Wednesday, October 24, 2018

More Kingdom Trails!


I've been up to Vermont A LOT this year... gravel rides, mountain bike festivals, races, it's all been good because I do love the Green Mountain state. As the season winds down, some friends and I made one last sojourn before the leaves were all down and the temps dipped below freezing.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

CircumBurke 2018

circumburke 2018 east burke, vermont, kingdom trails
I’m not afraid of making bad decisions and biting off more than I can chew, but when I registered for the CircumBurke Challenge, I actually had a plan.

That plan hadn’t included a crash and a really, really, really uncomfortable groin injury that kept me off the bike for a few weeks followed by a brutal work schedule that also kept me off the bike for a few weeks. So, when Glen and I headed up to Vermont, I was mentally exhausted from work, and hadn’t done a serious mountain bike ride for about two months. But hey, the race is only 26 miles so…



Monday, September 24, 2018

West Hill Grinder, Putney, Vermont

Another great weekend in Vermont, and another great gravel ride, this one put on by the legendary West Hill Shop in Putney, Vermont.

The course was great and the weather was amazing. I had originally signed up for the 4-Gap  loop, for 40 miles and about 4800ft of climbing, but with my leg still recovering, I opted for the 2-Gap, for 34 miles and about 3800ft. It was super fun, and I've love to do the 4-Gap next time around.

Jean, Liz and Dan rode too, and had a blast on the West-West loop.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

2018 Rose Mountain Rumble Gravel Ride



It's hard to know if I was rumbled or if I did the rumbling, but the 2018 Rose Mountain Rumble has been completed, logged, video'ed and documented on Strava, No fake news here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

OCD MTB (and BMX too)

I'll admit it, I’ve got some quirks.

Most of my friends know at least of them, for example, my bike’s tires have to match. This is non-negotiable. I can NOT have, for example, a Kenda front tire and a Maxxis rear tire. Not only do the brands need to match, but the models must match too. I couldn't have a Kenda Nevegal and a Slant Six on the same bike. Although, I will make an exception if a specific tire is designed as a front or rear (think of the Panaracer Smoke & Dart). But, again, they MUST be paired, and I couldn't willy-nilly choose a front and rear tire, even if they're the same brand. I KNOW it doesn't make sense, but I CAN NOT do it. Also, if one tire needs to be replaced prematurely (torn sidewall or something), I need to replace both. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I can't help it. But there's more...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Trail Work



I think my tally by the end of 2018 is going to show that I've spent more time working on trails than riding trails. And that's okay...

Saturday, July 28, 2018

NEMBAFest 2018

NEMBA Fest 2018
Well, well, well... more than a month has passed since I was in East Burke for the 2018 edition of NEMBAFest Powered by Pedro's. I guess I lose some points for not keeping my blog up to date, but you, the reader, get what you pay for.

It was, by all accounts, another excellent event. The trails were in primo condition and it was great to hang out with friends and family. The group included Mississippi Dave, Tito the Swedish Bimbo, and myself in my luxury camper; Glen the Cottage of Wattage in his tent; and my brother, brother-in-law, nephew and a smattering of North Conway hooligans in my brother's camper. There were more than 1000 other riders there as well, but I don't have much to report on them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

WATA Gravel Ginder

waterbury area trail alliance gravel grinder vermont 2018
And then at about mile 9, I knocked my wife to the ground...

That was just one of the highlights along the WATA gravel ride in and around Waterbury, Vermont.

Ever since we did the Muddy Onion a couple of years ago, Jean and I have been fans of gravel rides. Great routes, great vibes, and great views have pulled us back for more and more rides, and this was our first year at the Waterbury Area Trail Alliance Gravel Grinder.

We opted for the shorter "traditional" loop which included about 27 miles and 2800ft of climbing and it was filled with--as promised-gravely goodness.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

ECTA Spring For The Trails Half Marathon

"You're kind of a big guy for a trail runner..."

That comment came at me at about mile 4 while I was chatting with another runner, and I didn't know what to say. I just kept on running, smashing trees and scaring the wildlife like a woodland Godzilla.

Truth be told, that comment came from a really nice woman whom I chatted with for a couple of miles, but I thought it was pretty funny.

This was the second trail marathon of the season and the weather was markedly better than the one in April. While the race in Falmouth skirted freezing temperatures, early May in Ipswich brought bright sun, clear skies and temps in the high 60's. Toward the end of the run, I was so warm that I ran shirtless for a bit. With that said, I should apologize to all that were blinded by pale white skin that shone like a beacon. Squirrels had to avert their eyes, and I covered up before hitting the finish line.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Muddy Onion 2018, Montpelier, VT



Jean and I have ridden in the Muddy Onion in Montpelier, Vermont for the past couple of years  2017  2016), and the event really set the bar for gravel rides. Great route, great support and an amazing apres ride bash all made for memorable rides. Sadly, the organizing shop, Onion River Sports closed its doors, but some dedicated people are working to keep the dream alive and Onion River Outdoors is being born. And while the doors are not open yet, the Muddy Onion lives on!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cape Cod Trail Race 2018

cape cod trail race half marathon racer-x david alden
It's officially race season! I'm excited that I've got a bunch of events on the calendar--running, mountain biking, gravel rides, and hopefully some cyclocross this fall. I enjoy participating in these even if I toe the line woefully unprepared. In fact, that's my typical strategy, and my race results usually reflect that.

But hey, I can have just as much fun sucking wind in the middle of the pack as I would if I was standing on the top of the podium being deafened by the roar of my fans and burdened by medals and trophies.

With all that said, Jean and I, and Liz and Dan combined the first camping trip of the season with the first race of the season and de-winterized the campers for a weekend at Bourne Scenic Park. That put us in close proximity for the Cape Cod Trail Race in Falmouth. The race was fun, the camping... well... (see below after race pics)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

10 Tips to Better Mountain Biking

tips for better mountain biking
I originally wrote this article about 15 years ago. Apparently it's been circulating on the Interwebs ever since because I recently got an email inquiry about it from a content developer in Australia. As I had a chance to review it, I realized that all of this still holds true today so I've dusted it off and made sure that it works with the latest iOS while also being ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible. Additionally, the tips below work with ALL hub spacing standards, all BB standards and all MTB wheel sizes, 26, 27.5, 27.5+, 29, 29+ although, if you want the fat bike tips, you'll need to send in $20 for the retrofit kit.

10 Tips to Better Mountain Biking  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Fat Bike FakeNews


I’m not going to lie, I’m not a fan of fat bikes.

I had one but I just couldn't drink the Kool-Aid...

Read just about any fat bike propaganda and you’ll see statements like, "and you can ride them everywhere” or “any trail, any time of year.”

You’ll also read that the wider tires float on surfaces where other tires would sink.”

Bicycling Magazine (which is pure drivel), even boasted that "staying fit in the winter is hard, but fat bikes make outdoor exercise possible."

Friday, December 8, 2017

GPS WTF

I've been using a number of different mapping systems to record my rides and runs, but to also try to collect tracks to create a library of trail maps.

I've been using Strava, Wahoo Fitness, Trail Forks (all on my iPhone), and Garmin Connect through a Edge 520 head unit. It's somewhat surprising how different the stats are between these various services on the same short loop...