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.