Monday, June 30, 2008


Good intentions were yet again overtaken by alcohol and debauchery when Riley failed to answer the bell Sunday morning. I feel like piling on more Irish references but that would be too easy so I won't. Thanks Bob for carrying the torch when our red headed immigrant from a small European beer and whisky drinking island nation couldn't.

We have a LATE BREAKING STORY -- the 2 year string of no-biking-related-trips-to-the-emergency-room has finally been broken (so you can relax). Summary - the incident occurred on Saturday, it involved a possible equipment malfunction (click here for illustration), no helmet, and perhaps a touch of show-boating. There are many more details, some possibly embarrassing, that add considerable color to the story and of course you are wondering WHO -- but as you know you have to show up for a ride to get the full report!

Now if THAT doesn't drive up attendance, I don't know what will...


"Pain is temporary, Glory is forever"
–Anonymous, but we heard it first from Rob

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rookie Mistake

Welcome Steve M back to the ranks of the perpetually sore but always smiling biking gang after an 8 week hiatus. He may be sucking a little wind after those sleepless weeks in the rocking chair but he still pounded through every rock garden and over every treacherous bridge crossing we could throw at him.

On this ride he was also reminded of the value of being behind the buffoon who rides with one hand on the handlebars and head tipped back drinking from a water bottle, because when his front wheel hits that little dip in the trail his bike is going to step dead and he is going to take a serious spread-eagle trip over the handlebars with Gatorade spraying from the bottle, leaving his bike on the ground pointing the other way and handlebar imprints on the front of his thighs. This is why we are supposed to use Camelbacks (oh, and to avoid drinking from a water bottle contaminated by horse manure).

Thursday schedule is up in the air for some of us who have Indian Princess business to attend to that evening. I am throwing it out there in the interest of keeping Steve on the come-back path with the Thursday night ride. I am 40% probable -- if others are planning to ride please chime in so we can keep the candle burning...


Monday, June 23, 2008

Put Some Fun Between your Legs

Sunday was a winning combination - cool early morning start and blistering fast trails. We were even treated to an expert guided tour of the blockhouse on the dam and a history lesson on the tram.

One rider MIA due to failure to set the alarm (8am for Pete's sake!). Hats off to our newest rider who turned in an impressive performance...but after 3.5 hours last weekend and 2+ today on that old school all-rigid frame that chode (taint, nifkin, whatever you call it) has got to be showing some wear. Keep it up and you'll be sportin' that mountain biker callous in no time.

One "I'll probably be there on Sunday" did not show - you know who you are and so do I - but your dirty little secret is safe for now. Hope to see you jumping back into the fray soon.

Also we have a new father who has been conspicuously absent from recent rides. Consensus today was that your grace period has expired, you need to re-establish the routine before it is too late. Expecting to see you out there soon (no names, but looking forward to seeing that spanking new green bike).

Ride schedule this week:
  • Tuesday 6:00am (home by 7am, get your butt out of bed!)
  • Thursday 8:30pm

"Put some fun between your legs"
-- Ron Jeremy (famous mountain biker no doubt)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday Morning Beat Down

After a Friday late night bike repair (yes, alcohol was involved) we rallied for early Saturday Morning Beat Down at Fair Hill. We hit all the highlights including the Fox Pen and the crowd favorite Crackhead Bob. Our two newest riders turned in an inspiring performance, notably the one who showed up on a 20 year old Trek all rigid complete with school book carrier and bungee attached water bottles. For those who were interested, I checked the blog and estimate the ride was around 15 miles which does not sound like much - if you were on this ride you now know why measuring mountain bike rides in miles is a pretty useless measure of level of difficulty or fun factor.

Hoping we see those smiling sweaty NooB faces on future rides. Speaking of future rides -- we discussed the merits of moving ride times up to help beat the heat and leave more of the day intact for family related we're going to try the following modified schedule:
  • Tuesday morning 6:00am
  • Thursday evening 8:30pm (no change)
  • Sunday morning 8:00 am
Departures are from Upper Lyndenwood.


"I find that climbing singlespeed is like eating really spicy food -- it's OK until you stop, and then it starts to burn and you feel like you're going to puke"
-- Anonymous single speeder and spicy food eater

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Triple Threat Conquers Manayunk

101.3 degree temperatures and rain forest humidity was not enough to keep the Triple Threat of Sara, Becca, and Luke inside - they cycled 15 miles to Manayunk and back (that's 30 miles folks!) in the blistering heat to cheer on the cyclists in the Philadelphia International Bike Championship. We were expertly positioned (thanks Bob) at the end of Main Street in Manayunk for a birds eye view of the peleton (100 or so riders) bearing straight down on us at high speed and diving into a 90 degree turn right at our feet.

It was an awesome spectacle - thousands of fans, a couple of helicopters overhead, the mayor rolling through on a motorcycle, and the fire department cracking open a hydrant to cool off of the spectators. The event was well covered by local media, with our troop (3 kids + 2 dads) appearing in person on at least two local networks.

WARNING: 30 miles was pretty flat so pedaling was not a major factor but you still have to sit on something the entire time. I don't care what newfangled anatomically designed gel seat you're on it can get a little sore "down there."

All in all a memorable Sunday for 3 remarkable kids and 2 proud dads...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ride Report (Stinky)

Thursday ride was an eventful one that wrapped up at 11pm. Highlights included lots of wet roots and more than a few dabs, crank removal and suspension overhaul mid-ride, a detour on a new (awesome) trail on the east side, and a new bridge bypass that allowed us to run the bonus loop backwards. Oh and honorable mention goes to a water bottle contaminated with dog feces and a bunch of nice crashes and near misses.

Sunday ride. The bad news is the Sunday forecast is 96 degrees but the good news is that it will be amazon rain forest humid! 90% chance I will miss Sunday's ride (riding down to the Bike Race in Manayunk with Sara). Some free advice: bump up the start time to 8:00 to avoid the heat. More free advice: throw some beers in the creek before departing, then enjoy a nice end of ride soak and rehydration. Please do keep me in the loop - if the 90% does not pan out I may be joining you.

A mid-day ride today is likely today (departing between noon and 1pm) - chime in if you are interested.
Also possible ride tomorrow (Saturday) before the heat hits - again chime in if interested.
That's all for now.


"Keep the rubber side down"
– Anonymous mountain biker

"Hey, where's my rubber helmet?"
- Another anonymous mountain biker

Mountain Biking Catastrophe (Almost)

Catastrophe (very) narrowly averted this morning. I think I am in the market for a new SS crankset. Climbing out from the lake, standing up of course, then BANG! Practically drove my nuts into my throat. Long lonely walk home.

The cause could have been the incredible destructive force delivered by my massively powerful legs. or a loose crank bolt.

Anyway if you ever decide on a vasectomy, feel free to borrow my SS instead (no copay and no stitches).

Looking at the FSA V-Drive MegaExo SS Crankset - inexpensive $130, external bearings, bashguard, and comes in 180mm length. It's basically what I have (had) now and has a splined spindle. I think I would prefer a square taper spindle but then I am in the business of buying cranks, ring, bashguard, and BB a la carte which is OK but a little more complicated. Any recommendations?


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Clear Sailing for the Irish

Small crowd but great ride today. One rider was wrapping up around 10am so he swung by to say hi. Judging by the condition of him and his bike the conditions were pretty greasy in the fast turns. He also admitted to doing some long overdue trail maintenance on the new connector trail, removing an obstacle that had been giving our Irish riders some fits.

Hats off to Jamie who graduated from NooB status with an aggressive ride today that left him very muddy and a little bloody but smiling ear to ear. He even demonstrated how to use a rock and a little elbow grease to tuneup his Y-bike mid-ride. Great stuff.

Capital improvements have continued on the east side. A new (3rd) bridge linking to the connector and a skills course spouting up over at the bonus loop. Ahern took a run at it on Friday (better man than I).

Standard ride schedule:
  • Tuesday morning 6:30am (I am out of town so will miss this one)
  • Thursday night 8:30pm (back with a vengeance)

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself,
and spiders."