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The Bicyle Fix-Myrtle Beach Reports on Andre Pope’s Recent Biking Adventures

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The Bicycle Fix-Myrtle Beach is posting updates on a Andre Pope, friend of mine, who just finished biking in DC and the Great Allegheny Passage aka the Gap Trail.

This past week I took an adventure by bicycle, I rode the Great Allegheny Passage. Known to some as the GAP trail, the Great Allegheny Passage stretches from Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA along a rails to trails path. Mostly crushed limestone rock, this smooth trail winds its way through beautiful wooded areas, small towns and scenic overlooks, giving you a traffic and motorized vehicle-free 150+ mile bike ride…

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Read about Andre’s entire biking adventures at The Bicycle Fix-Myrtle Beach News page.

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Crying Like a 40 Yr Old Baby at the Fork Area Trail System

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For my 40th birthday, my wife surprised me by plotting behind my back!  She secretly organized a bike-napping where I would be forced against my will (yeah, right) to ride 40 miles at the Fork Area Trail System (FATS) in North Augusta.

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The weather forecast was a little sketchy considering a slight chance of rain, but I seem to have a fascination with riding in the light rain, so I was still stoked.

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I knew that I was back in my home state of South Carolina when I saw this “beware hunting” sign on the trail kiosk.

20130508-112827.jpgThe bike bandits that organized the kidnapping was Steve and Greg (Cape Fear SORBA president).  They ride FATS several times a year so it was great having veterans lead the way.  I never had to worry about looking at signage, but instead I was able to just kept my eye on the leader of the pack and focus on enjoying the roller coaster ride.

The guys told me the placards on benches scattered on the trails were dedicated to a rider who actually died while riding the trails.  I wasn’t sure if this was true or not, but at mile 33 I had to lay down on a bench as I started feeling queezy.

The goal was 40 miles for 40 years of living, but at mile 30 I started contemplating why I wasn’t attempting this ride at age 30.  Until this ride, my record distance was 36 miles so I knew I was entering uncharted territory.

Most likely due to dehydration, I starting bonking at mile 39.  Not only was I was out of water and an inner drive to continue riding, I was trying to call it a quits in a big way.  Greg and Steve would have no part in seeing me stop 1 mile short of my goal so they fought hard to pick me up mentally and physically.

I remember that last mile very vivid as I was coming up with every excuse not to continue riding or just simply get the guys to slow down.  I remember throwing my chain and telling them I had not tool to fix it.  In reality, I knew it wouldn’t take a tool, but I thought I could stall them for a while.  In addition, I took advantage of a snake that was laying across the trail’s path and asked them to stop with me and do some snake-gazing.

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Moving time was 4:30 mins.

FINALLY, as we crept slowing forward, I saw Steve (the only one with the bike computer) throw his index finger to the ground and mark an imaginary spot on the trail and yelled “40 miles!”

As soon as I cross that line, I dropped over (still clipped in) and just laid there with my face up in the air looking at the tree canopy.  As I pulled myself out from under my bike, I propped by elbows on my knees and looked out on the beautiful view of the rolling green vegetation.

Then20130508-112842.jpg, all of a sudden, it was like a weight of emotion dropped on me!  Immediately, as I realized I was at the 40 miles mark, I experienced this mental flash of my 40 years flash before my mind.  It was like a 40-card Rolodex flipping through my mind.

And yes, as this all culminated I starting weeping like a 40 year toddler riding his bike for the first time with no training wheels!

My guess is that I was broken down in every way at this point and just overwhelmed that the Lord had allowed me to experience life for 40 years.  Maybe I was having a Job moment and felt the weight of his words in Job 12:10,

“In whose hand is the life of every living thing,And the breath of all mankind?”

Ironically, Greg and Steve continued to ride up the trail and missed I had stalled at mile 40.  Nonetheless, once they had figured out I was not behind them they returned to catch a glimpse of a 40 year old trying to gain his composure.

After gaining my composure, they were kind enough to let me ride out on the last .2 miles to the parking lot!

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I wish I could say that the story ends there, but honestly, all I remember after this point was asking if I could lay down in the back seat of the van for a moment and I am guessing I faded away to recovery dream land!

I awoke after an hour and realized that my kidnappers had loaded all the gear and took the initiative to start driving us home.  The 1 hr power nap did wonders and I was feeling much better and ready to eat a whopping burger at Fuddruckers in Columbia.

All in all, I guess you can say that I had a ride of a lifetime and will not forget the fun for a long time.

Actually, you know it is a sign of a good trail build when you look back over 40 miles of single-track and hardly remember one climb in the entire ride.  I have decided to coin the phrase “trail-amnesia.”  If you can build a trail with so many fast rolls that you cannot remember the climbs (trail-amnesia), you have certainly succeeded in building epic trails!

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I was attempting to convince my wife I was okay after bonking, but as you can see I failed miserably!

Burn 24 Hour by Bike Rumor is Supporting James Caudill

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The Burn 24 Hour 2013 by Bike Rumor at Warrior Creek will be selling left over t-shirts from previous year’s races to benefit the C-Foundation in honor of James Caudill.  If you haven’t read the story of James, I encourage you to read it and pass it on to your friends and family.

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Registration for  BURN 24 HR

The Bush Center Warrior 100K Ride

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W100- Wounded Warriors Bush

What an honor to watch those who have sacrificed serving our country pedal their way with former president Bush in the Bush Center Warrior 100K Ride.  Take time to work through the list of riders and read their bios.  Thank you for serving our country!

– Major James C. Anderson, Jr., USA, from San Antonio, TX
– Sergeant First Class Manuel A. Colón, USA from Orlando, FL
– Sergeant First Class Thomas W. Costello, USA, from Shelby, NC
– Staff Sergeant Matthew P. DeWitt, USA, Ret. from Weare, NH
– First Sergeant Robert A. Ferrara, USA, Ret. from San Antonio, TX
– Major John Dana Greer, USA, Ret., from Savannah, GA
– Lieutenant Colonel David Johnson, USA
– Staff Sergeant Joshua M. Krueger, USMC, Ret. from Hubertus, WI
– Staff Sergeant Michael D. Morabito, USA, Ret., from Converse, TX
– Staff Sergeant Jeffrey R. Palenske, USA from Chicago, IL
– Master Sergeant Roque Rodriguez-Urena, USAF Ret., from Charleston, SC
– Staff Sergeant Omar R. Romney, USA, Ret., from Clarksville, TN
– Specialist José E. Santiago, USA from Centennial, CO
– Major Kent G. Solheim, USA from Raeford, NC;

Read full article here.

Follow Warrior 100K Ride on Facebook.

Balm Boyette, Alafia, and Santo Trails

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During Spring Break 2013, my family was excited to visit our best friends who recently moved south of Tampa, Florida.  I was very intentional on loading up the mountain bikes for the trip as I had heard that there area few trails in the area to ride.

First, we rode a trail called Balm Boyette which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere!  It was about a 30 minute drive but definitely the closest to my friends home.

It was neat to learn that Florida bike trails are often built on former phosphorus mines.  Building on these former mines allows the trail builders to incorporate changing elevations.  Since the trails can utilize the edges of these large mine craters, the end result are long flowy circular trail loops.

Also, as the vegetation has grown over these mines and rainwater fills the deepest part of the mine pits, many of the trails skirt along the edge of swampy water.  The end result is a beautiful scenery is several spots.

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Second, we traveled about 10 minutes past Balm Boyette to reach an excellent trail called Alafia.  Wow, these trails were excellent and it was obvious that lots of time and energy had been poured in to making these trails top notch.

Again, these trails were built around overgrown phosphorus mines, but Alafia had a large diversity of trail difficulties.  My favorite trail was the Roller Coaster which contained several high banking turns and lots of whoops to give you the roller coaster feel.

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20130508-111808.jpgWe did learn why one trail section was closed.  Being the adventurous bikers we are, we decided to ignore the “temporary closed” signs and venture through a section that was in deep need of upkeep and repair.  We paid the price for trailblazing this section and it seemed like nature kept reminding us why we needed to stay away by attaching mini sticker balls to our clothing and gloves.

Of course, you will notice from the pictures that the vegetation is very tropical and the sand is very white and powdery.  There had been some rain during the week, so this helped pack down the trail for fast riding.

I want to thank the SWAMP Mountain Bike Club for building and maintaining a great trail system.  I am even considering returning in 2014 to race a 6-Hour Duo race with my friend.

Finally, you will see from the pictures that we had a surprise pit stop at the mecca of mtbing in the Southeast better known as the Santos Trails.  I remember the IMBA Trail Crew team showing our bike club slides of the Santos Trails back in 2009 and wished to myself to visit these trails one day.20130508-112026.jpg

Unfortunately, visiting these trails was not on this trip’s agenda, but my family got stuck on I-95 and I pulled off on 301 to try and steer away from the congestion.  Low and behold, only a few miles on 301, we ran up to signage telling us turn left to get to Santos Trails.  My wife agreed to make it a potty-stop and I did not argue.

The parking lot was packed with a large diversity of riders unloading.  There was a awesome pump track at the trailhead and a skills park with large rocks to navigate.

I was able to get in a 3 mile ride just to say I had momentarily submitted to the Santos gods. This introduction only wet my appetite for more and I can’t wait for the next visit to ride this 70+ trail system!

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CJ Burford Rides for a Reason

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cjburfordI bet there are lots of reasons your ride and race your bike!  I am willing to bet health, competition, accomplishment, companionship, and nature, all edge the top of your list.  But, you will stop in your treads when you read about 8 year old CJ Burford.

Hi, my name is CJ Burford. I am 8 years old. Thank you for visiting my fundraising page!

Beginning on May 13th, 2013, I am planning to once again hop on my bike and pedal for a reason. This time I am going to be riding approximately 360 miles across the state of North Carolina from the Tennessee state line to Emerald Isle. I am doing this ride for the Samaritan’s Purse “Children’s Heart Project”. This bike ride isn’t a race; instead it’s a great opportunity for many people to help me show God’s love and support families all over the world with children who do not have adequate medical care!
This is not my first bike ride. Here is some info about my journey so far….

No doubt you will want to read more by visiting these links:

Watch his latest video here.

Are You a Bike Hoarder, Too?

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Many of us are way too familiar with hoarding old bikes and part in our garage or yard.  Let’s be like Bikefat.com and admit it, we do have a problem:-)

I have a confession to make. I’m a hoarder. But I’m not one of those senile nuts you see on an A&E television series, buried alive under bottomless piles of useless  junk. Certainly not like them, but a hoarder nonetheless. I like to think of it as just an innocent little case of bike hoardery.

Read entire article.

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