Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mixing it up ...

Say it with me now: Weihenstephaner Dunkel Starkbier Korbinian

Sitting here watching the Olympic recap and enjoying my favorite beer: Weihenstephaner Dunkel Starkbier Korbinian. Weihenstephaner is the oldest brewery in the world, so it's not surprising to say that they know how to make good beers. This particular beer is one I stumbled across a few years ago and it just knocked me on my ass - it's that good. Rich and smooth. I'll grant that it's not for everyone - if you aren't a big fan of doubles, you may not like it. And it's not exactly a "summer beer", but I don't care. I am a fan of doubles, and I'll drink this one anytime.

Anyway, as I sit here and enjoy my Weihenstephaner Dunkel Starkbier Korbinian, I'm thinking about this weekend - my first "off-season" weekend for 2012. And looking back, I think I did it right.

Friday night, I went to my regular yoga class. Over the past few months, that class transitioned from a "Restorative" class to a "Yin" yoga class, as the original instructor had to take a maternity leave and the new instructor changed the format slightly. Both classes were awesome, but I actually felt better with the Yin class. Yin yoga is about holding floor poses for a long time - 5-8 minutes usually - so it's pretty intense (especially when those poses include forward folds, my personal nemesis.) But after the class, I always feel really good. Now, as the original instructor has returned, it's become a hybrid of restorative, which is all about comfort and supported poses, and Yin. And it's one of the best parts of my week - a perfect mix of intensity and relaxation.

Then Saturday morning, I headed out to Wissahickon for a nice long non-training ride! I was planning to meet my sister to see the latest Bourne movie in the afternoon (we're both huge fans of the original trilogy and my niece was in NY for the weekend, so it was a great opportunity to get out and see it), which meant I had a limited time to ride, but that was fine by me. It was really hot, but I was still enjoying the ride. One problem, though:

Garmin 500 clamp
My Garmin Edge 500 broke. Not the way you'd think, though - I looked down one minute and it was there and then a minute later it was gone. I searched for it all over and eventually found it in some weeds on the side of the trail. What had happened, apparently, was that the small plastic section on the bottom that clamps it down to the stem mount had broken off on both sides. Very strange - the piece if so small and doesn't appear to be fragile. I think it's a casualty of going rigid - the shock of a year of rock gardens just eventually wore it out. I was able to use it for the rest of my ride by just letting it run from my back pocket, and I can probably use it that way for a while now, but it will have to be replaced for racing purposes. Who knows? Maybe this is the universe's way of telling me it's time to upgrade to the 800!

Anyway, that small setback notwithstanding, it was a great ride: about 20 miles, good pace, and I felt good enough to kick pretty hard a few times.

The movie was good - Aaron Cross is a very different character than Jason Bourne but the theme and style of the film overall were still close enough to do the series proud. And it's definitely looking to continue on from here.

After I got home from the movie, Joanna and I made a trip to Southampton:

They sell dreams here ...
Where else can you buy a pint and drink it while you browse for bottles? I love this store (this is, by the way, where I found the Weihenstephaner!) 

Enjoying some product while I shop for others

Even the goblet they serve you in is really cool here
I love this store. Did I say that already Hundreds of styles, and the staff is fantastic - they are quick to offer suggestions and answer questions. Everyone should have a store like this close by!

Sunday morning, I had a plan: the Olympic Men's XC race was on MSNBC and I was going to watch it all the way through. I was hoping for a good race. I follow the World Cup races all season and I've watched every one over on The pre-race favorite had to be Nino Schurter of Switzerland - he's been almost untouchable all season, but the best World Cup racer of all-time, Julien Absalon of France, skipped the last two WC's to get ready for the Olympics and on the test event last fall, so he couldn't be counted out. It was unlikely the two Americans would challenge for a medal, but both Wells and Schultz have been riding really well so I at least expected the best U.S. performances ever form them. My personal favorite is last year's WC overall champion - Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic. I've been a fan of his ever since he became the first ever to win a WC race on a 29er last year. But he'd had a really tough season so far - never seeming to be in quite the form he was a year ago, even dropping out of the most recent WC (Windham) for health reasons.  But the race didn't disappoint. Absalon got off to a bad start - not sure what happened, but he was stuck back in the 30's - and quit the race early. By the third lap (of seven) it was a five man race between Schurter, Kulhavy, Marco Fontana of Italy, Burry Stander of South Africa and Jose Antonio Hermida of Spain. By the end of the fifth lap, Stander and Hermida were dropped as the lead three had kicked the pace up enough to have the fastest lap of the day. And then poor Fontana suffered a mechanical when his seatpost broke off in the last lap. (It's amazing that he was still able to hang on for bronze at that point! Insane effort!) And in the end, it was pretty obvious it was going to finish with a sprint. And in the end - Kulhavy! He played chess all day - rode a brilliant race and then attacked just when Schurter looked to slow down just a bit on the last climb. It was an awesome and exciting race! One of the most exciting moments of the whole Olympics! 

After watching the race, I headed out for a road ride and rode the as-yet under-construction 202 bypass. It's fully paved all the way from Lansdale to Doylestown, so I rode the whole way to Doylestown on my very own highway for the day.

Now THAT is a low traffic road!

I laugh at The Man's warnings
Since today was a rare low-humidity day of late, I didn't mind being int he sun the whole ride. I ended up riding out to Buckingham and then heading back the same way for a total of about 40 miles. Great ride and a great time.

And that was my weekend! Not bad, huh? Nice mix - riding, movies, beer and a close out to the Olympics with an awesome MTB race!

I've got a few things I'm working on right now -- one I'm really excited about (more on that next week) and another that's more along the lines of general improvement. I've got a line on my next "project" and I'll be getting into that pretty soon, with a little help from a few others. Time to get moving again soon!

Oh -- and congrats to all the folks who got out there and DID race this weekend! Much respect to all of you! 


  1. Hey, I was wondering about riding on the 202 Bypass. No one hassled you for being on there? How were the intersection crossings? Just be careful, I guess?

  2. Josh - It was fine. The intersections are okay because you have good visibility (the cars may not see you coming, but you have time to slow down at all of them.) On the way form Lansdale to Doylestown, it's an easy ride - coming back isn't bad but I had a headwind yesterday. It's a fun ride.

  3. Excellent. I'll have to try it out before they open it up to the cars. :)


  4. Rode the bypass from 152 to Knapp Rd. It was pretty nice. There were some hills that were unexpectedly steep!