I guess you could call it that. The last couple weeks have been pretty good to me. Took a week off of work two weeks ago and we had plans to head to the beach. The boy was running a high fever Friday, we delay our departure, so, I got a ride in Saturday morning. Then Darius and Michelle had a pool party in Frederick for their boy Thomas. Took the wee ones up, enjoyed an afternoon of juice bags and pizza, then topped it off with some hoppy goodness at the Mark residence. Sweeet! A tractor trailer falling off the bay bridge delayed our departure another day, so, the family spent the day at some local parks. Always fun.
An early morning departure got us over the bridge and to the beach Monday morning. Had to spend the day wrenching on my Mom's boat, seems my brother would rather beat the starter with a hammer than actually fix the damn thing. Did I mention the bilge pump was broken and the boat was half full of water?? No, well it was. Pumped out the water by hand and left the bilge for another day. Tuesday we loaded up the wee ones and hit the beach in the morning. The kids made a couple new friends and it was a great day in the sand. Packed up, headed back to Grandma's and get the boat ready for a little afternoon action. I take the offspring and meet Phil, my brother and 5 more kids at Macky's. Head over to St. Martins Neck creek for some great tubing and wakeboard action. I also learn that my boy is a budding photographer.....as long as he has a $7K digital SLR in his hands. Thanks Phil, you're a brave man putting that rig in the hands of a 5 year old......on a boat. Everyone has a great time and we head back around sunset, absolutely perfect day and the best time to be on the water.
We leave the beach on Wednesday and unfortunately we don't make it back for the Wednesday ride. I get a call from Frank about 9 and he tells me Darius and Tony cater the post ride festivities with beer and burritos. Damn....that would've been nice. I hit the Thursday at Schaeffer ride instead and we end the ride at DogFish for some good eats and drinks. Friday morning Phil and I hit the shed and get in a fantastic ride on the north side. End that ride with a couple Smutty Nose Imperial Porters before heading home. After dropping off Phil I decide to grab my power boat and try, one more time, to fix the ignition problem that has tormented me for the last two years. Apparently I crossed two wires when I installed the new coils last year and within minutes of figuring that out the engine was purring like a kitten. Freaking excellent!! I run the outboard in the test tank for a while to burn up all the crud that I'm sure built up in the cylinders. After a few minutes she is running smooth and burning clean. Now, it's time to re-register and throw a stereo in this sucker.
Sunday I did a long "training ride" with Liz and Becky through the trails and roads along the Catoctin Ridge. No one had a working computer so I'm not sure of mileage, but, we were pretty tired and it was a long ride, 40 miles maybe. My only training ride for the SM100 and it's happening in two weeks. Apparently I'm supposed to taper now, so, with that in mind the band decides we should do the southern shed trails and the big climb out of the valley for the Wednesday ride. Ah, what brutal leg burning fun. Jason had to bail early 'cause he just wasn't feeling well. Tim ran into a tree, broke his front brake lever and had to bail as well. The rest of our merry band blasted down into the valley and the climb back out towards Gambrill. We decide to find every big climb there was and roll along the extended yellow, up to the cell tower and back towards Hamburg and the cars. A great night of riding was topped off with pizza and beers at the Brew Pub.
I should probably break this post up into several individual posts, but, what the hell. If you're still reading I'm quite impressed.
This past weekend was more of the same goodness. I took the kids out on the newly tuned and registered boat. The old girl was running great and I installed a thumping stereo last week. The speedo tops out at 35 and I had her pegged there a couple times as the kids were grinning ear to ear. We launched just north of Reagan National on the Potomac, cruised down to Old Town and then back up to Georgetown. Parked the boat near the shore and in some shade where we enjoyed PB&J's and grapes. Daddy was having a nice Dales Pale ale which hit the spot on a beautiful summer day. Swim vests and "floaties" in place we all hop in the water where the kids impressed me with their swimming. Another great day on the water.
Sunday, Disco D takes a group of us on a tour of some incredible trails in Michaux. I don't know the names or location of half the stuff we rode, so, you might want to check out his report here. Needless to say it was 22 of the hardest/best miles I've done in a long time. That place is simply amazing. Secret, Heaven and Hell, Turtle, Connector, North Connector, North Secret Connector....dang, that was freaking awesome. We top off the day with some incredible roadside BBQ.
You gotta love tapering!