Matt Donahue

Thursday, March 17, 2005

First week of training

Whew. I'm nearly through my first week of official training. Tonight is the big work out- big intervals, at race pace. Happy St. Paddy's day! I suppose I'll need to quaff a few pints of Guiness after tonight's session.

In the spirit of St. Paddy's day, I offer a look at the sweet lass who is Miss Ireland.

Last night, during training, and after, I watched "The Day After Tomorrow". It's a fun movie about accelerated dramatic climate change, the coming of an ice age in under 8 days-squashed into two hours of uber dramatic CG weather scenes. The film has some over the top "I told you so" science and a funny and not so subtle charicature of Dick Cheney and George Bush, as imagined by someone who believes Dick makes the wheels turn in our administration. I wonder what would give anyone that impression? Politics asside, it has some incredible situations where New York is flooded, then frozen solid in two days. That coupled with wolf attacks and a father's quest to save his son and himself... it makes for fun couple of hours.

Dozer joined me for a few pints of Bavarian lager and watched along with me. The lager is decent, a good step back into the beer brewing groove, after having been out of it for a while. There is an American Steam beer in the fermenter, ready for a transfer, and a few other kits on the way.

Friday, March 11, 2005


So it's been a week of biking decisions... after two great rides last weekend one out at Greenbriar with Joe and a 4+ hour road ride on Sunday, I came out of my winter stupor to realize that I'm out of shape and that make this a strong season I've got some work to do.

The first decision was to see about joining the City Bikes Mountain Bike Team. Joe filled me in on the idea during the car ride out to Greenbriar. It had been something I was contemplating for a while and Joe helped fill me in on the details. I attended the first meeting of the season and it sounds like a cool group. My main motivation for joining is to be part of a bigger group at the races I already attend. Although the sport is fairly individual, its nice to have a group to identify yourself with, get support from and give support to in kind. Furthermore the shop does support a lot of events in DC such as bike rodeos, bike to work day and Bike DC among others. It will be nice to give a little back to the biking community.

Next I got on the ball with JB becoming my coach. I'm pretty psyched about it because he'll really motivate me to get off my ass and stick to a training schedule. Plus we're good friends and he knows my riding style and ability so that all should help make it a good experience.

Finally, I'm trying to get some teams together for some endurance races. AV is deffinitely in for 12 hours of Lodi Farm, May 14-15. But it would be cool to have a third person for that race, anyone? Also, the 24 Hours of Big Bear is coming up, June 18-19. So far I've put the offer out there to quite a few folks, but have yet to get commitments.

This weekend is looking reasonable for some riding, trails Sat. and then a group ride starting at 9 AM from Pierce Mill on Sunday, feel free to join if interested! It is a laid back ride with plenty of stops.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wed. night ride

Finally got on the bike this week. I was able to turn out a 40 min session on the trainer while watching stage 16 Part II of the 2004 TDF. Watching the Tour while pedaling is pretty neat. The frequent use of the motorcycle camera angle creats the feeling that i'm riding along with the racers. Yes, I'm in my basement and watching a tv, but it helps. I suppose anything that makes trainer riding a bit more tolerable is good.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Flogging Molly

Katie and I saw a great show last night- we stopped at Polly's on U Street for burgers and beer before hand - cozy place but their beer selection was decimated, they were out of everything accept Sierra and Anchor Steam, it could be worse. After eating we headed over to the 9:30 Club to see Flogging Molly. The Riverboat Gamblers, followed by Hot Water Music opened the show. I wasn't too impressed with the Gamblers, not my type I guess, but Hot Water Music were great; they sounded like a Face to Face/Bad Religion combo with some Dicky Barrett-ish vocal style. I'll be searching for some material from them. FM came on at 10 pm- and rocked. This was our third time seeing them and it was the best show yet. Despite having laryngitis, Dave King was energetic and on target- swilling a mug of Jameson probably helped him? Katie and I were totally cracking up about this strange foursome group in front of us- it seemed like two couples but the women kept switching places? - sharing the guys, it was weird to have that sort of PDA going on. Several folks around us were aware as well- each to his or her own I suppose.

Again, another day of no riding. I've decided I'd like to convert my surly Karate Monkey into trails mode. This will consist of dropping the big ring down to a 32 and getting some fat 29" tires to replace the cyclocross skins that are on there now. I'm looking forward to getting this bike on the trails- the few times I've ridden it off road in its current set up it has been a blast.