Posts Tagged ‘Road’

Cyclocross is a zany bunch, and East Coast vs West Coast vs Euro have many different views on things…

Tell me what you think:

what I actually do cyclocross

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Titus Cycles is having a contest where you submit a 30 second video link showing why you think you would be a good global brand ambassador. Here is my submission:

Check the criteria on the site if you want to read about what this contest was about:



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Jeff Dye and I, clearly and without a doubt were model examples of all things classic, brazen, and Rule 5. I’m sure we could have some room for improvement, but we’ll leave that for another day.

jeff dye

It was 6:44 PM. Jeff came to my door wanting to know if I wanted to go on a road ride with him. Not wanting to turn down a ride, I kitted up and was out the door in less than five (minutes). As soon as we were on the tarmac, we turned the ride into a hammerfest. Average speed was was about 3.2 kph faster than our typical ride, so immediately, we both knew this ride was business, not some lolligagging group ride. We were only wanting to be out for an hour, and we did 30km, with 610m of climbing. There was also one badass downhill where Jeff hit 80kmh.  He caught up to a Subaru Forrester, and I can only imagine what the driver was thinking about with us trailing it at those speeds.

The ride took us around the Sago Mine; you know, where the 2006 Sago Mine disaster happened? While the mine is sealed and flooded, there are still a lot of coal trucks on these back roads. We saw one of these coal trucks for a few miles until we decided to try and catch up to it. Imagine what you saw on the vintage, landmark American cycling film, Breaking Away. Yeah. The speed limit in that area was 35mph, and when we were tired of being hit in the face with dust from its backend, I decided to pass it instead of slow down. YES. We passed a coal truck. I said something about this being a brazen ride, no? We were so pumped about our pace time, that we hammered all the way until the last hill. The coal truck was several hundred meters behind us, so we took a water break, and let the truck accelerate up the hill, in order to gain momentum. We might be crazy, but we’re also courteous.

sago mine disaster sago mine tallmansville wv buckhannon upshur county cycling rule 5 velominati road bike coal truck

The last 8km of the ride was ridiculous as ever; we had raced cars, coal trucks, and each other, now we must race the sunset in order to get back home before dark.

Just in case you were wondering, Man 1 : Nature 0.

Sometimes just going out and hurting yourself is a wonderful thing. We rolled through the neighborhoods to get back to campus, and had the biggest grins on our faces, knowing that we had just learned things about ourselves that we may have not known before. For instance, I never knew that I could have a 199bpm heart rate. The typical standard for finding max heart rate is 220 minus your age. 196. I have rarely ever even reached that, let alone 199. This was 104% of my max heart rate. This just shows that we left it all out on the road.


My average heart rate was in Zone 5 the entire time, and numerically averages to 176bpm. This once again reinforces my belief that sometimes really stupid rides are great for you.

Have you ever gone out with your friends and tested each other the entire ride? Added a little bit of fun and competition to the mix, instead of the boring as plain grits no-drop group ride? They’re pretty memorable, no?

I suggest before it gets any cooler out, go on a ride with a friend or two, and just try to rip each other’s legs off. You won’t regret it at all.

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While Route 33 itself is not a road that is the best for cycling, it is like a vein home for so many road and mountain rides as a way to get home.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Rt33 as it pertains to WV:

US 33 extends 248 miles (399 km) in West Virginia from the Ohio River to the Virginia state line. Shortly after entering West Virginia, US 33 intersects with I-77.

After passing through the town of Ripley, WV, US 33 joins US 119 at Spencer, WV. The road then passes through rural areas of Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, and Lewis counties.

US 33 Intersects Interstate 79 at Weston, WV. US 33 from Interstate 79 east is 4 lane, built to Appalachian Development Highway System and is part of Corridor H. The 4 lane continues on through rural areas of Upshur, Barbour, and Randolph counties.

At Harding, WV, US 250 joins US 33 for several miles. At Elkins, WV US 33 joins SR 55, and returns to a 2 lane road, except for a seven mile (11 km) section of 4 lane across Kelly Mountain between Canfield, WV and Bowden, WV. US 33 joins SR 28 at Seneca Rocks, WV, and continues through rural areas of Pendleton County, WV.

US 220 joins US 33 for a brief time through the town of Franklin, WV. The road continues on into the mountains where it crosses the state line into Rockingham County, VA.

Off the top of my head, I can think of five to ten routes that end up taking me home via this freeway with signs all over the place showing that it is a registered and dedicated bicycle path. Some may say that it is dangerous, but a two lane road with a six-foot (or wider) shoulder to ride on keeps me feeling pretty secure. The stretch of road that I am usually on is about 41 miles long, or 1/6th of its entire WV length. This span is from Weston to Elkins and goes right by my home of Buckhannon. Every once in a while I use it to test new bikes, or TT equipment for reviewing, or to climb the nasty Buckhannon Mountain.


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After living in West Virginia for five years after residing in Virginia Beach and other larger metro areas, I have slowly started appreciating what is all around me this whole time.

For a cyclist, West Virginia is paradise. This state is not completely full of toothless hicks that bootleg alcohol like a certain ham shammy commercials would like you to believe. There are genuine people who really appreciate this beautiful, engaging land and make sure it’s majesty is preserved for future generations.

The abundance of state and national parks make it an easy ride to get to one, even just on bicycle. I don’t think BikeSnobNYC would be as grumpy, grizzled, or sarcastic if he didn’t have to encounter so many hipsters and was able to freely ride around all over the place.

The West Virginia Department of Highways claims to be in charge of 34,000 miles of road in this state. With an operating budget of $400,000,000 (Four-Hundred Million Dollars) in 2009, this means they spend an average of $2.22 per foot-length of road in the state. That is a fair amount, I think.

Look at that smooth blacktop ❤

While cycling data and reviews of the road quality were not as empirically defined as I like, Motorcycleroads.com had a very clear and well defined system for reviewing their road-trip areas. Take a look at their site, and you can see (I averaged all of the reviews together) that they review West Virginia’s road systems by three points of interest. (more…)

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