Sunday, December 31, 2006

holiday rides

Rode xmas-eve and new years eve with the Michaux crew,
once again, quite paced,
today started at the Teaberry lot and rode for 4 hours.
first part of the ride was on trails that most of our group of 12 had never ridden,
other trails that only get ridden once a year by this group,
this group, that rides Michaux every week, sometimes several times/week,
there are just that many trails here

holiday hikes

the "brave knight of history"

Tiffany on the rock

Tiff on the camera

Sunday, December 10, 2006

way fast

Wow, no more braggin' about hanging with the Michaux locals.
Today's ride was quite spirited. Was pretty much the same folks as the last few, just a smaller group size, and no one was doggin' or bailin' early today.
Andy came up for the fun, and he and I pretty much pulled the rear most of the day, except for a few uphills where we had no choice.

Yesterday, I took Oliver and his 11 yr-old cousin Tiffany skiing at Whitetail's opening day. They each had a 3-hour Kids Mountain Camp and had a blast. Was Tiff's first time on skis, and she did superbly. She's such a great athlete and could easily become an expert skier. I hope to take them a lot more in the next few weeks. I got to ski for 3 hours too. I'm wrecked, I need a couple easy recovery days in the computer chair.

That Mountain Camp is great concept. They take your kids either for a morning session, an afternoon session, or for a full day. They get the rental gear in advance and take care of gettng it on them, so you don't have to schlep thru the rental zoo. They also provide lunch and snacks, and have indoor play for the yung-uns like Oliver. He got a 1-hour lesson out of that 3, Tiffany got 2.5 hours.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

new default trail run

summer pic from

I've been trail running a few times since I've been here, in Michaux, on the Appalachian Trail, and on the Tuscarora Trail. All of them are great places to run, but I've been hoping to find something closer to town, or, even in town.

So this afternoon I wanted a fresh air break from working at the computer and decided to head out for a run in the neighborhood. Wilson College is 2 blocks away from our house, and I've seen on maps, a road that goes behind the college out into the rural area which is road biking territory. If there really is a road through there, then that's an even safer way to get out to the good road ridin' roads. So I decided to run over that way and see what I can find.

Since it's still during the workday, I carry my Blackberry along just in case anyone really needs me, and I was expecting a call from my old boss. I run the 2 blocks down to the campus, into the parking lots and out the back of campus. I find a campus map sign at one of the lots showing exactly the road I was hoping to find. I run through the huge equestrian complex, find that road with no problem, cross the RR tracks, pass the organic CSA farm, and then see...., what's this?? A singletrack? An interpretive trail along the creek? Sweeeeeet. This trail rolls and rises up and down the banks of the creek. Not a sole around but me. My phone rings and it's my old boss. I plop down on a log under the Black Walnut interpretative sign, and spend about 20-30 minutes talking with him. After the call, I see I have some e-mail that I also promptly take care of from the trail.

I finish out the singletrack and then loop back and head for home on the roads. I think I've found a new default loop to run, right from the house, no driving, and great cell reception. Life just keeps gettin' better and better here in Chambersburg.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

winter epics

Winter Epics is what we called the big GW Nat'l Forest rides we did every weekend for so many years. Nearly every Sunday, from hunting season through to spring race season, a group of us would ride somewhere in the GW. These were usually long rides, 4-7 hours or so, often cold & wet, and always rocky. The group was almost always drawn from the same pool: Jens, Glen, Mikes Capraro & Buchness, the Barrys Quigley & O'Melinn, Susans x 2, Junkins, Dan, Pooch, Andy, Nancy, and Steve (did I miss any one?).

I pretty much stopped doing these rides in 2002 when Oliver was born. At about that same time, I picked up single-speeding, and the local race scene grew significantly with the addition of the Cranky Monkey series, and a couple others held at Quantico. So most of my riding for the past 4 years was mostly short, local, and not mountainous. Rarely would I ride for more than 2 hours, except for a day in August in the Wild 100, and in Sept for the Shenandoah Mountain 100. I missed those winter epics, but I was having plenty of fun single-speeding the local stuff too, and it was usually helpful to be able to get home by noon after a ride.

Those winter epics with the big group have mostly died out for several reasons, though Mike and Susan are still out there gettin' it every chance they get. Glen moved to New Mexico > Colorado, Jens is now in New Mexico, Pooch and Susan now in Africa, Barry O had dual knee isues/surgeries, and like I said, I was out of the loop and quit scheduling those rides on the MORE calendar.

Now, I'm in Pennsylvania, and lucky for me, winter epics are every weekend, and they're just outside of town. And, like the GW, there are plenty of trails to choose from with a big group of core, committed, & interesting riders. Come take a hit.

pics of town

our place

the bike shop in town, has been here since 1912

a typical house in our 'hood

the YMCA where Oliver and I spend a lot of time. they have a great old school gym, weight room, and pool where O takes swimming lessons.

fixie practice

As many of you know, give me a drill, that will help me get better at something, and I'll do it over and over and over, for weeks, months, years even. This started way back in middle school when I learned how to ride nose wheelies on my skateboard all the way down our street.

This opportune pile of future utility poles lies a block away from our house, and is great practice for the fixed gear. I've quickly learned that getting up and over things on a fixed gear is quite different. I've learned that I have to get the front wheel up whenever my pedal rotation gets to the power spots, and often, that is much farther away from the logs than I'd otherwise choose. This is pretty tricky for me since I've never been too good at riding wheelies. So hitting this "log pile" I'm often wheely-ing into it from pretty far back, trying desperately to keep the front wheel up long enough to let it come down on the highest log, and then lunging forward to soften the blow for the rear wheel. Tricky, but fun stuff for only a block away.