Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Okay, Enough is Enough

I'm sure the Transylvania Epic Riders would agree with me in saying "Enough is Enough Ma Nature, take this heat back to where it belongs....Tex-ass."

My car registered 103 yesterday in traffic at one point and is low as 96 in the shade/low traffic area's. So thats my official reading for the high. We'll see how today goes. Ended up riding Rosaryville in the dead of the heat, but as it wasn't humid and is 90 to 95 percent shaded it was awesome, felt maybe 10 degrees or more cooler when moving. Being stopped sucked but when you rolled again it was almost chilly as the sweat evaporated away. Nice casual pace, as Jen doesn't ride MTB much so the first half she was struggling to handle the hills/climbing/pedals but the 2nd half she kept up much better.

So instead of staying in the nice AC today I've determined I shall go ride again today. Maybe not a ton, but I will try and rack up another 90 minutes. Trying to ride more regularly in prep for the trip south. It looks like more and more that's where I'm going. In another 4 days I should have the long range forecast in hand, and after that I'll make a call to go there or re-plan to go north.

Enjoyed some awesome brews this weekend, at a BBQ I unexpectedly got to try Long Trails Centennial Red, it was really good with an un-expected coffee finish! Smooth, well balanced. Last night I relaxed while playing some Black Ops with Long Trail's Imperial Porter - it was very imperial. Dark, smooth, well balanced, bitter and sweet. No noticeable burn to it, but still a whole big boy of it put me on my ass and out of the game :) Also had an Old Rasputin, and Jen has described my latest Hefeweisse as closer to Leffe. And to me thats a compliment. Leffe is one of my favorites, though I do prefer the Brune to the Blonde. Oh well.

Order kits to do the Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout and for the Mild Raspberry IPA based of Rogue Dead guy, which is actually a Maibock, not really an IPA.

Now I just need to pick up a spare fermenting bucket.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thats Hillarious and Trip Planning continued.

Fatty put out a challenge, he had to loose 13 lbs from May 1 to June 3 or 4, or he would give away his super awesome brand new Trek Superfly. After months of struggling it's apparent he is going to meet his goal and get to keep the bike, but for a while there it was looking like someone might win a new bike.

So one of his "friends" does this:

Nothing like trying to sink a guy trying to loose weight by sending him super awesome homemade cookies.

Okay ride at Wakefield last night but was more tired than I thought, ended up spinning small ring WAY more than usual at WF. The 15 miler with sprints really kicked my ass the day before.

Getting psyched up for the big trip. Looks like GWNF, Pisgah/Tsali/Dupont Forest, then a run down to FATS with a possible return stop at Anglers Ridge in Danville, VA,if I go south, which is the current preferred plan. Trying to work up a Northern plan but short of going to VT or Maine, I'm a bit lacking. I've done a few things in Penn already (Rothrock and Raystown). Just driving up north bums me out for some reason. South seems quick!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Somebody stop the pendulum!

That describes my general riding habits it seems.

After an epic week the previous week last week except for Sunday and a 35 miler was a BUST! Between psychotic weather changes (Sunny, Stormy, Sunny, Stormy in 1 day), Cat Issues (Diabetic cat needs to start biking I suppose), and the occasional work crisis. Crap weather is continuing to Friday I think then clearing for the next week into REALLY nice weather.

The Bottom Bracket is making some new lovely sounds after a week to rust/dry out/gunk up, etc. I'll probably do a ride on Thursday and plan to swap drive components Friday Night or Saturday afternoon.

Did some major rebuilding on the shoes last weekend finally getting new SRS pads in from Race Pace/SIDI, and then after many trials and tribulations I got the old cleats off (2 came off, 2 stripped, were dremmel cut, 1 more came off, and had to break/wrestle the other off however the head broke off to close and I had to replace both base plates). Found workable shorty plates to use till the new SIDI plates come in in a week or so. Greased the hell out of the bolts this time.

Also finally took the Bonty's tubeless. Dunno how the Maxxis Ardent in the rear is going to do. I believe there is an ongoing slow leak, I'm going to air them back up to 40 tonight, then see where they are tomorrow morning. But on the ride thru dc it did feel like improved initial acceleration. And thats a good thing on the 29'r.

More later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Triple Shots. Thats the way!

No, I'm not talking about booze, for me 3 shots and I'd be ruined in short order. I have a low tolerance for the hard alcohol. Sure a nice hit of Tequila or Bourbon is good for the soul. But only in moderation.

No what I'm onto is 3 days of riding, back to back to back, to try and push my fitness level from that of a slightly fit office zombie to that of a semi-vigorous undead creature on non-distinct type.

For me riding even back to back used to be noticeably hard on the old legs and posterior. These days it's not super impacting. I actually had a triple shot back near the end of April with rides on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Just I didn't log the Monday one so it's semi-un-official. So now that's my goal. 3 rides a week, if possible somewhat back to back to back when doable with weather. But 3 rides a week, even if it's just the short commute to work one of the days. The weathers nice, time for the wimpy excuses to end.

So between today and yesterday I'm at about 22-23 miles I figure and if I add in Sunday I am at 33 or so. Tomorrow I'm debating riding to work and back then hitting Wakefield. Say 7 to 10 on the work loop, then another 10 at Wakefield could push me towards a super level week of 50 miles. For me that's pretty rare unless I get out and have a big Sunday ride like on the WO&D to National Harbor or such.

Today at Lake Fairfax was awesome I explored I think fully 3/4's of the trails out there with only not riding a few sections and maybe 1 other that I think is in but not on the map. Check out the connect link in the sidebar. Frank R has done amazing job with LFFx. Saw Don also out there. And a TON of riders. Probably 30+ during the 2 hours I was there.

Gotta update photo's tonight, got some neat ones I think lately.

The IPA is bubbling away, will consider secondary on Friday I think if fermentation slows a bit more.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Patapsco = Goodness, Pressfit = Dumbness

Sunday I got to do a good tour of a fair amount of the Howard Co side of Patapsco, and it was a blast. Tough climbs, a few tough rock sections, nice downhills. Yum. Felt good and strong for most of the 10 miles and i really could have done another lap of the whole thing if I had another pair of dry socks to put on but my wet socks were driving me nuts. Several crossings were at least bottom bracket deep.

Victor who was leading commented that it was at the wet-est part of the year and the deepest he had seen in a few years.

Got to hit the new location of Frisco Grille, now know as as Frisco Tap Room. Had a damn good chicken sandwhich. And a Flying Fish Exit 9 Red IPA thing. Yummy!

The a quick detour over to Race Pace in Ellicot City to see if they had the rubber replacement sole parts for my sidi's. NO luck but they are trying to order a set. Hopefully I'll be able to get the old one's off fully. Some are WAY worn down.

So the new IPA I brewed on Saturday is already fermenting pretty well but definetely hasn't peaked. I need to rough clean the secondary I guess. Maybe Friday I'll go pick up a porter or stout or both to prep for the next beer run. Also need to buy more bottles I guess, as I think I'll have the IPA's also all in 12's. I think the porter/stouts will be 50/50 bottlings of big boy's vs 12's. Really thinking the stout will be a 50/50 brew of 2.5 gal of Peanut Butter/Dark Chocolate and 50/50 brew of PB&Jelly.

So while JRA on Thursday I noticed the @#$@#$ cranks were creaking again. I was like WTF?!?!?!?! REALLY??!?!?!?!

So last night I did the deed and pulled the cranks back off, except when I pulled the crank side the pressfit bearing set on that side came with it. ARGH!

So on Saturday I bought the parts for a Make Your Own Headset press. And it worked. But I forgot these pressfits are cheap and I cracked the outside seal edge of the bearing when putting the drive side back in. So I will be ordering one of those bad boys up later this week I'm sure.

Back to work.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Blast Away!

Damn good night out on the trails yesterday after work. Got to WF just before 5, geared up and rolled out. I did a quick tour of WF then trucked over to hit Accotink quick before the main ride, and surprisingly made it back in good time! Felt pretty good that first lap. Did it somewhat in reverse for the main ride where we went to Accotink first, did only the front half, then we back-tracked to WF, and rode more trails. General most things were in pretty good shape excluding 495 after the berms and 495 before the berms due to construction. The lower entrance to Phase 4 was a mess, till you got the the 1st rock garden.

Great weather, warm and dry with a nice breeze at first, but a bit chilly when I left the lot just after 9:45. No 'roys for me I was a tired buck-a-roo. GPS logged 19.3 so I figure close to 22 actual miles.

Big ole group after wards as it was Steve-O's birthday for Cinco-de-Steve-O. We enjoyed cupcakes and a wide variety of PLB's. My wimpy dinner of Muscle MIlk and the cupcakes went very well, but having 2 cupcakes was a bit counter productive. GRRRR.

Right now the plan is to brew again tomorrow, then hopefully get in a solid ride at Patapsco on Sunday. However if it's looking rainy I may sneak of to Gambril's/The Shed and see if I can find anyone up there. If I don't brew Saturday then definetely Monday.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Beer, Glorius Beer!

Finally bottled my Hefe I brewed 2 weeks ago last night. It went super well with help from a buddy, and I think I had my most efficient EVER bottling with the least loss. I ended up with 54 bottles, and I could have done 1 more of Devil Brew with what was in the Final Gravity meter tube, the drip cup and the remains. But I was short bottles, and I was extremely stoked to get even 54. Previous best was I think 49 or 50 (or equivalent as I use 20's a LOT typically). To get my final 2 bottles I used the beer I drank while setting up and then I poured another beer for dinner that was the final bottle, that really wasn't sanitized much at all. So for now I'll call that one the DB.

Estimated ABV - 5.9% at the high end of a Hefeweisse. The yeast and temps have yeilded a more complex beer I think than my first one with a solid balance of fruit and spicy-ness.

Got it all cleaned up except the fermenter, which I need to pick up some brushes to clean fully. ugh!

Biking looks a bit iffy again this week due to the Whack Weather of DC we are suffering. 80 today with t'storms possible, rain tomorrow am, nice Thursday, rain Friday and possible.

Hopefully ride some dirt on Thursday. May try and sneak in another 'round the hood ride tonight, if the storms don't show or come in early.

Oh and following my hero, The Dark Lord of Single Speed Rich D, I've picked up some Ergon GX1's to replace my current grips that seem to think they are for motorcycle twist throttles.

Also picked up a new pair of gloves, as I seem to have lost one of my current fox gloves. Time for a trip to Cycle Powersports in Falls Church soon to get some summer gloves, etc.