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Hi Gil and Phil.... I'm doin this one (BRSC) on July 10th and since I'm gonna do Foxey Coxey on this Sunday I'm afraid, very afraid, and feel that I need to rest up on Saturday to prepare for the shame of having to get off and walk up that Fox (not!).  I have the ultimate triple weapon to attempt this summit for a regular AutoBus rider (aka Clydesdale), 1) a Kuota Khan w/Eurus climbing wheels, 2) compact 50/34 crank and 3) (secret sauce is) IRD 11-28 special cassette.  I can climb trees and scale walls with this rig!

Ed Hopkins wrote:

colnagotifosi wrote:

I would suggest that every cue sheet in the library should be posted in PDF format. 

I suggest that NO file in the cue library be in PDF format. This format is tremendously difficult to edit.  The only permissible formats should be .doc and .xls.  We want every file in the cue library to be EASY to edit. 
This is a good discussion to have.  I look forward to others weighing in..

My seventy-seven cents:
While I agree with your premise, in a Microsoft run world, it just doesn't work.  I've been using Word since 2.0 (still have a copy with floppies :-) and then there was 6.0 which you couldn't open with 2.0.  Then there was 7.0, same, couldn’t open older versions.  Recently, the whole Vista nightmare has been superseded by the current Win 7 nightmare now a few minutes later (actually a year) is moving toward Windows 10 this month.  Now they have this “compatibility mode” in Excel which is constantly telling you that you are about to lose functions when you save, unless you save in something else, and you aren’t sure what to save in or what they are saying.  No cue sheet should be in Word, a table isn’t a spreadsheet so it isn’t appropriate to a cue sheet application but I used it for my example of MS changing the format and keeping even one generation older from reading new ones.
I hate Microsoft.  They suck on eggs.  They embody the evil corporatists that are out to destroy society as we know it.  I just sold them something (corporate to corporate sales) and they are about as messed up as Verizon to deal with as a customer, which is just awful and incompetent.  OK, that rant started….
I see two options.  One is to always use Excel which is how I always create cues.  I use Craig Martin’s form from a couple of years ago which has the “adder” column to the right and left so all you do is plug in the distance from the last turn and it auto calculates the distance.  You still have to be competent in Excel to add space, to make it longer or shorter, to change the formula when going from the left half to the right half, etc.  Some people will not have this capability.  If we were going to require Excel, then everyone should “down save” to the oldest version they have available in their dropdown list.  You are still assuming that everyone that has a computer has access to Excel or has to go get very, very large programs downloaded.
I’m currently using Excel 2007 at work here and as I see it I can “save as”:  Excel Workbook (which is “7”), or could drop back to Excel 2003-2007 (I think this is the “compatibility mode”), then Excel 5.0/95 is the old one (like 15-25 years old now).  There are actually 26 different “things” listed in the drop down (csv files, tab delineated, etc).  The odds of everyone remembering to “down-save” are slim.  Even at that, those without ANY MS Excel or Sam’s favorite Open Office (which is free, is compatible, is a good solution for those who want to avoid the monopoly of MS.  If you have Java on your computer, you are offered Open Office every time you enable an auto upgrade) will not be able to open it.
The second option is probably the better one.  I would bet that there is an app that can be put on the website which would either “be” or emulate the needed table/spreadsheet to create and publish a cue sheet.  Then, all cue sheets would either have to be imported or entered into this “form” which would likely be some kind of tab delineated file with some calculators involved to tabulate and build the cue sheet automatically.  I’m not a webmaster so I have no idea how hard this programming would be but it is really the only way to both have your cake (to be able to let anyone edit/improve existing sheets) and eat it too (to let everyone be able to print them out).
So, I’m back to posting all cues in PDF for automatic and instant ability for anyone to print without anyone needing to remember anything and then trying to keep a master copy from each person of the original cue sheet, preferably in Excel, in a digital library so anyone could request it for editing.  Then it could be re-posted in PDF.

I would suggest that every cue sheet in the library should be posted in PDF format.  I ALWAYS convert mine to PDF before I post them.  I downloaded PDF995 which is a free application that allows you to "print" to a PDF file.  Anyone and everyone should be able to open a PDF file no matter how old their computer and the PDF reader software (as noted), is also free.

It would be a good idea for someone in the club to keep the original format version on the server somewhere whenever possible and then if someone needs to modify a route, they could email the webmaster or a posted librarian (like before) to get a copy of the file.  One could also request the original from the poster.

Perhaps we computer geeks could all volunteer to save the existing files posted that are not in PDF and to download a few each and save them as PDF's so this problem doesn't happen.  Of course, the problem with this is that the original poster is then lost since we would be “re-posting” them in PDF format.

One thing to consider is the age and speed and capabilities of your computer.  Up until recently, I was keeping all my cycling stuff (basic files and internet surfing) on an old (vintage 2000) desktop computer.  In the last couple of years, it has become pretty dysfunctional due to Microsoft's "planned obsolescence" program.  Eventually, our old RAM becomes too little, our space to limited, our software too old and our computers grind to a halt.  Then you download and install something really great like Open Office which is a huge program unto itself and it desires the latest drivers, software and RAM.

Give it a try, it is a wonderful program, but if the computer is old and slow, it might not be reasonable to use.  You can always uninstall it and defragment your hard drive if not.  Check your HDD space before you go for it.  SL

Jun-11-10 01:45 am
Actual real pavement (yaaaa) from 6/28 to 7/30, watch for delays.
Forum: Road Problems

(SL: I'll try to edit this into a brief, consolodated bit to alert cyclists in Howard County what is going on):

The County is paving the entire Homewood/Folly Quarter Traffic Circle to the Ten Oaks Triadelphia Traffic Circle corridor – with the notable exception of the overpass of Rt 32 which is owned by State SHA. Please warn all your riders this is being done between 28 June (day after Celebration Tri) and 30 July (3+ weeks before IG) to minimize impact on Triathlon Events/training. In the long term this will be to all our benefits, but please get the word out to riders on listserves. MMTC and CTA should try to offer alternative training routes during this timeframe.

Jack Guarneri
President, Bicycling Advocates of Howard County

------ Forwarded Message
From: "Malone, William" (SL: our friend who helps to keep us informed and tries to get us help)
We tried to get it between the new triathalon June 27th and one month prior to the iron girl.
Gives us July.
I hope the ladies will like the new pavement-just do what you can to keep the fans from spray painting encouragement on our nice new paving :-).


From: Shieh, Howard
Attached are the construction notices for media release. Please note Folly Quarter road and Ten Oaks Road are under federally funded program. Triadelphia Road is under County’s Road Resurfacing program.

SL: For those interested, there are three media releases that are included with this notice.  Basically they announce that none of the roads will be closed and that most will be done between 7pm and 3am (night work).  Getting home after Glenelg Gang weeknight rides will be impacted for many of us.

Folly Quarter starts about 6/28 and may go until 7/30 and will be during the day.  Ten Oaks Road AND Tridelphia Road will start about 7/6 and will be nightime work starting at 7pm. 

I think that EVERYONE needs to be aware that we cyclists are getting a major benefit from these projects.  In this year when we were told there would be zero budget for anything other than patching holes, the only reason this is being done for us is the Democratic Stimulus Bill that passed without support from the other side.  To wit, the following was included in each press memo:

President Obama signed the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in February 2009.  A portion of the funds received by the Maryland Department of Transportation are to be distributed to the County Governments for Federal Aid eligible projects on roads that are maintained by the County. Ten Oaks Road, between new pavement, off MD Rte. 32 Ramp and Triadelphia Road/Ten Oaks Road traffic circle is eligible and approved for repaving under this federally funded program.

SL: It's Christmas in July!

I believe that the ride length, when combined with the Tabb Scale, works pretty well to describe how much pain you will feel the next day and will suffer getting the ride done.  When I do a cue sheet I post the total gain, the max grade encountered, and usually use either the word "rolling" if it is pretty easy to "hilly" if it is mean.

The problem with the above is exemplified by the CWC and CWC Reversed rides.  The CWC is a pretty easy Century with 7K of climbing.  I know that the CWC Reversed is not really the exact same ride reversed but just the climb up Jack's Mountain from the Covered Bridge side when doing the reversed version, followed with little recovery of climbing up Gladhill, I found it impossible as a relative rookie to big rides many years ago and had to quit.  I've gone back and killed it now that I'm more experienced, but those two climbs, back to back, are freakin' insane, long, hard and just terrible.  The Jack's Mountain part is really steep, and goes on for a long time.  Gladhill was endless while already blown up from Jack's years ago and sent me straight down 550 back to my car with my tail between my legs.

So here we have basically the same ride and in one direction it is pretty tame, in the other, pure torture.  Now, in a bizarre twist, I kind of like the reversed version because it crosses all those miles of cornfields at the start DOWNwind to Gettysburg.  You get it out of the way in a pleasant fashion.  At the end, instead of that pain, you get to plummet down Cunningham falls on 77 from 1700 feet to 550 feet to end it.

So, I don't have the answer to coming up with a quick, short, description that lets various levels of riders gain a real understanding of how "hard" a ride will be.  I do think that you do need to indicate how much 12%+ grade there is and especially how much 14-15% there is because I find that to be back-breaking for many newbies.  The gain is good, but the Tabb scale might be a better "number."  Those 10 sections of rides can blow you up, the long rides that actually are an 8 are pretty deadly, even for strong riders.  A 7 ride (typical for long rides around here, usually 7.5'ish) are a lot easier to deal with.

Then we need to add a wind rating, right?

I don't know, we have had this discussion for YEARS and we've never decided on a standard.  BTW, the "Tabb Scale" is 100 feet of climbing per mile is a ten (10) rating which is very hard.  So, as was pointed out from Janet, while the entire CWC is a low 7'ish rating, when you put most of the climbing in the first 70 miles, it becomes a 10 ride followed by a 1 or 3 ride with headwinds for the final 30 miles!  Even that points out the problem more.


Jun-09-10 01:06 am
Blow by blow account of an eight hour workday in the saddle (long!)
Category: Social
Forum: Ride Reports

Guess what?  The Civil War Century route is better, and harder, with the “Ritchie Upgrade” last year.  The character is changed, and for the better, however it is a tougher course than before, and represents a serious century challenge for cyclists.

Big thanks (again) to Janet Goldstein, our “friendly” BBC Forum moderator, for leading us on a “club ride” version of the fall classic, the BBC Civil War Century (CWC).  Kudos have to be registered for Roger Eastman for carpooling with our driver David Kelling and me today to accomplish his second Century ride in the last two years since getting a leg blood clot on a flight to/from France a while back.  Being another “Clydesdale” like me, this is not a ride in our wheelhouse or forte’.  Something like the Seagull is more appropriate for those of us that make up the “Autobus” at the rear of most climbs but the challenge of climbing is what we seek, so we set out at 8:06 am this morning from Thurmont.

About a dozen folks showed up for this ride and a whole other group was in the lot for another ride adding to the confusion.  With all the dire weather predictions and getting worse on Thursday and Friday, I’m sure and know it scared some folks off.  Those guys (PPTC?) from some other club made some really funny comments about us volunteering to spend 100+ miles with Janet, after she rode her bike down from the back/upper parking lot and chastised us for parking next to the road instead of going to the rear of the park to sign in and get cue sheets.  Man how we love Janet, and we (who love her) can see right through that gruff exterior to her warm and caring interior ?

Terry Harrigan rolled out first and was never seen again.  Turns out he hooked up with Galen later and they must have raced the rest of the way around.  I can’t wait to hear those full stats and Power Tap results.  I’m sure he was out to beat the impending rain.  I doubt any other personal records were set today.  Over half of the crew went out together and pretty much spent the entire day riding as a “pack.”  Every time I saw them the leader was Teacher Bob breaking the wind with everyone huddled behind.  David, Roger and I rolled out well after everyone else and only caught the big group after the full first climb.  Right from the start of the CWC you head up RT-77 next to Cunningham Falls and climb from the ride start at 526’ above sea level to seven miles & thirty-seven minutes later peaking the first major climb at 1700’. 

I blitzed past the gang of six with Roger and David behind and spent most of the next 14 miles descending with four small “steps” over 41 minutes dropping into an even lower valley at 451’.  From there, the second climb (much smaller) began climbing to just under 1000’ 1:46 into the ride.  Just before reaching the first stop there, Phil Feldman who arrived late just as we rolled out had run everyone down up to me.  He and I went up to the rest stop together.  We stopped at the state park for bathrooms and water.  When Roger arrived, he anointed me the “winner” of stage one.

We rolled right back out after chatting with some hikers from Maine (!!) hiking the Appalachian trail (wonder if they saw Gov. Sanford) and it was back down to an even lower valley at 346’ 36 miles in.  I watched as Phil Feldman on the Flying Dishwasher” took off having already said I couldn’t be “baited” into chasing him and watched as Roger took off after him.  I knew that would be then end of him, I’ve done it so many times before ?.  We then climbed up towards Boonsboro, MD for lunch at the Subway.  That was back up near 1000’ then down into Boonsboro at 546’ and 46 miles in.  We had everyone except Terry together for lunch and much laughter with a tiny, almost shower while we were in there.  Round two to Roger without contest.  There were a couple of other instances through the day where it spit a bit but never rained, nothing ever to get drops on sunglasses, so overall a great weather day except for the high humidity and upper 80’s heat.

From there, the “new” CWC route now follows Crystal Falls and then up Raven Rock but now turns off and climbs Ritchie instead of continuing up the more gentle highway grade.  While the new road is great, it is shaded and no cars, but it is so much steeper and so long, it is painful.  I poured water on my helmet at least three times to keep my brain from frying.  Roger needed plain water to do the same but I guess didn’t have it.  I got wound up after lunch and David Kelling was with me but being such a nice guy, David dropped back to ride with Roger while I kept the newly fueled hammer down and rode away.

Raven Rock is mostly 4% to 7% but when you turn up Ritchie (which I found out from a local is called MacAfee Hill) you are assaulted with repeated 7-11% sections and it just climbs seemingly forever with short sections of standing but long sections of just grinding climbing.  Thankfully it is in the shade for the most part and protected though there were changeable winds as we neared the top.  It was hot, glad I kept pouring that water on my helmet.  I learned that after frying my brain on a Blue Ridge Summit Century many years ago.  Teacher Bob and Janet in great form dropped me before we even got to Ritchie and pulled away up the steep climb. 

I caught back up to Janet at Summit, and promptly missed the turn and crossed RT-16 heading backwards down the Blue Ridge Summit route.  The descent down Gladhill was as exhilarating as ever hitting 50 mph but having to burn a lot of brakes as there were sand covered sections from wash out…scary.  Then the climb up the backside of Jack’s Mountain (the much easier side, even with that last 16% nasty top on both sides) leading to another 50 mph descent down the insane side to the covered bridge.

From there, we all met at the store for final fluids and I had to buy electrical tape as my bar tape had become unraveled and the sticky stuff was pulling the bars to the side when I changed hand positions.  Roger and David hadn’t made it by the time we left (turns out David had a double flat on the way) and the whole gang pulled out but I got stymied behind a car blocking the exit for several minutes and by the time I turned out of the gas station, the entire clan was virtually out of sight for good.

There is a little of the roller stuff going back to Thurmont but as anyone has done this ride knows, it is the “death march” into the winds coming off the mountains that makes the last 33 miles just awful for this ride.  We know it, we dread it or forget it but every time you just hate the end as you grind slower and slower and loose your accumulated speed in the last third.  It is not a ride you want to do alone.  A group trading pulls is the only way to make it fun, and I had nobody!  If only there was a way to not have the last 30 miles of the CWC and BRSC be so annoying, they would both be more fun!  I ran down a cramping Mike Craig who was grinding to a slower pace even more than me.

I flaked out in the sun to catch some body rays waiting an hour for David and Roger to get back to the car.  We put everything away slowly and kept an eye on Roger who was repeatedly staggering and wondered if a trip to the ER was in his future but he seemed to get a little less glassy eyed as David drove us back to the P&R at RT-32.

Sadly I’m going to miss this year’s CWC event because I’m crewing for the Avon Walk For Breast Cancer in Santa Barbara that weekend so I’m really glad I got to do it with Janet last Saturday.  It turns out I’m going to miss the Grandmother this year (Tour de Montes Saturday) due to a trip to see Niagara Falls for the first time (and Toronto) so good to get in a century.  Again, thank you all!

Including my little detour & backtrack, my stats are as follows off the Edge 305 (with  adjustments): 107.34 miles in 6 hours and 33 minutes (way off my best ever 6:04!) @ 16.2 mph and 50 mph max (twice).  7,700 calories burned (take that all you skinny guys and gals) and only show around 7000 feet of climbing.  I know this route is/was 7,450 feet so I’m still not trusting these aging and somewhat broken 305’s (I had one on the bars and one in my pocket) on climbing/descending stats.  HR was 173 max and 141 average.

Great day.


Thanks to Alan for catching my 3am cue sheet creation error.  I have uploaded a corrected version of HoCo & Patapsco Metric for Sunday.  One little change near the end.  I'll bring cues in the morning.  If you are seeing this, please print your own and bring.  Stuart


I have created a new Metric Century cue sheet and posted it to the files section of Glenelg Gang and 50+ miles of Howard County Cues section of BBC.  It is called HoCo & Patapsco Metric on BBC on page two of the cues.  It is called "Sanner Metric Clockwise" on Glenelg Gang (to make it clear it isn't a Glenelg departure point).

I will be leading this portion of an unofficial joint APL, BAHC ride which will have 25 and 35 mile cues sheets and welcome anyone who wants to do a 64 mile hilly ride with us on Sunday morning at 10am.  The ride start is 0.6 mi north of Johns Hopkins Road which is the first exit South of RT-32 on RT-29 (West to TL and right on Johns Hopkins Road).  It is 1.2 miles South of the Cedar Lane exit from RT-32 on the left.  Cedar Lane becomes Sanner Road after the TL.

May-09-10 01:30 pm
See My Avitar for What you Clavicle can Look Like!
Category: Technical
Forum: Riding Style

I often mention this at the start of rides this time of year but I want to post it for everyone.  It is always difficult to see road imperfections when going from the bright sun into the shady areas but I find that in May it is particularly bad.  By this time of year I've upgraded to my darkest lenses and one must really concentrate and "peer" and "strain" to see deep into the darkness of each shady spot, particularly after this winter.

Often, those very shady spots are under trees and that is where a lot of the potholes are or patches are.  Be careful out there and don't get yourself ejected at speed like I did five years ago taking Greg C and Mark T with me.  It really messed up our collarbones and our spring/summer.


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