Saturday, September 30, 2006

Born Again

You may remember this post from a couple months back. Well, the beast is done. Originally we thought it would make a good fixie but in the end, the parts we had on hand dictated the final result......a single speed. The goods? Shimano LX hubs, Sun Big Fat Mamoth rims, Race Face Cranks, Salsa Chainring, Gusset SS Spacer and Oury grips round out the build kit. Due to the attention this bike has attracted in the shop over the past couple of months we have some fun plans for it. Stay tuned... Here is a pic to hold you over.

Today I Rode like a Girl

Today I went on a Ride Like a Girl group ride at Seneca Greenway with a bunch of really cool ladies! Honestly, this was my first time mountain bike riding with the female gender and it was pretty nice. I found myself chatting with the others about the different breeds of dogs and sharing silly husband stories which is a far cry from my usually mountain ride conversation. Actually, I don't do much conversing when I am out the guys on account of my inability to breath.

While on our ride it began to rain and kept raining until we were running through mud puddles and sliding on slippery roots and wet leaves. It reminded me of favorite high school cross country and track races when we got to run in the rain. There's nothing like clawing your way up a muddy hill as you pass other drenched runners who couldn't handle a few rain drops.

Anyway, we eventually turned around and headed back as not to ruin the beautiful trails or risk any rain-related crashes.

Afterwards, we hung out in the parking lot and I got to meet a lot more interesting people. Finally, we went to a Caribbean & Latin Cuisine Cafe - a new one for me.

As one of the riders said on the last leg of the ride..."What a great way to start a day." I agree :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Frederick Pedalers Wednesday Ride

Yesterday I went over to Glade Valley Elementary school to take part in the Frederick Pedalers 6:15 p.m. Wednesday Ride. I had heard this is a great group ride with friendly riders and a pace that an exercise-deprived bike shop owner like me could handle. This all turned out to be true. The moment I stepped out of the car I was greeted by several fellow cyclists.

The weather was a little cool but perfect once we started riding. We did a comfortably paced 15 mile ride down Devilbliss Bridge Road and through the Utica Covered Bridge. I really enjoyed the sense of camaraderie and fellowship of the group. I would recommend this ride to anyone especially folks who are just getting into the sport. You will not ride alone or be left behind. During the ride I was able to chat with some new and some familiar faces. I only wish we could have stayed out longer but Fall seems to be approaching and the sun went down early.

It was a very pleasant evening.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Brothers, Bikes and Ghetto Mountain Bike Trails

This weekend I returned to the old rock quarry where I learned the more basic mountain bike skills. The terrain is less than impressive. In place of beautiful foliage and examples of natural wonder were examples of Man’s stupidity: abandoned cars, old appliances, and plenty of empty cans of Bush beer. But in spite of all this the ride was special. I was introducing my younger brother, age fourteen, to mountain biking. It was a good ride. I got to relive my childhood and expose my brother to one of my favorite activities. Debating whether or not I can complete one of the short steep trails at the quarry is one of my favorite memories. My hope is it will become one that I can share with my little bro.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Civil War Century 9/8/2006

A handful of us TBE guys woke up at the crack of dawn this past Saturday and headed for the foggy mist lurking at the base of the Catoctins. So did appoximately 1,700 other riders who attended the Civil War Century. The Baltimore Bicycle Club does a great job putting this event together. Very organized start, well marked route and aid stations with all the right fixins. If you didn't get a chance to attend this year, put it on your list for next year. Get ready for some climbing, just under 8,000 feet according to the Garmin Edge 305 bike computer/gps.

The video above: Kevin, and Mehdi giving a little color commentary at the first aid station/rest stop.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nature's Roller Coaster

Schaeffer Farm, located about 25 minutes south of Frederick in Gaithersburg Maryland is a great place to ride for beginners and experts alike. The Frederick area has countless miles of trails but most are rocky and have a great deal of climbing. These features, while attractive to more experienced riders can be discouraging to those just beginning. We often recommend a visit to Schaeffer Farm to those just getting into mountain biking or to anyone who is looking for a good time.

Riding Schaeffer Farm is as easy, or as hard as you want it to be and because of this you'll see everyone from mountain bike racers to kids on the trails. The rolling terrain and great trail layout are reminiscent of riding a roller coaster. Expect to find a little bit of everything, roots, small rocks, smooth single track, log stacks, log stunts and a couple of small climbs that will get your blood pumping. Another great thing about Schaeffer is that almost all of the log stacks are optional, you can try to go over them if you like, or, you can just ride around them. It's a great place to develop and practice bike handling skills.

Schaeffer Farm is a heavily used trail system and it is very sensitive to rain and freeze/thaw cycles in the winter. After periods of heavy rain the trail system may be closed and during the winter it is often closed due to soft soil conditions. Before riding Schaeffer please call the trail closure information line 301-924-1998. Additional information including directions can be found here.

The video above is from a number of weeks back when a few of us got together for a ride. Not the best footage but it'll give you an idea of the terrain.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Flat Tire Repair

Yesterday I taught a class at Walkersville Library on flat tire repair. I enjoy doing volunteer work like this. There was a good showing and everyone seemed to enjoy the session. I found one young man particularly fun to instruct. Midway though the class he interrupted to lecture me on the perils of purchasing a bike from Wal-Mart. He said the bike he purchased had numerous issues including a pedal that fell off! It is always nice to meet a young person who understands the value of a quality bicycle :)