ThanksGiving Weekend

I did three Rides this weekend. I did two Tandem rides which were fun, the first being on Thanksgiving day, and then on Sunday. The first was still in that warm front that had come through on Wednesday. We did 33 miles in Warrenton and I dropped Heather off at her parents. The ride was a flat one, but some of the vistas were still pretty with the late fall colors. The Second Tandem ride(on Monday) was a quick 20 or so in Arlington and Bethesda. We went up Military Rd. and then some side streets in N. Arlington, then took the Capital Cresent Trail to Bethesda. Well the trail was too crowded so we ended up taking Wisconson to Nebraska to Fox Hall for the way back to Arlington. Nothing like Tandeming in City Traffic!
On Sat. I had the chance to ride with one of our new Team Members of DCMTB-- Lynne, and my friend Mark at Fountainhead. Was a colder ride at the start. We did one lap pretty easy tempo, Lynne is a strong rider, she is just working on her tech skills to match her leg speed. I really hurt my knee on the first lap. The leaves on the trail made things slippery. I was doing a turn then my front wheel washed out, and hit a tree, with the stem going into my knee. We decided to do another lap at speed, so I was off the front pushing a good pace, but I had to take some layers off cause I was starting to overheat. I then got in place with my camera to get Mark and Lynne going down Shock-a-billy hill. I used the High speed capture mode, pretty slick. Fountainhead is fun, but that trail is so completely different from 8 years ago, really rutted and some parts are just not safe for novice riders. I hear there is going to be a redesign there in the future. Well I will do one ride this week, then the Capital Cross to get my Ass handed to me, since it is the off season for me at least.


BustHead-Dirtyburg Ride

This ride is my favorite Dirt Road ride that is easy to get to. The ride is 42 miles and I found out on Sat. has about 4000' of elevation. That elevation mostly comes from small hills with one bigger climb(BustHead) and then coming back over the ridge again towards the end of the ride.

We had 6 of us at the start, Unfortunately the boys on mountain bikes, Kent and his friend(Chris?) were riding a little slower and needed to get back sooner. This was the first real ride for me in like a week and a half, and boy did my legs feel it!
The ride is a good one, and we were able to see some real nice foliage, along with some $$$$$ houses that are out there. The Middleburg stop is great with the bakery there(not open on Sundays though). The ride took awhile with like a 15 mph avg so that 42 felt more like a 60 mile ride. The question is my knee good enough for the capital cross dec. 4th?

Some Ride notes:

-Never underestimate the power of a sausage roll for bike fuel

-WTB interwolves are the best dirt road tires around big for cush and roll well for hardpack/pavement sections.

-BustHead is a blast to come down you are flying around 30+ on the dirt

-Bruce almost hit a deer going down that same mountain, must have been the deer running away from the hunters since it was the first day of hunting season.

-Ryan was riding strong, or could have been his cool matching white/grey camo seat that matched his grey Giant.

-Pat was riding pretty good after being off the bike for awhile with his arm issues.

-My knee held up, but I am not in top shape anymore so the last climb I had to let Bruce, and Ryan go up the road.

-This is a great Iron Cross training ride, so next September I will remember to do it.

-Bruce had one of the best lines,"Stomach full of scotchies(oatmeal cookies with buttersctchcream between them) I feel good.


Tacchino Ciclicross

3rd out of 90 in the CAT4 race.
I had this race on my calendar almost after I had done it in 2006. This cyclocross course is one of the most unique. This race has no pavement, has one longer hill than most. I also went with low gearing a 11-34 in back and 34-50 in front. I never used the 34 in back, did use the 28 though for the run up section. I decided with these conditions I would race my bike monster cross style! I had a 42mm Mythos CX in front and a 40mm in back. These tires roll well enough, and I could run them low to help with the bumps. I think I made the back a little too low because it felt like the tire was going to roll off the rim!
I get to the start and there are 90 people lined up for the CAT 4 race! I ask the guy if they have call ups, and he says yes so I get to jump to the front of the line, and am starting with Matt Parse.

Well the start goes off and I am off. I didn't get the best start had to try twice to get in my pedals. Then comes the barriers pretty much right after the start.

I get to the Run up/Ride hill which I rode every time, not that it was faster to do so but I didn't have to unclip.
I get to the back side of the course and I am in the lead after Steve Wahl flatted(bad luck cause I think he would have won) I am in the lead with Matt, and Mike (teamates) behind me I get to the tight turn and over cooked it and went straight into the tape. I should have just went nice and easy though there, and made the guys pass me. After this the two of them were in front of me the whole race. I would get closer to them and then fall back.

I did actually bridge up to them at one point, but I think I used up too much energy and then I could not stay with them. It was cool though having the announcer talk about you for 30 minutes! If sponsors were there they would have had their names announced big time. I could hear him saying things like:
-"Looks like Darren Biggs is losing ground to the tag team of Capital Hill Bikes"
-"The Rubber Band is stretching"
-"This CityBikes rider will not give up!"
-"He is clawing his way back"
-"Darren Biggs of DCMTB CityBikes has made contact with the leaders!"

the lap counter got screwed up so when it should have been 3 laps to go, it was the bell lap. I got kinda messed up there, cause I went into survival mode when I thought I had 3 more laps to go. At the last lap I eased up a bit, and the front guys battled for the win(with Chris beating Matt this week after Matt won last week's DC-DX),

luckily Ryan Bannon didn't catch me. Ryan would have been a hard man to beat, and he almost caught me and he crashed three times, while I had a pretty much solid race besides that one bobble. I had issues with my knee earlier in the week, but it didn't bother me race day so the question is do I continue to race? Also if Mabra counts cyclocross races as mass start races I could move up to CAT 4 for road if I do the rest of the races.

Here are a bunch of pics that I took of the Masters,CAT3/4, and Elite and Jon and Heather took of the Mens CAT 4 race.(Click on Slide Show to go to viewer)