Recent Snaps

Mellow weekend. Farmer’s Market, morning rides, flowers in bloom, some industrious kids up in the woods, flood damage, more rain, gray skies, good fun.

VT 600k

We just received RUSA certification for the VT North Country 600k. More details over on the NERds site.

The North Country 600k is a challenging ride which will pass through the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Northern New Hampshire & Western Maine. The exact route of this ride is still under development but it will include upwards of five major climbs. Several of the climbs will include “Gonzo Pass” (NH-118), Kancamagus Pass, Evans Notch and Dixville Notch. This ride travels through rural Northern New England and so riders will need to be prepared for limited or no services between controls. In addition, high quality lighting is important on this ride as close encounters with moose are a very real possibility. This ride will pass through many small, picturesque New England towns and will cross several covered bridges.

Father’s Day Fargo Mixed Terrain

Completely wonderful day, even if I felt fatigued (still) on the bike. ~45 of dirt, gravel, single track, bike path, and paved riding.

I rode out of town on some dirt, hit the wonderful Governor Chittenden gravel, rocky descent, then Johnnie Brook, which ends for cars and carries on for bikes as single track. Into Richmond proper, passing at the chance to stop at On the Rise, then up through the gorge on Dugway. All roads I’m familiar with.

Then Texas Hill and Economou Rd. Economou is silly steep, and it dead ends into the Hinesburg Town Forest trails – 18 miles of mountain bike goodness (less now from the blow down and damage from winter storms…). I met a rider wrenching his bike at the trailhead and he guided me up the old logging road (dodging trees, boulders, rocks, roots, and puddles). He split off (full suspension machine… would have been nice!) and I carried on to ‘Missing Link’ and then to ‘Backdoor’. A few minor navigational issues (not all intersections are signed) – and I was twisting and turning down the ravine to Lincoln Hill Rd.

The trail puts you out about 2/3s of the way up, so I climbed over the top and bombed into Hinesburg. Out of water and calories I puttered through town, and connected through Leavensworth Rd. I was late for lunch with my sweeties, so Jen and Ava met me inbound on Dorset, as they were heading to our meet up spot anyways… and I was pretty much spent.

I didn’t map my exact route through the woods, but traced a rough outline based on my recollection of the terrain. The large spike starts in Richmond and heads up Texas Hill and Economou Rd.

When I got home there was a box of Lake Champlain chocolates waiting, and a card with a note and some green colored paper labeled as ‘for TD gear’.

Perfect Father’s Day (except now I have to find the energy to lug an AC unit up from the basement to the second floor and get it installed in Jen’s office (and the guestroom)).


These guys and gals…

…are simply incredible. They have answered countless (likely inane) questions about the Fargo – sizing, geometry, stem flip-ability, availability, etc. etc. Then they made sure my local shop had access to the bike I needed, and took care of a glitch when the stock bike was missing some parts.

All good and great customer service, as one would expect, but a pleasant surprise.

But, when I sent off an email to double check what part # I needed for the replacement derailleur hanger… this fine gent sent me one straight out, so I’d have it in my hands prior to Father’s day. And I didn’t even ask. Wow.

Good folks. And now I get to ride.


New sneaks arrived for on the Fargo and Pugsley. My Specialized shoes have finally given up, with the sole @ the cleat pushing into the bottom of the shoe. Looks like they are delaminating. 5 year old shoes, ridden in mud, snow, rain… I really can’t complain. I opted to replace them with some Pearl Izumi X-Alp pro shoes. Carbon sole that is supposedly good for hike a bike… I would have gone for another comparable pair of the Specialized shoes – but they have a very stiff sole now, and a local rider told me they are great for on the bike, not so good for even short off the bike pushes.

And then I found this (for the Enduro model) and this. Kurt’s plug pretty much sold me on the shoe. He’s currently out front on the Tour Divide.

In other news I snapped the hanger on the Fargo. Hit something, and glad I didn’t shift into the spokes. New parts (and a spare for my kit) are on the way. On a separate morning I went over the bars – perfect wheel swallowing divot coming off some roots.

Next week I hope the continuing fatigue is gone, hoping to start a formal training plan to take me into the fall. Will be the first time I’ve done any specific training since burning out when I hired a coach back in 07.

After the burn out I didn’t ride for nearly 8 months. Looking forward to it, as I think I’ve got the largest base in place in a long long time – but need to knock a few more pounds off the body and step up the intensity for climbing. (hmm, when I migrated over from Blogger it seems I lost all my pictures on previous posts… sad…)

Sunday Dirt

Left early Sunday morning and managed a fatigued ~48 including some tacky, some snotty, and some dry dirt, rolling south from town to the covered bridges. Still feeling off, but opted to climb Irish Hill on the return leg, and actually felt OK. Lots of low gears for me…

Monday morning and we are still getting wet.

So much rain… starting to get depressing, until I walked outside from sipping my coffee and saw a rainbow. I raced to the lake hoping to catch it over the mountains, but the rain picked up and it went back to hiding.

Hoping Summer arrives before Fall.

Tour Divide

The 2011 Tour Divide kicks off today with the Grand Depart. A few solo riders are already on route heading south from Banff. This year will see 71 riders start southbound and 15 riders start northbound, plus a handful of riders taking on the ITT (individual time trial) challenge at various points throughout the summer. Live Tracking via SPOT, race call-ins, and more on the Tour Divide website and and arm chair commentary on

Here’s to a solid few years of re-making my body and fitness, when I hope to be out there… and good luck to 2011 riders!


Did some early loops at Sunny Mosquito Hollow this morning. Did a long (relative) loop out on the blue trails, then got turned around on Moose Hill and pretty sure I ended up on the grounds of Camp Johnson.

Still figuring out the drop bar position – currently its great for gravel / local trails – but I can see for extended single track I’d want it a bit higher. Still annoyed with the adjustment / shifting of the SRAM FD… doesn’t stay put after adjustment and gives come chain rub in too many combinations. Salsa sent along some missing inline adjusters… but the one for the FD seems to unwind itself every few days. Might need to tighten it down and add some electrical tape.

Starting to feel like myself again. Still fatigued, with sore legs… looking forward to a decent ride this Sunday.


Short ride in the woods and down to the lake. Flood damage is everywhere, and the lake is slowly receding, but taking the bike path, beach, and trees with it. Really fatigued this morning. Hoping to feel better this weekend for some quality time on the dirt.