Wilderness 101 W101 2014 Course – No Changes

w101The Shenandoah Mountain Touring is holding the 17th annual Wilderness 101 this Sat July 26.  There are no planned course changes for 2014 since the 2013 event. None. Not one. There were major changes last year around aid station #3 and #5. The maps showing those changes are:

I made a new series of six maps that cover the entire course. These maps are set up to print at either typical letter size or tabloid (17″ by 11″). There are multiple minor improvements plus I added an underlying elevation model based hill-shade to highlight the terrain:


2014 Stoopid 50

The 2014 Stoopid 50 is Sunday June 15. The race is run by Shenandoah Mountain Touring LLC. The course is changing just a little. First there will be minor changes near the finish due to a much needed re-route of Chute Trail after Three Bridges. Second a proposal has been made to change the location of the aid stations to minimize impact on traffic. Lastly there may be changes in the Coopers Gap area to avoid trails susceptible to damage in wet conditions.

AND, now as of May 20th, Dutch Alvin Trail will be included in the race if it is dry. The maps have been updated to show that.

2014 Stoopid 50 Map for Dry Conditions

2014 Stoopid 50 Map for Wet Conditions





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Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Bike, Bike Racing, Maps, Stoopid 50


Michelin Pro 4 Endurance Tires – A big disappointment

This summer I purchased a pair of 25c Michelin Pro 4 endurance tires. I hoped they would be a worthy replacement to my 2005 25c Michelin Pro 2. tires They have been a total disappointment and have been retired early.

Right out of the box, they failed to measure up in width to the Pro 2 tires. The Pro 4s do match the width of other 25c tires, but I had hoped they would be over-sized like the Pro 2s.

The tires rode much harsher than the Pro 2s. The tire felt faster rolling but did not feel any better in turns. I did not put many miles in these tires in the last year, sticking mainly to my mountain bike. Then while just riding along, the rear totally failed on me. Split right along some of the visible bands of the casting.

Failed Pro 4

Failed Pro 4

Failed Pro 4 B

Failed Pro 4 B

I could get a warranty replacement, but did not. I did not like the tires and would not want a new one. I got a pair of Bontrager AW2 28c tires to replace them, they are so much better. .

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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Bike, tires



A classic failure on a ride. Very glad I had an extra dropout with me and an extra XTR derailleur at home. The drop out was not the stock one, but a Wheels Manufacturing one. I suspect it was a bit weaker than the stock one. Also, the screws it came with were too long, forcing me to re-use the stock old ones.

Break away drop out worked, but broke a tad too easily.

Break away drop out worked, but broke a tad too easily.

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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Bike


Flagging Strava Segments on the 14th Street Bridge

There are many names used for the sidewalk on the 14th Street Bridge, most based on the name for this bridge. The bridge has many names: 14th Street, George Mason Memorial, Rochambeau and the most official, the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge.

Flagging 14th Street Bridge Segments

Flagging 14th Street Bridge Segments

Often when I ride across this bridge, I find a new Strava segment created on it. Strava, a social fitness network, allows users to track how quickly they traverse various parts of rides called segments. Segments are created and delineated by the user community. I have made a few myself and challenge myself on those and others regularly. I have even taken greater risks, to just myself, in pursuit of good times, however, I have never acted with disregard for other riders, other trail users, sanity, or cars.

The bike path on the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge is narrow, shared with runners, walkers and the occasional wheel chair. Many tourist use this sidewalk when visiting the mall area. This bike path, like all shared bike paths in the region, have a 15 MPH speed limit. I find it totally irresponsible for people blast across this segment and the other bike paths at reckless speeds.

Flagged Strava Segments on the 14th Street Bridge

Flagged Strava Segments on the 14th Street Bridge

That is why I am proud to routinely mark this segment as hazardous. I have done time and time again and will always do so. I have also done so for many segments on the Mt. Vernon, WO&D and other bike paths. I have marked so many, I got an e-mail about it from Strava. When I explained why I was doing this, they agreed with my reasons and actions.

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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Bike, DC



This blog makes these guys look good and me wish I lived in Baltimore.

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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Bike


sold FS: Dowsing Rod from National Schools – best offer

I had a crazy uncle that collected a odd mixture of things. Airplane parts, Electronics and bad chainsaws. One of the few cool things is this dowsing rod. It looks like he bought it in 1973 form the National Schools Technical supply company in LA.

I do not know jack about drowsing, but this thing is amazingly well made. Looks to be stainless steel and very well made. Comes with weights that screw into the one side, I assume to drows at different depths or what not.

Best offer in whatever time period I suspect will benefit me. (aka when I get around to listing it on eBay)  

DSCF0042 rod01 rod02 rod03 rod04 rod05 rod06 rod07 rod08 rod09 rod10

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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in For Sale, Uncategorized


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