Sunday Dirt

Lovely ~30 miles with Greg exploring the pavement and dirt near Montpelier. This was the first ride on the IF in a long long long time, and I felt good, despite not riding much this summer.

We pedaled pavement out of Montpelier, made a stop at Maple Corners store, then explored dirt.

We eventually were swamped out, so we turned around and backtracked.

And stopped to enjoy the pond on the way back to pavement.

Sunday Dirt

Riding the bike with the gear of one on the track of single is starting to pay off. Did a short ride on the go fast bike this weekend – pavement our of Richmond then up Wes White Hill and Pond Rd. looping to Mayo and Dugway before enjoying post ride coffee and fritter at the Parkside Kitchen. ~16 or so miles, but I worked them hard to test the legs on Wes White and the follow on up Mayo.


Its been a long while since I felt this good climbing… Wes White peaks out at 14%, and while the steepest parts are in the first mile, it carries on for another mile before settling down at the pond. Much more work to do, but I’m glad I re-discovered the Krampus as a single speed rig, its starting to pay off with my overall fitness.

Mt. Philo

I’ve been spending more time on the IF now that I’ve got the brakes and tire selection dialed in for my dirt / pave style of riding. Last Sunday I did a common road loop from Burlington out to Mt. Philo. I usually loop around the ‘mountain’ on dirt and take in portions of the covered bridge loop – but I decided on the way out to climb the road and take in the view. I felt stronger than I thought I would – and surprised myself.


Its a short, but steep climb. ~44 miles round trip. And I felt good pulling into the headwind coming home.

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)).


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…)

Cold and Wet

Managed 47 or so today with Wil. BTV to Richmond and to the fine On the Rise Bakery as a destination / warm up stop. (note to self – next time do not order bacon here….)

Temps were in the mid 30s with rain coming down most of the morning. Outbound we passed a steady stream of broken beer bottles on the side of the road. Eventually one of them bit me – so we stood standing in the rain and slop in Williston to do a change. I was thankful for wrapping my spare tube in a pair of rubber shop gloves – minimal cold mess on the hands. A small sliver of glass worked its way through the casing – so some hunting was needed. After a remount and a blast of CO2 – we were rolling again along the semi-frozen Winooski River.

Wil is riding strong, and pushing his studs on a bike with an 8spd internal geared hub he left me in his wake numerous times. He’ll be more than ready for the upcoming brevet series, and if he keeps this up he’ll be in prime form for his attempt at the 2012 Tour Divide.

Me – I need more work. The legs felt sluggish, and I needed to hit my inhaler at our cafe stop to settle down some coughing and a mild asthma attack. I’ve been battling a cold / sinus bug and its been challenging to stay active while it works its way through my system. Last spring I ended up with pneumonia just before one of our VT brevets. I’m trying to avoid that this year. I’ve managed my most consistent base in quite a while this winter (thanks Pugsley!). I added yoga to the mix last fall and have been back at it on a regular basis (Friday mornings!). The most promising change of all is that my weight is down ~25 pounds since this photo was taken on last years Fall Classic:

That’s not to say I’m floating up hills like I used to, nor chasing down friends as they pull away from me when the terrain turns up. Not even close. After I get through our first VT 200k on April 9 I’ll shift from ‘base’ to ‘intensity’ – I need lots of consistent sustained hard efforts. Repeated stays in the pain cave was the only way I got semi fast (still very slow compared to the racer boys and girls) back in 2006. Its the only way I see being able to attempt BMB in August.

And an important update – after three weeks it appears that the lonely baguette has met its demise.


Not so fast Spring. Winter hit back with a vengeance today. Morning started @ 45 dF with a bit of wind and misty rain. I took off for City Market to meet Wil for what hoped to be a long(ish) road ride before the weather turned. The lonely baguette has some pretty amazing endurance – it is slumping a bit, but still going strong.

The mild temps and rain derailed quickly as we took off south (into the headwind). Temps plunged 3 hours before we thought they would. The rain poured down and the wind shifted around from the south to out of the north, and began blowing something fierce. We went outbound on Spear, heading to Mt. Philo. A quick discussion and a detour across the wind took us to the Red Brick Store to warm up. I added some plastic bags from the deli to cover my soaking wet socks and we rung out hats and gloves over coffee and some food.

Pulling out into the wind on Greenbush and I felt signs (mainly a feeling on my face) of the pouring rain turning to sleet. Turning up Bostwick confirmed that the changeover was imminent, and we worked through Shelburne to head in on Rt. 7, at which point Wil pinch flatted Nokian studded tires. We sheltered under an entryway at a nearby business and proceeded to curse the internal hub, the fender, and the tire that would not let go of the rim. I proceeded to shake violently in the cold and the wet. Perfectly warm while riding – but I was wearing every layer I brought – and they all were soaked. Teeth chattering commenced promptly.

I called for extraction, and a very understanding wife and little one rallied to our rescue. We retreated to a nearby cafe for hot tea, and waited for a very warm automobile. Upon loading up the bikes sleet turned to full on snow storm.


Been a long time since I had any quality time on a bike. Got out this morning on the frozen trails. Post holed and hiked over trails have gone through freeze thaw cycles and are pretty miserable to ride. I picked my way down the bike path and into the woods and eventually bailed out to the road. Not in the mood to get slammed around on the ice. There were short sections where I was able to ride comfortably on the frozen crust – but eventually I would break through or dive into a hidden pocket of footprints. Hopefully we’ll see improving conditions – on the trail and in the weather. It was 3dF this morning when I set out.



First serious cold snap here in VT. Managed 35 or so today and have been pretty consistent the last few weeks logging miles.



After playing on various tire combinations this year I’m back to my trusty Continental 4 Season GP’s. Too many flats on the Pasela’s and Challenge tires…  felt great to ride the Conti’s again.