Good Ole Dirty Gross Stupid Columbia

Haven't been on the bike in a while and with Ian's Memorial ride fast approaching, I knew I needed to see where the legs and lungs were at. Verdict: I am out of shape, but the knees feel great. A moral victory of sorts. Christmas Eve was chilly so I donned the Old School Hoff kit complete with wind vest (the only one in existence) and rode out to the fort to dick around. Stir up some trouble. Mix it up. I saw the dude from Healthnet out there with some other retired pro. Well, I didn't see them. They came flying past me up a hill. They were fast but my bike looked nicer. After about an hour, my vest started cooking me like a rotisserie chicken. Is that why we wear vests when we ride? Core temperature and all that. One thing is for certain, the extra tall vest collar looks even more obnoxious in all its salmon glory. After getting owned by the roadies, I kept the pace redlined, probably around 15 mph. I had no idea as it has been about a year and a half since I've ridden with a computer. I got a flat tire on Wildcat which pissed me off as I had just put in a new tube. The offending culprit was a metal shard that cut through my Maxxis tire like a Vorheesian machete through a libidinous teenager's tent. After the repair, I rolled back through town. I saw a couple kids on track bikes rolling up Greene Street and gave them a wave and hello. Must've been too busy talking about that new Japandroids album to acknowledge my entreaties. Fair enough. Upon my arrival home, Mimi and I lolled about in the sun watching the idiot squirrels fight over spilled sunflowers from the bird feeder...

Old School Flava...

Good Ole VA

One of the things I enjoy most about going home for the holidays (besides quality time with my parents) is being able to ride something different, seeing how my old stomping ground has changed (if any) and giving the legs a nice little jolt from the usual work commute or Fort Jackson big loop. This year mother nature decided to dump 18 inches of snow on my home town just days before my arrival. Now I had gone over and lubed up the road bike but decided to take the cross bike last minute. It was definitely the way to go as roads were still completely covered in areas and muddy half melted messes in others. Here's my day in photo...
dope water bottle I know, email me and I can tell you where to get this limited edition bling.
well deserved!

I have to admit that this ride reminded my why I love riding my bike so much.

Merry Christmas!

The Ghostface Killah mix I've been listening to for 5 weeks straight. Josh Baker approved...

The weather outside was frightful

What to do when stuck at home all by your lonesome self? Go ride, what else!

Willey (Will the G and Kelly Fish) decided to get the heck out of dodge and enjoy a little holiday couples retreat of their own, leaving me with and empty house and an empty schedule. Now most of the southeast was being blanketed with snow (12 inches in VA according to my mother) Friday and Saturday morning, Columbia instead was greeted with buckets of rain. I wasn't about to let this ruin my plans of getting in a long day of riding (I mean what the hell else was I suppose to do?). So I sucked it up, finally broke out some cold weather gear and heading out around 8am on Saturday morning.

Now I feel I need to give props to my Craft WS Thermal Jacket (nice early Christmas present) and my Gaerne Eskimo boots. They proved to be well worth it. I wore a short sleeve pro zero base layer and was all good, didn't feel a thing. I also wore plain DeFeet Aireator socks and made it about 2.5 hours before the typical toe numbness set in. I assume with a smarter sock choice I would have made it the whole ride with no discomfort at all, next time I'll know.
rad crotch shot i know...

Now to be clear...
I'm sure some who read this will think I'm just a super woos but when I woke up Saturday morning it was 35 and still somewhat misting and by the time I was done the temperature had climbed to a whopping 40 degrees. So just keep that in mind when you think it never gets cold in SC.
So I am now a total believer in winter jackets and boots instead of multiple heavy and obnoxious layers. Look into it, its worth it....

Andre has shirts for days

Espied in the warehouse this morning. DITC!

As seen on the way to work

Saw this about 100 yards from the office this morning (no, not the crack in the windshield). Welcome to the mountains.

-- Post From This Hoff's iPhone

Grey Egg! Jucifer!

As some of you may or may not know, Joshie and I have been balls deep in the 2010 Hawley catalog. Well, Friday was our last day of work on it so that meant it was time to blow off a lil' steam. Hunter Gatherer for the Grey Egg show? But of course. Fellow Hawleyians Michael and Marcie were also there getting their pint on. Jason Beasley, former Outspokin now Portland wrench shook my hand and chattered aimlessly. I gave him the vacant stare and waited. Grey Egg was weird as usual. Why do people like this band? Meh. After five pints of pale ale and a Wild Turkey 101 shooter with Marcie, I decided to call it a night. The next morning came quickly. I woke up and rode over to the PCC. Helped with a bike move that was well organized and full of all sorts of snapperheads. Goddamn, I was hungover. After dropping off my shit and then nearly losing it, I went home and grabbed the four pronged thunderbox for a Poulenc gig in Florence. My hangover kicked into overdrive. Longest 3 hours of my life. After coming back into town, Joshie bailed on throwing down so I met some friends at The Whig for pints. A quick check of the watch and it was already midnight! Shit. I missed Acid Roach and ...For Science's set at Art Bar. I ran down the sidewalk to catch Jucifer. I got there in time to chat with Chris Maret (!), Mentos, J-Town and settled in. Holy Christ. It was loud. Scary loud. Bowel-loosening loud. I thought I was going to pass out, even with ear plugs in. There was very little treble. It was mostly bass frequencies that blew your hair back every time the kick drum hit. The smoke machines and lasers didn't help matters. After a little over an hour, the show ended and the rescue workers began clearing the rubble. Somehow got home and passed out from the rock. This weekend? A smashing success!

Snow Hike!

Similar to a Bear Fight but without the bloodshed and bruising. Myself, Chad Storck, and Jim Morrison hiked Cold Mtn (elev. 6030 ft) this past Saturday since snow was forecast for the higher peaks. We debated riding but decided a snow hike was in order. Anyway, hiking is harder than biking. Enjoy.

Tough as nails (liquid nails).

Jimberly debating the uber technical creek crossing.

A Winter Wonderland.

Fudge time!

Thru Hiker extroidanaire Chad Storck (top of page also) in front at Deep Gap below the summit. Basically Jim and I brought enough to bivouac for a month. Chad wore his fancy fanny pack and hiked in "tenny pumps".

Snowy rocks of doom...just ask Jim.

Summit approach.

Chad Storck ponders how much more enjoyable this would have been if Jim and I were actually good hikers.

Jim ponders how he can be so good at mtn biking and so unable to stay upright hiking.

Dramatic black and white photo.

Dangerous rock outcrop at the top.

Me watching Chad Storck on the dangerous rock outcrop.

Chad Storck, minimalist, regretting his decision to not bring anything warm. Later he was seen cupping his nutsack sitting behind a rock in an effort to warm his hands. Not pictured is the delicious Highland Cold Mountain seasonal and pizza we packed up to partake in at the top.

Lunch ride

I managed a leisurely quite enjoyable lunch ride today leaving from Cane Creek headquarters and traversing some of Fletchers sleepy roads. Below are some things you may see on a typical lunch ride.

Beautiful fields


Curvy roads


Inquisitive cows

Shotgun shells

And lastly, scurrying Peacocks...seriously

Seen but not documented: countless derelict automobiles, heavy machinery, and trailers.

-- Post From This Hoff's iPhone

Freaking South!

So I sit here with my delicious whiskey and coke, getting my daily dose of internet surfingh and a wave of sadness has overcome me. Is cross season really over? You gotta be kidding me! It seems like it just started. I keep seeing all the pics from all the rad races still going on around the country and i grow envious. While the southeast has its advantages, 70+ degrees yesterday.... it lack a certain cult cross following.

So i began skimming over my iCal to see if there is anything races left. Winston Salem, NC this weekend then nothing untill the NC winter series starts on January 9th (all the winter series is an average of 3 hours from home, LAME!)The problem is the majority of the Hoff cross crew has already paid their dues for Southern Cross on the 9th, which I am pumped about, but I feel I didn't get my fair share of cross racing this season. People seem to get and average of at least 10 or more while I only got in maybe 7...
To sum up what i thought of this season.... I feel fairly good about my first season with the 3s. Having some good results here and there but also some not so good results (im wont get into the details, id rather not relive those races). 1) I feel I know definitely what needs to be worked on, Starts! I had several bad starts this season that I feel cost me some crucial spots. 2) Tubies are rad! 3) Finally having a crew to roll with is awesome! I'm glad cross has gained popularity with the Hoff kids. Thanks guys!

I miss cross already!!!