Thursday, February 26, 2009


Michelle Obama paid a visit to the EPA today! Her message reemphasized the importance of addressing pressing environmental issues during her husband's administration. In addition, she identified climate change as a primary focus for the EPA, which received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. She then ordered us all to get back to work ....gotta go. (left photo: EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackon) (right photo: Michelle Obama)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dumb Rules

I am a true believer in following rules and guidelines …except, of course, when those rules and guidelines are dumb. The MARC Train bike policy happens to be one of those dumb rules I refuse to follow. According to MARC policy, only folding bikes are permitted on the train. (photo: bike ...what bike?) Upon further research into MARC policy, I learn that there are no rules restricting the size and/or weight of one's luggage. If their logic for the bike restriction is based on the possibility that everyone might wish to bring their bike on the train, this should also apply to large luggage. So …theoretically, I could climb aboard the Brunswick Line with my collection of beach balls and a case full of anvils without any problem, but trying to smuggle on a cross bike could get me in trouble? What kind of unjust world do we live in?! (photo credit: photobucket source)

The first few times I just tried to get by on charm and wit. This only lasted so long before I was finally turned away (trying to board the 5:15 am train I might add). Then I tried taking the wheels off and putting the whole bike in two garbage bags …I just barely got by, but was warned not to bring my bike on the train again. My last attempt; however, was very successful and I believe I have found a solution to my problem.

This is how you do it:

1) Get an old soft bike case off of ebay
2) Take out all the foam padding
3) Take the wheels off and put the entire bike in the bag
4) Get on the appropriate train
5) Call your grandmother
6) As the conductor approaches to give you a hard time, you say “Grandma, let me call you right back”. The conductor insists that you not hang up …and then he kindly asks what you have in the bag. You concede that it is in fact a bicycle. He smiles and nods, takes your ticket and moves on down the aisle. And you’re golden! (photo: my grandmother in her early 20s)

Everybody wins. You get your bike on the train. Your grandmother gets a surprise phone call (be sure to actually call her back). The conductor feels like he’s been a good Samaritan and that guy on ebay can finally unload his old ass bike case. Yay!

Refer to "My New Commute" for further information on this bike/train commuter combo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pop-tarts & Nascar

Why has it taken so long for these two things to come together? I think this might be more American than apple pie.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Training with Music

“She had them apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur, the whole club is lookin’ at her” …who wouldn’t be inspired to do hill repeats while pedaling to the tunes of T-Pain? Yesterday was my last big day of training before a rest week and I was feeling rather uninspired. My legs felt flat, I’m having a hard time getting my heart rate up, and I can’t stop thinking about eating food in my pajamas on the sofa while watching the Tour of California. It’s on days like these that I am reduced to the musical taste of a fourteen year old …perhaps it has something to do with the cerebral oxygen deprivation that results in this hypoxic state of pop culture craving.

“She hit the floor, next thing you know, shawty got low, low, low , low, low, low, low, low” …Oh yeah, I’m so ready to bust out the intervals. I think I would be mortified if anyone ever saw the songs that comprise my playlist entitled “long rides”. (photo:

Speaking of training with music, this reminds me of a conversation I had with the lesser known of the brothers Gwadz. (photo from DCMTB) Marc seems to think that training with music is a dissociative technique that is only a distraction from associating with the stress of training and pushing your limits (thereby weakening your workout). However, I really don’t think I would have been able to get through my hill repeats yesterday without the help of the Beastie Boys, The Rapture, Kanye West, and of course …T-Pain. Is it possible to use music when training as motivation rather than dissociation? It would be interested to conduct an experiment designed to quantify the benefits realized from intervals with music versus intervals without.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Frederick Gardeners

So ....we're trying to get a community garden up and running here in Frederick, Maryland. I'm actually not such a good gardener ...but I did get the blog up! Let me know if you live in the area and would like to get involved! We are also still looking for a plot of land to use in the downtown Frederick area ...any body have any ideas?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Years of Refusal

Morrisey's new album almost makes me wish I had something to be depressed about.

Morrisey - Years of Refusal


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Surviving the TOC

Phil Southerland, a fellow UGA Cycling alumnus and co-founder of Team Type 1 keeps us updated on his progress during the Tour of California. Go Dawgs! (photo credit: Phil's blot)

Funny story actually. Phil was my first coach. He charged me $30/month to tell me to go do group rides. Yeah ....I was young and naive and he was a bit of a punk back in the day. I think we've both grown up a good bit since then.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rule Change!

Today is your last chance to show support for rule change 36 CFR 4.30. Send in your personal letter of support and help open National Parks to mountain biking!

Letter template >>>> HERE!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Riding from our home on Market Street, Jeff and I set off for the annual SSPBE on a beautiful Sunday morning. Not owning a single speed of my own, the Single Speed Outlaw himself was kind enough to let me borrow his Surly 1x1. (photo credit: Ikon O. Klasst) It wasn’t until half way up Hamburg Road that I realized this gear ratio was a little more than my girly quads could handle. Cutting my own switchbacks up the steepest sections, I finally arrived at the designated meeting location with only minutes to spare before the start. I was met by a jovial crowd of familiar faces …many of which I hadn’t seen since last year’s romp in the woods. (photo: Jeff & Jon)

After the first couple stages it became clear that Becky and I would be vying for the win. She’s a tough lady whom I respect and admire …but all is fair in love, war, and punk bike racing. Jeff was equally as focused on the win …and was not above taking out Posner and Gdowik in pursuit of the elusive punk bike points hidden among the trees. Unfortunately, the Sornsons weren’t there to defend their title …but victory is still sweet. As the SSPBE09 champions I feel as though we have truly become part of the eclectic tapestry of mid-Atlantic mountain biking. Thanks to everyone for a great day in the woods! (photo: SSPBE'09 Champions!) ...Tomi, let us know if you're still wanting a tie breaker.

Other photos gleaned from the Single Speed Outlaws:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Single Track 4 Lovers

Recently a friend of mine expressed an interest in introducing his girlfriend to mountain biking. In effort to protect his relationship from any unnecessary strife he asked for my female perspective on the subject. No matter what your gender or sexual persuasion, introducing your significant other to mountain biking does have a tendency to create a little romantic friction; however, I believe it can be done if executed properly. (photo: random image search for "lovers") Furthermore, there is nothing more rewarding than sharing a common passion for single track with the one you love. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I have provided a list of helpful hints for successful romance both on and off the bike:

1)Stay together – I know this might get frustrating, but on your first ride in the woods it is ESSENTIAL that you stay together. Small frustrations are greatly magnified when a partner feels left behind or forgotten.

2)Positive feedback – Women love, love, love positive feedback. Make sure to let your lovely lady know when she has done something well (whether you mean it or not).

3)Keep it simple – For your first ride it is a good idea to choose a location that is not extraordinarily technical. For those of you in the DC area, Schaeffer Farms is a great place for first time mountain bikers of either gender.

4)Be realistic – Choose a distance that is appropriate for your lover’s fitness. You don’t want your lady to bonk ten miles from the car …unless you don’t have any plans for the evening.

5)Be a gentleman – Learning to mountain bike can be very intimidating and overwhelming, and it really goes a long way when someone is there to patiently provide support and guidance. This is a great opportunity for guys to resurrect the lost art of chivalry. Even a flaming feminist would gladly welcome a little chivalry given the right amount of distress.

Many of these tips come from my own personal experience ...a bit of a romantic train wreck really. In the end it was my love for the mountain bike that would stand the test of time. I suppose no college career is complete without a Gustav Klimt poster, late nights at Waffle House, and a good heart break. Hopefully these tips will help you and your lover find bliss on the trails and beyond.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rainbows & Unicorns

This one goes out to the Stormin' Mormon
...just keep clicking 'til you get your fill

(thanks javan!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Jeff's First Time

Since Jeff and I began dating I have made a concerted effort to let go of some of my dirty hippy ways. Among other things, he never seemed too impressed with my dumpster diving days in State College. (You'd be suprised by the number of grad students who have found sufficient sustenance in the back alleys of this small college town) My gleaning life was put on hold while living in DC as most dumpsters in the district are kept under lock and key. (photo: there were more loaves than our arms could carry) Aside from gathering the occasional curbside find, I was willing to change my roguish ways in effort to become a more suitable partner.

I'm not exactly sure what finally clicked, but it looks like Jeff might be warming up to the idea of dumpster exploration. Last night I took Jeff on his VERY FIRST DUMPSTER DIVING expedition. We arrived at the Panera dumpster shortly after closing and left with a rather sizable harvest. (photo: bag full of bagels) I’m actually trying to cut down on carbs …but who in their right mind can turn down such beautiful loaves of bread! Dismayed by the tremendous amount of waste, I believe Jeff is now a believer in the civic duty of gleaning what is so needlessly discarded by our glutinous society. Our next journey will be into the Weis dumpsters ...they don't have a compactor.

The Big Surprise

In honor of Jeff’s birthday I put together something of a surprise birthday party for him at Brewer's Alley …turns out Jeff is not really a fan of being put on the spot, but that’s the beauty of a surprise birthday …you actually have no choice in the matter. In the end I think everyone had a good time …even Jeff (it may have been the chocolate cake that saved the day).

My only regret is that I didn’t take more pictures! I got so wrapped up in the moment that I didn’t even manage to scrape everyone together for a group photo. Now that moment in time is lost forever! Oh well, live and learn.

Sunday morning Jeff and I joined the Kelley Acres crew for an absolutely beautiful ride through the hills of western Maryland. Chicken gets the Good Samaritan award of the day after she let Christine use her arm warmers to stop her nose bleed. Thanks everybody for a great ride!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fashion Plates

I'm going to add this to my list of things that annoy me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about fuel efficiency ...but owning a fuel efficient car doesn't mean you won't be held accountable for obnoxious fashion plates.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

This morning’s commute was rather labor intensive. I started out plodding through a hardened crust of snow, pockmarked with animal tracks and footprints (making for a bumpy ride). It wasn’t until around the twenty mile mark that ice sheets claimed the trail, making for a slow, tedious advance into our nation’s capital. I was hoping that there would be good news waiting for me when I got to work …unfortunately, it seems that we have roughly six more weeks of winter according to Punxsutawney Phil. (photo credit: popculturemadness)