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 -

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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More Rain?!?!? Go Away!

July has continued the generally rainy trend of June so far with I think over 5 inches of rain in some DC area's.  Typically for May and June are right around 4 inches.  That means at near 20 inches were really really really wet.  And more storms on the horizon.  Storms this evening and overnight and I can almost guarantee at 5-6PM tomorrow for the should be third week of W@W that will probably get pushed off again.

Shed/Gambrill ride this weekend kicked my butt.  My shoulders hurt Sunday and Monday.  Though some of that may have been the event on Sunday.

Early last week I started looking at some stats/idea's around Kill Bill 2015 ride and realized that without some serious water support this ride with 50-70 riders could take a bit longer than last year which finished at like 5 or 530.  So I started borrowing 5Gal water coolers and planned.  

So at 730AM on Sunday I went to safeway and bought 20 gallons of water and 40 lbs of ice.  And off to CVS I went.  The wrong CVS.  Made it to the right one with 30 mins to spare for the first stop.  Kathy Lewis and some others were there.  Kathy had a ton of water and gatorade!  And about 60 riders rolled in.  3 5 gallon coolers and tons of gallons of water went out.  And in 15 mins everyone was back out on the track.  I opted to restock at the giant with some more ice, soda, and cookies and chips.  Back out and about 30 mins later the group hit for stop 2.  Soda and snacks were a big hit and once again the group got back out on the road in about 15 minutes.  Next stop we were missing the 1st pass as it was only like 7-8 miles away but we made it for the 2nd stop.  Near Marymount U.  More water, ice, soda and snacks went out.  Things going well we were at mile 50'ish already for the riders and it was pretty early and still cool.  After some bad directions/gps Kathy and I hit the next stop at the CVS at Westmoreland/N Sycamore and setup.  20 mins later in comes the group.  More water, snacks etc.  First few people begin to falter but the main group is still going well.  Next stop is just before main Barcroft section.  I go pick up a part for a rider and head on. Should have gotten more water.  Next to last stop and it's finally getting warm at around 2pm.  All water is done.  Ride is off a few more people move to social ride cutting some of the worst out.  But still not many.  I go and get 14 more gallons of water, more coke, more ice and snacks for the final stop between barcroft and the return to falls church.  Made it with 10 mins to spare.  Riders are struggling now at 97 miles and just completing barcroft,  About 10 miles left with 2 big climbs.  Used tons of water and soda and snacks.  Social ride ends up at about 8 people.  MAin group leaves pretty quick, 2nd group leaves 10 minutes later after a longer break.

Final usage - 42 gallons of water, 110# of ice in drinking water, 30lbs for soda/pickles/etc.  4 12 packs of soda, 4 jars of pickles, 4 bags of chips, 4 sets of cookies.  5 jars of gatorade powder.  Not bad for a non-supported ride :)

Almost 40 riders finished of near 60.  Raised over $5k for charity.  Not a bad day.  Boy was I tired :)

Wimped on riding Monday but got back on today for the commute in.  Legs we tired but not bad hopefully they are ready for W@W tomorrow.  Though admittedly I'm debating riding in, with the thought it's gonna get cancelled again.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Where did June go?

If someone finds June please return it to me so I can enjoy it again.

Not a bad month and in actuality it didn't pass super fast.  It was just busy between trailwork, racing, riding and helping people move.  I think thats what made the 1st half really blow by.

New position at work is still kicking my butt in someways, between that and final push to migrate our customers from our legacy system to the new one.  I'll be very glad once this is done.  Probably September though.

June was not a super high mileage month till last week when I had a 160+ miles, most of early june was spent moving people and mid June I was focused on Wakefield Trailwork.

Super stoked for another not too hot W@W this wednesday and then Thursday we've got WF TNR and Friday is an off day so I finally get to do an observance ride, a Gravel Grinder out in LoCo.

Made myself do a pile of errands on bike that I've been doing in car lately and it was fine and got in about 6 extra miles of riding.

Weather this month was crazy hot up till this last weekend when the storms cooled stuff down.  Yesterday and Sunday were beautiful, in the high 60's in the AM.  Today is a tad warmer but still not bad.  Hoping we stay cooler in July, and a tad drier.  Rainy Rainy month also.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A week after, A Year After, 5 Years and Friendship

Well a week after the run of doom, I'm glad to report by Friday I was back to full normal.  Thursday the legs were 90% better, enough that I dropped a TON of people on the Accotink section of TNR.  Ooops.

Did an awesome ride on Sunday and went from Falls Church to Potomac to Bethesda to Georgetown and back to FC.  42 Miles with some nice hills and some pushing of pace.  I'm crap at pace lining and couldn't hold onto the fast group so I took a tad easier and hung back with the girls up until Bethesda.  I'm still not comfortable blasting descents at 35+ mph either, but slowly improving my confidence.

Helped my roommate of 5 years move out to his new place he's sharing with his girl.  Weird to have 2 new roommates in less than 6 months.  But I'm stoked he and the SLF are doing as well as they are.  Moved tons of stuff and felt it in my back a bit again today.  Not lifting with my legs....naughty naughty.  Beyond my ex-wife and one other friend who I'm still in with, he'll be one of my longest friends and he'll always be one.  

We grilled out and watched GoT S5 finale last night.  Damn.  Still processing that for sure.  May need to re-watch it.  Felt bad for Cersi for maybe the 2nd/3rd time.  Reminded myself why humanity sorta sucks.  Then watched the Silicon Valley S2 finale and that was crazy.   Think I had server fire meets white walker dreams.

Last time this year my x-roomie and I talked about where we wanted to be in the next year and we've both definitely changed a few things.  Both of us changed positions in our org.  Both of us are doing better financially.  He's got a sirius SLF.  I'm still basically enjoying being single in many ways with a complete lack of general responsibility to another human.  I'm a bit less involved in the bike club but have idea's and drives for the future.  Gotta plan and execute a bit more this fall and see what I want to do next year.  Job stuff is improving.  Riding more with 132 gps'd/logged activities so far in under 180 days.  And that's huge considering I was at like 50 events in 90 days.  I'm on track to hit like 90+ in the last 90 days by end of June.  145?  150?  Fitness is increasing.  Looking forward to suffering in Kill Bill 2015 in mid july.  Would love to finish the century+ but even finishing metric distance would be HUGE.

Ommegong's Take the Black Stout last night was the PERFECT beer for that episode by the way.  Dark, bitter, and strong.  Really liked this 2nd bottle much better than the 1st I drank last year.  May have to try and find a bottle of this years red and have it at the end of next season.

The redone bike rack looks awesome.  Gotta get some photo's up.  And give props/reviews on the shop that did the cleaning and powder coating.

And maybe I'll jog tonight after I get home from work.  Maybe.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Running is a bad idea

Run, Running, 5k, 10k.

It's all a bad idea.  Especially if any of these items are on the list:

  1. Haven't done any training runs in 3 months or really any running.
  2. 4 Hours of Trailwork the day before
  3. Planning to help someone move an hour or two after a run/race
  4. A 5k Run =  a 5K Race.  duh
  5. You can't help but pushing to a comfortable pace
  6. You PR 3 times on a run with item 1 in effect
  7. You forget to take advil after the run
  8. Your heart rate spiked over your maximum
  9. Running when your really a cyclist
  10. You wimped out and walked for 3 minutes during the race instead of HTFU

Well so here's the deal.  I agreed/wanted to help a BikenetiCX teammate who had heart surgery to support the group who did the work as it is now something addressed typically in kids, not adults.

5K - Big Whoop, I've finished a Tough Mudder - 13 MILES.  Sure I didn't train at ALL for this but it's like 5K, I'll take it easy.

Nope 28:18 for 3.1 miles.  3 PR's and if I had not walked a few spots I could have finished down in the 25's.  I was 97th  but 9th in my age group.  At 25 I would have only been in the 50's overall and 7th in age group. Oh well.  Fastest guy did it in less than 18 mins.  Oy. 1M

Legs are wicked sore.  I need to jog occasionally.  1x per week even 2-3 miles.  Oh well.

CX bike is back home and in rolling shape finally since Friday.  Got a 10 miler in Friday.  Might try and get a late ride in tonight to try and spin out legs so I can ride to work tomorrow.

On the flip side the road bike blew a spoke last week on the way home (1/10th of a mile out) and it's now taking a break after a month and change of relative high mileage.  But it really needs a new BB and possibly a new crankset.  le Sigh.

Hoping to get back into commuting and some mileage building this week.  Going to set a goal of 120.  Huzzah!