Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Springtime

We've got daffodils. These came with the place.



Hyacinths.



More crocuses.



The first tulips.



And the amazing magnolia.





Team Dog and Baby



I stayed home with Max all day. He has an ear infection. He's not taking any guff from anybody.

Bike Ride Report - Dewey Beach

This weekend my friend Jim and I rode to the beach and back. Jim has a beach house. (For folks not in the Baltimore-Washington area, a beach house is where a group of a dozen or so people chip in and rent a house on the Delaware beaches or Ocean City for the summer, and then drive out there every weekend and party. Beach houses typically have a frat/dormitory air.)

So to get ready for the fleche we rode to the beach and back. I rode from home. Jim met me at the Bay Bridge, gave me a ride over, and then we rode "together" from the Park'n'Ride at the east end of the bridge. I say "together" because there was a stiff headwind on the way out, and while I am on a recumbent that cuts through headwinds just fine, Jim is a big guy on a regular bike, a hybrid to boot, so he's sitting up straight to maximize his wind resistance.

I'd try to ride as slow as Jim, but I'd just get bored and go on ahead, but it didn't matter anyway because we weren't on any sort of pace to get in before dark, and Jim didn't bother to bring lights, so we had to ride in together anyway.

Here's the T-Bone, ready to roll in front of home. It's 8:00 AM, 50 degrees and raining.



I met Jim at the deli at Jamal's Bay 50 shopping center at 10. We ate, crossed the bridge, and were riding along into the headwinds by 11:30.

This is on Knife Box Road at the intersection of High Stump Road. Jim is back there somewhere.



After a late lunch at NASCAR Al's, Jim proposed an alternate route than our usual route so we wouldn't have to ride in the dark. At this point we were 40 miles from the end and it was 4:00 PM. It stays light until 7:30.

Little did Jim realize that his alternate was 10 miles longer, which pretty much guaranteed we would be in after dark, but the alternate goes through woods so there is no wind, and is very scenic and quite a winner. Here is a scene from the alternate. This I think is looking back along Redden Road at Downs Road. Jim is back there somewhere.



Here is the gratuitous campground picture. Beach rides are just like touring in some ways.



So it was 126 miles out, and it took 9:10 minutes rolling, and approximately 12 hours on the clock.

MotionBased page for the Home to Bay Bridge leg.
MotionBased page for Bay Bridge to Beach leg.

The way home was a new day, a day with a mighty nice tailwind. We didn't get on the road until 11:00, though. Jim, stating that he didn't want to discourage me from doing the whole ride all the way back to my house, gave me his keys and told me to ride to the end at my pace, and then go back and pick him up wherever he was, so I would have a chance at getting home before dark.

No problem. I decided I'd ride an hour, then stop for a snack and take a picture.

After 1 hour, I was at Carpenter Rd. and Diamond Farm Rd. south of Milton.



After another hour, I was in Greenville. Tailwinds rock.



After another hour, I was in Greensboro. Tailwinds rock.



After another hour, I was in Centerville. Tailwinds rock.



And after another hour and 6 minutes I was done, at the convenience store by the Park'n'Ride.



There's the Bay Bridge.



It was 4:20 at this point, which is an absurdly short time to ride across the Eastern Shore. Tailwinds rock. I took my time having a snack at the convenience store, and I wound up picking Jim up just before Queenstown at 5:30.

An hour of riding later, I made Harundale. Look at all the daylight.



I made it home at 8:00 pm, for 6:47 pedaling, 113 miles, and 9 hours actual time.

MotionBased page for the Beach to Bridge leg.
MotionBased page for Bridge to Home leg.

Curiously, I had exactly the same average speed for both segments from my house to the bridge.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

T-Bone Back on the Road and Badder than Ever

Since I have the trike for touring, I've set the T-Bone up as a go-fast bike. It's not geared particularly low, the idea is I'll ride the Cobrabike in hilly terrain (brevets) and ride the T-Bone in the flats and commuting when I want to get where I'm going fast.



Here is the new gizmo on the T-Bone. Rotor Q-Rings.



The idea of the non-round chainring is you are pushing a higher gear when your leg has the most power.

These kick butt.

Two days ago I took the scenic route home up Gun Rd. and was pretty much as fast as the Cobrabike. MotionBased page here.

Today, I didn't realize how late it was, so I took the fastest, flattest route to get home before dark, and clobbered my best-ever time riding home from work. Average speed 21 mph over 10 miles. MotionBased page here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Springtime



My crocuses are blooming.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bike Ride Report - Sort of Lost River 200k

I attempted the DC Randonneurs Lost River 200k yesterday. It wasn't really the Lost River 200k, because there was a foot of unplowed snow over the pass in West Virginia, and Matt the RBA changed the route to go to Harrisonburg on 42 instead.



This is where I gave it up.



This was just over 30 miles into the ride, on SR 42 in Conicville, VA. It was a really beautiful spot, especially if you weren't riding a bike since it was about 30 degrees out with a 20 mph wind. But front-wheel drive recumbents with skinny road tires and snow don't mix.

Looking west.



Looking east.



Looking north, back the way I came.



The route went along Back Rd. and 42, which follow a ridge line. The roads were plowed, but overnight, the howling wind had blown drifts over them. I decided to get off the ridge and ride home on nice dry route 11.

I wound up doing a nice metric century with 4000 feet of climb. I wasn't feeling very strong at all, and I was fighting sleep on the drive home, which was in the early afternoon. I had a nice ride, though.

Check out the ice buildup on the bike in front of the rear wheel.



There were even icicles on the tool bag!



Despite all the snow, there were signs of spring. There were lots of robins out, and I saw a couple phoebes. Robins don't migrate, they hide in thick woods, but phoebes do. They are the last to go and the first to return.

Here's the MotionBased link, which has a link to a Google map with a track for my route.

Max Hits the Lower East Side



Last weekend Debra and I and the Cutie Pie Guy went to New York City. We went to our friend Jen's surprise 40th birthday party.



Jen's husband Marc had all her friends to to a neighborhood bar to surprise her when she and Mark stopped in.



The bar was Manitoba's on Avenue B, which is owned by the obscure punk rock star Handsome Dick Manitoba. This is a great bar in one of my all-time favorite bar hopping neighborhoods.

Also, they let Marc play videos of Jen as a teenager, to her mortification.



Max got to meet many of our old friends.



Jen gave me a tip that there is a store on Avenue A that has Ramones onsies, so Max and I went on a quick shopping excursion. The baby clothes were sold out, but we did find somebody painted a nice mural on the wall of what was once King Tut's Wah Wah Hut.



I am making that expression because it is hard to compose a picture that you are going to take yourself through the viewfinder of the camcorder pointing the wrong way.

Max spent most of the time at Jen's party dancing and hitting on the bartender. He is such a heartbreaker.