My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Week of 12/27/09 - Holiday Travel and Spinning - 80 Miles

Winter douldrums and the hollidays kept me inside again all week.  Wonderful donation to start the week from Sue Firlotte and Bob Sands.  Sue and Bob are dedicated Leo's Legacy riders and among our closest friends.  Monday saw an off day and some unexpected proposal activity at work. A typical 20 mile, 1 hour spin on Tuesday to some 70's music.  More work and packing resulted in no ride for Wednesday.  Thursday saw the long drive to Maine.  Christmas day was spent at Mark & Carol's house ... lots of great gifts and family fun.  A nice 20 mile spin to Cyclo-Club spinning class #1.  Educational and good variation from start to finish.

The weekend saw another 40 miles with Cyclo-Club spinning class #2 on Saturday and some classic rock on Sunday. Cyclo-Club includes regular podcasts that are available to the public.  Listen to the latest Cyclo-Club podcast on holiday tips and how to avoid the holiday chubbies:

Only 4 hours and 80 miles ... 6,500 will need 70 additional miles over the next four days.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week of 12/20/09 - Winter Spinning and Blizzard - 125 Miles

Winter weather and a major snow storm kept me inside spinning on the trainer.  A  solid week with 6+ hours of bike time and 125 miles on the odometer.  On Monday, I logged 20 miles to the new Ray Romano show "Men of a Certain Age."  I guess I relate to it as the show depicts three guys in their late 40's. Thanks to Gary Calabreese for a donation ... he has sponsored me for 5 years!  Tuesday was spent working and on the website as well as fundraising. Donations received from Jim Leonard (silver level) and Barbara Eberhard (4th year). 

On Wednesday I pushed 25 miles to a new Criminal Minds epsiode.  My high school friends from USY jumped on board the donation train ... thanks to Bob Sulloway and his wife Gail (2nd year) for a silver level donation and Carol Fishman (3rd year).  Carol's mom is a lung cancer survivor.  She and her doctor caught it when it was at stage 1A! We are glad she went in for a chest x-ray after a nagging cough.  If she hadn't, then she would probably not be alive now. Lung cancer is so deadly because generally it's not found until stage 3 or 4 when it's too late. She is one of the rare success stories. She was a former smoker, but she hadn't smoked for 27 years.  My ride helps researchers with new and better detection testing.

Thursday was an active recovery day with some Cyclo-Core training and a short 12 mile spin to Jeff Dunham on Comedy Central.  Leah and I love his characters particularly Jose (on a stick), Peanut, and Achmed ... "I kill you."  Friday included intervals and one leg drills to some great old 1970's songs.  Thanks to Fred and Catherine Chiccone for theor generous silver level donation.  I have ridden on their Tour de Cure team for the Amercian Diabetes Association.  Their grand daughters have Type 1 diaabetes.  Besides the American Lung Association, it is the other charity I work hard for.  The snow started falling around 10PM.  The snow came down all day on Saturday and when it finsihed around midnight, we had almost 2 feet.  Quite a storm for the mid-atlantic.  I spun hard for 27 miles to the Ford Ironman champsionships on NBC.  Great inspirational stories and amazing athletes.

I wrapped up the week with some leg drills and tempo work to football.  Lot of extra exercise thanks to shoveling too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week of 12/13/09 - Winter Spinning - 120 Miles

Weather and family committments kept me inside the whole week.  With winter here, this will be the norm.  I have started using Cyclo-Core warm-up routines and will slowly add more core work outs.  Monday was a rest day with some late night work on my website - Mark's Ride Across America.   On Tuesday I spun for 20 miles to The Biggest Looser.  Pretty amazing stuff.  The winner lost more than I weigh ... 239 pounds.  The transformations are something to see.  The show has helped so many people.  I also officialy launched my website and opened my secure donation page.  Over the coming months, I will execute an agressive fund raising plan to help the American Lung Association improve the quality of life for families living with lung disease. Pledges raised will help search for cures, keep kids off tobacco, and fight for laws that protect the air we all breathe. The work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.  I hope you will join me in my effort to raise $25,000 to help make a difference in the lives of millions of adults and children who are living with chronic lung disease and asthma every day. CLICK HERE to go to my secure on-line web page for donations.

I received my first major corporate sponsorship from Lancesoft, Inc. LanceSoft is an ISO 9001-2000 certified global IT Services and Solutions Company. LanceSoft is based in Herndon, Virgina and operates out of 15 locations in US, Europe, Asia Pac and India. They were also my lead sponsor for the 2007 Trek Across Maine. Thanks also to Matt McGoey from All American Bikes in Damascus, Maryland for a donation and discount off future purchases.  I bought my last two bikes from Matt and use his shop for service.

On Wednesday I spun another 20 miles to my favorite TV show, Criminal Minds.  I continued sending my first wave of fund raising announcements.  Thanks to Mary Bowden and Brian McElyea for donations.  I also had a great conversation with the president of VBT Active Vacations in Bristol, Vermont.  I hope to see them as a significant sponsor real soon.  Thursday saw more spinning (21 miles) to a great new show on the History Channel that I really like called Pawn Stars. Check it out.  Another 20 miles to Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes hockey on Friday (Caps win 4-3 in OT) as well as some of Leah's favorite show on Food Network ... Unwrapped.  Thank you Judy Johnson and my Uncle Ernie Gotthardt (he has pledged every year I have ridden for the Amercian Lung Association) for donations.

The weekend included some catch up work on a proposal for the Maryland statewide health information exchange.  I also worked hard on building my website.  Saturday included a fast 15 mile spin watching the Eloise christmas movie with Leah.  I wrapped up the week with a 24 mile effort to a few more episodes of Pawn Stars and a little of the Giants/Eagles game (Eli looses again). Thank you Rakesh Malik for a donation (two years running).

120 miles of spinning and lots of work on launching my web site and fund raising efforts.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Week of 12/06/09 - Weather & Family Committments = Spinning - 145 miles

December arrived and brought chili and wet weather.  On top of that, family committments took top priority and kept me inside for all but one day.  On Monday I rode about an hour (20 Miles) while watching the Patriots and Saints game.  The Saints are definitely for real, and the Patriots do not have the personnel they once did.  Tuesday saw another 15 Miles spin with Meatloaf on the stereo and the Victoria's Secret "fashion" show on the TV.  Most of those girls need to eat a cookie!  Of course there were a few that, well ... umm, never mind. Heidi Klum was classy and looked good for just having had another baby.  No risque pics on my blog ...

Wednesday was a rest day.  I spent the evening reviewing materials at Cyclo Club.  I hope to incorporate more pre- and post-ride exercises along with their core conditioning routines over the winter.  The club also includes great spin sessions and tons of helpful material on nutrition, riding technique, workouts, and more.  On Thursday, the weather finally cooperated with temperatures in the mid 50's.  It was pretty windy, with some gusts greater tan 25 miles per hours.  I pushed through for a solid 28 mile ride in and around Laurel.  I went past the Laurel Race Track, Montpieler Mansion, Laurel Hospital, and downtown.



The weekend included signifcant family committments and weather not condusive to riding outside. Spinning was a good way to relax and destress. On Friday, I rode with Coach Troy to Spinervals 14 - Totally Time Trial. Strong 1 1/2 hours and 32 miles. Saturday saw a more relaxed aerobic pace to Spinervals 16 - Aero Base Builder, 29 miles. I spent some late night computer time loking at other training DVDs. There are a few virtual rides (with web cams) that I may try out. I wrapped up the week with a very fast hour spin (22 miles) to some classic rock and music from the 70's. Only outside 1 day ... motivation remained high wirh 145 training miles.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week of 11/29/09 - Turkey Week - Rain - 133 miles

While the weather pushed me inside for some music and TV spinning, I still managed to get outside for a few good rides.  A little short of my 140 mile weekly goal, but only by 7 miles.  Monday, I put in 16 miles watching America's Funniest Videos with Leah.  We love that show and no matter how old the clips are, it is still a great way to laugh.  I spent Tuesday working and hacking on the computer ... I now know all the options for shipping my bike to the west coast.  Did research on the best cases and options for packing.  I will try to get a case loaner from my bike club and have my mechanic help pack it for shipping.  More rain on Wednesday ... a quick 17 mile spin to Criminal Minds.

The turkey day forecast was supposed to be dry and low 50's.  That never quite materialized ... it was mid 40's and misty.  Uncle Dave came up early and we went out for a nice, but messy, two hour tour (a little short of 30 miles) past the prisons in Jessup and over to Timbuktu in Elkridge.  From there, we meandored up 103 and 108 and eventually past the Columbia Mall.  A good bike cleaning was in order (saved that for the weekend).  Karen prepared a great Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.  I made what has become a new tradition ... the gravy (not the store bought stuff, but real homemade from the drippings stuff).  Dave, Molly, Beth, and Greg joined us.  Mike was home for the week.  A nice, quiet and fun day.

Black Friday saw shopping, but no 5am standing in line.  Picked up a new GPS and external hard drive at bargain bin prices.  Also grabbed the first four seasons of Weeds and some video games for Leah.  Started to look at new cell phones to replace the aging dinosaurs we have now.  On Friday night, my lips puffed up again (a repeating ocurrence the last month or so) and spread to my face and tounge by morning.  It went away quickly again, but I headed to the clinic for a visit.  Allergies of some kind ... I will need to watch it and have some testing done.  Felt better by supper and pushed inside for 20 miles to some music and Capitals hockey.

Was Sunday the last 60 degree day of the year?  If so, I took full advanatge with a 52 mile ride to Eldersburg and Sykesville.  A little quicker and at least 15 other riders passed enroute.  Rode with a few young bucks on Homewood ... they had to work hard to stay up with the chubby old man on both the descent and climb to Folly Quarter.  I felt very good the whole day and made only a short stop in Sykesville.  The route included Marriotsville Road (a great stretch through Patapsco Park and along the river), Route 26 (busy), Route 32 (nice shoulder to Sykesville), and River Rd (another scenic run along the river with a few power hills).  Got back a little after dark, which made the girls a little unhappy ... I did call first!

December beckons ... hope I can still get outside a few days a week.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week of 11/22/09 - King of the 2 Hour Ride - 135 miles

Weather and scheduling enabled me to stay outside a good part of the week.  My rides are definitely shorter this year ... averaging around 2 hours and +/- 30 miles ... still some 40 and 50 milers on weekends.  I will need to ramp up next spring with more back to back days.  All in all, no compliants on mileage base ... now to work that mid-section and drop a few pounds!

Headed toward Elkridge and BWI Airport on Monday.  A nice 30 mile run to the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters.  They have connected Corporate Drive to the building from the BWI car rental facility ... provides some new connection options in and around BWI, Elkridge, and the airport trail.  Here is the route:

View Interactive Map on

Mid week saw some rain and work ... tough to get rides in when the sun goes down before 5pm.  I spun to Criminal Minds on Wednesday for 16 miles.  Scheduled a ride on Friday, by taking my bike to work and heading out by 3.  To avoid the congestion near the office, I drove a few miles to Needwood Golf Course.  I decided to bike home and retrieve the car on Saturday.  I don't know why I have not done this more often ... the routes are pretty good and even with a little car traffic, very nice.  I headed through Lake Needwood park and over to Emory Rd (nice paved path along side of narrow, busy road), quick turn on Georgia (again on path) to Bachelor's Forrest Rd and Trotters Glen Golf Course.  Bachelor's Forrest is a perfect bike road with some climbsls and few cars.  It connects to Olney near the Olney Ale House ... the best beef stew and sourdough bread in town.  From there, Doctor Bird Rd., past the Sandy Spring Friends School, Ednor Rd., and home via Fulton and Harding Rd. Stretched it to 27 miles. Return trip on Saturday was slightly different route via Highland, Brighton Dam, and Brookville.  Brighton Dam is a pretty site and has a nice azalea garden.  During the War of 1812, when British troops burned the White House, President James Madison sought refuge in Brookeville on August 26, 1814.  Meandored around Laytonsville toward Gaithersburg by the Montgomery County Airpark.  Short bike lane on Shady Grove Rd that just ends ... then some nastiness to cut over toward Needwood (this is why I drove a vew niles from office).  If I can handle the few miles around the office ... this back and forth is pretty nice.

Planned 40-50 on Sunday ... didn't quite make it, thanks to some mechanical issues.  My cassette was slipping and broke away from my wheel on a climb up Mission Rd.  Luckily it happened toward the end of the ride and close enough to the SAG girls.  The route was Fort Meade, Sevren, BWI Trail, to Elkridge Furnance Inn.  35 miles brought my weekly total a little under goal at 135.  I used Cyclo Club online video for a pre-ride strecth.  Need to make this part of the routine and use the core and bootcamps more.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week of 11/15/09 - Ida Blows In - Another 145+ miles

The week started with very nice weather for November (high 60's).  On Monday, I got off to a good start with a nice 37 mile ride to the Univeristy of Maryland to say hello to Mike.  This route takes me past the Beltsville Agricultural Center, the Greenbelt Metro, and into College Park via Lake Artemesia and the Paint Branch Trail.  The lake includes a fishing pier, aquatic gardens, and a nice loop of hiker-biker trails that connect to the College Park Airport and Aviation Museum, as well as the UMD campus. The trail goes right by Mike's house and provides great access to campus without having to cross busy Route 1.  Mike and Erin were pleasantly surprised to see me.  I returned home via the Paint Branch Trail, Silver Spring, and a short stint on Route 29 (good practice for the busier roads out west).  Construction for the new Inter County Connector (Route 200) continues to be in full swing.  When finished, it will connect Route 95 (Prince Georges County) and Route 270 (Montgomery County).

Tuesday saw a late day at the office and significant progress finalizing the partnership with the American Lung Association.  I also presented a sponsorship proposal to Northrop Grumman.  That was unfortuneately not given much consideration.  I have not given up just yet, but my optimism for a major corporate sponsor has taken a hit.  There is great synergy with corporate wellness, community, and green initiatives, so I will still have opportunities to spread the message.

The remains of Hurrican Ida made their way to the southeast and mid-atlantic, and brought lots of wind and rain.  Wedndesay through Saturday were inside days.  I sat out Wednesday hacking away on the computer.  My motivation returned big time on Thursday with a strong 35 mile spin to Warren Zevon and Meatlof's Bat Out of Hell.  Great classic tunes from my youth.  Zevon was an acquired and poltical taste, but a great writer and musician.  He died of cancer in 2003.  Riding to music really helps the time fly by and gets the addrenaline flowing.  Friday was a more typical inside set ... 15 miles to more oldies ... this time Three Dog Night.  Saturday, the weather slowly started to clear, but was still misty most of the day.  I hung out with Leah, as Karen had the Holiday Boutique to benefit the Glenelg Country School Parent's & Friends Association.  We laid low most of the day and had a fun lunch at Costco along with some samples.  A little clothes and book shopping rounded out the afternoon.  Leah has been challenged to read the sequel to Inkheart by Cornelia Funke ... Inkspell.  A mere 660 pages.  I gave her until her birthday on New Years Day.  Leah and I celebrated the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street with a 15 mile spin to the best of Ernie ... rubber duckie you are the one!

Sunday saw the thermometer top 70 degrees, and with no activities, work, or school stuff, it was a perfect chance to ride.  Ten minutes out I had a front flat ... quick change (less than 15 minutes) and I was back on my way to Elkridge Furnace Inn.  From there I headed toward Linthicum and meandored all the way into downtown Baltimore to the M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens.  There was even a new (for me) bike path around the stadium that avoided most of the city streets and lights.  From there I headed west to leave the city and after several city blocks and row houses I found myself by the old Montgomery Wards building (now called Montgomery Park).  It was Baltimore's largest mercantile building and the city's first suburban department store when it opened in 1925.  Today it is a revitalization project that houses office space, a city park, and overlooks the Carol Park golf course.  The art deco design is still prevalent.  From there I followed signs for the Gwynns Falls Trail.  This trail starts out by my office near the crossroads of Route 70 and 695, near the Social Security Administration headquarters and runs 15 miles into Baltimore and the inner harbor. The trail crosses some neat bridges (see pic) and for the most part is off city streets.  Somehow, I took a wrong turn and headed off the trail and back toward the city.  By the time I convinced myself I was heading in the wrong direction, I was near the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum.  A neat round about design with great exhibits for the kids.

My route out of the city (2nd try) was past the stadiums and up Hanover Street toward Glen Burnie.  From there I took Routre 170 and connected up with the BWI trail.  The sun was getting low, so I called the SAG van and met the girls for dinner at Arundel Mills Mall.  The 45 mile ride included just about everything  except any real hills (climbing was less then 1600 feet).  A chnage of pace for sure.  Weekly total of 147 miles with YTD just shy of 5,700 miles.  Got an email from Northrop Grumman VP that oversees community affairs ... some positive words, but limited budgets.  A new name to talk with next week .. we will see.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week of 11/08/09 - 7 for 7 and 150 Miles

I hate the end of daylight savings.  The sun goes down at 5:00 and I am still a late night person, so getting up with the early sunrise and cool temperatures just isn't in me ... I guess I should work on that.  Too busy to schedule daytime rides on Monday and Tuesday, so it was downstairs to the trusty Trek 1200 and my Cyclops trainer.  Monday saw 15 miles while watching the Phillies hold on for an 8-6 win against the dreaded Yankees.  I knew it would be tough for the Phillies to win two straight in Yankee stadium, but as a die hard Red Sox fan, I prayed to the Lord (Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski that is!).  On Tuesday I rode to the last leg (17 miles) of the Lake Placid Iron Man route with Coach Troy and his helmet cam.  The on the road series is a nice variation from the standard Spinervals DVDs.
Wednesday's schedule kept me inside for a third consecutive day. With the Yankees is control of game 6, I watched a new epsiode of Criminal Minds and sweated out another 18 miles. Did I mention, I hate the Yankees.  On Thursday I scheduled some time to ride near work.  I started from the South Germantown Recreational Park.  This is a great starting point and provides access to Sugarloaf Mountain and a wide variety of great roads near Poolesville, White's Ferry, Dickinson, and several other quiet towns.  In operation since 1786, White’s Ferry is the last working ferry on the Potomac River. The C&O Canal pases the Ferry entrance.  Today's ride took me to Secneca via Sugarland, Partnership, and River Road.  Surgarland is barely a one lane road with almost no cars. I passed the Seneca Schoolhouse Museum, a typical one room school house from the 1880's. The route was just shy of 30 miles. Friday was windy and cold (low 40's) ... Given the nice weekend forecast, I opted to stay inside and spun hard for 22 miles to some old Garth Brooks tunes.
Wonderful fall weather was back in form for the weekend.  On Saturday I spent the morning brainstroming on fundraising and website ideas.  I finalize things with the Lung Assocition on Monday and will present my pitch to Northrop Grumman later in the week.  The girls went off to sell Girl Scout cookies, so I headed out for a nice 50k (31 miles) to Marriottsville via Centennial Lane and Route 99.  Return was past Glenelg Circle and Homewood.  I went right past the sight of a Halloween night murder (a rare occurence in Howard County).  Stopped to see the cookie sale and ate some when I got home!

Sunday was another gorgeous day, but we headed to Frederick to look at a house we had seen last summer in Braddock Heights.  Braddock Heights is located at the top of Braddock Mountain (almost 1,00 feet up). It was founded in 1896 as a summer resort community and eventually included several hotels, a community pool, a wooden floor skating rink, an amusement park, scenic overlooks, nature trails, and until 1980, a small ski resort.  It is now known for its eclectic houses (no two are alike) and scenic views of Frederick and the Monocacy and Middletown valleys.  The house we looked at was a 1930 Victorian that we had seen  last summer.  It had dropped significantly in price and was well worth the look.  We decided it was just too small.  Some day ... I spun inside with Leah singing some more Garth Brooks tunes for 18 miles.  Heavy inside work with a couple nice outdoor rides gave me 150 miles for the week. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week of 11/01/09 - Dedication and Scheduling Result in 145 Miles

The week started off with some wonderful fall weather and temperatures in the high 60's/low 70's.  On Monday, I headed to Elkridge for a hillier route (30 miles) via Lawyers Hill.  The route to Elkridge bypassed Elkridge Furnance Inn and headed up Coca Cola Drive (nice spot for hill repeats) and Hanover Road to Route 1.  After climbing Lawyers Hill, I returned via Marshalee Lane and the Timbers at Troy golf course.

Lawyers Hill is a great climb and includes some nice historic homes.  The homes include Victorians built during the 1840's to 1880's, as well as American Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Shingle-style structures. There is also a range of Colonial Revival houses, from craftsman era rustic cottages to more formal Georgian, and mass-produced Dutch Colonial models from the early 20th century.

The community originally contained several summer estates that were built by wealthy Baltimore locals including Caleb Dorsey ("Belmont"), Baltimore City Supreme Bench Judge George Washington Dobbin ("the Lawn"), Thomas Donaldson ("Edgewood"), John Latrobe ("Fairy-Knowe"), and the Penniman family home ("Wayside"). At the top of the hill stands the Elkridge Assembly Rooms. This community hall was built in 1871.  The Lawyers Hill Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The nice weather quickly dissappeared on Tuesday, and the rain pushed me inside for a fast 15 miles to some classic hits of the 70's.  Late in the day on Wednesday, I made a run to drop off my parents at BWI Airport for their return to sunny Florida.  After goodbye hugs, I got in a quick 20+ miles in around the BWI Trail and Glen Burnie area. The trail is an 11 mile loop passing through Friendship Park and Andover Park, and includes a nice horse farm and a great overlook of plane landings.

I had to tightly schedule another 20+ mile ride on Thursday after work.  We had a Halloween event at work, so I was already dressed in my best biking attire.  I experimented with some roads in and around the Rockville office.  A little busy given the commuting time, but a few nice spots on Glen Mill and Glen Road.  Finshed up through downtown and Route 28 to Avery Road, then a short run through Lake Needwood.

Friday was another inside day with a typical 15 miles ... this time to Criminal Minds repeats on A&E.  Saturday finally saw the chance for a longer ride. A solid 45 miles to Cooksville via Glenelg.  The return was through Glenwood, Tridelphia Mill, and Highland. These rods through Western Howard County are among the best local roads for cycling.  Nice shoulders or quiet country.  Good variation with some tough hills too.  Tridelphia Road and Tridelphia Mill Road are part of the Columbia Triathlon route. Sunday saw rest and helping Leah with her big science project on leaves.

So ... helped by some shorter rides and a few inside spins, I logged close to 145 miles for the week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week of 10/25/09 - Solid Week of Nice Fall Weather - Almost 170 Miles

After a week inside, I was eager to see the sun and pavement again.  The weatherman cooperated big time ... the first few days of the week saw temperatures break 70 degrees.  Monday (33 miles) and Tuesday (30 miles) saw rides to Ellicott City.  On Monday I went via Elkridge Furnance Inn and Patapsco Park (Grist Mill Trail) with a return up Main Street and through Dorsey Search and past the Columbia Mall.  This diverse route has some great roads (Mission Rd, Race Rd, and River Rd) and a few good climbs.  The Grist Mill Trail is a nice paved path that follows the Patapsco River.  The trail is about 2 1/2 miles long and starts near "Lost Lake" in the Avalon area of the park.  It passes the swinging bridge (that takes you to the south side of the river and provides access to the waterfall at Bloede Dam) and other historic markers.  The trail ends at the bottom of Illchester Road after crossing the Patterson Viaduct near the Ilchester Tunnel. 

Tuesday's route to Main Street included Lake Elkhorn, the Maryland School for the Deaf, Landing Rd, a decent of Illchester Rd, River Rd, and a nice climb up New Cut Rd.

Work got the better of me on Wednesday ... it was hard to look outside at the 75 degree day, but I was back out on Thursday for another 30 miles to Glenelg.  I spent Thursday night at another college fair representing RPI ... not quite as good as the one I did last week.  Friday saw work and rain, which carried into Saturday.  I spun inside for a fast 20 miles to some classics of the 60's and 70's.  The evening was spent with the fmaily celbrating Nana's 75th birthday.  Mike and Erin joined the festivities at Red Dog Cafe in Silver Spring and a few tasty creations at Cold Stone Creamery in College Park.

Sunday was perfect crisp fall day.  With Leah and Karen at the Glenelg Country School open house (Leah was a tour guide), I enjoyed a nice long ride (almost 55 miles) to old town Bowie. The route out went past Laurel (back side of Laurel Park (horse racing) and Montpelier Mansion) and Greenbelt.  The return was via Crofton, Odenton, and Fort Meade (including a 2 mile stretch of legal highway on Route 32).

A great week with almost 170 miles of riding.  Year to date total is just shy of 5,250.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week of 10/18/09 - Rain, Rain Go Away - Indoors All Week

Monday and Tuesday were rest days as my legs were pretty tight from a good week back on the saddle. Turns out these were days I should have gotten outside. It rained and was very chili the entire week and did not break until late Sunday. That meant days inside with the trainer. I did manage to motivate myself to go downstairs 4 of 5 nights (one was spent pushing on a new proposal for the Social Security Administration), but even with Criminal Minds reruns on A&E, I lacked any real drive or enthusiasim. The weatherman promises a nice stretch next week, so I plan to get back out there. This week really tells me I need to develop a winter routine of better eating, spinning, and some core exercising.  My virtual coach (Graeme Street) and membership to Cyclo Club should help with that.

On the personal front, I spent Sunday afteroon representing my alma matter, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at a local college fair.

A dissapointing 60 indoor miles.  Still on pace for 6,000 ... but I need to get outside for that.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week of 10/11/09 - Back on the Saddle and Back to Goal - 140 Miles

Life finally returned to normal this week.  The big proposal swallowed up the first part of the week, but I managed to get a quick 22 miles in on Wednesday before sunset.  A short but relaxing route toward Elkridge ... past the prisons and Race Road before turning around near Timbuktu and Gunnings.  Both of these restaurants are local institutions.  Gunnings is one of the better crab houses in the Baltimore area, and has been around since the early 70's.

Finally got a few longer rides in on Friday and over the weekend.  The first ride of 43 miles meandored to Glenelg, not too far from Leah's school (Glenelg Country School).  From there, I continued toward Glenwood, Unity, and past the Howard Chapel Cemetery.  The cemetery is the burial ground of the ancestors of the original African American community of Howard Chapel.  Enoch George Howard (1814-1896) and his wife Harriet Ann Lee Howard (1808-1882) founded Howard Chapel in 1862. In addtion to the cemetery, the land included the Howard School (1880) and four homesteads. I continued on New Hampshire Avenue to Sandy Spring.  The Sandy Spring Museum is a great source of information on the area and local history.  I returned home past Highland and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Highland is still pretty rural, but has seen a lot of new larger homes built over the the last 10 years.  It is home to Highland Day (just missed it ... it was last week!), a typical small town fall fesitival with a nice group of artisans.  I finished pretty tired (not surprising given my 2+ week hyetius). Check out the route below on

View Interactive Map on

Saturday's ride was another 43 miles ... southeast, toward Greenbelt and Bowie.  The route included the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Goddard Space Flight Center.  The roads here are extremely bike friendly and well mainatined.  I cruised past old Bowie and returned home via Laurel and Jessup.

Sunday's ride (33 miles) included a stop for a haircut in River Hill and past the scene of the dreaded dog attack ... as usual, all was quiet there.

A good retun to normalcy ... 140 miles and some family time as well.  Leah and I went to the Washington Capitals game on Thurdsay night.  Her first time ... great corporate seats and an exciting game.  Karen and I made a run to Baltimore's Best (aka The Corner Stable) for crab cakes and ribs on Saturday.  This is a must stop for anyone who wants ribs ... we go no where else.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week of 10/04/09 - 2nd Week Off the Bike - Flu and Work Continue Dominance

This week was just a crappy as last week ... the flu finally started to let go by mid week, but the proposal had me working 18 hours days.  Even the weekend brought no relief.  On Saturday, I scheduled a 2 hour block anf even got dressed to ride ... never made it outside thanks to conference calls and pricing challenges/changes.  Two weeks with no mileage ... not good.  My stress level is high. The proposal goes in on the 8th, so there is light at the end of tunnel.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week of 09/27/09 - Flu and Work Strike Major Blow - 0 Miles!

Things have been too good on the bike ... meeting goal almost every week with great rides.  Well, this week that came to an end.  Work was insanely busy with the FDA proposal, but the real culprit was a nasty cold (maybe the flu) that zapped my energy and had me hacking, coughing, and blowing all week.  I did not get out once ... first time all year.  Hoping to feel strong enough to ease back in next week.  Man, I hope this kind of thing does not happen next summer.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week of 09/20/09 - 145 Miles

Work continues to make scheduling rides a challenge ... another big proposal effort underway for FDA. Still managed to find time for 145 miles including some repeats at Columbia Gateway and a fast run to Patapsco State Park and up Bonnie Branch Road. Total miles year to date is just shy of 4,900.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week of 09/13/09 - Just shy of 150 miles

Even with a busy proposal for the Shriner's Hospital in progress, I logged almost 150 training miles this week. The weekend included 100 miles in western Howard and southern Caroll County.  One of my favorite destinations and turn around points is Sykesville, a small historic town in southern Caroll County.  The town sits along the Patapsco River and was a big stop on the old B&O railroad route.  To reach Main Street you descend in and must climb out (a few great options for that include River Road, which follows the river and some nice horse fames or Forsythe Road, which is less scenic, but a tougher grade).  The old train station was converted to a great restaraunt called Baldwin's Station.  It is one of our favorites and the place we head for anniversaries and special nights out.