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

Thursday, April 03, 2008

off track?

it seems like training's gone a bit off the tracks this week... big rides this weekend and then a hard hills workout on tuesday with loren has left me with tired legs. LT work last night just wasn't happening and mormon temple hills this morning were so-so. i think my slacker winter and sudden increase in training may be to blame: it feels like i'm trying to build without having a base.

we had a nice taste of late spring on tuesday for the team hills workout... short sleeves, shorts, and short finger gloves... no armwarmers, kneewarmers, vests, or any of that other gumpf that makes getting out the door seem to take so long this time of year. the 50s are back again for now, but it looks like sunday will be nice. rain on saturday means it might be a watershed kind of day on sunday. time to start getting a ride together?