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


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.