Sunday, April 25, 2010

Heavy Flow in Frederick

As I drifted in and out of my slumber through the night, the constant patter of rain drops soaked my spirts, as today was to be my first ride back in the dirt since I broke my finger 3 weeks ago. I recieved an email from Tony saying that he still planned on riding, but even this morning I had my doubts if anybody would actually come out as the rain continued while I packed up the car. As I passed through Mountaindale, the fog was heavy in the early morning light which made things feel even more still than they were. I was a bit nervous about how my finger would fare, but as Tony, Poz and myself began to climb The Trail of Tears, I didnt even notice the injury. We made good time coming across the ridge to Salamander and took the road over to Sand Flats and New Blue, where we ran into Mrs. Poz and Debbie(?) chatting up Joe, Dave and a couple other guys who had been out for recon hike. The ladies told us to go first as they packed up the jelly beans they shared with us. Tony made a comment about flatting which rubbed off on me as I pushed heavy into the turns and sliced tire #3 for the year on sharp rock. Poz clicked a fab shot of the wife passing while I booted and tubed the tire before making our way over to Skink where Poz on his 29er with 1.9 semi slicks pulled out a huge move on the big rock pile. As he reached the top and tried to apply a bit of power to make the turn, the hybrid tire began to spin, but rather than just gassing it, he tried to ratchet but couldnt hook up so he hopped, spun and hopped again until he was able to give it some pepper without peeling out. Nice work!

There was much rock flicking on the day and Tony scored big tattooing Poz's new 29er with a respectable sized rock. From Skink we looped around the golfish pond and took single track up toward sand Flats where we rerode the only 100 yards of the day and took the miserable, washed out blue DH where a rhododendron quickly reminded me that my finger is still not all better before crossing Delauter. We climbed more blue trail and made the right at the hill's crest riding an old ladder trail down, and remembering exactly why I hate ladders. There used to be a ladder that came down off a large rock and as I came up to the edge saw it was now gone. Its a good thing I dont out ride my line of sight. The ladder platform further down has been sketchy for sometime now and I know better. Last year I was atop it riding slowly along and felt it swing some 6" inches or so and heard the gasps of those watching. The main support collapsed as I was up there, but somehow I managed to hang on and ride it out. Anyway, lest I digress. Up lower Canaan and across the top and down Little Canaan. The rocks are so much more interesting when things are soggy. Stay off them brakes and let it roll! Since Poz had his road tires on, I yielded to his judgement and we took the road over to Iceburg. I was pretty well blown after a couple more miles of rock flicking and we had replenished our calories before proceeding. I didnt push my luck this time as that how I got into the pickle with my hand in the first place. I took it easy on the first half but felt superb and relaxed on the second with only one dab 20 feet from the end. Scarcely seen Tony had the hammer down and Poz had his second flat and seeing as we were out of spares, opted to just head down Supersweet. At the bottom, I rolled up the rock to hit the drop and spun getting on it and then again pedal dropping it and took an easy digger on my swellbow. An easy spin back to the car before calling it a day. We need to plan a full Fredrick tour, including the Gambrill side, before things get too hot.

Tony and Poz warm up the legs en route to the the trailhead...



Poz climbing The Trail of Tears...



Tony after a wardrobe malfunction...



The boys disappear into the fog on the ridge...



Tracy looks like she likes the new bike. Me hating life in the background with tire tear #3 of the year. Poz foto...








Poz with a flat along Little Canaan...



Tony dabs while Poz rides the B-line on Little Canaan...





I handed the camera off to Poz who risked life and limb hunkered down in the run-out for this shot. Wet, mossy rocks and broken finger drop on Little Canaan. Too stoked riding this trail again to pass it up...



Well, he was riding 1.9s. Two Pinch flats on the day, eventhough he was running them at high pressure. Tony, who made us nervous by constantly letting air out of his tires, didnt flat. Flat #2 for pos on Iceburg...



Deer carcass dumping seems to be a favorite past time of the locals, but at least these werent in plastic bags..



Double exposure. Bones and buzzards...



A couple from around town...





Last night was back up to Fredders for a MORE evening ride which I guess didnt happen or I somehow missed, but since I was there I thought I might as well put in some solo mile. I dropped a tooth on the rear cog to see how it felt with mixed feelings. the long climbs were a bit more painful, but the techy stuff seemed easier with more ground covered when I got my ratchet pedal on. Chalk up a 4 dab run at dusk on Iceburg. Rode Skink by the full moon and only ran lights for around 15 minutes. Would like to do more night riding out there.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Martial Law

As you may or may not know, the big Nuclear Security Summit was held in DC this week and the security was high to say the least. There were several square blocks on full lock down with a heavy police/ military presence through out the city. Things seemed to go pretty smooth with one casualty: ironcally, a 65 year old commuter backed over by a humvee on her way home from the office. I gotta say, it was kinda cool to see a strong military showing on the streets for a limited time, eventhough some seemed less than excited to have me rolling around with my cameras.


Lockdown imminent...



Keeping our pilates studios safe...



Lots of police traveling on 2 wheels...



Some had motors...



Others didnt...


The two look like they belong together...



Gwadzilla caught me in the act. Prawn hand in full effect...



Interesting view of "The Prawn"...


Fab Freddy and his fine ride, Watergate City...



On top of The 'Gate, gettin' down on the CB...



Show me da money...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Foot Patrol pt 2

Played with the Holga some this weekend as well. Got some of the film developed today so I am just getting some of those images up now. Better late than never I guess.

The view of the road from atop Buzzard's...



Andy on Buzzard's...



The ghostly image of Tony making his way into a technical section...




Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Foot Patrol

Seeing as I am temporarily grounded with a broken wing, I left the lab on foot armed with a couple of cameras; saturday for Elizebeth's Furnace in hopes of catching some friends in action while out riding there, and sunday to Seneca Creek to see what was popping along the Potomac. I also included some older photos that were on rolls I hadnt developed...

Red Buds were in full bloom...




Still not happy with the crop, but still a fun image...
















The Hand...

Tommorow will be one week since I had my hand screwed back together and I have finally gotten it together enough to sort through some photos and get you the images you have been waiting for.

A break along Iceburg as I made my way back to the car...



Slightly out of alignment...



Still a bit swollen and discolored, but feeling pretty darn good...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Down, But Not Out

"Main force patrol, I'm out of the game. Unable to continue pursuit." The words muttered by "Big Bopper" after a series of crashes in the opening scene of Mad Max came to mind on sunday while riding Iceburg. The week started off good with a strong showing and fast paced ride around the Watershed followed up by a midweek, lightless night ride with Poz and a handfull of others named Jo(h)n at Patapsco. 8 of us gathered in the CCBC lot as the sun set for what was supposed to be a full moon ride, but there was no moon to be found. So much technology in our lives these days, yet sometimes we fail to use it to our advantage. Not a soul in the group bothered to look up what time the moon was to rise. I cant speak for anyone else in the group, but I was most likely using the technology at my fingertips to do something way more important such as updating my status, letting the world know I was on my way to the store to purchase a case of bottled water. Anyway, half of us knew better and brought lights, which were extinguished at the top of Ridge, as they obviously didnt give us much advantage with lightless riders hanging on tight. Poz had an over the bars moment during which his rear tire came inches from hitting me in the face. The pucker factor was high when out front, as it was hard enough trying to find your way, but on top of it, there was a train of riders in tow wondering why the lead rider was on the brakes. Dropping back into the pack, the heart rate slowed, and the brakes cooled, becoming just another car as the train rolled on. After 3 or so hours, 4 of us remained as we climbed to the top of Vineyard and Poz's beverage stash. There was even a soda pop in there for your's truely. Good lookin' out! On the way back to CCBC, I ended up in the drink, soaked from the knees down after a fairly straight forward creek crossing took a turn for the worse. Good times.

The rest of the week consisted of commuting and the warmer temps caused a patch failure with the Slime making a fine mess of things. Sunday consisted of venturing back into the Shed to try and find a way to minimize the road riding with some success. I felt strong and steady starting out, making me think I could drop a tooth in the rear. I made my way over to Iceburg and was having my best showing yet, with no dabs at the halfway point. Then trying to power over a rock, my front wedged sideways, pitching me off. Nothing serious, the kind of thing that happens 5 times on every ride. I stumbled over a rock still holding my handle bars with my left hand. Somewhere along the way while letting go, my finger snagged on something jamming my ring finger and landed in a heap on some logs. I got up and brushed myself off, thinking I had jammed that finger good. When I looked down, I saw my pinky pointed outward at a 45 degree angle. I knew immediately it was broken but initial attempts to reset it failed. The endorphins provided enough relief to ride out the way I came, be it a little bit heavy on the rear brake. So here it is tuesday night, and I am stuffing my face before the midnight cut off as I cant eat anything after that due the instalation of a bit more hardware installed to get me rolling again soon. Hoping to be back in action for the weekend.

Dan enters the danger zone lightless. He cleaned it...



Poz gets some...






I need to get the film developed from sunday...