8.12.2005


NCVC: National Capitol Velo Club
on the Capitol Crescent Trail
tonight after work I went out for a spin on the tired old Jamis Nova cross bike with my old tired body
still feeling fried from Sunday at the Susquehanna Scorcher and looking ahead to this weekend at the Hoo Ha I could not help but argue in my head about where or how hard to ride
with lisa and the boys up in Pittsburgh for a few days I had the time for duration... only the dogs at home waiting for me
early into the ride with friction from an out of true rear wheel and a 7sp mountain crank set not agreeing with the years of wear with a nine speed chain
I pedaled a nice mellow spin not looking for excessive sweat, hard breathing, or any pain
not far into the multiuse paved trail I felt the pass of a long lean roadie
recognizing the figure and the form I gave a shout

it was NCVC racer John Whittington an ex-courier, an ex-City Bikes shop manager, and a friend from the cycling community for some time

he slowed to say hello
then he slowed the pace of his ride to chat
while Whittington slowed.... I sped up as we are very different animals... he being the gazelle while I am a rare breed of the gigantic sloth
it was good catching up
nice to hear he is doing well
nice to ride with a friend

at the trail's meeting with Jones Bridge Road we parted

Whittington took the road to Rock Creek Park
while I turned it around to reverse the path I had just taken... the slight railroad grade back towards georgetown is a pleasant spin

the sun had set on the way up the path and I was starting to lose light
with some random guestimation I debated with my route home

by my judgement there was more than enough time to roll this trail to where it links with K Street under the Whitehurst Freeway to link up with the bike path that leads into Rock Creek by the Kennedy Center
then wind Rock Creek towards the zoo and then home to Mount Pleasant
a few miles from my departure from Whittington I passed some pedestrian traffic on the tressel that goes over Bradley Blvd
well.... not sure it is a tressel... but it was once an old rail road bridge
just as I passed these walkers with a friendly "on your left" I heard that snake like hiss
only longer and more painful

my rear was losing air fast

nothing to do but pull over for a quick repair

a dismount on the bridge out from under the trees to steal what light remains as I make the repair

as I went through my bag
I got my pump and a Quickstick.... but no tube that is funny...
I bought four cross tubes and two 29 incher tubes the night prior at City Bikes

could I really have spaced out on putting one these tubes in my bag
in my bag?
all six tubes were in my bag after the purchase as I was on my bike when I went to the shop

so I took all six tubes out leaving me with no tubes

no worries.... there is the trusty old patch kit

I pull the patch kit out of the bottom of my backpack
only to open up and recall I had given some crazy homeless guy with a flat my glue and a few patches

there I was... just past 8 o'clock in bethesda

the dogs had not been walked
the wife is away
no one to call for back up

the Big Wheel Bikes that is within view is unlikely to have anyone there as late as five after eight

so with my tire and tube already off the rim and of course the wheel off the bike I get ready to check the bike shop the the CVS for a patch kit
prepared to go to my dad's house that is less than a mile away

just then a cyclist comes rolling up offering assistance

asking if I needed anything

"glue" I say
thinking a few steps ahead
he responds, "glue.... for what?"

of course he is thinking glue for tubulars not a ghetto as patch kit

I explain
then he is onto the next question of size

I am still thinking glue while he is asking size

I ask if he has a tube as I scan his bike and body for any sort of tools/CO2/and tube
I see nothing
while he pulls a rabbit out of a hat
there it is a tube
there was confusion with my cross tire sizing... he said 27.... I said sure then he said 27 by one and a quarter
while I was thinking tire width
the tube change hands there was no accepting of money
names were exchanged and he rode on his way
I forgot his name as soon as he said it
so I asked for it again
only to forget the name as soon as he said it... again

it was all very amusing
my confusion left this guy thinking I did not know my front wheel from my rear
he was ready to do the repair.... I tried to convinced him I knew what I was doing
not sure if he was too sure of my grasp of the tire tube relationship

with a nod and a thanks he was off
while I was off to make my tube change
using a dollar bill wrapped around the tube to cover the buldge around the tube where it meets with a tear in the tire
another very ghetto repair

with the dollar on the tube, the tube inflated in the tire, and the tire on the rim I was again left to ponder.... of which route to take home
the quick cross town way
or the bike path to Georgetown in the rapidly darkening world
being a genius I went for the idiot route down the bike path without lights
as much fun as it is riding like this
it is a fools game

while riding down the tree canopy with the last bit of the days light putting a blue ghostly haze in the lit areas I contemplated my ride
both riders were of NCVC

hard to stereotype the personality of such a large group as NCVC
for years I had felt a certain way about this club and its image
always thinking that my friends on this team were the exception
yet
the more people I meet from this team
the more I realize that I am wrong
the red and white stars and bars of the DC cycling community has a amazing cross section of the cycling community and the world as a whole

the mountainbikers I know for NCVC may share no more in common than love of cycling and affiliation with the same club.... which is a great deal... yet they are still different

this racer who looked fast and fit stop to help another cyclist in need
and I am a "fred" no less... he stopped to help a Fred!

there are so many that I know and like... too many to list
there are so many I know and respect as people and as racers

than why do I have this stereotype that does not fit?

it is good to know that at this age I am still growing and changing
even if it is at a dinosaur's pace

it is important for me to realize that there are many faces to NCVC just as their are many faces to the world
I have dropped my stereotype
there is now a new and improved view of the people of NCVC
as it turns out it was all in my head
all in my crazy little head

thanks person whose name I forget for the tube
and thank you also for aiding me in opening my eyes
the breaking down of such stereotypes aids in my efforts to deal with my own personal anger issues


(bill davis is still my rival ((clydesdale or not)) and kevin dillard is still some sort of arch enemy)
((this stereotype has been breaking down for years as I get to know more and more people from the road/cross culture.... NCVC hosts a great cross race The Ed Sanders Cross Race each fall.... get out and race it!)

a completely unrelated yet fun GWADZILLA ARCHIVE where I rant about Peru and trying to get a permit for my deck in my back yard

I handed my card, my blog card, to the gentleman who gave me the tube
he refused payment for the tube
if he bothers to read this Blog entry.... I hope that he does not find offense in my effort to thank him or in my effort to explain my feelings for NCVC

I had considered naming some NCVC folks that I have become friends with over the years... but I feared leaving people out

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