2008 Year End Totals and thoughts......

I have the totals for 2008 and they are looking interesting. I have many bikes so for me I have to total up the different bikes to get an idea of what kind of biking I did. I have a total of 5346 miles for all my bikes, I believe this to be the most I have ridden mileage wise in a year. In 2008 I had less mileage, but I had more Mt. biking mileage which should be counted more since it takes longer to do and is harder. I will be happy if I can have similar mileage for 2009, I will be concentrating my efforts to be in shape for summer/fall.

Rigid SS: 47 Miles

I had gotten this bike in September right before cross season, and I have put some miles on it, and I think it will be a bike a ride quite a bit. The bike is great at Roseryville, and Cross County Trail. I hope to ride it at Schaeffer in the coming year.

The Tandem: 307 Miles

I didn't get out on the tandem as much as I would have liked to. Sara had a knee issue that came up and she didn't want to ruin her running with the Tandem riding that was hurting her knee. Hopefully in the future we will get out there again.

Dual Suspension Mt. Bike: 644 Miles

I started the year off well with my AZ trip and then doing really well at the Bakers Dozen. I then hurt my back at Greenbrier and had a terrible 24hours of Big Bear where my bike’s chainstay cracked. I then laid off the mt. biking for a bit and got in some rides when I could.

CX Bike: 878 Miles

I road this some to work, and did my CX races on it, as well as my Ohio Road rides. I like this bike, but I don’t get the chance to ride on dirt roads enough.

Fixed Gear Bike: 1062 Miles

This is my go to bike for commuting in the off season, and for riding in the city. I like riding this bike have tried to get a 27inch fork for it, but have been having a hard time.

Road bike: 2408 Miles

I have had bigger seasons on the road bike like one year I did like 4000+ but this was before I did as much Mt. biking and I did not own a cross bike then. I rode the road bike allot this year cause of back issues and I found that the road bike let me able to keep riding when the mountain biking was hurting. Next year I hope to do the Mountain Momma century since this year I was not fit enough to do it.


Celtic Soltice

Place   Name         Age          Place Age Group   Time       

357/1926    Darren Biggs    33    56/133  M 30-34   38:34.60      7:43/Mile

As part of my off season I am trying to run a bit. I don't mind running, but my body seems to. I have found that my body can usually only take running once a week. I am working to run twice a week and then once biking season starts run once a week. Some of my big motivation is running with Sara. The Celtic Solstice is a race that I have done twice before, but never for a time. This year I wanted to push myself and see what I could do. I have only run like 15 times this whole year, but have been running once a week since mid Nov. to get ready for the race. The Celtic Solstice is a great 5 mile race that is only $12 with ChampionChip Timing.
I had run the weekend before to find a time that I would shoot for at the race. I had originally thought 40 minutes would be a good goal. I timed my run at 5 miles in 48 minutes by going on the song times I'd listened to on the run, which could've been off, so I lowered my expectations to a 45 minute goal.

We got there late, and I ended up lining up towards the back. We start the race, and I went out quick. I wasted some energy and a little time getting around people. I heard the first split and realized that I was going at a pretty good clip. If the race was a 5k I would have been money. I was moving through the group and finally found people at my pace. I was having a hard time staying with this one girl and then I started to feel my foot move around...my shoelace was coming untied! So I wasted some more seconds and fixed that, and kept pushing the rest of the race. I have a good engine (lungs, heart) from biking but it is my legs that let me down. The last 2 miles of the race I was having a hard time staying with people around me. Most of these people were regular runners that get negative splits as the race goes on. So I kept up as best as I can, and then during the final downhill, I must have had like 20 people go by me, as I can only move my legs so fast. I was totally stoked, though, with my time of 38:40 or 7:42 miles. I have a couple more races this winter and I might cap it off with the Fred Events Mt. Duathalon in April.


The Off Season

This year I have made the commitment to doing an off season so there will be some off topic non biking posts. I got into volleyball last year, after wanting to do a league for a long time. Now about a year later I finally feel I am able to play volleyball. I am not that great, kind of like a mountain biker who can get around Fountain Head Park without having to stop at the top of hills for a breather. We won the Championship game in our volleyball league.
The whole team did a good job, Aaron I thought played the best I have ever seen him. Paige did great and turned the tide after faulting on her serve, then coming back and serving like 4-5 points in a row. Michelle got some balls over I was really surprised made it over, Sara got some good hits and had her reliable serve to get 4 points at the end of the third game. Jon was steady and had some strike downs from the net. Sara said about me,"...must say that Darren did great as well since he didn't mention in his recap his great serves (even a true ace!), solid setting/blocking/hitting, and wonderful green headband wearing."
I love riding my bike, but having time away from the bike is good for the soul so that when you are riding again it doesn't feel so stale. In saying that January is go time, I need to kick it in gear start work the bike and body to some form.


GamJams Reviews: Winter Training Tires - Forté GT2 Kevlar Road Tire

We have all seen them, and I bet allot of use have used them. These tires, are my tried and true commuter tires. I have them on my 1972 Atala Fixie. I used to run the 35mm performance tires, but I wanted to go faster so I went with the Forté GT2 Kevlar Road Tire. I ride the 28mm size and it really fits the bill. These are long lasting tires! I actually always replace them before they even wear out. I sometimes ride the C&O with them and they seem to work well there as well. Now you are not going to want to lean these into a high speed corner cause they don't have that rubbery grip like your race tires. The good thing about these tires for mileage folks or heavy ones like me, is the big bulbous center that packs allot of rubber. This gives the tire a smaller faster footprint. Since the center is so tall, the tire doesn't get that "flat" section that us heavier riders get on the back tire. The sides have a chevron file pattern that works well when you encounter the winter road grit that comes and stays after the first snow storm. The Forté GT2 Kevlar tires being on sale for about 10-14 for the Kevlar version, and like 7-10 for the regular I don't even rotate my tires, I just put new ones on. Now my biggest criticism of the tire is that when it does get cut it can catastrophic, once the a cut is started it fails. I have been riding these tires for 2 years(about to put on a 3rd set) and I have only had two flats!(and that is going to work on K st. to SE DC). Next time I will talk about some sexier tires, but if you want reliable these tires usually fit the bill.