Friday, December 21, 2007

Nothing Good Happens after 2AM

A wise person once told me that "nothing good happens after 2am.". Based on my condition today, I think that person is very smart indeed. The last remaining brain cells we could collectively muster late last night concluded that it would be bad form for the kids at the bus stop to see us, so we threw in the towel at 4:30am. Brilliant.

Anyway thanks to everyone who turned out, we set a new high water mark of 13 riders and sustained only one mechanical. We did have at least two notable crashes - one in the mudpit at the top of the quarry trail, and one thudbuster at the bottom of the blue trail.

Winner of the "fancy presentation" prize goes to Steve. His gift basket presentation, complete with gift wrap and reading material was a big hit. Shannon however will not be seeing that basket again as it was subsequently used to stoke the fire.

Sebastian, who turned out in shorts and sandals, gets his trail. We just didn't get around to actually naming it yet - this remains on the team workplan as unfinished business.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Beer Xchange

Accuweather forecast for tonight:
  • 33 balmy degrees at 8pm
  • Temps dropping less than a degree per hour after 8pm
  • No precip, no wind
With a vigorous ride followed by a raging bonfire and ample dose of vasiodialating alcohol, it will be a virtual tropical paradise out there so you might consider switching to rum drinks instead of beer.

Also anyone who wears flip flops tonight (a près ride) gets a trail named after them. Sebastian may get a trail anyway in recognition of wearing shorts for the Tuesday night ride in the lower-20s.

BTW we had a boatload of riders for Tuesday's tune-up ride (some faces we haven't seen in a while) so turnout tonight looks very promising. If you are on the bubble, remember this is a great night to jump into the mix (more emphasis on merriment than mashing the pedals). Also you have the option of joining us after the ride (price of admission may be a little good natured abuse).

See you guys tonight.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Runup to Beer Exchange

Important reminder, some weather info, and a couple of questions...

One week from tonight is the not-to-be-missed-second-annual-beer-exchange-bike-ride-and-bonfire. Details to come, just be sure have some beer on hand, your light charged, and cancel your Friday morning meetings and conference calls. It will be more beer than biking (so you truants should not be intimidated), but we have to do a respectable ride before we settle in around the bonfire, otherwise we are just a bunch of drunks.

Weather info from Accuweather:

  • Tonight 8pm, 32 degrees, rain ending around 8
  • Friday 4pm, 41 degrees, partly sunny
  • Saturday 4pm, 30 degrees, snow starts and runs late into the night
  • Sunday morning 30 degrees, rain in the morning
What this means for you mountain bikers:

  • We haven't ridden since Sunday, so I for one am in for TONIGHT regardless of conditions. But I promised my wife and child no solo night rides, so if you intend to ride (please) let me know...
  • FRIDAY HH conditions marginal, chime in if interested so we can coordinate tomorrow if enough interest.
  • SATURDAY LATE AFTERNOON looks like the best conditions this weekend, fresh snow, cooler temps. Again, chime in if there is interest so we can coordinate.
  • SUNDAY MORNING looks sloppy but it is tradition so no need to chime in, I know you'll be there.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rides with Scissors

Another awesome sloppy ride today, there is no substitute for playing outside in the mud with your buddies! Fenders would have been nice in some of the soupy but fast sections where we wound up wearing the trail on our chins and faces. And in the end an hour+ of riding left us fairly cooked, since every turn of the cranks resulted in as much spinning as as it did forward propulsion.

Rob may have earned a new nickname. Everyone knows one of those guys who "RUNS with scissors." Well now you also know someone who "RIDES with scissors" -- that guys who just runs has NOTHING on Rob...

As much fun as the mud is, looking forward to dropping temps to speed up the trails and lower the laundry bills. Standard ride schedule this week:
* Tuesday 8:30pm Lower
* Thursday 8:30pm Upper

P.S. A few of you truants (you know who you are) need to get your heads back into the game, play in the mud, get a little banged up. No more excuses!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I am up for the ride (unless raining at ride time) – we’ll ride high and dry. I badly need to work out the rigor mortis that has set into my legs since the Sunday ride. As for others, here is what I have heard:

  • Jim - traveling today but maybe home in time for a quickie (or two)?
  • DaveC – making noises about getting back into the game now that football is done, no time like the present?
  • Sebastian – fiddled with banged up cassette on Sunday, maybe good night for a shakedown?
  • Kirk – took Thursday and Sunday off so, itching to ride back into the headlines?
  • Steve – mom and baby sitting on Sunday, looking for a chest thumping testosterone boost?
  • Others? Bueler?? Anybody???


Friday, November 2, 2007

MRDBS Strikes Again

MRDBS strikes again! But first, a quick recap from tonight's ride.

Nine riders! Not too shabby for a weekday night ride. The team of Rob&Bob kept the pace lively (and yes they were on single speeds). One mechanical (fatal) inbound on the Sole - down to 8 riders. Nice night for a walk home though, and a bed check at 10:30 confirmed that he (or at least his bike) made it home ok.

Ok so back to MRDBS, which provided a suspension fork to one of oiur riders this last week. Even installed it for him! Except the dang thing blew up outbound on the Sole. Yes, oil spraying out, bits of metal flopping around, klunking sounds, your basic total breakdown. Did I mention that MRDBS provided this fork? And MRDBS installed it as well? As if that's not enough, MRDBS also returned a loaner light to one of the riders for tonight's ride. Did the light have the helmet mount? No. Did the light have an adequate charge? Ask the owner. Apparently MRDBS has plenty of beer (we already know that), but maybe a shortage of electricity? At any rate, MRDBS was not available tonight to take this punishment in person, so it has to be a public flogging via email. Not sure if we should blame the "R" or the "D" in MRDBS, but the legend is alive and well...

Sunday ride 10am Upper Lyndenwood.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Just for Fun

We welcomed Andy back to the troupe last night. He is just getting back on the bike after a few week layoff, so if you want to take a shot at him you better hurry. Sean is back into the game after a summer road riding hiatus. Matt and Bob however have been M.I.A., hoping we didn't say something to piss them off...

Guys on the sidelines (Tim, Al, Scott, others) - race training is over so we are back to riding "just for fun" (actually it's always fun, but recently also focused on conditioning and riding the race loop over and over and over and over...). Anyway this Sunday would be a good time to jump into the game - daylight ride, great weather, local venue, and lower key than recent weeks..

Last call for October birthdays. We haven't been to Chelsy's in well, a month, and need to get back to see if Dave's $20 is still behind the refrigerator. If ANYONE on this list has an October birthday please chime in so we can try to jam in a Chelsy's night ride this month. If NOBODY has an October birthday then get busy recruiting a new rider who does!

Ride this Sunday departing 10am from Lower Lyndenwood. New riders let me know if you need directions.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Race Results

Saturday was a perfect day for a bike race. We set up camp at 8:30 am and promptly put few Lyndenwood kids on the podium for the kids race - good omen for many (but not all) of the Dads.

Between seven racers we had 3.5 mechanicals (busted derailleur, single flat, double flat, and inoperable front brakes). Turns out that it's possible to ride w/o front brakes, but riding with no air in the tires was a real problem for 2 riders - DNF.

At any rate, times were considerably better than last year (work paid off). Instead of bringing up the rear in sport class, we were mid pack and one of last year's beginners even demonstrated sport class podium potential!

Thanks to Dave Calvaresi for use of his hot tub for the post ride soak, rehydrate, and debrief.

Night rides this week:
* Tuesday 8:30 upper
* Thursday 8:30 lower

I am out of town - questionable for Tuesday.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Training Days

Marshalton Triathalon tomorrow (recreation class, with the family), so I will miss the ride.

3 laps today - 25:10, 27:10, and 25:40 - ended with tank bone dry. Not sure how that last lap came in so fast - probably lost all sense and rolled a little fast on the downhills. Travelling Wednesday so my last ride is probably Tuesday, MAYBE jam in a quickie on Thurs just to stay loose - we'll see. Getting pretty excited now!

Sean - not too late to register for the Oct 13 Marsh Creek race, show off the road work you've been doing! Maybe Mike will show you the course and get you on board.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Virginity Lost

For those of you keeping score, I lost my virginity this afternoon on the downhill to the Struble. Tried a new line and washed out violently, shredding my derailleur hanger in the process. The 2 mile walk of shame ensued (that's the virginity part).

Hunting season has started so early morning rides are probably not suggested unless wearing kevlar. So the standard scheduled rides are BOTH NIGHTRIDES:
* Tuesday 830pm depart lower
* Thursday 830pm depart upper

With the race 2 weeks away, my intention is to ride every day for the next 10 days. This means some "ad-hoc-after-work-rides", probably try to shoot out just before or after dinner to grind out a lap or two, figure out the "right" pace, etc. Let me know if interested and we'll try to coordinate.

Any October birthdays? Please chime in if so. If not, then let's see if we can recruit an October rider lickety split!

I think that's all for now. Hope to see you all this week.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ride report and other business

MORNING RIDE had to break out the head lamps and fleece for this AM's ride, but it was well worth it with some spectacular sunrise scenery. Not much time left to experience these morning rides with hunting season around the corner.

ROADIE responses are in and it looks like Nov 11th with 9 favorable RSVPs. Hopefully we can secure Rob as tour guide and do the bump and grind at French Creek. Block it out on your calendars.

MARSH CREEK STATE PARK FALL CLASSIC RACE is October 13th. Four classes this year (first timer, beginner, sport, elite) and fun kids race before the main race (this is a great family event). You can see the source layout (different than last year) and pre-register online at - just search for "fall classic".

SUNDAY RIDE I will be out of town Saturday through Thursday so cannot be counted on to crack the whip for you guys. Someone needs to take the lead to organize Sunday ride and next week's rides. Tag you're it!

HAPPY HOUR RIDE tomorrow - let me know if interested in something between 4:00 and 5:00.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Leave'm for Dead

Casualties: We bombed the big field and hit the woods at about 30mph - miracle nobody was killed. High speed turn for the quarry, Riley and I rolled right into the climb and Kirk hung back instructing us to wait at the top for 5 minutes, move out if they didn’t turn up. We waited 10min, presumed based on earlier banter that Miller had headed home with hangover and Kirk was not far behind (was apparent early in the ride that he forgot his A game). Turns out that Miller had a double flat, Kirk had a single. So it was a tragic case of leavin’em for dead – not our proudest hour.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Weekend Attrition

Sunday ride claimed a few casualties. We started two down and lost three more at the halfway mark. We did have Harris-Oates participation which has been too infrequent of late - hope to see more of them this fall. Anyway weekend activities may explain some of the attrition, but remember the Fall Classic is coming next month and we need to be in condition to defend home turf. I don't believe they had a special class for "hangovers" so no excuses! Also remember it is a great family event (kids race last year was a hoot).

Chelsy's birthday ride (Dave "dented helmet" Miller) this Thursday, so we will have two night rides this week:
* Tuesday 830pm depart Lower
* Thursday 830pm depar t Upper

I understand we have a few potential riders considering when to "jump in" on the group rides. I did some arm twisting on one of you Friday night. My contacts at a local bike shop told me about another that recently dropped some coin on a new ride. Time to JUMP IN! Let me know if any questions.

Don't Forget to Keep the Rubber Side Down,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

White Clay Upgrade

Turnout was light for Sunday's roadie, so we ad-libbed and took it over to White Clay to work on the land speed record. If it's possible, the trails seemed even sweeter than our first trip last year. It seemed like we rode downhill the entire day - a physical impossibility but a tribute to Andy's knowledge of the park.

For those of you who remember the skills course from last year, it has been upgraded with a couple of see-saws, a suspension bridge, and an insane vertical drop midway through. Our trip through was punctuated with frequent shouts ("oh shit no!") and occasional moral support ("you need to grow a pair"), and ended with an overdose of adrenaline and ear to ear grins.

The only (and I mean ONLY) downer was on the way home when a fellow cycler misinterpreted a complementary gesture from our group, and graphically communicated what we perceived to be a negative response (for more on this you need to join a weekday ride).

Charge your batteries and eat your wheaties for this week:
* Tuesday night depart upper at 830pm
* Thursday morning depart lower at 630am


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chelsy's Report

Ten riders demonstrated yet again that beer and bicycling DO go together. The pace line to Chelsey’s set a blistering pace before things unraveled a bit approaching Downingtown. We rolled into Chelsy’s, ordered the usual, fired up the jukebox, and welcomed our newest rider – Jim Taylor – to the group. Kirk does that name ring a bell?

The birthday gags were entertaining as always. Dave Calvaresi showed real commitment by immediately "suiting up" in his green-polka-dot-full-body cycling suit. It was a memorable sight that I am trying to expunge from my memory, but some of the local ladies had a different take and gave Dave a nice send off when we left Chelsy’s.

Saying that the return trip pace line was a little ragged would be an understatement, but we eventually formed up at the Dorlan Mill fire road for a 10-across soap-box-derby-style race to the dam – won convincingly by Sebastian. Then as we rolled back into Lyndenwood, a group of riders split from the pack to dive into the park for a midnight milkrun down the quarry trail. The milkrun almost morphed into a trip to the ER when a railroad tie ejected one rider, head over heels, into the woods. The ejection was punctuated by calls of "rider down" and "it looks like a bad one" but he was lucky to have landed in relatively forgiving brush vs a rock field or tree.

Hope to see you tomorrow morning for the Thursday AM ride (departing lower at 6:30am).


P.S. Kirk feel free to contact Jim directly to find out if he spilled the beans on you yet. You guys probably have some catching up to do...

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Back in the saddle this morning – a little creaky after the crash but had to bang one out before an extended and bikeless vacation that starts tomorrow. Thanks to Jim and Mike for pushing a good pace around the bonus loop. Interesting banter ranged from trail maintenance to blood doping to the no spandex rule (which may be challenged before summer is out).

I am returning August 8th (expecting punishment on Thursday 9th ride) – Jim will crack the email whip in my absence – but a couple of business items before I head out:

Tuesday August 14th is a Chelsey’s birthday ride (catch-ups for Calvaresi and Riley, August birthday for McLaughlin) so mark you calendars.

Need to see if there is interest in an August roadie – maybe something local like French Creek, Brandywine, or Wissahickon. Let Jim know your interest/ability to make it on the 19th or the 26th, and he’ll coordinate (Jim hope you don’t mind).


Friday, July 13, 2007


Great Chelsey's ride last night. A quick recap:

- Confirmed that Bob is a sucker for a bike ride - he rode from Downingtown to Lyndenwood so as not to miss the 1st leg. That is dedication!

- Picked up a 9th rider coming out of the park. He seemed impressed by our numbers and we invited him to hop on, which he did for the ride down the Sole trail. One of our riders was chatting extensively with this fellow, and learned that (a) he is one of the architects of the Sole trail and (b) babbling excessively while crossing that bridge is a bad idea (ouch!).

- Some anxiety over a pickup truck with a (bulky bald) guy behind the wheel watching us head toward the dam where chipmunks have vandalized fences erected by an (angry bulky bald) guy. We fully expected to meet this fellow again at Dorlan Mill road but instead we encountered the aftermath of a very angry chainsaw that had felled a bunch of old-growth oak trees over the struble.

- We set a new land speed record for our customary sprint down the Champs-Elysees into Downingtown, and set up camp at Chelsey's to see how much beer and sluts we could buy for $70 (quite a bit it turns out).

- As expected the pitchers and sluts made for plenty of merriment on the ride home, including a soapbox derby style race (no pedaling) down the dam road, and a slow-race across the top of dam. Then it was back to the 'hood - I believe everyone was tucked in by midnight.

This weekend is game on for Sunday ride - 10am departure from Lower Lyndenwood! Weather looks fantastic.

Also give me your thoughts on a Sunday roadie sometime in August - probably to French Creek or Wiss. For some of the new guys, these are generally early departures (7-8am), carpool to the destination, ride 'till you drop, then back home by mid-afternoon.

Don't forget to keep the rubber side down, Chris

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fair Hill First Timers

A proper recap of yesterday's ride has to include footnotes from the night before, both involving Irishmen:

Spontaneous beer drop due to failure of the opposing digit to grasp a beer. Accompanying slurred speech and balance issues suggest that keg beer may have been a contributing factor.

Last man standing entertaining the ladies into the wee hours of Sunday (they we duly impressed). Included late night departure and then unexpected return on the lawn tractor, to continue hydration and entertainment for the ladies benefit.

Both individuals overcame long odds and showed up for the early morning departure on Sunday, a little green around the gills but still game for a ride. True Irishmen!

Sunday departure went better than expected - only 12 minutes of "dorking around" - which is a record for a group of this size (10). For the one hour drive we ignored GPS and were treated to another "Sebastian back road special" which got us to Fair Hill in a little over an hour. Unfortunately the back roads also got one rider carsick, and he spent 5 minutes in the WaWa bathroom getting himself straightened out before the ride.

The ride commenced with a jaunt over to the orange trail to see what the trail guide meant by "rolling terrain with ocasional steep climbs." It was apparently a typo and should have read the opposite. We got a nice view of the practice track (made us tired just looking at it - it's huge) and eventually worked our way over to the east side of the park on some really sweet single track which included a pretty hairy and rocky descent (so much fun that we did it again later in the day). We had lunch by the river and were treated to the arrival of about 20 horseback riders complete with rider in chaps and another alledgedly displaying signs of a long day in the saddle (or excess saddle soap, still unresolved).

We experienced the normal course of mechanical failures and crashes. Notables:
  • Crash resulting in turf being embedded into the sidewall of a tire. We are still puzzling over the physics of that one.
  • Family jewels embedded into toptube of a bike. The physics of that one are readily understood by anyone with jewels.
  • Jim wins the pink polka dots for this ride. For those of you familiar with the Tour de France, the pink polka dot jersey goes to the best hill climber in the mountains. Jim had no equal on the hills yesterday.

Overall a great day in the saddle even with all the navigational challenges (resulted in some dead ends and open field crossings). See the attached satelite image to view our track.

I think that covers the highlights.

Weekday ride schedule:

  • Tuesday night (8:30pm) UL
  • Thursday morning (6:30am) LL


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Two NOOBs and a Curfew

Add Andy Sokol and Steve McLaughlin to the Sunday roadie to Fair Hill! This brings us to 9 which is capacity for our 2 vehicles. Calvaresi is possible which would put us in 3 vehicles - this would be good because we'd have Dave along for log hop/somersault type of stuff and also would not have to shoe-horn 5 guys into Riley's truck. Also not too late for others guys on the chain to jump in on this. Kirk can you be on driver standby in case we go to 3 vehicles?

Andy don't forget we need to load bikes on Saturday. We have a neighborhood block party Saturday at 3pm so if possible can you drop your bike off at Mike Riley's (119 Kaiser) sometime Saturday morning? Mike runs a (drunken) bike shop out of his garage so is used to bikes being dropped off.

Kirk there are no Starbucks on the way to this place but if you (or anybody on the ride) needs a jolt I will be brewing fresh espresso shots/coffee between 6:30am and 7:00am so stop by.

Passengers - Fair Hill may have a nominal trail use fee (per vehicle) so bring a couple of Washingtons in addition to the Lincoln you are brining for the driver. Also walkie talkies so we don't have to send a search party for ...someone... like we did at Blue Marsh.

Everyone - remember the 48 hour curfew before roadies. No funny business and steer clear of Jim at the block party. Chris

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mountain Biking

Sunday ride included a special guest (Rob) who introduced us to yet more new trails on the lower east side. One rider attempted to singlehandedly move the huge logpile at the bottom of the sole trail - bike and rider seem to be doing fine but I'm sure the impact registered on a seismometer somewhere. Also we had the customary mechanical breakdowns (broken chain, busted crank arm) but recovered without our drunken bike mechanic who was busy sipping champagne and eating quiche at the family brunch.

"The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated"-- KO

Game on for Chelsey's ride on Thursday!!! Chelsey's doesn't have daycare, so Kirk is lining up a baby sitter. This means we will flip-flop the weekday rides this week:
  • Tuesday 6:30am (morning) meet at Lower Lyndenwood
  • Thursday 8:30pm (night) depart via Upper Lyndenwood.
For Thursday ride don't forget bike locks, some cash (birthday boy needs only a bike), and a hall pass to stay out past 9:30. Weather this week looks perfect.

Finally I have collected photos from Savage. Goto to browse, select, and download whatever you want.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

This is Why We Ride

Perfect chemistry for today's ride - sun, cool temperature, and eight guys riding for pure fun (no "training" on anyone's mind). Even the baggage some were carrying from Saturday night did not slow us down. In fact one rider proved that it takes less than 8 hours to rise from the ashes (or the living rom floor) and jump big into a Sunday ride.

Highlights: SF made his presence known on the way to the dam when he blasted through the middle of the Sunday formation like a Corzine motorcade. A tumble over the side of the Sole Trail bridge (not Sebastian) reminded us all that no stream crossing can be taken for granted. A stop at Mike's drunken bike shop to do "something" to Matt's noisy bike proved fruitless. The action soon picked up when Riley led half the group over a really huge log drop and DC, always a gamer, followed suit and demonstrated a classic clipped-in-somersault over the drop and down the hill. Standing ovation and a trip to the chiropracter for that one! Not to be outdone, Mike Young planted a shoulder, hard, on the Eddie Trail to finally finish the downhill section of the ride. We ended with a mad dash down the Struble and grind to the clubhouse for the debrief. All in all a great ride and reminder why we like to do this stuff so much.

Regarding the customary monthly roadtrip, it is time to nail down a date for the first of '07. Mother's day is next weekend, and at least 5 of us have an Indian Princess event the beginning of June, so May might be a challenge. Anyway let me know what Sundays in MAY and JUNE would work for you - I will reconcile and reply with the date. We usually make these an early day so we can salvage some of Sunday for the family. Depending on destination, we leave around 7AM and get back by early afternoon.

Send me your dates and get back to work. Oh and don't forget rides this week:
* Tuesday 830PM from LL
* Thursday 630AM (note morning) from UL


Monday, April 30, 2007

Six Savages

We now have six bonafied Savages among us - tested by the crucible of grueling competition (20 miles of it). The real headline is that we served notice to over 100 visiting teams not to mess with Marsh Creek (OUR house), as we took home #1 and #2 finishes! Now we drop some Advil and contemplate next year's defense of our title.

As you can imagine there are numerous stories to recount but as is tradition you must jump one of this week's rides to get the details. Also it is time to switch to summer hours, so for this week:
  • Tuesday night (8:30pm) depart LL
  • Thursday morning (6:30am) depart UL

Also I think we have some spring babies on the team (Kirk?, others?), be sure and let us know your preference for Chelsey's ride.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crusty Stuff

The early morning departure Sunday morning was a stretch (especially for those with some Irish in the family) but it paid off with the proverbial pot of gold. Crust was rock hard, smooth as a baby’s bum, and gripped like Spiderman. We covered every inch of the park even taking two trips past MDBRS. Steve got some “on the job training” on bike repairs by the dam, quite a few laughs but I can’t figure out how to explain it without triggering your corporate email filters so you’ll just have to ask someone who was on the ride. We did experience a couple of bouts of attrition near the end of the ride, but logged a solid FOUR hours on the trails, ending with tanks absolutely bone dry. The last couple of falls (sideways, not enough energy for an endo) actually felt pretty good – warm sun, snow nice and soft, could have laid there until spring…

Unfortunately temperatures are moderating this week so it looks like the last opportunity to ride this stuff will be tomorrow morning. I have an early meeting so can’t do it, but if anyone has the flexibility you might consider it. Biking prospects for this week:

Monday warm with rain – sloppy, no good
Tuesday and Wednesday night forecast is mid-20s. Maybe a night ride if things freeze up by 8pm. Let me know if you are interested, and we’ll touch base by phone around supper time.
Thursday low 38 – sloppy, no good

If the biking doesn’t work out then maybe a good week to do some cross training – break out the running shoes and the kayaks. We will want to log some time in the canoes before the Savage, but some flat water paddling in the kayaks is also an option (logistically easier as well). Remember wet suit if you have one and don’t paddle alone.

Time to hit the treadmill (kidding).


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Savage Throwdown

For our first official Sunday ride of the 2007-08 season we rode across (except the lunatic who bombed straight down) the dam to the Struble and out to Penny Packer for some “slow racing.” It was a great way to shake out the cobwebs after a month on the sidelines. Also 7 guys “slow racing” sure drew a few stares from passersby.

Time to get the weekday rides going again. This month we have 3 birthdays so we’ll try to fit a Chelsy’s trip in this week. Note the time change for this week:
Tuesday depart LL at 8:30pm – Woods trails are a mess right now, but Monday and Tuesday are dry so we’ll hope they firm up a little.
Thursday depart UL at 9:00pm – Chelsy’s so bring some cash, we’ll see if they recognize Riley without his bobsled uniform. There is possibility of rain late in the week so we’ll monitor this one.

Note: After a month of no use, your batteries are likely down 30% so be sure to top them off before Tuesday night.

OK, now for the BIG NEWS. We have an “Adventure Sprint Race” coming to OUR BACK YARD at the end of next month. It is called “The Savage” and it entails 20 miles of trail running, orienteering, mountain biking, and paddling. Sort of like a triathlon except groups of 2-3 compete as TEAMS, not individuals. So if you need some motivation to get off the couch and impress the ladies, this is surely it. We have registered one team already – Anegada 1703 (JA, CD, SF) – and surely this group can field a couple more teams at least! Check out the website for more details on the event, photos from past events, mandatory equipment, and online registration Note this is the first event I’ve ever encountered that REQUIRES you bring a knife (that’s got to be a good sign).

Team Anegada 1703 has discussed our goals for this race and they are twofold: no training injuries and HAVING FUN. We have not deluded ourselves into gunning for the podium. Finishing will be great, not finishing last would be even better. Regarding training, if we have enough interest from this group we might start mixing up the rides in a few weeks – shortening them and combining with running and paddling to help everyone with the cross training. Also I have a canoe with paddles – if anyone is interested in borrowing at any point just say the word. Finally note the the schedule of clinics on adventure racing skills: 3/25 (French Creek) and 4/15 (Hibernia). We’ll consider designating these as our monthly roadtrips for March and April.

I think that’s it for now. It’s good to be back in the saddle.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guts and Glory

Remember Rob's immortal words: "Pain is temporary, glory is forever."

Well I think we put that to the test Sunday and Monday. In the pain department, we clearly succeeded. No doubt DC is doubling up on the Advil this week, having earned frequent flyer (over the handlebar) gold status. The ground last night at 20 degrees F was not very forgiving. I for one will be shopping for a new helmet and memorializing the old one for saving me a trip to the ER. In the end, everyone landed a shoulder or chest dab on the ice at some point, so we clearly have the pain part pretty well nailed.

Now for the glory part...

Jim and Mike bombing the lower field by Chalfont, approaching the tree line at high rate of speed, with little braking ability, simultaneously laying their bikes down in a perfectly choreographed double-wide-wipe-out, tangled in the bikes and coming to a stop perhaps 3 bike lengths from certain spectacular disaster. Absolutely brilliant!!

Traffic congestion on the white trail with perhaps 20 mountain bikers, head lamps glowing, traversing numerous creeks, laying their own individual singletrack, and grinning ear to ear all the way to Little Conestoga. The impromptu gathering at the end of the white trail was one of many high points.

Careening down the narrow winding quarry trail (basically a luge with wheels), licking our wounds at the bottom, and then grinding right back to the top for more punishment. The quarry exit usually begins the dash for home, so this was clear indication that the group was completely intoxicated, but this time on something other than rum.

And Sebastian, riding the last 45 minutes with no light (battery died), inspiring the rest of us to cross the upper field in stealth mode (lights extinguished), and capping it off with a first-ever-in-competition slow-motion sideways exit from the Struble bypass which had everyone cheering (and Kirk scratching his head).

After 2 hours of this madness, man and machine were beginning to show wear so we bagged it around 9:30pm.

Sunday's early morning ride was memorable as well with a mad dash across the lake, a high speed traverse of the sole trail, an assortment of trips over the handlebars, and a run-in with a deer that was having a VERY bad day.

All in all it was the perfect way to finish a 9 month string of weekday rides. With the warm weather and the melting snow this week, the Marsh Creek trails will be virtually unrideable so it looks like a little time off to revel in the pain and bask in the hard earned glory.

TBD if we'll ride on Sunday, open to suggestions. Don't forget class at Downingtown Bikes this Sunday. If you have any questions on the class, please contact Sebastian.

Oh, and tighten those friggin' chinstraps!


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crusty Virgins

Not sure where to start... A bunch of gamers hit the trails this morning at 830am and had the ride of a lifetime. We encountered quite a few other riders (probably a dozen) as well, so clearly the word was out that these conditions were not to be missed. Traction was outstanding, trails were smooth as a velodrome, and in fact trails were optional as you could ride virtually anywhere on this stuff (and we did blaze many new trails). After about 2 hours we began breaking through the crust (temperature rising) so we bagged it at 11am. However the consensus to a man was that we would love to do this all day if conditions had permitted.
So here is the deal.

These are probablty 10 year conditions, not to be missed. Weather begins warming up on Tuesday with a LOW of 31 degrees. At that point the trails will become unrideable, perhaps for weeks. So tomorrow (Monday night) may be your last chance to ride for weeks. And it will be in world class conditions!!

So we will ride this week on Monday night, departing Upper Lyndenwood since the Struble is probably cratered with footprints. We'll go wherever the footprints aren't, hopefully including a dash up or down the quarry trail. Tuesday and Thursday are doubtful based on current forecast.

DON'T miss this opportunity! See you on Monday night.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Attached picture is from which is only a 12hr race, but they seem to have their priorities straight. Anyway make sure you have your priorities straight when we start lining up a 24hr race for this season. Does MDBRS still have that RV in operation?

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Riding Bikes is Fun

Yet another ride loaded with personal bests and more than a few surprises...
A couple of single-speed wannabes made the quarry climb on middle chain ring and second sprocket.

One rider "went missing" mid ride so we launched our first bonafied search and rescue mission. Our first sweep thru the park turned up nothing so we mobilized a ground unit (thanks Kirk) to assist in the search.

Search concluded successfully so instead of calling next of kin we were able to debrief in the comfort of the Ferrer clubhouse. Conclusions:

* Riding bikes is fun, need to do it more often;
* Agree on mid-ride rendezvous locations (boat launch, dam, etc);
* Everyone should bring a walkie talkie (or cell, but coverage can be spotty) on future rides, especially winter and nite rides;
* Duct tape provides excellent foot protection against wind and water and is stylish as well;
* Single speed wannabes are at least five sprockets short of SS nirvana.

Weekday schedule:
* Tuesday night depart UL at 830. I am travelling so am questionable for Tues nite.
* Thursday night depart LL at 830.

I think that about covers it...

Friday, February 2, 2007

We Are Not Alone


We are not alone


P.S. Last night was the 1st full moon ride of '07. Trails are wicked
fast, mud pits are tricky but passable. Sunday ride will be refreshing
(high 22), departing from Lower Lyndenwood at 11am.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Blood on the Highway

SPAM - About half of guys on this email chain are actively riding and the hope is to cajole the other half off the sidelines, but if that is not your plan or you just want a break from the email banter then let me know and I'll remove you from the chain no questions asked.

YESTERDAY'S RIDE - As you can see from the attached aerial view, George (our guide) was able to eek a lot of riding out of smallish Hibernia park. A handful of uphill grinds and rocky descents punctuated by at least four memorable wrecks made for a good time for ten riders.

Wreck summary:
* One fall off a slippery bridge (was a little bloody)
* One chest dab (a.k.a. over handlebars impacting ground chest first)
* One airborne ejection from the bike
* One classic "toppled over in middle of road because he forgot he was clipped in"

Also yet another chapter in the MDBRS saga when Dave's rear wheel CAME OFF during an ascent! This saga is the gift that keeps giving - thanks Mike! Finally we wrapped up by christening the new "clubhouse" at Ferrer's with beers and a post ride recap.

THIS WEEK - Weather looks winterish (it is February after all), with lows in the 20s and chance of precip Tue and Thr nights (perfect).

Schedule is:
* Tuesday 8:30pm depart LL
* Thursday 8:30pm depart UL


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chelsy's First Timers

Eight riders last night. Count'em EiGHT! Amazing.

Departed 830pm in white-out conditions and high 20s. Rode a little tentatively, especially around corners. Sole trail was eventful with numerous crashes including a multi-bike pileup at the mutpit crossing. The struble was quite an experience with about 12' visibility, occasional picnic table on the left and running water on the right.

We turned a few heads at Chelsey's and got to see a kickboxer get KO'd. Did a quick toast to Jim "45 and over" Ahern and by the time we left the storm had blown through and temperatures were plummeting.

A few attempted pace lines on the way back (mixed results), up Dorlan Mill hill and back into the woods. That was about the point where DC's light gave out. We were back home by 11pm. 14 miles total and temperature 15 and falling! Temp beginning to be a factor for the machines (some shocks stiffening, shifting is sluggish) but temp does not seem to be a factor for the riders.

I think Sebastian is right that the limit is somewhere in the single digits. TBD.

Overall scenery and experience was incredible.

See y'all Sunday morning.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Exciting Announcement

I have an exciting announcement to make regarding tomorrow night's (Thursday) ride...
We are instituting a new tradition (thank Sebastian) -- mandatory birthday detours to a local watering hole for celebratory a toast. Don't worry you will still get your fill of trail riding tomorrow - the current route is from UL through the horsefarm to the dam down the Sole trail to Dorlan Mill to the Struble for the dash to Downtingtown (and then back again).

The great news about this new tradition is that it takes the burden/guilt off our shoulders about how frequently we detour to the watering hole (there was much debate about "biweekly is too often but monthly not enough")! Now we know -- if a rider is having a birthday then we make the detour, period end of story. What could be more simple? I think this is known as "man law."

So as the first, Jim gets off easy but going forward each of you riders is responsible for invoking the "mandatory-detour-to-Downingtown-man-law" on your own behalf. Sounds corny but if you don't invoke, then we don't drink and that is not fun for anyone. So the protocol is to give the group at least 1 week notice of your birthday so we can designate one of the weeknight rides as a Downingtown detour and plan accordingly.

This is also a good incentive for everyone to get your friends into the game - with less than 10 *regular* riders, we will average almost 1.5 months between detours which is a long time. More riders = more detours. Think of it as a "finders fee."

OK back to plans for tomorrow... We'll be going to a dive bar on the main drag (Chelsea's I think it's called). So you will need a little cash. Not much since this is a quickie one beer sort of deal (remember the ride back?) and I don't expect Chelsea's will have much tolerance for spandex and headlamps anyway. If we stick to the one beer limit then this should add no more than an hour to the ride (+15min each way, +30min toasting). Let me say it again - the temptation for prolonged drinking is not a factor when you remember you are only halfway through the ride (and the 2nd half is mostly uphill).

As you know it will be chilly tomorrow, and the Struble leg is fast and it is exposed so dress accordingly. Finally I have a lock suitable for about 4 bikes. If anyone else has a lock please bring!!


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Don't Be a Mr. Softie

We went out last night to "test the limits" but we missed it by about 4 hours. Was 29 when we left at 830pm, but this morning it is 15. So we missed the opportunity to test the limit, and so still don't have any *officially* designated softies (although we do have some candidates based on light attendance last night).

Don't be a "Mr Softie" - be there for our next limit tester whenever it comes!!

It is still a little loose out there, but considerably better than Sunday. Should be even better by Thursday night (snow showers, low 30). 830 LL departure.


Monday, January 15, 2007

MRDBS Breaks Out

Sunday ride was super sloppy. I'd estimate maybe 10 miles on the map, but our wheels spun at least twice that! 9 riders including first timer Mike Young. Kirk treated us to a new wardrobe - took a page from DM's fleshtone unitard book. Mike demonstrated his bike shop prowess on DM's bike (and as a result we christened a new trail, the "MRDBS"). If you missed the ride then you have to ask about MRDBS next time, fabulous story that will be with us FOREVER. Finally we benefitted from some capital improvements to the Sole trail.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Slippery Slope

We but broke new ground for a night ride. Over the dam, down the Sole Trail, and up into the Sunday ride territory where we circumnavigated the mud pit and were still back in time for 9:30 Sports Center. New challenges await!

I suspect attendance was light due to work and family commitments, but now that we are into January it's worth mentioning the slippery slope...the one that leads to the refrigerator and the couch on Tuesday/Thursday nights instead of the great outdoors. It starts innocently enough but it ends with a rusty bike and a spare tire. Don't even look over the edge of that slope - it is EXTREMELY slippery and many good men have toyed with the edge only to find themselves suddenly sitting at the bottom wondering what happened.

Next ride is Thursday (LL 8:30).


Monday, January 1, 2007

White Clay

Fantastic day yesterday at White Clay for 9 riders! A couple of collisions (with the ground and a tree or two), one broken chain, a white-knuckle ride through the skills course, and some navigational challenges rounded out the day. Attached is GPS map of the ride. Mike I believe you may have some interesting photos from the ride - care to share? Thanks Rob for the tip on White Clay.

I am pleased to welcome 2 more guys to the email chain - Andy and Dave. Hope to see you guys out on the trail soon.