Dirt Rag is a glossy mag that started out as little more than a black and white 'zine'
the pages are always filled with readers comments, reader's submitted articles, and reader's submitted art and photographs..... the cover also changes monthly displaying reader's art!
here is something that I sent to Dirt Rag a few years ago
it was displayed in the Submitted Art section one month... I can not recall when
last weekend dean and I went sledding on saturday, sunday, and then a quick session in the morning with the dogs before work then again with Dean sporting a Petzl after work on Monday night
sledding on top of all the other outdoor snow related activities
which for me included some cross country skiing
we got a very wet DC style snow
that is... when it snows but it is 40 degrees the next day
I was all pumped to go sledding
Dean helped me tape up that broken piece of plastic that we call a sled
vital!!!! teaching the kids early that most things can be fixed with tape
well to my surprise
Dean was not interested.....
there was not getting him to go sledding
which was fine as we were booked for a morning into the afternoon birthday party at his buddy maggie's house on capitol hill
offered after the prospect of sledding after the party and a 15 minute nap
Dean was not interested
well he was not interested until we saw a mob of people on a hill at Fort Reno park as we drove to pick up my mom for an evening birthday event at Magiannos
Dean missed his window of opportunity
and with the weather of the week
we may have missed our window of opportunity
hope we get another shot at sledding before the season is up
I love that stuff!
it is good fun
we did have some fun building some snow men casted out of a recycling bin base as a bucket form for the head
dean got great joy in adding the standar stick arms, celery eyes, and carrot nose
which may have been topped with a winter session on the back deck in and around the clubhouse that my father built
the crown jewel of his deck project
that moment proved that his efforts were right on the mark
dean with leo, alec, elijah, roscoe, and brutus
the snow added to the imagination of the event
although I could not tell you the game that they were playing
What is love?
Love is many things.
Love is ever changing.
Love is not so easily defined.
The love for the bicycle is a love a special love. It may be easy for me to say that I love my bicycle. I may even try to describe my love for the bicycle. But honestly.... I do not feel this love for the bicycle on each and every ride. There are moments when this love is clear... those moments are fleeting and precious.
This love for the bicycle is not entirely different for my love for my wife, my love for my children, or my love for my dogs. It is easy for my to say that I love my wife, children, and dogs; of course I love each and everyone of them as individuals and as the group that we call family and of course I could go through a list of why I love each and every one of them as a group or as an individual, but honestly there are only occassional special moments when we share a special connection where we know it is love. At these early stages of my son's lives the love is strong, powerful, and encompasses many experiences.... not unlike the love I shared for lisa when we first met, dated, and discovered each other. I will not go into great details of the various loves as do not want to get all sappy online. At different points in our lives and different points in our relationship we have experienced love in many different ways. And I know that the love I have for each and every one of them is going to grow and morph into many other things through the course of all of our lives.
The love for the bicycle is not entirely dissimilar.
I can tell you that I love my bicycle and I may be able to form a logical explanation, but it is actually at different points on the bike that I actually know what that love for the bike means. It comes as some sort of an epifany. It can be riding my bicycle across Key Bridge in the early morning as the sun rises.... nothing but the fog and a few rowers on the Potomac, nothing on the streets but me, some random runners, and virtually carless streets except for a those non-descript white vans making their early morning deliveries of newspapers, bagels, flowers, or who know what. This love can be experience during a moment in traffic as I max out my body and max out my bike. Riding the rhythm of traffic like a surfer rides the waves, being in the zone..... being in the moment..... being one with the bike.... being one with the organized chaos that is urban traffic and city life. Then there can be a moment on a mountain ride or more usually during a mountain bike race where I am moving along at a healthy pace. Pushing the bike effortless at my maximum speed. Breathing in the air around me. Smelling the dry pine or the decomposing leaves... each season and each ecological niche having its one distinctive essence. Weaving through the tight trees of the single track, clearing the obstacles, making the climbs, and floating down the downhills. During these moments it is all clear. It is all explained to me. I can not tell you what I see or what I feel. It is some sort of Nirvana. Not unlike what a monk may seek through great meditation. Life is explained to me. And at that moment in time my love for the bike is easily understood.
Every bicycle ride is not a religious experience. But, then again... mot every night out drinking is a party. So just as we go out drinking many times in search of that one really good time.... we also go out on many rides to try and find that one magical moment on the bike. And for that moment to be magical... there need to be those base miles.... which are more like love for work.
and one last thing before I climb into my gear, mount up on my bike, head towards the harvest moon with my lights a flashing to meet various people at the Wonderland Ballroom...
there are even those that love their job
for me... there are aspects of my job that I like and other aspects that I truly appreciate
but I fear that I can never effectively love my job the same way that I love my wife, my children, my dogs, or even my bicycle*.
*when I say bicycle..... I mean bicycle as I have many. I do not love them all equally. Nor do all of them give me the same chances at finding the perfect moment, but I do love them all and they all love me back
NOW I NEED TO STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER
I PUT DEAN TO BED
MAYBE I WILL GO OUT FOR A DRINK IN SEARCH OF THAT GOOD TIME.
This morning I recieved an email from FATMARC asking me and a cast of cyclists of varying ability about "Why they ride/race bikes?" then Marc got a little more specific and and asked us to go into greater detail of our "Bicycle Love." He is going to post his long list of responses on his BLOG, Marc says he stole the topic idea from VELO NEWS.
The question of why I ride or race is not all that simple.
or perhaps the answer is simple...
"I ride because it is a part of me... I would not be me if I did not ride."
okay... it may be more than that
perhaps I can get back to the Why I ride? question after I answer the Why I race? question
Why does GWADZILLA race bicycles?
There are a few basic reasons....
As I have grown to have more and more adult style responsibilities I have found that it is more justifiable for me to tell my wife and family that I am abandoning them for a Sunday or maybe a whole weekend so that I can race my bike. Going out for a ride with the fellas just does not get the permission slip signed.
As the DC Metropolitian Area gets to be more and more populated and the idea of outdoor recreation gets to be more and more popular the trails then get to be more and more crowded. Crowded with more cyclists, more hikers, more runners, more dog walkers which makes for more dogs running wild.... just more. When I first started riding I knew of a few places to ride.... seldom did I ever see any other cyclist other than our group. But now... Go to Shaffer Farms, Patapsco, or Gambril State Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the trails can be like a trip around Interstate 495! (the DC Beltway) Knobby to Knobby traffic.... I hate getting stuck behind a catapillar or riders... and it is not cool to pass where there is no trail. With more trail users it becomes less reponsible to "bomb" downhill or to even zip around a bind corner at high speed.... the likelihood of encountering another trail user is just too high to really test one's own personal limits. When I ride (or even when I hike or walk my dogs) I try to imagine that I am on the trail coming in the opposite direction.
and of course....
having a racing goal in the not so distant future motivates me to ride when I would not normally feel compelled to ride. The motivation to show up fast and in shape to compete against some fast guys is greater motivation that for me to be faster than some friends or less than regular riding riding buddies.
I have raced out of shape and have raced in shape.... and racing or riding is much more fun when in shape. That is not to say that i am always in peak conditioning... I often try to use spirit and desire to compensate for lack of preparation.
I head off to the races...
The races have a course marked off. Everyone is going the same direction, hopefully. The fear of an old blue haired lady with her old blue haired dog marching up the trail in front of you is decreased... and it is okay to test your own personal limits.
On top of all that.... I love racing!
I ride harder and I ride faster on race day.
The competition does something to me. It makes my actions seem more accountable. My heart pumps and pounds before I even step over the top tube. The night before I start getting butterflies in my stomach.... often I will not commit to doing a race until Friday night so that the butterflies of anticipation do not hit me as early as Wednesday. I hate the anxiety.... but I love the racing experience... I love that extra push that competition offers me. The feeling of being dialed in on race day can be very Zen.
back to WHY I RIDE?
Most everyone loves to ride a bike....
If you can not remember the experience for yourself as a child take a look at the children in your neighborhood. There is something pure about riding a bike. It is like "running plus." Cycling is the closest that man or child can come to flying... it can be exhilerating! (okay, skiing or snowboarding can offer that same sensation) The bond between a person and their bike is irreplaceable. The connection of a child and their bike can often become like that Greek Mythology Character the Centaur, half man and half horse, only the horse is made of metal not flesh and bones.
The bike offers a feeling when the person is riding it and the bicycle is also the ticket of FREEDOM! The ability to explore and travel about. To extend the boundries of a child's world.... as a child I went for long bike rides with my fishing rod down the C&O Canal. Riding further and further, getting to more remote spots and further off places. We learned early that the journey was the destination. We were not training, we were just riding.
But then something happens....
Some kids put down the bike and pick up a skateboard or get interested in a different sport or activity, some kids replace the bike with the car, and others just think that the bike is a child's toy. I know that the bike was less part of my life during high school than it was during my time after college. In high school the bike was a tool for the geek using both straps to his backpack.... even though it never happened.... even I wanted to be cool.
NEED TO KNOCK SOME MORE STUFF OUT BEFORE I LEAVE TODAY
REALLY WANTED TO GET THESE IDEAS DOWN
remember go here tomorrow
some good information and links
a tad roadiesque.... but good just the same
here is another one... FAT GUY CYCLING
it is a team of three random cyclists; Fat Guy Cycling, Fixed Gear, and Fit Chick
there are some great images and some great links
right up your Bicycle Blogger interests!
as the name implies Gwadzilla is a big guy
Gwadzilla likes to eat
during the winter.... Gwadzilla eats more..... Gwadzilla rides less
then... Gwadzilla gets even bigger
Gwadzilla goes through this roller coaster every year
Gwadzilla is getting older and getting tired of this roller coaster ride
some random bicycle blogging got me to reading some roadie style stuff that got me thinking about getting on the bicycle trainer
one idea.... buy a few cycling classics... or maybe a new could be classic
maybe.... PRO (the movie), and on dirt OFF ROAD TO ATHENS
was reading blogs
some of interest
but did not book mark them
just the few listed above
meant to list some classics I already have
but been to the BLOG of my list of favorite cycling movies before
The Cycling Dude had a post about Proper attire.....
this is how I responded
proper attire is vital....
no one wants to show up at a black tie affair in a duck costume
no one wants to go out into the cold wind and snow wearing shorts, fingerless gloves, and a t-shirttwo major gear advances of the past many years
Gortex and polypropylene
and if you are "old school" remember.... cottons kills! wool for warmthgood gear last years....you may not wear that balaclava everyday... but you will be happy to have it on the days when you need it
I have several balaclavas of different thicknessalso a variety of glovesetc....overdressing can be as deadly as under dressing....remember
dress for the occasion
no need for that black tie at a backyard barbeque
no need for artic gear if it is only 40 degrees outsidefor longer rides it is often wise to have the right gear in your pack "just in case!"during my short stints in the Bay area and in Colorado I learned that the temperatures can change in a second....
in the Bay area the afternoon fog rolls in like clockwork
and the temperature drops fast
full finger gloves and a shell may be all you need to keep things pleasurable
now Colorado can be a little more extreme, but the same basic principle
let me see
what are some good links?
MEC in Canada (great exchange rate for us folks in the US)
both my jacket and pants are from them... SOLID!
LAKE winter shoes (I just got some and love em..... a bit pricey... but I do not expect my feet to grow)
hmmm.... what else do I wear that is winter specific?
well... my gloves are less than perfect... people rant and rave over these
Pearlizumi Lobster Gloves
and of course some good socks, good jersey, arm warmers, and skull cap from your maker of choice
and check out the Cycling Dude
he has some great links
an interesting perspective
when I get a chance tomorrow I want to read some of this guys stuff.... it has been a while since I checked out the rants on FEARLESSGEARLESS
what is sport?
what qualifies something as a SPORT vs. an ACTIVITY?
I was killing some time during my lunch break by surfing various bicycle related BLOGS when I tangent hopped around from Friend's Blog to Friend's Friend's BLOG and stumbled upon 1X8 of Hate and his rant on Sport Classifications and Activities.
This topic of Sport vs. Activity is an idea that has occupied my mind for nearly as long as the debate of Art vs. Craft.
In my life's history I find that I have angered far more people at the keg by stating that Golf is not a sport than by claiming that Pottery is more craft than art. Foolishly enough my wife (then girlfriend) is one of the people who was sensitive about my feelings about pottery. Lessons hard learned, some opinions should be kept to one's self. A lesson that I have yet to commit to memory, somehow I always find the exact wrong thing to say..... guess I have turretts on a converstational level rather than just blurting out one innappropriate word.
before going any further I will turn to a few definitions of the word SPORT...
Date: 15th century
1 a : a source of diversion : RECREATION b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in
2 a : PLEASANTRY, JEST b : often mean-spirited jesting : MOCKERY, DERISION
3 a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play b : LAUGHINGSTOCK
4 a : SPORTSMAN b : a person considered with respect to living up to the ideals of sportsmanship sport> sport> c : a companionable person
5 : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue
synonym see FUN
n 1: an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition [syn: athletics] 2: the occupation of athletes who compete for pay 3: someone who engages in sports [syn: sportsman, sportswoman] 4: (biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration [syn: mutant, mutation, variation] 5: (Maine colloquial) temporary summer resident of inland Maine 6: verbal wit (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously); "he became a figure of fun" [syn: fun, play] v 1: wear or display in an ostentatious or proud manner; "she was sporting a new hat" [syn: feature, boast] 2: play boisterously; "The children frolicked in the garden"; "the gamboling lambs in the meadows"; "The toddlers romped in the playroom" [syn: frolic, lark, rollick, skylark, disport, cavort, gambol, frisk, romp, run around, lark about]
both Britannica.com and Dictionary.com were useless in deciding this arguement of "What is Sport?"
maybe the list from the Athens 2004 Olympic Site may help....
so.... what is sport in my mind?
I may have to rant on forward and further and come back to this section to give a more clear definition of what sport is for me. The several "tier" definition system that was presented by 1X8 of Hatewas interesting but it left out many activities that are considered sport, such as track and field or swimming, as well as intentionally excluding the activities of the "sportsman" such as hunting or fishing, while including golf.
(what makes golf a sport? I guess first we need to find a definition of SPORT that we agree upon)
In my mind there are a two basic categories of sport...
then a third.... that questionable GRAY AREA
1. Physical Games played at a competitive level... full contact does not make an activity more or less a sport...
Smear the Queer and Dodge Ball were very popular in my youth, both very intense, but neither would be considered a sport, not even by the Olympic Federation.
Basketball, Soccer, Football, Volleyball (and not just because I lettered in Volleyball in HS,) Cycling, Track and Field, Swimming (Diving gets tossed into the Gray Area,) Wrestling, Martial Arts, Ultimate Frisbee, Boxing...... and the list goes on and on and on
sorry did I leave out Jai Alai?
sorry if your sport was not mentioned
go to the OLYMPIC link below and go through their list and maybe your "sport" is listed there
2. A Working man (or woman's ) activity taken from the workplace and put out onto the playing field. As in the case of fishing or hunting or something like a lumberjack racing to chop down a tree in competition. Taking an activity out of its funtional environment and placing it into a competitive environment can make it sport. Now I have raced with other geeks in the office to find information online, but that is not sport.... yes it is a geeky game, but there is no way to stretch that activity into a sport. But.... messenger races, snow shoveling contests, fishing (ice or bass,) hunting can all be quite sporting! Hence our word, Sportsman.
3. that GRAY AREA: Pool/Billards, Golf aka pasture pool, Darts, and Bowling go into that GRAY AREA.
Other activities that fall into this gray area are Car Racing, Sailing, Diving, Dancing. There are certain activities that when taken to the highest level are moved from activity status to sport status, but who decides when? If I go Windsurfing... am I taking part in a sport? or am I just out getting some sun on a surfboard with a sail? And Car Racing? well..... even before my learner's permit moved to full fledged car driver's license I was racing cars around, sure not at the Indy level, but was my action sport... or just being a stupid kid? Even riding a bike is not a sport at the recreational level, but.... at some point the activity on a bicycle becomes a sport? Does heart race or calorie burning come into this definition?
Going to the gym is an activity? But how about Yoga?
Is Yoga a sport? Yoga is no more a sport than weight lifting....
Now I guess Power Lifting is a sport.... but at what stage does someone go from just being a weight lifting meathead with an IROC-Z at Gold's Gym to being a Powerlifter?
When dealing with sports there are often refferees, judges, or other types of score keeping. My brother and I have had various discussions about sport, much of which surround the various sports of the Olympics. During the Olympics there is always some sort of issue with the judges and corruption or maybe even human error. This was seen at the 2004 Olympics in Athens with the gymnastics and the US GOLD. We see the same corruption and subjectivity in figure skating each and every 4 years.
In my brother's mind all of these "subjective" sports should be removed from the Olympics in an effort to remove the room for arguement. Sports with a finishline fail to have that room for error. Perhaps they could have figure skaters all do the same routine in a standard amount of time with a finishline... thus removing the effect of national affiliation, physical attractiveness, musical choice, and outfit on the judges decision.... too many unrelated variables.
Taste should not bring someone closer to the GOLD MEDAL!
Ramp Skating and Halfpipe riding on a snowboard can have that same subjectivity as there is a measure for "style." Surfing, as cool as I may think it is.... has far too much of a subjective leve to it. Could you imagine the 100 yard dash offering style points? Maybe giving someone a few second penalty for making a funny face while they run? The idea of a stop watch and a finishline just seems to make it all a tad easier for selecting the winner.
where is this going?
it could go on forever
that was a very loose paraphrase of my brother's feelings on the notion of sport
perhaps he will be kind enough to comment and clear up his opinions
as for everyone else....
feel free to make additions where you can and we can take this idea to a BLOG FORUM LEVEL
James Canty a fellow Mount Pleasant Dweller and semi-frequent freelance employee of the same employer as myself defines Sport as....
oh.... he was willing to discuss the topic
he was able to mock my inability to define the topic
but he needs 24 hours to create his definition
so lets not worry about his definition.... lets listen to his music and check out his musical past
(Peter Pan seems to be alive and well in the mind of James Canty)
the Subject line read, "YOUR CAR DOOR MAY BE A DEATHTRAP!"
the email resting with numerous others from various Honda Dealers make me think
that this message was in reference to the Suicide Doors of the Honda Element; something that I am aware of and quite cautious about
the message was cycling related
there is a cycling advocate out there trying to educate Car Drivers and Cyclists about the Dangers of the Door Zone!
or as he says, "YOUR CAR DOOR IS A DEATHTRAP!"
here is a post from our converstation
the author of the site took the liberty of using this image of me without my beard
Joel Gwadz, Somewhere in the USA 1.21.05
dam I am old!
it is hard to tell
but that is me in the front of the toboggan
when GWADZILLA was going by GWA-MONSTER
here I am letting out a painful GWA-MONSTER SCREAM
seconds later I slammed my head getting a scar the size of the palm of my hand
in the shape of Africa.... it was rather attractive
pretty neat for me and three friends to adorn the front cover of the
Washington Post rather than Ronald Reagan
it is unclear to me whether the people prone to the Peter Pan Syndrome are also the same types of people that were drawn to Punk Rock in their youths
or if the ideals of Punk Rock instilled a Peter Pan Syndrome in certain individuals
either way.... I know many people who grew up hanging in the "punk scene" many of have a visible "Peter Pan Syndrome" still today
sledding on snow days
refusing to commit to a steady job
refusing to commit to anything
maintaining a love for the things they loved when they were younger
(for some that love is for music: playing or listening, while for others it may be skateboarding or mountainbiking, while for others it may be fine arts or simply hanging out)
and even dressing like they are in junior high
(you know the Nike Bruins with the blus swoosh, the oddly colored cordaroys, the adidas zip up sweat shirt and the unkempt hair)
then of couse the late nights and the late mornings
these are just a few characteristics of the Punk Rocker with Peter Pan Syndrome
but for some this Peter Pan Syndrome may backfire
what happens when this Punk Peter Pan type wants to have some of the things in life that their parents had.... a house... a car.... a family.... a luxurious vacation?
for all things worth having there comes a sacrifice....
in my life I have always kept one foot in the conventional
always knowing that there were things in the conventional world that I wanted
thinking that I could obtain these things of the conventional world in unconventional ways...
no I never saught super stardom as a musician or an athlete
I was never that motivated
no... I don't even play the lottery
tried to start my own business with mixed results
eventually had to give into "the man"
had to punch his clock so that I could cash his check
and you know what.... it is not so bad
boss is in
better PUBLISH AND POST
or this year the 24 Hours of Big Bear
this is an article in DIRTWORLD about the team I raced with at the 24 Hours of Snowshoe by one of my team mates who is also one of the City Bikes Team founders
it is worth a look just to see how large I am compared to most cyclists
it would be more dramatic if my brother, who is 6'2", were not standing by my side
saw an amusing post on a roadie forum by someone that referred to himself as a human clydesdale
was going to email him but did not think the join/login was worth the time
more than likely he is 180 or so
not what I would call a CLYDESDALE
the author of that article is currently in Mexico City
wonder how the cycling culture is keeping him entertained down there
apparently there are three velodromes in Mexico City
it would be interesting to check out
was talking about PUMP COURSES with SINGLE SPEED OUTLAW
Joe talks about a Critical Mass Ride in DC that acted as a quasi-anti-inagural ride
(correction... joe did not make that entry on Single Speed Outlaw.... thatBLOG has a magazine format)
DC needs to embrace mountainbiking
stop telling mountainbikers to get to the back of the metaphorical back of the bus
I am wrecked
no, not that feeling like I just got back from playing football with the boys
playing football with the boys is something I don't do any more, but it is a feeling I can remember
the double cross country ski yesterday left me stiff
that was on top of a morning yoga session as well as all that it means to be a father of two with two active dogs on a snow day
so today most of my energy was expended sledding with Dean, chasing Dean, or chilling with Dean, Grant, Lisa, Roscoe, and Brutus
considered a night assualt on Rock Creek Park for a little more fun on the snow
I think I did my body good this weekend
yoga, the skiing, and all the running around
enough is enough..... a little more may bring me past the point of pleasure
red wine is what I am headed for... not the petzl and the skies
check out this awesome photo exhibit....
amazing images of amazing places
so well orchestrated
such amazing design
stole the link.... I mean discovered the link... or maybe turned onto the link by VELORUTION
let the Spencer Tunick images be a WHERE'S WALDO of bicyclist.... only.... Waldo only makes one appearance instead of every page.....
I wonder how Spencer Tunick feels about Andrew Goldsworthy (sorry.... could not find the official site)
I wonder how Andrew Goldsworthy feels about Jeff Foxsworthy?
listening to some good background music.... perhaps the perfect mood music for this blog entry
gundog99 set the links to the MP3s.... a good mix.... wise I had a play all button
will have to continue with the music
and more to reading... not writing blogs
need to keep my hands free for sipping wine
why not call it
with such confidence they spoke about these weather fronts and what was going to happen
they were right
it did snow
they were way off base
glad I got to get out on the skiis today
who knows what will happen tomorrow... certainly not the weatherman!
how does someone become a weatherman?
doesn't know enough about cars to sell them?
just put Dean down
"putting someone down" is parent speak for putting a child to sleep
we read several stories from that same Maurice Sendak "little bear" collection
he was tired
it was a full day
snow days go that way
snow days are high energy for everyone, young and old
everyone sleeps better after a long day in the snow
(Dean did not go to sleep..... will check with lisa, but I think he was up after I left for my late night adventure... we spoke while I BLOGGED... he was playing with his dinosaurs)
this was our long day
long in a good way....
the snow began as lisa left the house this morning sometime around 8am
the dogs needed to be walked and I was watching the boys
we hiked in the woods of Rock Creek with snow at our feet and snow in the air
the snow was dropping fast and stacking up faster
it was a snowy adventure
Dean was a good sport hiking in his snowsuit with his snowboots
Grant seemed content in his snowpants stuffed into the backpack face poking out of a baby balacava
we managed to do about half the loop across the street
it was not far
but with snow we moved more slowly and had more reasons to stop
Dean asked to go home without whinning or crying... just asked
the dogs were a little annoyed by the mini-hike
oh... well... sorry pups
everyone popped back into the house just to drop the dogs off and then grab my random survival bag
time to multi-task
packed into the Honda Element
the Aqua Pets frozen in their snow globe like homes
I drink coffee as I drive
dean and I split some gatorade (I get the lion's share)
we all split bananas and raisins (grant seems to be getting more than his share)
this is all done after a 4 minute cross town drive to AYC where lisa is at an Ashtanga One class
just zip from Mount Pleasant to Tenlytown
lisa comes out to the car after all bananas, all raisins, and all the gatorade has been devoured
I pass off the Element with two young boys..... lisa passes off keys and directions to her VW Passat wagon that she has parked around the corner
it is my turn at the AYC..... I am going to an Astanga Open One class
class rocked.... I suck at yoga.... but the feeling rocks
don't need to be good at yoga to feel results
just need to try.... push yourself... and enjoy
after class it is back home for fun in the snow
lisa hikes the dogs with grant in a backpack
it is a short hike..... Grant has had enough of the backpack.... she joins us soon enough
we are out back with a neighbor Leo (Leo is Dean's age)
then neighbor Alec (roughly Dean's age... a tad younger) comes through the fence
as the boys play I fire up the chimeria
saved the christmas tree for just such pleasures
there is some hectic playing in the snow... mostly with trucks
snow makes the world a massive sandbox
Alec grows cold and goes home
those that remain roast some marshmellows in the chimeria
I think I am the only one that eats any roasted marshmelllows...... I eat may
the boys are thrilled to see them burst and burn and grow in the fire
then inside to dry off, regroup, recharge, and prep for the afternoon sledding experience
there is talk of heading out with Elijah
tentative plans were made with a shout out the window after our morning session
I think lisa is going to hike the dogs
then I am doing a night session on the xc skies
hours have passed since I started this post
back from a night session with the petzel headlamps and the cross country skiies
I feel like I just got back from playing tackle football with the boys
set out for a mellow trip on Beach Drive
well... went out for an hour this afternoon on the skies where I scoped out Beach Drive.... it was fast and fun
perfect grade for the absolute beginner
so as my lights illuminated the land around the corner I could see that the plows have done the unthinkable....
they plowed Beach Drive... not well enough for anyone to safely ride a bicycle
but they plowed it well enough to send me "swoooooshing" elsewhere
so I headed for the horse trails....
early into my horse trail journey I got humbled
realize I did not know how to ski as I went downhill towards a slight turn and a water bar...
I think I leaned back but not sure
I am sure that I wiped out and wiped out hard
total "yard sale"
headlamp and hat somewhere in the snow
poles still attached to my wrists
planks still attached to my feet
all pointed in different awkward directions
yet somehow super painful
after that crash I moved back towards the xc equivelant of the bunny slope
it is good to experience the sensation of being a beginner again
puts things in perspective
pushed it up on the road
followed other skier tracks
had the iPOD pumping
just the right amount of gear
was working a serious sweat
yet not overheating
had to swap out to a lighter hat
knowing that was a risk I had my Mountainsmith fanny pack filled with alternate gloves, alternate hat, water, and some sugary snacks
an hour in I fueled up then turned it around
the trip back took nearly half the time
out of the shower with a glass of wine where a bottle of water should be
reflecting on the day
thinking the highlight of the day was having Dean and Leo sledding down the path across the street each with a petzel strapped to their heads
good gear rocks!
it is saturday morning
if snow comes as planned there will be little time for BLOGGING
lisa has just left for Yoga
I need to dress both Dean and Grant for cold weather
put Grant in the backpack
Roscoe and Brutus on leashes
then go for a walk... walk as long as Dean is entertained and Grant is comfortable
that is an immeasurable amount of time to be determined by their moods
then... off to the switch... my turn for YOGA
the snow is starting
purchased two Petzel headlamps for some evening XC skiing
wanted to link to this page
will blog on it later
The Door Zone= The Death Zone
last night I rode home on the bike as many people were going out to one of the many Inagural Balls
the roads that were open were clogged with all sorts of limos
the limos were filled with old men with slutty young women
the sidewalks were jammed with men in tuxedos and women in sequen-coated dresses
old republicans I could understand
young republicans freak me out
the limo drivers are as professional as the cab drivers
totally oblivious to the world around them
their already below average IQ drops even further
not sure if it is the cold... but their necks are frozen... not a twist or a turn
just pull out and hit the gas
it was somewhat interesting
there were search lights scanning the sky
there were police on every corner
motorcades rushing through the streets
cars and people parting like the Red Sea
some motorcades with important people
most motorcades with people who consider themselves important
security for people that no one knows who they are
it was madness
I was relieved to finally get out of the madness of downtown
it was a pleasure to exhale and ride up 14th Street where I only had to worry about the usual drivers and the crack heads on the corner
never know what crack head is going to see my bike and see dollar signs
as I moved slowly up the hill I watched and anticipated the worst
always look for the worst
waiting for the worst may help to prevent the worst
there was brawl on the corner... but not my concern
not sure if that burley man was hitting the other burley man or if he was hitting that fat women who looked like she was begging for something...
car alarms were going off....
jaywalkers stepped off the curb without even looking
lucky for them I can anticipate them
young kids doing young kid stuff at Clifton Terrace... do they know that they are living at ground zero? do they know that the president just got inagurated for another 4 years? what does the future hold for them?
I run lights past police officers.... thinking that they have greater concerns than me... hopeing that they have greater concerns than me
finally the home stretch
cars past me fast and close....
I grit my teeth and think... I live on this street... I own a house on this street....
you are on my street....
go back to where ever you came!
would you want me to drive down your street passing you as you passed me....
but that is another issue for another blog
the car driver does not see a person
they see the bicyclist which is just another obstacle
boss just walked in
best get with the program
snow is magical
I pity the poor folks without a window to stare out at the snowflakes
I could stare at falling snowflakes all day long
and I have
as a kid I stared at snowflakes in the day watching and waiting for the flakes to stack up
then in the night I would stare out the window towards a street lamp where I could see the falling flakes
calculating the potential accumulation while plotting the course of my next day
will there be enough snow for school to be canceled
will school just be a few hours late
should I wax my toboggan
should I dig out the shovel
(usually I did both)
shoveling walks was a pleasure of John Henry proportions
there were regular customers and there was plenty of work to do
it was a work out that gave me extreme pleasure as well as a pile of cash
I recall sledding in that pre-snowboard age
there was the "skurfer" and some other semi-skateboard-esque apparatus
but Burton and Sims had not yet come forward with the metal edgeless snowboards
so we stood upright on our Flexible Flyers and even our toboggans
the local hills got smaller
as I got older eventually we were old enough and we had the luxury of options options created by the freedom that the car could offer
a car and some secret knowledge would broaden the perspective of where the best place to sled would be
some claimed it was Congressional Country Club
others had a secret spot out near Potomac
in my mind there were only two choices; Battery Kimble Park and Howard Law at UDC
lucky for me my BLOG is not well read or I would protect this information like a map to a secret fishing spot
on some days we would go to both as well as back to the other sometimes
one spot was crowded
maybe we wanted to try and get the fresh snow
one could be better packed
while the other may be revealing grass
it was not science it was good clean fun that often offered a pit stop at Booey Mongers or Popeyes
those were the days that made high school great
man.... working on a snow day sucks
I wanted to be at home with Dean, Grant, Lisa, and the dogs.....
I managed to get something almost as good
worked the main office this morning but had to be at a remote site for the rest of the day into the evening
rather than catching a cab I crossed town on my bike
the bike choice that day was the Rocky Mountain Blizzard with knobby tires
a little air let out.... a little squishy in case I needed extra traction
sure enough... I needed extra traction
it was a blast
all the right gear to stay warm and dry to get to ride around in the middle of the day in the middle of a snow storm is a pleasure I did not want to be denied
this is not Colorado... I must grab the pleasures of winter while they are here
as tame as they may be
it was an interesting day to be on the roads
the street closures for the Inaguration were starting to come into effect
red and blue lights flashed on top of police cars blocking off roads as utility trucks with yellow flashing lights worked to assemble viewing stands, fences, and bleachers
it was confusing...
Metro buses were parked as if broken down to create barricades
people from all over the country have come to support and protest
not sure which group appeared in greater numbers
(tonight I watched a fireworks display over Lafayette park from the snow covered roof top on a building at the base of Capitol Hill........ a beautiful perspective but it did not feel like a celebration)
I managed the cross town ride on the snow covered streets dodging potholes, patches of ice, and frantic drivers excited to have a reason to speed around in the snow in their SUVS
it was chaos
it was anarchy
it was pleasure
and happily there was no pain...
not a slip or a crash
maybe a slip and some squirrelling about
but no slam
the rant is rambling and I think I need some downtime note to self: if you drink.... don't blog!
remind me to
I will just link to it
last two nights I had the timing and the opportunity to sit down for the full two part two night presentation of a PBS Jack Johnson documentary
what a great story
what a great documentary
those burns brothers and their story telling ability
got home late to be greeted by the foot prints of Dean and family's back yard
it made me happy to see the tracks of Dean and whomever all over the deck and clubhouse
then glanced at my watch and picked up the pace
shined my helmet mounted headlamp into the dining room scanning for Dean or Grant
stepped down one level of the deck down to the next
all the while scanning the upstairs bathroom window wondering if the boys were in the bath
then down into the basement
out of my snow covered winter cycling apparel feet still warm and dry in those LAKE shoes
threw on some underwear and a t-shirt
up the stairs through the kitchen smile as I spot pizza delivery boxes hungry as I was there was not time for snacks.....
dinner would come soon enough
then into Dean's room there was Lisa with Dean and Grant discussing Dean's next step before sleep
I picked up Grant and gave Lisa a kiss
volunteered to read a book to Dean
Dean and I talked about the "SNOW DAY"
day Dean gave me an update while Lisa shared in the explanation with specific facts and a tad more accuracy
then Grant was off to bed
I read several Maurice Sendak Little Bear Stories
it was just what I needed
not sure who enjoyed the book reading session more..... Dean or myself now
I need to put my feet
up no time to proof read
no time for spell check
hmmmmm..... reminds me of college
except there was more alcohol
I will try to dig up a copy of the Washington Post
well more specifically the front page of the Washington Post that displayed me with a few friends crashing a landing with the four of us and a toboggan
what was the date.... February 1984?
let me think that one out where would I have a copy.... would be worth scanning and posting or even better if I had the full front page in tact...
I could have it framed and hang it in my home office
that was a great memory documented for the world to see
kids love snowdays
lee likes bikes
Leelikesbikes.com is an amazing resource
check it out
all sorts of opinions and information that may aid or inspire!
Lee's book that is just hot off the press!
"Mastering Mountain bike Skills!"
and then this also from Lee
The PUMP COURSE!
this is something that I would love to see in the Washington DC area
I would love to see the NPS embrace mountainbiking and offer up a little land
there are horse trails.... why not bike trails?
the C&O canal has land stretching from Georgetown to Cumberland
some small stretches would make for some great little single track loops!
recently I have been daydreaming about FRIDAYS AT FLETCHERS
down by the soon to be CLOSED Fletchers Boat house there is some land that would make for a great little man made loop
maybe a larger version of a the PUMP COURSE
or maybe something similar to WAKEFIELD PARK in Northern VA
(Wednesdays At Wakefield aka WAW)
another Fletcher's article
work is calling
blog must go on the back burner
CALLING ALL CLYDESDALES
well... not all Clydesdales
not even most of the Clydesdales
just the Clydesdale Mountainbikers
well.... just the Male Clydesdale Mountainbikers
more specificaly the ones that are fast and fit and of course legit
lets break it down a little further
just a tad more specific
the ones who would be interested in joining my Clydesdale Team for the 24 Hours of Big Bear in West Virginia
currently I have three slots fillled
things are looking like I like it
I am going to be the slow guy on a fast team!
chris and john are going to make me look good
any and all interested feel free to contact me via my yahoo email
gwadzilla8 at yahoo dot com
what is a CLYDESDALE?
according to Britannica.com...
: a heavy draft horse with feathering on the legs of a breed orig. from Clydesdale, Scotland
in the world of mountainbiking it is a racer who is above 200 pounds
(I have heard that out west the measure is 220.... either way I make the mark)
Granny Gear has moved again!
Their once Canaan..... then Snowshoe... is now Big Bear West Virginia
their site is down
I hope that is not a symbol or a statement!
it would take more than chris and john to make me look good
but we will have fun and we should be fast
when my mind is right for reading
Chemical Brothers (article)
seen them several times
something about the Chemical Brothers
don't get me wrong I love the music.... but it is not that they are the best band making the music, but they are one of the best at what they do.....
and what do they do?!?!?!
they rock the house
the songs rock.... but that is only a fraction of the event
the overpowering base where ear plugs are a must
base so loud that your lungs feel like woofers
ears ringing to wednesday
permanent damage if not careful
that is what I am talking about
I could see the Chemical Brothers next pass through town as an excuse to go out and shake my money maker
other music.... local music.... DC music
and on the other side of the musical "tracks"
on that same tip born from that same seed....
Retisonic (a archive BLOG about Jason Farrell of Retisonic plus image)
BLACKCAT (the new and improved... okay... NEW!)
sure..... it is not the NEW BLACKCAT... but remember.... it is still the NEW 9:30 Club
you know what.... I know more about Romper Room at this point in my life than DC bars
so I will BLOG no further
guilty as charged
I am a cyclist
as a cyclist I ride bikes, I have bikes, I travel by bike, I have bike clothes, I have bike gear
the bicycle is part of me
the bicycle is part of my life
cycling can often be a topic of converstation
cyclist have all been asked this question before at a party..... usually by a stranger..... "I am in the market for a new bike..... blah blah blah....."
well... in my many years of life this is a question that I have entertained with great energy, great care, and great time
at this point in my life I hate this question
been asked it before
answered it before
the answer tends to be forgotten before morning
the person who asked the question knowing that they are going to do whatever they want to do without any logic or reason....
without giving a care what some drunk stranger told them at a party or a bar
most of these people have no intention of making that purchase any time soon!
(if at all.)
so when I was asked that question last night I was glad that I felt comforable enough to let it be known that the question in question was not going to be answered unless it is asked in a bike shop with the credit card in hand
no, not so I get a commission
no, so that I know that my time, energy, and thought are not being wasted (again)
okay.... I have a drink to drink
then I have a bed to go to
and on top of all that I have to go to work tomorrow.... yes... on sunday
such is life being me
it is set on the mental calendar of every saturday of every month
it just does not happen that ways
as we all know things do not always go as planned
especially in the world of parents of two children under 4 years old
yet even with the obstacles and all the doubt we were able to make it happen
lisa was a few minutes late
she was late
she made it
even though my head hurt due to a hang over caused by a company party
I made it too
we each made it to our saturday morning yoga class at the ayc (ashtanga yoga center)
it was a good work out
I could feel the work out that I had
I could see the work out that lisa had
like the old Calgon ad......"yoga........ take me away"
(calgon...take me away? maybe you are too young)
it can be theraputic; yoga that is... calgon? I do not know
my intention is to do more yoga
lets see what I come up with
still very curious about Bikram
maybe that is what I need to get me to my desired race weight for this season
some people blog about....
some people link to
"the music that 'they' are listening to"
a good amount of the time I am listening to this
and trying to get my hands on some of this
anything else on music?
yes.... but I will let you chew on those two links
but it made me laugh out loud
not an electronic version
let me see if it plays.....
it does play
stole it from HERE...Reality Sandwich
the World of the BLOG and the BLOGGER
just the other day I blogged on about various BLOGGERS who had been fired from their jobs for BLOGGING
went ahead today to read some more of their postings
when what did I find?
I found that one was Blogging about the other!
tried making a comment.... but did not want to jump through the hoops needed to do so
Queen of the Sky
was blogging about Leta's hot mom Heather with the clever sense of humor
(as well as what may be the most organized BLOG I have ever encountered)
both worth checking into
not just because they are cute blondes
because they are cute blonde bloggers!
it makes me happy when it does
so I sat down after a long day okay... not a long day just a average day which in this stage of life can be long rich but long....
let me back this up a bit....
so after waking up at 7:15 with dean and grant as Lisa tried to leave off for work
then walking the dogs as Soledad took grant along with her to drop dean off at his daycare/school
on the bike for a short several zip code urban commute.... that is not very far
a day of work where there was some stuff that need to be done and was done
enough was done that I was able to get out of work a few minutes early
even with the threat of rain in an already moist and muggy day
it was just too warm to pass up the chance to get a few miles on the bike
with the ground wet there are no dirt options so I figured I could just pedal
no matter where or how far
more about duration
a great way to shed the day
30 minutes is not enough.... an hour and the mind starts to loosen... and every minute after an hour is medicine
so with maybe too much gear for a dangerously warm day that leaves me asking...
"is it a nice day or is it global warming"
not sure but I think it may have broken 70 degrees
muggy in January? go figure
so I rode
nothing dramatic.... nothing great
just pushed the Rocky Mountain Blizzard, knobbies and all, up north along the Potomac on the Capitol Crescent Trail
a trail that I am familiar with in its previous form of a railroad
up to Bethesda Avenue in downtown Bethesda
right by the Air Rights building
AOPA..... the Air Rights Building.... a building build over the tracks with "air rights" .... my Tom Sawyer stomping grounds
where I crushed pennies, hopped the train, and even had bonfires
foolishly massive bonfires
bonfires in downtown Bethesda under the air rights building?
maybe my stupidity was equally balanced with luck
well..... that was an age before we measured days by terrorist threat levels
turned around and took the same trail back from Bethesda to Georgetown
all downhill... well nearly
considered peeling off the unneeded gortex shell pants
I was warmed up and it was warm out
perhaps I was overheating... sweating and soaking
but I did not want to be bothered
just pointed it down
like that old train I pushed it down that hill only slowing slightly as I crossed the two sets of streets
finally onto the bike path at Rock Creek Parkway for the final stretch only to take the shortcut through the zoo rather than the climb at Porter St. or Park Rd. that I had no feeling for at this moment
gritting my teeth as I encountered each lightless jogger and each lightless cyclist
fearing the worst for them and worse yet the worst for me
people with no helmet, no lights, no skill, and definitely no common sense
that makes for a dangerous scenario.... not tonight... but it will happen
got home to lisa about to feed the boys
I jumped right in
grant got more raisins and we shared a banana
everyone was eating raisins.... even the dogs... is that healthy? should dogs eat raisins
then the main course, raviolli
after dinner it was time for a shower
not a bad idea after a long day topped off with a grit sprinkling ride
so I climbed in first got all soaped up while I had dean start the night time routine
there were teeth to brush, clothes to change, and whatever to be put in the toilet
by the time Dean was done squeezing toothpaste everywhere, peeing on the toilet seat, and stepping on his brother hands....
I was done with the shower
the drain was plugged as Dean climbed in for a shower to bath transitions
only to be joined by grant after he gets a little shower time
no gymboree bubbles tonight
but the "keep it in the tub" rule was a reminder on my tongue
Dean loves to splash and play
at this moment he was filling and pouring water from container to container
a good game where he gets to explore all sorts of volume type measurement stuff
but.... he needs to be reminded to keep the water in the tub
lisa whisked grant away after some giggling and a scrub down
dean was entertained
I toweled dry and got dressed while he finished up he measurements and experiments
we then called my mother by his request so that they could talk about who knows what
he is only going to be this old once
so I figure I need to try and share him with his grandparents as much as possible
grandma seemed to enjoy the exchange
they talked about a variety of things including the sleep over he had this weekend past
three and a half and he had his first sleep over
they grow up so fast.... some faster than others
after a getting dressed I picked out some books and climbed into bed
well, climbed into bed after tucking Dean in and complaining that he was hogging the bed "in my space"
there I am beside him in that diminutive bed
using a variety of stuffed animals for pillows as I read him various classics whose titles slip my mind right now
it was late
I wanted the lights out
but Dean wanted to read some more
he wanted me to read to him
he wanted to read to me
I wanted to get something to eat
dinner had not happened for me yet
dean settled for reading to himself
I contemplated what there was to eat
considered getting something from the strip
there is some cheap Cheapie Chinese
some "mas excellente" Peruvian Chicken that is beyond "sobroso"
as well as few newbie hipster joints and all the classic Salvadoran places
Lisa needed some beer
so I leashed up the dogs for a walk up the block
there was not much time but I liked the challenge
it was nearly twenty minutes to 9
unsure if they sell carry out any later I had to move fast
but I wanted to pass by Tom's house to drop off some old clothes including a slightly worn Burley rain gear
out the back alley I took a left rather than right
went towards the new and soon to be locked private stairway shortcut
in my head I thought about the tenant I knew inside or the logic that a person walking dogs past their front door is like free security
then settled on saying good evening to anyone I passed
through the alley without meeting up with any of the 8 new condo tenants that now occupy the recently renovated concrete box that use to be apartments
onto Newton street onto Tom's porch
Roscoe and Brutus looked right past Hutch's wagging tail straight at the kittens
no time to knock
we have a deadline
no time to pee
no time to poop
even after Lisa walked the dogs in the woods!
karma will kick in.... I am sure to step in poop five times for each time I fail to pick up my dog's poop
(normally I would scan the front porches for morning newspapers in plastic bags... no time for that)
no bag... this rain will wash that poop away
well... I just dropped off some rain gear
but I can deal
march the dogs and tie them up out front of the Argyle Market within a less than appreciated old style apartment complex
a building well worth a step back to access
inside to grab a six pack of lisa's favorite, Sierra Nevada
can the shelves
I want it all
but do not give into the craving
as much as I want some cheetos
best I have dinner first
straight down park road
over the deck into the back door
straight to the fridge to grab some makings for dinner
two grilled cheese sandwiches and now some Wood Chuck Cider
television and nothing to watch
nothing to watch since I managed to catch an awesome animated feature on PBS
Still Life with Animated Dogs
it is worth checking out
look for it and set your TEVO
or for those without such technology
check your local listings and set your calendar on your Palm
get a sharpie and write it down on the back of your hand
after following that hot tip for that entirely original animated piece
take a look at this moving feature about a world class surfer
also on PBS, Rell Sun
almost guaranteed to inspire you and draw a tear
time to publish and post
finish this drink
go put my head on the pillow
what doesn't happen often?
it is not common for TV to offer something so entertaining
I must look for this feature again
an epic feature
maybe not everyone can appreciate it
it is worth checking to see if this magic could touch you
dog owners may have even a tad more interest
still life with animated dogs
to blog or not to blog... is there a question?
my life would be different without the BLOG
so would work
today I spent more time reading BLOGS then writing BLOGS
most of my time on GOOGLE searching the topic of people getting fired for BLOGGING AT WORK...
well... it is far more regular than I would like to think
more local less west
in the UK this guy got fired
and totally unrelated
more cool tool reviews at WOOT
As important as THE BLOG may be to my day to day experience
it is not nearly as important as THE JOB
with that said....
back to work