Hey folks. I’m pretty much off line today.   Not feeling great, won’t be getting much responses out ”“ but wanted to get our email for the week rolling.    

In this email:  

  1. High level overview of the activities for this week in Team Z
  2. Arlington Weekly Activities Details and Directions
  3. Maryland Weekly Activities Details and Directions
  4. West Weekly Activities Details and Directions
  5. Weekend Look Ahead

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  1. High level overview of the activities for this week in Team Z

Here is our run down for this week, in general, at “the high level”.   We are moving ever yet closer into our “normal” summer rotation!   Look ”“ MORE HAPPY HOUR CHANCES! Oh, and training too!

  • Monday there is a lunch swim in DC
  • There is a Monday Social Run in Arlington and Reston
  • Arlington has a post social grub at The Green Turtle
  • Swims are on as normal on Tuesday
  • Your Tuesday Rides are on your own ”“ one more week.
  • Wed there is a morning and lunch time swim
  • Wed there is a recovery run at Rock Bottom Brewery in Bethesda
  • Wed there is a Post Recovery Run Happy Hour at Rock Bottom Brewery in Bethesda.
  • Wed there is a recovery run at the Vienna Caboose Brewery, Vienna Va
  • Wed there is a Post Recovery Run Happy Hour at Vienna Caboose Brewery, Vienna Va
  • Swims as normal on Thursday
  • Thursday there is a PM Group Social Ride at the Sears in Falls Church
  • Thursday there is post Sears Group Social Ride Happy Hour at Dog Fish Head Brewery and Ale House (Falls Church)
  • Yoga on Friday as planned.

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  1. Arlington Weekly Activities Details and Directions

*For the best presentation of this information/data – please set your preferences in your dashboard.   Go to Calendar Events and then elect Arlington Location Events. Select Arlington Social Events.   Then Save.   Then simply go to members.triteamz.com and your home page will present the details for all workouts in the Arlington/Alexandria area.

Or you can go to”¦.

Hard Copy of M-F events are posted on the website at members.triteamz.com.   Then click on files, then on workout location events.

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  1. ZMDC Weekly Activities Details and Directions

*For the best presentation of this information/data – please set your preferences in your dashboard.   Go to Calendar Events and then Select ZMDC Location Events. Select ZMDC Social Events.   Then Save.   Then simply go to members.triteamz.com and your home page will present the details for all workouts in the Arlington/Alexandria area.

Or you can go to”¦.

Hard Copy of M-F events are posted on the website at members.triteamz.com.   Then click on files, then on workout location events.

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  1. West Weekly Activities Details and Directions

*For the best presentation of this information/data – please set your preferences in your dashboard. Go to Calendar Events and then Select West Location Events. Select West Social Events.   Then Save.   Then simply go to members.triteamz.com and your home page will present the details for all workouts in the Arlington/Alexandria area.

Or you can go to”¦.

Hard Copy of M-F events are posted on the website at members.triteamz.com.   Then click on files, then on workout location events.

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  1. Weekend Look Ahead

Poll:   Please Vote Early!   Or:   https://members.triteamz.com/polls/

  1. Satruday Group Run at Pierce Mill, Rock Creek Park ”“ weather depending but 7:30 or 8:00 likely
  2. Sunday Group Ride at Monocacy Middle School, Frederick 8:00 AM.   10-70 mile options ”“ this ride is called “up and over” and is fairly new to us.   Some flats, some climbs some of this and some of that.   All are welcome even though it is a long drive ”“ it is very pretty there and worth the effort!

Here are some ride notes provided by Mark   Mullen should you care to read them.

Monocacy “Up and Over” Ride Notes

Distances: 70, 61, 52, 28, 15.   The first three distances also have the option to climb Harp Hill which shortens the overall distance for each by about 1.5 miles; these distances are designated with H on a tab for the cue sheet, e.g. 68H.

Rest Stop: For all distances above 50 there is one rest stop, the Sheetz in Thurmont, approx. mile 35-37 depending on route.   There are no other sources of water that we have been able to find.   Everyone tackling the longer routes should carry at least two bottles; consider carrying three if you are a steady climber.

Overview: This route introduces an area we haven’t ridden as a team before, the beautiful ridges and valleys surrounding Catoctin mountain.   In addition to many stunning views you will be treated to babbling brooks running alongside the road, picturesque cemeteries and churches, and an “interesting” variety of yard art.   The second half of the ride picks up familiar roads many of you will have ridden before, east and south of Thurmont as we make our way back to Frederick.   The shorter routes are also effectively new, because they take a couple of our traditional routes and reverse them.

Training Focus: Even if you are an experienced rider it can be easy to drop into a mentality where every ride is just about the miles.   Yes, getting the mileage in is important.   But it is also useful for every ride to pick one or two little things that you want to work on for the whole of the ride.   You might decide that you want to keep your average cadence at a certain level, for example, or use every turn to work on your cornering skills.   This ride has been designed with three training goals in mind:

  1. Patient Climbing: There is a lot of climbing in this ride but unless you take the Harp Hill option (see below) most of it is at relatively gentle grades.   There is an initial pitch up Rte 40 that is at roughly Skyline grades but that only lasts 2-3 miles.   The climb up Catoctin itself is almost 10 miles long, but the grade is gentle.   Set an easy pace, one you can maintain for a long while, and enjoy the view around you.
  2. Confident Descending: This ride offers one of the most fun descents in the region; moreover it gives you two different kinds of descending.   The first part of the descent down Foxville Deerfield gives you a chance to practice relaxing, backing off your brakes and just letting the bike run.   You will pick up some serious speed, but the road is long and straight with good sight lines.   The second part of the descent, down Sabillaville, is more gentle, which means you can shift into the big ring and practice some easy downhill tempo riding.   There is almost ten miles of descending into Thurmont and you will be at the Rest Stop before you know it.
  3. Careful Pacing: The climbing is massively front-loaded on most of the routes; depending on your distance, Thurmont arrives at between the 2/3 to halfway point.   This means that if you haven’t practiced patient climbing, and have instead over-cooked things in the first half of the ride, you will be in for a long ride home!

Challenge Yourself!   For the 70, 61, and 52 routes I’ve also included an option to climb Harp Hill.   This cuts out the first Wolfsville Rd section and is about 1.5 miles shorter overall.   Harp Hill, however, is a “bragging rights” climb; it is genuinely tough.   The designated climb itself is a little less than a mile long, but its average grade is around 11% which makes it similar to the grade on the final Mountains of Misery climb (so MoM folks, you should be doing this option).   But it gets steeper in the last couple of hundred yards, up to about 13%.   The views on either side of the climb are stunning, but you will be too busy suffering like a bastard to notice.   My advice is to start climbing this as slowly as possible, slower than you think you can; there are a few minute changes in gradient where you can catch your breath and recover marginally but you need to leave a lot in reserve for the top.   If you need to stop and catch your breath, do so.

Safety Notes:

  • Rte 40 is a busy highway but it has a generous shoulder, wide enough for two bikes.   I wouldn’t, however, recommend riding two abreast, since I am betting that there will be a lot of seasonal debris on the shoulder.   Maryland also seems to use diamond dust to grit its roads over the winter; I would suggest that as soon as you make the turn off 40 and onto Hollow road that you make a quick stop and check your tires and wipe off the grit.
  • Harmony Road has a surprisingly testing climb on it, even though it is short.   The downhill on the other side is glorious but stay alert; it ends abruptly at a steep intersection with a stop sign (mile 17 on all three long ride cue sheets).
  • Sabillaville Road: Depending on what is happening in the region and the time of day, there can be a moderate amount of traffic on this road.   You will be traveling fast, and there are plenty of straights where cars can pass comfortably, but stay single file and over to the right.
  • The 52 route passes through Thurmont; there will be traffic but the place is hardly a sprawling megalopolis.   Keep your wits about you and don’t be a dick by riding in the middle of the road, etc.
  • The stretch of Blacks Mill Road used on the 52 route is subject to flooding so there may be some broken pavement there; stay alert.

Above all, enjoy!   This is some very beautiful country and even when the weather is less than ideal there are still wonderful views to be had all along this route.