Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Vermont is SHARP!

Back from a 6 day trip to Vermont.  Hell of a drive but we did well and never had any REALLY bad traffic.  We left DC around 1130'ish after a food stop but due to food and other detours/scenic routes got in at around 11PM after a LATE dinner of beer and chips and salsa.

We got a garage apartment outside of Waitsfield VT.

Next morning we woke up early and we hit The Sweet Spot in Waitsfield for awesome coffee, pastries and food.  Damn good!

Then we got ready and headed off for Perry Hill Trails.  We rode up the huge frickin hill to the top of Joe's trail, then descended it, crazy stuff.  Some beyond me for sure.  Then back up to Burning Spear and down to Rastaman then down Rastaman and back to the car for 10 hard miles.

Will link to the ride HERE later.

Back to town starving. We hit the brewer by Prohibition Pig and had awesome taco's then rolled out.  We ended up finding out about a demo of Yeti at Saxon Hill trail.  We rolled onto that after a quick stop at the house.  Hit that at a bit before 5.  Tons of people.  Took out a SUPER SWEET Yeti 5.5c  X01 setup.  BAD ASS bike, but damn $7k!!!!

Saxon Hills was generally more buff singletrack though there were some big ride features up at the far end.  Rode tons of crazy stuff on the bike with no issue where my HT wouldn't.  It was super plush and pedaled almost like a hardtail once my legs warmed back up.  The way back was super flowy and twisty and a riot.  Tons of boardwalks.  Even some crazy skinny and turning ones.  Just blasted it out.

And we were DONE.  Time for dinner.  We drove back over to Mad River area and up a CRAZY mountain to hit Mad River Barn.  Good food and awesome beer.  Still think we were both food defecited from no dinner the previous night.

Rolled back to the pad and waited for Teresa to show up.  She got in around 10:30 and we chatted till 1230 and planned to shuttle the next day at Tucker Hill just outside Waitsfield.

T rented a Yeti 4.5c from the local shop and up we went we drove my car to the top as it had the rack.  Then the adventure began with another 500 feet of climbing.  Then more on and off climbing.  We ended up back in a HUGE syrup collection field and apparently rode some abandoned/closed trail.   Ooops.  Finally got onto the fire road and finished down cyclone.  1800 feet of descending and 1100 climbing on a shuttled ride is still pretty epic.  I think like 10 miles again.

Ride Linked Here.

Off to Prohobition Pig for an amazing dinner and more beer buying.

More Later.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sunny Day's and Muddy Buddies

Saturday we had an awesomely warm day, though overcast till 3pm.  I did the airport loop that I hadn't done in a while and it took me probably an additional 30-40 minutes due to how often I had to slowdown/stop/yield/etc for people.

Hordes of people.  Like walking dead hordes.  Just not dead.  Well not all of them.  Even with all the slowassedness I still cut a few achievements including 3rd best time up the Custis.

Sunday was funday.  We rode from the shop down to the C-anal and rode out to Great Fallzor.  It was an epic battle of mud and people.  We nearly got taken out by a group of crazy Chinese tourists that we wandering all over taking photos.  So dirty.  I was definitely feeling the tired.  Then we did 41st street.  And I made it!  20% grade at point, but more typically 8%.  By the time you hit the top of the neighborhood your at near 300ft of climbing in 1.5 miles.

February has been a bit slack for me.  My big week off was a mix of sitting, sleeping and eating.  But very relaxing.  I was definitely over trained in January.  Hoping to get up to 20 hours this month.  Today will get me to 16 or so but unless I rain ride....   Sigh.  Though tomorrow is an off day riding in was so fucking tiring.  Slooooow.

March....Cloudy with a chance of rain.  It's looking like a very wet spring.  Which is better I guess than a very snowy winter.  MTB is going to be rare I think till April at this rate.  In the next 15 days I think it's calling for rain on 7.  Ugh.

But near 600 miles for the year?  Can't complain as at the end of March 2015 I was at 500 miles and 46 hours.

Tonight's project?  Tear down and clean MTB.  Might even do cables if I go nuts.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Goodbye January!

Hello February.

The end of the month with the massive snowstorm made January a bit less epic than I hoped, but a solid early part of the month and some dumb stuff kept me solid.

32 Total Activities, 450 Miles of Cycling, 48 Hours of Activity.  Hiking, Trailwork, Running, Sledding and Shoveling of course rounded out the activities.  Though I did almost CRUSH my entire Jan-Feb-Mar 2015 totals in just January.  That's got me stoked for sure.

Not a lot of LONG rides but lots of riding was good.  Was honestly probably in over trained status by the middle of the month leading up to the storm.  Then the storm and tweaking my back on day 2 of shovel hell left last week pretty light Monday thru Thursday - minus sledding Thursday night.

My back on and off hurts anywhere from barely to moderately.  This getting old crap sucks.  My arm/shoulder still hurts at time from the crash at CCCX in December.  Definitely fractured crap I suspect.  Should have stayed off the bike a bit more but the travel also didn't help.  Strength work at the gym is slowly starting to help a bit also.

Studded tires finally on the CX rig but no where to ride till really today as the WOD wasn't well plowed/melted up this way.  It may finally be passable tomorrow, but I may work from home tomorrow due to never ending meetings/etc starting at 8am.  Can't be late and that would mean leaving house at like 630.  Ain't gonna happen since I'm off to see Muse for at the 5th time I think.  Always an awesome show.

Gotta figure out my team level this year, they raised each level by 5 events.   With MORE stuff and work stuff I may drop back down to Lazy Level or just lead some Monday CX rides at Wakefield-Accotink this spring.  We shall see.

Vacation next week is looking pretty damn good.  No really nasty weather in the next 15 days.

Also got some Black Ops 3 in this weekend and spent some time grinding up from level suck to level less suck (21).  So I could unlock my next SMG of choice.  Pretty fun game once I get my head into it a bit.  I'm still to old/slow to be awesome.

Monday, December 07, 2015

CX Double Header - End of the Season


That dirty nasty worst of all 4 letter words.  Work is ending my CX Season 1 week early it appears.  I'm being shipped out to Eastern Points across The Pond on Saturday evening and going to miss the BikenetiCX Race 2015 ed.  I am hoping to spend a bit of time setting up Saturday AM but that means I have to be FULLY prepped Friday evening.

Regardless for me, CX season is over.  It was better than last year.  I'm still not fast but I was faster in general.  I learned a bit about myself and what training I need to do to improve next year.

2015 Races
DCCX Day 1
Taccino CX
South Germantown CX
Apple CX Winch-Vegas
Red Shedman CX
Cap Cross CX

They were all fun in different ways.  SG was my best but I pushed WAY hard on that course.  I think I had the most FUN at Apple CX.  DCCX was a blast as I was one of the small group that got to ride the flyover as we raced 1st on Saturday.  Taccino was hard and I wasn't focused at all that day.  Red Shedman was tough, very climby with a good tech section.  Cap Cross may be the best mix overall.

For RSCX I was on the front row with the 01 bib and I KILLED myself on the start sprint.  I had a HUGE gap apparently into the first turn and down a good ways till near the barriers before I was passed.  Then the huge climb back up to the woods killed me.  No issues with the small logs.  Big looping hill wasn't bad but the finish hill absolutely killed me for some reason.  Just no energy in the tank at that point.  3 Very slow and painful laps.  Big smile though and a great venue/event.  Near 60's temp wise by mid-day.  Hanging out with all the regular MD suspects and enjoying beer.

CCCX was an earlier and even colder morning but I arrived in time for a good warm-up lap after registering, then got in another half lap.  Course was faster than the previous year even before considering how wet it was.  The frost was a bit sketchy but no issues.  Legs were not feeling full power and the start method surprised me.  I was in the middle of resetting my gps log!  I got blown by another 30 or so guys in the start from being 22'nd'ish.  Ugh.  First lap was a parade lap really for the first half up till the top of the stair climb, stuff spaced out a bit better there.  The steep run-up was hard!  The chute this year was awesome.  2nd lap was slowly getting better I was switching spots with people and finally started pulling away on the big climb after the chute.  3rd lap my engine finally got going and I started chasing people down, caught up to a teammate at the top of the stairs and started to chase.  Down most of the chute.  CRASH.  Setting up for the stupid root of doom I went down hard on my right shoulder..  Front wheel slipped out.  Sloppy bike handling.  Argh.  UP and off course, done racing.  Another teammate checks me out and nothing is broken, just sore.  Find an official and make DNF official.  Sucks.  After the race I saw I was within 3 or 4 places of moving back into the top 50.  Sigh,  Another great day of hanging out and watching racing.  The Single Speed race will live in infamy for a number of seasons I suspect with Bill S back in and Ian's epic ride on the Pugsley fat bike with pizza, beer, barrier hops, self beering, etc.

Next season I'm looking forward to making a bigger commitment right now to racing more and earlier.  Sept was just busy with work and other stuff, October was a mess with being sick in Mid October.  Then there is MORE.  I think my news will be official tomorrow on that front.  But it's already unofficially official.  I'm going to be...something.

It's been a pretty solid year of biking so far, Oct was a bit of a down and with travel next week I will be a bit more down.  Hoping to make up for it with regular rides while down at the Old Folks Home the week after.

Here's hoping to an even more crazy fun 2016.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hello Fall! Nice to sneeze you.

Fall has definitely arrived into the Northern VA area in the last week or two.  Heralded by cooler temps and fall allergies.  Nothing like random sneezing, runny noses at night, sore throat and watery eyes.

Cross season is here but not sure what my first race of the season will be.  I've been fully tied up with Wakefield Trailday prep for this weekend.

I also think I'm getting faster with the trimmer.  The other day I did all the berms, part of powerlines near the rock ladder and the trail to the rollers and down the rollers in 3 hours and change, then another day I did the ascent hill, cleaned up a few other area's and did the berms down the phase 1 trail in about 2 hours total time.  For the rest of the powerlines I plan to use the mower maybe.  Gotta discuss/look with Ernie tonight.  Not sure the mower is REALLY necessary at this point.

Last week was fall vacation week.  Left late the friday before last for the Fall MORE Camping trip in Big Bear.  Sadly I didn't ride Friday even though it was beautiful.  Setup camp and started the relaxation method.  Sigh.  Relaxed real hard Friday.  Then the rain started with a bit overnight and the on and off sprinkles in the AM.  About 10 of us headed out anyways late morning and we rode the Crack Trail, More Crack Trail, Yellow, CDaleshortcut, Yellow, Pines, Pine Loop, Gene's trail both sections, green and back.  Unfortunately halfway back on Gene's my saddle broke a rail and the rest of the ride was very slow standing grind.  Ran into Bob and Todd on the way back and watched Bob go down hard on a very slick wooden bridge on green.  Kids motored just fine but us big kids just have to high a center of gravity.  I walked and it was slicker than ice really.  Back to camp.  After a shower and awesome chicken salad sandwhich (Thanks M!) I ran off with a friend to hit a store in Deep Creek for a new saddle.  It ended up being a comfort saddle monstrosity.   Got back and the sadz wouldn't let me put it on.  So went to help with potluck setup.

The PotLuck competition was awesome this year, some of the best food I think maybe since the 1st year in Davis!   Lots of great food ate I think 3 plates.  Sooo full.  On and off rain though the super tarp one family had was a huge help.  Along with most of the camps 5 or 6 popups.

Much more chill and chilly night, sat by the fire, talked about riding different places, had a few brews.  Went to bed pretty early between being in a food coma and tired and cold.  Didn't sleep as well as the night before due to on and off rainstorms of note.  Sunday dawned still pretty ugly.  Got up.  Ate breakfast, dried out and warmed up in the car.  Used the car to dry out my jacket and riding pants.  Helped a bunch of people pack up.  Went out to breakfast with folks in a nearby town at Water St Cafe.  It was awesome.  Went back, mounted the saddle while watching most people depart.  Went out for another ride as things were drying out a bit and sun was occasionally peeking out.

Rode out the road to the far end fo the area and did some of yellow up to the airport then the rest of yellow to Little Cannan/Purple trail.  That was hard but awesome defintely walked stuff.  Then blue along the road (Crazy fun) then back the connector/black trail.  Nice day in the saddle.

Last groups then rolled out including Todd and Larry and co and MW.  Lonely camp now empty with me solo.  A bit creepy for sure.  The sun finally came otu and I went and got awesome photo's around the campground/sites near the lake.  Wow.

Monday I got up a bit late and did a good ride out black to yellow to green and all of green then yellow then black to jumpline out did the green at the entrance area behidn the bandstand/etc.

Then headed out to Morgantown to get a real saddle.  Ended up with a Specialized saddle I don't love, in fact if I can fidn the receipt I should ship it back to them to return it.  :P  But I doubt I can. Hit up a burrito place with great beer right on WVU Campus then hit a nearby brewery.  Picked up some beer and food to cook.  Not a bad day over all.  Back to camp.  Went and took more photos of another great sunset at the lake riding around.  Had a beer.  Really nice and relaxing.   2 Groups came into camp while I was out.  A few guys my age up partying up at one of the farther cabins and a older couple with a trailer 2 down.  Not so creepy/empty.  Cooked dinner.  Chilled out with a good beer (Stone 19th anniversary).  Went to bed pretty early in thought of another day of big riding.

And then the food poisoning set it in.  Slept like crud and woke up sick as hell.  No riding.  No feeling good.  Started to pack up.  Took near 3 hours.  Dried out stuff very well.  Ate half a bowl of oatmeal and felt a bit better.   A crappy end to a pretty awesome weekend otherwise.  Stayed with afriend in MD.  Felt sick a bit on the drive.  Ugh.  Home on wednesday and had everything cleaned and unpacked by midafternoon Wed.  Gaming the rest of the day.

Rest of the week was pretty chill, no huge rides except for Friday.  Got to do the most awesome wine and cheese gravel hooky ride.  40 miles, 2 wineries, 1 distillery.   Cheese, Crackers, Meat, Etc.  Woot!

Today was the final sign of fall 55 Degree morning.  Everyone wearing long sleeves/arm warmers on the way in.  Coffee was most excellent at Cafe Amouri.  Ahhh.  Fall.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fall is Coming

Big push for the ending of August 2015.  And it was a crazy busy month with work, trips to see my dad in central VA along with various cousins, biking a fair amount, and limited trailwork.

The last week was really the peak of busyness. Work was insane with shipping issues:

CX Practice
Trailwork Rosaryville
Racing at Motormile Speedway (Drag Racing).
Ad-hoc trimming at Wakefield
MORE Summer Picnic

What a great event yesterday.  The MORE summer picnic was EPIC worthy.  Lots of fun and smiles had.  Tons of people sessioning the skinny of doom of Team XXL and tons of folks riding the hell out of Todd B's skills gear!  I mean if there weren't 5-10 people riding it near constantly between 11 and 4pm I'm shocked and later in the day at times there were 20+ people constantly working on skills.

The Poker Race was huge and tons of fun was had I think.  It made the event way more fun than just some natty old ride in the woods.  People talking good natured trash to each other.  New friendships made.  Bike rode.  Tons of food eaten.  Near perfect amount of hotdogs and hamburgers, we only thru away about 4 hotdogs and maybe 5-10 hamburgers.  Took a ton of chips home for future TNR/Fall Camping Trip.

Afterwards lot of fun and games with skills competition, raffles, and general fun.

The slide of doom returned.  Ribs are sore.  Big smile.

Cleanup was pretty painless and we were mostly done by 5.  I hung till 6 and helped a teammate finish de-marking the course for the last mile or so.

Too much fun.  Can't wait for the camping trip now.

Now to only survive the next 8 days of work and get in some bike rides.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Et tu transmission?

Not my transmission fortunately, but the big green bus tranny suffered yesterday during the Patapsco Epic apparently worse than many riders:

Other than this issue, it was a great day out at the Patapsco Epic 2015.  I did course marshaling at the 35/50 mile split.  Mostly successfully the yellow of the 35's was often hard to see differently than the red.  The 35 sweeps were a tad late so we didn't clear out till almost 130.  Then I rolled over to the start/finish at McKeldin area.  I talked with a few people and opted to ride out a bit.  Ended up doing the 15 loop which was awesome minus one sucky push/climb.

Got to hang out with lots of peeps afterwards and had AWESOME Taco's from a baltimore taco truck:  The Jolly Pig - http://www.thejollypig.com/

DAMN Good!

Then hung out more with XXL and Wicked Wash peeps before getting into investigating issues with The Mystery Machine/Big Green Bus.  Someone had taken the keys back to VA when it died.  So after many conflicting reports I narrowed it to Transmission or Powersteering.  I checked the transmission stick and it was dry though since it was on a slope I wasn't confident and it was some REALLY nasty dirty fluid that I thought was way to brown for transmission.  Eventually I got in-touch with Yawn and Helen and they headed up.  After a search for food, they arrived and we got down to checking it out.  After some futsing around we found the powersteering resevoir was nearly full.  uh oh.  Yep transmission fluid.

Jan opted to try and move it under power but no dice in reverse or forward.  Bad Sounds.  We eventually rolled it forward out of the road it was blocking to a utility company service site.  Ugh.

Today I skipped the ride to work so I could pickup breakfast food for the next 2 weeks and such.  Gonna be a busy few weeks of work and stuff.  Lots of projects pushing forward.

Almost had a moment of major weakness and almost test rode the new Trek Stache 7.  Bad Ass bike by looks for sure.  Really curious to try it but not in the financial cards right now.  Need to do rear brakes on the MTB and see about finding a replacement frojk as Dicky would say.