Last modified: 11/30/15 10:17:47 PM
"Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners." (Timba Dockery)
I've defected to St Thomas. It's a long story, and I can tell you more if you'd like. Short version: I find it a truer expression of the faith. Another short version: my Irish and Quebecois ancestors are probably angry at me joining the church of the bastard British conquerors.
(But I still have fond memories of Aquinas House, where my older dog spent her puppy years)
daily Mass readings
Some recent events I've done:
- 2015 Circumburke (some 25 mountain-biking miles with crazy climbing on muddy trails)
- Solo bike ride, Hanover NH to the Blue Line Brewery in Saranac Lake NY, over Rochester and Middlebury gaps. (160 miles or so)
- winter ascent (and descent) of Ascutney, on tele skis, with Gretchen and Dia
- Bolton to Trapps (unorganized backcountry skiing)
- Bolton to the Barns (semi-organized backcountry skiing event)
- The Vermont 200
(aka the "200 on 100"), 2012. 210 miles mostly on Route 100 in Vermont; starting at the Canadian border early in the morning, and finishing on the Mass border later in the day.
- The Champlain 300K, 2009. 188 miles cycling around Lake Champlain,
- The Chet Warman Memorial, 2009 (8 days earlier than the 300k). 153 miles and six gaps in the Green Mountains. (some photos)
- The Canadian Ski Marathon, 2007. "Coureur des Bois," Bronze.
- The Canadian Ski Marathon, 2006. (7 legs)
- Solo bike ride, Hanover NH to Bartlett Carry, NY. 170 miles (one day); averaged 17.5mph. (7-mile, 1000ft climb at mile 123; 4.5 miles/1200ft at 135.). Summer 2006.
- Solo bike ride, Hanover NH to Saranac Lake, NY. 155 miles (one day). Rain and headwinds on the Adirondack climbs. Summer 2005.
- The Iron Cross, billed as America's longest and toughest cyclocross race.
- Great Glen to Bretton
a 50K classical XC-ski event that started on one side of Mount
Washington and ended on the other. Feb 2004; again in 2005.
- The Vermont 50 on mountain bike. (I've done it on foot
three times, but I thought I'd try a bike for a change. It was the
wrong year to do that---the weather, rain and mud, was the worst
in the history of the event. I ended up running anyway, in stiff-soled
cycling shoes, pushing a bike. :) Fall 2003.
And again in 2004---some of us never learn.
- The Damn Wakely Dam Ultra,
a 33-mile point-to-point trail run in the Adirondacks.
(What makes this particularly interesting is that the race
has no aid stations and no possibility of dropping out:
it's 33 miles through a wilderness area, with no road crossings.)
July 19, 2003.
And again in 2004.
- The Boulder Dash,
a two-day national-level "A-meet" (orienteering) in the area.
August 9-10, 2003.
- The Vermont 100: 2001 and again in 2002. The second time, I went
under 24 hours, finally!
Older race tales
Places I've run. Places I've biked.
(I like Lemonds because they fit my body: short legs, long torso, long arms.)
- Lemond Victoire Ti frame, bought semi-used and built up mainly with Ultegra. (The "good road bike")
- a Van Dessel "Country Road Bob,"
which I built up as a fixie for winter and sloppy-weather riding.
- Aegis Shaman cyclocross (used), with a triple---for long rides in the Green Mountains with crazy steep climbs and dirt
- Stumpie FSR 29er with various mods (mountain bike)
- Framed Minnesota 2.0 (fat bike, for winter trails)
Not in the currently active stable:
- Lemond MJ Classic. In Spring 2011, the frame snapped near the end of Chieftain Hill. Fortunately, this was while going up not going down---so I didn't go down.
- Lemond Poprad: cyclocross (on permanent loan)
- Lemond Zurich (frame) with various items, retro-fit with
S&S couplings, as a travel bike. (It fits into a case just small
enough to check as luggage without paying an extra fee.
I've now spent several years commuting by bike.
When the roads are clear, I generally come in on one of the good bikes,
then go for a 20-70 mile training ride on the way home.
(The direct route from home is
about 2 miles each way, with a 10% hill.)
In the winter, on days I can't get XC-skiing, I come in on the fixie and
try to get a 20-miler in during the day or on the way home.
As part of a program to discourage
automobiles on campus,
Dartmouth used to pay me $360 a year not to drive.
- Keeping my face warm on the 10% downhill on -10F degrees is a challenge.
I ended up with a neoprene facemask, but it tends to slip down, leaving
the airholes in the vicinity of my chin. I'm warm, but I can't breathe.
My recreational interests center on doing things the hard way,
and on being miles from nowhere.
In the last 15 years, these interests have taken the form
of trail running, orienteering, and homebrewing.
Along the way, I did a bit of bike racing (road); in summer 2003,
I purchased a used mountain bike and am starting to explore the
backcountry that way as well. (Vermont has some nicely documented
MTB trails; see my maps page.)
(Warning: never purchase a used mountain bike, unless you can verify
the previous owner was a little old lady who only road it once a week,
and didn't ride over boulders on that day. I've been learning more
than I planned about MTB maintenance :)
Trails. Mountains. Mud. Rocks. Predators. These are all
Los Alamos was a great place to live if you love running in the backcountry:
the town is at elevation 7500 feet, but 11000 feet is
just a few miles away, and nothing in between but National Forest.
Nearby Bandelier National Monument had some officially developed and
fenced-off pre-Columbian Anasazi ruins, but we in the backcountry
community knew of much more interesting sites, sufficiently remote to
keep them unvandalized. (One of these days, I'll digitize some
photos and link them from here.)
Our arrival in suburban New York was extreme culture shock.
All my co-workers at Watson said ``don't live NORTH'' and ``don't
live on the other side of the Hudson River.'' So we ended up
looking NORTH, on the OTHER SIDE, and it's wonderful...
It's a well-kept secret that there is an extensive amount
undeveloped backcountry (open to the public on foot, except for
almost within eyesight of the Manhattan skyline.
The ``mountains'' here in the Hudson
Highlands top out at only 1600 feet above sea level,
but the river is just about sea level, so you can get in a lot
of climbing very quickly. There's also abandoned Revolution-era
iron mines and other history lurking in the woods.
or even Schunemunk.
(There are stories and photos here, too. One of these days,
I'll link those in as well.)
It's only stretching the truth a little bit to say:
one of the reasons I moved from IBM to Dartmouth was because I was tired of "work interfering with my
lifestyle" (to paraphrase Kris Kern).
When I arrived in New York, I hooked up with the local
off-road running community via the Ridgefield Hash House Harriers
(no link, sorry---they have a private Web site on the Schlumberger
intranet). And these folks quickly introduced me to
You get a map (1:10000 or 1:15000) with a sequence of marked
locations, and you need to go run through the woods and
find the flags at those locations.
At the more interesting levels of the sport, you need
to be precise when you look for the flag:
if it says ``North side of the 1-meter boulder,'' you won't
see it if you're on the north-east side---or if you're at the wrong
(Folks who were once scouts may be familiar with
a watered-down version of this.)
Compass and pace-counting play small roles---much more
important is how to read the map, how to relate
it your surroundings, how to pick good routes,
how to navigate accurately along this route, and how to
do this quickly.
It's a blast: the next logical step in trailrunning, where
you keep running, but eliminate the trail!
Here's another link with some great resources.