Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

the original...

Here are a few pictures of the original singlespeed - the Iron Horse MT400 conversion.

Painted scheme was "Carbon tubing in aluminum lugs." Don't be deceived... this thing was a tank.

Built up with many of the original components. The rear wheel was my first attempt at wheel building.

Some stenciling provided an affirmation of the drivetrain's status. I'm pretty sure I ripped that idea off of drunkcyclist.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

finding center...

After reading Faticus' comment on my previous post, dear Reader, you might think I have a problem. I have spent the last few months populating my stable and upgrading the steeds I already ride. I fail to see this as a problem, and though I may be in the throes of denial, I like to think that the depth of my quiver is a means of centering myself.

This is not to say that the act of owning or purchasing a bicycle somehow singularly fulfills me; I think I would find a similar outlet if I had a different passion. The outlet cycling provides stretches beyond riding.


You see, about the same time bicycle rides started to occupy a significant amount of my free time, singlespeed mountain bikes were becoming very in vogue. While I owned two geared mountain bikes at the time – an old rigid Iron Horse and a Haro, neither truly satisfied me.


I decided that the Iron Horse - which held substantial emotional capital as the first decent mountain bike I owned - would make a great singlespeed. This conversion would not only require some research, but would also require many of the single-purpose tools notorious in the world of bicycles. So as a poor college student, I did the unthinkable and went straight to a super-discount online retailer to purchase the super-discount (and of questionable quality) basic bicycle tool kit.


A month later, after stripping, sanding, masking, painting; lacing, tensioning, dishing, truing; matching, swapping, bolting, and screwing, I had a singlespeed mountain bike. But it was more – it was a machine that bled my blood and somehow shared my DNA. My sweat had forged the frame.


Not long after my project was complete I started working at a bike shop. This served two important purposes – bikes and parts at cost, and free training on bicycle tuning, repair, and maintenance. The $8 an hour under-the-table pay was peanuts compared to the knowledge I considered my true compensation. That, and it was a proud moment when I was deemed the best handlebar-taper in the shop’s employ.


To this day I love working on my bikes. The process is cathartic, and the satisfaction of a clean, well-tuned drivetrain runs deep. I continue to grow my skill set – this year it was gluing tubulars. I love the single-purpose tools, and I still find my center while listening to some music in the garage and wrapping fresh tape around my handlebars.


I’m not sure if the act of working on and riding bicycles forged my love affair with both activities, or if some inherent character trait led me those activites. But I’m not sure it matters.

By the way, cheap-ass N***bar tool kit may have been the best investment I have ever made. Less than 40 bucks and it’s still a trusted friend.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Niner...

Couple of shift cables and some housing away from a new whip...

First geared mountain bike in 7 years.

Just a test

No beer at work.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

happy holidays...

I may come across as a bit of a Grinch sometimes around the holidays, but only because I think the commercialization of what should be a celebration of togetherness adds too much stress to everyone's life. That being said, it is really nice to see someone open a gift you know they will like.

However, at work, I'm constantly annoyed by one thing.... Allow me to indulge myself.

We have administrative assistants at my office under the guise of "Support Associates." I generally avoid asking them for help, as I have no problem doing these small tasks for myself. I don't even really like my support person, and I've received rolling eyes and an over-acted sigh each time I've asked for help accomplishing something "below my pay grade" (yes - it's never said, but it's implied around here).

I'm already irritated by the fact that we buy them flowers and gifts on "Administrative Assistant Day"- a day that recognizes these employees as something by which we are all told NOT to refer to them (plus, are they not just DOING THEIR JOB??? I don't get chocolates for showing up every day).

Now we are taking up collections to buy them Christmas presents!!! We already do a Yankee Gift Swap, which is inclusive and great and is "in the spirit." How many gifts should one get for doing their job every day? On top of that, I don't even use their "services" and I don't even like the person to whom I am now giving a gift.

Maybe, Dear Reader, you'll say that I'm just a Scrooge. But I hate the hypocrisy and the double standards and the unspoken game of domination and superiority.

Rant over.

Monday, December 01, 2008

thanksgiving...

First and foremost, I'm thankful I'm not from the Turnpike State - New Jersey, home of the Ugg-wearing daddy's girl and a Nathan's Hot Dogs every 500 meters:


But all kidding (?) aside I'm really thankful for pecan pancakes:


Fall mountain bike rides with a mid-ride rehydration stop:



People who inspire me to work on my log-riding skills and a more boisterous laugh:


Good friends:


New England:

Drinking wine in the year it is meant to be consumed (here's a piece of advice - don't drink 12 year aged Beaujolais Nouveau)



The after effects of drinking copious amounts of wine:

Five Guys:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

talk of the weather will do...

Yesterday evening, as I was heading to bed, I thought to myself: "I think I'll ride my bike to work tomorrow." It was a whim that vanished as quickly as it had appeared, but I laid my head on my pillow content with my decision.

Fast forward, dear Reader to 6:30 this morning. I wake up, pour a bowl of cereal, and have a look at the weather forecast:


That giant green and yellow blog was headed straight for my commuting route. So I quickly reneged on my plan and went about brewing my coffee, rather than waiting to do so at work - my normal routine on a day I bike commute.

I finished packing a lunch, read some news on the interwebs, put on a rain-proof jacket, and headed out to the car, coffee in hand. I sit in the driver's seat and realize I've left my keys in the ignition all night, with the radio on. Sure enough, the battery is dead. Just like that, I was riding my bike to work again.

It's a good thing that Ghetto Prom recently underwent yet another transmogrification. About a year ago, iPaul(c) gave me a beautiful old Atala frameset, and that became Ghetto Prom v3.0. You can read about that transformation here. While the Atala was nice, it never quite fit me right, and I tired of commuting to work with a backpack. It wasn't very comfortable, and it left me with a sweaty back.

Allow me to digress a moment: a month ago, I stumbled across a great deal on a Salsa Casseroll, and the dynamic project known as Ghetto Prom took yet another step into the future. While I love the new build, and used parts that have been on and off various versions of Ghetto Prom through her history, I'm left wondering if she's really the same bike with which I began. She's really become my Ship of Theseus. The original Ghetto Prom had cottered cranks, a 1" threaded headset, and shitty 30 year old aluminum bars. Now she's not only blessed with a new frame, but carbon cranks and bars, and panniers. Is she truly still Ghetto Prom?


So with pannier bags loaded, I donned my name-brand waterproof, breathable (my ass) garments, and headed to work in true commuter-dork fashion. Yes, those are baggy waterproof, breathable (again, arguably breathable judging by the amount of sweat inside) pants and matching shoe covers.


I think the only thing that kept me slightly near the center square of a game of hipster bingo was the fact that my fixed gear drive train is powered by a pink chain and a killer (and still growing) beard.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

dog fever...

Not a lot to report on, Dear Reader. I think one of the reasons I have been blogging less lately is my lack of ownership of a good digital camera. Something that is small enough to fit in the back pocket of a jersey or a good pair of Daisy Dukes. I plan on remedying that this week.

I have been taking some pictures with my Grandfather's old Nikon FG. I have no idea what I'm doing with the thing, but the first 5 rolls of film (dating back to Christmas 2007) are being developed as you read this. That being said, I do plan on learning to use the thing. You know, taking it out with a notebook, recording settings, taking pictures, refering back to notebook as I throw out 90% of the shitty photos after they are developed. All of this assumes that the damn thing even works. So that's one project I've started that I'll probably abandon in the next few months.


Another such project is my desire to brew my own beer. Yet another bandwagon to jump on. Like the Nikon, I found an old home-brew kit in my basement at home. It has never been used, so I took it into the local home brew store and asked, what else do I need to get started? $100 later, I had everything I needed, aside from my original found brew kit. Funny how that works. Anyway, it seems the list of New Year's Resolution projects is already growing.

Other than that, I've all but abandoned cyclocross for this year. I "raced" the courses I wanted to race - Charm City, Wissahickon, Fair Hill. Mountain biking is just a lot more fun. While I miss the cameraderie that comes with cross, and the cheering and heckling, I really like riding my mountain bike in the cooler weather. Plus, these fall rides are always so laid back. Beers in the jersey pockets, no agenda, no need to ride hard to get in shape, just fun, flowy, challenging singletrack.

Such riding brought me up to Downingtown this past weekend. I've never ridden up there, but it was a blast. I think it's the best "local" area to ride if you want to learn how to ride off-camber slippery roots. Afterwards, beer and food and dirt jumps at Wheelie Ted's house. Some good pictures available courtesy of this guy.

Photo from Dan's iPhone. I left right before this happened!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

halloween...

Fair Hill Cross... I've never felt so bad or looked so good. But we'll back it up a little.

The night before was Halloween, so Gav and I decided to head to the Nexus of the Universe - Main St. Newark, DE - for some beers on gears. In costume and on bike, we rolled to Homegrown. We saw some of the DCCofD, and I'm pretty sure Fatmarc made a pass at me before I turned around and he saw my beard.

After a PBR at Homegrown, we tried a number of other establishments, sampling the canned PBR at each place. Turns out it pretty much tastes the same everywhere, so we ended up back at Homegrown. There was a killer band playing - American Buffalo; a great crowd as well. Honestly it was better than some shows I've paid to see. However, they played right up until last call. Granted, dear Reader, that is really early in Delaware, but still a late night before a cross race.

The next morning, it came time to pay the Piper. I rolled up to the second DCCofD event of the year, ready to be Ass to the Race Director. Put in some hard labor rerouting and taping the course, and then donned my costume to race.

Despite my front row start (my Halloween costume was "Jeff Bahnson dressing as Slutty Rob") I have never performed so poorly in a race. The hangover left me wondering if this race would be my first DNF: I have never considered not finishing a race because I felt bad. I think the only reason I stayed in the race was to not let down my fan club and also because I was enjoying the cat calls from fellow racers.

One highlight from the race is almost captured in the picture below. Coming into the barriers in the "Heckle Hut", I got pinned up against the tape on the left side of the course. This forced me to dismount on the right side of my bike, clear the barriers while carrying the bike reverse, and then remounting from the opposite side. I nailed the remount - no hesitation, no stutter step, no testicle squashing, just clean saddle contact and pedaling away. I've never even hit a clean opposite side remount when practicing it for the hell of it.

Thanks to dennisbike for the flattery.

Anyway, I don't think I'll be drinking heavily before a race ever again. Sunday, I ran a 5k with Tough Cookie and met some of her cool PSU friends. I still don't get the big D1 football thing, but it seems some OK people made it out of that school. All in all, a memorable weekend, and another successful race run by the DCCofD.

Friday, October 31, 2008

vote?

As I sit here wearing my Obama t-shirt, dear Reader, I'm considering not going to the polls on Tuesday. Before you get all bent out of shape, let me explain why.

Delaware is all but decided. Biden has his senate race locked up tighter than Maid Marian's chastity belt. Should the Obama/Biden ticket win the Presidential election, Gov. Minner gets to appoint our Senator until a special election to be held in 2010. #1 candidate for that spot? Beau Biden, Joe's son. Our other Senator - Carper, isn't up for re-election until 2012. Castle, the Republican in the House, who I don't actually have anything against, has his race locked up tight as well.

As far as Presidential Politics goes, Delaware is one of the safest Democrat bastions in the Union, going to Democrats by no less than 8 points in the last 4 years. Sure my vote counts when I'm sitting in the booth, but statistically: irrelevant.

For State politics, things are embattled. The battle for Insurance Commissioner is wide open, and I need to vote against this guy, if only because his web URL is super lame and I hate his face on a pumpkin. Karen Weldin Stewart, you have my vote.

"I believe you have my stapler."

At the end of the day, I'll probably step up to the booth. But only so I can say I voted AGAINST McCain and especially Palin. To John: I am not your friend and to Sarah: stick to porn.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

just hang in there...

A beautiful moment from Granogue, at least this lap it was a smile and not a middle finger.

MegA hanging in there. Photo courtesy of Tough Cookie.

The next day at Wissahickon I think JD got me back for the above harassment of his finer half. He was on my like stink on a chamois - chopping me like a day old onion in every turn and generally working me over like a fine Asian masseuse. Good times.

A mediocre performance on a mediocre bike. Photo courtesy of dennisbike.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

are you ready for your check?

So here we are, 3+ weeks since my last post. Time seems to fly when you're looking at life one day at a time. That, and there's not a lot to report. Fall is here, the cooler weather has brought cross to our doorstep. Not that I've been partaking a whole lot. Raced Charm City, Wissahickon - both fun courses. I've also ridden a few anti-cross mountain bike rides - Brandywine, Fair Hill, etc.

Just trying to have fun.

In that vein, I headed to a local eatery this evening with Jan. We had a few bottles of Delirium Tremens and an entree each. The waitress brought some dessert menus, but we both decided we had drank our calories for the evening. "Are you ready for your check, then?" she asks. Of course.

She drops the black patent leather receipt portfolio. Jan opens it up and immediately starts laughing: "Is it me, or did she draw a cock and balls on the check??!" By now, dear Reader, you must surely understand that I'd be the first to find a phallic resemblance on anything. But I didn't see it.


I flip the portfolio around. Laughter erupts. "Now I see what she was going for!!" A couple strokes of the pen and the portrait is complete. For the record, she didn't seem to notice our artistic interpretations.


That's why I like dinner with Jan.

Monday, October 06, 2008

that's not my bag baby...

Today, dear Reader, marks the end of an era. My well-loved, well-used, oft-abused navy blue and black Saint-Gobain Abrasives duffel bag has been retired from service. This has been my go to cycling bag for the last 4+ years. Though I will be sad to pull my helmet and shoes from another bag, my soul is quieted by the memory of the last few years we've spent together.


This duffel has been with me for most of my competitive cycling career. I started riding seriously in 2002, during one of my financially poorest years of college. In 2004, I took an 8 month co-op internship with Saint-Gobain Abrasives, helping engineer the processes that made Norton Sandpaper. With the money I was making at this job, I bought my first road bike - a Raleigh Grand Prix. It was beautiful: Columbus steel tubing; red, white, and blue paint job; Campagnolo 10-speed. I started riding seriously, but on Tuesdays, when our team would drive to ride in the Tuesday Night World Championships, I would be at a loss for the transportation of my riding apparel.

The answer came out of a hangover haze that August, 2004. It was the last Thursday at my internship, and the other intern and I had been out drinking the night before until 4 in the morning - well past last call. We had been celebrating a successful completion of our gig with Norton. We both arrived late that Thursday, still in the previous day's clothes, stinking like stale beer. We spent the first 2 hours of that work day with our heads down on our desk, only to be interrupted by Judy, a coworker: "Who kicked the shit outta you last night?! Come on kids, we got a nice lunch for ya."

Our coworkers had arranged for a nice catered lunch to say thanks and good luck with your futures. To this day, I don't think I've had a meatball that good. But the finest moment of that day came when two unmarked boxes came out from under the conference room table. One for my colleague, one for me. As I opened the box, a golden light shined from under the lid, and somewhere from behind a sandpaper-maker, a Heraldic choir sang. There, in front of mine own eyes, was the solution to an armful of loose shoes, gloves, and a helmet - the navy blue duffel.

Since that day, I've never thought of going back into the "Gritty Business". But I am reminded of the basic goodness of man. And I've had a place to leave my sweaty, stinking cycling clothes to fester for a few too many days. But the zippers have started to bust. And though I've never said it to my bag's face, I've never been satisfied with her volume.


So when (Desperately Seeking Nickname) Matt Mc. offered up an opportunity to purchase some discounted goods, I jumped. Introducing my new, fully zippered, more-voluminous, but far less charismatic Pearl Izumi gear bag.


Navy blue and black Saint-Gobain Abrasives duffel bag: rest in peace. You are gone, but never forgotten.

Monday, September 29, 2008

vegas still sucks...

As you may know, Dear Reader, my job allows me to dip my toes into the grungy edges of the bicycle industry without actually getting wet. This is advantageous in some ways - I get to go to interbike; but sucks in others - I have to work (almost) the whole time at interbike. Either way, it's fun to be around bikes.



Last Sunday I headed out to the City of Sin to pay penance for my shitty performance at Charm City Cross. I hate Las Vegas. Yes, you can have fun, but for the most part I see Vegas as a gigantic scam designed to make idiots feel like they are getting something for their money. That being said, it is fun to act like a big man-child in the streets with little fear of reprimand from the man after one gets out of work. This was my intention.

So in the spirit of Venn Diagrams, here are the goods and the bads from my interbike 2008 experience:

bad: 5 days of trade show work (14 hours of being "ON" and smiling and standing and schlepping and wanting to punch every asshat looking to score free shit from your booth)
good: getting a chance to sneak out and try to score free shit

bad: the dust at outdoor demo
good: getting a chance to ride for 2 hours at outdoor demo and borrowing a Spot Brand 29er singlespeed belt drive bike

bad: breaking the belt on a Spot Brand 29er singlespeed belt drive bike while climbing a steep hill and tearing your jersey as you crash due to belt breakage and feeling like an asshole for ever trusting Spot Brand again (no they did NOT have a good explanation for failure)
good: getting a free Dale's Pale Ale after crashing and hiding it in a coozie to drink while you work

bad: working hungover
good: drinking miller high life and offering dollar bill preems at cross vegas with Nathan

good: having my own big comfy bed at the end of the day
bad: having a drunk sleepwalker nicknamed "Mancandy" climbing into my bed at 4 am

good: getting George Hincapie's scrawl on my new copy of Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell and hearing first hand the story behind the picture
bad: George Hincapie not answering Mark Cavendish's phone call so he could keep chatting with me, seriously, what a dick.

good: Running into Brent from TwinSix who generally rocks and gave me his Miller High Life wrist band.
bad: Seriously, Brent is cool shit and TwinSix makes some really nice stuff.

I can't say for sure if I'm looking forward to interbike next year. Hopefully, my product survives another year and I have the choice. Realistically, I'm sure I'll be somewhere in the middle on whether or not another trip is a good thing.

Picture from PezCyclingNews.com

Friday, September 19, 2008

sentenced to death by cyclocross...

This has been an interesting year on the cycling stage for me, dear Reader. A spring packed with travel for fun and for work left me unmotivated to pursue any mountain bike races. I started to get back on the bike with some more volume in mid June and the legs started to feel a little more loved.

Long rides became the status quo, with 4-6 hour Saturday and Sunday rides helping make up for the loss of spring riding. With the slow-twitch muscles coming around, I decided to make good on my goal of completing the SM100 - a race / ride that was the most fun I've had all summer.

Now, however, as 'Cross is looming ever-closer on the horizon, I am not feeling the vibe as I have in the past 2 years. I'm signed up for the B race at Charm City, a course I really enjoy, but I feel a little like I'm overlooking the Gallows from my cell at sundown the day before my time is up. Dr. Destructo and Faticus have been flying, and they are on the B-list. I'm a dead man.

Right now I have a taste for super-long rides. We'll see how Sunday plays out. But come Monday, I may just slap some slicks and paniers on the cross bike and head out for some self-supported, multi-day rides.

A picture of things to come.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

coffee...

My favorite local coffee shop [chain], dear Reader, is Brew HaHa. I like their coffee, I like the vibe in most of their stores, soccer moms aside. My morning commute some days is a long haul. I like to get up as late as possible on these days, and thus I purchase my coffee en-route rather than brew it myself. Sadly, my commute's route does not pass by a Brew HaHA. It does, however, pass a Starbucks.

Merry Christmas! Psyche!!

I know there are a lot of Starbucks haters out there. And many of them have their reasons. As a former High School Punk Rock wannabe, I can relate to the intrinsic hatred of all things corporate. But, in a flash of not-so-unexpected irony, like many high-performing High School Punk Rock wannabe students, I ended up going to college and ending up as a cog in the working middle class. On a basic level I want to hate the corporations and "the man", but let's face it: to a lot of people, I am "the man".

All that aside, I've accepted that from time-to-time I will buy Starbucks coffee. I don't feel that bad about it either. As far as minimum-wage service jobs go, they take pretty good care of their employees. They have a good product - strong coffee. I still want to hate them, but here I am, twice a week, buying a coffee.

Starbucks is a pretty ridiculous place. There's a thousand of them. They are always pushing some offer on you. And the people there are so obviously commanded to make you feel like a Gen-Y-er - Everyone's a winner! Just believe you can do it, and it will happen!

But the thing that gets me the most is their cup-sizing convention. All I want is 16 goddamn ounces of their strongest, darkest, high-test coffee. 16 ounces happens to be the size of their middle-sized cup. But no, they have to call it "Grande" (which should really refer to the largest if you ask me, but no, that is Venti - I think - and what the hell does that mean?).

I know I'm not the first to complain about it. Why is the smallest called the Tall?

On top of silly cup-size names, every morning, they have 3 drip coffees on tap: a regular roast, a decaf, and a dark roast. Really, their dark roast is the same thing every morning, but they call it something different and moderately racist every day of the week - Komodo, Ivory Coast, West Philly Blend, etc.

As a regular customer, I expect I should be able to just get my coffee and get the hell out of there with no headache. But I refuse to go along with their naming convention. I order a medium dark roast every morning. And I feel a little guilty, as the employee is required to use the stupid naming convention. So the exchange is like this:
Me: "Medium dark roast, please [satisfied, subtle grin]."
[she winces]
Her: "Ok! [huge toothy smile] One Grande Burundi Kayanza coming up!"
I am then barraged by offers for 1/2 off iced drinks after 4 p.m. This would normally annoy me, but typically I'm satisfied by my ordering victory - every day I successfully get my coffee without uttering a word of their pseudo-language.

"Save your receipt and get $2 off an iced drink after 4 pm!"

Today was a little different. I ordered using the English language - one medium dark roast - only to see the Barista (???) pouring me a cup of the regular blend. I corrected her to say I'd like the dark roast, and she worked really hard to not drop the smile as she said "Anniversary blend? Ok." and grabbed a new cup. As she rang me up at the register, she stated, "Our default is the regular blend - Pike Place. If you want something else, you need to specify." I smiled and said, "Oh, ok!"

I was taking solace in the fact that at least Starbucks ruffles a few feathers by remaining staunchly anti-Christian.

Hilarious!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

shenandoah mountain 100...

This past Sunday marked the 10th Annual Shenandoah Mountain 100. The SHT / DCCofD had a small entourage making the trek down to Stokesville, Virginia to partake in the fun. I was no exception, dear reader, but I made the trip with a little apprehension. You see, this race would be my longest mountain bike ride to date - the next longest being my solo attempt at the 2007 12 hours of Lodi Farm. And we all know how that ended...

Never-the-less, I hopped into Peaches' truck with the Keg Breaker and Tough Cookie, and we left a trail of plaid as we followed Papa Smurf, L-Web, and Jeb in Spaceball One. On the ride down, we were treated to the Howard Stern and the Losers version of Court of the Crimson King, and my worries began to melt away. "This will be fun" I told myself, and I didn't know how right I would be.

Registration. I mean Camp.

We set up camp, which as usual, was mistaken several times as registration. I guess that's what happens when you have a VW Crafter pulling an Airstream with matching awnings opening to a giant EZ-Up tent with 2 generators powering enough light to put the Luxor to shame. Did a little warm-up ride with Peaches, Jeb, and Buddy. Had an awesome dinner of spaghetti, meatballs, and PBR - now my 2nd favorite hipster beer after Miller High Life.

Sunset over the mountains.

Nick and Katie, and their friend John showed up as well, making out camp 10 deep. We all went to bed as a storm was approaching. The rain came down hard for an hour and a half only to relent to a tent full of yapping teenage girls and a barking dog. There would not be much sleep in camp that night.

At the start, racers jumped the gun and surrounded the lead moto that was supposed to pace the peloton to the first dirt road.

The next morning we awoke to a soggy camp, made some coffee and drained the bowels in the Airstream's luxurious facilities. We lined up, and the bearer of the bullhorn inadvertantly let us off the line. 500 racers jockeying for the holeshot in a 100 mile race - hilarious and unnecessary.

L-Web beat all of the SHT dudes after fearing she wouldn't be up to the race at all.

After a mile or two, I found myself next to No-Nickname-Nick. We talked it out and decided to ride together as long as possible. Turns out this was huge for me as I bent my chain at mile 18 and NNN helped me jury-rig it to make it to the checkpoint at mile 30 for a chain replacement. We both lost a little time to L-Web, Buddy, and Peaches who were riding together as it took about 20 minutes to get the whole thing sorted out.

Peaches finished well despite some flats.

But along we went. I was smiling a good portion of the time. Save for the bench-cut climb at mile 50 to the descent to Breyley's pond. That was a nice hike a bike and possibly the warmest it got that day. A nice descent brought us to Papa Smurf and Katie at CP#4. A Coke and a PopTart later, and we were rolling, ready to tackle the 20 mile climb to CP#5.

Crossing the line with No-Nickname-Nick.

iPaul(c) took care of me at CP#5 and we were ready to tackle the last 25 miles of the day. Rolled into camp 11 hours and 32 minutes after leaving that morning. Nick and I shook hands as we crossed. I know I was smiling as Tough Cookie had an ice cold beer waiting for me.

Post race beer.

This race was amazing. In many ways easier than I expected, though still demanding. I'd love to do it again and shoot for a better time. 11:32 included the broken chain and a little bit of waiting. 10.5 hour seems do-able. Sub 10 with a little more fitness. On top of that, major props to Chris Scott and his crew who put on the best event I have ever attended. It clicked like clockwork; all you had to do was ride your bike and eat their food.

The DCCofD / SHT had a great showing. Blair finished 11th overall, Jeb finished sub 10 hours. L-Web beat all of the men. We all finished and it was beautiful.