Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wishing all of my family, friends, teammates and casual visitors an warm and happy holiday season. Your support helps me ride like the wind!

I'll be back after the New Year!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Things I should've done, Things I had to do, and Things I shouldn't have done.

A week of wrong choices. Over the weekend we had been planning to visit some very good friends who live about an hours drive away. Unfortunately the weather forecast was for a rain/sleet/ice/snow mix to move through in the afternoon and overnight Saturday. I really don't like driving in those sorts of conditions so I decided to bail. Wrong call. It didn't even start to precipitate until late in the evening, and then only rain. Serves me right for listening to to what the forecasters say. They can't even get a 6 hour storm track right, but we should believe their models about the climate in 50 years?

Tuesday night there was a beer tasting at Hard Times Cafe. Several of my friends rode over and seem to have had a pretty good time. Me? I went to my daughter's school holiday concert. The music was about what one would expect for an elementary school, but not too hard to enjoy. Those kids worked hard and deserve some props. It was everything else. You have to drop the kids off early, so you are treated to an extra half hour or more in the folding chairs. If you aren't there 60 minutes early, you get to sit in the cheap seats way in back. You know, the seats near the people who haven't taught their additional brats how to behave in public, or who just have to share their cell phone conversations with the surrounding 6 rows. The AC is overloaded 40 seconds into the performance, so the temps steadily increase through the evening. Plus the whole place is some kind of plague vector, with coughing, sniffling and sneezing all around you. Best of all was Video Dad. Now the sides of the auditorium are lined with excited parents capturing the moment on video who realize that they should not block anyone else's view. Just my luck, the brain trust member in front of me couldn't be bothered to have any consideration for those who may be behind him. He just held the camera over his head to tape. I don't think he caught the clue train until the third or fourth time I kicked his seat and gave a hearty "sorry." I hope he caught that on tape. The joys of being a parent are hard to beat. I would have been less subtle if I wasn married to a staff member at that school...

Anyways, back to the weather. Just 15 miles west of me here in Libertytown, and 900 feet higher, is where the rain did turn to ice. The Catoctin Ridge got nailed pretty good, with the whole trees down, power out, winter action. But the several days since then have been in the 40s (in Frederick anyway), so I thought it would be OK to do the night ride in Gambrill. 12 fit bikers and one fat out of shape idiot showed up for the ride. It turns out that all the ice has melted off of the trees, but then fell and covered the trail. Strangest surface I've ever ridden. Ice cubes, but with tons of broken branches and downed trees. Reasonable traction, but tons of resistance. Many of the more technical sections were actually easier with the icy fill between the rocks. The ride was listed as a moderate ride, which I can usually keep up with if I go all out, but I just couldn't cut it last night. It was the most "un-fun" I've ever had on a bike. Any slight gradient up was torture. I couldn't get moving. I was just about ready to swear off MTBs and single speeds for good. Fortunately there was a good bail out point about a third of the way through the loop. I took it. Just yesterday I was waxing enthusiastic about the Monocog, and today I'm reconsidering the whole Single Speed thing. I wish I could afford gears.

This concludes the whining, crying, and general 'pity me' portion of todays blog. Thank you for your patience.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Gambrill Trailwork

Several MORE, SSO and Clyde from the Trailhouse met on a rainy and foggy Sunday morning to do some trailwork on the Catoctin Blue Trail in Gambrill State Park. We were fortunate to have the sometimes steady rain slack off to a very light drizzle and very heavy fog as we got to work. Of course as the rain left, the temps dropped, but we had work to keep us warm. Post-work lunch at Brewers Alley banished the chill from our bones. The last one of the year I think.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Large Animals

You may have heard about the Trojan Horse, but have you heard about the Vasterbotten Moose?