Charm & Grace Shorty

It’s been a busy week. I got out with Bob and the group for a few miles last LAST weekend. I started in darkness from home at 5:50 am and rode to the start. The plan was to meet up and roll with the group for as long as I could. First 26 went great and I caught up with everyone at 7:55 right on time. Unfortunately, the bathrooms at the meetup were locked so I had to run off in search of the nearest open business. I told Bob not to wait up as I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to hang anyway. When I got back to the meetup spot I was just in time to watch the group rounding the first corner.

All the way up Harford Rd. out of the city I’d see the group at the far end of any straightaways or long climbs. I was keeping visual but couldn’t close. Once I was out in farm country I made the decision to stop chasing and start enjoying. Stopped for a wardrobe change and to take some photos along the side of the road in a few spots. Back on the road I actually did catch up with the group twice but only because they had mechanical issues (shifting & flats). I rolled ahead on the second unscheduled break to the Wawa rest stop that was mile 23 for everyone else, mile 50(?) for me. Even though I’ve been commuting 65 miles weekly and riding mountain here and there I still haven’t been in the saddle for more than 2 hours at a shot since December. When I lost sight of the group again less than 45 seconds out the Wawa it cemented my judgement that I’d had my fill for the day. I’d been thinking about doing the Winters Run loop to tack on an extra 10 for an even 70. 61 was fine for me and the way I was zoned out all afternoon told me I made the right choice. I had level 1 saddle sores for my Monday commute. Other than that I bounced back ok. Good day all around and looking forward to more riding with the group soon.

Check here for the full photoset: Charm & Grace Shorty Flickr
GPS Data: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/13846942

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Monument to Monument 2k16

Another quickie photo bomb post. Sunday turned out to be a totally new experience for a ride I’ve done 1,000,000 times before (more like 8 or 9…). Morning greeted us with a steady rain that thinned out the normal crowd of 70-90 Monument riders to an intrepid group of 10 or so crazies. It was sad to see a low turnout, but the upside was that the D.C. approach was a breeze with low traffic both on and off the trails. We all had to keep our wits about us as the roads were slippery from the rain. A few minor wipeouts, but no injuries to speak of so all was good. I rode strong most of the day and my only incident was bending the cage of my front derailleur on a bad shift 5 miles out of D.C. I had to ride in my small ring for 20 miles or so until I could bend it back at the final rest stop. Great riding and company with all and we rode the entire day as one of the most compact groups I can ever remember. After we said hi to the Baltimore monument 1 last time we did a victory lap up Charles and had a round of beers at One World. A great day and I hope to see you all again soon!

** UPDATE >> Bob’s writeup & pics HERE Thanks Again! **

Point-to-Point 2015

Yeah, I know this is a month late, but it’s been a busy one. Bob’s ride for December was a reworked version of the Point to Point route and we had a great time with it. Details elude me and sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying to write stuff down but I should have at least made time to put some photos up.

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Near the start @ Fort McHenry.

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As far as words go, all the descriptions really start to blend together after a while…in a good way…catch up with friends…meet new ones…set out by bike to distant lands…get 2/3 the way there and wonder how you’ll get back…take a break to eat something and feel better…get your second wind…power through and have a drink when all is said and done.

Unlike all the other ones, the points in Point-to-Point give this ride a staccato rhythm which is hard for me to grapple with. Everyone makes each destination and we hang out for a few minutes–then ride hard (for me anyway) to the next destination. That described the morning. We sat down to lunch and I was cramping up in the back of my leg (bicep femoris or vastus lateralis). I started moving around the restaurant, ate some food and was feeling better about life by the time we were ready to move. The afternoon went at a much more typical pace. Most everyone else raced off. Andrew, Charlie, and I swept the route clean. We met up in Fells Point to hang out for a few minutes just around sunset. A great day and I feel guilty for not calling attention to it sooner. Side note that it was great to see Isaias, Maxine and Charlie again!

Permalink to all the pics for the day is here

I’d say see-y’all next month, but that’s already happened.

Pancake Interception 11-2k15

Another run on my fave route. First time with the Salsa! Andrew and I met up about an hour ahead of the rest and took off. We made good time and only stopped for about 5 minutes at the Sykesville Convenience store rest stop.

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We stopped a bit later and took some photos at Andrew’s request. (He was running the route in reverse at this point)

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And then breakfast. Everyone else showed up about 20 min later:

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With relying on my phone for a camera, I haven’t been taking too many shots while on the go lately. Here’s one I had to stop for…

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The long stretch went pretty well this time around. I’m noticing that each time we ride this a little bit more of the gravel is disappearing… We had a bit of a headwind for the morning and we turned out of it at just the right time. Before I knew it I was catching up to the rest of the group.

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I really need to start making better food decisions:

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We ripped through the last 20 miles or so with just a bit of a tailwind to help us along and had plenty of time to meet up at the taphouse in Mt. Washington for oysters, fries and a few beers. Always a good time, but this one was especially good.

Numbers: miles – 100 | moving avg – 13.2 | overall avg – 11.8 | elev gain – 7664′ | Here’s the rest of the photos: flickr

Monument to Monument 2015

Given everything that happened in Baltimore this past week, the Monument ride was touch-and-go. In the end it looked ok. My 5th trip was with a great group and everyone rode strong! Quick rundown: Ride to D.C. Trails, Say hi to the monument, Sandwich, Trails, Ride back, Say hi to the monument in Baltimore, Beer.

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IMG_3256The camera was rattling around inside my bag and changing its settings for some reason this month so most of my pictures were blown out. The remainder is HERE. I made spoke cards again this month. They turned out ok too…

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96 miles – same average as always – great time. I was a little more wiped out than normal by the experience. We met up at Joe Squared afterwards and shared a few pitchers of that aforementioned beer – forgot what. It wasn’t until I was sitting at home that I remembered to take a pic and notes so i can start my ‘brewvet 2015’ challenge. Oh well.

Thanks Bob for keeping a great tradition going!

Pancake Intercept 2015

Bob held a ramble ride out to Union Bridge yesterday. If you missed it, you missed out. 5th trip around the pancake loop for me. Fantastic weather, good company and the best roads in the Baltimore area made for a great day of riding after what seemed like an endless winter.

IMG_3121We met up at Starbucks.

IMG_3134Andrew, John and I made a great sweep team for the beginning half of the ride.

IMG_3138We made it to Union Bridge in time for some breakfast…

IMG_3138 - Version 2Closeup of the last shot. I produced a set of spoke cards for this ride and had a great time with it! Here’s a full size shot of the art…
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IMG_3140Then we rode some more. John peeled off for Westminster…

IMG_3144Andrew bumped into some wildlife…

We made it back to Baltimore in one piece. Beer and a bit of dinner with Andrew and Bob – new NEW best day ever. Only 1 complication–before the ride I noticed a bent/torn tooth on my big ring. I bent it straight and it bent back within 25 miles. I had to trim my shifts differently and it clicky-clicked all afternnoon, but the ride wasn’t ruined by it. I swapped it out for the 48 tooth ring I stripped off the trucker a few months back today and it’s rolling again. Not shifting the greatest–works for now. Time to get geared up for Monument to Monument!

Permalink to my photos HERE. Bob’s photos can be seen HERE.
Bob’s Writeup HERE.
100 miles even – 7744′ elevation – 12.4 moving average