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