Saturday, June 30, 2007

KAW 53 & Covered Bridges

As is customary in south central PA, there were almost too many cycling options to choose from today. Just this past Thursday I was party to a 43 mile joy ride through thunderstorms up Whiskey Springs and Kings Gap with two former pros who happen to be married, and happen to live in Carlisle. Carlisle rides are always good. Keith, aka KAW, is sort of the guru of Carlisle's Tuesday and Thursday night rides - one of the longest continually running group rides on the East coast (My friend, Jim, has the longest running one from his shop in Nyack, NY). Regardless, Keith was leading a ride this morning and that was the one for me.
I first met KAW over five years ago on a referral from my younger sister, Sierra. She knew someone who rides a bike. You know how that can go - you show up at the ride start and the dude doesn't even have a helmet let alone a spare tube or water bottles. That was not the case with Keith. Turns out he has taken over the reins on this Pennsylvania standard, rides frequently, knows the routes, vacations to ride, and has a large network of friends who also ride. Little sister was right on this one but don't tell her.

9:30 from the Carlisle Movie Theatre and we were shooting for 50+ miles. The weather was absolutely beautiful, cool, dry, and sunny.Heading out of town we encountered our first climb, a warm up for things to come.

Up Starret's Gap, turn right on Mountain Road, down the other side and in Perry County the roads became sublime.
For some reason when this guy was pulling I kept getting real thirsty.
Certainly a road bike ride the green team would enjoy.
Covered bridge numero uno:

Graham Watson couldn't make it, he had some other engagement in France this week - his loss.
The powers that be converse on where we ought to go - the field of dreams won out over covered bridge numero dos.The real field of dreams. Because Kevin Costner insisted on cellphone coverage while filming we were able to check our voicemails, I made a call to set a ride up for Sunday morning, took a leak, someone decided that the powers that be made a bad call, so we decided to backtrack to covered bridge numero dos.Jen almost got creamed by a Dodge Ram Dualie SuperStudly 9500k Small Weiner Limited Edition Diesel Truck (you know the DRDSS9.5KSWLEDT) while crossing this obviously single-lane bridge.

We then cruised into Landisburg, took a look at my friend, Ray's, house and I found out that he is a banker. Ray wasn't home or I would still be there drinking Guinness. We tanked up at a Shell station. A Shell station that happens to be sporting the finest beef jerkey selection in southern Pennsylvania and an outside deck with a spectacular view.

We rode some more and climbed some more.
All told the day ended at around 53 miles and close to 4,000 feet of climbing.

If you haven't already, you should try a KAW ride (Carlisle Movie Theatre on Noble road Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Catch & Release

Thomas called me while I was at State Farm training in Charlottesville, VA last week to ask if I would take him fishing when I got home. So yesterday we walked one block from our house to Falling Spring creek to give it a try.
I selected the two shortest fly rods I have and he wore Michele's vest. We had some fun and he especially liked picking out the "bugs" for us. It wan't too long until my cyclist friends Larry and Martin showed up and a good time was had by all. No, we didn't catch any fish - that section of stream is a Trout Unlimited Catch & Release stream, crystal clear, and wicked tough.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Ron Paul 2008

Very interesting and refreshing views. I don't know if I agree with all of his stances; however he takes a reasoned approach to forming his positions. You can watch footage of him on or at his website

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Carlisle 100

Saturday, June 2nd
All week long I had been attempting to recruit folks for a long weekend ride - I had 100 miler in mind and as of Thursday I had no takers. So when I got Josh Beck's email via the YBR's listserve looking for folks to do a 100 miler on Saturday morning - I was psyched.
It was going to be a hot day. Halfway to Carlisle on I-81 I realized that my water bottles were happily chillin in my refridgerator at home. A quick call to Josh to make sure he had a couple extra and the problem was solved. I had a full tube of nuun electrolyte tablets for refills.
The ride started from Josh's house (next door to the Carlisle YMCA) and I had to laugh when he gave me the loaner water bottles. One was a small Gatorade bottle and the other was the size of a small SCUBA tank - something he picked up on one of his racing trips to Europe. Apparently, they don't have Camelbacks on the continent because this baby had to hold 36+ ounces. It wouldn't fit in my seat tube bottle cage, but rather laid in the downtube cage like a cold-war era ICBM. Perhaps there was some aerodynamic benefit to this thing? Regardless, I drink water like a Hummer drinks gas and was glad to have the extra capacity.
The ride consisted of Josh, Bill, Daryl, and I; the route was undetermined as we spun out of Carlisle. For those of you who don't know, Josh is pretty damn fast on a bike, he finished third in world at the 2005 Powerman World Duathlon Championships in Switzerland - and his strength is the bike. He said that he would do all to pulling and we were all happy to oblige.
We climbed 233 up to Pine Grove Furnace and then let it rip all the way down to Caledonia State Park. Josh pulled for about 16 miles non-stop at speeds that I could barely follow in his slipsteam. We averaged over 32mph for almost the entire section. Straight across rt. 30 and then we climbed up South Mountain and descended into Mont Alto. Our first water stop was at a Rutters in Quincy - I reloaded the SCUBA tank and we were off for Chambersburg and points north. Daryl broke his rear deraileur cable around Scotland and had to ride the 53x12 which meant we had to keep the pace high (read: uncomfortable). Our second water break was at Sheetz in Shippensburg. The plan was to drop Daryl off at Merv's Mennonite bike shop outside of Shippensburg and for me to drop off and ride back solo. I hung on as long as possible (about 2 more miles) and soon found myself alone at mile 63 as I crossed I-81. I went back on Big Spring Road into Newville and stopped at the fire hall to refill the water bottles. Holding 21/22 alone wasn't a problem so it appeared I wasn't as blown as I thought - it was just really uncomfortable to hold those extra mph in Josh's draft (this must be what motopacing is like). Given that, I decided to do the whole 100 as originally planned and figured I needed to zig and zag my way back into Carlisle in order to hit the mileage.
I remembered how fun the climb up Kings Gap was last week, did some quick math in my head, and determined that climbing Kings Gap and then returning to Carlisle would be about perfect. Turned out it was. I got back to Josh's house at 100.14 and finished in 5 hours and 17 minutes with a fair bit of climbing. Josh had just returned from an 8 mile post ride run (you know - to loosen up) he and Bill had logged around 90 on the bike. Here is the elevation profile:

Carlisle 100 Miler - Saturday, June 2, 2007
Moving Time 5:17:24
Distance 100.14
Moving Speed 18.9 avg. 52.4 max.
Elevation Gain+5,832

When I got home I followed my own rigorous training program and had a post ride beer.