2015 is here and Old Line Velo is too-

Quick update now that the 2015 riding season is finally upon us. There hasn’t been much chatter on the wires but OLV has been working behind the scenes to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Here are some headlines that we will be elaborating on for the membership shortly:

-We are moving away from a paid membership model. You will see that the paypal payment links are all removed. We still plan to raise funds from members, just not in a “pay to be a member” approach. Spread the word and recruit some new members! All we’ll ask for is your contact info so we can let you know about things we think are important to folks who ride the trails in PVSP.

-Our 501c3 application is nearly complete and once that happens, we’ll be able to raise funds by applying for grants as well as provide a tax deduction for any donations to the club.

-A ride schedule is shaping up. We will post it up soon as well as mining for other group rides we can list so you will have a comprehensive listing here of (hopefully) every regular group ride in the area

-We are partnering with a new organization, Baltimore Youth Cycling, and have pledged to support their efforts at starting a JUNIOR CX RACING LEAGUE – yes, that is right. for more info on this PLEASE head over to http://www.baltimoreyouthcycling.org

-and finally, we have committed our support again to two of 2014’s most successful partnerships. First – the Patapsco Trailwork Series was a huge effort in 2014 with nearly 1900 volunteer hours logged. We are on board again as a sponsor for the workday series in 2015 – watch out for the workday where OLV gets lunch…it’s legendary! The second is the Patapsco Epic. We’re sponsoring an aid station at Woodstock Rd – see you there!

I’m really excited to get some more great things done in 2015 and build on the legacy that Old Line Velo has already established. Hope to see you on the trail soon,

Jon Posner, 2015 prez

NEW BEGINNER MTB RIDE JOINING THE CALENDAR SUMMER ’14

Coming in July….

Old Line Velo Beginner/Intermediate Ride

When: 1st, 3rd (& 5th when available) Tuesday of each Month starting July 2014 – Meet at 6pm wheels roll at 6:15 PM

Where: Avalon/Qrange Grove PVSP – meet @ CCBC Parking Lot by the tennis courts

Beginner/Intermediate Riders: Someone who has sufficient fitness and basic MTB skills to safely enjoy the PVSP trail system on a mountain bike & should be able to stay with the group. Rides have stops to allow everyone to rest as needed and to regroup. All riders should have reliable equipment and carry the necessary, tools, equipment, water and nutritional needs to be self-sufficient.

Moderate Pace: This pace is for the average rider with a season or more of experience under their belt and the desire to push the pace a bit in order to gain fitness. Riders at this level are often starting to further refine their bike handling skills. While not a race pace, moderate rides are generally faster than casual rides and focuses on completing the route as quickly as the slowest rider is able.

Ride Description: Ride will require skill set to navigate short/steep climbs & descents, rock gardens, logs, etc. at YOUR PACE with breaks if/when needed. Ride is a no drop ride lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. (8 to 12 miles) Obstacles may require the rider to get their front wheel off the ground to clear successfully. Our beginners occasionally elect to dismount and walk over these features while our intermediate riders will ride over them. The goal is to keep the group together and encourage / assist riders as needed and focuses on improving skills and fitness. We leave the parking lot after the Intermediate/Advanced Groups.

Trail Conditions: We will not ride trails if they are wet. We may revise the route to a paved route in this case .

Ride Leader: John Hargreaves 410-744-0599 johnhargreaves65@gmail.com

Coupla pics of Pat before he tried to kiss that boulder.

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Here are a few images of Pat looking fast in the enduro – big thank you to Ian from ITMexposures.com for sending over the images!

Pat Looney’s race reports from the 2014 Massanutten HooHa!

20140608_141017Young gun Patrick Lonney, a mechanic at the Ellicott City Race Pace and former downhill racer, jumped onboard with Old Line Velo veterans Tony Vachino, Jon Posner, and Dan Atkins to hit up the Massanutten HooHa weekend, an enduro race on Saturday and XXC on Sunday. Here is his race report:

 

Oh boy, what a weekend.  For years the big guns around here have marveled over hoo-ha races.  Always called the most epic, and beautiful trails around with a healthy dose of racing jammed in there.  This year Jon asked me to tag along and man, was I right to accept.
After a full days work, we drove down and managed to snag the very last (defective and discounted) motel room in town at 12:30 am then promptly passed out.  Only to awake with the anticipation of getting to ride WOODSBIKES for two days in beautiful country.  However in this case, I’ll let it slide and call my trusty steed a mountain bike for this weekend.  There were definitely some mountains.
Massaunutten, on a perfect day before the crowd shows up is absolutely stunning.  Mountain ridges provide your back drop to the tasty berms at the finish of the course.  So beautiful it took a while to realize that I kind of have to get my shit together for the punishing next two days of trail I had never seen before, with nothing but vague descriptions to roll on.
Day one, ENDURO!!! Three stages plus a seeding run.  I made the cocky decision to bring my hardtail, a poor choice I have come to realize.  The first seeding run was amazing, a short and very fast line through the woods.  You know those stories of ribbons of trail placed perfectly through the woods?  This is where they come from.  Managed to snag a third in that just behind two locals.  I thought to myself, oh man, if the trails are like this, I’m gonna do ok!  Little did I know how many seemingly endless miles of rocks, roots and other tech lay ahead.  Right after the seeding run the officials were back on the mic, “everyone begin the climb to stage two!”  This was the big one.  25 minutes of sheer brutal pleasure.  I’ve never seen a race course that was such back woods trail.  Narrow, blind, dangerous, and so much fun.  Of course, me being the stupid idiot I can be, forgot this climb was no race and (instead of slowly climbing or walking the hour and a half grind like the others) found myself at the top before any officials or racers.  Confused, I decided I shall just sit and look around and make sure things are safe and secure up top.  So I did, and was shocked by how amazing the near by ridges looked on this perfect day we had been delt.  Shortly there after the OLV crew I had come with rolled over the ridge, then the rest of the field.  Due to my seeding run results, I would be starting all three stages third, surrounded by wicked quick locals who practically build the trails and my Race Pace/OLV rivals.  The two ahead left and disappeared, then I took off, damn near falling off the ridge due to a botched start and poor line choice.  The crowd roared “your chain is off broo!”  and I was on my way…the next 25 minutes are a hazy blur of every perfect trail condition you could want.  The most wonderful high speed rocks, to wildly fast swooping turns, to trail features that had you guessing if you were really even supposed to ride them.  This was the rest of the days theme. Always ending at our campsite for high fives and a scramble to the timing computer, I believe I ended up 16 or 17th behind my rivals but grinning from ear to ear.
Day two!  Holy shit what was I thinking.  Waking up after a solid night of buddies, beer, keg stands, and getting clipped in the head by an errantly thrown bike lock, we checked the map for the days XXC ride.  The XC wasn’t enough for us apparently, two X’s means good luck fool.  27 miles, how hard could it really be?  I was WRONG!  We took off and did a loop of the normal xc course, which in essence was climbing everything we had descended the day before plus all the other climbs.  It was spectacular.  Doing well at this point, riding somewhere in between 10th and 20th , then came the real race, the second half is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted on a bike, physically and technically.  Endless up hills followed by another uphill to really kill your stamina, then descents that had me begging for another climb to give my hands a rest, then repeat.  Epic defines the course.  I was on track to finish, I really do believe that.  But at about the 70% mark I took a stupid line and hit the dirt.  What am I talking about, I hit the rock.  Just one, right in the face, hard.  Really hard.  That was the end on my ride.  I scrambled off to the side, dripping blood in an impressive quantity.  Lucky enough to find a ” clean” rag in my pack to halt the bleeding.  The guy behind me came down shocked at what he was seeing, Steven I believe.  Who was then kind enough to hike me the hour down the trail, a woozy and vomiting mess, to the medics, then they hiked me the next thirty minutes to the vehicle that returned me to the bottom. My face is still swollen as I write this, but I can assure you, there’s  a smile underneath.  Cheers!  Great weekend.

Welcome to 2014!

Welcome to 2014 folks! We have a newly elected board and we’re all fired up to get thing rolling again for the 2014 season. We’ll be continuing our popular First Saturdays rides and picnics – look for those to start once Mother Nature seems done with her Winter wrath…hopefully by April. We will also be hosting some additional rides and clinics – keep an eye on this blog and our facebook page for upcoming events. A new structure to the racing team is emerging – if you are interested in racing your bike, just speak up and we’ll help you get on track. Of course we will be helping to promote and attend trail work days throughout the year.  And finally – we are excited to be deeply involved with a new event that will take place within Patapsco Valley State Park later in the Fall – the 1st annual Patapsco Epic.

Several committees have been formed – so if there is something that interests you or you think may be fun, please join a cause or shoot us an email with any questions you may have. All of this is possible because of YOU, the Old Line Velo members,  and your participation. Thank you and let us know how to make this club work the best it can for you!

To join or for more information on any of these,  please email oldlinevelo@gmail.com or John.E.Russell2@gmail.com with your interest.  A committee chair will respond to your request.

Fundraiser Committee- Ron Howard, Steve Roop
The Fundraiser Committee is responsible for organizing fundraising events, collecting in-kind donations, and maintaining relationships with team sponsors.

Ride Committee- Dan Atkins, Chad Miller
The Ride Committee plans and organizes group rides for the benefit of the club.  Continued plans from 2013 include Juniors rides and Saturday group rides.  New ideas for 2014 include away weekend rides in Michaux or another location tbd.

Bike Shop Liaison Committee- Nik O., Laura Murray
The Liaisons are responsible for maintaining warm relationships with our bike shop sponsor, Race Pace.  This committee is limited to Race Pace employees full or part time.

Race Team Committee- Jon Gdowik, Greg Capelle
The Race Team Committee is responsible for recruiting and maintaining relationships with those riders who are competing at the elite levels of mountain biking and helping newer racers get their bearings and learn all the secrets of speed.

Patapsco Epic Committee-Tony Vachino
The Patapsco Epic Committee is responsible for planning and executing all necessary functions for a large cycling event.  Responsibilities will include collecting in kind donations of food and beverages; organizing permits; staffing race day with volunteers; and other necessary tasks.

Social Media Committee- Jon Posner and John Russell
The Social Media Committee is responsible for maintaining our ride and event calendar, effectively using our email list to retain and involve members, and updating Facebook, Twitter, and whatever gets hip in 2014.

SM100 race recap from top ten womens finisher Tracy Posner

 
 Not known for her succinct race reports, Tracy takes you along for the race in this review of the 2013 SM100 race…..Image
Tracy and womens winner Sue Haywood immediately following Tracy’s finish
 
 
So this was it, the race I had been working toward all year and that had been on my mind for the last 5 years. I did the Shenandoah Mountain 100 race in 2008 for my first and only other time. I trained for it with Chris Eatough as my coach and I finished in under 12 hours, which I was thrilled about since my goal had been to finish without lights and I was well ahead of that. Shortly after doing the SM100 in 2008, I got pregnant with my son and then 18 months after Jonah was born I got pregnant with my daughter. So the deal was, after Avery turned 1 it was my year for a comeback. I would get priority and my goal was to race the SM100 again. So off I went….

Knowing Chris and what a great coach and disciplined racer he was I, of course, wanted to follow his plans again. I decided to do his 20 week winter training plan to get my base fitness back and then do his 12 week SM100 training plan to get ready for the race. I tried to follow the plans as closely as possible, but with a full time job, 2 kids and the regular crazy day to day life stuff, I can’t say I did it perfectly, but it was as close as I could manage. There were a lot of 430am wake ups with rides in the dark and super early weekend rides to get in the long ones, but still have family time and leaning on Jon a lot to handle the kids, so I could get my rides in.

So finally race weekend was here. I was excited and nervous, but not happy that the weather wasn’t looking good. Jon and I drove down and as we got closer to Stokesville starting hitting the rain. I was really bummed, because I had really wanted all things to be equal to compare how I had done in 2008 to this time. I was hoping the weather, the trails, everything would be similar so I could really see how much time I could shave off (hoping I’d shave something off, because I was 5 years and 2 babies later, so who knew?) Well even without the weather, all things weren’t going to be equal, because the course had changed again this year and with the new trail the course was actually 4 miles longer than it had been in 2008. So I decided to just stop worrying about it all and go ride my bike. When in the last 4 years had I had ALL day to ride my bike?

The wake up call was 5am, by 620am we were staged in our prospective finishing time areas. I chose to line up at 9hr finishing area hoping to get ahead of some of the crowd, because there was always a bunch up once you hit single track. At 630am off we went. The typical accordion back and forth with 600+ people getting going. The race starts on the road a bit and then you take a left and hit the fire road for about a 2 mile climb. Lots of people surging ahead and dropping back and back and forth. I tried to keep a good comfortable climbing pace and not go all out knowing I had 99 more miles to ride. As expected, the course took a left into the single track and this is where it stopped. A lot of very fit riders usually end up in the front and up the climb first and then when it gets technical, they get off their bikes to walk it and it starts the back up. The trail we turned onto was the new trail added to the race. I was afraid we were going to be walking the entire thing, but luckily there were some sections we were able to hop back on and ride, but what was disappointing were these beautiful flat rock table-top like piles that I was forced to walk and would have loved to ride. This trail was AWESOME and had a bit of everything, rocks, roots, TABLE-TOP swoopys (in the race!) and I don’t think I can put into words how crazy fun the descent was. Unfortunately on the descent there was a group of about 5 of us behind a slower descender and no matter how much we whooped and hollered he wouldn’t pull over and let us pass, so the descent could have been even better! 

Next was the 5 mile fire road to the Lynn Trail hike a bike. I got in a train of about 5 guys and we flew down the road. The Lynn Trail was a bit emptier then the last time I had done it, so I was able to ride a bit more of it, but its steep and with all the rain this summer and the day before the trails were a bit wet and the rocks and roots were slippery. After getting up to the top, I was ready for a descent and a break. However, this section was new to me and Wolf Ridge does descend but throws in a few climbs and some rocks to keep it interesting. This is where I first passed a girl I knew to be a really fast rider, and I was stoked to see her and get past her when she bobbled a rocky section. After the downhill, you hit the road again for quite a stretch and do a road climb to Aid Station 2 (Aid Station 1 is at the bottom of the first descent and is just water so most people just go by).

If you’ve never experience an SM100 Aid Station,  you should do the race just for that. You roll up, they ask you what you need, grab your bike, lube your chain, get your drop bag if you have it at that Aid Station, grab your camelback fill it up, hand you a bottle,etc. You end up standing there, wondering what it is you’re supposed to do as everything is being done for you. Its AMAZING and these are volunteers! Tons of food options, super nice people cheering you on, you end up leaving happy.

After Aid 2, you have a bit of a road climb then small down hill and take a left to climb the infamous Hanky Mountain. Its a long switchbacky kind of climb the first 2 miles, then you take a right at the intersection to continue climbing it. The grade is manageable and I was able to climb it in my middle ring, but after you take that right turn and climb for another few miles there are a couple of pitches at the top that are pretty brutal and you are either in your granny gear or walking some of it. The trails were pretty wet, but so far ok. Probably soft enough in spots to make it just that much more painful. After the Hanky climb is one of my favorite descents. Fun, fast, swoopy and yes, I yelled and hollered and screamed the entire way down with a huge smile on my face. I feel like I could have gone a bit faster, but I was keeping myself in check a bit with the wet roots and rocks, but my tires were feeling pretty grippy and you just can’t help yourself with a descent like that. And the one thing about the SM100, the descents make all the pain in the climbs worth it. 

After Dowell’s Draft is Aid 3, where I had a drop bag. Changed into dry gloves, refilled by camelback, grabbed a couple of gels and tried to get out of there as soon as I could. Here you hit the road with traffic for quite a bit. Tried to grab onto a group and draft a bit to save some energy, but still go fast. The girl that I had passed on Wolf Ridge caught up and passed me on the road, but I decided not to chase her down, because I knew what was coming. Off the road you take a right at the Mountain House and hike a bike across the stream and up some steep stone steps. This next climb is a tough one. Its tight bench cut single tack with some rocks and roots and with the trails being wet, made for plenty of slippery mess ups and having to put a foot out, plus its steep. After getting around a couple of people that were not comfortable with the rocky bits and wet roots, I was able to spin out the rest of the climb. This is where I caught up and passed the fast girl again, so I must be doing pretty good? Again, another fun, FAST downhill, and then the MUD. We hit the fields and it was peanut butter! There was a guy behind me and I started laughing and asked him, ‘are you seeing this?!’ as I fishtailed and swerved this way and that in all the mud, he responded his bike was doing the same thing. Made it to Aid 4 and they asked if they could lube my chain, I said ‘Sure, if you can find it’. Jon had put a mud flap on my bike which I was really enjoying at this point. Then I mentally prepared for the next ’18mile climb’.

The 18mi climb is just that, but the first part (11-12mi?) is not totally awful. Pretty manageable grade until you take that wonderful right hand turn and start going up, up, up. I remember being afraid of it the first time I did the SM100 and during it thinking the ‘false flat’ as the call it wasn’t so bad, but this time I kept thinking it didn’t seem as flat as I remembered it! The right hand turn and climb up was as hard as I remembered. Chatted with a few people on the way up. Some I passed, some passed me. One guy said we should be close to Aid 5 because it was supposed to be at mile 75. Our GPS hit 75 and no Aid station in site. This is the climb that I willed myself not to walk the 1st time I had done the SM100 and I was determined not to this time either. Legs were tired, but O-K. Can’t say I was flying up it, but I was still moving. At one point, you actually descend for about 45 seconds, my legs definitely needed that! Finally about 2-3miles later is glorious Aid 5, thank God! I have a drop bag, so grab another pair of dry gloves, doctor up my camel back with my drink mix and get ready for the meadows. The worst thing about the 18mi climb and when you get to Aid 5 is you think you’re done climbing for awhile. Nope.

Leave Aid 5, some super fun fast downhill for a little bit and then climbing again for about 3 miles. The meadows are flat in some spots so the peanut butter mud was back again. Slow going and annoying, but you just keep pedaling. Having done this race before and knowing I was going to hit this climb made it a little more mentally manageable. Amazing how long 3miles of climbing can feel when you are really ready for a downhill. I think this last major downhill is called Chestnut. There are a couple of steep technical spots toward the top with some rock and root drop offs and when I got there there were some guys walking it, I yelled ‘Rider’ and instead of them moving they stopped to look, so I took a bad line, hit a slanted wet rock and my wheels slide out and over I went. Pretty minor, just annoying, so I jumped back on and 10ft down the trail bumped into another guy walking a similar section and I started yelling in earnest as I was approaching and picked my line and took it. I might have scared him a bit, but I’m sure he recovered with minimal mental scars. Cleared that section and kept rolling…hooray for a downhill! Of course, your legs are so fried you end up trying to descend with one butt cheek on the seat, because your legs are burning and you just want a break! Needless to say its a little sketchy trying to do that going 30mi/hr. :) And then constantly checking your speed on these fast downhills your breaking fingers and forearms start going numb and so you start using 2 fingers and over breaking. Fun times! I just tried to get down without killing myself, knowing I had one more climb and then I was headed back to camp!!

After this you hit Aid 6. I roll in and Scott Scudmore tells me Im doing really well and thinks Im pretty far up there in the Women’s field. (Haven’t seen fast girl again yet) He then hands me some of his famous AMAZING salty fries. HELLO! French fries!? Um, yes thank you. I tell him we’ll see how fast I can get up Hanky the 2nd time and head out. The first time I did the SM100, my legs were so fried at this point I had to take a break a couple of times and walk a bit. This time I was determined not to walk. I knew it was only about 2miles to the intersection and then once you turned left there was a bit more climbing and then you were pretty much home free. As I’m headed up Hankey, my legs are pretty done and I quickly went from my middle ring down to my small ring. It starts raining pretty hard, but  this doesn’t bother me, because it hasn’t rained all day and that is not what the forecast had predicted so rain at the end is not problem. As I’m telling myself to pedal in circles and alternating standing and sitting to try and stretch my legs a bit, this 11year old, ok maybe he was 12, comes pedaling by and calls out ‘you’re doing a great job’ as he speeds by. This actually makes me laugh out loud. It was extremely impressive to see him go by and then head out of sight and know that a kid whose not even middle-school age yet, just rode 100 miles and looked like it was no problem.

So I made it to the intersection, took a left, gave a passing climber who asked how it ended a quick description of what was left and then finished off the climb, slowly. I remembered there were two hurtful kickers before you finally got to descend and I made 1 of the 2, but my legs just didn’t have the 2nd and I walked the last 1/2 of it. Then down, glorious down, with a couple of very low grade short flat false flat bits and then a screaming descent, a few turns, tents (hooray I’m so close!) and then into the grassy campground where there are a few humps to make it all the more exciting and the finish line! I had finished! And I had finished in 10:46. Holy Crap, I broke 11hrs! I made sure to hit the gong and looked around for Jon. Sue Haywood came up to say hi, all clean and dressed having finished over 2hrs before me (can you imagine?!) and then Jon comes up. Ha! I got in before he even expected me to. 
What an awesome race! Some of the OLV guys came and said they thought I might be top 10. Found out I came in 9th out of almost 60 women starters. WOW! I can’t even describe how amazed I was at my time and that I did so much better than I ever expected. Top 10 at the SM100, really!? It was really satisfying to know that all the effort, all the stupid-early training rides in the dark and long tired days were actually worth it. My bike was great all day, my tires were grippy, my legs were nice to me, I made friends all day long. The trails could have been dryer and if they had, maybe 10-15min even faster? :) During the race, I think around Aid 5 which isn’t a surprise, I remember thinking that all the training for the race was hard and the race itself was just really long and really hard and that this was probably going to be the last time I do the SM100, that its all just too hard. Then the day after, when Jon and I are driving home, I start cracking up and he asks me what I’m laughing about and I tell him I had just caught myself thinking how the next time I do the SM100, I would do this differently or that differently. So as you can see, no matter how hard it is, there is something about this race that just keeps you coming back. Maybe its the descents or the awesome aid stations or the great after party or the friends you see or the euphoria of having just ridden your bike on fantastic trails ALL DAY LONG, but whatever it is and how ever hard it was you always leave thinking, ‘The next time……’.

Picnic was a huge hit, great kickoff to “First Saturdays”

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported our first First Saturday group ride and cookout. 

The weather couldn’t have been better for such an occasion. Race Pace brought out a fleet of trail bikes for folks to try. We had around 60 people out, including 11 junior riders, and after breaking into several group rides, everyone was treated to some master grillwork and a range of treats courtesy of OLV sponsor Ron Howard & Associates. Topping the list of yummy food was the marinated chicken breasts, the giant grilled portabellos, the box of Krispy Kreme donuts (thanks to whoever brought those) and a good old fashioned pot of homemade baked beans from Todd Skopic. The rides were great but the cookout was the real treat, with conversations ranging to every topic, people enjoying the outdoors and each others’ company, kids running around…it was a blast!

We are hoping to start something of a Patapsco tradition for this ride, with First Saturdays becoming a regular meeting day for a large # of riders who then gather again post-ride for a cookout or get-together of some sort. If everyone who has a good time makes sure to bring one friend to the next one, this thing will be big in no time….

See you in October!

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