Thursday, December 31, 2009


in report mode...
surprised to wake up to a few inches of dry enough snow,
didn't think skiing would be in the mix today
thought that warm layer would be in place
quickly rallied the boy and drove up under a quiet sky
unlike yesterday, no crowd on the gravel or the white

nice soft snow again
it's tough to keep Oliver out there even when it's good
after an hour, he's asking how many more runs before we can go home
found an interesting tree run and some snacks in the pocket to eek out a few more runs
Oliver skied the big lift better than ever, and did the Drop In to get back to the car with little trouble
happy enough to call it an early day
having that pass is key to short bursts of guilt-free enjoyment

WT's new glade

pic by Julie
yesterday, w/ the famous Outlaw couple, there was good snow and a big crowd.
these folks on this lift missed a lot of time, and came down on the evac rope.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wonder if this will ever be skiable?
wonder if I'll be able to get the Suby close enough?

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Always worth a paddle out. After a few days of forced recovery and rainy holidays, something was needed to reverse the calories in:calories out ratio. The mtn biking couldn't have been any good, and the 20+ hours of fog we had sucked most of the snow up into the lower atmosphere and destroyed the fledgling XC base. That fog also kept it too warm for the snow guns to work overnight, and kept the boilerplate away. yin yang

Couldn't rally the fam, so a solo to Whitetail sufficed. A fresh batch of tunes arrived from the north. Pizza boxed bootlegs, mellowing to a Led Zepp Cap. Centre '77 on the drive.

No lines, good soft snow, everything open. Even the new 1/2 pipe was open and pretty fun.

Always trying to get something out of everything, working on stretching out the transitions, to not be in such a hurry to make that next turn. Don't slam it, feel the nothing in between for a bit longer. Take a breath. Visualize what OMW and Buchness look like, both arms punching down the hill, ride the back pinky toe. Some clean runs down Bold and the Drop, some cleanliness in baby soft bumps, back to the 1/2-pipe for some carves, another try of the big gap.

It got warm after noon, started sweating out some white-chocolate bacon. Warm soft = Sticky. Work it harder. Get something out of everything. The pipeline and slope at White Grass are often sticky and rarely perfect. Ski the crap and ski it straight. Something.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

a good start

feels odd
the day before the big day
counting several xc jaunts, have put planks to snow on 7 of the last 8 days
I'm probably forgetting to do something important, but skiing keeps me from remembering what that was

Saturday, December 19, 2009

thanks Ullr

The best two days of Pennsylvania skiing I've ever had

lots of nice playgrounds

fun skiing w/ mtn bikers yesterday at Liberty, which had good snow deep into the weekend.
Sat. was Oliver's first day of powdah skiing at Whitetail. Can't say he's a huge fan of the deep, though Jody and Kim somehow twisted his arm enough to get him to try a few more runs before giving it up.

Where were the crowds??

Normally, this sign is spelled C-L-O-S-E-D, but Liberty decided to open a few runs with natural snow only, no grooming. I give 'em a ton of credit for that. You don't get that around here much, and it made for some fun terrain despite a few rock bites.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

opening day

a low-key opening day
cold dry snow
good surface early

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

running home after the first day as a 2nd-grader

Sunday, December 06, 2009

winter rules

the ratio of ride time : post-ride time has been shifting over the past few rides

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

backyard in PA

Just had to post this,
this was done with all hand tools
with no imported dirt
steep fast buff
voluptuous, it has been aptly described

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ephemeral lines

the timber sale

Dysfunkshun junkshun

the sale from 3 years ago

Sunday, November 15, 2009

desired terrains

noon patrol
high road
low road
creek trails
sought and missed the Lion

Thursday, November 12, 2009


More stuff on the way?

"Two hundred years of American technology
has unwittingly created a
massive cement playground of unlimited potential.
But it was the minds of 11 year olds
that could see that potential."

C.R. Stecyk


Looks like our our trip to Spruce Knob a couple months ago bore some fruit and helped result in a designation of "IMBA Epic", which will hopefully keep the Big Bad W from blowing down that house for a while.
Pretty sure this is Joel, taken by Mumbles last Fall

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Helmet smacked earth hard. First time hitting anything other than a low branch. Thought of all those laps I've done at the pump track w/o a helmet on. First lap, lofted over the first double roller, hit the second one OK I thought, but I slid off the side and the front wheel turned. There was none of that plenty of time to think on the way to the ground on this one. Nanosecond.Crunch.WTF
Sore jaw, really sore arm, sore shoulder, lat and neck. Lucky.

I should mention that the Man, Jessee, is in the pump track design-build business. I know many peeps have asked me about who can build these things for them. He can do it. Landscape Architect, free rider, downhiller, pump tracker, xc-er. He knows how to get it done. Just add dirt.

Friday, November 06, 2009

PT v. 2.0

new things to ride

When that last heavy chunk of clay rolled off the tri-axle dump on Wednesday, I hit the panic button. How is this huge load of heavy-ass dirt gonna get moved and spread and shaped into fun ridable jumpy things? By Saturday? I start calling friends with skid-loaders and asked questions like, "So, um, hows it going? Do you happen to have a Bobcat and a skilled driver available?.. like this afternoon, ...and willing to do it for free......?" Those calls proved pretty unfruitful, so I rented a skid-steer for a few hours to move one pile into smaller, better located piles.

Superhero Jessee arrives on scene with skid skillz, tape measure, flags, paint and gets to work laying it out. He's not sure about my S-turn idea, but we go ahead and dump several buckets and a few hours on it while the clock and daylight tick away. We finish it and try to ride it, and it wasn't happening at all. Triple-check the Pump Track Nation diagram, shake our heads and do a little more shaving and tweaking. A few more test rides by us and some kids that showed up, and we're doing more damage to the S every time we try to ride it. The entrance to the S is real tricky, and it now affects the original non-S line as well. We give up on the S for a while and start moving dirt for the new rollers.

the Man

The rollers went in pretty easily, helped along by 3 locals who stopped by and helped at various times during the 3 days. The original gaps were looking a little big and the first test rides showed that. We softened the landings, knowing that everyone was gonna come up short for a while. Jessee built a drop-in that helped get some speed, which then proved to be a little unnecessary by Saturday. By Saturday the S had miraculously turned ridable too.

cool to have the PA Mountain Bike Club leaders here to burn in the new lines. It's like we have a brand new pump track now. Thanks to everyone.

Ben set up a cool trials demo for the club leaders to watch and brought a couple spare trials bikes to try. Most of it was far tough for us gutless xc riders.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

36 degrees this AM
Oliver's been asking to ride his bike to school several times lately,
hard to say no to that

the school is just up the hill a few blocks from this

Sunday, October 25, 2009

leaving a Mark

Sounds like Jake's celebration was big time. Sounds like most of the 'cakes got a hold of a bad batch of Makers Mark, cuz it didn't sound like it stayed down much. Phunky heads and bellies gave me a rare chance to see something other than the back for a change.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a nice run

Have had 3 Michaux rides in the past 5 days. I feel like a logstar. I didn't get that much in during any part of the prep season. I got to ride with some kids from the BOPR that I've never ridden with before. Have known them all, but never ridden with them. They were pretty tolerant of my chattyness and alternate line choices.

Another qwality loop, this one pretty concentrated for 2 hours before dark. There are some worthy lines in the Caledonia area. Some nice logs in that sector.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Hofelt ramps up for the Gate

A great weekend, starting with a visit by Barry 1 for a 5-hour Friday ride. Quality trail, totally smacked. Barry 2 came to town for a Sunday show and jaunt in SouthChaux w/ the 'cakes.
I miss riding with the Barrys and the old GWNF crew. Solid riders, no bitching', no bullshit, no blogging, no t-shirts. Just strong boys and girls there.

Quigley bypasses the ramp. Saving himself for later?

No more takers on this section after the first 3 riders smoovely rolled the high line

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

ramp fairies

Got out for a real shorty this afternoon before a Ship show with Kim. Climbed Green Ridge to the Teaberry lot, and dropped on down the twisty. Passed the snowmobile descent and onto the buff. Swung close to the 'biler trail again, and then twisted down gradually for another couple miles.

Wrap the mind around the silent solo flow. Dial it back a notch knowing no one knows where you're at and you have tickets for a 7:30 show. Off the back a few times, looking for playful hits. Tuck that elbow, swing around an almost bermy curve, and get ready for the log. Over the wheel, stretch out the legs, loosen the elbows, line it up, and and SEE A PHUKKING RAMP!!!!! On a 24", old, stripped hardwood. This wouldn't even garner a photo in the RNR.

Ramp fairies, endemic to Virginia, have made their way to Michaux.
This anomalous trail. Twisty, not rocky. gradual downhill. Some would definitely call it "flowy". I don't know its name. I call it that moto trail off the snowmobile trail. It parallels this road and then that road. I wonder if the motos are making these ramps? Are there moto fairies out there?

I don't know how people define flow. Could have 20 different definitions.
I think near the top of the list has to be "no need to tap the brakes". Going downhill for a mile or two, and barely having to brake or pedal is what I call flow. This moto trail near the snowmbile trail was buff, but they ain't gotta be that way. Huckleberry Trail at Spruce Knob has flow, and you sure as hell can't call that buff. Parts of Massanutten ridge, Douthat, Lawnmower Trail. Fishermens trails often have flow. Rocky ridge trails usually have flow. Abigail has it. Those science projects off Ridge road. Connect the dots, make the best of what geology provides. How do you make flow when you have to get from up there on the ridge to down here at the creek?


Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the money loop

a content rich loop
an ass kicker,
felt like it took us 4 hours to go 8 miles or so
lots of features to keep you entertained
loved those logs on SW
some pics here from Travis Has A Blog
Mackey got the better of me once again; that trail is the hardest concentrated 2 miles I've ever tried to ride. Like being under attack, just one punch after another coming your way. Look out for this, but don't miss that either...

somewhere along the ride on the next couple trails I may have lost my motivation to race Teaberry. After Spruce Knob-Wild 100-Shenandoah 100, I may be satiated for a while. Rich may have gained an extra worker for next week... we'll see..

Master Mule

Tomi no fixy
workin it hard and
showing that there was something going on before his road racing VT days

if I ever grow up, I want to be like Potts the Legend,
ran into him, M. Eatough, and Morningstar and they jumped in with our group.
Potts happily sessioned the more entertaining lines. Also ran into Kent shepherding a pair around, and I know that an MBM splinter group was also in the area, plus the regular ride heading southy from Caledonia.
With last week's 75-person pre-ride, the woods seem popular these days

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What a change the cool temps of this week compared to the brutal UV exposure of last week in Hatteras. It's hard to put the surf buzz behind and the 100 is looming. Bike is ready, rear brake seems fixed, and I'm well rested after not riding since the Wild 100. Finally went to a doctor today to x-ray my hand from that stupid-ass log ride crash at the entrance to Camp 1 Trail about 6 weeks ago. He thinks it was fractured, but it's healing up just the way he'd want it to. So, nothing more to really worry about other than the 18 months it'll take for the pain to go all away. My hands/fingers/wrists take quite a beating in this sport, and riding rigid has little to do with it. It's the interface with the ground that does me.

a couple more iconic shots of S-Turns. credit here again
those who know this spot understand what all the fuss is about,
those who don't know it either as the setting for a recent romance movie or an unusual place for a traffic jam

it's kind of funny seeing the surfers juxtaposed with all the romance novel tourists coming to have their pictures taken at this house. the house won't be there for long, so at least some of the crowd will drop off
BTW, that house was built in 1988, and was the second house from the beach at that time

Sunday, August 30, 2009

somewhere in New England last weekend,
swiped as usual from here

Saturday, August 29, 2009

TS Danny

interesting rule

all these kids got many long bodyboard rides, and incessant ridiculous pummeling in the shorebreak day after day. by the end of the week, Hayes was fearlessly paddling the shorebreak on his bodyboard and getting thrashed on a building day at the lighthouse (yeah, we know we're not the most responsible parents...).

S-turns, on our way off the island,
there were lots of long lenses, and a few surfers out,
great pics will show up soon
it looked cleaner than anything from Bill

time to clean my bike from WV, remember which parts need to be replaced, cram some SM-100 training into this week.
after what feels like a week of cobra-pose, I'm heady to hunch over my handlebars all day next weekend.