late April did a number on us, we were super tired, sun burned, and hungry. Made our way to Black Bear and filled up on some great food.

Sunday the three of us, and Traci went out to Big Bear to introduce Burchy to the sweet single track and the rocks of the Bear. The heat was on again, and it was uber dry, but we still had a blast. After rocking out the 24 hour course, we had to get Lemma back to town for tutoring and Burchy had to head back to the Old Dominion.

Since Lemma had tutoring, once we got back to town I jumped back on the back and rode over to Baker's. I was tired, and hot, but enjoyed the spin. Since I suppose my goal for bike racing this year is another finish at the SM100 in early September, gotta get used to the suffering!

Next weekend, Raleigh World Beer Festival - Hellz Yeah.

24 April 2009

Outdoorsy Weekend!

Morgantown Adventure Film Fest - featuring my biking video!

Climbing at Coop's!

Riding at Big Bear!

22 April 2009

Earth Day!

20 April 2009

riding, racing, and rad-ness...

Friday was a super super nice day, and though I had to be a good graduate student and go work at the lab, I decided it was high time I started riding my bike to work.

Wait, wait, wait, isn't this the guy who talks constantly about how we should ride our bikes to work, etc. Yes, I admit I've been somewhat lame about how I get to the lab. When I was busy on campus with class, and research related things, of course I always rode or walked, but now... and I know it is an incredibly lame excuse, but the concrete plant near the lab annex in the Morgantown Industrial Park seems to train their cement truck drivers to do 100+ mph on the curvy river road leading to the industrial park, taking up as much of both lanes as possible. In an effort to not die, I gave in and began driving.

However, sometime during the early winter after they state repaved river road something strange happened just before the intersection where I need to turn into the park where the lab is, the road basically crumbled as if an earthquake happened. This lead to the closing of the road, and apparently a study is being performed on what happened before they ever fix it. Which means, it will be a LONG time before it is fixed. This lead to having to drive all the way into Westover and then cut across to the other road that would meet the same intersection, increasing my drive time from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Now, a second road collapse on this alternate route has limited one section to only one lane and a stop light that adds another 5 mintues to the commute time, and will likely be a while before it is fixed too.

Fed up with a ridiculous 15 minute traffic-fest to the lab every morning, I decided, well, why don't I ride the closed road, it will be easy with no cars, and it shouldn't take too long.

Well, I began this Friday and found out several things, not only was it an easy ride, and the broken section of road totally rideable, but it only takes me approx. 20 minutes from my house to the lab on my bike, and it took my 15 in my car...I'll be on my bike from now on. I was excited to find this out, as I have been frustrated with my having to drive to the lab lately, and now feel much better going to work in general.

Saturday morning Lemma and I got up early, and hit the rail trail on mountain bikes and road 10 miles north to Point Marion, PA to eat breakfast at Apple Annies. The weather was amazing, and the food rocked! Ran into Josh Drake there eating with his family, once again he caught me wearing some of my hand-me-down Carmichael Training crap that Scott has dumped on me so generously, and asked me if I was a CTS athlete....uhhh no, my friend used to work there, and somehow I have free stuff! hah! It was a good run-in, and then Lemma and I hit the trail back to town, to find a busy Morgantown with the Chocolate festival and a busy Pathfinder with lots of our friends shopping and working. We walked around town, squandared a little chocolate, though we weren't officially part of the festival, and then chilled for the afternoon to prep for Suntag and the race.

Sunday was the 1st race of the 2009 WVMBA series, and it was a perfect day for it, some sun, in the 60's, and dry trail conditions. A ton of our good friends were in attendance, and everyone was ready to begin a new season of mountain bike racing that will go all the way into September! I made the jump up to expert class for the first time and was able to hold my own much better than I expected. Lemma finished 3rd in women's beginner winning her a sweet big bear pottery mug and a season pass to the park. It was awesome, wish I could have gotten some of my core peeps from back home up for it! Check out the results here!

Sorry no pics yet! They are on my camera at home, and I am here at the lab and about to leave. As it is raining pretty nicely, I'm gonna leave the computer here so as not to get it soaked in my bag, I'll post some pics soon. Riding in the rain is cool, fenders are awesome!

Got my video in at Adventure's Edge, so I'm official for the film festival. Show is Friday night at the Met, 7 pm so come on out! My buddy Burchy is coming into town so we are going climbing Saturday and probably riding bikes on Sunday!

15 April 2009

Ride your bike!

Just in case you were wondering, here a plenty of reasons why you should ride your bike...


  1. Bicycles increase mobility for those who don't have access to motor transport.
  2. Bikes increase mobility for those who don't qualify to drive a car.
  3. Bicycles increase mobility for those who can't afford motor transport.
  4. Bikes increase mobility for those who don't want to drive motor vehicles.
  5. Bicycling can be faster than walking, transit or motor vehicles.
  6. Bicycling is the most energy efficient form of transportation ever invented.
  7. You get exercise from bicycling.
  8. Save travel money by biking. If the switch is from a car this includes purchase price, gas, tires, fluids, insurance, maintenance, washing, parking, etc.
  9. Reduce stress by bicycling.
  10. Biking is therapeutic for the mind and spirit -- is fun and can make you happy.
  11. Cycling is therapeutic for the cardio-vascular system, live healthier.
  12. Regular cycling provides better muscle tone, bone mass improvement, clearer skin
  13. Regular bicycling helps with personal weight management -- new full-time bicycle commuters can expect to lose an average 13 pounds their first year of bicycle commuting if they maintain the same eating habits.
  14. Bicycling is a great initial activity for people who are obese and help them on their way to a healthier life.
  15. Regular cycling can lead to lower health care expenses -- save money for a nicer vacation.
  16. Allows the rider to appreciate the more of the nuances of the natural and built environment around them.
  17. Your commute will be the best part of your day instead of the worst part of your day.
  18. The exercise increase your productivity at work
  19. Cycling improves your self-esteem.
  20. Save on the membership to a health club, get your exercise bicycling to work, school, shopping, etc.
  21. Bicycling is nearly a life-long activity.
  22. Bicycling is a great full family and friends activity.
  23. Cycling is low impact on the body.
  24. Cycling is low impact on the environment
  25. Bicycling in your neighborhood is a great way to meet your neighbors and build community.
  26. Camaraderie of cyclists makes it a great way to meet a nice stranger with a similar interest.
  27. Bicyclist can ignore the highway traffic jam reports.
  28. Feel the satisfaction (liberation, freedom) of biking past a traffic jam in the bike lane.
  29. Predictable commute time.
  30. Easier parking.
  31. Cheaper parking.
  32. Leaving your car at home provide a parking space for someone less fortunate.
  33. If you are lazy, your bicycle provides door-to-door transport (you don't have to walk across a vast parking lot).
  34. Reduces the demand for new roads and paving the earth with asphalt and concrete.
  35. Reduces the demand for parking lots and paving the earth.
  36. Reduces energy consumption (see below).
  37. Reduces air pollution -- bicyclist emit few poisonous gases. A four mile bicycle trip keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe.
  38. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  39. Reduces water pollution -- bikes don't drip brake fluid, anti-freeze, transmission fluid, toxic dust, etc.
  40. Reduces noise pollution -- even without a muffler bikes are quiet, creating a quieter community.
  41. Reduces road wear -- even if cyclist feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.
  42. Reduces deforestation for planting of rubber plantations, because bicycles use very little rubber.
  43. Reduces crime -- a huge amount of crime is associated with access to motor vehicles.
  44. Reduces road kill and saves animals.
  45. Demonstrates a concern for the future -- walk (ride) your talk.
  46. Prevent and protest the sanctioned murder of innocent responsible citizens (homicide by motor-vehicle).
  47. Bikes small profile reduces congestion.
  48. Easy to vary your route by bicycle.
  49. Increased bike use generates bike facilities which increase property values.
  50. Bicycling gives you more fresh air than a sauna and you can still sweat and clean your pores
  51. Bike Commuting is a license to dress weird and still feel smug.
  52. Urban cycling keeps you humble.
  53. Bicycling can be enjoyed in a wide variety of topography.
  54. Cycling can be enjoyed in a wide variety of climates
  55. Bicycles are a great means to see the world.
  56. Bicycling is cool.
  57. Biking Is Fun.

14 April 2009

Busy Weekend!

Well it is back to the lab after another sick weekend full of running around, bicycles, beer, and good food.

Friday I made it out to Cooper's with Nathan for a great off-and-on rainy ride, and then dinner and fishbowl with the McLeans. Saturday morning I headed out to Mason-Dixon historical park and spent the day course marshaling for the Morgantown Road Race. The WVMBA/BYBC guys had an excellent turn out with over 160 racers.

Afterward I hit the road and headed home to Lynchburg to see the family for Easter. I made it in around 8 pm to find Dad in the middle of grilling up some excellent salmon, and steaming some veggies. We drank a beer, chatted about my recent travels, and then settled in for the night.

I spent the morning with the old man, having morning coffee with my grandparents, feeding the cows, and making the Sunday Owen's market breakfast run. After that I made my way over to the Dwyers to pick up Scott to meet some other local guys for a day of mountain biking. Scott was late, so we were late, but those guys are always late, so we really werent late at all. By noon it had warmed up and the ride up and traversing across the mountains was amazing. The downhill horse trail was, dry, fast, and challenging as always. Since Scott hasn't been able to get a new rear derailleur for his bike, he spent the day on his single speed, which gave him the BA trophy for the day.

Made it back home for a solid get together with some Brown family members which included some more great food, and of course good beer.

Monday morning I headed down to see Mom for a very tastey belated Easter lunch, and then hit the road back to Morgantown arriving in the evening rain.

It's time to get some work done in the lab this week and finish my video that is due Friday!

Racing at Big Bear on Sunday...mmmm - see you there.

- Jake

07 April 2009

White Stuff

I think they call it snow, but its April...so it can't be right?? Had about an inch or a little more on my car this morning, and it was plenty cold.

Had a fun birthday weekend, my mom came to visit, we had some nice meals, visited cooper's rock, spent some time downtown, had dinner with Seth and his mother, and went to Gene's to see some music, oh and bread from the New Day Bakery on Sunday which was awesome.

Probably heading home this weekend, I'd love to do the Morgantown Road Race, but I havn't spent much time with my Dad and Grandparents in a while, and my weekends will be full of fun biking and/or beer related activities from now until well...the fall so, I need to get home.

Good luck to everyone doing the race!

03 April 2009

Bike Board

Well, it seems I made the cut as a new member on the Morgantown Bike Board - looking forward to being more involved, and hopefully I can help on some upcoming projects!

In other news I have all the video I will need to finish putting together my "cycling/WVU cycling" movie that I will be entering in the Morgantown Film festival! Gotta finish it next week, should be rather sick, and I have some good tunes with it.

The festival is Apr 24 at 123 - get your tickets at Adventure's Edge - only $5!!!

Oh, and its raining today!

02 April 2009


My legs, my legs, my legs....ohhh man.

Wish I had taken one of the two pair of arm warmers I own, but I lived, just a slight chilliness on the ride home...

It was fun, I'll be back, and my new bike rides niiicely.

Need to lower shifters on bars, and that's about it...