Tuesday, July 26, 2005

party time, excellent...

i've just turned 30, my housemate krissy has a band, and it's summer so we're having a party... 2 bands (american sinner & that guy)... byob... this saturday, starting at 6... ample bike storage available

[google map]

Sunday, July 24, 2005

it is what it is...

no big writeup on this weekend's riding, but the riding was big... spent my 30th birthday climbing (and descending) out in the GW national forest near harrisonburg, va. trimble mountain on friday, hankey mtn, dowell's draft, and braley pond on saturday, narrowback, lynn, and wolf ridge today. awsome riding, cool company, good times.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

wednesdays coda...

wednesdays at wakefield is over for another year... having done the singlespeed class in this race for that last 3 years now, they've become one of the events that i look forward to most all year. mostly because the atmosphere is so social and it's a chance to see where you stack up compared to a lot of friends...

last night's race was no disappointment as i ended up racing all out for 3 laps with joe penano to set up a sprint to the line for 12 place (which i lost - i was gaining heading to the line, but just couldn't make up the difference). we traded places a couple of times during the race and joe had me totally maxed out on the last lap just trying to hold his wheel. i think i might have been able to get a gap after i passed him on the 2nd lap if we hadn't been passed by a couple of masters 35 riders going into the woods... they didn't keep as fast a pace as i would have liked, but i couldn't get around them.

my placings in the series -27th (mechanicals), 16th, 13th, & 13th - may be lower than they where last year and the year before, but i'm much happier with them. this field keeps getting bigger and faster, and it's doing it at the front of the field. there's no way that last year i could've finished within a minute of ricky (even if he overshot a turn and had to fight through traffic) or ended up in a sprint with joe or butch.

if you're in the dc area and not racing wednesdays at wakefield, why not? PVC put on a great series, mostly through the hard work of wakefield racing guru larry cautilli...

fairhill errata

results are finally posted for fairhill. looks like i was 6th of 12 (2 dnfs) in sport sr II and only 8 minutes off the winning time. not bad, given that i didn't try for a good start and was focusing on pacing.

Monday, July 18, 2005

fairhill classic

classic... that's a good way to describe this race. one big 23 mile loop through twisty rooty (and ocassionally just a bit rocky) singletrack. having never seen any of the trails at fairhill, i had no illusions of doing well, so i treated this as a training ride: ride strong, but stay within my limits, work on pacing to try not to blow up. i took it relatively easy at the start and settled into a rythym then started picking off slower riders.

7 or 8 miles in on a fast grassy downhill the rider 10' in front of me wrecked, then through some combination of panic and hitting the same thing he did i wrecked in the same place and had the wind knocked out of me... i stood by the trail for a couple of minutes to get my breath back and check out my bike. back on the bike and after a couple of minutes i'm back in the swing of things... manage to pass some of the riders that came around me while i was on the ground. the trail just kept going and going, but the miles kept ticking off as we wound our way through the trees with little breaks on old degraded roads. by this point all of the classes were pretty mixed up and it was hard to tell who was racing who and i traded places a couple of times with a few riders.

by the end of the race i was pretty well spent. i was riding the steadily, but was a lot slower on the technical sections and starting to suffer on the climbs. 3 or 4 miles from the end joel came around me on a climb and decided to try to latch on to his wheel. having a friendly jersey to ride behind helped and i started to get a bit of a 2nd wind. joel crashed on the entrance to a bridge, i made it around him and continued on... my brother was waiting near the end of the course taking pictures, another little boost. hit the last section of the day - a short dirt road downhill, then a climb to the paved road to the finish - and pulled ahead of a singlespeeder i'd been riding near all day. at the top of the dirt road, just as i was about to hit the pavement and within a 50 yards of the finish my legs started to do what they'd been threatening to do for the past hour... all of the muscles in my legs started cramping at the same time. i shifted down and managed to limp the last few yards across the finish line and into the timing chute.

i finished in 2:22 for 6th place sport 30-34, but i'm not sure how many finishers there were. a long, hard morning, but a great course and a lot of fun - in that strange way that make mountain bike races fun.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

wakefield #3

another wakefield race, another good results... rain was looming all afternoon and as i started my preride lap i could hear thunder off to the east from a storm that seemed to be popping up just on the other side of the beltway. the rain started in earnest as i got back from my preride and i sheltered under the tailgate to wait for word on the race. twenty minutes before the scheduled start the rain started letting up and we got word that we were on. rode the first part of the course to see what effect the rain had (very little) and see how slick the boardwalk sections were, then did a run up the start hill and then went back to line up.

the singlespeed class looked small at first, but eventually it swelled to over 20 riders. a couple of conspicuous no-shows - ricky, joe p, butch - but a good field none the less. my start was ok, no wrecks to avoid this week. got a bar-end tangled up in something coming out of the creek crossing at the end of salamander and lost a couple of places but managed to keep up a good pace.

on the climb back into the powerlines a couple of riders, including blake from the bike lane passed me and i scrambled to catch his wheel as we rode down the powerlines. knowing that i'd blown up a bit on the last lap two weeks ago i held off a bit and tucked in behind him for the rest of the lap. knowing that i could ride a harder pace than he was holding i came around him at the end of the first lap, just before the start finish. i lost one more place as a rider that'd been on my tail came around me on the climb back into the powerlines on the 2nd lap. i think he managed to get past a couple more riders and i thought i was gaining on the riders ahead of me by the last lap, but problems getting past a lapped beginner rider left me with more time than i could make up.

i ended up 13th of 23 starters, not a bad result. i liked the shorter course since there was less chance to be caught on the long flats... i dialed my effort back a bit on the first lap after having a pretty big drop-off in my 3rd lap 2 weeks ago, but with the shorter course i probably could have ridden a bit harder, since i didn't feel anywhere near as worked as i was 2 weeks ago.

Monday, July 11, 2005

fresh tape...

started out planning to swap the tires on my road bike friday night. then while i was in the shop i picked up some bar tape since my last attempt at taping bars was pretty shoddy and needed to be re-done.

by the time i got home and pulled the old tape off i'd started thinking about tweaking the position of my bars and brake levers, and before i knew it i'd taken the bars off to swap them out for a pair i'd had in the parts box since i built my cyclocross bike a couple of years ago. the replacement bars had a shallower drops than the bars i was using and i thought they might give me a more comfortable position down in the drops.

turns out i was right about the bars, but the best part was the new tape - just plain black cinelli cork, but for the first time it didn't look like the job was done by a blindfolded monkey... nice consistent overlap, smooth, no bludges or loose spots on the bends, and nice tidy ends that didn't need a yard of electrical tape to hold them down.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

oh, the irony

90+ miles of riding in the George Washington this weekend with no injuries and on monday i crash while letting some runners pass 20 yards from the trailhead at schaeffer farms... didn't feel it at the time, but my the time i got home it was clear that i'd bruised something in my right knee. nothing's swelled up and walking is ok, but going up and down stairs hurts, which makes living on the 3rd floor suck. riding is ok if i keep the gearing light and take it easy. hope it just needs another day or two to heal up.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Woodstock Tower & Bear Wallow

I've been riding for quite a few years now, but in all that time i'd somehow never ridden Elizabeth Furnace. yesterday i drove up from harrisonburg, where i'd spent the night after the Tour de 'Burg, and met up with my brother and some friends to give it a try. They've done the normal route up there many times and wanted to extend the ride a bit by riding to woodstock tower and then back along the ridge before finishing the normal ride up to bear wallow.

the fireroad up to woodstock tower wasn't that bad. a little steep towards the end, but nothing too bad, and the views at the end from the tower were worth the ride. from there we worked on finding the massehutten trail to ride back north along the ridge. the entrance to the trail was overgrown but once we found it we were treated to miles of undulating and technical ridge trail. this trail was great fun as a technical challenge, no good for a beginner rider, but a lot of fun if you want to push yourself and don't mind the occasional fall. most of the trail consisted of slow-speed rock obstacles that at times were just shy of belonging on a trials course, but if you took your time most were rideable. i normally consider this kind of slow technical riding one of my weaknesses, but i amazed myself with some of the sections i was able to ride.

from the ridge we had a rocky downhill back down to the fireroad that we had climbed up to the tower on and were soon at the point that we'ed broken away from the usual bear wallow route. we climbed up to and around the reservoir on the fireroad and then started bear wallow, riding for as long as we could before the start of the hike-a-bike. i managed to ride a few sections near the top of the climb, but this far into such a long ride i didn't try much. we took a pretty long break at the top to let everyone regroup and asess our situation. a couple of people were completely out of water & food, so we redistributed as much as we could before we started on the downhill. once we got past the really rocky section at the top, bear wallow was a really nice downhill, not as smooth as the downhills in the harrisonburg area, but still a lot of fun. a couple of flats on the way down slowed the descent down a bit, bit it still seemed - as it always does - too short.

my brother and i had planned on staying down in harrisonburg on last night and then heading down for a ride at douthat today, but yesterday's ride was longer than expected and the rocks really wore us down. with an important soccer camp coming up this week, my brother decided that another ride would be too much, so we came home last night.

my legs are pretty sore from this weekend, so i think i might hit schaeffer this afternoon for a quick recovery spin.