Tuesday, October 31, 2006


First lap lead

Thanks Kevin...

Monday, October 30, 2006

No Pics...

We took the camera to the race this weekend, but somehow it was never put into use. Hopefully, I'll be able to "find" some. If ya know of any, shoot me a link.

Oh, the results were posted today.
1st VACX race, Chimborazo...

Spent Sunday at Chimborazo park. Holly, Parker and I arrived early to watch Sam race the Masters 35+ race and as we parked Sam raced by and told us he had flatted on the first lap. Flats would be a recurring theme for the race.

Hung out at the venue waiting for my 1:01 start time. Prerode the couse a couple of times in between events, found it to be the same course as last year. Grass top section, zooming downhill to mountainbike-like lower section, staircase and a paved climb back to the top section. One addition to the course was a spiral in the grass section at the start of each lap.

Warmed up on the trainer and Ian stopped by, hadn't seen him in years. Kyle showed up sans the new IF Planet cross and had to sign up for the Men C race as they wouldn't let him race B without a USA cycling. 3 sports making up rules? again???

Kyle rode the Mens C on his singlespeed ride, and pulled the front group for the full race. I was yelling for him and he looked strong. He passed by after the hill and before the grass with a little gap, as he went by I had to trash talk a little for my friend. I told the 3 guys who were chasing him "imagine what he could do if he had gears". Kyle won easily, not that racing that course on a single speed could be considered easy. Can't wait to see his new IF. Jeff, Heather and Chardin made it out for the race after Kyle finished and my race would start.

Time for A and B. Sam rode the Men A race and they started a minute before the B crew. I took the hole shot and lead the B field into the spiral, aka circle of death. I did not want to get caught behind any sketchiness. I led the first lap, riding with Steve Fife and Kevin Horvath. At the start of the second lap Steven came around and Kevin moved past me after the spiral. I stayed on Kevin's wheel and after the downhill and the sharp lefthander onto the singletrack, Kevin punctured. He pulled into the pit which luckily for him was right after that section, but he would never make it back up to the front. I rode steady and conservative, knowing that Steve would stay in front as he's been beating me in the MABRA events, but I did keep him in sight. A TriPower rider (Bill Gilmer) was behind me, but never made a run until the last lap but but at that point didn't have enough real estate to make up the distance. Coming into the finish section there was a tall curb. I cleaned that curb each lap, until the last lap. I guess it was a momentary lapse, but I didn't get the rear wheel up and felt the unmistakable hit and heard the puncture. Only 75 meters till the end and the tire was completely flat. A bit of stans no flat in the Tufo should fix it, but I may start running Michelin clinchers from now on. Oh yeah, Steve Fife won, I came in second out of about 20 or so racers.

After the race we loaded up, I got my swag. Three tubes woo hooo. and a silver cowbell clang clang. Jeff, Heather, Chardin, Sam, Holly, Parker and I went to Bottoms Up pizza in Shockoe Bottom. Good eats, Great Company. it was great to see them and have a cheering section. Talked bikes, and other fineries. For some reason, Jeff was talking some nonsense about not drinking beer. Huh?

Family time, Racing, a second place, dinner with friends, a good day...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Shenandoah Bike-Ped Committee...

The committee met yesterday and the locality representatives submitted local bike routes for the future wayfinding project. Augusta County was split in two, bisected by Route 608, with the Waynesboro folks taking the eastern half and myself coordinating the western half. I presented the three loops that James and I plotted and Nancy Sorrels presented another set. We both submitted a short loop in Middlebrook. The Waynesboro reps weren't there.

Thomas Jenkins presented a number of loops and out'n backs in Rockingham, good stuff. Clif from Bath presented a number of loops that went into WV, Highland and Rockbridge from Bath. Those loops look like they would be a lot of fun to ride.

I will post these loops as the wayfinding project develops.

I also presented the 3 "share the road" areas that need signage in Staunton. See the October 9th blog entry. These areas will need to be coordinated, not with this committee, but with the City of Staunton. More needs to be done. More will be done...
Lily riding her bike...

I've had Lily Allen in my iPod for about six months or so, dig the music, the vibe, and the video.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Roadside Memorials...

Bob Fuller's Roadside memorial...

A short commercial for the motorist who needs to place a roadside memorial...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Got My Git Gat On...

So I didn't go to the opening weekend of the MAC series this past weekend. No cyclocross, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy a race.

Sam's parents scored four tickets and hospitality passes to the Subway 500 race in Martinsville and since Sara isn't a big fan of race cars making 2,000 left hand turns, I was lucky enough to go. Free tickets, free food, free beer, can't really complain. Cold and dreary before the race, but the big heater in the sky broke through after the start of the race.

Now I'm not a big fan of nascar, I prefer the IRL. Open wheel racing appeals much more to me than the hackneyed, "rubbin's racin'" mentality of stock cars. But it is fun to watch, especially when I can listen to the driver's radio communications. Jeff Gordon cussing Jimmie Johnson, or my favorite Tony Stewart commenting on how he has to take a piss 300 laps into a 500 lap race and his crew making jokes about waterfalls, warm buckets of water etc. Makes for an enjoyable experience. Wouldn't want to do it each weekend but once every two years or so.

But it's back to cyclocross this Sunday. First race of the Virginia series is in Richmond. Fun Course. See ya there???
Losing Money...

So Queen City Cycling Club agreed to help the organizers of the fall foliage bicycle festival with concessions on Sunday. It was sold to us that the cyclists would need breakfast, coffee danishes muffins etc, as there are not many places to eat in Staunton on Sunday morning. What was not told to us was the festival had a brunch scheduled at 9am in Middlebrook. We should have asked more questions, bought less food. Just sold coffee.

We lost money. Money that will need to be recouped in some manner.

Lessons learned.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


If you take care of your undercarriage, it will take care of you. One of the most important aspects of riding well is riding a bike that fits, and a well fitting saddle is paramount to that tenet. Once you find a saddle that fits, aahhhh. At least until the company that makes this wonderful creation decides to discontinue said saddle, leaving you to scrounge for any remnants.

Titec did that to me with the ithys gove saddle. I test rode a Blur a few years ago that had this saddle and while I ended up buying a different bike, I spec'd the new ride with an ithys gove. I liked it so much I bought enough to put one on each bike. Cyclocross season was not kind on one of them last year, ended up with bent rails. No more oh so comfortable saddles for sale, Titec now had the Hell Bent. Similar but not the same.

Sam found an online retailer that had Titec Ithys Gove Ti saddles available, AND on sale. He said he was going to order two to try them out and if I wanted any. I had already filled the online cart with four . Ok, negate my order and let Sam order four of them for me.

They arrived today. Sweet Sweet Saddles.

And my undercarriage is happy...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Be Nice...

Stumbled upon some words that if taken to heart would solve many problems:

anticipate the worst
respect others
treat others as you wish to be treated

I would add:
work for the best

These words come from gwadzilla's blog. I dig his stream of consciousness form of writing and he always has something interesting to say. Might not always agree with it but you can't say it's boring or uninteresting. Plus he provides almost daily snapshots of urban cycling. Commuting, Messenger, People on bikes...

Where's Dick Pound???

Maybe that's the way to settle the dispute between the UCI and WADA, dueling pistols and twenty paces.

photo courtesy Cyclingnews, © Roberto Bettini

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sniffles and a cough...

Damn, this cold is not cooperating. Head has felt in a haze since early this morning, and now I have a dry cough to compliment my runny nose. No exercise tonight, this sucks...

Saturday, October 14, 2006


On Tuesday October 17th the mountain bike movie "ROAM" will be screened at 7pm at the Grafton-Stoval theater on the campus of JMU. Admission is $5 with the proceeds going to the Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club to support the trails we all use. You can get more information about the movie HERE. There will a townie ride afterwards.

Let me know if you'd like to share a ride to H'burg.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Glad I'm not racing this weekend. Somehow/somewhere I caught a cold, which is playing havoc with my head. Reason enough to take it easy this weekend, I hope to be about to get out on Sunday for a ride to keep the legs used to a weekly hard effort.

Holly and Parker went to NoVa for a baby shower but will be back tomorrow. Uva vs Maryland is tomorrow. I can envision tumbleweeds in the stands as neither team has been playing well. Bourbon is good for head colds, isn't it???

Final Standings...

Earlier this year I decided that I would do a triathlon. Nothing too hard, just a sprint with a short pool swim. The pool training wasn't great but coming off of a good cyclocross season and plenty of running I didn't feel like I would be in over my head. The race was held in Lynchburg on April 2nd. I felt good and met my goal of finishing the race in an hour and 15 minutes, with a final placing of 32nd out of 201 men. I was hooked and decided to do another sprint race the next month in Luray.

My first open water swim was horrible, I had to breaststroke for the full 750meters as I couldn't put my face in the cold water. Felt like a bad asthma attack, and coming out of the water I had to hurl upon entering the transition. But once on the bike I was in my element and rode hard. The run went well, didn't get passed by many other racers. Much to my surprise I won my age group in my second race, coming in 7th overall out of 130 racers. Wow, there may be something to this triathlon racing.

Okay two races under my belt, I started thinking about more races and saw that with 4 races I would be eligible for the final standings in the Virginia Triathlon Series. I ended up doing 4 more races, three of them in the VTS. I wouldn't win another age group but did score a second placing. My swim times showed improvement as the season progressed as did my run. My bike times were where I really made my races what they were. I was consistently one of the fastest cyclists in each race.

Well, the final VTS standings were posted today. In my Age Group (35-39) there were 313 racers and I finished the season in second place.

There just may be something to triathlons. I know where I need to improve and will spend this winter working on my swimming. Next year I will try to improve upon my first year's results.

Here's to trying something new and doing it well...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chimborazo Cyclocross Mens B

2005 Chimborazo Cyclocross race in downtown Richmond Virginia. at around 6 minutes and 15 seconds I come thru for a bike exchange, big Thanks to Chris Scott for getting the IF to shift for me. At that point I'm in 12th or 13th place and move up after the swap to a final 6th. Oh, yeah thanks for misspelling my name... oh well.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

From today's News Leader...

Bike rider hit by car
STAUNTON — A 17-year-old boy was hit by a Mazda SUV driven by a Staunton woman Monday afternoon. The teenager was riding east on West Beverley Street when Julie Shiflett, 19, traveling west on West Beverley Street, turned left onto Mulberry Street and hit the teenager.
The boy was thrown from his bicycle onto the SUV's windshield and then landed on the pavement. He was taken to Augusta Medical Center.

"The injuries are not life-threatening," said officer M.G. Berbes. "It's a bunch of bruises and scratches."
Berbes said that Shiflett will be charged with reckless driving.

Remind me what yesterday's post was about???

Monday, October 09, 2006

Share the Road in Staunton...

Streets in Staunton need "Share The Road" signs. I created a list of streets/roads that should have signage. The streets were placed in three groups; City Entry, Parks, and School Zones.

City Entry
Springhill Road
Churchville Avenue
West Beverly Street
Middlebrook Avenue
New Hope Road
Barterbrook Road
Morris Mill Road
Old Greenville Road

Constitution Avenue
Montgomery Avenue

School Zones
Englewood Drive/Shutterlee Mill Road
Grubert Avenue
North Coalter Street
Greenville Avenue

The city entry areas are at or near the city limits with signs being placed in both directions of travel. Constitution Avenue is the road the goes through Gypsy Hill Park and Montgomery Avenue is the street leading to Montgomery Hall Park. The signage in the School Zones would be placed outside of the "school zone" flashing signage.

This list will be presented at the Central Shenandoah Valley Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee meeting later this month. This is in additon to the 3 routes for western Augusta County that will be used in promoting recreational cycling and tourism. Route signage is important along with signage that reminds motorists to share the road.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Short Course...

Breast Cancer Awareness race was held yesterday at the Hagerstown, Maryland fairgrounds. AVC, the promoting club staked off an interesting course. Interesting in that they didn't have much real estate to work with, but they did make use of everything they had. Offcamber, 2 sets of barriers, sand, quick descents and one nice short, steep ascent were all put together on a course that was very short but flowed well.

Men's B completed 11 laps. Yeah, 11. Meaning 22 sets of barriers and 11 tough grinds up the hill to the top of the course. I have never been on a course that short but at least it gave plenty of opportunity to practice barriers at race speed.

I started towards the end of the 46 B racers but moved up at the first 180 degree turn to be mid pack. Went hard the first few laps until the pack thinned itself out, kept seeing the sharp end of the race on the switchbacks which was encouraging. I found myself racing with Mike O'Hara of LSV, Chris Harshman of SnowValley, and Miles of Joe's Bike with Matt Michel just behind us. Our group traded the lead off, racers would move up and back, and I kept moving off the back but kept them within sight. The sand was slowing, holding me back but I felt strong on the barriers and the steep hill. Miles dropped a chain on a barrier towards the end and was out. Mike moved past me on with two laps to go but I stayed right with him. On the last ascent I went by him as he seemed to falter. Chris had dropped off our wheels at the beginning of the final lap. As soon as I made it the top, it was four turns and a pavement finish. Just thought push hard, ride smooth.

Finished 15th. One better than last week. I feel like my speed is improving but so is everyone else's.

My dad went to race with me, it was his first cyclocross race. He enjoyed the race and it was nice to have someone cheering for me. It's always good to have a cheering section. Talked to Kevin Dillard before the race. He's riding a sweet DeSalvo bike in Green and Pink. Odd choice of colors if you try to imagine green and pink on bike, but it looks great with some Chris King anodized pink.

3 weeks until the start of the Virginia Cyclocross Series and races for 5 straight weeks. Fun.

Friday, October 06, 2006

End of the week...

A lot happened this week.

Parker went for his first run in the Bob jogger on monday and slept thru bootcamp class. He watched his Mommy play basketball and seemed to enjoy watching the game or maybe just the movement.

On Wednesday Queen City Cycling Club met and installed a board of directors and officers. Following the meeting, James and I mapped 3 routes for the Central Shenandoah Bike/Ped Committee. 10miler in Middlebrook, a 24ish miler that goes south to Chestnut Ridge and back via Old Greenville road. The long route will go north Mt pisgah via Quicks Mill, then east to New Hope via Damtown, then north then west to Mt Sidney, then west to Centerville. On to Mt Solon via MossyCreek, this route then goes south to Springhill then to FranksMill and back to Staunton. We also put together a list of roads/streets for "Share The Road" signs.

Thursday was a trip to ECBA to get the Plant X squared away as it was difficult to shift. Ended up getting new housing for the rear derailleur. Spent four hours at the shop, better than therapy.

Today James, Annette and I got together at Black Dog Bikes to start planning for the breakfast booth the club will staff at the Fall Foliage bike festival. Gotta make some $$$.

Tomorrow is the Hagerstown cyclocross race, so tonight I got all the gear together. Busy week. No words of wisdom, but stay tuned they may start rolling at any minute.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Finished some wheels...

So a few weeks ago I was at ECBA getting this and that done. I asked Les if he needed any wheels built. He went to the back room and pulled out a box that contained a set of black Mavic Open Pro rims, a front and rear set of Campy Centaur hubs and a box of DT 2.0 spokes/nipples. I had never worked with Campy hubs and Les warned me that the rear would have a noticeable difference in tension between drive side and nondrive side. Cool, no problem. Les then showed me what was written on the box. It said, "Dennis Herr wheels". Damn, I was going to be building the wheels for Dennis' new bike. I felt honored and let Les know that, and that I would do my best in building them. Well, I finished them tonight, there's nothing much to building wheels once you get the process down and when you build using quality components. This set of wheels went together smooth and I brought them up to tension slowly, making sure I relieved the spokes after each truing. Dennis is a big guy and needs a strong set of wheels.

For those that don't know Dennis, here's the short version. Dennis is a local cyclist, trail runner, ultra marathoner. Although some hip issues had him riding and not running much. Earlier this year, Dennis was making a left hand turn and a pickup decided that it could not wait to get around him and passed Dennis on the left as he was turning. Dennis was in ICU for a while and is still in the rehabilitation process. He is still not able to ride solo but can ride tandem. Les and Marshall ride a tandem with him. Once he is able to get back on his bike, he'll have a good set of wheels to roll on. I'm glad I was able to build his wheels.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ed Sander Cyclocross

Ah the legs didn't do too badly yesterday, much better than Charm City. The start wasn't too crazy, again better than the week before. The first half of the course was a power section with many 90 degree turns in and around the ponds. After a sharp left hander at the 'store', the course followed a gravel road that gave plenty of opportunity to make passes. A slick left hander lead into a fast grass section that dumped the racers to the base of 5-6step runup. This one was a U-turn runup so at the top it was turn right and jump on the bike and hope you don't flub the mount. And Don't forget to smile.

Another left handed turn was followed by a set of steep 'n short rollers. These rollers led to the high point of the course and after a right hand turn it was a fast descent back to the 'store'. The mud made it interesting.

I didn't start overly fast, just steady and felt in control for the whole race. I rolled with a guy from Joe's Bike Shop, his name was Hosteller and he finally pulled away from me with just over 2 laps to go. We both moved by Matt Michel and his nice Independent Fabrication in yellow 'n green. Matt was rolling the steep sections fast and smooth and i was able to keep with him without much work in the power sections. On the last lap I stayed right on his wheel to the top of the course and motored pass him on the descent. Once in sight of the 'store' a few pops of the shifter and I was ready for a sprint that never developed.

Final results had me in 16th, much better than last week's 27/28.(depending on which results you look at) Parker was there but slept through the race. He'll have more opportunities to come. A big Thank you to my mom in law for staying a few extra days and giving Holly and Parker a ride to the race. Also, Thanks to Sam for taking some pics and Good Job in the Masters 35+ race. Knocked the first one of the season out of the way. James pulled in decent finish in the Men's C. First cyclocross race and he's ready for more.

The organizers put on a great race with proceeds going to fund a scholarship for Ed Sander's son. Ed was a manager at Lilypons Water Garden center (race venue) and was killed in a training accident. Good race for a great cause.

Caught the kids race, not sure who was having more fun the kids or the parents corraling them thru the course. Watched a bit of the women's A, Dee was running away with the race when we left. Long ride home, took 4hours with a stop in Leesburg for lunch. Long day for such a short race, but So worth it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Good Weekend
BrewGrass, UVA didn't Lose, Va Tech did, Socialized and had a good race.

Friday, Brewgrass at Queen City Brewing.
My mother in law watched Parker so Holly and I could walk down to QCB and sample a few beers. We have two growlers that we were planning on taking to the Fall Fest party, and we were up in the air as to what to fill 'em with. We decided on the Belgium Wheat (unfiltered) for Holly and the Scottish Ale for myself. the oktoberfest was out. Hung out and listened to the bluegrass band, most of them were Marino's regulars. We ran into Suzanne and Otis who own the bed and breakfast where Holly and I were married. It was nice to catch up with them.

Worked on the IF, cleaned and lubed the rear derailleur cable. Trued the rear wheel and remounted the tufo as the bead seemed to have worked itself off. Watched UVa not lose to Duke, then watched Georgia Tech open a Costco-sized can of whoop ass on Va Tech.
We headed over to Lori's for her Fall Fest party. Great spread of food. Had a few beers, carboloaded for Sunday's race. It was good fun.

Sunday, race day
Alarm went off and I was out of the house by 6:30am to head to MD. Google maps let me down as I tried to get around Leesburg but Still was able to make it to the Lilypons water garden center for the Ed Sander Memorial cyclocross race. Full details will follow later. Short story, Did better than the Charm City race and felt strong. Final placing was 16th.
Holly and Parker rode to the race with her mom, it was Parker's first race. He slept thru it. It was good to have a cheering section. It's always good to have a cheering section.

It was a good weekend.