8.31.2005


two things about the passing of time and the passing of today

today was Dean's first day at his new school
it is pre-K.... Anarchy in the Pre-K
Dean was at another school/daycare before
this is a new school; new school building, new school teacher, and new school students
he transitioned well... no tears
roughly 19 years ago I was at that same school on my way home from work
this trip was made after work with another messenger from the same company
he was a high level skater from an day earlier
still skating and tearing up the streets fighting for position as "top dog" at this company
legend had it he was on the cover of Thrasher in 1981 which at that point in time was not so many years prior... he was still going big at Cedear Crest Country Club's steel ramp
we were on our mid eighties low end mountainbikes
there were some asphalt transitions there that we were trying to do BMX style maneuvers
this skater/messenger who went by Puker was not doing anything more fancy than myself
guess without these transitions going to vert or us not having any BMX skills kept us on the ground
which was not odd for me.... as I have a history of existing as a land dweller
on one of my feeble attempts to catch air I managed to break my chrome Mongoose ATB frame
that would be the first of a dozen broken frames from a long list of warranties
guess Dean transitioned better at this school than I did

one more notion on age
tonight I put on some music so that Dean and Gr
ant could dance
normally their flavor is Electronica of one style or another
but tonight I grabbed a cd of The Who's Tommy
Grant was able to spin some moves to it
Dean was more into his Batman moves that I was convinced would take us to the ER
then I thought
this album came out roughly then I was Dean's age
I can recall much of the chorus' and rhythms from that early in life
I can also recall listening to this Rock Opera at great length in high school

time to put Dean to bed
while Dean picks out a book I am going to make this addition to this early post
when reading to Dean so often I enjoy the bicycle theme books
the other day when reading Franklin Rides a Bike I as pleased when Dean displayed an interest in trying to learn to ride his bike without training wheels (again)
but there are times when the cyclist is not the good guy... like in Bill and Pete

no time to grab an album cover of The Who's Tommy
please check this out...

the Wooster Collective

found on Martino's Bike Lane Diary

and this FRENCH BLOG also from Martino
translate it with GOOGLE


Warning Signs: the signs are there, but no one sees them
maybe we need to change the signs
udate the colors?
update the images?
update the message?

more than likely not
more signs will be ignored just like the ones that already exist
perhaps signs are not part of the solution

so what is the solution?

earlier education...
have people learn how to drive before they learn to drive....
not in driver's education... but as young grade schoolers
perhaps if the children were more aware of the proper behavior in the car
maybe they could share this message with their parents!

could you imagine...

"mommy... do you really need to be making that call right now? if that call is so important, why don't we pull over and you can finish that call. otherwise... your focus should be on driving. after all... you are carrying precious cargo. " [ending with a large smile and a flutter of eye lashes]

or

"daddy.... did you see that sign? it said STOP. you just slowed and rolled past"

"mommy.... you almost hit that cyclist. that scared me? will cars try and run me over when I ride my bicycle?"

I remember the children a few houses down the block from me growing up....
they had a deal with their dad
everytime their dad drove off without his seatbelt on.... the kid who made him aware of this got a quarter
such a system could work for kids on other rules and laws of driving....

in the end
people are growing to be less and less civilized
our habits are growing to be more and more degraded
in the beginning.... our grandfather's drove with caution
they raised their sons and daughters to drive in the same fashion
I do not recall my father speeding excessively about town, nor do I recall him rolling through STOP signs, running Red Lights, running cyclists off the road, or giving other driver's the finger

well... this is how the average mom or dad drives today
this has to make an impression on a child's perspective of proper behavior in a car
so
when this same child goes to take the driver's test.... I would be shocked if they bother to put their cell phone down during the process

enough for now
too bad this soap box only goes out the the bicycle riding choir

8.30.2005

.


Track Bike Fun
sent to me from Gibby
also from Gibby... The Square Wheel... which was the name of the shop he worked at in Berkley
this same source hipped me to a documentary of IF trying to get some business advice (as mentioned by Dirt Rag)
the official site for THE TURNAROUND

and then this.....

BICYCLES AND ICICLES
a bicyclist blogging from Alaska
(not from Gibby)

went and checked out TIMMYP's site
it had been a while for me
check him out

.
More Images from Colorado
these shots were taken in Boulder

as most people know.... Boulder is a fitness Mecca
the running and cycling community seems larger there than in any city I have ever experienced
sure...
DC has its runners, its bikers, and its kick ballers... but nothing like Boulder
the surroundings are just great for enabling such interests

not only are the mountains and the trails aiding in enabling such interests
but
the rules and laws of the area aid in allowing such activities

in my short time in Boulder I took a few snapshots of various signs that made sense
signs that I would love to see in my town
here are a few...
all too small to read
-the first image shows a bike path
in this image it is clear that the path moves to allow cyclists to take a left hand turn
then it says "yeild to bikes"
this is something that the DC area could use
how can a cyclist take a left turn if they are forced to stay in the right hand lane?

-No Passing Bikes on Curves
then the warning sign says Bikes Next 7 Miles
this is common sense
but DC could use some of these signs as well
does it take a head on collision for people to realize how ignorant this is?
the car could run into another car.... or worse yet... another cyclist!

-then the CONOCO

-a warning sign telling bikes to USE THE FULL LANE
don't need to tell me twice!
share the road does not mean share the lane!
power to the people!
the revolution will not be motorized

-this one is basic.... but we could use it in Anytown USA
DO NOT BLOCK INTERSECTION and BIKE X-ING
basic....
every day I deal with this same scenario
people line up in the queue... right over the bike path.. blocking the intersection
I tell ya.... IQ test and Death Penalty

-STATE LAW: YEILD TO PEDESTRIANS
for me the multi-color sign with the wake up effort
seems that no one sees the signs
seems that no one sees the lines on the road
maybe the signs and the lines need to be brighter?

I hate the thought of more signs
there are enough signs
people do not see the signs
perhaps PSA on these issues may help better
or
start the education early

who knows...
maybe we can find a drug to inject people with empathy
if people could just see the cyclist on the road as a person just like themselves rather than a moving obstacle.... then we might get somewhere
until then....
it is ROLLERBALL 2000!

a few shots from Colorado earlier this summer....

8.29.2005

.

from my cousin an article about bike seats and well....

.
Double Parking and Rush Hour No Parking
there are a few things that really irk me about life in the city
Double Parking and Parking in the Rush Hour No Parking Zone have to rank up there in the top ten
Whether riding my bike or driving my car I often find myself getting frustrated by some "butt plug" who is double parked
they may be dropping off their "momma"
or
they may be picking up their "girl"
no matter what the reason... they are blocking traffic with no concern for anyone else but themselves
so frequently I pass this common urban site
after making the pass I see several legal spaces large enough that parallel parking would not be needed
yet
these people choose to double park

well
I think that there should be a little change in the DOUBLE PARKING ticketing policy
it is simple
Double Parking would be a ten dollar fine
simple
just a ten dollar fine
the conditions would change
officer friendly would no longer pull up behind the double parked vehicle and offer that gentle push with their lights and horn
nor would officer friendly walk up to the driver's side window and give a knock or a rap on the window
no
instead the ticket would be written and issued immediately
then the car would be told to move
then if this person got 5 of these tickets in a year's time
this driver would lose their license
simple and plain
driving is a privilege not a right
and well
people are abusing their privilege
those who can not behave need to be punished

ticket and tow
take em away

this same rule goes to those parked in the Rush Hour No Parking Lanes
downtown everyday
take a look around
every day I see the same people doing the same thing
someone dropping off their friend or lover
if they are there a few minutes early....
well they wait there till it is time for work
car parked blocking traffic
then they wonder why there is RUSH HOUR traffic

18th Street Study

check it out

they are trying to figure out how to make the Adams Morgan area more safe for travel and more attractive for living

8.28.2005

saw fellow City Bikes Mountainbike Team Member Joe Foley twice this weekend
he was out spinning on his road bike
looks like he is getting totally ready for the Shenandoah Mountain 100
also saw fellow Clydesdale Chris Redlack
think I saw him through the trees as I was out on a hike with the dogs yesterday
know I saw Chris coming the opposite direction on the Capitol Crescent trail this afternoon
I was out on the cross bike pulling Grant in the trailer
starting to get excited about the SM100 myself
there is a great deal that surrounds the event
it can be a serious party
lisa and dean will be down camping the night prior which should be fun!
Joe did some leg work for the team and got us to order some wool jerseys
I am psyched to get a classic jersey for the fall...
will I need to get wool arm warmers?
as the lycra and the wool would clash?
Things are not always what they seem;
especially when they move past on the bicycle
living in the same town...
traveling down the same set of roads...
growing up in this same basic area...
riding the same loops on my bicycle before and after work for years....
all of these factors have brought me to see some of the same people over and over again over the years
especially those within the bicycle culture

when seeing these various strangers I try to create an idea of who these people are
it is a guessing game that is seldom proven true
yet this guessing game is seldom proven false as
I seldom encounter these people face to face
(other than the incidental nod or a wave)

so from across the hectic intersection or passing on the multi-use bicycle trail I see these people
when I see them I make an uneducated guess of who they are...
I guess about if they are a commuter, a racer, someone training, someone out for a ride to get some ice cream, someone forced to be on a bike due to a DWI
I guess if they are going on a long ride or a short

I guess if hey are rich or poor, married or single, native to this country or transplants
the guesses go deeper
I even go so far as try and create an idea of what their voice may sound like
most often when I finally meet one of these people I find that I was not close on any counts
yet I continue to play this game in my head just the same

this morning there was an article in the Washington Post about a woman who travels the city via bicycle
it was a joy to have these questions answered
as expected
I was wrong on all counts

with this woman I had certain thoughts of her sanity
perhaps people who see me traveling on my bike question mine
these questions of her stability were not answered by the article... but I am assuming that she is more sane than I had thought
she clearly is not he homeless vagabond that I thought she was
as a matter of fact she is a professor at Georgetown University
then the story went further
as it turns out she is the mother of someone I went to high school with
this is something that I could have never anticipated
but... as it turns out she is DC Benny's mom
go figure

moments ago as I was crossing town from picking up Dean from a sleep over at my mom's
I saw her
there she was...the mystery was solved
at a red light I was in my car and she was on her bike; that same bike... that same floppy hat
I gave her a hearty wave and hello from my air conditioned car
in a shout told her I saw the article
the exchange was garbled.... distance... hearing... ambient noise, whatever
it was fun to see her just the same
it was even more fun to learn who she is and that I impressions of her were entirely false... as expected

Washington Post Article

I went to high school with her son... did not know him well... but knew him well enough to know he was funny
now he is trying to get "paid" for being funny

although he is now in New York... he still goes by
DC Benny
saw his name on the Marquee at the Improv around the corner from work the other day

also happened to catch his performance on
Last Comic Standing.... a performance I am sure he would like to forget... as he seemed to cave under the pressure on that night tough business

oh
no offense to any insane people out there
better insane than boring

8.27.2005

Update:
Where am I? What have I been up to?
Who am I and why am I here? (okay.... I can not answer that one)
PT: No More Physical Terrorism
well... no more painful PT (Physical Terrorism) administered by a trained professional
and no more spa-like hot wax hand dips
left the good with the bad behind me
the finger exercises are all on me
everyday I wake to a stiff finger with limited mobility
everyday throughout my day I try to regain mobility and strength
it is a slow process... but a vital process
it is a process that is getting old
Yoga: trying to get back into the routine
lisa and I are doing the Saturday morning yoga hand off
this morning I took the boys to the National Zoo while lisa did an Ashtanga One class
then I went and handed off the boys to lisa where I got to take part in an Ashtanga Open Class
my Yoga is ugly to the eye... but it feels great
in my mind my Yoga efforts are as important to my cycling as another ride
hiking the dogs, yoga, and cycling are part of my life is cumulative approach to staying healthy
the fried food? that is pure pleasure
The Bike: the Shenandoah Mountain 100 is 8 days away
much like a major exam
it is too late to cram
I know I have not studied as much as I should have
but now it is just vital to hang onto what progress I have obtained thus far
with my time off the bike due to my injury
with all the time that family and work took priority over riding
I will have a positive approach to this race
even in shape this event is a journey of the spirit
it is my intention to ride fast and ride hard
if my body is telling me that this task is impossible... I will have to pack it up and pack it in
DNF is not an option?
DNF or DIE? well... that is something to be avoided
this race is to be respected..... fatigue on a fast technical downhill could be disasterous
DNF is a better option to DEATH
DFL is also not an option... as I have finished this race twice previously.... I have proved I can do it... so there is no need injurying myself trying to make a statement
go hard
have fun
see where the day takes me

in a nut shell that is where I am at
work is still kicking my white ass
the boys are amazing... we are enjoying the cooler August days
but I am not enjoying the need for both Dean and Grant to wake up at 3 Am each night
such is parenthood... sleepless nights are part of the routine
all parents deal with it
it is just our turn

this morning at the Zoo was a blast
Dean and Grant are getting to be quite a team
the age difference is there
but as Grant gains speed, agility, and language skills he becomes more of a playmate for his older brother Dean

topped the sunlight off with a long hike in the woods with an old friend and the dogs
these hikes are a good chance for us to catch up
they are a vital part of our relationship
the dogs had a good time too

8.26.2005

NASCAR
how hard could NASCAR be?
they are only making left hand turns...
if they went to race in England... would they go around the track the other way?

bike for life
-the notion of age and cycling is a popular topic
-last week the president went biking and people were talking about his age
-earlier this year Lance retired from racing and their was talk of his age
-this weekend past at the SSWC there was the presence of Keith Bontrager and Gary Fisher... most certainly someone had to be talking about their ages
-then lastly... this week I had another birthday... which leaves me thinking about my age

-for my birthday my brother and his family got me a book; Bike for Life
-it seems like a good resource
-it approaches the sport of cycling and discusses many issues about the sport of cycling and the notion of aging
-thus far I have only scanned the pages
-glacing at sections on cycling specific yoga....
-the correlation of strong climbing to lesser body mass
-there are stories.... interviews..... and anecdotes
-lots of information delievered in a way that my ADD brain can understand

-I look forward to reading BIKE FOR LIFE
-more than that
-I look forward to riding for the rest of my long healthy life

*there is an anecdote from the 1996 24 Hours of Moab in this book... I am not positive as the results do not go that far back... but he says Team Large Ass... when I think he may mean Team Huge Ass

8.25.2005

the SSWC... I was not there but like every monday morning mountainbiker... I wish I had been there

here is a synopsis of the race from the perspective of Keith Bontrager as it appeared in cyclingnews.com
here is his full index at cyclingnews.com

then here is RickyD's account at bikecentric.blogspot.com
complete with pictures that might very well rival some of the stuff at the drunkcyclist
(who was there and is working on a write up at the moment....)

do a google... look around.... there most certainly will be some write up in Dirt Rag next month!
or tryjoefoleysinglespeedoutlawfatmarc..... the list goes on!
everyone has a story to tell
all worth reading

ah...
gotta love the bike and everything that goes with it

8.24.2005

Yearbook Photo
more on the passing of time... 20 years time

there it is...

there I am...

that is me

or maybe

that was me

or
at least that is how I sat in front of the camera that day

holding a face and wearing a hair style that I thought would go onto my "permanent record"

the threats from my father were clear... this picture could make or break my chances of going to college

although I did not want to go to college I feared not having the option to go to college
so I borrowed a comb and a cardigan from my lab partner in Anatomy and Physiology
fixed myself up

this was the result


the other image...
an already been posted on the BLOG image of me sledding
this image appeared on the cover of the Washington Post that same year
the color of my hair had changed by the time this sledding shot was taken
I am the one in the front of the tobbogan
yes... I did have hair
no... neither of those are wigs.... the hair I had was my own

here is a fun article from the SFGATE on one person's reunion
Lance in the Press
do a little scan of any of the papers....
USA Today front cover
Washington Post first page of the sports
the French are still chasing Lance
seems that they are going back to his 1999 urine samples
and trying to call in Monica's blue dress

let it ride...
let it rest...
TV Show House is Looking for Cross Riders
August 22, 2005
If any of you want to be in a current TV show, there is a need for cyclocross riders. Producers are looking to hire 25 cyclocross riders on August 30, 2005 for the show "House" in Los AngelesŠ..The guys should have their own bikes, helmets, bike apparel (prefer no logos)Š..The Rate would be 75 dollars for 8 hours, plus 12 for the bike, plus wardrobe (5 -15 dollars)Š.These gentlemen should be in their 20's and 30's, all ethnicities, and in great shape.

Please contact: Brad Kenny, SAG Casting Director, Central Casting, Los Angeles, CA at bkenny@centralcasting.org

*cut and pasted from an email from my brother
my birthday was yesterday
38 years young
got a wide range of cards, ecards, and emails on the topic
Dirt Rag forum and the Honda dealership from which I bought my car each sent a birthday greeting
even if these were sent from a robot of the automated world
these were just two of the many messages that helped to make yesterday special

other things that made yesterday special...
calling in sick... (was actually in need... the boys were up all night the night prior)
long walk with the dogs in the woods with a relatively low humidity
a shopping spree at Target where I got various things to make Dean's room more his own
a stop by Big Wheel Bikes in old town Alexandria where Bennet gave me an old road frame with horizontal drop outs (Colanogo; very classic.... lugs and all)
after the club house experience of eating lunch at the Old Town Big Wheel it was back into DC for a set up of all the toys from Target then a spin on the bike
was able to squeeze in a little over an hour on the cross bike before Lisa and boys joined me for a trip to RFK stadium for a Nationals baseball game
Grant's first baseball game during the Nationals first season

then after the boys were put to sleep there was still a little time to study for work

a day well spent

a new issue of Dirt Rag came in the mail some time last week or so
have not had time to read it yet
paged through it
but have not given it a full read
did notice that Larry Camp had a photo in this issue
my subscription is about to run out.... maybe I will look into this "lifetime subscription"

8.22.2005

no time to BLOG
no time for the bike
not even any time for the family
work is kicking my ass!

it is somewhat ironic
I work a job so that I can have a family
well
right now I have a family that I seldom see
in the mornings I get to hang with the boys for a little before work
in the evenings I get to put the boys to bed
the last couple of weekends there have been congregations around the dinner table
but.... I have had to work on some of the weekends past
no adventures with the boys
no trips to the water park
no afternoons at the pool
no dad teaching his children to swim
no dad teaching his children to ride bikes
just dad at work

tonight is no different
having to work late tonight

eventually I will get a solid rhythm with work and life
but right now it just is not flowing

yes, I know that I also ride my bike
yes, I know that I occassionally do bike races
but
being a husband and a father does not mean that I need to stop being me
riding a bike is part of who I am
it makes me a better husband
it makes me a better father

8.21.2005

28 Days Later
bring it back to the bike
always got to bring it back to the bike
as loose as this tangent may be
it is bicycle related
the protagonist of 28 Days Later is a bike messenger

this film is beautifully shot.... an epic of sorts
it carries a slow dramatic cinematic tone of a different time
it is a must see
not sure why I let this sit on the shelf for so long
now I can return this DVD and thank my friend for lending it to me

okay
coffee down
time for me to study while lisa is at the pool with the boys

local mountainbike race today (Cranky Monkey #3)
no time for bikes this weekend
need to study for work
bummer
no time to study for the SM100
need to study for work....
yes.... I heard that .... need to study for work
bye

SSWC: Single Speed World Championships
SSWC 2005
today at State College PA there is some serious Single Speed Madness going on
the tales are being created as I type
can not wait to hear the variety of experiences and the final outcome
this is an event that will be talked about for years to come

Wonder if the WILD CARD will come into play

Winning
Speaking of winning (and whining), lets hit this one last time. The top placing will be determined on the go-cart track. If you're one of the few whining 'cause you're super fast and you've been training all year and what does go-cart racing have to do with real mountain biking anyway-hit the NORBA nationals. Top 20 men racers and 10 random riders will do battle in 3 heats advancing to the final heat of chaos (and driving). The same for thee women with the top 10 doing battle on the track in one fabulous heat!
ah.... those crazy kids
this morning I got to sleep in late
lisa is good to me that way
was able till roughly 8am
8am to a father of two small boys is like noon or one in the afternoon to a single male in his twenties

this morning Dean was at my side as he has been in a routine of migrating to our bed at roughly 6am....
bad dreams? sleepless nights? feels like he is missing out on what Grant is doing in the family bed?
6am is around the same time that Grant wakes up and needs to be retrieved from his crib upstairs
well... 6am is the hopeful... Grant does not need to wait for the rising sun to wake in the morning
our usual hopes are to get both boys to fall back asleep once in the "mommy bed"
things do not always go as we plan
Grant is usually trying to communicate some basic needs with his simple language of a 18 month old child
"donstares.... donstares...."
asking to go downstairs would be a common basic request
if he clearly wants to play lisa or I (usually lisa as she is more functional at this time of day) will ask him to get a toy from the
"toy room"
like a well faithful trained Yellow Labrador Grant moves fast on his mission
returning proudly with a toy only to rush off and grab another
this routine is good for at least a few extra winks

this morning as Dean slept at my side Lisa entertained Grant downstairs
when enough seemed like enough Grant came up the stairs
with one ear to the pillow and one ear to the sounds of the house I listened to the rhythm of Grant moving up the stairs
although he has been going up stairs since six months... at 18 months he still goes up the stairs with a crawl
guess it is a matter of proportions
how would I move up stairs that were one third my body height with the rise of each stair?

Grant rushed into the room and I begged for a hug
immediately he rushed off with a smile and a laugh in a "come and get me" sort of way
still waking slowly there was no lunge to get him
like a boomerang Grant was rushing back to my side
as he arrived closer his arm outstretched as if to hand me something
sure enough
it was a Lego... not under three year old size Lego (known as Duplo) but a diminutive choking hazard size lego piece
I accepted the piece and was proud of Grant's handing over a toy he knows he should not have
then just as soon as Grant left he was back with another small flat square lego piece
with the same hand I now had two pieces in my hand
two rapidly became four by which time I was out of bed and putting these pieces out of harm's way
as I stood up and walked to the dresser I stretched my long tired body and tried to recall the tail end of the movie the night before
thoughtlessly I caressed the small square Lego pieces in my hand
flat on one side by lacking that plug in puzzle piece form of a Lego on the other
as Grant came back with two more pieces I knew what they were before he made a U-turn for more
Grant was plucking the keys off my laptop keyboard

before Grant could get to the laptop I had him in my hands and was issuing a meaningless, "no... no.... no"
to which I got nothing but laughter

was able to replace all but the "T" key on my laptop
will pull out the tweezers and try for a repair

the only way to prevent such things from happening is to keep such things out of sight and out of view
a lesson all parents learn
to children... especially very very small children... nothing is sacred

weekend minutes?
roaming charges?
these little guys do not care.... to them it is all the same

deleting files?
shutting down the computer mid project?
it is just a slap of some keys and a push of a button

such is life with little people roaming free in my world
I love it
with all of its subtleties

8.19.2005

tough week
no time to ride
no time for family
no time for anything but work
which would of course mean no time to BLOG
lots of ideas in my head
but just as I would always claim... the best ideas never make it to the BLOG
I BLOG when I can
not when I want to

here is a great shot of DT bike shopping
found at this Vintage Poster site

online looking for some posters for my son's room
but
I need to be careful and be more sure that it will please him than that it would please me
this poster looks more like I should get it for me for the basement

more work to come
lots of late nights last week

I am thinking Iron Giant or the Incredibles in a classic movie poster feel will meet both of our needs


8.18.2005

Haines Point this morning....
(late morning)
before work I had some time to do a little riding
rode down to Haines Point
did a few laps
as I was doing my laps the big boys with the big legs started showing up
there were all sorts of folks in their team this and team that
made me curious of the subculture of the road rider
made me curious to try and meet up for one of these Haines Point Group Rides
just another part of the cycling subculture here in Washington DC
everyone was friendly with a nod or a wave
in many ways I was glad to be done before they got started
as I was afraid of getting run over by the Peleton

8.17.2005

SHOUT OUT TO Gwadzilla at DC BLOGS
(funny that my kids in the pool would draw any attention)

an a blog I foun on DC BLOGS: on-two-wheels.blogspot
(this on-two-wheels is yet to get its wheels rolling, that said... there are some great links on this page)

Martin

Martin came to the District by way of Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, and the thriving mecca of State College, Pa. In between blogging, selling bikes, and playing ultimate frisbee, he works the role of jack-of-all-trades at an embassy in D.C. (though he doesn't benefit from the high-roller diplomat lifestyle). He rides his bike almost everywhere, including on every street and avenue in the city named after a state. He lives in Capitol Hill and blogs at Two Wheels D.C.

perhaps I should go to www.dcist.com
morning rides ain't what they use to be
life with two dogs, two kids, and a straight 9-5 job alter my freedom to ride my bike in the morning
just too much to do and not enough time
there was a time when work was a little further so I had the force morning ride, aka the bicycle commute
but these days...
my morning commute tends to be short, very short, about 15 minutes short
not enough for a work out sometimes enough to develop a sweat
always long enough to post some complaints

the other morning on my pre-work pedal I ran into a fellow City Bikes Mountainbike Team Member, Chris Clarke
we met at a light and shared morning greetings
I asked where he was coming from
he asked where I was coming from
Chris was shocked at how short my ride to work was.... clearly implying that on my BLOG this ride seems longer
well.... this morning was a classic example of why my ride can sound so long
Car Drivers as a rule are self centered assholes
(when I drive I have to intentionally not be this way)

not 20 yards from the exit of the alley behind my house to street there is a 4 way stop
in the morning there is always cross town commuter traffic coming down this street
the cars have a simple "slow and go" mentality
never to they look
never do they yield to anyone else
they just slow and go
they most definitely never stop..... even if an officer is parked there to monitor the activity at this intersection
so on my bicycle I made my stop
did not argue the tie with the downhill traffic
paused in a track stand
then went as it was clearly my turn
then I was of course nearly hit by the two cars that were after me in the queue
then was tailgated
then was passed illegally and aggressively by one of the drivers

that was just incident one
I will not go on about the teen age tailgater behind the zoo.... the man dialing his cell phone as he meandered back and forth within the lane, or any of the other annoying/obnoxious/dangerous encounters of the morning

the point is that whether the ride before work is an hour, two hours, or 15 minutes... as long as there is bicycle to car interaction... there will be an incident
this is the modern age.... an age that is not evolving for the better
brace yourself for the future
cars are getting faster.... people are becoming more stupid

there are days where I do get an extended prework ride.... those days happen when I work the late shift
not having to be in until 11 allows for a longer walk with the dogs and a longer ride before work
my schedule is such that I have at least one of these days a week
these days it has been more than one day a week
on these days I come into work more refreshed like my morning coffee had an extra shot of esspresso in it

8.16.2005

time for bed
funny...
the positive thoughts of the SM100
have given birth to positive thoughts about cross
starting to look into a replacement to the old and tired Jamis Nova
starting to look at some of the races on the schedule

here is one posting
http://www.monkeyhillcs.com/mac/mac2005/

I have to locate some full schedules to get a tentative idea of where and what to expect
then there is the Panarama Paranormal relay for the mountainbike
may want to camp with the family and race there
it is quite and event
great race
with stuff for spectators.... family spectators
Halloween style!
I think Dean would love it

thanks joe for the midatlanticcross.info
that cross clinic at Tilden sounds cool

some pictures from the pool
not many pictures of the kids lately
as my computer and camera are not talking to each other
have not felt like trouble shooting it
these shots were taken with a disposable underwater 35mm camera; got images on disc at development... the better shots were taken by Dean... he took that one of me)

Race Report: Iron Hill; Newark Delaware 2005
through the course of the week I had been thinking Hoo Ha
the Hoo Ha is a great course and a great race
have always had fun there
even the last time I raced there crashing and blacking out brings back fond memories
but as the week progressed I started to dread having my ass kicked.... again
by the time Saturday had come along I was convinced that I was racing the Hoo Ha but was not looking forward to it
the notion of having to work Sunday afternoon after a long race surrounded by a seriously long drive started seem irrational


bike racing is supposed to be a pleasure
bike racing is supposed to be a passion
there should not be an over welming feeling of dread leading into the event
sure there can be dread during moments of the race
and there most certainly will be pre-race anxiety
but
dread is not supposed to be a part of a person's pleasures or passions

so
before I put a wrench or lube to the geared Karate Monkey I rethought my actions

went ahead a re-evaluateed my plans and replotted my course
there was the Iron Hil race scheduled on this same day
less climbs and less drive
that sounded perfect
immediately my mood started to change
BINGO!
instant alteration to my mood

then like a fool I broke one of the oldest rules in mountainbike racing....
that rule being "never do any serious bike maintenance the night before the race"

my Karate Monkey Single Speed was long over due for a new front chain ring and new chain
parts I had set purchased and set aside for some time
sure enough
this was another case of "whack a mole"
trying to resolve one problem as another problem popped up
luckily it is a single speed and not too much can go wrong

there was a moment of panic when one of the spacers on the sealed hub in the rear cracked durning a hub adjustment
luckily the dirt jumping high school age mechanic, Adam, at City Bikes recognized this part right off and was able to find one in the shop
sure he had to pull it off a hub in the display case
but he ordered the replacement parts where are sure to arrive before a customer tries to purchase that random Surly Single Speed Rear Hub

a serious relief and a serious help
it is good to have people at the shop looking out for me

so the bike got tuned and got the bags got packed
I set out late Sunday morning for Newark Delaware where I would race with the Single Speeds at the Expert distance
the whole idea was exciting to me
the idea of riding and racing this course on the rigid single speed sounded like a splendid way to kill a Sunday afternoon

upon arrival I was shocked at how small the gathering seemed to be
as I have raced this spot several times before and remembered a different level of buzz
perhaps it was that it was late in the afternoon and the Sports and Beginners may have already finished and gone home by this time
so I made my way around the parking lot
there were a few familiar faces
saw a bunch of the Wooden Wheels guys getting ready with their single speeds

they were are all amped for next weeks SSWC at State College
for the Wooden Wheels folks this was just a hoot on the local trails for these guys
not unlike a gathering for a Wednesday At Wakefield in the DC area for a City Bikes rider
that is not to say that this was going to be a parade in the park

it was hot
but that goes without saying
August on the East Coast=HOT

this day did deliver

at the start line I avoided all tension and took the back of the pack with fellow displaced Clydesdale Mark Fitzwater
we joked about being the two man Single Speed Clydesdale class
in the bantor I noticed that one of the two expert women had her deraileur in a stressful positon
I kept it to myself
yet
it seemed that her chain was a little short to be using the big ring in the front and the big sprocket in the back
yet I kept it to myself as I figured it would cause no harm
figured she is an expert and knows what she is doing

eventually the race began

a few minutes late
with most of the racers already sweating
it was good to be pedalling

at first it was a long parade of single speeders going into the woods
in no time at all I was in a pack of riders falling rapidly behind the lead group
with room to pass I took a few spots and then cruised behind a young rider who had a great touch on the bike

not far into the race I started to sense some problems with my bike
under a few tork situations I felt a snap crackle and a pop
... all this with no Rice Crispies on the scene
the new chain which was actually a brand new very old 7 speed chain
it did not seem to be agreeing with my set up

there had been no test on the bike
just a repair... leaving the bike on the stand... then into the car... then onto the race course
on a slow double track grade I heard a loud metalic grind and crack

only to watch my chain fall gently from my bike
already drentched in the afternoon heat and humidity I dismounted and stopped for the repair

the final single speeders caught up and passed me

then as I worked to fix my chain that woman with the stressed out deraileur passed and then I heard all sorts of noise from her bike

with the sound of cussing a hundred yards up the trail I could see this expert women racer wrestling with her bike
as I worked on my bike I looked over at her from time to time to monitor her progress which was just increasing frustration

as I finished up my repair a rider came by and asked for my pump
this same rider had given me two gel packets in the parking lot
I dug into my bag and tossed him my Crank Brother's mini
the favor was returned
everyone was frantic to get back in the game

with my chain repaired and my wheel back on the bike I mounted up and started to ride
as I approached the woman in need I could not resist to offer assistance
it was the wrong decision
I was not entirely out of the game
but
my mellow tone of the day took my actions in the wrong direction
I spent over ten minute taking her derailuer out of her rear wheel, removing the remains of her deraileur hanger, and then converted her bike to a single speed

when I should have just rolled past
a mistake of treating a female racer than I would have treated a male racer

I raced and rode alone for pretty much the rest of the day
there were points when the leaders caught me
the pros passed like I was standing still
perhaps I was standing still
the lead Single Speeder was flowing as he passed
I tried to hang on his wheel
but he was riding at another level

like a soldier I marched on
my DNF or DIE mentality was taking me to DFL
yet
it was a great day to be on the course
even if the only person behind me was the person taking down the tape

on this day I broke my chain and may have broken my spirit

my head is not entirely in the game
not sure if the SM100 is on my calendar any longer this year
could I do it and finish... maybe
would it be fun.... I am not really sure
I will see how the rest of the month unfolds for me
but
it seems that my race season is being forced
nothing is coming natural to me
nothing is flowing

perhaps I should let off some of the pressure and get ready for cross season
(what am I talking about? I really get my ass kicked in cross!)

after the race I spent a few minutes catching up with some of the Wooden Wheels folks
they had a grill going
it was a local race for them and they had a good showing
it was good food and good catching up with those guys
always look forward to seeing them at the races
they carry an excellent spirit of the sport... comradierie and competition
and no.... I never learned to spell
where is that bicycling writer from Oregon to help me out with my spelling?

here are some of their BLOGS

http://bikesandbeer.blogspot.com/
http://manicmtbr.blogspot.com/
http://www.fatmarc.com/

that is all I can think of right now....
send them in the comments section and I will toss them up here



DC Courier/Sean Bega
NCVC Photo Gallery

I am not sure but I think that these photos were taken by Kevin Dillard of demoncats
.


WiFi Speed Spray!
a must for anyone in the tech industry
also great for home use... but this is industrial strength!

.
for all those with dreams of being a "Paperback Writer"
here is a Self Publishing opportunity at LuLu.com

8.15.2005

Road Race Crash leads to Serious Injury for Sarah Scott
Sarah Scott, a female Cat 4 Road Racer, suffered a serious injury a few weeks ago at the Tour de Toona
she is currenly paralized from the waist down
here is a
site telling the story
on this site is a Pal Pal account for anyone who wants to lend some support
this could be any of us.... rider or racer
the City Bikes Mountainbike Team is currently discussing how we could best show our care and concern
Passing on Blind Curves
words from a cyclist about a dangerous situation on Rock Creek Park
it is just a matter of the odds
so much of cycling on the road is a game of Russian Roulette
only someone else is holding the gun and pulling the trigger at random

this gunman does not seem to think about the outcome enough to care
this link was shared with me from the mind of THE SINGLE SPEED OUTLAW
yes... check out the SSO!
the Blogging Single Speed Cyclist version of the USO

Bush goes biking....
USA Today article about Bush Biking
Bush talks about biking, fishing, and working with his chain saw.... no mention of his tasks as president
I like his rule... "no one passes the president"

(photo from USA Today by Eric Draper)

Later this week Bush is scheduled to Ride with Lance
(cycling news)
Lance is in a strong position
he is using much of his influence in so many positive ways
perhaps he and Bush can sort out some of the priorities of the world
I heard a quote from Lance... not sure if it is accurate... but something to the effect that, "the war we should be fighting should be against cancer"
or something to that effect
I wonder if Bush is going to enforce his "no one passes the president" rule
as we all know that Lance has a "no one passes Lance" rule

here it is.... Bush and Lance

added later
Track Cyclist's Blog
from the mind of Wonderbread (aka John Whittington)
there was a crash clip he was trying to share with me
but it has since been removed

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

Shenandoah Mountain 100
it is not too late to register for the
SM100
it may be too late to start training

not too late to pick up the training
although it may be too late to cram for the test

I am still feeling overwelmed by the thought of this event
we will see how the day plays out
must approach with a Positive Attitude
I was reading a moderately humorous BLOG this morning
on one of the comments the reader had a tag as a signature that I found funny..


Nero Fiddled..... Bush Bicycles

8.11.2005

a friend sent me this
I think he thinks I spend too much time blogging
thanks falk
thanks for caring

Life as a Father Alters my Perspective
the image on the cover of today's Washington Post moved me
it was an artful image of a young child lying lifelessly on his back as two other boys stood over him
there was a wagon or a trailer missing a wheel behind them
years ago I may have shrugged my shoulders... and thought... that is Africa.... bummer to be born into that world
.... glad that is not me
but now as a father I see the world through a different set of eyes... I see that image and I can see a child
a boy no different than one of my two boys
only different by the world they are born into
it saddens me... it saddens me nearly to tears

check out the slideshow images from this post story about Niger

then wipe the tears away and dive into some comic relief with this Andy Milonakis character... his show is a hoot

then step back and think what you can do to make the world a better place
your efforts do not need to be a donation made to the starving children in Africa
maybe you can do something here... maybe just be a better person
you don't have to go around your neighborhood picking up trash... maybe you can not throw trash
be more positive instead of negative in your actions... follow the speed limits not for fear of getting a ticket... but to make the streets more safe
give people the right of way
do the just thing
do something....
come on... ask your friends... they will tell you that you are a selfish asshole
change that
it will make you feel better

Andy is right... the Super Bowl is GAY.

and yes
I am trying hard not to be a selfish asshole all the time
and no
it would not hurt to send some money to a relief cause that you believe in Africa, Asia, the Middle East... take your pick
we have poverty here in the United States if you want to save on postage


Thievery Corp to host a Benefit to Build Support in Ending the War in Iraq
and it has a name
Operation: CEASEFIRE
brought to you by UNITED FOR PEACE
it has a date
09.24.05
Mark your Calendars
Book your babysitters now
pencil it in on your calendar
enter it electronically to your PDA
as for me.... I would love to attend but I think that I will be in VEGAS that weekend


this is a no brainer
I like
Thievery Corporation and I do not like the War in Iraq
seems like an easy enough place to stand and be counted

not sure of exact dates or locations

but will certainly post when I know more

check out the videos on the Thievery
webpage
my friend Rob did a great job on the WARNING SHOTS VIDEO

and
his STEREOTONIC video with Thunderball is well worth a look as well
is
back and enjoy


when rob (not rob garza) is not playing sitar or guitar w
ith thievery... he is doing film or multi-media stuff or working with Fort Knoxs Recordings on various projects such as Thunderball

this was shared with me from another rob.... a different rob all together

poster designed by mike flugennock at sinkers.org
poster can be downloaded for print