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.