Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lake vs 45NRTH Wolverhammer

Boots are one of those things as a cyclist you don't think toooo much about unless your in the great white north.  Hell DC doesn't really count.  I'm talking PA  and north of there.

But hell DC gets cold and so do my poor little feet.  Between dumb stuff like sledding in socks and other things my feet are a bit cold sensitive.  Call it a 3 out of 5 with 5 being the worst.  My hands are probably a 4. 

Well my Lake boots have their issues.  A snapped cable since last spring.  One boots neoprene has holes.  The soles/sewing of them are showing signs of failure a bit also.  I also need to re-wax them for water proofness. And finally they really don't keep my feet all that toasty even with a heavy wool treking sock.  Plenty of room in them for sure as size 48,  maybe too much.  They've served me well over the last 4 years.  And I got them for $160 bucks.  Not too shabby.  Last night I finally did replace the broken BOA lace.  It wasn't easy but it really wasn't bad.  I have enough spare cable that if I wanted I could redo the otherside.  However that won't be necessary for now.

Why you ask?

I finally got a pair of these:


Wow.  That about sums up these boots on first inspection. In fact I will post some pictures of them in detail later to flickr.  It's uh never mind.  Very well made.  Seams are well sown.  Sole is well attached. The zipper on the outer shell is heavy duty and Velcro's into place.  The laces inside are strong as hell the cincher is well made also and holds the laces tight.  Very comfortable on the foot, the faux fur interior is nice.  No pressure points when pulled VERY tight lacing.  Even walking around was pretty comfortable.  Hell with a pair of gators they would make fine snow boots for shoveling or just getting around.  Based on the over all quality and everything I can see these boots lasting 5+ years, which makes their $325 price tag less oppressive.  This is the 2nd most expensive pair of shoes I've even owned.  Right behind my 5+ year old pair of Sidi's. 

Tonight I mount the cleats and get them adjusted.  Can't wait to ride in em.  Toasty toes, here I come!

The running disease continues, did 2.7'ish in 25 minutes last night.  Going to start pushing to 4 miles soon.  Maybe Sunday, if I don't ride. 

Spent a while cleaning the MTB last night tonight I pick some lube and give the chain a good cleaning.  But I may also shorten the chain as it's still the old length for supporting the triple rings up front. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stretchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I'm still around doing my thing.  Not biking as much lately due to other commitments, still getting setup at the new place.  Finally got a bedside table setup yesterday and tonight I setup the desk.  The room is approaching "done-ness".  After that it's some more cleanup, junk disposal and sorting the ton of crap of mine in the basement. 

Last week was Wakefield Festivus Part 1 of 2012.  Due to commitments of various people we are holding a 2nd week this week.  I led a MONSTER group to start with of 20+ people.  Ended up with about 10 by the end.  Lotta fun.  Well excluding the peanut gallery behind me complaining about everything.  Thanks Ricky and Adam :P 

Ran on last Tuesday and ran again yesterday.  Boy my running sucks.  Actually if it wasn't for that costco hotdog I mighta been okay yesterday to run more/better but I need 3 to 4 hours after a meal before running. 

Drank a ton of good beer this last week including:

Terrapin Dark Side Stout - Side Project # 9  - Belgian Imperial Stout - I'd been saving this last bottle for over a year maybe 2.  Excellent. 
Brooklyn - Blast - 2x IPA - Yah it was very nice and well balanced.
Brooklyn - Maple Porter - Also nice,  minor maple hints.  Went really well with pork and fries.  Could be good with breakfast also
Magic Hat - The Heart of Darkness Stout - Very toasty, well balanced.

Stayed up way tooo late reading last night.  Stupid books, being all interesting and stuff.  I will say Hyperion so far has been one strange book!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Not quite as cold as

It wasn't quite as cold this week as last week at WF thanks to a lack of a breeze. 

After some very successful cleanup at the new place I rolled out a bit after 5:30 and made to WF just before 6.  Didn't get to pre-ride but that was fine.  Stayed warm, prepped everything, and shot the breeze with everyone already there.  We had I think over 20 people on this very cold night and it was great riding, the trails were in good shape and casual blasted out a VERY fast pace, pushing 9 and 10 mph avgs for a lot, in 56 mins we were at 7 miles gps'd and over 8 I would say if not 8.5.  Went out for a short addition in the bowl and pushed to 8.5 putting me near 10 I fgiure in 1:10.  Not too shabby. 

Post ride I enjoyed a couple of PLB's including a Founders Breakfast Stout.  Woot, big thanks to Julie Ann for that.  Yum.  Then we were off to Roy's and we packed one corner, must have been 15 of us I think in total.  We got done pretty early and I was home around 10:30 even with a bit of construction traffic on 66. 

I got home and stashed stuff and checked my laundry, and it had just finished drying and was toasty warm!  Hell yah my cold hands were happy I can say.  Put a bunch away quickly (pants and socks) the rest is left for today.  Have about 2 more loads of laundry to catch up on to get rid of smoke stink. 

New comforter on the bed kicked ass.  Still not used to a foot board on the bed, it's taking some getting used to as I normally hang off the end a bit with pillows piled at the top.  Ended up sprawled across the bed diagonally.  But was toasty warm and slept very well. 

Tonight we get a couch and table.  The house is moving well along. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

It's December? Whooo knew?

Visions of ......wait never mind.

It's been a pretty hectic last month and change.  My absentee land lord returned at the end of October from her 3 year deployment in Belgium.  Within days me and JD had realized we had to move out and stat.  We turned in notice to vacate on Nov 6th.  My last bike ride was on the 8th and then stuff got busy at work and then I was traveling the next week thru the next Monday.  Got back and promptly rolled into Thanksgiving, so no ride that night either.  House stuff sucked up the rest of the time but we had settled on a new place and I paid final part of the deposit on Thanksgiving weekend and since then I've been schlepping stuff over at load or two a day most days.  Amazing how much shit I have.  Homebrewing gear and beer was almost 2 loads.  Cloths were a load.  Electronics were a load.  Bike stuff 2 loads.  Tools/misc/car care/etc was another load.  The final push started last Sunday and basically wraps up this weekend.  We've secured a pretty decent couch and table via craigslist for $550 and are picking it up Friday after work. 

Activity wise I got a run in also last Tuesday for about 25 minutes in the cold evening with Jen.  It was good but running around Silver Spring is a bit hilly! Tonights WF TNR promises to be a cold day in HELL!  Well it may be a bit warmer than last week with temp of 32 to 28. Gotta find my bar mitts for tonight.  Stupid hands were a mess for most of last week till about 20 minutes till the end.  ugh.

Lots of beer drunk lately including:

Goose Island BCBS
Evo #7, #6, #3, Primal Pale, Rise UP Stout, and Menagerie #8
Firestone Wookie Jack
and I'm sure others I've forgotten. 

Off to ride in a bit.

Friday, November 09, 2012

A Cold Wind Blowing

Is it already Winter?  I feel like either Jack Frost or The Winter Queen has arrived early.  It was damn cold last night getting ready in the parking lot, the wind just cut right through me.  Once we got riding it was good.  Wasn't a very epic night with a group of near 10 riders and I wasn't feeling my fastest either. 

I was actually shocked we had a full 3 page of riders, 24 out in the silly cold.  I was expecting maybe 12 or 16.  For not being fast it was pretty fun, the leaves are just enough to form a nice carpet and make things a bit interesting with hidden roots and sticks.  Lots of stick debris was down from the storms still but all logs were cleared.  We spent some time scouting new log-over potential and that was fun. 

My right foot lake boot's boa cord is still busted and that REALLY puts a limit on somethings I can do with the bike towards jumping/hoping/etc.  Post ride it was a single beer for me and rolling out to sleep.  I had about 14 hours of sleep over the last 3 days due to working early.  It blew.

Getting a solid 8 hours in however was awesome.  Another 7 tonight will help too.

Doing some appt/townhouse/etc hunting moving away from C-ville up to V!3nn@ or so.  Closer to the new office location come mid-January.  Our smoking landlord was the last straw now that she is back.  Ugh.

DAMN!  Missed out on Mumford and Sons.  MIssed the presale yesterday, then they open a whole new show today and both are now sold out less than 4 hours later!  WTF!@#!@#!!~!!#$!!!!!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zombie.....Time

Wow, time flew this last week and yesterday was the big Zombie Event, Run for Your Lives north of Baltimore.  Up near the md/DE/PA border. 

Left VA around 8:30 and got up there at around 10:30, due to waiting for people we got on buses around 11 and made the 5 mile trek to the event via Cheese Wagon.  Parking in the lot took a long while and I was glad I had a SUV/non small car some of the ruts/etc were pretty deep.

Got to the event and got signed in quick and easy, though I wish they did the ID check at the same time for drinking but at that time the line was long.  Met up with a bunch of Jeff's friends and we had a group of about 8 I think.  We got in the bag check line pronto and made it out by about 11:55.  We opted to stay in our 12:30 heat and waited for 12:10 during that time my buddy from work Tim rolled in and got everything square.  He queued up with us also.  2 fast guys went into the fast chute and were 2 of the first out on course apparently.  The rest of us were halfway in the main course chute.  A couple hundred people.  And the slow people shoot was almost full too I think. 

Out we went at 12:30, though I think it was a minute in before we crossed the timing line.  Right off you dropped a bit and went down into a small flat spot where the first zombies were, a quick sprint and you were past them into a BIG field full of zombies, I made it thru without loosing a flag.  Down and around some more hills to the pipeline crawl where i lost my first flags.  Way too many zombies hanging right at the entrance. 

Then run through some soupy mud and up a hill through another zombie patch where I worked with my flagless side to protect my 2 last flags.  More obstacles including barriers to climb over then 2 more crawling ones (Barb Wire and a V thing.)  Down and around a big hill to a pond.  @#$@$ with a rope across.  Oh well into the water.  Walk and swim across but waited a few mins to pop out the water with the rope.  More Ropes on both sides would help.  UP and out and force myself to start jogging to warm up.  Here's where I lost the last of my group with 2 ahead and a bunch behind.  Climb up then a split I went right and down a very steep section with a powerline climb back up wow.  Missed a good view from the top apparently.  Pushed on down to my last flag now about 5 or 6 obsticles in, end up taking a wrong turn to a dead end with a big group.  FURK! 

Last flag gone and more obstacles now including logs, mudpits and such.  More climbing up and down terrain.  I'm splashing like a bastard feeling okay from the swim finally.  And up out onto the main field.  Time for the smokehouse.   A shocking experience though I managed to steer clear.  Others got hit multiple times and a few went down briefly.  OUt the doors dodging zombies.  Blocking for folks since I've lost my flags.  Up and down through more barriers and it's the climb up to the slide, down the slide into the pool and out.  Then slide under a chainlink fence section and done. 

46 minutes for 3.5 miles of zombies and obstacles.  Not bad in my book.  With more pushing by me I could see myself down in the 30's.  The fastest guy in our group went about 29 minutes, Jeff did 36 and I was 3rd.  Only 1 of 9 of use finished alive and she had a dedicated blocker/partner. 

Afterwards we showered a bit before changing but I was still full of mud.  When I got home it took 20 minutes with a hose to get cloths and shoes mostly clean.  Shoes may need another wash. 

WE got ID'd and grabbed our free beers.  Bands seeemed pretty cool including surf rock Buzzchopper.  We all then decided we wanted real food and rolled out for home.  We hit Frisco Taphouse and Brewery in Columbia MD.  Good food and good beers.  I had a very tasty Flying Dog Chocolate Scare -  a chocolate pumpkin stout from Cask.  Damn good if a tad sweet but one of my favorite pumpkin beers.  Then I had Oskar Blues Bobby Brown Cask also.  Damn nice super smooth and a bit hoppy as you would expect from OB.

Got home around  7 or so and rinsed cloths and shoes witth hose,  put in the wash and vegged out with some anime, and crashed out around 10.  Jeff somehow went out till 2:45. 

Thursday's Wakfeild ride was good we had a ton of riders with 26 or so and 4 groups out.  Casual was 6 I think and nice, we didn't cover much ground since I was saving for Saturday's run but it was good. 

Slip and Slide and .....

Damn good ride last night.  Had a small core group of casual's rolling hard all night, we did over 11 miles in pretty good time.  Ian, Neil, Tony, and now i've forgotten.  ugh.  I'm sooo bad with names these days.

The weather threatened on and off, we got minor sprinkles but it stayed nice and warm the whole ride with the clouds that came in near 4 trapping a lot of the warmth.  I was walking around air drying with my shirt off while I tore down the bike gear and put it away.  Wasn't even cold. 

Did a bit of trimming in a few area's where the thorns were just too long in the back of the berm area. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hold the Storms, Extra Daylight Please!

Storms coming in tonight, a bit close to ride time.  Grrr hoping to sneak one in till at least 8. 

Still a 40% chance as of 7PM tonight.  Ugh.  Must pre-ride. 

Cool video from the 2012 MoCo Epic last weekend:



Jim does awesome video's for all the clubs big events.  Eventually I think he plans to have a 5 minute version. 

Looking at new locks for JRA/Plan B Rides, etc and found a very interesting type - The Abus Bordo series from germany.  Made like a folding ruler, just a billion times tougher.  The damn things are pricey but seem like an excellent deterant and more easily transportable than a Ulock or a cable lock. 

http://www.abus-bordo.com/html_en/bikelock_bordo_granit_x_plus.html


Monday, October 15, 2012

Bikes for the People

Saw this on Yahoo today and thought it was really cool option for bikes for the poor. 

http://news.yahoo.com/cardboard-bicycle-change-world-says-israeli-inventor-090732689.html

I wish more people in the US got the "power" that bikes offer.  Fitness, outdoors, fun, less gas, etc.  I've been a biker forever.  First as transport from my house to the general store that was 1.5 miles away as a kid.  Transport and Commerce for biking to school and being a paperboy.  And taking a couple of cute girls to school on the handlebars and rack was never a bad thing.  Transport as a teen.  I regret my time away from biking but really blame it on cheap bigbox bikes.  Nothing like banging your knee on your handlebars when a chain snaps to make you hate a bike.  Now I try and commute to work at least 1 or 2 days a week and I ride another 1 or 2 times a week. I'm luck in that 80% of my grocery shopping I can walk to the store and back. 

Hoping to go for another run today but it's looking a bit rainy and the quads are still quite sore.  We shall see.

Tomorrow I might get to do the Little Bennett ride.  We will see if this rain causes it to cancel.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Failure abounds

Last night I've come close to declaring my batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout a complete failure.  I tried a bottle finally but to say it tasted like shit may be generous.  Smelled okay but wow the peanuts just gave it a slightly off/green taste and it's ongoing effervescence bothers the hell out of me.

So on top of that not only do the O's fail and fall to the evil empire of baseball, the Nat's have a choke of epic proportion.  Almost Redskinian.  Maybe Dan Snyder should buy the Nats and the Whizz-ards and make a sweep of it....OH thats right what about the NHL?  I have serious doubts about an NHL season happening.  Even at half a season it's a failure.  BAH.

And now I'm betting my smoked porter thats in the fermenter has failed while I'm at it.  I don't entirely trust bucket fermenting at this point, using glass I never had problems with fermentation.  UGH.

Got a good run in last night but ran weird at first and apparently messed up my middle back again.  Sigh.  Last night and today on the heating pad is helping.

FunkMnkyz show was a semi-bust.  The space was so small the band was doing 2 and 3 man short sets and letting friends bands play.  Plus a late start, I had to leave at midnight since I turn back into Slob Rob then and had to work this morning.  Getting up wasn't as bad as I feared.

Tonight it's the parents and hopefully some better live music action.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Boy that was cold

Last nights ride started out pretty nice.  The sun was up for my tiny pre-ride, but I new it would get pretty cold pretty damn quick last night.  I just didn't realize how damn cold.  I hope this is not a sign of the winter to come.

By the end of the ride Mr.GPS reported 41 degrees.  Car in parking lot reported a slightly warmer 47 degrees.  All I know is I think it may be time to drag out the Lake boots and the heavier gloves.  The fox mid-weights just weren't warm enough and more poor fingers don't need to take anymore abuse.  In an attempt to protect my poor digits into the fall/early winter I'm buying another set of gloves.  This time I'm trying the Gore Xenon 2.  The feet were also suffering so the lakes may be coming back out on nights where we may get 50 or less.  Though admittedly I was wearing a too light sock. 

Still drooling over the 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots.  WANT! 

We had a TON of riders out enjoying the frost fall weather last night with 34 signed in and I think about 12 on each ride at least.  Huh.  Knew I missed a few chumps in the lot!  Trek had a women's group out with 8 demo'ing bikes at night and then there must have been another 10 or 15 riders in various groups.  It was a parking lot at times.  Main casual covered about 8 miles then I took the 3 fastest out for another 25 mins for 4 more miles'ish.  It was a blast.  Always good to ride with the regular's. 

Never heard as much crying though about a little bit of Mud from Ian and then later Neal!  I'm shocked!  Sure I knew that back area of the upper baseball diamonds was bad  :) 

Tonights plan includes Whole Foods, avoiding parents who are in town, and maybe a trip up to JamminJava to see local band FunkMnkyz.  Check em out


Straight outa Burke Baby!

Saturday brings dinner with the parents and hopefully seeing another buddy's band Justice Monkey at Blue Water Grille in Chantilly-ville.


Sunday brings a possible quick trip down to Charlottesville VA to look at some property with my parents. 

For now it's back to work.  Kinda.  :P

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Up and down the EC

Busy weekend for a slightly long one.  Worked late on Saturday, slept like crap.  Missed Sunday ride at the Shjed.  Did make a kick ass breakfast on Sunday to make up for not riding.  Nothing like pancakes with chocolate chips and sausage to make things better.  Especially Maple Sausage.  Sunday afternoon I spent some time running bike related errands for odds and I needed and J needed.  Ended up picking up a Cygolight 400 for her for 90 bucks for night road rides out west and once she gets regularly back here.

Then it was up to MD.  Hung out up there with J for the afternoon/evening watching TV and relaxed, we did go out and get J some new fully finger slightly warmer gloves and she got another pair of shorts and some more, ROAD specific shoes....But we will see. 

And on Monday morning we woke up to on and off rain especially up on the northside where we were planning on riding around near Poolesville.  Ugh.  So after getting a late start we ended up heading into VA and riding the WO&D inwards from Spokes down to the Airport. On the way down we saw Larry and Ernie on their way back from a Hills of Arlington/Airport Loop ride.  Shot the shit for a few minutes and went on. 

14 miles from Spokes down to where the Mt Vernon meets Four Mile Run at DCA.  From there we went north up to the Custis and took that back to E. Falls Church then the WO&D back to Vienna.  We then finally hit Panera for some hot food and back to MD.  A quick powernap was in order and then it was Dinner, Fringe and more TV till 10'ish. 

In today's other fun news I see ole Jerry's got 30 to 60.  This one is for you Jerry.


Friday, October 05, 2012

Well not an epic week for the bike this last week between rain and lazyness.  Got a short 18 miler in last Sunday around the hood.  The week till Thursday was shot due to rain and other factors.  Thursday I got in a pretty good ride probably another 18 miles total.  With today's ride to work and back I should hit 50'ish miles.  Saturday will be an off day, then Sunday I'm seeing about joining a group up at the Shed if it isn't too we, but right now my attendance on that is running about 50% if it is a 9AM start. 

Monday I'm taking the day off and going biking with JS up and around Sugarloaf Mtn.  Planning a 40 to 50 ride.  Found some different loops on RidewithGPS.  I will say I do like the searching interface better than Connect. 

Forgot my gloves for the ride into work.  My hands were almost claws by the time I got to work.  Did ride it in sub 18 minutes moving time.  Not bad for no warmup 4.5 miles.  Won't be that fast on the way back.  Gotta decide if I am running today or not and how far if I am.  Honestly I just wanna take a nap. 

Picked up a 6 of Peg Leg Stout last night.  Damn good.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The mountain might get ya, but the law never will.

Yesterday went from being a partial Sh-- day to full on status by the end of the Wakefield night ride.  We had a rider on the casual group take a OTB dive and needed some help evac'ing out, he took a big red truck ride to ffx hospital.  He was sore but they emt's wanted to check everything.  I'm sure he wasn't OK to drive at the minimum. 

The new JK Rowling book started things on the downhill, a frustrating conversation with J via phone based IM sent it to the 50% mark and then that topped the day off. 

I will say Casual Vacancy seems interesting in the first 50 pages, but that it may be very depressing also.  It's not Harry Potter.  I've got an impending sense of something in the order of the Ice Storm but not really.  We'll see.

I did order the Bond 50 retrospective on Blu-ray so that will be cool, it should come in next week. 

I was going to try and ride in today but last night left me wiped out and continuing T-storms kept me up till Midnight.  Maybe I'll run tonight instead.  Legs were very tired to start with yesterday with 5 rides in the last 6 days. 

Just heard from the rider and he is fine.  Maybe a minor concussion, but he was out of the hospital last night and sometime over the weekend we will hookup to get his bike back to him.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Loss on Ignition.

During the Saturday ride several times I had my map drop out of the front pocket of my enduro's.  Not that unusual with nothing more than the map in the pocket vs pedaling action.  So a few times I had to back track small sections to find the map. Joel Gwadz found it one time as I was on my way back looking for it. 

So Sunday started off with me loosing the map.  In the car full of packed gear.  I spent probably 30 minutes tearing apart my pack and the driving compartment of the car looking and looking and was about to start tearing everything out when I found it on the back seat.  From when I had grabbed my shoes to put on.  Sigh.

A quick word on the maps in the Davis area.  Colors and distances aren't always quite right it seems.  And not all intersections are well marked.  But still I do suggest getting copies of the maps. 

With the map found I was back to the nearby camping area to start my ride, the trail entrance was thru an RV campers area, though some of their direct space.  I felt a bit bad but no one was really out.  Started off heading towards the overlook below Dobbin House.  Wow, amazing trail and the overlook was spectacular.


While there I met up with Michael W and another couple who was riding together.  I joined with them for the rest of the Dobbin House outer loop.  Wow some climbs and hike-a-bikes.  Some nice views also.  They ended up splitting off after crossing back over the dam/lake area as they had to get back to town.  Later heard Michael led another group out on the same ride.  Me, I was off to the Yellow Elm trail I think.  MIssed a few of the cross campground trails so I took the road.  Skipped the first falls overlook and went to the far side.  Got this shot there:


Then I hit the yellow trail.  Wow a real mix of rocks and roots, like parts of the shed and I dunno.  Very challenging for me.  For the frednecks it would have been fun.  Got lost on a poorly signed direction change.  Ended up taking a bunch of trails and exploring all over.  Without the map I can't remember really now 4 days later.  But it was cool.  One trail was supposed to be horse only but wasn't signed so where I picked it up....OOops.  Had a blast getting lost basically in the forest.  Eventually I had to head back and blasted back along the road.  After changing and taking some more photo's from the overlook I skipped before of the falls I was back off to town for food and then to head back to Civilization of the phone.

Ran into a bunch of Team XXL at Hellbenders and so stopped and had lunch with them.  Damn good to hangout post ride.  Tried the most excellent Face Plant Burrito this time.  Very tasty. 

On the way outa town I hit Boomtown Java and bought some additional gifts for friends after getting some cool Jelly types at the Park Gift shop.

All together a damn good trip and somewhere I will go again to bike and hike.  The campground is pretty nice.  The lodge is very impressive and the cabins look good too.  Go out for a long weekend. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012 Davis Trip - Part 22/7'ths

The Journey Continues on Disc 9!

Sooo I was back at camp not to past 2PM on Satuday and it was time to enjoy a beer while prepping my EPICAwesome Super Secret Appetizer for the Potluck Battle Royale!  First I had to find something to skewer my food on. Found some small dowels at a general store and soaked em in water.  And the super secret ingredients are:

Bread
Pork
Cheese

Combined with fire and herbs to become Toasted Crusty Break in Olive oil with Rosemary Mozzarella chunks wrapped in Prosciutto, The Pork of the Gods.

Cut up the crusty bread, the best way is to tear it up by hand into un even chunks, but I was being VERY lazy.  Toss a bunch of olive oil and rosemary chopped up on it and let sit, shaking up occasionally.  Seperate Mozz into small pieces/balls.  Then you basically should join together in holy matri-moan-ee the cheese and bread wrapping in a piece of prosciutto then skewer for easy grilling.  Well my skewers failed and I went to simple way.  Piece of bread, piece of cheese ontop and cover with piece of prosciutto.  Grill.  To get melty reuqires too long on the grill directly so after having to reject the first few I went with a quick grill on the open fire then place on foil for finishing while covered also in foil.  Worked pretty well as long as I got the toast right.  Only ended up with 25 good pieces.  OH well. 

Finally potluck is starting a bit after 6, food is out!  Tons of food.  5 picnic tables full pretty much.  Some way amazing, some was average.  Everyone had fun while working on the 2 kegs of beer.  Voting kicked off around 6:50 and by 7:20 the vote was in.  I wasn't even nominated for the final running and here was the organizers thoughts on why several excellent things didn't get nominations.  Not enough of it.  Ran out before everyone got some and no 2nds.  so next time I have to plan for 1.2 to 1.3 times group production. 



During making my dish I opened a bottle of DuClaw's X-1 an Bourbon Barrel Aged - Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter.  Amazing.  One of the best porters I've ever had.  Well balanced, super smooth.  Damn good. 98 on Rate Beer.

After dinner I opened a bottle of Schlafly Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, that for a bourbon barrel stout was very mild interms of bourbon boy whoooo was it rocket fuel, I think 10% and change.  I chilled a bit with various groups sharing some out and eventually went back to my camp area and stoked the fire.  So I added logs, got the fire going good and relaxed.   And I was sleepy.  That nights 4 hours was catching up to me and so I decided to nap for a bit.  And I was asleep from 9:30 till about 11:30 when nature called.  And after a quick mental debate back to bed I went.  Heard the wind a bit and it was starting to chill down but I was toasty warm in the sleeping bag. 

Slept till about 7:15, that was awesome.  Wanted to sleep more but nature called and so it was up into a VERY cold pair of jeans.  Quick walk around the area to warm up a bit and when I was back the other tent's occupants were stirring or at least the wife was.  So I setup the camp stove for breakfast of oatmeal and cocoa and started emptying out the car for re-packing everything.  Car reports 41 degrees.  Joy.  By 9 I was fully packed and ready to roll out.  Quick walk around to chat with folks, help clean up the potluck area and such and I was out at 9:20'ish to park in the overflow lots as we were supposed to be out of camp by noon.  Car was reporting mid 50's at least. 

And then things got ugly.  Thats for tonight or tomorrow in Revenge of the Lost Map of Doom.
Photo stolen from Neil A.

Monday, September 24, 2012

MORE Fall 2012 - Camping trip to Davis.

Busy week last week so I didn't get to post much.  Did some riding.  Accotink season is over.  Slept like crap Thursday night before the trip.

Friday - Got started a bit late and took too long to pack/get ready.  Giant's lack of Rosemary also was a major setback.  Forgetting skewers for grilling also set back my food plan a bit.  GPS/DATA failing also set me back and I apparently went a very back way to get from 48/55 to 50.  Oh well.  Got to Davis around 3:30 and decided to skip riding, fully unpack and drink a beer.  Camp was set by 5:00 and hunger games had set in.  I was off to battle at Hellbender Burrito's.  Damn good.  Enjoyed a Mountain State IPA and the Hellbender Burrito.  Saw a bunch of folks intown and stopped to shoot the breeze, perhaps my favorite part of this trip was running into people around Davis and Thomas hanging out. 

Back to camp and the drinking games were on.  Lots of beer later and chatting with everyone went to bed around 11:30 I think.  Too much beer and water apparently, I'm up every hour or two to increase the flow of the river.  And then the Winds of Hell start.  Trees shaking furiously and Bikenetic decides to getup at 2 to 4 and have a wind party.  ugh.  Finally ended up getting some sleep maybe 4 hours.  It did warm up though as the winds brought in a small cloud system. 

Up early at 8 and ready to go for the day with oatmeal and cocoa already fueling the insanity.  Went up to check out the breakfast pizza's from Siranni's and it was awesome!  At least the meat-za's were.  Yum.  2 Slices later I go and chat with others till the 10'am photo call.  Gotta check the headband for proper positioning and such. 



And we were off to Blackwater Bikes to meet up and get the rides together.  Well the issue was supply and demand.  Everyone almost wanted to do the moderate ride, I think they had 40 people riding at least.  Sue Haywood's faster ride had a fair number also I think 15 or so people also.  The kids ride had 3 or 4 adults and probably 10 kids so that was a great group. 

We took off and hit a traffic jam waiting to enter the single track and this was after about half the group got going.


So by the first major intersection it was obvious we needed 2 groups.  Hell we really needed 3, we just didn't have leaders.  So I volunteered to run with a pair of ladies who wanted a more casual pace and we went off to explore.  We went up and hit the Trials Rd trails, then Jo's Shunt I think then we hit Rock Shox Red.  Damn fun, till you hit what was labeled purple on the map.  Then it was a suck fest for the 2 ladies, some shed worth rocks for sure.  Did ok.  Not awesome myself. 

At the end of that we met up with the original group.  Teresa the leader was just coming up the trail from Hoodoo/etc as I waited.  Got to ask everyone what took them so long....hahaha. 

Got a few photo's myself along the way but none with people turned out.  Oh well.  My camera is not made for action shots.  We eventually opted to reverse our route, do a section of Trials we hadn't done then take white back.  Ended up with about 14 gps miles back to the campground.   Strange weather day started of overcast.  Then bits of rain.  Then sun.  Then MORE rain.  Then sun most of the rest of the way back. 

Then it was on to prep'ing for the potluck but thats going to be in part 2.  I want to upload my photo's now.

The above photo's come from a mix of Todd B, Joel G and Jason Miller.  This shot from Todd Bauer though sums up my Saturday.


Gallery Links - So Far
Neil
Todd
Gwadz
Jason
Mine

Friday, September 14, 2012

999.53

So far for the year in Garmin I have logged 999.53 miles of mtb, road, cx, and running miles.  Versus I only had 857 logged last year total.  Though I estimated closer to 1100 total.  I figure I'm already there this year with MTB distance loss, my MTB report gives 530 for the year, not surprised it's looking a bit down.  I honestly thought this year would be the year I got my 2nd day a week off.  I've been working 6 days a week for over 2 years now.  Pretty crazy.  But feeling good to be on pace for an official 1500 mile or more year. Part of me wants to do distance road things Sunday, but another part is hungering to do a MTB ride up in Gambrill then transition and do some of the shed.  Probably will do road as next weekend is an all MTB Blitz!

Looks like I won't make it up to Rattling Creek this weekend, I've got a Festival tomorrow afternoon night, and as noted, next weekend is Davis.

Had a good group of 8 Casual'ites out last night..  Had 29 riders out total and boy by the end did it FEEL cold till I dried off and changed out of my sweaty shirt.  Covered about 10 miles or so.  Had a few crashes slow us and the days of Accotink are really over this next week or maybe the one after for all but the fastest of fools. 

Going to start trying to run a 5PM pre-ride. 

Tomorrow's festival is Theivery Corporation whom I've heard great stuff about for years, and the other big band is Gogol Bordello who I've wanted to see for a while. 




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bike Things Galore

Today I'm taking a co-worker mountain biking with another co-worker who also rides.  The guy has some big box bike he tried riding up at Great Falls (whoops he and those guys didn't know it wasn't open to biking).  So were going to let him try our two nicer bikes and see if he's interested!  Very cool.

Bored, err Board Meeting for the club on Monday was very lively.  But only went 2.5 hours not too bad for a phone meeting.  Big things in the works at a bunch of parks with some great potential publicity for the club and such.  Fall camping trip is next week and I'm stoked. 

Kristen Armstrong's (no relation to that Lance dude) Olympic bikes were stolen, here is a link to the Tumblr post about them describing them and how they were being shipped.  Link Here!

Did some more trimming up on Cabin John last night and managed to tweak something in my left ankle.  No more flats while trimming I guess.  Saw a bunch of riders and even chatted with Mike Stoll a bit about some stuff that could be very cool.  I've now managed to trim the following sections:

Tuckerman to Goya - Fully Trimmed
Tuckerman to Seven Locks - Partial I've trimmed from Tuckerman to the parking lot and then up to the power lines/ball fields.  I need to start at the ball fields and go to the tennis center next. 
Bradley to River Rd.

Also note the park has done work and cleared some stuff to really helping out, and they did some drainage work sometime in the last month or two in the very badly eroded trail from the ball fields to Tuckerman, but it needs more.  Will try and find out about any more to be done in that area.

I like to bike places as much as the next biker and in the last 2 days I've seen people on the section of Seven Locks from River to Bradley.  Thats an extremely narrow road, and I saw a somewhat close call or two during heavy traffic.  The guy riding the fixie eventually passed another rider on a very nice road bike up near Tuckerman Rd. 


Stupid Cyclist Learns He's Not Invincible - Watch More Funny Videos

I hate when I see cyclists doing stupid shit almost as much as when I see drivers doing idiotic things:



Monday, September 10, 2012

National Tri 2012

Ended up going down to the Capitol due to a false start on a lead on another cool place to ride.  Didn't realize that was why the Cabin John Park Rd was closed in Bethesda earlier in the day. 

3500 of my friends or more doing a Tri.  Needless to say the mall area was a bit of a zoo when I first got down there at Noon.  Sooo many people with their bikes, most walking, a few riding.  Soooo many carrying packs with pumps, obviously self supporting.  But tons of people.  Got good photo's of some of the monuments from the phone, gotta finish upload those today.  Yippiee!   For only a 30 mile ride I was crushed but I also blame that on a light breakfast, and not getting any food while riding also.  Basically by then end it had been 6 hours since my last meal.  OH well. 

Using the center lanes in DC are a blast and they had Penn Ave open to ped's and cyclists for a change and I got a very good shot of the whitehouse.

The weather is amazing, 55 this morning.  Yesterday it hit 84.  Barely broke a hard sweat all day. 

Been getting all the 25 million Patapsco Night Rides up on the 2 calendars and forum.  Eesh.

Debating my ride plan for the week.  I'm leaning towards a shorter ride today maybe a Cap Cresent down to Georgetown and back, thats about 15 miles. 

Trying to figure out if/when I can make a run down to see the old folks in O-town.  Leaning towards mid-october.  Gotta check in with a few people.  See whats what. 

Camping trip is 2 weeks out!  Can't wait to ride somewhere new!  Woo hoo! 

Weather for the next 10 days looks amazing!  I plan to get out and ride or run a ton.  More riding hopefully, want to boost my general distance, do more hills and maybe have a prayer of doing the Seagull in October.

For now I leave you with my slightly off angle photo of The Vampire Hunter Memorial in DC.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Back on the CCT South

Last night was the first CCT ride I could find in my connect logs since February!  Thats pretty awesome.  It has in general been soooo dry this summer we've been riding a ton!  

Had a good 19 miles with 2 miles exploring Wakefield to determine if it was rideable.  It wasn't.  So I made the official call for CCT South.  After a bit late start we headed out with some confusion on routing.  I was planning on going Queensbury to the park back entrance, most of the rest headed up the CCT.  Oh well.  I took my group and we caught up after a bit.  I splashed some huge puddles and got a wee dirty.  It was fun.  We then settled in for a pretty relaxed ride up the CCT.  Made it a fairly good way before we hit the 7:45 turn around.  Enjoyed a TSB and headed back. 

I was on the CX bike and so was Ian we took of first due to some of our inability to corner hard etc.  Need some practice but the wet leaves, wet pavement and such were freaking me out, probably being my normally over cautious self. 

The ride back was a blast, I let myself hang back about 2 minutes on one crossing then I got to take off and race down the steep road.  Hit a blazing 27.6 miles per hour barely pushing.  Damn that was fun!

My HR Strap is giving some weird readings that are way low.  Must be time to replace the battery and if that doesn't work replace the strap.  Kinda wanna replace it anyways but will be frugal.

Did order a new MINI stove for camping.  A coworker got one and it's very impressive and a 3.9 ounces tiny and works really well with a great flame range!  Ham and Eggs here I come!  My JetBoil's cooktop issues suck.  It will boil water faster than hell but it's range is a bit limited really temp wise. 

Also did my first bike to work in a REAL long time today and next week looks great with even lower temps predicted!  The gear bag worked really well, next time I will add the laptop to see how that feels with 10lbs of tech instead of a ton of clothes and a spare set of shoes (I'm leaving a new pair here).


This is a really cool photo from a cycle chick blog the title of the shot is Bike Accident.  The soda red really makes it jump out and sorta shocking. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Who's in da kitchen?

Well my riding collapsed under the forecasted random storms this weekend and still not being fully over my plague from a few weeks ago.  It's re-entered my sinuses.  I almost left work early today due to sinus pain. 

The SM100 was a bit wet this year I hear.  Re-affirming my life choices the endurance mountain biking is for those with not enough to do :)  Or those with a few screws loose.  Some of the tales I've heard are truly shocking and some are typical of the madness.

Maybe I'll take up 24 hour solo racing,  with a team of 24.

All things said much respect to all the racers who do these epic insanely long and hard things.  I'm simply not competitive enough to be interested in that or a strong enough rider to care about shorter things.  I could see myself doing some orienteering mtb stuff someday.

New video up from the summer picnic.  I only have to see myself a few times, though two of them you can only see me if you know what to look for.


Did get in a good short ride tonight, last ride on the CX bike - over a MONTH ago.  Oy.  My posterior is still complaining a bit.

I need to pull apart the frame and treat it with frame saver soon.  I pulled the seat post over the weekend and found some rusty-ness for sure.  Sigh.

Ordered my copy of Reveal the Path the new Mike Dion film, the same guy who did Ride Across the Sky about the Tour Divide Race.  The art book I got is amazing.  Can't wait to see the film, should be here in time for this weekend.

Drank some epic beer over the long weekend including Evolution's - Rise UP Coffee Stout 7%, Double Jack's Double DBA a bourbon barrel aged strong ale at  12%!  And I had the DC Brau/Stillwater - Middle Name Danger - A very tasty farmhouse ale at 7.2%.  Damn. 

Now I'm just waiting for Thursday's TNR.  With Sunset at 7:30 we are rapidly running out of regular riding in Accotink.  Soon it will be Wakefield only.   Joy.   Joy.  Happy.  Happy.


Friday, August 31, 2012

All the other Chumps

This weekend while I'm "barely" working, getting double time on Monday all the other chumps are headed down to the S&M 100 :) 

Chris Scott apparently runs a premier dungeon for cyclists too stupid to know better than riding 100 miles being anything but fun.  Sure there is drinking, camping, etc, etc before and afterwards but 100 miles of hella hard mountain biking in one day is just about the stupidist thing I've heard of.  Hell many of them won't finish, and know this from the start. 

I'm going to practice my 80 hour 12oz endurance series myself this weekend, with old friends such as Founders, Stone, Terrapin, and other new friends I'm sure.  Tonight it kicks off with pre-made pulled pork from the BBQ.  Should be good.  Deciding if I am going to do another run tonight.  Choices.

Sunday I will ride, just a question of MTB or Road'ish.  Maybe I will do the DKEG Leesburg Gravel Grinder.  35-40 miles with the rolling hills of Northern VA.  Doing the ride/climb up the mountain road I grew up on freaks me out a little bit but I will plan on doing it for now.  Though I am going to watch the weather.  Next week I will try and do a 60 miler. 

Extreme POGO - Who knew?  Search for Vurtego Pogo


Pretty painful to watch at first but then the start doing okay.

And not sure if I've mentioned/shown this previously but saw it again on Rich's blog:


This will be a mandatory item for a ride I'm planning this fall.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I itch...still. Grrr.

 My grumpy-ness factor has hit Warp 11 due to ongoing battle with Poison Plant Crap (not sure which one) that I picked up on my ankle last week that has now spread to my other leg.  Must resist itching.  Zanfel does seem to be helping, felt much itchier yesterday.

My stress level is slowly creeping back down to human levels, between the insane project at work wrapping up mostly yesterday, house sitting being over, and other stuff, I'm finally getting back into the good side of things in relative terms.  I estimated my Work/Life balance recently as Shit.  I've now upgraded it from that level to possibly Bad Gas after Mexican.  Or 60/40 from say 80/20. 

Got in my first run in 2 weeks last night and it wasn't terrible.  My legs were really tight and I had to walk way early and only did 2 miles total.  Due to how bad the WLB was I went from an okay 203 to back up to 210'ish.  uGH.  Too much eating out so I've been eating oatmeal for breakfast again and today packed my lunch for the first time in a.....while. 

Looking forward to getting out for a good ride today, dunno if I will try and finish clipping phase 4 before hand or not.  Guess we will see. 

And last in the funny kind of stuff line:

MTB Virgins versus Pro's!

Friday, August 24, 2012

If it floats.

Lance, it's obvious if you float, your a witch!  So sayeth the USADA!  Sigh.  When will they be going after Wily E. Coyote I must now wonder.  Or Sponge Bob or Ren and Stimpy.  or....gasp Towlie.  Or my uncle who gets cortizone shots.  Or baseball or basketball players? 







And now with that bit of unpleasantness done.  I move back to my regularly schedule program.

Good group for Thursday night again last night, tons of riders and I was 10 minutes late back to the lot so the sign in ran late.  Oops.  On the other hand I did get another 1/3rd or more of Phase 4 trimmed leaving 1 more small section.  Then it's the bowl next, but honestly I'm thinking of putting an Ad-HOC trail trimming night ride together in the next few mondays.  Do light trimming for 2 hours then do a ride.

Trails in Wakefield were mostly dry.  Accotink was surprisingly wet and I almost went down hard on the descent to the train tracks from Boyscout.  On a slick root, fortunately I caught myself with my foot and head.  Though I was set a ringing for a bit and the neck is a bit sore. Thought I might have banged my helmet bad enough it require replacement but a visual check this morning showed no issues.

Tonight MORE has a low-key fundraiser at The Big Board in DC.  If you are in the area, come on down from 5 till 7 for a Keep The Glass night with New Belgium, each New Belgium gives a buck to the club!

Tomorrow I am planning another assault after work on CJ.  DIE GREEN THINGS!  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Down with the.....

Pew.  Pew. Pew.  said Curiosity's laser. 

Hack.  Hack.  Hack said Rob's lungs.

Since Wednesday night I've been coming down with something thats going around the office.  Thursday was rough as I was tired from not sleeping well and several very long days on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The ride was okay, felt not too bad but a bit easily winded.  Good group and good fun though.  Huge crowd of 35+ riders. 

Friday it all went to hell over night, way more drainage and by Saturday morning I was hacking up new life forms yet to be discovered by Curiosity on Mars.  uGH.  Still sleeping like crap.  Woke around work time on Sunday and couldn't get back to sleep so I ended up running errands then doing 3 hours of solo trimming on my trial before the rains came in.  My shoulders are killing me as apparently I had the pack straps mis-adjusted and was rubbing myself the wrong way with it. 

I did get some new extendable clippers that are AWESOME!  with 2+ feet long handles my back is actually fine versus how bad it hurt after my last trimming effort.  Now I just have 3 more sections that need trimming.  Groan.  One of them is pretty short so I may try and get it tonight if it's not raining again.  I should complain about the rain but honestly it's a good thing right now open trails are extremely dry and dusty.

Tonight's real major project assuming I leave work ontime/nearly ontime is to STORE all the picnic left over supplies at the storage ctr.  Then maybe Tuesday after work I will try and return the mega cooler that pork came in leaving me almost done with picnic stuff. 

Gotta plan a fall trip but I'm waiting on seeing how some projects work out and then how J's new roommate works out with the cats.  If she doesn't then my vacation limits for Sept/Oct really change. 

Still bummed I didn't get a ride in Yesterday but there was no way I was doing something epic, being sick like this stinks.  My goal is to have it mostly kicked by the end of this week.

Ramping up for the big 2012 MORE Fall Camping trip to Davis, WV that is about a month away. 

Did sneak in some beers this week of note the Red Hoptober from New Belgium is very tasty.  Also did a 4 beer flight at WF on saturday including DFH Burton Baton, Firestone's Walkers Double DBA, Alewerks Bourbon Barrel Porter, and Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin.  The first 3 are all Bourbon Barrel aged and were tasty.  The porter was VERY sweet and was honestly my least favorite at the time.  The DDBA was almost too much.  The punkin beer wasn't bad, but with the cold I have I don't know how much I could trust my sense of taste and I had absolutely no nose.  Yesterday I picked up a bottle of Widmer Bro's Kill Devil Brown Ale special release and am really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rainy Tuesday Morning to yah.

Apparently all the Breck Epic participants had a bad day on the trails yesterday with a moderately strong and very cold rain for much of the day, eventually leading to pulling riders off the course.  Saw Dicky and some others hot-tubbing to warm up.  That kind of riding sucks, went through an hour of downpour in the not too cold summer in PA and it sucked.  Can't imagine how cold that felt in Breckenridge.

PICNIC is done.  Well not the wrap up parts but the event is done,  I have to store/return things still but the main part is dealt with and I"m sooooooo happy.  Really.  It went very well and we did end up with too much food.  Probably 100 attendees, about 50 riders.  It was all good. 

Ran again yesterday.  Damn running sucks but I'm slowly getting....better I suppose is the correct word for now.  Before it was a lot of stopping and walking, now I'm doing the main run of 3.5 miles in about 33 minutes.  Felt pretty damn good.  Main running section of 3.2 miles, with 4 of walking was done in just under 32 minutes.  Another week and my goal is to finish the whole damn thing running.

Today I suspect will be a long day at work on major projects due Friday.  Would like to ride but if I do happen to get home at a decent time I'm going to return a cooler up to the person I borrowed it from near Rockburn Park. 

Maybe Wednesday I'll slip in a ride to DC.

Had an EXCELLENT beer on Friday, Firestone's Wookey Jack - Black Rye IPA in a big boy.   Damn tasty, well balanced, smooth for a rye.  Went down good cold, and the last few drinks were at room temp and it was still very nice. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dusty-field

Wakefield was a dust bowl again last night, but hopefully this mornings rain is tamping that down to a more manageable level.

I kept casual in Wakefield for a change and it was okay.  We had Jason's wife Lisa go down hard early on the reverse race-course descent into the last creek crossing.  She stopped before then tried to restart after dropping in and went OTB due to being to far forward and going too slow I think.  Ouchy.  She was okay after 5 minutes and we rode on.  But she was panicked and had issues for a bit so we stopped and sessioned the big hairpin in Phase 1's upper half till she had it cold.  After that she was a lot better.  We hit a ton of stuff and got a nice ride in. 

As we were finishing we watched a storm start to come in but it never rained or directly thundered over us last night.  Now the rain is fine :)

Unfortunately after our ride finished and most of the groups were back we heard a friend who was out with some others (but who hadn't been on the official rides) went down and broke his collerbone in the bowl on some loose material.  Also think his pretty Niner took a beating too.  Hope he's feeling better soon. 

Picnic is Sunday and all I can say is I will be very GLAD when it's over.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

WoB - Arlington VA

Hit the new World of Beer in Arlington last night for the grand opening, pretty early a bit before 6.  Killed a bunch of beer and went home to have more.  Nice place as expected.  Food they offer is minimal but they have BGR, BW3 and other stuff near by. 

Rogue Shakespear Stout on Nitro - Super smooth stout, went down sooooo easy.  Well balanced, it's not trying to be one of the Founders mega stouts. 
Troubadour Magma - Belgian IPA - The IPA part is pretty minimal but a good belgian beer.
Terrapin Samurai Krunkles - Jeez I dunno what STYLE this is but it was surprisingly good for a beer with Ginger and Green Tea.  :Not too sweat, but pretty drinkable since I killed most of the tall boy myself. 
Rogue XS Imperial/double Ipa - Wow great IPA, very nice balance of Malt and Hops.  The hop flavor lingered for a LONG time but not in an unpleasant way to me. 

Price is Definitely higher than in orlando by a third or more.  Gotta watch all the prices as some stuff is not a bad deal but other things are BAD like a Flying Dog draft for 9.25!  And it wasn't even one of the special ones like El Dorado or such.

Went home and had a Lagunita's WTF while playing some Left for Dead 2 with a buddy Jeff.  Damn I'm terrible at that game. 

Today I'm off to Gaithersburg to pick up a cargo rack for my car to help haul stuff for the Picnic of Doom on Sunday. 

Monday, August 06, 2012

MTB on Mars

Today I diverge slightly from the normal things I talk about here to something more related on the periphery of my geek-dom. 

Curiosity the #MSL (Mars Science Lab) landed sucessfully on Mars last night, after launching from Kennedy Space Center in Florida back in November.  I got the priveledge/opportunity to watch the launch from on KSC at the Apollo Rocket facility.  It didn't have the earth shaking, unbelievable power of a shuttle launch, but it had more in some ways.  Hundreds or thousands of people who built it, put together everything and sent it on it's journey.  J herself works on the SAM module of MSL and is also part of the general science team for MSL and will be at JPL on and off for at least the next 3 months to help run the rover and SAM.  The level of stress leading up to this was almost unbearable.  The number of jobs riding on it landing was amazing.  This shows NASA still has the right stuff to push boundaries and be the leaders of America's Dream.  The EDL system alone was a feat of amazing engineering.  The rover is built by a ton of different groups putting together a nearly 1 ton monster.  Most people get nervous shipping their car across the country.  Now imagine shipping it to another planet. 

Not many people may know but when NASA and JPL were figuring out how to build the rover, they made a decision to go with Titanium for the arms that the wheels run on.  But back when the rover was under design in the early 2000's they didn't have the knowledge on how to work with Ti.  Well NASA instead went to experts at pushing the boundary of working with Ti.  Lynskey Bikes.  Yep, they went to mountain (and other bike) builders Lynskey to learn how to optimally weld and bend Ti tubes/etc used in the frame and power train of the rover.  Pretty cool.  I know a handful of people who ride Lynskey bikes.  Their bikes and the rover share some distant DNA almost. 

If you haven't yet go check out the photo's do it.  Here is my favorite showing a shadow of the rover. 

Click Here

I've been an space geek since my earliest memories with the shuttle back when it's tank was still white.  I remember the day Challenger explosion very clearly.  Sitting in the school library with all the other kids in shock.  Our 6th grade science teacher had been in the final 5 to be selected.  I remember seeing shuttles up close on the back of transports, fly overs in Florida.  Moving to Orlando and hearing the twin booms of it landing.  The first launch I saw, then the first night launch.  Amazing stuff.  Then Columbia happened while in Tallahassee.  No booms as it passed over.  Bad.  Space exploration is not safe, nothing is guaranteed except you are always taking a risk.  We must take risks in moving forward and advancing our selves, and our knowledge.  NASA has problems but it does a LOT of stuff right also.  So for now all I will say is

Go #Curiosity, #MSL, #SAM  go!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Whooops there it is

Been a busy bunch of weeks.

Vacation down to OBX was great.  Rode bikes, played/relaxed on the beach, drank beer and wine, flew my kites, almost killed a few people with my BIG kite, ate some awesome food.  J t-boned a car on a bike path at about 5-6 miles an hour (from 16).  Bent the hell outa her bikes front wheel but a replacement and it was mostly good.

Food and Beer/Wine recommendations -
The Brine and Bottle - Wow try the Tuna Carpaccio if it's available and the other food is great also.  Good wines and beer.
Trio - Wow, 15 taps of good to amazing beers, 1 on cask, amazing small plates, sandwiches, etc.  Wish we had tried dinner here but probably would have needed a cab ride home.
The Full Moon Cafe and Brewery - Go to the brewery side.  Great small pub feel.  Solid beers, well done.  Tiny brewery.  Food's pretty good also, did lunch and really enjoyed it after a ride.

Plenty of good beer places if you look but not many offering DARK or Imperial IPA's.  A LOT of Ambers/etc are available for a nice change.  

There were 2 other places that were pretty good but I can't remember the names right now.  However I did want to SLAM a few places.

OBX Brew Station - Beers were lame, food was a bit weird but well done.  My wasabi mashed potatoes were HULK green.  You don't need to add that much food coloring!
Ice Cream Stands (General) - Hersheys and Blue Bunny are not a big deal folks.  How about some REAL store/home made icecream like I get at the northern beaches.

Biking - Pretty good and generally felt safe rode about 50 miles in 3 rides.  Would have been 60 but the car incident.  It was a badly/well hidden drive and the old lady just pulled right on out, J was going a bit fast and not considering the potential for pull outs.

Beaches - Love em, though the undertow/etc could be rough.

Jockey's Ridge State Park - Amazing place to watch sunset, fly smaller kites.  My big 6 foot delta-v stunt kite almost killed a few people who wouldn't get out of the way.  Way too much wind and too big of a kite to fly the night I tried.  I wanna try hang gliding.

Kite Surfing - Expensive ass sport to learn/do.  A one day class series runs 400-500 typically.  Some schools have 2 day schools that run $600 and is the way to go.  Next time maybe.  Watched a ton of this from   The school down near Rodanthe is pretty cool and has good beer.  The food at the cafe is pretty lame though.

Got back from Vakay and started prepping for the Big Summer Picnic only to find - SURPRISE!  It started raining Friday night and didn't really stop till Sunday AM.  Postponed.

Now rescheduled for Rosaryville on Aug 12.  Don't think we are going to get a huge turnout.

We've been averaging 25 rides over the summer since W@W started and that's up again from last year we were pulling maybe 20. Trying to get back into road also on the CX, my mileage really died in July due to the heat/etc.  Going running tonight though.

Did a big bunch of bike maintenance this last week and it payed off, the MTB is riding nice and not making tons of creaking/etc.

Olympics have been pretty good so far, looking forward to MTB and BMX.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Escape Velocity Built

Wow, after what feels like forever, my vacation starts next week.  My last one was back in early March to see my folks and well, visiting the parents, isn't really a vacation :)  Say it's a half-cation.

This time I'm off to the OBX which I haven't been to since probably Reagan was in his first term as president.  I want to say I was in 1st grade but not positive.  Staying in Nags Head and hoping to get some good riding, good relaxing and good swiming in.  Also hoping to make it to the Wright Bro's museum.  

Wakefield ride last night was pretty good, we rode mostly Accotink which is sort of amazingly clear excluding 1 or 2 spots, especially the last big descent near the dam area which is blocked by a HUGE tree.  Got 8 miles and change, no pre-ride as I stayed late at work.  Post ride was good time chilling, drinking beer and hanging out.   The girl who damaged a tooth a few years ago came back for the first time.  Felt horriible hearing a few others were also damaged!  Ouch!  Major dental work for her.  Damn.  Now she wears a mouth guard, probably not a bad idea really.  

Put a deposit down for J on a bike to checkout on our way outa town on Saturday.

Tonight it's Dream Theater at the Warner.  Should be another awesome show, saw them earlier on tour and was really impressed.

Oh and Happy Friday the 13th.  :P

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Sawing Along

Well it's been a long and busy week.  Work has been stupid due to working an extra hour everyday and the 2 extra on Thursday morning REALLY sucked.  Been playing catchup on sleep since then still need a few more.

Thursday we did a ride and clear at Accotink.  Damn.  A TON of trees down.  We cleared a bunch of stuff and some smaller trees using hand saws but a lot simply requires chainsaws.  Larry C sawed out a MEGA ton of timber, probably 100+ cuts or more in 2 hours. 

Also "found" a wasp nest on the Gas Plant trails near the BIG Grass Field.  One of my guys was stung 10-15 times, another maybe more but on the head and body and he bailed out.  Not that I got away without being stung, I got taped once, on the thumb thru my glove.  Oy I was damn lucky.  And very glad I wore my 3/4's shorts over my tights. 

Still a lot of stuff to clear on the new interior trail I believe, though WF is now fully clear.  Actually trimmed the lower third of Phase 4 that was just horribly over growing.  Got tired of battling plants while riding thru.  Another week or two and it will be clear for a good while.

Ran again yesterday, felt much better than on last Friday's same run, this time running probably 2.5 and walking 1 mile of it.  Not sure of time, but definetely ran further and better so my estimate for last week should have been like 1.75 and 1.75 I think.  So thats about  11 miles of run/walking in the last 2 weeks, starting to feel better.  Now I have a major goal to be in good shape as I'm doing this run at the end of October:

Run for Your Lives - Baltimore - Oct 27 2012.