Thursday, May 23, 2013

Development Arresting

Clip and Walk was what happened Monday.  Sure I rode my bike into the area and in between work area's but riding isn't really a valid description.  I did get most of the outside perimeter trail trimmed.  Also cleared the north entrance (but not the trail) and the southern entrance.   Also made a good dent into clearing the little used trail behind the lower ballfield.  It's a safer exit than the southern entrance for sure, you don't have to make the hard right or end up in traffic.   Or you may end up being on the recieving end of the next Emma Way of Norwich England who just hit the cyclist knocking him off the road into a shrubbery.  Hopefully the Knights of Ni go and deal with that uppity wench forthwith.

Hitting the trails today then I'll ride in again on Friday on the road I hope.  143 Miles'ish into May so far, this should put me near 170 before the weekend. 

And in the cosmic jokes of the week, a friend sent J flowers since our elder cat Merlin was put to sleep last week.  Well it included Lily's.  Lily's are VERY poisonous to cats.  Stupid remaining cat decided to chow down on some fallen leaves/etc.  He is now enjoying a 3 day stay at the vets.  At a cost of a small country's daily GDP.  Sigh.  I think in the last 2 months cat bills/etc are going to have topped the cost of a VERY nice mountain bike. 

They do say the average American household is now spending 15K per pet over it's lifetime in food and care. 

For now this is my weekend plan.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Humidty is Hell

Got a good ride in on Sunday AM.  Definitely not feeling full awesome yet, but doing better.  Still have a fair amount of chest congestion/crud.  Nothing like coughing while your getting up and seeing a green phlegm ball land on your nice white comforter. 

So I rolled outa bed a bit before 8 and after consulting multiple weather sites I dressed for damp/light right/slight cool with my 3/4 length cycling shorts, bibs, short sleeved jersey and my high vis wind/water shell.  By 8:30'ish I was rolling out.  Hit Vienna and promptly ran into a big 5k run/walk on the WOD heading west.  Sigh.  Cleared that and raced off to Hunters Mill.  At HM I opted to jump of the WOD and try Hunter Station Rd.  ZOMG BFH!  That hill is SERIOUS and I wasn't mentally or physically prepped/rolling fast to start with and it was a slow 3 minute slog.  Up the rest of the way and over on Twin Brooks.  No speed records for sure.  Then back down to the WOD near work.  And out I went, rain had stopped but I didn't want to.  I rode almost to Leesburg.  Really debated going the whole way but the morning was passing and I knew if I kept going partially I might be tempted to go all the way to P-ville and that would be bad.  So I turned around and headed back.  At Smith's Switch I stopped to use the facilities.  And opted to pack the jacket into a jersey pocket.  Sorta.   A bit big.  Back to Vienna was not bad even almost PR'd one section.  Saw several MORE friends on the trail on the way back.  

Only had 2 Lance Waffles on the course of the day so far, so I was starved when I was done.  A PB and honey sandwhich got me thru my shower and setting the washer to wash the nasty cycle wash.  Then it was left over chicken tenders.  I spent the afternoon dragging due to lack of caffeine, so I eventually got one at the store when getting the weekly necessaries.  I also found out Mr.Clean Magic Erasers are awesome at removing random tire scuffs/etc on house walls.   I've been starving since the ride though. 

I also pulled all my winter gear for storage and re-oganizer my closet, much easier to find/get to stuff for now for sure.  I realized I now have near 13 cycle jerseys.  Oops I think I'm off a few as at least 1 maybe 2 are in the basement.  Damn.  Oh well. 

Tonight I've got clip and ride or more like clip and walk trailwork at Wakefield.  I'll be happy if one other helper shows up.  I hope 10 don't as I don't have that many pruners!  :P

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Down with a Sickness and a cat and a finger.

Last weeks free-meal-o-rama from work led to no less than 3 fellow co-workers being anywhere from sorta sick to sick as hell with a cold/flu/cough thing that punched my ticket over the weekend.  The last few days I've been operating by the graces of liquid Mucinex cough and cold.  It's helped me mostly sleep at night without too much drainage and coughing.  Though I did have one good fit at bedtime or just after.  But the 2 previous nights i did get at least 6 hours of good sleep before waking to cough/etc. 

Otherwise the suckiness has continued from last weekend un-detered.  Cat had a bad day last thursday again, J said he was in bad shape which he was, Friday was spent on cat watch.  He was doing a bit better but the old guy was just not doing as well as 2 weeks ago before the last dip.  Saturday I went to work for a bit then came home.  J was waffling on taking the guy to the vet to be put to sleep, I convinced her not to since we had mobile vet coming Monday afternoon.  

Monday cat's still not much better and in someways worse he's being a bit more "hidey" spending more time in the basement then out.  But not fully hiding.  Vets come and after 30 minutes of discussion or so we decide enough is enough.  The cancer and the diabetes are just too hard on the guy.  He's not walking well and his  jaw is cracking when eating.  We put him to sleep.  Just after the 1st injection J is feeding him some turkey when he bites her index finger on the right hand at the big joint.  They wash it out and we continue and in a bit the guy is gone.  He was a great cat for sure.  2 years on the big D survival for a 14+ year old cat is pretty impressive.  He was actually at least 15 1/2 by the end, I suspect it could be up to a year more however.  The vet was awesome and handled things really well.  Then informed us J should go to the ER or the minute clinic for antibiotics due to cat bite infections being bad especially in hands.  And off we went. 

2 hours later we were done at the Minute Clinic.  J with a scrip for Kflex.  We ate, came back and got the scrip and went home.  Next morning I went back to work and J woke up sore err and more swelled and went to the ER.  ER gave her IV antibiotics, put it in a cast type thing and had her keep it elevated and return wednesday for a check.  Back yesterday we both went.  Not too busy at 8 but still almost 10 before we saw the PA.  Meanwhile crazy homeless lady in the hospital comes up and rips a bandaid right off J's hand!  We later hear her telling nurse her height is 7 foot 5!  hahaha.  Full on crazy!

J's hand is now in a finger splint only but she is to keep it elevated and soak it in warm water 2x per day.  Tomorrow she has a follow up with a plastic surgeon (huh will it scar that bad?!?!). 

Tonight is Wakefield TNR we have a mod chance of a storm but I think we're going to edge it out again.  Then Friday is Bike to Work Day.  Finally gonna get my tshirt after 7 years!  Well I only road for about 4  years of days.  2 years I mtb'd in thru the mud!  It was nuts.  last year I road the roads.  This year I could hit 2 stops if I wanted Vienna and Reston.  We'll see how time goes.

Hopefully by Sunday I'll feel good enough to lay down a 40-45.  In the next month I've gotta do my 100 miles to no where.  I may have to 2 day it not sure at this point as I have a LOT of commitments and not much time in the next month.

For now I'm off to check on ole one hand (what I call J in reference to Jaime Lanister in Game of Thrones).

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Iron Thone Game Man Vikings 3.1256

I don't often comment on my media habits but I do have to give big props for Iron Man 3 as being way better than 2, and almost catching 1 for being enjoyable entertainment and how well it came together.  Further on that note I'm also enjoying the heck out of Game of Thrones and watching Jamie Lannister, The Kingslayer, trying and cut a steak with only 1 hand.  Vikings has also been surprisingly good.  Imagine game of thrones on semi-basic cable.  Almost.  Still really enjoyable.  The fights can be brutal. 

Otherwise my regular media habits amount to books on tape when driving and occasionally
when riding. 

Otherwise it's music like this:

Or Red Fang or such. 

Riding my bike otherwise a bit, rain kept me off Monday and Tuesday but I'm back today.  Think I shaved a full minute of my best time this AM even on the Volpe with my commuting pack on.  Might try it again on Saturday packlessly and see what happens when I do it on the Fuji Carbon.  I've also named my bikes now that I've gone dark side and joined Strava. 

Paragon is Miss Daisy....
Volpe is uh Volpe Vengefull
Fuji Team Carbon is now Kamehameha. 

I think I was a bit drunk mentally when I was naming them but hey whatever. 

Photo's from MC 2013 are now online surprisingly from me.  I expected it to take into 2014 for me to find the cable.

Dinner tonight with the co-slaves, then ride home.  I suspect a probable b33r stop either at WF or VI.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Camped Out 2013 - Forescore and Seven

The drive back sucked.  It was rainy and extremely foggy at times, around 6 I pulled off to gas up and took a 45 minute power nap as I was falling asleep at the wheel almost.  I rolled out hard then and made good time the rest of the way back to Woodstock VA where I arrived about 11 pm.  I checked myself into my own room and when parking only saw Brett's van in the lot.  I didn't care enough to even bring my bike in out of the on and off rain.  I turned on the TV for about 10 minutes and was wiped out.  I slept till 8 the next morning.  Got up showered and hit the breakfast line.  Lo and behold half the missing campers were they.  Apparently the nutters hit Carvins Cove at night on the way back and didn't hit the hotel till 1 AM or so!

We all watched the weather and patterns as we ate crappy eggs, cinnamon buns, and such.  It looked like we would be in just the right place and have a mostly dry day.

By 9 most folks were up and functional and we loaded up to go to Dunkin for some good coffee and donuts pre-ride.  We took off and everyone drove past the DD but me which was right around the corner. I about died laughing.    By 9:40 we were on our way to Camp Roosevelt.

We hit CR around 10:45 or so I think and prepped and loaded up.  Started with a 2 mile'ish dirt road climb.  Foggy as hell amazing overlook I'm sure.  My one good photo is of everyone looking like were about to take off down the overlook.  Then we crossed the road and climbed the rest of the way up on some nice but techy singletrack.  Had to hike a bit more than I wanted but it was good.  Amazing view at the top and then a pretty impressive descent.  Not huge like Saturday but still pretty good.  Nice ride with mix of conditions, much more in my capability matrix.

Near the end I was catching the back of the pack and had just waived them onwards when I hear CREEK/Crack! 

FCK!  Chain break.  The last rider had just went around the hill and my swearing loudly had drawn no one back.  An examination of the chain showed one bad link, an outer so I would loose no length.  Dig out the big multi tool.  Dig out the spare QL10.  Dig out the kitchen sink.  Got the bad section out, got the link ready.  Noticed chain is VERY dry from rain on drive/overnight even though I lubed the hell out of it the afternoon before leaving the cabin.  Uhg.  And the rear D is having issues not shifting down to high gear!  a few hits of a rock and shifting fixes it eventually.  Reconnect it and flip the bike back over.  And start repacking when HO comes back looking for me.  I tell the story and we laugh.  And it's .8 miles to the car at this point.  A quick grind out very carefully and we're back.  We start to change and have a beer when in rolls the local forest rep.  State or Fed I can't remember but DK is trading war stories and we all want a beer.  She leaves after 15/20 minutes.  And it's beer  time.  We enjoy a few last official beers of man camp and head off.  We all hit Jalisco in Strausberg VA for some tasty texmex.  Damn good and we're on the road at 5pm on the way home. 

And home a bit before 7.  Unload most of the crap, a load of laundry in the wash and I'm done and passed out at about 9pm, with dreams of cougars, unicorns, tar heels and all the other hijinks of MC 2013. 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Camped Out 2013 - Part Threesome

When we last left our intrepid hero's, the Man Camp 2013 Appetizer battle had begun.  Some of us brought our A games, and well some slackers just brought their appetite. 

Knowing my recipe had some complexity and 2 slower parts I rushed in upon our return to claim a pan on the stove and to get my other part into the oven first.

My recipe of choice was:  Hipster BLT's. 
8 Slices of Crispy Fried Bacon  (I used Applewood Smoked). Diced into nice chunks.  Next time I use 12 slices, more bacon please!
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese - I used Monterrey Jack.
1/3 Cup Mayo - I used an A-1 Spicy Mayo from Helmans or such - Plus 2 table spoons of horseradish mayo/sauce from Safeway. 
Mix Ingredients together in bowl.
10-12 Grands Honey Biscuits.
1 large very ripe tomato  sliced in half down middle and de-cored to give 1/2 tomato slices. 
1/2 large tub of Mach lettuce. 

Split biscuits, put nice layer of Mach lettuce down.  Put tablespoon+ of cheese/bacon/mayo mix on lettuce and a slice of tomato. 

Everyone seemed to love it, they were VERY tasty I think.  But it still wasn't enough.  I got beaten by Thai chicken skewers with a humus and siracha sauce in 2nd, and 1st was Brett's homemade sausage mushroom on dainty crackers with fresh thin slices of manchego.  I love manchego and I REALLY did like both other dishes but I don't feel they were better.  Oh well I still placed.  Karl did tasty quesadilla's.  Darius did a salad that was good, but I understand his lack of effort, pulling the whole trip together is a HUGE deal.  Someone else had something but it wasn't even in the running. 

Then we had steaks.  I had a small steak that I think someone switched on me.  It was unimpressive if it wasn't.  Oh well next time I supervise my own steak.  :)  Darius did a great job cooking it even if the steak itself was CRAP!

We had a grand ole time.  Enjoyed lots of great wine, then a few beers after also.  We hot-tubbed for near an hour and by 2AM everyone was sacking out.   I was actually one of the last too be tired and in bed for a change.   Plenty of water kept us from being hung over. 

Rain of a serious magnitude was the order for Sunday.  No ride so after breakfast we opted to hike Linville gorge/falls in the rain.  We hiked 3 miles'ish and saw some great views of the falls.  Several times I went trail nuts and cut/fixed drains were the rain was pooling badly.  They needed a scout troop for a weekend and I could have the whole place mostly fixed.  2 Area's needed a drain put in.

So after the hike we detoured back to where the ride started the single track the day before.  Apparently Darius had lost his gps early on.  They head out we chill in the cars.  30 minutes later they are back and have it.  It wasn't very far in and they found it on the way back. 

A quick stop for coffee turns into the slowest coffee ever.  The guy could only take 1 order/make 1 drink at a time. Oy no starbucks in his future.  I managed to spill half my hot chocolate everywhere and cleaned it up myself so he wouldn't slow down more.

Back at the house and we change and pack up.  I volunteer to stay as no one started the dishwasher before the hike and it has to be emptied before we can leave.  Everyone else headed out around 3.  Dishes finished at about 4:30 I dried em and headed out after a quick stop at Wendy's.  5 Hours of driving a head.  And boy was it rainy, foggy and getting dark early.  My favorite drive!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

PTI - Just one of those mornings.

Pardon the MC 2013 interruption but I have a few anecdotes to share from yesterday this morning. 

If you are excited for your first bike to work day in a while you inevitibly forget to set the extra early alarm you need.

While grumbling about missing out on the ride you forget to grab your keys, only realizing it when you have walked out the door shutting it.  And checking the stupid lock realizing the knob is locked and you have to call someone out of bed to let you back in. 

My mtb still had water in it yesterday when I near fully disassembled it, blew it out with compressed air, re-greased everything, and stuff.

Before a ride where the bike has been in the rain over night you must re-lube the chain even if you put a ton of lube on the night before or it will break. 

My derailleur was VERY loose on at least Monday's ride.

Beware of Cougar Mountain, in addition to Cougars it may have Tar Heels and also the rarely observed Flying Honey Badger.  I think one bounced off my helmet luckily at one point.  I was able to escape down the mountain before it woke up.

I need more hike-a-bike cross training.

More to come later I'm sure.

Camped Out 2013 - Part Duece

No alarm clocks necessary on day 2 of Man Camp.  The earliest to bed folks were the earliest to arise and from my position on the main floor couch everything is happening near by including 2 different people making coffee 2 different ways.  The plan is currently our guide should arrive around 9:30 so we have 2 hours to get ready.  Not long considering 11 campers need to eat mass quantities of breakfast.  Frank fires the potatoes to start with.  A bit later sausage hits the skillets.  I go and prep my pack and gear.  Back up and I steal a PB&raisin&honey sandwich from Darius and I'm about ready.    One big breakfast later and we are mostly ready.  Then it comes in that we are shuttling.  Shit.  Out to the car to try and get a gear/change bag ready.  The sky is threatening the rain in the forecast. 

Guide shows up a bit before 10 and explains the plan.  Base ride should be around 18 miles (cough 22/23).  And 2 possible extensions.  Main ride should take 3 hours.  Maybe for him!  Lots of Descending!  We will start near 4800 feet and end up at 1600.  Mention of a few creek crossings.   And we are off a bit after 10.  4 vehicles of bikers on the road.  I'm rolling with Brett W in the VW battle van.  We drive up the mountain and eventually stop just on the other side of the parkway off 221 I think it was.  They now have to shuttle 1 car to the early stop and 2 more to the final end point. 

And we wait.  And Wait.  And Wait.  We are passed by a cougar in her Jaguar after her hike.  She's scarily friendly and eyeing us all up and down. 

The trip becomes officially known as Man Camp 2013 - Escape from Cougar Mountain!

Kegley works on his new rap songs for his new career.

We laugh and bullshit.  Todd B finds a random part on the side of the road and smartly saves it. 

An hour later the lone return car is back.  2 of the shuttle drivers report there cars in various states of fuel shortage from running on empty to possible on "Fumes".  The shuttlers prep and we are off.  On a 1.5 mile climb.  Up the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Several mechanical adjustments on the way and we finally hit the single track with a burly rock section doing a quick descent.  Then we roll a bit and start a bigger and slightly less techy descent.  Then it's a bit of up to the next big descent.  We are now down to 1700' from 4800'.  Damm. Now we climb back up to about 2400 feet and descend some rooty mess for a bit down to another screeming fireroad.

And the creek crossings start.  Shallow little things at first but eventually crossing 50-100 foot knee deep or more crossings on foot.  Lots of hike-a-bike also to go over insane rock piles etc.  7 or 8 big crossings.  And we stop for a more substantial break.  Or rather everyone else has waiting for me.  I stop and eat 3 bites of sandwich heaven.  And we are off and climbing again.  Back from 1650'ish to 2200.  And more creek crossings.  7 or 8 more of the same with some CRAZY hike-a-bike sections.  Did manage some stuff, but I wasn't beast enough for a lot of it.  Another big quick descent. 

6 hours later we finish with 18+ gps miles and what must be really 22/23 miles total.  I'm cooked and so are 3 or 4 others.  We opt to drive the shuttle to the next point.  BIG frickin climb up the mountain we pass everyone between half way and 3/4 of the way.  The lead group ops to do a quick last trail hit for the Sinkhole/Mine trail.  The others coming screaming down the mountain to the final meetup.  Last of the riders rolled in at 7:40 from the trail group.

We load up after some celebration and talking shit and we are off back up the mountain and praying that the fuel supply holds.  Which it does.  We eventually find a gas station with old school pumps and all 3 vehicles gas up.  The guide is behind a bit and doesn't need gas.  Back to the house about 8:30.  And Man Camp Appetizer Battle is ON!