Monday, March 26, 2007

VA iBoB Ride

Sunday morning I headed on down to Ol' Virginia to attend the iBoB ride put on by Meade Anderson. You couldn't have asked for a nicer day. The skies were clear and the temps were supposed to get into the upper sixties. The drive down went quick, something that can't always be counted upon when passing through the DC metro area, and I arrived at the staging area half an hour early. Even so, there were already several riders already there. That region seems to have a nice active grapevine for ride alerts. We rolled out into the Virginia countryside on some wonderful, almost traffic free roads. The nearly forty (?guess?) riders soon split into the customary slower and faster groups. As I had not picked up a cue sheet due to the larger than expected turnout, I hung back with a few riders who had them. Soon we were at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine, located where the Civil War southern general was brought when he was mortally wounded by friendly fire. The water and restrooms were welcome. I took a few photos and snacked on some nuts that Tom S. shared out. Thanks Tom!
DSC05106We soon set out on the shorter top loop and encountered the steepest hill of the ride and my only mechanical of the day. I had just been passed by a truck who was then slowed by the group just ahead of me. I was bombing along trying to maintain the momentum for the climb, but had to slow for the truck. I tried to give a burst to move to the right of the truck, but the rear wheel shifted in the dropout and hit the stay. This has happened to me before when I don't REALLY bear down on the QR when tightening it. I hopped off and walked the ten or so yards to the top and readjusted the wheel and got back on the road. Soon we were back at the Shrine.
DSC05120After a short break we hit the final leg, following some of the sections of Bike Route 1. A number of people were flagging a bit on the last small hills, and I am glad I was single speeding instead of on a fixed wheel. Too soon, we were back at the starting point. Driving home was not as nice as driving down. The traffic volume was higher and slower and turned the two hour drive into a three hour one.

All in all, an Excellent Ride. The Quickbeam is still a dream to ride and I got my first cycling sunburn of the year. Thanks Meade!

Full Flickr set here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Central Virginia Road Ride

It looks like Sunday the 25th I'll be heading down into Virginia for a ride with members of some of the internet riding lists I'm on. Meade A. is putting together a ride just south of Fredericksburg, so I'm going to try to head down. Anyone interested in coming along? The photo is of last year's ride, by another list member, Scott C. and puts me in mind of one of my favorite cycling photos ever (I don't know why it is one of my favorites, it just strikes the right chord with me). Anyway, its a couple of hours drive down to VA, it'd be cool to have some company.

Monday, March 12, 2007


DSC05008 Sunday was the annual Single Speed Punk Bike Enduro, and the fourth one I've attended. Several friends get together and ride an event of several stages, cross country, hill climbs, technical sections, linked together by riding as group, and ending with a derby. I'm always last, but I always have a good time.


We started out on difficult frozen trails, but after the midway point things were warming up and the trails were deteriorating, so the organizer routed us back on the roadway out of the mud. Good call, but still a really tough climb. The derby area was a nice grassy field though, so we were able to hold that. I made it farther than last year, but got brave and took myself out trying to get someone else. Oh, well. Dinner at a local place topped off an awesome day.

The full set of photos is at Flickr

Friday, March 09, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Now don't just say he was on a bicycle," Killion corrected me. "He had an AK. I don't shoot nobody just because he's on a bicycle."

I, for one, am glad that he doesn't just shoot someone because they are on a bicycle. Area drivers could learn something from this attitude.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Toxicodendron radicans, already

I've been spending a lot of time outside in the yard. One, because I like it out there, and two, because the more time I'm out with the dog, the more calm he is when we're inside. So, anyway, as the snow has melted (except for today when we got 4 more inches), I've been clearing the backyard trails of the winter debris and trimming them back. I'm moving into the area across the creek where I have made no trails at all, walking around and sort of figuring out in my mind where I want them to go. The far side of the creek is the real flood plain area and much wetter than the nearside hill. It is sort of a soggy marsh with tons of brambles and vines, some of which are amazing specimens of my nemesis , poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). Somehow, even with my pretty close attention to it and wearing gloves, I got the first case of the season on my wrist. Curse you, evil ivy.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fixed Three Speed?

The inestimable Sheldon Brown reports that Sturmey-Archer (now owned by SunRace) is considering making a new three speed fixed hub. Multispeed fixed hubs used to be common back in the golden age, but for a long time now the only way to get one would be to pay a $mint$ on ebay, OR to convert your own from a freewheeling internal geared hub. A new production model would be a good thing. If you think so too, tell Sturmey-Archer at: info(at)

I told them, and hinted that to me, the penultimate hub would have at least one of the gear choices freewheel.