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.