Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fair Hill Report

Fair Hill roadie was a blast. Parking lot was jammed with riders (50 or more) when we arrived (7 of us) - bikers were pre-riding the course for the BikeLine race in a few weeks. Somehow we managed to dodge the crowds on the trails (let's say because we were outrunning them). Before the GPS battery fritzed near then end, it read 15 miles but I think it was off due to slow sample rate "cutting" many of the turns - anyway we agreed it felt like a lot more than 15 (satellite imagery attached). After completely draining our tanks on the ride, we drained a few beers in the lot, and then headed to Downingtown - Chelsy's to pickup some 40s (man is that place depressing on a Sunday afternoon), and then Los Compadres to refuel with some cheap Mexican fare.

Key events for April:
  • Roadie April 13th (2nd Sunday of each month)
  • Hibernia April 20th
  • Chelsy's April 24th (last Thursday of each month)
Standard schedule this week:
  • Tuesday 8:30pm Lower
  • Thursday 8:30pm Upper - I am traveling on Thursday, will make the ride if I get an early flight home otherwise not.

"Go Big or Go Home"
– anonymous mountain biker

Friday, March 28, 2008

Do Something Stupid

The monthly Chelsy's ride is rarely a disappointment and last night was no exception. To kick things off, Bob turned out wearing a sweet polyester sport coat - the kind you might see on used car salesmen. Chelsy's has some interesting patrons for sure, but this was probably their first one in spandex and sport coat. Our intrepid group of six grew when we encountered another rider on the sole trail (Bob's friend Bill / our guide last time at Fair Hill). A (very) little arm twisting and we were seven riders on othe monthly pilgrimage. Chelsy's was quiet for a Thursday night - the band cancelled - but this meant we got our customary corner by the bar (good to be home). We were wrapping up after 2 too many pitchers with a couple of rounds of sluts when The Cougar arrived to much fanfare and promptly paid us a personal visit that did not disappoint, leaving a couple of bikers wide eyed and nearly speechless. The ride home was punctuated with the typical jocularity, occasional sprint race, and a crash or two. All in all a decent Thursday night.

Damp today but bone dry on Saturday so riding conditions should be great for this Sunday's roadie to Fair Hill. We have 7 confirmed riders (Chris, JimA, Sebastian, MikeR, DaveM, BobG, Sean). Sebastian is driving solo due to other commitments, so that leaves 6 for a car pool in Riley's Yukon. Details for Sunday:
  • 8:00am departure gets us back home by 2:00pm (1hr drive + 3hr ride + 1hr drive + 1hr whatever).
  • Departure means bikes loaded and Yukon rolling from 119 Kaiser, so plan accordingly
  • Please bring $5 for your driver (gas and general aggravation tax)
  • We'll park at the lot on Appleton Road (39°42'51.26"N 75°49'19.77"W for you GPS weanies)
  • My cell (484) 888-3367 in case any last minute additions or changes
  • Stock up on power bars and Gatorade so we can rack up some miles
Fair Hill is a great "introductory" roadie (not a ball buster like Wissahickon or Blue Marsh) so if you are fence sitting, this is a great time to jump in - it's NEVER TOO LATE. Let me know or simply show up at 119 Kaiser (Mike Riley's house) Sunday morning with your car and bike loaded and we'll make it a convoy (10-4).

Going forward we're implementing a standing roadie date so your wife has no excuse for scheduling a conflicting trip to the mall or the ballet. Roadies will be the 2nd Sunday of each month (i.e., next one is April 13) - so let her know and then setup the recurring appointment in Outlook so YOU don't forget. Oh and if you're Irish like Riley or McLaughlin, add the Saturday before the last Sunday as an early curfew.

See you tonight or Sunday or whenever.


"You do something stupid, you gotta act like it didn't hurt
– my Dad

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Something You Don't See Everyday

Hope everyone had a nice Easter. An impromptu Sunday ride yielded another installment of "you don't see that every day" -- a tall blond woman performing her yoga routine in woods of Marsh Creek State Park. Not sure who was more surprised - her or us (it all happened pretty fast) - but no injuries were sustained so all is well in Nirvana/MCSP.

Trails are in excellent condition and will hopefully hold out with spotty rain forecasted for this week. Lots going on this week with rides and weather, so put down your coffee and pay attention:
  • Tuesday night 8:30pm LL - no rain until late (10pm) so trails should be in outstanding condition.
  • Thursday night 8:30 UL - this is a scheduled Chelsy's ride. Rain possible so we will monitor and consider rescheduling if it looks like a washout. Stay tuned.
  • Sunday morning (roadie) - To get things rolling I'll suggest an 8am departure to Fair Hill. Please weigh in if you have other thoughts on departure time or destination, this is not a dictatorship although it may sound like one at times.
Note for those who have not been to Fair Hill, it is superb rolling terrain (no crazy hills) so it will not be a ball buster ride but we will rack up a lot of miles because it is such an awesome location, it just rolls and rolls and rolls...

Please reply if you will be riding on Sunday so I can coordinate xport. If so, please also indicate if you can drive and if so your cargo capacity.


"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live."
– Mark Twain

Friday, March 21, 2008

That Blessed Vernal Equinox

We will celebrate the vernal equinox with a happy hour ride at 4:00pm today. Sun and wind seem to have dried things out nicely and 4PM forecast is balmy 50 degrees and partly sunny skies - should make for super riding conditions and official kickoff to spring. If the early start time is a challenge let me know, maybe we can rendezvous somewhere mid ride.

Sunday is Easter so no Sunday morning ride planned. Possibly a makeup ride tomorrow though, chime in with a proposed time/place if interested. Maybe scout out Hibernia or ride to Sunoco/Harmony Hill?

A big bike week coming up:
  • Chelsy's this Thursday the 27th - remember Thursday is now open mike night at Chelsy's. Rumor has it that Ahern can do a pretty good cover of The Boss, Riley knows a few chords on the guitar, and I can play a mean tamborine. It can only a matter of time before we add that to the list of misadventures...
  • Roadie on Sunday the 30th - return to Fair Hill now that we know our way around, glorious single track of White Clay, settle the score at Blue Marsh, return to the mighty Wissahickon, so may options!

"It never gets easier, you just go faster"
– Greg LeMond

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hibernia Vibes

Solid ride tonight, trails are steadily improving. Ride did include some drama - high speed impact with some local wildlife. No harm done - rider and owl are both doing fine.

is shaping up nicely with lots of positive vibes from the gang (see below). We even have a couple of family-relay entrants (great way to get out of the running part of the event). You still have almost 6 weeks to work up to a 2x2 mile jog in the woods (the bike part is easy - it's basically a Sunday ride with a sense of urgency). So snap yourself out of that winter funk, plunk that money down, and show your kids that the old codger still has some game. Current status:

Positive vibes, money plunked, officially have some game:
  • JimT - first in class last year, obviously needs some more competition
  • Chris - trying to set a good example
Positive vibes but money not yet plunked, TBD if they have game:
  • MikeR - relay with wife Kristin (Kristin is marathoner)
  • Andy - relay with daughter Megan (Megan is fired up)
  • Steve - bought new bike for the event, so has skin in the game
  • JimA - scheduling conflict, feverishly working on it
  • MikeY - ready to jump in, just needs a push (or pull)
  • Sebastian - ready to jump in, just needs a pull (or push)
  • Bob - said it "sounds good" which I think means "all in"
  • Jamie - says he is game, impressive since I don't think he has his bike yet
No vibes, no money, may be on life support:
  • DaveC - it's time my warm weather friend...
  • Matt - hello, anybody there? Where is that golf-outing game-face?
  • DaveM - dude, do the relay with Kelly...
  • Rob - time to rebound from the double-flat last year and show off those USTs
  • Chris Dougherty - the perfect brother-in-law bonding experience
  • Sean - didn't rule it out, but didn't rule it in either
No vibes, no money, no game -or- has a pretty good excuse:
  • Kirk - family commitment (Sean's first communion)
click me now ==> registration <== click me now

Ride Schedule
- I am traveling Saturday-Wednesday but I'll throw it out there: Sunday depart Upper @ 10am. Standard weekday ride schedule next week is Tuesday 8:30pm Upper** (**change) and Thursday 8:30pm Upper. Anyone feel free to amend (i.e., take Andy up on his Hibernia race course tour offer).

MO7S: Finally if you'd need to relive the fun of the past couple of years or read the banter from the last few races, I have archived some of our old emails in the form of a blog at The first person to figure out "MO7S" wins a free pat on the back. Sebastian to review and judge all entries.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Speedos All Around

This evening's conditions were not as bad as you might expect - soft but not soupy. Saturday wet and Sunday dry. We'll depart from Lower @ 10am as usual.

On another note, spring is just around the corner and it is time to set some stretch goals to get into a speedo this summer. Sitting there reading this email won't cut it but the 2008 Hibernia Dualthlon will. The race is April 20th. $50 registration gets you motivation to get in shape and 1.5 months of trash talking capped off 16mi of running and riding, apres race food, drink, and loads of jocularity. The sooner you register, the sooner you are in your speedo!

Finally anyone interested in a HH ride tomorrow let me know. Depart between 3:30 and 4:30 works best on my end.

That's all for now.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday @ Sunoco

Great ride today at Sunoco. Hard to believe we've been banging around for almost 2 years and never really got our arms around this spot right in our back yard. Lots of twisty single track with some steep climbs and many awesome descents. Thanks to Bob for his guiding expertise - by the look of the GPS tracks (attached) we covered that patch of mud pretty well. Maybe next time Andy "trash-talk-then-split-for-NY" Sokol will be around so we can ride down direct instead of driving...

Don't bother cleaning your bikes - this week looks mild and therefore muddy:
  • Tuesday 8:30pm departing Lower
  • Thursday 8:30pm departing Upper
Don't let the mud scare you off, it does wash off eventually.