Saturday, April 26, 2008

Passing Over the Road

So as some of you may know its been passover the last week. Passover is without question my favorite holiday of the year. The story of the Exodus is inspirational and the Seder with the family is one of my favorite activities of the year.

Of course the only downside is the dietary restrictions. But it reminds us of the importance of the holiday and the importance of the Torah. I can suck it up and forgo the cookies and cakes and the candy bars with corn syrup in them for a week. To compensate, I did hit the K for P ring gel candies pretty hard this year.

I've been doing pretty good with my riding lately. I've posted a couple recent rides below. We're doing a 66 mile ride out in berryville this week which I am taking a pass on because the kids are over this weekend. I'll throw in a longish ride some time this week. With the Senate in a bit of a holding pattern I can probably slip something in afterwork this week.

I organized my weekly buddy ride this week and when I got 3/4 of the way in to the office I realized that I had put my bike on the back of the car but I had neglected to toss my riding clothes in the car. Since I had organized the ride and I was the only team captain that was going to be down there I decided I really should ride. Fortunately I had an pair of carpenters jeans in the trunk so I tossed them on. I looked like a real class act doing laps down at Hains Point in a helmet and cycling shoes and jeans and an undershirt. I would have looked much classier if I could have been decked out like Coppi et al on the right.

The ride turned out to be pretty decent and I was able to get some good riding in and I didn't grind my bits and pieces off with the denim.

Thursday night was alot of fun. During the day it was "Take Your Son and Daughters to Work Day" in the Senate so I took the girls in with me in the morning. They were angels. They behaved amazingly well and everyone was super impressed with them. Bekah even fell asleep during a Commerce Committee mark-up which probably says more about the mark-up than it does about Rebekah's behavior. Fortunately she didn't snore.

I dropped them back off at school and by that time the day was pretty much spent. I dropped my car back in the parking lot and took off for a spin down at Hains Point. I did two laps down at Hains Point - it was surprisingly populated for pre-rush hour. I spent most of the ride thinking how I could organize a really good bicycling tour of the greater DC area showing tourists all the great bicycling accessible sites in DC via bike - Mount Vernon - The Mall - Olde Town - and even as far out at the Shenandoah Valley. Alas I have a day job that I like a whole lot - even if it doesn't like me sometimes.

After spinning around Hains Point twice I headed up to Bethesda on the CCT to meet Noel at Black Finn for her fundraiser with teammate Africa. They did really well and auctioned off tons of great stuff and looks like they made a decent bit of money. I have a similar event coming up in a couple weeks (see post below.)

Anyway, Passover ends at sundown tonight so I think we'll have to celebrate with a pizza or something similarly yeasty and bready!!! The kids have already requested pancakes for breakfast for tomorrow morning.

Below is the ride to the fundraiser and my most recent team ride out in southern Maryland.

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bipartisan, Bicameral, Bicycling Fundraiser

My teammate Britt and I are holding a raffle hour fundraiser at Top of the Hill on May 6th from 6:30 to 8:30. It'll be alot of fun and we'll have a bunch of great stuff to auction off. You've likely already received an invitation, but if not kick me an email at

Monday, April 21, 2008

tokyo bicycle parking tower

Now if we only had more cyclists biking to work, there could be an office building that would justify the expense and space. It looks really cool though..

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Doping Dilemma: Scientific American

This is a fascinating article that discusses the rationale behind doping in cycling and offers interesting approaches to addressing the issue.

The Doping Dilemma: Scientific American: "Gaming Sports: Game theory is the study of how players in a game choose strategies that will maximize their return in anticipation of the strategies chosen by the other players. The “games” for which the theory was invented are not just gambling games such as poker or sporting contests in which tactical decisions play a major role; they also include deadly serious affairs in which people make economic choices, military decisions and even national diplomatic strategies. What all those “games” have in common is that each player’s “moves” are analyzed according to the range of options open to the other players."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Arlen Specter's Hodgkin's disease returns -

Sad news about Senator Specter.

Arlen Specter's Hodgkin's disease returns - "Sen. Arlen Specter's Hodgkin's disease, which he battled in 2005, has recurred, but doctors said that its return was detected early and that Specter has an 'excellent chance' of once again achieving remission, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the senator's office.

Sen. Arlen Specter says he was surprised by test results because he has been 'feeling so good.'

Specter, 78, will continue to perform his Senate duties and conduct his campaign for re-election to a sixth term but will undergo 12 weeks of chemotherapy, the written statement said. Hodgkin's disease is a cancer of the lymphatic system."

Its always sad to hear that a member of the Senate community is ill, but Senator Spector is a fighter and I'm sure he's going to beat Hodkins again. He was down on the floor this morning engaged in the judicial noms fight.

One Step - Two Steps - Getting Closer

Ignore the vague Nitzer Ebb reference above its just my way of pointing out that we're getting closer to the ride in Tahoe. I was sending out a email to my teammates this week and I looked at the number of outstanding rides that we have left and we only have 5 organized weekend rides left before we ship our bikes out to Tahoe. This season is flying by!!

I've been very impressed with my teammates this year. We have 92 people on the team who will be going to out to Tahoe this year. We've started to do some of the longer rides with this weekend clocking in at 54 miles with a fair amount of climbing. Riders have really come a long way since the first ride out on Hains Point back in January. I can see alot of riders are getting their legs and they are noticing that riding is getting easier, their recovery from rides quicker and extended time in the saddle isn't so taxing on their bodies.

As for me, I'm feeling really good. I did the 54 mile ride with the team this weekend and felt really great after the ride. My climbing has improved significantly since last year - dropping 25lbs probably has alot to do with that. Last week's ride was one of the best I've had all season and I felt like I could have done at least another 30 miles after I finished the ride.

Like I've said we have 5 more rides left before the team packs up and heads out to Tahoe. I'm feeling really good about my fitness and am feeling pretty good about my fundraising. I think the ride this year will be very exciting and alot of fun. It certainly will have to be more enjoyable than last year.

I'll keep everyone informed as we get closer, but thanks in advance to everyone for their support.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lookout from Sugarloaf

This was the view I was greeted with when we rode to the top of sugarloaf mountain this weekend. The picture quality is a bit sketchy, but its a fabulous vista and it was a beautiful day.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Crossing the Halfway Point

This week represented a turning point in the season. We've crossed the halfway point and are ramping up the training rides. This weekend's ride was 50 miles long, getting us 1/2 to the 100 mile ride in June.

This weekend's ride was a bit of a production to get to. On Wednesday we thought about rescheduling because of pending rain but decided not to, but by Friday the rain looked really threatening so we decided to move the ride from Saturday to Sunday. Well low and behold it was 60 degrees and beautiful on Saturday and during the ride on Sunday it was roughly 45 degrees and rainy.

I won't go through all the details but all things considered I feel really good about this ride. It started out a bit rough. There's a rule of thumb in cycling that you should roll out of the parking lot feeling a bit cold and then within a few miles your body will warm up and you'll be comfortable. With all the rain and grossness at the start I figured I would throw on my wool sweater. Well I should have known better because I was warm before I rolled out of the lot. Well the first road we got on - snickersville road - was relatively challenging and my body really started turning up the heat and by 6 miles in I felt like I was about ready to puke all over the road. We got to the first SAG stop and I took off the sweater and felt alot better. My body cooled down and I was able to knock out the remaining 40 miles. Even though the weather was pretty gross with persistent rain and a relatively cold riding temperature I felt really good out there. My body felt good and was responding well to the ride. I didn't burn up any asphalt by any means but I felt good. Sadly though, Noel dropped me on the last 5 miles of the ride and finished before me. Show off.

Again a great ride and a great box to check on the way to being ready for Tahoe. All the teammembers seem to be doing great and we're going to have a huge fit and ready team out at Tahoe.

The course and elevation charts are below (Click to enlarge chart).

Friday, April 04, 2008

Support Team In Training Through Saris Cycle Racks!

"Madison, Wis. - April 2, 2008 -Saris Cycling Group , the leading manufacturer of bike racks for the rear of the car, today announced the signing of a partnership agreement with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training (TNT), the world's largest endurance sports training and fundraising program, to produce and sell a purple TNT Bones 3-bike rack.

At Saris, we recognize the importance of giving back,' said Director of Marketing David Cathcart. 'We are honored to be a part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's fundraising efforts in finding a cure for blood cancers.'"

I have a 2 bike bones and I love it. I'm thinking that I might want to purchase one of these just because they're so darn cool. They are great bike racks, far superior to the tubular steel ones which can scratch the bike's paint job and tend to rust. The saris bones also have great anti-sway straps which keep the bike for blowing around in the wind at highway speeds. I'd highly recommend getting this if you're in the market for a bike rack.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Rights and Duties of Cyclists

This is a great video that provides a nice primer on proper road riding.