Bummed. Seriously bummed.

As previously mentioned, I was planning an overnighter on the Appalachian Trail with my 11 year old daughter, two of her friends and their fathers.  Here in the DC metro area, mid-March can be pretty decent weather-wise.  The historical average high temperature for today is 50 degrees.  Unfortunately, the weather just isn’t cooperating.  We’ve re-scheduled until mid-April.   Continue reading “Bummed. Seriously bummed.”

Shootout: Strava vs. MapMyRide

A recent ride on my mountain bike. Please ignore the pathetic average speed.  

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been a dedicated MapMyRide user for years.  I use it mainly to log miles, although I do enjoy the mapping and other stats.  It’s fun to revisit your rides and compare recent rides with past efforts.  Then it got bought up by Under Armor, the number of ads seemed to increase, and it just seemed to be one of many markets in the UA empire.

Aside from the ads, my biggest gripe was that, by default, it rolls all of your miles together – hiking, running, dog walking, cycling, whatever.  And that’s even if you use their separate apps – mapmyhike or mapmyrun.  It’s not easy to track annual mileage by activity.  I tried different apps (runkeeper and komoot) but didn’t really care for either of them, and I kind of like having everything in one app.

Enter Strava.  Continue reading “Shootout: Strava vs. MapMyRide”

Time Marches on, and the blog waits for no man.

It’s already March, and I can’t believe it.  At the same time, this winter seems like it has lasted forever.

I have had practically no time to work on this blog lately.  Not that I’ve had anything to report – the weather has been grey and dreary, and almost all of my time has gone into my new business, leaving me with very little time to get outside.  My instagram feed pretty much contains all of my recent highlights.

Still, things are moving along and I am eagerly awaiting spring.  Daylight savings time is always an exciting mile marker, but then that first Monday after the clock goes forward hits you like a shovel to the back of the head. The extra daylight in the afternoon is great, but I hate suddenly waking up in the dark again.

Next weekend I’m doing an overnighter on the AT with my daughter and a couple of her friends and their fathers, which I’m really looking forward to.  It will be fun by itself, but I’m also hoping it sparks an interest in more backpacking and longer trips.

I’m also training for a 5k with my 17 year old daughter.  I’m not sure exactly which race we’re going to do, but I’m probably running in the fundraiser 5k for my two youngest daughters’ school.  It’s the same day as prom, so I have a feeling my oldest daughter will want to run in a different 5k.  I still hate running, but at a week into training so far, it’s been something fun to do together.

This past weekend I did paintball on Saturday with my son and our youth group.  I’d never done it before, but I figured it would be a ton of fun.  It was, but I did not expect to be so sore afterwards.  The weather was too nice on Sunday not to get out on the mountain bike for a short spin.  It’s now Monday, my legs hurt and I’m tired, and I’m supposed to run this afternoon with my oldest daughter……

In the next day or so, I plan to post on the Great Strava vs. MapMyRide Showdown!

Is Punxsutawney Phil a liar?

Here in the Mid-Atlantic, it would seem that spring is poking its head out from around the corner.  We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather, and it’s now rainy and dreary.  While I am looking forward to spring, I have to say I’m disappointed in the pathetic amount of snowfall we got this winter.  By my math, that would make two winters in a row with no significant amount of snow.  I suppose there is still hope that a blizzard will arrive, but I’m a little conflicted over whether I actually want it to now at this point.  Regardless, I guess rodent-generated weather reports are more nuanced that they might appear.

Meanwhile, I continue to grind out hours in getting my consulting business going.  This has left me with very little free time.  This, together with dreary weather, has kept me inside.  And while I’ve only ridden 97 miles this year, I’m pleased to report that there is an upward trend – 35 of those miles have been this week!

I also just joined Strava (ugh).  I’m just kicking the tires for now, and I plan to do a comparison with Map My Ride soon.


I also plan to finish off the hiking with kids post, and give some updates on planning my overnight backpacking trip with my daughter.  Stay tuned!

70 degree weather in February.  Unexpected, so I didn’t have a chance to shave my legs.  

Are you there blog? It’s me, regular guy.

So, I’m in the process of launching a new consulting business which has left very little time for anything else.  It’s exciting and fun, but it’s also been kind of exhausting.  As a result, exercise and outside time has flatlined.  I’m hoping to change that in the next few days.  I’m also hoping to resume posting here, and finish off the posts I have planned on hiking with kids.

Also, some exciting news: my 11 year old daughter proposed that we do an overnight backpacking trip.  I hadn’t even breathed a word of my plan to her, so it’s a nice little bit of coincidence.  She then informed me that she wanted to invite two friends and their dads, which I thought would jeopardize the trip – they wouldn’t be able to go, and she’d lose her enthusiasm.  My fears were unfounded: dads and friends are in!  Should be an awesome time!

In other news, we’re neck deep in the blah, dreary grey of winter in the Mid-Atlantic.  Lots of rain, no snow.  Someone told me that it’s supposed to be 73 degrees on Thursday, which is ridiculous.   Thankfully, there’s probably only a few weeks left until spring.

More to come!

0-4 years old: hiking with babies.

So, now you have your fancy new child carrier, and you’re ready to hit the trail. (If you don’t yet have a carrier, ask around – maybe a friend will let you borrow theirs).

Then you realize that taking your baby hiking is pretty daunting.  But as I mentioned in this post, it’s really pretty easy.  Well, I guess “easy” is relative – you still have to take care of this tiny, helpless human, except now without the conveniences and comforts of home.  And you could be mauled by wild animals, or get struck by lightning, or die of something old-timey like cholera.  But don’t worry, that stuff only rarely happens.

In all seriousness, my experience is that babies and toddlers are pretty good hiking companions, and a hike can be some quality family time.  Let’s get onto the #HIKERHACKS. Continue reading “0-4 years old: hiking with babies.”

Weekend Braindump.

The Radavist has been putting up some great content lately.  These two articles  are some of the finest outdoor writing I’ve seen in awhile.

He was late for Mass.  Most likely a fake, but still entertaining.

A recent music discovery.

Question: what famous person from history would you love to have a business mentor?  Of course, business titans would be welcome, but I’m particularly interested in non-business persons.  Ernest Shackleton comes immediately to mind.

Happy Friday!



Baby on back: buying a child carrier.

One day, you too will make Sir Mix-A-Lot references when talking about baby gear.  Embrace the lameness.

Having kids brings certain limitations into your life, especially when they’re very little.  Just leaving the house becomes a challenge, requiring enough stuff that it might look like you’re heading off into the wilderness, when really you’re making a trip to the store.  Your range rapidly shrinks.  And then you wake up one day and realize that you’re sick of visiting playgrounds, malls, and basically all those other places where young parents congregate to escape the confines of their homes.  Those places have their positives, but variety is good, too.  Hiking is an awesome way to do something for yourself, and also get some great exercise. Your baby and your spouse just might enjoy it, too.

Continue reading “Baby on back: buying a child carrier.”

“I wanna go hoooooome…..” Hiking with kids.

Since I’m planning an overnight backpacking trip with my 11 year old daughter, I thought maybe I should write a series of posts about hiking with kids.  Google turns up quite a bit of helpful, common sense information* like how not to let your kids get lost or eaten by bears.**  You should probably read something like this if you’re totally new to hiking, parenting, or both.

I’d like to write about what has worked for me***, spelling the difference between a fun family outing and a soul-crushing slog.**** Continue reading ““I wanna go hoooooome…..” Hiking with kids.”

I hate January.*

School delays and cancellations, illnesses, holidays and random days off – I don’t think we’ve had a “normal” week all month.  I’m easily distracted and prefer to work in short, intense bursts of high-productivity.  I am not a believer in multi-tasking.  Having my kids at home on an unplanned basis is killing me.  I’d estimate I’m losing approximately 2 days per week** due to the weather, the plague, and random days off.

Case in point, today I have three kids at home: one with the stomach flu, two with pink eye.  Awesome.  Hang on, I gotta go make some toast.  Continue reading “I hate January.*”