Wednesday, December 26, 2007

xmas 07

saturday: rosaryville with matt and my brother. easy to start, a little run down the "techical trail" then spirited at the end.

sunday: errands

monday: a quick errand then a couple of hours on the road with my brother cruising the roads of nothern MoCo for all of the good hills. christmas eve at my parents finishing with a good round of cranium. heather and i staged a nice come from behind win over my newly engaged sister (polly) and her fiance (ryan).

xmas: at home, just me and heather. stockings and presents then heather started making a cassoulet for when her folks are down here in a couple of days. "a christmas story" was on continual repeat for most of the day until the dvd we got last night of discovery's "planet earth" went into the machine. finished up the night with peking duck at tian jin palace and then a couple of beers at quarry house.

merry christmas all


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

our home

ah, a minute of downtime... sitting by the christmas tree with a daily show repeat on. it's been such a whirlwind for the last couple of weeks i haven't even had time for my normally sucky blogging.

beer room

since we got back from our honeymoon a little over a month ago we've started projects in practically every part of the house and actually managed to follow through and finish most of them. on top of the window & door replacement we've had new floors put in in the basement and mud room, redone the shutters on the front of the house and added window boxes and pulled out most of the overgrown shrubs out front. along with a couple of little tweaks (and a few more still in progress) the front of the house looks almost completely different.

the cellar

the floor in the basement led to picking a paint color and getting the basement beer & bike room projects underway. phase one of the beer room is done and next we're going to build the bar and the kegerator. the first batch of beer to be kegged is already in the pipeline, so i guess i better get on that.

bike room

i've been riding a bit and getting to the gym to lift (sorry josef, i'll stop when it's time to start training in the spring), run, or do a yoga class a couple of times a week. still it's not as much exercise as when i was riding, so the winter weight is packing on a bit. oh well, it's fuel for next year's training.

thanksgiving table

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


great ride sunday with mike & matt at patapsco. rode just about everything and rode it, well not fast, but quickly. not many stops, a few bobbles, and few times where i just new i was on. worked myself right to the line by the end of the day, which was much better than crossing over it last weekend at the shed. had my p&s camera with me, but we didn't stop for pics.

the weirwolf lt on the front got a little squirrely a few time on some new trail that was a little slimy. it might turn out to be a great summer tire, but it's time for winter tires now. maybe i'll just go back to the big exiwolf up front. negevals might still be overkill.

things are buzzing around the house. new windows and doors are almost finished thanks to the folks at metro gutter & home services, we've taken out some bushes in front of the house, and we're getting a new fence put in to replace the one that's been falling down since we moved in. next up are new shutters and heather's pet project: window boxes. there are some projects moving inside the house as well.

for most people thanksgiving weekend is a time to relax, but it looks like we'll be in full home-improvement mode.

Monday, November 12, 2007

team ride

we got as close as we ever have to an official team ride yesterday. a good portion of the team that wasn't racing at race pace met up at hamburg road and spent the afternoon riding around the trails (and fireroads) of the watershed. even gwadz & klasmeier, who are rarely seen riding at the weekend outside of a race, made it to the ride.

good to ride with the team. the pace was steady and quick, but not race-pace. just right for fall and winding down the year. i had a mixed day... some moments of great technical riding, floating through rockgardens that i've never cleaned before, but a couple of crashes and a complete meltdown on the climb out to the cars as my legs cramped up. i've lost my form a little more quickly this year than before. maybe it's the almost complete lack of riding since landahl?

heather and i had pizza & beers at paradiso with matt after the ride... i was in a hoppy hood (pizza does that to me) so i tried the lagunitas kill ugly radio (tasty, relatively light & sparkly body with a really floral hop), then had a bear republic racer 5 (a perennial favorite, more kick than the kill ugly radio), and finished with a sierra nevada celebration.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


we've been home for a few days now. after getting through customs in miami on saturday we managed to get an earlier flight to national than i'd booked and avoided a long layover. i'll post more about the patagonia later, once we're caught up on thank you notes and getting the house back in order. there are many projects at home that were put off in the lead up to the wedding and they're all coming due.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


we're in santiago now, just back from dinner. central santiago is a little confusing, it's hard to get the pulse, hard to get a handle on it. busy, cramped, small stores & "fast food" restaurants everywhere, but at the same time very reserved and civil, almost to the point of boredom. i can't really say why, maybe it was the shock in coming from patagonia back to a big city, or maybe that it was that our first couple of meals here paled in comparison to what we were eating in the south.

this evening we went out to barrio bellavista for dinner. barrio bellavista is the cultural quarter and was a lot of fun. there were street stalls, booths with local artists, lots of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and boisterous student bars. walking around bellavista, i felt a lot better about spending part of our trip here. we ended up at a restaurant recommended by our taxi driver called "como agua para chocolate" (after the movie? probably, but we've no idea...) where we had a great meal - a big cauldron filled with chicken, smoked pork ribs, sausages and various seafood in a delicious broth, with a few veggies thrown in for good measure.

this is a country that's spoiled for good food, or at least good ingredients: lamb, beef, fish, and seafood are already really good and really fresh. sure, some places waste it, but most respect what they're starting with and do it well. in patagonia we had many good meals - sometimes eating the day's catch from the sound - and only one or two marginal. here in santiago we're not doing quite as well, but now we know where to go, things are looking up.

drinks... the pisco sour is the national cocktail, and has certainly earned it's reputation. i was skeptical about drink made with egg white, but made well they're great. the Shackleton bar at the hotel jose nogueria has had the best so far.

chilean wine has been our dinner drink of choice almost every night, and hasn't disappointed yet. standing out so far are the sauvignion blancs and carmeneres (a chilean relative of the merlot grape).

the beer scene isn't as bad as i expected. cerveza austral (made in punta arenas, patagonia) has some decent beers (the dark ale and calafate are the best) and puerto natales even has a microbrewery cerveza baguales that brews up a couple of good ales. here in santiago, though, asking for a cervesz is more likely to end up gettng you a marginal lager. kunstmann bock it's bad either.

not many decent coffee shops in santiago, but in a ultimate irony, starbucks actually brews a decent cup of coffee here... i hope the corporate overlords don't find out and make them start burning their beans.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

finally, good internet...

actually, there's plenty of internet around, but the connection at the hotel here in puerto natales was very tempermental. we're sitting in a coffee shop in puerto natales right now, waiting for our bus to punta arenas.


we'd planned on taking an early bus and hanging out down there untill it was time to catch our flight to santiago, but that bus was full and we're now on a later bus that wil get us to the airport in punta arenas right on time. there's not a lot open down here at 8:30 in the morning, but after a cold walk we managed to find coffee and wi-fi...


i'm getting more pictures up to flickr and getting them organized into sets so they'll be easier to browse. i've still got 4 1gb memory cards from the last 2 days to download.


this place is amazing, it's so rough and rugged and beautiful all at the same. every time you turn around you see something new or the light and clouds have changed and the same mountain you were looking at before looks completely different.


more later

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Greetings from Patagonia!

Just a quick entry, as the internet connection here in Puerto Natales is a little on the slow side. We flew down to Chile Sunday night/Monday morning. After a day in Punta Arenas, we've now moved north to Puerto Natales, gateway to the Torres del Paine national park.


Yesterday we visited a penguin colony and tommorow we're heading into the park for a trek to the base of the granite towers from which the park gets it's name.


Managed to get a few pictures up on to flickr yesterday. the internet connection is too slow to get the flickr organizr to load, so i don't have them sorted into sets yet so you might have to wade through some random wedding weekend pictures in my photostream as well.


Monday, October 15, 2007


we've got family staying at the house and on the way out the door yesterday they found this visitor in the garden...

praying mantis 3

dug up my good old manual 55/2.8 micro and spent a few minutes making pictures. this isn't the closest one i got, but i think it's my favorite composition.

so, uh, i guess we won?

the athens wrecking crew got bumped to the 'just for fun' class this weekend (more at the end) and so we won the series. a bit anti-climactic, but it's still a win. most of the team will be together at the wedding this weekend, so we'll have to have a little celebratory drink.

most of the rest of this post was written last friday, in preparation for a weekend of watching the results online, but never published. i've edited it a bit, but if anything doesn't make sense given the fact that we now know the results, that's probably why.

how'd we get here?

last winter mike started talking about the race series. i ran the idea by heather and she okayed it, same for matt with katie. in fact at that point we had so many people who wanted to race we thought we might have expert and vet teams doing the whole series. no expert team did more than one race the previous year so we figured that just by showing up to 4 or 5 races we'd be able to lock up the series.

april - vail lake, ca

we got closer and closer to the race date for temecula with just mike, matty, and myself and no one else looked like they could make the trip so mike called former city bikes captain brian kemler, now living in san francisco after a couple of years in mexico, and convinced him to head south and be our fourth.

first time doing a fly-in race was interesting and we didn't have the usual creature comforts that you can take out to you for a car camping trip. arrived in pouring rain and mike was worried about what it would do to the course. his experience from living in san diego a couple of years earlier was that there were a lot of trails that would turn to hub deep mud in the rain. for this course, though, the rain just packed down the dust and made the trail better.

this was my favorite course and as a result my best race. i'd trained hard in the early winter and spring and had a bit of leg up on some folks in spite of just having moved and barely touched a bike in a month. big cimb, then ripping ridge top downhills, smaller climb, more ripping ridgeline downhills, then a couple short climbs and a big ring power downhill to the end. being out in the dessert meant it was hot & sunny during the day and freezing cold at night - this race had the coldest night laps of the year. for some reason i was really scared of crashing on the night laps before i got started. once i was out there i was fine.

we had a good race, turned laps right around an hour. kemler rode a great race for someone who hasn't mountain biked for a couple of years and broke his bike minutes before his first lap. he rode the rest of the race on mike's bike until he crashed on his 2nd night lap and ended up sitting out the rest of the race. other than kemler's crash and a missed transition or two the race was smooth and we ended up 1st expert, 5th overall.

may - conyers, ga

can't say much about this one since i wasn't there. mike went down to the race with jon wheaton, steve viers, and kent baake. we got to meet our competition, the athens wrecking crew/the hub, and then got spanked by them. they beat us by 2 laps and we knew we had a race on our hands. we led the series 475 points to 250
june - big bear, wv

another face of with the wrecking crew. big bear is a fun rocky course, but not my best - lots of short ups & downs, but nothing long enough to really get into a rythm on. athens took first place after the team leading going into the night had some really bad laps. we held on to 4th expert and 5th overall. we did beat the bike lane expert team and the city bikes vet team.

by this point in the season it was pretty clear that my fitness wasn't keeping up with matt & mike. i was now a good 5-10 minutes/lap slower than they were. but even so, at big bear i pulled laps that averaged 20 minutes faster than i did the last time i raced there, two years ago. i took a nice spill on my last lap and instead of going out for one more at the end we held matt just before the finish line with 10 minutes to go. even though it turned out to be an injury that persisted for almost a month, i was haunted by the feeling that i'd taken the easy way out.

the race may be as big as it was in it's heyday at canaan or snowshoe, but it was still pretty unreal to be in the top 5 at this, the lastest incaration of the original 24 hour race.

series standings: we lead 665 to 500 and from this point on we can only replace scores since all that count are your top 3; athens still have an extra race to add.

july - killington, vt

if fifth place at big bear was unreal, at another it was like we were on another planet. killington was probably the most fun trip of all. mike, matt, and kent a lot of fun when you get them together, and this was a pretty relaxed trip. no flying, plenty of time to drive, and a lake house to stop at on the way back.

winning the overall didn't hurt either.

when we arrived in vermont the skies were threatening and it looked like it might be a repeat of last years mudbath. after some rain the night before, and a few sprinkles in the first 2 laps the sky cleared out and the course started drying.

i volunteered for the run, and it turned out to be the longest all year. we rode out way from just outside the top 10 (thanks to my slow run) to first place in our first rotation and then held on all night. the lead got pretty tenuous overnight, but our experience and consistency paid off and we held and then started building our lead as other teams made mistakes, had bad laps, or just started cracking. we finished with a 2 lap win and i tried to make amends for big bear by doing one extra lap at the end.

series: 725 to 500

september - landahl, mo
we hadn't planned to do this one, but someone started talking smack about how we should try to get another win instead of waiting to see how athens did at moab. once athens found out we were going they signed up two and we had our 3rd head-to-head battle on our hands.

this was a hard one. we were all a little run down from traveling and the sm100 a couple of weeks earlier and yet another last minute scramble to find a 4th rider. darren stepped in at almost the last minute after tom hurt himself at the seven springs 24 hour challenge and steve found himself swamped at work. vacation days were running low across the board so this matt & I both flew out after work on friday and back on sunday night.

despite all of that the travel and camping went really smoothly. between us we got everything we needed out to kansas city and only had to pick up some items we couldn't fly with, like camp chairs, food, ice, and camping fuel. we even managed to cook pancakes over my little msr pocket rocket.

the wrecking crew went out hard, straight into first, and we went out consistent. they had a fast but green rider crash out on his first lap putting them a hour back and rider short while we were working our way up to 2nd in expert and 5th overall. they got close to catching us -- the gap was under 2 minutes at one point in the wee hours of the morning but slowly we started to hold and then started putting some time back into them. with 4 hours to go they lost another rider, this time to dehydration and exhaustion and were left with 2 men, but they kept chasing.

i left for my last lap with 15 minutes to go before noon, their rider didn't get in in time for them to get a 22nd lap so we finished in 2nd expert (behind a fast singlespeed team) and 5th overall. keeping the wrecking crew out of 2nd meant they didn't clinch the series, and will have to place 1st or 2nd at moab to win.

the course was fun but really hard to race. constant flowing up and down, never steep. fun technical rock sections everywhere, and nowhere to rest. it was attack, attack, attack for 11 1/2 miles. it's not hard to see how people could push themselves too hard and blow up.

i had a decent race. i had to sit out one rotation overnight, but ended up making up that lost lap with the extra lap i put in on sunday morning. i came back from my second lap with a raging headache and within an hour felt lightheaded and nauseous. sitting out a lap put extra strain on the team, but it was probably the right decision, as i bounced back strong in the morning.

series: dcmtb/city bikes 725; athens wrecking crew 705

october - moab, ut

so it looked like we were going to be watching the results all weekend to see how athens finished. it turns out we spent the weekend trying to figure out what happened. at first we couldn't find them at all. then we noticed they were in the 'just for fun' category.

turns out they had a racer on their team who raced semi-pro and got bumped down (with a lot of other teams) after laird cracked down on riders racing 'down' a category. they finished right behind the 1st place expert team in the overall, so they would have probably finished 2nd in expert.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

wedding beer...

the wedding beer is finally done. 4 batches brewed and bottled with many thanks to heather and my groomsmen. spent the weekend up in philly getting our marriage license and picking out my wedding band. sunday heather had to go to her wedding shower, so i spent the afternoon riding around trying to find my way into wissahickon. i did eventually find my way in and rode some of the trails i rode last year with pat. nice trails. saw a little of the work that IMBA and the new philly mountain bike club have been doing on the trails.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

ed sander cx...

ed sander cyclocross in buckeystown today... i hadn't planned on racing, but then my brother was down for the weekend and since he was racing i figured i'd go along, shoot some photos, and since i'm going to be there, do the 3/4 (formerly B) race.


i had a couple strikes against me going in. first off, my legs were surprisingly tired from spending the previous afternoon running around in the woods shooting my friends (paintball) and secondly, my tri-cross was out of commision since and i was stuck with my singlespeed spot cross bike. it's a great bike for tooling around silver spring, but it's way undergeared as a race bike. i lined up right a the back and just couldn't spin fast enough on the flats (and there are a lot of them on the ed sander course).


got pulled with one lap to go, but the results list me as a dnf... wtf? dnf, that implies i dropped out or couldn't finish. being -1 i don't mind, but dnf is a little insulting, especially since i hadn't been lapped yet. come on guys, first the results cf at charm city, and now listing pulled riders as dnfs?


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cyclocross in DC on October 28th

DCCX 2007
A Day of Cyclocross Racing in Our Nation’s Capital
Presented by DCMTB/City Bikes

U.S. Armed Forces Retirement Home
Rock Creek Church Rd, NW & Upshur St, NW
Washington, DC 20011

Registration is now open for DCCX... The race will be October 28th, 2007 at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC. We won't be able to take day-of registrations, so sign up online at

Monday, September 24, 2007

quick thoughts...

i've got a bigger landahl writeup underway, but here are a few quick thoughts about the race and the series that i want to get out without having too finish it up... some pictures are up on flickr too.

or maybe we'll relax
matt on the starting line

in trying to figure out laird's tiebreakers i figured out that as a team, in all five races we've raced almost 1200 miles and climbed over 136000 vertical feet (and done just as much downhill).

in the 4 races that i've done i've raced 231.68 miles in 23 laps and climbed 30306' (just a little more than the height of mt. everest.)

of course, doing an series like this isn't about the stats, obviously, but it helped put in perspective just how big this was. the travel was tiring by the end, especially since we did the landahl race with no time off work. i flew out friday after work, flew back sunday night

jeremy, bill, and matt
jeremy and bill from the wrecking crew, and matt

all of the courses were fun and different...

temecula - all exposed, one big climb to start and the a couple of smaller ones with superfast downhills on the ridges in between. not very technical, except for a couple of short, steep, and loose downhills.

big bear - rolling, rocky, and rooty. some moderate extended climbs and lost of short steep ones.

first city bikes handoff
handoff number one goes smoothly

killington - basically one big climb with a tight, twisty, and technical singletrack downhill. a prototypical ski resort course.

landahl - constant rolling singletrack with technical rock gardens. the rock gardens are more like rock problems... big slabs of granite with small channels, holes, and fissures. a blast to ride, but a hard one to race, since there was nowhere to rest on the course. there were no sustained climbs or extended downhills as the course wrapped around the contours of some small hills, so you were pushing the entire time.

darren & mike

laird and granny gear take some heat about the entry fees at the races, but he puts on a first class event. the realtime scoring can't be beat, the port-a-johns are always above average (and often cleaned out several during the events), camping facilities are great, hot showers, food vendor(s). it's a shame that attendance has gone down. big bear attendance was up this year, i think, as was killington. temecula and landahl didn't do so well, but they're great races that i hope stick around.

time for cyclocross i guess... ed sander is this weekend.

24 hours of landahl...

long story short... 22 laps. we finished 2nd in expert and 5th overall. a (sandbagging) sport team took the overall win. the evil unicorns, a team of singlespeeders from nebraska took the win in expert. this was good for us because it kept the wrecking crew out of first place, and stopped them from clinching the series.

the wrecking crew had some bad luck early when one of their riders crashed on his first lap and broke his scapula. this put them almost an hour back and down a man. they battled back and were within 2 minutes of us early in the morning, and then they lost another team member to dehydration and exhaustion, but bill & jeremy kept riding. after that we were able to build our lead and get out for one last lap before noon and they missed the cutoff. talk about a nail biter.

the wrecking crew are going to moab though, so they've got one more chance to score a win (to clinch) or a second (to go to the tie breakers). let's hope that field at moab is strong.

more words and pictures later...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007



live music in silver spring...

one thing that silver spring is missing is a good live music venue. half moon bbq was small (really small) but had an eclectic mix of music, but it closed down even before we moved out here. austin grill, mcginty's and a few other places host some live music, but there's really no concert venue, so when it was announced that the county was working with the owners of the birchmere on a "birchmere 2" for the vacant JC Penny building i was pretty excited.

unfortunately negotiations on that front broke down and for a couple of months the local civic association listserve was awash in rumors, accusations, and innuendo. the county was just in it for money and the "wrong kind of music" would attract "the wrong kind of people" and result in crime, stabbings, and killings.

won't somebody think of the children.

it seemed like a lot of people only wanted at venue if it played their kind of music. what's next a local committee to approve artists for the venue once it was running? the birchmere is one kind of music experience, but not the only kind.

lee development group, the current owners of the JC Penny property who will be donating it to the county as a part of the project, have set up a website how - [via the silver spring penguin] - which will hopefully dispel some of the fear, uncertainty, doubt, and snobbery that's been rampant recently. live nation, who run the house of blues and filmore venue chains seem to be in the running to operate the venue.

it'd be nice to have a locally run independent club, but not at the cost of not having one at all. a ram's head live like venue would also work well for silver spring. having been to the rams head a couple of months ago it has a nice mix of standing and seated space, good food and good beer (that's a county issue though). the state theatre in falls church is another cool venue that has a nice mix, though it's somewhat shaped by it's roots as a movie theater.

personally i'll ONLY support a music venue if it also includes a microbrewery. and a special vip box for me at every show.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

kansas city...

everyone's blogging about cross - cross practices are everywhere, the first cross races happened this past weekend or are on tap for this weekend - but my cross bike is still sitting in the basement with a missing rear wheel and a front flat. i've got the 24 hours of landahl - and a final showdown with the atlanta wrecking crew - this weekend.

just bought a massive rei wheeled duffel bag so that i can take my big tent and kelty sunshade out on the plane. the bikes are already on the way, mike and darren are flying out midday on friday , and then matt and i are flying out after work. we're coming back on sunday evening, so it's going to be a whirlwind trip.

the wrecking crew is a fast team and if they win, then the series is theirs. 2nd place and they're tied with us and we'll have to see how the tiebreakers turn out. 3rd (or a win by us) and we win the series.

all for now, need to get some rest... gotta get packed up tommorow night, since we're busy thursday and i'm leaving straight from work on friday.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Picture postcard church and beautiful blue skies

spent the last few days in vermont for rob and melissa's wedding. it was great time, with great friends, and i'm really happy that i got to be a part of their day.

A little rain on the wedding morning, but i cleared up in time.

i have are many pictures of the rehersal, rehersal dinner, breakfast, and the day after, but i put the camera down for the main event and concentrated on being a good groomsman.

The Happy Couple

heather and i danced up a storm both nights... contra dancing the first night and swing the second. out of character i know, but we've got to get some practice in.

Does the owner park this truck out here for photographers?

grafton, vt is a beautiful and friendly town. i've only gone through a few of the pictures, but they're up on flickr.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

2007 shenandoah mountain 100

it was probably around 10am when it happened... i was climbing hankey, just past the gate at the point the climb gets a little bit steeper for the last 1/4 mile, probably around 35 or 36 miles into the sm100. my hamstrings locked up. my heart sinks a little lower. in the past 6 miles i've gone from thinking i've got a shot at 10 hours to wondering if i'm going to finish.

i started the race fast, maybe a little too fast. i'd been riding a comfortable but solid pace over narrowback and up to lynn trail. the traffic was bad on lynn, so there was a good bit of walking there, but eric was just behind me and matt just in front. the ridge and downhill were fast and fun, as usual, and once we hit the bottom matt, eric, and i came together as part of a fairly large pack climbing back up tilghman road.

my hands were sore from the downhill, not something i'd expected so early in the day, but i figured i didn't have the grips & brakes positioned quite right from swapping the bar out a couple of days before, and the new fork was a little on the stiff side. still, there'd be time to deal with that at aid station 2.

once you turn off tilghman road you start climbing the first of two small ridges that separate you from the bottom of the hankey mountain climb. aid station 2 is located right between the two of the them, but as soon as the road started tilting up in knew something wasn't right. my legs were a lot more tired than they should be this early in the race. i dropped back from the group i was with to give my legs a break and put my head down, already feeling my spirits start to drop.

at aid station 2 i refilled asked the volunteers to refill my hydration pack, took a couple of sportlegs, grabbed more sportlegs from my drop bag, ate a bit of food and got some help with the position of my grips & brake levers. i'd swapped my handlebar earlier in the week and didn't have the position quite right which lead to some hand problems on the way down wolf ridge.

the stop was a bit slower than i'd wanted, but i was soon back on the road to 3, but dreading the climb up hankey that lay ahead. the bottom section started ok, but i was in the granny gear a little earlier than i would have liked and my legs were definitely not feeling their best.

i started checking things off in my head... am i eating enough? maybe not, that gel flask is still a little full. am i drinking enough? the hydration pack was just about drained at 2, so probably. am i getting enough electrolytes? big question mark there...

when i was portioning out my clif electrolyte mix i had to go with a little less per packet than i'd have normally mixed. i figured i'd be ok by just mixing less water, but with volunteers doing the refilling it can be a bit hit & miss. on top of that i was using sportlegs instead of the endurolytes i'd used in previous years and i hadn't been able to find the cheap little plastic coinpurse that i used 2 years ago to hold them. the coin purse was great, i'd refill it from my pak or drop bag the aid stations then stick it up the leg of my shorts so it was easy to keep taking them throughout the ride.

towards the top of hankey you pass a gate and the trail steepens for a 1/4 mile or so. right after the gate i cramp. i spent a couple of minutes in agony stradling the top tube with both hamstrings completely locked up. that's when my spirits really started to go downhill and the big question comes into my head... did i go out to fast? it's soon followed by another question... am i going to be able to finish?

after the steep section you get a couple of teaser downhills that are followed by short steep climbs as the trail rolls along the ridge. i cleared more of the headwall section than i ever have before, including the rock step near the top, but sill got a little sketched out by the final steep and loose section. after following the ridge for a mile you start the downhill in earnest and get to ride one of the sweetest downhills anywhere. it's fairly smooth, and pretty fast, but i had a little hiccup as i flatted about 1/2 way down. klasmeier and cargo mike passed me as i was fixing my flat, but i was soon back on the bike.

heather was waiting for me at aid station 3 and than helped get my spirits back up. she gave me my shuffle and i refilled, ate, and grabbed some endurolytes they had out on the table. i also drank a water bottle of weak gatorade then hit the road to mountain house with mike scardaville. between mike's company and my shuffle the road went by pretty quickly. we rode a conservative pace on the road and i could tell my pace was dropping, but i didn't feel that bad when we got to mountainhouse... i just wasn't sure that i'd make it too the top of the climb.

the climb from mountainhouse to the top of the braley pond downhill is narrow, off camber, and in places steep, singletrack. it's a climb that takes all of your attention on a good day. when you're fresh it'll make you feel like a rock star, but when you're tired it just beats you down. i was seriously worried that i'd completely cramp once we started climbing, but i was pleasantly surprised that i was able to ride most of the climb. i was off the bike for a couple of sections (short steep pitches or loose shale fields) but overall it wasn't as bad as i'd expected. it did, however, feel like it would never end. it'd probably never felt as long since i first rode it 3 years ago while getting ready for my first 100.

but i did make it to the top and the payoff is the best downhill of the day, if not one of the best anywhere, down to braley pond. miles of swooping contour downhill. it's just a little steeper and turnier and more technical than dowell's draft and i love it. after the climb it's the perfect thing to lift the spirits a bit before the climb to 5. there's a bit of winding singletrack from the base of the downhill to the aid station, and it hurt more than it should, or at least at time it seem like it hurt more than i remembered from 2 years ago.

aid station 4 is a bit of a blur. there were more thoughts of dropping out, but there was no way i could. heather would be there at the finish and that was enough to keep me going. klasmeier got in to 4 a couple of minutes before i did and waited for me to get ready to leave. bottle of gatorade at the aid station, refill the pack, try to eat, but my stomach is feeling a little off, then plug the earbuds back in and hit the road with mike for the inevitable suffering to come on the way to 5.

we start at solid but "we're just going to make sure we finish" pace. end up riding with a woman racing for giant for most of the ride. the course map makes a lot of it look flat, and when you're riding it looks flat, but in truth it's something like 15 miles of gentle climbing to get to the 5 miles of steep climbing to get to aid station 5. mike and i do a pretty good job for most of it, even though it doesn't really feel like it. the road goes on and on forever, but the shuffle helps a bit and having company helps as well. once we hit the steep section of the climb we're both in bad shape. physically i feel weak and spent. i've got no power left in my legs. mentally i don't know how i'm going to keep going after 5. there's still another 6 or 7 miles of rolling fireroad to the very top of the chestnut ridge downhill.

on the way up to five i feel about the worst i have ever felt doing this race. worse than when it took 15 hours three years ago. i'm full of self doubt... was going on past 4 a bad idea, am i going to get stuck on the side of the road cramping an unable to continue. this the the most i have ever suffered, physically and mentally. i'm at the bottom of the pain cave.

we make it to five and take a while to sit and recover. a volunteer gives us some ibuprofen, and tried to eat, but just couldn't swallow any solid food. i had a couple of bottles of gatorade and refill the hydration pack. there were thoughts of dropping again, but from here there's no point. drop out now and you'd spend all afternoon waiting for a ride back to camp, or have to ride back almost as long as finishing the course. before we leave i manage to eat a couple of pieces of melon.

on the ride past 5 something starts to change. fireroad past 5 rolls through meadows with some steep climbs interspersed with short downhills and steadier climbs. my legs feel like they're rebounding a bit. i'm still riding with mike, and now larry camp, who's rocking the singlespeed as usual. by the time we get to little bald and the top of the chestnut ridge downhill we've dropped larry a bit though and i start off behind mike on the downhill.

this one isn't as much my taste as braley or dowells, but it's got some sweet ridgeline sections where you're riding in a 4-inch gap through mountain laurel and has to be the prettiest downhill on the course. unfortunately that mountain laurel can hide some surprises and my front tire hits a rock badly and flats again. larry comes by while i'm doing my fix-a-flat routine, as do a lot of people we've passed earlier in the day. as soon as i'm back up and running i get caught off guard by a small rock ledge i don't remember, my front wheel caroms off a large rock a yard down the trail and i'm on the ground. no damage though, to me or the bike, and i'm soon off and riding again.

the downhill is feeling good though. there are a few pedally sections and small climbs, but my legs feel fine on them. i pass larry camp, and a couple of other singlespeeders, and once i hit the road at the bottom and pull into aid station 6 mike has already left. my stomach feels fine for the first time all day, and there are bananas at the aid station (first time all day). top off the hydration pack, grab a spare tube (i've used both of mine now) and hit the road. a time check reveals that i'm not doing as badly as i expected. i've got about an hour to ride and i'm at around 10:05.

i climbed the lower part of hankey with thomas jenkins and some of the other harrisonburg guys. they pushed a little harder than i could, so i dropped back. rode a pace that let me chat with a couple of other riders and then got to that beautiful left turn that marks the beginning of the run back to the campground.

it's not all over for climbing though, as you're up on the ridge and there are a couple of short ups and downs before you drop down to the fireroad to the finish and on one of those downs the front tire goes flat again. as i'm changing the flat i notice the hole in the tube is in the same spot as the previous flat and double check the tire... sure enough there's a 1/4" gash so i grab the shot blok wrapper in my pocket and boot the tire before putting in a new tube.

as i was putting my pack back on joel gwadz passes me. that gets me hustling and i'm back on the bike as fast as i can be. i see joel ahead on a short steep climb as the field compresses, the lose him as he hits the downhill while i'm still climbing. riding the downhill to the fireroad i start to see a dust cloud ahead of me... i'm catching up to joel, i think, and push a little harder. by the time we hit the downhill he's less than 50 yards ahead so i push my pace on the fireroad just enough to get in contact. i make a joke to joel about his downhilling needing work if i can catch him on a downhill, but i can't maintain the pace an he starts to pull away again as my legs start to twitch. no need to be foolish and cramp now so i ease of and cruise the last mile into the campground.

coming into the campground at the end of the race is a feeling i can't describe... relief, elation, joy, think of a superlative and it's all there. heather's there at the finish line, bang the gong, pick up the pint glass, and head for the keg...

11:15... not bad for thinking i wouldn't finish, not bad for 3 flats. not a pr though... oh well, there's always next year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007

photo day

yes, the sm100 entry is still in draft status... in the meantime, here's what i did today:

frederick photo ride

fun with the macro in the back yard

Mmm... dinner

Friday, September 07, 2007

there's an sm100 entry in the works... it was a day of ups and downs and i ended up finishing in 11 hours 14 minutes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the o's

sm100 and beyond...

saturday's photo ride with mike was fun. it was so hot & muggy out that i was dripping sweat even when i was off the bike shooting. sunday i skipped the cranky monkey to spend the day with heather, who'd been up in philly for her first (family this time) bridal shower. we went out to breakfast then drove out to leesburg to pick up a bench we ordered a couple of weeks back for our mudroom.

i say i skipped the cranky monkey to do this, but honestly, except for wakefield, my heart hasn't been into the middle distance xc events this year. after doing 3 24 hour races so far this year (more on that later) i think that's what i'd rather be doing.

got a couple of fairly easy hours on the road bike in the afternoon then we went to quarry house for dinner and a couple of beers. the place was pretty quiet and the crowd at the bar made for some good people watching. interesting characters we have here in silver spring.

1st place overall, 24 hours of killington
photo by some guy with mike's camera

an easy spin on monday, then a harder ride last night with matt... a couple of nature center hill climbs and then i rode over to his place to pick up some bike parts from the last team order (new fork!). spent the evening putting the new fork and bars on the epic, only to realize half way through that i don't have a star-nut for the fork so i guess i'm heading to the shop at lunch.

what's all this leading to... the 100. it's here, just 4 days away now. not as scary as it was a couple of years ago. can i finish? yes, without a doubt; will i finish? who knows, so many things can go wrong in a day this long, all you an do is give it everything you've got; if i finish, how will i do? no idea and i'm not going to try and predict. i just want to go out, have fun, see how it all works out. it looks like heather's coming down to the race with me which should be fun.

what comes after? well, we're going to head out the 24 hours of landahl for a final showdown with the atlanta wrecking crew for the series crown. between that, a wedding we're going to in september, and our own wedding i don't think i'll get to do a cross race until november. suits me better anyway, since the field sizes will be going down by then. i'm even going to miss the inaugural DC-CX that the team is hosting.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

this is getting to be a habit...

...that i think i want to keep up. picked up my camera on my way out of the door again this morning.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

2 rides in the cold and wet...

saturday the weather was gorgeous... rode to sugarloaf and back, with my brother tagging along for the middle 40 miles. josh and karen came down from philly on saturday evening so we grilled up some shrimp & scallops, and some delicious orange rosemary chicken from a recipe that heather found and sat out in the yard. sunday the weather took a turn toward the ominous, with dark skies looming, but the rain held off and i took josh up to schaeffer for an easy mountain bike ride while the girls went shopping in georgetown. we met up at paradiso in georgetown afterwards. josh & karen are planning their wedding for december so, predictably, almost all conversation all weekend was wedding related.

sunday's omminous clouds became monday's rain clounds and i got very wet riding home from the shop. i'd spun over their after work to grab a road tube from the team box and as soon as i left the rain started, light at first, but by the time i was climbing the mormon temple hill it was tipping down and then i got stuck at the train crossing, while a long csx freight passed.

yesterday it's wasn't really raining, but it was rather like riding through a cloud, there was a persistent drizzle/fog, that seemed to just be hanging in the air. the work seems to be drying out today though and by this weekend i'm sure i'll be wishing it would cool down again as it looks like we're in for a blast of hazy, hot, and humid air.

more rain, more photos...


some more camera time this morning, this time in the back yard...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

walking to work...

picked up the camera as i walked out the door this morning...


check out the whole set on flickr...

Monday, August 20, 2007


you can't tell in the picture, but it was tipping down with rain while i waited for this CSX freight to pass last night...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

ramping up...

gwadz is bugging me to blog more... every week i start with good intentions to write up the weekend and start the blog on a strong note, but suddenly it's thursday and it doesn't seem to make much sense to write up a road ride i did 5 days ago, or the minutia of some project at home. even heather has blogged more than me this week.

Saturday's ride was blog-worthy though, or at least it seemed like it at the time. we were up in Philly for wedding planning and heather's b-day and saturday heather was busy throwing a shower for a friend of hers. i had to show my parents around some potential rehearsal dinner venues, but i had my pass stamped until at least 2 in the afternoon. josef wanted a big ride, so i did a big ride. started with the 9am art museum ride, and stuck with that group for the first 3/4s of the ride. once they started to head back into the city i turned off and rode out the river trail to valley forge. once i got out there is turned back around and rode home. i had to do an extra loop around kelly drive/west river drive to get up close to 90 miles, but mission accomplished.

the rest of the weekend was good... 2nd meeting with the caterer, first meeting with the florist, cake chosen, rehearsal dinner location chosen, ceremony brainstormed, birthday celebrated, beers consumed, friends visited.

this week we've been multitasking well. i've shifted my hours a little earlier in the day so that i can get a good training ride in after work and we can still get errands run in the evening. bought my tux on monday, got a quote on replacing the windows in the house on tuesday and then sorted out the rental package for the groomsmen/ushers/dad's yesterday.

training's kicked up a bit this week. i've been a bit more on the ball with the 100 just 2 weeks away. the last couple of days have felt really good, so i'm hoping the next week will get me into good shape. training's been weird this year, but i have had a lot of big weekends year - 3x 24 hour races, a bunch of good, long mountain bike and road rides - another big ride this weekend (sugarloaf, anyone?) and maybe the cranky monkey at fountainhead on sunday. we've got friends in town so we'll have to see how it fits with the schedules.

by the way, the blogroll on the right is hopelessly out of date... here are some new blogs of note: heather, anna, darren

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

what's going on?

the pendulum has swung for the last week and a half. after a good bit of bike time in the previous couple of weeks i've been spending more time working on the house since coming back from killington. this weekend, with some help from my little brother, we managed to get some lingering odd-jobs finished up... a new light in the hallway, shelves & curtains in the office, picked out tile to lay in the mud room... little things that have just been falling through the cracks.

we're almost finished with the wallpaper striping in the kitchen. there's still a lot of prep work to be done in there though before we can get started painting, as a lot of the drywall is in pretty bad shape in there. we've got the last couple of pieces of furniture for downstairs on the way: a cupboard for the dining room, an armchair for the living room, and a sofa bed for the office.

saw social distortion (with the heart attacks and the hangmen) last week with jason and maili up at rams head live in baltimore, and then went down to the black cat after the team meeting with matt to meet up with katie and heather (and others) to see casey neil, and the starlingtons. both turned out to be good shows.

went out to annapolis this weekend to see friends of heather's who were visiting their family summer house. they bought crabs and shrimp and we ate on the front porch right on the bay, then went in to town for ice cream.

this weekend we're heading up to philly for wedding stuff. hopefully i'll be able to get a long ride in saturday while heather is throwing a shower for one of her friends.

3 weeks to the sm100...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

24 hours of Killington...

if you don't want the full details, here's the quick scoop: fun course, great weather, excellent teammates. rode out way from 12th overall (thanks to my slow start) to 1st (thanks to the rest of the team) in 4 laps and held on for the entire race. going into the night laps there was only a minute and a half separating us from the two teams behind us but with some good luck on our part and bad luck for other teams we held our lead and slowly built up over a full lap lead. at the end of the race i went out for one last lap with a 1/2 hour left to go before noon to give us 21 laps and a 2 lap overall and expert win.

now for the details, at least as many as i can remember...

start/lap 1:

since i'd never done the run at a 24-hour race, and this is probably my last one this year, i volunteered to run. i didn't realize when i did it that this would be the longest run we'd seen all year. there'd been some rain the day before and the skies looked threatening all morning. as i started to get ready for the start the rain started and we all thought this was going to turn into a repeat of the mudfest that we had heard this race turned into last year, but as i made my way down to the start the rain stopped. other than a shower or two in the first 2 laps that was the last we saw of the rain all weekend.

the run was kind of a long one, so i tried to take it fairly easy. i stayed in the front half of the pack on the run. there were only 38 teams/solos so it wasn't too crazy. i'd planned on taking the first lap fairly easy, since i hadn't seen the course at all and on top of that the run had put a little more hurt on my legs than i expected. out of the start/finish the course crossed under the killington access road and immediately started climbing up and across a couple of ski runs. after traversing over a short way on to the main base area, and then another shot of climbing we got the first, allbeit short, taste of singletrack. the trail was narrow, slick, rooty, twisty, and a total blast to ride. this pattern (fireroad climb, singletrack downhill) repeated over and over for the rest of the course.

another climb, this time a long one, up to the top of the course, interrupted by a short-but-sweet section of singletrack. but once at the top it was a mile and half of super tight singletrack back down. every 20 feet there was another technical puzzle to be solved: a little rock garden here, a tight 180 there, a slick hump of criss-crossed roots, a long boardwalk, a skinny, and a couple of bad mud-pits. there was a short run-up where the trail ran straight up a small muddy gully, but overall the trail was in great shape. a couple more repetitions of the up on fireroads, down on singletrack pattern, though with less and less elevation gain each time and i was dumped out at the lake by the venue. around the lake, over the bridge, and into the start to hand off to kent. 1:12 for 12th place.

lap 5

even after seeing us move up to 6th, then 3rd as kent and mike came back in i was surprised to see matt come in before any other team finished their 4th lap, so i went out for my 2nd lap in 1st place and very worried. without the lactic acid from the run in my legs the 1st climb seemed easier, and the singletrack was more familiar. climbed the big climb at a nice steady pace, starting to catch and lap slower teams, always trying to give some encouragement while passing. some rain that hit the top of the mountain on the 2nd lap of the race and the effect of many bike tires softened up a bit more of the course and the mud was worse on this lap. a good lap though, 1:07 to hold 1st place, just. after this lap there was about 1:30 between the top 3 teams in expert.

lap 9

the mood in the camp was a little weird after we took first. none of us were quite sure what to make of the situation. were we going to be able to hold this lead, or were we just setting ourselves up for disappointment. but the skies were clearing, the air was drying out, and over the cycle of laps kent, mike, and matt managed to open up the lead a bit over 2nd and 3rd. going into my first night lap things were looking a little more comfortable. that lap was going fairly well until about 2/3rds of the way around the lap. after the run-up, my hamstrings started cramping, a big thing to see this early in the race. the downhills were getting more slick and riding them at night was much more challenging that during the day. i kept moving and made it back in 1:21.

lap 13

after my cramping on the previous lap i was worried. i tried to do as good of a job as i could recovering after this lap. i didn't want to mess up my body clock with any sleep, so i made sure to get some extra food (instant noodles in a cup could be the best 24-hour race food), take some extra sportlegs (something i'd forgotten to do before the last lap), and keep drinking water. i also went down to the start and got a 15 minute massage from the masseuse that was set up in the start tent to try and get my hamstrings and back to relax a bit. the next lap was ok... a couple of technical bobbles, and a little bit slower than the first night lap, but still decent at 1:25.

lap 17

ah, back in daylight. caught a little sleep after my last lap and woke up slightly refreshed. hit the course with almost an hour lead over 2nd place. the downhills were so much nicer in the daylight and seemed to even be getting a little drier. rode strong and felt better on the climbs that i had since my 2nd lap.

sean sullivan (from the 2nd place team) catches me at start of the big downhill. they're a lap behind, but i try my best to keep up. he's flying down the singletrack with a grace i don't even pretend to have. near the end of the course i catch back up to him (i think he stopped to take off his jacket) and then pass him going into a section of singletrack. i rode that last mile of the course fast but ugly as i'm riding it faster than i should. the rest of the team rode hard to put that lap on their team, and even if it's only a matter of a few pointless seconds, i'm not going to be the guy that lets them get back on the same lap. i'm sure if he really wanted to, he'd have been able to pass me, but he didn't.

the 5th lap goes into the books at 1:10 and as i'm doing the math in my head i start to realize that we're going to finish the next rotation of laps well before noon... leading to the question of whether i'll need to do another lap.

lap 21

by the time the last lap comes around we've lapped every team in the race. there's no way we can lose, but if we stop racing early there's a chance that another team could get in before noon and get another lap in to get up to the same lap we're on. matt and i talked about how we'd both like to finish a full lap ahead. in the end it all came down to me to make the call.

i checked the standings while i was waiting for matt. he's out on lap 20, and 2nd & 3rd place are both out on lap 19. checked the times they started and 2nd place won't even be able to start lap 20 unless they beat the fastest lap of the race by 10 minutes, so we've got our 1 lap victory already. standing in the tent waiting for matt i got some ribbing from the announcer and the kid behind the table to go out for another lap and then matt comes in pulling off a great 1:05. it's only 11:30 and it feels anti-climatic to call the race early, plus i feel like i'm letting the team down for having ridden so strong, and then i find myself swiping my RFID and running for my bike.

the climbs hurt, but they have every lap. the power isn't quite there, and i'm spinning in the granny gear a little earlier on every climb than usual, but i'm feeling pretty good. i'd ditched the hydration pack for a waterbottle so i'm riding light. the course was drying out and i'm taking it fairly easy. rode the singletrack the cleanest i did all race - maybe not the fastest though. saw the rest of the team out on the course. they'd driven/hiked up to one of the singletrack sections to hand me up a beer, but i figured it'd be best to wait until the finish line for that... there was still singletrack to ride and i'm a bad enough rider with 2 hands on the bars.

the finish

crossing the finish line as the overall and expert winner was pretty damn cool. there's really no other way to say it. matt, kent, and mike all made it back to the tent in time to hand me a beer as i scanned out of the course and celebrate in the tent.

it wasn't my fastest lap (1:15) but it was the sweetest. we got the expert win in temecula, but we were 5th overall. after 3 top-5 overall finishes the overall win is what i think we all wanted this weekend, and we got it.

the series

we've got 725 points in the series now, two first places and a 2nd. the wrecking crew have 2 firsts and they're talking about going to moab. if they win there they'll have 750 points, but that's a much more competitive race and even though they've won in style at big bear and conyers, a win for them at moab isn't a foregone conclusion. there's talk about getting a team to go to lanadahl to try and get more points, and talk of going to moab, just to go there. not sure that i can swing another 24 with the sm100 and my wedding coming up.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007


less than 48 hours to the 24 hours of killington... check out the realtime standings at granny gear starting at 12 noon on saturday and get the final results at noon on sunday. in case you can't guess we'll be team DCMTB/City Bikes.

now that's (a bit) more like it...

raced the final wednesdays@wakefield race last night... last week i started strong but faded pretty badly on the last two laps with lap times going from 16:30 up to close to 20:30 by the 4th lap. last night was a different story though. i started strong, kept people in sight all race, dueled it out with calvin cheung all race, and most importantly felt like i didn't fade. well i just checked my lap times and


that's what i call a pretty consistent race.

my only disappointment was that i didn't beat calvin. i caught him at the start of the 2nd lap and managed to build up what i thought was a pretty good gap. he looked like he was coming back at the start of the 3rd lap, but i was able to build up the gap again. then all of a sudden climbing the rollers on the powerlines he came from nowhere to right on my wheel. he passed me on right after the start of the last lap and i was able to keep him in sight for a while, but his legs where just stronger than mine at the end and i couldn't hold his wheel. still, 12th of 17 starters isn't a bad result for me - this is just my first year of racing expert.

congrats to my city bikes teammates kent, chris, and tom who took 3rd, 5th, and 6th in the 35+ race.

Monday, July 23, 2007


i've been meaning to post about the ergon grips that jeff hooked me up with out at big bear for the next couple of weeks, but i keep holding off because there always seems to be a ride that's bigger than the one before to test them out on. this weekend was about as big as they come, though, so it's time to post up...

in short, they work. i'd been having problems with my hands on my new stumpjumper since i built it up earlier this year. since i put the ergons on and got them set up correctly i've had no problems at all. i did have to tweak the angle a little and also made some changes to the position of my riser bar (thanks to mike for that tip), but since then they've been solid and comfortable.

overall the shape of the ergon grips give a nice big platform under the outside of your hand and let you keep a more relaxed grip on the bike, which i think, in turn leads to a more comfortable ride and less hand-issues. they're grippy enough that your hands don't slip, but i did have to switch to a pair with a slightly narrower diameter, as my hands are fairly small and i had a tough time getting a firm grip on the bars on rockier downhills.

this past weekend we hit the watershed for a 6+ hour watershed-gambrill-watershed ride. starting south from hamburg road, we rode all the way down and back up blue to gambrill, did a full (all the way down to the lower lot) yellow loop at gambrill, back through a couple of downhills off gambrill park rd to rusted bug and then across hamburg road heading north down to little canaan then picking blue up again out to sand flats and salamander then finishing up with a long ridge downhill (trail name unknown, possibily un-named) to a long fireroad climb up the three sisters.

within those 32 miles of trail and fireroad were every kind of condition you could imagine... long consistently rocky singletrack that keeps pounding your hands, steep technical rocks where you want every ounce of control, long flowy downhills where the bike becomes an extension of your body, and long steep fireroads where you just want to keep your body as relaxed as possible. through all of that i don't think i've ever had my hands and arms stay so comfortable, so these grips get my seal of approval.

on the other hand, my bike didn't make it through the ride with such flying colors... a seal blew in the stumpy's rear shock, so it looks like i'm racing my epic tonight at wakefield and taking it up to the 24 hours of killington this weekend. i had to go out an buy a set of ergons for the epic, though... going back to regular round grips just wan't in the cards.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

i've been reunited with the journal i left in france so there'll be beer blog posts soon...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

rained out

the wakefield race last night was cancelled just before i arrived. i'd taken the gamble and driven out, hoping that the rain would have missed and would miss the park and let us get the race in. no such luck this week.

the rain had stopped by the time i got there though, and while the promoters were worried about the trails at wakefield, everyone was pretty sure that accotink would be fine. kent, loren, pat, todd, and i ended up doing a nice fast ride around just about every bit of accotink and then a quick trip around the race course at wakefield.

our trip around wakefield confirmed that canceling was probably the right decision... salamander, phase II, and 495 all had numerouse wet spots that were bad enough without sending a hundred or more riders around the course multiple times.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007



summer afternoon temptress

low orange sun
dancing through the trees

trails, dirt, rocks
crunching under tires

red clay dirt coating my bike
and sweat covered legs

breath laboured by hills climbed
legs course with acid burn

turns carved in the trees
down hills at the edge of control

feeling the trail through tires