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

more homework...

replacing the light fixtures in the kitchen and dining room last weekend inspired us to pick out paint colors for both rooms, so this weekend was spent sanding, patching, sanding, and priming in the dining room, and stripping wallpaper from the kitchen.

unlike the wallpaper heather removed in one of the bedrooms upstairs, this wallpaper is being very stubborn, but we're over half way there. the walls are going to need some serious filing and sanding though, the wallpaper was hiding a lot of wear. we got 2 coats of paint on the dining room walls after dinner last night, so that room is ready for the trim work. heather was taking pictures of the progress and is threatening to post them here...

now we're trying to figure out some other projects that we can tackle in the kitchen to make it more useful. a deeper kitchen sink might be in the cards and at the very least the faucet needs to be replaced. since we postponed our plans to completely gut the kitchen, we've been hesitant to put too much work into it knowing that a lot of it will get re-done in a year or two anyway.

still managing to get some training in. dc velo ride on saturday morning and then a ride at patapsco on sunday. i did realize that i only really know the trails on the baltimore county side of the park. i could have put together something on the HoCo side, but i was short on time and didn't want to get myself on too big of a loop. maybe i'll explore some more next weekend before heading to baltimore for rob's bachelor party.

wakefield tommorow... let's hope the rain holds off.

Friday, July 06, 2007

two good rides last weekend at parks i haven't been to in a while. 2 laps at rosaryville on saturday and then fountainhead on sunday. we spent the rest of both days getting work done in and around the house. after spending the last 4 weekends away it was nice to get some jobs that have been lingering done.

while heather worked on cleaning up the chaos that erupted in the garden while we were on vacation, i managed to get a ceiling fan put up in the bedroom and new light fixtures put up in the dining room and kitchen, plus i started replacing the old dimmers with newer ones. this weekend we're going to tackle painting those 2 rooms. yeah, i know people normally paint first, but you've got to take inspiration where you can get it. putting up the lights got us thinking about the rest of the room, which got us to finally pick out a color.

on the 4th i started the day with 4 hours on the road bike... probably the longest ride i've done on the road this year. my legs started off slowly, not having recovered well from trying to hang on to the motor-paced goon ride the night before. once i was out into the back roads of MoCo and had some extra food down my legs started to feel better. rode out to berryville road and past schaeffer, then back down in on river road and macarthur before climbing chain bridge road to come back through the city.

had a few people over for grilling and an attempt to see fireworks down the street at takoma park. we grilled 2 racks of ribs and, despite some inattention on my part resulting in some charing, they both turned out nicely. we marinated the first rack with dijon mustard which we basted with soy sauce while it was grilling and the gave the other rack a dry rub and then basted it with a citrus/chipotle barbeque sauce from whole foods. i was a little skeptical of the mustard/soy ribs, but they turned out to be tasty. when it came down to fireworks time we decided to just stay home and keep the fun going. we finished the evening off by putting some peaches and pineapple on the grill (topped with some brown sugar and basted with bourbon).

heather's started a blog... no posts yet, though