Monday, December 31, 2007

For Congressman, Life in Bike Lane Comes Naturally - WSJ.com



You may have seen this recent article in the Wall Street Journal....if you read that kind of publication. ;-)

For Congressman, Life in Bike Lane Comes Naturally - WSJ.com


Mr. Blumenauer's "obsession with bicycling borders on the interesting," sniffed TV satirist Stephen Colbert.

"Bikeman," a House colleague from Oregon calls him. Mr. Blumenauer owns seven bikes. His congressional office is one of the few -- if not the only one -- that didn't even apply for a parking permit. On occasion, Mr. Blumenauer has cycled to the White House. On Mr. Blumenauer's first visit, the Secret Service, more accustomed to limousines, was flummoxed at the sight of his bike.

"I leaned it up against the portico," Mr. Blumenauer says.


I don't know that I'm terribly enthused about Rep. Blumenauer's cycling tax deduction bill. Instead of putting in more deductions, I'd prefer folks work to simplify the tax code so that I don't have to spend a bunch of bucks filing my taxes and wondering whether I've gotten all the deductions the byzantine code entitles me to and/or if I've slipped up and done something wrong and am going to get a nice visit from the fun folks at the IRS.

In spite of Rep. Blumenauer being in the other party and GASP even worse, being a member of the lower body, he strikes me as one of the nicest and most genuine members of the House. He seems like an authentically good human being and by all accounts serves his constituents very well.

I haven't had a chance to ride with him but maybe I'll luck out and cross paths with him on the hill one day.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Good Rides and Bad Rides

Well as with most things in life without the bad the good doesn't seem quite so good. Biking isn't really any different.

I have a nice little circuit (see below) that I ride out of my house up the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail and down through Crownsville. Its a just under 35 mile circuit. Its a pretty good training ride - especially this time of year when the B&A trail is next to empty.

I rolled out on this route a week and a half ago on a Saturday afternoon. It was relatively cold (mid to upper 30's) and a slight bit windy. I did the ride and in spite of being appropriately attired (leg warmers, balaclava, gloves, wool sweater) I felt horrible. I couldn't get my legs moving, I couldn't really get the engine running. It was just a plain bad ride. And my computer showed. I rolled in with a 15.3 mph pace. And then I got in the house and I couldn't shake the cold off of me. Froze my butt off for a couple hours after the ride. After the ride I figured that the lack of regular riding in the winter had caused my fitness to go to pot.

Well I rode yesterday and it wasn't one of those bad rides. In fact it was one of those really good rides. Immediately out of the house I could feel that my legs were up for the ride. My legs were strong, my stamina felt pretty good and I was able to focus and keep the speed up. The biggest down side of the ride was that I haven't been giving my bike the TLC it deserves. My chain needs some white lightning of tri-flow becuase it was screaming when I rolled out. But all in all I was in the zone. I rolled in at the end of the ride with a 17.2 mph pace. Much closer to what I was expecting to be riding. The ride felt great - I am sure it was partially becuase I was riding well, but I think alot of it was becuase I had such a crappy - mildly demoralizing - ride a few days earlier. I am glad I decided to do the same ride yesterday instead of heading off in a different direction. I was pleased to discover that my fitness hasn't gone to pot and that once the weather warms up and I have enough time to put in 100 mile weeks, that I'll have a good base to build off of.

The course for the ride is below.

On an unrelated note, I am going to be a Team Captain for the National Capital Chapter of Team in Training. I'm signed up to help folks get across the finish line at Tahoe this year. My ticker seems to be behaving well, so it shouldn't be a problem fo me to get across the finish line this year. If you're interested in joining me at Tahoe, my contact info is at the right so drop me a line and we can make it happen.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not quite this fast







Yet!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Been Tooo Long

So I haven't been blogging much lately. I've been riding a decent bit. I'm at approximately 2100 miles year to date.

Noel recently had a great fundraiser for Team where she organized a Poker Run & Bike ride in the Davidsonville are and raised thousands of dollars for Team. It was a ton of fun and I think everyone had a great time. Over 100 riders came out and it will likely be an annual event.

I did a ride with Jake this weekend up in Baltimore called the Tour du Port. He knocked out 22 miles no problemo. I'm pretty confident he'll be ready for a 40 + mile ride next year. Maybe I'll take him down to the Hains Point new years ride where folks do laps all day and drink hot chocolate. We'll have to see.

Below are is a course route and some photos from the ride.



www.flickr.com









Other than the recent rides I did a bunch of metrics this year and a century in early august. I hope to keep riding during the fall and winter, but fear too many evenings I will be consigned to spinning on the trainer -- more because of the early darkness than because of the weather.

I am hoping to jump on a new ride with the folks from the Bike Rack in DC this Sunday to see how it goes. Its a weekly ride with 40 and 80 mile options. I'm going to do the 40 mile version because I fear I won't be able to keep up with the pace for a full 80 miles.

If I get my butt in gear I may blog on it Monday morning.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

100 Miles!! Woo Hoo!!

So as some of you may recall, Tahoe didn't go very well. As I posted previously I had a little bit of some heart problems. Well I am mostly over those heart problems (although I think I have a minor surgery in the future to finally put the thing to bed!)

So I finally got around to putting 100 miles under my bike in one day. Noel and I and say roughly 250 other people (25 of whom did the century) rode the Ride to See Century on the northern eastern shore of Maryland.

Fortunately the ride was relatively uneventful. I really stomped on it for the first 50 miles. I probably hammered an 18 mph pace for the first 50 miles. We cycled through some beautiful communities such as Rock Hall and Betterton along the northern part of the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. I would have taken some pictures but I expected it to be hotter and maybe be dumping some H20 on myself to keep cool that I didn't want electronics in my jersey pocket.

If you're looking for a fun ride, I would highly recommend this one. The route is super well marked, the Lions Club is out there providing great support and if the weather holds up its a fun ride. Its not the most challenging course in the world. There's somewhere between 2000 and 3000 feet of climbing on the route...depending on which mapping program I use. Although to be fair, while the climbing isn't that bad, eastern shore winds can be pretty strong and heading into a headwind (if you're not pacelining) can be just as much a challenge as heading up a hill. I was able to finish up with a 15.9 mph pace over the 100. Respectable, considering I haven't done a tone of long distances since Tahoe -- just a 55 a couple weeks ago and a 70 right after they ok'd me to get back on my bike.

All in all a great ride though and I would highly recommend it to local riders. Hopefully folks will come out and do the ride with us next year.

Charts below.




Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dog v. Tour de France Rider

Dog wins - front wheel big loser.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Girlfriend ROCKS!!!!

From Noel to her TNT supporters


From: Noel Turner [mailto:noeltahoego@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 1:04 PM
Subject: There's always another ride...

Hello Friends and Supporters,

 

It's been four weeks now since Tahoe and America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride (June 3, 2007), and I apologize that this note is now woefully overdue.   Things did not go according to plan in Tahoe, and I was sort of waiting for the story to come to an end before I shared it with you all.

 

Attached is the final cue sheet I carried with me during the weekend, some of the mileage was off in earlier versions I sent out.   I did keep this with me during the whole weekend, and greatly appreciated your support.  Thank you for helping me raise approximately $5200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to find a cure for blood-related cancers and improve the quality of patient's lives.   Your donations mean so much to so many people; I continue to be touched by the people I meet through LLS and they all emphasize the importance of each and every dollar.

 

At America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, 2000 TNT cyclists from across the US and Canada along with their sponsors raised $8.5 million to fight cancer!!   $8.5 million!  It just goes to show how any donation is a huge contribution – as it really adds up fast to become a very big number.   To date Team In Training has trained over 325,000 people (most of whom had never ran a race or anything in their lives), which has resulted in $750 million (!!) raised to fight cancer to date by funding needed research, educational activities, and family support programs.   Thanks again for your very generous support of my fundraising effort on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

 

$8.5 million to fight cancer, that's the good news.  The bad news is that neither Tom nor I got to ride in the century as planned.  

 

I've reattached my fundraising flyer here, as a reminder of why I started training for this century in the first place.   Tom and I signed up together to celebrate our love, friendship and health.  While we were in Tahoe, Tom had a little health scare and instead of riding we spent the day in the local hospital.

 

Apparently, Tom's heart started acting funny on Thursday, the day before we left for Tahoe.   He visited the nurse at work but nothing seemed to be seriously out of sorts and he didn't have time to visit an urgent care center for a more in depth exam.  Since the feeling passed, Tom didn't say anything and we hopped on our flight Friday morning and were in Tahoe by days end.   We woke up the next morning and went for a short ride with our team, to make sure our legs and bikes were ready for the big event on Sunday.   It was a gorgeous day and a very memorable but short little ride with the team.

 

On Saturday night, during the TNT pasta party (pep rally), Tom let me know there was something going on with his heart.   As he described it, every once in a while his heart would race for no particular reason.  At one point he put my hand on his chest so I could feel it, and I freaked out.   By the end of the dinner it had happened multiple times, and it didn't seem like it was going to turn itself off this time, as it had apparently done on Thursday (and at other times….Tom kept me in the dark until the last minute).  

 

Seeing as how we had a major endurance event slated for the next day, I wanted Tom to go to the hospital and get his ticker checked out before the ride.   So, off to the emergency room we went.  After a short wait, they took him back.  Five minutes later he popped out to let me and Ben (our TNT staff person) know he would be hooked up to machines for tests for at least four hours.   Ben and I went back to the hotel and got things ready for the next day, hoping for the best and trying to use the power of positive thinking.

 

Hours later (probably about midnight) Tom called to say that he would be staying in the hospital at least overnight, and he would not be able to do the ride.   Initially he encouraged me to ride without him, but later I had the distinct impression he wanted me to hang with him.

 

Truth be told, I had a hard time leaving the hospital even for the four hour test he had taken, and exploded in tears as Ben and I walked back to the car.   The situation was all too familiar to another in my life, which did not have a happy ending.

 

My mother passed away when I was seventeen.  At the time, she was on a cross-country trip, helping a friend move from San Diego, CA, to Florida.  Somewhere in New Mexico she had something go wrong with her heart.  Her friend, Penny, got her to the hospital, where the doctors assured her that everything would be fine.   They said they were just going to keep mom for observations and then Penny and mom could be on their way.   Penny went out to run a few errands get things ready to resume the trip, and when she got back to the hospital my mom had passed.   My mom was all by herself in a small hospital in a small town.

 

As Ben and I were leaving the hospital, even though we were planning to come back in 4 hours, all I could think was that Tom was by himself in a small hospital in a small town, and he too was having an arrhythmia.   Even if Tom had pushed me to ride, I just couldn't handle the thought of being on the wrong side of the lake if anything had happened, and so I spent the day with Tom at the hospital.

 

The good news is that everything with Tom is fine.  Waiting to confirm that is what held up my sending a note to you all, letting you know how Tahoe went.   While it was a miserable weekend for us, things turned around pretty quickly once they got him on some medication.  Tom had to find a cardiologist and have some additional tests done once we returned home.   Basically, he has a second electrical pathway in his heart that is sometimes kicked on.  When it runs, the heart takes in the normal signal as well as this second signal, and they seem to have an additive effect and cause his heart to race.   The doctors don't know what exactly causes the condition, but it is easily treated through medication or surgery.  Given the fact that Tom is young and his condition is well-regulated on the medications, he's not interested in the surgery right now (as all surgery has an element of risk).   It is something that may be necessary someday, but not now.  For now, Tom's instructions are to stay on his meds and visit his doctor again in one year.

 

Needless to say, we are relieved.  I am also a bit annoyed, as it just amounts to lousy timing really.  If it had happened one week earlier or one week later, we would have ridden and had a much different weekend.  Oh well!

 

Now we are looking for a local century in the next few months, so we can make good on our deal with all of our sponsors.   We don't want you to feel jipped, after all you did donate to support me to ride a mile or more, so I still owe you.  I'll keep you posted and let we know when we find one.

 

Thanks again for your generous support.

Noel

 

P.S. To those of you who meant to donate – it's not too late!!  I can still receive donations at http://www.active.com/donate/tntnca04/NoelBikesTahoe.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm cleared to get on a bike!!! YAY!!!

Just wanted to let everyone know that my Dr. cleared me to get back on my bike today. As I might have mentioned, Saturday before the ride I was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia and spent last the ride day in the hospital.

Basically there is a problem with the electrical regulation of my heart, and right before the ride my heart started beating rapidly, spiking to 190 BPMs at certain points. They don't really know why it happens but they can treat it.

Thanks to big Phrama, I have some wonderful meds that keep my heart-rate at a normal rate. I haven't exercised vigorously yet, but we'll see soon how the meds work when I get the heart going.

Anyway, the Dr. said I can get back on the bike and ride like a maniac. So hopefully I'll see some of you out at the alumni ride this weekend.

Thanks again for all your kind words and thoughts,

PS, the Dr. has kicked me off the caffeine. I've got a box of espresso GUs so if anyone has some other non-caffinated flavored GUs they'd like to trade I'm game. espresso love is super yummy.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tahoe Ride Report - or I HEART My Heart

Thanks again for supporting my ride. Until we find a cure for blood cancer's the work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) will remain essential and vital to the lives of patients and families around the country.

A couple amazing statistics:

  • The LLS riders at America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Tahoe last week raised over $8,400,000 to support the support and research programs of the society.
  • The National Capital Chapter alone raised over $335,000 for the Society.
  • Since its founding in the early 80's the Society has raised over $750,000,000 (a HUGE number even to Washington folks like me!) to support the mission of the Society.
  • And since the Society founding it has trained just south of 300,000 men and women for endurance events -- taking sofa slugs like me and turning them into only moderated out of shape athletes.

We had a great team out in Tahoe and their work throughout the year and at Tahoe was truly inspiring. They're done some great good.

Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to ride with the Team this year. Shortly before I headed out to Tahoe (last Thursday) my heart started exhibiting an irregular heart rate that became increasingly concerning as we got closer to the ride.

As I headed in to work on Thursday, my heart started racing and beating extremely rapidly. I assumed it was attributable to a cold/bug I had. It slowed down on Thursday afternoon, so I just crossed my fingers and hoped it went away. On Friday, I spent a good portion of the day sleeping since we were flying across the country, so I didn't really notice alot. It raced now and again, but I was still hoping it would go away.

On Saturday we got up in the morning and the heart racing was back. We heading out for a short 8 mile warm up ride and it popped up a bunch of times during the ride. I had my heart rate monitor on so I could see my heart going from 130 beats per minute, up to 185 beats per minute, stay there for ten seconds and drop back down to 130 bpm. It probably did this something like a dozen times during the 8 mile ride. (the HRM didn't pick up all of them but if you look at the picture on the right, you can see where it caught two and you can also see what it looked like when my heart rate went up normally --quite a contrast.)


I took a nap after the ride and when I woke up it was still happening and I was starting to wonder whether it was such a good idea to go on a 100 mile bike ride in 80 degree weather with an as yet undetermined heart condition. Noel concured with my concern and we got the Team in Training staff to zip us down to Barton Memorial Community Hospital in South Lake Tahoe. (For what its worth, I was voted the "Most Normal Patient" in the ER that night. Truth be told the competition wasn't that steep considering my fellow ER mates were brought in by the local Sheriff. Apparently Tahoe has more of a crime problem than one would suspect. And boy is Meth popular. :-( )

Fortunately since it was a small hospital I was seen pretty quickly. They checked me in to the ER and ran a full cardiac workup. (An Aside: Note to the fine folks at 3M. On behalf of all men with chest hair, if you could get the guys in the R&D Dept. working on some EKG sticky tabs that aren't quite so sticky, we'd all really apprecite it. Thanks)

Well once they got me hooked up to the EKG, the Dr's face lit up and he commented that "He's going into SVT." Which meant absolutely nothing to me but didn't sound particularly good. Apparently this condition happens alot and in his numerous years in the ER he had never actually seen it captured on an EKG.

So it turns out that I have Supraventricular Tachycardia
. Basically the long and short, is that there is something wrong with the wiring of my heart. We still don't know yet why it is happening, but we're working on it. It is more of a nuisance than anything else, but it does need to get fixed.

Not surprisingly the Docs and nurses told me pretty quickly that I really can't be going out for a 100 mile bike ride the next day. Eventually I ended up being admitted to the hospital for observation over night and spent the Sunday of the ride at the hospital I did luck out and have a halfway decent hamburger and we were able to discover that the medicine Cardizem seems to get the heart rate under control and keeps the SVT at bay.

So right now I am in a bit of a holding pattern. I have an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow afternoon and he's going to give me a little better picture of where we're going to go with this thing. The meds seem to be working pretty well, but I am not terribly enamored with the idea of having to take meds twice a day every day forever. There are some surgical remedies that are reportedly very effective, but I really need to sit down with the Dr and figure out what is best for me.

Noel was super awesome and hung with me all day on Sunday at the hospital. She kept me company and made sure the stay in the hospital was as enjoyable as possible. I think this was the first time I was actually admitted to a hospital, so it was good to have company. Unfortunately she missed her ride at Tahoe.

Once I get the green light from the Dr. we're going to schedule another Century. If the stars align, I can jump on one pretty soon and use the fitness I have attained training for Tahoe.

While it was obviously a big bummer missing the ride, the important part was that I was able to help support the society and help make a difference in the lives of patients and families fighting this disease.

Hopefully I'll have more info on upcoming rides and I'll make sure I let you know what is substituted for Tahoe and how the ride goes.

Thanks again for your support.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

:-(

I think I'm (getting) or am sick.  Feels like the flu maybe?  I'll still ride though.
 

Out on warm-up ride

Weather is good and I feel goodm.  Bike feels light.

Think we're going to head to the pearl izumi outlet after we get back to the hotel.
 

Day 2

We're up and have breakfast.   We've picked up our packets and this year they have picked baby blue for the giveaway shirts instead of the hideous safety yellow from last year.

I was feeling a bit off yesterday but I am feeling better this morning.

We've got a ride in an hour.

Steak and eggs is here.  Gotta go
 

Friday, June 01, 2007

on the road around the lake

Totally stoked!!! Its so beautiful!
 

In the land of gaming

We are in Reno.  Gotta love airports with slot machines.

We're on the bus taking roll making sure no one got lost on the flights out.

I'm getting excited for the right, although I am a bit worn down from the flying and getting up early.

Should be in Tahoe in 90 mins!

Good vibe on the bus!
 

In denver

Slept almost the whole way here.   Am a bit groggy.   Have about an hour to kill before the flight out to Reno.  

My guess is that we'll be in Tahoe in say --- 3 hours.
 

On plane!

We're on the plane heading for denver.  I've got a honey lime burrito and a copy of wired magazine for the flight.   still annoyed united charges us $5 for some crappy grub. 

Flight looks packed.

Will post again from denver!

Great team morale!!

And my alvert is kicking in! 
 

First part of trip done

We're parked at the airport!!! Yay!! Off to deal with TSA!
 

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Live Blogging is underway

I have the liveblogging infrastructure in place.

Really nothing interesting to report right now.  I started packing some of my gear up last night. 

Less than 60 hours until wheels-up.  

Live blogging works though!   I'll try to post as much as possible!


 

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jacob "Roadie" Soreff Jones

Well jake is now joining the cult. As a present for 5 years of exemplary performance in elementary school we bought Jake a road bike. We're going to put it together and he's going to compete in the family's first tiathlon on Fathers Day. Maybe in a couple years he'll be wearing the maillot jaune. We can hope!! Regardless its going to be hours of fun for us, and frankly its only a matter of time before I'm sucking wind to stay on his wheel!

Here's a picture of the bike.

Backcountry.com: The Goat » Blog Archive » Pocket Shot

HHHmmmm... Maybe instead of stopping at mile 99 for a guiness I'll slip a Pocket Shot into my jersey. Nahhhh...tasty beer is too good and too much of a risk of ripping open a pocket shot at mile 75 instead of 99.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Snickers(ville) really doesn't satisy

So I finished my final training ride yesterday and all in all it went really well It was a 90 mile ride -- which was going to be pretty hilly - so I decided not to kill myself by stomping on it on the pace. Take it relatively easy and knock out the hills as they come. From a riding perspective and a physiological perspective I pulled off the strategy pretty well. Mechanically it went in the crapper.

A quick overview of the ride - the ride was broken into a 50 mile portion and a 40 mile portion with lunch inbetween back at the start.

At mile 12 or so we started a series of climbs which took us up Mount Weather - a climb of 1000 feet in about 5 miles. After that the ride would keep us on the crest of Mouth Weather for a while until is let us bomb back down the mountain into the valley. A note here for fellow riders when the road signs say "SLOW 15 MPH" that's probably a rock solid sign that there is a sharp turn ahead and you might want to take it easy I being a bit of an idiot I didn't and couldn't hold my line coming around the turn and ended up in the oncoming traffic lane and had to bail out of the turn in the face of an approaching car. No damage done, so no harm no foul and we chock that one up to a learning experience -- lesson being hold your turns better.

After that we had our first SAG stop of the day. I refilled on some goodies and rolled out of the stop. Since we were back down in the valley the roads flattened out quite a bit and I was able to get rolling a bit.
An aside -- since I haven't been able to shed some of those pounds I've been wanting to loose, gravity and inertia are still prominent riders in Peleton Jones. Once I get the mass that is me moving and I'm on a flat ground, I can keep it going pretty well - wheras if I am climbing a hill it takes more effort than it should to keep me going uphill ... so I like flats.
So I had been rolling for about 10 minutes and was cruising along the shoulder of the road and encountered the shattered remnants of what was likely one of the locals PBRs from recent times. Anyway I was quickly reminded that glass and bicycle tires don't mix and I got my first flat of the season. Frankly it was surprising I had gone this long without one. The SAG wagon driver for the team rolled up on me shortly after the flat with a floor pump and I was on my way with 110 lbs of air in my tire. As flats go, this seemed like a relatively benign encounter.

The rest of this segment of the ride was relatively uneventful. I picked up Noel along the way and we rolled into lunch without too much excitement. We grabbed some tasty grub and we were on our way. We did note one of our teammates mention that the second half of the ride wasn't too bad -- well expect for Snickersville road. We figured that meant lots of obnoxious rollers with grades steep enough to suck the momentum out of you before you are anywhere near cresting. But hey that's part of training and its no big deal right??

Well Snickersville Road turned out to be deeply unsatisfying for me yesterday. It wasn't so much that the road was physically taxing. It was a good workout and all, and a good part of a good ride, but my bike completely crapped out on that section of road. About 6 miles into an 8 1/2 length of the road my tires started feeling squishy and I was pretty sure in a few seconds that it was flat again. Turns out what I think happened was that the puncture from the glass before left a pretty good hole in my tire...enough for the tube to get worn a bit and punctured. So off came the tire and on with a new one. Also turns out that I forgot to pick up a new tire when I was back at the pit stop so I had no tires in my bag, so I dipped into noel's stash. I refilled the tire (with a boot between the tube and the tire) with my crappy little hand pump and went on my way.

Those little minipumps suck...but I didn't want to use up noel's CO2. So we headed down the road but within a few hundred yards I could feel the tire slipping around and realized I needed more air in it, so I borrowed noel's CO2 canister and filled it up. We started rolling and within 30 seconds the tube exploded. What I think happened this time was that I put too much CO2 in the tire and when it expanded in the warm air (as pressurized gas is want to do) it found that it could get itself way beyond the 125 psi that the tube was rated for. Having burned through noel's only C02 I was forced to put the third (and last) tube into the tire and pump it up with the minipump. I think I got it up to 80 psi which was sufficient to get me to the next SAG stop where there was a floor pump and I could top it off.

The remainder of the ride was uneventful and we cruised into the parking lot, where some of our teammates were making best use of some cows!! UMMM burgers and beef dogs!! (there was also some magical animal, but well we know I'm not down with the magical animal)

I thought that all in all this was a fun and challenging ride. Sadly though I don't think I will be enthused about doing it again. Not because of the mechanical troubles. My bike problems were a combination of "shit happens" and thoughtlessness on my park. What I did not like about the ride was that it seems that all the drivers in the greater middleburg area are jackasses. Noel and I had one situation where one women wouldn't pass us on a hill climb even though the road was clear and instead decided to sit on her horn and yell at us. We also had another situation where both of us bailed into the grass because the truck behind us locked up its brakes when it couldn't get into the other lane to pass us. And there were too many situations to count of people just going too fast on country back roads. There was one instance of a nice older guy in a cicra 1950s pickup letting a line of 3 or 4 widely spaced cyclists all pass before he turned. He was a super nice dude. Unfortunately I think he was the exception to the rule. I've ridden out there twice and the car & truck drivers sucked both times. At some point that area's going to claim a bicyclist life if it already hasn't. That being said, I'll likely ride out there again becuase so many rides depart out of there.

The ride was good though. At the end of the ride my Garmin said we did 6420 feet of climbing on the ride. Not bad at all and - even though I can't find an exact number for Tahoe - likely more than we will do in the ride in a couple weeks.



Monday, May 14, 2007

Bike helmet crushed, but head fine



Check out The Capital Times article "Bike helmet crushed, but head fine" I've always believed in the importance of wearing a helmet (having had my noggin make contact with the pavement before), but WOW!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

NYC 5 Boros Ride - The roads of NYC are mine!

So in my last post I pointed out the logistical mess that was "getting ready for the weekend rides." Well surprising everyone involved we got to NY fine, check in went well and we were ready to go for ride day.

I think all involved on our little trip will say that the ride was a new experience. The 5 boros ride is billed as the biggest biking tour in the world - depending on which account we heard, we were sharing the 30,000 - 37,000 - 32,000 or 42,000. I haven't checked on the final count yet, but safe to say it was in excess of 30,000 bikers - which regardless of which city you're in and how well things are organized 30,000+ bicyclers in one place at one time is ALOT of people. And I must say it was really cool to see that many people on bikes in one place at one time all together. It also creates some obvious problems. There were alot of folks on the ride who hadn't ridden in a while or were just not up to speed on road etiquette. Road etiquette (announcing when you pass, slower riders to the left, etc.) becomes all the more important when you are sharing the road with 30,000 other people. So much so that when we were rolling through Harlem and April (a friend who went up with us) had someone pass her on the right and clip her and caused he to fall. she was lucky enough to sorta clip out of her pedals before she fell and to fall into a spot where a car wasn't parked. We ran the guy off the verrazano narrows bridge later in the ride. (kidding)

All in all if was alot of fun. I have always wanted to ride my bike on a multi lane highway and this gave me the opportunity to do it. We also got a great cross section of NYC. We even got to ride over a couple bridges that are normally verbotten to bicycle traffic. I don't like bridges so much, so I whiteknuckled it and stayed to the center, but it was still pretty cool to ride over the Triboro bridge and Verrazano Narrows bridge on your bike.

I think I would do it again. We'd probably not rush up to NYC right away and have to be so harried, but all in all if was alot of fun and a really fresh and different perspective on the city. You can see our photos here:




www.flickr.com








Tom H. Jones' Five Boros Bike Tour photosetTom H. Jones' Five Boros Bike Tour photoset







Here is a map of where we rode, I borrowed it from another rider because I didn't charge my Garmin all up the night before so it croaked before we headed towards Staten Island.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Training Ride in D-ville

So Saturday took Noel and I on a training ride in Davidsonville. This is a little town about 5 minutes from us where alot of the local rides starts. Also turns out that its about the only Team training ride that does require us to get up at 0-dark-30 to be to the ride on time. Unfortunately circumstances dictated that we dragged out sorry butts out of bed particularly early for this training ride -- in fact we were up at 5ish moving around getting ready to head out the door by 6 so that we could be rolling by 630. Heck we even packed our bags the night before, made our energy drinks and filled up the camelbacks Friday night! We were super on the ball!! As will surprise no one we were actually on the road at 645, but still over 45mins ahead of the rest of the Team. Why so early you ask. Well let me explain.

On Sunday we were planning on doing the five boros bike tour in NYC. As part of the tour were were staying in NYC the night before and we signed up for a package that included a 6pm dinner at the youth hostel where a small portion of the 37,000 cyclists were staying. Dinner at 6 in NYC means arrival at the hostel at 5:30, which mean we need to be rolling out of Maryland at 1:30 which means that to get an 80 mile ride in at roughly 15mph we needed 5 + hours of riding time, plus some time for rest stops stop lights etc. plus another half hour or so to get changed and fed. so that put us at 7 hours from when we got on the bike to when were in the car on the road -- a 6:30 take off. Like I said we rolled out at 6:45 and I think we finally got on the road at approximately 6:45 and I think all told it was 2:00 pm before the Corella was pointed north.

IMPORTANT ASIDE

If you travel in the Northeast, BUY AN EZPASS this thing shaved probably at least a 1/2 hour off my commute to NYC. Basically you don't have to get in any of those obnoxious toll lanes. Was super convenient that I could pick it up at the local Giant.

ASIDE OVER

As for the ride it was pretty uneventful. Since i was keeping myself to a schedule I did not partake of the always yummy pies at the galesville deli and market. So far I think that is my biggest regret of the cycling season.

My butt handled the 6 hours or so in the saddle pretty well. My bike is making odd noises that I really can't seem to run to ground. i have to take it in for a tune up in the next week or so so hopefully the helpful wrench at the local bike shop will be able to figure out what is making all the noise on my bike. Also hydration - much better this week. 2 gatorades, a clif drink apple thing and probably a 1/2 gallon of water. Much better!

The map and elevation chart is below. 4100 feet of climbing. Pretty surprising for what felt like relatively flat roads.




Thursday, May 03, 2007

Still spinning

So things have been going really well. Nothing earth-shattering in the way of riding, but its been slow and steady going recently.

I discovered that when I am spinning in the trainer its alot more fun if I actually take it outside. So sunday night instead of spinning downstairs watching the TV, I decided that I would take the bike and trainer out on the deck and set it up. It turned out to be alot of fun - I spun around 730/8ish while the sun was setting so I got to watch the sun go down. Only down side was that the wind was pretty still so I didn't have much of a breeze. Not the coolest ride (breeze wise) I also zoned on hitting the start button on my Garmin so I don't have any recordings of how my heartbeat was doing -- but HILLacoius felt good and gave me a nice hard ride.

I also don't have a map of my recent ride because I zoned and forgot to plug in my Garmin the night before so when I slapped the puppy onto the stem of my trusty bike I almost immediately got a "low battery" message. It went blank 5 minutes later. This meant I had no mileage on my bike so I was forced to guess at how far I had ridden -- specifically how far along I was on my cue sheet and when the next turn was coming. But the issue quickly became moot when I realized that the first turn I made was a wrong one and regardless of how far along I was never going to get to that turn onto St. Georges at 2.7 miles. Anyway it turned out ot be not too big a deal since I vaguely knew my way around the area and was able to work my cue sheet to get me onto the main road through town. It actually turned out to be a fun ride, because all the riders from the local snow valley team were out on the road. First a group of about 6 guys blew past me, but another guy came up behind me and I was able to stay with him for about 15 minutes or so. When we got onto Rt. 2 the guy said "The main group is right behind us. They'll blow our doors off in a few minutes." Well boy was he right. I was probably doing about 20mph on a nice flat part of road and as these guys came past me, I got out of the saddle and tried to keep up with them, but it was no use -- I was able to hang with them for maybe 3 minutes. It was actually pretty impressive, there must have been 25 guys in the group and getting blown out the back of the group was fun. There's a very visceral feeling to being part of a large group of folks. Maybe one day I'll be able to hang with those guys.

This weekend I'll be on my bike alot. I've got an 80 mile ride in the Davidsonville area on Saturday and then on Sunday I am going to head up to NYC with Noel and couple friends for the 5 boros bike tour. It should be a hoot. 30000 people riding through NYC on closed roads, heading over closed bridges and generally having a cycle-tastic time! My bum will probably be hating me Monday morning though.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Share the Road Y'All

from Texas DOT

Recovery ride -- not so much

So, you know after you do those long hard rides you're supposed to take a nice easy ride to make sure your legs don't bind up. But its supposed to be an easy ride. just something to keep the legs moving.

Well it turned out I didn't quite get a recover ride on Sunday but I did get a fun stomping ride where I made sure I kept my heart pumping at its max for a good portion of the ride (I had my heart rate monitor on so I know the lub dubs were coming fast and furious.)

I rode out of the Hill with Tim and we stomped it up to beach drive and then Andy rans us ragged all over NW DC and Montgomery county. I looked up at one point and saw the Mormon Temple. I'm not exactly sure how we got there but I know we had alot of fun doing it and put a bunch of miles under the tires doing it. It felt great to get back to the car crank up some music and get a nice cold chocolate milk. Yum.


Hitting 70

So this weekend I finally got to put some miles in. We had a 66 mile ride scheduled and because of my seeming inability to keep an eye on the road signs and the cue sheets turned into a 70 mile ride. No worries. 75 is pretty much the point where you know you are ready for the century. And while I felt a little ragged as I rolled into the parking lot, if I had to I think I could have done another 30. I do think though that I am going to start wearing my camelback again, I just don't seem to be hydrating enough on these rides and it can't be helpful.

The ride itself was beautiful -- cows again made their presence known. Knowing how much beef we eat its a wonder there are any cows out there, but I guess with all the cheese I eat, they have to keep some of them out there.

The ride itself was good. I think the biggest take away that I had from the ride was that we have a real esprit de corp developing among the team members. This is the first time that the weather has really been biking weather and I think everyone really felt their bikes under them and felt like a huge part of a team. I know I did and it was good. There were a couple mechanicals along the route, but I think everyone had alot of fun and enjoyed the team bonding -- the BBQ and chips at the end were a nice touch. I missed who exactly took care of that for the team, but a BIG thank you.

Anyway, we've got some longer rides coming up and things should be good. The map and elevation charts are below.


Weather plays tricks on my garmin

goto: http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/edit/1158-hains-pt

if you look at the elevation chart it shows a declining elevation. The funny thing is though that I was doing laps at the same spot which is roughly at sea level -- sometimes below if the tide and winds are right. The garmin uses a barometric altimeter which uses air pressure to calculate altitude --- there must have been a front or something moving thought when I did this ride because it thinks I was going downhill. funny.

You call that a Mountain!!

So I'm catching up on blogging on the recent training rides. One of the most recent rides was a little trip we took out of Poolesville High School in Montgomery County. The area is pretty scenic and is the starting point for alot of the local rides. I wouldn't be surprised if we cribbed the cue sheet from one of the local clubs.

Anyway, I would say this is was all in all a pretty good ride. We started out of poolesville for what I think was a total of 45 mile ride with at somewhere around mile thirty a climb up Sugarloaf Mountain. Now I think I have some readers who hail from the parts of the country where "mountains" are large rock things that divide the continent and entail altitude sickness. And while the view from the top of sugarloaf was certainly beautiful, the only sickness I got was being sick of the stupid front chainring on my bike throwing every time I decided to change gears. If you look at the elevation chat, Sugarloaf is the big point about 3/4 of the way across.

The ride was actually alot of fun and like alot of the good longer bike training rides was located in farm country. Living in/near the district its surprising to find that in a half an hour drive there are alot of pastural lands in the surrounding areas. Cows they are a plentiful!!

As seems to be the pattern this year, I added on a few extra miles by accident. Silly me I thought that when the road sign said "Sugarloaf Mt Rd" that it went to the top of the mountain. 2 to 3 miles into the adventure on unpaved dirt roads I learned that it just goes by sugarloaf mountain, not actually up it. Oh well -- builds character - puts hair on your chest as my mom used to say.

I had a good time and everyone seemed to really enjoy the ride. The maps are below and give a good idea of where we were. I would give it a 3 out of 5. Good work out and alot of fun being out there. Would do it again for sure.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

I've been delinquent


Hey everyone I've been a bit delinquent in my writing lately. I've been riding a good bit. I've got about ~700 miles on my bike this year. Not as many as I would like by a decent amount for this time of year.

I've got about 6 rides in the queue that I want to update folks on. I had a couple good team training rides, particularly out at poolesville/sugarloaf mountain and out and another out at berryville and a fun "recovery" ride this morning with Tim from the DeMint's office and Andy from the Senate Conference. I will make every effort to get these up in the next day or so. I would like though to show everyone that riding season is back in its full glory evidenced by the photo. That's the biker suntan on my left arm after riding this weekend.

A New Project




Ok -- so I've found myself a new little project to work on -- I'm going to invest a whole bunch of time -- and hopefully not a whole lot of money - on converting an old - at least 20 year old - beater bike into a single speed bike.

Jake and I were heading to the Orioles game the other night and had to swing by the local Royal Farms to grab some cash before we headed by Ritas for a pre-game italian ice. While at the Royal Frams I noticed a discarded bike in the parking lot. I took a quick look at the bike and noticed that it was in a bit of bad shape -- a taco-ed front wheel, some missing break pads and a general start of ill-health. That all in mind the frame looked in good shape and it had the prized asset for the prospective fixed/single speed convert - semi-horizontal drop-outs. Drop outs are where the rear wheel attaches to the frame of the bike and the by being semi-horizontal this allows the wheel to be moved fore and aft, allowing the tension of the chain to be adjusted so that the chain doesn't either bind up or get thrown. So I figured this was bike was basically trash, but I decided just in case, I'd let it sit in the lot through the game and see if anyone took it home. Fortunately it was still sitting in the lot abandoned at midnight when we got back to the game.

Maybe a better question than all the technical mumbo jumbo is why would anyone want a bike without gears, when clearly gears provide an unquestionable mechanical advantage. Well there a couple reasons. First I like to take things apart -- I'm almost as enthusiastic about putting things back together (NOEL, I promise that the bike parts will not lay around in a pile of parts in the garage taking up space - it will become a bike.) Mechanical tinkering is challenging and exciting and if I don't screw it up very satisfying. Also single speed bikes are cool. All the hip kids have one. Really -- I'm hip. Honestly. It'll also give me an opportunity to spin around town to run to the grocery store on my bike -- and since I am planning to invest a minimum in this bike, if it got stolen it wouldn't be the end of the world. And finally by eliminating the mechanical advantage of gears, it makes the ride harder - and will hopefully help me improve some aspects of my riding, particularly hill riding.

I've posted some photos in this post to give you an idea of what I am doing. I'll keep folks up to speed on how the conversion goes.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I HEART My Bike

So I just got done spending some quality time with the bike downstairs. I was able to take about an hour and catch up on some of the mechanical stuff that I had been meaning to do for a while. I was able to re-wrap the drops, replace the front brakes and put on a new tire.

I was starting to see some thread on the sidewall of the tire so I figured it was probably time to replace it. Chappy recommended the tire, so we'll see how it shakes out. Its a hutchison Tour de France "special" tire -- I suspect its just one of their standard tires with a yellow sticker and a TDF logo slapped on it. But they make decent tires by all accounts and it was on sale at performance so what the heck.


The winter road crud had really chewed up my front brakes. Wore through the things like they were butter. I've had the brakes for a while and really should have put them on weeks ago but I just hadn't gotten around to it. Feels goof to have them on.

And six months after I got in a good wreck at hains point and chewed up my bar tape a bit (see photo) I finally re-wrapped my drops. They look good...I doubt they'll stay clean looking for long, but they look sweet now...even put on the decorative tape!

Anyway, I'll have to see if I can get on the trainer a bit tonight and ride for a while since I didn't ride this weekend.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Chag Pesach

So the last week or so have been quite hectic. As you may know, Passover (or Pesach) started at sundown on Monday, which really means that preparations started last Friday. I must say it all went really well. Jake, Sophie, Bekah and Noel and I had a wonderful seder. We had about 7 of our friends over to join us for the holiday. It was a wonderful seder and the meal was halfway decent. As I mentioned to our guest's passover is one of my favorite holidays, and serves as an important reminder to all of us that G-d gave us our freedom so that we could go out and serve our community in the spirit of tikkun olam repairing the world -- leaving it a better place than you found it. It was great that we could share this message of social responsibility with our friends and enjoy everyone's company. Sophie and Bekah looked adorable! Those of you who know Sophie will note with great surprise her appearance in a dress. She, and her sister, looked so lovely and were such a delight at the seder. It really was amazing. Even more exciting was that we were able to hand off the "four quesions" obligation during the seder (they relate to the difference of passover) to Sophie. Her reading has improved dramtically since she started kindergarten and it is really impressive!

I'm looking forward to next years seder and seeing if I can squeeze just a few more people into the room. We've got service for 16 and if the hosts transition onto nice paper plates we could pack in 20 people maybe!!!! (Noel isn't reading this right now so I can make these grand plans without her knowledge -- she was a huge help making this week work and I owe her BIG!!!)

So all in all its been a pretty hectic week here at casa Turner/Jones. I haven't really been able to get on the bike much, although I did put a good hour in on the trainer yesterday and am planning on two hours tomorrow morning. Team was supposed to have a ride this morning, but the expected snow, which from looking out my living room window never appeared, canceled the ride. I would have loved to have ridden but it was not meant to be.

Other than that I am plugging away at the fundraising. Noel and I will be doing a big "stuff and fold" tonight to get out some fundraising letters!

I hope to have a fair number of ride reports in this week. The kids are away at the beach so I hope to ride Monday and Tuesday night. I haven't been down the Mount Vernon trail lately, so maybe its time to take a spin and vist #1.

John McGinley's Team in Training video (Crazy!)

Take a few moments to check out this inspirational video from one of the TNT team members from the Mississippi chapter!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A good number of miles early in the year

Well we've had a combo of good weather and alot of people riding this last week. This week I think is my first over 100 mile week this year. I was able to get in two approximately 20 mile rides after work -- one on the CCT on Tuesday night, and 5 laps down at Hains Point Thursday night. Then this weekend I was able to get in a 45 mile ride with team on Saturday and a 40 mile ride with Noel and some other Team riders on Sunday.

The Saturday ride was a ton of fun. The weather was a bit gross - it rained the night before and was still a bit cold, but we got on the road at 8:30. I was planning on biking over and back to the Davidsonville park and ride, but as per usual, I was not able to drag my butt out of bed and get moving early so at 8 am, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to make it over there on my bike in a 1/2 hour.

Anyway the ride was a blast. I got out with a group who was stomping on it quite a bit. The first part of the ride was relatively flat and we were able to mash on it for a bit and it felt great. We combined a bit of pacelining and teammate Ali's incredible hill climbing to keep the group rolling along at a really good pace. Considering that the ride had some decent hills in it (1600 feet in elevation gain) I was able to keep up a 16.7 mph pace over 45 miles. Not too bad at all for me. Only downside was that the roads were a little sketchy. Lots of little critters who never learned how to cross the road. No chickens though.

Sunday was alot of fun as well. We did the same ride again, because Noel had to skip the Saturday training ride becucase she was running the National 1/2 Marathon. The ride was good again and the weather was phenomenal. The sun was beautiful and the weather hovered around 60 degrees or so, and the wind was relatively calm. Almost perfect riding weather. I even got some sun.

We met some new folks and I was able to include a piece of pie from the West River Deli in Galesville into my bike rides twice. Its no wonder I can't shed those 20 pounds I want to drop --- but boy was the apple on Sat. and the chocolate mousse on Sun yummy. And even better neither turned into a belly bomb!!

Anyway, I was really psyched about being out riding some much. Doesn't look like I will be out as much this week, but I still plan to be rolling twice after work this week. Now only if I can get to the Home Depot to get a garden hose so I can give the bike the cleaning it deserves. Winter weather has coated the bike with a nice coating of grit which is serving as a nice analog for sandpaper -- need to get that off the bike ASAP.

Saturday's ride below:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yay Congress

Well one of the things Republicans got right before we were kindly invited by our constituents to take a time out in the minority for a few years, was moving daylight savings time back 3 weeks. I hear this is going to do all kinds of wonderful things like save a gagillion tons of CO2 and bajillions of dollars for consumers, but what I really care about is that it lets me ride my bike after work three weeks early than last year. When you combine this with the early onset of spring in DC last night was a pretty awesome night to ride.

My ride itself was relatively uneventful. I rolled out of the office over the 14th street bridge, up to the CCT and up to bethesda and back. Now the way out was good riding but was pretty uneventful, other than the herds of walkers & runners who aren't really clear on the meaning of "shared use trail." They seem to think its totally cool for them to walk three abreast taking up at least 5 feet of the 8 foot trail. This of course forces me the biker into the oncoming direction of traffic when I have to overtake them, putting myself and other riders and runners at risk. What really makes it fun is when they get their panties in a bunch becuase I yell "passing on your left" loudly three times. Apparently they don't understand that in addition to alerting them that I will be passing on their -- anyone? anyone? -- left, trail ettiqute also dictates that you move to the right so you don't force me into oncoming traffic any more than absolutely. I'm a courteous rider. I don't buzz folks and if you at least aknowledge my shout that I am passing you get a heartfelt "Thank You." But these jerks just frustrate me. GRRrRR. Its a toss up who annoys me more, the folks who hear me and don't do anything and act imposed upon or the people who have their iPods cranked to ten and are just oblivious to me and all their surroundings. Its a toss up -- but at least they're not dogs. dogs are a huge trail hazard. should be banned!

Anyway the ride was fun until I hit a pot hole about 3 miles from the end of the CCT and about 8 miles from my car. Of course when I hit the pothole I broke a spoke. Fortunately the rim didn't get too too far out of true and I was able to open the brake up all the way and limp home. Got it fixed today and it should be as good as new for a - weather permitting - ride tomorrow.

Quick Sunday Spin

Since it was so beautiful this Sunday I figured I would head out for a quick spin. I kicked an email out to old riding buddies and decided to see who would be up for riding. Turns out that Jacqueline from Seagull team was interested and free that morning.

Unfortunately with the day light savings time and me not being a real morning person I didn't wake up early like I was supposed to and was asleep when Jacqueline rang the doorbell. Felt like a huge dork, but I was able to run downstairs rub the sleep out of my eyes and get on the bike.

Turned out to be a really nice ride. We headed down Mayo road which is the local main drag and has absolutely nothing to do with salad toppings and headed in the general direction of the water. 7 or so miles later we were at the bay overlooking shimmering water and land across the bay. Well worth the trip. Good way to start off a nice Sunday. (Turned out I was really productive -- hung blinds, did a bunch of house work...all kinds of cool stuff)

We headed back what seemed like alot quicker that we headed out. A nice relaxing ride. And best of all since I now have TiVo (THANKS NOEL) all of my Sunday shows were already recorded waiting for me!

On the Road with Team

We finally headed out on the road with Team this Saturday for a training ride. It was a good ride and alot of fun. We had 50 or so people out for the ride and it was really great to see all the people from Team out and ready to roll at 8 am on a Saturday morning. Being that it was way on the other side of Maryland, Noel and I had to drag ourselves out of bed at 6:00 am so we could be on the road at 6:45. We made it on time and had a bit of time to socialize with our teammates. It was good to see everyone -- unfortunately a few people are still on the injured reserve but we should have everyone on the road soon putting back a bunch of miles!

I found a good teammate who rode my pace. Kip is also doing his 4th century and seems like a great guy. We chatted on the road a bit and we able to keep each other company over the last few miles. We weren't stomping on it but we were doing a pretty good clip and it felt good. We did 1620 feet of climbing which is roughly about what we would do at Tahoe if this ride were 100 miles instead of 34.5. We kept a respectable 15.5 mph pace which felt nice and kept the heart pumping.

All in all a very fun ride!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Vasa Ride

Today the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and the Embassy of Sweden sponsored a bike ride. The ride was in conjunction with the Vasaloppet , a ski race in Sweden. The crosscounty ski race is roughly 56 miles, so WABA sponsored a 56 mile ride, a 28 mile ride and an 18 mile ride. Jake joined me for the 18 mile ride and we decided to head out for the ride -- not least of which was becuase of the promise of hot blueberry soup at the conclusion.

The ride was alot of fun and meandered around the south side of the city. It was pretty cold this morning and really windy. That being said, jake kicked the course's butt. We road hains point where there was no cover and huge winds pushing all over the road -- it was bit tough, but once we got out to there we headed across the case bridge, over to the titanic memorial, down to the site of the new national stadium, around RFK Stadium and back down through the mall and back to the embassy. The blueberry soup was yummy when we got back.

I was super impressed by jake becuase 18 miles is a ton of a challenge for a 10 year old on a single speed bike. He did great! Especially considering how cruddy the weather was!

Below is the course route we did with photos of our stops added. Click on the camera icons to see the photos where they were taken. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Fi-Nally Outside!

So I finally got to a training ride this moring -- it was only the second TNT training ride. We've been stuck indoors alot this year. We had a HUGE group. Probably at least 50 riders. The riding was pretty uneventful. Straightforward trail riding on the WO&D trail -- the WAD as its known.

The ride was great but the honor patient picnic after the ride really drove home why we were all out this morning riding. There were a number of cancer survirors at the meeting that really impressed upon us that the money that we were raising quite literally saved their lives.

Probably most touching was the 12 year old kid who was diagnosed 4 weeks ago with leukemia. His dad is a soldier and the Army flew them back stsateside from his dad's post in Italy and the little guy is now being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He looks like a super tough little dude, and I'm sure he's going to kick cancer's butt, but it really drove home how important it is that we do all we can to support the work of the LLS. Little 12 year old dudes shouldn't have to worry about whether they're going to see their 13th birthday. Too damn unfair.

I'll be back on the bike tomorrow riding with Jake. Blueberry soup for all! If you're interesed in my ride route today, its below.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Still indoors

So its still relatively cold here and is still getting dark relatively early (although Congess is on top of that one)

Anyway, I got on my bike tonight and spun inside for a while. It felt great and as the graph below indicates, my HR is doing a little better than the last time I did Hill-lacious. Alright its just a shameless excuse to post a graphic from my garmin training center -- I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but until then you'll get a bunch of graphics! ;)

On a personal note, we're still moving in here at the new place in edgewater. While moving is a drag, we had a bunch of great friends help us out and it went relatively quickly and we got a nice little snowstorm the day after we were finished.

I have two rides scheduled for this weekend. One on Saturday with Team and one on Sunday with Jake at the Swedish embasssy. Updates and photos forthcoming.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Not this many switchbacks in Tahoe

So I was browsing the interwebs today and came upon a video montage of Lance's victory at Alpe d'Huez. "The Look" at 1:43. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wee....that was fun

So I snuck out for a lunch time ride today. It was tons of fun!!

I very rarely ride with a destination in mind. Usually its for exercise or to clear the cobwebs out of my brain, or becuase I've just finished reading bicycling and I've got the urge. Today though I had a desitiantion in mind. I had to head up to City Bikes to get some work done on my bike. About two weeks ago I got the cables and housings replaced on the deraileurs. Pretty standards stuff and the bike was due. Unfortuantely the guy who did the work didn't tune it properly so when I was shifting through the middle gears it would shift, not shift, grind, fantom shift...basically do all kinds of things it wasn't supposed to do. Very frustrating and jarring. I took it back to the shop and the mechanic there did about ten minutes of adjustments to the barrel adjuster and we were back in business. Good times.

So the ride itself was a blast. The first part up to City Bikes was extremely uneventful. It was pretty low stress urban riding. Lunch time so there weren't a ton of cars out...although the recent show storm and subsquent salting had taken its toll on the road, so there was a fair number of potholes to dodge.

But after I got out of City Bikes it got fun.

When I walked out of the store there was a massive lightning bolt and thunder clap directly overhead. It was pretty impressive. It has been spitting a bit on the way up but it was becoming clear that the heavens were going to open up. And boy did they.

It turned out to be alot of fun. It was like being a little kid riding through the mud again...except at 18 mph. I got off the main roads and headed onto the rock creek park trail. The rock creek trail is not my favorite trail. Its been pretty neglected and there are alot of spots where tree roots have pushed up the pavement -- not such a big deal if you're a jogger, but if you're a biker its like riding over moguls. Fortunately the trail was empty and I could maneuver pretty easily. The creek was really beautiful. Between the rain and the recent warming and ice melting the creek was really running. Very calming to listen too. There were also quite a few puddles along the trail which almost took me out once or twice, but I was able to keep my wheels under me and plow along spitting mud and rain all over me.

The best part was that all the time during the rain the sun kept shining. It was crisp, refreshing and invigorating. A really great ride. I would have stayed out longer, but I had to get back to the office and scrape off the mud and put clean clothes on.

This weekend will be the first TNT training ride -- there were supposed to be 2 rides already but the cold snap has kept the team inside. I was hoping I could join them, but as you might know Noel and I are moving into our new house this weekend. WOO HOO! Its super exciting and if all goes well I won't throw my back out! Its also going to be very bike friendly. The trainer will be set up downstairs so I can jump on anytime I want and spin for a bit and there are bike lanes on the main drag through town.

I'm hoping to ride on Sunday for about 30 miles and will report back on that ride and the full story on the move.

UPDATE: Here's the track of where I roe. Zoom in and out and check out where my car was parked (starting point)

Amgen Tour of California

If you enjoy the Tour de France, you'll love the Tour of California. Ok..who knows maybe that's not true, but there is a higher likelihood that you'll recognize a landmark. Anyway, if you enjoy watching pro-cycling, the Amgen Tour of California is on the Versus network now and the listings are here. For those of you who missed it, there was a spectacular crash at the end of the first stage. Watching crashes is painful...more so after you've crashed.

On a more serious note, one of my teammates pointed out some of the important work the name sponsor of the ride supports:

Amgen makes several drugs that really help patients on chemotherapy cope. Neupogen helps the body replace the good white blood killed by the chemo and epogen helps replace the red cells. Of course epogen is also banned substance #1 on the procycling tour.


Tune in. There are a bunch great Americans in the race to cheer for. Personally I'm torn between Levi and Hincapie.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Look and Feel -- To the Blog, not Me

I'm not really sure that anyone actually reads my blog but if they do, you'll notice that its got a bit of a new look and feel. Its nothing really exciting, but its a little greener and has some new gizmos from google. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Oh yeah its still cold out there

In the event you don't live in the greater D.C. area, we've had a prolonged cold snap here. Its actually been a bit nice. Unfortunately its been keeping me from getting outside as much I would like. But I have been making every effort to get on the trainer and spin a bit. I've got a new favorite spinning video, HILL-acious, staring the Great Harvest Bread company's racing team. I find the spinervals videos make the indoor training alot less monotonous.



I was able to get out this morning and do a short spin with one of my teammates from the 2007 Tahoe team. We did a short run up Beach Drive and down part of the CCT and then down Wisconsin Ave. The run up Beach Drive turned out to be more beautiful than usual. If you're not familiar with the area, Beach Drive runs along the Rock Creek in the center of the disctrict. Beach Drive is also closed to vehicular traffic on the weekends. It turned out to be really beautiful this morning because of that recent cold snap, the creek had partially frozen. It was white and almost fluffy at those parts where it looked like there might have been spray. It had a soft calming effect and made the ride a bit more enjoyable.



The map attached shows where the ride went. If you click on the map, you can go find out all kind of interesting stuff about my ride -- speed, elevation, heart rate, cadence, etc. My new cycle computer, the Garmin Edge 305 pulls down almost every relevant data point from the cycling experience -- well except for wattage -- and since I lack a loose grand sitting around or a sponsor willing to pick up the tab, my wattage will just have to be a mystery. Anyway, give it a look if you're interested.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

C - O - L - D

Well boy was it cold out Sunday morning. I don't remember the exact temperature, but I would say it was probably in the low 30s (although still above freezing because the snow didn't start until 15 mins after my ride) and rainy when I headed out a 8 a.m. Noel had emailed me that it was drizzling out a little bit so I figured I would head out in spite of the overcast sky. A little rain never hurt anyone. An additional motivating factor was that we had had dinner with a bunch of TNT marathon buddies the night before and I had told them that I would be riding the next morning -- so I figured I had better show up lest I incur the ridicule of runners.

Anyway the ride was pretty good. I went up Beach Drive, down the Georgetown Branch of the Capital Cresent Trail, and then down the CCT to Fletchers Boat House and back up to Bethesda. All told it was about 20 mile ride.

We popped into the coffee place afterwards with our friends and grabbed some joe. Since I had stopped moving this was the part where I started shivering. In spite of the fact that I was wearing a rain jacket, I pretty much got my self soaked to the bone and I was now ice cold. It took me a good 45 minutes, a large americano, and an ET with egg & swiss to get some color back into my body. It was good to get out though, and since I want to maintain some winter fitness I need to ride whenever I can!

Other than that the riding is going well. Its a bit rough finding time to ride, with the lack of light, but the days are getting longer and they should warm up in a month or so.

I went to the TNT kick off this Saturday and it was great. We have a huge team this year. Looks like somewhere in the 50 rider range, which is really exciting!! We have some great captains on our team and everyone seems really excited for the season. The first training ride should be in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted. Other than that, the only big bike news is that I purchased a Garmin 305 GPS cyclocomputer. Should be very helpful in keeping better track of my training. (you will soon see maps of my rides on these blog posts!!!!!)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Starting out the New Year

Things are going well this new year. I have gotten in a few ride and my body is feeling relatively well. I haven't gotten in any long rides (>40 mile) but I think I am putting together a good base to be ready for the TNT summer 2007 training.

The unseasonable warm weather ( loving that global warming ) has given me more opportunities to ride lately.

I was able to head out of the office Tuesday night and head down to Hains Point for a few laps. I lucked out and got stuck with a cross wind across the peninsula so I pretty much had about a 20 mph blowing into me on both sides of the peninsula. Oh well. I was good and I have the place to myself (actually it was just me an one other rider) that night.

I rolled out this afternoon from Noel's place and headed up Beach Drive to the as yet unfinished section of the Capital Crescent Trail. Since it is basically only hardpack, and it has rained the last couple days there was a good bit of mud between Beach Drive and the CCT. After getting to Bethesda I took the CCT down to Georgetown and then headed back up Wisconsin Avenue to Noel's. All told a nice round 20 mile trip.

On a large note I think I am going to try to aim for 3000 miles this year. I think I did roughly 200 this year. I had 2415 on the bike at the beginning of the year so we'll have to see how I am doing at the end of this year.