Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter climbing with the boys

Thomas, Henry, and I took Jason, Mehta, Doug, and his daughter, McKenzie to a local crag for some good kid-climbing on a beautiful December day this week.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowy MTB ride on Iceberg

Perfect conditions this past weekend on Iceberg.

Monday, December 06, 2010

MTB Weekend in Virginia

A bunch of riding this past weekend on the ridges that ring the Fort Valley in Virginia near Elizabeth Furnace. We rented a stone cabin and rode singletrack from the front porch for two days.

We had great food, beer, wine, music, company, and played stump (game you play with a framing hammer).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cagney & Lacey - Rothrock State Forest

The Specialized is riding well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Little Miss Mark is here

6 lbs, 12 ozs & 19 1/2 inches long.
The boys are loving it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 MoCo Epic

Sponsored aid station 7 at the MoCo Epic yesterday.  This was the last aid station on the longer (62 mile) route.  Helped out by Mic from The Frederick Bicycle Coalition, David from the Singlespeed Outlaw Factory Team, Tom and his three children (Isabella, Ian, and Sadie?).  Tons of fun.
We were well-provisioned with everything a rider could need.
The official sweepers were our last customers.
And then we were off to the Grand Ole Opry, I mean after-party at the Holiday Inn.
This is how the mtb'ers roll in MoCo, MD

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New SS 29'er

Warranty replacement compliments of Specialized it looks like they made several signifcicant improvements with tube shaping, flawless welds, shorter chainstays, EBB, longer TT, and more rear tire clearance (+1/4").

It's light too - me likey.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Anna Michener Cabin Weekend

(l to r) Larry, Oliver, Thomas, Henry
Thomas, Henry, and I went to stay at a cabin in PA’s Michaux State Forest this past weekend. Really nice cabin with no electricity or running water about a mile from the nearest road (dirt).
(l tor) Henry, Frank, Tony, Me, Todd

The trip included five of my friends and their children.  We rode in on bikes, pulling trailers full of supplies.  Found the cabin well-provisioned and in great condition.  Split a ton of red oak, filling all the wood boxes, the tinder box, and overflowed a couple of nice stacks out front. 

Saturday, we hiked to Lewis Rocks so the kids could do some bouldering and returned early enough to cook a fantastic steak dinner complete with asparagus, broccoli, rice, bread and a Super-Tuscan.

The kids played non-stop:  building forts, catching toads, burning sticks, making maps, sneaking up on us.

Sunday morning we awoke to another sunny day and a warm breakfast of french toast, pancakes, oranges, strawberries, and coffee.

After breaking camp we went to Long Pine Reservoir to wade in the stream, take a hike, relax, etc.  Thomas, Henry, and I got a quick out and back mt bike ride in on Breast Trail.

More photos here courtesy of Todd:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Civil War Century

Rode the 2010 Civil War Century on 9/11 with Chris from Frederick, Mark and Joanne from Pittsburgh.  Great route with a fair amount of climbing, nice roads, and perfect temps.  We all agreed that the CWC participants (over 1600) on average had the nicest bikes and best handling skills we have ever seen on a century ride.  The course, with all of its climbing, must serve as a selection tool.

We ran into a bunch of friends, regrouped at rest stops, had a blast pacelining, climbing, etc.
Afterwards, we all took naps and then had a snack at Acacia in downtown Frederick.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Black Hills with Kids & Friends

Frederick and MoCo came together for a fun kid mtb ride at Black Hills Regional Park near Boyds, MD.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Schaeffer Farms

We rode 6 miles of trail.  Thomas has a mt bike and Henry a singlespeed with coaster brakes (he is retro).  Thomas was able to ride everything.  Henry had to walk a couple of hills.  They had a great time and are looking forward to our next adventure which will be Black Hills.
The big hill climb.
The cool trail through the cornfields.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

DC or Bust

Some friends and I planned a impromptu trip to DC today.  The plan was to meet at Tony's house on Capitol Hill, ride bikes to the mall, eat lunch, go to a museum, ride bikes, perhaps grab some dinner and head home.
We arrived at one of the countries finest coffee shops, peregrine, around 10am.  Alex sampled my macchiatto, we visited Eastern Market, and went to Tony's.  Tony had italian meats, cheese, fresh baked bread, and all the accessories to make some quality sandwiches for our picnic lunch.  Todd called to say he was delayed.
The bike ride began at Tony's and we rode mostly bike lanes down to the mall.  Thomas on his new mtb, Henry on his old Trek, and Lexi in the trailer.  Janel was kind enough to drop Michele and Alex off at the museum.
Lunch at the memorial for fallen officers (law enforcement) was fantastic.  We had great food, comfortable seats, and some smuggled Sangiovese.
The National Building Museum was featuring a LEGO exhibition and, thanks to Tony, we had reserved tickets (the exhibit is perpetually booked up and tickets can only be reserved in person).

Another call from Todd, he is really running behind but departing soon.  We head in for our 2:00-3:00 Lego time allotment.  The exhibit is cool, some big Lego skyscrapers, some DC-centric models, but the kids head straight for the bulding section.  The idea is that you build something and put it into their streetscape.  Another call from Todd, this time he is stranded on the GW Parkway with car trouble and not going to make it - when it rains............  offer to help, but he's going to nurse the car into a shop for some tires.  His day is a bust.
The Lego building section is pretty well laid out.  Tables overflowing with Legos of all shapes and sizes, stools for little tykes, big tykes, and parent-like tykes - everyone is comfortable.
I fumble around helping the boys get situated and then come upon the idea of building a model of our house in Frederick.  Partially, because there is a large percentage of red Lego bricks available.
Thomas and Henry finish several builds in the first hour and a half, then come to help me for a 1/2 hour or so as I put the finishing touches on my model house.
Afterwards, we get Michele to the Metro (right across the street) so she can ride back to Eastern Market where we plan to meet her on our bikes.  We tour a couple of parks, hop some steps, ride the mall, get some lemonade, and head back East toward the Capitol.  I'm hopping curbs and slam the sh*t out of my back wheel on a double.  The sound is horrible and the air lasts a couple of seconds then.......flat.  There are a bunch of bike cabs in from of the Air and Space Museum, but no patches or 29'er tubes. 

Adjust the plan.  Now Henry, Thomas, and I are riding the Metro to Eastern Market with our bikes and they are psyched!  We take the elevator down at some Federal station.  The guy helps us buy tickets.  Things have changed a bit since the late 80's when I lived there.  Through the turnstiles and down another elevator to catch our train.  We only go two stops, get off, and oops........ no elevator.  A helpful person offers to carry Henry's bike up the escalator - which really..... helps.  Curiously, these turnstiles are narrower and the bikes don't fit through.  Again, a helpful person offers to hand all of our bikes over the barrier.  Again, helpful.  A quick elevator ride up and we are back at peregrine to find Michele, Janel, Tony, Lexi, and Alex waiting for us.

Adjust the plan.  Let's get some dinner.  We decide on Matchbox, a nearby stylish place with great pizzas, beer selection, and wine by the glass.  Calamari, Miniburgers, pizza, a Shiraz, a chef's special BLT (made with pork bellies and fois gras), Bell's Double-hearted Ale, plenty to satisfy all of us. 

We walk back to Tony's place, load the bikes into the car, say our farewells, plan tomorrow's ride, and head home.

Great Day.  Don't worry Todd, we'll do it again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thomas Turns 8

Thomas' 8th birthday went well.  A pool party at Hood College followed by a pizza party with family back at the house.  Michele had a friend visiting from Ohio so we had six house guests.  If you've ever been to our house in Frederick you know that is an accomplishment.
The new mtb bike.
A horrible accident
uncle David

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Road Riding Frenzy

Having only two functioning bikes out of ten presents some limitations.  Since those two bikes are a time trial rig and a road bike - I've been logging some pavement miles recently.  A couple hundred a week for the past few weeks.  With road riding, the miles come fast; if not easy; and in Frederick County the road riding is beautiful.

This morning was the 8am Sunday morning Wheelbase ride from Market St. in Frederick.  I spent Saturday night building up a mtb for Thomas' 8th birthday (tomorrow), but laid out all my riding gear and prepped my bike so it would be ready.  I roused at the crack of 7:50 and barely had time to slap some chamois creme on my ass as the front screen door caught the rim of my back wheel on the way out.  Rode down Market St. the wrong way and met up with the group at third (halfway). 

It was a big group.  I sensed some regulars, saw some new faces, and chatted with Danielle as Tom turned towards the regular (and safest) exit route from Frederick, Motter/Oppussumtown Pike to TJ.  We were riding right past Starbucks and the temptation proved too great.  I checked the route with Tom and took a side trip to grab some espresso.  The sensation of caffeine pulsing through my veins was well worth the effort required to chase back onto the back of the group afterwards.  The catch was made on TJ drive near Hayward Rd.

We split up somewhere after crossing 15.  There was talk of a group going up into the hills climbing for 50 or so and another group hitting some nice roads down in the valley.  Fresh off all of the climbing in the Catoctin Challenge - ten of us headed for the hills.  The pace was how do you say in English? wicked? diablo?  In the approach to Catoctin Hollow we lost four of our damn strong ten.  So six of us headed up Catoctin Hollow Rd towards Mink Farm, et al.   For some reason, I always want to listen to AC-DC on this particular climb. Knowing we were doing more climbing and that I like to pull the flats, I rode tempo up the 6'ish mile hill climb with 1200 feet of elevation gain.  We slid down Catoctin Hollow to 77 and then up Park Central Rd to Camp David - a STEEP CLIMB.  Felt better on this one and spent some time in and out of the saddle to make pretty quick work of what I recall as a fierce climb.  Excellent roads, beautiful scenery, little traffic, shade, what more could you ask for?

We rolled down the other side at ridiculous speeds and found that we had lost Kyle on the descent.  Jay went back for him.  Jay was gone for a long time.  We all went back for him.  No sight of either as we climbed all the way back up and descended back down the other side to 77.

Took some nice roads back to Frederick from Thurmont - sharing pulls with Jim, John, Kevin.

Really nice ride.  If you check the details, you will notice that the ride was on 8/8 beginning at 8 and was 54.66 miles and my top speed was 54.9 - should I play the lotto?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Hard Work, Heavy Rain, and a New Critter

Haven't seen too many of these up in the Shed.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Catoctin Challenge

Saturday 100 mile ride for charity at the 2010 Catoctin Challenge with some Frederick neighbors.
(l to r:  Saylor, Me, Tim, Randy)

We left Frederick Community College a little before 8am and hit some beautiful and new to me roads up to Gettysburg.  A brief tour of the battlefields and we were at our 60 mile lunch stop at the Land of Little Horses. 
The last 40 included some beastly climbs including Bingaman, Zoo, Iron Springs, and Gum Springs.  I rolled into the barn with a fast group of Pittsburghers.  We were welcomed by amenities rarely seen at group ride events:  hot (or cold) showers, assorted beverages, massage, steak & caesar salad dinner, Greg Lemond, live music, comedy show, movie montage of the day's ride.
My family rolled in as I got out of the shower.  We had some fun watching Kiss, playing with paper airplanes, and eating dinner.  Everyone was having a great time.

Sunday 45ish miles with alot of climbing including the partial dirt Eylers Valley and the uber steep Eylers Valley Flint and Putnam Roads.

Great event.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the event.  I raised $1895 for Catoctin Charities which went into the total of $106,000 for the event which will be split between Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County and

Friday, July 30, 2010

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is the transition from Iceberg to Iceberg F2

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

July 4th

Took Thomas and Henry kayaking at Cunningham Falls.  Thomas soloed across the lake to the snack bar while Henry and I took turns paddling in the second boat.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Ride

Thomas, Henry, Alex, and Michele treated me to a Father's Day bike ride at the C&O canal. We went from somebody's crossing to north of Point of Rocks - 12.36 mile ride at close to 6mph average speed.

Fun time and then off to Hood College pool to cool down afterwards.

Thomas and Henry's first off-road ride.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Business Trip

State Farm hosted a 2009 recognition event in Charlotte, NC that Thomas and I attended.
While I was looking at the venue online he asked if he could go.  Since I was able to take a guest, I checked with the executives and they said it would be fine so I booked another ticket.

The flight from BWI to Charlotte would be his first.  He was asking alot of questions about the noise at takeoff, but things were uneventful and the flight was a brief 55 minutes.

Landing was a tense time for him.  Especially when the pilot turns the engine on full blast to slow the plane.

The Ballantyne Resort and Spa is a suped-up regular hotel.  Nothing really special about the layout or architecture.  It looks like a Hampton Inn & Suites on steroids with a really nice golf course.   The staff was more attentive, the food better, and the bathrooms were a couple levels above featuring marble and two showers.
Upon arrival, Thomas and I checked-in to the room, did a "walkabout", and headed for the outdoor pool.

Wednesday night was a buffet-style dinner with the other agents and execs in the hotel.  It was supposed to be poolside outdoors, but a tropical storm hit pretty hard at 5pm so it was moved into a ballroom.  Thomas and I had an early night and retired to our room for some TV and talking.
Thursday was the meeting portion with a speaker and the awards presentation.  When I was called up for the photo opportunity, the VP (Brad) asked Thomas if he would like to come up too.  Hopefully, that picture turns out well.

After the meeting portion was over it was still a little misty outside so Thomas and I went to the fitness center and the indoor pools.  They had the indoor lap pools that have the strong current flow so you can swim in place so we gave them a shot (goggles required).  We ended up at the outdoor pool again after lunch and the sun came out.

Dinner was with my local Frederick agent group.  Brad, our VP, joined us for a nice family-style italian meal.  Brad has two daughters in Frederick and enjoyed talking to Thomas.  We got desert at the Cheesecake Factory which, if you don't already know, features dinosaur-sized portions.

Friday morning we had another nice breakfast and packed up for the return flight.  We did need to secure transportation to the airport.  The hotel's town car option wasn't too appealing at $66.  So we bummed a ride with Ken (another MD agent) and his wife.

The return flight had us back at BWI around 1pm.  Michele and the boys picked us up and we went to Whole Foods in Annapolis for lunch and then played at her parent's house for a few hours. 

My brother, Nabil, and sister, Daphne, picked me up around 4pm and we headed East to suprise my other sister, Sierra, with a beach weekend in OC.

The suprise was a success and she started to cry.  We had a nice couple of days together in the sun and sea.
Sunday, Daph, Nabil, and I went to Lewes for lunch and then to Cape Henlopen for a swim to honor our dad. 
Great week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Monday, May 17, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturday Bike Rodeo - May 15th (noon-4pm)

State Farm Agent, Darius Mark, is hosting the 2nd Annual Bike Safety Rodeo at Parkway Elementary School on May 15th from noon to 4pm.  This is a FREE event focusing on bike and bike handling for children of all ages.
  • bike inspection
  • helmet inspection
  • bike safety quiz
  • sign reading    
  • skill stations
  • challenges
There is a K9 demonstration at 2pm by the Frederick City Police. Representatives from local bike clubs and shops will be on hand to inspect and tune up bikes. Bring your children, their bikes, and their helmets for a fun time!
(we have plenty of extra helmets)

Parkway Elementary School
Located at 300 Carroll Parkway
Frederick, MD
Questions call: 301-418-6370

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cub Scout Outing

We took Den 10 from Parkway ES in Frederick to visit SurreyBrooke Farms in Middletown today.  It is a beautifully landscaped property with ponds, water and stone gardens.
Henry took a nose dive into one of the ponds.  He "didn't panic" and got out with a little assistance.

Alex planted himself in hopes of growing hydroponically.
Fun time and great sunshine.