RIDE REPORT: New Year's Day Ride

RIDE REPORT:New Year's Day Ride

with my wife Lisa down in Florida visiting her parents with the boys I was given the luxury to do as I wish with my time
that said
I would have to weigh in a balance of what I should do... and what I want to do
not having the family in the house gave me the perfect opportunity for some basic home projects
not having the family in the house also gave me the perfect opportunity to go ride my bike

balance... always trying to work a balance

well... a beautiful day for a brisk ride in the woods after work on Friday was shelved so that I could go to IKEA and buy some shelves
some selves and some other random stuff
I went to IKEA to try and make my life better
needed to replace a dresser that holds my cycling gear and wanted to get some stuff for the home office
IKEA has it all... there is something about everything in that place that makes me feel as if purchasing that stuff will make my life better


so... I drove out to IKEA and bought some stuff
not sure if I got what I needed... but in that classic Jack and the Beanstalk sort of way I came home with what I wanted
yes... Swedish Meatballs... Swedish Pancakes... all sorts of other stuff then there was salmon spread, crab spread, frozen Lox.... oh man... 

awesome assortment of stuff that would all more than likely be eaten before my family returns from their New Year Eve vacation on the gulf coast 


back from IKEA.... and before I even took the flat boxes to the basement I was already starting another project
started to clean and prep the kitchen for painting
basic routine stuff... no color changes
just a repainting of a space that is in need of being painting
and almost more importantly patching and repairing a few spots that suffered from the high volume of water during the series of the past summer's storms

patching and repairing
sanding and wiping down stuff off the walls 
and then taping
it is a process

the weekend was mixed with the home projects and a couple of punk shows at the Black Cat
live music is not really this old guy's thing
but in his misspent youth... going to the "shows" was a big part of his life
and this set of shows happened to be a handful of reunions of bands from that bygone era that is DC Hardcore

this show was a benefit for a film project
a kid that grew up going to DC Hardcore shows is putting together a documentary... maybe telling the DC Punk story with a mention of a little more than just the "core" Dischord bands
that film project on Facebook; Salad Days: The DC Punk Revolution Documentary

my images from the show on the GWADZILLA Facebook page

those shows had me out way past my bedtime
the absence of my family allowed for me to not only stay out late... but to SLEEP LATE
oh man... oh oh man
I NEEDED to sleep late to balance the scale
it was so confusing to my body to stay up so late... especially with my recent early morning in-time at work

that said...
the combination of the late night agenda and the home projects prevented me from doing any serious bicycle riding
there were some errands around town and then the bicycle transport to and from The Black Cat each night
but other than that... no exercise to speak of
well... other than the requisite walks in the woods with the dog
and of course... there were several of those... some a bit longer than the standard walks before or after work

it was a weekend of unusual activities

although I tend not to watch football...I was excited about the meeting of the rival Redskins and Cowboys to meet to decide the playoff fate of each team
so... I continued the reunion theme of the weekend and met up with some friends in NOVA... a group of friends involving a girl I went to grade school with and a number of motorcycle riding friends from "back in the day"
it was a small group  that comprised a number of people who once occupied Dag Haus... and a few others

lots of pro-Redskin Energy... the Redskins Delivered... no one was let down
at least no one was let down in this group that was all cheering for the Redskins

enough on the reunion show...
enough on the football game
no my ears are not ringing
but I do have Shawn Brown singing the Dag Nasty classics in my ear
which is fine... just a little distracting
especially since I do not really know the words... I just know the melodies and have a basic idea of the words

Dag Nasty gets ironic by being iconic
Dag Nasty plays "Never Go Back" 27 Years Later

New Year's Eve came on with the usual excitement and apprehension
rather than struggling to pick that perfect outfit I stuck to the task at hand
following a basic painter's rule I was making things happen in order; Ceiling, Walls, and then trim
the room had been prepped and taped off
it was ready for the first coat of paint

ah... the excitement of it all

I spent a good part of the evening painting then started looking forward to the following day... the first day of 2013
I knew I wanted to ride and I knew that I wanted to finish this painting project
like a good mountain biker... I rationalized that I could do both
so after finishing my painting I packed my bags

there had been some awkward anticipation that would rain
but I woke up to it being dry

there was no need to look at the weather to know it would be cold
so... I dug through my gear and found some cold weather apparel that I had yet to use this year
lobster claw gloves and insulated tights would be vital
then of course... I needed to find my neoprene shoe covers
in the cold it is important to keep hands, feet, and head warm
which had me digging out the balaclava as well 

with a quick head to toe gear check...
helmet, balaclava, clear glasses, jersey, long sleeve jersey, wind vest, thermal jersey, padded shorts, padded insulated tights, wool socks, cycling shoes, and winter neoprene shoe covers

then just to be sure I did a toe to head gear check 
I could cut and paste the list from above... but you get the idea

the gear was packed then some thought about what bike to ride...
without much thought I opted for the Niner Single Speed... 
with the bike selected I aired up the tires and lubed the chain
I was pretty much ready
all I needed to do was decide where to ride

where did I want to ride?
how far was I willing to drive?

the closest option would be Fort Dupont
the MORE trail liaison was leading a New Year's Day ride
as cool as that is... it would not be my option
not sure if I want to put my bike on the car and ride to Fort Dupont
those trails need a little development for my to drive there to "get my ride on"

luckily there were other options...

there had been and event invite on FACEBOOK for a New Years Day ride at Greenbier State Park
Sean Chisham and Peter Beers would be the masters of ceremony for this event which had me thinking it would be an all around good time... a good social time with some solid riding
I was tempted... gave it some thought... made my decision...  so it was decided... I would go to Greenbrier State Park to ride with Sean-Peter and whomever else showed up 

so... with the a bag packed full of cold weather gear and a bike ready to ride I went upstairs with a glass of tequila in my hand and my dog at my side
on the couch I resumed my viewing of season six of 30 Rock
oh... how I identify with the self absorbed Liz Lemon

one episode... then another... a few turns at Scrabble on line

resting and relaxing... letting the final minutes of 2012 wind down I pet my pup
no... not an euphemism 
gave the dog a solid rub down on the belly
Didg gave me a dog faced smile and stretched... showing his version of affection as he begged for me to pet him some more... so I did
and when I stopped he nipped at my hand to get me to pet him even more
this had me rethink my plan

thinking about my dog Didg I started to rethink my plans
could I... should I... bring my dog with me? yes... but Greenbrier State Park is a State Park that I am pretty sure has a NO DOGS ALLOWED policy
which has me thinking that having a dog chase me leash-less may not be the best plan

so... in an effort to meet as many of my needs as possible
I rethought my plans
the bags were packed... the bike was ready
I would ride and I would ride with the dog
which had me thinking that Rosaryville would be my best option

the single loop at Rosaryville with its having so many water options is a good place to take the dog
the trails are popular
but there is usually only a few encounters with other trail users 
there is usually one or two polite meetings with hikers, other bikers, or equestrians

the evening went its course...
at one point I felt as if I could not make it to midnight
then I glanced at my watch and saw it was 12:30
which was funny... I made it or I missed it
either way it was time to go to bed

morning came and when I finally got out of bed I I had time to give Greenbrier a second through
I gave it a thought and figured I would wake up slow
made some coffee and some of those IKEA pancakes
some IKEA pancakes and then some IKEA lox that I put on the bagels I had bought at Heller's Bakery the day prior 

with no set agenda and no one to meet I left out with the bike and gear at no particular time
with my dog at my side I drove out of the city on into PG County
there was not much traffic... but plenty of traffic cameras
so I made good time... 

rolled into Rosaryville State park... put the four bucks in the slot... hung the label from the mirror, and pulled into the parking lot
it was packed... totally packed
people were starting to park on the grass
I was able to squeeze into the last spot in the lot

in the lot I exchanged Happy New Year greetings with a handful of friends from the local mountain bike community
RickyD and Jo had their fat tire bikes and a bunch of munchkins on 24 inch wheel bikes
then there were some Clydesdale who I normally only see at the races... Tom Howe and and the muscly Clydesdale whose name is slipping my mind in the same way that his rear wheel slipped away as he humbled me each time we raced each other

Wakefield and W@W

Ricky and Jo were doing an abreviated loop with the kids
Tomas was heading out with a mixed level group
and then William or was it Bill took off with a fast paced race pace group
I let them head their way... I was planning on just taking a lap with the dog

dressed... finally dressed I took to the woods
with excitement in his eyes Didg got on my rear wheel

it was not too far into the woods when I found that there were a few wet spots
the trails were good
had it been a few degrees colder things would have been better
what I though would be frozen was slick

the trails offered up that anxiety of dry... dry fast turn... dry... dry fast turn... then a slick dangerous turn that could not be taken at the same speed as the previous turns
also a slick dangerous turn where it could be sloppy if there is too much use of the brakes
but it was good

Didg and I worked the course pretty good
we stopped a number of times so Didg could catch his breath and sip a drink from the creek
there was also a moment of lounging where Didg got to cool his body
which was funny... since it was frigid out

we knocked out that deceptively long 9 mile loop
Didg was marching pretty proud
I pulled out some water and some food for the dog
while drinking some water and eating a granola bar myself

Didg only at the dog treats and refused the water
I put him in the front seat of the car and headed back out on the trails before my sweaty body felt the chill of the day

lap two went very similar to lap one
except in the opposite direction

I did not run a stop clock on either lap
but I did not break any speed records
in fact... I felt as if I may have finished each lap in similar time
although I stopped more times on the first lap
I think my pace dropped on the second lap

I enjoyed the twists and turns
there was pleasure clearing a few of the logs along side the trail
a few... but did not try many
but felt discouraged that I did not try to ride any of the "skinnies"

no... riding the skinnies is not really part of my vocabulary
something that I should work to change

back at the car I did not rush home
there were no kids to pick up from school
but there was that series of home projects
so I made small talk with a few people in the lot
let the dog sniff around
then headed home to the get back to the home projects
with a stop at Popeye's Fried Chicken on the way home

a good day
an amazing way to spend the day and start the year

the New Year's Day Ride is an amazing tradition
always a great way to start the year

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