Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day at Parkway

Yesterday was Thomas' first day of school. He is entering the first grade and recently changed schools from a suburban mega elementary to a very old, very small, neighborhood school in downtown Frederick - what a change! He used to have a 40 minute bus ride each way and now we can walk or he can ride his bike in a about 15 mintues.
Day one there was a welcoming committee complete with Starbucks coffee, pastries, teachers, parents, and administrators interacting with the newbie and veteran parents. The Parkway mascot is a Panda - which I thought was really cool. They have a climbing wall in the gym and the facility was spotless.
Mostly - it was the caliber of the people that impressed us. The parents were friendly, outgoing, confident, and involved. Michele and I met too many people to remember all the names, but had much in common with many of them. One woman, Amy, has a cabin in the woods near Kettle Creek in Northern PA, several Penn State Alumni, other local businessmen and women, several moms are travelling together to Dewey Beach, DE to compete in a triathlon.
Thomas' desk was ready for him and he was ready for it.
They are having a picnic Wednesday afternoon after school. When Michele picked up Thomas in the afternoon on her bike pulling a trailer with Henry and Alex she said it was like a PTA meeting in Boulder, CO - lots of bikes, jog-strollers, sandals, fit people milling around with kids. Oh yeah and Baker park is directly across the street.
Thomas wore a tie (his idea) and still had it on when I got home from a two-hour road bike ride after work. His memorable comment was that his teacher is really nice and when they were waiting to get dismissed after a full day - she let them put their feet up on their desks to relax a bit. That would not have happened in last year's suburban nightmare industrial education complex.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday in Michaux

We had a nice one today from the Totem pole. Frank, David, Todd and Phil picked me up in Frederick and after a wheel-swap and Starbucks run we were on our way to Michaux. Phil's truck is really cool with the club cab, utility boxes, and room for 5 bikes. We were joined in Caledonia by HO from State College, Mike from Harrisburg, and Buck from Chambersburg. Starting from Caledonia State Park we headed South and up the gradual climb we call Secret Trail to Raccoon Run trail. Then we headed over to the TV Cable Line and up a short section of Lee's Rocks to get to Heaven or Hell. HorH was nice. A couple of rock afficianados cleaned The Gate on their first attempt (Frank & Phil) to join an elite group. We sessioned on Dante's Levels of Hell and Mike averted certain disaster on the overgrown lower section. We then climbed, yes climbed, the Lower Narrows to get back up. A quick snack after the hike-a-bike section and we were off on Wayne's Highway over to The Turtle. The top section of Turtle has been hammered by horses the lower section is in pretty good shape. We turned left at the bottom of Turtle and tanked up on water at the Staley Rd Spring. Todd led us up Lower Black Andes and then Buckets. Charcoal Hearth was hammered from the recent enduro event but still took us back over to Staley. Which we climbed up to Rothrock and then up Rothrock and over to the fire tower. This fire tower was originally made of wood and was the second fire tower built in the United States. Fire tower trail down to Crumble and then down Snowy Mt. Road to Raccoon Run. Raccoon run was riding really nice in this direction and David narrowly escaped turning his eyeballs into something akin to marshmallows on a stick at a Girl Scout camping trip. Secret trail just rocks in this direction and I could start all Mont Alto rides from Totem Pole just to finish on that long technical downhill. Back at the Totem Pole the place was packed for one of the last plays of the season. We changed, drank a beer, and headed out. The MD boys grabbing some BBQ on the PA/MD border. The PA boys headed homeward. HO and I crashed a MOMS Club of Chambersburg pool party to hang out with the Mark boys.

22 miles, 2600+ feet of climbing, two flats, no major medicals.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

OC Weekend

Saturday, August 02, 2008


The top shelf is for those who are undecided; the bottom, for those who are decidedly committed.