You stare at that white line, rolling along on the 40:15 at a nice 18mph tempo. Watching the line, that damn white line. Mind wanders, looking for games to play. Ride the line, ride the line, stick to the line. Know when you're on it without looking, developing instinct. Feel the smoothness of it thru you tires, sense the rumble of the raw asphalt when you slide off by half an inch, working with that indexed 105 headset. Steady and smooth, just keep ticking it over. Passing the time until properly 'warmed up.'

Stare at the line and wonder, has all this riding been in vain? Is this fixed only road thang a good approach? Am I neglecting something, am I missing something. Have I unknowingly created a gaping chink in my armour? When the man says "GO!", will this have been enough?

Tick tick tick, FOCUS! Get back on the line. Race day fast approaches, on everybody's mind. Bender claimed last night that he's "not even thinking about it." Just by making that statement, he's lying, why else would he bring it up? I know he senses that shadowy monster in the corner, you can't ignore it. Filled with fear, respect and arrogance all at the same time. You know this race will kick your ass, you're expecting it to, anything less is unacceptable. You know you're contender, you've done the work, you've been riding under grey skies for what seems like forever. Can count on one hand the number of 'nice' days you've been out so far this year, one per month maybe? Weatherwise it's been a less than stellar spring, dues have been paid.

And the ribbon rolls on and on and on, tick tick tick. This is my backyard, riding thru here two, three, sometimes four days a week. You know these woods, these hills, these trails, those rocks.....all. those. god. damn. rocks.

THIS IS MY HOUSE, beeyatch!

You know you're gonna kick some ass, even if it is just your own. That's why you play this game, searching for that line you dare not cross, where is my limit? What's it gonna take for me to one day say, NO MORE!!!! You wonder how your programme is gonna stack up against those skinny fuckers that went to Spain, how it'll compare to a week of Reddish, to Keeferkeefer's dawn patrols or all those cellar rats that spent a winter's worth of 'quality time' on rollers like hamsters in a wheel. Where am I at? Have I done enough? Goals have been reached. Will this approach work?

tick tick tick......
Here's the climb, time to shut up now.


moronic asshole

Yeah, so, if you know me, you probably know that I'm one of those 'gawd damn liberal hippie dirtbag' types. Over at FirstDraft, I read this blurb from our asshole President a couple days ago:

"Diplomacy works when people sit down at the table and need something from you. That's how diplomacy works. It is, in my judgment, just talking for the sake of talking doesn't yield positive results often."

Let me emphasize something from that, cuz one phrase jumped out at me as an example of his ignorance/outlook, "when people sit down at the table and need something from you." So, I guess, by his definition of diplomacy, first we must have something that's somebody elses, like oil for instance. Then, and only then, can we invite them to come and discuss their need for that something which we now control. But, this only happens once we have something they need, first we must get ahold of it and be in control of it.

To me, this sounds a lot more like blackmail than it does diplomacy, par for the course with those criminals......



Finally feels like planets and other universal heavenly bodies are beginning to align. Or, at least the sun was shining over the wknd. Spectacular weather, good times with good friends, saw some faces that I haven't seen in years, good to know everybody is doing well. But what else would you expect?

Pulled the DBR out of the paddock last night for some tinkering. Haven't ridden her beyond my neighborhood since building up the blingy tubeless wheels a month or so ago. Went with a new tire on the rear, Nevegal 2.1, which is slightly bigger than expected, getting an oh so slight rub on the chainstay if I really stand on it. Finally got around to remedying that situation last night. Pulled the trusty Tioga DH off the front, swapped the Nevegal from rear to front without losing any Stan's goop and on the rear I mounted up a Bontrager ACX something or other that I got on trade during the shwag toss at Teaberry last fall. The Bontrager took a good shot of CO2 to seat up, but held air fine after that. Detuned the pressures from the install, then took her out on a spin around town for a couple quick laps around the Giant singletrack. Bike rode sweet, I quickly re adapted to the old position, but I'm not sure that I'm happy with the realllllly wide bar that's on there now, might need to trim that down a smidge. Tires rolled nice and hooked up well, fork settup felt slightly off, to the soft side. The only thing truly lacking was my rusty fixy log crossing skillz, I was less than shmmoooove on a couple occasions, might need to sneak her out into Michaux sometime later this week..... Tonight, heading to the Furnace for some Fender Trail-Grave Ridge lovin'. Gotta sneak it in before the weather turns to crap again:
Wednesday: Rain Hi 61°F
WednesdayNight: Rain Lo 49°F
Thursday: ShowersLikely Hi 61°F
ThursdayNight: RainLikely Lo 50°F
Friday: ShowersLikelyHi 62°F
FridayNight: ShowersLikelyLo 49°F


the weekend.

bunch of things happening.
bachelor dilly was a damn good time,
exploring the Harrisburg nightlife
from a few different angles.

Congrats to Jackie and Travis,
many happy days ahead for the
newlyweds I'm sure.
Easy spinning in the long
awaited warm sunshine, working on
tanlines all weekend long. Some
quality road fixy time. Mental recess from Michaux took me north
to Lykens. Good times, good riding.
No racing for me at Big Bear, too much to do, too close to home.
Did manage to get cross eyed
a few times, just to keeps it real.

thanks to everybody for all the Tech shout outs.


white line thinking

The time trial.
The race of truth.
The pain.
The agony.

Last night was my first real dig, first real dip into purposeful self destruction this season. I came away with mixed thoughts, very mixed, with a healthy sprinkling of doubt all around the edges, hiding the silver lining that I hope is there. Wasn't really focused, but it's only 'training' so that's no big deal, at this time. My mind was wandering....all over the place, looking for distractions.

Trying to be distracted from that gnawing ache, the ache that I'm trying to wrap my mind around. Hate to sound selfish about this, but I fear that my birthday, normally a lot of fun as an uninteresting anonymous date on the calender, isn't gonna be the same for a long while. That bullshit down at Tech weighs heavy. My thoughts keep coming back to it. I don't personally know anybody involved, and the folks I know that are still there are all good, thankfully. But, I had classes in Norris, had professors in that building, knew some chicks that lived in AJ back in the day, lived in Shanks Hall sophomore year, which, as I learned from the AP wire, is where the English Dept is based nowadays.

Blacksburg is a special place, I learned a lot there. A lot about life, about engineering stuff and really discovered exactly how much I love to ride bikes and be out in the mountains. I remember my first blue sky spring day visit to campus, then moving in freshman year the following August. Not knowing a soul at first, then stumbling, literally, onto EastCoasters while going to a frat party.....Got a cycling map and explored the area, my first 'real' bike rides, down along the New, then trying to reach Mtn Lake. Turned back by darkness and sketchily riding the shoulder of 460 back to town. Spent the winter running 7miles a day, from Thomas Hall out past the Duck Pond & golf course and the commuter lot, out around Lane Stadium, thru downtown, back up to the quad, and then do it again, two laps. Spring brought my first foray into mtn bike racing after a fateful call from Barry. "Hey, we did this race thing up at Coburn....."

Saw a flyer at the record shop shortly after that call and toed the line on April 2, 1989 at the Spring Craig County Escape, dnf'ed after snapping a derailleur and singlespeeded it out of the woods, first race, first singlespeed experience, hmmmm. Then came the Rowdy Dawgs, won a keg of beer at one of 'em, bestest prize evah! Hooking up with those fools Chris & Thomas for the first time.....

Getting into road racing with the Tech team, my first real bonk & the nice woman out in the valley that let me use the phone and made me a sandwich as I waited for my roommate to pick me up. First case of training crit road rash, then my first A race at Clemson and seeing some dude slide on the asphalt after clipping a pedal in a corner at 30ish. The team time trial practices, the Tuesday/Thursday training races, the bar room proclamations over pitchers of Natty Light in the smoke filled Cellar, "I'm breaking away on lap 2 tomorrow!" And then following thru the next morning to lap the field in a two man break, only to screw the pooch in the sprint, '92 ACCCC Crit championship, runner up behind a some douche from UVA, that one still smarts a bit. Taking out frustration that afternoon in the Cat 4 race and soloing that bitch to the line. Collegiate Nationals in Rome, GA. Broken spoke in the road race, couldn't chase back on, TTT we were working with our alternate rider since we lost Bill to a broken collarbone two weeks prior, dropped Greg in the first couple miles, worked it four strong for a respectable placing, then I took a beautiful solo attack/flyer in the Crit, got 30-45ish second gap over a couple laps, two dudes bridged, we held it for a handful more laps, then the big hitters, UC-Davis & Colorado decided to real us in as crunch time loomed. I heard my name and school over the loudspeaker, I saw Sonia from Duke chearing me on, she was soooo hawt, a much better day then expected. Then we loaded three of us plus gear back into the Escort GT and drove on home to Blacksburg.

I haven't been back much since then, couple trips that summer to clean out the apt and an occasional bike trip to the neighborhood to race at Dragons Back or the Escape for old times sake. I guess what upsets me the most, is that the community will never be the same. The place I grew up in and learned so much from is forever changed, and not in a good way. I know the town and school will heal, but it has forever lost that wide eyed innocence, which can probably never be restored. There'll always be that grey cloud footnote. I'm sorry, that for so many, their only knowledge of Blacksburg and Tech will be because of this tragedy. I'm sorry that from here on out, nobody will ever again be able to have the same peaceful experience that I and sooooo many others enjoyed. Beyond the immediate loss of lives that I have no real connection to, I'm sorry that the community at large has lost something that's truly irreplaceable, and that sucks.

How'd the time trial go? It hurt, I always forget all the neat ways that your body can transmit pain. I can apparantly only sustain about 22mph with the 40:15, kinda dissappointing, but now is a good time to know, just don't yet have the legs to tick it over much quicker. 22mph is about a 105 cadence, I'd like to get my ability up to the 120ish cadence, get me up around 24ish sustainable on the false flats downs. Just couldn't accelerate past/thru that 105 cadence, didn't feel enough 'load' against the pedals. It's new to me, some of these sensations. The return leg was much nicer, the false flats were working against me, which loaded the pedals just right so I could run the high heart rate against some resistance. Punched the climbs super hard, dancing on the pedals, but would have to feather the brake on the downsides to recover. Going from max climbing to max spinning hurts like hell. I did see 38mph for a moment, thought my legs were gonna pop out of my hip sockets, 180+ cadence. The fixy was at a distinct disadvantage, braking on the downhills, limited top end, rolling along sections where I'd normally see 28+mph on the big ring, barely able to get up to 23......finish time was 28:54, not even 21mph avg.

Don't know if I'm disappointed in my ride, liked the HR numbers I saw, just didn't expect the fixy to be quite the handicap that it was in the black & white chronograph world. Well....at least, I hope it was the fixy that was the handicap, I didn't expect to be that far off the back. So, tonight, we climb, and go looking for some leg speed on the downhill, gotta train the up and the down on the fixed wheel beast.

Thanks for reading my ramblings, if you have.




So, today is my 37th birthday. Tonight, I'm resting and finishing off my recovery, tomorrow I celebrate today and other insignificant holidays. For all that I say that I don't 'train,' I guess I do to a certain extent. I mean, I know what I need to do to make sure that I'll be able to finish what I set out to do in a few months time, ya know? I've been into this whole bike racin' game for over half my life now, first mtn bike race was the first wknd of April back in 1989. I was at Tech, and, and god damn doesn't that fucking suck more than anything could possibly fucking suck! What happened down there today is fucking insane,

what the fuck is wrong with people today?

I went to school there for four incredible years, and just can't imagine.
what tragedy, may all the innocent folk RIP...... that's fucked up shit.


fuck it, how can a fucking stupid bike race story and the ramblings of some 37yr guy compare, or even, really matter at all, in this big picture?




That was neat. Went to 'the mall' last night, Harrisburg East to be exact, After Hours Tux was the goal. First time I've set foot inside a mall in a long, long, longlonglong time, small bit of culture shock. Wander around looking for the directory map thingy, then find the stairs and up to the second floor. Prom is in season, so the place was packed, at least as packed as a 10' square retail space can be. Get my form, fill out the info, slip on the generic fitting pants and shoe, then wait, and wait, and let my sinus infused headache grow. This fella comes in right behind me, to pick up his tux. They shuffle a bunch of papers, he's says he called and was told it was ready yesterday. Uh oh, there's an issue, his tux isn't there. So, he occupies my 'associate' for a good bit of time while they try to figure out where his tux is. His tux is not in the building. Every other tux for the wedding party is there, but not his. They check the computer, they look at the forms, shuffle more papers, you know the drill......dude is getting pissed.

Turns out, they claim, that payment was never rec'd, so the tux was never 'ordered.' They got him all measured up, have his ID security stuff on file, even have his credit card info. But never swiped the card for whatever reason, so they claim no payment, no tux. Sounds simple right? Here's my question....if you gave them your card info, and they took it all down, then why the hell didn't they just swipe the card then and there? Somebody dropped the ball, one way or the other. They go back and forth about why didn't anyone call? We did call, here's the records of our calls... back n forth, back n forth. They explain that this really isn't a problem, just give us the card or whatever again for payment, and we'll have your tux here tomorrow, since we already have all the measurements. Dude is obviously not calming down, not loud pissed, but smoldering pissed. We've all been there, you're in public and you really wanna tear these incompetant boobs a new one, but you can't, because you're above all that.

Then I hear him say: Well, I'll go get the receipts from my fiance, she's over at another store.

Yeah, this dude was the groom, his wedding is like tomorrow or something, and no tux for him. Putting together a wedding must be a lot of fun, I left the building feeling quite confident that this will all go smoothly.....I'll be sure to have my receipts with me.

Latest bike news, the 11ish hours in the 40ish degree weather beat me down enough to open the door for a bit of a seasonal change cold infection, just like every other bloggity blog cyclist I follow. This planned 'off week' timed out nicely for the needed recovery. A nice 2 hour fixy spin w/ Bucky on Tuesday blew some snot outta my head and all but finished off my 'base work.' Clicked the Cateye at the end of the ride, and I'm sitting 3.5 miles short of my 1000 goal. So, we'll put that to bed tonight, then I get to start purposeful intensity, where I might actually seek out the pain, instead of just letting it come to me as the terrain dictates. What does that mean? Time to climb baby, it's time to climb. First 'race' effort is on the horizon, 10mile o&b club TT on the road next Weds. Wonder how fast I'll be able to spin that 40:15, those start and finish kickers should be fun.....bring it.



yeah, I'm lazy, just gonna cut n paste the same day email recap.....
but will add in the crappy cell phone pics.

the meat:
From Mt Holly, @ Marsh Run Trailhead parking, MArsh Run to Twirlytop to the top of the ridge, Piney Mtn road to the top of Bendersville Lot, Fender Trail to My Favorite then back onto Piney Mtn Ridge. Ridge top road to Shipp Rd to Jake's parents for coffee
and muffins. fucking spectacular, Steve and Kay ROCK!
why'd Jake turn out so odd?????? Buck, Bender, Pedro, Carpong & I are joined by Churtle, Sue George and Travis (DANNY!). From Jake's @ 3+hrs in, to Abby Trail to Long Pine Res.
Carp fixes his first flat.

Pete has snacks. Girls in da wood.

Then out Loon-Beaver-Yellow Gate up to the powerline and across and down Yellow Hill into Caledonia. Carpong fixes another flat, Bontrager tires ROCK!

Bender before realizing his tire is going flat, Carp out with the pump.Hey ladies! Do a little dance.

Another stoopid notch in the belt, have managed to ride from one end of the map to the other, time to turn back, 5:40 elapsed. Climb the blue blaze back up to the powerline then stick/sting/whateverthefuck and over and up to Lollipop to purple Johnny's new trail (the Enchanted ForestTrail per group consensus cuz it's all Hanzel and Grettle and shit, nice work Johnny!)

Bender looking smoove.Carp fixes his third flat.Listen, I'm serious.This is good shit.

Eventually to Ridge Rd, then about 25-30 minutes spin from south of Big Flat. Travis bails at Big Flat, baby classes for the papa to be, then we continue out to Tumbling Run to Lewis Rocks and out across all of Rattlesnake eventually to Michaux Rd. Bail on doing any Community Service and spin to the Furnace then rail trail between the lakes before climbing Cold Spring.

It's that time of day.

On up to Hammonds Rock before descending down Vista Trail.

Looking towards home.

Finish with all of Flat Trail over into Mtn Creek campground before finishing the stem of our 'lollipop' by backtracking only thru Marsh Run to the cars. Beer tax was two per person, but Bender only carried one. Being only his third ride for the year we let him slide. He looked hollow
at times, literally, and then pulled off the grilled chicken sainthood manuever to crush all comers. Rock Star pretenders beware! Bender's got game. Carpong wins the 'furtherist commute' award, pulling off the long bookended commute to join our folly.

Ride Stats: 11:05 elapsed, 7:20am-6:25 in the pm
8:45 ride time, avg speed 7+ish. 65- ish Meeshoslow miles.

100 miles in Michaux, you gotts to be fuckin' kidding.
'Racing' 50 should be able to, no, it will, break any man.
you anin't seen nothing yet...

100..........Anyone game?
today's loop plus an excursion into the Narrow's......
I can figure it out, early Juneish, screw the HooHaa.
This is grown man type shit.
I'm a cycling obssesed EngineEEeeeeR!!!!

It'll be sick.

thanks to everybody for sharing the experience.

I need a shower, desperately.




Only 5.44% to go. Then I've reached one of those first 'goal' type thangs for the year. And then what? Then the fun begins again, I guess. This wknd is one of tests, a biiiig test, and then a shorter, much more painful test. But these aren't really tests that go on the permanent record, more of a standardized, this won't be graded type testing. I always like how the season progresses. Slog away for a couple of dark cold and dreary months, trying to find fitness that was abandoned when the leaves dropped back in November. Then finding a sliver of it, usually sometime in March. You get out, have that one inspired, finally it's warm and sunshiney ride where you can actually turn the pedals with conviction. You can actually feel a bit of top end, tap into a bit of slumbering power, the beast is awakening. You feel like you broke thru that winter barrier, you feel stronger and something clicks inside that says,

Now we've got some work to do.

Reach that first plateau, take a deep breath, then immediately begin building upon it, and building and stacking and piling on and on and on. Until the fatigue catches up to you, and then it build and builds and builds, and your legs feel more and more sluggish as the weeks come and go. But the numbers still look good, your pace is still there, not yet so beat down that you can't keep adding on, but getting beat down none the less. I'm seeing a faint light down that tunnel, that should become a much more distinct gateway over the next week or so. Just gotta keep reaching for it, then I'll put my feet up and let it all soak in and take another deep breath, before beginning again towards that first graded exam. Midterms are on the horizon.

Original plan last night was a quick scout of the local TT course. I already know the road plenty well, thought I'd swing some race pace tempo on it last night. Then I left the house and headed in the opposite direction out of town, that original plan felt toooo much like 'training'. Worked on fixy skills instead, like downhill intervals, damn are they sketchy. Trying to develop my 'spin' and some semblence of ability to sustain it. So far, my max speed to date with the 40:15 is 37.5mph. Have seen a it few times now, first time was really blurry and kinda scarey, previous fastest was only 35. Then I wound it up once during the Gettysburg tour and hit it again last night. 37.5mph works out to a cadence of 180rpm, which is what I'll assume is my physical limit right now. Three pedal strokes a second.....tickticktick......say it really fast....tickticktick..... Wonder how quickly those track guys can turn 'em over? If I'm gonna hang with 'le peleton this summer, I have lots more work to do.

Some days, I think this whole "I'm gonna ride the Tour 100% fixed" is the dumbest fucking thing I've ever set out to do on a bicycle.



if you're thinkin' that a 3hr ride is enough
to get you ready for 50 miles in Michaux,
then you;r ein for a rude awakineen.


Good morning!
I'm a dorky blogging cyclist. Well, that was big bite to chew. dawn patrol, 6:20 departure. Rolling towards Mt Holly.

bailed on hooking up the group thang 8:30ish w/
another hour of riding between me and the 9am meet up spot.
still smilin' for now, April fool.

jumped onto brush trail, then logged my community service.

got flow?up Woodrow and Jakes to the rainy ridgeline love.
Rampage loved me softly across and down Rattlesnake.
(gratuitous loam pic)

bumped into Jes & Heath out charting course, then the old school brothers behind the lakes.

cherry on top was climbing Cold Spring
to Vista then Flat Trail and home in 8.5 hours. 57ish miles, 7ish hours of 'ride time'one flat tire, 4 gels and 2 Luna bars, one big bottle of G'rade
and just enough water topped with a Hop Slam.

Challenged myself and found some answers to a question or two.The Dos is a very comfortable sled for a full day's effort, the Rampage hooks up to whatever you ask it to, but does fell sluggish on the road/hardpack, give a little, get a little, just another part of the equation. Sounds like the 'Cakes had a good ride, turns out I coulda hooked up afterall, but then I'd only now be getting home.......peace.

Remember kids, Safety First!