Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thwarted Ride - Cars are EVIL!

My attempt to ride at Little Bennett for FNL was thwarted by my evil car. I made awesome time home, got change, got my gear and made great time up to the park. Yet fate had a dirty trick in store for me. As I pulled into a parking space there, a horrible noise emanated from the engine area of the car. A horrible feeling shudder also was invoked. As I turned the car off, it rolled into a resting place. An inspection showed no major visible issue. A restart and attempt to back up confirmed the issue seems to be with moving the transmission from park to another gearing. Uhoh.

What really burns me up? I just got it back from the dealership with major $$$ work, that afternoon. It had gone MAYBE 50 miles....maybe. And so I was thwarted from riding since I knew it would take forever and an age for AAA to get out to me and to haul it into the shop. I'm really hoping that the issue was caused by their work, something not being installed quite right. However I have the horrid sinking feeling it may just be a gross transmission failure. FCK!!!!! I really wanted to get 1 more year outa that car before trading it in for a new/newer ride. Ugh. I did basically get 8 years out of it. But what I've sunk into it over the last year is WAY too much.

Damn, I was really looking forward to a FNL with the regular gang of Dave, Yeuq, and Edward. I actually felt like I'd be riding very well and wanted to see how the new and improved ride dealt with the tough climbs at LB.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Racing Around the trees.

Originally I was planning on racing next week at the Wakefield Dualathalon, but right now the running part is making me a bit skeptical of it. However I might decide to jump back towards it. However other events are on the horizon that are sorely tempting.

The main race I'm contemplating is the 12 Hours of Lodi Farm down in Fredericksburg Va in the beginning of May. I do want to get out and try a pre-ride in April sometime before I reg to see how hard the course is, I've had a few people say it is kinda tough but I'm not super stressing over the difficulty. I'd like to find 2 other fellows to race for a three man team, though a 2 man would be alright I guess.

I might try for Greenbriar Challenge if I don't end up trying for Lodi.

Greenbriar would be very challenging also but would only end up being 2 laps, however it has some heavy duty climbing that is quite hard, the big red one is veyr rocky and challenging and there so many people out there I heard that passing and stuff become a heckofa challenge. Who knows I might go out there and try and ride it again course wise vs the ride I did in january and see if I suffer as bad this time.

Oh yah Scary Movie 4 is crack...:) The bit with charlie sheen in the beginning is hillarious!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday Night with and without lights

After work I dropped into The Bike Lane and picked up my newly repair LM Arc light. Not bad, $15. Just shipping, they really hooked me up considering it wasn't bought from a warrantied dealer.

Then I hauled posterior and went directly to Wakefield to get in a good pre-ride before the night ride. It was nice and sunny but with a noticeable breeze for sure. I geared up leaving the hydration pack in the car and headed out. Did 2 quick loops on the new phase 4 to start with on my gps. Then I rode all over the park with a few stops at the car for water and a cliff bar. Around 6:15 I returned and waited for the big ride to get going. We ended up with about 17-18 riders there with a small intermediate group and 12-13 casual. We broke into 2 groups and i went out with Tom's group. Great ride, we did some stuff I hadn't done in the direction he chose and it made several boring places much more interesting! I swept after the first 4 or 5 miles from the Bowl onwards.

In the end I racked up a solid 18 and change miles. Not bad, with a moving pace in the mid 7's. I'm looking forward to hitting Schaeffer probably on Thursday and see how I do there. Much more hilly than Wakefield but faster in general I think. We'll see I guess. On a downer note I noticed a low-mid allergic reaction to the damn cliff protein bar. Damn it, gotta find a new source of quick, easy post ride protein.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

DNK Brewery - Bottling Complete

Tonight we bottled.

My super wyf, Jenna, came in and was a HUGE help in bottling, she filled and capped I think all but the first bottle technically. We did:

24 - 12oz
13.8 - 22oz - The final bottle was full to just above where the neck started.

The final gravity on this brew ended at 1.010. I'll do the ABV calc tommorow, but I put it in the low 4.x range. Smelled great going into the bottles. I can only hope we got the "fill" right. The 24 are in a cooler and the 22's are in a box in a trashbag.


I hate washing and sanitizing bottles. UGH!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sparging Away

Not that I'm there yet, I've been reading up on All Grain brewing over the last 2 day or two and I'm definitely intrigued. I've got at least a good portion of the gear to do fly style sparging/mash. However after reading I'm thinking I might want to go for a more batch style.

So in consideration of that I've got a few idea's on deck,

Fermenter - German style Wheat Beer - Ready for bottling, hopefully tonight/definitely tomorrow.
To Brew - Imperial Porter - Extract with some Malts/etc to steep in it.

Next Beer to Brew - Since I've got at least 2 weeks from when the stout goes in the fermenter till it hits the 2nd fermenter. I've got 3 weeks to plan my next beer after that. My goal is to always have 2 beers in some state of progress. My next beer question is what to brew:

Another Wheat - Maybe a raspberry, dunkel-berry, Blood Orange Hefe.
Stout - Something like a Oatmeal or Guinness
Amber - A cherry-amber

Any suggestions? Dunno if I want to go more than partial mash at this point, but for the right thing I might try a full mash. Who knows.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Got another 4 hours of trailwork done out at Wakefield today out on Phase 4. Ran the canycom for an hour or so, did some tamping on a few new sections of trail. Then I did my task of hercules, and hauled about 20 buckets of aggregate concrete material to two low spots that needed filling as they puddled to much for the trail designers. A bit of wood hauling for a new bridge, then ran a few more laps of the canycoms to haul material for tommorow.

Beer bottling has been delayed till at least Friday right now. Alas.

I was filthy and wet when i got home. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

DNK Brewery Update

Well Well, yesterday I finally pulled the airlock/stopper from the fermenter and took a sample of the brew. Turns out its already in the Final Gravity target zone of 1.014 to 1.010, it was reading at 1.011.

So after removing the gravimeter, I promptly poured off a bit of the sample to a cup. And yep, its beer. Took a few sample sips and it has a nice wheat-y-ness and should be really good here in a few weeks after bottling. I might try and bottle Tuesday or maybe Wednesday evening.

Ugh, that means sanitizing bottles I suppose. I guess I'll do at least a case of 12's and probably a case of 20's and see whats left.

Cleaning the bottles now, very dusty with bits of crud in them from storage, fortunetly they are clean of residue so far it seems after a brief inspection and sniff test.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Insert Clever Title Here

Damn it, I had a great idea for a title here yesterday, but alas it flitted off into the ether.

Yesterday I was out at Wakefield putting in a ton of work on the new Phase IV area. There were 7 of us out working like nuts. We put in about 300+ feet of new trail armoring made up of crushed concrete aggregate. I also near the end I went off with Eric to cut a tree out of the bowl trail. Alas it was so big and eric's chain was so dull we had to simply ramp it. Turned out pretty nice.

Didn't stay for the evening/night ride since the wyf came home 2 days early. We spent a nice evening together and passed out after some excellent sushi at a place on Wisconsin Ave near Friendship Heights.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No Tubes, Better than I thought.

My new wheels I got last month (newsed) make use of stans no tubes system. The rear wheel has held pressure very well most of the time, but the front has been a real pain, often deflating entirely in 12 hours or less and loosing a good bit over 3 hours, even while riding.

So I picked up a container of Stans recently and Monday I finally took the time to reseal the tire. Actually Sunday while brewing I undid one side of the bead and took that side off the rim. I then removed as much of the dried goo from the edge area on the tire and the rim as possible. Monday I added 2 very full measuring things of Stans. I sealed it up and with a bit of work re-inflated it to 35lbs. I then spent 10 mins doing a VERY thorough job of their shake and turn procedure to seal the tire/rim and any holes. I then did 2 long cycles of the laying it on the side, then I repeated the shaking and side laying. I inflated it to 40 lbs and remounted it on the bike. And when I rechecked this morning, Viola! Tire was super solid still. I'm gonna drop the pressure and ride tonight and see how it does.

Then I just need to get that front break adjusted in right!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brewery Update

DNK Update

So yesterday morning I checked on the fermenting beer and found it to be slow going, nearly 12 hours later. I attributed it to a couple of factors. My basement runs around 60 degrees right now. And will until into July when it finally hits the 70's. Also my basement gets some ambient light during the day. So I decided to warm the carboy. After searching my basement I found my wife's ski jacket. I wrapped it up nice and tight and left it alone. A check last night and things were progressing nicely, nice big gas bubbles releasing every couple of seconds. And a bit faster even this morning. There was at least an inch of "stuff" ontop of the brew from where it was a light film the morning before.

Ahhhh. Beer.

A co-worked mentioned his brews coming out a bit more bitter than they should and after discussing their brew-procedure I figure I had it pretty well figured. After a re-read of CJHB I confirmed my thoughts. Turns out they aren't straining the wort before fermentation. Ewww. I know how much crud I removed. I do need to find a better strainer setup. Mine was way to slow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Technology Re-tread

I must be technological a re-tread, fine for most uses, but has already been worn down once from usage. And always a bit suspeect.

So I finally turned on comment notification here, sorry especially to DT for my not replying a bit more quickly. Oh well.

Beer is now fermenting. Just a bit slowly I suspect since it's a bit cold in my basement. I could alost lager beers in there!!!

Riding due to rain is a bit limited as I ddon't feel like going out and slogging ANOTHER 40 on the canal. The rain/freeze/defrost cycle is keeping the top layer pretty damn moist. With yesterdays winds things dried out a bit but still not enough. Guess I'll go suffer at the gym this afternoon.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

DoesNotKnow Brewery Now Open!

Thats right folks! Does Not Know Brewery has opened in my backyard in lovely, chilly, windy Bethesda, MD this morning.

I started brewing my first batch of beer this morning on the newsed rig I got earlier this week. I started out with a Brewers Best Wheat Beer. I'm using a different yeast to give it a more German/European styling than american. The wort smells great and only has about 20 minutes left. So here is my log:

Start around 1pm

2 Gals Distilled Water in Wort/Brew Pot
2 Cans of Muntons Wheat LME (1.5 Kg)
1 OZ Mt Hood Bittering Hops at 5.2% (28.35g)
Boil for 55 Minutes

1/2 OZ Mt Hood Finishing Hops at (5.2%) (14.17g)
Boil for 5 Minutes

The submersible wort cooler will go in at 15 mins total left, and will be hooked to my outside cold water line, which is FREEZING cold. Probably 40 Degrees.
Chill to 70 Degrees.
Siphon to Carboy through filtered funnel to remove and trub.
At 70 Degrees Take Original Gravity Reading

Original Gravity Reading: 1.044 - 1.041's
Fermentor Temp: 59-61 degrees.
Primary Fermentation Started 3:15 PM (Yeast added)

1 Packet Safbrew WB-06 - Dry Wheat Beer Yeast (11.5g)

Pitch yeast directly to wort in fermenter and agitate

Damn it smells good in my basement.

Siphoning could really use to be a 2 person job. Or a better anti-trub tip on the siphon!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

oy....Runner Jealousy

Somedays I'm jealous of runners. Well you ask why be jealous?

NO Frickin Driveline Maintenance - I spend at least 10 mins after every ride cleaning the driveline on my bike and once a month at least I spend at least an hour fully cleaning the chain, lubing it, cleaning the cog set and the chainrings up front. Maybe all told closer to 2 hours. Also clean and lubing the derailers various parts.

Cleaning the bike in General - During the winter it's really just been dry cloth wipedowns and removing the dried mud off all the major components, another 15 minutes after most rides, and sometimes more.

Storing Gear - Helmets, Shoes, Boots, Jackets, Socks, Tights, Shorts, Parts, Lights, etc.

Camelback - Cleaning out the damn bladder is a pain. Reloading consumables in the pack (Gels, Bars, GU, Supplements, etc)

Washing the Gear - Runners have a similar range of gear, so I'm not so jealous here. Though the nuts who run year round in the thin shirts and tops do seem to get one over on all of us.

Bike - Jeez, I've upgraded major components on my ride this year including lights, gps, wheels set, tires, cogset, brakes (front and back).

Argh! On the other hand I love the advantages of bikes. I cover a lot of ground and the wind of motion can be nice, sure on mountain biking I can average anywhere from 6 mph to 9 or so. On trails I can run anywhere from 13 to 18 mph. Zoom!

My feet and knees take a LOT less pounding damage. I enjoy running somewhat but after 5 miles my knees are miserable these days. Though biking does make my knees hurt in a different way, I think I need to raise my seat.

I can frickin COAST! HA!

And really, I don't MIND the bike maintenance, it fills my need for tinkering quite well, its just the time to do needed work is sometimes a bit tough to find, and runners just pull on gear and shoes and can go. In the warmer months its a bit better but still mountain biking is way to gear dependant. I plan on being out west in april and I want to ride, but that means probably at least packing my helmet, gloves, shoes, and pedals. Plus maybe other gear. We'll have to see.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Distance of pain

Wow! I went nutso today and road like a nut. In fact what may be a new distance record for me, admittedly it wasn't that far, but for me it was longer in terms of distance than any ride before. I road 40 miles on the Canal path today, 20 from a nearby neighborhood out and back. Damn a bit of wind on the way out but it was really rough on the way back. Plus I was hosed after the 30 mile mark. My legs and lower quads are dead. Good ridee though, probably 7 miles longer than my other longest previous ride. Took about 3 and a half hours with brakes. I had to do a bit of walking to loosen up my legs in the last 10 miles.

Gotta dump the data from the gps. My legs are damn tired.

Watched the latest Die hard movie and it was pretty damn cool, some crazy stunts.
The Tenacious D movie was so so, I don't care for a lot of the music but the duo is very funny. Oh well.
Dinner time. Fried eggs ho!!!!!!!