Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Symmetry in SEPA

While the rest of the world was hitting the snooze button I was being treated to the sights, smells, sounds, and stimulation of yet another perfect-10 morning in SEPA. In Sunday's blog entry I promised I would do a better job with the camera on my next outing, so I made it a leisurely ride with time to take some pictures.

I still have plenty left in the tank (actually charged up from this morning's ride) so I think we'll make it a double header today - head out after work and experience today's sunset to complement this morning's sunrise.

There seems to be a nice symmetry to that.


"If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

LeMond May be a Roadie, But He Got It Right

We tore up Fair Hill today.

I mean like, we TORE IT UP.

We opened by ripping the Fox Pen and then decided to try Crackhead Bob backward (CHBob would be proud). The start was rough - long uphill grind for a group that was already gassed - but soon we were rewarded with the most awesome twisty never-ending punch-the-gas-and-rail-the-turn single track I have ever had the pleasure of riding (and that's saying something after last Thursday's White Clay adventure). Finally we wrapped with the root infested trail adjacent to CHB and then the long grind back out of the park.

Sorry the only picture is of four sweat soaked riders in parking lot after the ride, but this ride was all speed with no time pull out the camera. I'll do better next time.

Ride telemetry credit goes to Andy. It is hard to believe we only burned 3 Big Macs worth of calories on that ride (frankly I don't believe it).


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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thursday Burn at White Clay

Oh my God what an awesome ride we had at White Clay last night! We elected to start early since night riding is prohibited there (and apparently enforced) and we mountain bikers are all about "peace and love."

We ended our 2hr ride with a totally awesome 15-minute non-stop high-speed in-the-groove zen-like bob-and-weave descent on the sweetest stretch of single track I have ever had the pleasure of rolling on. We ended at dusk, drenched in sweat, high-5-ing in the parking lot.

THAT is the way to burn a Thursday evening.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sweet Jesus, Please Stop the Rain

I am thinking the unthinkable.

I am thinking of getting a road bike.

It has rained for 13 of the last 19 days. The last dry spell was 3 days and the trails had just begun to firm up to a soft tacky consistency when the rain returned. Today's forecast was partly cloudy (it would have been the 2nd dry day) but it is now 5:00 pm and it has been raining - steadily - since 8:00 this morning.

Would anyone blame me if I went to the dark side?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bloody Season Ending Trip to the ER, NOT

This morning's ride was well attended and included a lost soul in search of salvation after a few months of weight training. Apparently his regimen of daily 16oz Guinness curls was no substitute for turning the cranks on a mountain bike.

We also earned the dubious honor of resetting the crash counter. This one was about 6 inches away from a bloody season ending trip to the ER for one of our riders (not the Guiness drinking one). I know the dirty sheet rock screws jutting out of those slimy logs by the Creative Playthings crossing are galvanized (i.e., not rusty) but that would have been little consolation as they would have ripped through the hand attempting to break the fall into the manure tainted muckpit next to the easy to underestimate log crossing. Wow, that was close. To paraphrase a famous song lyric, that was a "big 6 inch."

The latter part of this week looks wet, so maybe one more sunrise ride before the weekend. Father's day is Sunday, I am thinking a road trip to MD or DE on Saturday.


Saturday, June 13, 2009


Seven months ago we got the terrible news that 10 year old Nicholas had been diagnosed with brain cancer. Dave (Nick's dad) is a good friend and neighbor and long-time member of our mo7s cycling family.

Well, I am THRILLED TO REPORT that Nick came home for good yesterday having completed surgery, radiation therapy, and four rounds of chemo.

In true Lyndenwood fashion he was greeted by MUCH fanfare - a parade down Kaiser drive which included a firetruck, a 15' Nick-A-Palooza banner, two marching bands (middle schoolers and high schoolers), a handful of tricked-out lawn tractors/ATVs/cars, unicycles, baton twirlers, and about 150 friends and well-wishers on foot - and ended with a nice welcome back ceremony, a kids dream-feast of all you can eat hot dogs, cookies, candy, and lemonade, followed by hours of games, laughter, and quality time with friends.

Oh, and the adults had a good time as well.

This neighborhood has thrown quite a few block parties over the last decade, but the unanimous feedback from the kids (probably 75 of them) was that this was the best Lyndenwood blockparty ever and we should not be surprised because it was fueled by love and admiration for a spirited and inspiring 10 year old friend and neighbor who is HOME FOR GOOD and looking forward to a summer full of family, friends, fun and the freedom to FOCUS ON BEING A 10 YEAR OLD AGAIN!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Google Saddles Up

Google Street View has gone off-road and is mapping bike trails, presumably with some sort of cool looking Google tricycle festooned with hi-res panoramic cameras and GPS. They started with a bike trail in Monterey. Can the Sole Trail be far behind?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The REAL Elite Riders

We got a big dose of elite cycling today, and the 25th Annual TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship wasn't bad either. Team Columbia Highroad won the men's race and Floyd Landis successfully tested out
his new hip and his clean living (actually I choose to believe he is an innocent victim of an event that ran off the tracks but I have no useful facts either way). Anyway the REAL elite performers were our kids - Sara, Becca, and Luke - who rode their mountain bikes 15 miles to Manayunk to watch the first few laps of this year's race (that's 30 miles round trip). And if that's not enough, we had to drag them out of bed, early on a Sunday morning, to pull this off (ever trying waking up a 12year old at 5:45am on a Sunday to go biking?)

  • Riding with the kids up the infamous Manayunk Wall before the race. That's a 17 degree grade, very wall-like.
  • Riding with the kids back down the wall, brakes fading, realizing that if your kid relaxes on the brakes they will accelerate from 5mph to about 60mph in like 2 seconds.
  • Men's breakaway. We were situated midway through the 1st lap at the turn into "the wall" and for the first lap were treated to a solo breakaway who had a solid 3 minute lead. Based on TV coverage this evening he subsequently blew up, but he looked damn good streaking thru Manayunk on lap #1.
  • The women spotted the men 10 minutes at the start and then passed them midway through the men's race. Granted they only had to do 50mi vs the men's 150, but 10 minutes? Good lesson for Sara and Becca, and for Luke too.
On the way home there was some talk of trying some "real" road riding (i.e., with a road bike). We'll see. Five years ago I told myself I had bought my last mountain bike, and 3 bikes later I am having difficulty justifying "just one more" but the Marshman Triathlon is this fall and...


"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a bicycle, must be in want of another one."
-- anonymous