Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Breakfast Ride - 9 Riders

I love the morning rides. Commuting so much lately I haven't done many 5:45 rides the last two months, but it was good to see the group again this morning. I did leave the house a few minutes later than I planned and wasn't sure I could make the RB by 5:45 sharp. As I was waiting at the light to cross Rt. 2 Chris rode up beside me. He made a comment that maybe since I was there we weren't really late. I assured him we were! I figured we had about an 18 min ride at 15 mph to get to the RB and we had exactly 18 min to make it.

GREEN! We started hammering away. After about a mile I became more confident we'd make it. Then a I catch a light in my rear view mirror. We're doing 19 mph and this light is getting brighter! At that hour only Dangerous Dan Oldale could be riding us down from that direction. Sure enough it was him. He caught us just north of Robinson Road and the three of us were actually the first to the RB about 5:42.

We met Clint, Bryan, AJ and Earl at the bridge. We picked up Chip and Clif as we started south between RB and the Ranger Station. A great morning group. It was very good to see Chip, Clif and Clint after their recent success at the Fleche last weekend. Chip's ride report is well worth your time, a truly epic event.

Earl did his civic duty to clean tacks and nails from the trail near Robinson Rd as we headed South. With so many hands the resulting flat was repaired quickly and we were off again. Half the group opted not to continue to Annapolis and instead move on with the rest of their day. Clint, Earl, Bryan and I went on to Chick n Ruth's and met my friend Doug Baker there for a nice breakfast. By 8 I was back home and showering.

Good luck to Dan O on his 400K brevet starting tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to that ride report. Dan is a man on a mission. You can see his 300k ride report here from a few weeks ago.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance
I've boxed myself in with my schedule this weekend and will miss the Wounded Warrior rides. I knew these were coming for over a month and still didn't get it right on my calendar. No one to blame but me. These men and women have put themselves in harms way for us. I should have done a better job to come out and say thank you. You can read about the ride AND make a donation here. I did make a donation but really wish I could join the rides as well.

But to wrap this report on a high note, my monthly total for April of 775 miles is a personal one month record.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ride Home from Work

I met Chris at the BWI train station for the ride home. Got home, no cars. So I dropped the computer bag and rode to the elementary school to meet Zach for Cub Scouts. Beautiful afternoon for biking.

Ride to Work

I got a late start to the ride in this morning. I just couldn't get my lazy rear out of bed at 5:00 when the alarm first went off. I almost bagged it and drove in. But the family had already allocated the vehicles for the day assuming I was riding to work so I stuck to the plan and pedaled in. I'm glad I did. I finally got in the saddle about 6:30 and once I did, the ride was delightful. Cool, clear and not much wind.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Night Racing - Opening Day 2010

The crew of Diamond In The Rough with Capt Jim Mumper at the helm had a great first outing for the year. Diamond is a Cal 36, a sturdy vessel well suited to the blustery conditions we encountered Wednesday evening. This year the total entries are down slightly and to even the classes out a bit we went from being the highest rated boat in PHRF 2 to the one of the lowest rated boats in PHRF 3. This means we owe time to most of our competition under the handicapping rules used for boats sailing against one another that are not identical in design. This change from last year means we're not as familiar with our competition and we may have to adjust some strategy.

For this race we had a pretty strong breeze, about 20 kts gusting to 25 or more from the north - north west. The race committee set a very short course for us. Being as it was the first race of the season for many of the competitors and we're grouped with mostly smaller boats, this was prudent. Our start would take us downwind towards the mouth of the Severn River, then turn around the mark and come back up wind to channel marker R8, hang a left and continue up wind towards the finish just before the draw bridge over Spa Creek. Here's a rough map of the course.

View WNR Fleet 3 course on 4/28/2010 in a larger map

Capt Jim Mumper called for a conservative plan. We set the number 2 or medium sized, head sail and chose not to set a spinnaker for the short downwind leg. This would cost us a little bit of speed on that leg, but give us very good control of the boat and make for an easy turn at the first mark before coming back up wind. Several boats who opted for the spinnakers had a tough time controlling them which is much slower and worse for competition than not setting them at all. However, one crew did set their spinnaker and made the most of it. Spiff, a little J-24 in our class handled their spin very well, and beat us as a result.

We rounded the first mark behind Spiff but slightly ahead of the rest of our class. Once we turned back upwind our size, and choice of a conservative sail selection paid off very well. We marched back up wind and opened a sizable lead over most of our class, except Spiff, who kept a couple of paces ahead of us the whole evening.

The last leg from R8 to the finish was uneventful. We had to make a couple of tacks to clear the Eastport Yacht club at the mouth of Spa Creek and then pointed on Starboard Tack all the way to the finish.

As we were tying up at the dock we saw the Annapolis Fire Dept helping a competitor with an obviously broken leg out of an inflatable rib boat. It wasn't clear exactly what happened and the poor fellow wasn't going to linger at the dock to tell us about it. One person mentioned pinning it between the boat and a turning mark, that would likely mean they hit a government navigation buoy, which are very heavy. The inflatable marks used by race committee for most of the course are very light and would just bounce off the hull. Regardless of the cause, he appeared to be in good hands as AFD got him splinted and ready for a ride to the hospital. Here's wishing him a speedy recovery.

Once tied up at the dock we enjoyed our usual post race happy hour aboard the boat and sampled the buffet at Annapolis Yacht Club. Finally the results were up on the bulletin board... we took 2nd! A great start to the season.

Capt Jim at the helm. Click the photo to see the entire slide show.
View Slideshow | See Individual Photos

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fishing On My Birthday!


I played hooky from work today and went fishing. The boat is the Mackenna Jane II out of Queenstown, run by Capt. Jerry Judge. Jerry is a close friend of Rod Luck and we always have a great time on his boat. He's a knowledgeable fisherman, runs a well prepared boat, and is a great host.

The crew included Jerry Judge - the captain and boat owner, Rod Luck, Kent Wasserman - Rod's neighbor, John - who works with Rod, John's bass fishing partner Mike, and Me. Beau the boat dog was supervising the whole time. He's a 21 week old yellow lab that Jerry is training as a hunting dog. He was a lot of fun.

We landed 3 big rock all 34 inches plus and released a 4th that was just about an inch shy of the 28 inch minimum. We also netted a case of beer dropped by another boat to rescue us from our own poor planning!!

The weather started wet and gray when left the pier about 6 am. But by 8 the sun was out and the day just kept getting better. When I got home I had time for a nap. Then I enjoyed grilled rock fish and caramel birthday cake for dinner with my family.

It was a great day!

This one did NOT get away!

View Slideshow | Download Individual Pictures

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tour de Carroll

I rode the Tour de Carroll 2010, a 100K charity event in Westminster, MD. I was riding with David Mumford, Keith Ward, Lisa Sears and Dave Waas. Keith, David M and I have known each other since our teens when we all went to high school and the Boy Scouts together. Lisa is a friend of Keith and his wife. Dave W is my uncle on Dad's side of the family.

We all arrived at the Dutterer Family Park early for check in and to get ourselves set, and rolled out about 7:40 just ahead of the "official" start at 8:00 am. The weather at the start was wonderful, sunny, cool in the 50's and little or no breeze. The forecast called for showers starting around noon so we set out hopping to enjoy the morning and finish before any weather moved in.

The first 20 miles to the food and rest stop at Stone Rd and Mayberry Rd were great. Clear blue skies through the rural farms of Carroll County. Plenty of rolling hills to get the heart rate up a little bit and make it a work out. At the rest stop we lingered a little enjoying the munchies and chatting with other riders.

After we got moving again the group got a little spread out. Dave, Dave and I paused when the route rejoined Stone Rd near mile 30 to re-group. I got the camera out to catch a couple of riding shots as Keith and Lisa went by. 2 min... 5 min... uh oh no Keith and Lisa. Of course Murphy's Law can't be broken. As soon as we lost sight of each other, Keith had a flat. After a little back tracking we found them. Then we busted the presta valve off of the first tube before getting it right. That was our only hiccup for the day.

By the second control at mile 46 in Taneytown we could see the clouds moving in from the West. So we kept that stop a little shorter and agreed that we would skip the last stop at mile 56 since it was only 6.5 miles short of the finish anyway. We did get one or two very light showers before we finished, but nothing to fret over. At the finish the ride organizers had lunch and deserts ready, and the park included a nice pavilion for riders to swap the usual post ride stories and exaggerations. Another great outing on the bike.

A final note about the pictures. My son Erik (age 6) made Flat Stanley with his first grade class. The kids then send Stanley out on some sort of adventure to have his picture taken along the way. Stanley's have been know to travel all over the globe by mail or stowed away in luggage. On this ride, Stanley tagged along with me, riding patiently in my cue sheet folder between photo ops. Some how Dave W ducked aside every time the camera came out and never made any of the shots. But he really was there.

At the finish!
View Slideshow | Access photos from Tour de Carroll 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ride Home fr Work

Clear, cool, light winds... A delightful ride home. Now the bike is checked in at BD Arnold to have the rear wheel set true. I hope they can salvage it without a new rim. No Friday ride and the weather forecast for tomorrow looks great. Harrumph! Hoping for the best of luck to Chris riding a 200K perm tomorrow and to Team Italian Ice riding in the Fleche on Saturday.


Thick fog at sunrise! The world is kind of peaceful when it's so still, even as the traffic and rush hour got going, the still air in a dense fog is pretty cool. At the Dorsey Rd intersection where the connector trail joins the BWI loop, the man in a BGE truck one lane over saw me trying to shake the moisture off of my glasses. He rolled down his window and offered me a paper towel. Very nice of him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Home From Work

A late start after attending to some pesky matters at work, but I had a zippy ride home. Passed Dangerous Dan northbound on the trail as I was headed south between the RB and the Ranger Station. We were both hammering pretty good and probably passed at
a relative speed close to 40 mph. Looking forward to commuting again tomorrow even if the weather isn't going to be great.

Ride to Work

Met Chris for the ride in to work. A nice, cool morning. The pollen count feels a little lower. Not sure if it really is lower or if the drugs are just working better to fight off my reactions to it. I'll be glad when pollen season is over. I think the day off yesterday helped too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Glad I Rode, but...

The highlight of the day was weighing in. Down 4 lbs!! But after inspecting the rear wheel I found that yesterday's pothole has left a dimple in the rear rim and knocked out of true. It's not clear to me if getting it trued up at BD Arnold will be enough or if it may have to be replaced. Obviously I'm able to ride, most of yesterday and all of today's ride, almost 60 miles since it occurred. But I can feel a slight, regular bump that suggests it's not just out of true but also out of round. Di$appointing.

I set out to ride around the river and immediately could feel the effects of yesterday's speedy pace. The legs were complaining as soon as I started pedaling. As I worked through the lactic acid in my legs I got to General's Hwy in Annapolis and realized I was in for a bit of slog in to the westerly winds. The payoff came when I turned down Benfield for the final few miles. Now I had the wind at my back for a quick finish.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sat. 6am Early Ride

Great workout! I met Chip, Chris, Bryan and Clif at 6:00 at the Ranger Station and we rode the Solley Rd. route. I got a rear flat when I didn't see a pothole until too late riding in the back of the peloton. But we made quick work of it and kept going. We got a good hard workout in then headed back towards the Rusty Bridge to rendezvous with the 7:30 club ride to Annapolis. But first we stopped for coffee!!

From Biking 2010

After coffee I stopped to say hi to the 7:30 group, a big turnout, but I had to skip the ride to Annapolis and get home for a full day of Lacrosse and other kids' activities.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ride Home From Work

Ride home from work. Met Will on the trail commuting home from the BWI area too. He teaches the Uzbech language at a school. Interesting guy, he shared stories about bicycle touring across China with his wife.

Friday B'fast then Work

Seven of us set out from the RB for Annapolis. Four of us had B'fast at Chick 'N Ruths along with other friends we met there. Then I rode to the office from Annapolis. I like these longer Fridays when I don't have a big ride planned over the weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Home from Work / Bike Rodeo

Chris Lane had the day off from work. He was looking for some miles so he met me at my office at 5 for the ride home. I stopped at Severna Park Elementary and met son Zach (age 8) for the Cub Scouts Bike Rodeo. We had a great time with the other kids. Then Zach and I rode the remaining three miles home in the dark. A big adventure for Zach and a lot of fun for Dad! Check back later, I'll get some pics added.

To Work

A late ride to work. Didn't leave the house until 6:30. Pollen count is way up, I couldn't even use the water bottle without cleaning the top and mouth piece first. It was green/yellow just from pollen it picked up on the way to the office.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Evening Spin

Spent a lot of time adjusting my seat post. After the overhaul they apparently didn't tighten it enough and it had settled a bit during the Horsing Around Sugarloaf ride.

Also took the opportunity to adjust the fore and aft tilt slightly.

Then finally stopped for another biker who was riding on his rear rim and needed to borrow a pump. By mile 10 or 12 all was settled and I could finally just pedal for a few miles.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Horsing Around Sugarloaf

The Team

Six of us set out on the "Horsing Around Sugarloaf" 212K permanent ride Sunday 4/11/2010. From SPP we had Janet Bodine, Bill Willis, Theresa Frunari, Matt Kisner, and me. Also joining us was Dave Waas. Dave is my uncle by marriage. I shared the details with him at a family gathering Easter Sunday and he rushed through the paper work to join RUSA and contact the route owner Lynn Kristianson so he could join us. This would be the first 200K ride for both Matt and Dave, though both are strong, experienced riders.

The Ride

We all arrived at the opening control at Harris Teeter in Germantown at or before 6:30 so we could be ready for a 7:00 am start and we rolled out right on time. The route starts with several quick descents and then rolls through the MD horse farms around Sugarloaf Mountain. The weather was crisp and cool at the start but forecast to warm up quickly as the sun got up. By the first control it was already warming nicely and it was obvious we would enjoy a great day. We were all in and out of the first control around Mile 20 in short order. The tools came out briefly to help Theresa tighten her seat clamp. That would the closest we came to a mechanical problem for our riders all day.

We crossed the Potomac River at Point of Rocks about mile 28 and then there's a long gentle climb up from the river in VA. The second control follows shortly after that at about mile 34 before a nice long leg to Middleburg, VA where we stopped for lunch. The VA horse country is beautiful, and a little hilly. Snickersville Turnpike has one significant climb, otherwise the VA leg is just continuous rollers up and down the whole way. We reached the mid point in Middleburg, VA around noon or a little after and had a great lunch at the Salamander Market in Middleburg. We sat outdoors on the patio, the sun was out, but not too hot and the service was quick.

From here the route retraces much of itself, but makes a few adjustments to keep it fresh. I started feeling the effects of the continuous large rolling climbs and the big Snickersville climb just before lunch. But the advice of an experienced randoneur I know kept reminding me to "ride within yourself". I set my pace and let the others go up the hills when they were inclined to ride a little faster. Then we'd regroup at the crest of a hill. The next control was almost 50 miles after lunch and many stretches of road were marked with only sporadic signs, so my GPS was a frequent topic of interest during these re-groups. All the while the beautiful countryside was rolling steadily by, the sun was bright and life was good.

We regrouped and crossed the Potomac river together at Point of Rocks, then stopped to refill the bottles and get a quick snack before pressing on to the next control at Urana, MD. After the Urbana control we had 20 miles and one more big climb up Thurmont Rd and Old Hundred Rd before the finish control. The group spread out a bit, everyone riding at their pace and looking forward to wrapping up a great day.

Bill did his good deed for the day when he stopped to help a couple of cyclists stranded with a flat and no pump or CO2, they had tubes and tools, but no air. He gave them a shot from his C02 and sent them on their way, then quickly rode down the group again. With less than 10 miles to go, Bill, Matt and Dave decided it was too early to call it quits. They opted instead to continue past the Whites Store Rd turn and get in a few bonus miles before making a U-Turn and returning to the proper course. I didn't know this until I finished and was surprised to find only Janet and Theresa in ahead of me. While overachieving on his first 200K Dave also earned a Good Samaritan pin when he stopped to help a couple of cyclists who were clearly past the point of having fun. The gentleman was encouraging his partner to pedal harder and she was explaining in no uncertain terms that she couldn't. They were stuck until Dave forced her derailleur on to the small chain ring and explained she should refrain from shifting it again until the bike shop could set things right. Another pair of stranded cyclists rescued by Team Sugarloaf!

We all regrouped at the finish before 6:30 pm. Janet Bodine, the semi-official captain of the SPP Randoneuring Team was, as always, well prepared for the finish as well as the ride, with a cooler full of refreshments. Congratulations, hugs, and high-fives were offered all around. We got our cards signed and the tired, happy riders parted company to return home.

Matt and I during a brief stop on the W & OD Trail.
View Slideshow | Acess Photos from Horsing Around Sugarloaf

Personal Thoughts, Conclusions

I felt great about the day. My average speed was 14.6 mph, a touch faster than Over to Dover with considerably more climbing. I ate more frequently, every 30 minutes or so and included some gel product in the mix which worked very well for me. I didn't really eat more, just nibbled more frequently and it seemed to really help. There was more climbing than when I did Over to Dover but I didn't feel as completely drained at the end as I did in the last few miles of OTD. I attribute that mostly to better eating and drinking during the ride. I carried too much "stuff" on the bike with me (again) and will revisit my repair kit and supplies list before my next 200K. I was glad Dave was able to join us and that he wrote me afterward that he had a good time. My only disappointment was with our treatment by some local folks on the road. On at least two occasions drivers were profane and rude despite having ample room to get around us. They were the exception, as a rule most drivers were courteous and patient. But it's always disappointing when someone seems so put out when our close contact on the road lasted only a few minutes or less.

Techie Stuff

We all agreed this was a hilly course. RUSA lists it with 7600 ft of climbing and this number seems reasonable to me. But my Garmin reported 10400 feet! That doesn't seem reasonable. The track here on Bones In Motion also indicates 10K feet of climbing. But I've run the track through several other programs and gotten numbers of 3600, 6800, and 9500. While GPS is so precise in two dimensions and in all associated analysis in two dimensions, it's a little odd that it is so imprecise vertically. Even a barometric device should be able to do better than that. I'm wondering if mine has a problem I need to take up with Garmin. An area for more research later.

** All times and mile marks approximate, I was writing from memory without the cue sheet in front of me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Little Spin

A light ride to keep my legs loose and to test some new gear. I was wearing new wrap around glasses to see if I could avoid crying every time I went down hill faster than 25 mph. They worked great. Also new 700 x 28 tires fore and aft. All seems ready for the Horsing Around Sugarloaf 200K ride on Sunday.

Now if the weather will just cooperate...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Ride to B'fast

Bryan, Ben and I rode Annapolis and had breakfast with Doug and Rodney at Chick n Ruth's Deli in Annapolis. With so much chatter on the 5:45 email list lately, I was surprised we didn't have a bigger turnout. But we had a nice time. The rain the night before made for dirty bikes but easy breathing as it knocked down the pollen count at least for a few hours.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Riding home I met three of the volunteers from They are walking from Assateague Island to San Francisco this summer picking up trash along the way and encourage better treatment of the environment by all of us. I saw an article in The Capital paper about them recently so I recognized them and stopped to say hi. They seemed like nice kids and were impressed that I was commuting by bike instead of driving.

The volunteers with PickUP America.
They've collected over 14,000 lbs of trash so far!

Unexpected Company

Amazing what a good night's sleep can do for you. I slept in 'til 5:30 and didn't get on the bike until a few minutes after 6:00. I felt so much better starting out this morning than I did on the way home last night. Just before the Ranger Station I caught up to Carl B. He'd had some chain trouble and missed part of the 5:45 ride, so when I caught him he was heading back towards home in Glen Burnie. We had a nice ride together as far as Aquahart Rd. Now for a nice cup of coffee before I tackle the work day..!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back to my Castle

My office was hot, and after I stepped outside for lunch, the allergies kicked back in. Throw in only 6 hours of sleep last night and I was not feeling the love when I climbed on the bike to come home. But the further I rode the better I felt, so it ended on a high note.

To Work

Doh! Forgot to start the GPS logger when I was starting out. I didn't really wake up on the trail this morning ready to ride.

BD Arnold did a nice job overhauling the bike. It looks so clean! Shifting was smooth and the brakes grab much better than they did before the service visit. It will be nice to ride the 200K this Sunday on fresh cables and not have to worry about what the road salt did to them over the winter.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ride Home

Met Chris at the train station for the ride home. At 78 deg F with a tail wind, it actually felt hot riding home.

Ride to Work

Rode in with Chris. We started a few minutes early as Chris had to allow time in line at the train station to purchase his monthly rail pass. So I got to the office a few minutes early as well. Hopefully that translates to an early departure this afternoon. I got an appointment with BD Arnold to turn the bike in for an overhaul tomorrow. I'll actually drop it off this evening and then plan to pick it up from them tomorrow evening. So I'm going to take the day off tomorrow, no biking.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Father Son Easter Ride

After Easter Services, my older children were committed to stay at Woods Church for most of morning, singing with the choir for multiple services. But it was a gorgeous day so I took my youngest sons Zach(age 8) and Erik(age 6) on a little adventure on the B & A trail.

We set out from Jones Station Rd and B & A trail and immediately turned south to attack the epic climb up Mt. Arnold. All riders made it to the Glen Oban control without stopping to walk. A wonderful start and a good omen for the challenges to come. After traversing the flats and successfully crossing Joyce Lane we made a second hydration stop at the water fountain at Arnold Station before descending to the halfway point at Mile 0.

Another quick break at the turnaround and everyone was fresh for the next big climb back to Arnold Station. On the return leg, the Naval Bagel shop at Arnold Station serves a control and breakfast stop. So we set out again anxious to earn our bagels and cream cheese.

Closed for Easter!! What to do? My resourceful sons spotted a McDonalds and saved the day! After a nutritious breakfast we enjoyed the final descent back to Jones Station Rd and concluded our ride.

Did I mention Dad got a new camera as an early birthday present?

My future Randonneurs at the start.
Click the picture to see the complete album of our trip.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bagel Ride - 20 Riders!

I think I counted 20 riders for the Saturday bagel ride. Great fun.

Clint Provenza provided the following shots from breakfast at Aroma d'Italia. After breakfast half the group (including me) headed back up the trail to rejoin family for the weekend. The other half headed around Bay Ridge for a few more miles.

That breakfast was great. I know, no whining about the weigh in later.

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Power!

Tough ride home. I just couldn't muster any power. My legs felt dead. A southerly headwind just added to it.

Bagel Ride - Then Work

A whole gang of us met at the RB at 5:45, maybe 11 or 12 riders. 10 continued to Annapolis and 5 of us stayed at Chick N Ruth's for breakfast. From breakfast I rode to the office. Another gorgeous day. A lot folks appear to have off for Good Friday as I saw quite a few recreational bikers around the BWI trail and along the B & A.

But with spring comes allergies and I can feel the pollen today more than I have this year. Especially my eyes. Time to start in with Clariton I guess. The scale hinted that Sunday will be a nice weigh in.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Home Again

A nice ride home. Met Doug Corby northbound just south of the Rusty Bridge. He opted to turn around and we rode together the rest of the way. Also saw Carl Bernake northbound and said "hi" briefly. We plan to ride with 5:45 ride tomorrow. A very pleasant evening.

Hi Ho To Work I Go

I love this weather and the two a day rides to work and back. May even ride to work after b'fast in Annapolis tomorrow.