Friday, December 26, 2008

merry christmas and happy new year...

reindeer suit 1

a slightly belated merry christmas and a happy new year to all... it's been a pretty low key couple of weeks here. sam's started day care, heather's back at work, and i even managed to get out on my bike. here's to hoping for a great 2009 from all of us.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

so far, so good...

right now sam's favorite music includes the pogues, elvis costello, and the flaming lips... any hope it'll stay this way and we'll avoid barney, raffi, and the rest? doubtful, i know...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

two batches of beer are gurgling away in preparation for friends coming into town next weekend. there's a light english golden ale and a coffee stout that should hopefully be in the keg and ready to drink (if lacking a little maturation time) in time for the horde descending from philly. brewing two batches of beer in one night was a challenge i probably won't try an repeat any time soon, but it was acomplished with only minor headaches.

the threat of company of course means another mad dash to finish all of the house projects that we've started in the last couple of months and make sure we're ready to take on a dozen or so guests. we spent this weekend installing the new storm door, repairing the front steps and putting up a new front door surround. now the office needs to be put back together so we can clear it's contents from the living room and guest room. plans to try and build some built-ins that we want to build in the office have been put on hold for now. looks like they'll be a project for the winter. with all the work thats been done i need to take & post some new photos of the house.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

dccx redux...


the dccx shots that i posted sunday night after the race were processed pretty quickly for getting the press release out, and now i want to redo them all, but then again when am i ever happy with my output... here's a slightly more impressionist shot from the barriers. the focus is off, but somehow i think it helps the atmosphere of a cross shot. took a little more time to get the color & exposure closer to what i wanted in this one than sunday's batch. look out for a few more and some revised images as i have time this week. i'm still missing not having a copy of lightroom.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

almost forgot...

the post used a picture of mine with their sunday source article on DCCX...

the barriers

back from disney...

out for a morning stroll on the boardwalk at disney...

we're back from sam's first trip to disney world... surely the first of many. a little soon for a trip to the magic kingdom you might think, but it's a big annual (or semi-annual) trip for heather's family so we took sam down to meet a whole lot more relatives. he was great on both the flight down & back up but had the line at the gate a little worried on the way home as he had a little meltdown as we waited to board the plane home.

i've got some travel coming up for work at the end of this week and then it's DCCX this weekend. it should be a fun day. the fields are big (cat 4 is closed already and both 3/4 races are up over 60) and the publicity is pouring in. scud will be there making frites, sonoma is providing beer, and the belgian embassy is sponsoring the little belgians race. if you're interested in racing or just coming to watch, you can get all the details over at the dcmtb website.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


just checked the results from sunday and it looks like i was dfl after all...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

kelley acres


made a few pictures of the cat 4 race at kelley acres this morning while i was waiting for my race... here are a few of them that i'm particularly happy with. they seem to "get" the feeling of a cross race.


i raced the 3/4 and after 1 cross race last season, none so far this year, and no training for the last month (and not much before that) i paid dearly. i was (nearly?) dfl, lapped by the top 4, and suffering like a dog. cool -- if not very traditional -- course that favors people who can climb and ride.


great fall morning light (aided by custom optimize image settings) makes for some beautiful colors...


Saturday, September 27, 2008

photo dump...


the office at home has been out of commission for a while thanks to some more work going on in the new bathroom, so i haven't been able to post any pictures for a while. that situation's resolved itself and i've dumped a whole lot of pictures from the last week onto flickr today.

and sam's got a cousin now... my sister polly gave birth to ella on thursday and we went to visit them last night at the hospital. pics of ella are up on flickr as well. congrats polly & ryan.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

bike time...

got on a mountain bike for the first time post-sam today... heather took sam along with her to a bridal shower she was attending so i took a trip up 95 to patapsco to give al a taste of the riding there. we only had a couple of hours, so we had to limit ourselves to a couple of the highlights instead of the full tour. so many trails, so little time....

i was supposed to be racing charm city cross, but i thought that 1 ride in 3 weeks wasn't really going to make for a good time, so i'll start my cross season next weekend at ed sander.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

still here...

time for a diaper check...

no surprise, but this last week has been a blur -- our lives now ruled by a person so tiny and helpless he depends on us completely. tiring, but fun. every night is now filled with uncertainty... waiting for sleep to start, waiting for sleep to end. guessing the cause of whimpers and cries. down the checklist... diaper, gas, hungry, tired, hot, cold.

hanging out with mom...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

back home

we're back home today and settling in nicely. we've got lots of pictures up on flickr now that i've got unfettered internet access. we've been a little too busy to shoot any more today and the camera battery died midday yesterday.

thanks to everyone who's sent their congratulations and apologies for not answering a lot of phone calls or calling back quickly -- more battery problems.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

sam's blog is live...

head over to for more photos. even more to come once i can get connected to flickr again (blocked on the hospital wi-fi)

hi guys, i'm here!

my name is sam

Monday, September 01, 2008

shenandoah time

no, no sm100 post from me this year. with a baby due any day now i couldn't make the trip. i've been in stokesville for labor day weekend for the last five years. the first year as a volunteer, which made me decide to race and led to spending the next 2 years as a racer. after a year off from racing - hung out and shoot pictures - i was back there racing last year.

racing in my stead this year was my little brother JJ, aka prince harry, and since there's no write up from me, unless you want to hear about putting in baseboards, here's his take (un-edited) on the tenth annual sm100...


Since it is the day after and the soreness is still very present in my legs, I feel that this would be an appropriate time to shed some light on my experience at the 2008 Shenandoah Mountain 100. I realize that this guest bloging is strictly against protocol, but bear with me and you will have my brother and his section of cyberspace back soon enough. Yup, you guessed it, I am JJ Foley, AKA Joe’s Brother and Prince Harry…the latter two are the two I am most commonly addressed by.

Coming into this race I can only describe my feelings as a nervous excitement. I had heard about the SM as a race that would break you down but really make every bit worth it in the end. I was skeptical of this, due to the fact that I had a really quite miserable experience at The Curse of Dark Hollow 50 miler earlier in the summer. That race for me was one that beat me into submission and really the only excitement for me was finishing. I don’t mean to say that the race as a whole, or how it was run, or the people were not great, because they were. What wasn’t great was my level of preparation going in and I paid for it. In any case I was Skeptical coming in to the SM.

After driving down Sat afternoon I met up with Matty, Katie, Mike, Kent, Evan, Alex, Alistair, and Steve at the campsite and after getting set up went out for a quick warm up ride with Kent. Dinner that night was right on the money with pasta and bread rolls. After dinner I wasn’t too long out of bed, but I did stay up around the campsite and got to hear some intense discussion on Jeff Buckley.

5:30…I get woken up to the sound of firecrackers going off about three campsites down. Apparently these were the boys from WV (I found out later that someone had let all the air out of their forks for all the damn noise). Right at this moment I really did find things a little surreal, that the race I had been talking about for so long was actually here. I found myself scrambling a little at this point to get last minute things together. I was about to hop on my bike for the start line when I realized I hadn’t put my tool pack under my saddle and didn’t have my gloves on. I rushed to find these essentials and eventually made it to the line. City Bikes had taken on a position on the front of the start line and there must have been about ten or so of us there. In addition to those at the campsite; Eric, Joel, Jonathan, and Anna had come down.

Start to Chpt 1

The start was chaos. There were 550 bikers trying to fit down a dirt road wide enough for maybe three across. In any case, down the road and across the bridge with a quick glance back to see the snakelike stream of riders following behind, I started the ride up to cookie trail with Klas. The climb up the fire road was a good way to start the day I think. It’s not so steep that you are struggling and lets you develop a nice tempo. I quickly fell off Mike’s pace and just tried to focus on keeping it steady. About ¾ up Evan passed me. This kind of scared me a bit because he is a much stronger rider than I am, and I thought that I had maybe gone out to hard to sustain my pace. But coming to the top I felt good and moved into the cookie trail single track. This trail is great…but not with 500 other people. Inevitably I had to walk a lot of sections I would have otherwise ridden because people ahead of me were dabbing. About halfway down cookie I realized that I had been riding with my front fork locked out…good one. Anyways, I stopped quickly at chpt 1 to do a bottle exchange and then it was on down the road.


On the road section I pulled the arm warmers back up…very glad I had worn these cause it was chilly on the road…and was passed by Anna, whose saddle had broken. Down the road we made the left turn and began the slight climb on the road up to Wolf Ridge. Upon reaching the single track things came to a halt pretty immediately. I was far enough back that people were just totally walking so what choice did I have. To be honest it was probably good for me to keep my climbing legs for later in the race. I would like to go back soon and see how much of this trail I can clean. The down hill was a lot of fun, winding along the ridge top and then a very gambrel-eske, like descent back to the road. After talking to my brother pre race he had said that the road out of wolf to check three was 10 miles…this, to my relief, was not, as far as I could tell, true and I found that after a quick uphill I was passing dog graveyard and was shortly back on the main road up to Todd lake. Here I was passed by Alistair who looked strong, and was clearly feeling that way too since he pulled a great time. Into Checkpoint two I grabbed some food, refilled bottles, and begged for another heed flask as I guess mine had fallen out at some point. I threw in the I pod and started on the road to Hanky.

Chpt 2- Chpt 3

At the start of hanky, I guess I would say my legs felt ok and the bottom half passed really without incident…the top was in fact a different story. I always forget how long and grueling of a climb the top section of hanky is, but once again it hadn’t gotten any shorter and I had to slug it out all the way to the top. At this point I could start to tell that m legs were really starting to feel on the not so good side of ok and with this I headed down the dh. Sweet. Pulled into chpt 3 feeling a little better…grabbed some more food and drink and while Mike lubed my chain up. I had a feeling that the next pull up Brailey Pond would be tough.

Chpt 3 – Chpt 4

Leaving Chpt three I pull out on the the road and am passed by Steve…going the opposite way after having just pulled out of chpt four! Holy Crap I don’t know what your time was Steve and I know I am not the fastest guy in the world…but you must have been killing it. Anyways rode with a guy from Richmond up to mtn house who was also doing his first SM…I filled him in on the rest of the course that I knew and we kept it steady. Going up brailys I was really staring to feel it. This is a climb where you have to be just as on it mentally as physically because it was quite technical. I found myself getting on for about twenty yards and then having the front wheel wash out and doing it over again. The downhill was as always…Sweet. Stopped about half way through to make sure this one guy was ok. Apparently he had clipped a tree with his bar and done a superman dive off the side of the trail into a tree. As I was helping him back to the trail he pointed out the little sapling he had gotten personal with and the thing was completely up rooted…Damn man thank god for helmets right. Anyways concluding the downhill I did the usual routine at the chkpt and stuffed some extra bananas into my pockets.

Chpt 4 – Chpt 5

At this point I was really starting to become unsure if I was gonna finish the race. Although my legs weren’t cramping I was getting pretty fatigued and I had been told that this was the point in the course that would get mind numbing. I kept my head down and put pedal stroke after pedal stroke together and I kept moving. The first half sucked. But as things wore on and especially as the trail made the right hander and kicked up I got a nice second wind and was able to sort of kick it up a notch up the steeper stuff. This was a complete surprise but very welcome and I was able to keep a solid tempo into chpt 5. Side note…about 1 mile before chpt five was the best view I have seen in the GW forest, I had to stop for a minute…wish I would have had a camera with me.

Chpt 5 - Chpt 6

At chpt five I got some pizza and the usual snacks. It turned out that I had missed the cut off time for lights by five mins, so while I was strapping on all the gear, I talked to one of the aids about the amount of climbing ahead. He told me that I had “a couple of rollers”…oh man do I wish that that was true. What came next was far from a couple of rollers. These were leg burning, steep climbs, that seemed to go on forever, broken up by meadow sections (talking to mike later he said we went through 13 meadow sections). Upon finally reaching the single track of the chestnut descent I found it to be pretty demanding, but as we go to the lower sections it opened up and smoothed out and really got fun. The lower section was a hand off the brakes, screaming downhill. Sweet. Into chpt 6 and I was feeling a renewed sense of confidence…I was gonna finish. I could tell now…and I couldn’t wait.

Chpt 6- Finish

At Chpt 6 I had ditched the I pod and some excess gear that I figured I wouldn’t need between 6 and the finish. On the ride up the rode past Todd Lake I hooked up with a guy named Aaron from Ohio. It was really nice to be riding with someone at this point and after the pleasantries we made small talk ranging from college stories to his past 100 experience. At one time he mentioned that we could have been talking about Bigfoot and he wouldn’t have cared, so long as it got him over the mountain. Whether it was the fact that we just were so close to finishing or that we were kind of pushing each other I don’t know, but we really hammered it up the bottom section of hanky and over the ridge. The pace continued down the descent and through the fire road. The feeling of elation really was growing inside me at this point…I couldn’t wait to see that course tape directing me down into the camp site. Rounding the last bend…there it was, I gave a woohooo! and Aaron gave a hell yeah! And we made our turn. Out on the grass I had a huge smile across my face and then I crossed the line, hit the gong, and grabbed the pint glass. My time ended up being 12:50 approx, and I got to finish in daylight as was my goal. After congrats from Matty, Evan, Mike and Alastair all of whom were at the finish I headed back up to the campsite and just sat for a while.

While were sitting around talking Evan told us he had overheard some guy giving an analogy of the race. He said that it was like someone offering you a piece of cake, and the first time your like hell yeah…then someone offers you another piece…and you say yeah ok sure I’ll have another…then you get offered another piece and your saying to yourself I really shouldn’t but ok I guess…and then another piece and you’ve had so much damn cake by this point that you just can’t stomach any more. This was the best thing I had heard all day because it was so accurate and hilarious. This race gives you so much of a good thing it nearly kills you. It beats you down but it still gives you motivation to continue…and in the end is worth every pedal stroke, grimace of pain, and heavy breath. I can’t wait for 09.

Thanks to City Bikes Team for great times,

and Chris Scott and the volunteers for putting on such an Amazing event. – Prince Harry

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

cross time...

heather quite literally kicked me out of bed this morning for the first workout of the run-up to cross season. ok, maybe it was more like "nudged" out of bed, but there were feet involved and sometimes i need a pretty forceful reminder that i'll be much happier if i get out and ride. i'll probably hit the rockburn cross practice this wednesday and keep that up until the team practices start up in september.

johnson and wells
tim johnson leading todd wells @ nationals in providence, 2006

maybe planning any sort of bike racing season with our first kid looming on the horizon is just asking for trouble, but here we are, mid-august, and i've already got autumn on the brain. it was downright chilly when i got out this morning -- time to start making up for a month and a half of slacking.

the barriers
the barriers @ nationals in providence, 2006

in a slight bid to sanity i'm not going to plan on doing any double headers or any races that'll be more than an hour's drive from home, unless we're already traveling, so that pretty much rules out picking a series and trying to do every race. so it's off to to check on the local schedules and pick out some races...

lyne bessette
lynne besette @ gloucester, 2005

9/21 - Charm City Cyclocross, Baltimore, MAC
9/28 - Ed Sander, Lilypons - MABRA
10/4 - Breast Cancer Awareness, Hagerstown - MABRA
*** 10/26 - DCCX, Washington DC - MABRA ***
11/2 - Rockburn Cross, Elkridge - MABRA
11/23 - Tacchino Cicliocross, Leesburg - MABRA
12/7 - Capital Cross Classic, Reston - MAC

barry wicks @ gloucester, 2005

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sam's Hands

These are the hands of our local dry cleaner; Sam (aka Jim Dandy). He opened his shop in 1972 and even though buisness is a little slow these days he's got no plans to stop working. He's 93 years old and not slowing down. Retire? What would i do, he says.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


ever have that feeling that you have too much stuff? and then you realize you're still buying more stuff and want even more stuff...

it's nothing we don't already know, but go watch the story of stuff for a simple breakdown of why the system is what is is and why it's broken.


time to get serious about being a more conscious consumer and cutting down on the stuff.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

harry tackles the strange and usual american game of checkers

kinda wish i'd replaced this copy with the re-processed version i made the other night, as i'm not entirely happy with the color balance and brightness of this one.

Monday, July 28, 2008

At the last dcmtb team meeting, Mike & Tris joked that, since i wouldn't be able to see the tour finish on at Alpe d'Huez finish on my birthday in person, they'd paint happy birthday to me on the road up to the Alpe d'Huez and maybe i'd get to see it on TV. well i didn't see it on TV, but i did get this picture in my inbox last Wednesday evening. Mike, Tris, and Jonathan, you guys rock!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008


given that my riding since the 2nd round of the wakefield two weeks ago races has consisted of one 3 hour ride at the shed, a quick spin at fairland, and 3 hours at patapsco this weekend i was rather surprised to see that the results from last night had me drop another minute off my time... down to 1:09 after a 1:10 two weeks ago and 1:14 the first week. strange thing is, i felt like c$@p last night. my legs felt completely off for my entire pre-ride, i ate & drank so much during my warmup to make up for missing lunch that my stomach was churning before the start, and on the first lap my calves cramped up when had a wheel slip and was forced to run the top of the hill into the finish.

i did have someone to chase (for the first half of the race) and someone chasing me (for the last half) to keep me honest, though, so that helped on the mental front. probably the hardest effort i've ever put into a wakefield race for those last two laps as the rider in pursuit of me would gain ground on the straights and then i'd build the gap back up in the twisties.

coming up to the powerlines on the last lap i thought i was done for. he pulled close enough that he was coming into the lower switchback as i was finishing the upper one so i put it all on the trail, figuring that if i could maintain the gap through the powerlines i could get out of sight in the trees and stay away. in spite of a bobble at the bottom of the last hill before the finish, the plan worked.

11th place of 16 starters. for me racing expert, that's not half bad. like 2 weeks ago, i was able to keep pushing all the way to the last lap. that's always seems to be the worst part of moving up a group in racing -- it takes a while to get used to the extra time/distance you put in, and until you're comfortable with that, it's hard to know how hard to push yourself. this year i'm not having the last lap meltdowns i had last year.

riccardo ricco, saunier duval out of tour...

did anyone NOT see this one coming a mile away? what sucks is how, now, the default response to a rider doing well is to assume that he's doping... well, ricco didn't disappoint on that front.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Mark (Black & White)

This shot of Mark from the City Bikes team meeting on Monday just seemed to be screaming out for a black & white conversion. Still getting used my new iMac and all of the workflow options suddenly open to me now. Adobe Lightroom seems to be working better than Aperture for me right now. 30 days to decide before i have to plunk down some money for a real copy of one of them.
don't think i've ever made it to all four races of the wednesdays @ wakefield series... there was nothing scheduled against the series this year, so i thought there was a chance, but it was not to be as i got stuck at work with a little mini-crisis (now averted) yesterday afternoon. oh well, another goal for next year i guess.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

wakefield #2

results are up for race 2 of wednesdays at wakefield. there are some questions about the accuracy of the times, but i hope the expert times are good between the two races. i was 4 minutes faster between race 1 & race 2 and that jives with how i felt i did. i still ended up 2 places lower (21st) but it was an even bigger field, so i'm not two concerned about that.

since i've been thinking lately that my attitude was holding me back in races the only real change i made (other than switching from a camelbak to bottles) was a mental one. i kept a simple mantra running through my head the whole race.

i won't share the exact wording to keep this blog family friendly but basically i just kept asking myself if i was working as hard as i could right now and if i wasn't i told myself to work harder. strangely enough it worked and not only was i faster, but i felt better all the way to the finish. attitude is everything i guess...

Saturday, July 05, 2008



no, not me, but my trusty shoes. 2 pairs of specialized pro carbons...

3 or 4 years ago i picked up a pair of specialized pro carbon mountain bike shoes. a couple months later i bought a 2nd pair so that i'd have a backup for 24 hour races, or to just make sure i always had a dry pair if i got caught out in the rain. they've served me well over the last few years...


after starting with a pair of performance brand shoes, and then working my way through some northwaves (i was riding a gary fisher at the time and they sponsored the gary fisher subaru team) and a sucession of fairly cheap pearl izumis and never finding anything that was really comfortable i upgraded to specialized's top-of-the-line shoe, the "pro carbon".


they were a revelation and took me through all types of races, from wednesdays at wakefield to 24 hour races around the country, and rides from a quick spin at schaeffer to epics in the GW national forest, but the mud a this year's 24 hours of big bear was too much for them, and they've been replaced with...


a new pair of specialized pro carbons.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

this is not a picture of a bike race

sorry, no pictures from this weekend, so here's one from the garden

saturday i raced the 12 hours of cranky monkey with my brother and Alistair - a new dcmtb'r who's just moved here from australia - in 3-man expert. we were up against a fast bike lane team (Bruce Buckley, Ryan Bannon, and Steve Dotigny) and a team of adventure racers. the forecast was for very hot weather and lots of sun, with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. with the race running from 8 am to 8 pm (or 7 depending on how you look at it) we'd be racing through the hottest part of a very hot day.

to get down to Quantico in time to check in an set up before the 8am start we were on the road from silver spring at 5, which meant being up around 4 and i didn't get a very good night's sleep the night before. we had a good representation of city bikes teams... 2 co-ed teams, our expert team, and a masters team and had a nice little camp set up under the new team ez-up and the whole foods ez-up i borrowed from heather. Alistair volunteered to take the first lap for us, i took the number 2 slot, and JJ rounded out our rotation. Alistair got us off to a good start, but i was the last of the 4 city bikes teams to get out for our 2nd lap -- Tom, Lynne, and Klasmeier had all gotten great starts.

i hadn't raced at Quantico for a couple of years -- i did the cranky monkey xc series race there the first time it was held on the base 2 or 3 years ago -- but i'd forgotten just how much fun the trails were. the loop was a nice mix of twisty singletrack, rutted fireroads with a "singletrack" line in them, and a good amount of gravel/fire road. there was also a good mix of techy singletrack climbing and some steep grunts up powerline easements and the fireroads to keep things interesting. i pushed as hard as i could on the flowy stuff and kept pushing but dropped the gears low to spin up the climbs to preserve my legs. the first lap felt great. i passed plenty of riders and came in sub 1 hour (ok, only by 2 seconds, but i was pretty happy with that).

after i handed off to JJ the next 2 hours were spent trying to re-hydrate and cool down and mother nature wasn't helping out at all. the heat & humidity was already building and meant that you just kept sweating all of the time. but those two hours passed and it was time for lap two. lap two felt a lot like lap one. no cramping, a few aches from my lower back, maybe a little slower on the climbs, but now the downhills were faster knowing what was coming and how to pace myself. 1:01 for lap 2. one minute slower than the first time around. had to make a more conscious effort to re-hydrate and refuel after lap 2 as i'd realized i hadn't had to take a nature break since before the first lap -- not a good sign when it comes to dehyrdation.

at this point we were solidly in 2nd place in expert, and somewhere near the top 10 overall. the bike lane were solidly ahead of us and continuing to build their lead, pulling laps that were a minute or two faster than us, and the 3rd place team was dropping further and further behind us. and we'd passed the 2 co-ed teams so we were the 2nd best placed dcmtb/city bikes team in the race.

lap three was the hardest for me. this lap was right around 3pm and the sun was out at full strength. there were some rumbles of thunder off in the distance as i waited for Alistair in the transition area, but they never got close enough to cancel the race. lap three just didn't quite feel right. i felt less flow, more stop & go, more near misses on techy stuff and had an "unplanned landing" when i didn't see a sapling of the left of the trail and hooked the end of my bars on it. lap 3 ended up coming in at just over 1:05.

lap four started at 6:50... 10 minutes before the cutoff for starting your last lap. i'd been worried that this would be my completely-blow-to-ruin-an-otherwise-great-day lap but that was not to be. i was able to keep riding strong. i felt like i was riding the downhills faster than any previous lap. the flow that was gone on lap 3 was back on lap 4. the air had cooled just enough to make the climbs more comfortable and the course was feeling more and more familiar, and as a result, shorter. for a while i was thinking that i might be on pace to ride my fastest lap, but in the end i was just over 1:02. i did manage to pick off a couple of the sport teams who'd snuck ahead of us on the overall. in the end we were 2nd expert, 9th overall... 11 laps in 11 hours 52 minutes (and 14 seconds).

given the weather, and my results in team endurance races so far this year, you'd think i wouldn't have great expectations for this race. but from the start, something just felt different this time around. my attitude going in was better than it'd been in a while, and maybe that was what made the difference in the end. i think i did a better job of racing smart than i have in a while: taking the climbs easy, not pushing too hard to early, but at the same time keeping a solid pace.

when all was said and done it was a day of great trails and great teammates, and that leads to a great race.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

wakefield race recap...

first race of the wednesdays at wakefield series last night... great weather, decent traffic on the way out. had to fix a loose star nut with a big rock so i could tighten my headset before heading out to preride. the course was pretty much the same as usual. lined up near the back of the experts and the group was a little shaky at the start... a bobble on the first creek crossing and some squirrely riding (got away from that guy fairly quickly on the first lap). rode 4 laps, painful from the start, but progressively harder. passed a couple of people, got passed by a couple of people. finished somewhere near the back of the pack... fun as usual.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

too much?

perhaps it's time to start leaving the house with blinders on in the morning... i spent 15 or 20 minutes on this blossom this morning, but didn't get anything that i liked as much as the last couple of trips. it's a similar bloom one to one i shot on sunday afernoon, but with fatter petals with a more wrinkled edge and a pinkish color.

edit: maybe i should stop this whole low depth of field macro thing and just work on some more traditional macrophotography...

Monday, June 23, 2008

black & white flowers...

black and white flowers

trying hard to get some more tonality from digital black & whites. this was from the d200's in-camera black and white setting. the flowers in the garden are beckoning again, as are the leaves heather wants me to tidy up while i'm waiting for the plumber.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008


after getting shut out of riding saturday (the electrician was late and then storms blew through once he was done) my brother and i went up to the watershed sunday morning. i'm surprised there weren't more folks out on the trails, as it was a beautiful day up there... the mountain laurels were in full bloom, the sky was clear, and the air was cool. we did a big loop out blue to sandflats then salamander to the overlook. we started back on blue but were running a little late so we ducked out onto the roads to hurry back to the cars. other than a couple of mechanicals (a flat & a broken chain) it was a great day to be out on the trails.

Friday, June 13, 2008


...for arleigh in the santa cruz hellride.

To all my friends, family and fellow bloggers:

Hellride 5... This is at least a 70 mile mountain bike ride in Downieville, California this august. 12,000 feet of climbing, crazy terrain and life will be rough. The top 4 females get to goto the event, and currently I'm in the top 12.. I need your help. Please vote, blog, post, forward along to everyone you know.

Thank you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


...the final frontier

i've just crossed the line i said i'd never cross and registered for my first road race. matty's done the cat 5 race at the giro di coppi for the last couple of years and came close last year. had it not been for an ill timed lead-out he might have had the W so this year he's calling in all the favors he's owed and it looks like we'll have respectable squad in the 5's. matty as team captain, backed up by klasmeier, biggles, jj, and myself... a motley crew indeed.

dammit, i've just realized i did one of the tradezone training races last spring, so the line was crossed over a year ago... what a shame, such a good literary device wasted.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

last chance for artomatic...

this photograph isn't in artomatic, since it was shot since the show opened, but i wanted to put it here anyway

if you haven't made it down to artomatic yet, you've only got until this sunday to do so. the show closes june 15th. i've got a volunteer shift this friday so i'll be somewhere inside capital plaza I from 5 to 10. i normally try to get one of the bar spots, so check in "the bar" on 11 or one of the performance spaces/bars on the first floor.

If you're interested, my space is on the 6th floor

tulip something that heather isn't sure the name of
these and others are though; and they're all available - mounted and framed - for purchase

Capital Plaza I
1200 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002
corner of First & M streets NE

Best way to get there:
Take the Red Line to the NY Ave stop then walk a block -- you'll see where it is from the station.

Wed, Thu: 5pm-10pm
Fri, Sat: noon-2am
Sun: noon-10pm

Monday, June 09, 2008

the one where the wheels come off...

last year we had a great run at these 24 hour events. yeah, maybe the small fields at some of the races inflated our results, but even at big bear where the field was big we were still 5th overall and 4th expert. last year we rode strong every lap, rode smart, rode consistently, had great luck, and maybe most of all had season long goal to keep us going... this year that just wasn't to be: dead batteries, a broken frame, legs just not feeling up to snuff, what else can we say?

in some ways a very disappointing weekend, but we still got out into the fresh air for the weekend, rode our bikes, and had some fun.

congrats to our fellow city bikes teams for scoring 1st in just for fun (tom, lynne, jonathan, and JJ) and 2nd in vet (marc, joel, chris, and kent). the c3 boys were rocking all weekend in expert giving the locals a run for their money.

Friday, June 06, 2008

big bear...

getting ready to roll to big bear... waiting for the plumber to show up and then i hit the road to pick up matty and then out to west virginia. the weather will be a big player this weekend. with the combination of heat & storms it could be bigger competition than any of the other teams. you can follow the realtime results here. i'm racing on dcmtb/city bikes in men's expert, but there will be another couple of city bikes teams out there this weekend.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

tick, tick, tick...

time keeps on ticking by... big bear is this weekend, so prep work for that is underway. got up to fairland on friday for a quick spin and i've got to say that austin's made a nice little trail system up there -- nothing too technical, but it flows well and you and push hard through most of it -- and having it 10 minutes from home is making it a more frequent destination.

tried to get a gambrill/shed ride in on saturday with mike, darren, and mark, but we only got the gambrill half done. near the far point of the yellow loop we started hearing ominous rumbles and figured that the best place to be in a storm wasn't on top of a ridge so we decided to bail. the rain started as we hit the road, but luckily we made it back to the cars before the heavens really opened. the rain was so hard that i could barely see the road until we got to Gaithersburg.

i got a couple of hours on the road in on sunday, but the rest of the weekend was spent getting a lot of little odds and ends tied up around the house. you know, all of those little finishing details that just get put off right at the end of the project... one last knob on the wardrobe upstairs, the light in the beer room, hanging pictures, silly little stuff like that. things that just needed to be collected up and done.

we're just about at 3 months to heather's due date and we've started on the nursery. we happened across some great furniture that was on sale last week while we were out at one of the everything baby type stores so we figure we've got to get the room painted before it arrives. luckily we've got lots of help with projects like that so it hasn't been too bad.

tonight i've got my sister and (future) brother-in-law coming over to brew some beer to give away as a favor for their wedding. last summer's brewing (and bottling) marathon for our wedding favor beer was what made me finally decide to start kegging my homebrew, but i can't escape the bottling. hopefully he'll be able to rope some friends into helping him with the bottling so i can just "supervise".

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


good times this weekend at stokesville... jj and i rolled down saturday morning and met mike miller at braley pond to start our first ride of the weekend. we were supposed to meet up with darren and evan, but we were late getting down there, and even later getting started riding that we figured they'd gone on ahead. part one of the ride was the braley pond loop and it didn't disappoint.

after a quick break at the cars we left for the ride over to hankey/dowell's. the hankey climb felt good, but it's always longer than i remember. once we cleared the top of hankey and started along the ridge my handling skills felt like they were improving a bit (i felt rather rusty on braley) and by the bottom of the run i'd promoted dowell's draft back to the top of my all-time-favorite-downhills list.

we ran into darren & evan at the top of dowell's... they were climbing back up after riding over hankey from the campground and then doing the braley loop backwards. it turns out evan had a mechanical on the way over to meet us in the morning and they didn't get there until a half hour after we left braley pond.

over to the stokesville campground, set up camp, popped the top on a brooklyner-schneider hopfen-weiss and got serious about relaxing. evan came by and shared some of his beer & a nice pepper salami, then we had the potluck, some presentations on mountainbike issues in virginia, and then the campfire.

sunday morning we had a pancake breakfast then set out to ride the first 30 miles of the course with darren. narrowback is always a longer climb than you think it'll be and cookie trail was a lot more fun without the sm100 hordes stacking up on every other rock. at the bottom of the downhill to tilghman rd we had a double wammy. darren's pedal had seized and then started unscrewing itself and my brother's allergies were killing him so we hit the road back to camp.

after a trip into h'burg for some claritin and some recovery time, jj and i took a ride up lookout mountain. the climb up and out the back of the campground is about as tough as they come, but the lookout ride was a lot of fun. probably the rockiest downhill that i know of in the stokesville area and but then it's got some super swoopy sections near the bottom.

back at the campsite more food and beer followed, maybe a bit too much beer... monday morning we decided to call it quits a little early. we stopped by the new pump track in harrisonburg on the way back to see what thats all about. not the place to ride a 5" dual-suspension bike, but fun none-the-less.

back home we had my parents over and we finally get to the headline of this piece... heather and i picked up a bunch of whole trout fillets. i stuffed them with slices of lemon, onion, a whole mess of herbs - mostly from our herb garden (note to self: plant some tarragon) - and threw them on the grill. flipping them proved to be a little challenging, and a couple weren't quite as nice coming off the grill as they went on, but for something we'd never tried before we were very happy with the results.

Friday, May 23, 2008

stokesville awaits...

topher on wolf ridge
topher on wolf ridge

less than 24 hours till i'm riding sweet gw singletrack... i'll be down in stokesville, at the virginia imba festival tomorrow through monday. home of the sm100 and a couple of the best rides on the east coast (at least in my opinion). here are my photos from the 2006 edition of the sm100

ramsey's draft
klasmeier crossing ramsey's draft

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


was mayor fenty on the goon ride last night? looked like it was him...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

pardon me for a quick rant on a topic not usually covered here...

hey cable industry (comcast of montgomery county in particular). if you're going to run ads touting the fact that your service beats satellite because the signal doesn't break up in the rain then you should really make sure that actually holds up. i've never seen it until recently, but we've been getting satellite-like break up on a lot of channels when it starts raining. i assume it's coming from their satellite downlinks, but why does it seem to be to getting worse (more compression to squeeze in more channels perhaps) now? and don't advertise an advantage you don't have.

and we're done... resume your normal activities.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

italian beer...

no, not moretti and peroni... italy has a thriving craft beer movement these days and with no history of brewing these new small brewers aren't constrained by any national brewing tradition or style. rob and i went down to national geographic live last wednesday to taste some of these beers under the guidance of garret oliver, brewmaster of brooklyn brewery. i've put up my notes up over on a lot of these beers have only been in US for a couple of weeks, so it was a treat to taste so many all in one place.

Nuova Mattina
Nora 2005
Strada San Felice
Malthus Birolla
BB Dexi
Baladin Xanuyu

Friday, May 09, 2008

artomatic starts tonight...

artomatic set up

Heather met me at the artomatic site after work on wednesday to help me get set up for artomatic. with the extra pair of hands we were done sooner than expected and got home in time to throw some sausages on the grill for dinner. i was grilling in the dark by the time everything was done, but they turned out all right.

artomatic opens tonight at 5 and runs through june 15. check for full hours and all of the other details. i'll be there volunteering tonight, but i have not idea where i'll be or what i'll end up doing.

i've set up an online gallery of the photographs that are hanging in the show. go to to take a look.

Monday, May 05, 2008


after thinking about it for a couple of years, and then missing the registration opening for last year's show, i'm going to have a space in this year's artomatic. started work on my space this weekend by slapping a coat of paint onto the primed plywood that we've been provided with and working on getting my work for the show printed and framed. the show opens this friday and runs through june 15th. if you want to find my work go to the 6th floor. i'm right off the elevator banks, right next to an installation of neon sculpture.

May 9 – June 15, 2008
Capitol Plaza I
1200 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Metro: Red Line, New York Ave., M St exit

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'Cafe for Change' fundraiser for WABA at Whole Foods P Street

Get your shopping done while you have your morning coffee, help bike advocacy in DC, and beat the weekend shopping crowds while you're at it. This saturday from 9 to 11am you can stop by the P street whole foods market in DC and get a "donate-what-you-can" cup of coffee to benefit WABA. The "Cafe for Change" will be set up in the Raku cafe at the front of the store and you can sign up for bike to work day while you're at it.

Whole Foods P Street has been a great sponsor for DCMTB/City Bikes for the last 2 years and have, along with many of the other local Whole Foods stores, a great history of supporting cycling-related organizations like WABA, MORE, and Trips for Kids so stop by and start helping change to happen.

Monday, April 28, 2008

greenbrier marathon

photo by Jay Divinagracia; More pictures Here and Here

toed the line with some of the big guns of the endurance racing world yesterday and wound up muddied and slightly bloodied but very happy with my day. the greenbrier marathon class was stacked with some serious talent with the presence of some national-level talent like ernesto marechin (speedgoat) and steve schwarz (titus) plus a selection of local fast guys. i wasn't out there to race them, just myself.

at the start i let the front of the pack disappear into the distance on the first hill. i staked out my position at the front of the second group of the pack and then concentrated on not going too hard, my brother hung onto my wheel up the first climb and then disappeared along the ridge at the top. for the first lap or two i battled back and forth with another couple of riders. i know i passed one in the feed zone after lap 2 - i just stopped to pick up 2 GUs, he had his bike upside down, not a good sign - and the other i can't remember if i passed him or not.

laps 2 & 3 we had to deal with the beginner fields which wasn't too bad, but i was amazed at how many were walking all of the 2nd big climb. half way through lap 4 i got lapped by the sologoat and after that the sport classes started passing me. by that point i'd slowed down enough so that that they were passing me on the climbs, but i did get frustrated a couple of times having to follow them through the rock garden and the final downhill.

as the race wore on i was feeling surprisingly good. i'd expected to be granny gearing the climbs by lap 4, but lap 4 came and i was still grinding away in the middle ring. i had a couple of bobbles on the wet waterbars on the hills, but other than that i was still riding well. lap 5 still felt good and doing the math in my head i figured i might get a 7th lap in. at the start of lap 6 i was passed by the 3rd place marathon rider and got a time check from him: 54 minutes to go right so unless this lap was really slow then 7 was within reach. by this point my riding was getting pretty sloppy in places, but i was still churning along and wasn't feeling like i was done. lap 7 didn't feel like it'd be out of reach or a complete suffer-fest.

as i was coming around to the finish to start that last lap i saw my brother in the feed zone and he asked if i was going out again and i gave him the thumbs up so we started my 7th and his 6th lap together. i had a little cramp heading up the very first hill on the last lap but managed to ride through it. my brother was having problems with his brakes, and was having to take the downhills very slowly, but after what we'd been riding through for i'm surprised that anyone in marathon had any brakes left. i did have to pop down into the granny for the big climb on the last lap, and i was definitely riding a bit sloppy and went down when my back tire slipped on a waterbar (giving myself a cut on my upper lip) that last time through but overall the last lap didn't feel that much worse than the first 6.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


darren wasn't the only city bikes rider sporting a 'stache on saturday... the 'trucker' has made a temporary comeback for the start of the mountain bike race season, though you can barely see it if you're more than 3 feet away.

Monday, April 21, 2008


city bikes demo day this saturday at schaeffer farms... the shop is bringing out the demo fleet for the first demo day of the year this weekend. sweet bikes from jamis & specialized will be available for test rides from 9am-2pm and the team will be out helping run the event. stop by if you've got an eye on a new bike, want to try out the latest & greatest, or just want to say hello to the team.

our house has a few leaks that were revealed by yesterdays downpours... not too bad in the long run, and mostly caused by clogged gutters and incorrectly installed basement window covers, but bad enough in the short term for us to spend part of day using a wet-dry vac outside in the rain to clear out a basement window well with 9 inches of standing water in it, and for me to spend some time standing on the mud room roof disassembling and reassembling gutters to clear some clogs.

bakers dozen analysis... it felt weird leaving during the event, but then again, i've never had good luck at the 12-ish hour race format. at 24s i don't seem to have the same problem. maybe it's an issue of pacing and rest that i haven't quite got nailed down.

stolen bike... be on the lookout for a 18" moots ybb moto-x with jones h-bars, full xtr groupo, and a custom (or maybe now missing) jen green headtube badge. rob harrington (the bakers dozen promoter) had his bike stolen from the race saturday night. i really hope this was not done by someone in the mountain bike community.

Bakers Dozen... er, Half Dozen?

mixed weekend... baker's dozen started well, at least until my first lap triple flat. well, make that one flat where i didn't see the thorn leading to the second flat on which i broke the valve stem on the first donated tube and had to go begging for a second donor tube.

we had a pretty cool setup with 18 or so dcmtb riders in the main camp, and another few spread out in other teams. kent brought out his new solar camping setup so we had that powering an xm for tunes and charging up light batteries (as well as charging up it's own batteries so we could power some lights at night).

after my 55 minute first lap my brother went out on his first lap. since we were riding duo we decided to start on double right after getting the first rotation out of the way. since i wasn't quite ready to go for lap 3 (i was grabbing an extra tube) when he came in JJ went back out and started the doubles straight away.

laps were fast.... sub 30 for the super fast guys, low 30s for the fast but mortal types. my fastest were in the 32 range, but got slower as time went by. my first set of doubles (team laps 4 & 5) started strong but by the 2nd lap i was suffering a bit. i had a headache setting in, and my legs were suffering. a little too early for that, i thought, but the pace was fast so i notched it down a click or two. the course was a lot of fun... fast and twisty i didn't want to make you suffer so much as make you want to ride faster.

the 2nd rotation of doubles went by much as the first did but by the time JJ was starting the 3rd rotation he wasn't sure that he'd be able to do another double. i got myself ready to go when he came back around but he took some more water & food on board and went straight back out. since i had a little more time before starting i ate an instant noodle pot (my endurance race super-food) and by the time he came back i was feeling a bit better and was ready to go. JJ, on the other hand was pretty sure that he was done.

i went out on my lap a little worried that he'd pushed himself way too far and was going to be back in the pits getting worse instead of getting better. after seeing a guy at the campground behind us taken away in an ambulance right before i started my lap i was worrying. my last lap (6 for me, 12 for the team) my legs actually felt better than they had for a couple of laps but i had a splitting headache by the end of it. coming back through the pit JJ gave me word that was done, so we decided to call it a day. since heather was there watching we stuck around for a bit to hang out and watch and then headed home.

JJ eventually recovered to the point that he rode a 'guest' lap for one of the other city bikes teams (2 injuries on one team). it was his first real endurance race, so there's a learning curve to dealing with recovery & nutrition (and suffering) and this race was a hard way to start. the course was so short & intense (all pedaling all the time). team foley will ride again (lodi? 12 hours of cranky monkey?) though maybe as a part of a 3-man team instead of duo.

congrats to the other dcmtb/city bikes teams, especially the solar ring blingers and velocipede who took 2nd and 3rd in the 3-man class.

Monday, April 14, 2008

waba monster

the busy weekends just seem to keep coming... went to the whole foods bike to work day event on saturday and helped get a whole bunch of bikes into better shape. after that was over i got to be an official witness at whole foods' attempt to set the world record for the most wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese simultaneously cracked and then high-tailed it back home to get ready for the waba gala. we managed to only buy one thing at this year's auction, but we went big and picked up ben claassen's "waba monster" painting.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

racing starts in two weeks and i feel like i've started to fill in the gaps in riding. got some long road rides in this weekend to backfill the training i didn't do earlier this year. saturday would've been a great day for a mountain bike ride, but i had other plans (work on the basement) and figured i'd get a mountain bike ride in on sunday. that was not to be the case, as we woke up to rain that didn't stop until mid-afternoon.

the corner cabinet for the basement is built and just needs to be finished and then installed. the basement is really starting to come together. a week ago it was a couple of sheets of 3/4" ply and a few feet of maple 1x2 & 1x3, now it actually looks like a real built-in cabinet -- and hasn't fallen apart yet. still need to figure out the countertop... looks like it might require purchasing a biscuit jointer & a router. is there a 12-step program for power tool addiction? i'll post pictures soon, i keep meaning to take some of the progress.

i did get to take a trip down to paradiso on saturday night, where i had 2 rather nice double IPAs... brooklyn blast and southern tier unearthly. the unearthly was nice (solid malty body, nice bitterness, good hop taste) but the brooklyn blast was the more interesting of the two. paler and lighter bodied that most double IPAs and i'm pretty sure it used british hops for the finishing instead of the typical pacific northwest varieties. it actually tastes like a beer i've wanted to make: a british double IPA (a british re-take on an americanized british beer?) and coming from garrett oliver i'm not surprised. it's a brooklyn brewmaster's reserve beer, so i wouldn't expect to see it anywhere but on tap at "good beer bars". that said, last year's brooklyner-schneider hopfen-weiss (last year's best beer of the year) is now available bottled. i saw it on thursday at whole foods and picked some up for the summer.

Friday, April 04, 2008