Wednesday, September 29, 2004

dirt rag

issue 110 of dirt rag is out... at least to subscribers, i haven't seen it in the magazine racks... normally a run of the mill event, but this month i've got a picture in it... it's in the reader art section...

ran last night, and then again this morning... hopefully i'll be able to get in a ride tommorow afternoon - might be on the road though, since i don't know what the trails will be like after yesterday's rain...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

vintage swank

my friends mitch and amy are opening their store VintageSwank this Friday out in Front Royal, Va... check them out if you're into vintage clothing, etc... they've got some pretty cool stuff...

Monday, September 27, 2004


it's almost time for the annual MORE camping trip to Douthat... i put this together with flash after the camping trip 2 years ago - my pictures and music from The Hackensaw Boys...

MORE Douthat Camping Trip

Sunday, September 26, 2004


alarm at 4, stumble downstairs, start the espresso machine, grab clean shorts from the dryer... bike on the car and on the road at quarter to 5 with a quadruple americano in hand... back way into fountainhead, coffee finished, get ready in the quiet, light on and then onto the trail... ride the loop backwards, stop to put up tape, repeat... cut my light near the end and finish up with just the pre-dawn half light...


yesterday morning on my way to avalon, i got a call from stu moulton - stuck in miami, thanks to the hurricane, and not sure when he'd be back... he was supposed to help pre-ride the venturequest course and finish putting up the tape that couldn't be put up while the trail was open on saturday... i said i could fill in, which is why i was riding fountainhead at 6 in the morning


i rode most of the loop, shortcuting near the end on the almost never used "shock-a-billy shortcut"... at the end of the loop i met stu, he managed to get into baltimore at 1am... stop at starbucks for another 4-shot americano and then meet up in the main parking lot... spent the rest of the morning running one of the passport control stations with juan...

Friday, September 24, 2004


went out wakefield last night for the MORE thursday night ride... it was a cool group, nice pace, pushing on the downhills and taking it easy on the climbs - once we let the singlespeeds take off on their own... hit kilroy's afterwards for the usual post-ride food and beers... did a quick run before the ride and ended up tweaking my ankle a bit, wasn't so bad yesterday evening, but it's sore now... might go up to the 'shed on saturday, or maybe patapsco, it's been a long time since i've been there...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


managed to get out of work early enough to get in a quick ride at schaeffer this evening... timed the ride perfectly, rode for almost and an hour and a half and made it back to the car just as the light was fading... deer where everywhere... some high thin clouds made for a beautiful sunset, the cameraphone doesn't do it justice

going to hit the thursday night ride at wakefield tommorow...

say it ain't so tyler...

i really want to believe you, that you're not doping, that your gold medal is clean, not stained with blood... you were (are?) the humble counterpoint to Lance's stardom and we've been with you, cheering for the underdog, through wins and injuries, one-day races, grand tours, and the olympics... Velonews: Hamilton Blood Tests Show 'Inconsistencies', Hamilton: 'I am 100 Percent Innocent

the whole peloton is probably juiced anyway, so whats the point in believing in any of them...

just a quick road ride after work tonight, around the park, somewhat aimlessly... up and down the hills, around in big circles...

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Bike DC

bike dc started in drizzle, continued through the rain, and finished in the sun... out to do trailwork tommorow morning to help refill my trail karma

Friday, September 17, 2004

underground singlespeed racing

Closer to the Devil - Singlespeed racing 3000' underground

Thursday, September 16, 2004

riding at twilight...

rain and work conspired to keep me from riding yesterday, but i managed a quick run. i rode down to haines point this evening for a half hour of tempo and felt good. my legs felt better than they have since the 100, some of the snap thats been missing is back. there was a group down there that i hooked up with for bits of a couple of laps. took a pretty good pull down the long headwind section of the loop. the days are getting shorter, it was almost dark when i got home at 7:30.

with ivan due to hit the area in the next couple of days IMBA decided to cancel the congressional ride that was scheduled for yesterday... they haven't been very successful with the weather for these rides, the first 2 where wet and now this one has been canceled. bike dc is still on for saturday, rain or shine...

outside assistance in mountain bike races

since the beginning of mountain bike racing, one of the major differences between it and it's asphalt based cousins has been the concept of self-reliance, no technical or mechanical assistance on the course... if you have a flat and don't have a tube, or pump, or tire levers, you're out of luck. it started in the norba rules and was adopted by the UCI for international competition and it's helped create better and more reliable bikes and components... now, the UCI has decided that "We can't accept that the best rider in the world with a lot of sponsors can lose a race just because of a puncture."

allowing racers to use pits, canibalize teamates bikes, or accept hand-ups of parts is contrary to the spirit of mountain biking, and gives another advantage to racers on highly financed teams who have dedicated mechanics and can now use less reliable lightweight parts with less worry of mechanical failures. sure there are supported races out there, mostly long distance races like the SM100, but there everyone uses neutral support provided by the organizer.

will this affect me? not at all, but i still care... Andrew Juskaitis does a much better job talking about this on the VeloNews website.

Monday, September 13, 2004

'cross season

time to start getting ready for cyclocross season... i'm done with mountain bike racing for the year, just lots of good rides, some fun volunteering, and some 'cross races... the douthat camping trip is coming up, BikeDC and VentureQuest - both fun events to volunteer at and spend the day hanging out with friends, and the MORE fall trailwork series is underway... cyclocross season gets going in october, with lots of races in the mid-atlantic... don't know which i'll do yet, but there are a half dozen or so within an hour of the city, and a few more with a longer drive...

rode my cross bike to the City Bikes team meeting tonight to get a feeling for it... looks like my position needs to be tweaked, feels like the bars need to be lower... first cross-specific workout on the bike tommorow, then a mountain bike ride and a quick run on wednesday...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

one gear & good beer

woke up early yesterday morning to head up to philly for the annual one gear and good beer singlespeed rally... drove over to ricky's house where we met up with butch, our ride up to philly, and then the 3 of us hit the road. we managed to get up to philly early, rode around the art museam area and found a subway to grab a quick lunch, then back to the car to pick up our entry-fees - a six-pack of good beer - out of the cooler.

after picking up the beer we rode over to the art museam to hang out and wait for the rally to start. we started the ride by parading over to the top secret rally location and stashing the beer in coolers. the park was a bit crowded at the start of the rally, so instead starting with cross-country, after everyone had a beer - or two, the day started with the jackass trials - a short trials course set up at the rally site. not everyone rode the trails course, but ricky and joe made both made it look way to easy, cleaning it multiple times when everyone else was having trouble getting one clean ride. i spent most the trials event taking pictures and didn't take a shot at the course.

after the trials, we rode the rally course, some a few more times than others, with a beer stops between laps. i took one lap, then backtracked around the course to take a few more pictures. after the xc and some more time hanging out we ventured out into the field for the log pull.

everyone who wanted took turns pulling a log - attached to your bike by a length of chain and strapping - up a hill. i'm not sure who won, but there were a lot of very impressive pulls... the singlespeed outlaw and ricky both good pulls - joe held the lead for a while. i took one pull, but counldn't get my left foot clipped in and only managed 20 or 30 feet. i knew leaving the older 536 pedals on my bike would come back to haunt me.

once everyone was done trying at the log pull, the rally king and queen were picked and the event moved to a bar further up the river in manayunk for dinner and more refreshments. this was my first one gear good beer rally and it was a lot of fun - cool people, good beer, singlespeed bikes, and a great way to spend a september saturday afternoon... like most singlespeed events it was very low-key, everyone hung out and had fun... three cheers for the rally master.

I spent most of the afternoon taking pictures, they're posted here...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

other SM100 race reports

here are a couple of other race reports from the sm100: joel, jason

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

back on the bike...

quick ride on the road bike last night... legs are feeling a little better this morning.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

live music...

this is going to be a pretty cool couple of weeks for live music in dc. here are some highlights [thanks to ryan for always staying on top of the music scene]...

  • Deke Dickerson, Sept. 9, Half Moon BBQ, TBD
  • Big Sandy & His Fly Rite Boys, Sept. 10, Iota, $12
  • Tarbox Rambers, Sept. 24 & 25, Iota, $12
  • Reverend Horton Heat & The Hackensaw Boys, Sept. 29, Jaxx, $15

Monday, September 06, 2004

SM100 Results Posted

Results are up... I was 237th of 237 Finishers (281 Starters) in 15:10:39...

Race Report: SM100

Start to CP1 - Narrow Back - 10 Miles

Stayed near the back at the start so that I'd stay out of the way of the hammerheads on the first couple of miles on the road. Hit the fireroad feeling good and climbed up and over Narrow Back pretty quickly. The pace was steady and social... Cookie trail over the top of Narrow Back was great, cleaned more of it than during the pre-ride. I passed a fellow City Bikes rider - Rob Leary - on the trail while he was dealing with a bike problem. He came round me at the top of the downhill to CP1. 10 miles down

CP1 to CP 2 - Lynn Trail and Wolf Ridge - 21 Miles

Rolled through CP1 and cranked down Trimble Road and made the turn onto the road to Reddish Knob and kept a good pace on the easy part of the climb. Talked to Barry Quigley about the prospects for new Clydesdale class. Lynn trail was just as bad as it was in the pre-ride, but I made it up with a lot of walking. The Wolf Ridge downhill was a lot of fun, the ridge-top section was great and even the lower rockier sections were fast and fun. At the end of the downhill the course heads back up Trimble road. A little group formed up with a couple of riders I knew and Brian, from Richmond. After a short climb we get a nice fast fireroad downhill, and then turn onto the road to Todd Lake and CP2.

CP2 to CP 3 - Hankey Mountain and Dowell's Draft - 13 Miles

Checked my camelbak and it looked like it was hitting my goal for drinking. I'd been out for 4 hours, so it was almost empty. Refilled with 50/50 water/gatorade, ate a couple of PB&Js, and grabbed my extra hammer gel flask from my drop bag. Out onto the road for a couple of miles to the bottom of the fireroad climb up Hankey. I suffered up the climb up Hankey... It was long and my stomach was tied in knots from the food at CP2. Had to force myself to keep eating and drinking. Towards the top I talked to another rider who was having a rough day. There was more rough ridge trail at the top before the downhill really got started, but it was just as much fun as I remembered from riding it last year.

CP3 to CP4 - Braley's Pond - 13 Miles

Quick refill of water and hammer gel and a snack at CP3 and then out on the road. The stage starts out with 5 miles on the road to mountain house, from there you head up Bridge Hollow on a tough singletrack for a mile and half. After a river crossing and set of rock steps I managed to ride most of first 1/3 of the trail (really fun climb), then walked a while, then back on the bike for the last section. At the top of the climb you head straight onto a great singletrack downhill. A bit of trail and a bit of fireroad into CP4.

CP4 to CP5 - Shenandoah Mountain - 18 Miles

Coming into 4 I wasn't sure that I had any climbing left into my legs, but I'd told myself that I wasn't going to drop there - if I made it to 4 I was going to head out to 5. I refilled my camelbak, ate some more food and, once again, hit the road. This stage starts with a few miles on the road, with a small climb thrown in, then gradually starts heading up to Shenadoah Mountain before turning onto a steeper fireroad for the last couple of miles. On the road I passed and then was caught by Bill Trossen who I'd met earlier in the year at the East Coast North American Singlespeed Championships of the Universe. We'ed passed each back and forth a couple of times during the day and rode together for most of the road out to the final fireroad. By the time I got to the fireroad I was alone and climbing slowly. I thought I had five miles, all uphill, to go to the aid station when I started up the fireroad and I was looking for an excuse to drop out. I was already behind where I'd expected to be and didn't think I'd get to CP5 before 6, which would mean not finishing until after 10. I got to CP5 sooner than I expected - probably because my computer was off by a bit...

At CP5 I talked to Nancy (my coach) and started half heartedly putting my lights on my helmet. I was thinking very seriously about dropping, but Nancy suggested just riding to 6 - a rolling climb up to the high point of the course - Little Bald Knob. While I was there Brian, who I'd ridden with on the road to CP2 came in and asked if I was going on. With that last bit of encouragement and the prospect of riding alone for 4 hours removed I decided to go on. I finished getting ready, refilled everything, and then got back on the bike. Just before we left a report came in from down the mountain saying that there were no more riders on the way up to CP5, and since we were he last people to leave CP5, we were the last riders on the course.

CP5 to CP6 - Little Bald Knob and Chestnut Ridge - 13 Miles

The climb along the ridge to Little Bald Knob wasn't as bad as I expected. The course climbs along a winding jeep road and I got a second wind as I realized that I might be riding slowly, but my legs would keep turning the pedals. After getting to Little Bald Knob we started down the long undulating Chestnut Ridge downhill. It's one of the most technical downhills on the course in places and has some pretty steep pitches, which after a couple hundred riders in one day were getting pretty loose and dusty. I had my one crash of the day on Chestnut Ridge, endoing on a tricky rock drop that I rode with no problem earlier in the year. We had lights on about half way down the downhill and it was dark by the time we hit the road.

CP 6 to the FINISH - Hankey Mountain and Lookout Mountain - 12 Miles

Chestnut Ridge drops you out onto the road just below CP6 (it's also CP2). Quick stop at CP6... Chat with the guys at the checkpoint - Jeremiah Bishop won, but that was no surprise - and pick up spare batteries for our lights, in case something went wrong on the last section of the ride. I was dreading this 2nd climb up Hankey, we were only going part of the way up, but it was a brutal climb 30 miles into the ride and I wasn't sure what it would be like 90 miles in. The second wind was still going strong and we made it up, with a little bit of walking. The singletrack downhill on Lookout Mountain was a lot of fun, a bit sketchy in the dark, but not too hard. A few more climbs on the fireroad and suddenly we're next to a campground.

I got a little air on the jumps leading into the finish and then it was over... Through the finish line, bang the gong, pick up my finisher pint glass and sit down for a beer and a burger in the pavilion. Sitting around after the race talking felt so great, really glad that I decided to do this and really glad that I decided to go on at CP5.


This was the hardest thing that I've ever done, mentally and physically. My finish time was around 15:15, but the results aren't up yet. The volunteers and other riders out there were great and encouraging throughout the race. Jason Ashmore - another first time rider - finished in 13:50 and City Bikes rider Joel Gwadz won the clydesdale class. Too many other friends riding to list them all, but congratulations to all of them. Results will be up at the Shenandoah Mountain Touring website soon.

A few brief lessons from the race:

  • Just as soon as you think the climb is done, you'll get some more
  • Riding with someone to talk to helps, especially further on in the race
  • Pre-riding is a really good idea, I'm really glad that I knew most of what was coming
  • Don't eat a lot right before a climb
  • As hard as you might think it's going to be, you can't understand how hard it is until you do it.
  • It's fun
  • It's worth it

Saturday, September 04, 2004

on the way

last post before heading down to stokesville before the race... just have to pack up the cooler and put the bike on the car, then pick up joel and jason. i'm going to try and post from stokesville, but that will depend on cell coverage.

Friday, September 03, 2004

what to do when you're caught on tape kicking protesters

stare into space, deny, then stare into space some more... watch the tape and to see the young republicans at work [via this modern world]

t-2 days

weather forecasts for sunday seem to be improving... looks like the rain is going to hold off untill sunday night. one less excuse...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


no ride today... picked up my bike from filzbuilt, so thats one less thing to worry about. the ipod is charged up and the first battery is on the charger.

stopped by hudson trail outfitters in friendship heights and picked up a copy of adventure sports to see which picture they used. not what i'd expected, it was one of the more boring shots that i sent in, but whatever worked for them.