Monday, March 28, 2005

weekend recap

on friday, the weekend wasn't looking promising, rain in the forecast and no concensus on riding... a couple of phone calls friday night and slightly less gloomy weather led me up to the watershed on saturday morning for a ride with matt and possibly marcus and bunky. driving up gambrill park road the weather changed considerably, light drizzle and fog, and most surprisingly a light layer of fresh snow.

miscomunication and last minute changes of plans led to us missing marcus and bunky who ended up starting their ride from a different parking lot. we started from hamburg road and rode north on blue, down to little canaan, back onto blue and climbed up to the sand flats, then off onto the road for a couple of minutes to search for the entrance to salamander/little michaux - which was easier to find than expected thanks to the lack of leaves. quick pit stop at the overlook, but not for long since we were getting cold as soon as we were off our bikes. back south on blue climbing back up to the sand flats, then headed down the climb from earlier in the ride and then we turned onto the roads to drop down below the end of little canaan so we could finish the ride with a steady climb on the road.

felt good for the first watershed ride of the year... my fitness has definately improved from last year, but i can't say the same for my technical skills.

overall the conditions were pretty wet, but it's the shed and it'll dry out. doesn't help that most of the trails are on old roadbeds that become streams when it rains. from the looks of it as we drove back down gambrill park road, the trails at gambrill looked like they were in pretty good shape, then again we got dumped on again last night so who knows what it's like now...

hadn't bothered trying to get a group together for sunday because of the forecasts during the week and looking at the weather forecast on saturday night i was resigned to the fact that a trainer ride was probably in the cards. turned the weather report on as soon as i got up on sunday morning and the prospects for a ride were looking up. i hit the road and headed to the bike paths since it would be easier to get home if the weather got bad. rode down through the park and out the custis trail, then down to shirlington on the w & od and back to the mall on the mt. vernon trail... through georgetown and up to bethesda on the capitol crescent and back into the park... 3 hours, 40 miles at a really easy pace. did some zone 4 riding, as prescribed by my coach, near the end of the ride, but i didn't get as much as i should have because i hit bethesda and could keep up the pace with the pedestrian traffic on the trail... it rained on and off for most of the ride, but light enough that it didn't make any difference.

resting today and dinner with the family tonight... riding chances for this week don't look too good with all the rain we've had in the last few days, even with warmer (yay!) and drier (yay!) weather coming.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

worked at wake-o-tink

met up with marcus and bunky before the regular wakefield night ride to try to get over for a loop at accotink before sunset. we set out just before six and hit the cinder trail over to accotink and within 5 minutes we were stopped at the side of the trail while bunky fixed a flat... a couple minutes later and we were back on the trail, up the switchback and cut down the road back to the cinder trail. ran into some issue with tree-trimming on one of the utility easement setions -- the limbs had been cut down but not cleaned up yet, leaving us to weave around them.

once we hit singletrack i was well warmed up and feeling strong... we started the ride the normal way, up by the gas works and then cut into some of the trails in the interior of the park, then back onto the perimeter... rode a couple of lines that i'd never tried before. turned around after a while and doubled back to hit the new boy scout trail on the way out and hit the road just as the light was to low to ride... out of the park with about 10 minutes to spare before it closed.

back over to wakefield bu we'd missed the start of the MORE ride by a good 25 minutes so we cut up the stream trail to the racecourse hill. marcus hadn't seen the new trail before, so we rode the trail the "normal" way then cut over to the 495 trail and new racecourse start and rode the new rock causeways/boardwalks along the powerlines. then rode the new trail backwards... pretty sweet in both directions, i almost prefered it backwards, since you get a pretty sweet singletrack downhill. down the creek and over to the bowl where bunky led us around every inch of trail without repeating anything. we passed by the MORE groups a couple of times, but since we had a pretty good pace going we stuck to doing our own thing. if we passed you without saying much, we weren't trying to be rude, sometimes it's just nice to ride in a smaller group.

finished the night up with beer and food over at kilroy's, always a good way to round out a night. 2:15 on the bike overall, just about right for what was on the schedule, but i was pushing a lot harder than i should have... felt great for most of the ride, but by the time we hit the bowl my legs were worked and my back was getting sore -- must have set the saddle a bit too high.

the new trail at wakefield is great, and accotink was riding really fast and feeling slalom-y. first ride with the new vanilla on the tracer... amazing, really stiff with 130mm of buttery smooth travel. the fork is a great match for the bike, felt faster and more stable than usual, but a bit sluggish in the tight twisty stuff.

Monday, March 21, 2005


first time on the scale under 180 this morning at the gym...

Saturday, March 19, 2005


back at home after a pretty easy morning on the bike... started out with a time trial test in the park to try to measure my fitness, a timed 3 miles at a set heartrate -- 10 beats below zone 5a. last month i was coming off a week of flu and did it in 9:50, this week i knocked a minute ten of the time and did it in 8:40 and did a better job of keeping at the right heartrate, last month i kept jumping up too high... got caught up in a couple groups of runners at one of the gates which forced me to drop my speed for a little bit, so i could have probably done it faster.

after the TT i rode up to the chevy chase shop to help with an MS ride training ride that the shop was sponsoring. the ride was pretty casual, which was perfect for today. there where a couple of hill where i got a bit too competitive with the other team guys helping out on the ride, but overall it was pretty easy and i was out for about 3 1/2 hours.

MORE winter party tonight, with a stop by the shop to pick up a couple things that they've been working on for me. tried the helles lager last night and even though it's only been in the bottle for a week it had an inch of head and pretty good carbonation so i'm going to bring a couple of bottles to the party.

this rest week is feeling pretty good right now, but next week it's back to base training and my first race is in 2 weeks. it'll be good to get a real test of where my fitness is, right now it's feeling good but i'm starting to itch for a race.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

whatever you say, you wise mountain ape...

helped lay out new trail at schaffer on saturday... looking forward to the workdays starting in april when we'll start working on this new section. sunday ride grew again this weekend with lee joining us. bottled the helles lager, and from the first taste it's going to be a great refreshing summer beer.

"Don't call this a comeback"

looks like bobby julich (CSC) hung on to win paris-nice... CSC took the team prize and jens voigt, also riding for CSC took the points jersey.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

speed drills...

another night of speed drills on the trainer... getting through my last week of this base period, one more night at the gym, one more night at the gym, then hopefully a couple of rides this weekend if the weather co-operates. my body is feeling good, a little bit fatigued, but that's probably from a couple of late nights working on websites. i'm looking forward to my rest week next week and reminding myself that this work will pay off in the summer.

between training and trying to eat better, i've dropped a little over 20 pounds from the beginning of the year... if nothing else carrying 20 pounds less weight up the hills should help my riding this summer. the weight loss has slowed a bit now, but with the amount of training going up it's not good to be losing a lot of weight from here on in.

another long road ride on sunday if the weather allows... 60+ miles starting from pierce mill in rock creek park... if anyone is interested in coming along, get in touch so we'll know who to wait for... the ride is pretty casual, so everyone can ride their own pace with some stops to regroup.

trying to get an early night tonight and get a good nights sleep...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

beware the bike ninja...

a little too cold for the columbians at paris-nice?

bikes and (home)brews

2 great rides... mountain bike on saturday, road bike on sunday... first tracks in week old snow at greenbrier, riding the usual trails backwards to mix things up and trying out some trails i've never ridden. early in the year so i'm trying my best to keep the heart rate low, even if it means seeing the rest of the ride disappearing over the horizon every time the road or trail heads upward. planned to bottle my helles lager, but i realized i didn't have any sanitizer to clean up the bottles so matt and i hung out, tried a couple of home brews and watched a bit of office space... time to dry hop the double IPA...

the sunday road ride group grew a bit this week... makes the ride a lot more fun to have more people along. mike had the pedal threads strip on one of his crank arms 45 minutes into the ride. luckily we were close to a metro stop when he noticed so he didn't have to pedal one-legged all the way back. as we were finishing up the ride we passed him in rock creek park, so i guess he got the problem sorted out.

Friday, March 04, 2005

norba nationals start this weekend...

i'm junkie for this kind of behind-the-scenes info for just about anything that i'm into. so with the first norba national taking place this weekend in texas, here are a couple of columns written, semi-regularly, by pro team mechanics... know any others?

Chris Davidson - Shimano Multiservice Zak Vestal - Trek VW

Thursday, March 03, 2005

richard branson's cycling career

i was just reading through the bio of richard branson that i link to in the last post and i came across this rather unusual parenting technique...

My youngest sister Vanessa's earliest memory is being woken up in the dark one January morning because Mum had decided I should cycle to Bournemouth that day. Mum packed some sandwiches and an apple and told me to find some water along the way.

Bournemouth was fifty miles away from our home in Shamley Green, Surrey. I was under twelve, but Mum thought that it would teach me the importance of stamina and a sense of direction. I remember setting off in the dark, and I have a vague recollection of staying the night with a relative. I have no idea how I found their house, or how I got back to Shamley Green the next day, but I do remember finally walking into the kitchen like a conquering hero, feeling tremendously proud of my marathon bike ride and expecting a huge welcome.

'Well done, Ricky,' Mum greeted me in the kitchen, where she was chopping onions. 'Was that fun? Now, could you run along to the vicar's? He's got some logs he wants chopping and I told him that you'd be back any minute.'

around the world in 80 3 days

steve fossett is just a couple of hours away from completing a 3-day solo non-stop flight around the world without refueling... don't know how i missed this one, as i hadn't heard of it untill someone mentioned it yesterday... burt rutan - of voyager and space ship one fame - designed the single engined jet aircraft that he's flying and the project is being financed by richard branson and virgin... pretty cool stuff when you think about it...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


i've set up feedburner to handle syndication of my site... don't know if anyone uses the feed, but the old feed will still work, but you should use the feed now...