Friday, April 29, 2005

don't panic

not much blogging recently... plenty going on, just get distracted when i think about putting together an entry or blogger blows up when i try to log in.

training has switched from base to build so i've been doing a couple of hard rides a week and attacking the hills more on my weekend road rides. managed mountain bike rides tuesday and thursday at wakefield with an easy/recovery spin at schaeffer on wednesday so my legs are hurting today. i've been trying to do my hard rides on dirt, but i think i'll switch some of them to the road...

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy opens tonight... hope it lives up to the book. from what i've heard they stuck pretty closely to the screenplay that douglas adams wrote before he died, and the casting looks good, so i'm hopeful... meeting some people after work to go see it.

heading up to greenbrier on sunday with the (un)usual crew to get a last look at the course before next weekends race. i want to take another crack at the red-trail climb to see if i can make up the whole way on my bike rather than having to get off and push.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

demo day

despite weather reports full of massive storms and a couple days of rain in the last few days, the city bikes demo day went off as planned saturday afternoon. the clouds parted, the trails weren't too wet to ride, and by midday the sun was even out... saw some cool bikes, but mostly stuck to riding my new epic as we led groups testing bikes around little loops on the trails... rode a demo 9 and a big hit over the logpiles near the trailhead, pretty cool, but pretty painful to pedal up hills... pictures

Monday, April 18, 2005


epic weekend at douthat... saturday we rode both sides of the park, 24 miles with 3600' of climbing, 2 huge downhills, and many smaller ones. sunday i did an out and back ride up to the overlook with a group of more casual riders, as if a 1500' climb can ever be considered casual. took the camera along on sunday...

Thursday, April 14, 2005


ducked out of work a little early and hit schaeffer for the first time this year... took it easy since it's a rest week and spent some time studying the way the light falls on the trails and woods at sunset. think i'm going to try to get at least 1 photo ride a week up there over the next couple of weeks while everything is nice and green. magic hour is perfectly timed for getting to schaeffer after work. i've got a couple of ideas already.

after having a couple of the strongest feeling days on a bike ever over the weekend i started feeling like another bout of flu was waiting in the wings on monday. took it easy monday night (it's a rest week anyway) and just vegged a bit. felt better tuesday and was tempted to ride schaeffer, but i went over to the shop to help build bikes. unfolded a dahon and a couple of bob strollers and built a specialized hardrock, or maybe a rockhopper, i can't remember - thankful to know they would all be throughly checked out and finished off by the mechanics in the shop - and ended up sticking around for a beer while the specialized rep did a product clinic for the staff.

taxes done and on their way to the IRS via e-file so i should have the refund that i've already spent (on the new bike) soon. nothing left now but to pack up for the trip to douthat this weekend. glad that flu came to nothing, because i would have hated to miss this one.

and don't forget the demo day next weekend...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

City Bikes Season Kickoff Party at Schaeffer Farms - 4/23

In spite of the the fact that most of the almost imeasurably small readership of this blog are friend of mine that probably already know about it already i'm going to put a plug in for the City Bikes season kickoff party/demo day up at Schaeffer Farms next saturday (april 23). They'll have great mountain and road bikes to demo from Cannondale, Specialized, and Jamis, as well as some goodies from the shop (Moots, Merckx, ?) some come on out and ride some bikes. I'll be up there with a lot of the other team guys, helping out setting up bikes and leading rides if you don't know the trails at Schaeffer.

Monday, April 11, 2005


met up at schaeffer for trailwork yesterday morning, with the crew splitting between the new halfpipe extension at schaeffer and more work on the hoyles mill connector. i help lead the schaeffer crew and spent most of the morning trying to figure out how to build a good bermed turn... each successive turn got a little cleaner, and we were helped by the fact that the trail was already in an old road bed... if you want to check it out, there's a new connector from the old halfpipe/whoop-de-dos on the trail inside the white loop. ride up the connector (non-half pipe) side and down the new trail and it meets up at the top of the original half-pipe. the trail starts with some shallower semi-technical turns -watch out for the trees, they're pretty close - and then has a couple of bigger turns inside the pipe, then has a couple of turns that pop you in and out of the pipe.

after sweltering while i was doing trailwork i was a bit worried that the ride we had planned for the afternoon at gambrill would be a sufferfest; leaving us baking in the leafless forest under the midday sun. we had a really good group, most of the old dcamb crew from a couple of years ago, including mike, who was down from PA for the ride. good company and good riding... i felt great, rode better than perhaps i've ever ridden, at least at gambrill. made a couple of climbs that i've never made, or only made once...

my new bike felt better than i expected it too... just like a full suspension bike when i wanted it, and just like a hardtail when i wanted that. climbs the rocks like a mountain goat and despite the steep-ish head tube angles it decends like a champ.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

beautiful day...

the forecast for today was overcast with a bit of sun by the afternoon, but when i woke up this morning there was nothing but beautiful bluebird sky outside my window. up in time to grab a quick breakfast and make a cup of espresso then meet mike down in the park for a couple of hours on the road.

we started with our normal road route, heading north into montgomery county, up past fall road and then kept going north all the way to seneca road and cutting over to river road there adding a couple more climbs on river road. quicker coffee break than usual today, no need to get a cup of coffee to warm up with temps in the 60's. back onto the road to start heading into the city on macarthur, with a twist today, riding most of the way into the city in zone 4 instead of zone 2 to get some tempo time. finished up with an easy spin around the capitol crescent and down through the park, but that tempo riding has left my legs hurting. since it was just the 2 of us there was less waiting around and we finished 65 miles in a little under 4 hours.

relly feels good to be out without having to worry as much about staying warm. took a vest today but it was off inside 20 minutes. this is time of year where armwarmers are the greatest piece of riding gear... get a little cold, pull them up, get warm, pull them down...

the capitol crescent trail was packed with people near bethesda... spring fever is running rampant throughout the area, and people - young and old - where out walking, running, biking, playing.

trailwork at schaeffer in the morning and a ride with some old riding buddies at gambrill tommorow afternoon, but now i've got to go into work for a couple of hours... i'm going to need my rest week by the end of this weekend.

It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away

Sunday, April 03, 2005


let's just get this over with and start with the end... I went up to PA to race at the Spring Mountain AMBC and ended up DNFing because of a mechanical on the 3rd of 3 laps...

as of early this morning there'd been 4 inches of rain and flooded creeks and rivers, but the race was still on. managed to get up on time in spite of losing an hour to daylight savings time and hit the road for a quick drive from philly, where i'd been visiting friends to spring mountain ski resort in schwenksville. got up there with plenty of time to get ready, so i checked in and spent the next couple of hours getting ready and huddling in my car against the cold.

tris, mike, and jon - three fifths of my team for big bear - showed up as i was starting to warm up in preparation for the start. lined up for the start, and managed to stave off the cold while we waited for the start. the race started with a loop through the parking lot and then hit the singletrack in 2nd place... instant mud, which pretty much summed up the course... mud with rocks, mud with roots, mud with rocks and roots, peanut buttery mud, wet mud, plus the cold wet puddles, and the snow.

the lap started with a twisty and rocky singletrack climb that was intermittently rideable, with a couple of rock gardens thrown in for good measure. then we're dumped back onto the ski run and climb up for a hundred yards or so, i tried to ride when everyone else in the group got off and ran. i ended up spinning my wheels while everyone ran past me.

back into the woods and more singletrack climbing, on and off the bike and we start down the back of the hill for a little while and then back up to the top. from there we started back down in earnest crossing back and forth the ski slopes on the remains of the winter's snow and into the woods on a couple of watershed-ish downhills... more snow, more woods, then a short flat section and we pop out onto a road for a couple hundred yards and one last climb, starting out on the road and ending on singletrack.

then we swing back through the start finish and hit more boggy grass/mud to start the 2nd lap... rode more and walked less on the 2nd lap and i could still see a couple of riders in my start group ahead of me, including jon, but i'd lost sight of them by the time i started my 3rd lap. spent more of this lap walking on the first climb. then near the top my cranks froze and realized that i had a problem... figured it was chain suck from the mud, so i tried to back pedal, but there was no improvement so i jumped off and saw the problem... the chain had dropped off the cassette and was jammed between the spokes and the cassette. tried to free it, but it was wedged in so deep that i couldn't free it.

i was on a pace to finish in around 2:35 - which would have put me in 2nd (out of 3 in my class) - but i ended my day with a walk down the ski slope to the lodge. i think it was my bike taking revenge for kicking it out of the car and onto the roof in the rain on friday night so that i could put my new bike inside the car. we've decided to try and reconcile and i started by freeing the chain and giving it a good post-race wash instead of just loading it up on the car.

jon ended up 2nd in sport 35-39 and tris won her class.

Friday, April 01, 2005

fountainhead after dark...

my brother was back home for a couple days this week so we had to get a ride in together... he's down in florida this year at a soccer training program so we haven't had a chance to ride since he was back before thanksgiving.

out of work early to pick JJ up and we were ahead of schedule so we stopped by wakefield to check out the new trails on the racecourse hill. considering the amount of rain we got a couple of days before, the new trails were in really good shape, but some other sections of the park were still suffering. back on the road and bit of traffic on the way to fountainhead but still there in plenty of time.

fountainhead at night is a very different place than wakefield and night, very dark and almost eerie, very quiet in place but noisy (frogs?) in others. we opted for the casual group, since my brother hasn't ridden for 5 months but ended up breaking off with david after the entrance loop and kept up a slightly more spirited pace. my legs felt good and i felt pretty fast for the effort i was putting in. tried to keep it dialed back a bit since i'm racing on sunday.

rode the trainer for a while last night and my legs felt awful, tired and wooden... couldn't keep a pace that my legs were comfortable with but got my heart rate where it should have been. day off today and maybe a quick ride tommorow to loosen up my legs for sunday, so hopefully that'll help and i won't bomb out too much on sunday.

just a quick note, the fountainhead ride was one that MORE organized with permission from the park. the park is closed, so don't ride fountainhead at night unless it's on a sanctioned MORE night ride, you will get prosecuted for criminal trespass (or so i've been told).