Monday, July 30, 2007


The kids and I went to Chincoteague, Virginia with my parents and assorted other relatives last week. We hit the beach and carnival, the pony swim and the wildlife refuge. I didn't get a lot of time to ride, but I did get out to meander around the island a couple of mornings. Being flat, reasonably small and relatively congested, the island is a perfect place for transportational cycling. There were lots of bikes and scooters on the roads, and most drivers seemed aware of what was going on around them. If we go back, I'll be sure to bring bikes for the whole family and we can leave the car parked the whole time. My Flickr set is here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Even though there were thunderstorms threatening on Monday afternoon, I wanted to get out for at least a short ride. Watching the weather map all afternoon gave me the idea that a bit north of here in Thurmont would be a good place to ride, so as soon as I could escape the office, I headed north. There were plenty of clouds, and even the rumble of thunder, but the storms held off and I had a nice ride in the mountains. After enjoying a nice fast 4 mile downhill out of the mountains, I headed home. It looked like the storms were still all around, but nowhere near me. Not far enough it seems. I walked into the house looking forward to a shower and boom boom boom, out go the lights. The distant storm was enough to black out our whole area, and we didn't even get the benefit of the rainfall. The power was out almost all night, so I didn't get much sleep in the not-quite-cool enough bedroom with the windows open to admit the sound of a neighbors generator running all night. I'm not even going to discuss my trip to the MVA today. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you loose.

Monday, July 16, 2007

1903 Adventure Ride

Joe had a nice idea for a bike ride:

From the Ride listing:

1903 Adventure Ride

In 1903 the first Tour de France was held. The roads were rough and unpaved. For this ride we'll seek out the same conditions. We'll head west up the mountain where you can expect gravel, ruts, bumps and even a large stream to ford. From there we'll head south in search of more unpaved roads in the Jefferson area before working our way back through the city of Frederick. Fixed gear bikes not required but since that's all they rode in the first TdF we encourage you to suffer like those early pioneers. Heck, fill your water bottles with wine just like those guys did and make it a party. Recommended tires of 28mm or larger. Check out the route at:

Saturday was a beautiful day for riding, and 15 folks (plus some late-comers) showed up for the ride. I considered riding fixed, like many of the riders, but common sense caught up and a used a freewheel. I even intended to flip the wheel to the larger rear cog for the first mega climb. Good thing too, because I would have been dead right there had I tried to climb like all those skinny guys. The climb went as expected, but I just took it easy and ground up Mountaindale and across the stream up Delauter. With that out of the way I flipped the wheel back around. Bombing down Rum Springs was fun. Kevin and I stopped to wait for Ken with a flar rear tire, then caught up with the group at the bottom. I noticed a strange click a bit further along and stopped to check it out. 4 out of 5 chainring bolts were loose!? That was weird, but I tightened up OK and then tried to catch up. No good by Myersville, so I stopped to top off my camelbak, and continued on. The roads were great, and the cue sheet was well done, so there were no real worries. A couple of good climbs into Middletown worked me well, and I was pretty smoked at the rest stop at the halfway point. I resolved to hang a little better, but only did so until the climbing started again. Umph. No long sustained climbs, but lots of little ones, some of them steep. It went on like this until it was time to head back over the ridge to Frederick. I was again the last one to the top of the climb up Cherry Lane, but had a blast passing all those fixie riders on the long downhill off the mountain. Traffic lights broke up the group a bit coming back through town, but the last of us made it in OK. I relaxed for a beer in the parking lot, but was pretty beat, so headed home instead of going out for a few more beers. The ride worked me pretty hard, but you don't see any improvement if you don't push your limits once in a while.

Photo Set Here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Busy Busy

We've been running at full speed around here, just to keep up. The entire family headed down to Crystal City to watch the Independence Day fireworks from my cousin's apartment rooftop. Crowded, but nice. We eventually gave up on the crowd and watched from his apt. window. 15 stories lower, but unobstructed and still really neat. Plus we could listen to the music. Thanks Chuck!

My job is at it's busiest this time of year, due to the fiscal year change. Running me ragged I tell ya.

Friday night I came home to a very upset dog. He somehow got a toe caught in his crate and had spent some frantic time trying to get out. No go. I had to take the top off to free him, and he had torn or cut himself very badly, as well as soiled his crate during the ordeal. Once he was free it was really bleeding. Picture me trying to apply direct pressure to a frantic dog's paw while two really upset kids looked on. I though we would have to hit up the emergency vet, but I got the bleeding controlled and bandaged for a couple of days, and by Sunday he was running around as if nothing had happened. Now I have to re-engineer the crate to make sure that can't happen again. It would sure help if he didn't have an image of himself as the worlds greatest escape artist.


The rest of the weekend was the usual errands, classes and housework. Sunday I did manage to sneak off for a short tandem ride in the heat with the Princess Stoker and the kids and I finished a fort for them in the woods.


I needed to come back to work to rest!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More DIY

Didn't do much riding this weekend, just a bit Friday evening. The rest of the weekend I worked around the house and yard. I was going to hit the road on Sunday, but spent the day building a fort in the woods with the kids instead. Hard work, but rewarding. I also did quite a bit more digging on the pump track. The photo is of a bike rack made from PVC pipe that I made to keep from constantly tripping over kids bikes in the garage. I found the design here, and the materials were only about $20. I may fine tune it a bit before I glue it all together, but I like it enough that I'll probable do a couple more. You can never have enough bike parking.