Friday, December 30, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Year End Post

'Tis the season to post a year-end "Best Of" list or re-cap. Not to be left out, I've decided to follow the crowd and do the same. Mostly because I do enjoy taking a look back and thinking about my past full trip around the sun.

First off, I took LOTS of photos (Instagram)...

I didn't ride as much as I would have liked... I don't think I *could* ride as much as I would like, not with that pesky job getting in the way. But, looking back, I did have some great rides, and quality always trumps quantity.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

MTB Video Reviewzzzzz...

Well, it's that time of year when I can get caught up with my TV and movie watching because I'll be putting some time in on the rollers.

I'm NOT a fan of winter nor winter sports. You can keep your skis, snowshoes, snowboards, fat bikes and everything else, I'll be inside bitching. And I'm okay with that.

For the past couple of year however, I've had a really hard time finding any good MTB videos to watch.

ChainSmoke, from the mid-90's was one of the first videos, and still fun to watch.  And then the New World Disorder series of videos in the early 2000's were a blast too.

And then, it seems, things got lame. (read more)

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Freaks Come Out At Night

Night Mountain Biking
It’s the time of year when the days are short, the nights are chilly, and the trails are still calling. It’s time for night rides.

I was thinking about writing something about night riding and then I remembered that I had done some articles on the subject a few years ago… make that about 17 years ago! I published a couple of articles in 1999 on the subject, in Men’s Health and Fitness and MetroSports Boston.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Precious Pressure

I spend a good amount of my time at work worrying about pressure. Specifically blood pressure. I can let pressure that's a bit too high slide for a bit there are usually more problems with pressure that's too low. I think it's the same for bike tires. Too high might decrease traction, but too low will make a bike feel like it's not tracking right. And, if it's too low and you run tubes, you've got a higher risk of getting pinch flats. Too low on a tubeless set up and you can "burp" more air out of the tire and break the seal at the rim/bead. There's a sweet spot for tire (and blood) pressure, and sudden loss of pressure  isn't good in either situation.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Rose Mountain Rumble

Rose Mountain Rumble Gravel Ride
Another gravel ride is in the books, and I'm happy to say that I had a great ride at this year's Rose Mountain Rumble!

Awesome route and awesome weather... what more could a rider ask for?

My buddies Jason and Dave had done this ride last year and they raved about it.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Running or Riding?

Runners just might be smarter than bikers...

I've been thinking back to when I had injured my hand; I couldn’t hold my handlebars and I needed to find another way to get my endorphin fix. I’ve been running off and on for years, but this was the first time that it was my sole (pun) source of exercise and trail time.

We all know that you can burn more calories running in a short time and that running promotes bone health better than cycling, but it wasn’t the physiological aspects that caused this revelation, it was just the beautiful simplicity of the sport.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bikes are good, friends are better.

I've got two sets of friends in my life, my "bike" friends and then some other people that I know. Not that there is anything wrong with my non-bike friends, they are all great people. But there is something special about my biker buddies. It's like we all share a great secret, and every time someone gets on a bike and gets hooked on riding, we know that now they know the secret too. Read more...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

WTB Valcon Saddle Review

WTB Valcon pro saddle
Don't ya hate it when there's a product you like but then a company discontinues it?

I've been a fan of WTB products since SST saddles and Velociraptor tires (1999?), so I wasn't surprised the be happy with the fit and feel of the Valcon.

The Pro version is 135mm wide which makes it super easy to negotiate when getting back behind the saddle. No, I don't have a dropper post, and no, my frame's 27.2 seat tube won't accommodate one.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mainly Maine

Travel Trailer Camping in Georgetown Maine
Back to Maine again? Yes, this is our third trip to Maine this summer (Acadia National Park and Bradbury Mountain State Park) as we try to get some use out of our travel trailer.  This trip was to Georgetown Island, sort of near Bath.

We didn't have a specific agenda in mind, and didn't even bring the mountain bikes! Our main plan was to hang out with our friends James & Jessica and just enjoy the Maine coast line.

As is almost always the case, we didn't get on the road as early as we had hoped on Friday morning but go to our destination without incident.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

North Conway, NH

I really need to spend some more time riding in North Conway. The trails are awesome and I have a skinny younger brother who seems to enjoy reminding me that it's damn flat on my home trails.

Spending the majority of the time riding in the Boston area, I develop a false sense of security. I feel comfortable riding just about everything on my fully rigid single speed, and then when I occasionally hit some gnar in New Hampshire I start thinking about how I can get "just one more low gear" on my bike and how I can eek out a little more travel in the suspension.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Quest for the Elusive Cassette

Had QUITE the journey to convert my wife's bike to a 1x10 with one of e13's extended range cogs and a Race Face wide/narrow chainring. I've done this on a few bikes already and the process only takes about an hour total...

I had done my research and ordered a 40t cog compatible with the Shimano cassette which was already on the bike. Upon the cog's arrival, I found that a special tool was required to remove the crank arms. D'oh! I have two huge Craftsman rolling tool chests full of bike tools, but I love needing one more special tool that only does one thing on one bike. Argh.

I headed up to Riverside Cycles, a local Cannondale dealer about 45 min away. They had the tool and had me on my way in only a couple of minutes, but that still took almost 2hrs. I did ask them to order one of the tools for me also. There's always room for more in my workshop. Read more...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bradbury Mountain State Park, more Maine!

Bradbury Mountain State Park, Mountain Biking, Pownal, Maine
Back to Maine...

Our camping season started in Maine, and we had a good time so we went back for more.

This time, Bradbury Mountain State Park for mountain biking. It was relatively close so it served as a great little weekend get-away.

It's been several years since I rode the trails at Bradbury Mountain and I had forgotten what they were like. Perfect reason to refresh the memories...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Central Vermont Cycling Tour

Central Vermont Cycling Tour, Montpelier, Vermont
Vermont? Gravel roads? A camping weekend? Yes, sign me up!

A couple of months after a super fun ride in the Montpelier area (Muddy Onion), it was time for Jean and I to head back up for another fun event, this time the Central Vermont Cycling Tour.

If you're a regular reader of this blog (and why wouldn't you be?), you may recall that Jean and I attempted this ride last summer. (READ MORE)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Acadia National Park, Maine, 2016

trees in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Of course, even though our vacation started off by "sleeping" in a Maine Turnpike rest area, and then by being woken up by the possibility that our house had been broken in to, AND some rain on our first full day in Maine, we had fun.

We did some exploring, took the dogs to the beach, and had some great seafood (a recurring theme).

See more for pics & video!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Maine 2016

Who says I don't know how to show a girl a good time?

Nothing says romance like waking up in a truck stop, so that's what we did...

We decided to leave for Maine after work on Friday, and as you can imagine, traffic heading north on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend was going to be epic. We let traffic clear out a bit, left late, and then slept in a Maine Turnpike service area after getting a couple of hours of driving done. So this is the view that Jean and I woke up to on the morning of our 11-year anniversary. Romantic indeed! Needless to say, we didn't linger, and hit the road to get up to Mount Desert Island.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Weeping Willow MTB Race (May, 2016)

weeping willow mountain bike race EFTA
I was only able to catch the 9:30 group of races due to those pesky work obligations. And with that, I didn't get shots of everyone. What I did get though, is posted here for all to see. Check out that link for access to the 170+ pics.

I should have been out there racing too, but again, I had work, and I wanted to get some pics. Willowdale is such an awesome place to rice...

Anyway, enjoy the pics! See ya!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A New Perspective

Working on a new way of using my GoPro... this was just a test run, more coming soon...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dirt Rag Magazine

I've written many print articles in my time, but one of my favorite magazines to read, and to write for, is Dirt Rag. (Read more)

Monday, May 2, 2016

46 and Flatland (47 soon)

Well, it's already May, so a good portion of 2016 is in the bag. Damn, time flies. I haven't been on my BMX bike as much as I would have liked, both from lack of time and on some days, lack of motivation. I've got the itch again though... here are some clips from the few times I've ridden so far this year. Nothing I probably haven't posted before, but it's good for me to keep up with some of the old stuff. I hope to have some better clips coming soon!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Muddy Onion Gravel Ride 2016, Montpelier, VT

Muddy Onion 2016 Gravel Ride Onion River Sports Montpelier, Vermont
Jean and I had ridden in an event in Montpelier a few years ago, and we still talk about the great dirt roads, awesome views, and killer climbs. We were registered for the Central Vermont Cycling Tour last year, but that got rained out. We've been eager to get back up to the Montpelier area so when I saw that Onion River Sports was hosting an early season gravel ride, I signed us up. Thirty four miles, a few thousand feet of climbing and chocolate covered bacon... take my money! Read more...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Emergency Medicine (not)

Every day I see examples of people who sabotage their own healthcare. EVERY DAY. From the patients with COPD who continue to smoke, to the morbidly obese patients who don't know why their back pain doesn't get better, to the patients who just decide not to take their medications for whatever reason. By and large, people are in complete control of their health, and many people do not take the actions needed.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Bike Therapy

Bike Therapy
ther·a·py \ˈther-ə-pē\

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the simple definition of "therapy" is the treatment of physical or mental illnesses.

That's a simple definition with a broad range of possible options, from a course of antibiotic therapy, physical therapy or psychotherapy.

My therapy often involves bikes; sometimes riding them, sometimes working on them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve Mountain Bike Trails, Lithia, Florida

Balm Boyette Scrub Reserve MTB trails, Lithia Florida, MTB, davealdenMTB
Today’s featured trail network is Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve in Lithia, FL, another great spot I rode while I was in the Tampa area on vacation.

I had never heard of Lithia before… according to Wikipedia,  Lithia is an  unincorporated community in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States.  It is a suburb of Tampa and has a population of 8,527. The zip code is  33547. The area code is 813. The area includes the Census-designated  place of Fish Hawk… whatever that is. Read more...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park MTB Trails

Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park Mountain Bike Trails MTB
After a few days in Orlando visiting with my mother, it was time to head towards the Tampa area with my wife and her parents. They were there for the beaches, I was there for the riding. And lucky for me, there was some good riding to be found. First up on my agenda was an area called the Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey, FL. This was about an hour north of where I was staying. Distance-wise, not that far, but time-wise, it seemed like it took forever because it was just one traffic light after another after another after another. And, each traffic light seemed to last like 48 minutes. But I digress... oh, one more note about the drive though... I think this area of the country has more injury and accident lawyer billboards than in any area I've driven in. Billboard after billboard asking if I had been hurt or an in an accident... Okay, now let's talk about the riding...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Snow Hill MTB Trails in Oviedo, Florida (Little Big Econ State Forest)

Snowball MTB Trails, Little Big Econ State Forest, Oviedo, Florida
Paradoxically, my interest, and subsequent obsession with mountain biking began when I was living in Orlando, Florida; a part of the world not known for any mountains except for Space Mountain. That being said, in the mid-nineties (and probably even still today), central Florida had a great MTB scene. It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve ridden off road in Florida though, and I wasn’t sure where to go. (Video after the jump too) Read MORE...