Wednesday, September 20, 2006


We just got word that the owners of this house in Chambersburg will accept our offer. We are thrilled to get this little house in town.

Use this map link to explore our new environment in Windows Local Live.
1 - our new house
2 - Ski Whitetail
3 - Michaux Maximus
4 - Curse of Dark Hollow
5 - Terror of Teaberry

Things are closer than they may look. For example, going from 1 to 3 is like going from Centreville to Reston.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

gettin' sappy

This is one of those "what do you feel", journal style posts. I know a couple people like reading these, though most couldn't care less what I think about things.

So, it looks like we have a good contract on the house, and will really be moving soon. So this is a sentimental post about a trail. What, you thought I was gonna write about something important or something? Kim slept during the day today for night shifts, and I put Oliver for a nap around 2:00. I then had a few hours free before needing to be home for Kim to go to work at 7:00. I couldn't really decide if I even wanted to ride, I thought about just taking a nap with everyone else. I thought about doing another trail run, but I did a long one of those yesterday and didn't see the need to do another one today, plus I'd already hiked this morning with Oliver. Where to ride, where to ride??? Fountainhead? Conway? Schaeffer? Wakefield? gravel roads from the house?

I finally decided on Fountainhead, because this actually could be my last ever ride there, other than for the annual Cranky Monkey races. Fountainhead has been my default trail for 11 years. I was there for the opening day in 1995. I've helped build trails there, and maintain them. I've mapped and GPS'd them. I've raced there, won races there, and always had a whole lot of fun there. I also decided on Fountainhead today because I thought I might run into some friends there, as I usually do. I like the social aspect of Fh, even though it's a pretty anti-social trail in general. I mean, you drop in, you reach max heart rate in about 30 seconds, and unless there are some really new people out there, you likely won't pass or be passed for the whole lap.

My luck couldn't have been any better. I passed Jim Harman and Dan from EX2 Adventures
at the picnic tables. I was on my 1st lap, and they were headed out on their 2nd. I finished my first lap, with a minimum of playing around, hoping I'd catch back up to them. I did, again at the picnic tables as they were stopped, talking with a couple other riders. So I finished the second lap riding between Dan and Jim. It was a real pleasure getting to ride and chat with them. I never get to talk with Jim, because when I see him, he's usually hard at work organizing, or it's at a trailwork session. He and his EX2 crew have provided me with many happy riding hours over the past 4 years. I'm so grateful for them for starting the local race series in my home county.

As we finish and climb up into the parking lot, we run into Randy Smith and Dave Simpson just getting started. It's funny, how I run into one of these guys 9 out of 10 times I ride Fh. I like riding with these guys a lot. They're both older than I (in their 50s), and they're both tough as nails and competitive Masters racers. They're so old school cool, that I bet they've never read a blog, so I can write whatever I want and they'll never see it. I think they are a couple of the coolest guys I know in Northern Virginia.

Ok, so now I'm getting sappy about some people. The truth is, I'm going to miss all of those guys. They have been a part of my life here in NoVa for many years. I look forward to seeing them back here for the NoVa races in the years to come.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

nice wave Jake!!!

Our great-nephew Jake Lahr made the local Ocean City surf site w/ this sweet wave from Ernesto

Jake and his brother Ryder live in OC, Md and have become really good surfers and body boarders the last few years, now stepping in to the local contest circuit. They enter longboard, shortboard, and bodyboard, and came away w/ a few 1st's in their opening contest of the season.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

SM 100 report

Another uneventful Shenandoah Mountain 100 for me.
My favorite kind.

I don't like "events" like crashes, broken chains, flat tires, broken derailleurs, stomach problems, or the myriad other things that can go wrong at this 100-mile mountain bike epic.

I started slow (intentionally), finished strong, rode with many many friends all day, and had a blast as always. This was my 4th year doing it on a single-speed, and first doing it with a rigid fork. The fork had been a concern of mine, as I wondered if it would take the fun out of all the downhills, and add a new level of fatigue to the body. I didn't really enjoy the descent on Tea Creek Mountain Trail a few weeks ago at the Wild 100 because of the rigid fork. Well, the descents at the SM must be a hell of a lot smoother, because I had no problems at all. I felt just as confident as with a shock almost everywhere on the course. Particular highlights were the descent into CP-4 with Albert on my wheel, and the descent into CP-6 with MattyD and Mark Wigfield (2 guys that I seem to spend a lot of time with at the end of this race every year). Another highlight was pulling into 5 and seeing JoeP break into a big "I'm gonna beat Camp" grin. He left as soon as I got there, as I began searching for some chamois lube. One of the biggest highlights for me is having enough gas left to climb the Hankey > Lookout fire road the second time, and passing lots of geared riders. It was here that I passed Matt and Mark for the last time, and briefly passed my friend Frankie Maguire from Mt. Nittany. We chatted for a while on the Lookout trail until it dropped downhill, and I pulled off to let him fly it.

[insert some poached pics here when I find 'em]

I finished in about my usual time, with the same group of riders that I usually finish with. And this year, I also came close to another goal I always have: that of drinking one beer for every hour I spent on the course. I'm not sure if I made it to 10, but I tried. That's my incentive to do it in 7 hours. I know I can easily drink 7 beers, especially with all that extra time.

I was most impressed with many of my friends: JoeP climbing like a goat on testosterone; Andy Neal (pic) rocking on a fixed gear and being the talk of the SingleSpeed brethren; Steve who finally had a mechanical-free 100 and beat the 10-hour mark, and Brian from Bike Lane (aka 'BLS') who shows up on a borrowed bike 5 days after getting back in the country from Afghanistan.

Lookin' forward to the next one already!

Friday, September 01, 2006


CLICK the pic.
This was taken from the playground of Oliver's new school in Chambersburg. The mountain bike mecca of Michaux State Forest is only a few miles away.

Assuming we ever sell our Centreville house and actually move there, my plan is to tele-work from home back to VDOT. I would also be taking O to school, and picking him up each day.
I wonder if I'll ever be late getting back to the home office?
I wonder what the teachers will think seeing my bike on the roof so often?
I wonder if riding solo, w/o all my NoVa friends will be as fun?
I wonder, with the SM100 11 months away, if I'll even be motivated to ride?
Whatever, I'm just eager to get there and see...

This is Kim pointing out that some of her favorite people are also Montessori alums. Her all-time fav, Julia Child, plus Jackie Kennedy, Katherine Graham, Einstein, Graham Bell, Jeff Bezos among others.