Wednesday, May 31, 2006


The Boys are Back in Town

The American contingent of Adam Craig, JH-K, the Fast JB and TWells are on their way home after a month long stint in Europe chasing UCI MTB points. From what I've seen and read most of the races don't seem to mountain biking as we know it. How can you have 200 starters on ANY kind of single track and fairly determine a winner? Nevertheless our guys (and girls) braved the Euro tracks, course cutting cheaters, and crazy weather. Jeremy H-K broke through in Scotland for a top 5 finish WTf'nG!!!!! They'll all be stronger for the efforts.

Put on a pie plate rear cluster (12-27) for a century (road) ride this weekend outside DC in Reston Va. Did it last year and was surprised by the amount of climbing. Nothing too radical, but close to 6000 feet in just over 100 miles. Not really anything flat about the profile. I've had enough flat. Looking forward to it. Even a freaky dirt/cinder "road" to climb --->.

Planned on just going out this AM for a short spin just to check and be sure the bike was shifting and working OK before making the trip. It was soooo nice out I ended up doing an easy 20 miles. 7th consecutive day on the bike. I WILL rest tomorrow. I'm not much into the numbers thing, but I did sit down and figure the last weeks totals:

285 miles on the "road". 20 of that fire roads on the CX bike.
58 miles of sweet single track in 2 days. 14 of it on a very overgeared SS.
Feels REALLY good to be tired and sore.

Heading up to Richmond to watch the pros at the Captek Classic. Then some Richmond MTBing on Friday.



Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Remember Memorial Day

First a moment to remember all those who gave their lives in the name of our Nation and the ideals and values we hold dear. Especially Uncle JB, who lost his life in WW2. I never knew ya', but will never forget. I carry your name proudly.

Monday was my 5th day in a row on a bike. How sweet. Health is back (knock on wood). Now just chasing down some fitness. Out at 6AM to log some long steady miles. Maybe hook up with the "low 20's" group ride later. After two consecutive 4-5 hour days of sweet single track (more on those later) my brain wasn't ready for this mind-numbing flatness being back at the Beach. Some realizations during the first 3 hours of riding :

Figured the group would probably hit Blackwater around 9:30. But 3 hours of boring flatness was turning my brain to mush, so I went back to the bridge for some repeats to kill the monotony 'till they got there. Over, back.....over, back....... I was about to give up on 'em the third time over, then there they were going up as I was cruising down. Quick U-turn and back up after 'em.

Lots of folks out on the nice day. Art the (skinny) Dart had snapped a spoke on the way out. Didn't stop him from attacking on the way back over the bridge. The "low 20's" ride, morphed into a "easy ride in Blackwater..........hammer it back in at 25+++" ride. No shortage of strong riders here.

It was a great day to be out there. Mad props to Liz and MikeMc who did Mountains of Misery the day before and were still out there spinning the miles away. Lucy and Dag also completed the century ride. Jerry did the double metric. WTG.

Had a nice discussion about the Maslow thing and just how (or if) cycling can be an exercise self-actualization .

"Is chasing BAR points a self-actualizing experience?"

"Almost certainly not................

unless you get the jersey." lol


Got out at 6AM today for my 6th day in a row on a bike. A few solo loops with some threshold repeats up and down Shore Dr. The weekend and yesterday's ride, combined with tonight's crit seems to have taken it's toll on the 7:15er............I saw only 4 in the group as they headed up Atlantic.



Saturday, May 27, 2006


Bad Blogger

I've been a bad blogger. 6 days is the longest blog-less stretch since I started. No special excuse, just preoccupied w/some of life's obstacles and challenges. So I'll be filling in some posts retro style. I have plenty of material, but the following few posts won't be chronologically correct.

After the last fiasco with countless flats I was a bit apprehensive and reluctant to hit the rode again. But you gotta get back on the horse that thooo'ed ya. So I went on a solo long ride down the same roads as that ill fated flat trip. Same bike, same rider, different wheels, and different result - no flats. Got around 110 miles in too. 88 degree heat and 18-20 mph headwinds made it a real challenge. The first 3 hours or so were just about directly into the wind. Rode over my favorite (Pungo Ferry) bridge, then out past a Correctional Institution (as in JAIL) to Benefit Virginia to ride next months TT course. New roads to explore. Even got held up by a train. In that much wind and heat you don't really know how much fluid you're losing as the sweat just evaporates too quick to notice.

Didn't stop till about 4.5 hours into the ride. Shoulda stopped sooner, but no stores around. By the time I hit the Creed's store on the way back, I was pretty dehydrated, tired and over heated. Stocked up on some fluids, poured some water over my head, and laid back on the bench using my helmet as a pillow. Next thing I knew it was 40 minutes later. HAH. Caught a nice impromptu nap. Felt way cooled down by then. Air and body temp had dropped, and had a tailwind for the last 30 or so miles. I did bring 3 tubes and a hand pump just in case.......

How much of a factor was the wind? One stretch of road into the wind took 58 minutes. Same stretch on the way back (with almost 5 hours in my legs) took 42 minutes.

Felt great to be out there getting my


esp. w/no flats!


Monday, May 22, 2006


Word for the Day ----- FLAT

(A bit of) The aftermath from the morning road ride.

Insane. That's maybe 1/2 of the tubes we went through. A loose rim band was sliding around, exposing the sharp edges of the inside spoke holes.

The second time around, Crazy hard at work............

While I gaze off at the beautiful day.

Wild Bill says "Not again!"

50 yards down the road - BANG. An old borrowed tube blows and the entertainment starts.

Finally was able to ride all the way back after Crazy sliced up (one of many available) old tubes wrapped it around on the inside of a new one to "double bag" the thing.

Great to have a team that was willing to stand around and wait will the repairs went on. That was above and beyond the call. Big thanks to all. Especially BillW Richard and Mike.

A short respite at the old standby ......

then over to Ipswich for a ride on the SS. 17-20 people for a group ride to check out the work done and ride the new loop.

The EVMA contingent of Kirk, Larry and the Evil Genious himself. Great work by all reopening the tight twisties of the old park.

K-Dog always finds the camera, or does it always find him?

Unfortunately the flats weren't done for the day.

Big round of applause to Kevin, Mike and DanG who did both rides, logging some major saddle time on a gorgeous day.

SO ends the mother of all photo blogs.

Finally :

My throat doesn't hurt

My ear doesn't hurt, the fluid is gone and the ringing is all but passed

My bruised, swollen leg doesn't hurt - Aside from the sweet soreness of the last 2 days on the bike.



Saturday, May 20, 2006


Back in the Saddle

What a sweet day to ride. The plan called for long steady miles. I resisted the urge to join the frenetically paced team rides, and headed south ~6AM. Hooked up with Ironman Jerry close to home, then met his buddy Andy at the Oceanfront. Jerry's riding strong and steady, having just completed the 3 State 3 Mountain Century in Tennessee.

Met up w/the Frogs to ride the first half of their 20 mile ride. They're pimpin' some nice new kits. Now I'll catch some flak for skipping our team rides to go to another team's, but hey this is the first real ride since Lodi 2 weeks ago, gotta ease into it. Didn't go out w/the A+++++ 27-30mph hammerheads. Tucked in as Jerry led out the 2nd group instead. Pace was nice easy and smooth 20-25. Just what I needed. Resisted the urge to jump on as a 6 person break took off. Really trying to behave myself. HAH. That didn't last. Was NOT able to resist the urge to go on a solo bridge 1 mile later. Caught the break and led them into the turn.

We went straight, out to Creeds, no stop, then up to the bridge. The views were nice. A few bridges then back on around and on home. A little over 4.5 hours including a nice 30 minute spin down. Suffered some cramps at 3.5 hours. That was to be expected. Not quite a full C-Note, but close enough for today.

Stopped by the oceanfront to fill Andy's bottles. The weather was perfect. 58 degrees to start 72 at finish. Brisk 15-20 mph SW wind. Forget after living here so long that people spend their hard earned cash to come down and vacation.

Tomorrow Crazy is leading a 4 hour "easy long " ride. This led to much discussion about what long and easy are. Well you know that's all relative. I have to show up just to see if he can actually ride long and ride easy.

Then off to a real rarity - a mountain bike group ride in Hampton Roads. Should be a nice turnout at Ipswich Sunday afternoon. Complete w/picnic afterwards. I sure do Love2Ride.



Friday, May 19, 2006


But the GIMP is sleeping...........

"Well wake him up."
The gimp woke up today. Figured I've been on less than 12 rides in the last 7 weeks. That sucks. But it's all about to change. Did the bike commuter thing today. 4 separate rides 8-12 miles each. Dropped the fossil fuel burner off for some maintainance at 0 dark hundred, and rode back home. Rode to the office, then to the bank, then home, then to get the car from the shop. Huge respect to all those that commute regularly. It gets quite nerve rracking out there amongst the masses of moving metal.
Crazy thing is - my foot was swollen when I started, then not when I finished. Yea baby. Leg viens seem to be over the leaking and bruising and ready to take on their old job.

Now feet aint pretty but this is pretty amazing :

Club foot just 2 days ago. Even Lance (the cat) couldn't figure out what was going on. He just looked up at me as if to say "You no MTB ridin' fool. You better get out and practice more."

After the first ride today, Still a bit swollen and sore, but much better

After the last ride today. Still not pretty, but lookin' pretty good compared to before.
Okay. Enough Agony of Defeet.

Hate to expose myself this way, but since many on the TriPower team are exposing themselves in a far more interesting way............................... I won't feel too bad about it. Yep. Liz let the cat out of the to speak. The TriPower Nude Cycling Calender is in production. You read that right. The full Monte. I love our team. NONONO........... no pictures of yours truly, there are many far more appealing to the eye than me. So place your orders soon, get 'em quick. They're sure to fly off the shelves.

Oh yeah - On my way home after dropping the car off I pass this local Country Club about a mile from the crib. All kinds of remote news trucks out there, suburbans w/smoked out windows, well dressed guys in dark jackets and sunglasses. Did a double take, almost stopped and took my camera out. Was just having too much fun riding to slow down. Later in the day I find out it was all in preparation for our luminous leader.........GeeDoubya hisself. HAH.

Tomorrow we'll see just how good dafeet really feel.

Feets don't fail me now, 'cause I'm gonna go out tomorrow and get some more



Thursday, May 18, 2006


Go and Get the GIMP

Seems like the weather has been terrible everywhere, except here. Been wonderfully sunny and warm, but not too hot. Problem is, I'm still a gimp. But even the gimp needs his moment in the sun.

Almost 2 weeks after Lodi I still have club foot. One attempted recovery ride the Tuesday following and my foot was almost too swollen afterward to take my shoe off. Not the foot at the end of this leg, but the other one. Been gimping around for close to 2 weeks. Daily wrapping with ACE bandage, and anti-inflammatories ad nauseum. But things are getting better every day and rides will be attempted this weekend. Maybe even tonight. Going to try really hard not to do any of this stuff:

Bike Crashes Montage
Watch it now on StupidVideos!

You can NOT watch that without a good wince or 3.

Big congrats to our master ace mechanic Rober'r'r'r'r'rio for being chosen by USACycing to wrench for the National Team at next years Pan-Am games in Brazil. Quite an honor.

Roberio, Charles C and me at the BDAY par-tay

Got some parts in and will be wrenching the Epic tonight. Big EVMA group ride to commemorate the NEW Ipswich on Sunday. Planning on doing the ride Viking style.

May is National Bike Month and tomorrow is National Bike to Work Day. Get on your steed, save some fossil fuel and ride to work. The Mayor of Orlando is doing it. Florida is one of the most bike friendly states I've ever ridden in.



Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Ultra Distance Madness

ON the Ultra distance front :

Slovenian's Marko Baloh and (twice RAAM winner) Jure' Robic set a new 24 hour road distance record at the 24 Kraftwerk Trophy Race in Austria. You'll need to be bilingual to read that site. Gotta love the only English on the page - "SUFFER this 24h RACE". Both are entered in the enduro (not the traditional) version of RAAM this year. Since Jure' will "only" be required to average 4 hours of sleep a night his training is focused on "speed endurance". UMKAY. I guess this would mean going over 600 miles in one day, which he and his buddy Marko did. 600 miles. That's a good month for many. This was a drafting event and they were allowed to draft teams in the race. Still incredible. Robic' also has the non-drafting 24 hr record at just over 521 miles.

Only 25 days left till RAAM start. If you know anyone that would like to crew, UltraRob is short a crew member or 2. Would be a good adventure for a college student or someone with the summer off. The dates are from June 11th through the 21st. From California to Atlantic City. Rob will pay food and lodging. Just email me - this blog's name at mindspring dot com. I can hook ya'll up.

Drivin' the train, cause somebody has to.



PS - What happened to Jimmy's blog - 2DRUNK2SHIFT? Is it now 2DRUNK2BLOG? or maybe 2MARRIED2DRINK, or 2MARRIED2BLOG? you're guess is as good as mine. I'll have to go ask.

Monday, May 15, 2006


The World Cup of Crap

Ridiculous happenings at the MTB World Cup in Spain. People cutting the course, going under the tape....WTF? In front of (and through) spectators and everything. Come on now. Not just one or two but droves. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of our sport? Where's the almighty governing body, and why aren't they doing anything about it? Even more frightening is that the venue is on the short list for the 2012 Olympics. Cycling News report here.

T.Wells and JB have their own accounts posted already. Jeremiah actually grabbed a course cutting rider by the collar and pulled him back in. HAH - I wish I was spectating....sounds like they needed a few self-appointed course marshals. JH-K finished first among the Americans.

What kind of freaky light fork is Specialized running on their World Cup Epics?

This doper is back already? Seems like only yesterday.

Mr. 24 (aka Mr. 12) Kicked some arse over in Wisconsin. Report here.

Anxious awaiting all the stories from the Koko.

Hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. I know my friend, riding buddy, social coordinator, and all around motivator BJ did. Nice article about her in the Sunday paper! WTG. She pretty much eliminated the old "age excuse" from my vocabulary. BJ seen at right discussing who knows what w/Art the Dart.



Saturday, May 13, 2006


On the (Inter)National Scene

Now here's enough links to get car-pool tunnel syndrome, or sumthin' like that. So stretch first, then pace yourself and click carefully.

World Cup numero dos is happenin' over in Spain. Numero tres next weekend. T.Wells, the other JB, JH-K, Nick Ranno, Adam Craig and a slew of other fast folks are out there getting their EuroTrash RideOn. This tall guy is parlaying a super cross season into a great year so far on the MTB. Bet you didn't know he has a BLOG.

Added and rearranged some linkage over to the left. Trekker Tristen has been pretty regular with his posts, getting NORBA results up faster than all the cycling news media. He's riding well too.

Got caught up reading some (printed) VeloNews. Interesting article about the UltraEndurance 100 Series which starts soon at the Mohican 100. Fisher fast guy, and national solo 24 hour champ Cameron Chambers is making the series a priority and plans on arriving a week early at EACH venue to soak up all the local knowledge he can. Best of luck. "Met" him at Big Bear. While I was pushing my rear derailleurless stead up 6 miles of hills the lead group of 3 flies by. The Goat, Hendershot, and Cameron. Mr. Chambers shouts out "Need anything?". Actually had the feeling he'd of stopped if I said yes. Later on during an early morning lap he did stop to help w/a flat. He's a great rider and a class act.

The GIRO is just catching full stride and heads into it's second week. Lookin' like a showdown between Il Falco and Basso. I vote on the Disco boys.

A post with no photo? Dam, I must be slippin'.

Ordered some parts to fix up my racked up Epic. Dual control lever assembly, brake pads, etc. A picture ---->, I feel better all ready.

Lodi is taking on the persona of that older brother that would always pick on you and whoop your ass when you asked for it, but you keep going back for more. Next year is mine.




A Saddleless Saturday

So I couldn't make the Coghill Ride. The plan was for the team to meet at the Redmill Store and cruise over to the Amphitheatre as a group before the ride. I got a slow start so I missed getting photos of the group at the gathering. Instead had to lay in wait (a whole 2-3 minutes) and ambush them with a video camera.

The Blue/Orange TriPower flame train was there and gone in a blink of an eye, with TimS(tud) pulling 'em along and stringin' 'em out. Just a warm up for the 75+ miles that followed. I was left to sit and work in the office, massaging (as Liz would say) my blog (note the new logos and linkage up above) while dreaming about being out there, burning up the pavement with mi hombres.

A cheesy video, or how to stretch 8 seconds of film into 30.

Raw footage can be seen here.

Others caught at the stop light:
Sprinter el supremo MarcG along with the DAGnacious one and others.

Good to see Marc back on the bike after a helmet splattering crash a month ago at 30+ in the last turn of the C3 Crit. The only rider in front of him flatted. Sumanabeetch.

Adam is attempting to do the audioblog thing during the Kokopelli Trail Race, so check his site out. Not sure there'll be much cell phone coverage between Moab and Fruita, but I hope so.



Friday, May 12, 2006


Ride for Life

Tomorrow morning is the Tom Coghill Ride for Life. A HUGE group ride. I did it 2 years ago and it was a blast. Definately the largest group I'd ever ridden with. Cool thing - a Police escort for the first 8 miles or so. Closed intersections and everything. Cooler thing - no registration fee. Donations to the JimmyV Foundation are accepted. Lengths up to 75 miles. This year it WILL be a hammerfest as there is no VA BAR race on Sunday. Unfortunately due to prior commitment I'll miss it again. May stop down to get some group photos when the team meets up. Will it be warm enough for Barb to ride? Picture stolen (without reservation OR permission)from our sponsors.

Good luck to all the crazies in the 142 mile Kokopelli Trail Race tomorrow.

Got some nice (post-Lodi) bruises up and down my right leg. I love MTBing.



Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Wake Up, This is the Real World

Lance's ex-wife Kristen was on the all-knowing Oprah show yesterday. I wondered what everyone thought? I watched it. Wrote up a long diatribe on the issues presented, then shelved it. I'm certainly no expert here (is anybody?). It doesn't make me sad she feels she "sacrificed herself" in her marriage. It does make me sad the the marriage failed because of it. I'll try and say no more, other than a quote from Mr Gwadz, a family man, AND a cyclist :

"life is hard... marriage is not always easy... there is a correlation between sacrifice and achievement "

nuf said. Getting married for your own personal fulfillment (man or woman) as many on the show are doing, is undeniably selfish and the first step down the path to failure (I may be an expert here). I'll shutup now.

More Lodi stuff.

Here's an idea of just how the course is laid out :

Not very clear? Maybe this will help :
That place and the race have become a focus of many of my idle thoughts. I can't wait to go back again next year. Despite (or maybe because of) the physical beating I took. Dealing with the poison ivy, the midnight start, the lack of sleep, the tight and twisty root covered trails littered with seemingly endless log hops. It's all part of the mystique. Even more so are the stories of triumph and defeat, friendship and brotherhood, joy and happiness. What really makes the event special is the people that participate. Unfortunately we never seem to get enough time to sit and BS because we're all so wrapped up in the tasks at hand. Doing what we have to do to set up camp, get our selfs and our equipment ready and getting the job done. Many reports have surfaced, and more likely will. So if you like reading real race reports from real people, with real lives, in the real world (I love it), check some of these links when you have some time to waste. They're good reads.

Soiled Chamois




Team City Bikes

Now go out and get your



Monday, May 08, 2006


Stuck on Lodi....Again

Big props to everyone at Lodi. Riders volunteers, organizers etc. Some fantastic performances.

Some (painfully obvious) things I learned (again) at Lodi :

  1. If you have fluid in your ear, riding at night can be difficult
  2. In the battle of flesh vs. tree, tree will always prevail
  3. 29ers roll over everything, especially logs, easier (doh)
  4. You can't fit a quarter in a dime slot
  5. I love 2 ride

If you have fluid in your ear, riding at night can be difficult

I've had fluid in my right ear for about a week. Aside from the incessant ringing the only problem I've noticed was keeping my balance when the lights are out or my eyes are closed. I was wondering if it would effect riding at night. It did. Which leads to the next revelation :

In the battle of flesh vs. tree, tree will always prevail

The first lap wasn't a problem as someone was always in view. On the second, the course opened up and I was pushing my rather mediocre pace. Then BAM. Fall down. Get up. Ride again. BAM. Repeat maybe 10-12 times. Insert various loud 4 letter words here and there. It was like someone was pulling the earth out from under me. Nailed my kneecap with a tree, it responded by trying to grow another kneecap. The third lap I went easy and tried to stay behind people, that really helped, but I had already taken a beating. The final straw was getting stuck upside down ON a tree. Wierdest thing that has ever happened to me and almost impossible to explain. but I'll try:

Handlebar clips a tree on a downhill
I attempt an over the bar dismount
Bike settles pointed straight down with handlebar stem on the trail side of said tree, and the horn of the seat hooked around the other side of the tree.
My leg, just above the knee, is pointed almost straight up and stuck in the triangle formed by the tree, the top tube and the seatpost. I could barely touch the ground with my other foot, so I'm suspended upside down, with all my (rather considerable) weight hanging from from upper leg. Felt like my femur was about to snap. There was NOTHING I could do to free myself. It was like a UFC submission hold, I was tapping out, and there was no referee around to tell the tree to release me. Luckily one of the Arsenal riders (Trevor I think?) came by and helped me out of the leg lock. He said he'd been in the same position before. Muchas Gracias man, you saved my leg. Crazy stuff.

That was the end of my rope. I hobbled in after lap 3, "beat up from my feet up", convinced I'd had enough. My shifting lever was tweeked and the rear der wouldn't shift. By the time I limped in it was around 4 AM. I told the powers that be I was finished. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. Took some photos at the water crossing, stumbled around the pits talking to people, and working my bloody leg for all the sympathy I could get. Hung out at the scoring tent for a while and volunteered for a shift at 10AM. While there this dude slides in and wins the "Best Lap Finishing Dismount Award." --->

I changed clothes, nursed my wounds, and took a brief nap till the sun came up. Legs were very sore, (from the trees not the riding) but I still wanted to ride, if only to find out if it really was the darkness that was messing up my balance. So I did. Suited up again and hopped on my SS. Leads to next revelation :

29ers roll over everything, especially logs, easier (doh)

My technical skills are rather limited by my meager 18 months of MTB experience. Last year at Lodi I was clueless and clumsy when it came to riding over logs, and opted to dismount over many. This year, even on my 26er I was able to ride over all of 'em. The 29er made it even that much easier. I can't wait till next year. It's amazing how easy it looks when you watch someone that's really good at it. RickyD's little video really helped, no joke. Only fall I had was trying to squeeze my bars through one of the many tight spots. Even with good balance :

You can't fit a quarter in a dime slot

Well, you really can, but it requires a quick twist and shimmy that I just didn't have at that point in time. The bars on my RIG are a bit too wide for Lodi. They'll be cut down for next year.

I was pretty stoked after my 4th lap. I didn't really think about going out again, and just changed to ready myself for a 1 hour shift in the scoring tent. Went down to the creek and took more photos/video till my 10AM scoring gig. It was really a revelation sitting there. Can't even count how many riders screwed up the simple task of saying their numbers, I'm sure I've probably done it before too. As we near 11AM people are asking about the finishing procedure. The rule about having a rider on the course at 12 is announced. If you've already checked in after a lap and don't go out for another one, you'll be DNF'd. You or your team needs a lap finished (or scored) on or after 12 noon to avoid the dreaded letters. After explaining it to some folks it dawned on me that I was going to DNF. Not like it's that big of a deal, but hey, I can still do something about it. So after the scoring gig, I go back to the pit change AGAIN , and knock out another lap, just because

I Love 2 Ride

Sometimes even the worse of days are the best. This was the first time I'd ever ridden my SS in a "race", and the furthest I'd ever ridden a SS in one day. Towards the end of that last lap I was getting some cramps in areas I'd never cramped before. Can't wait to do it again.

It was great renewing some old acquaintances and making some new ones. We had a nice pit area with JM, Loretta, Fernando, Jake, as well as JoE, Jennifer and the BMan.

Also saw DT. He gets the "Most Innovative Trail Tool Award" There was a low hanging tree across the trail right before the 4 mile sign. DT tried to help everyone out by raising it.................with his head. I don't think it moved much, but the effort was appreciated. Be careful out there, hope you're not too sore today.

Seemed like City Bikes was winning everything out there. Well done.



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