Friday, December 18, 2009

Frozen for Life

Finally got to ride trails at WF last night. Forest trails were mostly fine excluding Salamander. A big mud hole has been put in Phase 4 near the S-Curve. Phase2/3 powerlines were a mess up until they froze later in the ride. By 7:45 they were mostly solid. People have been riding in general when its WAY too soft out there. Lots of ruts.

We were doing Scud's retirement ride so we started out as one HUGE group of 16-17'ish riders I think but after 40 mins I couldn't hold pace and didn't want to keep holding the group back so I dropped and had DC Tony take over as sweep.

Route as I went.
Back Edge of Bowl (495) to Creek side to Front of Bowl (WF Road), Under Road to CCT to Creek TRail to Phase 1 to Race Course Creek trail to far end, up access path to back edge of powerlines, to phase 4 to CCT. (DROP)
I then rode by myself
Ascent Hill, Berms, Reverse on Phase 1 Outside (Berm Side), Berms, Phase 1, Phase 4, Phase 1 Outside,Salemander Bypass, Ascent, Berms, CCT to Race Climb to Reversed Rusted Truck.

Near 12 miles. Not bad for an hour and twenty minutes. Probably a bit less counting warming up also.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Damn Cold

JEeez, I forgot what riding in the REAL cold was like till last night. We started off probably in the mid-low 30's and by the time we finished it was near 30 flat. With the wind and actual riding speed it felt wicked cold on those exposed parts of the face/neck. Need to find my buff. We did that ever present favorite of the locals riding the Counter Clockwise Thing north from Wakefield. Ended up with 13 miles and some change I believe. Good ride till near the end when someone had a semi-nasty fall on a cross bike due to some hidden roots during the final climb up in.

I was hoping to get in a lot of rides this week while the wyf is out of town. Based on current weather predictions my next ride will probably be the same next week with mix of rain and snow starting early sunday, rain again tuesday. And warmer temperatures keeping it from freezing. ARGH!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dec, A new Leaf?

Trying to turn over a new leaf now here in Dec. Finally got a ride in on a gravel trail to and fro the WF Rec Ctr. Got in some nice miles, spun alright for being off for a month really.

Old Dominion Baltic Porter is back and I'm on a mission to find a case for the long dark spring and summer with their lack of dark beers.

Locked myself outa my car. Wasted $40 dollars on the first place I called after they BS'd me on the phone. Went to AAA and got service on the same day as sign up. WIN.

OFf to bang my head against a wall now.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Well it's not perfect but it's better than nothing.

Finally did labels for the homebrew. The only thing currently unlabeled is the Good ole Hefe, but as it has the golden BB cap it shall remain unlabeled, as now I always use the silver Ox barrier caps.

The new labels alas are just bottle cap round labels but it's way better than the nasty old sharpie letters. P and D are no longer confusing.

Avery 5472 - 3/4th Inch Round Labels in a 4x6 sheet.
Label Sample Here

Now to really plan my next 2 beers, with the IPA down to 1/3rd of original stock.

Favorite new beer title - Drunkle Weizen.

3+ weeks off the damn bike now. ARGH. Did run yesterday on the canal doing intervals for an hour with the wyf. Weight is creeping a bit towards 200 so this week will be a push-back week.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Busy-ness as Usual

Things remain there relative normal hectic pattern here. Rode on Thursday but it was mostly along the CCT. We did work in some of the less wet sections of WF but it was a small group anyways. We had 8 riders out and I think I saw 11 people in the lot vs the 20+ we'd been running on average up to this last week. Got in 23 miles. I'm happy with that but I was way to spun out by the end. Need to start working in some longer rides on monday even if it's just the craptastic canal.

Saturday we had a blast on Halloween, we met a couple down in DC. Had a bottle of wine at there place and went out to dinner at a great place on H street, Belgian food. And tons of good belgian beer. We started with a bottle of Carolous Keizer in 750ml size! WOW! it was damn good, I've gotta see if I can find some on payday for the cellar. Then I had a fabulous dark chocolate flavored called Troubadour. The wife had the Rochefort 8, and it was good. Our friends had the Orvel, and one I can't remember. Thankfully I have a picture at home :)

We tried to go to the palace of wonders after that but they were sold out so we opted for the red and black. We hung around and had another beer each with me opting for the Bell's 2 Hearted IPA, so I would sip. The girls both had Allagash white. Not sure what the guy had. Memory is a bit fuzzy. They were doing roadhouse night and had chicken wire up everywhere and a pretty good band up stairs. We rocked out for a while then chilled back downstairs and munched on Zapps chips.

Around 12:30 we went back to there place and ended up drinking 2 more bottles of wine and this bizarre appertief. They laughed at the faces I was making sipping it. Very interesting and unusual stuff :P.

Was going to ride tonight but J's night out got canceled so no extra night ride for me :(

Oh and I'll post pics of us in costume eventually, I went with my Kendo outfit, J went as fantasy-eve. Our friends were a roman noble and neo from the matrix :) I love Halloween.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Relaxation on a Vacation?

Was down in N.Fla for my anniversary this last weekend, missing the annual fall trip to PA which turned out to be a snow riding fest. Sad to miss, as it sounds like great times, chainsawing and snow riding was had by all.

In N.FLA where it was supposed to be a sunny 80's ish all the time this time of year we had 70 on Friday, 63 on Saturday and 67 on Sunday and 69 Monday. Needless to say I got into the ocean 2x in 5 days for a total of about half an hour. ARGH! We did get to bike a bit finally on Monday and early Tuesday before we flew back out as temps returned to mid 70's. We also kayaked a ton on Monday for about 2 hours covering a nice series of inlets. We racked up probably 18-20 miles those 2 days. And we were flying on those old single speed beach cruisers. Makes me appreciate part of the appeal of SS MTB.

Had a darn nice ride out at wakefield last night, about 20 riders out. Had a small group of 4 others with myself. Rode between the pre-ride and afterwards about 13-14 miles i guess. The main group was slow as we had a couple people practicing technical sections. I should do more sessioning of stuff. Maybe next week's preride.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Can I get a WTF?!?!?

Was up in Charm City last night for a performance by the Wyf, got to hit my fav Joe^2 (Squared) for pizza and a beer. It was a German, Köstritzer Black Beer. It was nice, smooth with a good balance of malt/toast. Good while I was waiting on ze Pizza. I always dig there Pizza, think crust, pretty crispy usually.

AT the main show I had a couple of Ommegang Hennepin. Tasty. Didn't realize it's technically a Saison. Good belgian style. Gotta try more Omme stuff. Wyf really liked it.

Thursday I rode like crazy, did 11.5 pre ride, then hauled the "casual" group around for another 11 miles, and still finished at 8:15. We were frickin flying. A bit cool by the end, I was pretty damp from sweat and couldn't push myself hard enough to work up a good steady sweat. Regardless 22.5 miles is a good night out. Though the plethora of limbs/branches down in Accotink almost took me out 2 times and 1 time in wake.

Note - Damn roundagon rotor the CB put on does create a REALLY annoying harmonic. Gotta order a g3 next week after payday.

Strangely some how last night (Friday) I messed up my right knee while doing either some walking or while doing some arm curls (Drinking beer). By this morning my right knee is sore and stiff, I'm hobbling around like House.

Gonna try and see Zombieland tonight I think. Then might hit a brew tasting up in B-more tomorrow for the end of Baltimore Beer Week.

Monday, October 05, 2009

TW Day and some thoughts on a few good beers.

Trailwork day went very well, a slightly lower turnout than I was hoping for, but overall we got most everything done that was on the list. And a few other things to, so it was a good day. Due to some minor issues we got a bit of a late start, not really till 9:30 I'd say.

J and I spent the afternoon in Glen Echo Park and it was a great afternoon. We picnicked and relaxed. Saw a cool film on the history of the park also. Very nice.

Some great beers I've had of late worth mentioning

Collaboration not Litigation Ale - Batch 3 - From Avery and Russian River Brewing - An excellent belgian celebrator style ale. They blended there to Salvation Ales back in Dec 2006 to produce this beast. Tons of nice malt, a bit of hoppiness to keep it from being the typical too cloying belgian. And TONS of yeast in the bottom. I and a buddy split this and I poured some of the bottom and it had a ton left also. Very smooth.

Founders Porter - An excellent malty and rich Porter, with notes of a hint of coffee. Very good.

Founders Breakfast Stout - YUM! Double Chocolate Oatmeal Coffee Stout - Yum, this dark rich devil is super smooth and super tasty. A hint less coffee would be my only real issue with this, but it was still damn good. The blend of the rest of the additives is excellent and the 60 IBU's keep it from sitting around in your mouth too long, cleaning the coffee etc out.

Savannah Chanelle - Tina Marie Vineyard Pinot Noir - Russian River Valley - 2005 - WOW! This was an excellent wine as I always expect from this winery involving their high end pinot's. Smooth as velvet, rich, and very good balance of tannin's vs fruit. A bit strong on the nose at first with the alcohol, but after a quick sit in a nice wide wine glass it was ready to quaff. I'd give this a 90 to 91 rating out of 100.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cabin John Trail Work Day - FALL

Come on out to the CJ Trailwork Day, this Sunday, Oct 4 at 9 AM.

We will be performing a wide range of tasks:
Paint blazing the new route
Moving trail head signs
Closing the old route
Trimming the corridor as necessary
Additional Possible Tasks include:
Small sections of trail work such as bench cutting several small badly slopped area's
Small reroute of trail section
Trash cleanup
And anything else that can be addressed.

As of now the weather looks not bad for Sunday as some recent rain, and a little drizzle often makes trailwork easier if dirt must be worked with. You may want to layer yourself carefully as even in slightly damp 60 degree days you can build up quite a sweat. Do make sure you wear clothes that can get dirty, and good shoes for working outside, as you might in a garden. Also suggest you bring a pair of good work gloves, and a bottle or two of water. I often carry a small pack for this as I work.

We will have probably 2 crew leaders at the event so we may be working in separate multiple area's. Some of which we may drive/shuttle to (the campground or perhaps the Goya Dr trailhead). If you are getting dropped off we will get you safely there and back. But you may want to make sure you can call for an early pickup if we finish early.

Tools - We should have most of the tools needed but as usual feel free to bring your own. I'll have my own loppers with me. No machete's or chainsaws!!!!

Teens - Welcome for work, a parent will be necessary to sign the form.

Cabin John TW Day
7400 Tuckerman Ln (See Google Map, Across the street from the Maint Yard).
Bethesda/Rockville, MD
9AM Start, 8:45 Suggested Arrival
1PM Finish
Bring Water, Gloves, and Good Shoes.

My Cell # is 850-443-0181
My Email is

Sign up with MoCo Parks:

Sign Up Page

Google Map

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nice Ride

Got out nice and early to WF for once last night and was pretty much ready to go at 5. Hung around the lot for a few mins to talk with Scud and then blasted off for Accotink. Ended up doing about 5-6 miles over there in the next hour plus the 1.5 miles each way or whatever, getting in 9 nice miles.

The dam maintenance is weird! The lake is super low!

The main ride we had a pretty good turn out of 20+ riders, with a monster combined Intermediate group, a small fast group, and a good sized casual+ group. Unfortunetely, we had a rider catch her foot on some deadfall in phase 4 early in the ride. I escorted her back to her car, she was able to ride out but was hurting a good bit.

Recaught the group at the top of the ascent trail and rode down the berms. At the end of the creek trail/cct rejoin my damn light cut out and wouldn't relight. Delmar hooked me up with one of his and it let me lead a nice death march on the bowl. I wrapped up at 8 as Delmar was done, a few others went back out.

16.25 miles of good riding. Next week should be even better with clear skies and 70's as the high all week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Terror of some sort.

There was no Terror of Teaberry for me on Sunday alas, there was a different sort of terror though:

Terror of Repainting the Master Bedroom.
Act 1 - Primaring. - 1st coat. UGH. I would have rather pushed my bike the last 10 miles of teaberry. 6 hours of slow trimming, rolling, and arguing with the wyf about how to properly run a roller. Also discovering a previous owner of our house butchered on area below a window/above our bed and having to scrape out, sand, and scrape again to remove bad bad bad spackle/compound.

Act 2 - Yesterday I finished scrapping, re-caulked the window frame in the effected area and re-applied a better compound doing a better job. Then I spend about 2 hours or so maybe 3 trimming out the whole room in prep to roll it later. We rolled it in about an hour and a half with both of us working.

Act 3 - Color Choice. Now I'm just plain scared. More results later.

At least the bedroom is no longer orangish/pink/coral. White is just really white.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Snuck in 11 miles yesterday, as trails at WF under the canopied section weren't bad. And the Berms were PERFECT!

Over 40 miles this week. That means I'll get nearly no riding in the next week or so by murphy's law.

No Terror of Teaberry for me either, and I was really almost set to register to ride the 20.

Next year I'm gonna plan on doing all 3 rides with maybe trying teaberry as a 40.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Snuck in a nice chill ride a WF last night, suprisingly avoiding all the rain that was in the area last night. Did about 9.5 miles with a pretty chill 7.5 pace, with a group of 2 other riders. It was nice we did a LOT of sections backwards. They seemed to enjoy the change. WF rides differently at night, especially in reverse to normal/typical direction (Race course).

Maybe I'll sneak in day 3 tomorrow if it isn't too rainy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Riding

Lots of riding in lately, it's been a nice change. Not challenging but still nice.

Last week with 3 rides, this week I'm going to get my 2nd ride in tonight, for 2 in a row. Hoping for a 3rd on Thursday but the weather may not co-operate.

Yesterday I hit Laurel Hill for 12.5 miles running a 9.3 pace, then as I finished at dark I hit Wakefield for another 8.5 miles running a 8.8 pace. Damn it felt so fast, I really enjoy leading the casual group but I don't really get to push myself at all as a rider excluding technical type stuff. And small burts of speed.

The new gear setup continues to rock, though I do want to convert to a 2x9 soon I think and that also means re-adjusting the front D a bit as it's a bit hesitant to drop into 1x9 from 2x9 under any sort of load.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The koolaid...

So while picking up some RnR Extreme for the bikes today at CB, I decided to give a try of a Surly Steamroller.

Nice. I can see the appeal of the SS a bit more now. The bars felt EMPTY! Of course it was setup actually fixie, with only the front brake. Definetely a bit of a learning curve with having to keep spinning at all times and muscling down speed versus coasting/braking etc. The ability to directly crank to speed is FUN though. I didn't take it far enough to try muscling up a real hill or anything so it was no real test, but at least flat landing it, it was fun! I can see myself picking up a nice basic SS/Fixie for around the area riding for sure.

Looked at a bunch of different ones but nothing jumps out. Yet.

Took the bike on a short intownie yesterday with the wife and let me say the new drivetrain was super smooth and quiet!!! We did 10 miles in about an hour though a lot of that was more casual speed once we got to bethesda due to monster crowds on the CapCrescent Trail. Next weekend we're planning on a longer ride down thru Rock Creek Park.

Go away RAIN!

Saturday, September 05, 2009


Well after languishing for a long time now the first phase of major upgrades to the Midget are alsmost done. I just need to size the new chain, apply lube and it's G2G. The crankset did by feel seem to way a GOOD bit less than the old, nasty Isoflow set.

The bigger question I'm pondering for now is to leave it a triple for the time being or go ahead get a bashguard and convert it down to a 2x9. Other than wakefield I really don't use it much, and thats really only when the CCT or the creek trail and honestly it's not super necessary.

I also have decided I want to try a new regiment for the cleaning and lubrication of my chain. For the past 2 years or so I've been using Finish Line Wet(teflon). I'm debating switching to Rock-N-Roll Extreme.

And next I've got a Captain Control 2Bliss in 2.2 to replace the Continental Mountain King out back thats starting to wear out. May give it another few weeks.

May try and ride Rosy on Monday, if I'm not repainting the bedroom all day. Going to keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Somewhere in the Basement

Resides my bike.

Between boxes, over bags and crates of junk. Next to wedding gifts un-used, lives my sad bike. I will attempt to find it tonight. So it may be made ready for Thursday Night at Wakefield.

With sadness I see the departure of long days, however it makes me glad to be ready to use my lights again as fall approaches.

Still haven't upgraded the bike yet, maybe this weekend!

Had some damn good beers, St.Riel's Grand Cru Belgian Style, Dale's Pale, on deck next, Celebration not Litigation from Avery and Russian River Brewing. A co-mingled belgian blended in Dec 2006. Should be excellent.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Big Moves.

Well, Saturday is the Big Moving Day in that we're schlepping our gear from the Bethesda location to the new Silver Spring location (EW Hwy near Beach).

If anyone out there in WebLand wants to come and help move I'll be supplying post move beer and grilled food. And it will be damn good beer for sure! :) I'm hoping to move my beer over tonight or tomorrow morning to the new house. Dale's, Founders Porter, some big IPA bombers, and a few Belgian Bombers also. If you want to help out for a bit drop me a post here.

The 2nd big move is that I FINALLY order the new drive train for the bike and it arrived last night. I almost had to bring the new cranks up to sleep with they are soooo sweet. And light I think. I'm going to do a comparison when I dis-assemble them either tonight or on Sunday. Depends on the state of the move.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wet with a side of Wet.

Yesterday at wakefield ended up being a set of mixed results. We started out with better weather than expected in a beautiful mostly clear afternoon, though running about 8 degrees too warm. I got in a nice 8 miles of pre-riding Wakefield. Good Stuff. I ended up last night with a single rider in my Casual group, and we were SUPER casual over at accotink, the guy was making stuff I wasn't but every major hill set was killing him cardio wise. We trekked around Accotink for about an hour then we both noticed the sky was pretty dark. Low and behold about 3 minutes later the rain started. And it kept raining. Harder and harder. We got to the paved trail and decided to head back. Once we were on the lake trail it started raining even harder. Great. Back to the lot and soaking wet at about 8:10.

We then had a late birthday party for Ernesto with Cupcakes, Beer, Tequilla and misc snacks. It was good. And everyone liked my beer selection for the evening, Founders Porter. Damn good, nice and malty. At 9 we adjourned for normal post ride activities at Killroy's and had almost all the riders there, I'd say 15 people.

Ordering new drive train today hopefully, should get it Monday. I hope.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Newz from the North

Alas no biking happening this week as we ended up taking a Rental car up this way. So instead I've been keeping busy while the wife is off in her meetings everyday.

Monday I hit Sam Adams for the brew tour and tasting. The tour blew, the tasting was cool. I got to try the Boston Area only Boston Brick red, a nice Irish red ale. Plus 2 other regular favs of the Lager and Summer. Also got to vote on 2 new potential beers one was a pils and one was another lager, that was maltier than the regular Boston Lager.

Tuesday was spent packing the hotel room backup and then the afternoon wandering Medford Ma and then reading for about 2 hours in the public library, devouring a newer Clive Cussler book.

Today I've been wandering College hill of Providence and seeing sites and changes in the last 10+ years since I left. Its a mix of good and bad I suppose. The brown campus is under some heavy duty off session work right now.

ALSO yesterday we hit a Trendy little restaurant I will find the name and address of later and had a triple of good Belgians, starting out with a Karmelit Triple, then went to the Kasteel Donker and finished with a Kwak. The first 2 were in 750 ML bottles and not a bad value at 14-15 each. I had some awesome fish and chips done in a porter infused batter. Nice.

Tomorrow I'll probably troll around Downtown Providence and maybe tour some of RISD's art galleries. We'll see. Friday is still up in the air.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ouch. The hammer of enlightenment.

Well today knowledge hit me in the head while I was working on my bike. Doing a pedal swap finally replacing my VERY warn out Time XE/Alium that the SingleSpeed Outlaw gave me last fall after one of my pedals blew up. Well the Alium's seals bit the dust recently and had developed about 3/4 an inch of play along the spindle. Well while loosening the damn thing I managed to get struck by knowledge I'd previously heard.

And well I hit myself in the head with the damn pedal wrench when it slipped off. Nice mark on the tip of my head. That will look real nice while we have the a bunch of C-level salad in the office (CTO, CSO, etc).

I applied rubber mallet to the wrench. hahaha. Went with the TIME Roc standard's I got Saturday from REI with the last of my dividend. I also changed out my cleats on my shoes. DAMN they are TIGHT now, I foresee a fall or two in the future before I remember that they are probably 75 to 100% tighter.

Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do about fixing the drive train.
Cancer sucks.

FatCylist Blog

Monday, July 20, 2009

PA Part 2

Raystown Trails were a damn fine experience today. The weather was beautiful. The trails were bone dry (well mostly).

So taking off from the main lot near the Seven Points Rec/Campground entrance, I headed off up onto the Stony Trail to start with. Damn I was hurting on that climb in, my legs were not spun up at all and still tired from yesterdays 13 mile race. But the climb in was nice with some challenging rock goodness, nothing like Michaux, but 2 parts were tough. Once you gain some altitude, you get a nice set of whoop-de-do's for a while. Eventually I crossed the rocky lot and on up into Buck Trail, then down Fawn to Sleek dog. Sleek dog was nice and flowy I really enjoyed it. From there it was down the uber fun eagle. Damn good trail. Osprey was actual less hard than I thought it would be as a black, maybe due to it's length but I regularly ride a similar section at Schaeffer Farm. I did almost loose it in one section, nearly rolled off the edge.

The it was Osprey to Sidewinder. Once I got north of the crossing on Sidewinder I noticed a few damp to muddy spots in the northern section, it must have gotten more rain within the last week. Berry patch was a MOFO to ride up, might be nice to roll down the otherway. So I got to the top of the trails and ate my sandwich and took some photo's. Now I realize where the photo of Darius is from, right on section of trail between Berry Patch, Ray's Revenge and Ridge Trail meet.

Rays was tough, some nice but I was feeling tired already. 4 miles of fun and pain. Those last 2 bits on the final climb out to Berry Patch were crushing for that 2nd time. Loco Motive is a bit of a blur, Red Legs I recall a bit of rockiness up to the Grippis trail. That had some spectacular rollers. After that it was out Allie Trail to Buck. The last half/first half on return on Buck is WAY tougher than what you hit the other way! I was getting towards well done at this point and the ride back out Stony. The rollers in that first half were a blast, but the finally climb out left me done. It was sooo close I was cramping horribly but since I didn't get off I could keep pedaling. In the last berm while trying to take it aggressively I almost bit it. Ended up dropping my chain and rolling down the trail and into the parking lot.

Trails were in pretty good shape but a bit overgrown. Maybe I'll try and headup this fall for a trailwork day up there. And I will be back to ride the sections I didn't and ride the thing a different way.

Photo's soon. If I can find the bloody cable.

PA ROCKS.....err is full of Rocks.

Just got back from my PA Tour and hit 2 out of my 3 goals.
Did Dark Hollow Sunday and it was a blast. Maybe next year I will be ready for 25 instead of 10. Was still an excellent time. Supprised that only saw Denis there. I heard Camp was there also but I really don't know him IRL.
Drove up to Raystown (Susquehanna Campground) area after the races were over last night, pitched my sleeping setup and crashed out between 9-10. Some bone heads did wake me up around 2 being noisy but that ended within about 15 minutes. Slept till 6:30 with some occasional tossing and turning due to rocks. Packed up, had some more leftover pancakes and bacon and headed for the main lot of 7 Points Rec Area. Ooops took a wrong turn and had to back track from 26...d'oh.

Rolled out from the lot around 9AM and was back a hair after 1 with nearly 24 miles in just over 3 hours rolling time. NICE! Had a real blast on a LOT of the trails. Though coming back up Stony I was at my limit and felt the major cramp warning signs and was able to make it back to the car without stopping. Though my chain did fall off on the last berm out/first in and I was able to roll all the way into the lot!

Def want to hit that again. With fresh legs. Stony nearly killed me in the AM since I wasn't warmed up. Rays Revenge is LONG and that last climb out SUCKS!

Off to wash off all the poison oak/ivy and go hit hard times for some chili. More details later.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Had a nice ride out at WF last night, I led a small WF only group of 3 other guys around and we racked up near 11 miles. One of my other leaders led a LARGE casual group out to Accotink with 10 riders total. The chillness of my ride was pretty damn nice.

Upon arriving home and starting to clean my bike I noticed that I had a broken spoke on the rear wheel. I remember hearing something while in the bowl last night, but it wasn't like I was even riding crazy there when it happened.

So I've gotta run outa work today for lunch and drop it somewhere for at least 1 spoke replacement, maybe 2 or 3 as there are a few slightly chewed up spokes on the drive side. Hopefully either Spokes or TBL can get it done by end of work tomorrow for me. I REALLY don't have time to do it myself and re-true the wheel.

Curse of Dark Hollow on Sunday. Just have to decide if I'm only going for the race or if I'm going to do some camping and ride a few other places.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CJ Report

Hit the CJ again today.

Tomorrow I should go up there and clear the northern section. Going to pickup a new personal set of loppers. Once you get near the creek its an overgrown beast.

There is also a tree down near the craptacular footbridge.

The rest of the trail wasn't in too bad, shape except where some "helpful" souls had put down some branches where the trail had gotten soft and rutted near the ball fields.

Also someone recently re-blazed the orange route around the Democracy Tennis center to Blue. Now the maps need updating. Off to send a report to the bosses at MNPCC.

Stoked for Michaux on Sunday and Raystown on Monday I think.

Monday, July 13, 2009

WV....What can I say.

Yesterday after waking up late the wyf and I decided to roll for the Harpers Ferry and do some hiking on the MD side, hitting Maryland Heights.

Maryland Heights Info

Damn that was some climbing up in. My calves are feeling WAY abused. Like really really abused. My quads feel it a bit. Knees were hurting a bit by the time we were done. That was new, I usually can do 10+ miles of moderate hiking. But that place was tough I think the initial ascent is 400 feet, then a bit of up and down to the overlook. Then back up and up to the stone fort at the far end of the trail. Then it's all down hill from there. We then walked from the trail lot to the town and had dinner and ice cream. The town really shuts down around 5-6 pm on Sundays. We got some of the last ice cream near 7pm. I'd like to re-hike that in the fall after the foliage has dropped, I bet the views are much better then.

Can't imagine how keeping the placed supplied was during the civil war. They had a bunch of BIG cannons up there some weighing up to 10000lbs. JEEZ they said it took 200-500 men to get each one up the mountain. Then each shot could way 70-100 lbs for the big guns. CRAZY!!!

Watched Wanted this morning and the action was pretty cool, but over all the movie is kinda depressing. Though from what I've net-read not as depressing/dark as the actual comic.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Yesterday I must have been cursed with slightly bad luck. It was almost a comedy of errors, but in the end I made it thru.

In order of appearance
A) - Missing shims/cones for Rear D - TBL hooked me up with a pair stripped of an old cantilever brake set.
B) - Had 2 people on the 2nd shift call out, 1 guy from my shift stepped up and another on 3rd came in early. Didn't have to miss the WF ride.
C) - Left bladder and brews at work only realized while at TBL. Made it back and to WF by 6:20. LUCKY! Bad traffic on 28 and other spots due to construction on 28 at willard/etc.
D) - Mechanicals Mechanicals Mechanicals on the ride. 1 Major, 2 minor. Still did 10 miles. The others probably got 11 while I fixed a new to the area riders chainline.
E) - Removed to protect the uh...well innocent.
F) - Ooops locked out the wyf last night with the security bad.

To end this run of cursed luck I've taken the step of signing up for Curse of Dark Hollow. Relative tight budget has dictated that I pinch my pennies and keep my sanity and I opted to only sign up for the 10 miler after talk to Liz after WF last night. If it doesn't crush me or I feel I need more punishment I can go bigger for Teaberry. I'm strangely excited at the prospect of going somewhere new. To race. Thats apparently hard. Odd. And wow...the weather looks not bad for then. Keeping appropriate digits crossed.

Anyone heading up there thinking of camping Saturday to Sunday???

I'm debating hitting Raystown Lake on Monday if anyone is free.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Maintenance Success

Well I got some of the maintenance I wanted to done on the bike this week. However it has made several things very clear. The bottom bracket is DIEING. Over the last 2 months its gone from say maybe 1/16 inch in play to nearly 1/4. I may have to break down and do an emergency upgrade over the next month, though I'd prefer to avoid that with the upcoming moving/housing expenses. ugh.

I did tear down and re-grease my headset and it seems smoother and better adjusted...I think. Also did swapped out the jockey pulleys on the rear d with newly greased slightly less used ones.

And I finally found a successful method to changing out the pads on my J7's. Unfortunetely while removing the rear brake at WF last week apparently I forgot to put 1 set of the shims/washers/cupcone doo-dads into the plastic baggy and need to pickup a set tonight if possible so I can have rear brake again. It was a bit hairy for sure last week riding without them in the slightly damp conditions. Really made me get back off the saddle for sure!

Looking forward to riding a good bit tonight. Also picked up the Sierra Nevada Kellerweisse - an open fermented wheat beer that was REALLY damn good with my chili-potato last night.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Lots of Folks

Also ran into the LogPosse out at WF last night. It's been damn good to see a bunch of people I usually don't see in the last week including Arne, Nicky, (uh steve was it?), Yueqing, Chris, Denis, and Jason last Thursday.

I also realized the bike maintenance list is growing to super stupid lengths.
Chain for Wife's Bike to be installed.
New Crankset/bb, Chain, and Cogset, and pulley wheels on my bike
Relube the headset
New Pedals.
Re-true the primary wheelset and finish the old/spare wheel.
New brake pads on rear.
Change wife's stem (Shorter and with a slightly higher rise.
New Grips
New Seatbag for my bike so I don't ALWAYS have to carry the Camelback. I hate stuff tons of shit in my jersey.

3x the Fun

So last night was my third ride of the week, pushing me into the mid 30 mile range again, which for me is pretty good. As we were getting ready to roll out of the Wakefield lot a light sprinkle started and I booted the groups out of the lot 5 minutes early. The rain continued for about 20 mins lightly and by 7:30 most of it had already dried back up. I had to pass my ride over to Tom and go pick my wife up at DCA, she got back from NY a bit early.

Had a bit of an emergency in the lot prior to the ride. I went to clean and lube the chain at about 5:30'ish and when I went to spin the rear wheel.....Horrible clicking and sticking were present. WTF?!??! A quick investigation showed the issue was being caused by the rear brake. So I rip rear wheel off and unmount the caliper. Viola! Bent tension spring. Out come the pads and the spring, a few minutes of bending then the real battle begins. Re-inserting the pad. 10 Minutes later they are back in. Remount the caliper. Put the wheel back in. And after a few spins its back to not working. Time to implement my final fix for the evening. Off comes the whole rear brake system.

Wow! It was a bit hairy riding in the slightly wet conditions with no rear brake but I survived while I was out. But I definitely kept my speed down a bit.

After picking up the wife we hit Kendal Park Tavern on MacArthur Blvd and it was very good! Had a Sam Summer Ale with a lemon slice garnish and it was excellent. Gotta get a case before it's gone!

REI tomorrow to get a new set or two of organics for the rear brake.

Probably won't ride again till Thursday as my hand is bugging me a bit more than I'm comfortable with.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

6 Points of Contact.

No, I'm not really talking about my technology slavish-ness (2 Work Emails, 2 Personal, Facebook, Twitter, LJ, MORE Forums, etC.

I'm actually talking about my fun little wreck at Schaeffer yesterday. Near the end of my ride I was fooling around on the stunts at the top of the white loop when I biffed and took a dumb/bad fall off the 2nd skinny set. I was riding it towards the lot and got to the logs at the end of it and whoops off I went and the bike took me for a final ride. I think I ended up getting very personal with the handle bars based on the locations of the contusions. About the 2 worst are where my thumbnail bent back about half way and my wrist took some sort of abuse, though I can't find any real marks.

I find it amusing I've managed 2 fairly good wrecks in 2 week'ish after going a long time with nothing worse than an emergency hop-off. Thats riding I guess and yesterday at least I was challenging myself. Skills riding is fun, I was just un-prepared mentally on that run. Oh well. I still got in a kick ass ride of about 15 miles around the farm. Even got to hang a bit the Yeuq, Chris, and Dennis. hahah I probably should have hung with them for the rest of the ride, but I couldn't have probably held the pace after already spending an hour and change out there already. Jeez I need to build the endurance so 20 miles isn't pushing it at all!

Afterwards I spent 45 minutes waiting to buy a power adapter for my phone at the verizon store near Agrodolce in G-town. I was ready to flip out! I will never own another phone that doesn't use mini-usb to charge!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wakefield Thursday Night Ride hits the trails again.

Wow, for the first time in a MONTH I believe that the TNR at Wakefield actually was able to ride trails. It was a blast. I pre-rode for not quite an hour doing about 7 miles of easy spinning around the park. Did 2 repeats of the Ascent Hill and Berms in phase 3. It was a good warm up, felt pretty good but a bit tired for being at 23 miles in the past 2 days when the ride started. I lead my small casual group out to Accotink the back way so as to give my legs a chance to spin up after spending 30 mins in the lot. We rode a bunch of the trails reversed out there and damn, that was tough in a few spots. It was a nice change however, and I think the funnest part was when we did the normal entry loop at accotink in reverse, it flows even better than the normal way.

With CJ yesterday I hit nearly 33 miles for the week. NOt bad. I'm hoping to sneak out for a shorty on Saturday afterwork depending on the weather. Not sure where yet.

Also after my CJ ride yesterday I hit a new low on my weight, 190. Though last night post ride/beer/food I was back to 192. Going back thru here my previously noted weight back in January 2008 was 218! I think most of that has been in the last year and the last 10-15 has been since the end of the winter when I had plateaued at 202'ish. Now if I could add some leg muscle mass I'd be real happy.

SNOW DAY IPA rocked it last night. Nice citrus finish on it, gonna be a nice summer beer. And while it's fairly low alcohol, at not quiet 6%, it hit more like a 7%. But that may have been the dehydration :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Age Came along. Just a few days late.

My birthday was fairly recent, it just waited a few days to reminder me that yes I am getting older.

The impact points from my stupid crash on Thursday are sore. Whats more sore are the tendons/etc from where I was forcefully unclipped from the bike. I can only assume it was due to banging around the top tube. So for now I'm medicating with advil and doing some light stretches and massaging out the kinks/etc slowly.

Went and saw Year One last night and it was pretty funny and pretty gross at many points. Oliver Platt is hilarious. And so are many of the other guests. And best yet Olivia Wilde (13 from House) is in it.

Going to spend some time today trying to think up label idea's for Snowday IPA.

Friday, June 19, 2009


That should be the title of the ride I led last night at Wakefield. I went out with 3 others and did the CCT. On the first bridge out of the main WF parking lot our new group member lost it and fell on the bridge, while trying to turn a bit. And I grumbled that I should have warned everyone about that before we left. We all laughed. We ended up heading south on the CCT to 7100 and 640. About 7.8 miles out. Coming back down the big hill on the path I hit the first TINY wooden bridge and next thing I know I'm laying on my side on the ground! Ouch! A bit of an arm scrape and a sore hip later we were back on the trail. We cranked back and I was simply laughing at the absurdity of it. I think I was riding my front brake from coming down the hill when I hit the bridge. A bunch of the regulars did the PPTC road ride we chatted for a few minutes before retiring for some post ride beverage consumption while loading up the gear.

I'm pretty happy with this week of riding, a bit of 30 miles. Thats my best week in a while. Going to try and punch out some good distance on Monday. We'll see how the weather treats us.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A bitty bit of riding.

My central Florida trip was a bust for riding. Various factors kept me from getting in some riding at Santos. I did however spend an hour or so hiking over a few bits of the northern trailhead area and I can say, WOW! Some fast and fun singletrack and some challenging area's such as ant hill and john brown pit. Some fun looking area's. Alas it was too hot and I was in a bit of a rush to go see my brother. After examining the trail I determined that most of it would be fully ridable for the wife and so next time we're down in CFL, we'll hit it together. I'm also going to try and get an old friend I reconnected with to try it too!

Monday I hit Cabin John for the first time in a LOOOOONG TIME. It was almost like riding a new trail vs the winter/spring with all the green along it now. Some sections really need some trimming and the 2 final small bridges really need to be put in. Also better ramping needs to be done for the 2 existing bridges. Need to find some solutions in the trail builder guides I have I guess.

On the up hand also the Snow Day IPA should be about ready for it's first bottle tasting perhaps this week. I'm hoping to get a hefe in production around the end of the month. Then I'll be prepping porter for the fall in August.

Also on Monday I realized I'm real close to be non-clyde now with a post activity weight in of 192. Though after my dinner that night I'm sure I'm back up the scale a bit.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wet and Wild

Despite the naysayers doubts I went to WF to ride last night on the CCT. Very light off and on sprinkles once I arrived at 6:20. Geared up, put the fenders on the bike (+1 only my legs and a bit of my pack got muddy this time), and headed out with another guy at 6:50'ish. We rode all the way out to 7100 and Rolling Rd area on CCT doing just over 14 miles.

Doing one of the stream crossings on the way back, I miss judged the 2nd half/up slope side and nearly endo'd barely pulling up enough to roll up the hill and get my feet down. My shoulders and hands were aching for sure after that for about 5 mins. Rob was laughing his ass off at me for so badly misjudging and nearly biting it. Next time I'm going to session that a bit.

Nice ride over all. The weather even cleared pretty nicely by about 30 mins in and we had few rain drops at all. It was nice to get out and blast out a bit of the cobwebs, haven't been going to the gym at all. I may just cancel it next month. We'll see.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nice Weather

With this awesome week of weather, I hope folks are getting out and doing SOMETHING. I wish I had gotten in some rides this week, but due to insane commutes home the last 2 days I've had to skip sneak-rides.

Today i'm jetting from work On-time as possible, heading for WF and gonna pre-ride the hell outa accotink! Then I've got at least 1 relative noob to break in tonight at Wakefield. I'm looking forward to session some stuff with her and whatever group I take out. Might end up being like Delmar's ride last week.

Hoping to maybe sneak in the First FNL in a LOOOOOONG time maybe friday. We'll see if I can secure the night pass.

Took an hour'ish walk around the neighborhood with the wyf. Each time we do this we find a new section, last night it was some hidden little park I've never seen before.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nice Friday

Nice night out last night if not a bit humid. Had a casual pre-ride and a later regular ride. We had a nice turn out for how questionable the weather was pretty good with the rain holding off till near 8:30 out at Wakefield.

I had a small casual ride group of 1 other person, another guy led a Casual+ of 3. It was nice and just what I needed for recovery reasons. Ended up with just about 12 miles for the night with a 7.4mph avg.

This morning I noticed my right knee was a bit sore. By the end of work it was VERY sore. 3 Motrin seem to have helped and now I'm hitting it with freezer packs.

Time to make some dinner. I'm thinking steak. Or maybe chili. HUNGRY!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

PR +2

Today was a pretty good day, even after dealing with brake issues this morning. I hit FH at around 4:30 and by 4:45 was ready to go. I was stoked and took off. The lap felt a bit rough, as it's been since like maybe the FALL since I rode there, I couldn't remember all the best lines for the runs, and climbs, though suprisingly off the bat I made 2 climbs that have kicked my ass usually. Yah! I was stoked. I still couldn't beat woodpecker. And I still won't ride down shock-a-billy. I need to watch some peeps do it who I trust. But other than that good first lap, and I turned in a new lower time for me. 1:14 Riding, about 1:20 total! Yah that was pretty sweet. And so I went nuts from there and did something I've never done.

2nd Lap. I blasted away at first maintaining a avg pace of 6.7-7 on and off. Well I should fueled up more at the car and I knew I wasn't drinking enough and low and behold by mile 5 the cramps were showing up. Damn it! I actually had to stop at shock-a-billy and eat and take some potassium supplements and drink a ton of water to finish out but I was already cooked and had to push a few hillier sections. I made the last half of the final climb out. Ugh, but still a pretty fast time for me. !:17 moving. Though time was was my more normal 1:35'ish.

Not blazingly fast but a HUGE step up for me. I made all the climbs but Woodpecker. And had a damn good time even when my legs were protesting. I had a huge smile all the way home.

Wish the GPS was working it would be nice to have a track of both laps. Alas it's dead Jim and needs a reman/replace. Should run $100 through garmin but it's just not on my list now. Especially considering when I got home, put the bike in the stand and looked at the rear d and noticed the high gear adjustment screw was gone! WTF??!?!? I know it wasn't that loose. And the black plastic clip that holds it in/bolts to it was gone! UGh. Stripped one off and old X9 and tried getting it dice. Gonna calll TBL tomorrow and see what they think. Probably gonna have to replace it. FURK! Oh well. I gotta a PILE of shit that I need to do on the bike really. Brake Pads front and rear, bottom bracket - Temp fix till new BB/Cogset/Chain can be replaced. Now a new D. And add in a few other things like the garmin. My L&M light needs some love also, the battery is getting wimpy. Argh. Maybe I can ifnd a surplus NIMH battery only.

But it was a damn good day to ride!

Extra Special. Really.

So this morning, as I was preparing to leave for work and riding after work, I decided to take a quick spin on the re-tuned bike, I noticed a HORRIBLE clicking from the rear whenever breaking. Insta-Panic. Check the rear roter, triangle....No breakage. Retry brakes...hmmm only happens when my weight is on the bike and breaking. I knew the pads were a bit close to worn out.

Off comes the caliper. Jackpot. One side is nearly truly gone and the other is almost fully gone. The organic pads are real nice most of the time but they seem to wear a bit quicker. Quick Time Check 6:25...shit.

Old pads out...Yep bad....And 1 side of the retainer spring is bent. Set aside. Try putting in set of new standard avid pads. way. Adjust out pad contact point....try again. Nope. Old pads back in. Apply screwdriver to spread/push in the damn pistons back in. This never seems to work...argh. Try again. Argh. Alright pull out the old original pads, they have a bit of life left. Cleam em with some rubbing alcohol, use the old spring from the organics. Ahhh and back in.

Put the junk back together....Argh 1 missing adjustment washer. 5 minutes later found it and it's all back on. Time check 6:48. Damn late late late. Quick test after adjusting. Better, braking is a bit off but no real noise/click. Take 15 minutes at lunch today to re-break in the brakes.

New pads on Friday I think I'm going to stick with the Organics.

The drive train readjustment was pretty easy excluding the cabling on the front. I assume it's due to the mix of Shimano Derailuer, and SRAM shifter. The front D is soon for replacement, its definitely a bit worn out on inspection of springs/etc.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Less Riding, More Learning.

With the rains the last week or two my riding has been pretty greatly curtailed. I got out last Thursday for perhaps the wettest, muddiest ride on the CCT south that I've been on since my teens. Including riding through a nearly foot deep crossing at one point.

So I've been taking the park tools bike school and it's been awesome so far. Like this week we learned how to properly tune shifting systems. Tomorrow I'm going to re-tune both my front and rear d from scratch. The front D needs height adjustment, and high/low adjustment for sure. The alignment is ok, but I imagine I'll be fiddling a good bit with it tomorrow. The rear isn't too bad but I think the B-Screw and the hi and low also need adjustment. Not to mention the damn cable itself. eesh.

Wednesday I'm going to shoot to re-ride Laurel Hill. Or maybe I'll go psycho and try Fountain Head out again. I hurt already at the thought. :) Something other than Wake, or Accotink. Maybe I'll shoot out to Rosaryville. I haven't been there in forever. I'd like to do Quantico but that's a bit further a field, saving that for a Monday trip soon. Along with another visit to Gambrills or maybe finally a shed trip.

Time to put a few beers in the fridge for tomorrow.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Suprisingly Dry

Last night at Wakefield I recieved what was almost the best present in a long time.

Suitably dry singletrack ready for riding. Especially since we had such a small turnout (Larry, Liz, Ernie, Lynn, Steve(late), and a new guy Bryan). I took the new guy on a casual tour of Accotink and then we hit a bit of Wakefield before it got too dark for Bryan who didn't have his lights. The final climb up the racecourse finish was in almost near darkness. Back at the lot Steve was waiting around for the intermediate group but with no sign of them he headed out. After letting bryan out I head back in and found Steve in Phase 1 working to put his tire back on. He'd knocked it off the rim on some root. We toured around Phase 1, the creek trail and phase 4 looking for the intermediate group. We ultimately determined they weren't in Wakefield at all. Back at the lot around 8:40 we found out they rode the Counter Clockwise Trail south and had a good time doing something different.

Post ride food and bev at Kilroys made for a darn good night of cycling. Also enjoyed a bit of Ernesto's remaining Porter I think it was as a PLB.

Though I couldn't get up at 6 this morning and slept till 6:30. Bad bad bad. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beat up and Tired.

Thats how I've felt for the past week or so. Between prepping for the party 2 weeks ago, work kicking my ass repeatedly. Between that and the weather my riding this month TANKED. UGh. Maybe 60-70 miles, on the real bike. I did do some running in the gym and riding the cycles at the gym.

Last Thursday at the Wakefield Night ride, after doing my own 10 mile pre-ride, 10 miles later I was nearly tanked out and at 11 miles I was boinking. I was annoyed as hell to be wiped out after 22 miles of Wake-o-tink.

Tuesday I finally made it out to Laurel Hill and it's a hoot. You can really let go if you have the bawls. With a lower pressure in my front tire I feel I could have pushed my avg speed at least another .5 mph from 8.5 to 9. Or more.

The trails are fun and twisty. The skills section at Slaughter house is neat though the heavy rock section beat me twice, I just could get the momentum and line right. I made it halfway over the log skinny and had to bail. Need more pedaling. :) The actual trail was fun to. I think the best way to do that trail is go up the switch backs heading out of the middle of the figure 8.

The blue loop was fun, I took the 2nd enterance but I just didn't have the gas in me to really hammer it and fly on the rollers or hit the jumps there.

The Red (Apple Orchard?) was a neat downhill, and a bit of a grind back up doing it CW. I think finished out on Green to Red to back to the CCT then back the field trail to the parking lot. A nice bit of fun. Next week I want to hit there and get 2 laps.

Had an awesome dinner of Grilled Flank Steak, Broiled Polenta, a home made relish and a nice glass of wine. yes there it is. I do drink wine. Murphy Goode's Liar's Dice. A blend of Zins. Deep and smooth with mellow hints of spice.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Bedlam for Moi.

Alas work has conspired against me. And so has the Federal Govt. And Fates, etc.

So I won't be making the bedlam in Bedford for this year. As I not only don't have the $$$ but I also have no new beer to sample, as I've been behind on stuff for over a month now. Ooops.

I did start Park Tools Bike Maint School last night and it's been very cool so far with even the intro and explanation on stuff such as hubs, freehubs, wheels and tires. The cool stuff gets going next week with Wheel Theory being a big one for me.

Hopefully this rain wraps up todya and thursday we can Ride at Wakefield.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Blues

March 19th Entry From Kung Fu Monkey (

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's
life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish
fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its
unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially
crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of
course, involves orcs.

Now that explains why I'm so screwed up. Damn you Ayn Rand!

I still need to finish Return of the King.

Stupid rain, GO AWAY!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday Wakefield. Semi Epic

It was a damn fine Thursday out for all cyclists I think! One of the best in a while for sure. I got out of work a bit later than I wanted but still made it to Wakefield right around 5. A slow gear up and I headed out 15 minutes later. Took a nice spin out by the rusted truck section as a short warm up. Then headed out for an equivalency lap of race course. Barely pushing I turned in a solid 20-21 minute lap. I think with a little more riding I may be able to turn in some solid sub 20 minute laps by race time in June. A quick visit over to Accotink followed that for some additional exploring. The Accotink workday had cleared up a lot of leaf covered trail and had 1 good reroute! Very nice work.

Back to the lot a bit before 6:30 to organize the group Night Ride. Had a pretty good turn out of 15 other riders. We headed out in 2 big groups of 8. Both groups stayed together till the first trail in Accotink where I had a rally point and offered quick thoughts on the trails. And we rode on, taking several legs I havent' before. Eventually I let Mike and Joel lead a bit including the section out of the park and back to the CCT as I don't know that way at all.

We rolled back into Wakefield at around 8 and after a time check and reorg we decided to ride till 8:30. We blasted off, doing the creek trail to phase 1, the creek trail race section and up and out on the high section of phase 1. We then did the climb up to the berms and rode down. And headed back to the lots. 12 miles in about 2 hours for our group and 22 total for me. I was stoked. A great night of riding, I was bummed out that I couldn't hang out afterwards. The wyf was having an existential crisis and I was late getting out due to session the berms. Oops. But an excellent night ride!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Cherry Blossoms and other blossoms

El Wyf and I took a gentle coast down into downtown Sunday for a visit to the craziness that is the cherry blossom festivus. The first part on the Canal wasn't too bad, but once we got onto the path along the river after G-town it was packed to crazy packed. I did make a sweet drop in off the benched sections there after avoiding a bunch of the crowds! Once we hit the tidal basin we walked about 1/2 way around it. Then after appreciating the nature we hoped back on the bikes and rode back down to the river and back, much quicker over all due to less crowds. It was a wonderful day to be out spinning.

I only felt bad that I was missing the shed trailwork day, but I'll hit the next one for sure!

Came back and hit Nest in downtown bethesda. Very good mussels and nice pizza. Enjoyed with a Rogue Dead Guy. Saturday I had a Milk Stout and wasn't really impressed. The DFH 60 that I followed it with was much better :)

Hoping to hit CJ tomorrow after owrk and see if the new section is seeing more action now with the entry bridge and the big bridge in.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

100 Miles and Riding

Wow, its been a LONG while I think since I actually had a 100+ mile month. This month I hit 115 I think based on my cyclecomps starting mileage and ending today. Adjusting for a minor snafu that kept 3 miles off the record.

My GPS today decided it was too nice out to stay on and cut off all the time, after the 4th time I gave up. Gonna flash the mem/bios again and see if that helps.

For many guys out there 115 is nothing, a weekend maybe or a regular week. For me it's pretty spiffy. I average out probably between 40-60 miles a month. With the occasionally slightly higher month. My new goal is to push that number a bit more over the course of april....Maybe 150. We'll see I guess.

Today was a great day out at Wakefield. Didn't have time to hit Accotink, but wake was pretty good. Some wet spots but over all very ridable. Though I did see 1 or 2 spots that made me go Huh?

I'm off to finish digesting some good Thai food.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cabin John Trail Work Day

Come one, Come All! To the great CJ Trail Work Day, Sunday March 29.

We'll be meeting at the Group Picnic Area on the north side of Tuckerman LN across from the maintenance yard at 7400 Tuckerman Ln.

We'll be rallying at 9am for what will hopefully be a busy and productive day of building bridges, maybe building a tool shed, some trimming of the trail corridor, blazing, maybe bench cutting a few spots. Depends on turn out.

Rain or Shine is the current plan. Currently we have 41 Low and 62 High with Few Showers (30%) in the forecast.

I'll bring out Coffee and Donuts and some a limited supply of bottled water in the AM. I'll also hopefully have at least 2 cordless drills. I'm also hoping to bring a EZ up shelter thing to work partially under in case of rain while bridge building.

You need to bring, gloves, water, snacks/food, and appropriate clothes, like work boots, or solid shoes. No sandals/etc.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Double Dip?

Inspired by riderx's triple dipple post of Monday I wanted to write up a decent post about my big Monday of riding. So on with the tale!

Monday we had weather indications that it would be a beautiful sunny day, and I had a newly re-tuned bike to put through the grinder. And the itch to ride somewhere different. Sure Schaeffer Farm is open again, but I wanted something tougher, to push myself. So I went back to Gambrills SP for a second tour of the yellow loop.

So after a late start I made it to Gambrills around noon, unpacked and got on the trail with a quick warm up spin up the parking lot side of yellow to near the top and back down, to cross the road and start the clockwise loop of yellow with extension. The first climb wasn't bad and I almost made it up the first climb with only a minor bump off. Alas the stairs kicked my ass, with pushing several sections, though I did make the last climb and damn that was a grind. Some nice flowing descents back down to the extension trail. The extension trail is really interesting. At the major rock outcrop I played around finding a nice line away from the trail on what looks to be a pretty fun play area, alas I minorly ditched on one try, the 2nd time I made it a simpler quick drop rather than trying to ride a line. Back on the trail it was a slow grind around the loop, with some climbing after crossing the road, coming down after the t section on a soft/loamy section I cut it to tight and dumped over real good. Banged my knee real good on a damn rock that was in the perfect place. Murphy's law. I quickly hopped on the bike swearing at myself and whatever diety placed that rock. I rode on with good climbs/etc until I hit the CRAZY climb at about 1:30'ish in my ride. It is rocky as hell. I dunno how to hit any of it honestly, except maybe on a dirt bike :) After that I made good on the climbs back to the road crossing and had fun on the bike rock formation descent. Then it was a grind back along the road till the blast down to the lot, I was too tired to really let go alas. Maybe next time. I did session several good climbs, and rocky area's finding better lines and trying to make some climbs.

Gambrills Ride

On the way back down out of the mountains, I had a crazy notion. Why not stop for a quick loop at Schaeffer Farm??? It's too nice a day and the riding should be good. So a drive down to the farm and a quick load out and I was ready to go.

It was an excellent day out at SF. The trail had a good bit of rogue branches down, but thanks to DKEG and Wrench's efforts the trail was clear of all major trees. So I went out the stunt section of white to yellow. The trail faeries have been hard at work building a few dirt jumps it appears. I skipped em due to being a bit tired. Out the yellow to the blue bypasses and back out on the far yellow loop. Trail definetely has some growth issues, the thorny stuff is already growing into the trail. In a feat of silly-assed-ness I rode the orange offshoot trail and it was fun, once I made the initial climb in, that was rough. Nice and flowing once I got going, and out back to the yellow loop. The field trails were fine by then. Probably 3 PM. It was a bit of a slog for sure coming back up the final climb to the big intersection. I met up with a rider I'd been chasing for a while, we both recovered and I took off first, he held pretty close the entire way back with me pulling away a bit on the descents. The armored stream crossing KICKS ASS! I was stoked, we both commented on how nice it was now. The final slog back up that yellow section to the white/orange meet up was hellish at that point. I just kept pushing the pedals. The final ride in was a bit slow. At first I was pulling a nice 9.1 MPH pace, but by the end I had dropped back to a 8.1. Oh well, not bad.

It was a excellent day out. It was not perhaps my best 16/17 miles. But it was better than any day at work, and a lot of fun. Now I just need to find a riding cohort who is off Mondays and wants to explore. Or else someone to lead me around the shed a bit, who doesn't mind slow riding, on one of my rare free Sundays or on a Monday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trail Building School

Had a good trail building/maintenance class at Wakefield for MORE trail liaisons on Saturday. Lots of good info for sure. Got to do some fun field work, play with Cannycom mechinized wheelbarrow/dump system. I'm now certified to borrow it for use on my trail work days. We also got to play clinometer's to measure the grade of slopes and to try our hand at planning good trail. I learned the 3 big rules, the 15% rule (trail grade). the half rule (of which your trail grade should be half what your actual grade is). And the 10% rule for the averaging of your trail grade over all.

After wards we did a ride of Wakefield, but i had to bail after 40 mins due to a late start on the ride. But got in about 6.5 miles anyways. We were flying, I was wondering why I was dieing. We avg'd out like 9.7 mph. On main trails at wake I usually run fro 7-8 depending on if I'm leading the casual rider group.

Hoping to hit gambrills tomorrow. I redid both derailer's cables this weekend and it needs a bit of tweaking in the morning on the rear d. Gotta pack the stand and cable adjustment tools I guess.

Finally moved Snow Day IPA to secondary. Tastes pretty good so far. Hopefully bottle at the end of next week or so. Rock Bottom beer isn't bad, the stout is got a good bit of coffee'ness and the brown is pretty good. Didn't try anything else.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Restaurant Review

Ceiba in downtown DC. - Give it 4.5 out of 5. Excellent Latin/Caribbean food. Though I feel it tends a bit more towards cuban almost. We started off with mojito's. I had the standard and wife had the Hemingway. I liked mine a bit better as it was a tad sweeter. Very well balanced without too much mint, and the piece of sugarcane as garnish/swizzle stick rocked, and was fun to chew/suck on while drinking. We then order a bottle of Chardonnay-Viogner (vee-ohn-yay), Chardonnay/Viognier, Nieto Senetiner, Don Nicanor, Mendoza, Argentina, 2007 $39. Super nice went extremely well with everything. We started with the wild Sea Stripped Bass Ceviche. Nice and tangy with a nice spice. For dinner I had the whole roasted snapper that was excellent. Moist and flaky, the sauce and garnish was terrific. J had the pork tenderloin medallions cuban style and they were superb. We finished off with a keylime apple tart type dessert with a super smooth coconut ice cream. Excellent service, a wonderful place to eat. A bit more management on my part and it could have been only a $100 meal. But it was well worth the chunk more. Almost 3 hours of dining.

Friday's stop by Whole foods provided a taste of the wonderful North Coast Brewery's Pranqster Belgian Ale. 7.6%. Was super drinkable with BBQ.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beer Entertainment

I was listening to 98 rock on the way home from a meeting with the Volunteer Coordinator from MCParks. And I heard what I thought was a comedy bit they sometimes play, but alas it was just a commercial from America's Favorite Brew-lords.

Anheuser Busch....New Budweiser about the new butt-weiser specific glass so as maximize flavor, head, etc. They especially mention the "Natural" carbonation in budweiser. HAHAHAHAHAH. I was laughing my head off in the car.

I picked up a 4 pack of Sam Adams Imperial Style Doublebock. I tried a taste there along with the Imperial stout and a few other of theirs. I liked this one the best. Just had one now with dinner and it was really nice and malty. Good hop balance to clear the palate afterwards. I liked it better colder than on the warm end, went well with my dessert, cheapo brownie pieces.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'll make my own, Thank You!

Hmmm, I've found out that an opportunity that I thought had been closed to me is now open if I can make the stars align (find a car pool).

Snow Day IPA - Based on Brewers Best HopNog kit from the fall of 2008. With a bit of pristine snow melted into the boil. It was supposed to be an ABV of 6-7% but I think between spillage and other I'm going to only hit an Abv of 6 max...It's had almost 2 weeks in primary, so this weekend I'll move it to secondary and plan to bottle by the first of April.

Moving ahead with becoming the main Trail Liaison for Cabin John Trail in Bethesda. Should have crewe leader training next Monday is the plan.

Rode wake and accotink last night for the first time in a month for actually real trail riding. It was awesome, did 12 miles with the casual group.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Lots of new beers tried lately including

471 IPA - A nice hop load but a hair to bitter for enjoyment.

Steve R at WFTNR hooked a brother up with an AWESome beer
Erdinger Octoberfest HefeWeisen - A super awesome Hefe that is smooth as hell and stronger than usual. Very minor yeast character.

Chunk also had his IPA out and it was super smooth. Very drinkable with nice fruity hop nose.

New Holland brewing The Poet - Nice and smooth and rich but it had an odd odor. Maybe it was a bit skunked...Nice otherwise

I just had another Punk DFH and I actually REALLY liked it this time.

Tommorow I shall brew Snow Day Pale Ale. :) I'm REALLY tempted to melt down some snow for a bit of the water base. :P

I need to ride more.

The title says it all. I have been hitting the gym much more regularly than since last spring and I know my core/shoulders are definitely getting stronger, I need to start doing more leg work. My power I think is increasing but the endurance boost just ain't happening.

Case in point, I rode about 30 on Thursday night around the CCT with a tiny bit of Wakefield (less than a mile i'd say). And I went out this morning for a snow ride. Damn my legs were still acting stupid. Now I admit i haven't been eating great and that was on a pretty light breakfast, so I will head out again later once it starts snowing hopefully later this afternoon, or tomorrow I will definitely try and do 10-15.

Ultimately I think to build my endurance it's going to require my getting a road bike. Well I've been looking at some budget SS/Cross rides and i hope maybe after taxes next month I might be able to pony down. Probably something like a Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno or Mercier.

Back to cleaning for me....Brunch break in an 45 mins.

Hope everyone out there is getting in some rides.

Also this afternoon or tomorrow I believe I will finally start what will be called Snow Day Ale, a hoppy little number. Almost an IPA but not quite.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Nice, super smooth, rich with a nice level of bitterness and not super sweet at all. Tasty and moderately strong. At least after having sushi a half hour before.

Birra Moretti La Rossa - Nice beer ultimately from Heineken. Nice rich matliness with a nice bit of hop finish that keeps it from being too sweet. Definitely a session able beer, my FatherInLaw picked this up and we enjoyed a bit. Strong too 7.5% ABV. A nice Italian double boch.

The wyf is out of town this weekend till Sunday afternoon and after payday friday I'm looking forward to picking up some tasters and riding my bike a TON.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Wakefield Thursday Night Ride

Last night was another WF TNR. Alas, it was too soft at the normal start time for any trail riding so we spun out for 50 on the CCT. It was a good ride, though small only 4 of us for most of it. We kept a pretty stead but slow pace due to moderate headwind on the way out. The way back we stopped to do a hill that was a pretty good spin up and busted my lungs WAY Tooo Much. I gotta build more base miles!

On the way back we hit the Creek Trail, the lower half of phase 4 to the lower half of phase 1 and out Salamander. Good times.

It was sooo windy. PLB's and PLBE's were enjoyed before we departed for kilroy's.

One of the guys on the ride who is home brewer is going to hopefully hook me up with the plans for a simple cheap chiller for lagering/summertime brewing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lotso Beer and a bit of Biking

Beer first I must say. Lots of recent trials and a few acquisitions.

At Whole Foods Lake Fairfax I finally tried Dale's. Nice! Smooth and crisp with nice hop balance. Not overly hopped and a nice bit of malt. Good head also. Excellent with the BBQ. Though I refuse to pay the $10 or whatever a 6 pack in cans. F-That.

Saturday - Brasserie Beck - Vday dinner sponsored by El Wyf! She hooked me up with an excellent dinner and we each drank 2 big belgians. Super nice!
I drank -
Rochefort 10 - Wow nice and dark and smooth. Super malty with nice hints of raisins plums and such. Bottled.
GuldenDraak - Damn nice. Draft from Keg. - Dark and malty also but less fruit than the Rochefort, a bit sweeter though it went very well with dessert. Hints of hops also cut the sweet at the finish, a bit. Pleasant long finish.
Wife had
Kwak - Bottled to interesting wooden handled glass thing. This earns points alone. Smooth and dark, with light fruit hints. Not as heavy as my 2 beers.
Damn can't remember her 2nd. But it was good. Edit later....:)
Check out there website at Brasserie Beck

Sunday - The Gordon for some crazy high end super nice cocktails. Then we hit Ulah for dinner and I had a Leffe Brune and it was super good with everything. Smooth and tasty.

I picked up a big bottle of Troegs Nugget Necktar and am looking forward to trying that and a big bottle of Weyerback Slam Dunkel, a double dunkelweizen to share with the wyf.

LAst week was a total fitness BUST. However I'm back on the bike, Sunday I hit black hills and suffered horribly. It's really embarrassing. A week of the bike and my legs went into total rebellion. So I punished them at the gym on monday doing a mix of box jumps, upper body and then road the upright cycle doing intervals for 40 mins. Today I got back out and rode Cabin John between Democracy and Tuckerman Ln. It was better than Sunday fro sure and my legs felt better, but I need to keep pushing more, and get out and just do some stupid mileage on the canal on Mondays. Alas I'm working next monday it appears.

Part of me is suicidally tempted to prep for riding up in Fredrock tommorow. We'll see, depends on weather and if I can entice any pokey riders out. Time to shower and make some dinner.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cabin John Trailwork Day March 29

Cabin John Trailwork Day - March 29, 2009 - Sunday.

Come out and help us finish the bridges, to complete the re-route started this fall/winter series, between Tuckerman Rd and Goya Drive.

More info to come!

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Metal Lives

Just won a free download of the Metallica show from 1.15.2009 that I was a bit bummed out to miss due to some good friends getting married. But now I have a free copy of the show! That ROCKS!

HAD A SUPER COLD ride last night at wakefield. Ended up with 14 miles with the pre-ride included. Super frozen grown, but the powerlines/phase 2 is a disaster. RUTS RUTS RUTS! Argh.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Beers Whitelist

New Beers I've tried and enjoyed in the last weekend or so.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout - Draft - WF Fairfax - Nice smooth and with a nice mid level body. Very tasty.

Victory Moonglow Weizenbock - Dark Wheat at 6.8abv makes this baby potent but nice and smooth. A bit too sweet for non-wheat beer aficionados. I liked it enough that I picked up a 6, and already drank 1.

Peak Epresso Amber Ale - Nice and esspresso flavor, without the stout or porter level of strength/body. I'm curious to hear my wife's opinion soon.

Tried to ride yesterday at CJ but it was more of an ICE path than a trail. And if I waited to the afternoon I'm sure other parts became a mud bog. Not for me. So I hit the gym in the afternoon for a half hour of intervals on the bike and some weight work.

Danny and the Demoncycle - VA Bike safety ala 1972

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Mobile

Yesterday my bike got its first real good taste of snow. Sure their was a bit on Monday at Gambrill SP, but not like Tuesday. I went out and toured the neighborhood snow area's riding the streets, the parks, and the green spaces! It was a blast, did like 4.5 miles in 35 mins of gently riding. It was real fun honestly especially watching the suckers out shoveling the snow while I rode on past.

Though I admit, I dumped while going up a driveway/curb combo in front of 2 women shoveling and I laughed the whole time. They thought I must be a nut case I suppose.

Regardless it was fun and cold. I also made tracks in my front and back lawn. Though I only have pics of the front. Next time I'll have my big 2.55 Weirwolf LT up front to stabilize the ride a bit more. And maybe I'll mount the fat 2.3 Crossmark up also on the spare rear....hmmmm.

Tonight I'm working on cleaning up and re-lubing the rear D and chain.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gambrill First Ride Today

Man, what a day to ride frickin Gambrill for the first time! It was a great drive up with on and off flurries of snow. By the time I hit Fredrock it had slowed a bit, vs the MoCo-270 corridor.

Parked in the lot at around 10:15, 1 other car there but obviously a pedestrian as no bike tracks were visible. Finished changing gear and headed out a bit before 11.

Since I read a recent thread on the MORE forums about best routes, I knew I was going yellow and decided to do the clockwise from the lot loop, going across the street first and up to the Upper loop, then back down the other side.

Wow! It was fun, but damn sketchy in a LOT of places, some nasty black ice for sure under a fine layer of snow. Had the bike slip out from under me 3-4 times but caught myself each time. Had to push a few more hills than I would have liked but with the ice on some sides seeming worse I preferred that to a bad/dumb fall. I did make a few climbs with single dabs that I was proud of as well as 2 descents.

Lots of fun stuff to play with, I session a couple small sections trying to find best lines/etc. Some of the BIG formations were definitely a bit sketch but fun. It was a beautiful and empty day out on the trails with the snow and myself. Didn't see a single soul until I returned to the lot just in time to donate money infront of the very nice ranger. :) The envelope box was smashed and so I hadn't earlier. Oh well she was very nice about it.

Looking forward to trying again when less ice is present. A bit more snow would have made it funner also. I'll be back for sure now. I just have to get faster. Though a bit of that was due to creeping around turns/down straight sets where the ice tended to like to hide at a slow pace. :)

Post ride stop at Hard Times REALLY hit the spot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Electronic Shifting

I've been reading and hearing a lot of discussion in the last 2-3 weeks about Shimano's new E-Dura Ace shifting system. A real mix of negative and positive. After reading a bit more and applying my brain to it here is my take on it.

Bling'ish gear for now, but give the tech another development cycle and it may really come to something truly interesting to the broad spread of cyclists.

My one application I might see if I had a truly "tricked out" rig was maybe running my front D on that if i had a 2x? system. I already run a shimano up front (hnmmmm maybe thats why it shifts so bad), but after reading reviews/tests/etc I could see using one if I went to a 2x? gearing. A smooth front ring shift could provide some nice benefits especially on those new trails when you hit an un expected grade change and find yourself wishing to hit the easier ring and not worrying about dropping chain or fighting the shift as I currently find myself sometimes.

However I would like to see some more improvements in the harness and battery systems first, also not ignoring the fact that it doesn't currently come in a mtb/thumb shift format.

For now I continue to ride 3x9, and look fondly off at the idea of a perhaps 1x3/4 Jones/etc but it just ain't happening till a new job is in hand. For now the Midget will continue to be my trusty steed.

On a funny note I was just reading in one of the MB monthly's that Steve Peat rides the same rims I do, and that leaves me feeling pretty geeked out.

Bikes, Beer, and Boots.

Ahhh what a fabulous trip. My first to Europe, and I can say definitely not my last. Got to drink some fabulous beers including a PILE of cask conditioned english ale's including John Smith, Old Peculiur, Winter Jewel, and Acorn Porter that was my favorite. Also drank a fair number of Belgian including Kwaq? Leffe, Leffe Triple, Le Chouffe, and another that has escaped my mind. Argh.

Where we were in england had a fair share of bikers, a few more than I see around here for sure, but nothing like Amsterdam. Bike parking is as bad as car parking in places here. Tons of cargo bikes, a few mountain bikes (BSO's really) and I saw 2 "road" bikes actually being ridden both on the same night. Quitting time was amazing as the HORDES of bikers would swarm out and nearly rule all the traffic in places even fully taking over car lines like the critical masses of old, but on a daily basis. Bike lane traffic lights were amusing and not always followed either.

Amsterdam is a stunning city and the age of stuff in England makes me feel just how young america really is. Though the interest in Obama overthere is remarkable and generally very positive, only some drunk guys in A-dam were really bad, but I attribute it more to the fact they had just seen Oasis (french of A-holes really).

More later as I have time to process down. For now I"m finishing up the laundry and pondering where to ride tommorow.

Oh yah and a ton of lovely ladies in boots :) What can I say, I'm a leg man. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Europe - The final countdown

Headed to the UK and NL today for the next week and change, should be a good time. Going to some very good friends wedding, hanging out, touring, beer drinking, etc. Maybe I can sneak in some urban biking in Amsterdam.

On the downside I'm missing out on some great riding time this week/weekend. You all ride safe, stay warm, and drink good beer!

Congrats also to Mic and Brie on their nuptials also this weekend!

Hopefully some fun photo's too. And I'm going to try and have a nice beer blog when I return.