Sunday, April 24, 2005

Four Falls and a Flat

Well the ride this weekend to Boring was anything but. It started out a bit sketchy with the folks at the Weather Service predicting rain and t-storms during the ride. The ride was to start at 8:30 am. Anyway we got a bit of light rain before the ride and alot later thatnight after the ride but during we were pretty dry.

This was the first ride I have actually done with the Annapolis team. Weekends have been pretty sketchy up until this point but I was glad I got to it yesterday. There were five of us on the ride, Dean the team Coach, Dave our mentor, Christine, Jim and myself. The ride was 44 miles long through the hills of northern baltimore county that I spoke of before. Yesterday was just alot more miles.

Anyway right out of the gate (within one mile) Dave notices that my back tire is low. So we stopped in a driveway to pump it up. Well unfortunately the driveway was gravel and as Christine came in, her wheels came out from under her and she took a spill (spill 1). It wasn't too bad and after we got air back in my tire we got moving again.

Anyway we biked for maybe another 15 miles and then came around a curve where we stopped to meet the local mangey dog. While we were stopped apparently Christine his some road patch that was wet and took a bit of a spill into a fence. (spill 2) Fortunately the fence gave a bit and she was able to get back on her bike.

While we were stopped I decided to shred a layer from underneath my jersey and lose the cap I had under my helmet. Well when I tossed my helmet on the ground for the moment the local mangey mutt decided that he wanted to make a run for it with my helmet. I didn't notice this at all. Fortunately Dean was on top of things and was able to chase down the helmet before doggie made off with it forever. This was odd.

Anyway back on the road, only to encounter a flat on my bike. (My bike had been misbehaving a bit today. The shifter was a bit loose and was jumping gears when under pressure.) We stopped just south of Boring Maryland and changed the tire. Fortunately Dean had an extra tube on him becuase I couldn't seem to find my patches. Could have been a real mess had he not been on top of things.

We got ourselve back on the road and about 2 miles down the road, completed spill 3 and 4. Dean lined up perfectly to cross the train tracks and for whatever reason, his wheel came out from under him and he went down. I happened to be trailing him by a couple yards and when I tried to ride around him my wheel jumped in teh groove in the train track I went down. Fortunately, it wasn't on Dean.

Dean took a pretty spill and probably had a nice bruise today. I didn't take too much of a hit, but my right ring finger feels a bit sore. Nothing consequental at all.

Anyway the next 25 miles were anti-climatic. We climbed up hills and coasted down. I topped out at 35 mph at one point. Quite a good time on a bike.

All-in-all though, and excellent ride!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hills Stink!

Well tonight's ride was very interesting. It started off with me rolling out of my office a bit early only to find out that there was an unattended package in my parking lot. That's a big deal around here obviously. So instead of getting on the road around 5:30 I got on the raod at 6:00 pm. Not too big deal.

It was a bit rainy and kinda grey out. ick. Anyway, it didn't pur...didn't even really rain much. Just kinda looked like it was going to. Anyway I didn 25 miles tonight.

I met Sami at her office and cruised up the CCT to a nice hill on MAcCarthur Blvd. I did the first up the hill ok, but the second and third were a real hassle. My gearing was all wrong and it was a really huge hill...getting up took about 10 minutes. Sami of course zoomed up and down the hill without any trouble and a heck of alot faster than me.

It was a good workout though, and I needed it, but boy are my legs going to kill tomorrow. I'm going to do some hill intervals more often. This one was a good one and I'll have to do it again.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Bugs and Blossoms

Well tonight it was all bugs and blossoms down at Haines Point tonight. Weather was great...prob in the 80s next to no wind and very pleasant. Fun!

Anyway, not looking to spend most of my evening fighting traffic in route to g-town I decided I'd just run down Independence and head over to haines point. Its a pretty easy ride over. If it weren't for the lights every block (and the fact that they seem to be perpetually out of sync) you could really get some speed going after coming down Capitol Hill on the house side. Unfortunately, I just got to stand on my brakes and make sure I didn't end up coasting through an intersection.

Anyway, the ride was uneventful. I did just under 30 miles total ... most of that was from the seven or eight laps I did around Haines Point. The one downside to the ride was that the bugs are starting to come out and the cherry trees have just finished blooming. This meant that when I was zooming around the island mouth agap, I was not only taking in copious quantiies of air, I was also taking in mouthfuls of bugs and cherry tree blossoms. YUM! Really it wasn't that bad. And with the increased training schedule I need to increase protein intake anyway. UMM BUGS!

I was able to use my new watch to keep track of my lap speeds. This was great for alternating between fast laps and recovery laps. Thank you Reagan!

Finished the trip with a ride up the Hill on the House side. I'm my own Hill Climber!!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

50 Miles Today

I did 50 miles today! Very exciting.

First, BIG PROPS to Tom Price for loaning me his road bike for the ride. I used to joke that the hybrid didn't make a huge difference. Riding a road bike ais a world of difference. Its just phenominal. Tom is awesome and I owe him a big debt. (some of you who know me will recall that Tom was my boss 2 jobs ago at AAES. The raleigh will prob knock somethign like 2 hours off my ride. The person who told m that hybrid shave about 3mph off your speed was almost precisely right. I averages about 15.5 MPH today on what would have most likely normally been a 13MPH ride.

Anyway, today's ride was good up until about mile 40 at which point my left foot started screaming. I slogged through the rest of my ride, but it too about an hour after the ride before I could put any weight on my foot. I'm going to have to figure out what the story is before I head to Tahoe.

The ride route was pretty uneventful and flat (I need some hills). a lap around the BWI Trail up and back on teh B&A and a lap around the BWI again.

Finally I finished the evening off with the best chinese buffet around!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The CCT is Crowdeeeeedddd

the last two day's rides have been relativelty uneventful. The weather has been warm and the breezes light. Last night and tonight I ran up and down the CCT and then along Rock Creek Parkway for a while doing 25 last night and 29 tonight. The only really remarkable thing about the ride is that the folks who I share the trail wtih are clueless.

I've gotten used to the headphone folks. I figure about 75% of the people on the trail can't hear me when I alert that I am going to pass. I've just given up. But the really fun folks are the dog walkers. I almost killed a puppy tonight. I am coming up behind a dog walker and I shout out from quite a distance, "Passing on the left." Well dog walker (who is on the right hand side of the trail) gets deer-in-headlights .... and here's the fun part ... the little puppy darts completely across teh trail to teh grass on the other side ... I'm doing about 15mph and there is a doggie leash bisecting the trail ... well fortunately I was able to lock the brakes and come to a stop about 5 feet from the leash. No one was harmed but I think the dog walker felt dreadful and the puppy didn't look too happy.

Anyway, other than that a dull week. Off to the HILL in a few days!!!