Monday, March 31, 2008

liberty furnace

for the second year in a row now my first "big ride" of the year has been out near wolf gap (just west of woodstock). last year we did mill mountain & big schloss before heading down to harrisonburg for a GWNF user meeting. yesterday darren organized a ride to do the liberty furnace loop that's listed on the MORE website.

unlike last year's ride where we started at the top of the ridge, this ride started at the bottom and began with a long and fairly steep climb up the eastern side of the ridge. laurel run trail was loose & steep enough to make the going slow and a bit tedious at times -- 45 minutes for 3 miles of trail -- but soon enough we're at the top and make a turn onto SR 691 heading north along the ridge. we were only on the road for a few minutes before we turned off onto long mountain trail and we're heading down the western side of the ridge, first on a wide grassy double track and then on narrower and narrower rocky singletrack benched into a steep sideslope.

after a couple miles of fun, covered way to quickly, we're down in the valley on the western side of the ridge looking around for the trail back up. the climb up the western side of the ridge was much less technical than the eastern side, and shorter, but it made up for both in terms of shear steepness. a quick stop at a nice scenic overlook (i have pictures but can't post them now, since i don't have the special usb cable for my camera with me) then a little more climbing at we're back on SR 691 at the top of the ridge. a little more climbing on 691 and we're back at the top of the first climb, but this time we're headed south along the ridge on north mountain trail.

north mountain trail was a blast. after a short downhill we climb to the top of a small knob and then start a mile of super rocky ridgetop singletrack. i had a couple of bobbles and at least one almost-endo along here. another scenic spot -- this time with almost 360-degree views -- and up over the odd knob or 2 (or 3 or 4) and through a couple of intersections -- despite the constant ribbing, darren did a great job navigating -- and we're on falls ridge trail and heading downhill along the ridge. this section was a ripper: smooth, fast, and twisty, just my kind of trail. after a couple of miles (that flew by in a blur) we start switchbacking down the side of the ridge and the trail gets rockier and loose in sections and then all too soon we're back on laurel run road spinning our way back to the cars.

we were out for 4 hours, and were moving most of that time. i was definitely feeling a little out of condition on the climbs (where i summarily dropped by almost everyone with painful regularity) and a couple of times got worried that i was bonk in the middle of the technical section and fall off the side of the ridge only but this was a great ride. the downhill at the end was one of the most fun i've ever done. it was colder we'd than expected and the temperature difference (and wind) and the top of the ridges made it hard to keep a balance between staying cool on the climbs and warm on the ridge & downhills.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008


rain, snow, sleet, maybe even a bit of hail fell on us during our pre-ride at the baker's dozen course in leesburg today. this was one of those don't-like-the-weather-just-wait-five-minutes days. two laps: one easy, one pushing a bit. the course is fun, very pedal-y, and just technical enough to keep it interesting. nice views of the river too...

home depot and panera stops on the way home, then spent the afternoon hanging cabinets in the basement. i've got the wall cabinets hung now, so i finally feel like i've made some progress on that project. tommorow i'm going to finish the walls with some shelving to fill in the space i couldn't get cabinets to fit.

busy week...

this week has flown by in a blur... work, family, weather, everything all swirling around, but now it's saturday morning and i'm getting ready to head out to leesburg to preride the bakers dozen course with my brother. he's home from college for the weekend, but didn't bring his mountain bike with him, so i had to spend last night doing an emergency drivetrainectomy on shamu to get it rideable again, so he can ride one of my my bikes today. time to get moving...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


stopped by the informal dcist: exposed closing reception quickly on saturday afternoon and found out that the cow sold. we celebrated with fish & chips at eamonn's in old town. we've been meaning to make the trip down there for a while, but old town is a bit of a hike. turns out it was well worth it; best i've had on this side of the pond.

no guiness soaked evening for me yesterday though, i had a more board meeting, that, as usual, went on much later than expected. did get to ride yesterday at wakefield before the meeting though. the peat smoked stout is now on tap, and significantly better than the guiness we had a eamonn's on saturday.

Monday, March 10, 2008

exposed opening

the exposed opening was pretty unbelivable. we started with a quick trip to RFD and then walked down 7th to the show only to find a 30-40 deep line at the door just to get inside and stand in the line snaking up the stairs.

the gallery itself was packed - check dcist for some pictures. we managed to find my piece and set out a few cards and postcards -- which started disappearing almost as soon as my hands left them) -- take a quick look around the gallery and say hello to a couple of people before we left to head across the street to meet up with mike & tris and matt & katie who'd tried to get in over at district chophouse. all in all it was a great evening.

if you want to get out there before the show closes this saturday, civilian art projects is open wednesday - saturday from 2-6pm. see the civilian art projects website for more details about their hours and location.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

dcist exposed...

dcist EXPOSED opens this Friday (3/7) with a reception from 7-9p at civilian art projects. i've got a piece (see below) hanging in the show, and i'll be down there for the reception. if you're coming, make sure to find me before you leave. if you can't make it down Friday, the show will be hanging until the 15th.


civilian art projects is located on the 3rd floor of 406 7th Street NW. the best bet looks like riding the metro to gallery place/china town, then walk south down 7th street. [google map]

Monday, March 03, 2008

philly craft beer festival...

crowded. the philly craft beer festival was packed on saturday. we spent the first hour there fighting for every inch and every sample down at the far end of the hall... brooklyn had their brewmasters reserve extra brune on tap, which was an early favorite. after a while we moved to 30 yards up the hall and found a little sweet spot in front of a couple of smaller breweries where we could almost walk up to the taps. lakefront brewery's 20th anniversary strong ale was tasty. then we moved up another 30 yards and found ourselves in front of yards, southampton, and rouge with no lines at all. southampton had the double wit and secret ale, both of which i'd had recently, so i went for their saison which was another hit and then moved over to yards for a love stout on cask, and then rogue for oaked arrogant bastard (mmm) and ruination (double mmm). just before we left i someone spotted the unibroue table and we managed tastes of the 15, 16, and 17, and terrible.

there were other good beers, but these were my favorites.