Monthly Archives: December 2007

A wee damp ride

The 757 bike bloggers got dirty, cold and wet today on the trail system around Lake Maury in Newport News. With rain creeping into the area, I was more than ready to pull the plug, make some coffee and read the paper, but Kevin told me Liz was in, so there was no pulling out. It was cold and gray when we arrived at the parking lot.

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Todd, Jerry, Kevin and Marco

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Liz the Voice

In fact, there were a whole mess of us. Kevin organized the boys to poach in on the women’s ride organized by Beneline and Liz. Here’s a group shot from Liz, but shot by Beneline:

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Then we rode off and let the women be. We boys were chasing our tour guide Todd from Trek’s East Coast team through the woods. It was a lot of fun. Since I hadn’t been on my K2 since July, when I tore the tire racing in Richmond, I was kind of tentative, slipping out on leaves and not feeling real secure. Even sick Marco was riding away from me. Then it started raining. A nice cold rain. The kind that soaks through your clothes and settles in your bones. Ride faster, stay warmer. The mud was fun, sliding through turns; the wet roots, not so much. I started to feel more confident on the bike and towards the end was having little trouble staying up with Marc and Jerry… Todd and Kevin were another matter. Wish I had better MTB skills. All four of these guys outclassed me on that count.

Despite the rain, we had a great, fun ride. If we’d started at 8am instead of 9, we could have logged some decent time in, but we still got nearly 90 minutes of riding. Hopefully I’ll log more time on the mountain bike this year. It’s a good alternative when it’s cold outside. The trail keeps your mind off the chill and the woods negate whatever wind there is. And even though I was cold and all wet, a quick change of clothes in the car and I was good to go.

Spring cross

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Click on it. Cyclocross in the spring. Me like. Too bad I don’t live in Colorado.

The wonder and shrieks of Christmas

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Merry, merry, happy, happy to everyone!

Christmas Eve serenade

The family came to Chez Dins last night for the traditional Christmas Eve lasagna, egg nog and laughter. Ellie recently took up the cello at school and wanted to play for us.

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She regaled us with a soulful “Jingle Bells” as could only be delivered by a cello. Not to be outdone, Millie fetched her piano and Audrey the bongo drums.

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And soon the girls were giving us a concert.

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A wonderful time was had by all.

Merry Christmas to me!

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My present this year was a new bike to replace the Schwinn and its cracked frame. I bought Danbo’s year-old Cannondale CAAD9 team frame, switched my Mavics over and bought a SRAM Force gruppo after reading some reviews that said it was good for sprinters.

I put 20 miles on it before the skies opened Sunday to start getting used to the shifting, then I took it out with the Tripower group on Christmas Eve. The bike is super-light and the handling is almost twitchy. I can feel the power transfer instantly when I push, which is awesome. It has a stiffer feel than the old Schwinn Fastback. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but so far it’s doing well. The drivetrain still needs some tweaking though. Getting some miss-shifts, though that may yet be operator error!

With the week off, I hope to get many more miles in on her.

VACX Final video

Pieced this together from some clips I shot last week in Charlottesville at the state cyclocross series final.

Bragging rights and $5

Will buy a yummy St. George Porter, which is exactly what I did after finishing the “alley cat for kittens” Friday evening in about 21 minutes. Wes shot video of the entire race (um, I mean, scavenger hunt, officer) with three cameras and spliced together this cool video:

I guess I take these things too seriously, but I just love rolling fast through the city in a helter skelter manner like this. It brings me back to the summer when I was a bike courier in D.C. The race took the group of maybe 15 of us to 21st Street, then down by PETA, over to the Pagoda, through downtown to Harbor Park, back to the Greyhound station and up to The Boot on the other end of 21st. It was all of 6.3 miles for me, but it was fun, especially flying down Colley and scrambling through a busy downtown on Friday evening. Four or five guys rolled up a minute or so after me, but some stopped at Empire on Granby for a beverage.

Who had more fun? We all did. Come on out and play next time.