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