Saturday, March 31, 2007

almost like christmas...

All of the components for the new IF have arrived. Now I'm just waiting for the frame to hang them on.

Here are the wheels...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

let kids play...

I read an interesting op-ed in the LA Times today, "Let kids outdoors", by LJ Williamson.

Give it a read.

Are we as a society so racked with fear of letting kids play outside that we would gladly cede their health and independence? Do kids have to live in fear when the fear is imagined?

Let kids be kids, playing, riding, running...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Solid start...

The first triathlon of the season was on Saturday in Smithfield Virginia. I found myself on the podium in the 35-39 age group, although it was the wrong step. I guess a third place is a good start to the season.

Smithfield was a 300m pool swim, more of a splash and dash. My time in the swim is improving, with more to go. The bike leg was on smooth and flat roads, with one sharp left hand turn. There was a 10 knot side/head wind for most of the bike. I wasn't happy with my bike time, which was the eighth fastest overall. My time was 46 seconds slower than the fastest rider and over a 10 mile course I should've been faster. Maybe I need more hills? I felt great after my run. The course was an out and back with the first/last half mile run through a neighborhood and the remaining course was on a frontage road. I tried to pick off runners in front of me and was never passed. I wasn't passed on any of the three legs (even managed to pass someone in the pool). The run split showed a PR for a 5k. And that was with a swim/bike warm up...

I'm happy with the race time, considering it's (1) early in the season and I haven't done any speed work yet, and (2) I've been on antibiotics for a sinus/ear infection since last Wednesday.

The next triathlon is Angels Triathlon on April 15th with the Kinetic Sprint the following weekend.

I'm ready for speed work, I want to get faster.

To race fast you have to train fast...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

my little germ factory...

Poor little guy has an ear infection and a chest cold. Antibiotics and albuterol should have him back to normal in no time.

I didn't want the little guy to suffer alone so I have a sinus infection with an ear infection to boot. Antibiotics and decongestent should have me back to normal in a few days.

This morning's swim wasn't much fun. Hopefully, I'll have more fun during the swim on Saturday. It's only 300meters so I won't have to be in the water for long.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Spring...

Daffodills are blooming.

Little green leaves sprouting on shrubbery.

Warm winds and a short sleeve jersey on my ride outside today.

Lovely spring is here...

Monday, March 19, 2007

H.R. 807

Found a post on gwadzilla's site today about the Bicycle Commuter Act (HR 807). Follow the link below to send your Representative/Senator an email asking for their support of the Act.

It's easy just click, enter your zip and send the emails...

New Post...

Dropping a post on ya, even though not much is going on here other than:

1) riding/running/swimming
2)tried Zynodoa Saturday, creative and delicious food, new restaurant in downtown Staunton
3)organizing the Queen City Century with James and Annette
4) rode Mud Pond with James and Dustin on Sunday, fresh tracks. I hope that's the last time I ride in snow this year. Forgot the camera, disappointed as the snow on the ridge was beautiful. I'll try to be better next time.
5)Ronde van Vlaugusta is set for April 1. No fooling. 40 miles with 4 or 5 pave sections in southern Augusta County. Get ready for the Harris-Roubaix ride on April 8 in Rockingham.
6)getting set for the first triathlon of the season this Saturday in Smithfield.

Fun stuff...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ouch, 1st mtn bike race...

I did my first mountain bike race in a couple of years, and rode around an hour longer than I would in a cyclocross race... It was good to get back into it. Saw the tripower crew and some other riders I've raced with/against. It's always nice to see the local riders. Helluva group of racers in the Commonwealth.

Last race on the full suspension Fuel as I've ordered a Ti Deluxe from Independent Fabrication. Full susp back to Hardtail, Time to relearn some skills. Time to learn some skills. Can't do anything but help the 'cross racing. I had a little mishap towards the end of the first lap and decided to back it off as it's been a while since I had raced in the trees on singletrack. No need to push too hard and wreck twice. Passed some people and got passed by others, overall it was a good start to the season.

Rolled to Camp Hilbert with James, he busted out a solid 5th place in the singlespeed class. Bam nice job.

Jeff knocked the cobwebs loose and showed me how to roll it IF style. great race.

2 week until the first triathlon of the season...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Same Meeting, different time and place

I found out this morning the Forest Service Plan workshop meeting has been moved from the Rockingham Government building to JMU's Grafton Stovall Theatre. the time has been moved back to 1:30pm. Plenty of space for everyone.

See ya there...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

GW Forest Service Plan workshop...

The Forest Service is holding a workshop this Saturday from 1-4pm in Harrisonburg to elicit public comments on its management of the forest. This impacts trail use/construction, roadless areas, road maintenance/construction and how the National Forest will be used and managed for the next 15 years.

The Daily News Leader had an article on the meeting in today's edition, see the article here:

The article doesn't specifically mention mountain biking but trails are the bread 'n butter of this constituency and they are mentioned. The meeting will be held at the Rockingham County Government Office Building, 20 E. Gay St., in Harrisonburg. If you can't make the meeting, written comments can be addressed to George Washington Plan Revision, 5162 Valleypointe Parkway, Roanoke, VA 24019

Not sure of what to say? Here are some talking points developed by SVBC/SMBC and IMBA reps: (Thanks to Pete for forwarding these to me)

I like that the current plan allows cyclists to enjoy a primitive backcountry trail experience.
o "I could ride all day in remote areas and see maybe one other person. I especially enjoy being able to ride the (insert favorite) trail because of it’s backcountry character and scenic vistas"
o I like the 12c prescription in the Jeff plan because it allows for trail cycling in "wilderness-like" area", yet still allows chainsaw use and trail management without roads.

I like how the Local ranger districts have embraced partnering with volunteers on trail management.
o Provide chainsaw training and certification
o Volunteer agreements

I like riding my bike in the Shenandoah Mountain Roadless areas between 250 and 33.
o This area includes one of the largest roadless areas in the East
o It provides one of the top three backcountry riding locations east of the Mississippi.
o Contains important habitat for black bear and a wide variety of other species, some rare
o Has outstanding scenic and recreational values
o Encompasses key watersheds, including the watershed for Harrisonburg’s Skidmore Fork reservoir.
o This area is the reason many of us have chosen to live in the Valley.
o This area is so special it deserves special protection of at least a 12c nature or be designated a National Scenic Area.

I like the economic benefit of trails
o Tourism –hikers, trail runners, cyclists, birders, hunters, and fisherman travel hundreds of miles to recreate in the GW. They contribute thousands of dollars to the local economies.
o Improved quality of life increase the ability of local business to recruit high quality employees. Ex. SRI, Merck
o Increased property value
o Damascus is a great example of the economic benefit of trails.

I like the emphasis on shared use trail opportunities.

"I Dislike the lack of funding for outdoor recreation, when it is an important economic engine for local economies"
o Studies of other mtb destinations show an average of $200 per visitor spent during an overnight stay.
o A recent survey indicated that 80% of mtb enthusiasts participate in at least one overnight destination mtb trip a year.
o The survey respondents indicated that scenery, challenge, and exercise were the main reasons for travel

I dislike the lack of trail loop opportunities. I would like more loop opportunities. There are many places where a short one or two mile connector would create a much larger loop using existing roads and trails.

I dislike how the trails are permanently altered by fire management.
o Hand built singletrack trails have been bulldozed into 8’ wide fire breaks with no restoration. Ex. Hone Quarry, SMT
o Trails are a facility and if damaged during fire management they should be restored to their former or future desired condition. This cost should be considered part of the cost of fire management be attributed to the fire management budget.
o Trails have a construction cost of $15,000 to $30,000 per mile.

I dislike that many of our trails have unsustainable alignments and use old extraction routes. These do little to showcase the landscape of the forest and often result in resource damage from erosion caused by poor design. Please replace these unsustainable trails with sustainable shared trails that reduce maintenance cost and provide a higher quality recreation experience. Build more sidehill singletrack


Any recreation facilities, including trails, damaged during fire management ops should be restored to previous or desired condition with fire management funds. This cost should be part of the fire management cost analysis. (see dislikes)

Increased shared use loop opportunities.

Increased novice or least challenging trails on forest edge to provide positive front country trail experiences.
Health benefits

Focuses use on edge of forest, leaving core for primitive recreation.

Develop or relocate parking areas on edge of forest when possible to reduce vehicle traffic and shorten drive to forest. Reduce pollution.

Increase protection for the area between US 250 and US 33, east of Shenandoah mountain to protect its backcountry aspects while allowing shared use trail recreation. (see likes)

Manage all IRA(inventoried Roadless Areas) under the 2001 roadless rule.

Increase funding for recreation trails to reflect their benefit to the local economies.

Adopt GET (Great Eastern Trail) corridor as a shared use trunk trail that connects the western GW ranger districts.

Provide viewshed protection for NRTs in GW. Ex Wild Oak trail
Seasonal road closures during wet seasons or freeze thaw to reduce road maintenance costs.

All new trails or roads should be follow sustainable design principals. This includes following contour alignments, average grades under 10%, and frequent grade reversals.
o This will result in reduced maintenance costs and reduced resource impact.
o This will increase the trails sustainable carrying capacity, improve accessibility, and create a higher quality recreation experiences.

More information on the plan can be found at this GW Forest Service site:

Get involved and get heard...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

volunteers needed...

Calling all volunteers, fame and fortune await you.

Not really, but if you would like to get involved I've got opportunties for you.

Behind door #1

Shenandoah Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee needs volunteers for one of the following subcommittes:


  • Bike/Ped Liaison with VDOT
  • Safety - signs, road improvements, paths/routes
  • Comprehensive Planning, Development that accomodates cycling and pedestrian issues

Marketing and Tourism

  • Accomodate Bike Destinations
  • Promote Tourist friendly/interesting routes
  • Marketing - consistent logo/wayfinding signage and mapping

Health and Education

  • Education Programs
  • Special Events - Bike to Work, Rodeos
  • Public Service Announcements
  • School Involvement

Program Administration

  • Full Time Staff, create a position
  • Non-Profit Status
  • Partnering with State/Local Agencies and citizen groups
  • Fundraising

If any of these sounds interesting to you and you would like to promote cycling in the Shenandoah Valley, get in touch with me. Meetings are once a month for about an hour of your time. A small time commitment and a lot of good will be done.

Behind Door #2

Queen City Cycling Club is planning on hosting a Century/half century ride this May and we need volunteers. Sag support, registration, route marking, rest stop, all around gofer etc are some of the exciting positions available for the right person. Again, if you are interested get in touch with me or check out QCCC's messageboard at

Your help is needed...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

win a nice bike...

Harlan Price is raffling a great prize to help support his racing season. In case you haven't followed cyclingnews or velonews, Harlan won the National Ultra MTB Series last year. He races for Independent Fabrication and IF is providing the winner of the raffle a custom steel frame and fork. The raffle (tickets are $5, so buy a few) will be held May 25th in Philadelphia, you do not need to be present to win, but the party sounds like a blast.

All pertinent information can be found at Harlan's blog

Or go straight to bikereg and order tickets (plural)

help him out...

movie night...

If you can't make the world premiere of 24 Solo, the new film from the acclaimed producers of Off Road to Athens, the East Coast premiere will be April 28th in Harrisonburg. This film follows Chris Eatough of Trek VW as he seeks to win his seventh World title.

Check out the site for the trailer, pics and to order tickets ($6 pre-order or $8 at the door) to the showing at Court Square theatre in Harrisonburg. The same day in Harrisonburg, the Tour of Virginia will have a criterium in downtown, so watch skinny tires on the street then watch knobby tires on the big screen.

bring a date, make a night of it...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Snow shadows...

Ever see snow shadows before?

I did today on the top of Hankey Mountain on a ride with James. West Virginia relinquished some of its snow and we found ourselves climbing the fire road in a snow shower. It left a fine dusting of powdery dryness on the forest floor. As we rounded the gate at the end of the fire road to begin riding the trail, the sun greeted our cold faces. As we are riding the single track , I saw that we were riding over long strips of snow. It wasn't until I stopped and looked at them, that I realized they were snow shadows from the trees. The sun didn't melt all of the snow and left some on the lee side of the trees.

It's the little things like seeing snow shadows on top of a mountain that makes cycling great...

Friday, March 02, 2007

joining a Team...

I haven't been on a team since running cross country in college. There are a number of cycling teams in Virginia but none that are in the valley, and none of which really made me want to join, other than TriPower. That's a great team and if I lived in the tidewater area I'd be all over it. Actually all of the teams I've encountered have been good organizations with great people involved, but I never felt the need or 'want' to belong to them.

Indendent Fabrication has a Grassroots Racing Team that exhibits the same qualities as Indy Fab. The IF racers I know are good people and great riders. Quick to say hi and give a congrats on a good ride. The history of Independent Fabrication is a great story and the company builds a high quality bike with integrity. They are at the forefront of the custom steel and ti framebuilding arena.

I applied to join IF Grassroots Racing and I found out yesterday that I will be racing for them this year. I feel honored to be included with this incredible group of racers and to be representing a company that I have admired for many years. My first race in the IF kit will be a great experience. And my second, third, hell all of 'em...

First mounatin bike race is next week, with the first tri 2 weeks after that one. The season is fast approaching...