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.