Monday, May 30, 2011

I remember the first time I saw the video for "Gimmie All Your Lovin" on MTV, way back when the name "Music Television" actually meant they played music and I said to myself, that is what I want form live. Hot rod cars, hot chicks, rock and roll and desert living. I saw that key chain in a record store in Kentucky when I was about 12. Things have changed a bit, but evertime I see this video, it takes me right back there...

The heat is on here in DC and makes me sluggish in the mornings. I woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the city, but decided to take a short nap which lasted another 4 hours. Got up threw some coffee down the hatch and drove out to go for a spin on some flowy trails today. Soft pedaling, and heavy pumping was the name of the game. I was still a bit sore from yesterday's antics, but was able get my grove back. I got my head into a space I am comfortable with and will probably just spin the legs out once or twice this week if the oppotunity presents itself. I was also able to do exploring, but failed to upload the photos before leaving the house.

Today's emotion: Relaxed

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Head Games

Today was the Searsucker Social in DC however this sucker is more on the anti-social tip so I headed out to the Shed for some solo training in hopes of getting my head together for next week's Super-D. Plan was to take some downhill runs (shuttle free) before getting in some miles on some undulating trails. A late wake up and slow start, but I managed to get out to Frederick by noon and ran into a familiar face when I pulled up at the yellow gate. Creampuff sounded like a good trail to get things started on so we rolled through the field hitting the doubles and into the woods. My front tire was a bit over inflatted so I had a bit of trouble holding the line at times. I finally lost the front end in a steep bit of sweaty, chunky stones and ran it out. Unfortunately, my body was out running my feet. I stumbled for some 30 or 40 feet before losing my footing and going down. Again, I managed to give my noggin a floggin', but managed to spare this helmet this time around. A possibly broken nose, bruised shoulder and other facial abrasions.

I rode back up the road, met the others and took another run, this time on Evo, which I have ridden once before. It went much better than the first but I felt like I was creeping. Once out on the road, I noticed my fork was locked out. I took the road over to Vandal(?) before climbing Trail of Tears to the ridge. As I softly pedaled, I let the thoughts wander. I had come to get my head straight for next week's event, but crashed within 5 minutes of being in the woods... on a trail called "Cream puff." Pathetic. I am in worse shape than when I started. So much for that idea. I tried not to let it get to me. The rest of the day would be a relaxing spin around the blue trail which I havent ridden in some time.

Its that kinda day...


It all happened so fast...


Look away, Im hideous...



Blood mobile...


Coulda been worse I suppose...


Made a friend while taking a dip at clear pond...


Found my place...


Lynx found his earlier in the week...


Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Many Faces of James Way

No, I am not talking about a street or supermarket, but something more much more personal and intimate. We are talking about a man, not just any man, but a man who seems to be living a rather tragic and tortured life; one that seems to be full of emotion and I can only assume pain. For some reason, perhaps just my own hope and desires, I see a future for this individual, so rather than wasting my time writing and your time reading about my daily state of being, I will simply choose the mugshot which most closely resembles my mood for the day.

Today's mood...




This holiday weekend anyone who is somewhat plugged into the mountain bike scene has more than enough events to satisfy even the pickiest of paletts with the Transylvania Epic, the Giro de Ville and the searsucker social all for the participating, however, I have been feeling the need to drop out of the scene for a while to do my own thing, and expand my horizons if you may.

I have been getting after it all year on the XC tip, to switch things up a bit am going to do some DH and some touring. Kind of opposite ends of the spectrum, but if you know me, I dont buy into the whole idea of "XC", "DH" or even "AM" riding. I started riding before the choice of bike became an excuse for not pedalling uphill or cutting loose going down. After all, these are limits you are putting on your own life and do nothing more than cheat you out of a good time. This weekend I plan on doing some good ole fashioned mountain biking.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Judgement Day

I woke up early this morning with a start and then realized I am still here on earth. The thought that perhaps I had just woken up before having the chance to be lifted up passed through my head, so I rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke again at 10am. Shit. Looks like I had been left behind. I decided what better way to waste away than a nice lazy spin around the Watershed, with an emphesis on "lazy." Suspended, geared and button down flapping in the humid air, I stumbled upon a new meandering trail when I went to do a little pre-ride weight shaving. I also came to find that Chad, Pat and Gdowick are aslo still on earth with me, so the punishing rides wont stop. They were finishing up as I was heading out. I slow rolled, hitting some old, familiar trail and some fresh single track as well. After that was said and done, I drove by the downhill trailhead and saw some friends. I was talked into taking a run and even shuttled. Yes, if you know me and my feelings on shuttling, then you know this is proof of the world's end. I dont shuttle. It was fun. Go ahead, judge me for it. I also ate at The Don twice today. I hit some doubles blindly on a trail I had never ridden before, but I was getting a speed check from a friend so I thought my odds were good. I opted to hit a set he didnt hit. Sketchy landing. Just logs, no dirt, knife landing. I would be a bit more cautious after that. Then went to the old house to get what's mine and browsed through the latest issue of Bike Monkey over marinated olives and a pizza.

Oldie, but ripe for the judging...





Yesterday, one couldnt have asked for a more beautiful day. My later clients canceled so I went for a ride up to Great Falls. A couple of chance encounters with a cutie on pink fixed gear and several rolls of film later, the sun began to set and it was time to roll toward home. The river was furious and well out of its banks in areas. The falls were nothing more than brutal rapids and mist. I stopped by the "great escape" to see about the fisherman but the water was too high to get by. I rode up the Chain Bridge and looked over to see fisherman way out on the rocks in heavy surf casting nets and drinking beer. I failed in my attempts to capture it on film but I did get some other images. Ended the day watching "Off Road to Athens." Put me in the mood for today's slacker ride, especially after all of the mile munching I have been putting in. I have ridden the EWR on 4 rides and already worn out a chain and little ring. Kind of glad the heat is rolling in as I am about ready for some "fun hoggin'."

Reminds me of the old south...



Heavy seas...



Words to the wise...


Extravagant traveler...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Currently wasting away at a coffee shop, I sit, underwhelmedwhelemed as there is so much to do and so little time to do it. I suppose I will just go through these final moments of easy living juat as I would if the End were not so near. With 5 months of torment predicted for those of us who are not chosen times will be hard. However, I just remembered that back in the desert of Arizona this winter, I recieved a message that 2011 would be my year, so things should more or less cancel things out. I will predict my next 5 months to be mediocre at the worst, so stick close by my side and I can lead you into these difficult times ahead of us. I will ask only meager donations to keep the machine running at full steam. Please inquire within.

In non-apocolyptic news, I finally gave my bikes some much needed love. The cranks on my EWR had been holding on for some time and although I replaced the rings recently, the big one had its usual big ring abuse and the little suffered a broken tooth somewhere along SDS, and if I remember correctly, Elliot's was to blame. I also heard some not so happy noises coming from the drive train on the fixed gear and noticed some rollers missing from the chain.

Haggered cranks...


Tired chain...




Carrying the mess for years...






Deep contemplation...




The scene in the laundry room...




Tonight at Fogo de Chao...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Been making the rounds in the new hood and found myself in an establishment owned by a couple of friends. Upon entering, my buddy whisked me away and out a back door into a parking garage where there was a gaggle of motorized two wheelers; two of which happened to be old RD's which I at one point onwed 8 of. Dom was trying to get them running and I ended up getting my hands dirty and coming home with the stench of 2-stroke wafting behind me like Pig Pen's clound of dust, making me long for the days this was in my possesion...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oldie But Goodie...

Lost Coast Trailer from Eric Parsons on Vimeo.

This weekend consisted of no riding as my knee is still recovering from SDS in hopes of being in top notch condition for something good in the weeks to come. I did however get out to Schaffer to have a looksie at the new pumptrack project that is underway there. It reinforces my theory that pumptracks are built small and tight to limit speed and often leave me with the same felling of getting in go-cart to find it has a governor on the throttle. By the time I get on my back wheel and really start pumping, I need to grab a handful of brake to make it around the 4' radius 1' high berm. Hater? No. Sometimes I am pleasantly suprized as I was with that sketchy ass track around the pool in Arizona. Great for the kids and good for folks new to using their bodies to propel themselves. I will continue finding my flow on the Hoyles Mill Connector.


With just 5 days left to find my best deal for salvation, I am cashing in my chips and shopping the dooms day cults to see what last minute bargains are available. Yes, the religious zealots are out in full force for a last ditch effort to get your hard earned loot. Even the laundry room in my building has a mini-library of literature to keep your mind occupied as you wash you unmentionables. If the literature isnt enough to win you over, perhaps the hot peppers and free gym memberships win push you over the edge. I need to get the film developed.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Though I dont own any black and purple Nikes, I will be commuting on the the black and purple Delta V 900 in honor of the nearing end with respect to the Heaven's Gate folk. I know, that is so 1990's but what is it gonna matter in the end anyway? I wonder if the predicted 5 months of torment will be anything like the 5 years of torment many refer to as "high school."








My fuel injected suicide machine

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

SDS pt 2

This spring has been peppered with big rides thus far, to the point I cant remember the last time I went for a ride in the woods that lasted less than 6 hours. Not bad for a weekend warrior like myself. This past weekend was no exception with the SDS 2 day, which I feel honored to be a part of. it’s a ride with something like a 10 year wait list and each year that list contains the names of some of the fastest riders in the region. I saw a lot of Cupcake names on the list, but all ghosted. Rumblings of fear of being the weak link were overheard at Michaux last week. I think many of us have this same fear going into a ride of such magnitude, but some of us are just a bit more comfortable playing the role of “weak link.”

Late Friday morning, I left my new apartment in the city and began riding toward Silver Spring with my massive Ortlieb duffel on my back. I stopped more than a couple of times for iced lattes which was more just an excuse to get the 50lbs off my back, before meeting up with Nic O at the YMCA to catch a ride to umpteenth annual Stokesville- Douthat- Stokesville ride which takes place about 30 miles outside of Harrisonburg in the gorgeous George Washington Forest for 2 massive days of single track mountain cycling. Nic and I arrived early, lunched out at the Little Grill and then headed out to the camp ground to sneak in a quick ride on Trimble Mountain which just happens to be the best 4 miles of single track known to man.

We headed back to the campground where people continued to arrive into the wee hours of the morning. Wake up call was at 4:20AM and riding right around 5. As usual, we climbed in the dark and caught the sunrise over the ‘Burg. There is always a lot of tension amongst first timers from the emails that float around stating that “This is an adventure ride for the big kids.” Its kind of hard to lay out the goings on throughout each section of trail as so much was covered in a day that it all blends together to make a great ride. This was my first time doing it on a geared bike and it begs the question “What was I thinking?” As usual, there was lots of suffering to be had, but most did a good job of keeping under their hats. As we entered Douthat, new guy Chris Nystrom asked if this way the direct way back to the cabin as we turned off of the paved road onto the single track to climb up Beard’s Mountain. Before anyone could say anything, Kyle chimed in with a “Yep, this is the only way to get there,” which was a complete lie. At the top, Chris informed us that Roger of all people had cracked on the climb. Yes, its true folks. Roger is a mere mortal just as you and I, and I always love to see the human side of someone when they fall apart on a ride. Not from an arrogant “Im better than you” point of view, but I can empathize with the vulnerablity in them. The trail dropped onto pavement which we rode straight across into the driveway of the lodge where a hot lazogna dinner was waiting on the table for us.

Maryland, Richmond and WVA stayed down the hill where we had a gas fireplace and found no good reason to head back up the hill for social time, especially after finding out a gallon of ice cream had been smuggled in. A later start on Sunday had us climbing back up Beard’s for some fun, foggy morning meditation on the meandering trail. The group moved fast as Chris had the camera rolling, so it was keep the pace or get out of the way. On the downhill we caught the group which had left 30 minutes before us. A long section of road riding and then we came to the new SDS reroute which Jimmy claimed to be worse than Little Mare. I thought otherwise after the initial gut punch, rolling gently upward to a unique rocky ridge and then down an amazing single track bench. This could be a top notch section if it saw some more traffic. Roger tore off his derailler hanger and possibly I am the only one who can appreciate him not carrying a spare on a 150 mile ride in the backcountry as I did the same a month back on the Ring. Toward the bottom it got really chunky where Sue caught one of five flats on the day. “Its not bonus, it’s the ride,” was a phrase often heard on the weekend. Lunch awaited us at the bottom.

Elliot’s was next where I broke a chain, a chain ring tooth and my knee began to give me issue. I took some vitamin I but it didn’t do much for me. I was a little bit behind on the way up due to my mechanical and I saw Metro milling around up there. Metro? WTF? He was with the other group who were no where to be found. Come to find out, Metro decided to have a nap up on Elliot’s. Pat took a nasty digger coming off Elliot’s cutting his junk on a bar end. Ouch! Nothing to do but roll on. My rims took a beating on that downhill but the Ardent LUST tires didn’t fail me once. Im about 5 months in on the rear without issue. I am actually starting to wear the tread out before ripping the casing. LUST is a winner. Another winner was the Mountain Feedbag which folks were oggling all weekend. If you have ever ridden with me, you know I am usually mocked for my choice of machine and gear on a ride, so the interest in something I was running came as quite a surprise. The one on the right stayed topped off with a mix of sour patch kids and Cliff Blocks which are delish covered in that tangy sugar, and the one on the left contained a multi tool, random energy bar, Capri Sun (in Worm’s honor) and camera.

My knee continued to get more painful, reminding me Im no longer a spring chicken and the thought “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” haunted and frustrated me, but I was going to finish the ride. What I lack in overall fitness, I make up for in stubbornness and determination, which is probably the only reason I get invited on things such as this. Mileage was 158 and some 28,000’ feet of descending. Lots of talk on the ride about the Ring and how nice it was to be spending a long day on the bike and not being beat to a pulp. But alas, the Ring still calls our names.

Some images from Pat and Mike Boyes...

Chris and Sue George...




Dan on the coals...






Carp leads the charge...






Nic going down on Little Mare...






Roger on the roll...






Climbing on the reroute...



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SDS 2011

Good times!

Dawn Patrol...


Dowell's Draft...


Climbing Confederate Breastworks...


The Peloton makes its way to the Southern Traverse...


After lunch, it's a nice road spin to Little Mare...


Beautiful scenery in the rolling hills...


Pretty things along the way...


Justin rolling on Little Mare...


Wet feet in Douthat...


Mike Boyes chillin'...


Bonking on Beard's...


Morning mist on day 2...


Regroup...



Pat climbing the SDS reroute...


More climbing...


One of the best views on the route...


Zack rolling off Elliot's...


teaser...




More to come...