Wednesday, November 28, 2007


An open letter to Bob Stapleton, general manager Team High Road (formerly T-Mobile)

Dear Mr. Stapleton,

I recently had the good fortune of coming into a large sum of money through several internet related sources. While I certainly do not scoff at the prospect of such a windfall, I cannot dismiss the timing of my good fortune occurring so near your loss of title sponsorship from you team as being merely a coincidence. Because of my deep love for professional cycling, I can't help but think that I can turn my good fortune into something positive for you. Now, believe me, I do not make this offer selflessly. I am also motivated by the fact that once again, George Hincapie seems to be drawing the short end of the stick. Now, in the twilight of his career, George has signed with your team and now, that team seems to be in dire straits. I would like to see George finally pull off the big win, so we have to keep your team solvent enough to get through the spring classics. With all of this being said, my proposal is this: if you are interested in me giving you the $3 million that I have won from 2 separate foreign lotteries, as well as the 10% dividends that I will receive for helping a UK oil conglomerate extricate funds from the US, then I think that rather than giving these groups my financial information, you could just give them your team's information. If this idea is amenable to you, just contact me through the email link on this page.

We'll see if Mr. Stapleton takes me up on the offer. If I were him, I'd be in a scrambling panic right now, but he seems to be pretty calm about the whole implosion that he seems to be in the middle of. The damage to the sponsorship climate at the Pro Tour level can only be estimated at this point. Who knows what is going on behind the scenes of other top-level teams. The one thing that is certain is that now the war on drugs will get very heated. Given what is going on with Iban Mayo's doping case, things aren't going to get any better, though. Mayo's A sample was positive, but then his B sample was negative. So the UCI then has the B sample retested. It comes back negative again. So now, they want to take the B sample back to the lab that found the A sample positive and have them re-retest the B sample. I gotta say that that seems to be bordering on a witch hunt.

Jeff and I stayed at the shop late tonight unpacking and stocking the 11 boxes worth of Specialized stuff we got in today. We've got soooooooooo much new stuff in from Specialized it ain't even funny. Come check it out if you're down our way!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A hard decision

I'm quitting my teaching job. This has been a hard decision to make, but one that I feel is ultimately best for my family. Given the amount of time that will be required of me to help facilitate the large money transfers for the Star Energy Group, PLC, I feel it is for the best. I feel that the winnings from the UK Promo Lottery will serve as an adequate cushion in the transition time between teaching and my OPEC career, so I think we'll be okay. What really pushed me over the edge was the recent news that I received that I had also won 1.5 million dollars in the Foundation de France sports lottery. I think that my time now can honestly best be spent sitting back and letting the money come to me. I think that my big problem has been the spurious belief taught to me by my parents that you have to work to earn money. Apparently, that is not the path to wealth. So for now, a big "Hello, gravy train!!!"

A couple of shop announcements:

We are very excited to be able to announce that we are now a Specialized Accessories dealer! We have a large shipment of products that will be landing on our doorstep in the next few days, so come check it out!

Due this addition, we are closing out all of our in stock Adidas cycling shoes for 50% off! We have Adidas Tri-star, Race, and Vueltano road shoes as well as mtn. bike shoes and some women's specific road shoes. Get 'em before they're gone!

If you would like to attend a group trainer ride on Tuesday or Thursday night, please call the shop or drop me an email. We will be there if you want to come, but if no one expresses a desire for a particular night we will consider the ride canceled.

Don't forget 'cross racing in Boone this Sunday! It should be very good 'cross racing weather and I'm sure the beer tent will be the prime place to catch all the action since the course goes past it about 5 times per lap! See you there!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lucky day!

Thanksgiving came off without a hitch. We got up and started cooking and got the turkey in at about 12:30. Cooking the Thanksgiving turkey is the high wire act of holiday dining. If you cook it right, then the meal comes off without a hitch. But screw up the turkey and people will talk about how you ruined thanksgiving for years. The worst is going to someone else's house and being served some super dry turkey and knowing that you could do a better job. So it was great to have a great meal with great food and great friends...

As if all of that wasn't enough, I received this email:

Dear Friend

Let me formally introduce myself to you, I am Mr. Raymond Wessel
president/founder STAR ENERGY GROUP PLC, we are OPEC members who deals on
crude oil and raw material and export into the America,Canada, Europe,
Africa South America and Asia.I will want to solicit for your assistance
to help collect a cheque that is due for payment to me for services and
supplies i rendered to my a client.

Please if you are willing to assist, i will want you to furnish me with
your particulars, so as to enable me give you further details. Please,
you have to be an honest and trust worthy person, as more payments
will be made through you in the course of this transaction.And more so you
will be entitled to 10% of every payment that you are able to receive
for us from our customers.
Provide for Us Your personal and banking details.

We look forward in working with you.

Raymond Wessel (Mr.)
Chief Executive Officer
Star Energy Group Plc

Now, it isn't often that this sort of windfall comes into my life, so I plan on taking full advantage of it. Given my extensive background with helping out exiled members of various Nigerian royal families, I have worked out some foolproof ways of dealing with these delicate money transfers.
1) I only accept gold bullion or uncut diamonds; no wire transfers!
2) I transfer the money to Mr. Wessel by purchasing iTunes gift cards in the total amount needed in $25 increments.

This is win-win for both of us. In fact, Mr. Wessel can buy a lot of digital music, burn them to disc multiple times and make a killing selling bootleg music on the black market.

As if hooking up with the Star Energy Group weren't lucky enough, I also received an email informing me that I had won a UK Promo Lottery by having my email randomly selected from a worldwide email list! What are the odds of being so lucky? Should be a good Christmas around the Moore household...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eve of destruction

The turkey is bathing in brine in the fridge and the pumpkin pie just came out of the oven. Thanksgiving is nearly here. I really enjoy Thanksgiving. I love the cooking and the hanging out with friends and family. I love the food and even dig the leftovers.

Jeff and Shelly are joining us for Turkey day tomorrow. We have a little feast planned and it should be well worth the effort. Our menu is as follows:

Roast Turkey (bathed in brown sugar brine)
Belgian mashed potatoes with caramelized shallots
cooked cranberries
string beans
sweet potato biscuits w/ orange marmalade butter
deviled eggs
pumpkin pie
Belgian beer cake with dried fruit

Jeff and I went for a little ride this morning as a way to pre-burn the calories we are going to consume tomorrow. It was a little chilly, but warmed up nicely during the ride. The weather for a turkey day ride is not looking hospitable. Better make it an early one or you're gonna get wet (hopefully). The saturday Luna group ride is moving to 10am starting this weekend. Hopefully, that will make the start a bit warmer!

We will be closed tomorrow and Friday, but will be open Saturday for all of your shopping needs! We have a lot of end of season sales on bikes and accessories, so come by and take advantage of us!

Monday, November 19, 2007

3 helmets to the 'cross gods

No snow materialized for Hendersonville, but Saturday was bitterly cold. The ground had a thick layer of frost and was as hard as concrete.

When we got to the venue, it was 7:45 am. I had not gotten much sleep since I had been out at some friend's art gallery opening and didn't get in bed until about midnight. I had gotten up at 4:30 am to start getting all my crap together for the drive, so not much sleep had been had. I had that fine, subtle jittery feeling that comes with sleep deprivation, but I wasn't daunted.

Got everything together, went through the smoothest and fastest registration process in the history of bike racing (thanks, Tim!) and started getting ready to race some 'cross. I got to the line and wound up beside Howard Rhyne, as usual. It's good to be near somebody you trust at the beginning of a 'cross race. This season has been some of the roughest and most aggro racing I have seen in the NC series, so I welcome the chance to be near somebody I know won't do something stupid. Howard and I even managed to talk the UCI commissaire into letting us line up on the front of the grid, but I couldn't follow through with it. Instead I ended up on the second row. The commisaire was doing random call ups and I stuck with the European line up method: if they point in your general direction, assume they mean you and roll up to the line. We started on a paved track, so I knew the start would go ballistic from the gun and sure enough we took off and I began downshifting immediately. My problems started when we came out of the turn onto the paved straightaway and I shifted into my 12t cog. As soon as I completed the shift, the chain jumped off the cog and jammed between the cog and the dropout. I stayed upright and pulled off to get out of the way. I jumped off and started working the situation out. Then the women's field started. All the women went by me before I got the chain sorted out.

I took off and started picking my way through the women's field. Halfway through the first lap, I caught the back of the men's field and settled down to business. I stayed focus on catching, passing and dropping as many guys as I could. I drove it as hard as I could, for as long as I could. My final trip down the fast downhill, off camber grass turn ended in me smacking the ground with my head so hard that I broke my helmet and bent my derailleur hanger. I knew it was bad because I heard all of the cow bells stop ringing and a collective "Oooooooooooooooohhhhhh" rise up from the crowd. I remember my teammate Bob yelling for me to get up and go (thanks for all of the cheering Bob). I sorted myself out and took off. I caught a few more people and rolled across the line in 22nd place. I had caught and passed over 40 guys and gotten one of my best placings this season after spotting the field a 2 minute head start!

Jack Brown finished 4th, Chris Behrman finished 5th (and took over the series lead), Bobby got 15th, Charles Hicks finished 43rd, Jeff finished 4th in a strong Master's field and Howard Hesterberg secured 2nd overall in the Master's 55+ series (and also caught many 45+ and 35+ racers!).

In retrospect, I'm pretty sure I got a mild concussion from my crash, but that didn't deter me from racing on Sunday. However, the effort of Saturday took it's toll on me and I could not capitalize on a great start and ended up in 20th place. Oh well, it's not like I won't be back to do it again next year.

So, I broke my helmet in a crash; Jeff broke his helmet when it slid off of his head after his race and Jack broke his helmet when he decided to do a high speed turf sample on the final lap of Sunday's race. That must be some kind of record...

Jack Brown with turf buddy

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Uh-oh... snow?

It looks like nature is going to play a part in this weekend's NC Gran Prix of Cyclocross. The temps are plummeting and snow is swirling all around us. The 9:30 am start for the CX4 race is going to be in the downright welldigger's butt crack chilly vicinity. I'm sure the ground will be frozen solid. Last year this meant zero traction in crucial spots and more than a few warm-up lap crashes transpired. The master's race will neatly bookend the day with a 3:30 pm start. By that time the ground should be mushy to partly goopy. I'm not sure which condition will be best...

I'm going to be stepping up to the line with a new piece of equipment this weekend. Due to the big break between the CX4's and the master's, I will be using the ZIPP 303's with Tufo Flexus 32's that Jeff has been hogging thus far this season. These wheels will drop 2lbs. off of the total bike weight. I can't even fathom what that is going to feel like! Now I will really be on a no excuse bike.

There is a new forum up for cycling in NC. Check out and use and try to make a statewide cycling community! I'm in the process of revamping this 'blog, so if you have any favorite bike sites you think I should put up permanent links to, send 'em my way.

Group trainer rides will start the week after Thanksgiving on Tuesday and Thursday night's at 7:00 pm. Let us know if you are interested by either emailing or calling the shop.

Lastly, I wanted to post a few pics from Pinehurst that Jenna sent me.

Post race recovery/Jeff's impromptu birthday party

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The day after the day after

It's always the second day that gets you. You know, lift weights or run or do anything physical and the next day you feel okay. Maybe a little tired and sore, but decent given what you did. But then the second day hits and you wake up seriously tweaked. And seriously tweaked is the state I am in right now. I think my right leg is shorter than my left one due to an angry calf that has curled up into a tight little ball of pain. Or the right hip flexor that likes to let me know it's displeasure with sharp stabbing pains when I move just right. I am not the victor in this weekend's battle in the sands. I think I would rather crash on rocks than suffer through the sandpits again.

I'm going to try to get a massage before the races this weekend. If you are in need of some muscular work, make sure you give Brian Pleasants a try. He has partnered up with Shelli at The Perfect Fit and by all reports he is an excellent sports masseuse. His number is (704) 895-2360. A good massage can make a world of difference in your performance, so don't blow it off as a luxury!

Now is the time for another great performance enhancer: bike fitting. We have entered the slow time in the shop and have the luxury of being able to spend a good deal of time with you working out your fit issues or even just tuning up your position a bit. We also have some new products in the works that will further increase the amount of customization we can do in order to help you achieve maximum comfort and performance on the bike! Give us a call if you would like to set up an appointment.

This weekend is the double race smackdown known as the NC Gran Prix of Cyclocross. It is in Hendersonville at a new course from the past few years, Flat Rock Middle School. The course looks like a doozy with long straightaways punctuated with sharp, twisty, s-curves and hairpins. It looks to be a long course, too. See you there!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Greetings from the 1st ring of Hell

Sandhell. Pinehurt. Call it what you want, but today's race was no joke hard in a painful, energy sapping kind of way. The course was modified from that of the past few years and it was an improvement to what was already a stellar course. For the first time in the series, barriers proved to be a definite technical issue due to their placement at the beginning and end of a sloped u-turn. Numerous (really numerous) deep sand sections(several of which had to be run to maintain speed and position) and a torturously long, deep sand run up added more than enough spice to this bouillabaisse of pain. Our merry band had a decent day with Chris Behrman 2nd (CX4), Howard Hesterberg 3rd (55+), Jeff Welch 4th (35+), Bob Pugh 4th (45+), Jack Brown 13th (CX4 and an unknown placing in 35+) and me, somewhat ignominiously, 28th (CX4) and 27th (35+). Yep, I just can't get enough of that painful stuff, so I gotta go and do the double up racing back-to-back. My 7th, 8th and 9th trips up the sand run up were the very definition of pain. A lady was talking to me, telling me to "keep up the pace". I said, "Ma'm, this is the pace".

Thanks to everyone for cheering for us and thanks to my teammates for the post race libations! I'll post pics when they are emailed to me. Thanks, too, to Jenna for coming with us and helping out with all of our race needs and for also putting up with our numerous pee breaks on the drive down!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

it's about bedtime

We're rolling out for Pinehurst and the Sandhell 'cross race tomorrow morning at about 4:30 am. There is no good way to get from here to the Sandhills region of NC. The most direct routes take you through so many small towns with traffic lights that it makes the circuitous interstate routes significantly speedier. So we leave at the butt crack of dawn, stop along the way at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then try to make it to the race with enough time to get a decent warm up and be able to scout the course before hurtling down it at mach 10.

Jeff won the master's race in Johnson City today. He's doing a back to back race set this weekend to prep for Hendersonville next weekend and the NC State championships/Boone races the weekend after Thanksgiving. Me, I'm just trying to suffer my way through with a healthy dose of smoke and mirrors in the hopes that one weekend will be MY weekend!

The last few Saturdays in the shop have been pretty slow. The whole downtown seems to be slow on the weekends. As Christmas season approaches, try to give your local merchants a shot at fulfilling your gift needs before you head to the mall or the big box stores. Remember that of the 7.5% sales tax that you pay on purchases, 2.5% goes to the county. By buying locally, you are adding money to the county coffers; money that is used for all sorts of public services. Support Locally Owned Businesses!

I'll give a full rundown of tomorrow's sandy funfest as soon as I recover enough to type!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I jumped on the 'cross bike and took off to work this morning. About 2 minutes in I realized it was cold. After about 5 minutes I realized it was pretty damn cold. My fingertips and toes got that burning, tingling sensation and my sinuses felt like I had just sucked up too much milkshake too quickly. Kind of off the bat in my commute I have a pretty decent hill that takes a good 10 minutes to climb. I stood up and pushed a big gear up it, trying to stoke the fire and get warm. It worked well enough to last the rest of the ride. When I walked into school, my students got all wide-eyed, so I must have looked a bit rough.

I have failed to mention it, but I have been riding a new 'cross bike since the Lenoir race. I built up one of the Argon 18 Arsenics that we got recently. It is an all carbon frameset and is the stiffest and smoothest riding 'cross frame I have ever been on. It has a massive bottom bracket area that keeps all of the pedal force going into the rear wheel. I was impressed on the 'cross course Sunday, but I got a different set of impressions when I outfitted it with road wheels and rode it to work this morning. It is a buttery smooth ride and the carbon frame attenuates the road vibration. Argon 18 seems to have done a good job at maximizing the potential of carbon.

With the onset of a windy cold climate, it is time to think about riding indoors. There has been some interest in trainer rides at the shop. I am thinking that we should start the week after Thanksgiving. How does Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8 pm sound to everyone? Give me some feedback so we can get it right!

For those of you looking to take some time off the bike, now is the perfect time to get an end of season overhaul! That way, when you take the bike out to ride again, everything will be smooth, perfect and brand spankin' new!

This weekend is the Southern Pines stop of the NC Cyclocross series. Affectionately known as "Sandhell", this course features the sandiest conditions to be found on any course in NC. Sand is one of those tricky, unpredictable surfaces to race on. Sometimes you cruise on the top of it, sometimes float through it, and other times you bog down and slip and slide through it in an unpredictable dance that can throw you down without hesitation. I have never done well at this course. I have gotten good starts and had moments that were encouraging, but it hasn't come to fruition. Perhaps this time will be different...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Big sigh

I don't seem to be recovering quickly from these weekend 'cross efforts. Mondays, I'm pretty wiped out. Tuesdays, I'm better, but still fatigued in a droopy kinda way. By Wednesday, I'm starting to feel a little more normal. I think what I really need is a good massage. My kinks have kinks in them.

I've gotten a few photos to post, but I need to wait until I have the faster computer to actually put them up.

Up next on the agenda is the Southern Pines race this weekend. It is a hellishly sandy course with a dastardly run up and some grassy power sections. I'm just glad I don't have school on Monday, afterwards!

My students are finishing up their Nascar presentations and it is pretty obvious how much work some of them put into them. Even my diehard Nascar fans have learned something about the sport. Next up, we learn about magnetism and electricity. Not sure how I'm going to tackle it, but I'm working on it.

Lastly, Deb Venti's write in campaign for Mayor of Lenoir came up just short as incumbent David Barlow edged her out 661 to 619. Maybe a full campaign is in order the next time around? I also got to talk to city councilman TJ Rohr who was doing the meet and greet at the downtown polling place. He said something to me about how he knew I wasn't going to vote for him as we disagree on the recycling issue. I was a little shocked by this, I mean true, I'm right and he's wrong about the need for municipal recycling (just joking, TJ!), but I respect the fact that he has a unique point of view and brings a different perspective from the norm to our local political scene. Also, he's a genuinely personable guy and in no way resembles a stuffed shirt. I told him that I appreciate viewpoints on the fringe, since that is where my own political views lie and even though our fringes are on the opposite sides of things, we can at least keep the middle honest!

Our town is at a serious crossroads in its infant rebirth. Our downtown revitalization effort has not just stagnated, but seems to be losing ground. There is a dearth of empty retail space for lease, with no apparent prospects for new business. Fewer people are coming to downtown Lenoir and the effect on business is chilling. The loss of Sledgehammer Charlie's shows how important a strong anchor is to fledgling businesses. That coupled with the advent of out-of-town landlords who swooped in and bought up retail space as an investment in Lenoir becoming the next "big thing" has led to some serious issues for anyone wanting to open a new business downtown. We must do something to encourage an environment that is conducive to small, locally owned businesses starting, growing and thriving in the downtown business district.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lenoir 'Cross Race

I'm too tired to write much about today's phenomenal race here in Lenoir. Suffice it to say that much verbiage and as many pictures as I can round up will be posted here in the near future. A big, huge thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this event possible. The past few days have been a whirlwind of last minute details and a huge amount of physical labor to put the race together and take it apart afterwards. Thanks to everyone who participated and spectated. We hope you had a great time!