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