1.21.2009

Rosaryville... FROZEN TOE RIDE last Sunday

there had been some hesitancy about riding...
to my advantage I was able to beat back the demons and harnessed the opportunity that was in front of me
those words here

sunday morning came and I was well rested when I woke
without the need of the alarm I woke with enough time to walk the dog, load up the car, and drive out to Rosaryville... all actions took place with a cup of coffee in my hand
the preferred route was re-directed by road closures caused in preparation of the activities at the Lincoln Memorial set for that afternoon
a pre-Inaugural Concert that day was sending me off route and putting me at risk of being late

my driving style was efficient
I tried hard to be assertive but not aggressive
as I drove I could not help but think about the speeding ticket that I had received on my drive to Rosaryville on January One

it irked me that I got a ticket for going 55mph on the highway
then it irked me that I was unable to repeat this route to further investigate the location of the Speed Camera and how visible the un-naturally slow posting of 40mph was
the thought that I may be speeding and risked getting another ticket irked me
I slowed down
we all need to slow down

my arrival at Rosaryville State Park in PG county just outside the District was pretty much on time
it appeared that everyone else was early
everyone else was pretty much ready... I suited up as I exchanged hellos
people tinkered with their bikes while others made the final adjustments to the appropriate gear
once suited up and ready I watched as others arrived

moments before my departure I made some modifications to my gear
the walk with the dog revealed that it was not going to be as brutally cold as the days prior
it was to be cold... but not unbearably so
one of my biggest changes was to go with the standard cycling shoes with some toe warmers rather than the Lake winter mountain bike shoes
the placement of my TIME cleats on the Lake boots is not are not quite how I like them
not sure if they will move far enough up... which has my feet pressing closer to the arch of my foot rather than the ball of the foot

fellow DCMTB team member Jonathan Wheaton arrived as people started to get anxious about hitting the trails

I was ready and pleased that I was not the last person to arrive
mounted on the Surly Single Speed I rolled up along side Brian Pooch
I have been hazing Pooch since his return from Africa
trying to convince Brian that he has been downgraded to club and will have to resubmit his application to join the team that he was once captain of
in our talking I noticed Brian's pace picking up
I spun my cranks to keep pace with him... he was geared while I was rocking the single
then I noticed that we were exiting the parking lot about to cross the street
then I noticed that Brian was trying to beat me to the hole shot
as we hit the dirt I asked Brian what he was doing... he told me that the ride was starting

we entered the woods
I can not recall who entered the woods first

a quarter mile into the woods I was able to convince Brian to stop and wait for the others
after a few minutes everyone caught up to us except Wheaton... we joked about the modification of his rear cog to the perfect chain length for this ride on this day... ah... single speed humor gets me every time
I sent the group on and went back to get Wheaton
pretty much when I got to Jonathan's car he was ready to go
we hit the woods together

I have heard others call Jonathan Mr Freeze... or something to that effect
the root of the nickname is not clear to me
I am not sure if it is due to his disdain for the cold or his cool nature
Jonathan is a very solid rider... at speed he never squirrels about nor does it ever look like his heart rate has raised
while I am white knuckled sucking wind Jonathan is working the same trail at the same pace without any effort

the DCMTB group plus Coppi Scott and a few others were out of view
Wheaton and I spun our single speeds frantically in an effort to catch the group
the trails of Rosaryville double back so much that the tail end of the group started to come into view
again the twisting of the trails made it hard to tell how far ahead they were
one by one we started to catch members of the pack
then we met with the master of ceremonies MikeK

MikeK was leading the ride and setting the pace... and starting to talk... for those who do not know... MikeK can talk
MikeK talks like I blog
to his credit he was killing time as the group waited for those trailing behind
stopped on the trail was not where I wanted to be
my body temperature was up and I was starting to sweat
I wanted to move before my body temperature dropped and that sweat turned to ice
there was no desire to let my heart rate drop

just as things had gone from action to reaction when Pooch pushed and I chased
I got into a predator and prey situation with pace vehicle MikeK
not sure who was which but I know that there was some cat and mouse
there was a bit of a battle
MikeK's effort to not be passed made it such
or hold on... did I set the pace and then have MikeK take lead
either way... there was not much focus on the group
all of our attention was upon the trail ahead of us and the position of the other

yea... I do recall MikeK toning it down for a bit where we caught our breath and others caught up
I can also recall MikeK taunting my brother to overtake me at one time

it was a great gathering for a cold day on the bike in the woods
the trails were at their winter best
the trails were buff and dry
all moisture was frozen... even the two stream crossings were a sheet of ice

after the group gathered and tooled through the technical interior with its man made obstacles that I ride along side of I tried to break the large group into two sets
my intention was to let the people who felt like stopping and chatting go at their pace and then have a group that I was involved in just set out to hammer without stopping until we turn it around for lap two at the parking lot

to no surprise I lept out with my brother and a few others only to find MikeK fighting for pole position
well... he could have it.... but I would not give it to him
not sure what gear MikeK was running.... heck... I do not know what gear I was running
but it felt like a good gear... we were hammering
the rigid Surly Karate Monkey with its loose chain and its ineffective brakes is an excellent machine for the trails at Rosaryville
MikeK showed his superior knowledge of this trail network by leaving the woods and bisecting the field to get in front of me
the six seconds he saved were enough to put his wheels in front of mine

our first lap finished with a fit to its name sake
my toes were in fact frozen
the day old toe warmers that Darren sold to me lasted a few seconds longer than boy thinking that he is a man on prom night
knowing that there would be a few seconds before everyone gathered I turned on the Element and cranked the heat as I fueled up for lap two

not too hung up on if I should have worn the Lake winter mountain bike boots I got on the bike for lap two
a good number of people loaded up their cars and pointed for home
while roughly half the group took back to the woods
this lap would occur without any stopping and no cat and mouse

instead there was a pretty tight four man catepillar
mikek set the pace.... jonathan wheaton followed with his front tire six inches from mikek's rear tire
while I alternated between the close follow and the ten yard gap
and Coppi Scott wrestled with the rhythm of the single speed twenty niner while he worked things on his dual squishy bike with 26 inch wheels

it was a good day on the bike
riding was the right decision
the cold weather gear selection was pretty good... not perfect... but pretty darn alright
there were no real moments where I was so cold that I wished I were at home

loaded the Monkey on the Element and headed back into the city after my frozen morning in the country
got home to the family with a body that felt like it would do well to nap
but knew that napping was not an option
so I rallied the troops
told the boys to get their boots and put on their jackets and we could head down to the creek and we would hike at their pace as they messed with the ice

after lisa and I got their boots and they put their jackets on after telling them each ten times we headed out into the woods of Rock Creek Park with the dog
as I expected the boys were nothing short of stoked to be out on the ice
the valley from Conneticutt Ave. to Rock Creek was frozen in all different ways
the little cascade water falls were domes of ice
then the deeper sections mixed between ice thick enough to walk through
there were a few steps where the kids post holed the ice
but nothing serious... rubber boots were a wise choice
this area was selected for play because of the reduced risk
no moving water and nothing very deep
which allowed for less reason to be involved in each step of my four and seven year old boys

my legs were weak for days
stairs in my house brought me pain
on Monday Night MikeK and his family came to my house for the Eve of the Inauguration so that they would not have to drive into town in the morning
it was a unique adventure that included a ride up to the New Target in Columbia Heights where MikeK showed me again that he does not like to ride next to people... he does not like to ride behind people... MikeK likes to ride in front of people

good times...
maybe this weekend will bring some of the same

4 comments:

Scott T. said...

thanks for letting me join. I was definitely outclassed and at a disadvantage speed wise on my double squishy, but mainly just not as fast on the MTB as you guys.

Guess what I got on January 1. Remember we saw each other at Rosaryville? I got a nice picture of my car from DC police, also giving me a speeding ticket on SW/SE freeway; there is a speed camera at 9th I think it said. Absurd. Like you said, 40mph? It's an 8 lane freeway, and it was 8am on a holiday. I guess I will take my new beltway route to Rosaryville from now on.

JonW said...

I think it was our old teammate Steve Viers that came up with the nick name Mr. Freeze, during our race at the 24 Hours of Conyers, GA. in 2007.

Big Daddy Mike said...

indeed, i like to ride in front.

especially in front of you.

because it is fun.

mk

gwadzilla said...

see... Iceman... Mr Freeze
I am so disconnected from the COOL KIDS!

and yes
it is fun to be fast and in the front
or at least it is fun to fight for that position

I never want to admit that I have fun riding with MikeK
over the last few years I have had some stellar rides with MikeK

fast fluid loops through Patapsco last year with MikeK... reminded me how great those network of trails are

last year at Lodi racing MikeK to the line after my first lap at the tail end of his second may have been one of the highlights of that race