Monday, May 2, 2016

OK everyone this is my first attempt at blogging, so hang in there, it has to get better from here.

The first order of business is to introduce myself. My name is Mike Honcho. I was born somewhere in Jeff Williams' brain, with the help of a good friend and fellow adventurer Brent "State Farm" Nelson. We were in the middle of a two day training ride - I think in the Blue Ridge WMA near the Tellico River, and I needed a name as the 2013 TNGA roving reporter. If you know where the name came from, fantastic. If not, well, that's a story for another day. From that point on Mike Honcho became a way for me to stare long hours in the saddle, thinking up new creative ways, and hopefully humorous, to take away some of the mental and physical numbness.

Since then it has taken on a life of its own, with several hashtags and sayings that are somewhat inside jokes. I guess the hands-down winner has been #honchoup. A loose definition of that term means when the going gets tough, strap your shoes tight, take the slack out of your overalls, quit whining, and put your head down because there is work to do.

How did I get into endurance mountain biking? In 2012, I had no idea this craziness existed. Then on an evening ride with friends on a hot August night, we met a guy named Ryan Sigsby at the top of Horn Mountain on the Snake. He looked rough as a cob. We asked what he was doing and he told us the story of starting his ride at the SC/GA border. Holy cow. I was intrigued on the spot. And well, that was the beginning.

Fellow MTB'ers ask why I do this. People that don't MTB think I am a special kind of crazy. I even had one friend tell me "Hell, I don't hate myself that much." I guess it is the self-challenge, the self-dependency, and somewhat the adrenaline rush facing the unknown. Every ride is different, with special challenges and interesting people, locations, and scenery. There is something primal about being out in a sparsely populated area, pretty much alone with little modern communications and human interaction. It's hard to put it into words unless you are some type of adventurer.

I love being outside at night. I've been doing that since I was a kid. There is something magical about it to me. And I am overly concerned by nothing in the Appalachians except two-legged critters, and only a small portion of those.

So here we go. Another year of TNGA training, with a plan coming together for Tour Divide in 2017. Hopefully my ramblings can be of some help to someone out there.

Happy trails, Honcho

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