Friday, October 28, 2011

And the curse rolls on.

Well it rained most of Thursday again, so I went off for a MORE/IMBA pre-meeting before the fall .GOV ride out at LH today, that I'll get to a bit late. Unfortunately the IMBA group had to bail early as a team member apparently fainted while out to go to dinner from not eating enough. So Jason and I were left with a free beers and no one else so we headed off to Whole Foods for some better beer and food.

Bells Hopsolution is Delicious. Very well balanced for a 9% beer. Stoner and I killed the Keg as Ben B showed up later found out when he tried to order one and about 3 ounces came out and the keg was kicked! I went for sushi which was pretty damn good and Stoner got a plate of indian type stuff. We hung out and shot the shit about riding and dogs till a bit past 9. Then we were off. I crashed out at home by 10, and slept till basically 7. Ugh.

This weekend was supposed to be the Bliss but lack of participants caused it to be canceled, now we are facing rain/snow on Sat. The Gambril/shed area may get 5 to 8 inches! Not sure if I wanna deal with that or not on Sunday.

So I may try and shoot out to LH right after work today to get in a part of a ride with IMBA .GOV ride.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It was a good ride.

So finally on Sunday I was able to pull the bike out and try and figure out what the hell was going on with my "ghost shifting" issue. Had to wash a good bit of mud off the bike. Wiped it down and inspecting the rear d I found the issue, the shift cable was about 3/4 frayed/snapped. Oy!

Over to TBL Springfield I went and the guys got me fixed up real quick. Though the shop guy did note my chain is getting close to warn out and that my rear gear set is pretty chewed up. Not unexpected. Fortunately I have a new rear gear set that I won at the MORE Winter party for 20-20-25 trail work. And it's a WAY nicer one that came with the bike. Tempted to also go ahead and replace the triple at that time, but I really would like to go to a 2x instead of the 3x but that requires a new front derailleur and shifter also in addition to the crankset and it's just not in the budget I guess.

So after getting the bike back to rideable I headed out for a quick tour of good ole Laurel Hill. Nice fun to zip around the place. Didn't feel great at first, couldn't generate power and was tired at the end. Argh, gotta ride more. The washouts were HUGE. The one at the big bridge on Giles was shocking as was the one in the field. The crossing at the bridge one sucked. The weather/temps were amazing. It was SOOOO nice. Though with some of the brambles I would have like to have had my enduro's on.

Hoping to hit Schaeffer tomorrow night but the weather is not looking super happy. With rain possibly tonight and then Thursday is looking like another non riding night. ugh. STOP IT MA NATURE!

GRilled up some steak and sausage when I got home and enjoyed a SixPoint Sweet Action, a tasty brew in can. Check em out.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Down with the wetness

It was still pretty wet in most area's of WF last night, about the only stuff in GOOD shape was one area of the creek trail and the powerlines stuff where the wind worked well to dry out stuff. The trails under the trees are holding a water still in part due to all the wonderful leaf cover, that is starting to come down. By Saturday I think WF will be decent. So we ground the CCT mostly. Visited 495 and did the powerlines and parts of the creek trail. ugh.

495 is in for issues, looks like the construction company is starting the stormwater drainage work in the area and with the size of the pipe going in some lines/stuff there is probably going to get taken out. The building there also seems a bit haphazard currently, some stuff is huge now but it blows out the lines, and the beginner line stuff isn't being maintained really at all.

And my shifting went to SHIT last night about half way thru. Ghost shifting plagued me in many gears on and off the rest of the night,first really shifting issues I've had with the bike. It was pretty damn grubby and I didn't really inspect it in detail in the lot afterwards. We went pretty much to some PLB's after getting back and changing. Then right to 'Roy's. Nice having a small group we got to hang out and really shoot the shit. Good times.

Tonight I may go pick up ANOTHER brew kit and some brewing gear. Not sure. Part of me wants to F'off, clean the bike and take it easy. But another part KNOWS I need to get the secondary ready for the brew, get ready for the next brew and pick up the new HOPNOG 2011 kit. The 2009 was my basis for my Snow Day IPA that everyone loved.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Return to Little Bennett

Last night I got a chance to return to one of my favorite stomping grounds for night rides, probably the 2nd place I ever did a night ride, Little Bennett Park. It was a fabulous night for riding temperature wise. Looking back at my GPS logs, I see this as my 10th logged ride at LB, since May 2007 and my first in over 3 years! I think there may have been one or two un-logged ones, but I'm sure it's been about 2 years at least since I'd ridden there. Crazy!

The new trails Trail Conservancy has put in will be a BLAST once they bed in and dry up fully, even on a few of the dry sections we started to really pick up some speed! Kinda like Rosaryville but a bit more rolling at least on the Browning Run reroute so far. The final climb back up Kingsley towards Purdum sucks! Nothing like a 15 degree pitch or two to make you suck wind. Parking at the Burnt Hill lot makes it a fairly interesting and somewhat different ride. Flying down from the top of Tobacco Barn is still a BLAST! And Pine Grove is still a nice challenging climb. Good times. LB doesn't get the props it should, when it's dry its a real blast, when it's moist/wet in low area's like last night it's a real work out.

Also got in a quick pre-ride at Schaeffer, doing 2 laps of the whoops, the first was terrible the 2nd was better, need to spend some time learning the slight changes in the lines and the difference in momentum my 29'r requires versus the old Giant. Did white down to the orange whoops cut off, then at the merge I rode white down to the stream and took the green bypass over to yellow and did the sections of yellow I hate back to the lot, not bad. Saw Joel, Sharron and Mark getting ready to head out with the Tuesday Night group.

With the rain today I'm surprised both rides didn't have a WAY bigger turn out as I suspect tomorrow's rides will be canceled, the trails were still all on the marginal side. Maybe a CCT or a Bar Ride for Wakefieldians.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Boards Beers and Rides

Busy Busy week continues from the Brewing on Friday, Sunday's brunch/planting/etc blitz, yesterday I got in a good ride at Schaeffer Farm smoking my best previously recorded avg pace by .8 miles an hour. When I adjust the rate to the true distance it puts me at 9.4 mph. That's flying for me, no wonder the legs are feeling a bit gassed. Did the full white loop, then did the other side. Was running out of daylight at the end, that kinda sucked.

Then we had a MORE Board meeting. It was good, covered a lot of stuff including MOCO Epic related, tasks, strategic vision, and info on the new site. Looks really good.

The beer is fermenting well, surprisingly it hasn't overflowed into the drainage bucket. Who knows maybe today?

Tonight I'm into DC for the Pearl Jam 20-20 movie with a buddy who's a big PJ fan. Thursday we should have some sort of ride baring storms. And I'm hoping for a Friday Night Lights ride, but that depends on just how much rain we get over the next few days. This weekend I may be working a double in prep for having the following Saturday off.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

A Brewing Headache.

Brewed some stout finally last night, but it's a long drawn out tale of misery, annoyance, shattered life and sweet completion.

I intended to kick off promptly when I got home with the water just a bit after 4. I get chanced into ratty warm weather clothes and head down start getting stuff together when I realize I only have my empty'ish small tank and the old taken from the old grill. I hook up the old tank and see what happens. The gas is not flowing well. I suspect the valve is going/gone bad. Grrrr. Oww to the nearest Blue Rhino exchange. By the time I'm back and ready it's nearly 5:30. In we go. Using a kit from Northwestern Brewery Supply for Choco Stout. Steap some grains, enjoy some Troegs fall Perpetual IPA. Damn good. Eat some pizza, time to add malts and other things. Add malt and 1 container of PB2 - powdered peanut butter (De-oiled also). Start gathering things for racking to the fermenter including sanitizing my 6.5 gal glass carboy. Water and iodine in, let it sit. Bring it into the garage before dumping it in the sink in the house. I set the thing down. Carefully as usual, but on concrete. Crack! Out pops a piece and out goes the water! Well at least it wasn't in the house. Mop all the water I can out into the driveway. New plan. Use the secondary for now and either use blow-off hose or normal valve till I can get a new primary and re-rack the beer. ugh. Off to the HW store. Get some new transfer tubing as my current one is a bit nasty. Pick up some hopefully right hose and back to base.

Oops only 15 minutes left and I'm late adding the final hop addition. Oh well. In go hops, final bit of PB2 and the wort chiller. Start prepping other things. Time's up and I'm cooling the wort. Ugh sanitize the secondary. Get everything set. Start the transfer.

Trub city with all the PB2 in the mix. ugh! Terrible. Almost 4 cups in just racking the beer almost took an hour. I need a new pot, with a simple drain. Oh well. Gravity kept changing, started off near 8, but an hour later I rechecked the meter/reading and got 5.2 Oh well we'll see. Clean up. Damn. I like having my own brews and doing stuff like this PB Chocolate Stout is very cool (if it comes out alright).

But damn stuff like this sucks. Bottling Sucks. Cleaning Sucks. Oh well back to work and dreams of rich peanut buttery chocolate stout.

Friday, October 07, 2011

New Hydration Bladder

Got the new hydration bladder I ordered only on Wednesday! Damn. Love the new quick connect on the hose at where it hooks to the bladder, makes draining/drying easier for sure. No more funk-i-fied bladder usage that I've been ingesting who knows what little germs/critters, for the last few months.

New set of pads should be in for the rear brakes in the next few days.

BOD Meeting this Monday up in G-Berg. Hoping to get out of work a bit early and hit the Schaeffer pre-ride.

Weathers looking crappy for next Thursday. Enough with the rain! GO AWAY!

Also took advantage of the Back Country Research deal on 2 straps and a Tuhl-Bag for fall riding. I love being able to ride without the hydration pack, at least in area's where I know I'm close to the parking lot like Wakefield or Accotink if I park up near there. Rides where I'm liable to get further out I still carry a pack usually if riding alone. In a group I may try and cheat out of it and have others carry a spare tube. I'm lazy. Almost time to remount the flask carrier also.

And I think tonight I shall brew. Not sure if I'll do the Raspberry IPA or kick of the stout finally.

Cold Crisp - Yep OCT Wakefield TNR

Got out nice and early to Wake, and was nearly ready to roll with a few quick tasks.

The new gear bag is super nice, keeps the clean clothes for post ride away from the dirty bike gear. Dynastar Cargo Bag - Post ride I can put the wet/nasty/dirty post ride clothes in a couple different area's to keep them from contaminating extra clothes or picking up more nasty mud crap. Another great steepandcheap find, getting it shipped for $100 bucks.

I blasted over to Accotink with Doug Vinson, we had a blast riding Gas Plant to the new trail section and down the way and came back Boyscout. I pushed a bit more than casual pace for sure. Sorry Doug!

Then it was time for the night ride, at this point only the fast guys had a chance to ride Accotink very briefly and they took off at 6:40. We may have a 6:30 group next week if people want to ride the big A. Otherwise it's pre-ride only now.

Wakefield was drying up nicely, only some wet spots that tend to hold water in corners/low area's. But the damage done by the rains is shocking. Started of with 9 followers in casual but by 7:45 we had dropped 5 due to lights/cold/etc. By 8 it was just me and another guy, we got in another good loop doing a bunch of stuff in reverse order. Rides started out around 70 degrees, by the end of the ride it was near 50! Had good layers/setup, have to remember it.

Good times in the lot post ride, then nachos and good food at Kilroy's.