Friday, December 21, 2007

Riding Again

Finally got a ride in last night at Wakefield with my new equipment setup. SWEET!!!! The lake boots make a huge difference my toes were only a little cold. With toe warmers the should work down into even 0 degree conditions.

I was actually ride leader last night.....uhhhh wtf. We started out with 4 riders, picked up another. 1 Guy bailed a bit after an hour, The next guy went out after another 20 mins. We last 3 went and did another half hour. Cheers to Daniel, Rich, Dave, Alex. We final 3 did a total of about 8.75 miles.

I was pretty happy with my riding for being sick and off the bike due to rain/etc for 2 weeks. My legs felt moderately fresh and I spun pretty well most of the time except for the third spin up to the top to hit the berms. We stayed mostly out of phase 2 except for a couple of mins and a quick ride up the hill on the access road/trail.

My frickin gps mount broke and fortunetly I realized before I lost the damn thing. Thank god!

Anyways back to work for me. Happy Commercial-mas!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trailwork is good for the soul.

Sunday I finally made the trip up to Gambrill's for a trailwork day. I was a bit worried at first that not many would be up there with it rainy and cold, but we ended up with 12 hardcore workers. A few people I've ridden with before including Todd, Dave, Julie, Joe and some others. New folks included clyde, frank, charlie, and a few others. We got a ton done and finished up with some beers before we tripped down to Brewers Alley, pretty good food and the oatmeal stout was nice.

Today I was going to go for a ride in the afternoon but the rain kicked back up and back in I went. Opted for a Run and ride at the gym. The new running shoes I picked up this morning were great. Very nice.

Friday the wyf and I went to a champagne tasting. It was pretty good, we ended up with 2 nice bottles in the $30 range. I liked a couple of the nice $60 ones too. I also picked up a 6pack of Full Moon, Blue Moon's winter ale version. Very Nice!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Black Hills Friday Night Lights Inagural Edition

First Black Hills Friday Night Lights was last night. Damn good time for the most part. Though at the end I was bonking majorly. But back to the beginning.

Got there a bit later than I wanted do to Traffic, Spending to long BS'ing with Phil at G-Town Cycles, and missing the West Old Baltimore Rd Turn off. Ugh. So I had to change in the car and that was exciting as usual...And cramped. But 15 minutes later I was ready to go.

New cassette check, new chain check, new rear tire (Some big tears phil spotted) check.

We started off as one large group, and rode the first short section together. At that point we realized we needed to split. A fast and not so fast, with a few of us straggling the fast, as tweeners. Our group was led by Jim with Yeuq, Mark, Harry and myself bringing up the rear. We tackled Hard Rock and looped around to the boat house.

We then rolled onto the HMC trail all the way to the big bridge. During the last section we lost a rider and that sucked. He was behind me then he wasn't. When I got to the end we all turned back. No sign of him at the first lot and so 2 guys went back to double check while I called the ride leader. The county sheriff patrol stopped to check on us and thought we were crazy but cool for riding. They didn't care about our permit even. hahaha. A bit later the ride leader called back having seen our missing rider heading back to the lot by the road. I call the search party back. After they return we take off.

Well they do, but I'm burnt and frozen. Got way to cold during the 12 minute plus stop and I can't crank well anymore. So I convince Harry to head back the "easy" way back. Roads to the main center lot. But there are 1 major 1 minor grind back. UGH. We made it back in about 9:48'ish. But I'm toast. A quick change of shoes helps, my poor toes are frozen and barely feel my feet. Load gear and head home. Time for a final purchase for now.

A pair of Lake Men's Winter Mtn Biking Boots. Ahhhh warm feet and toes ho!

Ended up doing near 10 miles with a moving pace of 8.3mpg average. Pretty cool. Without that stop I probably would have gotten 12 or so and maybe been a bit faster.

Friday, November 30, 2007

First Night Ride at Wakefield.

So this Thursday, I did my first night ride out at Wakefield Park in Springfield, Va. It was a good time. Got out there nice and early and spent an 40 minutes gearing up, adjusting equipment. A new pair of gloves, socks, and headwarmer. Very nice. I now just need my new fleece tights and I'll be almost good to go for the season.

Did a little preride to warmer up and see how things would go. And it was pretty damn good. Put on a extra pair of socks and was good to go. I went out with a nice casual group, we had 8-9 riders through out. We made an average pace of 7.1 according to my cycle computer odometer. We went down to the creekside trail, then climbed to the power lines. The most of us hit the bowl. We then rode the trail back up and out to the parking lot. We then headed over to Accotink and rode most of the trails over there. A bit more challenging. We kept having people not make it up and out of stream crossings. We had a woman along who'd never mountain biked before excluding one light trail ride and never night rode before. She kicked ass and rode hard! I was impressed.

I did head over to kilroy's but it was too noise and smokey and my wife bailed on her late class so I headed home.

Maybe there will be a post ride stop at DFH after Black Hills tonight.

Descente Wombat Gloves Review

So I went out yesterday and picked up a pair of Descente Wombat gloves. Pretty darn nice. I like the knit cuff, the construction of the main seams. Not sure how I feel about the grip material but i bet it will last well. The snot wipers on the back of the thumb(s) are nice and soft. Temp wise I think they are pretty good. I was riding in the mid-40's last night pretty comfortable excluding my already damaged finger. So I did the poor man's warmer and took the glove off and a few breaths into it later jammed my fingers back in. Much better. So now I know I just need to pre-warm them. I'm now thinking about what kind of liner glove I want. My other bone to pick is the the thumb length is a bit short.

Now I also need to deal with my cold feet issue. I wore a pair of Smartwool socks under a pair of snowboarding socks and it was better. I just can't find a pair of booties that will cover my shoes correctly yet. ARGH.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Colder than a Well Diggers @ss in Alaska

Last night here in the Nations Capital Area was our first REALLY REALLY cold night. Even right now the outside is reading 26Degrees at 9AM.

So last night we had the Friday Night Lights at Little Bennett Park. It was cold at the start and damn cold by the end. I was pretty happy with my warmth level in general. The 2 dark spots were gloves/hands at first and shoes/toes at the end, err well by 2/3'rds of the way through. I should have sprung for these at HudsonTrail before the ride. - These look good too!

I mainly went there looking for some biking booties to help keep the feet warm, it was really only my toes that were cold, and that was from swelling I think. I need to adjust my shoes a bit out for winter near the front.

It was a damn nice ride otherwise. Though a bit tricky as a ton of leaves hid a few tree limbs/etc down in the trail. I only partially dumped once though I had to dab a few more times than usual. The full moon made it really bright and nice. By the end of the ride the grass was frozen and the dew on trees was also putting a white frosting on everything. I was back from the 3 guys a lot of the longer sections and it lent a nice feel of being a bit out on my own. Though I hung in pretty well on a couple of the big climbs. Nice for not riding much.

My layers were as such. Lower - Thermal LongJohns, BikeShorts, legwarmers over the LJ's and then a long pair of snowboarding socks. Up Top I had a Thermal LJ shirt with a riding jersey over that with a tech fleece thermal over that then finally a HaleyHansen jacket shell (No liner). I wore a neck warmer/buff but i used a new breath mask and that served as my earwarmer/face mask and it worked pretty well. If only my nose wasn't so runny! So a new pair of gloves heavier than my 661's and a pair of shoe covers and I'll be good to go down to that level again.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I hate my Car, Somedays

Monday was hellish. Rain delayed my car inspection for almost 5 hours, and I didn't get my car back till 3pm. UGH. Then I find out I have 1000 of stupid repairs to do before it's street legal in MD! DAMN IT! How frickin annoying. I may try and do some of the work myself. I dunno its annoying. I want to find a job closer to home where I can walk/ride/metro commute in some fashion.

Afterwards I did pickup my bike at GTown and the new dérailleur was installed and it looks sweet and shifts even better. Nice, quiet and sure. I didn't test it too much but preliminaries show that it is better. I upped to an 07 X9 from the 04/05 X7.

I also got a few pieces of new cold weather gear in but the tights I ordered were too damn small. So they are going back.

And its raining like crazy and it looks like the last Schaefer Farm Night ride is probably gonna be a wash.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

WTF is wrong with People?

Damn this guy was lucky, but it just shows how damn scary and weird the world is getting. Whats next, wearing Body Armor while biking??? (well I'd wear it when doing more extreme mt biking....:)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Calendar Season

Calendar Season is upon us once again. Last year I found 2 cool ones that I wasn't in time to buy due to limited quantity :(

This year one of them just released Nov 4, and I got mine Satudary. It rocks its from the girls up at, check out the calendar itself at:

The other calendar I dug last year that doesn't appear to be back this year so far is:

Alas, no sign of one from them this year, the group seems a bit less active....Keep an eye out through November though!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday was a good day....

Damn it was a great day to ride!

After a coffee trip with the wyf this morning I made a few stops and made my way out to Germantown, a quick stop at Germantown Cycles and Phil hooked me up with a new Thompson seatpost, decided to stay with the leanback/whatever like my original Easton 50, but its a bit less back...A bit of fiddling in the car and viola. Out to schaeffer and i'm off. Its nice and warm so the jacket stays in the car. I layed down a nice almost 12 miles. Not a bad pace either....7mph ish....much better than thursday....

Need to tune the seat height and position a bit more, but thats gonna have to wait for the new x9 to be installed later this week. I'm excited!

Ran into a bunch of bikes all the way from Purceville VA, from the Lands End shop, they said its one of their closest rides, but they are hoping to get somethign going out at Round Hill eventually. County or city lands.....That would be cool for them.

Off to finish my batch of chili! Ye HAW!

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Good, Bad and Scary

Rode a late Halloween ride at Schaeffer Farms last night. Good ride till the near end when a mechanical totally burned me. The bolt that holds the seat bracket on sheared off out on the orange bypass off the main yellow loop. My group ride leader todd saved the day and took his own seat off and lent me his as I was already wiped out and couldn't stand-ride the whole way back. I also inadvertenly unplugged Gwadzilla's light while putting it in his jersey pocket (Face-palm).

For not being active the last 3 weeks I actually felt pretty good, between being sick for a week or more, rain, and travel I was pretty happy though by the end I was blown out and cramped up after a bad failed log hopover.

The ride otherwise was pretty good darn good, the white loop had awesome decorations and stuff. We had a great turnout and everyone had a damn good ride.

I also took the ride into G-Town cycles and phil hooked me up with the best adjustment possible. i also went ahead and ordered a new X9 to replace my slightly worn but sad x7. There was a bit of play in it, that just couldn't be adjusted out.

I want to ride at least 1 more time this weekend. Or at least get into the gym on Saturday and ride on Monday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jeez - its almost November.

Crud. Where does time go? I dunno. My riding has been pretty eratic here in the last few months, between extreme Overtime, and commute delays leaving me stuck in traffic. The final straw is that my damn shifting setup is giving me a migraine. I think I could use to replace my rear derailleur but its just not in the cards. The other thing that would serve me well is learning to actually adjust it by myself. Add in a few trips, in Aug, Sept and Oct.....And wow...its been busy.

Winter and night rides bring some new challenges to me in the form a suitable riding cloths. I'm right now considering what kind of windbreaker is going to be optimal. A new pair of clear safety glasses for all riding is also on my list.

I did finally hit a new park for me, Fountain Head in Fairfax Co, Va. Nice with some semi technical descents and a few climbs that broke me utterly. I also made like humpty-dumpty and took a small fall off the 2nd Teeter-totter, due to a lack of that all important momentum. It was a challenging ride plus dark was creeping up on my and I lost my map pretty early on so I had not a great idea of where I was on the ride. Gonna try and ride it one or two more times before it closes for the season.

I need a nap but alas I've got another 4 hours of fun here at work.

So cheers and have a drink for me!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fatcyclist Gear

Got my new Fat Cyclist jersey and t-shirt on Monday. Sweet, though the Twin Six XXL is just a hair smaller than the primal XL. If I order from T-6 again, I'm gonna have to go mega-sized XXXXXXXXL. Or 3XL. Eeesh. Skinny-arsed bikers. As it is I may have to cut the sleeves slightly if I bulk up in my upper arms anymore.

Should be posting a pic of the new kit soon. Maybe tommorow I'll try and grab one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Repairs and Replacements

Last week I did the Little Bennett Night ride again. During the ride once again my rear brake lever pushrod came loose again (this controls how far towards the bar you have to pull to get brakes.). I'd had it with it and decided to replace it. It then started to not full return to normal position. Okay sign from above... Then on the way out coming off browning run towards clarksville rd. my rear tire went Hisssssssssssssssssss. And flatted. I caught up and pumped up on the other side. The slime tube got me another half mile before it reflatted mostly up the last hill. A mile push back was all that was left. Argh. Not worth the time/effort to change out in the forest in the dark with bugs and wet ground. Push work out back.

So I replaced the tube Saturday and went and picked up a Juicy 7 to replace my rear Hayes So1e. Very cool, had them install the disc. I got home and went to install the brake....oops. Wrong adapter...203 not 160...argh. Also while at the shop they noticed my seat was looking "a bit" off. The rails were fully crushed and the bolt on the post was rubbing into the seat bottom. I did research that night and a bit sunday. I finally ended up picking up a Terry Fly Ti. I also got the correct adapter and went on. I installed it the brake. Then the new saddle. Man, that thing felt like a frickin brick at first. Had to change my seating position a bit and if felt much better. The new brake ROCKS! One finger all the way, good modulation. And easy install. I just need to drop it off and have the line shortened. Probably wait and have that done after I do the front later this month or maybe next.

Ran at the gym last night. Only moderately cooler than outdoors. Ugh. Here's hoping for a good thursday this week.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Well it had to happen. On a ride yesterday I took my first "REAL" fall due to my clipless and my bungling self. It was a mixture of loss of momentum and bad steering and over onto my close side i went. Admittedly it wasn't a bad fall but it hurt my pride a bit. Sure I got a nice bruise on my hip and my offside ankle but it's really just my pride. I'm also trying to avoid over-fearing/thinking my riding. I do need to work on both my positioning and my vision/line stuff.

So yesterday I took the wyf out for her first ride at Schaeffer and she liked it much better than cabin john and she will ride there again definitely. What I need to do is get her out for a few RLAG rides to build her skills. Tonight I'm gonna do the Wakefield Night Ride since Thursday is looking rainy. Not sure if I'm going to hit the Friday Night Lights ride or not Friday.

Damn, I need a nap. Gotta prep the bikes, power snooze and hit the road!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Monday....

Busy day today with picking the wyf up from the airport at 11, lunch, then a physical at 2. We even worked in a short mtb ride from 6-6:45 up at cabin john doing about 5 miles. I did almost eat it 2 or 3 times but managed to unclip or in 1 case grab a tree and pulled myself on up to ground. We almost made it from the Tuckerman area down to Democracy but one section was buried in dead fall. Other than that it was a good ride, though J was hating on a few parts but she made 2 tough climbs. She wants to change to the clipless also. May we'll work on finding her some shoes this week, I already have a set of shimano 505's for her from my bike's original days. I just took the cheap plastic platform off.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Biking Week!

Busy week for biking, I didn't end up hitting my thursday ride due to being tired from taking the wife to the airport early and storms coming in that evening. I did ride friday doing the monthly Little Bennett night ride. We rode almost 15 miles though my gps log only shows 12 due to me forgetting to turn it back on once we went out for a last lap up the first big climb and back down loggers. I did crash and burn on a small stump. Around then I somehow lost my damn glasses! Argh. I didn't need em I shoulda left em in the car. So the next morning I rolled outa the house in the same gear at 5:30 and started riding again near 6. I covered almost all the same ground and looked around the 3 spots I figured I could have lost them in as well as possible. No sign. Oh well ended upp with another hour and fifteen minutes of ride time for 9 miles.

So not bad that made it a nice 36 miles. Today I tacked on a pair more and made it a nice 38 miles. Those 2 miles were trial miles. Trying out a new change to the bike.... I finally switched to blood clipless. Yep. I got a set of TIME Atac XE's on Saturday and tried on a number of shoes. They were all to wide and slipped off. So today I went back out on the shoe hunt. Tried on a lot of stuff and still didn't find the right fit. So I treked out to columbia to hit race pace, the nearest Sidi MTB center. I'd tried the regular dominator 5 and it was a bit to wide. The guy in here right away hits me with a 6 series Eagle. Has the new heel securing system. Tighten it right edown and wam feels good. Plus they have half sizes and the 46.5 fits the best in the front/side that I've tried. 47 felt too huge. 46 a bit tight.

So i got home, installed the new pedals. Installed the cleats. Tried on one shoe and tried cruising around the basement. Hmm not bad. Tried the other. Not bad. Off to the lawn. Tool around a bit in the lawn....not bad foot commes out okay. A few adjustments. Better. A pair of laps around the neighborhood. Good start.

Tommorow I'm gonna try and hit damn cabin john. After picking J up at the airport and a physical...hmmm well see..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Red Elvises

The wife and i and a friend from work went and saw the Red Elvises down at the Iota club in Arlington last night. Awesome show, even the opening Soul band was good, Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves. The Elvises rocked and put on a hella good show in 2 sets that must have totaled an 2 hours and more. Excellent show for $15. My wife even got up with a bunch of girls and rocked the stage during I wanna see you belly dance, by belly dancing. It was great!

At least 2 big rides left this week and my legs need to finish recovering from MOnday! Argh!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

First Ride at Wakefield

Yesterday I went out and rode wakefield for the first time. It was hotter than a frickin blast oven but it wasn't unbearable as a LOT of it was shaded. Boy it was a fun ride. Nice pump track section, managable climbs, and a lot of nice trail. My one bitch point was how bad the armor'd/rock'd section before you re enter the woods after the big descent from the powerline etc is. God I was wishing for magic f/s by my third lap.

Creek trail is pretty nice and shaded and is pretty well managed. From all the confusion on our boards ( another good future project could be a trail/map system like we have on Schaeffer. Though the blazes are quite good especially with the added race markers.

Felt pretty good until my final lap, ran outa gas a bit but more I think as a function of lack of energy. Need to make sure i get a good meal in a bit before I ride. Also a clean/dry/cool post-ride shirt would be smart.

Happy Trails!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Face of the Earth

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth or anything. I've just been stupidly busy between excessively bad commutes, home projects, and occasionally biking I've been busy. I was pretty sick from Stokesville on for about 10 days my cough got bad enough I was only getting 4 hours of sleep and such. Last week I finally got to the docs, got reproscribed Zyrtec and an advair inhaler for morning/night usage. And it has been working pretty well.

Last thursday, i went on the usual Schaeffer Farm ride and was dieing do to being outa shape and not able to get enough o2....vs this week I was much better off and could have pushed harder than I did. Part of it was our pace was slower but in general I just felt better. Technically it was a better ride for me also, no trees and better line choice. I got over thru some stuff that is always troublesome and was worse due to the damp/slick roots.

Next week should be a good riding week, Monday I am going to try and do Wakefield, Thursday Evening is the Thursday Ride, Friday we have a night ride, then Sunday I may try and do an epic ride for 2 or 3 parks.

Ride Hard and stay cool.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Busy Busy Bee

Another busy week in the books.

The ride on Thursday was good and bad, the ride leader took a MASSIVE spill in a last little rut after avoiding all the huge ones involving at least 2 bounces. He ended up bailing out somewhat early. The rest of the group spun out for the whoop-de-doos on white. After making the hella nasty climb up the fire road we ran into a woman and 2 dogs. We greeted and moved on. At the next intersection we realized she was with us without the dogs. We questioned and she said she thought they were with us, and we thought they were with her. UGh. 2 riders took off to try and track the dogs down to bring them back. I was sweeper on the ride and frustrated, then the rest of the group wanted to get going as it was darkening. So I said I'd wait a few more minutes i waited 5 and no sign of em so I marked the trail direction I took as best I could and took off. I caught up to the group a bit later and so did the husband of the dog hunting pair who thought his wife would be a sign. We rode out at near dark and found no sign of her at the lot. so I told the ride boss who said she'd just been here. So i strapped on the new light (its awesome) and headed out to the main intersection with the husband in tow. Eventually I asked if she had a cell phone with her and had husband call her and tell her to come back. She did make it back7 or 8 minutes after the call. We headed out to dogfish head for brew and sandwhich. Damn good.

Monday I rode up at Little bennet. The first climb up loggers trail is hell. A couple other climbs also sucked a bit but still a damn neat place to ride, got to rail some nice downhills and flet that my line choice was pretty good. Excluding a couple hidden piles of horse crap.

Today I'm gonna try and hit the gym but we'll see...Also moving a mirror home today. UGH!

Thursday I may skip Schaeffer as i"m doing Little bennett on friday with lights. Unless rain is more threatening as of thursday 5pm ish.

Saturday we head up in the afternoon to Stokesville for the VIMBA epic weekend. Just got a new tent and stuff so I'm stoked!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Too Bike or Not to Bike

No biking Monday due to having to go to work for meetings and having one of the cats put to sleep. Yuck.

Tuesday - No biking but J and I got to the gym and had good runs. But alas no biking again.

Wednesday - I finally did some good maintenance to the ride yesterday including adjusting both the front and rear brake's, fixing the front tire (it was on backwards!), cleaning it, re greasing one of the outside bits of the bracket, replaced my grips, and added the new bracket for the light system. Oh and gave the chain a good cleaning and lubing. Cleaned and lubed the entire drive train really. I spray a bit of silicon lube on the rings after cleaning. Seems to help it run even smoother. But boy was it a ton of work! Damn grips! :) Windex is you friend during installs. After trying these new WTB Dual compounds for a while I want to try some of the new ergon grips coming out in june. Sweet.

Thursday at Schaeffer tonight if the weather cooperates again. Right now I'm feeling good that it will. Then a run to dogfish hopefully afterwards.....hmmm gotta print directions.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cake etc

Wow, we saw Cake last night at Pier 6 in Baltimore. Good show. Too bad it wasn't a double set or longer. My wife and I came up with at least 8 or 9 songs between us that we both would have liked to have heard. Oh well. Interesting bit of news from the show is they are out of their old record deal, back on their own label and have a new album out/on the way. And that now that they are on their own label they won't ever be doing anymore Radio or TV stuff. Only place we'll hear about em is on their site or email list. Pretty cool.

Thursday night I went out to Schaeffer again and boy did I suck. It was really a triple threat of sucky things that kept me down:
1 No fuel in the Afternoon = No Fuel for Riding in the evening. I have to eat something around 4pm or so in order to have good energy for the ride.
2 Front Tires mounted in Wrong Way - I suspected it last week and confirmed it this week, my front tire is mounted in the reverse/wrong direction. I'll fix that today.
3 Saddle Blues - I started playing with my seat the week before. Didn't notice it really on the ride Monday but by the end of Thursday night my seat felt way outa whack. I may have crackd it or something. But I did see how I need to adjust it a bit to be further forward a bit and tilted just a bit down.
4 - Hey! - My brakes are in need of adjustment. HA! Got the new pads in from AEBike yesterday and now I'll replace the old and see if that helps a bit. Right now they are really all or nothing and that was after I adjusted em as before to get em to work at all I had to pull em back almost to the damn bar!

Large group at schaeffer, we started out with no casual ride and a 10-12 person 'tweener led by Dave. We started on white and looped clockwise, then took the loopdy loop cut off and then went into yellow. 2/3'rd of the way thru 4 of us in the back broke off and road out at casual pace. Damn good ride, another month and I"ll be riding the tweener regularly.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time's Flying

Wow, time's been flying this month.

Lots of reasons, really pretty busy in general. I got 3 rides in last week including Cabin John tuesday and then Thursday I hooked up for the MORE Thursday ride at Schaeffer Farms and rode with the casual group. It was a good ride. Give me a month or more and I hope to be riding sometimes with the intermediate. Got back up there this monday and rode the white then yellow trails in an hour and twenty five minutes. I was pretty stoked, as it was with very little resting while riding.

Last week was a bit frustrating as I had both tires get leaks after my Tuesday at CJ. Boy was I suprised on Wednesday evening when I went down to prep for Thursday and saw the flats. The rear was slow enough I just waited to fix it till Friday. The front tire wasn't so good. So a quick stop by German Town cycles and Adam hooked me up by boring out the stem hole to fit schraeder valves which is all he had the big tubes I needed in. I also finally picked up a sweet floor pump and a new pair of gloves. All good purchases.

And I love my new HOSS shorts for style and general comfort. Still need to get the strapping/closure system a bit better adjusted but they are very cool and fit great.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hoss Shorts Review

Last week I got a pair of Hoss Technical Gear - Ponderosa Camo print. My wife commented while modeling them for her that they looked "Sexy" on me. Well anytime bike shorts get that and not, "Your wearing a diaper under there!" I'm pleased. I took them out Sunday for a brief ride into downtown bethesda for brunch. Very comfortable is my initial thought. The closure system is pretty cool and the pocket setup is VERY nice. I like the zippered ones a LOT! The chamois needs a bit of conditioning so I treated it and hopefully this afternoon I'll be able to put another ride on it, then really beat it up Thursday out at Schaeffer.

Overall I'm very happy with them and I think there an excellent value.

More on these in the next couple weeks.


Perhaps one of the best Ultrarun/marathon stories I've read:

Truly it makes considering that next loop a little extra painless....

Didn't get around to riding this weekend due to the never ending allergy hell and various things needed to be done, so as soon as I get home from work I'm going to Cabin John.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday Ride

So after fighting on parts and stuff I re-greased my jockey/chainwheels and finally hit the road around 2 yesterday. I ended up only going up to Schaeffer Farm but still had a good and enjoyable ride. I did 9 miles out there in a bit over an hour. Not a great pace but not horrid. I spent a lot of time figuring out lines and what features I could handle and what I couldn't. Normally I'd be pushing to get outagain to even just Cabin John but we've got a pile or three of things going on this week, and I need to set my schedule, so we'll see.

Schaeffer is a rolling slightly winding stretch of singletrack in Germantown MD and its a good series of trails. Their are 2 or 3 loops, though the main trail (yellow) has a loop at the end of an out and back that can be varied by taking side trails (ORange and Blue). Kudos to MORE for providing an excellent riding spot. I hope to be able to contribute some trail work sometime this spring.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bike Maintanence

Oh the other hand my free year of support from my bike shop is now over and I've got to do it or pay the $$. So on my ride home yesterday I heard a LOT of chain/gear noise and new that it was high time for a good cleaning.

My chain and Jockey Wheels were disgusting. The cassette and front sprockets were varying stages of gross. So off came the chain. Got it good and clean but used up the last of my finishline de-greaser and my jockey wheels were gross and all. So out they came and they were bad. I'm gonna either have to re-grease them or replace em. A lot of grit and stuff inside the metal covers on em. So I'm gonna go by City Bikes on the way home for some advice.

Monday I'm off to either Greenbriar (Checked out the race course) or to Shaeffer - Just ride like hell. :)

See ya'll on the trails!

Woot for Nice Weather!

Thank the weather god for nice weather returning to DC. I was going stircrazy in general, and especially in wanting to hit some trails on my Sunday/Monday days off. Well the weather was nice, traffic wasn't too bad and so I've officially opened my cycling season (EastCoastStyle) as of Friday April 20.

I got home re-kitted out the bike, my car and myself and drove to my launch point a mile or so away from teh WOD Trail. I bombed the steps down from McAuthur Blvd near the bridge down to the trail only having to walk the 3 worst steps (GRRR!). A few adjustments later I was off down the trail. My pace at first was a nice and solid 17 or so till almost little falls. I let up a bit then and averaged down to 15 slowly by the time I hit George Town. A quick stretch break and I was headed back. I dropped down to the capital cresent and hauled ass back up the trail following some roadies, holding 17-18 for a while. A detour to Little Falls went for about 10-15 minutes of wheelie practice. Some of my better wheelies. Still can't go as far/fast as I want. But it was better. I need to work on my 1/4 crank and balance drills a bit. A quick rest stop and it was back up the rest of the way. 16.5 miles round trip in about an hour 10. Nice ride and felt pretty good.

Soon I will start loading my rides from the GPS data to Motion Based but the basic tool from Garmin isn't bad I just wish it's mapping was better (Overlay onto perhaps googlemaps instead of its own). My heart rate was solidly in zone 4 for most of the ride so I'm pleased again. (Vs when I went spinning for the first time Wednesday and was in oh zone 5 the whole frickin time).
Being able to watch my cadence/hr when riding especially on flats is very good for my training goals currently.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

With the shit weather here in DC the last few weeks I"ve been either running or hitting the exercise bike at the gym. I'm working on my cadence but I'm just not solid, so instead I'm trying to just maintain a solid 90-100 most of the time except on the hell climb sections. It looks like my first op for a nice ride will be either Saturday afternoon, Sunday (hmmm probably not) or Monday.

2 weeks from Sunday marks the Greenbriar challenge that I had wanted to race, and if I go ride it and find myself acceptable on MOnday then so much the better...we'll see.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

D'oh....I missed the date/punchline....April Fools on me, 4 days late. ugh.

As also posted to my LJ, I offer this.

I feel bad for all the guys, but honestly, I'm probably like the idiot on the otherside laughing.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Moving In, slowly....

Well we got the gear in Friday and on Saturday J and her family unloaded most of the trailer, Sunday afternoon we finished up the last pieces with the couch and the monster mattress.
We cleaned and put way a lot of Sunday and put way a bit of stuff. Yesterday I got a late start on stuff after a lengthy trip to the hardware store.

The neat thing I did discover is i have a good 1/4 crank drill area in my basement by looping the workbench or even the outer area. I couldn't do it for long as my legs are worn pretty low from all the moving crud. So I did about 5 minutes of those on Sunday, today I'm gonna try and do that and some trackstands. Later I might try some hop-offs push/pull drills out back. Wheee for back lawns!

I want to ride soon so I'm looking at a ride either Thursday or Friday. Then I'm definetly going next monday somewhere cool like greenbriar or such.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In DC now.

The move is half over and we've been in DC since early Sunday morning. Tuesday I finally got lucky and went for a great bikeride on my father-in-laws way to small bike. But it was good. I dropped down on a fairly serious trailhead with some nasty steps (Excluding 2 small sections with no good lines). Then I road the canal from near Glen Echo down to the falls, about 2 miles from Georgetown.

It was a beautiful day and I look forward to doing that on my own bike soon.

My car may be here by Friday actually it looks like, while i suspect my furniture unless it makes a big jump today or tommorow won't arrive till monday.

For now I"m making a list of trails I want to ride asap. More on that later today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Sunday J and I got fired up and went biking. We did 15 miles out around Baylands/Bayshore in MV. It was a beautiful day. We even road some nonpaved trails and some of the trash hills near the kiteflying area. Tons of folks were out flying their kites and I was all jealous. Maybe another thing to try and slip in during our final week here.

Also got a tube for the monster 2.55 tire I want to install soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

That "Should" link you to the effective GPS DL of the ride I took Saturday. The course/etc info is correct, of course the data/time/etc aren't mine.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Camp Tamarancho Adventure

Saturday I took off from work to go adventure up in Mt. Tamarancho near Fairfax CA and did the Beginner/Intermediate Bikeskills class from

I will flat out say it was the most useful $$$ ever spent on a class at learning an outdoor activity, and looking back I've done a few. The class is $89 bucks. The free loot at the start is alone worth a good 20-30. Any other part of the class makes it most worth while, also. OH and I really lucked out, there was only 1 other guy in class with me. And we had their videographer helping along with the company boss sometimes also.

The instructor up here is Chris Duncan a championship dirt jumper whose been getting crash courses from Mark Weir and others in all mountain riding lately. He started out with checking our setup on our bikes. For me he recommended that I change over to regular platform pedals. And boy was he right. My old pedals were combos and would have been super annoying, just handling clipping on the trails is moderately insane, and I caught myself from falls numerous times with a quick foot placement. Next he moved my grips and controls in on my bar a few inches for better gripping I think it was. Or maybe just to get around my upper bars for long riding. Next he set our tires to 30 front 35 back and said we could even go 30/40 if we desired later but the lower front helps it bite more. A few other adjustments and we were off.

A coworker or two from bikeskills showed up in the beginning to help us along a bit also. We started out with a demo of how to ride switch backs at the beginning of Alchemist Trail. On i think my third try I got a good run thru it and up the hill. A few more on and we stopped to check out a pretty hairy on with a decent drop, and we road it and picked it up on our 2nd/3rd try. Chris empasized arm angle while riding, line choice and vision and looking ahead and not down during all phases of riding but especially with switchbacks. The looking ahead and not down was very challenging. I've gotta work more on that in the next week if I can.

At the top of alchemist trial they've set up a mini-log trail and chris walked us through exploring how to "approach/handle" one of those and what to watch out for on those surfaces. We then continued climbing with a mix of terrain through some interesting stuff till we hit the first flat. Here we did some skill building demo stuff. It started with 1/4 crack switchback/turn drill where you constantly crank small amounts while tring to maintain as tight as possible figure 8's around a pair of rocks. sweeping out wide and cutting back in hard just like with switchbacks. this worked both on switchback handling and short cranking which is VERY useful in tight corners I made use of it in several narrow spots sucessfully later. The 2nd drill was weight changing so as to eventually pop your wheel/push-pull the bike basically used to build momentum while riding to avoid pedalling. Also it can be used as part of an ejection sequence to get cleanly off the back of the bike. We had a contest to get off cleanly, meaning no pedal movemnet and both of us did the 5. That got us some more super sweet loot to be listed at the end.

After Chris showed off the ultimate use of this to do real hop's jumps by jumping a guys bike we started a cool section into the serpantine trail. This was a curving mix of many different terrains. It had a bit of everything but mainly was a nice rolling trail (hahaha). I honestly don't remeber doing much except trying to work on looking ahead and watching my grip/braking setup. In fact much of the ride till near the end was like this when we started descending B-17 and Broken Dam trail the tightness of the trees and some of the switch backs were tough. By the final climbs I was pretty played out and had a small pull of a quad and had to walk the bike a bit. I finished the final climbs and only ate on the last and hardest switchback of the final climb. The descent back down serpantine was a breeze and I only recall footing 1 or 2 times.

Chris lead us expertly and was willing to answer any and all questions and gave examples of when things could go good or bad and when to use different skills. He encouraged us when necessary and kept the challenge right at our skill and endurance level.

And the loot? 1 Set of WTB Grips, Waterbottle, CO2 Tire Inflator, Misc Bars, Cliff Shot Block's (Which are awesome!), and the biggie was a WeirWolf LT in 2.55. Almost 80-90 in freebies. NOt bad I must say. If your at all interested in mountain biking, go take one of these classes, you will love the ride, learn tons and have a blast.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Getting back in the Fit

This winter wasn't a total loss as far as my general conditioning and such but it wasn't as strong as I would have liked it. With being sick from the end of November thru much of december it really took all the headway I had going in out.

Finally about 2-3 weeks ago I made the spring bend. It started with a couple of bike rides on warmer days then 2 weeks ago Jen and I did an epic (for us post hibernation season) 12 mile hike up in Northbay out to a cool waterfall. A bit of offroading of the bike led me into a series of fixes that finally have my bike just now straight from (Tire Replacement, Cable Replacement, and a few other things). So this week I decided to really make the bend.

Sunday I hiked up Mission Peak in Fremont CA. The 3.3 up hike took me about an hour and 20 mins with some heavy pauses to stretch my back and legs. But the views and breeze at the tops of the rises were amazing. Hot as hell that afternoon. The down time took longer due to a few calls from an upset Jen. But I will say cell service was very good there! I polished off almost 2 liters of water on that one.

Monday I hiked around a bunch of east bay after shipping jen's car to DC. A 3 mile hike to the bart station at bayfaire and then a mile home after getting back to the MV station a few hour later.

Today (Tues) I finally road my bike into work again. Yep the crazy biker is back out at 4AM in good ole MV. At least for a few more weeks. The ride there and back isn't much a bit over 2 on the way in and 1.8 or so back on the trail. Boy were my legs tired and I felt wimpy as hell. Then this afternoon I hit the exerbike for another 20 mins and then walked/jogged for 30 more. Gonna feel it tommorow, I just have to burn through and at least walk again if not go for a bike ride.

I feel good but tired!