Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Murphy's Ride

Murphy's Law is alive and well.

If you haven't checked in for a while, read yesterday's post about my spoke repair.

Okay now forget all that crap about how rugged the bike is and how I have what I need to fix it and finish my ride. I don't know squat about tensioning the spokes on a wheel to get it straight and true. All the tools and parts in the world don't help if you don't know how to use them correctly. In fact they can set you up for bigger problems later.

The ride in to work this A.M. was uneventful. But I did notice that the rear wheel felt slightly wobbly. I made a mental note to check it out over my lunch hour, then promptly forgot until I felt the same wobble on the way home. I stopped two miles in, near the Amtrack station and started checking spokes on the rear wheel one by one. A few felt loose. I tweaked them and it seemed to spin reasonably true. Okay I'll make it home and take the wheel to Bike Doctor for a proper alignment.

FAIL! As I turned from WB&A to Thompson Rd the rear wheel slipped as I turned. The pavement was wet and I thought maybe I hit a slick spot with a little oil or something. Another 1/4 mile, nope the rear tire is going soft. Stop to change the tube. The tire is wet and bubbles are coming out from around a small piece of glass. At least I found it quickly, maybe this will go fast. Then I discover another busted spoke. I suspect incorrect / uneven tension after serial adjustments made on the fly.

45 minutes later I have my second (last) spare spoke and a new tube on the rim. I made it home under my own power, an hour late and frustrated. BD is now closed so I can't get the wheel in tonight.

No ride tomorrow, the forecast is truly horrible with heavy rain and strong winds. But after I get through work tomorrow we get to travel to Elon to see Taylor this weekend. That should be fun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spokes and Bunnies, Nothing is Safe

Left at 5:00 for the usual ride to work. The forecast called for a slight chance of light rain but nothing was falling when I left. It was uneventful until I was on the trail behind the Jumpers strip mall. The first rain started to fall and it appeared that it might be accelerating. Then I herd a distinct TWANG that is familiar to heavy bikers. Sure enough I could then feel the rear wheel dragging on the brake each revolution. I'd busted a spoke. I don't recall hitting a pothole or other obstacle. Just ridding along and it broke, honest Dad, I didn't do anything.. Oh sorry I'm digressing.

So it's dark, it's starting to rain and my bike is busted. I carry a super sized multi-tool with a gazzillion tools on it, including a spoke wrench. I also ride Surly Long Haul Trucker. It's a touring bike meant to be rugged, simple to maintain/repair and self sufficient. It came with two spare spokes in the standard build. They are attached to special braze-ons affixed to the left chain stay. The wheels are Alex Adventurers with 36 spokes. I've got what I need to deal with this, but it's dark and starting to rain.

I opted not to try a spoke replacement in the field. It was a left side (non drive side) spoke that broke. So the rim warpped to to the right. I took up a little tension (1/2 a turn) on the left spoke either side of the brake, and eased a little tension on the right side immediately opposite the break. That got the wobble down to where it stopped rubbing the breaks. Then wrapped a zip tie between loose end and an adjacent spoke to it wasn't flopping inside the wheel causing problems.

That got me to work without further incident. At lunch, in a well lit office, I took a few minutes to fit one of the spares and true the wheel as best I could.

The SPP had set a plan for a Tuesday evening ride that would conclude at the local pizza shop. If I ride down the trail, I'd pass right behind the pizza place. So while they were riding a loop to Sandy Point and Annapolis, I was heading south form the airport and met them at the shop for the za. My wheel repair appeared to hold up well. John, Janet, Jeff, Jim, Jane, Earl and Lori were already seated when I arrived. It was nice mid-week break from the routine.

After dinner I had a few more miles in the dark to ride home. Riding the trail always includes games of chicken with the local population of bunnies and squirrels. I've never made contact and only rarely did I have to swerve to avoid one. They usually start in a bad direction, see me, then change course and get clear with inches to spare. I just hold my speed and try to ride straight so they don't have to guess where I'm going. Well in the dark this bunny wasn't so quick. He made contact with front spokes but did not fall beneath a wheel. By the time I could stop and look he was gone. No blood or fur that I could see on the bike, so I don't really know if he was hurt or not.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wet Wet Morning

I've frequently used tight deadlines and busy days at work as an excuse not to commute in by bike. Usually after the crunch passes, I've regretted the lost miles and exercise. I knew today would be a crunch trying to squeeze in one too many meetings and the wet forecast also offered an excuse not to ride. So I ignored both and rode in anyway.

It was wet and dark riding in. I resembled the proverbial "drowned rat" when I finally arrived at the office. But a thin wool base layer under the rain jacket and jersey kept me comfortable. Visibility was lousy and my pace showed it. I keep a spare kit with degreasing fluid, rags, lube, and a few tools at work in case an especially wet ride or other issue requires attention on the bike. So after I cleaned up and got in to dry clothes I took 5 minutes to wipe down and re-lube the chain. Then I started the day. Even after all of that, I was glad for the exercise before all of the meetings and troubleshooting.

Note: It's time I look for a new lube. The wax I've been using is easier to keep clean, but it has no staying power in wet conditions.

On the way home I suspect an angel must have been hitching a ride on my shoulder. The skies looked very threatening, but I felt only a few drops, traffic seemed to have lightened up more than usual. Most of the traffic lights were even green.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Severn - Ft. Meade - Elkrdige - BWI - Home

No ride yesterday. Zach had a football game on the Eastern shore and had to muster at 9:00 in Centreville, MD to warm up with his team. I took Erik along too and my parents met us there. Zach and his team mates on the Severna Park Green Hornets 90lb team dispatched the Queen Anne's team 12 - 0!

After the game, Zach, Erik and I drove to Cambridge and caught the transition of the Iron Man relay from bike to runner. This is an amazing event, 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on the bike, then a full marathon. For the competitors doing the entire event, my hats off. What a challenge for endurance. Friends Desi (swim), Clint (bike) and Dave (run) competed as a relay team and won their division!! We caught the transition as Clint finished his bike ride and handed the baton (really a computer chip on a velcro strap) to Dave to begin the run. Temps were in upper 80's all afternoon, much higher than normal for this time of year, making for a long day for Clint and Dave on the roads of the Eastern Shore with only harvested corn fields for shade.

Here's Dave waiting in the staging area before Clint arrives for the handoff....

From Chesapeake Man - Iron Man Relay

This morning I met Fran, Steve, John and Janet for a Sunday morning loop planned for 40 miles. Fran put out the call and led the charge. I wouldn't choose MD 175 for a weekday ride, but on Sunday morning it was fine. Steve got a visit from the Puncture Fairy near the airport, but otherwise it was a nice ride with no incidents.

Temps were warmer than forecast, in the mid 60s and a light sprinkle of rain started earlier than forecast. On balance the light wool base layer I wore kept me quite comfortable. Absent the rain, it probably would have been too warm.

As we returned Severna Park, John, Fran and Steve broke off at various points to return home and pursue Sunday activities, home chores, etc. Janet and I opted to drag out the fun a bit longer and stopped at Big Bean for coffee and a snack. Then it was home and chores for me too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friendly Friday

I took a couple of days off Wednesday and Thursday. The legs were more worn after the brevet last week than I wanted to admit. It worked and I felt great today.

I met the SPP morning ride at the Rusty Bridge today at 5:45. There were 11 of us and 5 stayed for breakfast at Hard Bean Cafe downtown. The morning was warm and muggy. As we ate, muggy became foggy over the Severn River. It was quite thick riding back across the river.

Earl rode with me from Annapolis towards the airport on my commute to work. We enjoyed a brisk ride and set plans to ride together at the Seagull Century in a couple of weeks. We also observed the effects of the high humidity and small pockets of air at different temps. Riding behind the Jumpers Hole strip mall, we hit a pocket of cool air and both of us experienced sudden fogging on our eye glasses. Normally this clears as quickly as it forms but not this time. We had to stop and wipe them clean. It was especially remarkable that it affected both us the same way.

We split along Andover Rd. I continued on to a day in the salt mines, Earl later reported he rode a full century for the day!

After work I rode to Kinder Park to see Erik and the 70 lb team play football. Unfortunately I got a late launch from the office and only caught the last few minutes of the game. But the Severna Park Green Hornets won the day and Erik was credited with several big tackles.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Cool Morning

Chris had to adjust his schedule this week and isn't commuting on the bike so I rode solo this morning. Unfortunately this takes the pressure off to get going to make a rendezvous and I got a late start. But once on the move it was a nice ride.

Had to break out a base layer and pair of bib nickers this morning. I tried a new merino wool base layer. Quite comfy. I'm looking forward to more days like this.

I invested in a new light set from Dinotte about a month ago. It includes a 1200 lumen and a 400 lumen light engine with a variety of mounting and battery options. I've been experimenting with best configuration. The big one clearly has to go on the bar, but the smaller one can mount on either the helmet, the bar or down on my fork. On the helmet the 400 + it's battery were a bit heavy. On the fork the 400 didn't seem to add much to complement the big light. So then back to the helmet, but with the battery on an extension cord in my jersey pocket. Now I can see quite a field ahead of me. I think this is the right configuration and will continue with it for a while.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mosey Monday

I took yesterday off of the bike to recover from Saturday's big mountains. This morning I rode the Mosey Monday route withe SPP 5:45ers instead of commuting to work. Without a forced second ride this evening to get home, it gives the legs a bit more recover time. I'm also expecting a later evening at work this evening, possibly much of the week (ugh!).

Great morning. Cool, clear temps in the low 60s. I'm getting back in to the Winter time habit of checking the temp before riding so I know how to dress. My front porch thermometer read 65 deg F before I set out so I opted for just the shorts and jersey. That was borderline. A light base layer or arm warmers wouldn't have hurt.

I counted 11 riders. Everyone had stories (lies?) about the brevet or the St. Michael's historic century, or just a good ride around town. If you threw your leg over a bike this weekend, one couldn't help but enjoy the weather. A fun morning. Too bad the real world has to intrude.

Okay, now back to work.....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Civil War Tour 200K Brevet

I rode the 200K Civil War Tour yesterday sponsored by DCRand. What a great day to be outside on bicycle! The weather was as close to perfect as one could hope for.

The course was challenging, scenic and nearly free of traffic. Garmin recorded 8700 feet of climbing, most of it front loaded in the first half of the ride. Though Bill Beck who organized the whole thing, left us one surprise for the end, a 15% grade on Ball Rd at about mile 124 just before the finish. You can see the climbing profile by clicking the "view details" link on the map below.

As the name implies the route passed several Civil War landmarks and monuments, the highlights were tours through the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefield parks. Complete with information controls that required us to stop and read a few of the plaques to answer some Civil War history trivia before proceeding on.

SPP was represented by myself, Dan, Bill W, Theresa, Gardner and Chip. After we all regrouped at Pizza Hut after the ride, everyone reported a good day with no incidents. As far as I know this was true for the entire 30 rider field, though I haven't seen Bill B's final summary. Dan and Chip have both been recovering recently from physical wounds and challenges, but both looked strong yesterday. I hope that's still true the day after.

The climbing was tough and frankly a little humbling. I read somewhere it never get's easier, you just get faster and stronger. I've still got plenty of stronger and faster to go. But each ridge offered a great view and equal measure of descent after the big climb.

The DC Randonneurs did a great job organizing everything. Bill designed a great route. Chuck and Crista handled check in and manned a surprise control in the Antietam Battlefield park. Ed and Mary leap frogged ahead of the riders to take pictures and cheer us on. I'll add links to them once posted. Thanks to all for the work so the rest of us could enjoy the ride.

As promised, here are some photos others posted:

Ed Felker

Mary Gersema

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

Had a great day yesterday. I rode solo to work and set out a little later than normal. The great weather we've enjoyed so far continued.

From work I rode to Annapolis for the Wednesday Night Races awards ceremony. The sunset as I crossed the Naval Academy bridge was spectacular. It's sad that this phase of our sailing season is over. But we took second place in the first series (May and June) and the third series (late July through Sep). We've done well in the spring for several years, when the wind is usually a bit stronger. But to place in the late part of the series is quite a feat for us. Diamond in the Rough is an older, heavier boat and we have struggled to get her moving in light breezes characteristic of July and August. But a new genoa this year and a lot of hard work brought home the prize. It was fun to see everyone and toast to our success.

There are still a few weekend events to sail before the boats are put away for the season but the weekly meeting each Wednesday is done until the first week of May next year. The crew all got a kick out of me showing up on my bicycle rather than driving. After the festivities I rode home in the dark, showered and straight to bed. I was exhausted.

Decided to take today and tomorrow off before I ride the Civil War Tour 200K brevet on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Love this weather

Another fantastic day to get outdoors. I was slightly chilled much of the ride in this morning. I probably should have slipped on my wind vest. What a great change from the summer heat just a few weeks ago. Met Chris at 5:15 for the ride in. Neither of us had much to say, which is unusual, one of us usually has something to yammer on about, but the miles clicked off quickly. In the dark, just keeping between the sides the trail and avoiding pot holes and other hazards takes more concentration.

The drivers who are routinely out between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning seem to be having a tough time adjusting to the dark too. Yesterday and today I noted several more close passes than usual as we come off of the trail connector at Stewart Ave and approach the light at Dorsey Rd. We're both sporting bright red flashers on the back of the bike but the drivers passed very close aboard and one honked as if we were holding him up.

While I'm griping a bit, the other bikers riding early with no lights before sunrise must be suicidal. I continue to be amazed that anyone would climb on a bike in the pitch black with no lighting and operate it at 15+ mph on a trail they know includes other bikers or worse on the roads with 2 ton vehicles, operated by sleepy, grouchy people who don't want to go to work. Candidates for the Darwin award.

Chris texted mid day that he felt under the weather and was heading home early so we didn't connect for the ride home. Hope that passes for him quickly.

The ride home I had to stop at the voting station and register my preferences for the state primary elections. Our neighborhood poll station has been at the fire house for years. That would be about a 100 yard detour from my normal ride home. But I missed the notice that it had been moved to Severn River Middle School. Fortunately another voter arrived a the same time I did, and he had the notice in his pocket. When it was clear something had changed he pulled it out and set us both straight. That was about a mile and half and I still had 20 minutes so I made it with several minutes to spare before closing time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mosey Pase to Work on Monday

Wow, great weather today. Slightly muggy this morning, absolutely great this afternoon. Rode both ways with Chris. Needed the lights all the way in this morning.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Super Saturday

Our local bike club, the Severna Park Peloton is a great social group. Recent weeks have seen substantial ink (bytes) devoted on the clubs message boards to the topic of the club's "no drop" policy and how best to really implement it in practice. No one sets out intending to ride like the wind and leave his friends behind. But the reality is that a club with 100+ plus members is a diverse group with very different tastes and fitness levels. It's not realistic that every ride undertaken is going to appeal to everyone.

The solution, like most endeavors involving people, was simply a little improved communication. Set expectations before the ride for distance, route, pace and climbing so everyone has the information to select events that will be appealing and appropriately challenging. It's also encouraged folks to speak up about what they are looking for, so others with similar interests can chime in.

No we're not holding hands and singing "Cum bay yah". But we did break the ice and folks now seem willing to acknowledge when they would prefer a less than blistering pace, which I think was the real challenge we were facing. This came together nicely on Saturday morning. We simply agreed ahead of time by email to split the 6:00 ride in two groups by desired pace. Some of our traditional rabbits are nursing themselves back from injuries sustained on or off the bike, and some us simply preferred the moderate pace. Regardless of motive, 6 of us set out from the Ranger Station with the intent to ride at less than Mach 2. There was also some talk about working out a new route. I suggested Brightview Rd to the airport and it worked out very nicely. The rabbits followed Solley Rd. and we all regrouped at Java Divas at 7:15, enjoyed the coffee and the view, then met the 7:30 ride at the R.B. for breakfast in Annapolis.

After breakfast I headed back to Severna Park to get ready for the tailgate party at Navy Football v Georgia Southern. The party was fun for my classmates and I who organized it. But my teenage daughters panned it and instead left me to join some friends from church who they found elsewhere at the game. Apparently Dad still doesn't score well on the social scale. I had also extended an open invite to the SPP to join us. Marie, a new rider who recently joined us a few weeks ago, took me up on and joined us for some burgers and beer before the game. I hope others will do the same.

To cap it all off, Navy won 13-7. They didn't play exceptional football, the offense didn't move as freely this week as they did last week in a loosing effort to U of MD. But GSU also runs the option offense so their defense is well schooled in how to defend it, which probably contributed to the lower numbers. Regardless, the first win of the season is now in the books and we had a great time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fixy Friendly Friday - Good to see friends are ok

For many reasons (none of them any good) I didn't ride Tue - Thu this week. But I got news Tuesday that two friends riding with SPP 5:45 ride were in a bad accident on the B & A trail. Bryan and Dan were pushing hard trying to catch Dave P who was a few hundred yards ahead when a dog darted out in front of them in close proximity. As I understand it (I wasn't there) Bryan was in front and struck the dog. He went down hard and slid along the pavement before coming to rest in the grass. Dan close behind didn't have time to react and struck either Bryan or his bike and also went down scratching the right side of his face badly. But an angel must have been riding with them as well. They both suffered terrible road rash, Bryan on his leg and hip, Dan on his face and hands. But neither suffered any broken bones, internal injury nor head or neck injury. They expect to mend fully and are already feeling better. The owner reports the dog's injury will also heal. Bryan's bike is a total loss.

Fast forward to 5:45 this morning. I was running late and knew I couldn't make it all the way to the Rusty Bridge by 5:45 so I opted to intercept them instead at the Ranger's Station about a mile further south and right on the usual route. Imagine my surprise to recognize Dan riding with them! He was stiff and the scratches on his face look painful. But he was upright and pedaling! Furthermore his wife didn't slash his tires and take the bike away! (he's had one other fall and been treated with I.V. fluids for dehydration on the bike in the last year).

Bryan met the crew at breakfast in Annapolis (by car) and reports being sore but mending. I'm grateful they both escaped more serious injury and look forward to riding with them. Dan has already made a date to meet us tomorrow morning.

After breakfast, Earl joined me for the ride to the office near BWI. After work I rode to Kinder Park to watch my son Erik (age 7) play football. They won!! Erik had a couple of very good tackles.

From there to the Wrap and Brew on Benfield Rd. to watch Kevin K sing at open Mic night. Who knew he could play guitar and sing? Kevin used to be a customer of mine when he was with John Hopkins U and we've stayed in touch professionally since. Neat atmosphere at the Wrap n Brew with mostly high school kids taking the stage to sing, play music, or try their hand at stand up comedy. Gutsy for such young folks to stand up in front of their peers. Kevin and his very attractive blond partner E Harwood (yes she introduced herself as "E") were quite a bit older than their audience but they seemed to connect and the kids liked the music. So did I. Then finally home after 9 pm! Overall a good day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sweet Sue's Labor Day Ride - an Anniversary

On Labor Day 2009, a good friend, Dave Mumford, suggested I join him and a local club on a ride through South County to a coffee shop in North Beach, MD. The club planned to ride round trip from Severna Park to North Beach, a distance of about 85 miles. At the time I thought that might be a bit much so we opted to start at Southern High School and try to time it so we would meet the club at the coffee shop. This would give us a round trip distance of just under 50 miles.

On the way down Dave coached me how to draft behind him to take advantage of the improved aerodynamics. On a couple of steep climbs he also demonstrated how to zig and zag across the grade to make it up a particularly steep pitch. We got slightly turned around following the cue sheet but I had printed a few sections of the planned route from google maps and we were able to sort it out with only a few bonus miles. The timing was perfect, we pulled in to North Beach and looked right to see a huge mob of riders approaching with blinking lights and yellow / blue jerseys.

At the time, I'd only been riding regularly for a couple of months. My longest ride prior to that point was 40 miles. I was riding my Jamis hybrid with fat tires purchased to help loose weight. This ride would be my first introduction to the Serverna Park Peloton. I'd seen them on the trail back home and knew a few members from church or other community groups, but I'd never ridden with them or any other bike club. We enjoyed some great treats and coffee at Sweet Sue's and the group was friendly, taking great interest in my recent efforts to get back in to shape on a bicycle. They encouraged me to take up position in the middle of the peloton as we rolled out though my bike was not built for such speed and frankly neither was the rider. I'd only drafted another rider for the first time an hour earlier on the way to North Beach. Now I was racing at 30 mph down some very steep rollers in close quarters with 20 plus riders. (ok maybe some of you would rather not know that).

Dave and I would hang with the group for about 10 or 12 miles before I had to back off of the pace. We were heading to a different finish anyway so I thanked them for the hospitality and we assured them they need not worry about "dropping" us as Dave and I would stick together back to Southern High. As we approached the school my bike computer showed 46 miles and I told Dave I wanted to go for 50 so we added another loop and rounded it up to 50 and a small fraction. I was hooked.

I learned later that this was also a memorial ride to a member who suffered a fatal heart attack on the bike while riding the same route. At the same time they remembered an old friend and welcomed a new one.

This Labor Day I got to celebrate my anniversary with the SPP on the same ride. I joined them from Davidsonville this time, not worried about how far I could ride but to keep on schedule for a football game later in the day. Between the Severna Park starters on the long route and the Davidsonville starters on the shorter option, we had 33 riders including two tandems. I enjoyed the same friendly group, the thrill of riding with a large peloton at a crisp pace, and this time, the confidence that I could hang with the group pace all the way to the finish.

Since I started riding last year I've slimmed down, gotten stronger, faster and a lot smarter on the bike. I was introduced to the sport of Randonneuring and learned that I still don't know what my real limits are. Most importantly, I've made a lot of new friends and had a great time. Many thanks to all of you. I'm looking forward to another great year. See you on the roads.

Sweet Sue's 2009 - I'm in the bright yellow T-shirt back row

Sweet Sue's 2010 - I'm third from the right back row

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Great Saturday!

Wow, if I could write a script for weather, it would be pretty close to today. Temps in the 60s, low humidity, clear. A great day to be outside on a bike or doing anything else.

Chris Lane met me at the Park N Ride at 5:40 and we rode together to Ranger Station to meet the 6:00 sprinters. Work, kids, the busy coming and going of life have kept us from riding together the last week, so it was good to see him. He didn't join the 6:00 ride as he had to get home and take his daughter to the airport, but it was good to say hello.

10 of us set off from the Ranger Station at 6:00 and pace was blistering. I held on for about 10 miles. As the pace line rotated I rolled to the front, held it at about 24 mph briefly then rotated back. ooops.... I could not accelerate quick enough to hold catch rear of the line. I knew it would be a stretch to try and hold the pace the whole way and was prepared before I started that I might have to drop off the back, so that was as good a time as any to wave them on. We re-grouped at Java Divas and then joined the larger SPP group at 7:30.

This time we had over 20 riders!! Met a new member Marie. She lives in Annapolis and drove up to the 7:30 start to ride with us. It was a very friendly large group ride at a social pace to Annapolis for breakfast. Old County Rd is still chewed up for repaving so we used Md 648 south to Glen Oban in order not to crowd the trail too badly with such a big group.

After breakfast I opted not to continue around Bay Ridge in order to ensure I was home in plenty of time to make Zach's football game. 6 others did the same and came with me back to Severna Park where we all peeled off for our respective homes. Now I need to wrap this up and go to that game. Have a great Labor Day everybody.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A good start for the Labor Day weekend

It was a good start to the weekend. I met the 5:45 riders at the Rusty Bridge. 10 of us set out for the ride south. We picked up 3 more at the Rangers Station. We agreed to detour and use MD 648 South instead of Old County Rd as several sections of Old County are milled and rough for repaving. It will be great once the work is done, but for now it's not bike friendly.

10 of us continued to Annapolis. I broke off and ate with friends at Chick n Ruth's then rode to work near BWI.

After work I rode to Kinder Park via Brightview Rd where I met my wife and watched our youngest son Erik (age 7) and his under 70 lb football win their second game of the season. He had two tackles on D and several good blocks on O. Go Erik!!

Looking forward to another ride with the SPP tomorrow, then son Zach plays ball in the 90 lb league, and finally a day of home chores, starting with a new drain pump for the large sink in our basement.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Brightview Rd again

4 miles longer doesn't seem like much, but that is 25% longer than the trail route. I think the mileage, the hills, and if I can make myself do it, a little faster pace, will be good for me if I make this a habit. The downside is that it does take a little longer to get there and back this way. Despite that, I like the route, nice neighborhoods and only a short distance on busy roads, the rest is quite pleasant riding. I think tomorrow or Tuesday I'll try going around the west side of the airport from WB&A road in the morning and then try getting coffee at McD's on Elkridge Landing instead of the StarBucks on West Nursery.

The weight chart is still going the WRONG way!! September 1st weigh in is up another 3 lbs from Aug 1. I may have to sew my lips shut. Grrrr!!!