Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks here on the trax. From DC to TN; a thorough Christmas Eve cross examination, mostly unscathed parental visit, rabid Tennessee squirrel after the pooch, a couple of clutch finds in the Knoxville area, dinner and drinks with a high school friend of Aimee's who also dates my good friend in DC, a tempered drive home, and a full on excorcism after a half day back at work. Yeah, there's probably a good story behind each of those but right now I just don't think I have it in me to go any further into much of it.

I will say that on Monday I got the double whammy (both end) stomach virus that is apparently going around these parts. Heaved so hard I caused internal bleeding, though luckily no neighbors were around to hear me through the walls or else they'd have called the police or something. Tuesday felt like one of the worst hang overs I've ever had and today I'm back at work feeling almost normal again. Christ that was a doozey.

One other notable, my most prized gift for Christmas! Aimee bought me a painting by my friend (and amazing) artist Dave of the Eastern Market Metro station. I'd seen this a while back and had nearly bought it but I've never been able to convince myself to buy much in the way of art, hence my empty walls. The painting is so great and vibrant and I'm SO happy to have it! A big thanks to Aimme and Dave for working that out and if you're in the market for some affordable artwork with some local flavor I HIGHLY recommend my friend Dave's work.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The holiday survival update

The crazy weather of DC followed Aimee and I South into the Smokey Mountains. Here in Knoxville, TN we hit somewhere below 10 degrees our first full day here and now two days later we're in the sixties. Fun stuff.

I've managed to survive so far through multiple assassination attempts from all over beginning day one by Casie. Just after arriving Sunday we began making Yule Logs at the tail end of the families party and Cass decided it was a good time to fertilize the foliage in the garage. Not too big a deal and amazingly easy to clean up in the end though somewhat of an embarrassment for me. Later in the evening Aimee's father took her out on a lead and ended up slicing open his hand (needing but not getting) stitches because she took off to greet another neighborhood dog. He walked in with blood dripping ll over the place. Nice. 

Everyone was very easy going about everything so in reality I never felt really uncomfortable but it sure will make for a good story someday. It starts with Aimee's ex-FBI father who does polygraph testing as a profession and hobby etc... Think Meet the Parents. I ALWAYS hated that movie.

So, since then I've held my own through countless hours of girl time and full on interrogations possibly even emerging unscathed. Cass survived an attack in a local park by a kamikaze squirrel and I successfully produced another slam dunk serving of Puffed Pancake (also known as a German pancake, dutch pancake, German baby or dutch baby). 

In other news I will always be willing to return here after discovering the local outdoor sporting goods store demo's out Gary Fishers for $30 a day including a 19 inch Gary Fisher Paragon. I ALMOST bought some new cycling gear so I could get out on one this week but held back on that. Next time, without a doubt.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No matter how you felt about it

I'll be wearing my Celtic Solstice 5 Miler Fleece with no worries. I did the race this morning on the usual chilly cloudy day up in Druid Hill Park and surprisingly felt great. I've been slacking quite a bit on the running front since the 1/2 IM so I didn't really know what to expect. During the race though I felt great.

Shirt designs and Snowflakes by reknowned Celtic artist Cari Buziak Image from Baltimore Running

Darren convinced me to go and after a bit of a locale mix up I drove up and got my bib and chip just in time to get in line and start the race. Up the hill I felt strong and was darting in and out of people after starting a bit further back then I likely should have. Actually the entire first mile I was doing a lot of waiting and working to get around folks so I'm thinking I could have cut at least 30 to 60 seconds off my time with a good starting position.

In the race though I found I was really enjoying myself on the hills (surprisingly since my usual lunch runs are perfectly flat) and working to pass people was a great motivation. Around the lake I found myself getting bored as I settled into a spot between other runners right around my same pace and running the perfectly flat and boring surface. I never realized before that I was motivated by changing terrain though it makes complete sense.

The pre-race Celtic Scottishman (???) and bag pipes part the crowd. Photo by Crista Gilbert taken from Baltimore Running

Down the final hill I picked up the cadence, did my usual "rolling" run down and then strode easily across the finish. On one hand I knew I didn't really give it everything I had considering how great I felt at the end, but on the other hand I felt I did a lot better then I expected before the race. No clue what my time it was but my comfort level during it was high.

In the end, it looks like I came it at 35:22, a 7:04 minute mile. In the peak of my tri season I was hitting around 6:40 minute miles for the 5 k's so I don't feel too bad about that at all. Also, at mile one I heard the gun time called out as 8:47 for the first mile so assuming I didn't start close to a 1:45 behind the gun I obviously picked up the pace through the remainder of the race from the first crowded mile.

Age Group

The Race Site: I HIGHLY recommend this race if you're never done it. Not just for great schwag but for a great atmosphere and a great event.

Ok, time to pack for the early morning departure tomorrow. Oh and wrap those presents too!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The pre-obligatory winter riding post

Everyone seems to be hitting the stride of the winter months and doling out their expert (and I use this term in all seriousness since any cyclist who hits the road or trail in the winter months and has found something that works is truly an expert on the matter) opinions on winter cycling gear. For some, its just something good to write a post about while for others they really believe they have something to share that someone reading might not know. I feel like I fall into both those categories with this one, but again personal preference in the end trumps any expert advice. I still want to try out some new gear before I get my post up so you can eagerly await that one sometime around the new year.

For now a round up of some good winter cycling posts I've noticed around lately:

The Unholy Rouleur and the trusty winter rig. I call mine my p.o.s. cross bike; Jim has a shot of a Cervelo "rig" complete with fenders on his blog...

Dirt Rag Blog has a great winter clothing series starting with the feet and moving up, highly recommended. Be sure to read all four of those, plus the latest on studded tires, a bit out of my league there but still interesting. has a new post up about some new gear he just picked up at REI. I might be taking his words with a grain of salt though since he's talking about not wanting to ride North of Atlanta, GA because it's too cold. - Same as above but worse. Instead of telling people what to wear, they just tell us all to come visit them in SoCal and ride in shorts and light sleeves. Why did my parents move away from there when I was 2???

GuitarTed just talks about his general lust for a fat tire bike. A few posts in there about it though I also recommend reading some of his other posts as well while you're there. GuitarTed is the author of a few blogs I've found lately and I highly recommend all of them.

GuitarTed is also a Blue Collar Mountain Biker and recommends riding in your, gasp... regular street clothes! Read the other posts here too for more on fat tire snow tracks, crusted bike maintenance and our all time favorite winter treat, death cookies.

I believe the general advice coming out of Wrench in the Gears, while not stated directly would be to just drink some good beer to stay warm. Mmmmmm beeeeeer...

Bicycles and icicles would likely agree though he may add to throw in a trash barrel of fire to keep the beer warm enough to drink... Ouch. On the other hand Tim seems to have some other odd ideas about riding lately as well so I'm not sure where to put this one. Tim is one of those hardcore riders I wish I could be.

Oh and one more thing worth checking out: Indy's up in Canada making me jealous of his ice beard.

I think that'll cover it for now. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A question of ethics

A question for the athletics version of "politically correct-ness", we'll call it "athletically correct".

I signed up to run the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore a few months ago with the intention of running it with a group of friends that have been running it for the past 3 or 4 years. Turns out none of them can make it due to holiday scheduling conflicts so essentially I'm on my own. Not a big deal, though the MORE holiday ride is the same day at Rosaryville. Hmmm dilemma, if they were still running with me it'd be a no brainer but now I'm leaning towards the ride.

Basically, I can run as much as I want in TN during the holiday "vacay" but the bike will not be coming with so that is not an option. Alright, so I'm mostly decided; there's just one little thing nagging at me, so here's my question:

If I skip the race to go for a ride (and then run whenever I can in TN, okay I know this doesn't have any true bearing on this question) can I still wear the awesome race shwag?

I could really use a nice fitted fleece jacket pull over since the only fleece I have is left over from when I was in middle school, (one very bright orange vest, think back street boys, and one nice green pullover, both very, very large. No layering here). On the other hand the race is awesome and I really enjoyed running it two years ago ( signed up last year too but ended up unable to run though that time I never got the jacket). I'm down with supporting Baltimore running and Falls Road Running Store.

So, can I still wear it if I don't run it? Do I have to only use it as an under layer? Can I just support the race even if I didn't run it this year?

Fairland "very close to my house" Park

I HATE that the weather is warm right now. Well, really I don't mind the warm, I just don't like the big shifts from cold to warm in a matter of a couple of days and back again. You say, yeah well that's mid-atlantic weather for ya, get used to it. I say I want to move west.

Loving this look, I gave him a hard time for it and had to get a picture of course. Yeah Brian! or should I say Lance!

I really had a great day today actually. I ran some errands this morning including picking up a new freewheel from another MORE member, getting some more Christmas presents at REI (and scoring a pair of Pearl Izumi Lobster Mitts which I've heard may actually keep my icy hands warm in winter riding), and picking up the race prime for next Saturday's Celtic Solstice 5 Miler.

Grabbing some air with a 40lb bike and the "stock" metal flats.

Afterwards Brian and I met up at Fairland Recreational Center for our first ever ride there with high hopes since it's only about 15 minutes from our respective homes. Brian's rode his 20 year old Raleigh that we "fixed up" yesterday and I rode my cross rig that I "fixed up" last week. Turns out Fairland is pretty sweet! A lot more trails then I expected with some pretty fun sections and some great little rolling areas. We managed to get a little bit lost even and ended up riding a paved trail for a little bit to get back to the cars.

The steed. Need I say more? Well, yes I do. This doesn't capture the true glory of the bike that is the rusted Alivio components, the 40lbs of bulk or the swaying of the tires "trued" by yours truly.

I was surprised by how many other bikers we saw out there including one of the single speed outlaw riders. We talked to another pair of riders from the area, one of which seemed to have a pretty varied interest including trials riding, mountain biking and road biking. While I don't think I'd want to compete in trials it seems like the skills it'd teach would be incredibly helpful for technical trail riding.

Just look at that smile! Somebody is hooked, and this wasn't even the fun part.

Anyway, both bikes held up fine, though I essentially rode single speed since the shifters just won't engage most of the time, plus I seem to have forgotten that shifting is an option. Brian was happy with his as well, though I think he's decided against keeping it sense it is, in reality a size too small and is somewhat uncomfortable for him. I think after two trail rides he's enjoyed himself enough to justify the investment in a better bike. Anyone know selling, or know someone who is selling a 17.5/Medium hardtail, maybe 29'er, or not, for in the $500-$800 range?

Couldn't let him have all the fun... though on an aluminum frame with an aluminum fork and and 28's probably running around 35 to 40 psi, abuse may be the better term for this one. I'll feel it tomorrow.

Karma building

Yesterday was the final Rosaryville State Park trail work event for the season. I managed to drag bro-in-law Brian out to help even though he's only been mountain biking once during the demo day at Rosaryville. A bit of pay it forward action never hurt anyone and you can always use good karma!

It's amazing how easy and simple little things can be that help the trails immensely. Paul, Eric, Tommy and the rest of the folks who've been busting their tails out at Rosaryville have done an amazing job on those trails. So much so that they were actually ride-able despite the loads of rain the previous two days. Well drained trails mean much faster drying and more riding time. Very cool.

Afterwards Brian and I came back to my place to put a new chain on his old Raleigh "mountain bike". I was amazed at how well the rusty grip shifters and derailleurs still worked with the new chain. The seat post was a bit seized but we let some lubricant seep in, took a few smacks with a hammer and got it moving again. Had to do some sanding and some serious greasing before putting it back in but everything seemed pretty good after that. Even managed to true the wheels to where they weren't rubbing 90% of the time on the brakes!

All great, except now Bri just wants to keep the raleigh instead of selling it for whatever he can get and using the $700 he saved up along with that for a newer, nicer (lighter) bike. A well I guess I can't live my "dreams" of newer and better through him all the time.

I've got to get better at remembering to pull out the camera so I can show off some pics. Maybe today I'll grab some shots of whatever it is I end up doing. For now I hope you enjoy Homer's (or homeslice as he is commonly reffered to as) morning face.

Friday, December 12, 2008

FYI: New GamJams Reviews today: Trainers & Rollers

Just a note that today's GamJams Review is up for Trainers and Rollers. I've never been able to convince myself to drop that much cash on a personal torture machine (especially when there is so much other, better bike stuff I "need") so I'm unable to offer an opinion. It appears to me that aside from the folks that return more to my feelings on trainers the general idea is Cyclops' trainers are pretty great.

Lots of good reviews this week so go check them out at

Let the music play

Tis the season and year for deals, frugality is maybe the word of the year?

In the spirit of saving money, I KNOW we all like no matter what the economy looks like (I don't think anyone who might read my blog would go for some shenanigan like this) I present to you my new favorite LEGAL music source!


Over the last three years probably 90% of my new music has come from itunes. It's easy, they have a great interface for finding new music and hearing it before you buy and, well I have an ipod so I naturally started using it. That said, 99% of my music is over 3 years old. I have such a hard time bringing myself to click buy and toss out another $10 here and $10 there for an album so I tend to not really update my music collection very often. Pandora, aside from being blocked at the office, became my new best friend.

A strong dollar makes for a pretty sweet deal on music. Last night I went on a spending spree and picked up about 7 or 8 new albums all for the cost of less then 2 at itunes. Greatest site ever. Individual songs run at about $0.15 per song. Enjoy!

Cross rig maintenance

Last night I got a bug to finally pull out the cross bike (a little late for the season I know) from my shed where it's sat for the last 10 months collecting spider webs. I built the bike last year, my first and essentially still my only build and due to some pretty old and poorly operating shifters and some crappy brakes I never really got it working as well as I would have liked. Since then I got a bit of a tutorial on derailleur adjustment from Scott and figured out a bit more about bike maintenance. Last night I think I managed to get the shifting set up about as well as the still rough shifters will allow.

I also managed to adjust the brakes a bit so they fit a bit more snug and don't stick on the rear brake, though it appears any serious stopping power will not come until I replace the cantis. Anyone have any experience with the Avid Shortey 6 canti brakes? I'm eyeing up a set of them or a set of Cane Creek SCX-5's on ebay, both for about $60.

I gave the bike a good wipe down, switched out the crappy fuji saddle that came off the Fuji Track, for the slightly better WTB saddle that came off the Jamis, peeled most of the stickers from the frame aside from the Redline downtube decals and lubed and tuned the remaineer of the bike. Looks pretty decent not and appeared to be working well on the stand. I may bring it out this weekend to Rosaryville for some pre-trail work riding if it gets cold enough and see how well things are really working on it.

In the longer term I'll probably move the singleator over to it, pick up some cheap brake hoods or something and get it set up as a bit of a minimalist single speed cross bike. Is there a slow guy, single speed catagory at cross races?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another part bites the dust

I don't know whether to laugh, cry or scream today. For the past month a lot of things just haven't been going my way it seems; from work, to home to cycling, little (and some fairly big) things just keep happening and adding up from minor annoyances to to long lasting headaches and worse.

Last night I rode the Rosaryville night ride with probably the largest group of riders I've ever done a trail ride with (aside from races). We broke into two groups quickly as the lead set a fairly blistering, but managable pace on the front. I hung on about 4th wheel until my singleator lossened and had to be retightened and tensioned. No big deal; I apologized but no one seemed to mind the quick break while I reset it. We quickly got going again, this time with a slightly higher pace as a new leader had taken over.

We rolled quickly along and at some point a new "leader" took over and then took off. Out of sight entirely with no desire to let up. I only wish I could ride that fast. I'm definitely finding myself limited here by my own abilities but unfortunately (or fortunately) it's not my fitness but my technical skill, or lack there of. I also REALLY need to get a better light as I'm still taping the light to my helmet and last night it shifted and was basically aimed straight down right in front of my wheel. I pushed the helmet back on my head (certainly not proper helmet usage) and threw my head back as far as I could when I need it but most of the time I tried to key off the guy in front of me and the light coming from behind.

So, as we're cruising through the final section of the trail; probably got about 500 yeards to go to the trail head and slip, I'm spinning out and going no where. Apparently I stripped the free wheel and I'm walking/coasting/flinstoning my way back to the parking lot with a broken bike... again.

The list goes on, dada dum da dum dumb.

I wish I'd held out and then picked up a GF Paragon this fall. My Trek 6500 ran perfectly for around 10 years, and it had Shimano Alivio or something like that and basic mid-entry level bontragor parts.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Happy birthday to Cass

I'm kicking myself a bit today for Cass. When I came home from work and let her out of her crate (yes as evidenced from the pic below, she still needs the crate though she has shown no aversion to it still) she was limping a bit on her front right paw. I'm assuming it is related to our ride on Sunday, though why it wasn't bothering her so much before last night is unclear.

After the ride Sunday she moved out of my truck and into the house slowly but I figured she was just tired. I didn't notice anything that night and she ran around fine the next morning as well. After a full night of laying in bed sleeping I'd think it would have had enough time to tighten up but she didn't react to it until Monday night. That leads me to think that maybe she did something to it during the day in the crate but I can't be sure. She does tend to throw herself around a bit when bored so it's certainly possible she naged it off something.

Today she is limping heavily and is obviously in a bit of pain. The lower joint looks a bit swollen so I'm thinking it's probably sprained somehow though I'm really hoping it's not broken. Now to figure out what to do for an injured pup's leg. Poor girl will probably go crazy if she can't play for any extended period of time.

To make it worse (maybe just for me, but still), today is her unofficial "official" birthday. ! year old and a messed up leg.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Cold, without any of the fun...

A quick glance at the weather this morning had me feeling good about the chances for tomorrow's ride. It's still 27 here in downtown DC and a high of only 34. Prime conditions for the trails to remain solidly frozen. A slightly more in depth glance and I'm feeling like the stars are aligned against the Tuesday ride for the time being.

Not only tomorrow but next Tuesday as well. Damn.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Follow up on the Jamis Dragon frame

This post still should be taken with a grain of salt since I've only been on the bike twice now since getting the replacement frame. I think I can say at least something about my initial impressions of the bike though. I'm trying to figure out frame geometry a bit and get an idea for what kind of set up in the end is going to be best for me so you'll have to bear with me through all that. Now, for my future reference for anyone else who cares.

One of the most notable things about the new set up is that the front end doesn't feel great. I told someone today I thought it felt twitchy but I'm not so sure that's what I actually meant. I'm not really sure I've ever really ridden a mountain bike that felt twitchy so I'll need to try that one of these days. The fork leaves a short wheelbase and so technically twitch-i-ness should be fairly minimal from what I've heard.

One thing I know leads me to my assessment of the front end is that my weight sits too much on the front wheel when I tend to prefer sitting back on the rear wheel and keeping the front light. As you can see in the banner picture the seat has some room to move back so before my next ride I'll be sure to do that. I actively tried to weight the rear end today though and still felt a bit uneasy with the front of the bike. In the long run when I get a suspension fork on the bike I'll likely look to get an offset fork similar to the Reba Race that came with the stock Dragon 29'er.

Hmm, I also told the guy today I thought the Dragon 29'er came with a Dart fork so I'm basically 0 for 2. Ah well.

You can't see it that well in the previous pictures but I finally went ahead and swapped out the stock WTB saddle and put on the one I bought nearly a year ago with the intention of using it on the mountain bike. The Specialized Avatar Gel saddle rode like a champ on it's inaugural trail ride. I was afraid the gel saddle might freeze up a bit and become very uncomfortable but it rode just as comfortably as the first time I ever rode on it. Nice.

That's all for now though I'm sure I'll at least comment after the adjustments to the saddle. Hopefully this week the Tuesday Rosaryville night ride will be a go.

Sunday morning frost edition

I may have found a new favorite riding condition. Got out to Rosaryville early today for a spin before the thaw set in and after getting used to the trails had a pretty fun ride. Actually, it was fun trail wise though fitness wise I was dying the entire way. Even the small climbs were killing me today.

Cass poses with the new Dragon 29'er Frame. Nice looking frame!

I thought I'd learned this lesson pretty convincingly before but apparently I needed a refresher on the basics! After going all day Saturday eating only a smallish hamburger (from this great little burger joint on PA Ave, SE) some fries and a beer for dinner and then skipping breakfast since there was nothing in the house to eat aside from the coffee I drank before leaving...

I'm not sure why, or even how I do it but some days I just don't feel the urge or need to eat. I generally make up for it the rest of the time; this afternoon it was a couple of burritos with a mixture I threw together and I'm not talking small burritos either. Yum!
Cass visits me on the top tube during a short break. All smiles all the time.

Anyway, the ride was nice anyway though I left out the inner loop. I still haven't ridden it in daytime but I figured today with all the ice and snow was not the time to try riding the logs for the first time. I also had Cass with me the entire loop which was fantastic. She did a great job and hung in tight until she started to get a bit tired in the last little bit. Even then she was still doing great, just not trying to run me down all the time.

A well deserved water break with some evidence of actual snow!

She likes to take off at first and lead for a bit until we get into a groove. Makes me a little nervous in case we come up on someone but after a couple of minutes she settles in on my rear wheel and just runs with me. The best part is how well she follows when we come on other trail users. For other bikers I generally make sure to stop and get her over on the woods side of my bike while I let others ride by. Today we caught a couple of trail runners who stepped over to let us pass, she ran up a bit but didn't bother them at all and just kept going before settling back in on my wheel. Also a couple of times when a guy pulled off coming towards us before I saw him we rode by with a thanks and she just stayed right on my wheel and didn't even flinch. Awesome.

Cass gets greedy with the water...

She was made to be a trail dog. And a happy trail dog at that!

Friday, December 05, 2008

GamJams Reviews: Winter Training Tires - Specialized Armadillo Tires is taking up a new product review feature involving the ambassadors program. Mike announced it a bit back to the ambassadors and today is the first installment. I’ll take part in as many of these as I can, starting with today’s “winter training tire” review. If you like this feature, please make sure to drop Mike at GJ a note to let him know so he can decide whether it is worthwhile and so he can pitch it out to prospective GJ sponsors as he builds the network. Also, make sure you drop by the rest of the participating ambassador sites to see what they may have to say.

Specialized Armadillos

First off I’ve got to admit, I do not have these tires on my Cannondale; actually I’ve still got the Michelin Race Pro 3’s from the season on there. I have however been running the All Condition Armadillos on my Fixed Gear for the past two plus years. In that time I’ve had 1 flat, after about 2 years on the tires, which was actually due to an unavoidable puncture at the hands of some of the neighborhood trouble makers. The rear wheel, which is covered with skid marks (fixed gear) is worn through to the inner red surface and should have blown a solid year ago, but it still rolls along no problem. To me that’s a sign of a truly tough tire (and a truly cheap rider).

While they may not be the lightest or cheapest tire out on the market, I’ll swear by the armadillos for general riding/training miles for their durability, smoothness and traction. Like I said before the armadillos are tough, lasting two + years on my fixed gear through all riding conditions, a few car on bike incidents and more then their fair share of skid stops. The durability alone proves these tires capabilities to me as high mileage training tires beyond any doubt.

As for the issue of comfort, I’d once again rate the armadillos as champs. Riding the fixed gear can be a bit hard on the body, obviously since coasting is not an option. While on a freewheel you can stand and coast over tough and bumpy road conditions on a fixed gear you still have to pedal. While standing is an option it’s not always as physically easy (especially at higher speeds/cadences) or easy to remember throughout a ride. The armadillos don’t punish you over rough terrain and in my experience the tougher tires leave open the option of relatively lower tire pressure for added comfort. On the other hand, when run at high pressure you can really get these tires moving quickly and comfortably in group, or traffic settings.

My fixed gear is essentially my beater bike so when the weather turns bad the fixed gear gets the call to duty. With armadillos on it I’ve never felt sketched out by wet and oily road conditions. It sticks to the roads in tight corners and I’ve never felt like I was going to wash out on them. I think traction like this in a sketchy crit race corner like the Reston Town Center Crit would be very, very comforting.

While I’ve never tried the Elite or All Condition Elite tires, I’ve got a strong feeling they’d be just as solid. And, while the price tag on these seems fairly high, I think the 2+ year use you can expect should alleviate some of the sticker shock associated with them. As specific winter training tires I think you could really stretch your dollar on these for a few years (assuming you don’t “NEED” new gear every year). They won’t leave you stranded with a flat 40 miles from civilization on your long winter training rides and you can feel good rounding sharp bends on them in your Saturday morning “training”/ass handing rides with local hammers. If I manage to get my hands on the Elite tires, I’ll let you know for sure if I think they’d make good race tires though, for now I’d go ahead and bet that unless you’re racing for Michelin or Continental, they’d do the trick just fine.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dogs will be dogs

Quick rant for the day.

I'm sick of hearing about people sounding off on dogs and dog owners! The greenbelt listserv is in the midst of a bitch session against people who let their dogs off leash while a few blogs I've read lately have had a few blasting words for people doing stupid things with their dogs, then to top it all off MORE has a new favorite thread for the day about dog shit on the W&OD trail.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning people behave this way, I'm just tired of hearing people bitch about it at the moment. Particularly on the listserv, there is a one sided "argument" going on of folks spouting off about dogs off leash; but no one is on there disagreeing with them. So essentially, they're just bitching to bitch; the old talking because you like the sound of your own voice bit. Annoying as sh*t if you ask me.

As an aside, I do let my dog off leash quite frequently in the "field" behind my house to play ball. If anyone comes around I either keep her focused on the ball (which is quite easy actually) or keep a hold on her until they pass. No harm (or bother) no foul.

On the other hand I've had a number of encounters with people who have very unfriendly and downright vicious dogs lately in Greenbelt. Running along the trail with Cass (attached to me on a 4 foot leash mind you) to the lake I was actually yelled at to stop by a guy who couldn't control his dog from attempting to attack us/her/whatever. Like father like dog...

I'm going to stop here because my main source of annoyance is the listserv, and I feel I've let enough of that steam out.

If you want some positive pup time check out what Jason Berry has coming up in the pipeline. They did a feature on Vick's dogs a while back when they first went to the Best Friends animal sanctuary. Very good stuff.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Drink up folks

I thought this was a gimmick. but apparently it's not. I'm now really questioning my ideas of attending these festivities.

In other news, I rode in (from Hains Point) with no gloves or hat this morning. Oh GOD I'm never doing that again. I spent the majority of the time with my hands in my jacket pockets and my chin stuffed in my down jacket as much as possible. For the price of this cold, we better be getting some snow this year.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Apparently LA is all over twitter these days. I don't have an account and to be honest I don't think I want one, though in reality this makes me want to get one just to follow what the guy says in getting ready.

This is a pretty cool thing to see no matter what, an entire team, one LA is riding on no less spending a day goofing around instead of hard training.

And one more oggling over Lance, I like the sound of this: Domestique

That would be very cool to see and would certainly explain Contador sticking around.

Post turkey mumble and jumble

Thanksgiving is always good. Missed out on the good old Pre-Thanksgiving Day high school reunion this year with the trip to the poconos but I'd say thats no skin off my nose. (sorry). A few bottles of wine, some ever energetic dogs, (aside from the illness cause from too much turkey consumption for one) some excellent fare and a whole lot of relaxation and I came back almost feeling a little refreshed! Granted that all changed this morning when the alarm went off but it was good while it lasted.

I did a lot of web surfing while there (wifi and lap tops are the best things ever) and spent some quality time on my new favorite website, Excellent reviews on all things 29'er including some very educational posts. I reviewed an entire series on 29'er frame geometry and while everything is not crystal clear to me now I definitely have a better understanding of the topic. I've also got a better basis to begin my upcoming research into a front shock for the geared build when I get around to it.

Based on some conversation on the MORE forums and some reviews on, I'm thinking I'll probably go with a set of Velocity Blunt wheels for now. Sound like a very solid set of wheels, especially for someone on a budget like me.

Unfortunately the rain kept me from riding once back yesterday but I'm pretty hopefull we'll be on for tomorrow night at Rosaryville. Hopefully the weather holds out for the weekend and I can manage to get out for a good longer ride on Saturday or Sunday with Aimee out of town.