J. Bishop Grand Fondo

This was a beast of a ride, I have done rides with more Climbing, but this thing had 3 really hard climbs. The First was Rt. 33 VA to WV, not my kind of climb consistent 6-8% pitch that keep going up and up. The Downhill was super fun though. The second dirt climb I was totally at my limit, and going up 14 and even 16% pitches. I was better here since I could use more of my power, and the grade was not constant. The 3rd climb was not that bad, but Reddish was a tough one. Alot of people had issues cause the climb was a dirt rough road climb. My issue was that it was just so long, my body has a hard time climbing for more then 2mile sections(I was going 3.0mph at one point). Nice ride Got to do it with Matt Donahue, and Jonathan Wheaton. At the end of the ride I did the last 15 miles with Jonathan and Chris my PPTC friends. Thinking I might do it next year as well.


DirtyBurg Extended

Great race Prep for Iron CX, 65 miles with only 7-8 miles of road.  Right now after the big rains we have hadm the Gravel is not as it was in the spring.


Rattlin 50 a tale of two races.....

Short story
Pretty solid ride for the first 40miles...UNTIL my rear derailleur broke.  Until the end Single Speed with a max speed of 7.5mph.   Fine for the trails but too slow for the fireroads towards the end.

More detailed view:
The race is a pretty good one.  It is also very different compared to other endurance races I have done.  There is not as much climbing, but there was plenty of points in the race where you needed your power to get through the rocks.
The race starts out with a 2.5 mile climb, but after that you never climb anything else that is more then 8%.  The race includes some really Technical Shed/Gambril like trails, and with some fun super tight single track with mountain shrubs(maybe mt. laural?) giving you only 2 ft of trail up to your top tube.  I was happy to just "ride" steady at this race.  I had some issues where I couldn't actually go full out, cause I had to make sure I could get through the many rock gardens.  The Rocks for the most part are actually setup pretty well so you can ride them.  There were about 5-6 times I got off my bike, cause I dabbed and just walked through that rock section.  Since the race was not the usual Fire road up and then Single track downhill, you had to be on the gas when you could, but this meant being on the gas through real singletrack.  So you had a good amount of spinning.  There were some Dirt roads, and grass tracks as well.  I actually didn't find those that annoying since you spent some upperbody/core energy on the single track.  So the Fire roads and grass double tracks were good to regroup on.   I had some good back and forth with some folks, but once my derailleur busted that part of the race was done.
Broken Derailleur
What makes this annoying was that I had a derailleur hanger, but these new XT mechs have a piece that is suppose to break off, and I guess you are to have the replacement for that too.  After I made my bike a SS I could only go 7.5 miles an hour.  I was just trying to get the ride done at this point.  If I could have set it up with a little bigger gear that would of helped.  Taking what I had done, I kept the same avg. speed to the finish I think I would have done a 5:15 hour time.  Well here are the stats:


9 hours of Cranky Monkey

3-Man 105+ Results:

9 Hours of Cranky Monkey
I really enjoyed this race in 2010, so I signed up early to do it again in 2011. DCMTB had a big presence with 5 teams. I was a little unsure of my form, considering I had just been in Europe for 10 days and only did one major 50-mile ride in Berlin, so I asked to go last in the rotation. The weather looked really unpromising, with a forecast of rain and dark and cloudy skies at the start. By some crazy act of God, the race area never got rained on--although we know that some locations 5 miles away got drenched.
Mike started us off, having to do the run. We found out that Mike is not a very fast runner. He was able to pass some people on the singletrack, and Joel went out next. My first lap I felt pretty good, but wasn't quite hitting some of the lines that I wanted to. To my surprise when I came back, I saw I'd actually gotten the fastest time on our team.
Rest of the Race
I was pretty stoked to have negative splits on my next 2 laps. The course seemed to suit me well, with the fast flowy sections and then the big climb in the middle where I could get into a rhythm. We ended up having a race on our hands, against the aptly named Two Wookies and an Ewok (the 2 dudes were like 6'5", while the last was about 5'4"). Since I was pulling pretty fast laps, I was actually bringing us back into the lead on my laps...then their fastest guy (the Ewok) would end up passing Mike on the climb.
So the race came down to the final lap. We were both going to be able to put out a third man on the course before the time cutoff. I was hoping that we would get the lead and then I could just maintain it for the win. Joel did a solid lap, but we still ended up down over a minute and a half from the other team. Mike gave one of his motivational speeches (aka yelling at me to go fast), and I went out full steam. I ended up catching up to Bill early in the course (I found out later he had wrecked because he pushed it too hard knowing that our team was right behind him). So once I was ahead, I knew I had to just keep it going and we could pull out the victory. Going down the big downhill, I ended up getting a slow-leaking flat. I jumped off the bike and used a CO2 to hopefully get enough air in there and get the damn tire home. It held, but just barely, and I kept my weight off the rear end of the bike. It was a pretty cool feeling coming into the finish having the whole DCMTB crew cheering me on.


DCMTB-Mature not OldDarren Biggs, Mike Klasmeier, Joel Wilson
Two Wookiees and an Ewok Daniel Tille, Chris Mayhew, Bill Schieken


Biking in Berlin

From May 2nd
I saw the famous Bar Bike, but did not get a ride on it.

Solid Entry Level, Aluminum Shimano 105 BMC  I rented.
This Column Was helpful for getting my bearings

Biking in Berlin
I had found a BMC bike online from a shop in West Berlin. It was one of the few places that actually had regular road bikes and not city bikes available to rent. So I took the subway and got off in the Zoo stop to pick it up. Once I got the bike, I had planned to do a roundabout ride back to the hotel to test her out. It was a really awesome experience biking after having been walking around and using the subway. This made me feel more like a part of the city. Even with my GPS, I ended up going around in circles, but using [insert name of victory statue thing], I was able to find my way back to Freidrichstrasse.
Biking to Potsdam and Back
This ride was only possible because of the Garmin. I didn't have much time on the S.L.O.W. computer at the hotel using Windows 95 in German, so I just used the cycle map on bike route toaster to get directions on bike preferred/bike lane roads. I got up early in the morning and to my huge dismay, it was below 40 degrees and drizzling. It had been sunny most of the trip, and all I had to wear was shorts, knee warmers, a jersey, arm warmers, and a vest. I headed on out to West Berlin until I got almost to the river and went south through [add park name]. While riding, I encountered several commuters--the few bikers I saw wearing helmets. The roads in the forest were the only ones I encountered with hills the entire day. Outside of Potsdam, I ended up going on a scenic route that goes along the river and had great views. You could imagine people going there and hanging out at the several biergartens I saw along the river bank. I had to imagine this, as there was no one around, it was gray and cloudy, and there was drizzle coming down. I went through Potsdam along some crazy route that I never would have figured out without my Garmin telling me which way to go. It included a driveway that turned into a small road along a canal and several other random paths that connected larger roads. Once back outside of Potsdam, I had tried a chancy move of going through another forest, not knowing exactly what surface I'd find on the trail. The surface ended up being dirt, so I rode a race bike for 3-4 miles on singletrack. Luckily, there were not too many rocks or roots, so I didn't get a puncture flat. Getting back into town, I was now in Berlin rush hour traffic, and lucky for me it now really started raining. The road that I was on was a "bike lane" road, but in Germany a bike lane means a lane that can either be on the road or on a sidewalk--which is quite sketchy if that sidewalk is made of cobblestones and wet. Once in Berlin, I was freezing and just wanted to get my ass back to the hotel to warm up. Lucky me again...I get a flat. I did have a spare tube, but I had no pump to blow up the tube. I speak no German. "Woe is me," I thought. What was I to do? As the tire is slowly deflating, I ended up passing a bike shop that had just opened, so I went in and was able to its pump and get myself back to the hotel. This was one of the coldest rides I've ever done because of the 40ish degree weather, rain, and lack of appropriate clothing.
Random Thoughts
  • Even though Berlin/Germany has a lot more bike lanes than we do in the U.S., I actually don't like the bike lanes there. When they were on the road, they were great, but many times they took me onto the sidewalk and it was pretty scary due to pedestrian traffic.
  • With the different road conditions, I actually think a cross bike would have been better to use. Some of the streets were pretty heavily made of cobblestones.
  • I really enjoyed being able to experience the scenery on a bike and getting to see Potsdam as well as Berlin. 


Biking in Amsterdam

From April 31st

This is a travel bike post.  I was doing a trip with Sara, and her parents.  The trans-atlantic flight came into Amsterdam, so we spent 2 days there before heading to Prague and then Berlin.  On the Second day, we rented from Yellow Bikes and guess what we rode Yellow city bikes.  We picked them up and rode them to the canal, where Sara did a Canal trip again that we did the day before.  I think had an hour to ride by myself.  I had brought my Garmin and hooked that up to the bike.  The Garmin is great to know where you are at, the scene is not big enough to use it like a map.  So I rode around on my front brake, and rear coaster brake bike.  I could only get the bike to 17 mph since the gear was pretty small on it.  I rode around and did a lap at Vondelpark which was near our hotel.  On the way back to where the Canal trips started I went through a bicycle, pedestrian only road, this was very cool(Max Euweplein).  The 3 story Bike Parking garage was a site to behold.  After the Canal ride Sara and I biked to the Maritime museum that was still closed so we went to the next best thing the Heineken Experience :-)   The paths were nice enough that Sara felt ok to bike on them, she was a little scared when we were in the city center, and you had tons of cyclists on the path, and some motor scooters.  The most interesting thing that I didn’t see was actual cyclists.  I saw tons of people riding bikes, but only like 5 cyclists on bikes doing a ride. 


Greenbrier 2011

I decided to do Greenbrier since Sara and I were coming back from her cousin’s “couple’s shower” for
her wedding. I thought at the least I could get some good training in. Good news is I got sixth place. Bad
news is there were only six people in my field. I’m still listed as a CAT 1 mountain biker, which I am not.
It was a forgettable race considering I battled for two laps with a hole in my tire. Finally, I got it fixed
with a plug from one of the junior riders so that I didn’t have to walk the bike in.


Dragon's Tail 40m mile race

From April 3rd.
Dragon's Tail was a race I had heard about for years.  This race used to be Dragon's back, a race that was 25miles or so and took a long time to finish.  Chris Scott brought the race back as Dragon's Tail and made it longer 40miles but more like 37miles.

Jon W. from the team had talked about the race, and I was on the fence about going.  I was waiting to hear about the weather before committing.  Thursday came and weather looked ok so I was in.  I went down with John Rogers and Joel Wilson.  We went down on Sat. got some Thia food in downtown Roanoke which was good.  The boys went to bed early which was ok, but I woke at 3am for about an hour and listened to an audiobook to go to bed.
We drove about 30minutes to the start of the race, really low key, good vibe.  Chris Scott gave DCMTB a shout out since we had 10 riders there out of of a field of 50+.  The ride starts with a neutral roll out slightly downhill pavement to a dirt road.  Once we got to the dirt road the fast cats zoomed off the front.  I was riding around my teammates just keeping my cool.  The road went through 4 major stream crossings.  The first I waded through while the others I rode through. These were BB height, so your feet were soaking wet.  after the streams you start making your way up the mountain on the fire road.  I was in front of most of the DCMTB boys, with Ian and Mike T(the fast robots) in front.
Finally we get to the single trak, where there is an aid station with our drop off bags.  I have bad feet(they get cold easily) and knew about the streams so I had new shoes and wool socks in my drop bag.  I was glad I changed my shoes, but in doing so I lost 4-5 minutes.  In that time though the DCMTB crew came up to me and I then was riding with Erik Spar up the climb for a  bit.  I then was riding with 5th place female up some touch switchbacks.  I was actually going a little slower then I could have been going, but in retrospect this was a good thing because you need your energy later in the course.
Once on the ridge saw Chris Scott doing race coverage, and then riding with the 3rd place female.  I passed her on a big log hop.  I did not go crazy on the downhill just tried to enjoy it.  The downhill is big enough that my brakes started squealing at the bottom.  Once at the aid station I just filled up my bottle and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I was then going up the climb again, but since I knew the climb now I was going faster.  I passed Misty who was in 2nd place, and then later in the climb she and 3 other people ended up passing me cause my chain dropped.  As we were going up the 3rd place female was gaining on us.  I found out later she had broken her front brake line and was doing the downhills with only a back brake.
Once on the ridge again, we took a left this time.  This ridgeline is what makes Dragon's Tail.  The ridge is very steep so the views are pretty awesome.  Compared to other ridgelines this one goes up and down the whole time, and has many, repeat many steep pitches.  I was doing well and actually catching people on the ridgeline, using my power that I have up the steep ramps.  After awhile the 3rd place female must have passed Misty since she passed me on a incline where I had to walk.  As I saw her go up the trail I was thinking,"well that girl is a bad-ass"  I was doing well, but it was the early season form that was getting me, after 3 hours I lost that raw strength that have.  There were some false downhills, that had you climbing again.  I was damning Chris Scott at this point just lamenting in my head,"get me off this damn ridgeline!!!"  Finally it descended into a rest stop.
I wasn't there too long, but the next climb was the big disappointment for me.  This climb was very doable, but since I had used so much energy already I was on and off the bike the whole way up the climb.  I had seen the downhill of this climb on video, so it was cool when I finally was riding what I had seen.  
Once down off the mountain it was just a short road ride back to the start.

Random stuff:

  • Bring extra socks and shoes(I will bring my hiker-biker shoes next time since I had to walk so much)
  • Was happy with my 5:20 time best of the normal DCMTB riders, considering Ian got sub-4 hours
  • The day was beautiful mid sixties and completely clear skies
  • Great race vibe, stations, and post ride beer, and burgers!
  • Not sure I will do this again, but I think best to save yourself for the ridge line
  • The Anthem 29er was rocking the course, needed to let some air out of the shocks.
  • This is the hardest race I have done basically 35miles with 7200 feet of elevation.


DirtyBurg Big-Day-64Miles

 From Early March
The usual DirtyBurg ride is 40 miles, but this is a version that I routed out after seeing a posting on the MORE board that listed all the dirt roads of Loudon County. So I took roads from the normal DirtyBurg ride and added some from the previous extended ride that accidentally went on some private farms DirtyBurg Extended. I then connected those roads with some new dirt roads from my Leesburg dirt road ride that I had done in years past with the famous Jets and Sharks ride, which was a combined PPTC/MORE ride.

Riding in the 19th century
Kenda block 8's didn't seem to be so resilant
For the ride, there were three of us: Matt, Mark and me. Mark is a beast of a rider, and I can only hope to hang onto his back wheel, while Matt is always the wild card. At the start of the ride, I found out that Matt had ridden his bike a total of five times since late November. We started the ride a little cold, as even though the forecast had said it would be sunny and a high of 50 degrees, it was cloudy and in the 40s --a big difference.
We did Busthead Road, and once we got onto the climb I ended up putting some distance on the boys, mostly because they were riding really high gearing. I think Mark had a 34-23 and Matt was running a single chainring and I believe a 38-25. I was running a new crank set that I had bought for my new Giant cross bike that was a 36-46(came with a 38-46) with a 28 in the back. Once we got to the top, we started the fast downhill and I kinda let it hang out, which led me to eventually go off the road (that was kinda sketchy). Matt ended up bombing the downhill and getting in front of me. The road then went from regular dirt to soft gravel/dirt/etc. that would make you wipe out if you had too much weight on the front wheel. We continued on and Mark was riding pretty strong, doing a couple digs where I was wondering whether I'd be able to keep up that kind of pace for the length of the ride. Matt had a funny comment once we got over an old stone bridge and were going by some stone farm fences. He said, "I think the Confederates still hold this area," which made us all laugh because when we looked around it seemed like we could have been in the 19th century. 
We got onto some of the new roads, which were pretty nice--constant ups and downs. The only blunder in the route was when we were going down a hill and came upon a deep creek covering the road. There had been a major storm two days prior, and most of the roads were fine, but this road was flooded out and not passable. We rerouted to get around it (it's great to have a Garmin when wanting to change course mid-ride). We then hooked up with some of the Leesburg roads I had ridden multiple times before. By this time, Matt was still riding ok, but he was beginning to feel his months of not riding. I could not believe he was riding as good as he was. Then we started onto some new roads that I had not done before, but right as we were getting on them, Mark got a flat. One of the problems with this route is that there is not a clear place to stop to refuel, so with my new bike only having one bottle holder, I had to get some water off of Mark's Camelbak as he was changing his tire.
Around this point, the sun finally decided to show itself, which made the day a lot nicer. We got back to the end part of the DirtyBurg ride, which consists of riding up Bull Run Mountain on a diagonal that makes you go up and down the ridgelines. We ended up going our own pace and regrouping at turns. Finally we came back together as we hit Hopewell, and just to get it all out of my system, I took off on a flyer for the last 3 miles on Busthead Road.
After the ride, we went to Joe's Pizza (which is really hard to find now that Gainesville is all screwed up with the roads) and we ordered three large pies. I couldn't believe how much that little guy Matt could eat. It was a great time with the boys.
  • For the route, I need to find a refueling point. There was a small country store that might have potential, but it might not be open all the time.
  • I do like my new Giant cross bike, but for these dirt road rides, it's not as smooth as my old Jamis. Most importantly, it doesn't have 2 water bottle mounts, so I might want to get a second mount to use for rides like this.
  • The ride is a doozy, as it involves 6000 ft. of climbing in 64 miles.
  • Definitely good Iron Cross training. Will try to do this ride again before that race.


AZ Trip 2011 Day 5-Phoenix T-100 East Side

From Feb.
Sunrise on the mountains
So for my last day on the tip I was not leaving until 5pm so I was to get one last ride in the morning.  I had run the day before, since we were visiting my Aunt and Uncle.   The running was pretty hard, and this made my legs dead for this ride. I tried to ride some trails on the south side of the T100, working my way around to some trail I had done before. This trail had some good sections while others were just too hard to ride.  I saw a good number of hikers, and most were supportive of my efforts. One women exclaimed that she had been hiking out here for 20 years and never saw a biker on the trails I was on.  I think those routes are do-able if you work your way through the neighborhood streets to link up trail.
Once I got to the trails I had done before, I was able to get myself moving faster.  The trails on the north side is where the bikers ride, since it is more flowy. I had a fun time my last day, got to do some new trail. I got home and packed up the bike in about an hour then left for the car rental and airport. Next year I hope to maybe go to Tucson again to change it up.

The Hiker-Bike shoes were the ticket to riding some trails cause you had to walk a lot on rocks


AZ Trip 2011 Day 4-Black Canyon Trail

Cactus Galore!- this part was a like a tunnel and they were big
From Feb.

I have done the BCT everytime I have come out to AZ.  The trail is a great one, it was built by hikers who also bike.  It is in an area that has a bunch of ATV trails, and it is nice to ride on the man-made trails that go up and down and turn like a nice roller coaster. 
This year I rode part of the trail I had never ridden.  I rode from the southern end point of the trail.  I didn't know if you could park where I did, but I parked in front of the gate and hoped for the best.  The first part of the trail was really flat, going slightly uphill.   Wasn't much to it until I got to there more practical end point of the trail where there is a parking lot, tables, grills.  I then rode north to most southern part I had ridden before.  I went another mile or so and then turned around and rode back.  I had a good ride, thinking next year not to do that most southern part(but it is very close to PHX) and try and ride the new northern trails.  The only thing this trail is missing is a loop, right now it is pretty much an out and back.

Huge Wash that I got over at the BCT trail


AZ Trip 2011-Day 3 Quadruple-By-Pass

The Anthem 29 liking the trail
From Feb.

Saw a hare
This is one of my favorite rides when I come to AZ.  This ride reminds me of riding in GW forest where you have a big climb and then a big decent.  This year I brought a GPS with me, but I forgot it for this ride!  I had one of the maps the park makes so I was ok.  The windGate climb was brutal as it was last year.  With the new bike I will say it was nice having good brakes for the descents. I liked this ride more this year, cause since it was so early in the season it wasn't as hot. Also since I had done the ride before I knew what I was getting into.  The tricky part where you go through the neighborhood, was no problem now since I knew where I was going.  I ended up taking a wrong turn on the Quartz trail.   I ended up at a Golf course and knew I had gone the wrong way.  I looked at the map and saw my mistake and then continued to get back to the trail I needed to get to.  I was out there a long time, I started around 11am and didn't finish until dusk. When I was coming over the last pass the sun was behind the mountain.  Also I lost my cleat in my shoe(found the cleat not the bolts), so had to do an emergency repair and rode the last bit with only one bolt in each of my cleats.
Great ride, longest of the trip 6+ hours out there, riding for 5+. 

Highest elevation 3100ft, lowest 1500ft

SunRise Valley Climb


A cycleways map of Open Street Map Data, I added the details on how to get out of the neighborhood to the DixieMone trail


AZ Trip 2011-Day 2-South Mountain

From Feb.
I had ridden here every year I have been down to Phx for my little training camp.  The first year I did Coast to Coast which is 40miles and a pretty long day in the saddle.  For this day I needed to be back around 4:30pm to watch Kennedy in a volleyball game.  I also knew I was going to do a big ride the next day so I didn't need to go too deep.  The issue with riding here is that you can really hurt yourself if you are not careful.  There are people on the trails so if I got really hurt I would not have been left for dead.
I did some trails that I had not done before, then I worked my way to the National trail.  I did this trail a lot better then I did the previous time I came.  There was only one little downhill that I think I could have done, but I didn't to wreck and hurt myself.  I met some guys on the ridge we talked a bit, I was riding the rocks really well, too well it seems.  When I got to a saddle to go down to the Desert Classic trail I started riding some sketchy stuff riding the walls of the trail.  Then I when off a 3+ drop-off and over the bars I went.  Luckly didn't get too hurt, but after that I walked down the sketchy stuff on that trail.  Once on the desert classic trail I just chugged along to the car.  Will come back here again since I seem to be riding the rocks better.


AZ Trip 2011-Day 1

From Feb.

This year I decided to do my trip earlier then I had ever done it before.  I figured that Febuarary would be a great time to be in AZ since the weather would have to be nicer then in DC.  While if you go in March it is nice and warm in AZ, but you will still have 60 degree days in the DC area.  My parents were in town the week before, and AZ had record lows in the 20’s in the morning.  By the time I got there the weather was nicer with 40’s in the mornings and then up to 60’s-70’s in the afternoon.  Interesting thing with this trip I didn’t get on the trail until almost midday for every ride besides the last day where I needed to catch a plane.

Day 1

T-100 West Side.  
First Mt. Ride with My Garmin, it lost signal or something.  Cause I didn’t go 12,000 miles!  I had a good ride, and ended up getting there late in the day and rode until almost sunset.  I had done this part of the park like 3 years ago, so This time I made sure to go up the fire road climb.  Got my heart rate to 186, but didn’t know the heart rate thing was working at the time.

T-100 West Side
Wed, Feb 9, 2011 10:34 AM added by lovedabikes


Biking in the Everglades

Being down in Florida and looking at the available routes near Pompano Beach/Fort Lauderdale, I noticed that I was pretty close to the Everglades. I looked on the usual sites (mapmyride and bikely), but no one really had routes that went into the Everglades. Upon further investigation (looking at the satellite pictures), I saw that there were service roads that were somewhat close to the suburban area near Sara's parents' Florida apartment. The issue was that it was 13 miles to the Everglades from where we were staying by the ocean. I didn't want to bike 26 miles there and back in addition to doing the ride, so I was able to convince Sara's father to drive me out Atlantic Blvd. to take off 13 miles of pure road biking.

I started out from a church parking lot and worked my way along the toll/exit ramp to a dirt side road. I took that to a gate that said "no motorized vehicles" and assumed that I'd be able to ride there.  Once on the service road, I found nice gravel that paralleled the highway to my left, with a canal, service road and the Everglades to my right.  I road this south, then veered west, then turned north and crossed the highway to pick up the service road.  Then I crossed the highway again going east through the airboat recreation area to the service road that went back to the starting point. The next part of the ride was the most desolate, with the Everglades on each side. I was able to see many cranes, fish and buzzards as I road along.  It was an interesting feeling being out there, as I could see civilization in the distance but was fairly isolated. It reminded me of the feeling I had out West in the desert. The weather was pretty hot. It was 80 degrees, but around 90+ degrees with humidity (I was basically riding next to a swamp). I noticed that I was getting sunburned on my arms. 

 I got back to where I'd started and wanted to continue onward back to the shore/coastline while continuing to stay as off-road as possible.  I had seen during my satellite recon that there was a canal that had a path on it and some service roads.  Unfortunately, the end of that path was near the toll road entrance ramp, so I had to hop a fence to start the trail.  The trail was nice, but kind of more of a jogging/walking trail since it was cement instead of asphalt.  Eventually, it ended and turned into service roads once again.  I had an interesting encounter during which I almost hit a 4-ft iguana that then ran in front of me and jumped into the canal.  I also had a funny little dog jump a 4-foot fence to run after me, but it knew to stop at its house's property line.  Eventually, I ended up biking on grass on state lands near the canal near people's homes, and it was slow going.  At one point I ended up having to go back to Atlantic Blvd., which is a major road.  I went on the road, but it was pretty interesting since people were trying to enter and exit I-95 at some points. I was able to take more side streets after that and got back to the beach.  As I got closer to the beach (about 4 miles out) I began to feel the temperature drop, so I knew I was getting close. 
  • Florida, no matter how you cut it, is pretty flat biking.
  • In the future, if I could have a car, I'd prefer to park and ride just the Everglades for more mileage without riding on the roads.
  • From the research I had done, it sounds like there are some park trails that would be good for biking. With the non-technical nature of them, a cross bike with bigger tires should be fine.
  • Considering it was 80 degrees and 90% humidity, I can't even imagine riding in Florida during the summer. It would be very uncomfortable.


Riding A1A on New Years Day

Rode the Jamis with 28mm slicks, only CX bike I saw

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to bike in new places.  It seems to give me the ability to actually visit a place more completely since I've seen more of the area while riding around.  A popular place to ride in South Florida is A1A, which goes along the coastline. 
I decided that A1A would be an easy ride to do. Since it's an out-and-back route, there are no turns and it's impossible to get lost.  I didn't know how far I was going to ride since I had forgotten to bring the magnet for my bike computer, but I figured that I'd just ride to a certain time and then turn back. Unfortunately, there was a 25-30 mph wind blowing that day.  I went up the coast and ended up seeing around 300 bikers, some in packs of 50+ riders.  At certain points I ended up riding with some bikers I came across, and I ended up riding with one gentleman on the way up as well as on the way back.  I rode all the way up to South Palm Beach before turning around.  Unfortunately, I had a headwind going almost the entire way back to Sara's parents' apartment.  I finished the ride pretty spent and out for a lot longer than I had expected to be. On the upside, however, I got to see much of the coastline of South Florida.   


2010 YearEnd Totals

This year wasn't as bright as some others, but there were a few shining moments. The best ride of the year would have to be the 18 hours of Scouts Honor, where my team got first place and I was able to ride consistent laps without many back problems. The surprising runner-up for best ride was the 9 hours of Cranky Monkey race. I ended up doing it with a broken finger. I'd gotten the injury during a volleyball game. Because of the broken finger and my move into the city with Sara, I didn't have much structured training from mid-May to late-July. The worst ride of the year would have to be the Greenbriar marathon race, where my back was hurting so badly that I basically stopped and didn't go out for a final lap when I could have.

The Moots--2,286 miles
She is now a year older and feels a lot more at home, as she lives in our apartment with us (in the bathroom hallway). I had some fit issues on this bike that I finally figured out by getting some new handlebars. She's feeling a lot nicer to ride now. I enjoyed some interesting rides in Cape May, NJ and I finally did the 4-ridge ride climb I'd been meaning to do in Lewisburg (Sara's hometown). I threw in some OMG Frederick rides as well.

The Fixie--1,004 miles
The Atala is still going strong, primarily for bike commuting. Sometimes her wheels come out of true because of potholes.
Jamis CX Super Nova --814 miles
This is the do-all bike, so some of the mileage was from commuting to work, some was from dirt road rides, and still more was from cyclocross. I would say that the highlight for this bike was doing Iron Cross this year.

Gary Fisher Hi Fi Pro--300-ish
Had some good races on the GF this year. She was actually riding pretty well, but yet again, she broke. This happened in late summer. The Hi Fi highlight of the year was riding in Arizona and Vegas.

Voodoo Diabla--450
This year, the Voodoo had an identity criss. She went from a rigid single-speeder to a front suspension single-speeder to a 3x9 hardtail suspension bike, and finally ended up as a 1x10 hardtail. Since the GF broke, I had to use the Voodoo as my main mountain bike. In doing so, I set the bike up with full gears and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to ride Liberty Furnace, and Southern Traverse reasonably well without a full-suspension. Once I took off the gearing to put it back on the Gary Fisher when I sold it, I ended up making the bike a 10-speed in back, which works reasonably well with the low 36-tooth cog. Probably the highlight of the year with this bike was, as I said previously, Scouts Honor. It might have even been a better bike for the race than the GF could have been.
Sara and I were able to get some miles on the bike, and I think there would've been more miles on it if I'd have lived in the city the entire year. We were able to squeeze in rides about once a week before work. Hopefully in the next year, we can get in some more riding, but that is looking doubtful given the amount of schoolwork that Sara is doing. The big news for the tandem this year was that I raced cross on it with Matt. I will say that it was a hoot riding DCCX and then Tacchino on the tandem. Riding a tandem on a cyclocross course actually makes the course pretty technical, as it's tough to simply get the beast around the corners. Hopefully next year (if Matt's on board), I will try to race most of the series with him.
Supposedly, 2011 should be a big yearSara is still in school, so I have plenty of time to ride; we do have 7-8 weddings this year to attend, so that may present some conflicts.