Thursday, December 29, 2011

TNR Festivus

Despite a downpour (what's with this Dec weather??) a great time was had by all at the annual Bike Lane Thursday Night Ride Festivus Party.  Many thanks to The Bike Lane for providing the venue, and to all the pot luck contributors.  Cheers!!

The mobile bar.  A river ran through it.

Some people have Ti bikes, we have Ti openers.  Size matters.

Spreading good cheer!
All is merry and bright.

XXL on Location in PA

Headed out Monday the 26th to ride Walking Purchase Park aka Sal's in Salisbury Township, PA. Steve and I had ridden there a year ago Thanksgiving and felt it well worthy of a return visit. 

There's about 10+ miles of singletrack in various loops that can be connected for longer rides all of which offer a variety of flowy, rocky, technical riding. The Valley Mountain Biking Club does a great job with maintenance on these trails which are situated on a hillside overlooking the Lehigh River. The trails are color coded and fairly well marked.

How you doin'?
After meeting up at Dodson Park and Steve giving me a fashion show in his new Ibex wool knickers, we decided to take the outer perimeter of the loops which took us on yellow, upper orange, lower orange, lower red, up the outer loop of blue, green (also known as boulder trail), upper red, yellow and back to Dodson Park. Lower Red takes you down by the railroad tracks along the Lehigh and at one point there’s a great little rock garden just before an awesome log over stream crossing that can't be passed up. From the bottom of red, it's uphill on blue which most of the switchback sections were smooth enough to make the climb bearable. 

At the top of of the blue trail, we ran into a solo rider who recognized Steve's XXL jersey.  We hung out talking local trails for a bit then headed off in search of the boulder trail. We had to back track a pretty muddy section of a split off of blue that we finally realized had us heading the wrong direction but eventually, we were back on track. We found the green trail which has to be the highlight of the ride. It's not a long trail by any means but it winds through a fairly large boulder field offering up some sweet lines and great challenges. We sessioned sections of green for a while then with the sun getting low, headed on upper red back to Dodson Park to enjoy warm clothes and a cold beverage.  

Great ride, great weather and I actually took pictures this time. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Out and About

Congratulations to Jason, who rode 180 days in 2011 with time to spare.  You do us proud!!

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

DC Holiday Ride

'Twas the night before Friday, when all through northern VA,
Not a singletrack trail was dry, and all mountain bikers were MIA.

But it was a crisp cold eve, and the roads were clear,
XXL mounted skinny-tire steeds, to spread some good cheer.

DC Tony would host, a risky team decision,
At the Shed or on the streets, dismemberment seems the mission.

But forge ahead we did, with the wind chill in the teens,
We were all bundled up, Simona with her man-purse and jeans.

When on the Mount Vernon Trail, there arose such a chatter,
Grumpy commuters were yelling, "Hey, what is the matter?!"


Our lights, how they shone!  Our voices, how merry!
Our noses were red, from cold, not sherry!

Faster than penguins, six miles we flew,
From the start of the WOD to Hains Point with our crew.

Now Bandit! now MOBL! now Czech Chick and Cookie!
On Steve-O! on Simon! on Atlantis and Brettski!

Then it was off to the hill, no one we would drop,
All needed to be present, we had a Capitol tree photo op.

The Capitol Tree

"Eastern Market!" exclaims Tony, "it's only a mile!"
We were keenly aware, there wouldn't be sustenance for a while.

We sang and we laughed, riding DC streets without fear,
Eastern Market had promise, the promise of beer.

H Street next stop, the streets were a-glitter,
Atlas District, Argonaut, was our destination for dinner.

New team helmets

No DC ride could be considered at all complete,
Without a turn 'round Dupont Circle, a death defying feat.

Late was the hour, and tired were we,
Especially Gregg, for a hybrid brought he.

We sprang to our bikes, and gave out a whistle,
We all flew away like the down of a thistle.

But you could hear us exclaim, 'ere we rode out of sight,
"Happy Holidays to all, DC Tony, you're all right!!"

Christmas Caroling, XXL Style

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

XXL Goes Upstate

No, not to a correctional facility.  Black Friday, Blue Mountain Reservation, Peekskill, NY.  Mikey, "The Prez," and Chris.  Mike being the local, took the helm and we headed out. A quick series of trails and map checks and we found Mix Monster, the longest trail which circles around the backside of Blue Mountain and offers a nice combination of flow, quick climbs, rocks and large spine/ridge runs on huge rocks.  SteveO and Mike stuck around a little longer to tackle Stinger.

Everyone rode strong, avoided injury, and had a great time, although Mikey suffered a huge XXL point loss for being host and spacing on post ride beverage service. Man!

Definitely worth a repeat, maybe even a weekend since we discovered there's the Peekskill Brew Pub just down the street.

Happy trails all!

PS  New nickname Cranky Caruthers, born from giving some dude crap for not giving the right-of-way on an uphill only to pass him later on Mix Monster and hear him say "there goes Mr. Cranky." I heart NY!

The Prez on his SIR

Monday, November 7, 2011

Proud XXL Moment

Arguably the most important podium of the year -- the Schaeffer Farms Halloween Ride Costume Contest.  The winner this year was our very own Simona, dressed as one of our team koozies.  Congratulations Simona!  As usual, you carry the team.

An honorable mention must also be given to Carey:
"It's easy to grin
when your ship comes in
and you've got the stock market beat.
But the man worthwhile
is the man who can smile
when his shorts are too tight in the seat".
Ahoy, palloi!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

XXL Hits the Shed

Our Motley Crew
The Highlights:
1. Carey forgot his helmet and the only spare was a pretty light blue number that belonged to Cain's wife.  It actually matched his bike quite well and made him question the fit of his real helmet.
Stylish AND skilled...sorry ladies, he's taken!
2.  A hunter drove by as were getting ready to head out.  Told us we needed to wear some orange, unless we want to get shot by some dumb hunter.  
Orange...check.  This TTF is made possible by Niner.
3.  Sharon was killing it.  She was riding stuff that others walked.
You go, girl!!!
4.  Joel took his brother and his brother's friend onto a different trail than us.  We were supposed to meet at the bottom.  It appears they missed the turn by miles.  Ended up with a long road grind back.

5.  No one could make the entrance climb into F2.  I want to go back, I think I get that last rock hop.

It's the effort that counts.
6.  Larry and Steve mildly argued about the trail we were on.  Looking at the pointy line in the middle of my GPS track, there might be a clear winner.

7.  I missed the post ride festivities, but got to see the Caps destroy the Red Wings 7-1.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Rain, Shmain!

Today I am truly proud to be a member of Team XXL.
Last night Steve taught me how to draft, and pick the best lead, thanks Carey.
I pissed off our waitress and made her hug me at the end of the night, yes she cracked a smile!
I once again received the award for loudest screech.
I insulted most of you, drank your beer and stole Ernie's dinner.
I learned Galaxy Hut and Lost Dog have THE best beer.
I owe Larry $20.  I probably owe the rest of you, but won't pay.
I ended up in Miller's bed, with his wife and dog, probably also woke up his kids and neighbors.
As if that wasn't enough, Joel and I decided to hit the tub when we got home.
Truly, an epic ride!  If you didn't make it, well you missed!
Can't wait to see Jason's Pics, by the way his camera does not surf, talk or text.
w/much Love,

Editors Note: This entry is in reference to this week's "Thursday Night Ride," team XXLs most cherished regular event, and we suspect the author was still recovering while writing this. This week's ride was extra special. While the typical ride was canceled due to wet trails, XXL embarked on an epic biker bar crawl.  Carefully organized and navigated by Jason, the ride involved a complex and winding route through Arlington County. Extreme fitness was a must for hitting all of the required checkpoints. The athletes were fueled with premium nutrition - a variety of IPAs and cheese & bacon drenched 'Tater Tots. A sag wagon was offered but not employed - mental toughness prevailed.  Another one-of-a-kind XXL event. Don't miss the next one!

XXL & Friends refueling at CP#3

And tonight's special is...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rattling Creek 2011

Jason "rocking" his MCR.
Well mountain biking family, another Rattling Creek Mountain Bike Bash has come and gone; this was one for the history books.  The Bash, in its 12th year, is organized by the Rattling Creek Singletrackers and is held in Weiser State Forest.  The Bash offers sweet rocky riding, beautiful camping, and the seclusion required for mounting biking degenerates.  It is for these reasons The Bash is a much anticipated retreat for XXL and friends.

Joel and his Jet 9 making it look easy.

For those not in attendance - you truly missed an epic time.  It had all the key ingredients for a good party: BEER, good food, sweet swag (our new team coozies), dancing, XXL catch phrase development, drunk wood chopping, fires, broken furniture, people literally hanging from the rafters, a rare but entertaining Angry Carey sighting, new code names................Brenda, BEER, and oh yeah, STELLA riding!!

This year's bash, as one XXLer so aptly observed, was like Festivus.

We had our annual version of the Festivus Pole:

Every good campsite needs an inflatable monkey.

We had the airing of grievances:

Don't mess with XXL :)

Livewrong, baby!

And of course the feats of strength:
Rocks?  What Rocks?

A mountain biking party staple - the hobby horse bike

And best of all, we received word that this will NOT, in fact, be the Last Bash -- it's a Festivus miracle!!!!  Come join us next year!

Lloyd, Brenda, and Tommy will be there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2011 Race Results

Plum Grove Snotcycle
Leesburg, VA, January 29th

Carey: 35th, Cat 2 Male 40+
Tony: 1st, Singlespeed

Plum Grove Nightryder
Leesburg, VA, March 12th

Tony: 1st, Singlespeed

Leesburg Bakers Dozen
Leesburg, VA, April 7th

Carey, Pete: 12th, 3-Person Coed
Gregg, Joel, Mike: 18th, 3-Person Male Masters
Jason, Simona, Steve: 3rd, 3-Person Coed
Lisa, Sharon, Theresa: 6th, 3-Person Female
Rich, Tony: 3rd, 3-Person Male Masters

9 Hours of Cranky Monkey
Rocky Gap State Park, MD, May 14th

Simona: 2nd, Solo Female

Greenbrier Challenge & State Championship
Greenbrier State Park, MD, May 22nd

Rich: 1st, Cat 3 50+

Wednesday’s at Wakefield Race #1
Annandale, VA, June 22nd, 2011

Tony: 1st, Singlespeed

12 Hours of Cranky Monkey
Quantico, VA, June 25th

Jen: 6th, 3-Person Coed
Rich: 3rd, 3-Person Coed

Wednesday’s at Wakefield Race #2
Annandale, VA, June 29th

Simona: 2nd, Expert Female
Steve: 7th, Sport Male Open
Tony: 4th, Expert Male

Wednesday’s at Wakefield Race #3
Annandale, VA, July, 6th

Steve: 7th, Sport Male Open

Rocky Gap XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon
Rocky Gap State Park, MD, July 10th

Jen: 2nd, Solo Female 35-39

H2H Series Bulldog Rump
Andover, NJ, July 17th

Chris: 12th, Cat 2 Singlespeed Open

Wednesdays @ Wakefield Race #4
Annandale, VA, July 20th

Steve: 12th, Masters 35+
Tony: 3rd, Expert

Cranky Monkey Race #1 – Wakefield Park
Annandale, VA, July 24th

Simona: 3rd, Sport Female