Mt. Weather with Ladies

Well after the snow and mud fun from Leesburg, we thought the weather was a changin'. Well kinda. I was supposed to do Skyline Drive with Ryan and get some good sustained hill work. We are on our way to Skyline Dr. in Ft. Royal and about 20 miles out there was a lot of ice on the trees. We then called Anna to let her know not to come to Skyline cause there was a sheet of ice on the road. We decided to back track to Marshall and do the Blue Ridger. We met Anna and her fast friend Maggie. We started off and the ladies are doing a good cruisin' pace, and Ryan and I were just drafting off them :-) We had a pretty good pace, that would get split up on the climbs. We did the rest stop and talked to a man that was the first on the scene when a passenger plane hit Mt. Weather. Once we got to the climb I got the bit between my teeth and pushed it. Maggie was riding her own pace which means she decided to be slower. Ryan was also not trying to push it. I waited for Anna at Rt. 50 to make sure she made the turn. Once we took the left up Mt. Weather, we saw the ice trees again. Ryan and Maggie were up ahead, and I did the stupid thing and tried to catch them. I had not been up Mt. Weather in a couple of years, and I think this was the first time I did it with a compact. Well it was the fastest I have done it, so it means I am stronger than years past. Once on the ridge line we were dealing with falling ice and wet roads. I had not dressed quite warm enough, and I think that got me sick this week. We got down off the mountain, and luckily the sun was out and it was warmer. We did Naked Mountain, and thankfully no ice so it was a lot warmer. We then did the last ten miles with Ryan and I going up a little ahead of the ladies. When we got to the parking lot, my quads were tired, first ride of the year to have that feeling. Anna and Maggie are pretty hard-core cause they went and did another hour or so to "spin it out" Well I was done! Thinking I will ride more with Anna since she is one of the few on the team that actually gets out of the city pretty regularly.

Blue Riger Feb. 2008


You don't need no stinkin' trainer

This is one of my classic rides I try to do a couple of times a year. I had found this route in a Scott Adams mountain bike book. When he wrote it the first big climb was on a dirt road. This ride is a dirt road ride, but very different then the Busthead Dirtyburg Ride. These are well used dirt roads where the the latter ride has more gravel and more twisty.
I had some of the usual characters with Ryan, and Bruce from Bike Lane, and new to ride with Steve who will be riding with Bike Doctor this year. I had a late night on Friday so I was doing this ride with like 3.5 hours of sleep. I got up early and put on the WTB interwolves the best dirt road tire made in my opinion. I got to the ride start and the boys were waiting for me. We were all dressed up in our winter duds, I have feet issues so I was sporting the Lake Boots, with a chemical warmer inside. We started the ride and I knew right away that it was going to be one of those rides. Steve from Bike Doctor is a CAT 3 roadie who used to race mt. bikes so he knows how to handle himself. We do the first climb and Brucey seems a little
spunky and Steve was plain strong. Once we got on the ridge a biker catches us which is kinda weird since we were going a pretty good clip. It ends up that the Evolution team was doing a ride. So we chatted with them for a couple of miles and then parted ways as we went towards the dirt, and they stayed to the road.
The dirt was a combination of sections of dirt, snow, ice, and peanut butter mud. I found out right away that Steve was really strong and was going to be "testing" us the whole day. I found I was ok with him on the steeper climbs, but over-all he was just a little too fast for me. You would start riding with him(not too close cause everyone was throwing up mud)and then you would realize he was going a little too fast. We did a new dead that I added from another ride, which adds a nice down hill that you then have to go back up. Well in going down the hill I was in front and I am going a pretty good clip, when I got my first oh crap moment of 08'. I was turning and a car comes around a blind corner. I was on my side but the road was a little tight. I realize this and start turning tighter so I don't side swipe the car, well lucky me I stat hitting those warbles or humps that are on dirt roads. So I had the turn OK but with this bumps my front tire is coming of the ground making it hard to really even turn. So I didn't hit the car and it wasn't really even that close, but it could of been a different story. The snow was good to ride on, you actually had good traction on it, but when you got to the Icy spots it was a little touch and go. Steve, and Bruce almost ate it. Ryan was riding his own pace and not getting caught up with our Shenanigans. We did a quick pit at the store(where Ryan didn't eat!) So later in the ride Ryan was feeling a little unenergetic. In some ways I was feeling pretty good for Old Waterford road and did some mock sprints, putting the DCMTB hammer down. Now admittedly the other guys didn't know that I was going for the imaginary sprint points so know one contested me. We got some great pics of us being "hardcore" so what up with being inside on a trainer!

Dirty Loudoun Ride


Hellbent on Hills with a "twitter" in my chest..

I have lead Hellbent on Hills in Arlington at least once a year for like 5 years now with the PPTC. I haven't been riding with PPTC that much the last year or so, mostly smaller group rides, and races. I lead the ride with Chris who was going to take the BB's. We had around 15 riders at the start which I thought was a big turnout. I have done the ride with just 2 others when it was 30 degrees outside. I was a little disappointed that no one from my DCMTB team showed up.
The Ride has four parts the prologue, the Hills pt.1,interlude,Hills pt.2 end. We started the ride with a leisurely pace as we made our way to N. Arlington. Bruce was already getting antsy and talked breaking from the group. I said once the hills come that should happen on it's own. So we did Military road and saw the DC Route 1 Velo team doing a ride. Did the first hill on Military and then 35th street to the golf course. This is a double hill, were you do one hill then go down and then do a longer grinder hill. This was the separation hill, where it left a group of 5(Bruce,Al,Paul,strong climber guy,myself). We then continued on, and did the next 15 miles of this ride faster then I have ever done it. This is a great ride for winter, but as a ride leader it is tuff, cause I must always ride at the front because there are so many turns that people would not be able to figure it out without me near the front. So this means I end up using allot of energy for the ride.
I had a very strange thing happen to me on the second (bigger)hill of the ride I was in front, went up real fast and strong got out of the saddle and crested the top and sat down to spin it out. What happen was this I was breathing harder and harder, but never got to hyperventilating like I have done in a mountain bike race. Right when I crested the hill and took a deep breathe to relax myself, I got this "twitter" feeling in my chest and had the feeling you have when you get the wind knocked out of you. It was like half as bad as the feeling you have when you get the wind knocked out of you. So after a second it was like my body reset and I was fine, kind of a weird experience, will have to monitor that.
After the hills we did the interlude which is not as many hills, and a trip down to south Arlington to do Walter Reed, and Oxford. Bruce did Walter Reed more at a steady tempo, but beat us all on Oxford where he stayed on top of his gear and was out of the saddle. I ride a compact and spin a good deal, and with this ride I needed it :-).
Finished the ride with the highest avg. for the Hellbent ride was like 16.5 or so when usually it is 14.5-15.5. I know those seem like low numbers but look at the elevation, and realize the amount of turns and stop signs/light there are. Also why it is a good winter ride you don't get the wind chill as much. Might lead it again this winter will have to see.


The Bike Shop is Born

One of the reasons I like my house, is that I have a basement where I can work on my bikes. Jon is nice enough to let me use a a good deal of the basement for it. I have had tools and a bike stand for a very long time, but it has always been messy. My parents asked what I wanted for X-mas in December and I said that I wanted a bike shop in my basement. I have everything I need, and things I want are like $4000 bikes so it is hard to buy something for me for X-Mas. I had an idea in my head about what I wanted the bike area to look like, but I wanted to hear my dad's ideas on the topic. I think I could have done this on my own, since I have pretty good mechanical skills, the issue for me was motivation. My dad said he would come up to help me, and that was the motivation I needed. We put in pegboards mostly, but we also built my quasi wall behind the bikestand. We did this over two days and about 20 hours. This was the first time in a long time that I did something like this with my father so it was a good bonding experience. The key factor is that the tools are up on the board, and I need to make an effort to keep it straight. Well I have fixed/rebuilt a retro bike on it and am building two new 29ers in the basement as well.
Basement Bike Shop Make-Over


Another Cracked Frame!

Well I think this frame got cracked a couple of months ago when I was in Missouri racing in the 24hours of Landahl In September. I only rode the bike two more times after that, and I think those rocks cracked the frame. There is a reason the Gary Fisher 292 went out of production, I had cracked the frame in the fall of 2006 as well. For the year 2007 Gary Fisher didn't have the 292, and now they have the new 29er Hi-Fi to replace it. I am getting the Hi-Fi to replace it, the guys at Bike Lane in Burke are helping me out(they helped me out on the first frame that cracked) . I will have to see how it rides and decide if I want to keep it or get the Specialized Stumpy 29er, but that is some $$$.
After saying all that about the frame cracking, I didn't see it until I went riding with Matty D of my team. We did a spin around Roseryville, he was riding SS R igid and I was full squishy so very different rides. We did the inner more technical loop, which I had never done, since I have been doing Roseryville mostly on my Cross bike. Matt did some log rides, and even did the curved one. I was not very good with that, and I think I found something that I need to work on this year. I was going fast to not slow Matt down, and I think I gave Matt a good workout, he did likewise cause when he was in front we were doing surges cause of his SS. Roseryville had allot of people there on Sat. It is one of my favorite winter places to ride, cause it isn't very hard and if you go there when the ground is frozen it is really fast!
Now no mountain biking for me, until I get a new frame and fork.............


January 1st Ride.

The ride was suppose to be an interesting one in that it would be one way. I was to leave MuttonTop and then basically bike to Madison. I like to chart out new ride, especially on rough fire roads for the cross bike. Well this ride was didn't go as planned. I should of just done a road ride, but since I was in the mountains I decided to try and make something of it. Well From the Pictures you can tell I got into some bikable Mountain bike trails not so good for a cross bike. I had to do 4 creek crossing with 2 of them with some dicey jumping in cycling cleats! I was taking a long time so I rerouted, myself and was picked up my Jon and Diana not even doing half of the ride:-( Oh well next time I will just do a nice road ride along the foothills of skyline drive.