Saturday, December 18, 2010


Thursday was the first snow ride of the season. Began my commute as the snow started.

Visibility was low on the way in. Should see the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in this shot.

Got to ride through a couple inches of fresh powder on the way home.

Stayed warm, but earned a eyebrowcicles on both rides.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Protect Your Junk

sunday it rained, a lot. sunday night was cold and it froze.

debated riding on monday. bug got up and my sidewalk was dry, and it didn't feel too cold...was probably 33 or so. knowing it was going to be cold later in the week, i opted for a pair of knickers better suited for fall weather. i thought i'd save the big heavyweight pants for later in the week. for good measure, i through on some knee warmers and packed a spare jacket.

sometime during the day it got cold...and windy.

added the extra jacket on the way home, but had to go with the same knickers.

the wind was rough. nearly thrown off the bike a couple of times in traffic. scary.

made it home. noticed junk was cold. started to put away my gear. junk started to hurt. fell to ground. had to thaw the junk.

the boys grabbed a snuggie and threw it over me for warmth.

scary event. tuesday was windy and colder. took the metro.

back in the saddle today. it was 19F but not windy. i doubled up...winter tights and windstopper running pants. gotta protect the junk.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Trot

We signed up to race the So Others Might Eat Trot For Hunger 5k this morning. When signing up, I thought we'd be fair weather racers. The boys have never done a 5k, and the weather was iffy. I considered our registration fee a donation to a good charity (which it was), so wouldn't be broken hearted with a DNS.

Last night we had friends over to to bed around midnight, and knew the forecast was for rain and 45 degree temps. We'd decided to take the DNS, and feel good about our donation while we slept in, and woke up to a nice breakfast.

Carter woke up at 7:45 and asked when we were leaving for the race...the race that started at 8:30. We told him we were going to cancel it. He wasn't going to accept the DNS, as he told his teacher that he was going to run on Thanksgiving, so we better run. That's when the race began.

Sonya whipped together breakfast for the road, the boys got dressed. I jumped off the toilet and rushed them to the car. We were on the road by 7:50. I flew up 395, while Sonya and the boys finished dressing in the car. I dropped them off on Independence Avenue at 8:15 and began the search for parking. My fail-safe parking choice of the Tidal Basin Boathouse lot was full with racers...made a few illegal left turns and parked in front of the Smithsonian at 8:20. Had 10 minutes to run the mile to the start. Made it to the start line at 8:27, pinned my number with 3 minutes to spare.

Carter and I ran together. We did a run-walk combo, where we ran about half the time...2 minute, 1 minute, 30 second, lightpost to lightpost intervals. Sonya and Jack were a few minutes behind. Both boys finished their first 5k. I told Carter that I was 21 the first time I pinned a number on my chest and ran, and he and Jack were doing it at 6 and 4...he felt pretty good about himself, especially after we finished and he saw a few bigger kids running across the line.

It was a fun race...proud of everyone, especially for the race to the start. We set a new PR for getting out of the house and making it into DC.

Friday, November 12, 2010


last saturday, i was suddenly awakened by crusty crawling up my back leg. i jumped out of bed, and in my most masculine voice yelled "what the F?"...actually it was a high pitched "ehhh!" according to Sonya's account of the situation. anyhow, i quickly grabbed crusty and put her in the cage. knowing that baby bootsy, new bootsy, or rebootsy, was still running around, i was unable to get any sound sleep.

first thing in the morning, we blamed the boys for leaving the open, knowing that the lack of opposable digits prevents the rats from opening the cage. in nearly a year, crusty has never proven capable.

later in the week, we caught baby bootsy in the act, proving that rats are smart, and opposable digits are overrated.

so, it wasn't the boys, or the ghost that jack blamed. bootsy is the cage opener. i owe both the boys and jack's ghost an apology.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Some things are better left to the memories. The Dukes of Hazard was one of my favorite childhood shows. I was pretty excited back in '96 when I heard TNN was going to bring it back. I may have even skipped a class to watch the first episode. Huge disappointment. Bo and Luke weren't as cool as I remembered...just a couple of hillbillies driving a redneck car that wasn't as badass as it was in my 7 year old mind.

Back in the late 80s, early 90s, a sign at McDonald's proclaiming "The McRib is Back" was pretty damn exciting. At my peak, I could throw down 2 McRibs, a large fry, wash it down with a 32oz coke, and still weighed a whopping 150 lbs.

My last McRib was in 1994 or so. Not sure why I haven't had one since...hardly eat at McDonald's. Taco Bell is the fast food of choice, or if I'm in Korea, KFC is the place to be. McDonald's also held the McRib in reserve, strategically deploying it at certain locations for a limited time. They never called the McRib up for active service across the entire franchise network. The last time was in '94. So, there was some hype surrounding the latest McRib deployment...heard about it on NPR, discovered a McRib locator website. So, with all the hype, I knew it was time to reintroduce myself to the McRib.

On the drive to McD's I was nervous, knowing that this might not go as planned.

It did not.

First bite: tasty, tangy, spicey, barbecuey. Good.

Seconds later: bland, cardboardy, unidentifiable meatish substance.

Minutes later: churning stomach, greasy feeling, lethargy.

Went home, ate some carrots to soak up the gut bomb. Followed up with some ice cream to mask the lingering mystery meat flavor.

I want to forget this McRib, yet at the same time know that I shall never try the McRib again. I want to preserve all the great McRib memories of years past. I want to look at "The McRib is Back!" signs again and conjure up the great memories of boneless pork goodness.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Keeping Fear Alive

Went to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

It brought out quite the crowd, lots of costumes.

Lots of signs. Mostly funny, some political.

The crowd was unlike any I've ever seen. It was difficult to move around, walk to the bathroom or anywhere. These sitters refused to move when the boys tried to make it back from the bathroom.

The woman with the large legs in the above picture continued to lay down. After snapping the picture I had to walk over and lift the boys over her.
I struggled to carry the 2 boys as seen in the above picture. I came close to dropping them over the large legged woman.

Show was a bit disappointing. Instead of playing some exciting hip hop you don't stop, wave your hands in the hair like you just don't care, everybody say ho, type of hip hop, the Roots went soft and played some crap with John Legend. That was followed by 2 "comedians" that were intent on making the crowd do the wave and laugh on cue. After Jon Stewart and Colbert came out, they had Father Guido Sarducci who hasn't been funny since 1978, give a drawn out "benediction" that was pretty stale. That's when we left to beat the crowd.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hyattsville CX

Raced Hyattsville CX today. Finished, somewhere in the back half of the pack. Didn't check the results.

Standard race for me. Did ok on the first lap...painful laps 2 and 3. Got a 2nd wind in lap 4. Passed a dozen or so guys in the last 2 laps. Didn't crash, until after the race. I went looking for Sonya and the kids...needed water. Wasn't paying attention, front wheel to a curb, couldn't clip out. Massive endo. Big audience.

Good postrace beer and BBQ. Added another pint glass to the overflowing cupboard.

Took the boys out to ride and watch the Elite Masters race. They were mesmerized by the "spiral of death".

They were itching to ride the "grown up course", so we took a spin on it for awhile. Said they preferred singletrack, but the spiral of death was cool.

Both raced Lil Belgians. 4 year old race was tame, without too many kids in the event.

6-7 year old race was a cluster, with 8 kids lining up in the front row. Barrier 20 ft from the start. Told the organizer to expect a crash. It happened. Luckily we made it through safely up near the front 3 riders. But one girl was down crying, a couple others were on the ground. A few tried to ride through the carnage. Went in to help sort it out and stop a couple of over-competitive kids who weren't going to let a couple of crying kids on the ground get in the way of their 2nd lap. Eventually it sorts out, but is chaos with fast kids, some kid on a push bike. Some older-looking kids that must've been sandbagging. Hmm...sounds like some of the adult races I've been in.

America, F--k Yeah!

Launching pumpkins.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gnats of the Potomac

For the most part, Fall is the best season for commuting by bike.
1) Nice cool mornings make the pre-work shower unnecessary
2) Fair weather Freds begin their the season goes on, the trail is less and less crowded
3) Not as much rain as the spring
There's one thing that sucks, especially on days where it's 40 degrees in the morning and 70 degrees in the evening.  Thos are the Gnats of the Potomac.  Along the Mt Vernon Trail, near the Pentagon I've been attacked by a swarm of these pests twice in the past week.  It's a coordinated attack with hundreds, maybe thousands landing all over my arms and legs.  I swallow a few, causing me to cough uncontrollably for a mile or so.  The gnats have a particular fondness for cyclists...yesterday, I ran in the same area and was ignored by all the gnats.  An hour later, I rode through and my arms were covered. 
Not sure why it happens in only one short section, nor why they don't attack me while running.  Did a couple of googles and couldn't find an answer, nor a mention of the Potomac River Gnats anywhere on the Interwebs.  Maybe there's a gnat expert out there that can give me an explanation.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Annabell Herring Strikes Again

Must've been another mass e-mailing from Annabell Herring. 85 people reached this blog last week looking for her, peaking on Wednesday with 41 lonely souls trying to find this Interweb whore.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Charm City CX

Raced the Charm City CX this weekend, in the Masters 3/4 division.  Third CX race ever, first this year.  Had a good time, finishing 72nd without crashing, despite some close calls.  Since I started somewhere around 90th, that was a net gain of 18 positions, plus I passed guys with carbon wheels and skin suits.  It's always a success when you pass someone with better equipment.  Here are the lessons learned:

1)      "Charm City" is a misnomer.  According to the Baltimore municipal website, the city is known as "Charm City" due to "the appeal of its neighborhoods and its friendly, unpretentious citizens".  The drive to Druid Hill Park pass through a neighborhood whose appeal is exemplified by boarded up homes, trash on the streets, graffiti, and presumable seedy characters walking the streets.   When I got lost on the drive home, Carter and Jack were convinced we were driving down a street full of haunted houses. 

2)      Whoever told me the Masters 3/4 race was safer than the Cat 4 race was full of it.  There was a pileup as soon as we hit the grass, and plenty of guys taking sketchy lines on some of the turns from guys duking it out for 69th place.  The only difference is that these guys are older and the race starts at 10, so I don't have to wake up as early on a Sunday.

3)      It's going to take time to shift from endurance MTB mode to 45-minutes of hell mode.  After a couple more races, I should fare better than 72nd. 

4)      Jack lacks the competitive spirit.  When this kid kept hitting Jack's rear wheel in the Lil Belgians 4-year-old race, Jack would stop and watch the kid cry.  I think Jack felt responsible for the kid's poor bike handling.  On the 2nd crash, the kid was crying hysterically, and said "I hate this! I never want to ride a bike again!"  Jack stood there and watched, allowing the winner to finish uncontested.

5)      I'll never eat a McDonald's Angus Snack Wrap again.  Carter had to go to the bathroom. Only place to stop was McDonald's.  Somehow Sonya and I dared each other to eat a burger.  She had her eye on the 1/3 pound Angus Deluxe Burger.  I talked her down to the Angus Snack Wrap, which is basically a burger taco.  The burger lodged itself somewhere in my gut and is still hanging out there 24 hours later.  The tiny burger "snack" packs a hell of a punch.  It must expand once it enters your body, then it takes over. I seriously considered using the "reversal" competitive eating technique to rid myself of this gut bomb.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shenandoah Mountain 100

In December I ordered my mountain bike, got it right before Snowmaggedon in February.  Immediately signed up for the Shenandoah Mountain 100 as my big event for the year.  At the time, I had roughly outlined a training plan that involved several shorter races, some road racing, and a trip or two out to pre-ride the course. 

Very little of that actually happened.  Did a couple of MTB races early in the year as well as 1 road race.  In June, when I realized my self-styled training plan wasn't doing me any good, I bought a plan from pro Chris Eatough.  The plan gave me some structure, and I was able to do a lot of the weekday rides in conjunction with my commute.  Finding time to get the off-road miles on the weekend was the real challenge.  I did the 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey solo, but that was early in my training…and it was a distance and effort that wasn't called for at that time.  Results were decent, so it was a good confidence builder.  I proved that I could spend that much time in the saddle on a hot day and survive.  The 24 hour adventure race in July proved that I could hike a bike, and again, spend that much time in the saddle.  2 weeks before race day, I realized that the thing I was lacking was big climbs…knowing that getting out to the course was a challenge, I set my sights on Skyline Drive.  Got busy that weekend, and decided to forgo the trip out to Front Royal and make a visit to Mad Fox Brewing Company instead.  Eventually made it out there a week before the race for some hill training…just like college, cramming for the big test.  Knocked out 80 miles with 7000' of climbing at a strong pace.  Felt good at the end…felt ready.

Showed up at Stokesville Saturday afternoon, set up camp, knocked back a few Dogfish Head beers (sponsor of the race, they provided an obscene number of kegs), got to bed early.  It was a nice cool night, so I slept great.  Up at 430 before the dude on the motorcycle rode around the campgrounds waking everyone up.  Shifted into pre-race routine…coffee, bagel, banana, bathroom.  The port-a-potty line was almost comical, with folks reporting on TP status after doing their business.  Someone starts passing out napkins (2 per person) in the line as an insurance policy.  Needless to say, the port-a-potty was pretty foul.  Started to air up my tires, broke a valve stem…great, only had 3 tubes and 1 was in a drop-bag that I'd pick up at mile 45.  So I got to ride the race with 1 spare tube and a patch kit.

Going into the race, I had no idea how I'd finish.  If fitness were the main factor, I thought a 9:30 was reasonable.  If the course was highly technical, I was expecting a 12hr finish.  So, I told Sonya to show up by 4pm, and to expect me at any time between then and 7.  I started with the 10hr group.  The first climb was uneventful, dirt road.  Everyone was fighting for position before the first trail section.   After the singletrack downhill there was a bit of road riding where the pack split up a bit.  I was hoping to get in a good paceline, but at that point it seemed as if everyone was riding for themselves.  Climbed a bit more before the next trail section…a steep rocky climb.  Most were walking it, and it was quite congested.  I walked as well. 

The next downhill was a bit more technical, and I noticed that I was taking quite the beating.  I ended up getting behind a guy that was struggling to hold a good line.  Just as I was getting ready to pass him, he stops in the middle of a creek.  I managed to narrowly miss him, but I had to come to a stop.  The 2 or 3 folks behind me do the same.  After getting out of the woods, I check my fork and see that there wasn't much travel in it…and I couldn't adjust it.  I didn't dwell on the problem, and just accepted the fact that it was going to be a painful day.  During the ride to Aid Station #2, I made up a lot of time to put me back on track for a sub-10hr finish.  Thoroughly enjoyed the downhill into AS #3…best of the course for me, as it was flowing smooth and fast.  Quick stop at AS #3…volunteers were awesome at all the aid stations, refilling camelbaks, water bottles, lubing chains.  Really didn't have to do anything for myself aside from shoving PB&Js in my face.  The ride to AS#4 was some of the worst riding for me.  The singletrack was way more technical than what I'm used to, climbing from rock garden to rock garden, a lot of off-camber trail with steep drop-offs.  I didn't want to take risks, so I pushed the bike a lot.  Although I was told that the downhill was great, I didn't enjoy that one too much as my body was absorbing a lot more shock than I desired. 

Rolled into AS#4 a little off pace, but thought I could make it up on the road ride ahead, despite the fact that it was about a 20 mile climb.  The climb started off gently, a lot on the road, giving way to gravel road.  Got in a paceline and really started making up time.  Then we turned onto a rutted, dirt and gravel road that was just steep.  The group had broken apart beforehand, so I was climbing solo. 

After about 15 miles of climbing, I hit AS#5, had some pizza, reloaded ready to go.  One of the volunteers said the climb was just about finished. The dirt road gives way to some grass, climbing from meadow to meadow, each a false summit.  A guy next to me keeps telling me "this is the last false summit" every time we reach another meadow.  His memory wasn't that great as we climbed on for a couple more miles.   At the summit, I took a quick break.  There wasn't a lot of satisfaction in the early part of the downhill…lots of steep drops, more off-camber trail.  More beatings.  Eventually rolled  into AS #6 at about 10hrs. 

Started the last climb feeling ok…again, get with a guy that keeps telling me the climb is almost over.  Eventually I get a cramp, so I get off the bike, take some endurolytes.  Based upon what the Garmin was telling me, I thought that 11hrs wasn't doable, so I decided to backoff the pace.  Started the next downhill thinking I had 9 miles to go.  Near the bottom of the descent we start rolling next to some cabins and I see some caution tape.  With eyes full of sweat and dust, the waving tape was screwing up my vision…combine that with fatigue, I nearly hit a tree in front of a few spectators.  The guy behind me yells "Recover!" and I make a hard left to avoid the crash.  He points out that the finish is around the corner, then I see Sonya and the boys cheering as we come out of the woods.  I still thought we had 5 miles to go.  Roll into the finish line at 11:06, grabbed my pint glass and Sonya ran off to fill it up with some Punkin Ale. 

The trails, the volunteers, the beer, the atmosphere around the event all make it a great race...hats off to the promoters for a topnotch event.  Although my taint and back are telling me not to do anything like this again, I'm sure I'll be back next year. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Descending Skyline Drive with the Hoff

1 year commuting

Today marks 1 year of bike commuting. Made it most days unless the weather sucked. Hope to do better this winter when I throw my old Stumpjumper into the rotation for winter rides.

Here are the stats--

Days Riding: 136
Commuting miles via bicycle: 3535
Days on the Metro: 49 (none since March 19th)
Days Running: 4
Singing Freds encountered: 2 (each on multiple occasions)
Accidents: 1
Coldest Ride: 19F
Hottest Ride: 103F

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Plantation Trail

Last week, I got in some "real" mountain biking out in Davis, WV. I started at Canaan Valley State Park on some park trails, on to the Allegheny Trail and then a forest road to the end of the famous Plantation Trail.
The Plantation Trail was a mix of rocks and a thick mud bog. The vegetation was quite beautiful, but the terrain was not forgiving. I think I wasn't riding in the preferred direction. After 3.6 miles of the 8-mile trail, I decided to bail out on the Lindy Run trail. Quite a few rock gardens were on this trail, like the one above which was one of the more rideable. The one below is a rock garden/ mud bog containing moss covered rocks. Needless to say, it was a bit more challenging.
The Allegheny Trail was very similar with the added bonus of some significant climbs.
I didn't see another rider on my 4-hour ride. I did see one set of tracks probably from the day prior. The ride definitely feels remote, unlike riding in a suburban park. The trails are also deep in bear country, and I saw a lot of bear crap, and a set of tracks on the trail. Additionally, I had no cell service on much of the ride. So, after a few hours of riding, I thought it wise to bail onto the forest road. I also think I rode Plantation in the wrong direction...didn't seem to be any "flow" to the trail the way I went. It was fun riding out there...the 4hours felt like 10, as the terrain beat the crap out of me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Odyssey One Day Adventure Race

This weekend was my first adventure race...competed as a 4 person team with Howard, Kris and Gary. The course was to consist of 40-50 miles biking, 15-20 miles trekking, and 10-15 miles of paddling. Objective was to reach 14 checkpoints on any chosen route. We had a map, compass, backpacks full of gear and 24 hours to be back at base camp.

Showed up early on Friday to set up base camp.

Kris made a kickass mystery stew.
I forgot to pack a bowl, so had to improvise.
It was the hottest weekend of the year, with a 99 degree temp at start time. Course started with a 2-mile trail run prologue, followed by a bike ride to checkpoints 1-4. The ride up to checkpoint 1 was a road ride up a steep hill. Road was so steep, many were walking. We had to go off-road to get to checkpoint 2. We plotted a route via fire road with a little bit of bushwhacking up to a single track trail to checkpoint 2. The bushwhacking wasn't the best idea, but it seems most teams chose the same route...we had to climb up 400 feet in elevation with packs on back and bike over shoulder....super tough. The singletrack "trail" wasn't much of a trail, and was mostly unrideable. I tried to ride for a bit, but slipped in some loose dirt and cut up my shin pretty bad. Gary twisted an ankle...after making the checkpoint, we found some decent singletrack to descend. At the bottom of the mountain, we chose the wrong trail and ended up taking a much longer ride into the town of New Castle. We had to stop and filter some water to make the leg into town where we could resupply...and clean up my leg. The ride to checkpoint 3 was a long road/fire road ride, followed by a super steep "jeep trail" that was unrideable on the way up. It involved a lot more bike pushing. We eventually made it to the top, where we saw some rednecks driving their 4-wheel drive...I thought for sure someone was going to die, because nothing good can happen when you encounter a truck full of rednecks at 1 am on a Saturday. Luckily nothing happened. After a 2.5 hours of climbing the jeep trail to the checkpoint, we had 45 minutes to descend to checkpoint 4 before the cutoff. We screamed down the hill to make the cutoff by 20 minutes. At that point, we had to make a decision...either try to trek 25 miles in about 5.5 hours, or ride our bikes 15 miles and take the "short course". We'd lose 2 checkpoints, but knew that an off-road bushwhacking marathon wasn't going to be successful. The 15 mile road ride was still tough. After 14 hours on the bike, a hilly ride at 2 am wasn't exactly easy. At 4 am, I noticed Howard weaving...he was falling asleep, so we decided to pull over and sleep on the steps of this church.

I cleaned up my leg a little more for the camera.

At 0530, we eventually rolled into Checkpoint 9....took a look a the map, and realized we had 2 hours to make the cutoff at the canoe leg. 2 hours to grab checkpoint 10 and bushwhack 10 miles over some big climbs. It wasn't happening. We didn't want to get lost in the woods and wander around missing the cutoff, thus taking the long way back to base camp. Instead, we decided to call it quits...a wise choice, considering I had witnessed many experienced adventure racers DNF by this point. Since we still had our bikes, we teamed up with another DNF'd team to ride as a group the 20 miles back to base camp. There were lots of ups and downs on this route, which took their toll on us. Eventually we took a break and hitchhiked with yet another DNF'd team back to base camp.

Only 3 out of 31 teams officially finished the course. No one made all 14 checkpoints. Based upon the # of checkpoints we found, you could say we were in 14th place, or 3rd in our division. But since we DNF'd, that's all unofficial. Still, had a fun time, even though the adventure race turned into a 21 hour mountain bike ride/push.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fwd: Greetings

felipe now has my e-mail address, and must think i'm annabell.  great.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Felipe Eduardo González Espinoza <>
Date: July 15, 2010 11:50:36 PM EDT
Subject: Greetings

Hi  Annabell,

     This is my mail.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fwd: Annabell Herring sent you a message on Facebook...

I've got another one interested in my profile. Amazing! Her username is wetandyoung. That must be a popular handle.

Here's the text from her message---
i like your page!!! i do think its... cool
I have some hot pics. i'm dying to show off. u interested?
take a look at them at;http:/
my username there is wetandyoung2k10

Begin forwarded message:
Date: July 15, 2010 8:30:55 PM EDT
Subject: Annabell Herring sent you a message on Facebook...
Reply-To: noreply <>

Annabell sent you a message.
Annabell Herring
Annabell HerringJuly 16, 2010 at 3:30am
Subject: Howdy
i like your page!!! i do think its... cool
I have some hot pics. i'm dying to show off. u interested?
take a look at them at;http:/
my username there is wetandyoung2k10
To reply to this message, follow the link below:
Find people from address book on Facebook!
T Palo Alto, CA 94303

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adventure Race Training

Participating in a 24-hour adventure race next weekend.

Last Sunday, did a "gear shakedown" ride and rock-scramble with teammates Howard, Kris and Gary.

Here's Howards account of the evening.

Highlight was the crazy downhill on the last half of the ride. Nothing like screaming down a rocky hill at max speed at night. I was struggling to hold a good line and was dodging all the big rocks rolling behind Howard. Thankfully there were no accidents.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lottie Clark, Whore of the Internets

Lottie, I thought you only wanted to share your private pics with me?

Apparently, you are after many, many more. It appears that 81 people are curious about your address.

Folks from all over the world are googling

Are you telling them all that you're a woman? That you like their profile? And did you share your private pics with all of them?

Lottie, I am offended. Have you forgotten the meaning of private?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

12hrs of Cranky Monkey

Yesterday was the 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey. I rode solo, which was a first for me. Goal was to ride 8 laps, with ~ 1:15 lap times (not counting breaks).

Start was a mass "Le Mans" start, with a .25 mile run. Lap 1 was pretty fast for me...about 1:04 ride time. Heart rate was high, as was the adrenaline and the pucker factor as the trail was pretty congested. Plan was to take a small pit stop after lap 2, so I pressed on and rode a 1:07 for lap 2. Quick stop for water bottle change and to grab some Gu and I headed out for a strong lap 3...then it happened. Flat #1. Quick check of the tire, and I couldn't find the culprit, so assumed a pinch flat. About 2 minutes later...Flat #2, and I'm out of tubes. Did a sloppy patch job, then did a more thorough check to find a tack. How could I have missed that? Start to air up with the hand pump (major pain in the ass), and realize the patch job sucks. Luckily a team rider, stopped to hand me a tube. I get enough air in the tire to finish the lap in about 2 hours. During that down time I roasted...the rest of the lap sucked as I drained the Camelback and my sports drink. Took a longer pit stop to get back out there, and could never recover the old rhythm. After lap 3, I did ride the rest of the race knocking out consistent 1:15 laps, but I took longer and longer pit stops. I never checked my standing until the finish. I completed 8 laps, 6th in Solo 35+, and was 16 minutes out of the money for 5th. 1st and 2nd place completed 9 laps. Some better luck and time management and I coulda done better...but who knows, I coulda suffered more debilitating cramps and bailed after lap 6 too. Since this was my first event of this type, I still don't know the right balance of ride/rest. Aside from that, I had a great time and learned a lot. I can't complain since I did achieve my goal and I'm still walking (slowly) this morning. The taint's hurting and I can't bend at the waist, but it could be worse.

Things I learned:

-mechanicals in the heat really throw off the rhythm
-changing flats in the heat is not really rest
-don't rush a flat change in a race, make sure you find the cause, else you'll be doing it again
-carry a CO2 cartridge
-it's time to go tubeless -you need good support in the pit...a table with everything laid out would've been smart. i wasn't that organized
-frozen sports drink is awesome...i started with a block of ice, but the drinks were cold for most of the the end, they were warm. freeze 1 bottle for each anticipated lap.
-don't sit in the pit too worst cramps came when I tried to change socks
-the taint has its limits...for me about 6 laps...or about 7 hours in the saddle
-i need to learn how to descend in order to ride more efficiently
-when you throw-up in your mouth while climbing, it's best to dismount and push
-walking the climbs isn't that detrimental to lap times. i stayed pretty consistent (aside from the first 2 laps) with my lap times. the last lap, where i walked several times wasn't that much slower than the 4th, and i avoided some cramps.
-i can still ride for 35+ miles after the onset of the first cramp.
-i took Endurolytes, Thermolytes...and any type of "lyte" that was handed to me. All were good for temporary relief of cramping, but none are magic. Gotta stay ahead of the curve with nutrition...which is almost impossible in that kind of heat.
-most mountain bikers are pretty cool...lots of encouragement passed from relay riders to me and my fellow soloist. some, though are still the dude who impatiently passed me on a piece of narrow singletrack going uphill on lap 7. i gave him a few choice words...probably because i was cranky at that time.
-Shiner Bock and Papa John's pizza tastes best after 12 hours of riding in 90+ deg temps
-Great food:
--Sonya's Chocolate Chip Cookies
--Trader Joe's Hawaiian Style Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips
--Watermelon...after lap 6 I was sick of water and sports drinks. This hit the spot.
--Peanut Butter and Jelly
-Food I couldn't stomach
--Cliff midday, the sight of them made me wretch
--Gu...seemed to be a necessary evil mid-lap, but was never a pleasant experience

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fwd: Lottie Clarke sent you a message on Facebook...

I received this message on Facebook. I like how Lottie introduces herself. "I am a woman!!!". She's so excited about her womanhood, I hear her roar. I can tell that she's also likely not american with her awkwardly worded "make me aware" statement. The descriptive e-mail address makes her more alluring. I'm thrilled that she found my profile "cool".

Begin forwarded message:
Date: June 25, 2010 7:38:15 AM EDT
Subject: Lottie Clarke sent you a message on Facebook...
Reply-To: noreply <>

Lottie sent you a message.
Lottie Clarke
Lottie ClarkeJune 25, 2010 at 2:38pm
Subject: Hello
Strap, I am a woman!!!
i like your user profile!!! i believe its... cool
I have some private pics. i'm dying to show off. u interested? make me aware.message me at:
I will likely not respond using facebook.
To reply to this message, follow the link below:
Find people from your address book on Facebook!

Monday, June 14, 2010

another encounter with the Singing Fred

Saw him again today...we converged on the intersection of Mt Vernon and Commonwealth.  He was in his standard "Safeway Management" attire.  Button down short sleeve shirt with tie and dockers.   It was hard to make out the song choice for today, as it was hard to hear as I followed him on to Four Mile Run trail. 
Of note, there is a 2nd Singing Fred.  Last week, a guy wearing a short sleeve blue shirt, tie and khaki shorts pulled up next to me at the same intersection belting out a tune.  He was still singing when I lost him by the airport.  I couldn't tell if his attire was a joke, or if he was wearing "Safeway Casual" with his choice of shorts.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Air Force Crystal Ride

Rode the "Crystal Ride"...the non-competitive portion of the AF Cycling Classic.

Rider's of all shapes and sizes showed up....everything from strong members of the racing community, down to the Freddiest of all Freds.
This rider, whose name is probably "Doris"...the female derivative Fred lined up near the front. She was all decked out with hydration pack, headlights on both helmet and handlebar, blinky lights on bike, helmet, and hydration pack. Not visible in this pic is the pannier on the right side of her bike.
The guy on the high wheel bike was quite the hit. The first time we lapped him, the front group gave him quite a few cheers. Riding a Madone at 12mph is Fredish, but riding a high wheel bike takes balls and some pretty strong legs to make it up the hills.

It was hot, humid, and the roads were shitty. Ended up doing 63 miles in something under 3 hours. Was still a good time, and at times felt more like a race than a "people's ride."

Followed up the ride with a trip to Costco where I chowed down on a hot dog and coke...then a trip to the water park where I got to check out all the latest tattoos on the 19-year-old baby's mammas...and 30 something year old baby's mamma's mammas.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Trip to the Valley

This was from over a month ago...but here are a few highlights.

1.) Rode my first adult trike. Although not the fastest ride out there, it has its merits:

a. Can ride in sandals.
b. Can haul 2 kids easily
c. Can hold a beer while keeping one hand on the bars.

2.) It was unseasonably cold, and windy, so we didn't take our tent and opted for plan b. Camper cabin at Jellystone. We ate some great Kalbi.
3.) Met this cat...he was a talkative fellow. He had this drum kit car inside his U-Haul, played classic rock and could talk your ear off.

4.) On the way out, stopped at Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane. Nice place, with great views of the mountains. We had some organic burgers from Local Sixfortyseven. Highly recommended. Liked it so much that Sonya now follows this food truck regularly...we came back to Barrel Oak later in the month, and followed them out to Fairfax another weekend.

5.) The lowlight of the weekend. Uncle Bucks in Luray. Rolling through town on Sunday morning to meet Howard for a ride, I was looking for coffee. The only place open in town was Uncle Buck's. I decided that a place serving "Redneck Benedict" was no place for a lycra-clad man to step foot in, I opted for no coffee. Later on, Sonya tried to eat there with the boys. She was ignored for a couple of hours and was basically refused service. Nice.

6.) Got in 65 miles on some lightly traveled rolling roads in the valley with a couple of big climbs. Great ride. Thanks to Howard for showing me around.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fwd: Bike Lane at Local ES

So, I complained to the county, a school principal, and the local police about cars parking in a bike lane.  Here's the response.  Interesting to note that essentially a car driver can do what he wants in a "bike preferred" lane and be protected in the eyes of the local police.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM
Subject: RE: Bike Lane at Local ES


I will answer your questions in the order that you asked them

Your first question was whether or not vehicles can drive and or sit attended in a bicycle lane, and the answer to that is yes, under some circumstances.  As it is clearly defined in 46.2-100 bicycles have preferential use not dedicated use, so in a situation such as this, yes a vehicle can absolutely stop in the bicycle lane.  Just as if a vehicle was to break down in the right thru lane, and be unmovable without the use of a tow truck, vehicle could most certainly pass on the right utilizing the bicycle lane. As to your comment that 46.2-905 "does not refer to the bicycle lane" you are correct, but that is irrelevant, because 46.2-905 refers to all operations of a bicycle, so it most certainly does apply.

Now your second question of would it be acceptable for the vehicles to sit in one of the other two lanes.  The short answer is yes if there were no bicycle lane that would be acceptable.  Now let me explain this a little more in depth.  Any vehicle that is stopped waiting to turn right onto another street or into a location, must always pull as far to the right of the roadway as possible.  This happens at dozens of schools across the county every day.

Now to summarize this situation, bicycle lanes are, as clearly defined in 46.2-100, for the preferential use of bicycles, not the dedicated use of them.  Furthermore, as it is clearly stated in 46.2-905 any bicycle must stay to the right of the roadway except, among a long list of other reason, you are having to pass stopped or parked cars.

There is no violation by these vehicles that are stopping and waiting to turn into the Local ES to pick up or drop off their kids.  They are doing not only the right thing, but the safest thing too.  I would strongly recommend that as you approach these vehicles, you cautiously move to the right most portion of the roadway that is available for your travels, and proceed with caution.  That is what the law requires you to do.

Local Police


From: Me
Sent: Thu 6/10/2010 5:43 AM

So, you are saying that cars can drive and or sit attended in a bicycle lane?  46.2-905 does not refer to the bicycle lane.

Would it be acceptable for the cars to sit attended in one of the other 2 lanes?  I think that would not be tolerated.  By saying that this is not enforceable, that basically defeats the purpose of the bicycle lane and contradicts the signs on Beulah Road that state that lane is for bicycles only.

On Jun 9, 2010, at 9:13 PM, Local Police wrote:

       The code states Under 46.2-100 "Definitions":
       "Bicycle Lane" means that portion of the roadway designated by signs and/or pavement markings for the preferential use of bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds.

       Furthermore, in 46.2-905, it clearly states that it is the bicyclists responsibility to safely go around parked or slow moving vehicles (see #3 below)
       46.2-905. Riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, motor-driven cycles, and mopeds on roadways and bicycle paths.

       Any person operating a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing shall ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following circumstances:

       1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

       2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;

       3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right curb or edge;

       4. When avoiding riding in a lane that must turn or diverge to the right; and

       5. When riding upon a one-way road or highway, a person may also ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as safely practicable.

       For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane too narrow for a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, or moped and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane.

       Persons riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, or electric power-assisted bicycles on a highway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, shall move into a single file formation as quickly as is practicable when being overtaken from the rear by a faster moving vehicle, and, on a laned roadway, shall ride in a single lane.

       Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Department of Conservation and Recreation shall permit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any bicycle path or trail designated by the Department for such

       I would say not enforceable , unless those cars were unattended and therefore truely "parked" on the roadway which I have never seen at any of the schools Kiss and Ride lines

      Local Police Department

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Smell Doppler?

Along the Mt Vernon trail, north of National Airport, there is a bank of port-a-potties. Normally, port-a-potties are a temporary solution, but these crappers have been in the same location for as long as I remember. It doesn't take long for a port-a-potty in DC to get fouled up....sometimes I think they drop them off at events full of poo. So, to keep these in tolerable condition, I'm sure the shitsucker is at this location on a very frequent basis.
Everyday, I pass this wall of crappers. In the morning, I usually smell nothing. On the ride home, I catch a whiff of poo that nearly knocks me off the bike. What is unusual to me is the point at which I smell the poo. I'd expect to detect the smell just before passing the crappers, and holding that smell until just a few feet after passing them. Instead, I detect the smell about 50ft after I pass the wall of crap. I've been trying to understand this phenomenon, and have came up with a couple of explanations. The simplest explanation is that the winds are blowing the stench, but this seems to happen on days that are not windy. So, it's not that simple. This got me to thinking that there may be a sort of "smell Doppler" effect that can explain the existence of an odor vector. See the diagram below.
If there is indeed a smell Doppler effect, the odor vector would vary based upon my speed. I may need to test this on future rides. By detecting the variations due to speed, I may be able to calculate an escape velocity....the speed at which I'd need to travel to not detect the odor. I don't know if breaking the "Smell Barrier" will be achievable by bicycle, but I hope to be the first.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

neighborly neighbors

ahhh, got to love a suburban neighborhood full of disgruntled bureaucrats.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Singing Fred

Today marks the return of the "Singing Fred".  The last time I saw him was back in September, so obviously he's a fairweather rider.  Today he was wearing a button-down shirt avec bowtie and slacks.  As I was cruising down Commonwealtha Ave following a car, I hear him singing (Opera as opposed to Journey), and approaching me.  I slow for the upcoming intersection behind a line of 5 cars, who are all turning right at a busy intersection.  Douchebag, decides to go up the right hand side and ignore the 4-way stop, nearly causing an accident.  I'd like to just cruise in to work, since I didn't feel up to riding hard, nor did I want to hear any more opera singer as I got near the Fred.  But, when someone does something dangerous on the road, I do like to hammer it past them and prove the point that their wreckless riding is getting them nowhere...occasionally I want to say something like, "hey, your wreckless move does nothing to endear car drivers to cyclists"...but it usually comes out as "hey, jackass, stupid move."  Since Fred was singing, I thought a high speed pass, narrowly missing him without any sort of "on your left" would suffice.  Back in September, Singing Fred gave me no indication that he was passing, other than that I heard "Don't Stop Believin" as he approached.  So, after a quick acceleration, I was about 10 yards behind Fred as we hit the Route 1 underpass.  He got louder and louder with his rendition of  The Marriage of Figaro.  We hit some congestion, and he wrecklessly passed a cluster of runners and cyclists.  As we got on the MVT, I hit the gas, closely passed him and left Singing Fred behind.  I had to ride a little faster than I wanted, since Singing Fred does spin the hybrid at max speed. He also has the propensity to be a wheelsucker, so I had to accelerate quickly as I passed. Luckily I didn't hear another note.  Unfortunately, I arrived at work a little sweatier than I had planned.
With Spring in full swing, the trail is getting somewhat dangerous...rollerbladers, unicyclists, texting riders, military members taking PT tests, people with headphones that can't hear anyone else around them, Team Radioshack jerseys, Trail Time Trialists, and other heros that come out when the weather's good.  Fairweather riders are taking over.  Most are tolerable, but the awful singing is not.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

9 Worst Beers?

Esquire recently published a list of the nine worst beers on Earth.

Sonya claims to love the Bud & Clamato, I on the otherhand couldn't stomach it. Truly the foulest stuff ever. If I couldn't stand a decent mass-market brew (Bud Heavy, aka the King in a Can) mixed with tomato juice, clam juice and lime, there's no way I could handle light piss beer mixed with tomato juice, clam juice and lime.

7-11's Game Day light looks like pure class in a can. I see they have the ever popular "Ice" version as well as your standard light. If I invite you over to my house, and you're bringing beer, make it a Game Day.

Rock Ice looks like the standard beer you'd buy in a country not known for beer...Korea's Cass, Thailand's Singha and Turkey's Efes come to mind. This stuff is "Ice" to boot...I thought Ice beers died off in the 90s with Zima? I'm getting a headache just looking at this one.

If I ever make it to Canada, the first beer I'm trying is Sleeman Clear. Any beer described as "Clear" has got to be good. Plus, it's modeled here next to a Thomas the Tank Engine's not Thomas, Percy, Gordon or one of the cool trains. It's some loser yellow train, I guess to show us that the color of beer is an even lighter yellow.

I've got extensive experience with the Fruity NAs. I also have extensive experience drinking shitty light beer. But, the Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Rasbperry looks like it could be the foulest of the would be what Oprah would drink if Oprah drank beer. Ignoring the Oprah factor, I don't think I could try this one, as Fruity NAs will bring up some bad this one.

Camo High Gravity Lager is more of a Malt Liquor, which is in a category of its own. Although I loved the theory of a 40oz in my younger days, I never could pull it off. The theory was great, go buy 1 high alcohol content brew for a couple of bucks, put it in a brown paper bag to be discreet, and get F'd up. What's wrong with that? Plus, all the gangsta rappers were doing it back in the day, and they were just flat out cool. In reality, I could only handle 40s of Bud...but I could never finish off the swill at the bottom. It just got too warm for me. Malt Liquor sucks...and I could put just about any malt liquor on this list. Esquire just got lazy and couldn't name 9 shitty beers.

MGD 64...the low carb/low calorie beer craze boggles my mind, just like Diet Coke. If you're going to kill the flavor, why bother?

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic...apparently I thought this one wasn't all that bad. I have had some bad experiences with Cranberry Lambics of late. Blue and Gray's Cranberry Lambic was a red and cloudy mess full of cranberry chunks and super sour. It was foul, and far worse than Sam Adams' offering.

Olde English 800...aka the eightball. Once again, Esquire got lazy and had to mention another malt liquor. OE is one of the kings of malt liquor, right up there with Colt .45....even gets a mention from Eazy E in his classic "Boyz n the Hood"

Beer's I would've included:
-Natural Light
-Natty Ice
-Milwaukee's Best
-Milwaukee's Best Ice
-Duckrabbit Milk Stout
-Any gluten free beer

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Retiring My Jersey

After nearly 3 years of use, it's time for me to retire my HACC Jersey. The jersey has seen a lot of miles...rides on 3 Hawaiian Islands, races in Hawaii, DC, Maryland, and commutes to Arlington.
The decisive moment came yesterday in the locker room at Ft Belvoir. It was a cool commute, and I hardly sweat on my way in to work. In the morning, I hung it up in a locker. After a full day of class, I came back to the gym to change. When I opened up the locker, it released a vile stench that cleared the room. I could barely breathe as I struggled to put on the jersey. Over the past 6 months, I noticed that the jersey was holding an increasingly stronger stench, but it was usually noticeable after a more intense sweat-inducing ride. Yesterday's easy ride awakened some old stink cells that singed my nose hairs. I'd been denying the stench for awhile, but I can't do it any longer...
The sweat fossils that are awakened by new sweat do induce great memories, such as the climb up Haleakala. I enjoy the memories, but can't deal with the accompanying stench.
A stinky jersey does have its advantages--
1) In a group ride, I wouldn't have to do any work up front, since no one would want to follow the stink cloud.
2) In a race, no one would chase me if I started a break, for fear of choking on the stink cloud.
It's only May, and I can barely handle the stench. I could only imagine what it would be like to wear it during a hot July DC ride. I could probably clear out a city block.
So, I think it's time to say goodbye.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jack Daniel

Visited the Jack Daniel's Distillery last week. Due to "high security", I was only able to smuggle out this picture of the highly sensitive operation in Lynchburg, TN.

Our tour guide was very proud of the "high security" and Jack Daniel's Distillery...she managed to repeat herself quite frequently on the rules imposed by high security, especially in the wake of the moron car bomber in Times Square.

We were allowed to take pictures outside, but were not allowed to do so with cell phones. Presumably, they did not want Near-Real-Time imagery of the highly sensitive Lincoln County Process to be disseminated all over the interwebs. Such time sensitive information would give the enemies at Al Qaeda and Jim Beam valuable insights on this sensitive operation.

Pictures with regular cameras are OK, but can't be taken indoors, where all the action happens. A high-resolution photo of a fermenting tank, may give Al Qaeda or Jim Beam details on the special strain of yeast used by Jack Daniels. Beam has been known to perform forensics and a DNA-level analysis of many yeast strains, then send their agents back to the distillery back with specially crafted anti-yeast compounds to create a massive yeast infection, thus resulting in the downfall of many a whiskey. One well-known victim of Beam's espionage is Jeremiah Weed. Weed used to be the smoothest blend of whiskey, now it's the most vile alcohol known to man and is only drank by fighter pilots who really don't know any better.

The tour was nice. I learned a lot about Jack. The tour guide was great, continually repeating herself, so all the information sunk in. Unfortunately, no sipping is allowed in the dry County of Moore. We did get to inhale some of the fumes from the Lincoln County Processer...very potent. It burned my throat for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Greenbrier Challenge

Another weekend of mountain bike racing. This was my first Cross Country MTB race, the Greenbrier Challenge up in Greenbrier MD. MTB racing has less stringent licensing rules than road racing, so I had the choice between racing Beginner (Cat 3) or Sport (Cat 2). I opted for the Cat 2 race, since it was 3 laps instead of 2...since this was a 1:30 hour drive to the start, I thought it most efficient to race longer than I drove to get there.

Got up at the crack of dawn to ride up with Jim for a pre-ride of the course. It rained all night, so Sonya thought it a bit crazy that we were getting up so early to go ride in the cold rain. I was a bit nervous, convinced that I was in over my head...should've raced beginner. Rode the course once, went and rocky, but in pretty good condition considering all the rain. I guess when the course is mainly rocks, it drains well. Realized I was weak on some of the technical areas...convinced myself I was going to crash in the rocks...done with preride by 8:45, had until 11:00 to race.

It was cold, rainy.

I was hungry, and needed more coffee. Luckily the camp concession was open.

They had coffee, donuts, and hot bologna. Hot bologna sounded tempting, as it's something I haven't tried in about 25 years, but I stayed away knowing it's not good pre-race grub.

Rode around to keep the blood flowing and stay warm. Layered up. Sun poked out for a minute, shed layers...cloudy again, more layers. Must've changed 3 or 4 times before the race.

Line up for the race. Haul ass with the leaders going up the first hill. Get passed by a bunch of dudes going down. Lose my line on the downhill. Luckily the ground was soft at this point, and the trail looped back...ended up with about 20 yards of off-trail riding. Got back going... Settled in with a group of 4 or 5 riders that I'd pass on the climb or flat sections, and they'd pass me going down. Did this for the 1st and 2nd lap. 2nd lap, I hit a tree in a rock garden...luckily I was only riding 1mph.

At the start of the 3rd and final lap, I decided that I had to finish ahead of the group I was in. Hammered up the non-technical hill at the start, creating a big gap. Recovered on the downhill, hammered the flats and climbs. Didn't see those guys again.

Finished 12th of 20 something riders in the age group. Middle of the pack once again. Noted that had I raced beginner, lap times were good enough for 2nd. Once I learn how to ride downhill, the times should get better.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baker's Dozen MTB Race

This past weekend was the Baker's Dozen 13 hr MTB race. I'd heard this was a popular race, so when NCVC was looking to put together teams, I jumped on a 3 man team. This was to be my first MTB race since 24 Hours of Hell in Paradise, so I was glad that I got on a team that was just looking to get in some good riding.

We decided to camp, which later turned out to be a bad idea. The nice 80 degree temps on Friday didn't last. Learned a few lessons:

1) Don't buy cheap canopies. This canopy I'm staring at took about an hour to get setup...zippers were corroded from its last use on the beach. 30mph winds quickly snapped it.
2) When we make our summit attempt on Everest, we will not be packing a Coleman tent. 30mph winds caused it to cave in, accompanying showers infiltrated the tent that was no longer protected from the rainfly.
3) Don't let kids play in the tent before bedtime...they may think it's fun to unroll the sleeping bags, but when #2 happens, it's going to be a cold wet night.
4) A lesson I've learned before...Jim Kosek is a funny mofo, but Accuweather sucks. Don't trust them.

After a couple hours of sleep Friday night due to the fierce wind nearly blowing the tent over, we woke up to sunny, yet cooler skies. Carter and Jack rode the mini race. Here are our pre-race war faces.

All shapes and sizes were in the mini-races. Carter and Jack had to navigate through a lot of training wheels and tricycles.

Some folks camped in style, the boys found a couch for some post race relaxation.

The cows were staring us down for riding in their fields.

Despite not being in it to win it, my team did quite well. Halfway through the race, we were 6th of 36 teams...ended up finishing 9th. The course was flat, fast and fun. Starting to get comfortable on the Epic...probably a little too comfortable, as I got a little overconfident bunny hopping a log. Ended up doing a nice endo, breaking in the new bike with it's first crash. Looking forward to more MTB racing this year.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

F'n Nitwit

I planned on racing the Tyson's Corner Circuit Race on Sunday. Since I was planning on volunteering for a couple hours as a road guard, thought I'd race as well.

Bailed out on Thursday for a couple of reasons:

1) Lack of training nearly guaranteed a less than mediocre finish
2) Lack of desire to ride in a Cat 4 race and listen to fellow Cat 4s yell "hold your line" at other Cat 4s that have comparable bike handling skills.
3) Since I also entered mountain bike races for the next couple of weekends, I'd rather spend my weekend ride time on the trails getting ready for 2 weekends of mountain biking.

and the main reason,

4) Sonya signed us up to go see David Sedaris in Baltimore Saturday night, so I knew I wouldn't get much sleep the night before.

Ok, I could've made it to the race, but in the time since I signed up for the race, I've decided that Crits and Circuit Races aren't that appealing right now. It probably goes back to a combination of reasons #1 and #2. I really have no desire to get dropped or be involved in a big crash.

So, I still did my volunteer time as a road guard during the Women's Cat 1/2/3 and the Men's Pro/1/2/3 races. The race was in a large office park with four lane roads. 2 lanes were blocked off for the race, while riders warmed up on the outer lanes. I sat road guard next to the outer lanes, protecting the racer from those over achieving, I've gotta work on Sunday, workaholics at the USA Today HQ. Since it's a crappy paper, it has very few workaholics, and the lot was empty Sunday....making my job easy.

It was interesting to sit and listen to the teams warmup and discuss 'tactics' as they passed. These guys think up some elaborate crap, that really means nothing, as the race didn't play out that way. Also got to hear the women recap their race as they cooled down...basically a lot of "i could've, should've and would'ves."

I decided to sit at the edge of the sidewalk to get a little bit of shade. The sidewalk was very wide, and not a lot of people passing on it. At one point, I look over to see a large dude on a hybrid hauling ass down the sidewalk. He yells something. I'm leaving plenty of room on the sidewalk, but he buzzes me as he passes. I tell him he's cutting it a little too close. He yells back in his Australian accent "......Fucking Nitwit". Since I've never been called a nitwit, I thought it was funny, so I asked him "What?"...he says ".....blah, blah...Fucking Nitwit!" again. I can hardly contain myself and ask him to say again and he calls me a nitwit again. By that point, he was out of yelling range, so I didn't get a chance to have him call me a "silly ninny" or any other harmless insult.

I did want to tell the guy that he did have plenty of sidewalk if he insisted on riding on sidewalk...or that he would be in compliance with local laws if he rode on the road instead.

In 3 years of riding and running in Hawaii, I never had an incident where a fellow cyclist or runner yelled at me. In 8 months here, I've had 3 incidents. In Hawaii, Mr. Nitwit would've probably given me a Shaka. The guy at the National Marathon would've said "Excuse Me Brah"...the Fred would've said "sorry Brah"...or something.