Monday, May 21, 2012

God I hate lawn work.

A complete first for me yesterday. 

NO ONE turned out for my trailwork day.  I admit I didn't publicize it like I wished but I still usually get a few late arrivals or a few kids who need volunteer hours.  This year I got 0.  Not that I was really disappointed.  It meant less thinking and some self time out to reflect as I murdered plant life up and down the CJ Trail.  So I started with cleaning up the Tuckerman RD to Goya section entrance.  Trimmed that way back.  Hopefully soon it will have a REAL sign.  Then cleared the corridor a bit up the hill, this section isn't ever to bad and only the entrance area will need a follow up before the fall/winter.    Then I drove up to the shopping center and started from the double bridge area first I worked my way back up the trail toward the entrance to pick off 2 bad spots I noticed then I cleared a bridge of debris and a creek also.  Then it was the long march.  I then worked all the way up till the next bridge.  Some area's I REALLY cleared heavily some were more minimal and will require follow up at the end of June for sure.  This was now a bit before 1pm and I wasn't quite done.  I drove over to the Bradley Rd trail intersections and cleared the big bridge entrance WAY back then crossed back over bradley and worked about half way up that section also.  1 or 2 more evenings in the next few weeks should have the basics in good shape. 

The re-route i wanted to do had to be postponed for major inspections/etc.  Looks like it may also involve more sections and end up on an old roadbed possible,  Good in that it will be high up and will dry off quick, bad in that it won't be as fun or flowy as some of the low area's stuff.    We have flagged a temporary line to move the tread up onto to make it okay but with only myself that didn't happen. 

And now it's raining again, looks like another wet early week and drying out a bit towards the end, though this week it's scattered or smothered or covered T-storms (Sorry have a bit of waffle house on the brain this morning it seems).  Hoping it lets up enough for a quick 10 miles or so at least this afternoon.

Big kudo's out to Rich D for winning the Single Speed class at the Pisgah 111k.  I can't imagine riding 69 miles of pisgah in one day.  I've done a fair chunk of the race.  Across 3 seperate days.  oy.

Off to find some slow moving lunch.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Oh Wakefield my friend.

Was feeling a bit tired in the legs last night so I did a pretty mimimal 4 mile'ish pre-ride staying in Wakefield.  Based on my power of the pre-ride I opted to keep the casual group in Wakefield and it was a nice change.  We've been riding mostly Accotink pretty regularly since mid March. 

Had 4 groups out with 32 signed riders and I think .  Most went to Accotink exlcluding us.  So we only saw a few bikers near the end like the fast guys who were coming up thru the bowl on their way back at 10 till 8.  Damn.

By the end my legs were pretty tired with probably about 14 miles total and 10 miles with the casual group.

Good times hanging out in the parking lot post ride and shooting the breeze. 

So far I haven't missed having my big ring much at all at Wake-o-Tink.  The rear wheel is going in on Sunday for spoke fix/retension after bashing a spoke up in PA 2 weeks ago.  I consider that not really the wheels fault but my own so I'm not putting that towards replacement. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Urban Assault on Arlington.

Great ride with some REAL nutters last night.  These guys have apparently been doing UA rides together in DC for 12 years or more.  Currently they leave out of the Sangamore Safeway.  Since they new some of us joining for this weeks ride wouldn't be on MTB's but road bikes and such a couple of them were also on roadbikes. 

We took off on time and hauled ass back down the hill to MacArthur Blvd and made our way down some goat paths to cross at Chain Bridge.  CRAZY!  Up 123 we went and then the back way leaving 123 up the hill.  ARGH it sucked I made it most of the way but crapped out up the hill.  Then down a bunch of back roads I used to use in REALLY bad beltway traffic, till I realized the Beltway was quicker.  ugh.  Some nice hills.  We eventually made it to the WO&D and I was trying to hang on.  Had a scary crossing on the way. WOW.  We eventually hit Columbia Pike and we motored on for the Arlington Drafthouse and Cinema.

We then saw a screening of 24 Hour Solo from 2006 with the director Jason Berry and the star, Chris Eat-off.  :P

Damn compelling movie, well done showing just how crazy you must be to ride your MTB on some insane course for up to 25 hours straight.  The guy who actually won that specific event ended up pushing himself way to hard and in the hospital for 3 days facing potential kidney failure.  And he didn't re-enter the 24 hour worlds again until 2010.  He did do some 24 hour events in AUS but admitted the traveling made it very hard to have a good crew. 

So back we went by way of WO&D to Mt.Vernon Trail to the C&O Canal to the CCT and back.  Ended up with 29 miles total (I forgot to start my gps at the very beginning.).  Avg speed of 15.2 with a max of 33.3 and that felt blazing!  Left knee is a bit sore/stiff from sleeping sprawled. 

Another ride tonight will add probably 10 miles and friday I'll add probably ANOTHER 10 on top, to bring my weekly mileage for the week to a completely SICK 70 miles.  That is for me.  Damn garmin connect's ability to graph stuff sucks!  I'd like to see a weekly activity graph/chart.  Oh well maybe I'll make a spreadsheet. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's the i-Talians for the win.

Got out of work late Saturday and opted to spike Spokes and head directly down to Bikenetic in Falls Church.  Due to stupid traffic didn't make it in till 5:30'ish.  Ugh. 

Looked around a bit on my own and spotted something nice and basic on the wall.  A Bianchi Volpe.

Got the info on it (it was in my cheapo price range, and it was steel).  Had em throw a set of flats on since I was still in heavy pants from work and took it out for a quick spin at 5:45.  A couple laps of the parking area's and I took off for a bit more ended up going up the wo&d a bit before doubling back on back streets.  Was really impressed with it and the position was pretty damn good.  Later I found out why. 

Back at the shop at 6:05 feeling bad they were closed and I was a bit late they were still busy in the store.  I decided I need a longer ride to REALLY get the feel for it.  Go back tomorrow after a morning ride.

Well the morning ride didn't happen as I need to do some grooming with the caps loss, I could finally shave my ratty-ass-beard.  Then I hit the barbershop for a close date with Mrs.#1 Clipper.  I'd forgotten how REALLY short a #1 is.  Between the shave and a haircut a few people today didn't recognize me. 

Back at Noon for shop opening but there a bit late due to Bike DC.  No biggie.  They change out the flats for my clipless and I change into a riding shirt and shoes, forgoing the tights. A nice spin down and back the WO&D, taking a few detours for hills and doing some mini-trails and some gravel sections.  WOOT!


Back at the shop I tell Yon to pack it up I'm taking it home, we look at it and realize it's not a 57 but a 55. He has me get one and while I'm a bit smooshed full in the hoods/drops when up or on the main bar I'm fine if not a bit upright.  Also this one has a layback/setback seat post and with the seat adjusted we gave it an eyeballed measurement making the top tube effective the just about the 59 And I can raise my seat a bit more.  Also if I want to stretch a bit more I can rotate the bars a hair more down. 

After a beer lunch I came home and fought off the nap demons to go out on another spin to set the bike a bit more.  Adjusted the seat a bit higher and headed out.  Another damn fun spin around the land of exile.  As I get more comfortable I'm sure I'll end up a bit faster and as I ride more too.  Also the WTB All-terrain-asorous tires are not the fastest things out there.  I do plan to pick up some gatorskin slicks in the future to try.  Whee!

Now to grill and chill.

Friday, May 11, 2012

10000 Views. All those slow days at work paying off!

Just wanted to mention this blog is about to pass the 10K view mark after 20 years in the making.  Those long days of  hitting refresh from co-workers unlocked workstation are about to pay off in a big way once all the advertisers get a load of this!  hhahaha. 

Had a damn good group of 7/8 last night at Wake-o-Tink.  We railed and road the trails of Accotink which were damp but mostly ride able. We did the whole of Accotink from Boyscout and back.  Kept rolling and had good climbs. 

Had to bail directly after the ride due to work stuff alas, so didn't get to chill much.

So far I haven't noticed not having my big ring any more but WF/Accotink isn't log over city or the flatest place on earth though me and the other Rob did sprint down Danbury Forest after the school.  Can't wait to see the GPS, felt like I was flying.  Damn glad I had my glasses dirt/mud from the tires kept flinging up and hitting my face and chest.

Also while prepping I noticed the rear d was loose and tightened that back up and that I have a massively mashed rear spoke that needs replacement.  Argh.  Maybe it's more about where I ride these days.  It's not just Wakefield/etc so I loose more spokes to damage then I'm used to.  I'll give this rear wheel another 6 months and if it's still being a pain I'm gonna switch to some sort of straight pull spoke setup. Like C29ssmax from Mavic's or Sun Ringle Black Flag's. 

Hopefully going on a big ride Sunday morning or afternoon.  Still need to see the Avengers but not sure I want to go with the hordes on the weekend.  Dark Shadows also looks excellent.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

As I suspected.

I came back into work today to un-surprisingly find my 2 new BBG bash guards sitting on my desk, apparently since Friday of all things.  Surprise!   Though realizing the last time I could have checked here was at 11'ish and the mail doesn't always come by then so it was 50/50 odds that they would have been here.  Oh well.

What can I say but chain ring scars on my right leg are sexy, chicks dig scars right?

Looking at The Diesel's logs of what the group did on the other side on Sunday I was VERY glad I did my own thing, they did another 1000 feet of climbing and I would have died and not held that pace either.

Tonight I should finish cleaning my bike, yesterday became a full on recovery day of taking it pretty easy and such.

 Also I cooked my un-used MC appetizer of a Fig, Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza and it was AWESOME.  I accidentally had gotten balsamic fig chutney and it worked out really well as it cut the sweetness of the figs and went well.  The mozzarella was awesome and adding bits of goat cheese really helped also.  Grilled on the gas grill it was amazingly good.  

So on to cleaning the bike and hopefully installing the bash guard tonight, then maybe hit the Avengers.  $207M is pretty sick for a movie opening on a non 3-day weekend. 

Monday, May 07, 2012

Man Camp Spring 2012 Wrap Up

Just a few highlights from Man Camp Spring 2012 Ed.

Day 3 - Descending Mt View.  Wow.  If that tree wasn't down half way it would be insane.
Day 3 - Descending Rock N Ridge (starting at 13)
Day 3 - Sitting in the CRAZY Cold creek where we parked to get the damn itchy grass spots to go away.
Day 3 - Darius making Toad's in the Hole.
Day 2 - Amazing dinner and post dinner drinks with a bunch of cool folks.
Day 2 - Death Wing at Boulevard Grill.
Day 2 - Getting the ABSOLUTELY FILTHIEST I've ever been on a MTB.  Way dirtier than the Dozen of 2011.  Riding in wet trails is BAD but it does feel a bit more real.  We did take the road where we could.
Day 2 - Making it up lots of rock garden stuff I couldn't have done last year for sure
Day 2 - Going between those big ass bolders.  Wish I could have ridden more of it without fear of grinding off a stray arm.
Day 2 - Big breakfast, and showing off my mad bacon cooking skills via the oven.  Thanks Hasaan! Though I didn't burn the bacon.
Day 1 - Starting cooking dinner at 10pm, finishing dinner at midnight with Creme Brule Ice Cream and Asparagus baked with prosciutto. 
Day 1 - Damn good beers and wings and Windbere Hotel with a bunch of cycling nutters.
Day 1 - Rode an amazing park nearly in a town with 16 miles of trail in a 1x1 mile area.
Day 1 - Meeting up with Dkeg and Darius for an unplanned lunch at Jean Bonnet Tavern.
Day 1 - Leaving on Time/almost early.

The Rough Stuff
Day 3 - Getting cut off and forced to go 35 miles in the wrong way on PA State Turnpike.
Day 3 - Rock thrown up by front wheel into ankle.  Still hurts.  Ouch.
Day 3 -  uh yah....never mind.
Day 2 - Getting Absolutely Soaked
Day 2 - No bug spray and my camp chair was in someone elses car.  D'oh.
Day 1 - Big Ring leaving me 10 new scars.

Big Thanks to:
Mike and Deb Mucker (sp) for leading, organizing, guidance!
Darius for the Invite
Craig for hanging back so I didn't feel so damn slow

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Demo Day Madness

Yesterday I was out at Accotink for Spokes/Trek's demo day at the park.  I ended up taking 4 riders out for MTB rides.

1 guy was cool guy down visiting from Minnesota who does a lot of MTB up there and reports this was definetely the year of the Fat Bike.  He said one race he was at had 40 guys in their own Fat Bike class.  Crazy!  But up there it sounds more usefully/necessary.  Still not sure why RickyD has one.  2.4's would be almost the same between him and me :P

Waiting for my BBG Bashguards to come in so I can try then and see if I want the 34 or 32.