New Tour (dates)
the video was filmed by Thievery's Sitar/Guitar Star Rob Myers
Rob did some great multimedia work on this video as well
warning: it is 25MB
look at the tour...
see if it corresponds with your life and your travels
DC or Dublin?
check the dates
a week ago at this time I was just back from yoga class
my body felt good and I was feeling a tad bit of acomplishment with my handstands and my class as a whole
my headstands and my handstands are less than perfect
less than satisfactory even... usually needing a spotter or the use of the wall
well... my yoga practice as a whole is less than dynamic
it is more about how it makes me feel than how I look while attempting each move
one a week is not enough for yoga... and it shows
each class is different
some classes leave me invigorate... while other classes are less fantastic
always good, but not always fantastic
last week at this time there was some pleasure in the level of achievement I had attained
last week was nothing fantastic... just development and progression
I was pleased with my progress
sometimes something like a headstand or handstand is more mental than physical
self confidence and self trust
on this day I felt a little more confident and felt a little more trust
yoga class like life is cumulative...
my attention shifted from the yoga class behind me to the race at Michaux ahead of me
while the boys napped I put the Karate Monkey in the repair stand for a final clean up and tune up
with the wheels straight, the gears shifting, and the brakes braking I cleaned and lubed the chain
simple green degreaser... wiped clean and dry
pedros synthetic lube... wiped clean and dry
then coated it all with a white lightning wax lubricant... again wiping things clean and dry
the bike was ready so I packed away some gear
a glance a weather.com had me swap the SIDI shoes for the LAKE MX300s
along with the knickers I packed some tights.... just in case
along with a few jerseys and arm warmers I tucked a light weight Gortex jacket... just in case
with the bicycle ready with my gear packed I then moved to packing food and fuel
water in the hydration pack and a clean water bottle for some GATOR-RAGE; a RED BULL and Gatorade mix that is vital for a turbo boost when my body starts to drag
along with fluids I searched for various GU, Hammer Gel, and Cliff Bar packets
as well as food for the drive up... prerace fueling is always imporant
for this I packed away several pieces of left over pizza, some bottled water, and some aditional Red Bull and gatorade
before I could review my packing I heard the sound of a stirring child, Grant was awake from his nap
my focus shifted from bikes to babies
made a mental note to review my gear after the boys are off to sleep
here it is again Saturday and Grant is again up from his nap
my focus shifts from the computer to my family
a few weeks ago there was a bombing in Iraq that took several lives
I guess there are bombings taking lives everyday
this bombing took some lives of one special person in particular
this is not to say that the other lives lost are not special... of course they are special
in this bombing several lives were lost
lives were lost of those who were the target as well as those who happened to be in the area of the incident
Marla Ruzicka was one of those that died in this bombing...
here is a write up about Marla and her passing at Salon.com
an old friend of mine John Monte has been doing some film work in Iraq
John had a brief meeting with Marla
after her passing he worked on a Video Tribute to Marla Ruzicka
as a parent it is a great stage in a child's development when they can start eating Bananas and Pizza
not so much for the nutritional value
but rather due to the self service nature of each food
in our house pizza is slightly superior to bananas when it comes to clean up
as the dogs eat pizza but they have no interest in bananas
for those with children.... dogs make for excellent vacuum cleaners*
they do a wonderful job of picking up the food that flies from the high chair
there are certain foods that are so coveted by the dogs that the food does not even make it to the floor!
*the dogs are also beggars and vultures
often stealing food from an unsuspecting toddler's hand
often crowding the high chair waiting for the next morsel to drop
it is vital for me to keep perspective
this injury SUCKS!
in the scheme of things it is nothing more than a speed bump in the road of life...
life comes with a warning...
LIFE IS DANGEROUS: LIVE AT YOUR OWN RISK
in the sport of cycling crashes happen
crashing is pa rt of the game
in mountain biking if you are not crashing... you are not testing your limits
usually after a crash there is little more than some scrapes, some bruises, and maybe some damage to the bike
oh... and a story.. there is always a story
then their are times like this where the injury is a tad more serious
in my story I look at the injury...
I broke my finger, not my neck
the finger will heal... i will be back on the bike in no time at all
sure I will lose conditioning
sure I will miss some races
I will certainly race and ride again... more than likely in a few months
then I look at my life
family, house, job....
all those things are still in check
as important as cycling is to me... it is a part of me that falls behind all the others
in some ways it comes before job... but without job there would not be much family or house
and no way to buy bikes, gear, race entry fees, or even fuel for my body or my car
it is my finger....
not my neck
not my knee
it is me.. not my wife.. not one of my sons
it is one finger on my off hand
I will survive
I look around me and without question I know I will rebound from this in no time
others have battled greater obstacles
no need to feel sorry for myself
yet I do feel sorry for myself
more on this in a bit
back to work
this broken finger is a pain
sure it is throbbing
sure it is awkward to sleep
sure it makes me shout out explitives if I bang it into something
but that is not the pain that hurts the most
day two off the bike...
I look on yearning to ride a bike...
roadies cruising up and down the hill in front of my house heading into Rock Creek Park
commuters buzzing by me as I walk 40 minutes to work
messengers going the wrong way on one way streets nearly run me down as I head off to lunch
racers make plans for not so distant races
these are the things that cause me pain
sure there are other things
opening my medcation
leashing my dogs
putting a one year old into my car
anything we do takes two hands....
eating a really big sandwich
driving a car
buttoning a shirt
this is the world I currently exist in...
it is temporary
trying to keep perspective
but that void.... life without a bicycle
that is mr greatest source of pain
and this pain has only started to fester
in the scheme of things this is nothing more than a speed bump
things could have been worse
I have been through worse
sadly... there will be worse again
here is a story of a commuter who regained his passion for the bike
hope my time away increases my love for the bike
rather than diminishing it
(sorry... I forget what Cycling Blogger I stole that article link from)
this creation... well... this entry was developed in two sittings
once back from Gettysburg I dropped off Dave... then my gear... then headed over to Sibley
having experienced ER waits of greater length and pain than purgatory I logged onto my laptop immediately after checking in
things at Sibley went faster than expected
so I "hunt and pecked" my way through things in between signatures, x-rays, and analysis
now I am back to close it all up
blogging from the ER
blogging one handed from the ER
today I ignored all weather reports
today I ignored any and all hesitations and fears about racing with as little riding/training as I have been doing
loaded up the interior of the Honda Element with bikes various levels of cold weather cycling gear and fellow City Bikes/DCMTB racer Dave V.
dave is good company
our lives have multiple similarities
both fathers of two boys one baby and one several years
both live in Mt Pleasant
both are friends with my brother
the list goes on
but this is not a list
this is supposed to be a race report
we arrived at the race location to be greeted by a flurry of activity
everyone was beyond excited for the days event
as we unloaded the bikes from the interior of my car we started to access the temperature of the day
along with the flurry of activity that surrounded us there was also intermittent falling snow but nothing more than a little flurry
with the bikes out of the car dave and I made small talk with various riders
some known.. some unknown
all very friendly
former DCMTBer Jason Troxler was there
DCMTB newbie Matt was also there
City Bikers were coming out of the woodwork... Becky another newbie rolled up
everyone exchanged hellos as well as exchanging tips of the gear to wear and what to expect from the terrain .
the discussions continued
tire pressure? rock hard or squishy?
tights or knickers?
more or less top layers?
fenders.. si o no?
this being the first race of the season for most people caused the prerace jitters to be a little higher maybe turned up to ELEVEN!
registered dressed bike seemingly well tunned I left out on warm up spin
so many faces
. so many friends
it is good to see everyone again
talked with some fellow Clydesdales sized up the competition
fellow Clydesdale and last seasons Michaux Clydesdale champion shared some advice and information that aided in my understanding of what to expect
rolled down the road here I ran into SM100 race promoter Chris Scott
we chatted... I was interested to see that he was on a 26er rather than his 29er
he said preference . I thought maybe sponsor
as we departed he made mention of my rear tire pressure
it did seem a little soft so I took his advice and went back to my car to pump in a little more air
while adding air to my rear tire I noticed the prerace meeting had begun
it was nearly out of earshot
but I did hear a call for beginners and Clydesdales to meet at the start line
at this I glance up to see people rolling down the road
again there is mention of the beginners and Clydesdales lining up first
in rush I turn back to pumping air into my rear tire/tube
as the call the following groups my Red Bull enhanced excitement grows to near panic
I pull the adaptor from the valve
airs exits as I fumble with the removal
now I have less air in the rear than I had before it is good but no rock solid
I make my way down the paved road where people are gathering for the start
upon arrival I realize the clydesdales lined up first as they would be released last
at the start line I made small talk with Deleware Clydesdale Mark Fitzwater
as we spoke I scoped out the competition
more looking for skinny fellas posing as Clydesdales and familiar faces
as time passed the topic of our course distance came to surface
I was agitate to learn that we would be racing the beginner distance
frustrated at the start I brought up the misunderstanding to one of the promoters
we did not see eye to eye
I told him that we could discuss this later
he did not care for my word choice
but having this 5'5" promoter weighing in at 155 would be like me setting the rules for a lesbian Sadie Hawkins dance...
our turn to take the line arrived
with a ten count we were off the Clydesdales bunched in with the Vet Beginners
in the middle ring I sprinted away from the field curious what the course before me would offer
in the distance down the hill I heard Fitzwater bid me farewell . joel have a good race
from the paved climb onto a fire road and onto some rocky doubletrack
already I was forced to pass racers from classes released before me
it was tough going .
their pace was not my pace
I wanted to roll, but kept having to slow and stop
it was tough to develop a rhythm
on the bike
off the bike
noodling between some rocks at a slow pace my front wheel halted
my bike and boy pivoted on the axle/axis of the front wheel
I was airborne
all 235 pounds of me landed on my index finger
I somehow managed to witness my index finger stab into the ground
then double back on itself
it was an ugly site
a painfully ugly site
I tried to unjam the knuckle
the banana like curve of my finger was awkward to the eye
so I looked away
close to the start I weighed my options
being bullheaded as I am
I had one option
not much time had passed and I was back in traffic
making passes when I could
trying to find a rhythm
trying to find a way to keep my left hand from causing me more pain
trying to find a balance where I could ride fast and smooth
braking was not easy
shifting the front derailleur was not easy
finding a painfree position was impossible
there were varying levels of pain
but no painfree positions
occasionally I screamed out... it was good release
chatter on the downhills deserved a scream each time
unfamiliar with the course I tried to enjoy the early spring surroundings
most certainly there were trees in bloom but I did not see them
most certainly there were dynamic vistas of distant rolling hills but I did not see them
all I saw was the terrain infront of me and the occasional flurry of snow
of course there were other racers and that nasty looking finger that hurt to look at
so I did not look at the finger, the trees, or the views
pain aside .
it was a great course
at some point in the race I found myself behind the leading beginner
who may have been the biggest sandbagger whose dust I ate
the race went its way
there were moments where I questioned my choice to continue
there were moments where I screamed out in pain
there was never a moment where I regretted my choice to race that day
there was never a moment where I regretted my choice to continue to race with a broken finger
on the flats I rode upright and tired to unjam my finger
wishfully thinking that it was dislocated rather than broken
but their was no magical pop that put everything right
as I trailed behind the sandbagging leader I felt purpose
my purpose being my finishing time would act as justification for altering the class to a Sport distance
then I flatted out
just as I had lost the humility of a broken finger I was humbled by mechanical error
it boggled my mind how difficult it was to repair a flat with one and a half hands
it was a slow awkward process
one by on all the races I had passed now passed me
then a few Clydesdales rolled past
I cheered for each rider who passed me
each rider half heartedly offered assistance
eventually the tube was on the rim
the tire was filled with air
then the wheel was back on the bike
with squishy tire pressure front and rear I aimed to finish
my effort to make a statement had evolved into an effort to make it to the finish
the was some nice riding that invigorated me
after some time I managed to catch a few racers
then a few more
in the distance I saw a few riders looking back in a panic
I accelerated to get a closer view
I accelerated to give them closer view
sure enough they were Clydesdales
unlike the other racers who asked my class
these racers knew my class
I rolled past the second Clydesdale who had seconds earlier had been a spec in front of me
was now behind me out of my field of view
I listened for his wheels
I listened for his breath
I focused on the turn marker ahead which caused me to look through the woods
in between the trees I could see the gravel parking lots where the racers had parked
this last turn marked the last 20 yards
which I had recalled from the prerace meeting
the race was over no battling it out in the final seconds
as those final seconds had passed
I rolled through
they tore the base of my race number for the results board
I scanned the area for paramedic or a medical tent
distracted by the moment
ran into some friends shared my tale
went to the car told my tale again and again
showed off my swollen banana like finger
heard some tales of glory and woe from some other racers
was pleased to see people were psyched about the race and their personal performances
then finally took a walk to the Paramedics and their Emergency vehicle
without X-ray they could not confirm it was broken
but they assured me that it was an injury that need immediate . not medivac but immediate medical attention
they taped two fingers and passed me an ice pack
I expressed thanks and gratitude
we agreed that a minor injury like mine is a far more pleasant site than what they have seen and will see
we parted our ways
after more banter with various racers I am told that I won the Clydesdale Class
these words from the racer I passed in the final seconds
we talked and shared agreement in the short Clydesdale course
the misunderstanding of the class
after looking at the board I saw that I took second
and he took third
showed him the board
he felt there was room for dispute
he felt confident that he had a good grasp of the position of the class
who knows how that unfolded?
I did not stay for awards
it is always hard to justify staying late for awards when I have a wife chasing two energetic children . my energetic children our energetic children
even without a broken finger I would have had to of left straight out
before I left I spoke to lisa and dean
dean was concerned about my hand
he wanted to see my finger
he wanted to know "why?"
as I went into my story I heard him hang up the phone
the x-ray and the words of the doctor confirmed that my index finger was/is broken
later that night Dean kissed my cast covered wrist
. and it did feel better afterwards
TYPING WITH ONE HAND SUCKS!
so my throat does not grow hoarse from retelling my tale of woe
here is how it read...
On Sunday, this weekend past, I crashed my bicycle in a mountain bike race just outside of Gettysburg, PA (Michaux State Forrest)It was a less than dynamic crash.... just went over the handlebars.All 235 pounds of me trying to land and balance on my index finger was more than any finger was built to take. I saw the finger double back on itself and knew immediately it was broken. I tried to pull it straight, not sure if that helped.The injury occurred within the first 10 minutes if the race. Rather than mope my way back to the parking lot I continued forward. Held first in my class until the final miles where I got a front flat. Changing the tire with one and a half hands was more difficult than typing with one hand. As I repaired the flat I watched a cast of racers roll past. Finally with the flat repaired and the wheel back on the bike I was back on course.It was a tad sketchy at times. But I managed to start to reel in some of the racers who had just passed me. Eventually regaining second place in my class just before the finish. I was glad to have finished strong; broken... but strong. Paramedics on site confirmed the break. Then drove back to DC for X-Rays at the ER.Next step.... a hand specialistneed more details? email me backI am working on a race report for my mountain bike teamthanks for listening
but I do worship Madonna!
okay... I do not worship Madonna...
but I do think that she is COOL AS SH-T!
the last two albums by Madonna have been her best two albums
let me rephrase that one
the last two albums by Madonna were completely different from each other...
each completely awesome in their own way!
on top of that...
last night when I wanted to get Dean off to bed I lured him upstairs with the promise of reading him a few books..
I let Dean select one... while I selected another
Dean selected Blueberry's for Sal,
while I selected one of the books authored by Madonna, Mr. Peabody's Apples
(she has another book that I have not read yet; The English Roses)
I must say.... Mr. Peabody's Apples is a fun little story
it is a little heavy handed with the message
it is a nice little book with beautiful images and a nice little story
oh..... after Dean was born... Lisa wanted to go out... she felt she deserved a little "treat"
we bought tickets for the Madonna "show"
I say "show" as it was much more than a "concert"
it was pretty dam spectacular
not sure if the display justified the ticket cost.... but it was quite a show!
Pictures of MADONNA ON A BICYCLE!
we can always bring it back to the BIKE!
and never forget!
Madonna's first child was fathered by a cyclist
he was once a NYC Messenger
so... at least she is giving it up to the boys on the bike
well... she was...
I have been bad... very very bad
okay it is not that I have been so bad just another case of my never ending hypocrisy
yesterday there were all sorts of plans
double booked myself
had to weigh my priorities
there was a meeting with the Reunion Committee; my high school 20th reunion
there was my wife's desire to attend yoga....
no brainier.... wife gets to go to yoga!
there have been too many time in the last month where she has had to handle both the kids as I have had to work (and a few cases where I went out for a ride on my bike)
what is good for the wife... is good for the family
the positive effects of my wife getting a good workout radiate throughout the whole family
as my day grew closer to a close to quitting time I got a call
lisa had attended a field trip with Dean and his class to Wheaton Regional Park
at this pre-k field trip there was a little mishap... little freddy threw a rock that hit lisa's ankle
she was not going to yoga
there was some reconsideration of the reunion meeting
but the tone of her voice said... "I need help!"
so I opted to head home, not straight home, but home and not to the meeting
the Jamis Nova cross bike was the vehicle of choice on this day
the rear end had some parts replacement and was begging to be pushed
had swapped out the old tired Tiagra rear wheel for a 105 wheel that I had reserved for cross races
not many cross races right now
seems foolish to ride a wobbly old wheel while good wheels sit in the shed removed the TUFO tubular clincher and put on an old Ritchey Speedmax 30mm tire
thinner than my fat ass desires... but it better condition that the Specialized Cross tires I had been riding
the wider diameter cross tire I had been riding was worn and had already allowed two flats
two flats being two too many
most definitely want to save the TUFO tires for racing...
not to mention the fear of flatting away from home on that tire would not allow for an "on the spot" repair without much time
I was able to sneak out of work 15 minutes early
an efficient clothing change and quick evacuation
on the road and rolling with nothing but a rolling goodbye to all my friendly co-workers
knowing that lisa is at home after a full day with the boys
knowing that lisa works three days
knowing lisa handles the lion's share of parenting and house keeping
(and it is the female lion that does the hunting as the male sleeps in the shade)
knowing I best get home ASAP I hit the Capital Crescent Trail with no deliberation
arrived to the trail a few minutes earlier than the commuter clog on the Capital Crescent Trail
so I pick up the pace and spin the cranks
in the smaller of the two front rings
but in a smaller cog in the back
going pretty hard
going pretty fast
the path is not entirely user free
there are joggers, walkers, babies in strollers, and other bikers
not congested but the path is occupied
perhaps I am going faster than I should on a multi-user trail
perhaps I am being a hypocrite
had I seen another cyclist going as fast and as aggressive as I was traveling I would most certainly make a face...
I may even say, "joker" as they pass yes....
I was riding like a joker!
it felt good to make the legs burn raced up to Bethesda Avenue
then instead of taking the path straight through the tunnel under the Air Rights building onto Rock Creek Parkway I turned it around to take the steady grade downhill
which was just the steady grade uphill for the last 25 minutes
wanted to try and get home by 6PM
more concerned with getting home than the duration of my ride
aware that I had gone a little too fast on the way up I try to hold the throttle on the way down
it is tough as it is such a nice subtle grade downhill
things are getting to be more congested
the spring weather is bringing the hermits out of their caves
all the people I passed coming up are now oncoming traffic
all the people that were oncoming traffic on the way up are now being passed
everyone gets eye contact everyone who gets passed gets an audible, "on your left"
efforts are made for a safe pass each and every time these multiuse trails are potentially dangerous it is vital for me to be alert at all times
as I approach any obstacle I anticipate any and all moves
always expecting the worst slowing for children on their small bikes
always anticipating that they may do the unthinkable....
a buttonhook into my path creating a very dangerous point of intersection
children and dogs usually get special attention
not only do I slow for them
but I get the fingers on the brake levers and I keep my focus on their next move
often talking to them to let them know I am approaching and I am in control
I watch runners and roller bladers knowing that they are often the most dangerous buttonhookers out there
LOOK BEFORE YOU BUTTONHOOK!
when will they learn? will it take a trip to the ER for this lesson to be taught?
LOOK BEFORE YOU BUTTONHOOK?!?
and if they could think about it buttonhook to the outside!
not the inside
traffic will be moving along passing right into your buttonhook
if these people were more alert
if these people were not wearing headphones
if these people took responsibility for their own actions
if these people anticipated the actions of others then the multiuse trails would be more safe
but that is not the case
people are stupid
people are selfish
people are either idiots or assholes....
some are both!
to protect myself I have to think for them and for me that goes for car drives as well as most anyone else
so I rode my bike fast and hard
never leaving the smaller ring in the front
even for the potentially fast sprint from Bethesda to Georgetown
it felt good to get home
I was greeted by my family with open arms and kisses
like a soldier coming home from war
lisa's ankle was sore, but did not look too bruised
Grant was in a bit of a mood
and Dean.... well... Dean was being Dean
we all hung out and played
I took the dogs for a loop in the woods across the street
had to leash the dogs for a good portion of the hike as the hiker population has grown from me and several others to what appears to be the whole neighborhood
we fed the kids
I took a shower
the boys took a bath
lisa dressed Grant
I checked emails while issuing orders for Dean to get dressed if he wanted me to read him a story
read Dean SHREK
then told him a few random stories....
some made up stories about a future that may or may never be
something simple about the family hiking or the family going skateboarding...
something to fill his little head
Dean made one effort to escape.. but after a little reprimand he stayed in for the night
it had been a long active day for him
normally he will make three or four escape efforts... all with a very cute face and some very amusing warm fuzzy manipulation tactics
it was almost 9PM
I went downstairs... fired up the grill.... tossed a few burgers on the grill and made some dinner
just spoke with a coworker who I passed both ways on the Crescent Trail yesterday
he said I was not going "too fast"
that statement is bitter sweet!
I thought I was going FAST!
I want to be seen as courteous and responsible... and I also want to be seen as FAST!
it is no longer a mystery to me
now I know how Frank died
as it turns out Frank was diagnosed with Cancer in February and died just one month later
nothing shy of tragic
people should not die so young
especially people who are so full of life
here is my previous post about Frank Hart
this post includes an image/obit from the Washington Post
my heart goes out to Frank and all who were close to him
Frank was a good guy and a good friend
adult life is shuffling my priorities
work comes first
go check out the words at BLUECOLAR MTB
there are some ideas there that I had wanted to post about....
Lance claims "le tour" is to be his last race...
Tyler Hamilton claims to be clean... while he is as dirty as a pig in the mud...
a reference to Dirt Rag Magazine! I LOVE DIRT RAG!...
and much much more!~
sounds like an old pope to me....
the notion of orthodox was not what I was looking for
as a liberal in hope to find religion before I die... it seems unlikely that Catholicism will ever come around to meet my views
new pope Nazi Youth? NY POST ARTICLE
more on the new pope @ Belief.net
Washington Post Article on Pope Benedict XVI
now back to things that really matter....
bicycles! The Bicycle Museum of America
and three races this weekend
Big Bear Lake (not the 24 hour event)
and Poor Farm
I am planning on the rocks of Michaux
how many of these things did I join?
none of them caught my attention quite like the madness of the BLOG
BLOGGING... reading BLOGS... searching for and seeking out BLOGS
but recently I started messing with MYSPACE
here is my MYSPACE PROFILE
there are aspects of MYSPACE that is superior to BLOGGER
there are aspects of MYSPACE that are a tad CREEPY!
MYSPACE seems like some sort of seedy meat market
it seems like all the girls are showing off what they have to show off
all the boys are there to see what the girls have to show off
I originally created my space at myspace in an effort to create a network for communication among fellow graduates
the Reunion Commitee is claiming that there will be an "Official Site"
I am waiting for this "Official Site"
the only people who are interested in stories about my children are other people with children and family
even other people with children are not that excited about such boastful tales
when people ask about my children... I need to remember to respond, "they are great!" smile and then let the topic drift
as cute as it may be for a 14 month old to make a great physical effort to jump
as magnificent as the talents of your near 4 year old may be
no one cares as much as a parent about the advanced nature of a child
so my wife set aside an article from the Wall Street Journal
she is really good at setting aside articles that would interest me
that is just one of the many things I am thankful for
all in all I got a pretty good deal with this marriage thing
sure I have my complaints... but even a millionaire wants more money
okay... back to my point
this article was about young toddler cyclists
the new market
the new breed of children riding younger and sooner
in this article there was mention of this great bike-like device that aided in the young children's learning to ride without ever using training wheels
so I went online to buy this LIKEABIKE machine
it is pure
it is simple
it is beautiful
it is Euro
it is cool
it is $ 279.00
I could buy a bike and remove the cranks for 60 bucks at my local bike shop!
maybe I should do a little PAYPAL thing where friends of GWADZILLA buy my little GWADZUKI a LIKEABIKE!
glad to see that SMC has not changed that much
here is the SMUT page I was directed to
(that is St. Mary's Ultimate Team)
at least it looks like the Ultimate Team is not working on a double major
in my day...
it was an achievement to graduate in 4 years... double major?
it does not look like there is much recognition for Ultimate on the main site
last weekend after yoga I was playing out front of my house with my wife and two children
down the sidewalk there were various neighbors doing various weekend things
coming and going
rushing off to do whatever people do on weekends
whatever people do on particularly beautiful spring weekend days
a number of people were doing yard work
others were stuffing their children into their cars for some less than local adventure
I noticed down the block that one of my neighbors was lugging arms full of yard clippings across the street and into a section of park land across the street from her house
Rock Creek Park one of our National Parks
being who I am I had to say something
I spend a fair amount of time picking up trash in the woods across the street from my house
people often dump their Christmas Trees and engine blocks into Rock Creek Park
people park... take in the view... enjoy their lunch... then toss their trash out the window
and of course
it is also not uncommon for people to dump their leaves, lawn trimmings, and trimmed tree limbs
so I walked down the sidewalk
as I got closer to her front walk I watched as this woman crossed the road
although I can not read minds it seemed as if she had seen me see her and she was fighting eye contact
as this neighbor of mine awkwardly tried to find her way up the stairs to her front walk without raising her head I began to speak... "you know... dumping your lawn clippings in the woods is no different than dumping an old washer or dryer... it is illegal... it is dumping..."
she responded with an, "oh yea..." to which I said, "yea."
she then tried to tell me that it will compost (decompose)
I assured her that the pile of leaves would not break down.... that the leaves would remain in a stack as an eyesore for years
that... an eyesore that makes others who consider dumping to do their actions with less guilt
that it reinforces people's mistaken justification for using the park as a landfill (perhaps not my exact words as I do remember part of her arguement was that it was better in the park than in a landfill)
our arguement went down a path that was all mouth and no ears....
she told me to call the cops...
I told her that "calling the cops" was not my style
but... that if I were to call the cops she would regret it as such a visit would be a pain in the ass which would include a trip to the dump, a reciept from the dump which would have to be taken to the police station... etc... etc... etc....
she continued to put leaves in the woods.... excuse me... national park across the street from her house
I immediately felt bad
after the dust settled I went back to her place to try and let her know that I did not enjoy how the exchange went
there was no answer...
so a few days later I dropped her an email apoligizing for the negative feeling our exchange
in that email I asked her to walk out her back door
have her take a look in the alley behind her house
for her to walk down to where our alley meets a section of the park
there she will see piles of logs, piles of leaves, piles of rubbish
all put there by people that believed that they would compost (decompose)
that this stuff would break down.... that they would become part of the park.. part of the earth
it just is not so
leaves fall one by one
leaves fall a few ontop of each other
leaves do not fall into large heaps
even the leaves that collect naturally into a pile take nearly to breakdown
I felt bad
like a hypocrite....
I was more trying to let her know that what she was doing was wrong
not telling her what to do
more just trying to share some information
as a person who walks their dogs leashless and takes an occassional spin on closed trails
I have no right to pass judgement on others... I was not passing judgement on anyone
it was more an effort to pass on information
to help her finish an arguement that she has already had in her head
the encounter did not go as I felt it should
it was a difficult issue to approach
another person would have let it go
another person would have know that there are two ways this exchange could go... good or bad
the odds were stronger in the favor of things going bad
another person would learn from this experince and try not to say anything in the future
well.... I am not another person
I am me
sometimes I feel that my size works against me
that people will already take an agressive defensive stance
standing poised and ready
locked and loaded
ready to argue
ready to fight
although I hate conflict... I create this situations of conflict for myself all the time
although I want to avoid contact
I still have to be me
next time I need to figure out a way to approach waving a white flag
I am sure that people have heard the stories of people having bags under the bags under their bags under their eyes
that is where I am at right now
morning coffee is unable to break me from this haze
more sleep is what I need
don't see that happening today or anytime soon
back to the grind
need to knock out some stuff
yesterday was a long day... still have not finished the tasks and projects of yesterday
so much to do
no time to BLOG
mind not working fast enough to create a creative topic anyhow anywho
there is hope that the activities of this weekend will break my older son Dean from his current routine of waking up at 5AM
he wakes up
he makes a fuss as he meanders downstairs
he makes so much noise that he wakes his brother
Grant starts to cry
then we have a bed filled with two dogs sleeping soundly
two kids wide awake
two parents doing their best to fall back asleep
CLAGON TAKE ME AWAY!
too bad I am too big to comfortably fit in the tub
we script our own misery
we enable bad habits
we foster these undesireable routines
blogging is an addiction
it is about reading blogs
it is about writing blogs
it is about finding blogs and finding those blogs again
there are a few sites I go to to read
after I have read I borrow the links
do a little OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW
so I can tangent hop from blog to blog
only to have the safe return to the blog with all the links
here are a few favorites
well lets see....
there are more
there are the colorado kids...
my old buddy from the beach, from the mountains, and from the bars; tim
an electronic friend but friend just the same; timmyp
and DCMTB gone west, rocco
then more local there are too many to name...
do a google for fat marc, joe foley, ricky d, arsbars, should I go on.... I feel like I should concentrate more on this glass of wine and a few seconds of tube
oh man.... single speed outlaw...
go to any of the blogs
read some go to some links
see where they take you...
come on... fixed gear..... fearless and gearless... crash jason.... look for them
there are more
Ever since I first read about this PUMP TRACK from LEELIKESBIKES I have been obsessed with the notion that we need one in our area!
here is one in COLUMBIA!
now we need one in the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA!
check out Lee and his talk of MASTERY
or skip the BLOG and go to the BOOK
yesterday on my short ride home I experienced the normal car to cyclist bullshit
the buses and the cabs did their normal thing
I did my normal thing
among the cars that did their obnoxiously aggressive stuff
again there were a disproportionate number of BMWs running me off the road
gotta love it when someone fits into a STEREOTYPE
REMEMBER: Don't be a STEREOTYPE!
better yet... DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE!
the seasons seem like they are finally changing
so I am going to put the LAKE MX300s away and start back with the SiDi Dominators
knickers or shorts... no more tights... no more GORTEX (unless it rains)
the fingers can start poking out of the gloves
the change of season... the rotation of gear
a good time for some SPRING CLEANING and maybe some SPRING PURCHASING!
headed home from work I spotted a phone on the trail
rather than run it over
rather than do a little kick with the rear wheel
rather than leave this phone to get soaked in this evening's rain
rather than leaving this phone on the trail never to be spotted by its owner again
I picked up the phone and left a few messages
even tried to call the owner's home number in character... from the perspective of the phone
apparently I am not a good actor... could not play a cell phone for more than two lines
left a message with my cell number then went about my evening
after a pizza dinner with friends, kids, and friends' kids, after baths and bedtime stories
the found phone ring
oddly lisa finds the ringing phone that would have surely been lost in the children's toy box by tomorrow evening
the owner comes by and grabs the phone
we have a nice conversation
turns out she is a dog trainer
perhaps roscoe and brutus could use a little training
she did make mention of showing her thanks by giving the dogs one free session
maybe we can take her up on that...
what aspects of my lovely little dogs need attention?
the bed hogging?
the sleeping in the bed after swimming in the creek?
their begging is a legit issue that should be approached
their inability to be content outside while we are inside
brutus' nervous behavior?
sounds like they could use more than one session
maybe we will have to arrange something
while on the dog note...
a friend of mine
an old friend of mine has just purchased a Dog Boutique in Baltimore
it is a crazy concept
but sounds like it could be fun
they seem very excited
if I were to live the world of retail... I would open a used bike shop that makes its money off repairs and special orders that doubles as a Coffee House.... movie night... you know... couches... a place to hang... a place for people to meet for pre-and post rides
then on Tuesday nights there would be that yet to be created Public Radio Talk Show Bike Talk (the cyclist version of Car Talk)
but this is not my fantasy
this is Rob and Lori's real life
they are busy baking home made dog buscuits and doggie birthday cakes
it sounds like the start of a Disney movie... did I mention they are getting married this year
who writes this stuff?
trying to GOOGLE his Dog Boutique's presence on the web
but... not finding it
seen the site
but can not find it now
well... did not get it through a GOOGLE...
here it is just the same
Lucky Lucy's Canine Cafe
(official bread and puppet)
bread and puppet... it was a time warp when it happened
as the world changed... bread and puppet changed
change is not always for the better
the changes of the world along with the aggression of the world ended it all in the late 90's
the whole event was a spectacle
it was a volcano waiting to errupt
organized chaos can only stay organized for so long
the death of one is a tradgedy... good thing it was only the death of one
with the direction of the energy of this event things could have been worse
in this era of Girls Gone Wild and the never ending international frat party it would be lame anyway
the spirit of the event was soon to be lost with people crashing a party that they were invited to
the modern age with all of it reality tv has killed so much of what was cool
they tried to do Woodstock again...
the modern age showed that such a time had passed
this post was about people... not hippies
I grew up listening to the punk side of things
those events were about people
hard to explain
very complex set of events
guess you had to be there
bread and puppet... not woodstock... I went to neither woodstock
but went to a several bread and puppet festivals
those were great pre-dog/pre-child/pre-marriage trips
lisa and I brought our bicycles and our tents
rode and camped at various places along the way
then settled in at the B&P Festival for a few days
it was time well spent
glad that we caught it when we did
there was a time in my life where a friend and housemate dubbed me Bitterman
this wild character was convinced that if I were a superhero... that I would be known as Bitterman
not sure where my anger comes from
it is not clear why I have a chip on my shoulder
but both the anger and the chip are very much there
so often in life when a thousand random thoughts race through my brain
most often the thought that gets selected to come front and center is the negative one
recently I told myself to narrow the thoughts down and re-evaluate my final selection
thus altering my emotion by consciously selecting the positive thought rather than the negative
this sounds easy
but it is hard for a person to fight their nature
over the last 37 plus years of my life I have developed a certain perspective
dubbed cynical in by a seventh grade teacher that everyone thought was cool
behind dubbed cynical before I even knew its meaning
life shamefully presents paradoxes that allow me to waiver between the ultra-positive and the ultra negative
cycling, more specifically commuting can be one of these paradoxes of nature
the commute to and from work can be one of the greatest releases of my anger
while this same commute to and from work can also be one of the greatest source of my anger
on each daily commute I get to push the pedals around and around
traveling along on a beautifully efficient machine
on these rides I get to experience the season of the day
I love to experience of the day
hiking the dogs gives me an opportunity to experience the season of the day
then on top of that my daily commute gets to extend that experience one step further
so just as I get to breath in the spring air, get my heart rate up, move my legs, and take in a vision of the season around me
I also have to contend with people doing stupid people things
mainly people moving about in their cars
it would be fine if they were just moving around
it would be fine if they were just moving around and going around me
but too many cars each day try to go over or through me
it can really get to be rather tiring
the bumper pushing close to the rubber of my rear tire
the sound of an engine revving and a horn honking
all very aggravating for a situation that has enough aggravation as it is
so the paradox continues
each day on my short commute I have several incidents that show me that people are either idiots or assholes
most of which are assholes...
most of which are not complex enough to experience empathy
most of which are not bright enough to understand efficiency
most of which do not care if I live or die
so on these rides I ride defensively
often my defensive efforts are done in an offensive manor
offensive driving often offends the car drivers... especially the ones who were already trying to go through or over me
so I am forced to make decisions for them
making it clear where is safe to pass and where they must follow behind me
it is so tiring thinking for so many people other than yourself
so the negative and the positive thoughts battle it out in all aspects of life
never allowing there to be a perfect moment
being too realistic to ever pretend that there is ever a perfect moment
maybe a near perfect moment, but never a truly perfect moment
this negativity permeated into my Ashtanga Yoga class the other morning
it was a good morning
I was having a solid class after a pleasant morning
the morning had included children sleeping late (7:45), some fresh coffee (a morning must every morning) and a quick hike in the woods with the dogs (another every morning must)
as the class was winding down the session was closed with a little meditation
as we all were flat on our backs resting lifelessly on our mats with our eyes closed our instructor took us to a relaxing place
with a soft soothing voice she walked us by the cherry blossoms in full bloom then down to the white marble Jefferson memorial
from there we got into paddle boats and drifted
it was all very relaxing until we got into the paddle boats
she wanted us to drift and I wanted to paddle
then when I was not paddling my attention went from the inability to paddle to a dead fish floating beside my boat
all the while our instructor is taking us further into the meditation and relaxation with a distant perspective of the cherry blossoms in full bloom from the tidal basin
but my bitter cynical mind controls all thoughts... even my imagination
all infected and all poisoned by my need to stress the negative
this is something I aim to change
must control to make sure that a part does not control the whole
my life rocks
I am on a roll
currently riding the biggest and best wave of my life
my life is to be envied and coveted
yet somehow I know that if I won the lottery today... tomorrow I would still find something to complain about
another biker and the right thing
today I worked the late shift
(still working the late shift... killing the last minutes of the day with a little BLOG SESSION... racing through a quick read to see if this entry makes any sense)
working the late shift allows me to enter work late
leaving a few hours in the morning to do with as I please
there was talk about driving Dean to school, but Dean failed to comply with my deal to get dressed with some immediacy
once he put on his Spiderman underwear... he morphed into a little superhero and started sprinting around the top floor
rather than argued I accepted it...
entertained Dean and baby Grant till our babysitter arrived
she is always ontime
she is always a welcomed site
once our babysitter arrived to take care of Grant and drop Dean off at school I stepped out the front door
I walked the dogs while drinking my coffee leaving me plenty of time for a pre-work spin
the dogs got their's
I wanted to get mine
having worked the road on the cross bike the day prior I felt that dirt was in order
so I plotted a cross town urban assault
aboard the Surly Karate Monkey I worked the dirt with great pleasure
encountering only one person on my cross town excursion
once out of the woods I looked at my watch and plotted my next move
there was still more time for more spinning on the bike
before I could get any closer to any more riding I saw what appeared to be a homeless man walking his bicycle
he stalled his movement and rotated his front wheel with the front end raised
it looked like a brake issues
I rolled up and asked him if he needed any help
easy enough... he had a flat
I stepped in close then stepped back... the smell was strong
even with the breeze he was unbearable
figuring he had more time than I
I asked if he knew how to use a patch and glue... he did
so I dug through my bag
to assure myself this man did in fact know how to properly use the glue I told him how I had rushed through a flat repair just last week, not waiting long enough for the glue to get tacky
as I told my retorical tale
my stinky santa-esque acquaintance assured me he knew to let the glue sit till it started to "vulcanize"
I passed over two patches, my remaining glue, and a little square of sandpaper then rolled along my way
I pedaled away with my bag feeling a little lighter
or maybe it was just a a breath of fresh air from feeling I had done the "right thing"
without much thought I worked my way through traffic
trying to time lights
trying to dodge cars
trying to have fun.... while trying to stay alive
just trying to get some exercise before I arrive at to work for my 11 o'clock in time
my subconcious guided me to where my time could be spent best
down by Haines Point for a little spin in the spring air with a glorious view of the Cherry Blossoms
this is a spring time spectacle that has a very short window of opportunity
tourists were just starting to gather
shutterless digital cameras were clicking left and right
rental cars were rushing to steal that last vacant parking space
just as I started to circle the golf course at Haines Point I found myself making small talk with a fellow cyclist
we laughed at the idiots and assholes who were speeding past us
a stretch limo passed us very close... nearly clipping an on coming Park Police car in the other lane
we made the turn past the golf course entrance where the road becomes two lanes
more cars passing
some faster and closer than others
all cars moving too fast to soak in the sights that surronded them
this other cyclist had a good outlook
sort of realisticly negative understanding with a smile on her face
judging from her old, not old school, Bridgestone MB6 she has been riding for some time
her Suntour thumb shifters were quite classic
she was somewhat Zen in her understanding that her anger and frustration would not change the car driver's behavior
that after this obnoxious driver there would be another obnoxious driver right behind them
I tried to breath deeply... second nature got the best of me as I flipped off a car driver who did not even exit my lane to pass
as we rode I shared with her the various bike alternative routes and how they interconnected
she knew some of the paths
while she was less familiar with others
with more time I guided her towards the Key Bridge which brought me closer my destination on M Street
we each had to go to work
with a smile and a handshake we went our separate ways
another kindered spirit on the bike
it was a good way to spend my moments before work on a Monday morning
some time with the boys at home in the morning
some time with the dogs in the woods
some time on the bike
and it is only Monday
on my way home minutes after PUBLISHING THIS POST
I passed an older rider with a silver beard
he was walking shoeless with his cycling shoes dangling around his next
his bicycle was along side of him with a flat tire
in a second effort to get a foot in heaven or maybe to at least balance the scales of my wrong doings I stopped for him
went through my bag for a road tube....
sure enough... I had a 26 inch mountain tube, a 29 inch mountain tube, and what appeared to be a road tube....BUT WITH A SCHRADER VALVE
my stopping was not without value
the rider was content to walk his remaining 3 plus miles home
but at the point where we met we were just three blocks from P Street Hardware
which also has a fully functioning bicycle shop
it was after 7 PM, but.... I felt that there was a good chance for it to still be open
it was worth a shot
he thought it was a good idea as well
I thanked him for pointing out the abscence of a road tube and rolled home