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.