Monday, September 29, 2008

Moving: Part I

....And the moving begins!

Because we have roughly 700 sq ft to deal with, Jeff designed and constructed a loft for our new flat. The platform doubles as a stage for Shakespearean plays and various forms of interpretive dance. Luckily it made it from Harrisonburg to Frederick without incident.

Here we see Jeff performing a piece from Taming of the Shrew.

Kelley Acres CX!!!

This EPIC course is CRAZY fast, not to mention ULTIMATE and MOST EXTREEM. The rolling hills of Kelley Acres will make for a race you don't want to miss, with SICK FAST downhills and QUAD-THROBBING uphills your lungs will be sure to burn with a VIOLENT INTENSITY. Like a good Chinese buffet, this course offers something for everyone.

Kelley Acres Cross Race
Sunday, October 5, 2008

Register >>>>
See live footage >>>>

For those of you who are allergic to bees, make sure to pack along your epi pin as this CRAZY, FAST, EPIC, SICK course weaves between two of the most VICIOUS bee hives in Frederick County (make sure to sign your liability waiver!). And for the superstitious, don't forget to hold your breath as you pass through the haunted pet cemetery. See you there!!! (photo: podium girls preview)

Friday, September 26, 2008

stuff 4 Friday

Just some stuff

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MTP Farewell

As much as I do not enjoy living far from adequate mountain biking, I will miss Mt. Pleasant. Such a vibrant community so rich in history and diverse in culture. It offers everything a good urban neighborhood should and at the same time manages to maintain something of a village atmosphere.

But I have learned that it is emotionally and environmentally unsustainable for me to live any great distance from proper mtb trails. There is, in fact, an inverse relationship between my sanity and number of miles to singletrack as can be seen in table 1.

And so, I look with hopeful eyes to the hills of Maryland where Jeff and I are soon to move. I think I am better suited to small town living ...and no longer will I have to drive to ride ...I can think of nothing more depressing. Oh, and in addition to living near the watershed, Jeff and I will be living directly above THE BEST BAGEL SHOP IN TOWN ....I can think of nothing more fantastic.

Please be sure to stop by and say hello on your way to the shed! ...unless you don't know us ...that would just be weird.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Season in Review

Another season has come and gone and I am still rummaging through my box of race memories to figure out how I feel about the whole thing. On the downside, I didn’t manage to accumulate enough points to afford me a Cat 2 upgrade (see Upgrade Points O’ Meter). On the upside, I did get in a lot of good racing both on the road and the trails with a few good results (regardless of the stingy points allocations) Maybe this is just an excuse, but it seems to me that there is a bit of a bottle neck occurring for the Cat 3 women.

Women’s road racing is growing at an exponential rate, especially in the mid-Atlantic region (I do not have any data to support this statement, this is purely based on perception). The big NRC races are pulling in larger women’s fields than ever before (this really is true) and, as a result, the Cat 3s are no longer included …which has resulted in herds of career Cat 3 women (myself included) finally deciding that now is the time to step it up.

Yay! This is good news! The more we push each other the more we all grow. This is exactly why humans are social creatures. We need each other to push us to limits we previously thought were impossible. My only gripe about the current system is with respect to the stingy allocation of upgrade points.

The problem can easily be summed up in the following way:

There are a number of Cat 3 women in the mid-Atlantic eagerly looking to upgrade; however, there are currently not enough Cat 3 and/or Cat3/4 races to reflect this demand. Furthermore, the policy for upgrade points is the same for both men and women; however, there are many more Cat 3 men’s races then there are Cat 3 women’s races. While we don’t necessarily have control over how race promoters choose to organize their events (i.e. ING Capital Crit), the policy for points allocation could be altered to more accurately reflect the current supply and demand unique to each gender. In other words, more points should be available in a women's open race than in a men's Cat 3 race ...or something like that. Anybody else have any ideas???

Click HERE for more info on USCF upgrade policy.

As for my season, I’m still mulling things over. All in all, it was a good year. Many thanks to all the ladies who helped me push my limits this year! (photo taken by Michelle)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Road Trip II

We made it! Yesterday we passed through Utah, Nevada, and finally into California. Arriving in San Francisco around 6pm we began to assess the damages to the rental car ....not too bad really ...there was still some evidence from our mud puddle excursion in Iowa ...or was it Wyoming. At any rate, here are some photos from our journey:

Bonneville Salt Flats: Home of the land speed record
Jeff really wanted to test the limits of our rental out on the salt flats ....but we decided against it.

Some random person off in the distance

Jeff is quite the engineer. Here we have a prototype of the Schalk Road Trip Straw.
"Never take your hands off the wheel"

Although it is no substitute for Sheetz, Love's gas stations make for exciting rest stops ....good snack selections, clean bathrooms, and a fantastic collection of Native American dolls.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Road Trip!

Yay! It's our last day of driving! Last night we stayed in Park City, Utah and today we will arrive in San Francisco.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that Jeff won the NUE series!!!! He went down pretty hard at the final race in Tahoe, but already had enough wins under his belt to claim the title. Still recovering from his crash in Tahoe, Jeff opted not to race Teaberry ...and instead tend to my janky ass bike that is always on the verge of complete meltdown. What a trooper

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Terrific Teaberry

Wow, I can’t believe the season is over ….and I can’t think of a better way to finish things off than on the hallowed grounds of Michaux State Forest. Oh, and the most exciting part is that my new fork arrived just in time …oh, and it was the first race I’ve won all year! (photo: PSU spring break in the Pisgahs 2004 - Justin Wagner - Gettysburg native .,..yeah, didn't take any photos at the race ...I don't wanna be that weird guy with the beard snapping photos of everybody ....there's only enough room for one of those in the Mid-Atlantic)

So ….maybe I’m not exactly diligent when it comes to keeping up with bike maintenance …but I’m a busy lady. Sunday morning over breakfast I mentioned to Jeff that I was experiencing some minor shifting problems and requested his assistance in rectifying the situation. Well, as it turns out, my derailleur hanger was bent …again. Unfortunately this time it really started to show evidence of being wrenched back into place countless times ….which meant I would need to exercise extreme caution when navigating through the treacherous rocks of Teaberry or face the consequences of a snapped derailleur hanger.

As we rolled down to the start, I was surprised to see that the women’s field was comprised of just three women (myself included). In fact, the field was rather small for both genders. What’s going on? Gas prices? The slick trail conditions? Or is mtb racing really struggling these days?

Although there were long sections of sketchy slick rocks, it was a fabulous day to race in Michaux. (photo - overripe bananas are so foul) I rode fairly conservative through the rocks on account of my derailleur; however, I did find myself racing with a lot more confidence than in years past. I didn’t hold back. I wasn’t as intimidated by the length and I was more willing to dig a bit deeper on the climbs. All in all, I think I have a lot more matches to burn than I believe (both on and off the bike). I think doing the Fools Gold and the SM100 helped me to get more comfortable with finding my limits in the shorter races(I opted for the 25miler). I was also in a hurry to get back to the finish line as Jeff and I were to begin our drive across country immediately following the race. (photo: teaberry - Gaultheria procumbens )

Yay! So I won! Sadly, I wasn’t able to hang out and enjoy the podium and the social scene …nor did I take many photos ….sorry folks …looks like we’ll have to rely on more random photo filler.

Jeff and I are now on our road trip to California. Last night we stayed in Lincoln, Nebraska and today we will push forward into Utah. I’m not too humble to admit that I’m the best road tripper ever and we all know that Jeff is good at the distance ….we make a pretty good team. (photo - we got food in Iowa)

Again, I wish I had more time to shoot the shit after the race. It was so good to see so many familiar faces. We have the entire winter ahead of us to work on improving the showing for Michaux Maximus 2009! Bring a friend! Bring your neighbor! Bring that guy from work who loves to run his mouth about about how much he loves to ride gnarly trails! Don’t let the flame of the Mid-Atlantic racing scene be snuffed out by the energy crisis! We can find creative solutions! (photo - dinner at Cracker Barrell)

til then ….”be well, do good work, and keep in touch” – Garrison Keillor

See you next year!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Another season has come and gone.
Last Michaux race of the year!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bike DC

September 27, 2008

Register >>> Here!!!

A friendly community ride through carless streets of Washington, DC.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Capital Crit

Re: Velorution!!!!

For those of you who like to say it with sidewalk chalk is a map of the ING Direct Capital Crit course I made with the help of walkjogrun

(click map to enlarge)

Link to race website >>>HERE

Also, I recently wrote an e-mail to the sports writer of the Washington Post concerning gender discrimination and the Direct Capital Criterium. Not sure if there is room for such an article during football season ...but it's worth a try. Here is his contact info should you wish to do the same:

Washington Post:
Title: Sports Staff Writer - Mark Maske
Sports E-mail:
Phone: (202) 334-7350
1150 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20071

Oh, and I should also contact the City Paper's their contact info as well...

City Paper:
Phone: (202) 332-2100
Editor: Erik Wemple

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Hmmm …what is missing from this registration list …..Something's not quite right ….I'll give you three guesses ...

Ovaries!!!!! Where the hell is the women's race??? We see a variety of men's races …we've got the pros, the not yet pros, and the used to be pros ….even several children's categories. I think this is an absolute outrage!!!!! Sound the alarms! Women unite!!!! How is it that the largest race in our nation's capital conveniently overlooked the female gender???!!!! Lest we not forget that CycleLife is in fact a women's team?

Further race info >>>>

Which reminds me ...CycleLife ... supporter of the fool proof rhythm method. What the hell?! Why not make a necklace for teen fashion as well??!!! This could be another blog post altogether.

Learn more about CycleLife's Cycle Beads >>>

(No offense CycleLife ladies! I really do like you! It's just the beads that I think are suspect to unintended pregnancy and leave women wide open to the ENTIRE gamut of STDs)

This is an official call to action! Unfortunately, I will not be in town during this event; however, I offer a prize to the most creative (and legal) display of civil disobedience!

Prize: 1996 Toyota Tacoma (230,000+miles)

Maybe GreenPeace would like to help us organize a sign drop? ….really though, are we going to stand by and do nothing??? At least bang on some pickle buckets and make some noise!

"Well behaved women never made history!"

AMC Eagle

I think my truck might be dying. Evidence to support this conclusion includes the following:

1) Forbidding roaring sounds from under the hood
2) The smell of burning engine oil pouring in through the air vents
3) Delay in going into reverse ...making for sketchy parking on hills
4) The threatening glow of the check engine light

...And now I have car envy. Anybody have experience with buying cars on ebay? I have fallen under the spell of the celebrated AMC Eagle station wagon. I can't imagine it gets good gas mileage ...but what an amazing piece of machinery ...what a rich history in all terrain vehicles ...what fabulous upholstery! I'm smitten!

Anybody wanna take a road trip to Amityville, New York?

See ebay post >>>>HERE

Friday, September 5, 2008

More cake

Birthdays are really just a good excuse to spend quality time with good friends (and eat cake). Last night Lorena threw an intimate birthday gathering for Kate and I. I can't think of a better way to grow old. Thanks Lorena! You make the best chocolate strawberry shortcake ever! Kate, I hope your wish comes true! I forgot to make one!

Looks like our next birthday gathering will be for Lesley!