29 January 2010

What he said...

As RobbieL said the other day on his facebook status "the offseason has become the preseason." - and I agree.

This past week, as painful as it kinda really was, I have crawled back out of my wintertime holiday-induced- post new year-cold weather-low motivation-hole, and gotten back to riding.

Delicious, sweet, and oh so gnarly, Virginia climbing, ridgelines, and rad downhill single track

27 January 2010

New job, new digs, same me

Living in Harrisonburg, VA now with Jason Burch, (Burchy), a great friend of mine from Virginia Tech, and working at Shenandoah Mountain Touring with Mr. Chris Scott. I'm digging it! Just been taking care of a few things here and there this week. Winter time seems to be preparation, scheduling, and brainstorming time at SMT and I'm trying to learn the ropes.

Got in a ride yesterday with local dude, and previous SMT intern Ryan Fawley. The road riding around here looks to be stellar, so I'm super stoked to see lots of it once winter rolls on out. Been trying to get around and meet some more folks and there will lots more of that to come. Totally soaking up that I can rock WNRN in my car and whenever I want again. It's good to be back in Virginia. They even have it on two stations here....yesss! I hit up Shenandoah Bicycle Company (SBC) for some winter time riding boots that I've been drooling over for some time now, and finally made the plunge. Now that I will have warm feet, winter can do as it pleases.

So before I left home, Dad and I built me a solid, simple, and awesome desk and I finally have it set up here in the office room of Casa de Burch. Even mounted my Odell Brewing bottle opener to it....finally...Maggie gave it to me LAST Christmas, but I havn't had anything solid, or that belonged to me, that I could mount it to. Thanks Maggie!

New desk! Thanks for the drill Dad!

Just what I need, a bottle opener and a facebook connection!?!?

Got to spend last weekend up in Canaan Valley with the McLeans, and the weather broke for us on Saturday,  softened up the conditions, and the skiing was quite fun.

Go Luke!

Lemma makes it look easy and smooth. She was doing some jumps that day too!

Yes, you ARE cooler than me.

Postcards under the glass of my night stand. Yess....send more please!

The ride Tuesday was good. Thanks Ryan for showing me some good new roads! I've been soaking up the time off and ate too many meals, awesomely large meals, while I was home...they were darn good though. Time to start hitting a few rides a week and getting back in shape and ready for spring. After all...it is part of my job now - and that....is.....awesome

Apparently I'm about to exceed my Pandora limit for the month. That is not awesome.

17 January 2010

Three days on the AT with Luke Dawg were awesome

Luke and I headed out on the 14th to hike a 25 mile section on the AT from Oronoco, VA to Tyro, VA...which was sort of going from about Amherst to the a little past Montebello, Crabtree Falls area.

The Cow Camp Gap shelter was nice and served us well for the first days evening. Thursday was an easy half day hiking in to Cow Camp Gap and we took our time gathering firewood and hanging out at camp. On our way in, we were even buzzed by a couple F-18s flying low over the mountain! LOUD!

Friday was gonna be a long day. It was 16 miles to our next destination - The Priest Shelter. We set out at first light to get moving on a hard day's hike.

Stopping, of course, to take in the view on Cole Mountain. The clear spot on top was nice, and the view was exceptional at 3920 feet.

Lucas on Cole Mountain

More from Cole at about 8:30 AM

Well after lunch at the Seeley/Woodworth shelter and 10 hard snowy miles of hiking later, we came upon Spy Rock at about 3850 feet! Climbing up on the rock with the high winds was a little spooky, but the view was worth it!

More from Spy Rock

Darkness fell upon us and we still had a bit to go. This was a cool AT marker just as we crossed the dirt road that would take one to Crabtree Falls. About a mile to go, uphill to the Priest Shelter. It would be hard to describe how tired I was at this point.

 About an hour and a half of hiking in the dark, and we finally found The Priest shelter! Cold and tired, a nice warm fire was certainly in order. Warm food, and it was on to bed!

 The Priest Shelter was nice, and we were glad to see it. Looks to be a popular shelter for folks just hiking up the mountain and staying for the night. Lots of names carved in, from even back to the 70's. Some funny musings in the log book. Slept in till about 8:30 on Saturday, took our time eating breakfast and getting ready for the hike down the mountain to the car. Another nice warm and sunny day, we saw about 15 people hiking up the mountain to stay at the shelter...was gonna be a busy night for the shelter we had called home the night before.

So our trip was a great time, saw some great views, wore ourselves out, and simply enjoyed the time outside in the backcountry. Already talking about our next trip.

11 January 2010

See you later!

So after a two and a half year tour  in Morgantown, West-By-God-Virginia, it has come time for me to head on, for good, I'm not sure, but at least for a while. It has certainly been an interesting journey. I met hundreds of people during my time here from all over the country, and even from different places all over the world. Odd it seems that I had to come to West Virginia to meet people from Malaysia, Indonesia, Columbia, Argentina, Spain, Norway, South Africa, and England, yes quite odd indeed...and awesome.

I came to get a Master's in Engineering, but I really gained so much more on top of that. Of course, outside of school, my main influence was with the cycling and outdoor scene of Morgantown. There is such a solid community of cyclists and outdoor folks there, it made someone like myself feel very at home, and there was lots of adventure to be had.

I've had the pleasure of riding bikes with some super fast, and super awesome people, I made some great friends and learned a lot about riding on Thursday nights with Team Rowman, held on for dear life on the occasional Wednesday, suffered the cold on winter MonClub mtb rides and I raced and partied with the decade-long conference champion WVU cycling team.

I did some paddling, plenty of climbing, partying....yeah, and lots of snowboarding in the winters. I met an awesome girl who has showed me so much about the outdoors, life, love, travel, and of course...eating right! I've traveled, to Maine, Massachusetts, Georgia, PA, Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, every corner of West Virginia, oh...and Ireland. I was a member of the Morgantown Municipal Bicycle Board, I broke my hand, I lost a camera, I broke a bike frame, I lived in three different apartments, learned how to properly build and work on bikes, found out about Canaan Valley, Toured the Cannondale plant in PA, climbed at the New River Gorge, raced the WVMBA series, upgraded to Expert, and learned how much fun trail building is.

I went to WVU football games, played paintball for Bachelor parties, spent quality times with old friends at the Lawson Hanger. I went to weddings, fry parties, night-time bike rides, Christmas night-time bike rides, election parties, backpacked Dolly Sods, managed to get in plenty of quality experiences with my brother, and always kept in touch and connected with my family.

Oh...and I worked hard, did well, and finished up a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering!

So, thank you so much to everyone who made my stay here so wonderful. Its amazing to think of how many great friends I made during my time here.Thanks again, keep in touch, and I'll see you soon!

06 January 2010

This is awesome!

04 January 2010

Snow outside, packing, packing, reading, tv, boredom...

So...here are some of my favorite Simpsons clips that I found....


There are tons more, but I think I'll get back to reading...

02 January 2010

Holiday Times

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from my holiday travels that included goofing off in Richmond, at home, some good times, including a powder day in Canaan, and finally back to Morgantown.

Tour de Lights!

Snow Lemma
Sunset at Blackwater Falls

Happy New Year!

One last week in Morgantown, before heading back to Virginia!