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May-09-10 01:18 pm
A Tale of Wind vs Speed
Category: Social
Forum: Ride Reports

Thanks to Roger for leading an informal local ride out of Columbia today.  With the weather, he decided to substitute the shorter 46 mile "Ride to Lisbon" for my evil 57 mile hilly HoCo Climbing which was a great decision.  Ed C, Chris T, Roger and I started out together and we saw Mike H rolling in after we left.  The first stretch, out West was pretty solid upwind and it was gusty and stiff.  Ed got a pretty good lead on us and finally Roger and Chris dropped off my wheel while I chased.

When we turned onto Linthicum it was virtually downwind and I wasted no time getting into a TT position and hammered past Ed flying up the hill on the other side and stayed well off the front down Greenbridge and up Tridelphia Mill/Tri where I met Mike H who came out past Linthicum to meet up with us timing it perfectly.  We all pounded our way out Jenning's Chapel almost being stopped by the wind at times and finally to the regular stop Shell/High's on Woodbine/Old Frederick.

At this point we had ridden about 30 miles and were only averaging 15.8 mph.  This included the fast run up Linthicum and a really fast run from Hardy down to the rest stop where we were "haulin' the mail" but still under 16mph and it took us 1:53 to go that 30 miles.  Mike and I were trading pulls virtually the entire second half of the ride.

The final 18 miles was a wild ride flying back into Columbia in under 51 minutes at an average speed of over 20.8 mph!!  Mike and I pushed each other hard throughout.  Including my ride to/from the start I got a 47.5 mile loop @ 17.4 average in an ideal 2 hours 44 minutes letting me take Jan out for a Mother's Day brunch at Iron Bridge so a perfect morning.

Ciao,
Stuart

  __o
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(_)/(_)

Apr-19-10 11:05 am
Great Fun and Pain was Had By All
Category: Social
Forum: Ride Reports

Sunday was just slightly too cool and slightly too windy, but was sunny and a great day for a tough ride starting from Columbia.  We had a nice crowd of over 15 folks come out including some old BBC friends doing their first ride in a while.  I had changed the route from a moderate 77 mile that was too close to the route the past two weekend rides had taken to a totally different, shorter and much harder 58 mile ride with a 46 mile bailout option.
I heard that most did the whole route but that some had enough by the decision point after lunch.  We stopped at Pasta Blitz "to go" next to the Glenwood Community Center in the new strip center there.  They have a small eat-in area with 4-5 two tables and 2 four tables and we shared it with four of HoCo's finest.  They made an excellent "veggie pizza" for us which required no substitutions (broccoli, spinach, red onion, tomatoes) which we ordered with light cheese and it was perfect.  While it is a shade more expensive than our normal stops, it is a good choice now as a real food alternative to the usual High’s stop across the street at the end of McKendree.
I had slightly modified an older cue to add in the lunch stop and made one directional mistake, neglecting to change that line, but I think everyone figured it out since there was no “left” and only a right at Hobbs!  If you missed the ride, I’ll be sure to do it again in the future  and it is in the cue library. 
For those who did it, some hill memories: Folly Quarter, Driver, Henryton, Raincliffe, Forsythe (x all 4), Mt. Tridelphia, Roxbury, Tridelphia Mill and Trotter.  Now how do your legs feel!  Great fun but we did get totally scattered after everyone did something different for lunch but a good time was had by all.
16-1/2 mph average, 58 miles, 4250 feet of climbing, temps felt like upper 30’s to start and 40’s all day even though it got into the 50’s.  Start at 10, end at 3 including a very, very long (and fun) sit down lunch stop.

Stuart

One more update to this ride.  I'm also bringing cue sheets for a 46 mile version which simply shortcuts the end of the ride.  All of the first 39 miles are exactly the same including the lunch stop.  The one warning (again) is that the temps are going to be 10-15 degrees COLDER this weekend than they have been.  We are looking at 46 degrees at 9am so figure it is going to feel like the mid-40's at our 10am start and it isn't going to get a lot better.  Mid 50's by the end but might feel cooler.

So, great weather, pretty & low traffic roads (mostly), a real lunch stop option at Pasta Blitz on Georgia Ave at McKendree or just a quick stop at that Highs should you want to get home faster and two options, 46 miles or 57.5 miles and you can decide after lunch.  How perfect.  See y'all Sunday morning at 10am.

I'm hosting a ride starting on Sunday the 18th at 10am out of West Columbia a mile in from RT-108 & Homewood (HCV).  Many months ago I posted it as a lovely 77 mile route but it turns out my friends Mike & Mike have hosted VERY similar routes the last two weekends, so for variety, I've changed it to another ride.  We will go "counter-clockwise" instead of "clockwise" and on mostly different roads.  I made it a lot shorter (57 instead of 77 miles) partially because it has a lot of climbing and also because everyone seems to be slow to get their legs this spring due to "the worst freakin' winter of my life."

For the benefit of Mark T. and the other Tax Accountants, if they survive their torture ride on Saturday, there is a new lunch stop across from the High's at McKendree/Georgia (Pasta Blitz) or there is an excellent Afghan place at the end so the ride can be extended and include a social hour in the middle and/or end.

The weather report is for sunny and little chance of rain, but a low of 47 so it will be chilly low –to-mid 50’s to start and a high of 62’ish about the time we end so I’ll probably do tights, half tights (knickers) or maybe shorts but will layer up top probably with a short sleeve base layer and long sleeve jersey or arm warmers, light wind breaking shoe covers and glove liners (long) under regular gloves with ear covers and should be comfy after warming up.  There are hills and a “secret” natural spring to sample in the first hour.  All paces are welcome but it is posted as 15+ since there are some double digit grades.  I will be doing about 16 mph so I’ll probably be in the second group on the road after a few climbs, I will not be sweeping any slower riders but can SAG after the ride with a call on my cell (on the cue).

The “new” cue sheet is posted under Howard County, 50+ miles and is called HCV – HoCo Climbing 57.  Make sure you choose the fifty-seven mile version of this multi distance ride.

Apr-10-10 09:54 am
Category: Technical
Forum: Riding Style

I said it was a "giant gravel chunk" which I believe the word GIANT is appropriate.  True, I did blow by it and not look at it for half an hour, but I also don't think it was a block of concrete though you guys certainly had a lot longer than my two seconds to evaluate what it actually was.

I don't see any real gross mis-representation of facts here...SAM.

What I do now see that I have been given some more facts from your "rant" is that there may well be some transference going on here which I suspected but never brought up.  I saw the "cobble" which is a good term for it (it would be a "small cobble" in my mind but I wouldn't want to be accused of trying to minimize it's actual size, but I do think that 6" is a huge exaggeration).  I successfully warned my trailing riders about the obstacle in the road, Carl and Sam failed to adequately warn their trailing rider (Mike) about the danger.  I'm not saying they didn't try, and Isaias put it best about everyone having to watch out for themselves.

I have let Mike know offline that I meant no harm to him and didn't want him to think that I just didn't care about the rock or his fall and I'm sure he knows this.  The problem is that five years ago next month I didn't see a really nasty pothole hiding in the shade which I hit at 25+ mph on front of a large group in an 18+ ride and not only broke my clavicle but caused injuries and property loss to several others.  Almost everyone assured me it was just a normal danger (some indirectly blamed me) of our sport but I always have felt guilty about hurting Ed Condo and Mark T. and damaging their bikes/equipment.

I have worked VERY hard since then to warn people on these spring rides about peering deep into shady spots and being VERY careful when going from light to dark on the road in shady areas, especially if wearing dark sunglasses.  I have also worked VERY hard to point out and even yell and call out dangers much more than in the past since that incident.

Oh well, we now have comments well before this thread about another subject, dating back to last year, voiced again this year (on that other subject), being amplified by another person never involved before, causing people to be called out personally by name, flaming into a firestorm that is now club wide, and some of those individuals seeming to want retribution or payback for being personally indicted in public, which leads to sniping and griping all around. 

Thanks for all the offline support and recommendations.  I'm going back to riding, hope to see y'all at Atholton HS here in an hour for Mike's ride and I'll try to avoid reacting to the attacks on the forums and List-Serves so everyone else can live in peace and harmony.  If I get killed on today’s ride, then this crud would end up being my legacy and I wouldn’t want that.

Apr-10-10 09:29 am
Is this an almost never, or sometimes, or I'm wonderful?
Category: Technical
Forum: Riding Style

You might not see this additional comment until after you have voted, but my categories are set up to mean this:  We all do this sometimes, but if you do it less than one out of ten rides AND you basically never do it for regular road debris on a fast group ride then the Nutz vote is for you. 

If you do actually stop to do this sort of thing MORE than once every five or ten rides, then the second answer would be correct.

I know the third one is more of a catch all and applies to all of us sometimes.  When a large branch is blocking the road or something but it would be that you can say that you actually stop to move stuff at least once in every five group rides you do.

Apr-09-10 09:15 am
Is this an almost never, or sometimes, or I'm wonderful?
Category: Technical
Forum: Riding Style

Based on a recent nasty post because a rider further back on a group ride hit a large rock and fell, I'm wondering how often our club riders actually pull out of a paceline, give up on the group aspect of their ride to remove a solo rock from the roadway.

Apr-09-10 09:03 am
Category: Technical
Forum: Riding Style

This is very hard to quote given the extreme passive-agressive style of the post (see below) but this is my best edit of the post:
<<< (Carl Boyd): "A rider struck a large chunk of concrete (and) crashed (snip). (Some of)these same folks who seek to make cycling safer (snip) (should) take a moment of their time to make cycling safer by removing the hazard that caused the crash. Just saying," >>>

Really?  What BS Carl.  If we stopped to remove all of the hazards we pass on the road, then we might as well eliminate anything like a 15/17 and an 18+ ride category and a fast training ride like we do on Gang rides.  I have done rides where I was mapping routes (taking notes), stopping to pick blackberries, removing debris from the road and on a route where my average speed is usually 17-18mph I did 13.  This is NOT what I expected to see posted this morning and if I sound pissed off, I am.

I was leading 2-3 others when I passed the "rock."  I believe it was actually the kind of giant gravel chunk that they use to create a temporary apron when doing construction in a new place, essentially a squared off chunk a couple of inches each side.  So the guilty party for that hazard was the construction truck it fell off of or the new neighborhood in the county for which it was being hauled.  I did exactly what any and all of us do which is that I pointed at it so the guys behind would miss it and they did.  I will point out that I also didn't pause for a minute to voice that I had seen the rock when it was brought up, I wasn't hiding anything.

Given that at the time, our group was (we thought) the last group on the road of those who came to ride, as we had all been dropped, I don't believe that you, or any other hard charging cyclist in a paceline on a group ride would pull out of line, lose the draft/group and stop to move a rock or branch or glass or virtually anything from the road.  If I were out by myself, the odds are that I WOULD have done so but I find it very disingenuous to make a public post in such a passive-aggressive way to impugn my integrity in such a way.  We ALL ride past hazards all the time and once they are behind us I would say we stop to remove them far less than 1% of the time.

I am very disappointed in your post and the insinuation that I did something wrong last night and I will not let it stand and even though only a few people knew about it until now and I've alerted 1,700 people about it.  I'll open it up to discussion for BBC and the Gang as to what percentage of our upper speed bracket riders would stop to remove a large piece of "gravel" from the road when in a paceline in a somewhat competitive riding situation where that might well mean losing touch with your group for the rest of the ride.

Before you accuse people of wrongdoing I suggest you think that accusation through, and apply your vast riding experience to the opinion.  I have spent countless hours with you on many long rides of over 50 miles and we have both ridden past thousands of pieces of road trash and I cannot recall you ever pulling off to remove them from the road.  Get real.

Stuart

Apr-07-10 03:21 pm
Recent 10x increase since Forum
Category: Social

Hi Will,
I'm so sorry this has been so painful for you but I wanted to update you that apparently my email address has become much more available via the new BBC Website or these forums and my SPam levels have increased TEN TIMES now!!  Instead of deleting 1-3 per day I am now getting 30-40 in short order so there is clearly a security problem with the crawlers getting email addresses from the Forum.  Nothing else has changed in my life and I'm not an internet idiot so this is the only thing that has changed.  Thanks.  Stuart

Apr-04-10 02:42 pm
Hard early season Metric Century was Great Fun
Category: Social
Forum: Ride Reports

Coming off such a tough winter and my October knee scope, Saturday's Metric Century hosted by Mike Harris was the longest and hardest ride I'd attempted.  The route leaving out of Columbia is almost exactly the same route I was leading later in the month so perhaps I'll change the route for that but we traveled on many of my favorite roads down to and through Brookville and out near Mt. Airy.
Spectacular weather and great friends as usual made for a great ride.  Mike and David K. took pity on me a few times waiting for my out-of-shape self to catch up but after I yelled at them to just drop me a final time, they did as I wished and left me for dead!  We got pretty broken up at "lunch" with people going different places.  Thanks to David for bailing me out with half a sandwich since I forgot to pack my lunch money.
Leaving from and stopping at home I had 64.7 miles at an overall 16.9 mph for about 4,352 in climbing rating only a 6.7 on the Tabb Scale.  It felt great to be back out for a long ride with the Gang.  Thanks Mike.

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