Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Was our trip to Charlotte a success??

Had a great time with friends - check
Saw some more neighborhoods in Charlotte that look good - check
Enjoyed the weather (even though the TSA agent leaving Charlotte asked where I was coming from in shorts... uhm, Charlotte??  Don't you know it's cold out there??) - check
Ate Drank too much - unfortunately check

I hit the gym yesterday and did a preliminary weigh in since I missed it last week (today will be my "official" weigh in) and I was not happy.  No loss since my last weigh in (which is now 2 weeks ago)... and in reality, a little gain.  I'm hoping by some miracle I'll at least be "even" today.  Whatever the result, it's back to the grind.

After the gym (which took forever because it seemed that no matter what exercise I was attempting someone was using the equipment I needed...) I hit up the grocery store.  I like cooking, I like cooking with onions and peppers...  But they had THE LARGEST red peppers I've ever seen.  So big I wouldn't know what to do with them - I could just imagine the wasted pepper... I hate wasting food!!  I got one... we'll make a pizza with a ton of red peppers : )

Red peppers... regular sized cucumbers...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


My inability to keep track of the days of the week continued into this past weekend... but it was a good thing.  My "vacation week" was completely disjointed with home improvement work and travel to Charlotte.  We got down to Charlotte Thursday evening, which caused me to be a day off the whole time we were down there - which translated into "an extra day" on vacation (in my mind at least) so that was sweet!!

Didn't get to do any riding while we were down in Charlotte... but if you looked at my legs you'd think otherwise.  My Dild' Grill teammate, Sean, and I did some recon in the woods behind his new house to plot some future trails.  There were some sweet tight areas chock full of thorns... fun times!!  After about an hour of bushwhacking we stumbled upon some ATV trails in great shape.  So Sean has some local trails to explore and build off of.... pretty sweet deal!

Yesterday I was dragging, first day back is always a whirlwind.  I had planned on getting to the gym, but by the time I got home I was done.  I'm hoping today I'll find the energy to get to the gym (or jump on the trainer).

I can't believe it's about to be March - the season of trail closures... yuck!  And closing in on the race season... WOW!  It's been very strange with no winter... very bizarre!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

missing inaction

inaction, one word....

Our "half day" contractor job ended up taking a day and a half.... of which time I was unable to hit the trails (did ride the trainer downstairs... without a fan - sweatfest 2012!!), or go to the gym... so missed this weeks weigh in.  Missed being able to get access to the computer....  and now I'm scrambling to get things together before we take off for the weekend.

Just wanted to drop a life line... still here!!  But I'll be "silent" until next week... maybe Monday.

Carry on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday... part 2

Woke up yesterday and totally thought it was Sunday.  Since last week my days have been off (I think I had about 3 Fridays...) but I'm lucky enough to be off this week, so it really doesn't matter at this point.

But, let's talk about luck for a minute here....

On Thursday I had a SWEET ride out at Noanet/Hale.  I found the most awesome of awesome trails I have ridden in a very long time.  Tight, flowy, and just kept on going!!  Eventually I ended up in some guys driveway in the middle of the woods - and as I took out my phone to figure out just where I was, he came home!  What luck!  Basically I had to do an about turn to get back, but it was worth it.  I'm starting to piece together a nice little ride out there!

On the way home I felt a little itch on my leg, I reached down to scratch and to my horror discovered a nasty little tick crawling around on me!!  ICK!!  Ticks skeeve me out, BIG TIME!!  I'd much rather have a dog come barreling out of the bushes and try to clamp onto my ankle than find a tick on me.  So... as I avoid having an accident I find this sucker and he latches onto my finger, so I roll down the window and flick him out.  Disaster averted... until I'm jumping into the shower and find another on my wrist!!  Was this the same guy, just hanging onto my sleeve for dear life?  Either way, got to him before he really bit in.  But still.  GROOOOOOSSSSSSS
If they were this big at least I could punch the bastard!!

This weekend I re-caulked the tub/shower.  I got all the old stuff up, cleaned.... and started caulking away.  (Side note... it's so much better writing about this than actually saying it... caulking away...)

I got one seam done and as I started the next the gun wasn't working so well... I had to pull REALLY hard and I couldn't get a constant flow... so I backed it off.  I pulled the arm back to find that I had busted through the back of the tube, NICE!!  In the process I got caulk all over my hands....  so I sat around in frustration, trying to wash it off and/or waiting for whatever I couldn't wash off to set so I could peel it off.  That's some bad luck.  "Simple" home projects are never simple.

Back to Home Depot to get another tube and gun.  Who knew there was clear caulk.. right next to the white??  Well, you should have freakin told me!!  I got home, started up on the second seam and it was clear!!  Mother F'er!!  Frustration level rising... I was done.  Annie was nice enough to not make me go back again, and instead she got me the correct tube while I "decompressed."  I finally got it done... but not before wasting good riding time.  

While NOT riding I did officially get hooked on Strava.  Seriously, don't check it out unless you want a new obsession...  Now I have a handful of sites I have to load my ride data too.  We have Garmin to start... then and Plus3 to keep track of my activity, and now Strava to analyze things, compare, and even find a little extra motivation to push up that next big climb.  The whole KOM thing is neat, and the suffer score - hells yes!!  So much to play with it's crazy!!

So Sunday (in reality, Monday) I got my ass out to Wompatuck.  I've decided I need to start getting some regular longer rides in, and figured Wompy was a great place to start that.  So, as I'm checking air pressure both the cores come completely out as I undo the valve cap... losing all air pressure in front and back... what's up with that???  Freaking annoying.  I air my tires back up, no problem... but seemed about on par for the "luck" I'd been having so far this "weekend."  Once on the trails I hit some of the race course, and got over to explore to big boy" side of the course a bit.  Boy those trails are great!  They really did a great job of hitting some sweet trails for the race course, and by only doing the 11 mils Cat 3 course this past season I missed a whole bunch from the 25 mile course.  So maybe I'll work the whole course (or some version of it as the parking lot is not at the start of the course) in as a regular weekend ride.  

I had a banana in the back pocket of my jacket throughout the ride and as I'm coming to the end there is a low lying tree over the trail.  Looked like I could squeeze under still riding so I went for it.  The water bottle in my back pocket got caught a little but I made it... or so I thought.  When I got back to the lot and reached for the banana I found a nice squishy mess... is it luck?

Well, happy Tuesday!  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pop one!

Media Fridays
We'll posts videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

Wheelies... in the parking lot and on the trail.  Do it up!

alta and pyramid trails on

Thursday, February 16, 2012

...and found

I know you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting for my weigh in results, like a suspense filled "Biggest Loser" reveal...

2 pounds.  May not sound like a lot, but I'm pretty damn psyched that I lost 2 pounds considering the dinner at Mistral (a weak, quick, rough estimate puts me over 2000 calories in that meal alone).  (and, of course, the beer or Jameson here or there when I had "extra" calories)...

So the plan is good.  With the riding and gym time, weight should continue to come off.  I'll be a tiny little racer before you know it!!  That's a lie.  But I'll be a smaller Eastwood racer for this season.  That's a truth.  Hopefully smaller, and stronger.  A dangerous combo.

High 40s today, and rain holding off until the evening.  Riding!!  I need it.  We have a break next week, which is sweet, but it's already been a long week.  And last week was horribly long and tiresome... So a ride after work today will be much appreciated.

Now the only decision is do I go back to Noanet/Hale to explore a bit more, and possibly start putting together a nice loop, or go back to Upton to explore some more???  decisions decisions.  I may be leaning towards Noanet/Hale for the moment as I think I'd be able to get more miles out of it... lately my rides have been exploratory and/or cut short with fading light... so I feel like I need to start getting some longer rides in.  Maybe this weekend I'll get back to Wompy and get a 20+ ride in.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And the scale says...

I'm scared to weigh in at the gym today...

So I started monitoring my intake (caloric wise) and so far things have been pretty good.  When I started last Monday I didn't weight myself to start, instead I used my last known weight from a visit to the gym on February 2nd.  When I weighed myself at the gym last Wednesday I was 4 pounds under that weight!!  Which is great, but certainly not a true indication that I actually lost 4 pounds between starting the diet and the weigh in.... so I'll use last weeks weigh in as my starting weight.

Either way, that's 4 pounds under where I thought I was!  Ok, so today I will weigh in when I hit the gym for my leg day. Why am I worried you ask??  Well, on Monday Annie and I went to our favorite restaurant, Mistral, for a little "pre-Valentine's" (aka couldn't get a reservation for last night) dinner.  The food was amazing!!  So I just enjoyed it.  I undoubtedly went WAY over my allotted calories for the day yesterday.  It was a great dinner with my beautiful wife... I'll take a lose (or the opposite of that in terms of the weight game) - it was worth it.

The great thing about the plan I'm on is that I'm not feeling super constricted as to what I eat.  Sure, I have to watch portions, not go for seconds, but by no means am I starving.  Portion control has always been my downfall... if it's on my plate I have to eat it... and then when Annie has leftovers - well can't let food go to waste!!  But the beauty of this plan is that I have these little numbers looking over my shoulder to keep me in check.  And I like it!

hmmm do you really need that??

I'd also like to give a shout out to Charlie...  seeing as you are a real deal coach now and all, I feel like I owe you one for the motivation to get on the trainer yesterday (it was especially needed after that dinner on Monday).  I owe you a post race beer/coke/beverage of your choice this season.

Monday, February 13, 2012

got to break it up!

I am SORE this morning. 

Last week I hit up the local (to work) trails for a spin.  My legs were already feeling it before the ride, but I figured I could take it easy and just get out there and spin.  Adams Farm doesn't have much climbing (if you stay away from some of the powerline routes) and I hadn't been there for a while so I figured it'd be a good place for an easy ride.  The tight turns and pine needles just sapped my energy and for the majority of the ride I felt like I couldn't get going.  In the end, I was happy to have hit the trails... but also happy to be done!!

Friday I couldn't rest, I had to get out and ride.  The weather was too nice and the weekend was a bit unpredictable weather wise... so I went for it.  I decided to explore yet another trail system.  And I am glad I did.  My legs felt pretty good - which turned out to be a great thing because I ended up getting out of school later than I would have liked.  Which translated arriving later to the trail head (plus some time getting lost... a little) with light fading.  I'm confident riding with my light, but would rather not explore a brand new trail in the dark.  So I tried to keep the pace up as much as possible throughout the ride. 

I was running late this morning so I'm posting from work and can't access my pictures... shhhh don't tell!!  Actually, I just MacGyvered my way through the internets to retrieve my pictures from Upton State Forest (you can follow the link for all of the pictures), so here are a few.

May not look it, but the was STEEP!

There were maps at the trail head, which was nice (although I had already pulled up the map on my phone just in case), so I planned out a route.  As I made my way down the fire road and doubletrack to hit my first singletrack I quickly learned I was probably hitting this in the wrong direction as I was greeted by a steep straight climb.   I spotted a trail to the side and hoped for a more gradual climb so around the corner I went.

Better... but now with obstacles

Around the bend I found an obstacle ridden path, but one that was much kinder in it's incline.  There was still some hike-a-bike to be found but as you rose into the trees some helpful switchbacks appeared allowing me to grind my way to the top.

Smooth sweetness
And then there was Mammoth Rock.  A sweet boulder with an exposed face providing a nice slick rock decent.  I climbed up beside it and powered up it's short steep side to find a long smooth decent.  Much fun, with a sharp turn to return to the path below.

Ok, so that was my riding for the end of the week.  I'm excited to have two places to explore that are(somewhat) local to work.  Hale and Upton.

I hit the gym over the weekend and I'm still feeling it.  I already have a designated "leg day" so I decided to hit up every other part of my body... I'm now thinking I have to split that workout into two because by he end I was dead.  Ok, time to work.

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's winter... keep riding!

Media Fridays
We'll posts videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

It blows my mind that over in Old England (the UK) there is snow, but  in New England (the wicked version over here in the States) there is NO snow.  It may sound like I'm complaining, I certainly am not.  I am loving this extended mountain bike season we are having, quite the novelty around these parts.  But, in all honesty, it is a bit freaky temperature wise here, and the whole snow-less-ness going on of course.

Winter Wonderland on

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

There will be

Blood.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  It's not riding unless there is some blood.  Typically it comes in the form of some mystery slashes I seem to acquire throughout the ride, like this little guy.
a little dried blood at the end of the ride
As I paused to decide which way to go during my exploration of Hale I noticed a nice little drizzle of blood coming from just below my knee as I grabbed my water bottle.  For the life of me I couldn't identify what I came in contact with that could have caused that... no spills, no real rough "bush whacking" to contend with... yet there it was.  Bright red blood.  Chalked it up to a "mystery injury" that seem so common on rides and tore on into the unknown.

Hale is SWEET.  I stuck to the marked trails, which were fun in themselves.  But seeing all the unmarked trails shooting off here and there really has got my mouth watering.  I'm going to have to get back there on some weekend day so I can really put in the time to explore and set up a nice loop between Noanet and Hale.

The "unseen" injury
When I got back from the ride I jumped in the shower.  With a "sting" I found this bad boy above my ankle.  On one of the short hike-a-bike sections I ran into I somehow kicked my ankle.  Hurt like a B, but thought nothing of it.  It looked like I had just taken some skin off, so I gritted my teeth through the sting and got all fresh and clean.  This "scrape" turned into a full on blood flow once I got out of the shower.

Mission accomplished.  There was blood, so logic dictates I had indeed been on a mountain bike ride!!

Tuesday after work my legs were asking for a day off.  But, with the weather at the end of the week looking great, and a meeting at the end of the day today (which will likely rob me of the opportunity to ride after school - thus cementing it as a gym day), I had no choice but to get my threshold training in on the trainer.  After some hemming and hawing, and coming across this interesting opportunity with Airbone Bicycles.... Flight Crew Application... I got aboard the trainer and went to work.

Felt pretty good throughout.  My legs were a little tired, and looking at my HR it doesn't seem I went quite as hard as I did last week...  Yet, I had given it all my legs could give,  so I'd call that a good workout.  Leaves me a little curious as to how they will stand up to the gym today.  But I figure, now is the time to push them, sap them of their energy, and see just what I've got - ultimately building them up stronger (I hope).  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I was checking out Singletracks yesterday (one of my daily check ins on the site) and the blog post of the day was perfectly timed for me.  The post was about shedding pounds before the race season starts... which is something I need to do!  It didn't dive into any dieting secrets, or really any advice as to how to shed those pounds... what it did give you was a tool to do so.  A web based (with of course an app!) tool to track your goal and progress by counting calories.  Another tool to play with and track my progress, yippee!!  Check out the blog here.   The super sweet aspect of this site is that it has many foods already programmed in, so you don't have to go searching every product for their caloric info.

I jumped right on over to and set myself up with a profile and as of yesterday I started on the caloric intake the site suggested for my goal.  Right now my goal is to lose 17 pounds.  According to their plan, I should reach my goal by April 7th... which sounds downright sweet to me!  My goal is somewhat arbitrary.  I want to be lighter than I was last season, (and since last season I've put on a few too many pounds) but I'm not aiming at anything drastically low.  My goal weight would put me at my weight at the end of college... I figure I was lean and fit then, so that's a great start.  I'll keep you updated up to the start of the season how the weight loss goes.

Speaking of tools to track data... yesterday as I was getting to the trail after work I realized I left the garmins at home.... SUPER BUMMED!!!  Little things like that can really throw me off.  Here I am, going to explore the trails I had dipped into last week and I wouldn't have any data, no GPS tracking to show where I've been!  But then I remembered a little app - EveryTrail.  I downloaded it in the parking lot as I was getting ready and crossed my fingers.  It actually turned out great!!  I wasn't sure what kind of data I was going to get from it, but ended up with mileage, average speed, a gps track, and elevation gained and lost.  I was super psyched to get elevation because while I was out there I felt like I was constantly climbing and I really wanted to know if I was actually climbing a bunch or I was just a wuss complaining about nothing.

EveryTrai is a great FREE tool to track data.  Is it going to replace the garmins??  Hells no.  But I'll keep it on my phone in case I forget the garmins again.  One aspect I missed about the garmins was having actually moving speed, instead of just a time/distance calculation for average speed... but ah well, it was free and it was data.  Ah technology... and to think, I was mentally prepared to do my best to track on a physical map my guestimated mileage when I got home!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lonely Week

Annie's been gone all week... which meant by the time she returned Sunday the house was left with very little in the means of food (I'd been scrounging - avoiding the responsibilities of grocery shopping).  It also meant I could set my bike up in the kitchen to finally get rid of the tubes and get back to a tubeless set up. With much dirt shed on the floor (from my ride on Wednesday) the HiFi is ready for some low pressure action.

I was itching to get back out this weekend and explore the trails I had to bail on due to darkness, but family matters called for my attention over the weekend.  Saturday I picked my mother up from Logan and drove her home to CT.  Sunday morning I came back up to Boston and straightened up the place before Annie's arrival Sunday evening.  I thought about a quick ride before she got back... but figured I should make sure the place was presentable after her long visit with her sister.

So that just means today after work (back in the 50s again!!) it's back to see how much further I can get into the new trails I started exploring last week.

On previous rides I have started in the Caryl Park parking areas and then gotten into the Noanet Woodlands.  The sign pictured above is new, as I've crossed into Hale Reservation (briefly) previously, but this was a very nice addition to that intersection.  I'm hoping I can eventually put together a nice long ride as I've seen many unmarked trails leading off these mapped areas.  Even driving to these trails I've noticed some nice looking singletrack running through the woods and crossing the road.  Who knows, maybe I can put together a nice epic ride around the area.  

But I'm super excited for what else I'll find in the Hale area... the singletrack I encountered was super tight, flowy, with some killer switchbacks.  The trails utilized the terrain well and made sure that rocks features were enjoyed... check it out.

I'm standing at the apex of the switchback

There is a cheat to the left if you don't have the power to go straight up.
I did find that with the switchbacks some features came up fast, so until I get a better sense of the lay of the land a higher cadence in a easier gear is probably the way to go to avoid stalling on any short climbs.  If the rest of the trails are as sweet and well designed as these this may just be a new after work favorite!

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's a potato

Media Fridays
We'll posts videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

Idaho looks pretty damn sweet!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Frustration Station

We've entered frustration station over here... so I present to you a list of (random) questions to blow off some steam.

- Why do "exploratory" rides seem much longer than they actual are (mile wise)? (Positive, I think I found a sweet place to ride - more exploration is necessary as it got dark, quick)

- Why is it when you are excited all day about the post work ride things run late and you get to the trailhead over an hour after you had anticipated?

- Why the F was my front tire completely flat by the time I got home? (although I guess that is a blessing in disguise... it didn't go flat on the trail and leave me stranded, so I guess a mystery flat once home isn't soooo bad, just annoying!)

- Since when do water bottles look appetizing to dogs?

- How is it possibly for dogs to get a clipped pretzel bag open and snack on them without any damage to the bag?

And lastly... I'll preface this... I was watching some show on the Food Network - Rachel Ray Vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off and I was left with this VERY IMPORTANT question.

What the FUCK is going on with Coolio??

And one last thing...  As I was watching TV I felt a little crawly on my leg (Annie isn't home so I don't have to directly jump into the shower after a ride) and of course I find a damn tick rummaging around... I freak and tweak the bastard... now I can't find him!!  BUGGER!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

mmmmhhhmmmm I like it

Last night I kicked my own ass on the trainer.  I must admit, motivation was on the low side to get my ass in gear and ride, but I did it.  And I pushed it - week 3 on my training video - and I felt great.  I gave it my all and pushed through burning muscles and finished in one piece.  I was thinking today my legs would be hurting, but so far so good.

Which is great, because for some crazy reason it's going to hit the upper 50s today!!  Ok, maybe 52... but it's good enough for me!!  So I strapped the HiFi to the pterodactyl this morning for an after work ride.  Not sure where I'm riding yet, but somewhere local to work so I can get to the trail fast, rip it up, and get home to let the puppies out since Annie isn't around.

Third bit of news.  I found my winter gloves! 

My original riding gloves were some winter (mild) gloves that I wore all year round - which made for some foul smelling gloves.  So foul that I had to store them in the roof container of the pterodactyl... which I forgot about since my new gloves....  Today, as I was getting ready I thought to myself... "there is no way I threw them out."  So as I was loading up I hoped up on the running board and check the roof rack - sure enough they were in there.  I will now be able to make it through the rest of the "winter" season without worrying about frozen digits.  PSYCHED!

I can't say I'm 100% in a training routine yet... but I'm getting there.  Diet is the final big hurdle... I just discovered Narragansett beer the other day at a local establishment... and then ran into a case at the packie by work... and let me tell you, they go down smooth and FAST!!  Not the best combo for training. 

But all in all my legs are feeling great - although the trainer might be a bit boring, my legs are fresh and ready to go once I hit the trail, and I'm happy to oblige.