Archive for January, 2012

January down, almost

January 30, 2012

20 miles, that is what I need to at least finish up the month with a decent amount of ride time. Today I lost at least 20 miles on the Garmin that has been used for almost four years. Poor thing just quit taking readings at 1:46 and change. What that means for me is tomorrow the Garmin gets all fired up and I hope it still works. This one has been bomb proof, well, mostly me proof as the poor thing has been dropped on a numerous occasions, and until today worked perfectly. Ack, 600 dollars, don’t want to spend the cash!

Well aside from that little hiccup I forgot my helmet last Saturday for a local Brevet ride and instead of asking for one I just went home and rode 90 miles on my own. Why 90? I got lost. Yes, lost. Ending up out by Mt. Washington was neat, but just a little farther than the ride was meant to be. In any case the ride was pretty fun. Too much wind….. and speaking of wind

Friday we went to the winery. Lovely day, except for the wind. Holy smokes it was 35 mph into my face for two stinking hours. I just hope it will really “make me stronger” because the wind was, truthfully, trying to kill me. The wind was really some of the strongest I have intentionally ridden in. Very strong, very unhappy me, but very happy to have ridden my bike.

As for being happy, the weather is soon to make me happy. More on that in a bit. I may have photos soon. Soon. Be safe out there and be careful on the roads.

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Can you see me?

January 27, 2012

I would have to guess not. Or at least not these two folks. They both thought the huge guy in the orange jacket didn’t exist.

Yes, that guy does exist and he does have the right-of-way

This church is infamous for bad drivers of Sundays

Yelled at me for stopping at a red light then proceeded to almost run me down!

Oh, and I never left the bike path and I had one more very close call…. not cool. Some days living here gets on my nerves.

Off to Laurel Hill

January 22, 2012

Shortly.

Currently, like right now, I have a complaint, which is not a shocker, but this one might be valid.

The last time I am sure that FH was open. Dec 28th 2011

Fountainhead Regional Park Trail Conditions. What is going on out there? Seriously? When we arrived here in the NO(rthern)V(irgini)A those trails were the bane of my life. Rooty, rocky and almost always ridable, like after a rain, a day after a thunders storm, like two days after a hurricane, like three days after near record rainfall totals, like “nearly always ridable”. So Fountainhead became the go to place. Everyday, all day, except for night when the park closed. So we all stayed away at night, seemed like the right thing to do to have such decent trails near home.

Yes, it was only, still is, about eight miles of trail but one huge difference now is that the Fountainhead trails are never open. Why, one might ask. Because the MORE group (of which I am a member) and the Fountainhead Project have decided the old trails where “unsustainable” and decided to fix the problem.

Confession time: I too, thought the trails were in bad shape, I too felt as though a reroute or perhaps some type of erosion prevention needed to take place, maybe just new trails needed to be cut and made a bit more easy to maintain. Being new to the area I didn’t have a good idea of what the underlying ground was, rocks and roots, and didn’t understand that the trails were actually representative of the areas geology and trails. So after about six months I learned that Fountainhead was the way it was because that is the way it is. Learn to love it or ride Roseryville.

Back to Fountainhead Project, they have worked, and by that I mean, scratched out trails that more or less are bench cut into the sides of hills and then totally cleared of any rock, root or otherwise natural obstacle. They then call it a trail and promptly close the trail in the name of sustainability. Good for them. They can make a trail a soccer mom and her brood can ride. Good for them, they can make a trail that will be closed because it retains water after a rain as the trails aren’t cambered at all to allow for run-off. Good for them, they have built trials without any natural water breaks and that will either collect water in the dips or get washed out with large amount of rain. Good for them, they built trails NOBODY CAN USE EXCEPT FOR THE DRIEST DAYS OF SUMMER. Good for them, I want my freaking money back that I donated to the project. That would be 140 dollars. Good for them, instead of building new trails to alleviate the overuse of the old ones they destroyed the old ones and put in trails that are JUST AWFUL. No flow, no feel of what the area is about, and except for the entrance a truly awful mess of worthless trail that just collect water and even when ridden for a full season will not be able to be maintained.

Being proven wrong next fall and winter would be great but I have ridden places where trails are built for the weather conditions but these trails are built for I really don’t know what. I mean really they are just badly built and badly designed. Any constructive input made by we who ride the trail, like leave the rocks and roots to help break up the flow of water when it rains and at the bottom of the dips build a little drain for the trail so that puddles don’t form are shunned. The people building the trials, good hearts maybe, shrug and pretend they are master trial builders. I hope they are because maybe someone else will hire them away and let Fountainhead heal from the awful work that has been done.

Update: Trails at Fountainhead will never be open.

Good job “The Fountainhead Project”. I have a lot more venom to spit at these folks, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are building something truly great, maybe they are doing a great job, maybe the trails will soon be as ridable as they were. Maybe soon the trails will always be open, but I should add that this winter, truly a mild winter, the trails have been closed nearly everyday because they are wet and muddy…. and they are still wet and muddy five or more days after a rain….

Update: Fountainhead trails are still closed and will remain so until it never rains again.

This place….

January 20, 2012

is not warm. Yes. Still on the cold, still not fun, and I am still have a HUGE, and not just my belly, problem. That is getting motivated to go outside and ride a bike. It just isn’t fun at the moment. Having said that, I am really trying to do the bike riding thing.

It was nice in Bend, I hope to return this year

Too bad I can’t ride where I want, for example, Fountainhead Regional Park, because the trails are constantly closed! All the other trails in the area seem to be JUST FINE. Fountainhead Coalition is certainly building some seriously sustainable trails, well mostly because nobody can ride them…. I will have a truly long and poorly worded rant about those goofballs and why I want my money back that I donated to the trail work.

Aside from freezing to death, seems like I am, everything is pretty good. Willie is chilling, and loves the weather, so therefor I am forced into walking around in the cold with the little guy for hours of end while he frolics in the cold. He is happy. I am happy he is happy, but less happy that my face is so frozen when I get home that I can’t talk. Yes, still on about the cold.

Maybe moving to the tropical islands would be good for me, but then you have the bugs, and the humidity and no wife…… Honestly SoCal is looking great, South Texas, yes even Texas (warmer there than here) Arizona, maybe I’ll move to Southern Italy…. Okay, these are all pipe dream, right now Willie is up, I have drunk my coffee and must go out and watch one of the happiest creatures on earth, Willie, while he is walking in the winter.

This is exact what I am seeing right now

Been a bit

January 16, 2012

Just riding a bit, hanging out with the wife and chilling with the dog. It has been tough. Not precisely tough, rather really easy and more of less fun. Updating the blog for the 2 people who read this has just slipped my mind.

Also as far as the picture taking has fallen off as even though the weather has been nice, it just hasn’t been stunning and worthwhile of snapping a pic. That said, I am sure i have a few. Perhaps when I get motivated to do something I will find a few good photos.

Aside from that, my riding has not been stellar. It seems as if the lack of a good goal and the lack of real riding has led to a very slow return to form but it is still January and form (such as I ever get) will hopefully start to build up in a few weeks.

The weather has been decent, but lately cold. Yes, cold is almost as bad as rain and only slightly less awful than snow, which requires cold (snow is the worst) but that is no excuse for not rolling. I roll tomorrow, I roll fast, I roll with intent, I will roll out of bed, I will roll to the coffee pot, I will roll to the car, and I will roll the entire time on my belly. I must ride the bike, so I roll less.

I need hours of this

and much less

Less of this!

This is the deal

January 10, 2012

Up to the ridgeline

So recently I have been a bit too involved with the mtbr.com world. Generally speaking I speak a reasonable bit of my mind, I do not go overboard and start name calling. Trying to not call out someone on being elitist all the while trying to be nice, is a bit hard.

The latest is about the cost of races and if it is “bad Ju Ju” to ride a race course of the day of a race. The races in question are two I have done, one is the best i have ever ridden and the other, honestly, is barely a blip on the radar of good races. Not mentioning the names is me being nice. The second of the races has a HUGE local following and is billed as a very hard race…. um no. It is a good course for where it is located, but exceptional in any regard it is not. This race has the “bad Ju Ju” attached to it.

I stand by my assertion that riding a race course the day of the race isn’t especially bad. Realizing that doing so after the race has started, not getting in the way of the race in any way and not partaking of the race course aid stations seems, to me, to me not a terrible thing. Certain folks seem to think it is….. I don’t get it at all. How is it a problem? How is it “bad Ju Ju”? People seem to have set notions about what they think is right and wrong and nothing that is written, said or otherwise logically explained changes these notions. When logic or rational thinking gets too involved names start getting called, disparaging remarks get made.

These people don’t know me, and that I have actually run into the people I am in discourse with online. As a rule I leave out my personal interactions with these folks due largely to the fact that they don’t know me and may or may not recall the momentary interactions. Mostly I witness these upright and helpful people riding past me and the person I am helping fixing the flat, inflate the tire, pull the chain from the spokes, or whatever the person I am helping needs. Now, because these people put out, in the internet world, how cool and nifty they are I recognize them. I find for the most part these people not entertaining at all but for years when I lived overseas they allowed me to see what I was missing.

Now that I am back, I see that “missing” was the wrong term. i missed nothing. When overseas I had, still have, great friends, before I left MidMO I had great friends, and here in the VA I have some great friends. I would rather ride the local trail with these people than read what these “cool” bloggers get to do. I do blog, but mostly so that my friends oversea can see what I am doing. Several of them also have blogs, so we keep up with what is going on via the blogs.

So what is my point, I may be off line for a bit from mtbr. I remember the good old days when mtbr was a group of people wanting to help each other out and get stoked on what everyone else was doing, now it is a bunch of people who grew up in front of a computer who don’t interact well with people, unless it is part of their internet “crew”.

And the picture is to prove that I do ride with people, who in general seem to think I am not an immoral, angry, evil, trial poaching, day ruining, mean to children, dog kicking, person. Normally I am a reasonably decent fellow.

 

Good thing the dog loves me!

Yes yes yes

January 6, 2012

For some reason I seem to be unable to post regularly.  Why?  Well to be honest, I am always running late in the morning and by the afternoon I am not really feeling inspiration to type.  Today is no exception, but pushing through the malaise to write is happening.  Not well, mind you.

Today is nine days in a row of riding.  Not a record, by any means, but at least everyday I am trying to get into some kind of shape.  Currently pushing “it” is not occurring, what is, is consistency.  Riding a little bit, having a bit of fun and hopefully rekindling the desire to go fast.  Okay, fast for me… which would be really slow for most, but still rekindling is the hope.

Not that I am looking for reasons to ride, mind you, many of those exist.  The reason to go fast is what is lacking.  Just riding along is great, but hopefully going fast would be nicer.

Next week will be nearly all road riding.  It must be, time on the bike is needed, not the fun.  Fun will be had but it needs to have a goal.  Maybe something funny will happen to write about, doubtful.  Maybe.  For now

 

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And I thought it was cold at 55

January 5, 2012

The last two days have been cold. No, I mean really cold. Like 20 degrees cold, without wind chill…. that was yesterday and today was 32 degrees with almost no wind. So what did I do? Ride. 45 minutes yesterday and an hour forty or so today.

Quitting riding Monday was not really as bad as it sounds….. well kind of. It was very windy in addition to being cold. As I was rolling across the bridge to get to my planned route fear for actually flying off the bridge into the water below and drowning was a real worry. No I do not exaggerate. Really the winds were around 35 to 40 miles per hours. No really. So where is the proof? Like a picture? Well I didn’t get one because I thought if I took a hand off the bar flying away like freaking Dorothy leaving Kansas. Except it would have been me flying into the Atlantic Ocean. Yeah, great stinking ride…. not so much.

Today was a bit better, still very cold, but no wind. So I went to Fountainhead and rode. One and a half laps. Was it fun? No, but it was hard. The new trails out there are frozen and I got a feeling of what they will be like in a few months, because until then the new stuff will be a bit wet or frozen. It was faster than normal, which was fun, but all the brake bumps, or places where people consistently use their brakes to slow causing divots in trail were hard too. And there were a lot of brake bumps. Not sure why really. The trail is pretty fast and flowing with out a real need to use the brakes that much… well not those guys I ride with… seems like others do…..

What else, oh I rode with a very good person, a very Burleigh girl. She is fun, fastish and really needs to realize that she has the skilz to ride the trail easily. Not sure if I am that guy to help her figure that out, but hopefully she feels no pressure to “perform”. I just want to have fun. It is nice to ride with people. Speaking of people, I have proof I, at least, see people of the trail even if I can’t prove I have friends.

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A new year, a first post and a bunch of days of riding

January 2, 2012

So I have been vacationing from posting, not that anyone noticed, but then again I did have stuff to post, just was spending time with the two best things in my life. The best wife ever and the super pup.

But I did ride almost every day after getting over my slight illness. A couple of 50 milers on the road, a few mountain bike rides from the house and one double lap of Fountainhead, the new and improved Fountainhead.

They have groomed it a bit, well to be fair, a lot. I stand by the idea that the grooming and new trails are good but it has lost a bit of the technical riding. A good portion is fast and flowing and very much like a pump track on a large scale which is pretty neat. So all in all, I am very impressed with the new entrance trail, the reroute of the last three or so miles is fun but lost a bit of difficulty. Aw, whatever, why complain (and really I am not complaining just noting) it is fun and many people around the NO(rthern)V(irgini)A would kill to live as close as I am to Fountainhead. I am pleased by that.

Hopefully todays ride goes well. I am meeting a friend from DC for a little spin, after we hit up a bike shop for pedals. More later, like tomorrow, now that the best wife ever returns to work and my life returns to normal schedule.