Tuesday, June 26, 2007

filtering through the canopy

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
Melanie took this camera-phone photo of me coming down the trail. The light coming through the trees made for some cool lighting effects in the woods this evening.


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
Moving a little slower
and taking it ez on the sketch
but still gettin-r-done!

beam me up

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
Funky light
on the trails


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
My riding roots are right here in Avalon. I remember my first rides on these trails. There was plenty of crashing and hoofing it up hills.

Speaking of 'amateur hour' we passed two guys riding the trails sans helmet.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Back from the beach

I'm back from a lazy week in Southern Shores on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I shuffled my schedule around to make this a rest week. My legs had been pretty beat up so they needed the break...and riding on the roads down there would not have been fun.

This was an old-school week with a whole lot of sitting on the beach, taking naps, reading books, hanging out with family, eating good food, and drinking good beer. The weather was ideal and after the first day the surf settled down to family friendly levels.

Everyone had fun.


We dug a bunch of holes in the sand.
And chased seagulls (otherwise known as doo-doo's).
And played with an assortment of trucks.
It was a fun and relaxing week.

Needless to say by the time we returned home I was jonesing for a ride.

I got out for solid rides on Saturday and Sunday hitting the bone-dry trails of Avalon. After a week off it took a while to find my lungs, but by Sunday afternoon I was feeling good.

It was a perfect weekend for riding with mild temps and low humidity. There were a lot of riders out there enjoying themselves. I ran into the Singlespeed Outlaw and some of his crew a couple of times on Saturday.

I chickened out on the last steep, loose, stair-step descent down to the dam on the Baltimore Co. side. I went over the bars and cracked a helmet on that trail last year and now it's in my head.

I firmly believe in the saying, "When in doubt, dismount", but I need to ride that section to get over my fears. It's steep and has a lot of rocks, but I've ridden it before. At some point I'll nut-up and ride it again, but until then I don't feel too bad about walking it.

Anyway, it's back to the work grind and an attempt to build some 'cross fitness before the baby is born. I just rebuilt my cx bike so that I can do some early AM workouts over in Rockburn Park. With any luck I'll still have enough in the tank to help out my teammates in some late-season events. My personal goals are for the 2008 season.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

beer. beach.

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

God of Thunder

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom

All day today I was looking forward to my after-work ride.

I made it home, suited up, filled a bottle, ate a big handful of chocolate covered coffee beans, and rolled down the driveway.

The weather was threatening, but it looked like the storm was going to miss us to the North.

I rolled through Rockburn and crossed Landing Rd. into Avalon. As I crossed the road between parks the storm hit.

Heavy Rain
And even some hail

It was game-on.

I hammered up the log trail and worked my way over to the other Landing Rd. trailhead. The water was flowing down the trail, but the dirt was so packed down and dry that there was no mud.

The lightning was getting intense and the rain wasn't letting up so I chose to ride the road through Grovemont before dropping back into Rockburn and heading home.

It was only a 40 minute ride, but it was fast!

I got some good intensity work and I didn't get struck by lightening so all in all it was a good day on the bike.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

First 'Cross race of the year

First 'cross race of the year

Kaibab Monster 'Cross

120 miles of forest roads and singletrack on the Kaibab Plateau in Arizona. The Kaibab Plateau is a National Forest that overlooks the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

We did a trip there last June and the riding is incredible.

I'd love to do this one, but Arizona is a long road trip for a bike ride.

Though the milkshakes and cookies at the store in Jacob Lake might make it worth it!


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom

Sunday, June 10, 2007


According to Cyclingnews, the UCI is trying to get skateboarding added to the 2012 London Olympics.

I beg your pardon?

I like skateboarding and I wouldn't mind seeing it in the Olympics.

What I don't understand is why the UCI, the Union Cycliste Internationale, is involved. Shouldn't they be more interested in keeping cycling events from being removed (500m and Kilo TT) from the Olympics? Or maybe getting Cyclocross added to the Winter Olympics?

Cyclocross would fit well with a February Olympics. They could incorporate some snow into the track to accentuate the Winter motif.

The skateboarders should work on promoting skateboarding.
The cyclists should work on promoting cycling.
That would seem to make sense.
But the UCI has a history of not making much sense.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom

I spotted this bike in downtown Baltimore today.

What a thing of beauty.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Speaking of underwear...

I put mine on backwards this morning.
And didn't notice until a minute ago when I went to take a leak.

Once again I woke up at the ass-crack of dawn and mounted Rita for some early morning trail time. At some point during the night it must have rained a little bit because the roads and ground were wet.

I think the trails would have been fine, but I decided to stay off of them thinking they could use some alone time and a bit of sunlight before being disturbed by bike tires.

Instead, I did short intervals around my neighborhood.


But still better than punishing my ass
On the trainer
In the basement.

I will wear my undies backwards for the balance of the day as a testament to the fact that I am not normal. Nor do I aspire to be normal. I'm left-handed. Ha!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

FM-B, an alternative to Dugast

Now's the time to stock up on tires for 'cross season. In fact, Cyclocrossworld has already gone through a shipment from Dugast. High quality handmade 'cross tubulars are usually in short supply...and for good reason. I rode a set of 34mm Rhino's last season and they were phenomenal.
Good tires help compensate for lack of natural ability and training time! 8-)

Another manufacturer is trying to fill some of the supply shortage. A guy named Francois M. has set up shop. As I understand it he is a former employee of Dugast who has gone out on his own.

Though I haven't heard any first-hand accounts of how the tires ride they appear to be very similar to Dugast tubies in terms of materials and construction.

Check out the website for a look at their cyclocross selections. If I get confirmation that the quality is good I'll be placing an order.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Making the most of days

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
Back in the day time on the beach was spent reading, chilling, and catching waves (on the rare occasions when there were waves worth catching).

Nowadays this photo shows what I see. And "Play DaDa" is what I hear. So I dig sand, chase seagulls, and splash in the surf. And it's really amazingly cool.

We just got back from a quick trip to Sarasota (Siesta Key) to visit family and hang out on the beach for a few days.

This meant a few days off the bike letting the legs recover. To balance that out I hit it hard last week, waking up early and riding the trails at 5am.

Getting out of bed for a pre-dawn patrol ride is rough, but once rolling it's a wondrous experience. The trails are devoid of human intrusion. It's just me, some rabbits, and the occasional fox on the prowl. Even Bambi is still asleep.

Lights are obligatory for the first half of the ride. Though the sky is dark, with each passing minute the horizon hints at the coming day. That deep, murky blue of first light is hypnotizing and somehow comforting as I connect with a small patch of lighted singletrack amid the dark and lonely woods.

With each pedalstroke I become more awake and tuned into my surroundings. It doesn't take long. Focus is critical when riding at night and with focus comes flow. Flow is a word that is perhaps overused when waxing on mountain biking, but that's ok. It captures the essence of that feeling of rider, bike, and trail becoming one. It's a sweet feeling. Sublime, blissful, orgasmic. Yup, those words all capture the spirit of the thing. Apologies to Reg Dunlop and Dickie Dunn.

By the second half of my loop there's enough light emerging from the sky to make the artificial illumination from my Nite Rider mostly redundant. In the denser sections of the woods that's debatable so I keep it on.

Rolling out of the singletrack and back into my neighborhood I notice that the day has begun. Runners are humping up the road and the early birds are already in their cars on the way to work. I can't help but feel that I know some secret code for happiness that all these other people are oblivious to. After a morning ride I'm ready to tackle the bullshit of the day with a smile.

I was looking forward to continuing the morning rides this week, but a bunch of rain has changed those plans. I've even considered riding the trainer, but I'm not that desperate yet! It looks like I'll be riding the pavement this evening, but the weather is looking decent through the weekend.

I'm hoping to resume the pre-dawn rides as soon as the trails dry out. What better way to start the day than with a mountain bike ride, followed by a triple-shot from the Gaggia.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Siesta Key

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
Fun in the sand on Siesta key