Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for the ‘biking’ Category

SPF 70, right….

Posted by quirksalight on June 26, 2009

I went biking last Saturday along the Potomac. It was in the afternoon, about 2:30pm, so I applied a liberal amount of SPF70 sunscreen, I even let it set for 30 mins prior to sun exposure! And less than an hour into the bike ride, which was in and out of the sun, I’m feeling some sensitive skin! WTF …. I even reapplied 30 mins into the ride, and this stuff is water and sweatproof. Grr…. SPF 70 my ass….
Time to add titanium dioxide or zinc oxide into my sunscreen regimen.

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Posted in adventure, ancedotes, annoyance, biking | Leave a Comment »

My new wheels…

Posted by quirksalight on May 22, 2008

…In a bid to be more timely (quit laughing, all of y’all!!), I bought a little folding bike…

No name yet…. any suggestions?

Posted in amusing, bicycling, biking, Incheon, Korea, travel | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Taking advantage of the weather

Posted by quirksalight on January 13, 2008

This past week, it’s been unseasonable warm in the Washington DC Metro area. So on Saturday (on the last day of the unseasonably warm weather) I decided to go biking on the Mount Vernon Trail.
Running along the Potomac River from Theodore Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon (George Washington’s estate), it’s 18 miles long in length, 36 miles round trip. I decided to do a 15 mile round trip, from Belle Haven Marina to Mount Vernon and back. Partially due to starting late (it was 2:15pm when I started, and sundown was at 5pm), and partially due to being out of practice.

Of course, I chose the section with the hills. The last 2-3 miles were pretty hilly (“rolling hills” my butt!) capped with a steep climb at the very end, right before the parking lot at Mount Vernon. UGH! But in this region, you get a great view of Fort Washington across the Potomac River, as seen here:
Fort Washington

But heading back was awesome! Those painful miles were just whizzing by on the way back to the Marina. 🙂
Even though it was unseasonably warm (mid-high 50 F), I was wearing three layers on top and two on the bottom. Still, it was a bit chilly, especially coming back. Combined with the dryness of the air, I ended up getting windburn in my trachea and on my face. That was a new one… I’m hacking up dead epithelial cells for a couple hours due to windburn. 😛

Posted in Alexandria, amusing, bicycling, biking, DC, health, Nature, outdoors, winter | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

5 months…

Posted by quirksalight on December 22, 2007

….to cross the continental US via bicycle!!!
The American Discovery Trail

Posted in adventure, bicycling, biking, fun, future, mountain biking, trail, trail riding, US | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lights, lights, lights.. (Gear Review)

Posted by quirksalight on November 11, 2007

The headlamp mentioned in last week’s semi-disaster night ride was the Petzl Tikka LED headlamp, bought at REI. the image below is from the REI website.
Petzl Tikka headlamp

It’s lightweight and very unobtrusive. This light was rated at 46 lux at 2 meters, flood style beam, and was 3 LED’s powered by 3 AAA batteries. It’s a nice headlamp, especially for the price (under $30), but not at all suitable for biking. VERY, VERY bad for biking. The light emitted from this lamp is just not strong enough for riding the trail at night. From the front of the bike helmet (the lamp did fit quite nicely and securely around my bike helmet, though), I couldn’t really see past 2 meters. Which is a very big problem, when you are trying to ride around and over obstacles, constantly changing direction and speed, and having to watch the trail so you won’t slip and fall, possible over the side and down a hill. Thank goodness I was with a group – even so, I had to bail halfway through.
I can see that this would be ok if you were on foot, or camping, and need a light that will leave your hands free. But if you want to get moving at any speed… well… I’d pick something else.

Definitely learned my lesson. NEVER skimp on the lights when night riding.

FYI – REI’s return policy is awesome.

Posted in accidents, adventure, biking, fun, gadgets, geek, night riding, outdoors, single-track, Sports, Tech, trail riding | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Once, twice, a third…

Posted by quirksalight on November 6, 2007

…a third is pushing it.

I don’t consider myself to be a novice bike rider. I do admit to being out of shape (oh, the Ban on biking for 2 months… damn you my left knee! damn you!!), not knowing the paths in Northern Virginia, and never have ridden at night before.

Hence, third variable is pushing it.

Tonight was the weekly Tuesday night bike ride at Wakefield park hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE). It was the casual ride, and the trail was to be beginner-intermediate. I had ridden a small section of it yesterday and it was fine, about the level at Cathedral Pines, in Middle Island, NY.
I even went and bought a head lamp for the ride, thinking that my front light would be too weak. (What an understatement!)

First of all, it’s cold! I wore bike shorts, a pair of bike pants, thick socks, two long sleeved shirts, fleece, windbreaker, gloves, headband, and I think that’s it. And this was at 6:30pm. Granted, there was a lovely breeze kicking around, sunset was about an hour past, and it was about 10 degrees above freezing. (yes, this is about when you ask, “um, why are you biking at night in crappy weather?”)
Well…. I wanted to try a group ride, and riding at night sounded really neat. And it was – really neat, that is. Until you can’t see anymore, and the little that you do see is a very tilted trail with a sheer drop into black. Not too cool. I rode second to last our group of 5, as everyone else had pretty good lights, and I was trying to use them to make sure I don’t get lost or miss a crucial object, (ie, tree!). About an hour into the ride, I had slowed down severely due to the tilted trail mentioned above, fallen back, gotten stuck at several uphill climbs, broken my light, and was thinking, “crapola, crapola! Now what?”
Meeting up with everyone at the top of the hill, the ride leader correctly noted that I’d probably break my neck if I tried to continue, and brought the group back to the parking lot to make sure I got back safely. I felt really bad at making the group go back, but I got shushed after apologizing one to many times. 😛
When we got back to the parking lot, the group agreed that trying a night ride with crappy lights, not knowing the trail, and coming off of knee rehab was a bit of a risky thing to do. I, on the other hand, basically wondered where my survival instincts had gone today.

It was nice to meet other people who liked riding, though I was definitely the least experienced one there. I got some pretty good advice on lights and how to cut weight off the bike. One of the ladies mentioned that MORE also has rides just for the ladies, and that I should definitely go to those. A couple people also recommended that I get to know the trails in daylight before trying a night ride again, as that would have offset some of the problems I was having.

In all, I’m totally glad I went, though it was abbreviated for me. The people were nice too – I think I’ll try some of the other activities they sponsor, like trail maintenance.

Posted in accidents, amusing, annoyance, biking, knee, mountain biking, night riding, outdoors, single-track, Sports, trail, trail riding, VA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trying the trails…

Posted by quirksalight on November 5, 2007

As my knee held up on Saturday’s road ride, the next test was to see how it held up on the trails. Listed as a beginner-intermediate level single track trail, I decided to go to Wakefield Park and Lake Accotink trails (they are interconnected by a gravel path). I completed the Lake trail and the trails by the parking lot at Wakefield Park, including getting a bit lost and confused heading back to Wakefield from the Lake trail. (to the nice biker who gave me directions at Danbury Forest, much thanks!)
Most of the information for riding in the Northern Virginia area I found on the MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts) website.

And it wasn’t too bad. Definitely out of shape, with a “holy crap” comment escaping my mouth when I saw the uphill climb by the dam at Lake Accotink. No, I did not make it up; it was rather steep and my knee told me very specifically that it wasn’t going to happen.
Speaking of the knee, the distance is just endurance – I’m lacking it due to not riding for almost two months. But the biggie is the climbs. Small changes in elevation is ok, but as it gets steeper and longer, the pain levels rise in an exponential fashion.
FYI – padded chamois biking pants rock!

Posted in biking, cartilage, cartilage damage, health, knee, mountain biking, Nature, outdoors, pain, patellar subluxation, single-track, Sports, trail, trail riding, VA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Biking!

Posted by quirksalight on November 4, 2007

It’s the first weekend I’ve been back in the DC Metro area, and I decided (with the approval of my physical therapist in NY) to go biking. Not mountain biking, just a couple miles along the Potomac river, from Gravelly Point to Old Town Alexandria and back.
I was considering canceling, as my knee felt a little stiff and the cyst bulging on Saturday morning, but decided to continue as it was a gorgeous fall day and I was biking on pretty flat paths.
IT was great! I’m definitely out of shape (huffin’ and puffin’!) but wasn’t too bad. The knee was definitely swollen at the end, but not unbearably painful. Some ibuprofen and heat/cold therapy after helped, and 36 hours later, the knee isn’t a problem. Though it was rather irritating that I forgot my fingerless biking gloves and that my legs were getting a bit chilly by the end. (I was wearing bike shorts) Gonna go try an ultra easy single-track tomorrow during the day, trying out some cold-weather biking pants that I picked up at REI.
It’s good to be back riding.

Posted in Baker's cyst, biking, cartilage, cartilage damage, Chondral defect, DC, knee, mountain biking, outdoors, pain, single-track, trail riding | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Edge is not a go…

Posted by quirksalight on September 22, 2007

The Edge Challenge adventure race that I had been training for in the past month is going to be done without me. My knee has been giving me problems for a while (see here) and it’s reached the point where continuing to train for this race would be extremely painful and potentially damaging. I’ve ruptured the Baker’s cyst three times, and after each time, it’s extremely painful and the cyst re-forms in a couple days.
So it’s off. I’m really, really not happy about this.

Posted in adventure, adventure racing, Baker's cyst, biking, cartilage, cartilage damage, Chondral defect, health, knee, mountain biking, Nature, orienteering, outdoors, patellar subluxation, running, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Road Biking…

Posted by quirksalight on September 10, 2007

This past Saturday was a road biking trip from Bethpage State Park to Jones beach and back. It’s a 30 mile roundtrip ride, and was listed in several forums as being good the beginner to intermediate rider. In the google maps image below, the trail is marked in black, with blue dot being Jones beach.
Bethpage-Jones Beach trail

The red dot, as you may be wondering, is the place where half of us ended up stopping and turning around. 10 miles in, I and two others gave in and turned around. All of us were on mountain bikes, and were riding into the wind for the the trip out.

Posted in accidents, adventure, Bethpage, biking, Jones beach, outdoors, trail | Leave a Comment »